Probable Pitching Matchups
Scouting Reports Courtesy of MLB.com
Samardzija was back on track in his last start vs. the Cardinals, striking out a personal-high nine over 6 2/3 shutout innings. He’ll miss Wrigley, where he’s given up one earned run over 15 1/3 innings. In a no-decision Wednesday vs. the Giants, Arroyo was touched for nine hits over five innings. Nevertheless, only two runs crossed, which was important as it allowed the Reds to come back and win after his departure.
Maholm will be trying to extend his winning streak to three games, a dramatic turnaround from his first two starts when he went 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA. In his last two outings he’s 2-0, including holding the Phillies to one run on Friday. In his last start, a no-decision vs. the Giants on Thursday, Bailey took advantage of an aggressive lineup. San Francisco was retired in order on six pitches in the fifth inning and nine pitches in the sixth, when Bailey only had 72 pitches thrown.
Dempster is scheduled to come off the disabled list to make his fourth start of the season. He’s still looking for his first win despite posting a 1.33 ERA in his first three starts, when the Cubs scored a total of four runs for him. Leake hasn’t been very good lately with 16 runs (13 earned) allowed over 15 2/3 innings in his last three starts. With Aroldis Chapman potentially waiting in the wings, a good start could help Leake significantly.
Notes From the Enemy
Courtesy of Jason Linden from Redleg Nation
Have things changed that much in a week and a half? Yes. Since the last time someone from Redleg Nation wrote one of these, the formerly anemic offense has averaged 5 1/3 runs per game. This helps explain why the Reds are suddenly back at .500 and 7-3 over their last ten games. This is supposed to be a good hitting club and what you should not expect the struggles that preceded the recent stretch to return.
Scott Rolen is deadweight, right? Don’t be so sure. While he is old (37) and his numbers look terrible, he has been crazy unlucky this year. He’s hitting only .208 on balls he puts in play, which is simply unsustainably bad. Add to that, his batted-ball profile, which indicates that he should have at least a decent average and you have someone who should be a solid, if no longer imposing hitter.
What’s up with the starting pitching? In terms of the guys you’ll see in this series, don’t be fooled by early-season stat lines. Bailey is the one who seems to be getting results more or less consistent with what he’s doing. Arroyo is better than last year (hard to imagine him worse), but he’s not this good. Leake’s poor performance has been very surprising. He’s given up a lot of line drives, which is scary, but his Pitchf/x for this year are totally consistent with years past. That is, his pitches are moving in the same way and travelling at the same speeds as they have for the last two years. So either the league has suddenly figured him out or, you know, it’s early.