Rookie Davis vs Clay Buchholz
Cincinnati picked up their first win of the season by beating the Phillies 2-0 last night, behind a spectacular start from Brandon Finnegan. Finnegan pitched one of the best games of his career, allowing just one hit over seven innings with nine strikeouts.
Clay Buchholz will face the Reds for the first time in his career this afternoon. Buchholz spent his first 10 seasons in Boston, racking up an 81-61 career record and a career ERA+ of 109. He hasn’t been especially effective since 2013, which is why Boston traded him to the Phillies in December.
Buchholz has struggled in day games throughout his career. He’s posted a 1.426 WHIP in 62 day games, versus a 1.255 WHIP in 144 night games. He’ll be facing Rookie Davis, who will be making his first career start along with Stuart Turner as his battery mate. Just prior to the game, the Reds announced via Twitter that this is the first time in their modern history a pair of battery mates will make their debut on the same day.
Davis was acquired in the Aroldis Chapman trade back in December 2015, and had mixed reviews in his first full season with the Reds. However, he came to camp in February in perfect health and firing the ball in the mid-90’s. That’s earned him at least one start in the Reds rotation, and perhaps more if he shows spring training wasn’t a fluke.
Cincinnati’s starting lineup has been relatively quiet so far this season. They’ve generated just three runs in two games and had only five hits yesterday. The most productive hit of the season came from a bench player. Scooter Gennett — a player the Reds picked up just prior to Opening Day from Milwaukee — blasted a 2-run homer in the ninth inning of their game one loss.
The Reds desperately need Hamilton and Peraza to set the table for Votto, Duvall, and Suarez. So far, the pair are hitting just .143 and .250 respectively, and Hamilton especially, seems intent on driving the ball in the air instead of keeping it on the ground. The more those two are on base, wreaking havoc on the rhythm of opposing pitchers, the more successful the rest of the team will be.