Just a reminder: We’re still accepting questions for tomorrow night’s ‘Seventh Inning Stretch’ liveshow. Either leave them here in the comments, comment on Facebook, or tweet at us at either @JordanBarhorst or @RedlegNation.

The Reds had another great offensive showing last night in their series-opening win against the Baltimore Orioles. Be sure to catch up by reading Nick Kirby’s fantastic recap here. I’ll wait.

Good. Now you’re (hopefully) feeling fantastic ahead of tonight’s game. And for good reason! The Reds are in first place, and until that isn’t the case, I’ll be saying it every day.

Starting Pitchers

Ubaldo Jimenez 8.2 10.38 4.98 14.0% 7.0%
Amir Garrett 12.2 1.42 3.69 19.6% 4.4%

Amir Garrett takes the mound for the Redlegs, looking to extend his string of phenomenal starts to kick off his major league career. The tall lefty has been nothing but great for the Reds, providing the team with some much needed stability out of the gate every fifth game. It’ll be interesting to see if Bryan Price will look to extend Garrett’s leash a little bit and let him eat some innings. He’ll need to repeat his stellar performance from the first two games in order to go deeper in the game, of course.

Ubaldo Jimenez has pitched 4.1 innings in both of his appearances thus far, and he’s earned five runs in each outing as well. His biggest problem in the young season has been keeping the ball in the park. His HR/FB ratio is an alarming 23.1%, well above the league average of 10%. This means roughly ¼ of fly balls hit against him have left the park this season. It’s a stat that takes a while to level out, but you can bet the Reds will look to capitalize on any mistake pitches Jimenez might throw up there.


Orioles Reds
LF Trey Mancini (266 wRC+) CF Billy Hamilton (61 wRC+)
CF Adam Jones (151 wRC+) 2B José Peraza (61 wRC+)
3B Manny Machado (75 wRC+) 1B Joey Votto (123 wRC+)
RF Mark Trumbo (63 wRC+) LF Adam Duvall (148 wRC+)
1B Chris Davis (176 wRC+) 3B Eugenio Suarez (206 wRC+)
C Wellington Castillo (114 wRC+) RF Scott Schebler (116 wRC+)
2B Jonathan Schoop (123 wRC+) SS Zack Cozart (216 wRC+)
SS J.J. Hardy (66 wRC+) C Tucker Barnhart (84 wRC+)
P Ubaldo Jimenez (4.93 xFIP) P Amir Garrett (3.69 xFIP)

The Orioles will switch things up a bit for the second game in this series. Rookie baseball killer Trey Mancini will replace Seth Smith both in Left Field and in the leadoff position. The other move of note is the flip-flopping of Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis from last night’s lineup, most likely due to Amir Garrett throwing the ball with his left hand. It’s little tweaks like this that the Reds have rarely had in their every day lineup, but American League teams seem to feature frequently.

For the Reds, the song remains the same. The Red-hot Eugenio Suarez is back in the lineup after missing last night with a sore neck; he’ll play third base and bat fifth. Here’s to hoping he just slept on it wrong, but hopefully not as incorrectly as Dilson Herrera.

News and Notes

Final Thoughts

The Reds were fun to watch again last night, as they have been often in 2017. As I mentioned yesterday, a series win against Baltimore, a team many view as a top-tier team in the AL, will say a lot about who this Reds team is, and what they’re capable of. It’s early in the season, but eventually it won’t be, and if we keep talking about this team the way we have been over the past few weeks, we could have something special and unexpected on our hands.

About The Author

Jordan has been a lifelong Reds fan, attending games since before he can remember. When he's not watching, listening to, or writing about the Reds, he's designing websites, photographing weddings, and hanging out with his friends and family.

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65 Responses

  1. David

    The Reds won 2 out of 3 from the Phillies, who are probably not going to be that good this year.
    They won 2 out of 3 from the Cardinals, and frankly, the Cardinals don’t look that good, either, getting swept by the Yankees over the weekend, and in LAST PLACE in the NL Central.
    They swept the Pirates, and the Pirates (especially their pitching) doesn’t look too good, either. Maybe the young guys find their control and get better….someday.
    The Reds lost 3 of 4 from the Brewers, and frankly, the Brewers look better both offensively and pitching wise than the Pirates, and probably better than the Cardinals. The Cardinals look especially weak on offense.
    To me, it looks like the Reds and Brewers will be fighting it out for 2nd and 3rd place in the division (Cubs eventually on top), and the Pirates (without Starling Marte for 80 games) and the Cardinals fighting in the cellar.

    It’s early, but the Reds will get stronger when Homer and Mesoraco come back. And stronger when either one or two of Romano, Reed, Stephenson or Rookie Davis settle into better performance as starters.

  2. Kevin Patrick

    I’m pretty sure that committing to saying the reds are in first place till they aren’t is a good way to NOT jinx the club. That said, my question for the seventh inning stretch is this. Have there been any studies done on the relationship between superstitious ballplayers and their success or lack of success? Is it better to be superstitious in baseball or not?

    • Jordan Barhorst

      Good question! I’ll scan the interwebs and see what’s been said.

  3. Patrick Jeter

    After a lot of thought over the last few seasons, I think the Reds don’t optimize the lineup for LHP/RHP because Bryan Price (incorrectly) thinks some guys can hit better in the 5-hole, for example, than in the 6-hole. As if there is something magic about when you come to the plate.

    It’s pretty frustrating, because a player is really the sum of his skill against both pitcher types. And for a lot of players, the difference between those skill levels is pretty big.

    • Jordan Barhorst

      Agreed. It’s baffling how ahead of the curve Price can be in some regards, and how painstakingly archaic he is in some other areas.

  4. CTRedsFan

    Regardless of what else happens the Reds will not remain in first place, or even be competitive, if the starting pitching continues to average 4 1/2 innings per start. No bullpen can overcome that long term and no offense, except maybe the ’27 Yankees, can score enough runs to make up for it.

    • Jordan Barhorst

      If there is a bullpen that could do it, I think you’re looking at it. There are essentially eight starting pitchers on the roster currently, with the understanding that if any of the starting five start to fail, they’re on a short leash. The fact that there are four guys who can come in and pitch three innings means the schedule will be a lot more forgiving on starters who don’t last five innings. Still, not good practice, and its not proven that it won’t be a disaster.

  5. Shchi Cossack

    The Old Cossack is putting down his rubles on Joey Votto finishing his career as the Reds all time leader in 1B appearances. I’m not much of a gambler…

    Here’s hoping DW can make a serious and successful run at Luis Robert, pulling down a surprise signing to rival that of a hard-throwing Cuban left-hander from a few year ago!

    • msanmoore

      +1 which is for the number of games beyond tonight he’ll need to start at 1B to do just that.

    • Jordan Barhorst

      I think it’s a serious failure if the front office doesn’t find a way to sign Robert. They’ve reserved a significant chunk of money for situations just like this. I think the only way he isn’t signed by DW is if he’s looking for something other than money.

  6. Shchi Cossack

    Somebody let Duvall know that 25% of the balls he hits in the air are flying over the fence tonight! He may be able to put a serious hurt on Jimenez and inflate that number a bit.

  7. Shchi Cossack

    WANTED: Table setters for a limited engagement at GABP, for one night only – all the runs the scoreboard can handle for those able to get on base infront of Joey Votto, Adam Duvall, Eugenio Suarez, Scott Schebler & Zack Cozart.

    Typing those names together really makes this lineup feel dangerous, almost like recanting lineups from a Reds team of yore.

    • mwvohio

      Now that you mention it.. is this the most firepower the Reds have had lately? I know it’s early and all but I don’t remember the Bruce/Votto/Phillips teams having this much punch except possibly in 2010. Could just be my memory though.

      • Indy Red Man

        I drove from Indy with a buddy thats a Cubs fan in 2008 (I think?) and the Reds won 9-0 or something? THey hit 7 hrs….Joey hit 3, BP, Big Donkey, and 2 others. That team had some firepower!

      • KetteringRedsFan

        Patrick (or one of the other sabremetricians ) may want to weigh in on this…….

        Just did a fast calculation…..summing the wRC+ of both teams as a quick(but incomplete) measure of offensive capability. Surprisingly, the difference between the Orioles (who are touted as being absolute bombers) and the Reds (who aren’t ) is on the order of 3% or less. Not statistically significant. Just distributed differently in the order.

        Disclaimer: I recognize that wRC+ is not the be-all / end-all of offensive comparison and several metrics should be looked at to get a clear picture, but, I’m just sayin’ ……

      • KetteringRedsFan

        Clarifying: summing both starting lineups. Roster/bench potential not taken into account….

      • Jordan Barhorst

        Just remember…two weeks.

  8. mdhabel

    Cubs win, Reds guaranteed sole possession of first place for one more day.

    Lets get that win tonight and make it at least two more. Baby steps

  9. Indy Red Man

    Reds Over 4.5 runs……seems like stealing against a struggling pitcher!

  10. KetteringRedsFan

    Question for Jordan:

    re Arroyo: It’s often been claimed that he has a distinct preference for pitching night games over daylight. Are there splits that support or disprove? Reason for questioning is that Brantley commented on how much improvement Bronson showed last night over his previous two starts — but (failing) memory suggests that the two earlier starts were daytime starts as opposed to yesterday at night. How much improvement is improvement and how much a reflection of him pitching under more comfortable conditions?

    • Indy Red Man

      For his career….BA during day games 4.12 era versus 4.25 for night games

      • KetteringRedsFan

        Well, it was a good theory while it lasted (grin)………..

      • Indy Red Man

        Arroyo does say that alot….you’re right! Its just not true…lol

  11. L.A. Red

    I’m blaming barnhart for that 1st run. Why is he starting every single batter with a fastball?

  12. L.A. Red

    Fastball fastball fastball…thats all he’s calling for right now. Mix it up please.

  13. Indy Red Man

    That was a big K of Hardy there! If its ok with Price…I’d suggest they play anti-doubles D on the 3rd base line for Castillo. Thats twice in 10 innings where he hits a double by our guy! If we play the line then we get the ball…if the ball to goes to their left then its a single and the doubleplay is still a possibility!

  14. Indy Red Man

    If we quit bunting the ball right back to the pitcher then maybe we could score a few?

  15. Indy Red Man

    Man….as a former lefty pitcher..I really like watching this kid pitch!! I had high hopes for Lamb but he just wouldn’t throw enough strikes and he doesn’t have a changeup like Amir! This kid seems to really have a veteran type ability to work both sides of the plate. He went up above the letters to K Mancini in the 1st! Very impressive!!

    • VaRedsFan

      His motion remind me of David Price

  16. Indy Red Man

    Well Garrett walked the guy to 3rd that scored on a sac fly but 2 runs vs those sluggers in GABP is pretty good! Lets get some offense now!!

  17. VaRedsFan

    strikes out the side…now has 12

  18. james garrett

    Two hits through 5 innings against a guy with a 10 era.WOW

  19. L.A. Red

    Sorry make that 12k’s!!!!!!!!!!!! Offense please help the kid out.

  20. VaRedsFan

    2 hits thru 5 vs a guy with a 10 ERA entering the game. Need a bloop and a blast Peraza and Votto

  21. L.A. Red

    Amir Garrett is the Unquestioned Ace of the this staff!

    • Chuck Schick

      The season is 3 weeks old. He maybe awesome or he maybe a guy that was good for 3 weeks. Way too early to judge

      • L.A. Red

        He’s the Ace because right now he’s the only guy scheduled to pitch every 5 days that you can truly feel is going to give you 6 plus with 3 or fewer runs.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I got crucified by people on the Reds MLB site simply for saying that I found his style annoying. If I had said he was beyond awful someone probably would have figured out where I live and started picketing in front of my house.

      • Tom Diesman

        Thom is pretty brutal, I’d take George Grande back in heartbeat over him, and he’s pretty annoying at times as well. Brantley is still awful at play by play in the radio booth as well. Although he is a good color/pitching analyst. Marty and Kelch are both excellent as play by play.

      • Reaganspad

        I would listen to Brantley any day over Marty (everything is a “rocket or a bomb”). I listen to Marty for the end of the game and the 2nd inning press interview. I never listen to jim. I am fine with George.

        The best team would be Brantley and Welsh. Those 2 are solid. Just wish they could do the game together

      • Jordan Barhorst

        Welsh is my favorite. He’s not afraid to tip his toes into advanced analytics, even though, for the most part, a lot of the Reds fan base is sabermetrically illiterate, mostly due to Marty and Thom being sabermetrically illiterate. Has to start somewhere, I guess.

  22. james garrett

    I am hoping we get it going but that makes 11 innings without scoring.

  23. Indy Red Man

    Bruce with a 3 run shot….5 hrs & 12 rbis. We cleaned up with Duvall for Leake & Suarez for Simon but Bruce for Herrera doesn’t look too great?

    • jveith1991

      The deal will be okay if Herrera’s shoulder stays healthy. From what I’ve read, his shoulder has been an ongoing issue.

    • Reaganspad

      But somebody has to save Marty and Thom from themselves

      • Reaganspad

        Stupid link (or operator error) this was to finish my comment above.

        I do not miss Jay when Schebler is hot. But he would look good in right field for us right now.

        Jay has a 40 HR season in him

  24. Playtowin

    Garrett is very good. Jimenez is just OK. The closer, Britton, is out. Reds need to win this over the last j3 innings.

    • Indy Red Man

      Well it would’ve been over with Brach & Britton but we might have a shot in the 8th? It is a tough one to lose but they just can’t get locked in on Jimenez. He bounces a 2-2 pitch or throws over the hitters head then the next pitch jams our guy or hits the corner. Effectively wild

  25. Carl Sayre

    This seems like a huge waste of what has been a wonderful surprise from Garret! I know he is supposed to be good and be part of our Redlegs future, but I doubt anyone outside of his family thought this would happen! Major league hitters will begin to figure him out and he will come back to earth some but what a pleasant surprise! I hate our bats cooled off and haven’t supported him tonight! Go REDLEGS!

    • L.A. Red

      100% Agree such a wasted start from the Rookie Hurler!

  26. Jack

    Walks Hamilton. Amazing. The guy can’t hit and you walk him.

  27. VaRedsFan

    where’s Steve Bartman when you need him.

  28. james garrett

    Offense not getting it done.We had two games against the Brewers where we scored 1 run and 2 runs.Wasted a great effort by Garrett.Jimenez is terrible and we made him look like you guessed it Cy Young.In the famous words of Dusty we’ll get em tomorrow.Go Reds.

  29. CaliforniaRed

    Why in the hell did Schebler sac bunt with one out and Suarez on 1st early in the game??!! Mistakes like that could be the difference between a W and an L. Did Price make that call? Asinine