When and where: June 12, 2019, Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH, 1:10 PM ET
The Cincinnati Reds close out a two-game pit stop at Progressive Field against the Cleveland Indians in Wednesday’s interleague MLB action. Since defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, the struggling Reds dropped a three-game series to the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies. Meanwhile, the Indians are soaring with monumental wins over the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. Zach Plesac will try to keep the momentum going when he starts on the mound for the Indians against Minnesota’s Anthony DeSclafani.
Reds put an end to three-game losing streak
Six-time MLB All-Star Joey Votto liked the fight his team showed against the Phillies when they were in danger of being swept in Philadelphia. The only hope for the ball club is to show that same kind of resistance more often to put an end to the perennial losing, which tends to weigh heavily on a team that hasn’t had a winning season in the last six years.
“You’ve got to stop the bleeding at some point,” Votto said, via Cincinnati.com. “I think that was really important for us to continue to remind ourselves, hey, we’re a legitimate team and we can be competitive and we’re going to stay in this.”
The Reds don’t have a long way to go to prove their legitimacy with them currently sitting in last place but only one win out from tying the Pittsburgh Pirates’ record in the NL Central. They came into the series finale against the Phillies having only scored 11 runs so far in the month of June, despite every other ball club scoring 17-plus runs. While it isn’t impossible to remain competitive, the Reds have their work cut out for them moving forward.
DeSclafani gets the start on Wednesday afternoon for his 13th game of the season. He’ll step on the mound with a 4.70 ERA and a 2-3 record. In his recent showing against the Cardinals, he only gave up one earned run in five innings on the mound, which was a huge improvement over the four runs he gave up in three straight games against the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs.
Indians remain a walking question mark
Few expected the Twins to push the Indians in the AL Central division this season. Not only are they pushing the Indians, but they are blowing them and the rest of the division away with a surprisingly spectacular year. Meanwhile, the Indians sit in second place dealing with more questions than answers. When will Corey Kluber return? What about Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco?
The Carrasco situation is especially concerning considering he is dealing with a blood condition that supersedes the importance of a baseball game. He is out indefinitely with no timetable for a return.
The pitching rotation is thinning in Cleveland, and they are as vulnerable as ever on defense, putting even more pressure on their struggling offense to pick up the slack. It isn’t a good situation for the Indians in the long run, even though they’ve made due in recent wins over the Yankees and Twins.
They’ll be forced to go with inexperience on Wednesday with Plesac being named the starter. The 24-year-old righty has played in only three games in the big leagues, but he did deliver solid showings in each of those performances. He most recently helped the Indians dust off the Yankees by holding their batting lineup to six hits and two earned runs, while striking out five batters in seven innings. In three appearances, his ERA currently sits at 1.86 with a 0.88 WHIP, which is a promising start for such a young player.
- Reds are 2-5 in DeSclafani’s last 7 starts with 5 days of rest
- Reds are 1-4 in DeSclafani’s last 5 starts against teams in the American League Central
- Reds are 22-45 in their last 67 road games
- Reds are 21-56 in their last 77 interleague road games against a team with a winning record
- Indians are 4-1 in their last 5 during game 2 of a series
- Indians are 7-2 in their last 9 interleague games against a right-handed starter
- Indians are 23-8 in their last 31 Wednesday games
- Indians are 63-27 in their last 90 home games against a team with a losing record