The first place Cincinnati Reds (9-7) will host the world champion Chicago Cubs (8-7) in the first of a three game series at Great American Ballpark tonight at 7:10. The Reds are coming off back-to-back series losses, and have lost 5 of 7. Despite that, the Reds still hold a slim half game lead in the NL Central. However, a loss tonight would mean the best case scenario for the Reds would be second place.

Cincinnati Reds 9-7 –
Chicago Cubs 8-7 0.5 GB
Milwaukee Brewers 9-8 0.5 GB
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-9 2.5 GB
St. Louis Cardinals 6-10 3.o GB

The Cubs were swept by the Pirates last weekend, and lost four straight games. They have however won their last two games. Just a few days ago, sites like BettingSports ranked the Cubs and Reds #1 and #30 respectively in odds of winning the World Series.

Starting Pitchers

PITCHERS IP ER BB K FIP fWAR
Tim Adleman 4.0 1 0 5 3.67 0.0
Jon Lester 18.0 2 5 17 2.03 0.6

Tim Adleman‘s only appearance with the Reds this season came this past Sunday in relief. Adleman pitched a solid four innings (4-7). He only made one start at AAA: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K.

All of Adleman’s 13 appearances last year with the Reds came in starts. The results were good (4.00 ERA), but the peripherals were about what you would expect (5.30 FIP). He doesn’t strike out a lot batters, but the one thing he does well is throw strikes. That is very important against a patient Cubs lineup. Adleman has shown himself subject to the long ball.

Adleman made two starts against the Cubs last year, and it went mostly well (3.97 ERA, 11.1 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 9 K). He gave up home runs to Addison Russell and Wilson Contreras.


Jon Lester is coming off a 2016 season where he finished second in the Cy Young voting. He is off to another great start to 2017. He pitched seven shutout innings against the Pirates in his last start.

Lester has a 3.32 ERA in 9 career starts against the Reds (all coming with the Cubs in 2015-16). Eugenio Suarez and Billy Hamilton both have two career home runs against Lester. Hamilton and Peraza are a combined 10 for 20. Adam Duvall is 2 for 15. Votto is 7 for 24, and has surprisingly never been walked by Lester.

Starting Lineups

Cubs Reds
1. Kyle Schwarber (LF)
2. Kris Bryant (3B)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Addison Russell (SS)
5. Jason Heyward (RF)
6. Willson Contreras (C)
7. Javier Baez (2B)
8. Jon Lester (P)
9. Albert Almora (CF)
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Zack Cozart (SS)
7. Scott Schebler (RF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Tim Adleman (P)

The Cubs offense (101 wRC+) and the Reds (97 wRC+) have been about similar in overall production. The Cubs have a significant advantage in OBP (.337 vs .306), but the Reds have been better in the power department (20 HR vs 13 HR).

Roster Move

Tony Cingrani was sent to the 10-day DL with an oblique injury. The Reds called up Phillip Ervin to take Cingrani’s spot. Steve wrote more on Ervin being called up earlier today.

Other news and notes

Conclusion

The Reds need to get back to winning baseball. What better time to do that than against the Cubs? Go Reds!

About The Author

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

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118 Responses

  1. Greg Pearson

    Once again, rain is a concern, although I’m expecting that it will be much like last night: on-and-off light to moderate rain. As long the lightning stays away, I think we’ll get a game in tonight.

  2. spaulson50@gmail.com

    Good luck to Schebler facing Lester. I don’t get it sometimes. Maybe tonight he won’t strikeout three times and drop an F-bomb heading back to the dugout.

  3. james garrett

    Lets hope we can score some runs tonight.Still think Billy and Peraza need to be split up if not both dropped down.

  4. james garrett

    Its insane to bat guys with the lowest OBP on the team 1 and 2 in the lineup night after night.Good grief

  5. Indy Red Man

    I love baseball but nothing is more boring when your team can’t hit? Even soccer involves a bunch of people doing something…..all they do is make u-turns back to the dugout. I know its early but Price needs to shake up the top of the lineup!

  6. Frogger

    Well, time for me to change the channel. Gonna be another game of Lester getting called strikes. Did not throw Votto one strike according to fox track and got three called strikes on Votto. Everytime I watch Lester he gets those calls. Unwatchable for me. Rigged.

  7. james garrett

    They may not get a hit if they drew their spot out of a hat but it would at least be an attempt to shake something up.Put Suarez and Cozart at the top with their 400+ OBP for awhile and see if this helps.

  8. VaRedsFan

    Anybody reaching 1st, should immediately steal 2nd within 2 pitches off of Lester

  9. Sliotar

    Thom suggesting that the Giants might void Bumgarner’s contract. He is the mousiest, worst type of pot stirrer. Just ridiculous.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I’m listening to the radio broadcast. I simply don’t believe that even Thom Brennaman could think of something that stupid or ill-informed (or both) to say. Bumgarner has one of the most absurdly team-friendly contracts in baseball. He’s earning $11.5 million this year and the Giants have two more option years at $12 million. Over those three years, even assuming he’s out for half this season, he’ll produce $100 million in value.

  10. james garrett

    Did he give any odds on that happening?

    • Tom Diesman

      If you were only listening to Jeff Brantley on the radio you’ll never know.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Squared on the first pitch. The 1B and 3B crashed hard. Hatcher came in to talk to Adleman. Brantley explained that Hatcher was saying if they do that again when you square, go ahead and hit it. On the second pitch, they crept in again (as Brantley called during the wind up) and Adleman squared up then pulled back to swing. I thought Brantley’s call of the play – explaining no one was covering 2B b/c of the bunt crashing and that Russell barely beat the slow-footed Barnhart to 2b.

  11. Indy Red Man

    4 straight balls to Peraza but why load the bases for Votto anyway?

  12. Michael Taormina (@mrtaormina)

    Cubs have thrown behind the base runner at first a few times already this game in an attempt to compensate for Lester not keeping runners close. They even threw behind Adleman once, very interesting.

    • Indy Red Man

      5-3 6-3 6-3 5-3…..cmon Duvall???? He’s not striking out but just keeps topping little dribblers? This is getting depressing! The way we were scoring in Pittsburgh…thought this team might be pretty good offensively?

  13. VaRedsFan

    There looks like more Blue in the stands than Red…and all the chairs are red

  14. VaRedsFan

    Thing of beauty when Suarez shoots the RC field gap

  15. Indy Red Man

    What just happened? 2 hits back to back? Is that legal?

  16. Indy Red Man

    No more Schebs vs lefties please? He can’t hit righties right now! 50/50 that he would find water if he fell out of a boat!

    • Chuck Schick

      He’s not confident; he’s Canadian

  17. magi210

    Tonight’s offensive juggernaut: Adleman???

    • Indy Red Man

      I saw .189 when he was the first time….thats great for a pitcher!

  18. Old-school

    Adam Duvall is a valuable asset to this team-Elite RH power bat and solid outfielder.

    • Indy Red Man

      When he hits it they go….esp in GABP!

    • jveith1991

      I love the fact that he was the throw-in piece in the Leake trade. All reports when the trade occurred highlighted Mella as the main piece. If there was one area Jocketty generally excelled in, it was trades (aside from Chapman’s, of course). The Suarez for Simon deal and the DeSclafani for Latos deals were also clearly won by the Reds (and they each included a second prospect to the Reds).

  19. Darrin

    At least Perazas glove has been a pleasant surprise. IMO.

  20. VaRedsFan

    Some great defense in that inning from Suarez and Peraza

  21. james garrett

    I wasn’t sure if Adelman could get through the 6th but he showed me something.Right now he has knocked in as many as he given up.I would say that’s a good night.

  22. james garrett

    A very good job by Adelman against a very disciplined team at the plate.His 7 K’s surprised me some but he must have made some really good pitches.

    • Indy Red Man

      I don’t think he has a future with the Reds but he goes after hitters and mixes his stuff up pretty well! Tonite was like a tutorial for guys like Bob Steve! Lets see if the pen can put it together! We need this one w/Arrieta tomorrow & Arroyo on Sunday!

  23. james garrett

    Back to back walks by Billy and Peraza get us a run.Who would have though it?Great job.

    • VaRedsFan

      yes he did…. a rope right at the center fielder

      • Grand Salami

        Only fault with that at bat was not looking to swing on pitch #1. Guy was desperate to locate something so fastball middle away should have been in his muscle memory at that point.

        It put him in a tough spot with a good high heat on pitch #2.

  24. VaRedsFan

    Bad throw Billy…had to go to 2nd there…a good throw would have had him though

    • Grand Salami

      Storen is looking like a steal.

  25. Indy Red Man

    What a job by Storen!! Another guy like Adleman that doesn’t seem to have much but I think that Cueto like hitch helps him a little and hes definitely experienced! Good pickup…I hope?

    • msanmoore

      Yep – that hitch looks really weird … but I like the results so far.

  26. BigRedMike

    Good job by Storen. Big Strike out on Almora

  27. msanmoore

    Well that was a happy outcome for Mr. Storen (and us).

  28. msanmoore

    You know, it’s kind of rough when a 1 for 3 night lowers your average … here’s hoping Zack gets a hit.

      • Grand Salami

        What a great year but how many GIDP for coz this year? Seems like a lot – bc bottom of the order produces so many runs?

  29. Indy Red Man

    Cozart is going to hit into alot of doubleplays. He’s been hot and making great contact so why not run Suarez? I think the same thing happened last night?

  30. Grand Salami

    Yeesh. Rizzo barely takes the bat off his shoulder down 0-2 and get a walk.

    He’s in trouble with 2 on no out

  31. Indy Red Man

    Lorenzen’s slider has no bite tonite? Uh-oh?

  32. L.A. Red

    Cozart should have hit him in the face with that throw to first.

    • L.A. Red

      Addisson Russsell knew exactly what he was doing by not sliding into second and if that’s how they want to play then Cozart should give no quarter to the enemy!

  33. VaRedsFan

    Lorenzen digs down deep to avoid any damage

  34. msanmoore

    Scuffle and still escape … nobody typed that last year at this point about our bullpen.

    • Grand Salami

      Ha. Right you are. Unless it was escape to the locker room after giving it away.

      So Ervin gets a start over Schebler tomorrow, right?

      The poor guy is a combination of bad luck and being mildly lost on breaking pitches. At least he gets a lucky hit to break his streak of misery.

      • CP

        I think he’ll get the same treatment as Winker, but I wouldn’t mind giving Schebler or Hamilton a game off against Arrieta.

  35. VaRedsFan

    Schebler needed that…broken bat blooper

  36. redsfan4life

    I hope Peralta is at least up and ready in case he is needed.

  37. Indy Red Man

    We owe Arrieta….but lets finish this one first!!!

  38. Grand Salami

    Stupid Cubs. Can’t even enjoy a cruise into a W.

    • msanmoore

      I’ll take an out on a sac fly at this point.

  39. Grand Salami

    Man. Ump made two awful calls to get Schwarber down 0-2. All it did was get him mad.

    What a battle.

  40. james garrett

    You could see it coming from here to there.Tie game.

  41. Grand Salami

    Whelp. That’s what happens when you play with fire. On to bed as well. Tired of listening to Cubs fans cheer on the audio feed.

  42. VaRedsFan

    Rizzo kills us every time we play them

    • Grand Salami

      Votto had his chances. Got shown up in the battle of hitting 1st basemen.

  43. james garrett

    I am gone as well.Maybe just maybe we can score a run and walk off.

  44. RedAlert

    Lorenzen is a thrill a minute –

  45. VaRedsFan

    That’s what superstars do in big situations

  46. Indy Red Man

    So sick….we need a walkoff here in the worst way!!!

  47. Tom Mitsoff

    Someone needs to step up here and make something happen. Can’t let this year unravel like last year again.

  48. Sliotar

    Half-innings like that one should make great research/case history for the Reds as the season goes on.

    In the short term, this game is still there to win.

  49. Playtowin

    Lorenzen is a nice fellow but not quite ready for prime time.

    • Sliotar

      Rizzo hit a 96 MPH pitch.

      Was it simply bad luck for Lorenzen to hit 40 pitches, trying to go through the heart of the Cubs lineup?

      That’s what I mean by case history.

      Lots of unknowns still to how this bullpen system (or lack of) is going to play out.

      Lorenzen has lively stuff.

    • Indy Red Man

      He’s got the talent but let some atbats get away! He had Montero down 1-2 to start the inning and threw him a slow breaking down & in! Lefties love down & in! We need this one some how some way!!!

  50. Indy Red Man

    Price could’ve put Peralta in to face Rizzo as well! Oh well….its over. Good teams & improving teams find a way to win games like this!!

    • Indy Red Man

      I liked Lorenzen since day 1 with the Reds but Peralta might be #2 in the pen now! His stuff is nasty!!

    • Sliotar

      Lorenzen at 40 pitches is still better than LH Peralta vs. LH Rizzo? That is a question Price has to be asked by the beat writers after the game.

      I assume the answer is yes, because Lorenzen stayed in.

      Will be interesting to see if that scenario plays out the same as the season progresses, or if the Reds decision-making changes as they truly get a handle on what Lorenzen’s ceiling is.

  51. VaRedsFan

    Rizzo has only hit 17 HR vs the Reds (382 PA’s)….sure seems like more

  52. Playtowin

    Thom blasts Votto for not moving position to LF for Alonso…like Bryant, Schwarber, Young, and Zobrist have done. Thom and Marty hate Votto.

  53. Indy Red Man

    Walk beats Bob Steve again….this one is over. They just own us…..they’re better and thats that. Tough being a Reds fan and Pacers fan…..basically nothing but torture

    • Marcus French

      Reds can’t win if Votto is Canadian… I mean (not) Confident. They don’t have that right now, so their margin of error is too narrow

    • Indy Red Man

      Means he sucked….sort of like “He can’t walk and chew gum”

    • Marcus French

      Ah! Just got it. I had pictured him standing there with a bat trying to hit “water falling out of a boat”… but it is he that is falling out of the boat, and then his body hits the water… deep mysteries from the booth

    • joshtrum

      If he fell out of a boat he wouldn’t even hit the water.

  54. Brospeh

    Wait. Alcantara is up. We’re saved

  55. RedAlert

    status quo – stupid Cubs own the Reds

  56. VaRedsFan

    2-0 on Peraza…swings at ball 3…not the 1st time either

  57. Tom Mitsoff

    That one hurt. Holding on would have felt like, “this is a new year. Our bullpen doesn’t suck and the Cubs don’t own us.” Feels every bit like last year though.