After splitting the first two games of the series, the Reds (18-18) look to take home a win in the third iteration amidst calls of storms and rain. Good news: neither Madison Bumgarner nor Jason Marquis are pitching tonight. Bad news:


C’mon Ohio, you’re better than this.

STARTING PITCHERS
2015 stats:

PITCHER ERA  FIP HR/9 BB% K%
Ryan Vogelsong 5.67 5.96 2.16 8.7% 17.5%
Mike Leake 2.36 4.31 1.09 6.2% 14.4%

Ryan Vogelsong’s 2015 season for the Giants can be best summarized as interesting. He started the season in the rotation and was shelled in his first start against the Diamondbacks, thus earning a demotion to the bullpen. After two rather terrible long-relief appearances (7.94 ERA, 5 K, 5 BB in 5.2 innings), Vogelsong was promoted back to the rotation and pitched well enough in his first start back to earn his keep. In fitting fashion, Vogelsong laid an egg in his the very next start, giving up six runs on four home runs in 3 innings to the Dodgers. But yet the Vogelsong saga has one more twist as in his last two starts, he has thrown 14 innings and only allowed one run on seven hits. So which Vogelsong will show up tonight? I doubt even he knows.

Mike Leake on the other hand has been consistently good all season long. He’s even improved! While pitch count knocked him out after 6 innings in his last start, Leake went 8 shutout innings in each of the previous two. Leake’s strikeouts are down this season, but he’s never been much of a strikeout pitcher anyway. His BABIP is also hovering around .200 so that certainly isn’t sustainable, but Leake won’t suddenly become significantly worse as the season goes on.

SEAN MARSHALL UPDATE – OUT FOR 2015

STARTING LINEUPS

The Giants starting lineup is the same as last night except Hunter Pence was activated from the DL before today’s game and will be starting in right field. Pence has been recovering from a broken left forearm that he suffered after he was hit by a pitch during a spring game in early March.

  1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
  2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
  3. Angel Pagan (S) CF
  4. Buster Posey (R) C
  5. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
  6. Hunter Pence (R) RF
  7. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
  8. Casey McGehee (R) 3B
  9. Ryan Vogelsong (R) P

The Reds lineup gives Billy Hamilton a day off with Zack Cozart batting leadoff. Brennan Boesch gets the start in centerfield while Tucker Barnhart gets today’s start behind the plate:

  1. Zack Cozart (R) SS
  2. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
  3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
  4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
  5. Jay Bruce (L) RF
  6. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
  7. Brennan Boesch (L) CF
  8. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
  9. Mike Leake (R) P

ZACK COZART, MORE THAN JUST QUICK HANDS
With another homer in last night’s game, Cozart is not so quietly putting together one of the best hitting campaigns on the Reds. If it weren’t for Dee Gordon down in Miami, I might even say he’s slashing the most surprising line in all of the National League. Even though Cozart’s success has been written off time and again as unsustainable, it might be more than just smoke and mirrors.

First of all, I will admit that the .341 BABIP won’t last and that hitting in front of Joey Votto most of the season has certainly helped his cause. While both valid critiques of why Cozart’s success won’t last, Chris Welsh did make a good point as to why it might a couple of nights ago. Cozart’s approach has changed dramatically from a year ago to where he isn’t off balance at the plate. Beside the common cliche of “he’s seeing the ball better,” Cozart no longer looks as if he’s swinging out of shoes on every pitch. I realize this is just the eye test–there is no stat on head pull or foot movement during the swing as far as I know–but Kevin Michell did say in his Cozart preview that:

It stands to reason that if he can keep his hands back and thus tighten his swing, he’ll be able to get around on more fastballs leading to more solid contact and extra base hits.

Who knows? Maybe he won’t be league-leading, but Cozart could certainly be above league-average in 2015.

BLOWING SMOKE
The smokestack malfunction of last night should be all behind us now, but I figured this was as good a place as any to share the more humorous takes.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Hopefully the Reds can get this one in; there have been enough rainouts already this year. Unlike last night, this pitching matchup seems to be in the Reds’ favor, but it always depends on what bats show up. Let’s get one tonight and on to the next tomorrow to clean up the series.

Go REDS

121 Responses

  1. George Mirones

    Rain looks like it will keep coming. Radar shows a string batch of storms in northwest Tennessee/southwest Kentucky headed to Cincinnati.

  2. B-town Fan

    The shoulder surgery that Sean Marshall is having, is the same surgery that Johan Santana had.

    • jessecuster44

      3 years, 3 surgeries? He needs to just call it a career.

      • CTRedsFan

        He doesn’t get paid if he retires. If he keeps rehabbing he gets paid until his contract expires.

      • Gaffer

        Thank goodness that is very soon. What a disaster of a trade/signing.

  3. jessecuster44

    Go Reds, Go!

    (… Thank goodness the Reds’ bullpen wasn’t asked to put out the Power Stack fire last night)

    • George Mirones

      Great comment Jesse!!
      I guess it pays to have sense of humor this season.

  4. George Mirones

    Standings after almost 20% of season.
    NL
    3 First place Teams
    3 teams over 500
    9 teams at 500 or below

    Al
    3 First Place teams
    4 teams over 500
    8 teams at 500 or below

    If the season ended today the Cubs and Tigers would be wild cards.
    Rays and Nationals would be second wildcard teams.

    Just some rainy day musings.

    • George Mirones

      OOps Twins not the Rays. My bad

  5. seat101

    I’m at work until 9:30 PM tonight. If the game start is delayed, I might shoot down there to watch it.

    Should I get on TiqIq now or scalp?

    • rhayex

      I’ve never found scalping to be very effective. Although, if it’s delayed I could easily see some tickets going for really cheaply.

  6. Indy Red Man

    Eugenio Suarez was down to the last strike in the 9th last night and hit a 2 out 3 run HR for Lville. He’s not hitting that great but 7 doubles and 5 hrs already and he draws walks(.353 obp). I’m thinking he could be a .260 guy for the Reds with some power and maybe could play 2B if they ever deal BP?

    • Vicferrari

      I think he just got out off to a slow start, Think he has been hitting over .300 in May FWIW, too bad for him the Reds are loaded with middle infielders, all the starters are healthy, and do not need much bench help

      • Shchi Cossack

        Phillips is NOT healthy. He lokked terrible as he hobbled around the field last night. His assertions to the contrary, Phillips will play despite any detriment to the team. Phillips shouldhave been DL’d as soon as he was diagnosed with turf toe. Suarez is already on the 40-man roster and should be playing 2B at GABP until Phillips is actually healthy again. This short roster that WJ continually trots out for the Reds has long since surpassed being ridiculous and playing Schumaker anywhere, especially 2B, is absurd.

      • Vicferrari

        Perhaps you feel that the Reds are loaded with middle infielders and do not need bench help and did pick up on all my remarks were equally ridiculous. Despite that I think we share the same view.

  7. doublenohitter

    Mat Latos was removed from Saturday’s start against the Braves with a left shin contusion.
    Latos wasn’t very effective before departing, allowing five runs on eight hits over his three innings

  8. Eric the Red

    I wonder if Marshall is having the guy from the Mets do the surgery because he doesn’t trust the Reds medical staff. Or maybe he’s just really good at shoulders.

  9. Vicferrari

    Ryan Vogelsong is just bizarre story- made his MLB debut almost 15 years ago. No big league games for 5 years .Really only one good season, but just hangs around and has put up some nice post-season numbers.
    Hopefully Reds can rock him and show his last 2 starts were a fluke.

  10. Eric the Red

    If there’s a rainout, I’ll be very upset if we agree to play a “home” game in SF again. I hope management has learned their lesson.

    • renbutler

      There wasn’t much choice last time.

      Surely they would do a DH tomorrow.

      BTW, where is everybody?

      • jdx19

        I think everyone is tired of light-hitting Giants hitting home runs.

    • Vicferrari

      Pence can make any bad team a whole lot better

    • jdx19

      Giants are better than they’ve played so far in 2015.

  11. RedsFanEd (@RedsFanEd)

    That was a stupid pitch to Pence. You NEVER throw Pence a fastball for a strike. Only breaking balls only as he has trouble with them.

  12. renbutler

    Cards lose. That’s five of their last seven.

  13. Vanessa Galagnara

    bad luck Bruce. He better stay out of Vegas.

    • jdx19

      Are you surprised? We never do well against pitchers with bad stats, it seems.

    • jdx19

      Nothing. This is Mike Leake. He’s not a Cy Young-caliber pitcher, which is what he was for the first 6 weeks of the year.

    • jdx19

      Five comments on Bruce’s 1 AB already.

      • doublenohitter

        Actually, it is a trend based on many ABs, not just tonight. I’d like to see a stat on bat speed. Watch his swing. It is very long, and very slow. he used to hit the ball really hard, in his good years. The ball just doesn’t jump off his bat anymore.

      • jdx19

        And there are no stats on bat speed. It isn’t measured because it isn’t really relevant. If you have good bat speed, you hit the ball hard.

    • jdx19

      Welsh just said Boesch was a “capable center fielder.” Couldn’t be further from the truth.

    • RedAlert

      Kinda like saying Walt is a “capable GM”

  14. RedsFanEd (@RedsFanEd)

    Heard someone comparing Jay Bruce’s career to Jeff Francour’s. Bright beginning and skills quickly diminished almost overnight. Looking similar.

    • Michael Maffie

      Its not a very accurate comparison. Francoeur never put together back-to-back seasons where he was an above league average hitter. Bruce was way above league average four years in a row prior to his knee injury.

      • jdx19

        Exactly. And Bruce has never really been a top-notch athlete (top-notch for a pro). Francour was.

        Actually seems like a pretty poor comparison.

  15. Steve Mancuso

    Brennan Boesch has never started a major league game in CF before this year. At age 30. That’s the Reds way of roster construction.

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      Maybe we can put Leake in center, right, or second for a while? Since we are in the mode of reinventing positions for players. Lorenzen has experience in the OF too why not put him out there? Cant hurt at this point.

    • jdx19

      It would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad.

    • Greg Dafler

      So, what you’re saying is that when the manager pencils his name into the lineup, he is capable of finding and standing in center field?

      🙂

    • George Mirones

      Steve, I know you wouldn’t pull our leg about this but, REALLY. I understand maybe in the 17th inning but a start. Then again who else is there on the bench. Even Bruce in center and Boesch in right is better.

    • jdx19

      I’m fine with a rain out the way this is going.

  16. jdx19

    Oh, and people don’t believe in baseball-luck.

  17. Steve Mancuso

    Brennan Boesch has never had a single season with a positive defensive rating, and that’s playing the corner outfielder. Yet the Reds decided, based on a few plays in spring training, that he can be the backup center fielder. Sound familiar?

    • Pooter

      The eyeball is mightier than the numbers!

    • jdx19

      Are you referring to FG “Def?” If so, just to be fair, that includes the negative adjustment that corner outfielders get. So if he’s low-single digit negative, he’s actually positive.

    • Michael Maffie

      Willy Taveras has never had a single season with a positive offensive rating, and that’s playing in Colorado. Yet the Reds decided, based on a few plays in spring training, that he can be the leadoff hitter. Sound familiar?

      (New game, Reds managerial madlibs, anyone else want to play?)

      • Steve Mancuso

        Jason Marquis has never had a single season with an FIP or xFIP below 4.00. Yet the Reds decided, based on a few innings pitched in spring training, that he should be in the starting rotation. (Sadly, this is too easy.)

      • jdx19

        Wow. That’s even worse than Gregg, who has had them below 4.00 a couple times over his career.

      • jessecuster44

        Thanks! This is fascinating stuff.

      • Steve Mancuso

        It might have seemed like it, but his defensive metrics were gigantically negative. It’s hard for amateurs like us to judge range. Choo was worth rostering in CF because of his offense. Not the case for Boesch, who has become a terrible major league hitter. Released by three teams in two years. Tigers didn’t put him on their postseason roster in 2012.

      • jessecuster44

        Wow – how many outs did the Reds lose in 2013 b/c of Choo? Can we quantify that yet?

      • Steve Mancuso

        Lost 13.3 runs according to FanGraphs (which isn’t as many as Choo cost the year before or the year after). So that’s a little more than one game. Good thing he was worth 43.6 runs on offense, for a net fWAR of 5.5. Roughly same estimates at Baseball-Reference.

      • jessecuster44

        It’s so hard to “see” the Runs he lost though. For the life of me, I can’t remember Choo messing up too many plays. Which must mean that his lack of range and lack of arm turned some singles into doubles, or outs into hits.

  18. doublenohitter

    I’m surprised marty or Thom didn’t say something about the Reds failing to hit with RISP, like that is a repeatable action.

  19. jdx19

    Reds are the debut machine.

    Foltynewicz – Win
    Rodon – Win
    Pence – 2/2

    Anyone making any sort of debut should wait for Cincy.

  20. Indy Red Man

    I think they said the Giants were next to last in scoring….prob not anymore? Leake is a 3.80-4.00 era #4 type of guy and nothing more

  21. jdx19

    Votto’s 1st inning flyball was the 3rd flyball he’s hit in the month of May.

    • jdx19

      And one of those was an infield pop-up.

    • jdx19

      And apparently he’s now a flyball machine…

  22. Indy Red Man

    4-0 to about 74-75 wins which is right about where they predicted. I thought atleast the offense would be scary….which it sort of is

  23. jdx19

    Leake’s BABIP against is trying to regress in a single night.

    • jdx19

      Walk a guy in his first game back from a broken arm and then throw a first-pitch fastball for the 3rd time to Crawford.

    • Vicferrari

      When Arroyo was here I thought he took Leake under his wing, gave him some veteran advice. Perhaps Marquis has taken up that role

  24. vared

    Leake is a real head scratcher. Can be so good and so bad.

    • jdx19

      No one is good all the time. No one is bad all the time. It’s how often you are good that matters.

      Leake has been the beneficiary of some good variance so far this year. This game is the universe bringing him back into the fold.

  25. jdx19

    Scherzer vs Cashner starts in a few minutes. That ought to be a good game.

  26. jdx19

    Weird stat of the night:

    Since the start of 2014, Mike Leake has struck out more often than any other player in Major League Baseball that has batted at least as many times as he has.

    • jdx19

      Yep. Has been for quite a while. His slump has been more lengthy than his hot-start to the year. As such, his current numbers are below his career norms. Currently, Votto’s having an “off year.” Ridiculous to even think that. Votto’s been a -0.3 WAR player the last 3 weeks.

  27. Steve Mancuso

    Why did Leake bat last inning? I realize it wouldn’t make any difference. And it’s not like the bench is any good. But why wouldn’t you send a position player up to bat? I guess it’s the short bench. Either way, it reflects really poorly on the roster management of the team.

    • George Mirones

      When a roster is built to budgeted a number quality is sacrificed to meet a arbitrary $$ amount.

      • George Mirones

        Should read “built to a budgeted number”. my bad, big fingers little keys.

    • Vicferrari

      I though they did the say thing with Marquis and Lozrenzen last night, batted and then were relieved, all 3 are above average hitters for pitchers but it is almost an insult to the bench players

    • CTRedsFan

      Especially when the team is carrying a player who can only pinch hit! I guess they are saving him for the comeback.

  28. Tom Reed

    Just tuned in at the 5th. inning. Looks like we go for the split tomorrow.

  29. BigRedMike

    Giants are hitting well. Pretty ugly for the home 9

  30. Jake

    Leake then Badenhop. Better get those firefighters from last night ready

  31. BigRedMike

    Badenhop leaves every pitch up. Awful

  32. CBD

    Sell walt…….sell do you hear me…SELL!

  33. desertred

    Badenhop’s ERA is now just a shade under 10.00. What is the threshold for Walt to DFA the dude? How can one organization be so bereft of talent?

    • jdx19

      Because the Reds think guys like Neftali Soto and Chris Dominguez have talent. I know they are both hitters, but I just don’t think the team understands how to get any value from players that aren’t “all-star level” guys.

    • George Mirones

      The Why.

      Mark Sheldon / MLB.com February 7, 2015
      “With Spring Training nearing, general manager Walt Jocketty was able to get two relievers at a relative bargain. Right-hander Burke Badenhop was signed Saturday to a one-year, $1 million contract with a $4 million mutual option for 2016. If either side declines the option, it can be bought out for $1.5 million.”

  34. jdx19

    Hey, since Milton will make another appearance tonight, the Recap could be posted BEFORE the game ends. This could be some kinda record…