How about those Reds! Tonight they will be looking to sweep the Pirates in the conclusion of this 3 game set at PNC Park. The Reds have already clinched winning their first three series of a season for the first time since the 1990 season. Even if you are less than 20 something years old, since you are reading this, I’m guessing you know what other series the Reds won in 1990. Yes, it is early; but, after the last three seasons, we need a reason to believe.
Amir Garrett gets the ball for the Reds in his second start of the season and MLB career. The leftie was nothing short of outstanding in his MLB premiere versus the Cardinals last week, pitching 6 scoreless innings and allowing just 2 hits along with 2 walks while striking out 4. The Reds bullpen is a bit stretched right now. Hopefully Garrett will be able to go 6 innings or even longer tonight with effective results.
Veteran righthander Ivan Nova gets the call to the mound for the Pirates. He is also making his second start of the season. In his first start of 2017, he pitched 6 inning and allowed only 1 unearned run versus the Braves in a game eventually won 5-4 by the Pirates. Expect Nova to pitch to contact. Since coming to the Pirates in a 2016 deadline deal, he has walked only 3 batters and struck out just 58 in 70.2 innings pitched.
Again, since it is early in the season and we have a rookie versus a veteran, I’ll trust that the ZIPS projection system has figured out how to make the numbers an apples to apples comparison.
|PITCHER||Projected 2017 FIP||Projected HR/9||Projected BB/9||Projected K/9|
Consecutive short starts have left the Reds pen somewhat stretched. However, reinforcement has arrived in the person of RH Barrett Astin called up to take the place of Rookie Davis who was put on the 10 day DL after he was struck by a pitch on his throwing arm while batting Tuesday. Coming off 3 inning outings on Monday, Cody Reed and Michael Lorenzen probably still have very limited if any availability tonight. Raisel Iglesias threw around 20 pitches in Tuesday’s 5 out save; he is likely limited to just 1 inning tonight. Blake Wood and Tony Cingrani should also both be good for at least an inning Wandy Peralta has worked an inning for 3 consecutive days; he may be unavailable. Robert Stephenson appears to be out of the mix right now except for mop up duty.
The Pirates top relievers are well rested. Longman Wade LeBlanc may still be unavailable following his extended relief stint on Monday. Trevor Williams suffered through 2 innings Tuesday and may have the night off.
|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. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Amir Garrett (P)
|1. Jordy Mercer (SS)
2. Starling Marte (CF)
3. Andrew McCutchen (RF)
4. David Freese (3B)
5. Francisco Cervelli (C)
6. Josh Bell (1B)
7. Josh Harrison (2B)
8. Adam Frazier (LF)
9. Ivan Nova (P
Zack Cozart returns from his bout with a sore wrist. Bryan Price does not appear to be throttling back because he already has the series win. I’m starting to like the way he is managing, except for the sac bunts.
In case you missed it in the Bullpen section, Rookie Davis’ is on the 10 day DL after being hit on his pitching arm by a pitch while batting in the 4th inning last night. RH pitcher Barrett Astin is up from AAA to bolster the pen.
Go Reds! Nail down the sweep.
Looks like Fox Sports Ohio is still on my cable and as a bonus both the Reds and Blue Jackets playoff game, also in Pittsburgh, will be available thanks to the alternate channel setup. I’m happy.
I’m scheduled to next be with you all on these previews when the Reds visit Milwaukee in a couple of weeks. Until then….