After a sweep at the hands of the 13-7 New York Mets, the Reds (9-13) travel to Pittsburgh to take on the second in the Central Pirates (13-9). The Reds have lost six of their last seven, being outscored 51-22 in the process. Following the Pirates’ series, the road gets a bit easier for the Reds with series against the Giants, Brewers, and Phillies on the horizon.
The following stats are from 2016
In his two starts this season, Dan Straily has pitched well despite not lasting deep into the game. His last time out against the Cubs, Straily lasted 4.2 innings, giving up three earned runs on four hits and three walks. Control has been Straily’s Achilles heel so far, as he has walked at least one batter in every appearance.
Juan Nicasio opened the season with a bang against the Cardinals but has yet to repeat that performance in any of his other three starts. In that first game, Nicasio went 6.0 innings, allowing one run, walking no one, and striking out seven. Over his next three starts, Nicasio has gone 14.0 innings with 11 walks and 14 strikeouts. If the control isn’t there today, the Reds might be able to chase Nicasio early.
|1. Zack Cozart (SS)
2. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Jay Bruce (RF)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Scott Schebler (LF)
8. Dan Straily (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
|1. John Jaso (1B)
2. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
3. David Freese (3B)
4. Starling Marte (LF)
5. Francisco Cervelli (C)
6. Gregory Polanco (RF)
7. Josh Harrison (2B)
8. Jordy Mercer (SS)
9. Juan Nicasio (P)
The Votto Blues
This is all a funny mirage, and May comes in a few days, and we’ll probably look back on this month and remember that one time when Joey Votto was terrible — somehow.
Fangraphs published a piece today titled “The Unfathomable Reality of a (Temporarily) Awful Joey Votto.” Similary, Redleg Nation’s Patrick Jeter published a piece titled “Neutralizing Joey Votto.” Despite the disparity in the catchiness of each work’s title (sorry Patrick), both end up saying the same thing: Joey is being pitched inside and it’s working.
Part of that is the product of age–Joey just can’t turn on the inside pitch anymore–but part of it is also a delay in changing his approach. Votto’s biggest strength has always been his adaptability, so Fangraphs claiming that Joey will be good again at the calendar flip is not so far outside the realm of possibility.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games for using a banned substance. Gordon had signed a 5 year, $50 million extension with the Marlins over the winter after a breakout 2015. Gordon released the following statement in response:
“Though I did not do so knowingly, I have been informed that test results showed I ingested something that contained prohibited substances. The hardest part about this is feeling that I have let down my teammates, the organization and the fans. I have been careful to avoid products that could contain something banned by MLB and the 20+ tests that I have taken and passed throughout my career prove this. I made a mistake and I accept the consequences.”
The Reds need to break out of their funk today and take it to the Pirates. Hopefully, Straily maintains some control and works deep into the game, and Joey decides to end his slump a few days early.