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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Lucas Sims #39 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates after recording the final out.
ST LOUIS, MO – JUNE 06: Lucas Sims #39 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates after recording the final out. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

Lucas Sims has emerged as the closer in the Reds’ bullpen.

Following longtime closer Raisel Iglesias’ trade to the Los Angeles Angels and the front office’s decision not to tender a contract to Archie Bradley, there was considerable speculation in the offseason as to who would be the Cincinnati Reds closer this season.

While both Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims openly, in a friendly competitive manner, campaigned for the job during the winter, through the first six weeks of the 2021 season, neither reliever seemed capable of fulfilling the vital role. Finally, however, a favorite has emerged.

Once the calendar flipped to June, Lucas Sims has been the difference-maker in the Cincinnati bullpen. The 27-year-old right-hander has collected four saves in his last seven games while striking out 14 in just 8.2 innings.

What’s been most impressive has been David Bell’s usage of Sims. The Reds skipper has shown great confidence in Sims, allowing him twice to work more than an inning to close out a win in June. Additionally, three of Sims’ seven appearances this month have seen him recording four outs or more.

Prediction

Even though the Reds and Padres are currently heading in opposite directions, this San Diego club is much too talented not to turn it around. Let’s hope for the Reds’ sake the Friars skid extends a few more days.

Next. Geno must go back to SS when Moose returns

Look for the Redlegs to split the four-game set at Petco Park this weekend before heading to Minneapolis to face the Twins and close out the nine-game road trip.