Series Preview - If we don't sweep the Reds at home in a 2 game series I am going to be a problem
The expectation should never be to sweep, but anything short of a sweep with a +10 run differential would be a disappointment
Tuesday, May 31st 7:10 PM - Luis Castillo (1-2 4.35 ERA) vs Michael Wacha (3-0 2.83 ERA)
Wednesday June 1st 7:10 PM - Hunter Greene (2-6 5.89 ERA) vs Garrett Whitlock (1-1 3.49 ERA)
2 game set against the worst fucking team in baseball. If we don't win both then I am going to lose it. Tommy Pham slapped Joc Pederson because he's a little bitch and couldn't handle being bad at fantasy football so he's sussied. Joey Votto is shell of himself. Not one qualified hitter has an average over .261. No excuses to be had here. Go out, let up 0 runs, get to the west coast.
There isn't a ton to preview matchup-wise because these teams obviously rarely see each other, but let's dive into what the opposing pitchers are offering:
Tuesday, it's Wacha v. Luis Castillo. He has only seen Jackie, Dugie, Kiké, and Story, but they have no hits off of him. 0-17. The only guy we have on our roster that has a hit off of him is Nick Pivetta, so you'll likely see him at first base tonight since he isn't going to be pitching this series. Castillo doesn't have much of a varied arsenal, but he uses it effectively. A sinker/fastball 52% of the time that comes in at 96 MPH, a changeup 29% of the time at 87 MPH, and a slider 18% of the time at 86. He does well against righties, a .62 WHIP in 46 batters faced, but has struggled against lefties, with a 1.96 WHIP. Really not much more to go into against him, just have to go out there and do it.
Wacha will get the ball for the Sox, and he has been our biggest surprise this season, but in his 1 start since coming off the IL he stunk. 4.1 innings allowing 5 ER on 7 hits. This is the perfect time to get right. He has really only been hurt by 3 guys in this Reds lineup, and to no one's surprise it's mostly Joey Votto, who is 16 for 44, with 5 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. The other 2 guy he's struggled against are Albert Almora Jr., who is 4 for 9, and Brandon Drury, who is 2 for 5 with a home run. Their only other batter with a hit is Mike Moustakas, but he is sitting at 2 for 20. I am not going to discount Joey Votto, although I did call him a shell of himself 2 paragraphs ago, but he has 17 hits in 103 ABs. and has more than double the amount of strikeouts than hits at 38. Wacha should be able to handle him. I would like to see him go deep in this game so we can save our bullpen for Whitlock's start, as he will be going on short rest after going on Friday.
We move onto Wednesday, and it is Whitlock going up against Hunter Greene. Guys, I am terrified in this one. The Reds truly have dominated Garrett Whitlock. It really hasn't even been fair. Batting 1.000 against him. I truly don't know if he'll get out of the first inning. I mean, look at this stat-line:
We are FUCKED. A 2.000 slug!!!! Whitlock just can't figure these guys out. Each out he gets will be a miracle. In reality, I think he gives us a few innings of work and then we will piggyback him with Houck, of course depending on whether or not he is used Tuesday night. Houck has been very impressive since he moved over to the pen after a rocky start to the season. He looks like he has found that slider again and is throwing it confidently.
The Red Sox have never seen Hunter Greene. The 22 year old's first season in the big leagues is very interesting to look at. In summary - he's and he's cold, he's yes and he's no, he's in and he's out, he's up and he's down. Buddy can fucking chuck the ball, a 99 MPH fastball, 88 MPH slide-piece, and 90 MPH changeup. 84th percentile in Whiff %, 77th percentile in K%. So aren't his numbers better? Because he has no idea where the fuck the ball is going, and if a pitch finds its way middle-middle it gets smoked. 10th percentile Barrel %, 17th percentile BB%, 18th xSLG, 24th xwOBA and xERA. Take a peak at the pitching heat map and you'll see what I mean:
No real control on his fastball, but his slider is able to stay down, plus the changeup that is just as frequently outside the strike zone as it is inside the strike zone. He really reminds of Darwinzon Hernandez in that I feel like you'll always say "if he can just figure out the control he can be one of the best pitchers in the game". For now though, we can hope that we put some bats on balls and watch them fly. A Franchy or Dalbec home run may have a chance of going over the red seat in this game.
So that's it. Pick up 2 wins and get back on track before our west coast road trip. Get back to winning series. Thanks for reading.