A meaningful game on the riverfront, it will be.

The Cincinnati Red Leaders are hosting the San Francisco Death Stars on a night when the first 20,000 people through the Great American Ball Park gates will receive a Reds Star Wars t-shirt.


And it’s just a darn shame that Wookie Davis isn’t starting for the home team, isn’t it?

With a Cincinnati win and a Chicago Ewoks loss tonight, the home team would truly be Red Leaders – tied for first place in the National League Central.

It would be nice to see a decent-sized crowd in response to the Red Leaders’ recent five-out-of-six hot streak. Cincinnati’s average home paid attendance of 20,621 is 27th in the majors, ahead of only Cleveland (CLEVELAND???), Oakland and Tampa Bay.

It was only one game, but the visitors from the Bay last night looked every bit of the last-place team they currently are. Watching their pitchers walk 12 and give up 16 hits elicited flashbacks to some performances by the home team in recent years. We could feel the pain of the folks watching back in northern California.

The forecast for tonight’s game is much better, with temperatures near 60 and little to no chance of rain – much better than the Star Wars weather forecast in the UK:


In any case, most Redleg Nation readers certainly are in alliance with these immortal words of Darth Vader:


Starting Pitchers

Ty Blach 17.2 2.55 5.34 7.3% 8.7%
Amir Garrett 30 4.50 4.05 21.3% 8.2%

Neither starting pitcher has faced the opposing team previously, which probably gives the pitchers the advantage early in the game. Don’t expect a game like last night’s in which the teams combined for 12 runs in the first five innings.

If you subtract Garrett’s horrible start against the Brewers, his ERA so far in his rookie year is 2.02. In the four non-Milwaukee starts, he has given up two runs or less each time.

Or, as Darth Vader would say:

To date, Garrett is the staff ace, and you expect to win more often than not when your ace takes the hill.

Blach is a lefthander who has filled Madison Bumgarner’s rotation slot. He has a nice ERA – as did Matt Cain prior to last night’s game. But Blach’s peripherals all compare negatively to Garrett’s.


It should be all hands on deck. Wandy Peralta hasn’t pitched in a few days, and might be available for multiple innings. Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen and Drew Storen should also be available after none of the three appeared Friday night. The only reliever who might not be available is Austin Brice, who pitched two impressive innings Friday in his Reds debut.

Starting Lineups

Giants Reds
2B Kelby Tomlinson (82 wRC+) CF Billy Hamilton (59 wRC+)
LF Brandon Belt (131 wRC+) SS Zack Cozart (154 wRC+)
RF Hunter Pence (83 wRC+) 1B Joey Votto (149 wRC+)
C Buster Posey (148 wRC+) LF Adam Duvall (126 wRC+)
3B Christian Arroyo (83 wRC+) 3B Eugenio Suarez (162 wRC+)
LF Justin Ruggiano (n/a wRC+) 2B Jose Peraza (60 wRC+)
SS Eduardo Nunez (67 wRC+) RF Patrick Kivlehan (88 wRC+)
CF Gorkys Hernandez (35 wRC+) C Devin Mesoraco (110 wRC+)
P Ty Blach (5.34 xFIP) P Amir Garrett (4.05 xFIP)

Patrick Kivlehan gets the start in right field for Scott Schebler, who gets a day off against a lefty. The Giants have loaded their lineup with righthanded bats (Brandon Belt is the only lefty) against lefty Garrett. Justin Ruggiano is making his first appearance for the Giants today after starting the year with their AAA club.

News and Notes

Bryan Price: “The numbers really suggested it was time to make the move (of Cozart to number two in the batting order, and Peraza to number seven), and both are benefitting from it.” (Many Redleg Nation readers would agree.)

Final Thoughts

Go Red Leaders! Win tonight …


58 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    We are heading up 71 to the game!

  2. mwvohio

    Watching Votto’s wRC+ slowly creep up and overtake the rest of his team’s is sort of amusing.

    • cfd3000

      Most of the Reds offense will get hot at some point but given enough time Votto will lead this team and be at or near the league lead in wRC+, OPS and OPS+, OBP and walks, and lead the team in runs scored. If he somehow manages to do all that and lead the league in slugging and/or RBI’s or be close he’ll have a shot at another MVP award. He’s amazing.

    • Vicferrari

      I would think the numbers say Votto should be batting 2nd, but maybe I am not talking to the same numbers as Price

  3. Shchi Cossack

    LH starting pitcher on the bump against the Reds tonight. I know that Mesoraco is still working on getting his hitting stroke and timing back, but hitting Mesoraco 8th against a LH starting pitcher? That’s borderline insanity and incompetence. Certainly his brief record since his activation from the DL is a miniscule sample size, but a 110 wRC+ is still a 110 wRC+. No one is going to convince the Old Cossack that Kivlehan and Peraza are better hitters against a LH pitch than Mesoraco…ever.

    With that said, I hope Peraza and Kivlehan both put up a 2.100+ OPS tonight and lead the merciless demolishing of the last place team from the bay area. I really like Bochy as a manger and the Giants as a team, but they left a lumpy bad taste in the Old Cossack’s stomach that may never go away.

    • Indy Red Man

      I wouldn’t want Peraza batting 8th…ever! You need a guy that understands that he’s often going to be pitched around and will take the walk & not chase a pitchers pitch! I am glad they’re playing Mesoraco alot….just much more of a dangerous hitter then Tucker!

    • Vicferrari

      Makes little sense, Mesoraco should be batting 6th, Peraza maybe 9th, but if the team can get on base over half their plate appearences like last night it won’t matter

  4. Indy Red Man

    Duvall…..guy is a beast! I hope he’s making believers out of the doubters? His swing is short which hopefully makes his slumps shorter as well!

  5. james garrett

    Garrett walks the first two hitters in the second.Going to be a short night unless he throws strikes.

  6. james garrett

    Now and error in right field and there loaded.

  7. Indy Red Man

    2nd ball glove to ground for Kivlehack

  8. BigRedMike

    Strange inning, lot of interest events. Garrett was hit fairly hard that inning

    • msanmoore

      Good to see a TOOTBLAN on the other guys for a change.

    • Indy Red Man

      More for the bloopers video….this is crazy!

  9. msanmoore

    Patrick had better redeem himself with the bat … that’s all I’m saying.

  10. james garrett

    I expect we will see Stephensen tonight.

  11. TR

    What’s wrong with using the old fashioned method of an outfielder using both hands to catch a fly ball? At least you’re ready to throw to where ever.

    • msanmoore

      And he blinked just as it got to the glove. A little redemption on that single. Let’s see where it leads.

  12. msanmoore

    Walks kill … but so do errors. Holy smoke!

  13. mwvohio

    That second “missed” catch in right was an extremely tough play. That ball was mashed.

    • Indy Red Man

      The ball hit his glove though…run all that way and might as well catch! Same rule as NFL WRs….if you can get both hands on then you should catch it!

  14. Indy Red Man

    I wonder if Alcantara could play a decent RF? He’s been hitting decently lately and he’s faster then Kivlehan.

    • Vicferrari

      ???? are you saying about strategy of Amir sacrificing in that situation??? or am I missing something?- as it seemed like a very reasonable decision

  15. Indy Red Man

    Billy ball!!!! Man he is on fire!! When he’s on then the Reds are a dangerous offense!

    • Vicferrari

      was just about to type what an awful AB by hamilton, game day shows he swung at 3 balls way out of the zone, FWIW not watching- nice to see him get a big hit with 2 outs and 2 strikes

      • mwvohio

        Only the first one was way out of the zone.. the other two were mostly close on tv but it’s super hard to tell due to the camera angle so take that with a grain of salt. I hate the GABP camera.

  16. BigRedMike

    The only bad thing there was that Hamilton almost made the 3rd out at second before the runner had scored. Solid game for Hamilton to this point.

  17. Greg Pearson

    Despite his recent hot hitting, that Hamilton Fathead should be a blurry image of him running, or sliding into second base, not swinging a bat!

  18. renbutler

    Happy for Kivlehan after his rough night in RF!

    • renbutler

      I can think of only a couple ways it could be MORE fun. If this were happening against the Cubs or Cards. 😉

  19. mdhabel

    I was just about to comment my only wish from the past 2 nights is that Mesoraco would get in on the action. Nice to see him get a base knock there

  20. mwvohio

    Seriously can we play the Giants and Pirates more? If we did Billy would get 200 steals.

    • Vicferrari

      Through 3 Hamilton is HR away from the cycle

  21. renbutler

    I understand that there’s some dislike for the Giants among many Reds fans, but I feel kinda bad for Blech, er, Blach right now.

    • mwvohio

      I like the Giants when we’re not playing them. No sympathy from me though, we’ve been on the other side of this coin plenty this year with plenty more to come I’m sure. Just part of the game when you have young pitchers.

    • Vicferrari

      c’mon third time through the line up and he has only walked one batter

  22. james garrett

    Young guy is taking his lumps.Next time out will give them an indication of what they have got in him.We have been there with our guys too.

  23. Indy Red Man

    Man that was crazy!! They’ve hit alot of balls hard but also about 10 dribblers and loopers that have found holes in the last 2 nights! I was hoping Billy would steal again when he got on! He’s on pace for 102 steals and nobody has stolen 100 since Vince Coleman in 1987!

  24. Indy Red Man

    fitting that today is the anniversary of the Hindenburg

    “oh the humanity”

    From a Giants blog….lol

  25. Preach

    Thom really has no freaking clue how to use stats.

  26. Preach

    Is it really a dangerous thing to let Billy race John Ross? It’s one thing these guys​ do every day of their lives, it would raise a lot of money for charity, and would be a great national story for Cincinnati sports in a very negative time.

  27. Indy Red Man

    Ryan Zimmerman hitting .439 and on pace for 70 hrs/183 rbis. Offense is back to the roid era it seems?

  28. seat101

    Is Thom pronouncing Adam Duvall’s name correctly, the last name I mean?

  29. Preach

    In a 10 run game, the third base coach has the easiest job in the stadium: just throw up a stop sign. No sense getting someone hurt over 1 run here.

  30. Preach

    While reliever ERAs are sketchy at best, this guy has a 22.50 with a .545 avg. Sounds hopeful. Of course, he just retired us 1,2,3…..

  31. Preach

    Robert Stephenson on to make it a ballgame

    • Indy Red Man

      He has a live arm!! Up to 97 tonite so far and he also has a good curve! Its just getting ahead in the count and keeping the ball down. He’s always 3-1 and walking people…wild right down the middle and giving up bombs!

  32. Preach

    Out of curiosity: anyone know what that tattoo on Scooter’s arm says? I know he’s an active Christian, so it might be Scripture, but was interested. Didn’t see anything in a quick online search.