The Reds (54-69) and Giants (61-63) get together for the final game of this series, as the Reds try to complete the three game sweep and win the season series. First pitch is at 1:10 ET.
Luis Castillo’s season has not been one to remember. After a stellar rookie year, Castillo has regressed with an ERA just above five and a FIP of 4.54. He looked like he might be turning it around on July 29 against the Philadelphia Phillies when he pitched 7.0 innings of shutout baseball while striking out nine. Then last Sunday, he made it only 5.2 innings while giving up five runs to the Diamondbacks. But that’s been the nature of Castillo this season: very inconsistent from one start to another.
Castillo’s troubles stem from one main issue:giving up the home run ball. He’s given up 22 home runs, already double of what he gave up last season. And it’s directly related to how he pitches in a game. Against the Phillies and the Cardinals, Castillo did not allow a home run. He pitched well in both of those games. But he gave up a home run when he faced the Nationals and two more against the Diamondbacks. In both of those games, he gave up two or more runs and suffered the loss.
Castillo has faced only one Giants hitter, Andrew McCutchen. He has not allowed a hit to the former Pirate in five at-bats.
Andrew Suarez, a top 10 prospect in the Giants organization, has acquitted himself well in his rookie year. He’s had a couple of rough starts, as any young pitcher would, but has had some brilliant performances too. He’s coming off one of his best starts last Tuesday against the Dodgers in which he pitched six innings of shut out baseball and gave up only two hits while striking out four.
Suarez is definitely a ground ball pitcher, as 50.3% of his pitches come via the ground ball. While most of his outs have come that way, he has also given up 17 home runs in 116.2 innings and his HR/FB% is 17.5. Suarez has four pitches–fastball, slider, curve ball, change up–that he uses and utilizes the fastball most, followed by the slider.
The Reds faced Suarez back in May at AT&T Park. He surrendered four earned runs on eight hits in six innings of work. Jose Peraza was 2-for-3 against him in three at-bats.
Michael Lorenzen pitched two innings out of the pen, so he might not be available this afternoon. But everyone else should. The Reds have gotten good starting pitching this series, which means extra rest for the bullpen.
The Giants would seem to have most everyone available out of the bullpen as well, since Madison Bumgarner went six innings last night. The Giants only needed to use two relievers.
You can find the lineups here.
Stat of the Day
One thing to watch the final 40 games of the #Reds season…
Scooter Gennett needs 59 more hits for a 200 hit season. It's a long shot. Would need to average nearly 1.5 hits per game to be the first Red to hit that mark in more than 40 years.
— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) August 19, 2018
One thing to watch for the rest of the season is to see if Gennett makes this happen. It’s a long shot, but with the season he’s having, I also wouldn’t be surprised if it did, especially if he keeps hitting like he did last night.
Gennett has 3 hits in consecutive apps and 8 hits in his last 3 apps. He he has at least 3 hits in consecutive apps for the second time this season (3 on 5/10 at LA, 4 on 5/11 at LA, 3 on 5/12 at LA).
— Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) August 19, 2018
News and Notes
-From yesterday: Scott Schebler will likely start a rehab assignment today.
— Will Rettig (@willrettig) August 19, 2018
-Curt Casali has proven to be a solid backup catcher since coming to the Reds.
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) August 18, 2018
After losing four straight in the middle of this nine game home stand, the Reds can finish with a 5-4 record if they complete the sweep today. I think this is how the Reds will play for the rest of the year. Some of the series will be bad, and some will be good. That’s what you’re going to get with inconsistent pitching. But if they can play .500 ball, a 90-loss season can be avoided.
Reds need to go 20-20 to avoid a 4th straight 90-loss season. They've gone 19-21 over their last 40 games and they went 20-20 over the 40 games before that.
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) August 18, 2018
One of these wins is already in the books. It would be a big step in the right direction if the Reds can avoid 90 losses. Then they just have to go out and sign a pitcher or two in the off season.