Game Thread

Reds at Cardinals – April 8, 2017

The first place Cincinnati Reds (3-1) will put their three game win streak on the line this afternoon against the St. Louis Cardinals (1-3) at 2:15. The Reds won for a second straight day yesterday with a rookie starting pitcher on the mound. Amir Garrett was brilliant yesterday, pitching six scoreless innings, and the Reds went on to win 2-0. The Reds took sole possession of first place in the NL Central as the Cubs lost to the Brewers in extra innings.

Starting Pitchers

The following stats are 2017 ZiPS projections

He’s baaaaaaaaaaack! The Reds and Bronson Arroyo are together again. Arroyo has less than desirable ZiPS projections, but this is BRONSON ARROYO! FUTURE REDS HALL OF FAMER.

Look, I get it. Many hate that the Reds are giving starts to Bronson Arroyo with Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed sitting in the bullpen. However, if those guys were to start from Day 1, they would have an innings limit. I don’t know about you, but I am going to sit back, relax, and enjoy one final go around with Arroyo. If the Reds owed this to anyone, it would certainly be Bronson.

Arroyo only pitched 7.2 official innings over three games this spring, posting a 4.70 ERA (7.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 6 K). He didn’t get beat around at least. Zach Buccanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a cool story about Arroyo when it became apparent he was going to make the rotation.

Arroyo has a 4.69 ERA in 39 games (37 starts) against the Cardinals, and a 5.33 ERA at Busch Stadium III (9.35 at the old Busch Stadium).


Michael Wacha went from a 3.38 ERA to 5.09 from 2015 to 2016. The puzzling aspect of that is that his peripheral numbers in 2016 (3.91 FIP, 7.43 K/9, 2.93 BB/9, and 0.98 HR/9) were nearly identical to the year prior. Wacha suffered a crazy leap in BABIP from .272 to .334 from 2015 to 2016.

Wacha will probably get back to around a league average pitcher. He probably isn’t the all-star pitcher he was when he jumped onto the scene in 2013. Wacha did have a very nice spring, posting a 2.42 ERA/1.15 WHIP with 6 BB and 22 K over 26.0 IP.

Wacha has a 3.07 ERA over 14 games (12 starts) against the Reds. The Reds did beat him around last year, as he had a 6.75 ERA in 4 games (3 starts). Votto is 11 for 29 with 1 HR and a 1.096 OPS against Wacha. Cozart has also had success (11 for 23), but Hamilton has really struggled (2 for 22).

Starting Lineup

Reds Cardinals
1. Scooter Gennett (2B)
2. Arismendy Alcantara (CF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Zack Cozart (SS)
7. Patrick Kivlehan (RF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Bronson Arroyo (P)
1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Aledmys Diaz (SS)
3. Matt Carpenter (1B)
4. Matt Adams (LF)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Randal Grichuk (RF)
7. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
8. Kolten Wong (2B)
9. Michael Wacha (P)

Bryan Price has decided to sit three regulars today: Hamilton, Peraza, and Schebler. Ashley Davis wrote more about Hamilton and Peraza earlier today, and documented their early season struggles. Arismendy Alcantara (Chad wrote about him here), and Patrick Kivlehan (Doug wrote about him here) will make their first starts with the Reds. Scooter Gennett is starting for a second straight night, but at a different position.

Zack Cozart (.538/.533/.615) and Adam Duvall (.333/.333/.667) are off to great starts to 2017.

Other news and notes

Conclusion

Bronson Arroyo is back! Win, lose, or draw this will be fun. It would be a cherry on the top if the Reds could get to 4-1, and make the Cardinals fall to 1-4. Go Reds!

65 thoughts on “Reds at Cardinals – April 8, 2017

  1. Did Bryan Price get confused and think this was Sunday, and he needed a getaway-day lineup???

    If any pitcher kinda needed Billy in the lineup, I think it’s Bronson.

    • Or Price is being cold, calculated and pragmatic. The Reds are throwing a 58 year old who hasn’t thrown a MLB pitch since George Peppard led the A-Team; things aren’t likely to go well. Today is a good day to rest some people

      • Actually, this isn’t a terrible point.

        Unfortunate that Reds are in the position to begin with. But, still doesn’t give Price a pass for putting bench players in the 1-2 slots.

    • Why not start Feldman today, let Astin get one more crack at some bullpen time and then go with Arroyo tomorrow?? Plus Billy is not struggling actually off to a decent start, do not understand why you rest 3 starters

  2. Billy Hamilton is not a big human being. He runs like the wind when he is playing centerfield. He should get one day off a week to keep him fresh and keep up his stamina for the whole year.
    Bronson Arroyo no longer has the physical tools (if ever) that Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson have now. But he knows how to pitch. Reed, especially, needs to understand what Amir Garrett did last night, and what Bronson is going to try to do today. Reed has a mountain of physical talent, but he still has to understand how to execute every pitch, and control his location. I don’t think he is NOT trying, I just think he has more to learn from the neck up about being successful in the Majors.
    He’ll get there, eventually.

  3. Reminder that our fundraising drive is ongoing – through Monday. Thanks for all the contributions!

  4. That article about Matt Latos reminded me of a child’s biography of Billy Martin. No matter how hard they tried, The author couldn’t hide the fact that the subject was a jerk.

    Today’s production is that Bronson Arroyo will pitch for a shut out innings on 85 pitches

  5. Apparently Scooter Gennett and Arismendy Alcantara hitting 1-2 in a MLB lineup is something that is going to happen today…

    Not that it ever SHOULD happen, but it seems it WILL happen…

  6. Ok, who had the over-under at 4 pitches??

    Still love seeing Bronson back on the mound, tho

  7. On behalf of all the folks whose field of employment calls washed up or too old: go get ’em Bronson

  8. Should have been strike three called on Adams. Molina should have never batted.

  9. Cozart a foot away from a homer and Molina a few inches away from not getting a bloop double. Baseball can be cruel.

  10. “this is where Arroyo will change speeds drastically.” What, like throw it underhanded?

  11. Arroyo got a K!!!!! And against the guy that homered off him!

    Also, saw he hit 86 at one point. Maybe he’s warming up?

  12. Looks like the B team and Arroyo vs.their A team and their best on the mound.It may get uglier but we will see.

  13. Glad this is the free game so I can watch that way instead of on Gameday.

    I’ll credit 1.5 to Bronson to this point. The dinger was obviously on him, but he got squeezed on Matt Adams and then the coaching had Kievalhan playing way too deep for The Neck Tat. Glad to see we got one back. May be some hope for today yet, especially if a few of our regulars get back in there later.

    Is today the day we see Bob Steve around the 5th inning?

  14. just curious following on gameday
    1) Saw a quick replay (bag angle/ no slow motion) of Molina’s RBI 2B, looks like Schebler’s glove is in foul territory when he touches- was this close to foul or is there a rule I do not know about?
    2) shows Duvall hitting the ball 358 to RF, Votto did not tag- was this close to a hit a Votto was halfway (I realize it does not matter since he scores any way)
    3) Pitch 2 to Cozart looks like it was inside almost hitting him, would have been ball 2, was this that poor of a call since it was ruled a strike or just inaccurate by Gameday?

    • #1 – Kievalhan in RF … he missed it and it hit the line.

      Ump is squeezing Bronson IMO.

  15. It just got uglier.Regardless of what happens the rest of the year it makes no sense at all to have Bronson starting.I have liked everything and about our roster other then Feldman and Bronson taking starts away from other younger pitchers.

    • The young pitchers should be starting. Getting roughed up is a part of becoming a ML pitcher. Arroyo and Feldman are not the future: too similar to Marquis and Gregg a few years ago

  16. What are the Reds doing sending Finnegan out there as a PH? Between that and leaving Arroyo in long enough to give up the HR, it’s hard to believe they’re actually trying to win.

  17. I’m sure I’m not the first to think of something like this, but would t make sense to baseball to switch to a playoff format that is more like the NBA? Shorten the season to about 110 games, the top half or 40% of the league is automatically in the playoffs and each playoff match up is a series. Start with best of 3, then 5, then 7. May have to revise revenue sharing agreement to further level out the revenue of the bad teams vs playoff teams. But it’d be interesting for many fans, make more season games more important and would allow for a fluke like say a rebuilding team whose young players suddenly start to catch up to major league pitching/hitting and make it deep into the playoffs. Random thought for an early season Saturday game that isn’t going so well for the good guys.

    • +50 for the random thought … it would change the dynamics a bit, but that’s not inherently a bad thing. Something will have to change at some point to keep the game interesting. Of course, you are talking about messing with some sort of stadium revenue for over half the teams out there who don’t make the cut.

      • Definitely agree that something has to change. The whole “speed the game up” thing is more talk than anything else, since they’ve added replay. There is nothing worse for gameplay than a huge delay while the in stadium audience can watch only rain delay footage (or drink more) and the at home audience has to suffer 20 more commercials and the same play 1000 times from multiple angles. I’d rather see 40 trips to the mound by the catcher, pitching coach, entire infield, manager and mascot while the entire bullpen is burned through than replay.

    • I’m sure the owners will gleefully give up revenue and the players will eagerly give up salary. We’ll see a unicorn in centerfield before we see your idea.

      • There’s a nice way to say that. Then again, owners wouldn’t necessarily have to lose revenue. If the game is more interesting, the brand is better, tv revenues are up, then what’s needed is a different profit sharing arrangement (as I said already). Keep in mind also that under my idea, more teams play in the playoffs which is likely to expand revenue for the teams that make it which may raise average revenues across the league. And the players wouldn’t have to get paid less. Unless I’m mistaken, players are paid annually, and not per game. I believe the per game pay really only plays into suspensions when they lose salary for games missed. But even if I am wrong about that, the salaries simply have to stay as they are. Any performance bonus can be adjusted for the shorter regular season. And behold! I have brought forth the unicorn!

        Anyway, the reasons they won’t go to that playoff system probably has nothing to do with the above. And if you don’t like that idea you’ll hate my next idea for changing the season (even though it probably adds 6 games to the season). I’ll post it another time.

  18. And 28 pitches later the drama is over and our Bullpen Version 2017 is still scoreless.

    • That was pretty painful to watch as far as sscorelss innings go, but at least he got some success and did not make it 32 pitches thanks to new intentional walk rule and we are treated to a much faster paced game. BTW Wood gave up a run in the 1st game, so BP not scorelss, but something like 1 run in 16 innings or so not bad, but suspect this will change in the next 3 innings if Stephenson stays in

      • And as I type we’re staring down the barrel of multiple runs for the Dirty Birds and the end of a REALLY rough day for Bob Steve.

  19. Scooby Doo Ending of the 4th Inning.

    A One-Act Play by Nicole Cushing

    Setting: The Reds Clubhouse

    Velma: “Wait, let’s take off his mask and find out who this so-called ‘Bronson Arroyo’ REALLY is……(rips off mask)

    Everyone but ‘Arroyo’: “Old Man Jason Marquis?!”

    Jason Marquis (in thick NYC accent): “Ha! Redleg Nation thought they’d seen the last of me a couple of years ago, didn’t they? But I developed the perfect plan to exploit the franchise’s hunger for nostalgia and sneak my way back in!”

    Fred: But where’s the REAL Bronson Arroyo?

    Jason Marquis: Strummin’ a guitar and hangin’ out with Matthew McConaughey!

    Shaggy: Alright, alright, alright!

    Scooby: Ral-right, Ral-right, Ral-right!

    (Everyone laughs)

    FIN

  20. This is the promise and pitfalls of Stephenson in one snapshot. Six walks but four strikeouts.

  21. If the Gameday Strike zone is accurate, then the umpire today is awful when the Reds pitch. Haven’t noticed if the same is true for Wacha and Cards pitchers.

  22. I don’t think we should be surprised at all by Stephenson’s performance.I can’t tell you when the last time he pitched and like Reed we didn’t do either justice by starting them all spring and then say you are now in the pen.The preparation to pitch out of the pen vs every 4 or 5 days is probably different.Of course I could be all wrong in that they both may have been told they were going to the pen early enough in the spring to prepare properly.

  23. Scott with another long one.I guess he felt he should have been starting today.

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