The Cincinnati Reds (10-16) will look to bounce back from another bullpen disaster last night against the San Francisco Giants (14-13). The Reds have lost 7 of their last 8 games, and find themselves in last place in the NL Central. Tonight is “Bark in the Park” at the old ballpark.

Starting Pitchers

*John Lamb’s numbers are his 2016 ZiPS projection with the exception of FBv (2015)

John Lamb was just called up from AAA-Louisville where he was on a rehab assignment. Jon Moscot was supposed to pitch tonight, but he is dealing with a non-throwing shoulder injury.

Lamb made three rehab start at AAA. The first start was OK (3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 65 pitches). The second start was a disaster (2.2 IP, 11 H, 9 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 78 pitches). The third start was very good (8.0 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). The Reds haven’t had a starter pitch into the 8th inning all season, so that in itself is incredibly encouraging.

I am a big John Lamb fan. Here is what I wrote about Lamb when I previewed the Reds rotation in late March:

John Lamb was the definition of a raw talent with a lot of upside last season with the Reds. If you only looked at Lamb’s 5.80 ERA in 49.2 innings, you’d probably think he was terrible. But if you look a little bit closer, you’d see all the promise that he brings. Lamb had a ridiculous 10.51 K/9. For comparison sake, there were only five starting pitchers in baseball who struck out 10+ batters per 9 innings (Sale, Kershaw, Scherzer, Archer, and Carrasco). Obviously, striking out that many batters over 150+ innings is an entirely different level than 49.2 innings, but you can see why there is so much excitement.

So how exactly did Lamb put up a 5.80 ERA if he was that good? Well, he had a 3.44 BB/9 (MLB average among SP in 2015 was 2.72) and a 1.45 HR/9 (MLB average was 1.06). He also suffered some tough luck with a .376 BABIP.

The Giants were hoping when they signed Jeff Samardzija for $90 million this off-season that they weren’t getting the pitcher who had a 4.96 ERA/4.23 FIP in 2015. So far it has gone pretty well for the Giants. Samardzija did hit a rough spot in his last start, which came against the Padres (5.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K).

Samardzija broke out with the Cubs in 2008. In 26 appearances, all coming as a reliever, he posted a 2.28 ERA/3.06 FIP. He didn’t allow a home run in 27.2 innings. The Cubs moved him up and down from AAA to the big leagues in 2009 and 2010 (pitching as a starter in AAA and mostly as a reliever in the MLB) and he really struggled. The Cubs had him pitch entirely as a reliever in 2011 at the MLB level, and he succeeded again. He made 75 appearances and had a 2.97 ERA/3.20 FIP.

The Cubs moved Samardzija back to the rotation in 2012. Between 2012-2013, he was exclusively used a starter. In 61 starts between 2012-2013, he posted a 4.10 ERA/3.67 FIP. Samardzija had his breakout year in 2014. He made 17 starts with the Cubs, and had a 2.83 ERA/3.10 FIP. The Cubs made a smart move knowing they were out of the race, and traded him to the all-in Oakland A’s for top prospect Addison Russell.  Samardzija was good with the A’s too, posting a 3.14 ERA/3.30 FIP in 16 starts.

The A’s traded Samardzija over the off-season following their late season collapse in 2014. He struggled all season with the White Sox in 2015. Samardzija has been really great at times in his career, and really struggled at other times. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the 31-year old’s career finishes out.

Starting Lineups

Giants Reds
1. Denard Span (CF)
2. Matt Duffy (3B)
3. Buster Posey (C)
4. Hunter Pence (RF)
5. Brandon Belt (1B)
6. Brandon Crawford (SS)
7. Kelby Tomlinson (2B)
8. Gregor Blanco (LF)
9. Jeff Samardzija (P)
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Ivan De Jesus (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Jay Bruce (RF)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Adam Duvall (LF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. John Lamb (P)

Reds bullpen on the wrong side of history

Drew Hayes

The Reds bullpen allowed a run for the 20th consecutive game last night. That tied the 2013 Colorado Rockies bullpen for the longest streak of allowing at least one run in MLB history. If the Reds bullpen allows a run tonight, they will be the only team in the entire history of Major League Baseball to allow a run in 21 consecutive games. So, Bryan Price should just let John Lamb pitch 9 innings, even if he has given up 15 runs and has thrown 268 pitches.

Other news and notes


We all need to forget about last night as quickly as possible. Last night’s game really showed the high and low that a baseball game can bring. The only way to forget that is for the Reds to come out and get a nice W tonight. Go Reds!

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 56 Comments

  1. Awesome!! I like Lamb a lot! Last year he kind of reminded me of the last Reds year for Travis Wood. He’d get them down 0-2 or 1-2 and then groove one right down the middle. He does have more upside than Wood though imo….that’s prob his floor. Like to Suarez quit pulling his head and trying to pull everything….maybe a hardthrower will help him just shoot it to right and he’ll get his stroke back!!

  2. I’m excited to see Lamb even if I wish the circumstances were different (and he was replacing Simon). Hopefully the talk about Moscot being available in a day or two is more than a smokescreen.

  3. Was it Lamb about whom Price disparaged his effort?

    Not a good thing to be in the managet’s doghouse…….Devin Mesaroco is still in Dusty Baker’s!

  4. These kids today? First 2 no problem…then throws an 0-2 cookie right down the middle to Buster Posey? How many 0-2s have been cookies right down the middle this year? Someone tell Lamb that the guy has 3 rings for a reason! That’s on Price too….these guys aren’t following scouting reports whatsoever?

  5. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Hamilton is leading off.

  6. C’mon fellas, we need at least 5 runs heading into the stretch to win this game.

  7. I find it interesting, that with how bad this team is and going to be this season, ticket prices on the secondary market like Stub Hub sure doesn’t reflect that. Ticket prices are still very high, so either people are still going and wanting to see them or something is up.

  8. Everytime I look up the Giants have some one on 2nd

  9. Looks to me like Lamb has a ways to go before he back where he was pre-surgery.

    As I recall, last season, he was consistently in the low 90’s with his fastball; but tonight, he has just touched 90 twice or so and been in the 87/88 range for the most part with a few at 89.

    Still in both then last two innings he has had a man in scoring position with less than 2 out and escaped without giving up a run.

  10. Dejesus got robbed there

  11. … did Joey

  12. Good gosh, that called 3rd strike wasn’t even close…

  13. It’s one thing for 1 team to be expected to compete for a Pennant, and the other competing for draft picks, but it’s quite another to ring up a former MVP in his home park on a pitch THAT FAR off the plate… it wasn’t even close.
    And on top of that John Lamb has been getting squeezed every inning.

  14. Wow, Samardzija has the hugest strike zone right now.

  15. Billy is out, Holt in

  16. Very good outing by Lamb so far

  17. I want to see a close up of Joeys shoes

    • If it’s the same type he has wore all year, sitting in the park they shine on the back every step he takes. Like those kiddie light up shoes lol.
      They are gold, pretty cool though.

    • They showed them last night on the Giants network. They were remarking that they wouldn’t fly back in the big red machine days.

  18. Would like to know what’s up with Billy though.
    And wouldn’t you know the one night I draft him hoping for a couple stolen bases he goes out early lol

  19. Lamb looks like a blond haired Lt Dan. I half expect Jim day to yell from the concession stand “John Lamb Ice cream!”

  20. Very uneven strike zone

  21. Way to play Tucker!

  22. Lamb needs to get with Billy and pump some iron! This is ridiculous? Strength training is not just for football. I like Lamb a lot though….though change to K Pence was one of the best I’ve seen all year! If he gained 10-12 lbs of muscle….he might be a poor mans Cole Hamels! He’s got the slow curve and change….and the slider on the back foot of the righties. Just needs to stay healthy and get stronger…get that heater back up to 92-93

  23. Duvall!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. Duvall could be a good one!

    …But it doesn’t matter.
    He could turn into an All Star and we’d just have to trade him lol

  25. I really dont understand this lineup

  26. Here comes the pen……

  27. Well here we go.
    Let’s see if the Reds can break the ALL TIME record of 21 straight games giving up a run by the bullpen.

  28. I’m sure a lot of us fans are thinking: one to one, seventh inning. Let’s see how this turns out?

  29. It was an entertaining 6 innings at least but here comes the pen and out go our lights

  30. I am not sure if you need Cingrani right there, but I am glad he got in with no one on base, he is a LOOGY as much as Chapman was. I am not saying he is anywhere near Chapman, but he is by fat the best out of this bullpen and he has never got a leash like Hoover or even what Ramirez got last night. Some people calling for him to be let go, moved top starter after Sunday’s game. Seems like if he cut the walks he will be very successful if he can figure out how to change speeds. Seems like everything he threw was 94 mph with one slider at 80.

    Curious if they let him go 2.

  31. Looks like Billy reinjured thr thumb

  32. Suarez 5-34 with 9 Ks (.147) since the 13 run win against the Cubs…..give him a day off tomorrow. Our bats just suck more often than not? Billy finally gets going a little bit and now he’s hurt? He shook up Cueto more than anything last night. Winker 1-1 with 2 walks (.325/.431 obp) but he’s gotta wait.

  33. Bullpen saved for now

  34. Guess not, new record for the Reds!!

    • Unfortunately – this might end up being the most unbreakable record. Its only May — not sure how many more games this will go on throughout the season… very demoralizing — and makes the offense also feel like – whats the point…

    • I’m waving my ” We’re #1″ foam finger to honor the accomplishment

  35. Well Surprise! Surprise!
    You mean that walk came around to score? hmmm…

    And with that the Reds bullpen is already breaking All Time ML records and it’s only May 3rd

  36. Call the fire department – this bullpen is gonna burn GABP to the ground 🔥🔥🔥
    – these guys couldn’t pitch their way out of a wet paper bag ! – disgusting !

    • I’m no Price fan by any stretch – but I even feel sorry for the guy at this point. Dudes in this bullpen aren’t even AAA pitchers with the exception of Cingrani. Embarrassing isn’t even the word for it. Better start giving bobbleheads away at every home game if they want fans to come watch this crap.

  37. This might have been a decent team if not for this bullpen. Injuries might play a part but this is almost like the management are insuring that this team loses every game possible. Guaranteed to give up multiple runs every opportunity.

    • In any given year the bullpen throws 40% of the pitches so if it’s bad, you’re bad. So yes, if the Reds were better at a huge part of the game then they might be decent

      Mrs Lincoln may have enjoyed the play….had Abe not been shot

  38. Glad to see Dejesus making him throw some pitches

  39. 3 runs is the fewest #Reds pitchers have allowed since 4/19 (13 games ago). Only 2nd time in last 21 games with fewer than 4 allowed. It’s a miracle.

  40. During that same 21-game span, #Reds have allowed 8+ runs 8 times.

  41. 3 hits and about 4 inches from a shutout…..don’t let the pen distract you from how bad this offense is! 1 big inning vs the Cubs and 1 vs the Giants and then about 2 weeks to total what they got in 2 innings?

  42. All is not lost with back-to-back good performances by Finnegan and Lamb, although the same cannot be said about the offense.

  43. 2-10 in this challenging 13 game stretch.

    Worst run differential in baseball, given up the most runs in baseball as well

  44. Man, our offense needs help. Holy cow. Our bullpen only gave up two runs, we need to capitalize on the opportunity.

Comments are closed.

About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.


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