Series Preview: Cincinnati Reds @ Miami Marlins May 14-16, Games 39-41


May 11, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (19) reacts after scoring during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins did not do too well on their 9-game road trip that included stops in Philadelphia, San Diego, and Los Angeles. The team won just three out of their nine games, including a sweep by the hands of the Padres. The Marlins offense exploded for 14 runs off of Roy Halladay, but was limited most of the time.

The Marlins hope that a return home can get their bats rolling again. The Cincinnati Reds will make their only trip to Miami this week to take on the Marlins. This will be the second and final meeting this season between the two ballclubs, as the Reds took three out of four from Miami back in the middle of April.

To preview the series, I had a chat with John Rentz, a staff writer at Blog Red Machine. BRM is the Reds Fansided site for all Reds-related news.

Cincinnati Reds @ Miami Marlins  May 14-16, Games 39-41

Cincinnati2nd NL Central2216.57927-3W 3
Miami5th NL East1127.289113-7L 2

Stadium: Marlins Park

Five-year Run PF*: N/A
Five-year HR PF*: N/A
Stadium Dimensions:
Left field line—340 ft.
Left-center field—384 ft.
Center field—416 ft.
Right-center field—392 ft.
Right field line—335 ft.

*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here

2013 Season Statistics

42.13.833.23BaileyMay 14Nolasco48.13.723.95
41.24.324.29LeakeMay 15Sanabia39.04.855.64 16Fernandez37.03.653.16

Tuesday May 14th- Homer Bailey vs. Ricky Nolasco

The former first round pick Bailey has not exactly lived up to his lofty expectations as his career ERA/FIP sit at 4.46/4.17. Homer has been better the past two seasons, but has been a tad bit inconsistent in 2013. While he has had two starts in which he has not allowed a single run, he has also had three starts where he gives up four runs or more. In his last two starts, Bailey has allowed 8 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings. He has struck out 10 and walked 5 in that span.

Nolasco comes into the opener of the series coming off of his best start of the 2013 campaign. Last Wednesday, Nolasco allowed just one run on four hits over seven innings and struck out nine hitters. The nine strikeouts were Nolasco’s highest total since  he racked up 11 on 5/6/11 vs. the Nationals. Even though Ricky limited the Padres offense to one run, the Marlins offense was unable to give him any run support. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce have each hit a pair of homers off Nolasco in their careers against him.

Wednesday May 15th- Mike Leake vs. Alex Sanabia

Leake had allowed nine earned runs in his last three starts on 23 hits in just 15 2/3 innings of work. He did have a bit more success in his last start, before unraveling in the eight inning. Leake allowed two runs in seven inning and picked up six strikeouts before the Braves hung two more runs on him in the eight. Mike has been inconsistent in 2013 and could find himself out of the rotation upon the return of Johnny Cueto.

Sanabia gets the nod for the Marlins in the second game. He left his last start after just 4 2/3 innings due to tightness in his right groin. Miguel Olivo was credited by the Marlins staff for noticing Sanabia was not right and immediately getting the trainers to look at him. As a precaution, the Marlins moved Sanabia’s start back a day. Alex has struggled in 2013, as he has a 4.85 ERA and a 5.65 FIP with just two more strikeouts (22) than walks (20).

Thursday May 16th- Mat Latos vs. Jose Fernandez

Latos will be making a return to the area in which he pitched in college, at Broward Community College. Matt Latos was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres, but acquired by the Reds in a blockbuster deal that sent many of the Reds top prospects west. Latos has not disappointed this season as he holds a 3.04ERA and an 3.33 FIP. This is despite him being roughed up last time he took the mound. He gave up seven runs (six earned) and nine hits over six innings against Milwaukee. Tony Cingrini was originally supposed to make the start here, but the Reds decided to hold him back a day for the mostly-left handed Phillies.

While the Marlins as a team faltered on their road trip to Phily and the west coast, 20-year old sensation Jose Fernandez did well for himself. On the road trip, Fernandez pitched a total of 13 innings. In those 13 innings, Jose struck out 16 batters and allowed just three earned runs. All of those runs came on a three-run home run by Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning in Los Angeles. Fernandez hopes to have better luck against the Reds this go-around, as earlier in the season the Reds offense hung five runs on Fernandez in just four innings.

Bold Prediction: Tough to say the Marlins are going to win a series against an offensive juggernaut like the Reds when they struggle to put runs on the board themselves. The Marlins will steal one game in the series with Jose Fernandez on the mound. Justin Ruggiano will continue his hot tear and hit a couple more out of the park this series.