Kevin Gausman looks to come up large as Giants host Reds
San Francisco Giants right-hander Kevin Gausman figures to be a man on a mission when he matches up against the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
Not tendered a contract by the Reds after making 15 appearances (one start) for them in 2019, Gausman can show his former team what he has been up to lately.
The Reds picked Gausman up off the waiver wire from the Atlanta Braves two seasons ago, so there won’t be complete animosity. They sent the longtime starter to the bullpen, which contributed to a 4.03 ERA in 2019. Then they sent Gausman adrift as a free agent.
The 30-year old has now revived his career with San Francisco, going 3-3 in 12 appearances (10 starts) last season with a 3.62 ERA.
Gausman (0-0, 1.32 ERA) has been even better this season in a small sample size, giving up a combined two runs over his first two starts (13 2/3 innings). He will enter this matchup off a no-decision at San Diego on Wednesday, when he gave up one run on five hits over seven innings.
“His stuff is electric,” Giants infielder Darin Ruf said about Gausman. “He’s a competitor and when you have that guy on the mound, you know you’re going to be in the game no matter what.”
Gausman will have to be electric if he receives the kind of tepid offensive support the Giants offense provided in Monday’s 3-0 defeat to the Reds. San Francisco had just two hits, none over the final five innings.
Gausman has never defeated the Reds in his career, posting an 0-3 mark in three starts with a 12.79 ERA. His last start as a member of the Braves came against the Reds. Gausman gave up five runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings on Aug. 2, 2019, and Cincinnati claimed him three days later.
After matching pitches in his last start with the Padres’ Blake Snell, a former Cy Young Award winner, Gausman will duel with Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (1-1, 6.97) on Tuesday night.
Castillo, an All-Star in 2019, was crushed for 10 runs (eight earned) over 3 1/3 innings in an Opening Day loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on April 1. He was quickly back to form Wednesday after scattering four hits over seven scoreless innings in an 11-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Castillo originally was signed by the Giants in 2011 then traded away in 2014. In three career starts against San Francisco, he is 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA and has 29 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings.
The Reds were on track offensively to start the season, averaging nine runs per game over their first seven games, but have scored just six combined runs over their past three games.
Cincinnati had just five hits but did get the first home runs of the season from Jesse Winker and Joey Votto. Before Monday’s game, Votto sounded far from distraught because of a slow start and then crushed a ball into the San Francisco Bay a few hours later.
“At some point I’ll get quality pitches to hit,” said Votto, who entered Monday’s game with a .171 batting average and a .209 on-base percentage. ” … I just need to make that adjustment. That’ll come. If it doesn’t come, then I’m in the wrong league.”
–Field Level Media