This afternoon, the Reds (47-55) look for a series win over the Pirates (60-43) as they run out their fifth consecutive rookie starting pitcher. Keyvius Sampson will make the start after being called up earlier in the week to replace the injured Nate Adcock.
The last time the #Reds had 5 consecutive starts by rookie pitchers was September, 1935. Keyvius Sampson will be 5th straight tomorrow.
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) August 1, 2015
*Stats from AAA Louisville
Filling in for the fondly missed Mike Leake is Reds’ offseason waiver wire pickup Keyvius Sampson. Plucked from the Padres in early January, Sampson was a former fourth-round pick who had long been regarded as one of the top prospects in the Padres’ organization. Struggles in 2014 led to his DFA and subsequent Reds’ career. In 8 starts at AA to begin the year, Sampson dominated, pitching to a 1.85 ERA in 43.2 innings. After his promotion to AAA, Sampson has struggled a bit more. The peripherals are there as his FIP was better at AAA than it was at AA, but teams are finding ways to get runs past him. Sampson’s calling card is that he is a groundball pitcher who won’t give up the long ball, but he does have control issues and will walk his fair share of batters.
Charlie Morton finally starts a game in a National League ballpark again after his past two starts have come at the homes of the Twins and the Royals. The lessened distress over wielding a bat didn’t help the Pirates #5 any as over the two starts, the righty went 12.1 innings allowing 8 runs on 13 hits with 5 walks and 9 strikeouts. For the season, Morton started out strong but hasn’t pitched particularly well since a 0.2 inning, 9 run disaster against the Nationals in June.
Joey Votto is out of the Reds’ lineup after an rough day at the plate yesterday following his torrid streak:
The Pirates’ lineup:
RUN BILLY RUN
The Reds speedy center fielder swiped his 50th and 51st bags last night, making him the first player to have back to back 50 steal seasons since Eric Davis in 1986 and 1987. The two steals also gave the Reds 100 on the season, leading the Major Leagues.
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) August 2, 2015
Another day, another loss for Gerrit Cole against the Reds. It’s nice to have an ace pitcher you want to see take the mound for the other team. Regardless of any truth to the phenomenon, it must be a great morale boost to know you have a guy’s number forward and backwards.
Despite the Pirates’ superior record and, by transverse property, talent level, the Reds have handled the Pittsburgh team this year. Compiling a 9-3 record against their rivals while yet to lose a series is impressive considering the strength of this Pirates’ rotation. Now if only we could figure out how to do this against the Cardinals maybe another playoff berth wouldn’t seem so far away.