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Cincinnati Reds

Reds-Cardinals Wrap, Pirates Next

Jeff

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© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds (59-78) won their third-straight series against the St. Louis Cardinals (76-61) over the weekend and are undefeated in the month of September.

Not counting the month of April, the Reds are 7-5 against the Cardinals (they lost seven games to the Cardinals in April). After the final out on Sunday with their fierce rivals, the Reds can look back and say their bullpen enjoyed pitching against the Cardinals, but the starters will need work.

Luis Castillo led Cincinnati’s rotation against St. Louis, pitching the most innings against them (28) and compiling the best ERA (3.54). After his career-high 11 on Saturday, Castillo finished off the season series striking out 31 Red Birds. Given that he pitched more games against the Cardinals than any other team, this year, he has handled them well, allowing the Cardinals only a .220 batting average while keeping them off the bases over 70% of the time (.295 on-base percentage). From there, the Reds rotation is only average-to-mediocre, statistically, against the Cardinals.

The Bullpen, minus Jackson Stephens (five earned runs in .2 innings) and Zack Weiss (four earned runs without recording an out) has been stellar against St. Louis. With those two out of the equation, the bullpen has pitched 68 innings with a 2.5 ERA, allowing 45 hits while striking out 58. Here’s a list of current Reds relievers (Dylan Floro would be on the list) who pitched at least an inning and didn’t allow a run to the Cardinals: Lucas Sims, Matt Wisler, Wandy Peralta, and Cody Reed. The most random bullpen stat, in games against the Cardinals, is the Raisel Iglesias tossed 8.1 innings allowing just a run but walking nine batters, but I digress.

Hitting-wise, the Reds got a hit once every four at-bats against the Cardinals this season. Jose Peraza was the only Red to start all 19 games and managed to hit .303 with 23 hits. Scooter Gennett led the team in hits, though, with 26, while Jesse Winker, although absent for seven of the matchups, led the team in batting average against St. Louis with a .366 clip. This year’s Cardinal-killer, though, goes to Eugenio Suarez. Also not present for seven games against St. Louis, he still led the team in homers, with five, and RBI with 15 all while compiling a 1.108 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. In other words, the dude raked!

The Reds will look to carry this momentum into their series with the Pirates as they finish up the second-to-last road trip of 2018.

Really, the game I am most looking forward to is Tuesday’s as Cody Reed takes the bump. His last start, though it seemed unfairly cut short, was 4.2 innings of one-run ball. He did allow four hits and three walks, and Jim Riggleman has shown, many times, he has a short hook, but I would like to see him pitch more in this next outing. Even if he struggles, I feel he needs the opportunity to develop as a starter, and not starter ever grows by being pulled as soon as the going gets tough.

Matt Harvey (today) and Homer Bailey (Wednesday) also pitch in this series.

The Reds currently sit seven games back of the Pirates for not-last in the NL Central. They’ve got 25 games left, six against the Pirates, to make up that gap. Despite their 4-9 record against the Buccos in 2018, I think the Redlegs can make up that ground. But I’m just an optimist, so…

Today’s game is set for 1:35 at PNC Park with the last two starting at 7:10 p.m.

Keep your eye on @LockedOnReds and @jefffcarr on Twitter for up to the minute stats, news, and reactions as the calendar turns from the regular season to the offseason.

Jeff has spent his entire life around sports. From playing baseball and golf in high school to traveling with college softball, volleyball, and men’s basketball teams as their media relations guy, sports have always been his focal point. He’s pumped to be bringing Reds content to the Locked on Sports Podcast Network!

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