We all know how bad the Cincinnati bullpen has been this season. The Reds’ relief corps ranks just ahead of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks in ERA (5.37). However, since the All-Star break, the Cincinnati Reds starting staff has allowed 16 earned runs.
Last night, Vladimir Gutierrez took to the hill and allowed six runs on nine hits while striking out just one batter and walking two. The right-hander also allowed three home runs in just four innings of work.
Outside of Luis Castillo last Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers, each of the Cincinnati starters has allowed five earned runs. Wade Miley will toe the rubber tonight looking to right the ship.
The Reds starters have been, arguably, as bad as the bullpen.
Tyler Mahle started things off for the Cincinnati Reds following the All-Star break. The right-hander promptly allowed five runs on six hits while walking three and allowed two balls to leave the yard last Friday. The Reds lost that game by the final score of 11-6.
Saturday night, Luis Castillo put on a show. La Piedra struck out eight and walked three in six innings, but didn’t allow a single run to cross the plate. However, the bullpen couldn’t hold the Reds’ lead and Cincinnati fell to Milwaukee in extra innings.
After returning from the injured list on Sunday, Sonny Gray didn’t even make it through five innings. The two time All-Star was pulled after throwing 99 pitches in 4.2 innings and allowing five runs and four free passes.
Speaking of free passes, in no way is this meant to absolve the Reds’ bullpen. Cincinnati relievers are responsible for 20 of the 36 earned runs allowed by Reds’ pitching since last Friday. But if this team has any hope of making a playoff run in the second-half of the season, the starters must perform better.
Wade Miley, Cincinnati’s best starting pitcher this season, will get his first opportunity of the second-half after being inexcusably left off the NL All-Star roster. Perhaps the southpaw will have a bit of a chip on his shoulder when he takes the ball for David Bell’s squad this evening against the New York Mets.
Cincinnati is running out of time, and is dangerously close to the MLB trade deadline. The Milwaukee Brewers are 7.5 games up in the NL Central and the Reds are tied with the Philadelphia Phillies, sitting six games behind the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card hunt. A nosedive in the coming days might change the Redlegs from buyers to sellers.