The Cuetoless Reds (43-53) finish their short 6-game road trip with a three game series in St. Louis. The Cardinals (63-35) currently have a six game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the best record in baseball (3.5 games over the Royals), and the best overall run differential.
These two teams have not played since the Cardinals swept Cincinnati in St. Louis on April 19th. The Reds have lost to the Cardinals in five of six times this season. Both teams have league average offenses averaging 4.0 runs per game, but the Cardinals pitching staff has been far better than any other club in the majors. Their 286 runs allowed (just 2.9 runs per game) is 57 runs better than the Pirates second best pitching staff. There are 13 major league teams within 57 runs of the Pirates.
Raisel Iglesias made his major league debut against the St. Louis Cardinals back on April 12th. In that game, he retired the first seven batters that he faced and 11 of his first 12 batters. He escaped from a walk and a double in the 4th inning before giving up three runs in the 5th. That start was similar to what he experienced last week against the Cubs, though in the Cubs game he made it to the 6th inning. Iglesias has major league stuff. To stay in the rotation long-term, the Reds are looking for him to worker deeper into games and get guys out that third time through the batting order.
The Cardinals have only lost two of the last nine games that Lance Lynn has started. Lynn was only responsible for one of those losses. During that nine game stretch, Lynn is 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA. He’s coming off back-to-back quality starts where he’s given up just three runs on eight hits, two walks and 17 strikeouts over 13 innings. This will be the first time for Lynn to face the Reds in 2015.
Tonight’s Reds lineup:
- Brandon PhillipsÃ‚Â (R) 2B
- Joey VottoÃ‚Â (L) 1B
- Todd FrazierÃ‚Â (R) 3B
- Jay BruceÃ‚Â (L) RF
- Brayan PenaÃ‚Â (S) C
- Marlon ByrdÃ‚Â (R) LF
- Eugenio SuarezÃ‚Â (R) SS
- Raisel IglesiasÃ‚Â (R) P
- Billy HamiltonÃ‚Â (S) CF
Matt Holliday is getting a day off in the Cardinals lineup:
- Kolten WongÃ‚Â (L) 2B
- Matt CarpenterÃ‚Â (L) 3B
- Jhonny PeraltaÃ‚Â (R) SS
- Jason HeywardÃ‚Â (L) RF
- Yadier MolinaÃ‚Â (R) C
- Stephen PiscottyÃ‚Â (R) LF
- Dan JohnsonÃ‚Â (L) 1B
- Peter BourjosÃ‚Â (R) CF
- Lance LynnÃ‚Â (R) P
Today the Reds called up catcher Kyle Skipworth from AA Pensacola. Skipworth is taking Johnny Cueto’s spot on the roster, likely until just Thursday when the Reds will need a 5th starter. Tony Cingrani will not be Thursday’s starting pitcher as he is scheduled to pitch for Louisville tonight.
Chris Dominguez was designated for assignment to make room for the new pitchers acquired yesterday. Brandon Finnegan and John Lamb have been assigned to AAA Louisville while Cody Reed is heading to AA Pensacola.
CARDINALS RUMORS AT FIRST BASE
In need of more offense, the Cardinals have been rumored to be discussing Adam Lind (.285/.365/.500) with the Milwaukee Brewers. After Matt Adams’ season ending injury in May, the Cardinals have been leaning on Mark Reynolds (.229/.312/.391) for most of the starts at first base.
CUETO AND VOLQUEZ REUNITED
The trade of Johnny Cueto to Kansas City means that he is reunited with former Reds teammate Edinson Volquez. Volquez has been the Royals best starting pitcher this season, and I’ll be rooting for those two to have a successful run in the post season.
— Johnny Cueto (@JohnnyCueto) July 26, 2015
If the Reds cannot win it all, hopefully they can play spoiler to the Cardinals tonight and the Pirates in the weekend series. There’s no better team I’d like to see the Reds knock off right now than the Cardinals. They’ve got the offense to do it, and hopefully the young, inconsistent pitching can string together a number of great outings.