Sunday, June 7, 2015
1:10 PM EDT
Johnny Cueto vs. Odrisamer Despaigne
Somewhere, Kevin Gregg is laughing . . . or at least feeling a little less embarrassed. Cincinnati's bullpen woes continued Saturday and have left the Reds with position of attempting to take 1 out of 3 games against the Padres in the series finale on Sunday. Johnny Cueto pitches Sunday looking to improve on his 3-4 record in 2015. Or at least pitch well enough to demonstrate that win-loss records for pitchers are barely relevant when examining dominance. Cueto will face off against Odrisamer Despaigne.
Sunday marks the first time Despaigne has ever faced the Reds. After starting 16 games and posting a 3.36 ERA in 96 innings in 2014, Despaigne has taken a step backward thus far in 2015 with an ERA of 4.56. The twenty-eight year old right hander has a hittable career WHIP of 1.229 while walking only 2.7 batters every 9 innings. Though not necessarily a power pitcher, his strikeout numbers have gone down in 2015, from 6.1 per 9 to 4.6 per 9, while his adjusted ERA+ for 2015 is 80. However, his uninspiring numbers do not mean he is not fun to watch. Frankly, anytime you can see an eephus pitch, it's worth the price of admission.
What may not be worth the price of admission is seeing the Reds bullpen find new and exciting ways to lose. This is generally the point in the preview where I would disclose Johnny Cueto's career stats against members of the Padres. For instance, I would point out that Justin Upton has an OPS of 1.178 lifetime in 20 plate appearances against Cueto including 2 home runs and 2 doubles. Will Venable also apparently has Cueto's number with 2 home runs in 15 at bats. However, none of that matters for the Reds if Cueto cannot pitch at least eight innings.
The dumpster is all-but lit before the inevitable fire sale. In the meantime, take solace in the fact that you can enjoy non-contending late-September quality baseball in early June. You won't even have to fear a premature frost! Go Reds!
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