Game Thread

Reds at Cardinals — April 30, 2017

In a game filled with TOOTBLANs and umpiring that made you yearn for robots calling balls and strikes, the Reds dropped their fourth straight game on Friday night, falling 7-5 to the Cardinals. Once again, the team’s starting pitcher was unable to get deep into the game, and while the offense mounted a late-inning comeback, it was too little too late.

Saturday’s game was rained out, but — weather permitting — the Reds will try to right the ship today to conclude what turned out to be a brief series. (Note: The teams have not announced a makeup date for yesterday’s contest.)

Starting Pitchers

Pitchers IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Bronson Arroyo
21.0
6.86
4.54
18.0%
5.6%
Mike Leake
27.1
1.32
3.18
19.2%
3.9%

If you were told five years ago that either Bronson Arroyo or Mike Leake would be on the 2017 Reds — but not both — how many of you would’ve guessed the former? (Put your hand down, you liar!) Arroyo, at 40 years old, is coming off his best start of the comeback tour with the Redlegs. Against the defending World Series champs, he fired six innings of two-run, three-hit baseball, striking out seven and walking nobody. Not many people expected to see a performance like that from Arroyo after his first three outings, and you have to applaud him for pitching such an excellent game with a mid-80s fastball against a potent offense. His overall numbers still aren’t great — and who knows if he’ll continue to pitch like that — but it was fun to see him turn back the clock, even if it was only for one day.


Mike Leake signed a five-year, $80 million contract with the Reds’ archrivals after the 2015 season. His first year in St. Louis didn’t go well in terms of results (4.69 ERA), but his peripheral stats indicated he still pitched fairly well (3.76 xFIP). This season, Leake is really showing Cardinals fans why the team made such a big investment in him. He’s been the team’s best pitcher through the first month, as you can probably tell from the numbers above.

The right-hander still won’t get confused for a strikeout pitcher, but he is fanning hitters at a rate higher than his career mark of 16.2 percent. His excellent control is still there, as well; in fact, it’s only gotten better since he arrived to his new team. He walked a career-low four percent of hitters last season and is on his way to an even lower number this season. Through his first three starts, he allowed a mere one base on balls. Leake is also inducing ground balls at a career-best clip (58.2 GB% — tied for seventh among qualified starters).

Although Leake has only been in St. Louis for a little over a year, the Reds have faced him five times. One of the two players the Reds traded Leake for, Adam Duvall, has hit well against him, going 5-for-16 with two homers and eight runs batted in. Billy Hamilton (7-for-11, 1 HR) and Zack Cozart (5-for-10, 2 2B) have also found success against their former teammate.

Lineups

Reds Cardinals
1. Billy Hamilton (CF) 1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS) 2. Aledmys Diaz (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B) 3. Matt Carpenter (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF) 4. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B) 5. Stephen Piscotty (RF)
6. Scott Schebler (RF) 6. Yadier Molina (C)
7. Jose Peraza (2B) 7. Randal Grichuk (LF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C) 8. Kolten Wong (2B)
9. Bronson Arroyo (P) 9. Mike Leake (P)

As expected, Devin Mesoraco is getting a day off after appearing in his first MLB game in over a year on Friday evening. According to the Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans, the plan is to split the catching duties right down the middle between Mesoraco and Tucker Barnhart. Bryan Price also indicated that Jose Peraza would move down in the order, and he followed through on that by batting him seventh today — the first time all season he hasn’t hit in the one or two hole. Peraza has excellent contact skills, but until he shows better plate discipline, this is a good spot for him in the lineup.

News and Notes

Update: Looks like the game will start on time.

Stat of the Day

On Friday, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit a home run at the highest exit velocity recorded in the Statcast era (119.4 mph). That left me wondering which Reds player has the hardest hit dinger.

The current mark to beat in 2017 is 108.1 mph, set by Eugenio Suarez on April 22 against the Cubs. It was an opposite-field bomb, too.

 

Michael Lorenzen (!) currently sits in second place at 107.8 mph, while Adam Duvall is third at 107.6 mph.

Duvall holds the Reds’ record in the Statcast era with a 110.7 mph shot on July 9, 2016.

Final Thoughts

Today might be another rain-filled day for the Reds. Should they play, the team could desperately use another six-inning start, or longer, from Arroyo (it seems like I’ve written some iteration of this in every game thread, doesn’t it?). Cincinnati’s starters haven’t given the team any chance to win this week. Since Arroyo’s start last Sunday, the other members of the rotation have pitched only 16.2 innings, allowing 25 earned runs, 32 hits, 11 walks, and six home runs. Let’s see if he can defy age once more and toss another gem.

97 thoughts on “Reds at Cardinals — April 30, 2017

  1. If the Reds hold on to this one, they will have 11 wins in first month of the season….4 of them in Saint Louis.

    That isn’t going to sit well with the self-proclaimed “Baseball Fans in Baseball.”

    • With Mes at the plate, they sent Alcantara to second. The second baseman fielded the throw in front of second base and threw Peraza out at the plate EASILY. Never touched the plate, just grazed the waiting mitt of Molina.

  2. What an encouraging win! I turned the TV off at 4-0. Looks like the back end of the bullpen is turning into Peralta and Iglesias.

  3. April is in the books. Duvall .247 AVG, .292 OBP, 49 TB, 16 runs &17 RBI. Schebler .244 AVG, .319 OBP, 49 total bases, 12 R & 18 RBI. Winker ( AAA ball) .268 AVG, .349 OBP, 23 TB, 5 runs, 9 RBI plus 1 for2 , a 2 RBI double in ML. There’s just no case for a Winker promotion or a Schebler/ Duvall demotion from starting lineup.

    • Bou, you should mention the # of games each has played. It will tell you way more about these numbers than just putting them out there.

      • Winker =73AB (71 in Louisville), Schebler =82, & Duvall =89. There still is no case.

        • So in other words, there isn’t much data to support a case either way at this point. Which is why we shouldn’t expect Winker to be brought up now or one of the other guys being demoted (no matter how well/poorly anyone is playing). Perhaps as we approach June, we then have enough information.

  4. Well put MRRED.The data is what it is and with guys that have very little playing time in the big leagues you must be patient.However when they are going bad as position players always do from time to time as a manager you can do some things to help them.Things such as a day off against a tough pitcher or dropping them down in the order come to mind.Its also on them to take extra hitting look at film talk to vets such as Votto on hitting.Duvall has his first full year last year and exceeded a lot of people’s expectations.Schebler had a really good second half and has turned it around the last few games and had a big hit off a lefty to tie the game.I am all for bringing up Winker because of his OBP skills and letting him play the second half but not at the expense of the two guys I mentioned.I am a big Billy fan but unless he turns it around by mid season I would think Scott moves to center and Billy sets.I know Billy brings elite defense but he never walks and does not hit for any power so do we go forward with him or not?He does have value as a pinch runner and a late inning defensive replacement if we can carry him on an already short bench.Not ready to give up on him but this is his fourth year I believe.

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