Game Thread

Reds vs. Brewers — April 14, 2017

After a minor bump in the road last night, the Reds trek on as they take on the Brewers at 7:10 p.m. EST in game two of a four-game series. Despite the setback in Thursday’s contest, Cincinnati remains in first place in the NL Central with a 7-3 record, holding off the Cubs by a half game.

Starting Pitchers

Pitchers IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Tommy Milone 6.0 9.00 4.21 13.3% 3.3%
Scott Feldman 10.2 2.53 3.31 27.9% 7.0%

Tommy Milone, a left-hander, is entering his seventh season with his fourth team. This is his first season with the Brewers. The 30-year-old was initially signed as a bullpen arm but moved into the rotation after Opening Day starter Junior Guerra went on the disabled list. He was beaten up in his first start, allowing four runs on nine hits in only four innings against the Cubs on April 8. Until last year, Milone had at least put up mediocre numbers, but he had a rough go of it in his final season with the Twins, with a career-worst 5.71 ERA, 4.61 SIERA, and -0.2 fWAR in 69 1/3 innings. The southpaw relies on his control to get hitters out (career 5.9 BB%), as he strikes out next to nobody (16.7%).

Since Milone has spent most of his career in the American League, only three current Reds have faced him. Joey Votto is 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk, Eugenio Suarez is 1-for-4, and Zack Cozart is 0-for-2.


Meanwhile, Feldman will take the hill for his third start with the Reds. After he was knocked around on Opening Day, the right-hander bounced back with a gem against a dangerous Cardinals lineup in his second time around. In six shutout innings, he allowed only four hits and one walk while striking out six.

Some fun with small sample sizes:

-Ordinarily, Feldman is a similar pitcher to Milone, but his strikeout numbers have been a pleasant surprise thus far, though it’s unlikely to last; his career strikeout rate is just 14.6%. But hey, if he continues doubling his career K% this year with the Reds, I don’t think anyone would complain.

-His 27.9 K% currently ranks 21st out of 108 qualified pitchers. The first two guys in front of him? Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner.

-Known as a ground-ball pitcher (47.3 career GB%), he has been anything but through two outings, inducing a grounder only 29.6 percent of the time.

Lineups

Brewers Reds
1. Jonathan Villar (2B) 1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Eric Thames (1B) 2. Jose Peraza (2B)
3. Ryan Braun (LF) 3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Travis Shaw (3B) 4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Domingo Santana (RF) 5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Keon Broxton (CF) 6. Zack Cozart (SS)
7. Manny Pina (C) 7. Patrick Kivlehan (RF)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS) 8. Stuart Turner (C)
9. Tommy Milone (P) 9. Scott Feldman (P)

The lineup looks a bit different than the usual one Bryan Price has rolled out this season. With a lefty on the mound for the Brewers, Patrick Kivlehan is getting the start in right field. Stuart Turner will get his third start of the year behind the plate, catching Feldman for a second straight outing.

News and Notes

Lots of big news today. First, the Reds’ top offensive prospect, Jesse Winker, was promoted from Triple-A. He may not stay in the majors for long, but hopefully he can get into a game this weekend.

Barrett Astin, who’s starting to wear out his own trail between Cincinnati and Louisville, was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Winker.

Later in the afternoon, we got an answer to the question we’ve been asking since Rookie Davis was hit in the forearm with a pitch on Tuesday: who will take his spot the next time through the rotation? We now have our answer, and another young Reds prospect will be making his MLB debut on Sunday.

Final Thoughts

After getting shut down by Jimmy Nelson and the Brewers bullpen last night (only five hits), the Reds need their offense to come back to life. Facing a pitcher who throws to contact may be what they need to get going again. If Feldman can continue pitching as he has since the second inning of Opening Day, you have to like their chances to get back on the smiling side of the scoreboard.

59 thoughts on “Reds vs. Brewers — April 14, 2017

  1. With the Romano decision, the Winker call up makes a little sense. They don’t need Romano for two more days, so what to do with that roster spot? Barrett Astin pitched two innings last night, so he’s unavailable tonight. He was sent down. Who to bring up? I guess they decided bullpen help wasn’t needed. So they called up a hitter and figured Winker would be the best bench bat. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this is just a two-day stint for Winker. There’s no reason on the merits for him to play ahead of the three OF who are regulars now, especially since he isn’t a platoon match with Schebler. Hard to see them platooning Duvall.

    How would you all feel if this resulted in Schebler moving to CF and playing Winker every day in the OF, mainly at the expense of Billy Hamilton?

    • If it were Schebler starting as the exclusive CFer, Winker exclusive in RF, and Duvall exclusive in LF, I wouldn’t like it one bit.

      Billy Hamilton, despite his shortcomings, is a good bet to out-WAR each of those three men this season. And, I still think he’s a candidate for an extension and I think he can be the starting CFer on The Next Great Reds Team.

      A rotating 4 man outfield that let Duvall rest against RHP more often, and let Winker get at least 4 starts per week would be my preferred method.

      And the tastefully named Patrick Kivlehan can go away.

    • I had considered that possibility. I don’t think it would ever happen unless Hamilton goes down with an injury. If Winker was to replace Hamilton as the leadoff hitter, I would be in favor of such a move. Of course I would also want Suarez in the #2 hole between Winker and Votto.

  2. A quick note on lazy managing…

    Tommy Milone, throughout his career, has been more effective against righties than against lefties. So, stacking the lineup against Milone is not really doing anything (if indeed that is why Kivlehan over Schebler/Winker).

    Milone against RHH: 4.27 FIP, 4.11 xFIP
    Milone against LHH: 4.58 FIP, 4.69 xFIP

      • I get that.

        And it’s been shown that pitchers and hitters generally split the difference in regard to their own personal platoon splits…

        So, stacking the lineup against Milone has less of an effect (if any) than it would against a pitcher with normal platoon splits.

        Regardless, you think Kivlehan against Milone is a better option than Schebler or Winker against Milone?

        I stand by my statement. This is lazy managing.

        • Certainly possible. Price is the guy who has managed based on tiny batter-pitcher histories.

      • Also, Kivlehan/Schebler/Winker all don’t have a large enough MLB sample size against LHP to even care what they say. In this situation, you’d want to default to Milone’s split. Or look at those 3 guys minor league splits against LHP, I suppose.

  3. Just saw the graphic about Greinke squaring off against Kershaw tonight: $421 million dollar combined contracts. Hard to get your mind around that

    • Any time I see crazy matchups like that I always wonder if the players themselves would like or hate being on the same team with guys who are as elite as they are. Like would Greinke prefer to face off against Kershaw or would he rather it be like it was with both on the same team? Is Votto a little happy that he can finally face Chapman sometimes? Stuff like that fascinates me.

  4. The offense needs to go work early especially after last night’s no show.Go Reds.

  5. I think the Reds need to get ahead of the curve and start offering donkeys with their player contracts if they are serious about this rebuild effort.

    • Until the Reds stop putting Everybody’s Pal out there to pitch every fifth day they can’t be taken seriously anyway.

  6. Did anyone else see Turner direct Feldman to cover 3B on the foul popup to Suarez while Feldman was just standing on the mound watching the play? That kid is solid and in charge.

  7. Cozart sure does come out of the gate hot. Over the last three seasons, he’s hitting .341/.367/.571 with 25 runs, 14 doubles, 3 triples, and 7 home runs in April.

  8. On the first pitch Joey goes yard.Maybe just maybe he is turning the corner and if so look out,

  9. Wheels starting to come off for Feldman.Average pitcher so you will get an average performance of 4 or 5 innings and the same number of runs,It just is what it is but I can live with it

    • He was hitting 92 in his earlier starts and looks like 89-90 tonite. He’s really only got the curve and he hangs some of those? I’d be happy if he can start every 5th day and come away with a 4.20 era or so. I don’t think we’re winning alot of 2-1 games with him!

  10. Those 2 runs should be changed to Price! Why the heck would Feldman be allowed to pitch to Pina with 1 out and runners on 2B & 3B, with a no-hit SS and the pitcher die up after Pina?

  11. I would be happy with a 4.20 era but that usually means he has some stinkers as well.Great point about pitching to Pina.

  12. Thats another reason to get Lorenzen in the rotation! He can play add-on at the plate unlike Feldman and 95% of every other pitcher!

  13. Price let him hit having already thrown 82 pitches and now faces the top of the order in the fifth which will be his last inning regardless.Interesting when you could have hit for him and would only mean 1 extra inning for the pen and maybe got another run.I know nothing but it is fun to manage sometimes isn’t it?

  14. I don’t like the Feldman experiment! He’s never really been a full time starter….he’s only went 180 innings 3 times in a 12 year career. I guess we’ll see what happens?

  15. It’s going to be real interesting who ends the season with a higher OBP and wRC+, Billy Hamilton or Jose Peraza.

  16. Wow….talk about taking the wind out of our sails after that sweep! The old pen is back:(

  17. It was bound to happen at some point in time.Both guys have been pretty good lately.Maybe we can get a few runs and pull it out.

  18. Wood had 2 strikes on Villar and Peralta had 2 strikes on Thames.Mistake pitches go a long way.

  19. That was just a stupid pitch to Thames by Peralta! Loogy’s are in the league for many years because most lefty hitters struggle with good breaking stuff from a lefty….its not the fastball!! He has him down to 2 strikes and then throws a heater down and in to a lefty power hitter!! Needs to learn from that!

  20. Phillip Ervin with 2 hrs/4 rbis tonite! I’d almost forgot about him! He can run too….could be a much better 4th OF then what we have now!

  21. Looks like we have come back down to earth the last couple of days but as Dusty always said we will get em tomorrow.Good night all.Go Reds.

  22. Remember two days ago when everything was right with the Reds baseball world? Sure you do! Hey, we’re better than last year but the Brew crew has brought us back to earth. Enjoy but don’t expect too much, too soon. We’re asking a lot from our pitching staff.

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