Hello Reds’ fans. Starting today, our erstwhile club contenders will cast a line and try to hook as many wins as possible in a four game series with the Marlins of Miami. The clubs enter the series with identical records of 53-54 and playoff chances that could dwindle like raindrops in the sea depending on the outcome of these games. One wonders if, like The Old Man and the Sea, any victory won will be little more than that of pride in survival for another day.

If I can stretch my metaphors to the point of breaking, one could build the perfect fishing expedition from these two clubs, the Reds, with their excellent pitching and defense provide a solid boat to keep the the fisherman from sleeping with his prey while the Marlin bats would provide a solid reel and tackle box for bringing dinner home to the frying pan.

Of course, neither team has all the pieces it needs, which is why they both enter the series with mediocre records and dwindling hope.

The Marlin Lineup

Pos Player PA BA OBP SLG OPS+
LF Christian Yelich* 403 .276 .355 .417 113
2B Jordany Valdespin* 35 ..267 ..290 ..500 113
RF Giancarlo Stanton 463 .293 .393 .535 154
3B Casey McGehee 458 ..307 ..373 ..378 109
1B Garrett Jones* 383 ..255 ..319 ..426 104
CF Marcell Ozuna 410 .369 .317 .451 109
3B Jarrod Saltalamacchia 422 .228 .326 .404 101
SS Adeiny Hechavarria 361 .274 .303 .339 77

You can see here that they are a bunch of able sailors with the bats and they, of course, have a strong captain to lead them in Stanton. Of note is that they are one about their 37th second baseman this year. Having experienced something akin to what the Reds saw in left last year.

Still, it’s a good crew from stem to stern.

The Pitching Matchups

Thursday, 7:10pm

PITCHER IP FIP xFIP SIERA BB/9 K/9
Tom Koehler 124.1 4.03 4.29 4.26 3.4 7.0
Johnny Cueto 155.2 3.08 3.08 3.07 2.4 9.1

Tom Koehler quickly shows that the pitching staff consists of more weekend fisherman than true sea captains. He’s a serviceable fourth or fifth starter who does not belong in the same league as Johnny Cueto.

Friday, 7:10pm

PITCHER IP FIP xFIP SIERA BB/9 K/9
Jacob Turner 74.1 4.02 3.88 3.92 2.5 6.3
Mat Latos 51.2 3.40 4.34 4.39 1.9 5.6

Again, not much to see here, nor has there ever been. The more interesting narrative will continue to be what’s going on with Mat Latos’ fastball velocity. He should run all over Turner, but he hasn’t been what we’re used to seeing since coming off the DL.

Saturday, 7:10pm

PITCHER IP FIP xFIP SIERA BB/9 K/9
Nathan Eovaldi 136.0 3.57 3.98 4.04 1.9 6.2
Homer Bailey 131.2 4.12 3.60 3.64 2.8 7.6

Once again, we see a pitcher who is solid but not anything great. Eovaldi is just sort of okay. Probably below average. He should have equal odds against Homer, though, as the Marlins lineup is so much better than what the Reds are likely to show.

Sunday, 1:10pm

PITCHER IP FIP xFIP SIERA BB/9 K/9
Henderson Alvarez 137.2 3.38 3.58 3.72 1.8 5.4
Mike Leake 147.2 3.68 3.36 3.36 1.8 7.0

Of all the starters the Reds will face, Alvarez is probably the best and should provide a good challenge for Mike Leake who is having a his own personal banner year.

Conclusion

This is a series of great importance to both clubs. A sweep on either side means playoff doom for the other. Each team has to be hoping for at least three wins as anything else if going to put them further away from the playoffs than they are now. It should also be an unpredictable series. It is easy to imagine high scoring games and shutouts on both ends given the relative strengths and weaknesses of each club. It should be interesting to watch, that’s for sure.

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 16 Comments

  1. I’m in Tampa this week. Thought about driving 4 hours to Miami and then it hit me how bad they suck.

    • Not that Tampa doesn’t have its fair share of topless bars (highest per capita in US, I believe), but two words that may change your mind: The Clevelander.

  2. Reds get swept by Marlins this weekend. That’s how bad I think things have gotten.

  3. Would love the ERAs listed for the starting pitchers. Even more so when we’re talking the other team’s pitchers because I have no idea if they are Cuetos (FIP hates them) or Baileys (FIP loves them).. because there’s a world of difference between the two.

    Granted, I guess it doesn’t really matter. You could probably just write “Cy Young” for each of them and be done with it. Lol

  4. Does the game on Saturday start at 12:35? MLB.com has it at 7:10. . .

  5. Oh, thanks. I am actually traveling from Cincinnati to the game and freaked out a little bit.

    If you are the perfectionist type . . . there is also a typo (“one should be on”) in the paragraph about the Marlin lineup and a type-o on Ozuna’s batting average.

  6. Hamilton CF
    Negron 2B
    Frazier 3B
    Ludwick LF
    Pena C
    Heisey RF
    Hannahan 1B
    Cozart SS
    Cueto P

    ..y’know, if you needed any more reason of why this season is already lost and they should sell a few folk. 3 backups, 1 minor league player, and 1 Ludwick in the starting lineup.

    Oh, and Mesoraco on the bench again, because apparently driving in 6 of the Reds’ 10 runs they’ve scored the last 4 games is still not good enough to catch Cueto.

  7. I am sorely disappointed that no one noted the effort put into ruining every possible aquatic metaphor.

  8. The Marlins play tough. It’s going to take an invigorated offense to get 3 of 4 at Marlins Park in Little Havana.

  9. So does this game get a record low of comments with everyone all commented out/angry from lack of anything at the deadline?

    • Not sure why everyone is so angry. We just got Jack. It’s like a mid season trade, where we didn’t have to give up anything. (sarcasm)

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

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