The Reds and Pirates face off in the final game of the series at 1:1o p.m. with each team having a game in hand. The Reds won yesterday’s game behind a strong pitching performance from Raisel Iglesias and the bullpen. They’ll be looking for a similar outing today from rookie Tim Melville, who was called up from AAA Louisville for today’s game.

Reds Lineup

1. Zack Cozart (R) SS
2. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
5. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
6. Jay Bruce (L) RF
7. Adam Duvall (R) LF
8. Tim Melville (R) P
9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
10

This is the Reds standard lineup, with Mesoraco and Bruce switching based on the handedness of the starting pitcher.

What to Expect from Tim Melville

Tim Melville threw 17.1 innings for the Reds this spring. He struck out 14 and walked 5.

From John Sickles: Melville blew out his elbow and missed most of the 2012 and 2013 seasons following Tommy John surgery. He came back in 2014 and was mediocre in Double-A,posting a 5.50 ERA with 144 hits in 129 innings with a 105/68 K/BB. The Royals didn’t consider him much of a prospect by this point, so he signed as a minor league free agent with the Tigers, posting a 4.63 ERA in 162 innings in Triple-A, 102/68 K/BB in 2015.

From Doug Gray: What can we expect from Tim Melville in his debut? Well, you never really know how a player is going to react to their debut. Some guys deal with the nerves a little better than others. What we can do is look at the kind of stuff that we should expect from him. Last season he was working in the 91-93 MPH range with his fastball and touching a little bit higher at times. With the weather in Cincinnati today that may be a tad lower. He’s also going to show a slider and a curveball, both of which are solid offerings.

Pirates Lineup

1. John Jaso (L) 1B
2. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
3. David Freese (R) 3B
4. Starling Marte (R) LF
5. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
6. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
7. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
8. Chris Stewart (R) C
9. Jeff Locke (L) P
10

Clint Hurdle goes with his usual lineup, except for using his backup catcher, Chris Stewart, in place of Francisco Cervelli.

News

• Bryan Price said today that he is uncertain whether Anthony DeSclafani, who is suffering from a strained oblique muscle, will be ready to pitch the next time his spot in the rotation is due. Tim Melville may get another start in DeSclafani’s place. Price also indicated that Melville may remain on the major league roster after DeSclafani and Jon Moscot return. Melville would pitch in the bullpen. (Zach Buchanan, Cincinnati Enquirer)

• The St. Louis Cardinals Instagram account used a picture of fans in Great American Ball Park yesterday when promoting their own ticket purchases.

cardinals botch 2.vadapt.664.high.51

 

182 Responses

  1. Shchi Cossack

    I’m becoming more and more frustrated with Price and his decisions and that bar was very low coming into the season. Fortunately, it’s 2016. Now if Price is still the manager heading into 2017…geesh, my head hurts just thinking about that possibility.

    • wizeman

      Not sure where your level of frustration is coming from. Five injured pitchers? Three coming off surgery. A team picked last by everybody. Young starters you have to keep an eye on?
      One pitch away from a 5-0 start.
      I think he is doing fine and managing as if he thinks he is going to be around for a while… or that he is at least concerned with the long term welfare of the ballclub rather than his own skin.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Comments like ‘Price also indicated that Melville may remain on the major league roster after DeSclafani and Jon Moscot return’, his handling of Straily (no appearances in 5 games), his blind adherance and reliance on roles. I hope the Reds continue to play .800 baseball the rest of the season, including the post season, with Price at the helm, but this is the same manager running the show as the past 2 seasons. The Reds were 4-1 after 5 games last season also.

      • Chuck Schick

        How much of that is Price and how much of that is “The Organization?” He has no control whether Melville is here or not. I doubt “the roles” are his creation. Like virtually every other manager in the game, he manages what he is given under the guidelines imposed.

  2. Shchi Cossack

    I hope Melville pitches 5 shutdown innings, but I think having Straily up in the pen in the 1st inning might be a wise decision.

    • wizeman

      agree that this is why strally around. also… reed pitching today for louisville. if today a failure… he could get spot start as stephenson did with minimal concern about service time.

    • Patrick Jeter

      I think we’ll see him. 30+ pitches in first inning for Tim.

  3. Patrick Jeter

    You can’t go 161-1 unless you win 5 of the first 6! Go, Reds!

  4. Steve Mancuso

    Just received donations from Birmingham, Alabama and Asheville, North Carolina.

    Thanks!

  5. Patrick Jeter

    Melville is officially in the MLB books with an out! Good for him.

  6. Steve Mancuso

    First donation from the Old Dominion State – Virginia.

    Thanks.

  7. Patrick Jeter

    Marte doing his best Todd Frazier impression with hitting balls in the dirt.

  8. preacherj

    That AB by Marte looked very little league.

  9. Steve Mancuso

    Reds have done pretty well so far juggling the pitching staff considering all the injuries. Today may be first time they can’t quite cover.

    Like that Melville is still trying to strike out hitters by throwing that breaking ball that ends up out of the strike zone. Not giving in.

    Don’t think we’ll have to wonder about seeing Dan Straily much longer.

  10. preacherj

    Wow. He’s not missing by much. I can’t be upset with that walk.

  11. preacherj

    Let’s get Melville the lead here.

  12. preacherj

    Leadoff guy getting on base. Great start.

  13. Indy RedMan

    Very poor atbat by Marte saved Melville’s bacon there! We know BP doesn’t go up there looking for a walk either but he’s got a better baseball IQ than that knowing the situation!

  14. vegastypo

    I remember Locke being a pain in the tail, but he has been so good at GABP, the Pirates moved him up a day to have him pitch today, according to Brantley.

  15. Joel

    Uh oh. The last time Votto popped an infield fly was when he had one of his leg injuries. Hope he’s not hurt again.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Not quite.

      Popups by year, starting with 2008: 5, 2, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1.

    • Matt WI

      I really wouldn’t think so. It would have had to have happened between Indianapolis and Opening Day. I’d blame crummy weather and normal variance.

  16. Matt WI

    Marty just managed to criticize Votto for swinging on the first pitch AND for “usually looking to walk first, drive in a run second” in the same at bat. AAAAH.

  17. preacherj

    Ouch. Have to get to this guy early. Once Locke finds his change up spot, he is very tough.

  18. Jason

    Mesoraco I knew he would hit into a double play because he always pulls the ball

  19. Patrick Jeter

    Votto popup left the bat at 98 mph. So close to a wicked fly ball or line drive.

  20. preacherj

    Hopefully he can retire the 8th and 9th guy and we can get through the first two frames with just the one run.

  21. Patrick Jeter

    Jaso has 4 garbage bloop hits this series now. Better to be lucky than good sometimes.

      • vegastypo

        And it ended up costing them a run. ‘Garbage’ might also describe Jaso’s base-running this series.

      • mtkal

        Yep. Would have scored on the Cutch double. Jaso had no idea where the ball he hit was, so he just stood there and looked for it for a while.

  22. Patrick Jeter

    Three walks, a single, a double, and a homer. One run. Perfect example of what is called “sequencing.” Reds could be down 6-0 at this point with the same distribution.

  23. preacherj

    Well, just one run given up. If he can keep them in it for 5 innings. The offense needs to come through soon.

  24. mtkal

    Boy, some of Melville’s fastballs are about as flat and strait as can be. That one to Stewart was a batting practice pitch. The one McCutchen doubled on wasn’t much different.

  25. Patrick Jeter

    The baserunning blunders continue. One if every game so far. Let’s go 162 for 162!! What a joke.

  26. preacherj

    TOOTBLAN!!!!! Gotta be kidding me!

  27. Joel

    Jaso looks like an actual pirate, like Charles Vane in Black Sails.

  28. mtkal

    Well it’s not like they just spent 6 weeks in spring training working on that stuff. Oh wait. . .

  29. Indy RedMan

    What was Duvall doing? He must’ve seen Bruce at full speed heading towards 3rd and just figured he was going home? Our baserunning has been a huge problem for years and Votto is as bad as any of them?

  30. preacherj

    Yea, that fake bunt fooled everyone, Sterling.

  31. mtkal

    Hatch was waiving Bruce home at first, then changed his mind and threw up the stop sign just as Jay got to 3rd. Duvall was looking at the outfield when Billy put the stop on, and then was 2/3rds of the way to 3rd when he realized Bruce was still there. Clusterbleep.

  32. preacherj

    That glove toss could have went very, very badly.

  33. Patrick Jeter

    Im pretty sure a leadoff hitter, espeically one with very good contact skills like Cozart, should never swing at the first pitch.

    • I-71_Exile

      Yep. I picked a bad day to choose Votto on Beat The Streak. 😛

  34. Patrick Jeter

    Watch the double posts… especially ones that go against the posting guidelines…

  35. Darrin

    Am I the only having issues with the FSO audio on MLB.TV?

    • Patrick Jeter

      My FSO audio is fine so far.

    • Patrick Jeter

      I spoke too soon. Just started getting audio cut-outs.

  36. Steve Mancuso

    Dan Straily throwing in the bullpen. No surprise.

    • I-71_Exile

      Sounds like the Reds had a plan.

  37. mtkal

    Just when I was thinking maybe the Reds’ hitters were going up there with a plan this year more than in years past.
    In fairness, Bruce at least does seem to be thinking a bit more in the batter’s box, and has obviously worked hard on hitting the other way and it’s showing results.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Shouldn’t be discouraged by a few innings. Still think their approach looks better overall.

  38. preacherj

    Got them through 4 with one run scored. He’s sitting over 90 pitches I’ll take it.

  39. vegastypo

    I cannot believe he was able to make it through 4 innings with just one run. Not the most artistic, but kept the Reds in the game.

    • Patrick Jeter

      He does against righties. The slow start is hiding the fact that Mesoraco has destroyed lefties in his career.

      • Cameron

        Mez had one good half of a year he pulls the ball way too much teams know this implore the shift. If he ever learns to hit opposite field he will be a good hitter. I hope Bruce really turned the corner this year.

      • Patrick Jeter

        He was the best hitting catcher in MLB in 2014. He had one of the best hitting catcher seasons since Mike Piazza. He just needs to get the ball into the air and keep it off the ground. He BECAME a good hitter when he started pulling. He just needs more PA to stabilize.

      • MrRed

        When have you seen teams utilize a shift against a RH hitter? Let alone Mesoraco?

        And not to pick nits too much but he had a good 2nd half of 2014 too. I guess being a “good” hitter can be subjective but a 146 wRC+ / 147 OPS+ probably gets you there.

  40. preacherj

    What is that, 10 total pitches in two innings?

    • Cameron

      One of those games when the Reds have no patience and make a sub par pitcher look like a cy tong candidate

  41. Ryan

    What’s with Mesoraco? Pulling EVERYTHING to the extreme. Trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark every time.

    • Cameron

      Thank you someone else who sees it

    • Patrick Jeter

      You sample size of a few PA is quite convincing. Did you like Meso’s 2014? If so, he was 2nd in MLB in pull%. He doesn’t need to change. He just needs to get the ball in the air.

  42. Andy

    I was watching first inning at skyline this morning with someone from church, and mentioned Tim Melville as someone “off the scrap heap.” This person then told me that our priest was really excited this morning, that Melville’s father, in town to watch the game, had come to 7:30 mass and introduced himself. Sometimes I forget the person behind the jersey. Go Melville! And thanks for the (so far) four solid innings!

    • mtkal

      Melville certainly did a whale of a job today. 😉

  43. preacherj

    Good decision to hold at second this time. He sure lays some wood on a ball.

  44. preacherj

    For a guy who can probably count on one hand all his sacrifices, he did a good job.

  45. preacherj

    Melville didn’t get that pitch all day.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Thankfully its from the 9 hole and not the 1 hole.

      • Cameron

        The guy batting lead off had a pretty bad at bat too

      • Patrick Jeter

        Saying I like Billy not leading off does not mean I like Cozart leading off.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Sure. But he’ll have tons less PAs to be terrible from 9 than from 1.

      • Tom Diesman

        And yet Hamilton will now have more PA, than the P/PH spot in the order, the only spot in the order he can out hit. Then they somehow decide that since they can’t bat their second most proficient out maker on team (Hamilton .288 OBA career) lead off, they somehow decide they are better off batting their most proficient out maker (Cozart lifetime .285 OBA) leadoff. That there is some sound logic my friends.

  46. Cameron

    This is the pathetic reds we have been waiting for

  47. mtkal

    Wow, we sure are back to the old swing at the first pitch Reds we know and love.

  48. muttonlettucetomato

    That was a blown opportunity for sure. I’m not sure how many more the Reds will get today. Sooner or later the Pirates are going to quit leaving so many baserunners on.

  49. Carl Sayre

    I know that Billy Hamilton is at fault there but ” Clueless in Cincinnati” is the one to blame to have Hamilton in that spot. The fact he doesn’t have the stones to tell Walt Joketty to send him down says a lot about his lack of guts. I know before you start it is the new GM’s decision not Joketty’s, if you believe that I have some land in Florida for sale it has a year round spring. The fact is the numbers tell us all he is going to fail in that situation so why was he there and since he was why was he left there?

    • preacherj

      I have to disagree. With the (eternal) uncertainty in LF, and the trade rumors surrounding Bruce in RF, he really needs to be on the roster. Also, his defense and base running abilities give him more opportunity to prove he belongs. I don’t mind having him in the ninth spot.

    • Chuck Schick

      One of this year’s objectives is to see if Hamilton can hit. Knowing that for for sure is more important than beating the Pirates in April.

      • Tom Diesman

        That would certainly not be an objective of mine for this season. He’s already proven to me that he can’t over his last 3 seasons and 1600+ PA.

      • MrRed

        Tom, just a question though, would you have rather they run Schebler and/or Holt out there instead? While I think both of those players are useful, they don’t appear to be the answer and probably, at their best, they still don’t provide the WAR that Hamilton would. I guess I’m willing to take a chance that a 25 yr old has room to improve.

      • Tom Diesman

        I’d run Holt out there everyday and see if he minor league on base skills (.398 OBP at AAA and minor league career 12% BB%) he’s shown will translate when given a real shot. He’s also a very good CF and base runner in his own rights. He at least profiles as a lead off hitter.

  50. vegastypo

    Whoa, a 1-2-3 inning? I had about forgotten what one of those looked like from our pitchers.

  51. Indy RedMan

    Price puts Billy in as a defensive replacement at times so why not pinch hit there with an offensive replacement? Instead its just Billy’s bat that’s offensive

    • Indy RedMan

      Holt has awesome #s vs lefties in the minors and we can’t let winnable games like this get away?

  52. preacherj

    Hitting close to .500 right now.

  53. Patrick Jeter

    Weak ground balls to the right side means Votto’s swing is messed up. Let’s just hope it doesnt’ take him a month to fix it like last year.

  54. Patrick Jeter

    Country Joe West hasn’t done anything too egregious today. That’s a positive, I guess.

  55. preacherj

    We are in the 7th inning with Melville and Straily pitching, and we have given up one run.

    • David

      Strailly pitched pretty good, Melville was lucky.

  56. Steve Mancuso

    Hey, a donation from the Show Me state – Missouri.

    Thanks!

  57. Patrick Jeter

    MLB.tv is such a terrible product! I hate that it has this monopoly!

    • Patrick Jeter

      Apparently 100 Mbps internet can’t handle MLB.tv.

  58. David

    Brian Price has removed some future mystery, by saying that Descafani will remain on the DL until his oblique is 100%, and the Melville will remain in the rotation.

    Hooray.

    In other news, I guess Cody Reed is modestly injured and has not pitched in AAA, so that removes that mystery. And I really don’t want to use Stephenson yet in the Majors, as he still needs some more control “polish”. So Melville, it is.
    From some Jim Day reporting in the stands, it does seem that Tim Melville is a very nice and thoughtful young guy. I wish nice guys finished first sometimes.

  59. preacherj

    Time for Billy to make like Willie Mays Hayes and start doing push ups.

  60. Steelerfan

    From the pitch count it seems they are trying to stretch Straily out. It almost seemed like one of those minor league tandem starts.

  61. Steelerfan

    Would Billy benefit from a trip back to AAA? I firmly believe he was rushed. but at the same time I am struggling to think of someone with his MLB experience going back and returning better. Any thoughts?

    • vegastypo

      I’m firmly in the camp of sending him down. If he can hit, he’ll do it, and build up some confidence along the way. What he’s doing here doesn’t seem to be helping. … If we were expecting to contend, then sure, keep the glove in center field.

  62. preacherj

    That low strike has been hard to come by today.

    • preacherj

      I think you have to go with the call on the field

    • vegastypo

      they’re saying Mes blocked the plate illegally? The runner had a lane, on the inner side. And yes, his front leg went up in the air, didn’t touch the plate.

  63. Patrick Jeter

    Duvall doing his best to make up for the base running blunder! A 2nd double and an outfield assist ought to do it.

  64. Vicferrari

    outside of sacrificing with a runner on 1st decreases you scoring chances statistically is it my imagination or have their been a lot of hits with a runner on 2nd that have not scored in this series? Making this an even dumber move???

    • Vicferrari

      And furthermore are there any statistics that shows the success of trying to make a guy hit with 2 strikes after failing at bunting vs. attempting to bunt the third time. I would think if your strategy was sound it would much more probable of sacrificing with 2 strikes than actually doing something positive after putting your batter in a 2 strike hole

    • Patrick Jeter

      Just has to figure out what he’s doing with his swing. This is exactly what happened when he “lost his wallet” last year. So many ground balls to the right side. Until he figures it out, he’s going to be very bad.

    • Vicferrari

      Have not paid that close attention, but it seems he is not even trying to work counts

  65. Patrick Jeter

    Another weak grounder to the right side. Votto’s swing is not right. Shame.

  66. Patrick Jeter

    I’m fairly sure Price hates Cingrani.

  67. preacherj

    I wonder how many times Ohlendorf has lost the ball out of his glove with that delivery.

  68. Patrick Jeter

    I feel a YAK from Mesoraco coming on… DOOO IT.

    • I-71_Exile

      i was going to type a preemptive BRUUUUUCE, but don’t want to jinx it.

  69. Patrick Jeter

    Thom thinks Brandon Phillips is Billy Hamilton.

    BP had a good success rate last year because he picked his spots. He’s not fast. Not at all.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Polanco was playing way over towards right-center. TOok him forever to get there.

        But yeah! Just fast enough!

      • MrRed

        It would appear to be a foolish decision to shade Bruce the way they did. Those guys have good range out there but didn’t play the pull enough. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take it.

  70. preacherj

    That’s what I’m talking about!!!!!!!!!

  71. I-71_Exile

    There you go. BBBBRRRRUUUUUUUUUUUCE!!!

  72. Steve Mancuso

    BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!!!

  73. I-71_Exile

    How about that. This was about the last thing I would have expected from today’s pitching match-up. GO REDS!!!

  74. Steelerfan

    Well, these have been fun games to watch if nothing else.

  75. vegastypo

    How far into the gap was the right fielder playing, against a pull hitter like Bruce? He was nowhere near the line. But I’ll take it.

  76. David

    It did seem like a strange defensive alignment for the Bucs, considering how Bruce was being pitched. I would think that Polanco should have been deeper and closer to the right field line to protect against a double, and McCutcheon would have been in right center. If Bruce is pitched inside, it’s unlikely he would have hit it into the left field gap with authority.

  77. David

    Suarez is hot, so hot. Bruce is hitting well. Schebler has been hitting against righties.

    Brandon has been Brandon, making contact.

    Votto and Mesoraco are cold. Hitting comes and goes.

    But the Reds are 5 -1 on this home stand, with actually pretty good bullpen work, excepting Friday. If the bullpen holds up (?), the Reds could be pretty decent.

  78. JB WV

    Hats off to Duvall throwing out Harrison at the plate. I was scared to death they were going to call Meso for blocking the plate. That platoon is clicking so far!!

  79. sezwhom

    Ironically, two players who we tried to get rid of won the game. BP and Bruce. That baseball is a funny game.