After that 9-1 beatdown of the Cardinals in the opening game of the series, the Reds will look to continue their red-hot hitting this afternoon at Busch Stadium. First pitch is at 4:10 ET.
It’s no secret that Luis Castillo has struggled in his second season in the big leagues, and many of the struggles are because he is giving up more home runs than a year ago. In 98.1 innings this season, Castillo has already given up seven more home runs than the 11 he gave up in 89.1 innings in 2017. Castillo’s HR/9 (home runs per nine innings) stands at 1.65, 0.5 worse than a year ago. While he has allowed eight runs in his previous three starts, he hasn’t given up a home run since June 22. Slowly, but surely he seems to be turning it around.
Castillo does have 94 strikeouts thus far this season, and he’s shown flashes of brilliance in some starts. In his last start against St. Louis, he allowed five earned runs in six innings, including two home runs, but was also able to strike out 10 batters.
There are five Cardinals who have an OPS over 1.000 against Castillo. Yadier Molina has done the most damage against the sophomore pitcher.
In Jack Flaherty’s first full season at the major league level, he’s faring quite well. He was sent down to Triple-A a couple times early this season, but since mid-May has been a solid fixture in the Cardinals rotation. In 13 starts, Flaherty has a 3.34 ERA, 82 strikeouts and only 21 walks in 70.0 innings.
Flaherty has five pitches, but rarely uses the change up. He primarily uses his fastball and slider, which is much different from Castillo, who uses a sinker and a change up much more than his slider. Flaherty’s average velocity on his fastball is 93.6, while his change up and slider are in the mid-to-upper 80s.
No Reds player has more than three at-bats against Flaherty. Joey Votto, Jesse Winker, and Jose Peraza each have two hits off him.
|1. Scott Schebler (RF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Jesse Winker (LF)
7. Curt Casali (C)
8. Luis Castillo (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
|1. Matt Carpenter (1B)
2. Kolten Wong (2B)
3. Yadier Molina (C)
4. Marcell Ozuna (LF)
5. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
6. Dexter Fowler (RF)
7. Paul DeJong (SS)
8. Tommy Pham (CF)
9. Jack Flaherty (P)
-In the last 14 days, Winker is hitting .448/.543/.690 with a 1.233 OPS and a 258 wRC+. In the last 28 days, he has a .513 OBP and a 1.164 OPS in 22 games. As long as he keeps playing everyday and keeps hitting like he has been, he’ll be a favorite for NL Rookie of the Year.
Stat of the Day
It’s almost like getting on base and making less outs is a good thing.
The Reds have three players with an OBP over .400 — Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker — for the first time since Joe Morgan, Pete Rose, Ken Griffey in 1976.
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) July 14, 2018
Up to the second, NL OBP Leaderboard
Votto (CIN) .422
Winker (CIN) .406
Freeman (ATL) .405
Suarez (CIN) .402
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) July 14, 2018
News and Notes
-Homer Bailey had his best “rehab start” yet last night in Louisville. Still don’t like that he’s going to return to the Reds rotation soon
Homer Bailey will not return to the mound for Louisville as Domingo Tapia climbs the hill in relief.
Final line: 6IP, 7H, 4R, 3BB, 10K, 1 WP, 100 pitches (65 strikes). pic.twitter.com/w4uPoSZryt
— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) July 14, 2018
-I’m looking forward to watching Hunter Greene and Taylor Trammell play in the Futures Game tomorrow.
Dragons pitcher Hunter Greene will be the FIRST prospect who is younger than the @MLB All-Star Futures Game itself. The first Futures game took place almost a month before Greene was born! Watch the Futures Game this Sunday at 4pm @MLBNetwork pic.twitter.com/fP9VjtEe48
— Dayton Dragons (@DragonsBaseball) July 13, 2018
I’m going to leave you with Billy Hamilton’s catch from last night. It’s one you will enjoy watching over and over again.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 14, 2018