The St. Louis Cardinals are coming off another series win against the Miami Marlins. The Cincinnati Reds sit at 2-11 and have lost 9 in a row. During those nine losses they have scored only 18 runs while allowing 59. They are certainly looking forwarded to a homestand to try to course correct.
The Reds will be sending Hunter Greene, Tyler Mahle, and Nick Lodolo to the mound in this series. Opposing them for the Cardinals will be Steven Matz, Dakota Hudson, and Adam Wainwright. As a team Cincinnati has been near the bottom of the league in pitching so far in 2022. Their team ERA of 6.00 and FIP of 4.73 put them at 29th in baseball. Mahle and Lodolo have both struggled in the early-goings. In two starts Lodolo only has 9 innings pitched with an 8 ERA. He has 12 strikeouts in those innings, but five walks. His curveball has a lot of drop, but his location on all of his pitches is inconsistent. These are the first innings of the young lefty’s MLB career and as the #2 prospect in the Reds system, he shows a lot of promise if he can bring down the walks and homers.
Tyler Mahle has had an extremely interesting twelve innings pitched this season. His ERA is 7.82, but his FIP is just 1.95. He has struck out 16 batters so far and given up no home runs, but he has walked 6. He throws a a pretty good splitter along with a slider on the other side of the plate. His 4-seamer tends to be pretty good, too, though in 2022 it is catching too much of the middle of the plate. When he can locate it on the outside corner (to a righty), just above where his slider would end up, he can generate a lot of swings and misses.
Greene will face the Cardinals Friday evening and he is another young strikeout pitcher from the Reds. He has had the most solid early season so far. In two starts he has pitched just over 10 innings with 13 strikeouts, two walks, and allowed 5 earned runs on 9 hits for a 4.35 ERA and 4.90 FIP. He is also the #1 prospect for the Reds. His 4-seam fastball averages 100 mph and he compliments with a slider that has a 47.1% wiff rate in the 41 times he has thrown it in 2022. Like Lodolo and Mahle, Greene has had some trouble with location. A 100 mph fastball is nice, but batters are starting to catch up to that, especially if it is thrown down the middle of the plate.
The best hitter for the Reds so far has been catcher Tyler Stephenson, but he is on the 7-Day Injured List after being involved in a collision with Padres Luke Voit. He seems to be doing okay.
Only thing that matters is he was out https://t.co/tyJH3QWAYx— Tyler Stephenson (@Tyler_Step22) April 20, 2022
His teammates took it less in stride, though (nine losses in a row will make a team a bit more cranky):
Glad you’re ok. I am not happy about this slide.— CountOnAG (@Amir_Garrett) April 20, 2022
Tommy Pham on Luke Voit's slide into Tyler Stephenson: " If Luke wants to settle it, I get down really well. Anything. Muay Thai, whatever. Like I said, I've got an owner here who will let me use his facility. So fuck 'em. I'm out."— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 20, 2022
(Keep an eye on the Cardinals trying to steal off the backup catcher.)
Tyler Naquin was hitting the next best per wRC+ at 123, but he also on the IL. Jonathan India and Mike Moustakas are both on the Injured List as well. Kyle Farmer might be the best uninjured hitter for the Reds right now with a .289/.347/.356 slash line and a 102 wRC+.
Way to go, Albert! He earned that extremely close-up photo.
Something less fun:
Paul Goldschmidt is still looking for his first homer of the season. His wRC+ is 50. Perhaps Goldy will find a meatball to hit in the smallpark in Cincy this series?
Friday, April 22 at 5:40 pm CDT: Steven Matz vs. Hunter Greene
Saturday, April 23 at 3:10 pm CDT: Dakota Hudson vs. Tyler Mahle
Sunday, April 24 at 12:40 pm CDT: Adam Wainwright vs. Nick Lodolo