One rookie starting pitcher thrown, two more to go. After last night’s excellent start by Disco DeSclafani, Bryan Price and the Reds (20-27) turn to Raisel Iglesias for game two. The Reds are in dire need of a winning streak right now, and what better way to start one than with the three young guns that should anchor the rotation in the years to come?

STARTING PITCHERS
All stats are 2015 actuals:

PITCHER  ERA FIP HR/9 BB% K%
Gio Gonzalez 4.53 2.90 0.34 8.2% 21.5%
Raisel Iglesias 4.26 2.74 0.00 10.7% 20.2%

Both starting pitchers today are interesting because their FIP’s show that they have both outpitched their ERA’s. However, they digress when it comes to xFIP (expected Fielding Independent Pitching), which puts Gio Gonzalez at a 3.20 and Raisel Iglesias at 4.44.

In his last start, Iglesias only lasted three innings after running up his pitch count to 84. While not pitching particularly poorly, Iglesias had a tough time finishing off batters, which lead to the high pitch count. For what it’s worth, Iglesias has been over a hundred points better (.182 vs. .286) against righties as opposed to lefties.

Gio Gonzalez comes into this game off of a quality start against the Phillies. In that game, he went 6.1 innings, allowing one run on seven hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Before that start thought, Gonzalez’s previous two were ugly: 10.0 IP, 15 H, 11 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. The lefty has been sturdy for the Nats’ rotation for the most part and has seemed to reinvent himself into a groundball pitcher. Through nine starts, his GB% of 57.9% is ten points higher than his career average (47.2%) and his career FB% (33.2%) has been nearly cut in half this season (18.9%).

STARTING LINEUPS

Nationals Reds
1. Denard Span (CF)
2. Ian Desmond (SS)
3. Yunel Escobar (3B)
4. Bryce Harper (RF)
5. Ryan Zimmerman (1B)
6. Clint Robinson (LF)
7. Jose Lobaton (C)
8. Danny Espinosa (2B)
9. Gio Gonzalez (P)
1. Brandon Phillips (2B)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Todd Frazier (3B)
4. Jay Bruce (RF)
5. Brayan Pena (C)
6. Marlon Byrd (LF)
7. Zack Cozart (SS)
8. Raisel Iglesias (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

*UPDATE: Bryce Harper was scratched from the lineup with a sore back.

BAD BLOOD A-BREWIN’
Or not, if you listen to Joey Votto. When asked about the words between him and Bryce Harper last night, Votto gave the same wry smile Reds fans have become accustomed to and said:

I don’t remember. I don’t what you’re talking about. I really like him as a hitter. What a great player. I bet on Bryce. Man, he’s doing great.

Even though he isn’t the most vocal or charismatic guy in the clubhouse, Joey Votto’s deadpan has always been the most amusing character trait on the Reds in my opinion. The guy’s a leader, even if he isn’t the most vocal about it.

The Nationals scratched Bryce Harper from the lineup today with a sore back. So things could get very interesting the rest of the weekend.

THE FUTURE OF NOW
Last year, after pitching in the College World Series in early June, Brandon Finnegan was drafted in the first round and subsequently found himself pitching in the World Series just four short months later. While a very rare feat indeed, the start of the NCAA baseball regionals yesterday gives us fans the first glimpse of which college players could crack the big leagues sooner rather than later.

The Reds have the 11th pick in June 10th’s draft and have been rumored to pick a number of college guys. Here are some names to watch as the NCAA playoffs unfold:

Andrew Benintendi: Bennie Baseball as some call him, the Arkansas outfielder was just named the SEC player of the year. Benintendi led the nation in slugging (.771) and led the SEC in average (.415) and homers (17). Not to mention that Benintendi is an Ohio boy who is the state’s all-time leader in hits. Where to watch: The Oklahoma State regional

Jon Harris: The Missouri State righty has been rumored to go anywhere from 8 to 15 in the first round, but he could be a great fit for the Reds system. 6’4″ and 190 pounds, the pitcher has a fastball sitting between 92-94, which could add life as Harris fills out his frame. Where to watch: The Missouri State regional

Carson Fulmer: If he falls to 11th, Fulmer would likely be snatched up by the Reds. The Vanderbilt righty has long been projected as a big league closer due to his size and fiery temperament, but this season he proved he could stay as a starter, winning the SEC Pitcher of the Year. Fulmer led the league in ERA (1.51), wins (11), and strikeouts (132). Where to watch: The Nashville Regional

OTHER NEWS AND NOTES

Today is Billy Hamilton bobblehead day!

billy

Reds MLB.com writer Mark Sheldon concluded that Bryan Price wanted to use Chapman last night in the 8th inning, but didn’t feel like he could go multiple innings.

While the Reds win on Friday worked out in how the bullpen was used with J.J. Hoover getting the eighth-inning strikeout with the bases loaded to escape the jam, the seemingly everyday question of “why not Chapman?”  still came. Bryan Price revealed Saturday that Chapman wasn’t available for more than an inning.

“We knew going into it that it wasn’t going to be a multiple-inning situation for Chappy,” Price said. “I’ll leave it at that just from what we knew going into yesterday’s game on where he was. Under different circumstances, it would have been Chapman in that situation. We knew he was going to be up once, and in once yesterday. I knew that going into the game or that would have had a different flavor to it in the eighth for sure.”

The Nationals put Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day DL today. Strasburg had to leave in the second inning of last nights game with an injury.

There are some scattered thunderstorms in the forecast today. There is a chance of this game being delayed.

weather

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Today is once again the day of my birth, and as such, all I want is a Reds’ win and a series victory. Everything else is just icing on the metaphorical and literal cake.

Go REDS

115 Responses

  1. doublenohitter

    Gio Gonzalez has OWNED the Reds. That being said, I look for the Reds to get their second in a row (hard to believe, I know) today. Todd Frazier and Marlon Byrd with big days.

  2. vegastypo

    So, if Chapman had warmed up for possible use in the 8th inning, he couldn’t have sat while the Reds batted in the bottom half of the inning and still pitched in the 9th inning?

    When Price says “I’ll leave it at that,” it must be code for, We don’t want to tell the Nationals that Chapman is a one-inning pitcher after all. But gee, they might reach that conclusion on their own.

  3. kmartin

    I am totally and utterly befuddled by Price’s comments regarding Chapman. Although Chapman pitched (and struggled) May 24-26 he had two days off on May 27 and May 28. Was two days off not enough rest to pitch an inning and a third last night, or is Chapman hurting?

  4. VaRedsFan

    Happy B-day Wes.
    Go Reds!

    I’m predicting Joey gets HBP, and shows BHarp how to handle it with class.
    And if he does, I predict we will retaliate too.

      • vegastypo

        If the game gets one-sided, I could see a purpose pitch coming into play. I could see Matt Williams thinking he needs to protect his guys. Even if the Cingrani pitch wasn’t intentional.

      • jdx19

        I’m sure Williams knows it wasn’t intentional, therefore, you can’t ‘protect.’ I don’t think we’ll see any retaliation.

        With that said, there’s probably a 30% chance someone gets hit randomly anyways.

  5. jdx19

    I’m sure I have some observers’ bias going, but sure seems like opponents are properly positioned on defense much more often than the Redlegs.

  6. vegastypo

    Couple of those pitches to Bruce looked pretty good to me. But we’ll take it.

    • jdx19

      The graphic on screen showed that Gio really only threw 1 strike. A few were very close and could have gone either way.

  7. jdx19

    Oh, darn… thought Byrd was up… Pena.

    • jdx19

      Byrd kills lefties. Pena has a lifetime 74 wRC+ against lefties.

    • jdx19

      If only a decent hitter against lefties were batting 5th instead of a terrible one! 😉

      Yeah. Not even surprised anymore with this team.

  8. doublenohitter

    Reds have had the worst time getting big hits with the bases loaded. unfortunately, pena hit it right at the fielder. Crappy luck.

  9. VaRedsFan

    More tough luck hitting for Pena

    • jdx19

      .327 BABIP this year for Pena vs a .279 career BABIP.

      • VaRedsFan

        So if a guy is batting .297 and his BABIP IS .327, I call that bad luck.

      • Gaffer

        Only if he hits every ball in play.

  10. Matt WI

    Well dang. Thought we were going to have a couple of runs there. But, good news is, Gio is having trouble locating, and it seemed like guys were getting good bat on the ball.

  11. Gaffer

    Thom with another story from the ole days, but with the wrong information. Seaver was a midseaseason trade not before the season. Hope my kids don’t get there Reds history from him.

  12. VaRedsFan

    Putting my order in for 1 Hamilrun please

    • VaRedsFan

      Delivered!!! on the Votto Bomb!!

  13. VaRedsFan

    Has it ever been mentioned that Joey likes hitting with Billy on?

  14. VaRedsFan

    If the Nats had watched every Reds game, they would have walked JV and pitched to Todd with a runner on 3rd

  15. VaRedsFan

    A well timed double play….nice pick by Todd

      • MrRed

        That was the theory floated by some. My comment was a little tongue in cheek. He had a heck of a slump by his standards but at the same time, there was no visible evidence that he was hurt either.

      • jdx19

        Ahh, yeah. Gotcha. He was hitting worse than when he was injured the last 2 times, leading many to the relatively logical conclusion that he could be hurt.

  16. VaRedsFan

    Raisel really has a nice arsenal of stuff

  17. zed4man

    Just heard a Thom WAR mention. He even explained what the acronym means.

    • jdx19

      OK, dude… Nice inflammatory comment.

      • zed4man

        Wow…got edited on a song lyric joke. Tough crowd.

      • jdx19

        You got edited because it was an ‘attack’ on the writers/posters of the site. It’s against the site’s posting guidelines.

  18. VaRedsFan

    Ughh…HBP to the pitcher trying to bunt

  19. jdx19

    The last 2 times the Nats pitches have tried to give away a free out, they’ve reached base…

  20. jdx19

    Reds have exactly ZERO good throws to the plate this year. It’s embarrassing, really…

    • VaRedsFan

      Yeah, I think Cozart had a real chance there

  21. VaRedsFan

    I’m not sure why the Reds outfield was shading Span to pull

  22. Mack Ashley Potter

    So Joey says he has “found” his swing…
    He likened to “losing your wallet”
    Hard to argue with those 2 home runs in the gap the the last 2 days.
    When Joey is right, he’s the NL MVP year after year after year after year.
    …..after year.
    When he’s right that is.

  23. Mack Ashley Potter

    The Reds need to address their scouting issues.
    Other teams seem to play the Reds right on the money. Like that opposite field line drive Phillips hit to right field in the 1st. Just seems like other teams always have the Reds played PREFECT and the Reds are NEVER in the right spot on defense? Yeah I’m bias, but doesn’t it seem that way? Like having Span played to pull vs Iglaseis? And what does he do? Drops in a flare to left center….

    • jdx19

      Yeah, I agree. Made a post much higher saying basically the same thing.

      Our guys put the ball in play and it looks like a hit, but no, they have a guy standing right in the exact off-nominal spot. It’s wild.

    • VaRedsFan

      Me too…he does however leave a lot of pitches over the middle of the plate. I think the Nats have missed a few hangers.

  24. jdx19

    What has gotten into Thom, today! As mentioned above, he discussed WAR and now he’s getting excited over Clint Robinson’s minor league OBP! A pleasant surprise! 🙂

  25. RedAlert

    Is it any surprise that idiot Price left him in – stupid , stupid , stupid

    • VaRedsFan

      Matheus warmed last inning, because they were starting to hit him hard. Got out of it and then let him lead off the next inning.

      • RedAlert

        Yep – amazingly, a pitching coach price continues to have no recognition how to handle his bullpen – just unreal

  26. Philboyd Studge

    Is it BECAUSE Bryan Price was a pitching coach that he always leaves a pitcher who is obviously finished in the game just long enough to lose it? That he is rooting for pitchers unconsciously? Or is it just another aspect of being a terrible manager?

    • VaRedsFan

      Dusty did the same thing. Or was it Price calling those shots too??

  27. muttonlettucetomato

    Big time rookie mistake on the pitch to Taylor. I’m sure nailing Gonzales next is going to result in a Red getting hit as well. Oh well. The Reds had some chances earlier and didn’t get it done. Gotta wonder about leaving the rookie in for 100 pitches as well.

  28. jdx19

    Well that’s about as good as the Reds have been all year in that situation! One-run game!

    • VaRedsFan

      Yes sir!! 2nd and 3rd, no out, and got the BOTH in!

  29. Philboyd Studge

    Matt Williams pulls a Price, as it is becoming known around the league, and leaves a pitcher in too long.

    • jdx19

      I have a feeling Nats fans feel he same about Williams as we feel about Price.

  30. jdx19

    Cozart and Byrd really aren’t very skilled hitters.

  31. VaRedsFan

    Treinen has some nasty stuff.
    Shame the Nats didn’t bring in a Parra/Gregg – type

    • jdx19

      And our pitcher is one the Nats released! We love the scrap-heap.

  32. jdx19

    The only thing Hamilton should ever do in practice is practice hitting the ball on the ground.

  33. jdx19

    BP cannot hit leadoff if he can’t even stay upright while swinging. He’s fallen down something like 5 times in the last 2 games I’ve seen. That’s a bad sign, I think.

  34. Pooter

    Thom appears to be superficial. It pains me to hear him go on and on about bunting…

  35. jdx19

    Span robs Frazier of a homer. At least it’s still a double. Sigh.

  36. VaRedsFan

    Talk about unfortunate…Span swats Todd’s HR back into the field for a double.

  37. Pooter

    Why don’t the ‘Nats use their closer??? Adhering to old dogma, I guess

    • hof13

      I’m not watching the game so I can’t tell how it was hit but according to gameday he hit a line drive. You can’t ask for much more than that.

  38. VaRedsFan

    we need a good old fasion wild pitch

  39. RedAlert

    yaa baby !! Way to pick him up Cozart !

  40. Dayton Ducks

    Alright Cozart!! It’s like the line from The Godfather–just when I want to give up on these Reds “they keep pulling me back in!”

  41. jdx19

    Casey Janssen doing his best Kevin Gregg impression!

    • pinson343

      I’m amazed that with the Nationals’ deep bullpen, they relied on Janssen in this situation.

      • jdx19

        Matt Williams is a terrible manager.

      • RedAlert

        I’d take him over Bryan Price any day

  42. VaRedsFan

    2 hit day for Billy and a modest 6 game hitting streak

    • pinson343

      He’s been hitting about .350 since being moved to the 9th spot.

  43. jdx19

    BP should not be playing. He looks horrendous swinging the bat.

  44. VaRedsFan

    Left Handed and RISP….that defied all the odds

  45. pinson343

    With all those long conferences on the mound, the baseball gods gave the Nats what they deserved.

  46. jdx19

    Brantley thinks a 3-run lead is “the game on the line” moreso than when the game is tied. Interesting.

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s instilled in their culture

  47. VaRedsFan

    Zimmerman scares me…will go oppo

    • msanmoore

      At least he’s not hitting like prior years. Still …

    • pinson343

      Reds win but Zimmerman up as the tying run is not what I wanted to see either. The 2 walks had me squirming. Span did take some very close pitches.

  48. Pooter

    This one belongs to the Reds!!!!!!!!

  49. msanmoore

    Dramatic, but I’ll take it. 2 against a top-tier team. Wasn’t sure that was going to happen. Dare I say “Let’s sweep!” tomorrow?

  50. VaRedsFan

    1st series loss in a month for the Nats

  51. Tom Reed

    Billy Hamilton should hit from the right side which is his first choice. Forget the switch hitting.