The Cincinnati Reds (9-9) will try to avoid being swept by the Chicago Cubs (10-7) at Great American Ballpark today at 1:10. The Reds are trying to avoid falling below .500 for the first time since Opening Day.

The Reds started the season 7-2. They are now 2-7 since, and trail the Cubs by 1.5 games in the division. The Reds have lost 20 of their last 24 games against the Cubs.

Starting Pitchers

PITCHERS IP ER BB K FIP fWAR
Bronson Arroyo 15.0 14 5 9 7.03 -0.3
John Lackey 18.0 8 6 19 4.67 0.1

Bronson Arroyo is coming off his first start that wasn’t a complete disaster (5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K vs BAL). The Reds recent pitching injuries will keep Arroyo’s leash a little bit longer in this season than probably expected.

Arroyo has a career 3.06 ERA in 32 games (30 starts) against the Cubs, granted those starts came before most of these Cubs hitters even reached the big leagues. The only players on the Cubs roster he has faced are Jay, Montero, Rizzo, and Heyward.


John Lackey has been OK through his first three starts. His middle of the three starts was really good: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 10 K vs LAD. So far this season his velocity on most of his pitches is down about 1 MPH, but he is still striking out as many hitters as ever.

Lackey has a 3.56 career ERA in 13 starts against the Reds (5.33 in 4 starts last year). Votto has 2 career home runs against him.

Starting Lineups

Cubs Reds
1. Kyle Schwarber (LF)
2. Kris Bryant (3B)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Ben Zobrist (2B)
5. Addison Russell (SS)
6. Jason Heyward (RF)
7. Miguel Montero (C)
8. John Lackey (P)
9. Jon Jay (CF)
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Scooter Gennett (LF)
6. Zack Cozart (SS)
7. Scott Schebler (RF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Bronson Arroyo (P)

Other news and notes

Conclusion 

The Reds desperately need a win today. You don’t want to fall below .500, and you certainly don’t want to be swept by the Cubs. It was huge yesterday that Bonilla and Stephenson were the only relievers used. The Reds have a mostly fresh bullpen now. I think the best game plan would be to try to have Arroyo just get through four innings, and turn it over to the pen. Go Reds!

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.

Join the conversation! 92 Comments

  1. The better guess is that Arroyo will go 2 1/3 innings and turn it over to the bullpen.

  2. Mahle threw a perfect game? Really?

  3. Congrats to anyone watching this game on a beautiful Spring day. You quality as a Reds obsessive.

    Cubs are a yuuuge favorite (-185). Would be nice to have that famous baseball unpredictableness over the short term show up today.

  4. At one point, there was a revised lineup that had Peraza at short, Scooter at second and Kivlehan in left field …

  5. FYI, edited Reds lineup per MLB. Cozart scratched, Peraza to short, Scooter in at second.

  6. Welch needs to look at stats for first pinch swinging.

  7. 1 IP, 7 pitches, 0 balls, 7 strikes, 3 outs …. What universe did I wake up in this morning?

  8. The problem with Cody Reed is he a thrower rather than a pitcher. He can not locate his fast ball. He can’t throw his slider for strikes or locate it when it happens to be a strike. His stuff is good but until he learns to pitch he will remain unfulfilled promise. Arroyo has 10% of the stuff Reed has but he has been a pitcher over his entire career. Not all throwers have the skills and discipline to become pitchers.

    • So how did he retire 18 straight batters prior to his start? Smoke and mirrors?

  9. Brantley saying that Lackey appeared angry that he didn’t expect Votto to swing 3-0, so he threw more of a get-me-over fastball, and Votto nearly launched it for a home run. Still got the run in. Note to NL pitchers, the book on pitching to Votto should be changing just a bit.

  10. Wow, another 1-2-3 for Arroyo, lots of pitches under 80 mph, and only one ball through first six batters, all else strikes.

  11. Arroyo with 14 pitches through 2 innings. Of those, he has thrown one ball.

    Read that again:

    A REDS’ PITCHER, THROUGH TWO INNINGS, HAS ONLY THROWN ONE BALL.

    Jeez, really hope the kids are taking notes today.

    • Yeah, to borrow a saying from golf, where I’d hear Drive for show, putt for dough, I’d suggest Speed for show, strikes for dough.

  12. So Lackey throws a 76 mph pitch, and Schebler crushes it, home run.

    • Schebler has 10 hits on the season. 4 of them have been HR, 2 have been doubles.

      So of his 10 hits, 60% are of the XBH variety.

      • The broadcast mentioned that it was only the 2nd hit off of a starting pitcher this year

        • Maybe he’s making a case for being the first bat off the bench for late game situations?

          Joking, small sample size and all, but it’s still a pretty fun little factoid.

  13. I will worry when Bronson goes through the Cubs lineup a second time.

    • Yeah, the Cubs are all chomping at the bit because they can’t believe they are seeing this slow junk in a regular season game. They must feel like they have entered a slow-pitch softball tournament.

  14. Nick…I like the Batter vs. Pitcher stats you threw into the game thread…great addition.

  15. Wow, Gameday on mlb.com had that first to Jay at 67 mph — a called strike. Must be quite an adjustment for big league hitters used to seeing high 80s and 90s.

  16. Not to jinx him, but Arroyo is in complete control out there. The Cubs look completely baffled about what to do with his pitches. Can’t say I blame them, I’m pretty sure he’s thrown a few that would be classified as eephus pitches in some circles.

  17. Peraza wit a Frazier-esque swing at the outside pitch

  18. Mahle, after the perfecto, is now 4-0 with a 0.68 ERA

  19. And there it goes …

  20. Rizzo = Reds killer

  21. Yep, jinxed him.

  22. Wow, it looked like Suarez barely made contact with that low pitch, and it short-hopped the wall in centerfield.

  23. Need another hit, Schebler.

  24. Winker bats 7th for Louisville…I don’t look that often, but is this normal?

  25. Arroyo is getting it done by mixing up his arm angles and having a huge speed difference in his pitches. He’s throwing one up there at 67, and he’s hitting 86 on his fastest. No matter who you are, that’s going to seriously mess with your timing.

    • from looking at gameday earlier, i don’t think he throwing his pitches in the 80s in the strike zone. Making guys hit pitches in the 70s. Rizzo’s homer was 71.

      • I’m watching, his “fastball” was tailing out of the strikezone early, but in the last few innings he’s managed to keep it over the plate.

  26. The right fielders are starting to pinch in closer on Peraza now. All of those oppo flares aren’t falling in anymore

  27. Oh boy, here comes Rizzo again…….

    *crosses fingers*

  28. 3 run base cleaner for PK!!!

  29. Wow…. Lackey was definitely not using Disney-safe language after that Cozart double.

  30. Kivlehan !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Big big and I mean BIG hit by Kivlehan.

  32. Scored an error for Ervin….but we’ll take the run!!

  33. Can’t believe I’m saying it, but I’d feel better about this lead if Arroyo were starting the 7th….

  34. a couple of Dink hits off of Wood, and here come the Cubs again.

  35. Two hits for the Cubs to start the 7th so yes they seem to be happy.

  36. I just took a look at Suarez’s second homer yesterday to right and that was a bomb the opposite way.

  37. jeez, none of these are hit hard, some unfortunate placement there for the Reds.

  38. Wandy!!!….Please let him go another inning

  39. Peralta looks like the real deal.

  40. So far so good with Peralta.Showing better stuff then I remember.

  41. Winker is hitting .255 with 0 HR’s and 7 RBI.

  42. Might as well go with Iglesias to start the 8th against the top of the order.

  43. What a sweet pitch for strike 3 to Bryant

  44. I’ll eat crow a little on Arroyo, 2 nice outings by him and I didn’t think that was possible after the first two.

    • Faring better than I expected as well. It doesn’t change the overall narrative that maybe these starts should be going more to the Reeds and Stephensons (and Davis if he’s ready to pitch), but I was expecting the absolute worst against the Cubs.

  45. I think we can say on most days our pen has enough talent and depth to get the job done

  46. Thom Brennaman is always second guessing every decision. The Reds to their credit are trying a new approach with their bullpen. Let’s give it some time to see if it works.

  47. need a double play to squash this thing

  48. …..I have a bad feeling about this….

  49. Tying run at the plate, no outs…..

    We may all be imitating Lackey when this is over.

  50. DP a few batters later…but much needed.

  51. YES!!!!! DOUBLE PLAY!

    1 more!

  52. I can breathe again.

  53. WHEW!!!

    Was having flashbacks to last year. Glad they kept it together.

  54. Back over .500 and not swept by the Stupid Cubs … frankly, I’ll take that today.

  55. Maybe too early to tell…but wonder what difference GM Williams is….versus Retired GM Jocketty for the Reds??

  56. That was a good win….should’ve won the series but it happens! We need to get the lockdown pen going again….that was a rough series for them!

  57. Huge win for the Reds. I would’ve stayed with Arroyo a little longer, maybe one more inning with bullpen warming up. Oh well, glad we beat the Cubs on getaway day!

  58. The Cubs are good,disciplined at the plate,have deeper pockets and know how to win.We are trying to get there minus the deep pockets.Arroyo was outstanding.

Comments are closed.

About Nick Kirby

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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