On Paper this looks like no contest. The Reds are putting their best pitcher so far this season up against a 22-year old with 6 career starts above A-ball. The Reds offense has been tearing the cover off of the ball in May (.299/.362/.471) and the Dbacks...well...have not (.242/.311/.386). The Reds have won 4 of their last 5 and the Dbacks have lost 8 of their last 10. It would seem cut-and-dry who is going to win this game.
But you and I both know that this is not how baseball works.
There is a reason that the Diamondbacks have called Augenstein up straight from Double-A. He's been damn impressive down their so far. In six starts this year he's allowed just 23 base runners in 34.2 innings, surrendering only 3 runs on the season. Of course, that was in Mobile, AL, not the Majors Leagues. Hopefully the Reds won't fool around with him. He's got good control, so unless his nerves get to him, I don't expect a lot of wildness. Thankfully the Reds are hitting right now, so they don't necessarily have to wait around for the kid to make mistakes.
Here are some fun facts on Johnny Cueto:
- He has 11 walks on the season, but 6 of those came in his second start of the season.
- He has only allowed more than one run in a game once and that was in his first start.
- He has gone at least 7 innings in each of his last 4 starts.
- He has yet to throw more than 110 pitches in a start. That's some pretty good management by Baker.
- He has allowed just 2 home runs so far this year. He had allowed 6 HR in first 6 starts last year.
- His ERA (1.59) and ERA+ (289) are both 2nd in the National League, though both are pretty far behind Johann Santana (0.78, 559).
- I might be in love with him.
Game time is 9:40 ET, which is right in the middle of the 2-hour season finale of Lost. Enjoy the game, I'll be busy time travelling.