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

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 07: Tyler Naquin #12 of the Cincinnati Reds crosses home plate. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 07: Tyler Naquin #12 of the Cincinnati Reds crosses home plate. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Michael Lorenzen #21 celebrates with Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – AUGUST 04: Michael Lorenzen #21 celebrates with Tyler Stephenson #37 of the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Michael Lorenzen’s return is a much-needed jolt.

If there’s anything Reds Country learned throughout the brief two-game set with Minnesota Twins this week, it’s that the bullpen woes which have plagued Cincinnati all season long aren’t going away anytime soon. However, at least Micheal Lorenzen provides hope for more positive outcomes.

For far too long this season, manager David Bell has turned to Brad Brach and Heath Hembree to get important outs in pressure situations. Considering both of these guys were out of work earlier this season, it should come as no surprise they are revealing who they truly are. Both had disastrous turns facing the Twins, which is why Lorenzen has to be Bell’s top option out of the bullpen.

Since returning to the active roster following multiple trips to the injured list, Michael Lorenzen has tossed 5.2 innings of shutout baseball, allowing three hits and fanning six. Granted, it’s an extremely small sample size.

Still, given Mikey Biceps’ track record, there is little doubt he deserves the ball to get big outs late in the game rather than the mediocre mercenaries general manager Nick Krall has supplied David Bell with this season.

Prediction

The last time the Pirates visited Great American Ball Park, they were outscored 30-8 and swept in a three-game set that wasn’t as close as the run differential might indicate. So yes, it was that lopsided.

Reds dodged a huge bullet not trading for Story. Next

Should we expect things to be any different this time around? No. In every game this series, Cincinnati has a decided pitching advantage, and the Pirates are simply a terrible club. Look for the Reds to sweep the four-game series and finish off a successful homestand.