Alejo Lopez takes his hot bat to the Steel City as the Reds battle the Pirates
By Scott Boyken
Unfortunately, the dog days of August have arrived for the Cincinnati Reds (46-70). To say the past 10 days have been a struggle for the Redlegs would be an understatement. Cincinnati is just 2-7 in their last nine contests as they prepare for tonight's game in Pittsburgh.
If you're looking for a silver lining, I have one for you. The Pittsburgh Pirates (46-72) have been worse. Since August 3rd, the Bucs are an atrocious 3-10 after snapping a six-game slide last night versus the Boston Red Sox. As a result of their dismal play, the Pirates have fallen to last place in the National League Central and trail the Reds by a game for fourth place.
What can you expect to see this weekend? Not much traffic on the base paths. Pittsburgh is dead last in the NL with a .288 OBP while the Reds' .308 mark ranks 12th in the senior circuit. As if the Bucs' offense was anemic enough, they reside in the basement among senior circuit clubs in runs, hits, doubles, average, slugging, OPS, and total bases as play began Thursday.
The Reds head to PNC Park looking to make the Pirates walk the plank.
Despite the ugly overall numbers, outfielder Bryan Reynolds has posted some impressive numbers for Pittsburgh. The former All-Star is slashing .265/.350/.479 and leads the ball club with 20 homers and 46 RBIs. Entering play yesterday, the 27-year-old switch hitter was the only Pirates player with an OPS+ above 100 (league average).
Cincinnati leads the 2022 season series 5-4 between the two clubs and they split their first meeting in the Steel City during a four-game set in May at PNC Park. Additionally, the Redlegs are looking to capture the season series for a third consecutive year which would be the longest such streak between the two rivals since the Reds bested the Bucs during the 2005-2207 campaigns.