The Cincinnati Reds just returned home from a six-game road trip. They started the trek with a three game series at Wrigley Field where they bested the Chicago Cubs twice. They followed that up with a three game set in Houston against the last place Astros. After having won a series against the Astros in Cincinnati last week, the Reds threatened to sweep them in their own yard. It was the third consecutive series won by the Reds.
The starting rotation was revamped with the welcome return of both Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto. The rotation had put up some very anemic numbers lately. Mike Leake was sent to the bullpen while Jordan Smith was optioned to the Louisville Bats to make room on the roster.
Bailey has had very good stuff in both of his outings thus far. In his season opener he pitched six strong innings at Houston, giving up just four hits, one walk and an earned run on the way to a 10-4 blistering of the Astros. Pitching coach Bryan Price allowed Bailey to throw just under 100 pitches before turning it over to the bullpen.
In his next turn against Houston, Bailey won his second game of the year, pitching shutout baseball over seven complete innings. He only allowed five hits and no walks while fanning five. In his two appearances this season he is 2-0 with a very fine 0.69 ERA and a miniscule WHIP of only 0.769.
In Cueto’s only appearance this season, he shutout the Cubs for six innings before handing the keys to southpaw Bill Bray in the seventhinning. Cueto allowed only five hits and a walk while striking out four as the Reds won 2-0. It was the first shutout of the season for the Reds pitching staff.
Scott Rolen was activated in time for the series that begins Friday night at Great American Ball Park. His last game was April 20th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is hitting a paltry .217 with a pair of homers and 12 RBI. Chris Valaika had been called up to fill in for Rolen and batted .313 in his stead. He was optioned to Louisville when Rolen was activated.
The league leading St. Louis Cardinals come to town for a weekend series with a 1 ½ game lead over Cincinnati. Both teams have won six of their previous 10, with the Reds losing Wednesday while the Cards won their series finale against the Cubs.
Former Red Kyle Lohse goes to the mound in the series opener against workhorse Bronson Arroyo. The Saturday afternoon game will feature Kyle McClellan against Johnny Cueto. The series will wrap up on Sunday with Cardinal ace Chris Carpenter doing battle with southpaw Travis Wood.
It will mark the second consecutive series that the Reds have not had to face Cardinal lefty sophomore Jaime Garcia who is off to a 5-0 start with a 1.89 ERA.
- Jonny Gomes is third in the NL in Secondary Average at .444 but is only batting .193. He is in a serious slump, his last HR was on April 17, and he has only 4 RBI since then. His average has dropped consistently from .261 on that date.
- Aroldis Chapman has been struggling lately and Price claims that his mechanics are the problem.
- If Leake has another bad performance or two, look for him to do some time in Louisville.
About the Author
Written by Cliff Eastham
I am an avid sports fan, especially MLB and boxing. I also like NCAA Basketball and MMA. Baseball is my passion. I love the Cincinnati Reds and will argue with anyone about them. :-) I have been following them for over 50 years (yes my Social Security # is 2.) I live in West Virginia with my lovely wife Debbie and my equally lovely youngest daughter Holly. We have two other daughters and two sons, one grandson, and three granddaughters.