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|It was unheard of not that long ago Kevin White Jersey , but now it has become somewhat commonplace: pitchers by committee.
A manager begins a game not with a starting pitcher but a reliever — and with more relievers to follow.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon, certainly not a stranger to taking a risk, tried it Saturday with poor results against a suddenly hot team that’s not playing like a last-place club.
Don’t look for him to make the same mistake Sunday.
Maddon will run out one of his regular starters, right-hander Tyler Chatwood (3-5), at Great American Ball Park to try to avoid a four-game sweep by the Cincinnati Reds, who are playing nothing like the tail-ending team they’ve been all season.
The Reds mounted their second six-game win streak of the year — the first time they’ve done that since 2012 — by making quick work of the Cubs’ starter-by-committee plans Saturday during an 11-2 victory keyed by the pitching of right-hander Anthony DeSclafani.
And, remarkably, keyed by the hitting of DeSclafani, who hit the Reds’ seventh grand slam in 33 days and their third of the week, but the first by a Cincinnati pitcher since Bob Purkey against the Cubs on Aug. 1, 1959.
DeSclafani (3-1) posted his third win in a row while giving up two runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Cubs reliever-turned-starter Luke Farrell (2-3) was long gone by then, having been lifted with only a 2-1 deficit and two outs in the third inning. The Reds went on to score eight more runs against the Cubs’ bullpen — and catcher Chris Gimenez, who pitched the eighth inning.
DeSclafani’s shot came with two outs in the third inning against left-hander Brian Duensing, and it was a no-doubt drive well up into the left-field stands.
“All in all, I was trying to hit the ball hard somewhere and not strike out http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-blake-bortles-jersey ,” said DeSclafani, who came into the game with a .138 career batting average. “I knew a fastball was coming and I tried to square it up, and it happened to go out. … It was awesome. It all happened so quick.”
And slowly the Reds, once 8-27, are starting to play the way they expected when the season started. They’ve won nine of 11 and are 5-0 on their current six-game homestand.
“When you get down in the standings, it can be deflating,” said Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman, who replaced Bryan Price during the terrible start. “But they kept coming to the ballpark and working hard, and now we’re getting closer to respectability in the standings, though we’re not there yet.”
The Cubs’ domination of the Reds is disappearing, too – going into the series, they’d won 43 of 62 against them in the last four seasons — as quickly as DeSclafani’s homer reached the seats.
“We’re playing clean baseball — we’ve run the bases, made plays … are getting timely hits,” Riggleman said. “We have a nice string of well-played games.”
This probably isn’t encouraging to the Cubs’ faithful, either. Chatwood is 0-4 with a 4.18 ERA in five career appearances against the Reds. He has walked 63 batters in 68 1/3 innings this season.
Despite Chatwood’s lack of success against the Reds http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/lance-kendricks-jersey , only Joey Votto (2-for-10, .200) has double-digit at-bats against him.
Chatwood opposes right-hander Sal Romano (4-7), who is coming off his best start of the season — seven shutout innings against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday. Romano gave up four hits and struck out six despite walking four in a 9-5 Reds victory in which the Tigers scored all of their runs in the ninth inning.
Romano’s last start against the Cubs wasn’t a good one. He surrendered seven runs and six hits in five innings of a 10-0 Chicago victory on May 19. He is 0-1 against them in two career games.
Maddon gave Kris Bryant the day off Saturday after he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the Reds’ 6-3 win Friday as he tries to get some of the slumping hitters going. Bryant is likely to be in the lineup Sunday against Romano.
“We’ve got to get (Willson) Contreras going, we’ve got to get KB (Bryant) and (Anthony Rizzo) going,” Maddon said. “I mean, these were our primary offensive weapons last year, and they really haven’t hit their stride yet.”
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays continue to win games they perhaps shouldn’t, and they’ll have an opportunity for more of that Saturday against Houston’s Justin Verlander.
The Rays (40-41) hit the midway point of their 2018 season with a 3-2 win over Houston, giving them six wins in their last seven games. Their pitching has led the way — three times in the last four games, they have held their opponent to three hits or less, this after doing so only three times in the first 77 games of this season.
“If we are going to win a lot of game and we are going to string a bunch together, we have to have good pitching,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The timely hitting is great, but we have to stay in the ballgame. For us to have allowed three runs in 18 innings against arguably the best team in baseball Jake Allen Jersey , we should find a way to win one.”
Houston will send Verlander, who has been dominant (9-3, 1.82 ERA) but has gotten surprisingly little run support from a potent Astros lineup.
Houston is just 11-7 in games he starts, and the Astros have scored a total of two runs in five of those losses.
So Saturday could look like Thursday’s 1-0 Astros win, or could look like Friday’s 3-2 loss, which saw two errors factor in Tampa Bay’s scoring.
Verlander faced the Rays just 11 days ago in Houston, again pitching well, allowing one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, but ultimately taking a no-decision in a 2-1 loss. He has 136 strikeouts in 113 innings this season and a ridiculous 0.81 WHIP.
Against the Rays for his career, Verlander is 8-3 with a 3.18 ERA, but since 2010, he’s just 4-3, despite a 1.72 ERA in his last five starts against the Rays. At Tropicana Field, he’s 5-2 all-time with a 2.53 ERA, including a 1.20 ERA in his last two outings.
The Rays counter with reliever-turned-starter Ryne Stanek Tim Schaller Jersey , who has thrived in the “opener” role that Tampa Bay has essentially created in the past six weeks. He’s starting for the second time in three days against the Astros having thrown 1 2/3 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball Thursday night. For the month of June, he’s pitched in 11 games and 14 2/3 innings without allowing a run.
He’s held opponents to just four hits, lowering his season ERA to 1.85, just barely above Verlander’s.
The Astros know they have to be careful with the white ceiling of Tropicana Field — the Rays’ three-run fourth inning got a spark Friday when center fielder Jake Marisnick couldn’t hold onto a pop at the warning track, allowing a run to score.
“When you play here, you try to not take your eye off the ball,” Marisnick said. “With the ceiling, I kind of glanced quickly at the ball, then looked back up and lost track. I wasn’t able to come up with it. That’s a play I need to make 10 out of 10 times.”
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