The 52-52 Cincinnati Reds host the 45-60 Arizona Diamondbacks for a 3-game series beginning tonight at Great American Ballpark. Just as they did two months ago, the Diamondbacks still have the worst run differential in the National League. Their .429 winning percentage is just a bit better than the .400 record they had in May.
They’ve lost centerfielder A.J. Pollock, left fielder Cody Ross, and shortstop Chris Owings to injury. Second baseman Aaron Hill was hit in the hand with a pitch on Saturday, missed Sunday’s game and is considered “day-to-day”.
Despite the injuries, the team’s offense has not been the problem this season. Arizona’s offense (4.0 runs per game) is above league average and ranks 7th in the National League. Since the all-star break, they’ve averaged five runs per game.
On the other hand, the Diamondbacks pitching has allowed more than five runs per game since the break. For the season, only the Colorado Rockies have allowed more runs in the National League.
* indicates left-handed batter
Chase Anderson is coming off back-to-back quality starts, totaling 3 runs over 12 innings, against the Marlins and the Tigers. Anderson will be making his 12th big league start tonight, and his first career start against Cincinnati.
Of Trevor Cahill’s 21 major league appearances this season, only 6 of them have been as a starter. His starting pitcher numbers include an 8.10 ERA with a 1.95 WHIP. Last month, Cahill cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to AAA. Arizona brought him back after the all-star break, and he’s allowed 10 runs (only 6 earned) over 9 innings against the Cubs and the Tigers. Cahill did face the Reds earlier this season as a reliever, pitching two shutout innings back on May 31.
Wade Miley was having a good July until he allowed six runs over five innings to the Phillies last week. Prior to that, he had four consecutive quality starts, allowing just 6 runs over 28.2 innings (1.91 ERA). On June 1, he allowed all four runs that the Reds scored in a 4-3 Reds victory.
Today is the first of 20 straight games against opponents with a below .500 record. This is the Reds best chance to climb back into this thing. With the way the offense has been sputtering, it’s not going to be easy, but hopefully the Diamondbacks pitching will help give the Reds offense a little kickstart.