Game Thread

Reds vs Cubs – April 21, 2017

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!

118 thoughts on “Reds vs Cubs – April 21, 2017

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

    What a battle.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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.

    • 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!!!

  4. 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!!

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

    • 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.

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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