After enjoying a welcomed day off, the Cincinnati Reds will try to reset Thursday night when they visit the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Reds absorbed a 17-3 beating from Philadelphia on Tuesday before catching a break the following day when their game against the Phillies was rained out.
“There’s multiple times during a season where you could say it’s been kind of a grind,” Reds manager David Bell said. “This could be one of them. We’re used to that, we’ve trained for that and all that.”
But, he added, “There’s some benefit to (the rainout).”
The Cardinals could have used a break Wednesday, too, but instead they suffered an ugly 14-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers to cap their 5-5 road trip. Starting pitcher Carlos Martinez failed to last the first inning, which put the Cardinals relief corps under duress.
“It’s not a great scenario clearly,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We don’t want to be in our bullpen in the first inning, It became about game management for today and tomorrow.
“Long road trip, we’re on the back side of (playing) 17 in a row. We’re aware of what the looks like.”
The Cardinals have won four of six games from the Reds so far this season. They will get their first look at Cincinnati rookie right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez (0-1, 1.80 ERA), who will start Thursday in the opener of a four-game set at Busch Stadium.
“We’re going to keep our rotation as is,” Bell said. “Just push everyone back, so (Gutierrez) will pitch (Thursday) and everyone stays on track. We’re not skipping anybody or moving anything around.”
In his only other big league start, Gutierrez held the Chicago Cubs to one run on two hits with two walks in five innings on Friday.
“He had a great day,” Bell said. “He just seemed comfortable pitching at Wrigley Field, against a good team. He showed that he belongs. He did well. He was not really effected by being in the big leagues. He certainly didn’t back down in any way.”
Gutierrez was 2-0 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts for Triple-A Louisville this season before his promotion.
“It will be fun to watch him again against another opponent in our division, big series,” Bell said.
The Cardinals will counter with right-hander Adam Wainwright (3-4, 4.22 ERA), who was battered in a 9-6 loss to the Reds on April 3. He allowed six runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings in that game.
Wainwright has experienced an up-and-down season, allowing two or fewer runs in five starts but four or more runs in four others. He was 3-1 with a 4.35 ERA in five May starts.
In 35 career appearances, which include 30 starts against the Reds, Wainwright is 10-14 with a 5.35 ERA. Tucker Barnhart (8-for-18, double, two homers, three RBIs), Eugenio Suarez (8-for-25, double, triple, five RBIs) and Jesse Winker (3-for-11, homer) have hit well against him in their careers.
The injury-depleted Cardinals pitching staff could get a lift in this series with the return of veteran reliever Andrew Miller, who completed a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Memphis after recovering from a foot injury.
“I do think he’s trending in that direction,” Shildt said. “He’s definitely on a trajectory to get back to St. Louis soon.”
–Field Level Media