The Reds are on a two-game losing streak and the last two days have been fairly ugly, but the good news is they’re still in first place in the NL Central with a 7-4 record. They’ll look to maintain the division lead at 1:10 p.m. as they try to avoid their first series loss of the season to the Brewers (6-5).

Starting Pitchers

Pitchers IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Zach Davies
Brandon Finnegan

Zach Davies is a former 26th round pick of the Orioles in 2011. He was traded to the Brewers in 2015 for outfielder Gerardo Parra and debuted later that year. Last year, his first full season, he quietly put up solid numbers, posting a 3.97 ERA, 3.94 xFIP, and 4.06 SIERA. Davies’ sophomore campaign is off to a rough start, however. He’s allowed more earned runs (11) than innings pitched and has nearly as many walks as strikeouts. The 24-year-old showed excellent control in his first full season (5.6 BB%), so you have to think he’ll improve as the season moves along.

Given that he pitches in the same division, the Reds have seen quite a bit of the right-hander already. Adam Duvall (5-for-14, 2B, HR), Joey Votto (5-for-12, HR), and Billy Hamilton (4-for-8, 3B) have had good success against him. Jose Peraza also has one of his three career home runs against Davies.

Opposing Davies will be another young pitcher in Brandon Finnegan. Although he still possesses a nice, shiny ERA, the Reds southpaw is coming off an erratic showing against the Pirates on Monday. The 23-year-old lasted only two innings in the game, throwing 69 pitches and walking five batters, the last of which was with the bases loaded. He wound up allowing only that run after Michael Lorenzen escaped the jam, but it was a definite step back from his masterful outing on Opening Night. Finnegan’s future looks bright; it’s just a matter of finding consistency at this point.


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. Domingo Santana (RF) 4. Scott Schebler (RF)
5. Hernan Perez (3B) 5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Keon Broxton (CF) 6. Scooter Gennett (LF)
7. Jett Bandy (C) 7. Zack Cozart (SS)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS) 8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Zach Davies (P) 9. Brandon Finnegan (P)

Scott Schebler and Tucker Barnhart are back in the lineup this afternoon, but Adam Duvall is getting a day off for the first time this year. Curiously, Bryan Price chose to start Scooter Gennett in left field instead of Jesse Winker. Keep in mind that Gennett has never played left field in any professional game, majors or minors, except in spring training. Assuming Winker goes back to Triple-A tomorrow when Sal Romano is called up, it’s difficult to understand why they brought him up in the first place if he wasn’t going to play. Ultimately, two days of service time won’t hurt anything, but it’s a strange move by the Reds nonetheless.

News and Notes

A Devin Mesoraco update:

A Homer Bailey update:

It’s also Jackie Robinson Day, which is always a cool celebration each year.

Not much other news before today’s game. It is Cody Reed’s 24th birthday, though!

Stat of the Day

I posted this in the comments of yesterday’s preview, but it bears repeating for those who didn’t see it. Zack Cozart has started the last three seasons on fire at the plate. This year, he’s leading the NL in batting average (.467), ranks second in on-base percentage (.514), and sits in third in slugging percentage (.767) through 35 plate appearances. He’s also tied for the MLB lead in fWAR (0.8) and trails only David Freese in wRC+ (233). Over the last three seasons, he’s batting .342/.367/.565 with 25 runs, 14 doubles, three triples, and seven home runs in April.

Final Thoughts

The Reds are on a losing streak for the first time this season. They could really use a good outing from Finnegan after a poor start from Bronson Arroyo on Thursday and a so-so showing from Scott Feldman on Friday. Reds starters have only pitched six or more innings five times through the first 11 games, and the bullpen has been heavily worked. The offense could use a jolt, as well, after scoring only five runs in the first two games of the series. Let’s see if they can break out of their mini-slump today.

Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

Join the conversation! 126 Comments

  1. Now I’m not so sad that I’m at the office this morning/early afternoon. No Winker in the lineup for no apparent reason. Each of Gennett and Kivlehan got PT last night. Why not let Winker get his first start?

    I’m sure Jesse appreciates the major league paycheck for 2 days, but I’d be a bit disappointed if I were him and my “call up” likely entails only two pinch hits, the first of which comes down 7 runs in the 9th inning.

    • Winker wouldn’t have batted last night had the rally not extended improbably. Price passed up several chances to have Winker pinch hit.

      • Ahh good point.

        • THIS is why Price has to go. He continues to be the Dusty “play the vets” over the future. He did the same thing with a Peraza last year and many others. Even having Reed in the pen is the same thing. It’s like he does this overtly to make the FO look stupid.

          • Yes, I’m sure Bryan Price, who is in a lame duck situation for the 2nd straight year, UNILATERALLY makes The Who plays, Who doesn’t decisions for a rebuilding team.

            That utterly defies logic and conflicts with how any business ( including baseball) is actually operated.

          • WHY DO THE REDS NEED A MANAGER IF THE FRONT OFFICE DECIDES WHO PLAYS ???!!! THATS A LUDICROUS STATEMENT – same argument that you made last year Chuck – that’s lame and absolutely ridiculous !!!

  2. Also, very interesting to see Schebler leap-frog Suarez in the lineup when they have gone 5-6 in every other game so far. Not that I’m complaining… even with Suarez’s hot start, Schebler has better career numbers against RHP.

  3. It’s almost like Price didn’t agree with calling up Winker – probably wanting a ninth reliever in the pen. So Price is ignoring Winker in terms of development. The need to get Gennett his first playing time (ever) in left field is more important than giving the top outfielder in the Reds system the playing experience.

  4. On the surface, not using Winker to cover Duvall’s day off make about as much sense as using Lorenzen last night after game was already pretty far gone.

    • But dig deeper, and…..

      Yeah, it still makes no sense.

    • Perhaps they called him up just to generate a headline and possibly sell a few extra tickets?

      Since its only a 3 day stint, perhaps they don’t want to play him since if he gets hurt they could lose almost a year of service time while paying him a MLB salary to not play.

      • Then why did they belatedly send him to the plate in the 9th last night?

        • Or why call him up at all…? It’s just another bogus move and a bone-head decision.

          • They drew 23,000 last night vs 17,000 for the first Friday night home game last year. Thats about $2000,000 in extra revenue and Jess Winker was paid $3,250 for his efforts….not a bad profit margin.

            Is the 35% jump all because they called up Winker? Absolutely not, but given the depletion in the season ticket base they have to do things that generate headlines at times and drive walk ups.

      • How were they going to generate ticket sales if the intent was to let Winkler sit on the pine a few days, and then send him back down?

  5. Price to Winker: “NO SOUP FOR YOU!”

  6. Good gosh… sure looks like Finnegan has the pitching yips.

    • I bet his mechanics are broken. He’s walked, what, 6 guys and got 3 outs in his last 1+ IP?

    • I’m more afraid that his problem is mental and not mechanical. Mechanical problems are fairly easy to fix.

      • He has always come off as a very tough, very level-headed guy. Not sure why he’d have mental problems all of a sudden, especially after his fantastic 1st start. Maybe you’re right though. Who knows?!

  7. More check swings from Votto. I’m starting a GoFundMe page to raise money for a new wallet.

  8. Finnegan not being able to throw strikes and 3 batters with garbage contact off Zach Davies… might be long day, Nation.

  9. Bob Steve is in….Gosh I hope Finnegan isn’t hurt. That probably means more Arroyo.

  10. Wow, either Finnegan is hurt or that is a quick hook from Price.

  11. Nice inning for RS. Let’s get some hits and runs on the board.

  12. He looked hurt to me. His mechanics were also all over the place. Even against the same batter he was in different arm slots. Looked to struggle getting the arm up on the release point.

  13. And for the record, all the good will that Price earned from me earlier went away when I saw that Scooter was in LF over Winker today. Why? I want to grab Price, tell him to look me in the eye, and tell me what the f*** he’s thinking with Scooter over Winker in LF? If he’s up here we need to play him. If we aren’t playing him send him back down so he can play.

    • So you think Price unilaterally determines playing time for the organization’s top prospect? A guy with 150 games left on his contract, who’s boss happens to be the co-owner’s son, is the one that says ” No Winker today.”

      No way

      • Yes, I do. The same way that the CEO of a large corporation doesn’t dictate what his SVPs do on a daily basis.

        Price is the manager. It is his job to make these decisions. If the FO is making these decisions, then this franchise has no hope. And I can’t accept that level of sadness yet.

        • This x 1000 – nail on the head Patrick !

        • Your analogy makes no sense. The Reds aren’t Exxon. They’re very valuable and very visible, but yet a family business. CEO’s/GM’s generally don’t dictate day today activity, but they do make the big decisions….like how to handle the organizations most valuable assets.

          Does Castellini tell Price who to pitch? Probably not. Does Williams? I’m sure at times Price is given edicts on what the FO wants to see. I would think how the organization’s top prospect is handled falls outside the sole domain of the field manager.

      • Does it make any sense that Williams would roster him and tell Price not to play him? Come on Chuck.

        • Yes, it does make sense. An Easter weekend series against the Brewers has no drawing power….none. You might draw 45,000 for the weekend. Calling up Winker and starting Romano changed that dynamic. Since Winker is only here for 2 days they just don’t want him to get hurt.

          • You’re kidding right ??- Don’t want him to get hurt –REALLY ?????? !!!!!!!

    • I’m right there with you on this one. All the Reds are doing with the Winker being called up for a few days without playing situation is alienating the fans who are actually behind the rebuild and are excited about and looking forward to seeing the Reds players of the future in action. At this rate, the first weekend the Cubs are in town, Reds fans will be a 4:1 minority in Wrigley south.

      • Thanks Tom…I raised this point yesterday saying Winker got a slap in the face not starting….24 hours later…..With kivlehan and scooter getting outfield starts….I stand by it……It’s the first time this FO and manager seem to be on different pages….Or at the very least….No common sense….Isn’t that what beat writers are for???? Ask the question.

  14. Shebler DONGGG!

  15. Schebler’s first at bat is exactly the reason he needs to be given every chance to play (and I was typing this before he hit the HR).

  16. I do like Schebler.

  17. Oh, I just noticed Gennett is batting ahead of Cozart… HAH!

  18. COZART…3 bags….tie game!!

  19. Cozart is the definition of locked in. Just wow.

    • A beyond lucky near-.600 BABIP can make it seem that way.

    • 3rd triple of the year too.

    • Stephenson needs to give them some good IP today. That will help his stock a ton. 3-4 good IP. Throw strikes and give up no more than 1 run.

      • And of course he gives up the gooher. Ok son, that’s it. Lock them down from here.

    • So far he’s having an all-star caliber season, good for him, I really like that guy. I think he can have at least three good seasons under his belt.

  20. Cozart just keeps adding to his value with every AB.

  21. OK…3-2 good guys!!!

  22. Big inning for Stephenson to shut them down after the offense just got the lead.

  23. This has been kind of an ugly game so far. Just disjointed, no real flow to anything.

    These are the kind of games this young team needs to learn how to win.

  24. I hope the Winker followers get a grip. He is NOT a top prospect. His status as a prospect has declined over the last 2 years. He is slow, below average defensively, and has shown little power. At present he is significantly behind Duvall. Hamilton, and Schebler. He is clearly not the next coming of Ted Williams. Worrying about him is akin to worrying about Brandon Larsen. Winker will demonstrate he is ready when he begins to blossom in the minors. At this point he has only shown he has fill- in ability. That is why he wais called up for a couple of days. He will get further opportunities this year when the Reds need an extra bat. I really hope Winker turn it to be terrific but so far that is not the case.

    • Then why is he here? If DW felt that way he’d be starting in LF for the Bats tonight. Lookeep, I’m a realist and don’t know if Winker will be more than an average MLB player but the Reds still feel that he’s one of their top hitting prospects.

      • Maybe they wanted to give him a little cash bonus? Maybe they wanted him to sniff a MLB dugout? Who knows? I’m amazed that people are fretting over two days of missed development time. Sheesh. I understand that fan is short for fanatic, but this is Kathy Bates level of obsessiveness. :p

    • This. There has been was to much angst spilt over Mr. Winker. He’ll get his chance and then people can start clamoring for the next guy.

    • How is he not a top prospect? Excellent hitter and walks more than he strikes out. OBP skills not at Votto levels but probably has better plate discipline than anyone else on the current team. Lack of power likely has to do with a wrist injury last year. I don’t think anyone’s saying hand him an OF job in the big leagues right now, but when both Schebler and Duvall got days off yesterday and today, it’s puzzling that Winker didn’t get a start.

    • Winker is a top prospect. That’s the worse prospect write up I’ve ever seen on Jesse Winker. I’m glad to know that few if any talent evaluators agree with this depiction of Jesse Winkers talents.

  25. It’s curve-balls like that which make me not want to give up on Robert Stephenson.

    • He obviously has the tools to get MLB hitters out. He seems to go a bit wild sometimes, but overall has looked pretty decent.

      I wouldn’t be opposed to him joining the rotation for the rest of the season. Time to see what he’s got.

      • Stephenson would have a hard time making it through five innings due to pitch count.

        • Sadly, you could be talking of just about everyone of our starters here though.

  26. What a crowded starting rotation will be, at least eight guys for five spots late this season: Reed, Stephenson, Garrett, Finnegan, Davies, Romano, Castillo, Bailey and maybe Disco, that’s a good problem to have.

  27. 2 lineouts from Billy and Peraza…bad luck

  28. As hard as the Reds are hitting Davies, I have to think some of those will start falling in for hits.

  29. What’s the word on Finnegan? Did Price seriously just pull him because he had a bad 1st inning?

  30. Bob Steve needed that 1,2,3

  31. Good inning for Stephenson

  32. Iggy is warming

  33. It will look like a line drive in the box score tomorrow…..

  34. Iggy with a double!!!

  35. Um, Raisel looked like an everyday player on that double. That was great.

  36. That stinks…. Peraza couldn’t get the ball out of the infield. What a wasted opportunity.

  37. Billy and Peraza have done nothing for what amounts to the third straight game.I never thought they should bat 1 and 2 primarily because Peraza hasn’t shown he can or will take pitches.Maybe time to take a look at this.

    • Wow….Votto should be moved too, because he hasn’t done anything in 10 of the 12 games. Jump to conclusions much?

      • Votto’s history is a little different that Hamilton’s and Paraza’s.

    • Neither should be at the top of the lineup to start with. The chances of either of them putting up a good OBP are next to nil.

  38. Strained left Lat. muscle for Finnegan

  39. Not good at all for Finnegan.Brewers have our number this series and continue to put the pressure on.We left our bats in Pittsburgh it seems.

  40. Brewers up 4-3.

  41. Scooter revenge factor….that’s why he’s playing….tie game

  42. Big chance here for Winker….2nd/3rd 1 out.

  43. Winker time. Here it comes

  44. Scooter rakes.Could become super utility guy.

  45. BINGO…Hit number 1 is a 2 run double!!!

  46. Alright, Jesse. Crowd recognizes the significance

  47. And thank you Braun for the help!

  48. I have been watching the gamecast, saw Winker with his first hit and immediately came here to see the fandom of Jesse Winker erupt!!! Where is everyone??

  49. It has been mentioned and will continue to be mentioned about where Billy and Peraza bat in the lineup.I hope by this time next year it isn’t ever talked about but they aren’t getting it done right now.Votto is well Votto so he will always get a pass.

    • Billy proved last year that he could bat leadoff. That being said, I’m OK with he, or Peraza batting in the 9 hole. 2 hole is the worst spot for Peraza IMO

      • He hasn’t convinced me yet. A league average OBP from the leadoff spot is far from ideal in my mind. He only had 2 months last season where he was even league average or better. I’ll be more inclined to believe to say he’s shown real improvement if he can put up a league average or better OBP in 2 of the 3 first months of this year. He’s gonna have to pick up the pace to do it this month.

  50. Thames is so big and strong he doesn’t need to hit a fastball well to make it go a long way.

    • He swatted 124 HR over the last three years in Korea. Then 27 one year in AA. He’s got some pop.

  51. He is a big dude but we may need to try something a little different because he can hit a fastball.

  52. Wiggled off the hook there. I have a feeling that 6 runs will not be enough to win this game.

  53. I heart Ryan Braun in LF today. And everyday. Votto smoked that one though.

  54. I have never been to the stadium because I live in New York. Tell me is it impossible to hit that toyota sign and win that truck? Has anyone ever been close? Dunn?

  55. More awful luck on the Suarez screamer with 1st/3rd no outs

  56. Scooter!!! RBI Double

  57. ughhhh… I don’t like Storen batting here. 2 run lead is far from safe.

  58. Martinez had 11K’s and 8 BB’s in 5.1 IP for the Cardinals today. 118 pitches

  59. Storen and Lorenzen shut the door, and stopped the mini losing streak. Good win (as all wins are). Hopefully Finnegan not out too long. Arroyo might have just got some job security

  60. Now that Finnagan has a torn or strained Lat, he goes to the 60 day d l? I hope Sal Romano pitches six or seven innings tomorrow. Maybe he stays up to replace Finnagan.

Comments are closed.

About Matt Wilkes

Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.


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