The Cincinnati Reds play in Wrigley for the final time this season, though will get to face this Cubs team one more time next week in Cincinnati.


Robert Stephenson 4.97 6.21 2.1 10.0% 19.1%
John Lackey 3.42 3.85 1.2 7.0% 24.7%

Robert Stephenson is making his 6th major league start of the season and his 4th since getting the call with expanded rosters this month. He’s given up eight runs over eight innings covering his last two starts, both against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Looking at his Pitchf/x MLB game log, Stephenson’s 93.5 MPH fastball has accounted for 60% of his pitches thrown. He’s mixed in a 81 MPH curveball about 25% of the time and an 85 MPH change-up the remaining 15%.

Thirty-seven year old John Lackey is likely the Cubs #4 starter once the playoffs begin. He may be the only Cubs starter to not reach 15 wins this season, but all his peripheral stats are much better than those of Jason Hammel. He ranks 4th among the team starters in FIP and xFIP while ranking 3rd in SIERA. His k/9 rate is the best among the Cubs five starting pitchers.

Eugenio Suarez is back at 3rd base tonight. Steve Selsky gets the start out in right field with Schebler sliding over to center field.

1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Brandon Phillips (2B)
6. Scott Schebler (CF)
7. Steve Selsky (RF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Robert Stephenson (P)
1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Kris Bryant (3B)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Ben Zobrist (2B)
5. Jason Heyward (RF)
6. Javier Baez (SS)
7. Miguel Montero (C)
8. Chris Coghlan (LF)
9. John Lackey (P)

The Mets, Giants, and Cardinals are all tied up for the two wild card spots with 11 games to play. If all three team finish the season in a tie, MLB would add two more games to the schedule to determine the two wild card teams. By way of tiebreaker, the seeding for this scenario would be: St. Louis has the first seed (thanks to head-to-head victories over San Francisco last week) and would host the first extra game. New York would play the Cardinals in that first game. The winner of that game would host the wild card play-in game. The loser of game #1 would travel to San Francisco for extra game #2 with the winner claiming the 2nd wild card spot.

So far this season, the Reds have won just three of 15 games against the Cubs and been outscored 53-116. But at least tonight, we get a chance to see another start by one of the Reds top pitching prospects, Robert Stephenson.


9 Responses

  1. Indy RedMan

    Bob Steve has hit 94 once tonite….usually 92. Where is the 100 from the minor leagues? Actually he hasn’t been hit hard and his off-speed stuff looks fairly good but once again reality nowhere near the hype. The minors are full of guying throwing 92 with iffy command. Of course they can’t give up on him but I have no idea how anyone regarded him as a potential #1? Has he had arm trouble or a TJ I don’t know about?

    • RedAlert

      The stench of losing has overtaken this organization. Maybe Jocketty will take some of it with him when he leaves.

    • ohiojimw

      May be because he is now at or over 150 innings for the season which is approaching 20 more than he has ever thrown before in a single season.

      Brantley and Welsh both still seem pretty high on him.

      To me he is light years ahead of what Reed showed in his tryout at MLB, maybe not in ultimate results for the team but certainly in seeing some light to where he could get there.

  2. Dan

    Stephenson hasn’t look that good at AAA or the majors. Maybe he needs to back down to AA and start over again. Turning into a big disappointment.

  3. old-school

    The Reds are a long way from having a strong starting 5. The uncertainty with Homer’s injury is the biggest reason. The lack of development of Bob Steve is the second biggest reason. He throws a lot of 2 seam fastballs at 92 mph. What happened to his 95-97 mph #1 starter stuff? Ironically, his best batter was Kris Bryant…he threw a nice changeup at 83 and threw a rare 4 seam fastball at 95 mph for a fly out. He threw at least 1 wasted 2 seam fastball that sailed 6 inches out of the zone to each batter…a complete joke. Peralta missed by an inch in walking Lester last night . Bob Steve was missing by half a foot. He couldn’t pitch inside at all. The one time he tried, Heyward took his lame 92 mph 2 seam fastball out. I didn’t see the first inning..,.but where was his 12/6 curve ball that was his elite 2nd pitch when he got drafted? I didnt see any????? He has zero command….cant throw any pitch in any count with confidence. The Cubs are a great hitting team. But, time to scratch Bob Steve from the 2017 rotation. He literally cant throw any of his pitches where he wants them to go and he doesn’t have 95mph velocity anymore.

    • ohiojimw

      And yet Stephenson still kept them closer (for what little it was worth) than Reed typically did over 4-5 innings. Bring on Garrett and the AA guys?

      Perhaps a reason RS has largely avoided the real big historic meltdowns Reed experienced is that RS actually does have that #1 stuff and is able to apply it fleeting flashes. He’s not being pounded like Reed was. He just can’t get out an inning when he needs to. Bailey certainly went thru a period like this, complete with the similar apparent loss of velocity when he was supposedly working on command. And to a lesser extent so did Cueto. Time will tell.

  4. Playtowin

    Old-School, well said. Reed and Stephenson have looked awful. They are far from sure things. There is no evidence yet that Reds young pitching is a strength for the franchise. This Is disappointing given the hype bestowed on the group. Time will tell us how good these guys are but right now I see a lot of hope and wishful thinking but little in the way of positive results save DeSclafani, Straily, and Iglesias. Is Lorenzen a better hitting Hoover?