The Reds, after reeling from #UmpShows, chronic PED violators, and a bullpen implosion, will look to take the weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers this afternoon in Miller Park. Both the Reds and the Brewers will start pitchers who have struggled a bit as of late with Mike Leake going for the Reds and Marco Estrada starting for the Brewers. Meanwhile, there are those of us who hope that Bryan Price has misplaced the Bullpen Edition of Dusty's Dugout Dice.
Estrada's numbers this season are fairly pedestrian. The 30 year old right-hander holds a 4.56 ERA on the season and a 5-3 record. Estrada has only had one quality start in his past six starts and is currently holding a WHIP of 1.215. He is striking out players at an 8.1/9 inning clip, but he has already given up 20 home runs this season. It sounds like this is the feast-or-famine results that closely mirror the performance of the Reds.
Reds batters have had a decent amount of success against Estrada in their career. In 22 plate appearances, Jay Bruce has 7 hits against Estrada with 4 of them as home runs. Joey Votto has an OPS of 1.021 in 19 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Brandon Phillips has 7 hits in 21 plate appearances, while carrying a .333 batting average and a .333 on-base percentage. Fitting.
Leake has lost 3 of his last 4 starts and hasn't made it out of the sixth inning in his past two. If Leake and the bullpen are to get back on track, the Reds will need Leake to go deep in today's game. Like any Reds pitcher, Mike Leake will be best suited if he avoids pitching to Jonathan Lucroy and Rickie Weeks. In seventeen at bats, Lucroy boasts a .353 average against Leake while Rickie Weeks is 5 for 12 with 2 home runs. I swear, if Weeks had to play against the Reds every game of his career, he'd be a hall of famer.
Since returning from the disabled list, Joey Votto has quietly held a .381 OBP and an OPS of .802. While these numbers are below his career numbers, and his numbers over the past year, they do indicate that he will certainly serve as an addition to what has been a beleaguered Reds offense thus far in 2014. With his career numbers against Marco Estrada, there is substantiated hope that his performance will lead the Reds to pick up some ground on the Brewers in the NL Central division.
Go Reds! The dads on their team can beat up the dads on the Brewers!