The Cincinnati Reds try to improve their 3-11 season record against the Chicago Cubs in game number two of this three game series in Chicago.


Josh Smith 4.97 5.46 1.8 10.4% 18.9%
Jon Lester 2.40 3.45 1.0 6.7% 24.9%

Josh Smith is making his first start of the season for the Reds, who are in a need of a 6th starter this week due to the doubleheader last weekend. Smith has made 29 relief appearances in a Cincinnati uniform this summer. His most recent was a 3.2 inning outing against the Pirates where he allowed just a solo homerun. Smith works with a trio of pitches including a fastball, slider, and a curveball. As a starter last season, Smith also mixed a change-up into about 10% of his pitches, but has rarely used it in the bullpen this season.

Lester is currently ranked 2nd in National League ERA, 5th in xFIP, 6th in SIERA, 7th in WAR and FIP. By the various measures, the Reds are facing one of the top 5-10 starting pitchers in the National League. Lester hasn’t allowed more than two runs in his last nine starts, stretching back to July 24th. Over his last four outings, he has allowed just a single run, 16 hits, and five walks over 30 innings pitched.

Jon Lester is one of four Cubs pitchers with 15 wins. It is the first time the Cubs have had four different pitchers with 15 wins since 1935.

Former Reds catcher David Ross will be catching for the Cubs tonight.

1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Tony Renda (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Brandon Phillips (2B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Tyler Holt (CF)
8. Ramon Cabrera (C)
9. Josh Smith (P)
1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Kris Bryant (LF)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Ben Zobrist (2B)
5. Addison Russell (SS)
6. Jason Heyward (RF)
7. Javier Baez (3B)
8. David Ross (C)
9. Jon Lester (P)

It’s mass hysteria in San Francisco as the one-time NL West leading Giants are now on the verge of falling out of the playoff picture. Santiago Casilla blew his 8th game of the season and the Giants have now set a team record with 29 blown saves.

NYM 80 70 .533 +1
SF 79 71 .527
STL 79 71 .527
MIA 75 75 .500 4.0
PIT 74 75 .497 4.5

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This could one of those nights where the Reds look completely outmatched on paper, but then it is actually the one they win this series. Right?


19 Responses

  1. Tct

    For all the heat Votto gets about not producing in the traditional stat categories, he is doing pretty well.

    3rd in the NL in batting average.
    8th in runs
    14th in RBI.

    Hes got a good chance to finish with 100+runs and 90+RBI despite hitting in a lineup that doesn’t really have any other above average hitters. Pretty impressive

    But my favorite: In the 2nd half, Votto has 89 hits and 28 strikeouts! That’s over 3 hits for every k. Seems to me like he is choking up on the bat more and I think he could legitimately make a run at .400 if he did it all the time. Power and walks would go down so overall production wouldn’t be any better, but it would be fun.

    And of course the advanced stats are even better. 1st in NL WAR in the 2nd half. And 1st in wRC at 201! Next best is Freeman at 179 and only 2 other players are over 150.

    It really sucks that the Reds have been so bad the last 2 years. These 2nd half runs by Votto would have been so much fun in a pennant race.

  2. seat101

    If Joey could just turn half of those walks into hits even if they were just singles I think the Redswould be better off.

    • Gaffer

      That would make him a .382 hitter. How is that realistic in the least to expect that?Why do people think only about he end product, and hence that the number of hits he gets is something he can control. Ask any sports person and all you can control is your approach and not results (if you have never been in that kind of work you will never know). In reality, if he cut his walks down, he would get a few more hits but make many more outs. A walk is worth less than a single but not by a lot.

      • Gaffer

        Vottos old school traditional season stats like batting average, RBI, HR, total hits, walks and others (and really his whole career) are nearly identical to the average of each of Joe Morgan’s 2 MVP seasons. There is not a single Reds fan or even baseball fan in general who doesn’t think those 2 years are among the best in history. So, how is there any reason to complain about Votto.

      • Gaffer

        Each batted 3rd in the lineup but Morgan had Rose and Griffey ahead of him ALL THE TIME. Votto has guys who can’t even get on base at league average rates.

      • hoosierdad1

        Well, to be fair Morgan also stole a ton of bases and had gold glove defense. Votes is awesome but Morgan did everything.

      • msanmoore

        +15000 (I need to dump the remaining 2016 points) for that Gaffer. Never let facts get in the way of a good story.

      • seat101

        I’m sorry! I was kidding. I was kidding. Thank you though for the information and your patience.

  3. james garrett

    Everything on paper says this is over by the third inning.Just goes to show you how far we have to go to be competitive again.I think we can and will do it if not next year then 2018

  4. redsfan4life

    Joey Votto is the best hitter in Reds history. I’ll stand on Joe Morgan’s coffee table and say it.

  5. Indy RedMan

    1st/3rd 1 out and Peraza hits a little looper to SS that wouldn’t have broken a pane of glass. Its nice to hit .300 but producing runs is what matters! How does Lester do it? He doesn’t throw that hard and can’t hold anyone on. Can’t even throw to bases? I guess he has decent secondary pitches but I don’t get it? Our hitting just sucks though….doesn’t really matter how good Votto is.

  6. DHud

    I’m really glad I turned the game on just in time to see Peralta walk Lester, who might as well have been standing at the plate with a pool noodle

    • DHud

      Annnddd those 4 batters are enough for me this evening

  7. old-school

    Reds looking good for the 3rd overall pick next June…Senzel V2…lets not mess it up.

  8. Indy RedMan

    Walk the pitcher with 2 outs…lefty vs lefty…lol. Peralta looks good but he needs to work on the neck jerk after giving up a 440 ft rocket HR to fit in with this bunch. I have Peraza/Duvall and my opponent has Lester/Bryant/Fowler in my fbb playoffs. I have lost tonite for sure

  9. james garrett

    We have been pitching guys from day one that won’t be here next year.Hopefully we have a major league staff next year from the first man to the last so we don’t have to go through this again but we have to put up with it for 11 more games.