Stuart Fairchild and the Reds look to right the ship vs. the Pirates

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Stuart Fairchild.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Stuart Fairchild. / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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Spencer Steer's second career homer could not have come at a more opportune time. His eighth-inning blast versus the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday allowed the Cincinnati Reds (60-93) to salvage the final game of the four-game set at Great American Ball Park against the Brew Crew.

Runs were hard to come by over the weekend for the Redlegs as they managed to dent the plate just eight times versus an excellent Milwaukee pitching staff. Unfortunately, scoring runs has turned into a major obstacle for the Cincinnati offense.

Over their past 11 contests, the Reds have scored more than four runs in a game only twice. Mired in a 4-7 skid, Cincinnati has been outscored 41-28 facing the St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and the aforementioned Brewers.

Can Stuart Fairchild and the Reds right the ship vs. the Pirates?

Needless to say, don't expect either the Cincinnati Reds or the Pittsburgh Pirates (56-97) to light up the scoreboard at PNC Park this week. The Pirates ranks last in the National League in runs while the Reds place 11th among all senior circuit clubs. Additionally, the Bucs' offense ranks in the NL basement in batting average and on-base percentage.

Revenge should squarely be on Cincinnati's mind as they visit the Steel City and look to rebound following an embarrassing four-game sweep to the Pirates at GABP earlier this month. It was Pittsburgh's first four-game sweep against the Reds in the Queen City since July of 1991.

However, since leaving GABP, the Pirates have dropped 10 of 11 and are destined to post their second consecutive 100-loss campaign. Barring a sweep of the Pirates, the Reds will drop the season series to the Bucs for the first time since the 2019 campaign.

Previewing the pitching matchups: Reds vs. Pirates

Cincinnati Reds starter Chase Anderson vs. Pittsburgh Pirates starter Roansy Contreras

Chase Anderson (2-3 5.21 ERA) takes the mound in tonight's opener opposing Roansy Contreras (5-5 3.68 ERA) of the Pirates. The Cincinnati Reds right-hander has been on quite a roll over his last four starts.

Tossing 16.2 innings, Anderson has limited opponents to a measly five base hits and four earned runs. Additionally, the nine-year veteran has recorded 16 punch outs. As a result of his recent success, the 34-year-old Texan is making a strong case for earning a spot on a 2023 Opening Day roster.

Pittsburgh's Roansy Contreras has proved to be a riddle the Cincinnati Reds have been unable to solve. Making two starts versus the Redlegs this season, the 22-year-old right-hander has yielded just two runs while compiling 10 strikeouts in as many frames.

Cincinnati Reds starter Hunter Greene vs. Pittsburgh Pirates starter Mitch Keller

Rookie Hunter Greene (4-13 4.91 ERA) toes the rubber Tuesday night as Mitch Keller (5-12 3.99 ERA) gets the nod for Derek Shelton's club. Despite taking the loss in his last outing, Greene is in the midst of his finest stretch during his debut season.

In his last four outings, the flame-throwing right-hander has whiffed 33 and issued just four free passes in 23.1 innings. How good was Greene in his one start versus the Pirates? Historically, good. The 22-year-old hurled 7.1 frames of no-hit baseball but unbelievably was saddled with the defeat as the Bucs scored a 1-0 victory despite being no-hit on May 15th at PNC Park.

If there's one Reds player looking forward to seeing Mitch Keller on the bump Tuesday night, it's infielder Kyle Farmer. The Farm Dawg is 6-for-13 lifetime with a .533 OBP versus the Pittsburgh right-hander. Look for Farmer to eagerly grab a piece of lumber from the bat rack tomorrow evening.

Cincinnati Reds starter Luis Cessa vs. Pittsburgh Pirates starter Bryse Wilson

Wednesday's matinee series finale will feature Luis Cessa (4-4 4.78 ERA) battling Pittsburgh's Bryse Wilson (3-9 5.95 ERA). Due to his recent run of success, the Reds front office will have an interesting decision in defining Cessa's role for the 2023 club.

Working almost exclusively out of the bullpen until the middle of August, Cessa has posted a better ERA, WHIP, and K/9 rate as a starter. In addition, he's been particularly effective on the road. Pitching outside the hitter-friendly GABP, the 30-year-old right-hander has limited opponents to a .218/.291/.353 slash line and a 3.11 ERA in 37.2 innings.

The Reds and Bryse Wilson need no introduction. This will be the right-hander's fourth start against Cincinnati since July 7th. Skipper David Bell may want to consider giving outfielder Jake Fraley a day off on Wednesday afternoon. Wilson has held Fraley hitless in six at-bats with two punch outs.

Reds OF Stuart Fairchild has performed well in limited playing time.

The 2022 season has been one of opportunity for anyone on the Reds' 40-man roster. The pitching mound has seen 38 different players toe the rubber. However, the outfield has also been providing open auditions on a nearly nightly basis.

A baker's dozen have patrolled the outfield grass this season and Stuart Fairchild has taken advantage of his chances. Despite a small sample size, 74 at-bats, his 0.8 bWAR trails only Aristides Aquino (1.5) and TJ Friedl (1.0) as tops among Cincinnati's outfielders.

If it's power you're looking for, Fairchild has displayed a potent bat throughout his rookie campaign. He's slashing .333/.425/.619 with an incredible 1.044 OPS in 30 games with the Reds. Additionally, eight of his 21 hits have gone for extra bases and his five homers equal the number Nick Senzel totaled despite Fairchild doing so in 310 fewer at-bats.

What does the future hold for the former second-round selection? That's a decision general manager Nick Krall and manager David Bell will ponder in the coming months. But it's fairly obvious Stuart Fairchild's success warrants a serious look for the 2023 Opening Day roster.

Prediction: Reds outduel Pirates on the road.

Can the Reds do it? Will they be able to go at least 3-6 over their last nine games to avoid crossing the 100-loss threshold for only the second time in franchise history?

Luckily, the Redlegs will get closer to victory number 63 as they take two of three from the Buccos before traveling to the Windy City to battle the Cubs in the final three road games of the season.

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