One last reminder: We’ll be going live tonight during the 7th inning in our first experimental session of the 7th Inning Stretch. I’ll post a link up here and in the comments just before we go live. We’ll be taking questions all day in the comments of this thread, on Twitter and on Facebook.
Amir Garrett continued the hot start to his major league career, striking out 12 Orioles in seven innings, allowing only two runs. The offense couldn’t back him up, however, as Ubaldo Jimenez was arguably even better than his counterpart, allowing only two Reds hits the entire night.
Tonight’s rubber match will be an important game for the first place Cincinnati Reds. Can this young team muster the strength and willpower to get a hard earned series win against the high powered Orioles?
Scott Feldman has been sneaky decent in his tenure as a Red. He started off Opening Day with boos and jeers, but has settled in a little bit since those first few innings and will look to put up his first quality start tonight against the Orioles. The Reds signed Feldman to eat innings, something the 34 year old hasn’t done up to this point. He’ll need to start getting hitters to make weak contact earlier in their at bats, as he’s thrown way too many pitches in each outing so far.
Wade Miley will make his third start for the Orioles in 2017 tonight. His two appearances so far have been a bit of a mixed bag. He somehow walked 7 Yankees without giving up a run in his first appearance, going 5 innings and only allowing a single hit. His second start in Toronto was much better on the control front, walking no one and striking out 8 Blue Jays, but Miley allowed three runs on five hits in that game. Overall Miley’s peripherals on the season look pretty good. The Reds will try to ruin that tonight.
|LF Hyun Soo Kim (66 wRC+)||CF Billy Hamilton (57 wRC+)|
|CF Adam Jones (151 wRC+)||2B José Peraza (49 wRC+)|
|3B Manny Machado (71 wRC+)||1B Joey Votto (115 wRC+)|
|1B Chris Davis (152 wRC+)||LF Adam Duvall (131 wRC+)|
|RF Mark Trumbo (77 wRC+)||3B Eugenio Suarez (194 wRC+)|
|2B Jonathan Schoop (115 wRC+)||SS Zack Cozart (207 wRC+)|
|SS J.J. Hardy (63 wRC+)||RF Scott Schebler (86 wRC+)|
|C Caleb Joseph (-100 wRC+)||C Stuart Turner (-4 wRC+)|
|P Wade Miley (3.89 xFIP)||P Scott Feldman (4.26 xFIP)|
Stuart Turner will take over catching duties for the night, giving Tucker Barnhart the night off. Tuck called a fantastic game last night, and it was clear Amir Garrett was relying on him heavily. Even when Devin Mesoraco comes back, Tucker Barnhart will still be a great and valuable asset for this team.
Perhaps more importantly, there has been a change in the order of the top 7 batters, something I’ve noted Bryan Price doesn’t do a lot of. Zack Cozart and his hot bat will bump up one spot to sixth, sending the struggling Scott Schebler down to the seventh spot. Schebler has one hit, one walk, and four strikeouts in his last 14 plate appearances. The eye test says Schebler is being pitched down and away, and he hasn’t been able to make an adjustment just yet.
For the Orioles, the revolving door of left field leadoff hitters keeps on turning. It’s Hyun Soo Kim’s turn to face the Reds tonight. The 29 year old Korean Baseball Organization product is off to a rocky start in 2017. He was pretty good for Baltimore last season, so we’ll see if he’ll start turning it around tonight. Caleb Joseph takes over behind the plate tonight – he’s a catcher in the mold of Ryan Hanigan, with much less offensive prowess. He’s very good at managing a pitching staff, and that’s what he’ll try to do tonight.
News and Notes
Source: MLB has cleared free-agent Cuban outfielder Luis Robert to sign with a club.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) April 20, 2017
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) April 20, 2017
We’ve seen both the Good Reds and the Bad Reds in each of the first two games against Baltimore so far. Which team will show up tonight? Again, I’ll be going live on Periscope tonight during the seventh inning – tune in, ask some questions, and cheer on your Cincinnati Reds as they go for a series win!