Based on his history versus Arizona, it would seem Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto has a good chance to take over the major league lead in wins.
One of the frontrunners for the NL’s rookie of the year, the Diamondbacks’ Wade Miley is not too far behind the Reds’ ace when it comes to winning games.
Two of the NL’s top pitchers oppose each other Tuesday night at Chase Field when the NL Central-leading Reds try to hand the Diamondbacks a fifth consecutive loss.
Cueto (16-6, 2.47 ERA) appeared in good position to become the majors’ first 17-game winner when he left in the sixth inning of Thursday’s contest at Philadelphia with a 3-0 lead after 111 pitches. However, the NL ERA leader was charged with two runs and the Reds’ bullpen could not hold the advantage en route to a 4-3, 11-inning defeat.
Including that outing, Cueto is 7-1 with a 2.70 in nine starts.
That stretch featured a July 17 home start against the Diamondbacks (64-65), where the right-hander allowed four hits and four walks in six innings of a 4-0 win to improve to 4-0 with a 1.45 ERA in five starts versus Arizona. Cueto, 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts at Chase Field, has thrown 12 scoreless innings in his last two outings overall against the Diamondbacks.
The day before Cueto stymied them last month, Miley (14-8, 2.80) gave up three runs and struck out six in 5 2-3 innings of a 5-3 win in his first appearance against Cincinnati.
The left-hander has allowed one run over 14 innings while winning his last two starts overall. He yielded four hits in eight innings of a 3-0 victory that completed a doubleheader sweep of Miami on Wednesday. Over his last five starts, Miley is 3-2 with a 1.67 ERA.
“He’s a strike thrower,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen told the Diamondbacks’ official website. “A lot of strikes. This kid, he’s got good stuff. He’s got a lot of confidence. I love the way they handle him.”
While the Reds (78-52) maintain a six-game division lead, the Diamondbacks are starting to fade from postseason contention. Bronson Arroyo threw six solid innings and hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the sixth inning of Cincinnati’s 3-2 victory Monday at Arizona. Aroldis Chapman converted a franchise-record 24th consecutive save for his 32nd of the season.
“We take the blessings that we have been given,” said manager Dusty Baker, who recorded his 400th win with the Reds.
Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips, who had two hits with an RBI, is batting .419 (13 for 31) in his last eight games following a 4-for-31 stretch. He’s hit .373 with 12 RBIs in his last 13 games at Chase Field.
The Diamondbacks have scored nine runs during a four-game skid that’s come while going 2-6 on a 10-game homestand.
Justin Upton homered and had two of Arizona’s five hits Monday. Despite missing three games with a tight hamstring, Upton has batted .478 (11 for 23) with two home runs and seven RBIs in his last six games after he went 0 for 11 in his previous three contests.
He’s 4 for 12 with a double and two homers against Cueto.