All right, let’s see a show of hands, Redleg Nation readers … how many of you thought that on Cinco de Mayo, the Reds would be sitting at .500 and only two games behind the Cubs?
I see a few hands, but your game preview author certainly doesn’t have his hand up. Despite a wave of pitching injuries for the second consecutive season, this team has hung in there thanks to an offense seventh in the bigs in homers (38), sixth in OPS (.763), fourth in slugging (.447) and doubles (56), and second in stolen bases (31) and triples (8).
Or, as Joey Votto says:
MAKE REDS BASEBALL GREAT AGAIN pic.twitter.com/WLweL2Wl14
— RT Ohio (@RT_Ohio) April 30, 2017
Both of today’s starters have had multiple surgeries on their pitching arms in the recent past. Bronson Arroyo’s pattern in five 2017 starts has been making it through the opposing batting order once or twice before the other team starts to square him up and the boom gets lowered. Matt Cain has had a surprising start to this season after a 6-12 record in 28 starts the previous two years. Other than ERA, the 2017 statistics for the two are comparable, so anything is possible tonight.
With Arroyo likely to max out at five innings, the bullpen will, of course, be called upon. If the Reds are ahead, look for a combination of Drew Storen and Wandy Peralta to pitch the key spots. Michael Lorenzen pitched two innings Thursday and is not likely to be used. Raisel Iglesias pitched an inning in each of the previous two games, and it’s not clear if Manager Bryan Price will use Iglesias three days consecutively. Austin Brice is the latest minor-league call-up who is the long reliever du jour.
|2B Joe Panik (111 wRC+)||CF Billy Hamilton (43 wRC+)|
|LF Brandon Belt (136 wRC+)||SS Zack Cozart (152 wRC+)|
|RF Hunter Pence (88 wRC+)||1B Joey Votto (148 wRC+)|
|C Buster Posey (138 wRC+)||LF Adam Duvall (127 wRC+)|
|1B Michael Morse (72 wRC+)||3B Eugenio Suarez (158 wRC+)|
|3B Christian Arroyo (71 wRC+)||RF Scott Schebler (110 wRC+)|
|SS Eduardo Nunez (62 wRC+)||2B Jose Peraza (48 wRC+)|
|CF Gorkys Hernandez (36 wRC+)||C Devin Mesoraco (127 wRC+)|
|P Matt Cain (4.37 xFIP)||P Bronson Arroyo (4.95 xFIP)|
Tonight’s Reds lineup doesn’t have any surprises or players getting a night off.
News and Notes
For Reds followers who think Tim Adleman may be more than just an innings-eater:
— BleedingCincyRed (@BleedinCincyRed) May 5, 2017
And … Happy Cinco de Mayo! The Reds are observing the holiday tonight:
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 5, 2017
Matt Cain is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in his last four outings. He’s on a hot streak, so Los Rojos can’t fall too far behind and have a legit chance to reign victorious.
And speaking of rain … if you’re in town you know it’s been a rainy day with the forecast calling for it to continue through the evening. Hopefully we’ll get this game in tonight.