Reds vs. Padres: Pitching preview, prediction, and more

SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 18: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with Eugenio Suarez #7 after hitting a solo home run. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - APRIL 18: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates with Eugenio Suarez #7 after hitting a solo home run. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JUNE 15: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Padres.

I’m not sure how many times it’s happened in MLB history, but it can’t be many, as Wade Miley (6-4 2.92 ERA) and Joe Musgrove (4-6 2.50 ERA), authors of no-hitters in the same season, square off in tonight’s series opener.

A strong case can be made that Miley has been the Reds’ best starter this season. Certainly, his last three starts since returning from the IL present overwhelming evidence for his case. Tossing 18 innings, the southpaw has allowed just three earned runs while recording 17 strikeouts.

Need more evidence? I got it. The 34-year-old Cajun has not surrendered a gopher ball since April 30th against the Chicago Cubs, and he’ll have ample room to work within the spacious grounds at Petco Park.

Joe Musgrove and the Reds are no strangers to one another. Having spent the previous three years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Musgrove is 3-2 lifetime versus the Redlegs in six appearances. In addition, the right-hander has gotten the best of Jesse Winker in their meetings, limiting Cincinnati’s slugger to just one hit in nine at-bats.

The big Texan Tony Santillan (0-0 1.93 ERA) makes his second big league start Friday night as he opposes Chris Paddack (3-5 4.14 ERA) of the Padres. Santillan flirted with disaster all afternoon in his debut, but give the rookie credit, he got the big out when he needed it.

Working 4.2 innings, the 24-year-old right-hander issued four free passes and allowed five hits but surrendered just one run. However, if Santillan allows this much traffic on the basepaths tomorrow night, it might not end as well for the rookie.

It might sound odd, but manager David Bell may want to load the lineup with right-handed hitters against Chris Paddack. The San Diego right-hander has limited lefties to an anemic .219/.259/.344 slash line while righties are slashing .273/.314/.556 versus the fellow Texan. Seven of the nine gopher balls he’s allowed this season have been to right-handed batters.

Another rookie gets the call Saturday as Vladimir Gutierrez (3-1 2.74 ERA) battles Dinelson Lamet (1-2 3.33 ERA) for manager Jayce Tingler’s club. How good has Gutierrez been since making his debut on May 28th? He’s won three consecutive starts and has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his four outings.

After striking out just six hitters over 10 innings in his first two starts, Gutierrez has whiffed 13 in as many frames in his last two times on the bump. The 25-year-old Cuban has also held left-handed hitters to a .150 average in his first 23 big league innings.

Dinelson Lamet may start the game for the Padres, but he’s not going to finish it. In his seven starts, he’s completed five innings just once and hasn’t tossed more than 78 pitches in a game this season. The right-hander is a mystery to much of the Reds’ lineup. No Redlegs hitter has more than five plate appearances versus the 24-year-old.

Sunday’s matinee series finale will feature Luis Castillo (2-9 5.83) for the Cincinnati as the San Diego Padres counter with the always tough Yu Darvish (6-2 2.57 ERA). It was a vintage La Piedra performance his last time out facing the Milwaukee Brewers.

Tossing seven shutout innings, La Piedra yielded just three hits while punching out seven Beer Makers. Over his last three starts, he’s surrendered just four runs in 18.2 frames while being taken deep just once.

However, Castillo has a tall order versus Yu Darvish, who dominates Reds’ hitters. In his last five starts against Cincinnati, Darvish has fanned 46 against only six walks in 31 innings of work. The Reds dynamic duo of Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker are a combined 1-for-23 when facing Darvish. Mercy!