Sputtering Reds offense seeks divine intervention against Padres

Cincinnati Reds pitcher Nick Lodolo.

Rookie southpaw Nick Lodolo (0-1 11.25 ERA) makes his second major league start against an incredibly tough foe in Sean Manaea (1-1 1.38 ERA) of the Padres in Game 1 tonight. The best news of Lodolo’s debut is that it’s behind him.

Lasting only four innings, the southpaw allowed five runs on seven hits while delivering four free passes and two gopher balls in a loss to the Cleveland Guardians. Hopefully the nerves surrounding a league debut are behind the 24-year-old California native and he can relax and give the Cincinnati Reds a much-needed quality start.

After being acquired in a trade with the Oakland A’s in spring training, Sean Manaea has been everything the Padres hoped he would be in his first two appearances. In 13 frames, the 30-year-old allowed just two runs on four hits while recording 13 punches. This will be the southpaw’s first career start against Cincinnati.

The Padres will send Joe Musgrove to Hill for Tuesday night’s contest, and Reds manager David Bell will counter with southpaw Reiver Sanmartin. The 25-year-old Colombian was brilliant in relief Thursday against the Dodgers by throwing five shutout innings in baseball.

Musgrove, the former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher, has been brilliant in his two starts this season. The right-hander is 1-0 with a sparkling 1.42 ERA and 14 punches in 12.2 innings of work. Reds big boppers Joey Votto and Mike Moustakas combined for five home runs against the former Buccos pitcher.

Wednesday afternoon’s series finale will feature Vladimir Gutierrez (0-2 5.40 ERA) for the Reds. Padres manager Bob Melvin has yet to name a starter, but it looks like Mackenzie Gore will get the call. A worrying trend of ending the 2021 season has resurfaced for the Cincinnati Reds right-hander as Gutierrez’s 2022 campaign kicks off.

In two starts to start the 2022 season, Gutierrez has failed to escape the fifth inning of each appearance. Moreover, the 26-year-old Cuban has completed five frames only once in his last seven starts dating back to last year. When Luis Castillo returns from the injured list, Gutierrez could find his rotation spot in jeopardy.

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