The Reds had a tough weekend in Chicago, dropping the final two games both late and both by one run, which is a drag. It was the first series loss for the Reds since mid-June, when they dropped two of three in Pittsburgh before rattling off their seven game win-streak and being pretty much awesome ever since.
Anyway, losing a pair of one run games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field isn’t the most discouraging thing in the world, but you’re excused if how they lost gave you a bit of heartburn. The Cubs have now won eight of their last nine games, and are tied with the Brewers for first in the loss column with Milwaukee in the NL Central.
The Reds remain just 2.5 back of the fourth place Pirates.
This series will be a tough task as well. The Indians lead the dreadful AL Central by 10 games at 10 games over .500. They did just drop their home series this weekend to the surprisingly good A’s, however, and are only 6-4 in their last 10 games.
They’ll send Mike Clevinger to the mound today, who owns a 2.89 ERA over his last three starts (18.2 IP) and a 3.11 ERA in 110 IP for the season, with 99 Ks. All told, he owns a very solid 3.1 bWAR this season. This won’t be easy.
Clevinger only has one career start against the Redlegs, and it didn’t go particularly well, as he gave up 4 ER in 5.1 IP. However, the only current Reds he faced at the time were Tucker Barnhart, Joey Votto, Billy Hamilton, and Eugenio Suarez. The Reds lineup is better now. However, it appears Clevinger is too.
Anthony DeSclafani starts for the Reds. He’s been generally pretty solid despite some not-so-good numbers, but he’s seemed to either be limited on purpose due to the injuries from previous years, or the victim of a quick hurt and some unfortunate inherited runners. Anyway, I still feel pretty comfortable with Disco taking the mound. Moreso than someone else with a 5+ ERA, I guess.