The Cincinnati Reds (9-9) will try to avoid being swept by the Chicago Cubs (10-7) at Great American Ballpark today at 1:10. The Reds are trying to avoid falling below .500 for the first time since Opening Day.
The Reds started the season 7-2. They are now 2-7 since, and trail the Cubs by 1.5 games in the division. The Reds have lost 20 of their last 24 games against the Cubs.
Bronson Arroyo is coming off his first start that wasn’t a complete disaster (5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K vs BAL). The Reds recent pitching injuries will keep Arroyo’s leash a little bit longer in this season than probably expected.
Arroyo has a career 3.06 ERA in 32 games (30 starts) against the Cubs, granted those starts came before most of these Cubs hitters even reached the big leagues. The only players on the Cubs roster he has faced are Jay, Montero, Rizzo, and Heyward.
John Lackey has been OK through his first three starts. His middle of the three starts was really good: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 10 K vs LAD. So far this season his velocity on most of his pitches is down about 1 MPH, but he is still striking out as many hitters as ever.
Lackey has a 3.56 career ERA in 13 starts against the Reds (5.33 in 4 starts last year). Votto has 2 career home runs against him.
|1. Kyle Schwarber (LF)
2. Kris Bryant (3B)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Ben Zobrist (2B)
5. Addison Russell (SS)
6. Jason Heyward (RF)
7. Miguel Montero (C)
8. John Lackey (P)
9. Jon Jay (CF)
|1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Scooter Gennett (LF)
6. Zack Cozart (SS)
7. Scott Schebler (RF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Bronson Arroyo (P)
Other news and notes
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) April 23, 2017
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) April 23, 2017
Extra Bases: Amir Garrett Goes From Red Storm Backcourt to Reds' Rotation https://t.co/pIiZ7vLKC4
— Tyler Kepner (@TylerKepner) April 22, 2017
The Reds desperately need a win today. You don’t want to fall below .500, and you certainly don’t want to be swept by the Cubs. It was huge yesterday that Bonilla and Stephenson were the only relievers used. The Reds have a mostly fresh bullpen now. I think the best game plan would be to try to have Arroyo just get through four innings, and turn it over to the pen. Go Reds!