In a very rare occurrence at Wrigely Field, there were no afternoon games played in this series. Not even on today’s getaway day. Cincinnati looks to finish up this 3-game series with a victory and series win tonight before taking flight for the West Coast.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Mat Latos takes the ball for his third start of the season. He allowed no runs, no walks and just two hits in his 2014 debut 11 days ago, but was hit hard for 5 runs in 5.2 innings last weekend against the Blue Jays. In four starts against the Cubs last year, he had a 2.42 ERA including an 8-inning, 9 strikeout gem last August.

The Chicago Cubs are 5-10 this season when opposing starter Edwin Jackson takes the mound: 2-0 against Cincinnati and 3-10 against the rest of the league. Not that Jackson has been particularly impressive against Cincinnati. He has a 4.76 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in his two starts against the Reds. Jackson has been lucky with 8 runs of support in the first game and 9 runs in the second.

LINEUP
While Brandon Phillips returns to today’s lineup, and more importantly to the field to man second base, [EDITOR’S NOTE: Phillips was a late scratch.] Devin Mesoraco and his 5-game homerun streak remains in the cleanup spot. On last night’s broadcast, they stated that Mesoraco’s first four homeruns were the first “consecutive day homerun cycle” in major league history. That unique achievement is: he hit a solo homerun on day 1, a two run blast the second day, followed by a 3-run shot the 3rd day, and the grand slam Monday night.

Jay Bruce inexplicably (sorry, 3-for-17 career against a specific pitcher is not sufficient justification) is dropped to 6th behind #5 hitting Phillips. Bruce is hitting .273/.333/.532 for the month of June. He’s also had an extra base hit in each of the past five games, three doubles and two homeruns, in route to a .368 average and .842 slugging percentage during that span.

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
5. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B Jay Bruce (L) RF
6. Chris Heisey (R) LF
7. Skip Schumaker (L) 2B
8. Zack Cozart (R) SS
9. Mat Latos (R) P

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
The Reds attempt to win their 4th consecutive series and get back over the .500 mark tonight. Will Devin Mesoraco tie the major league record of 6 consecutive games with a homerun? Will a start against the Cubs get Mat Latos back to pitching like his old self?

Discuss the game here.

GO REDS!

Join the conversation! 161 Comments

  1. Jackson is nothing special, this could be fun tonight.

  2. I guess, before the scratch, Price wanted to give the Cubs one sure out in the first five.

    • Maybe Price just wanted to put in, what he thinks is the best line up regardless of personal dislikes.

      • That’s obviously not it. What else you got?

        • If that’s not it then why make the statement? Especially if you were implying that by having BP bat 5th, Price is giving the Cubs a sure out. If I’m wrong I apologize

      • If Price was putting Phillips ahead of Bruce in the order based on personal preference then that would be because he liked Phillips more. Left/Right-wise (oh, Dusty) Bruce would bat 5th. Power-wise, Bruce. Latest performance, Bruce depending where you want to draw the line.

        I think that was why the comment was made in the original post. Bruce’s track record indicates he’s just a better hitter than Phillips. There’s nothing biased about that, it’s just statistically true.

        • I wasn’t implying that Price takes in account personal bias, but some on here just like to make comments based on their dislike of a player. Like statements that BP is a sure out,

      • The SO issue some have raised as justification for hitting Phillips ahead of Bruce is a legitimate argument and it’s possible that Bryan placed an inordinate weight on that one aspect of the comparison between the two hitters when he decided to put Phillips in the #5 hole and Bruce in the #6 hole initially. I personally think that argument falls well short when comparing the rest of the aspects of the 2 hitters. Since I’m pretty sure that no one is going to ask the question and if by some outlandish chance someone does ask the question, I’m pretty sure Bryan will avoid any legitimate discussion of his reasoning.

        • For the record I would bat BP after Bruce, but I would still give Price the benefit of doubt when making up his line up

        • It bothers me because I think he would only do it because he thinks BP would be a poop head about batting lower than 4th, let alone 6th.

  3. I forgot to mention that tonight’s game is at 7pm, an hour earlier than the last two nights. Plus, anyone with cable/satellite outside of the Cincinnati area should be able to watch the game on WGN.

    • Oh shoot! Thanks Greg. The Old Cossack would have tuned into the game for the 3rd inning. I don’t suppose we can finally get the wind blowing out at Wrigley for a change…

  4. I hope BP can return to the lineup soon, but I also hope he doesn’t return until he is completely healthy and recovered from the bruised heel. That looks like a fearsome lineup Bryan is putting on the field tonight. I agree with MWV that this could be fun tonight. How nice would it be for Jumbo and Contreras to get another inning each on the mound tonight while saving the bullpen again. I just don’t mind the middle relief getting rusty from inactivity right now.

    • I’ll admit I made that comment not only because I want to see them rough up another marginal pitcher but also because I want to psyche myself up for the possibility of Mez blasting a 6th-straight HR. Little things like that are so fun about baseball.

    • Agree 100% about BP. In the past he’s come back too soon and slumped.

      • Slumping from his current .699 OPS would really be scary.

        • A hurt BP who had a .699 OPS while healthy, batting 5th. Can you imagine how little Mesoraco would be given to hit in that situation?

        • Offense is down to a level not seen since the 60s. A .699 OPS isn’t all that terrible. It’s not good, but it’s not terrible.

        • I do agree that offense is down, but batting him front of obvious better hitters at this point just makes me think he does it to massage his ego.

  5. Six consecutive games with a homerun is a record for catchers. I believe the overall record is eight(!), including by KG Jr when he was with Seattle.

  6. A series at Wrigley and no day game ! Doesn’t feel right at all.

  7. Jackson is a bottom of the rotation starter but he has the occasional dominating outing (such as against the Reds last September). Reds hitters can’t let that happen tonight.

    • He also has an ERA under 2 in his last 4 home starts. I don’t think he’s going to be a pushover.

  8. So when was the last time the Reds had three guys with 20 steals? Because it’s a possibility. Hamilton (obviously), Frazier, and Bruce. Frazier at 9 and Bruce at 8 (Bruce was out with surgery, if not for that, he probably is at 10).

  9. BRUUUUUCEEEE!!!!

  10. Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce!!

    Joey is slow.

  11. Bruce! Wow, and Price wanted to bat him 6th behind a hurt BP. Hurray BP being a late scratch.

  12. Votto is hurt again. Got to be. He was sooooo slow coming into the plate. No momentum whatsoever.

    • He stole 20 bases early in carreer, has not been the same since injury in 2012.

  13. Feels like the reds have had several chances this series to out up 2 or 3 run innings and keep catching bad breaks or running ourselves out of the opportunity.

  14. It made sense for Votto to try to score there. Even with his slowness, it took a good relay from Barney to get him.

    Bruce now has a 6 game consecutive XBH streak !

  15. Hey, guys. Back from hospital hell.
    With the wind blowing in, the Reds need to find a way to generate some runs.

  16. wow, Red Reporter just name-dropped on the Reds broadcast

  17. Anyone else getting nervous with Latos lack of velocity on the fastball?

    • I’m a little nervous about it, but I do think that it could be due to not having pitched much yet. I think I’ve read that pitchers typically increase velocity in the early part of the year, so he may be behind schedule.

      But it’s certainly going to be harder for him to be able to pitch at this velocity.

  18. Need a big rally here, a bit nervous about this game, gotta win the series against the Cubs

  19. I cannot stand replay. It has no place in the game of baseball.

    • Letting Edwin get the best of them, gotta take this game, hopefully Latos can keep the shutout going with Rizzo coming up

    • How can getting the right call be bad?

    • I don’t see how you can argue that terrible calls have more of a place in baseball.

      Here’s the thing that I hate: they put limits on the number of challenges that a manager could use, because they didn’t want managers coming out of the dugout on every close play.

      But with the way they have the system now, the teams just review the play themselves while the manager stalls, so it’s essentially the same thing, and does sort of suck the life out of the game.

      I think they should revise it so that they either can’t communicate with a video guy from the dugout, or they can’t go onto the field unless they are going to challenge.

  20. Reds run the bases blindfolded or drunk or both. Tootblans everywhere !

    • I don’t think that people really understand how to use Tootblan.

      Votto was sent home by his 3B coach, trying to score him from first on a double with 2 outs, and got thrown out at the plate. This is part of baseball, and happens all the time to non-nincompoops.

      Mesoraco was picked off by a fingernail, and it was so close a replay had to be used to overturn the original safe call. Again, a totally normal part of baseball.

      This is a tootblan: http://tootblan.tumblr.com/post/82628114644/video-reds-double-tootblan-at-home

      • Totally agree with your point, but Cubbies are beating them on the little things.

      • All on-base, non-force outs are TOOTBLANs. Here is why: http://tootblan.tumblr.com/post/48634747579/tootblan-why-tootb-is-more-important-than-lan

        Sincerely,

        The guy who invented it

        • Huh. I stand corrected.

          I guess what I should have said is that I think tootblan shouldn’t be used whenever an out is made on the bases, because a certain amount of that is part of playing good baseball.

          For example, if you know that in certain situations, when you send the runner home from third you score say 80% of the time, and there are two outs, then sending the runner is the right thing to do, because the odds that your going to get the runner in without sending him are a lot lower than that.

          If he gets thrown out, then so be it, it was still the right call to make. In those situations, it seems rough to say that you got thrown out like a nincompoop, when you objectively made the right decision.

          To the creator of TOOTBLAN I would say this: sometimes usage changes, and in this case, I think the term has left its creator behind.

  21. Have I mentioned I hate the bunt? And pitchers hitting.

  22. This is the kind of stuff that is said by supposed baseball experts on TV:

    Chris Welch just said that with Shumaker on second and 1 out, you wouldn’t want to bunt with Cozart because Latos is up next, but if he was hitting in front of Frazier, you might.

    What?

    Because if you have Frazier coming up after Cozart, it’s really important to get Shumaker to 3rd with 2 outs? I’m pretty sure Frazier has a pretty good chance to get Shumaker home from second with 2 outs on a hit. If anything Latos has much less chance, so if you were going to bunt (which you never ever ever should in that situation), he’s got it exactly backwards.

    Ugh.

  23. Does it seem like there are minimal foul offs by the Reds?, 3 walks by Jackson and he is at less pitches through 5 than Latos is through 4 with no walks.
    Had favorable counts and letting him off the hook, not playing smart. If they pull this game out it will not feel that great of a win, but if they lose it will be devastating with the Giant series coming up and getting back to winning record for the first time all season.

  24. I’m glad the game is on WGN, I’m having a heck of a time staying connected to my mlb tv subscription. Definitely unusual not to have a day game in the series, especially so on get-a-way day. Go Reds!

  25. Votto with a hit and run double!!!

  26. JV coming through big time. Let’s add on a couple of more.

    • Need to knock this bum around, hope they stick with him but Renteria has had a pretty quick hook all series

  27. Mez! Come on big inning!

  28. Joey Votto. That is all.

  29. Votto with the big middle finger to all his detractors.

  30. Almost a Hot Mes TOOBLAN there.

    • I think he knew what was going on. No one covering 1st. Might as well see if people fall asleep.

  31. Come on Jay, get Votto home.

  32. Mesoraco just flat hits the ball HARD.

    • I’ve seen MPH off the bat on homers; I’d like to see an aggregate MPH off the bat. I bet Meso has to be up there on this theoretical leaderboard. The ball just explodes off his bat.

  33. If nothing else, the Reds sure are entertaining on the base paths. All’s well, that’s ends well. Go Reds!

  34. So what Mes almost just pulled off would be a tootblan, yes ?

    • If, indeed, he had actually don’t anything risky. He was the closest player on the field to 1st. He went 1/2 way to see if the Cubs would Cub. They didnt. So he went back.

      • Dont = Done.

      • Thanks. It’s why I included the almost part. The Cubs Cub harder than anyone but sometimes the Reds Cub. But I still root for the old ball team. They run the bases badly I think we all agree.

  35. BRUUUUUUCEEEE!!!

  36. Bruce going the other way! I love it!

  37. Yes sir, pour it on guys.

  38. Jay Bruuuuuuuuuuuce! Carry on.

  39. Great AB by Bruce. He has stung the ball tonight.

    • fouled off pitches until he got is, so can we drop the Bruce needs to bat lower post for a month or so?

  40. This is Jackson’s inning. Bailey-esque

  41. Bruce was hustling like heck to get that double. Ya gotta luv it. Go Reds!

  42. Anything but a K, CH.

    • Chris was too busy looking for his seat on the bench to listen, just an awful AB after such a solid one by Bruce

  43. Has Heisey changed his stance yet again?

  44. People still wonder why we don’t see Heisey for weeks on end. Horrible AB.

  45. That is a terrible AB from Heisey. Missed two very hittable pitches to start out. Could be the difference in a good inning and a great inning.

  46. Oh Heisey. You look so lost.

  47. Heisey continues to have clueless flailing attempts. He is a defensive replacement at this point.

  48. Made this move about 3 batters too late

  49. That is some fun stuff!

  50. Squeeze !!!!

  51. Excellent bunt right there. Almost got a hit on that.

  52. Have to say they have little choice with how they go thru the pen in chicago.

  53. Marty said it “that was a thing of beauty” (suicide squeeze that is) Go Red!

  54. That’s what grit does! A squeeze play is either a thing of beauty, or a pile of dung. That, folks, is gorgeous. Gritty play. Gritty player.

  55. Might be the best suicide squeeze these old eyes have ever seen. Way to go Skip.

    • It was really well timed, but it was actually a pretty bad bunt. He popped it up pretty far, gave the Cubs way too much of a chance at catching it and turning 2.

      • It looked like the runner was crossing the plate when the ball was fielded. I’ll stick with my observation.

      • But you have a point. Just never seen the runner score so easily.

  56. Intentional BB to cozart, how they must be scared of their bullpen!

  57. Really like Mes body language. Looks to be a leader in the making.

  58. What the heck has happened to Chris Heisey?

  59. Latos at 97 pitches. Do you let him pitch the 7th? I do.

  60. So do we see Latos in the 7th at 97 pitches, I vote yes with the bottom of the order coming up

  61. Top of the lineup; we put up another crooked number and this game should be in the bank. Love to see Billy extend that hitting streak right here.

  62. That was the perfect time for the SS. With the catcher at third, no less.

  63. Love WGN’s fan cam. Must be on the cool side at Wrigley, jackets and blankets in the stands.

  64. Three fly outs by Billy, that is not his game. Hopefully he will get one more shot at the streak.

  65. This Russell guy can pitch. Wonder what it would take to pry him loose?

  66. Fun watching Latos saw these guys off all night.

  67. Filthy right there

  68. Great start from Latos. Good pitch efficiency the last two innings to stretch it through 7.

  69. Nice job by Latos, hopefully the pen can close it out.

  70. Nice outing by Latos. Good job Matty!

  71. WAs Mes out looking for women on the street last nite? And if so what kind, nice girl, streetwalker ?? Announcers go,far off the rails at times

  72. Heisey looks really bad. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Reds non-tender him this year. He’s getting too expensive for what he brings to the table.

  73. if Rizzo comes up in the 8th do you bring the Missle?

  74. Big Sequoia threw 95 mph fastball underhanded to Votto at first. Excellent inning for the little feller. Go Reds!

  75. Realizing that Chapman will never start.. is there any precedent for grooming a guy to be your 2 inning closer? I think that would be a good way to salvage a lot of value out of what we have left of his contract. You get all the advantages of not starting (can pitch full strength, guys only see you one time through the order) with less worry about stressing the arm (would top out around 120-140 innings a season).

    I know, never happen but I think it would be fun.

    • Doubt if you see him on back to back days too often, notice how he pitched Friday?

      • I noticed how he pitched all the other times he’s pitched more than a single day in a row, which was great. I don’t know where people get this idea that he has a weak arm or can’t work 3 days in a row. He’s done it many times with pretty good results. He also used to come in for more than one inning back when he was just a reliever and not “the closer” a couple years back.

        • I thought he was saying Chapman wouldn’t be able to pitch back-to-back games very often if he was a 2 inning closer.

          I agree somewhat. It’d be difficult to manage over the course of a full season, although Broxton would be an okay backup on the days Chapman can’t pitch. It makes more sense to start doing it down the stretch.

        • Exactly my point CP, he pitched 2 innings Thursday in a day game and could not get out of the ninth the next night, small sample size, but instead of being unconventional with your closer, get another one, start Chapman every 5th day until he pitches like Cingranni

  76. Gritty double.

  77. C’mon BHam you can do it.

  78. Bad night for Billy, lot of fly ball outs. Let’s go Chapman!

  79. Start a new streak tomorrow BHam

  80. I’m a fan of the game of baseball, so that being said I hope the Cubs can tie the game so BHam can get another at bat and continue his streak. (Hah! just kidding, but I heard similar nonsense when the Reds were getting no hit)

    • Most of the posters with their nonsense do not get it and seem to enjoy being ridiculous and the sarcasm goes over their heads

  81. 28,207 turned out for tonight’s titanic struggle, 28,207.

  82. Rizzo really leans out over the dish.

  83. Rizzo is standing on the plate. Good job by Chappy to move him back.

  84. That changeup is just murder. Unreal.

  85. uh-oh

  86. Wow, how is that not a HR?

  87. The ball landed smack dab on the yellow line on that basket, so whatever that means, that should be the call.

  88. I hope this nonsensical, unnecessary delay doesn’t throw Chappy off stride.

  89. Reds announcers are blind in addition to dumb, thinking that was a HR!

  90. Another series taken.

    Go Reds!! See you in San Fransisco!

  91. Time to smash the Giants

  92. Awesome win for the Reds, actually a very big and important win for the Reds. The Reds have worked hard to improve their fortunes lately with the team being at full strength to turn around and lose the series to the Cubs, and begin the long road trip on a sour note. Tip of the cap to Schumaker for the game he had tonight. It goes without saying that Latos is looking strong and on his game. The Reds surge now heads west to lay waste to the Giants. Go Reds! Adios Amigos.

  93. Well done. Another series win. That’s the way you inch up in the standings.

  94. If Price were really trying to get Heisey going again, and I am not sure he is, then Heisey’s best matchup was against Samardzija. But, no excuses, Heisey is struggling. More importantly, the Reds win.

  95. Weird: the Reds will have opened a series twice, this year, with a team coming off a no-hitter. What are the odds?

    Great games by Latos, Bruce, Schu & Votto.

    First bad game by Billy in a while. Psst Hammy, the Reds do not need you for power, they need you to get on base.

  96. Nick Howard on for the Hoos

  97. Dang it I jinxed him

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