The first place Cincinnati Reds (3-2) will try to win a rare series on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals (2-3) at 2:15 today. The Reds are 4-32-3 in series in St. Louis since the start of 2003. The Reds hitters will have a tall task going up against the Cardinals ace, Carlos Martinez.
|Pittsburgh Pirates||2-2||0.5 GB|
|St. Louis Cardinals||2-3||1.0 GB|
|Milwaukee Brewers||2-4||1.5 GB|
Viewing note: today’s game is not on TV in Cincinnati. The game will be on MLB.tv via FOX Sports Midwest for those outside of Cincinnati, and on 700 WLW.
Scott Feldman is back at it today for the Reds. Feldman gave up a home run to the very first batter he faced on Opening Day. He settled down and pitched OK after that. He will be facing a much tougher lineup today in St. Louis, who was awoken yesterday. The Cardinals scored 10 runs yesterday, after scoring just 9 runs in their first five games combined. It will be imperative that he keeps the ball in the park. It was encouraging that Feldman struck out six batters in just 4.2 innings on Opening Day.
Feldman has made just one career start back in 2013 against St. Louis, and it didn’t go so well: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. Jhonny Peralta is the only Cardinal that has seen Feldman a decent amount, and he is 4 for 16 with a home run. Jedd Gyrko also has a home run against Feldman.
Carlos Martinez was very impressive in his first start of the season against the Cubs, as you see his numbers above. His 2017 ZiPS projections: 31 GS, 192.0 IP, 8.53 K/9, 3.05 BB/9, 0.84 HR/9, 3.33 ERA, 3.3 fWAR. If Martinez could lower his walk total (which is currently around league average), he would be a legitimate Cy Young contender.
Martinez has mostly faced the Reds out of the bullpen (16 appearances, 5 starts), but has been very effective: 2.76 ERA, 16 BB, 46 K. He had a 3.46 ERA in 2 starts against the Reds in 2016. Scooter Gennett has seen Martinez the most (7 for 23, 1 HR, .925 OPS). Votto is just 2 for 12 with 1 HR, but does have 6 walks. Cozart and Hamilton also have a home run against Martinez.
|1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Zack Cozart (SS)
8. Stuart Turner (C)
9. Scott Feldman (P)
|1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Aledmys Diaz (SS)
3. Matt Carpenter (1B)
4. Matt Adams (LF)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Jhonny Peralta (3B)
7. Jedd Gyorko (2B)
8. Randal Grichuk (RF)
9. Carlos Martinez (P)
The Reds are back to the standard lineup, minus Tucker Barnhart. Stuart Turner will make his second start behind the plate. It will be interesting to see what the Reds decided to do when Devin Mesoraco returns. The Reds just can’t send Turner down to the minors, as he was a Rule 5 draft pick, and would have to be returned to the Twins. Dick Williams did say before that the Reds would carry three catchers on their roster if needed.
Mesoraco homers in Pensacola
Devin Mesoraco hit a home run last night in his second rehab game at AA. Mesoraco apparently got all of it, hitting it into the Pensacola Bay. It was Mesoraco’s first home run since Sept. 23, 2014. The Blue Wahoos manager Pat Kelly had this to say about Mesoraco after the game (courtesy MiLB.com):
“He hit that ball good. We talked earlier in the day at batting practice and he’s still not feeling comfortable yet. But he jumped all over that 3-1 fastball. He’s knocking that rust off.”
It would be really nice to start the season with back-to-back series wins. It would be even nicer to leave St. Louis still in first place in the division, and pushing the Cardinals record to 2-4. It will be a tall task against Carlos Martinez, but the Reds offense has looked mostly good through the first week. Hopefully the Reds can stay patient against Martinez today. Go Reds!