Benge: Reds’ Pitfalls Lie in Pittsburgh

Benge: Reds’ Pitfalls Lie in Pittsburgh

by September 4, 2020 0 comments

The Cincinnati Reds are beginning a four-game weekend set with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it starts with a home-and-road doubleheader on Friday.

Luis Castillo will start Game 1 as the away team and Trevor Bauer will be the starter during Game 2 when the Reds will be the designated home team, making up for one of the two games during the Aug. 14 to 16 weekend of games which were postponed.

Three weeks have passed since the two clubs have played one another. In total, they have faced off just twice in 2020. For as much beef as these two teams had in 2019, all this time away from each other may have cooled things off.

One player who has not cooled off in some time is Jesse Winker. The 27-year-old hit .369 in the month of August with 31 hits, 10 of which were home runs. 

Joey Votto is hitting .450 in his last six games and capped his hot streak with a walk-off single to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. He also has three home runs in that span.

Tyler Mahle threw two spectacular outings in the last week. He threw at least 6.2 innings in each start and didn’t surrender more than four hits. He also threw a season-high 11 strikeouts against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 28.

Acquisitions Brian Goodwin and Archie Bradley have also donned their new threads.

Goodwin appeared in two games against the Cardinals and collected a double in six at-bats. Bradley pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and struck out two in relief on Sept. 1.

The Pirates have won four of their last 10 games and recently dropped two of three games against the Cubs.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, Pittsburgh’s No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, made his Major League debut on Sept. 1 and went two-for-five with a home run and three runs scored. His arrival has been highly anticipated ever since he was the Pirates’ first-round pick in 2015.

This series with the Pirates will be crucial for the Reds to gain ground in the standings. Cincinnati is 6.5 games behind the first-place Cubs and two games out of a Wild Card spot.

The first of two games will be thrown at 4:05 p.m. EST on Friday afternoon as Luis Castillo faces Steven Brault.

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