Both the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs are sputtering at the moment. They have each lost 7 of 10, with the Cubs a dismal 8-14 during the month of May (with a -24 run differential). That sets the stage for today’s series opener in Wrigley Field, a classic 2:20 PM ET afternoon delight for the fans of both struggling franchises.
One player who has not been struggling, however, is today’s Chicago starter. Justin Steele enters play today having compiled a meaningless personal 6-1 record on the season, but that’s backed up by a stellar 2.95 FIP and 1.01 WHIP across 61.1 total IP. He has gone at least 6.0 innings in 9 of the 10 games he has started this year, with the lone exception being a 5.1 IP outing in which he blanked the would-be vaunted San Diego Padres offense.
That could be a tall task for a Reds offense that has posted just a collective 86 wRC+ on the road so far this season (and just a 95 collective wRC+ against LHP). For them, though, the more important question might be whether Hunter Greene - today’s starter and the signed, sealed, delivered future of the team’s pitching staff - can turn his fortunes around.
Greene has allowed 17 ER in 22.0 IP dating back to May 5th, though each of the four games included in that sample came in hitting paradises (3 in GABP, 1 in Coors Field). Maybe, just maybe, he’ll begin to reverse those fortunes today.
In transactional news, the Reds placed Wil Myers on the IL with [insert whatever has wrecked his swing] while recalling Will Benson to replace him on the roster. Fernando Cruz was also activated, with Alan Busenitz optioned to AAA to make way.
Go Reds. Do the dew!