While we savored the Reds Sunday and series victory in St Louis, the Reds (4-2) travelled eastward to Pittsburgh. Tonight at 7:05 EDT they open a three game series with Pirates (3-2) who are fresh off a weekend sweep of the Braves capped by a 10th inning walk off win Sunday.

What’s up with the Pirates…..

The Pirates are looking to get back to the playoffs in 2017 after missing out last year, ending a three year run of wildcard appearances.  In Redleg Nation’s  Pirates preview , Nick Carrington detailed that the Pirates should  have plenty of offense but have significant unanswered pitching questions and are likely at best fringe contenders. The most notable change for the Pirates is the juggling their defensive outfield setup. In a case of same faces in different places,  Andrew McCutchen moved to right field, Starling Marte is in center field, and Gregory Polanco plays  left field.

Starting Pitchers

Reds…

Lefthander Brandon Finnegan will make his second start of 2017 for the Reds. Finnegan was very impressive in his first outing of 2107 pitching 7 scoreless innings. He allowed just 1 hit, striking out 9 batters while walking only 1.  Given Finnegan’s control issues in 2016, Reds fan hope that type of strikeout to base on balls ratio is indicative of  what we will see from Finnegan on a regular basis throughout 2017.

Pirates…

Tyler Glasnow, a 23 year old righthander who still carries rookie status will make his first start of 2017 and fourth overall MLB start for the Pirates.  MLBPipeline.com rates Glasnow as the the top right handed pitching prospect in all of baseball for 2017.  Look for a mid 90’s live fastball  and a big but sometimes erratic curve from Glasnow.  Over his minor league career Glasnow averaged more than 10 strikeouts per 9 innings at all levels. On the other side of the coin, he walked batters at a rate of around 5 per 9 innings.

Possibly Fake Numbers….

For what it is worth (or not) at this point in the season, here’s some ZIPS 2017 projected numbers for tonight’s starters:

PITCHER Projected 2017 FIP Projected HR/9 Projected BB/9 Projected K/9
Tyler Glasnow 3.79 0.81 5.08 10.74
Brandon Finnegan 4.55 1.37 3.45 8.212

Not that it couldn’t be said of most MLB Games; but, the guy  who pitches closest to his strikeout numbers while avoiding walks will probably position his team to have the better chance of winning.

Bullpens

Both bullpens appear to be in good shape coming into the series.

Neither Michael Lorenzen nor Raisel Iglesias pitched for the Reds on Sunday. Blake wood pitched 2 innings and could have limited availability tonight.

The Pirates closer Tony Watson was not used on Sunday despite the tight game which extended into a 10th inning. The Pirates bullpen innings during their weekend series with the Braves were well distributed; Clint Hurdle should have a full deck if needed.

Starting Lineups

                          REDS

1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Scooter Gennett (2B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Brandon Finnegan (P)

                        PIRATES

1. Jordy Mercer (SS)
2. Starling Marte (CF)
3. Andrew McCutchen (RF)
4. Gregory Polanco (LF)
5. David Freese (3B)
6. Francisco Cervelli (C)
7. Josh Bell (1B)
8. Adam Frazier (2B)
9. Tyler Glasnow (P)

UPDATE: Zack Cozart has been scratched with a “sore wrist”. Scooter Gennett takes his place in the lineup (7th). Gennett will play at 2B in the field with Jose Peraza moving to SS.

Final thoughts

Tonight’s game features two highly touted young pitchers who strike out a lot of batters but also walk a lot of batters. It would figure that at least one of them will walk his way into trouble and then get burned by a timely  well sequenced hit or two which turns the game against his team. So, now watch them both go out throw gems.

And good luck seeing this one to those of us who’ve been getting warnings from Fox Sports Ohio that our friendly cable company may be about to drop Fox Sports Ohio at any time.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/jim.walker.79
ohiojim67@hotmail.com
@jn_walkerjr

Join the conversation! 126 Comments

  1. Perhaps Peraza could draw his first BB of the year. *knock on wood*

  2. I’m settings the over/under for Peraza’s first walk at game 11.5, and I’m taking the Over.

    • I’ll take the over too.

      I haven’t paid close enough attention, has he even got to 3-x count yet?

    • I think he walks in his 3’rd at bat tonight. He’s playing short tonight, new position new batting approach.

  3. It was good to see Joey being aggressive with a man on 3rd and 1st base open. It ended in a walk, but he had several good hacks.

  4. 3 straight walks after scores Billy who singled !!! Pirates announcers saying how much Billy being on distracted him.

  5. ESPN Gamecast had two pitches to Suarez right down the middle that were called balls

  6. Still, everyone is walking and Peraza saw about 8 pitches but only took one. I might need to move the line a lot higher for his first walk.

  7. Scooter cashes in on the ground out. PIIP (put it in play)

  8. Scooter is batting less than .090. I know Alcantara hasn’t shown anything yet, either, but I think it’s more important we get a better look at him to see if he can be salvaged.

  9. Wish Barnhart hadn’t swung at first pitch but that’s easy for me to say sitting here on my couch.

    • He had an open base and with Finegan coming up not the worst decision to swing at something in the zone

  10. Finnegan has some wicked movement on his fastball. Love the dead on center field camera.

    • The last 2 pitches were 95 and 96, I thought Finnegan usually tops out at low 90’s, has he always thrown this hard or is Gameday wrong?

  11. Worked into and out of trouble, with 2 K’s….good job BF

  12. And that’s why you want the young pitchers to get experience. I bet that after putting the first two guys on Finnegan doesn’t get out of that inning scoreless last year. Especially having to come back from 3-0 on the last batter.

  13. Billy 2-2!!

  14. Come on Joey…do some damage!!

  15. DOOOO-VALLLL…2 run single after the double steal

  16. Duvall is on fire to start the season!

  17. Be really good for the series to eat into their bullpen and chase the #1 prospect

  18. The Reds are a juggernaut.

  19. We’ve got some promising Outfielders coming up through the system and if Duvall, Hamilton & Schebler show real improvement for extended period of time….its going to get crowded real fast.

    Which of course is a problem we want to have!

  20. So, THOM!, in his usual THOM! way, was making some point comparing Glasnow to Stephenson, and how Glasnow was consistently better. I bet he doesn’t revisit those comments after Glasnow just walked the world just like Stephenson did the other day. It might be worth it, to make the point that you have to have some patience with young pitchers.

  21. 5 SBs thru 2 IPs. Is Cervelli a one armed catcher?

  22. Finnegan trying to return the favor 3 walks so far…bases juiced no outs

  23. Cmon Brandon….jeez? If the pitcher makes contact then lets turn 2!!

  24. This seemed weird by Clint Hurdle. A high leverage situation, with a chance to get back into the game, and no pinch hitter.

    • I was thinking the same thing, Leblanc would be available tomorrow with such a short outing, must be counting on him to eat some innings

  25. Mercer is a horrible leadoff man! What is Hurdle thinking? No speed or power….thank you!!

  26. Well that was exciting. Nice play by Peraza.

  27. The Bucs have forgotten how to throw a strike

  28. This could get very ugly, very fast.

  29. I hope Price doesn’t wait long because Finnegan just can’t get any rhythm tonite? Lets blow much of this lead!

  30. Michael Lorenzen warming up in the 3rd inning? Interesting.

    • And coming in.

    • I like it….5-2 or 5-3 and we’re still in control but let them tie it up or worse then its a different story. Lorenzen has been great at getting groundballs so maybe they can turn 2? If he keeps his pitch count down then maybe he can go 2-3 innings and his bat could help too!

  31. Wow, quick hook by Price. Good move.

  32. No matter how this turns out, I like the move. Use one of your best in high leverage situation.

  33. For better or worse, this is taking the “Andrew Miller in any high leverage situation” model to a new level with Lorenzen.

    No way Terry Francona is bringing Miller into the 3rd inning of a 5-1 game in April, especially with a former closer in Drew Storen available to handle this.

  34. I cannot express to you how much I LOVE this move by Price. Using Lorenzen in a high leverage situation, even though it’s the third inning.

    Kudos to Price.

  35. Great save by Barnhart on Hamilton’s missing the cutoff.

  36. SUPER MIKE LORENZEN

  37. Lorenzen is a BEAST!!! That was pretty impressive by Price though….he was such a GREAT pitching coach and he’s a bright guy which made it hard to understand why he’s been such a bad manager at times but now he has more horses to pull the load and maybe he’s learned something!!!

    • Ball 2 to Cervelli

      • Finnegan just walked Cervelli on Gameday. It’s 20 minutes behind; I’m out.

        • go to another website…yahoo right on time, 9 oclock and they are just at the pitching change

      • haha yes…it’s not just you…I checked. Pitt is batting in bottom of 4th fyi

        • FYI its 923 and the 4h inning just ended on Gameday, Suarez’s HR might come by 10

  38. Captain Hook would have been proud of that move.

  39. Reminder that tonight is the last night of our fundraiser. Click the DONATE button. It’s quicker than a Michael Lorenzen fastball. Maybe.

  40. I thought batting the pitcher in the 2nd was a bonehead, thank you Mr. Hurdle for the 3rd inning…Hurdle getting out managed, Starting pitchers had nearly identical lines… really would be good if Reds could knock him out next time through the line up, as I think they had to use a lot of guys against the Braves

  41. Great pregame write up, by the way.

  42. Billy runs down McCutchen’s drive…nice quick inning for ML

    • Only at 24 pitches, its a no brainer he goes out for 1 more, maybe 2? I wonder if Wood is available, do you trust Reed or Peralta for the middle, so we see Storen before the 7th? Oh the drama, for a 5-1 game I am on the edge of my seat

      • ML dealing, only at 32 pitches, maybe can come back with him Wed, but I hope they let him bat

  43. Suarez….DEEEEP shot

  44. Lorenzen is quite dominant. I wonder if he is putting himself back into the conversation about being a starting pitcher? I think if he comes out for one more inning the answer is a huge yes.

    • No way Price does this, he likes him in the bullpen, if someone like Cingrani can get show they are reliable and take Lorenzen’s role, then it would get interesting

      • When you have an athlete and an arm like that though…its an easy question. Do you want 100 ip or 200? The guy is the closest I’ve seen to Kevin Brown! Strong as an ox and athletic and almost always inducing weak contact! It would be criminal not to start him if he’s fully healthy again! They’ve saved a ton of $$ since their 2015 team and they’ve rebuilt alot of their farm system with prospects so go out and trade for a top notch setup man!! Its not like they’re that hard to find?

        • Taking money out of the equation, an actual top notch guy is worth something to the other team…so you’re going to have to give up something. Given they don’t have loads of depth, wouldn’t that just make them weaker somewhere else therefor negating the gain?

          • Sign someone in the offseason then….not really pointing towards this year but at some point once they get really competitive then you would hope big Bob would spend a few bucks again! A rotation of Lorenzen, Disco, Finnegan, Garrett, and Reed could be pretty promising! Homer might be a decent bullpen guy? Who knows? The point is give the regulars a chance and quit recycling scrubs like Arroyo!

        • I am with you, I still hope him and Iglesias are stretched out for 2018 and in the rotation

  45. Jay Bruce going off tonite

    • I love it!! I thought they might Jason Bay him out of town last year but he hung in there and I felt like he could bounce back! I have him in 2 of my 3 fantasy teams!!

  46. How about 15 in a row by Lorenzen and Reed!!! beautiful

  47. Encouraged by Reed tonight too. Threw strikes, pitched 2 mercifully short innings in a looong game. Outings like this will earn him chance to start.

  48. SCOOOTTTEERR!!

  49. The Legend of Scooter grows.

    • I always liked his game….in fact I think I said we should trade for him last year. With Jay Bruce gone….we’re a little right hand hitter dominant and some RH pitchers are nearly impossible for righties to hit.

  50. Reed is batting….must be going back out

  51. I know it’s early but the Red’s offense just feels better to watch this year so far. Last year it was like “Oh, Votto is up.. AB over.. okay can pay less attention now..” This year it’s been hard not to keep tuning in to watch guys mash the ball.

  52. Youngsters showing off their skills.Its all about getting it done when you get a chance.Finny didn’t have it but his teammates are picking him up.

  53. The Nats are 15 for 30 off St. Louis tonite…lol. I think the Cards are in deep doodoo this year….and I love it!!!

  54. 18 in a row….Reed was dominating!

    • He has looked completely nasty coming out of the pen this year, wow. Throwing high heat and just daring the Pirates to hit it.

  55. Pass the Kool-Aid please.Reed just struck out the side in the eighth.That’s 18 in a row with 7k’s for him and Lorenzen.

  56. 3 knocks for Billy tonight.

  57. is Reed going back out for the 9th, I think he gets a save no matter what if he finishes with a lead but am not clear on the rules. I thought it was 3 innings to finish the game qualifies.

  58. Votto a ton of weird swings tonight

  59. Saw this from Rob Biertempfel, a Pirates beat writer. Apparently there are some Reds fans in attendance:

    “I yearn for a world without woos.” – @BiertempfelTrib

    https://twitter.com/BiertempfelTrib/status/851615346285039616/photo/1

  60. I’ve heard that the wooo originated in Pittsburgh

  61. There is somebody warming in the reds bullpen

  62. 3 walks and a HR for Suarez tonight

  63. Peralta seals a stellar bullpen performance with the last 21 in a row

  64. Thom trying so hard to jinx that

  65. WOW WOW WOW.What a dominating performance by the pen.Twenty one in a row with 9K’s.

  66. Great bullpen day. Miracle they finished that while keeping lot of arms fresh for tomorrow. Great management by Price today, and superb job by Lorenzen and Reed. Still have Wood/Storen/Iglesias tomorrow if needed.

  67. Can I just say that even if it’s just for a week or so, the “I can’t wait for tonight’s game!” feeling with baseball is so special. I love it when it lasts for a whole summer, but I’ll take it for every day that it’s offered this year. #hope #foraslongasitlasts

    • Agree, but with the Columbus Blue Jackets having had such a great season, I’m feeling a bit conflicted as they are about to begin their 1st round Stanley Cup playoff series.
      If I have the option to do so, I’ll probably being watching the CBJ live and recording the Reds to review later.

      Of course if Spectrum/ TWC and Fox Sports don’t settle their contract squabble, I might not be watching either ;-(

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About Jim Walker

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