Tonight, the Reds (44-54) take on the Cardinals (64-36) in a rubber match that could potentially lead to the first Reds’ series win in St. Louis since 2011. If that sounds abysmal, consider for a second that of the 25 series the two teams have played against each other since 2011, the Reds have won 5 of them. That’s a .434 winning % in 76 games, which, when I first looked it up, was much higher than I expected it to be, so maybe that means something. Or maybe it just means that with baseball’s parity, absolute dominance is still relative. Regardless, the Reds are 19.0 games back of St. Louis and no amount of perspective is going to change that.

STARTING PITCHERS

PITCHER ERA FIP HR/9 BB% K%
John Lackey 2.88 3.45 0.69 5.8% 17.1%
Anthony DeSclafani 3.98 3.95 0.80 8.8% 17.0%

Of all the Reds’ rookie starters that have taken the mound this year, Disco DeSclafani has been the best, the most consistently. Iglesias and Lorenzen have both shown flashes of brilliance, but DeSclafani has been the only one who has proven he can run out their every fifth day and be solid. Now that I’ve praised him, there’s a caveat: he’s still no Johnny Cueto. Over his last three starts, Disco is 0-1 with a 5.60 ERA in 17.2 innings pitched. While not good numbers (he’s given up 20 hits over those starts, four being long balls), there are encouraging signs (15 K’s to 6 walks) that point to him being the Reds’ number two come next spring.

Amidst the Cardinals’ once again dominating season, John Lackey’s rebound season has been quietly overlooked. His 3.45 FIP is his best mark since 2006, and his 2.88 ERA is his best mark since ever. Granted, he’s expected to regress as Fangraphs has his xFIP at 3.99 for now, but a look at his last eight starts paints him as a model of consistency. Only one of those starts was less than 7.0 innings (it was 6.2), and he’s posted a 5-1 record with a 1.75 ERA in that time.

STARTING LINEUPS
Joey Votto looks to continue his torrid streak and Marlon Byrd is back in today’s Reds’ lineup:

1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
6. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
7. Brayan Pena (S) C
8. Anthony DeSclafani (R) P
9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
WESLEY

Kolten Wong leads off for the Cards, and rookie Stephen Piscotty continues to start in place of the injured Matt Adams:

1. Kolten Wong (L) 2B
2. Matt Carpenter (L) 3B
3. Matt Holliday (R) LF
4. Jhonny Peralta (R) SS
5. Jason Heyward (L) RF
6. Yadier Molina (R) C
7. Randal Grichuk (R) CF
8. Stephen Piscotty (R) 1B
9. John Lackey (R) P
WESLEY

BYRD IS THE WORD


Bad news for any potential Marlon Byrd moves, the Reds’ replacement in the bush went on the DL today. Winker would be the next logical call-up I’m assuming if Byrd is moved, but the Reds could also get by with Jason Bourgeois and Skip “Grit” Schumaker until Y-Rod was healthy again.

#HUGWATCH2015

–Former Red Mat Latos was on the move again today, back to the West Coast with Michael Morse to the LA Dodgers. Reportedly, Latos is happy with the move, and the big righty should shore up the iffy Dodgers’ rotation. He also may have finally found a clubhouse he fits well in:

–Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays are interested in Mike Leake, but that was before the Tigers officially made David Price available. Reasonably, Price would need to be moved before a team took a flyer on Leake, but Leake would command a lesser return, so a team like the Dodgers still looking for pitching could bite.

ANYONE KNOW A BUTCHER WHO SELLS CROW?

SO YOU MEAN THERE’S A CHANCE?
The Reds chances of reaching the post-season may be remote, but they aren’t totally out of it yet. Check out what betting experts like the guys at My Top Sportsbooks have to say.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Today is the first step of many in conquering the Evil Empire that is the Cardinals. A series victory may seem like a small victory, but it’s on enemy turf, and whenever you can go into your rival’s house and make it yours, it always feels like everything else will fall into place.

In other news, if you needed any other reason to root for the Royals this coming postseason, they keep proving they’re a baseball team that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Best of luck to them and to Johnny Beisbol this coming fall.

GO REDS

82 Responses

    • pinson343

      At least two months late on that one.

  1. rhayex

    #SUCK FOR LUCK

    Oh wait, that’s the wrong sport…

    #TANK FOR THE FIRST OVERALL DRAFT PICK

  2. jamesgarrett

    I saw that also.Never ever should have a singles hitter batting 5th.I would like to see Suarez bat ahead of Byrd just to see what he could do with a few more RBI chances.I know its a small sample size but this kid has shown some pop.

  3. Shchi Cossack

    Wesley, did the Old Cossack’s eyes finally give up the goose or did you decide to challenge the Old Cossack’s eyesight tonight?

    • Wesley Jenkins

      A little bit of a challenge is never a bad thing…but no, the formatting changed on me when I was making edits and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to make it go back

      • Shchi Cossack

        Just getting vertical from the Old Recliner challenes the Old Cossack!

  4. Shchi Cossack

    The Dodgers may still be looking for a starting pitcher…

    Clark Spencer via twitter:
    Now hearing the trade [Latos] is far from complete. Sources telling me it could be falling apart. Total confusion.

    Gordon Wittenmyer via twitter:
    Source: Marlins-Dodgers deal on hold over medicals.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Ken Rosenthal via twitter:
      Sources: Latos and Morse will be in uniform for #Marlins tonight.

      • msanmoore

        MLB Trade rumors reporting it’s just “paperwork” holding it up.

  5. GreatRedLegsFan

    Looking at current bullpen roster and assuming that Chapman is traded now or during the off-season, Hoover should be the only one remaining for next year.

    • Tom Gray

      Jumbo Diaz should be back (if he isn’t quite so Jumbo over the winter).

      • pinson343

        Agree. He’s been the Reds best reliever not named Chapman recently.

    • Jeremy Conley

      I think Mattheus and Jumbo still have promise, but I’d like them to be the 6th or 7th guys out of the pen. They need to figure out what they’re going to do with Cingrani, but I assume he’s there.

      Hoover is also benefiting from some good luck with BABIP and HR/FB.

      The Reds need to find probably 5 good relievers, which is an uphill battle for any organization. Perhaps Finnegan is one of them.

  6. Steve Mancuso

    Reports that Mets are about to complete a deal for a “big bat” — Jay Bruce was on the list of about a half dozen names. Carlos Gonzalez and Justin Upton make more sense, with highly motivated sellers compared to Reds. Assume Reds are focused more on moving Mike Leake and Marlon Byrd.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Possibly Yeonis Cespedes from Detroit.

      • rhayex

        Cespedes been shot down by almost everyone. Gomez is the one that’s being bandied around now.

    • msanmoore

      Yep – I think they asked for the Moon on JB … and I’m fine with that.

    • pinson343

      The latest rumor is that it’s Carlos Gomez. I guess by Mets standards, he’d qualify as a bit bat. Mets had offered Zach Wheeler, no thanks.

  7. reaganspad

    great line even if by accident ” his best mark since ever”

    as for LF, De Jesus would be the name I pencil in for a bat before Shumaker.

    Let him go for a few weeks and see if .263 .337 .425 .762 are real integers.

    If so, that is not a bad option right now

    • Tom Gray

      Except that DeJesus is INF not OF.

      Byrd belongs in LF until he is traded or if he is injured.

      Schumaker is a good PH so he should do that. He has something that no current Red will have (WS ring).

      • pinson343

        The Reds have had DeJesus practicing and getting a very occasional start in LF. Seems they want him to be able to play there in 2016.

      • Tom Gray

        Agreed – he can play LF once in a while. Not everyday. Weak bat not good in LF.

    • jdx19

      They aren’t integers; real or imaginary.

  8. Jeremy Conley

    How can you not love this Royals team? That stuff is hilarious, and it’s about time someone started having more fun with these sports reporters, sometimes they act like the game isn’t supposed to be fun.

    • Wesley Jenkins

      I just love the old school mentality the Royals players have…intensity on the field and fun off of it

  9. Steve Mancuso

    DeSclafani really getting squeezed early in the first inning.

  10. Eric the Red

    We have a September road trip to SF, Milwaukee, and St. Loius? That’s insane. Generally I’ve thought our schedule had a lot of unfriendly quirks in it, but that takes the cake.

  11. Jeremy Conley

    Wow, now that was a weird play. Hurt or not, Holiday could have stepped on the bag at first, I wonder if he just assumed he was going to be out because he was hurting.

  12. msanmoore

    Not bad for a start. Getting it done even though a little squeezing going on. I still like Disco long-term.

  13. jdx19

    Votto has swung and missed at 3 of 4 FBs now… not sure he’s swung and missed at all since the break before today!

  14. Indy Red Man

    It doesn’t look like BP is going anywhere this week so what are they going to do with Cozart and Suarez for 1 position next year? They could move Frazier to LF but there is no guarantee that Mesoraco can catch? They really need a obp guy for leadoff from somewhere?

    • msanmoore

      Used to watch Frazier in LF in his AA days.

  15. charlottencredsfan

    Enjoying watching the young starting pitchers, for the most part. Impressed and hopeful.

    • Indy Red Man

      I am too but I wish they’d give Lorenzen a break for a while. Actually I wish they’d just swap Chapman and Lorenzen and let Aroldis stretch out for 3-4-5 innings…if he’s not traded of course. Atleast next year…they may not have any #1 or even #2s but we shouldn’t have to see guys like Villareal or Josh Smith, Holmberg, or whoever? Basically AAAA fillers

  16. charlottencredsfan

    Wouldn’t sweat Holmberg, just think he is getting his opportunity to show what he has.

    • Tom Gray

      Hope he has what he had last September (1.82 ERA and several good starts).

      • charlottencredsfan

        Saw him in Charlotte; didn’t knock my socks off but did a respectable job against the White Sox affiliate, who can hit. Now is the time to see if he can make a go of it up here.

  17. jdx19

    Molina is a piece of trash. A real low quality human being.

    • msanmoore

      +250 just because I cannot stand the Neck Tattoo.

      • jdx19

        I worded this post a bit too strongly, but I’ve never seen someone do that. It was a clear pitch out… not sure why a Red didn’t get in his face.

  18. jdx19

    I like a DP, but DeSclafani should have drilled Molina with the next pitch.

    • msanmoore

      Shows class that he didn’t do it. Would have started a brawl.

      • jdx19

        I’d rather have hit him to let him know he can’t pull that garbage. Class is over-rated. I’m not saynig throw at his head… hit him in the thigh or something.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Disagree, Disco is dealing. Let him focus on the job at hand, I didn’t think it was a big deal.

      • jdx19

        Just saw on MLB Network Yadi patted him on the back. Didn’t see that on the FSO broadcast.

        Seems I over-reacted. I tend to do that, at times.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Join the club, it’s huge.☺

  19. charlottencredsfan

    Man I don’t like bunting but with 2 outs????

  20. msanmoore

    Good thought, but not enough on it to get it done this time. Still, very high success rate of late with 10 out of 16 and 10 out of 23 overall.

  21. Indy Red Man

    Lamb went 5 tonite for Lville…..3 er in the 1st but settled down….8 ks. It sounds like he might be pretty decent if the velocity is there? I know they plan on starting Finnegan but it sounds like he might be a Randy Myers/Charlton type?

  22. jdx19

    The throw didn’t pull Suarez off the bag… Suarez just tried to turn it too quickly.

    • msanmoore

      Yeah … and he had LOADS of time to turn it.

  23. charlottencredsfan

    5 strong for Anthony. Not too bad.

  24. msanmoore

    Joey’s wallet is empty tonight.

  25. jdx19

    Welp, Votto’s 2x on-base streak ends at 15. He’s looked bad all 3 ABs tonight. (Barring extra innings).

    • msanmoore

      I’d just hope he gets on once tonight.

    • Vicferrari

      Maybe they bat around in the 9th.

  26. msanmoore

    80 through 6 is a nice number for Disco.

      • msanmoore

        Exactly … he’ll get those numbers down.

      • Vicferrari

        Why take him out? would be nice to know if he can work on a shutout with a high pitchcount for future starts.

      • msanmoore

        We’ve got plenty of time to figure that out. Tonight, let’s just nail the WLB’s for the series win.

  27. Vicferrari

    WHat is going on, doesn’t Hoover know you are supposed to walk the lead off batter?

  28. Vicferrari

    All we need now is 7 more baserunners and Votto gets a chance to extend the streak

  29. Evan armstrong

    I’m sorry but seeing what I have over the last three nights gives me nothing but a smile. The Reds for any number of reasons could have gone into St. Louis and played dead. Yet going into the 27th inning of play vs the best team in baseball record wise they have kept the Cards to a total of four runs and are really one pitch from that being zero possibly. This team is showing me alot and all those complainers out there are missing out. Sure some things need to be tweaked, but a fire sale isn’t need nor are things that bad.

    • RedAlert

      Keep drinking the koolaid – missing out on what? Yes things have been that bad and major tweaking is needed – don’t let this scenario fool you – this team is bad , has been bad , and is still bad –but yes , with changes can get better

  30. Vicferrari

    Gameday says bruce just grounded out to 2B after hitting the ball 215 ft, is this right?

    • Vicferrari

      Might not see another til the 20’s, how many have they had this decade

  31. tgarretson82

    God I love taking a series from the Cardinals, especially in STL! Brightens up my day.