Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds

An article by posted on April 4, 2014

brandon-phillips

The Mets are off to their worst start since 2005. They were swept by the Nationals, and outside of the starting pitching and Juan Lagares, there were not many bright spots in the season’s first series (of course Mr. Wright a perpetual bright spot). The bullpen appears to be the biggest problem. After Bobby Parnell blew the save on Monday, and now awaits possible surgery, the rest of the relieving corps, besides Jose Valverde, has been atrocious. Even if the Mets get solid performances from their starters, as they did in each game versus the Nats, without any confidence in the bullpen, it is all for naught. It is only the second series of the season, but the Mets will look to collect some wins before they start a tough nine-game road trip after the weekend.

The Reds

As exhausting as it felt watching the Mets bullpen self-destruct against the Nationals, the Reds come to Citi Field truly exhausted. Cincinnati opened their 2014 season against the Cardinals with a combined 6 hours and 22 minutes of delay time due to rain over the past two days. They ended up losing two of three to the Red Birds in what was a strange first series of the season. The first two games were decided by 1-0 scores, one win for each team, which was the first time teams have traded 1-0 wins in the first two games of the season since 1993, per Elias. The Reds come to Citi where they have had great success. They are 12-5 in Queens, including sweeps of the past two series there.

2014 Lineup

  1. Billy Hamilton CF
  2. Brandon Phillips 2B
  3. Joey Votto 1B
  4. Jay Bruce RF
  5. Ryan Ludwick LF
  6. Todd Frazier 3B
  7. Zack Cozart SS
  8. Brayan Pena C

New Faces

  • Taking the reigns from Dusty Baker as manager this season is Bryan Price, who served as the pitching coach since 2010.
  • He made his MLB debut last season, but rookie sensation Billy Hamilton will be a regular in the Reds lineup this season.
  • The Reds mostly upgraded their depth this offseason. They added C Brayan Pena, IF Ramon Santiago, and OF Roger Barnadina.

Key Injuries

  • C Devin Mesoraco is on the 15 day DL with a strained oblique.
  • 2B/OF Skip Schumaker is expected to miss about a month from a dislocated shoulder.
  • RP Aroldis Chapman is out 6-8 weeks with fractures to his eye and nose from a line drive to the face.
  • SP Matt Latos is on the DL recovering from knee surgery.

Interesting Notes

  • The Reds pitching staff has been dominant against the Mets over the past two seasons. Starters have a 2.76 ERA and relievers 1.42 ERA.
  • The Reds won 90 games last season to earn a Wild Card playoff game. It was their second consecutive 90 win season, which they haven’t done since 1978-79. Sandy pay attention!
  • Billy Hamilton is off to a slow start. He is 0-12 with 6 strikeouts.
  • Todd Frazier and Joey Votto have carried the offense over the first three games. Both hitters are batting .455.

Pitching Probables

Friday (7:10): RHP Jenrry Mejia (current Reds: 5 PA, .600/.600/.600) vs. RHP Mike Leake (current Mets: 73 PA, .250/.288/.368)
Saturday (1:10): RHP Dillon Gee (36 PA, .324/.361/.706) vs RHP Johnny Cueto (103 PA, .209/.291/.297)
Sunday (1:10): RHP Jon Niese (110 PA, .286/.340/.490) vs RHP Alfredo Simon (19 PA, .000/.211/.000)

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About the Author ()

Jeffrey Bellone is a diehard Mets fan who lives in Connecticut with his beautiful wife and daughter. He can also be found writing about baseball at Beyond the Box Score, Amazin' Avenue, and Over the Whitestone.

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