2017 Reds

Reds vs Yankees – May 8, 2017

Tonight the Reds open a two game series versus the New York Yankees at GABP in a battle of first place teams.  At least, that’s what the standings table tells me.  Take a moment to savor that just a game or two short of 20% through the 2017 season, the Reds are in first place which is probably the last place most of us projected them to be this far along.

Both teams come into this game waving their brooms following a weekend sweep. The Yankees are 20-9 overall; 8-2 in their last 10 games. The Reds are 17-14 overall; 7-3 in their last 10.

The teams rank  number 2 and 3 in MLB in runs scored and runs per game; so, get ready for some offense. Well, maybe. The Yankees also rank in the top 5 of MLB in fewest runs allowed per game. Do I need to point out the Reds are well down in the pack (18th) in this category?

However tonight’s game should set up well for the Reds since the Yankees were involved in a record setting 18 inning game Sunday night that burned 11 bullpen innings among 6 pitchers. Erstwhile Reds closer Aroldis Chapman coughed up a 3 run Yankee lead in the 9th inning to st the stage for the marathon.

Starting Pitchers

Reds

Rookie Davis (RH), a former Yankee property who came to the Reds in the Aroldis Chapman trade, gets the start for the Reds. Davis has been less than impressive in his debut MLB season. He walks almost as many batters (13.2%) as he strikes  out (14.5%), has a WHIP >2,  and is averaging just 3.2 innings per start. Fortunately for the Reds bullpen, the Reds got a complete game effort on Sunday and have Wednesday off.

Yankees

Righthander Masahiro Tanaka will start for the Yankees. The 28 year old Tanaka is in his fourth season with the Yankees following a 7 season run with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Pacific League. He has been the Yankees opening day starter for three consecutive seasons. In his three most recent starts, Tanaka has averaged over 7 innings per start; thus, he would seem to be just what the doctor ordered given the Yankees 18 inning game Sunday.

PITCHER xFIP HR/9 BB/9 K/9
Rookie Davis 6.01 1.84 6.14 6.75
Masahiro Tanaka 4.15 1.24 2.48 6.44

Bullpens

The Reds come in fully rested off of Scott Feldman’s complete game effort on Sunday.  An off day on  Wednesday followed by a west coast night game on Thursday gives Bryan Price even more leeway in using his pen the next two nights versus the Yankees.

Yankee manager Joe Girardi used 6 pitchers to cover 11 bullpen innings in Sunday’s 18 inning game versus the Cubs. He will be hoping his starter, Tanaka, lives up to his stats and goes at least 7 innings.  Just because I know you are wondering like I was, Aroldis Chapman threw 36 pitches Sunday in his blown save appearance. That was his first work since Friday when he he had a quick 14 pitch inning.  If he is available tonight, at least he might look merely human to Reds batters.

Lineups

         Yankees

1. Brett Gardner (LF)
2. Aaron Hicks (RF)
3. Matt Holliday (1B)
4. Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
5. Gary Sanchez (C)
6. Didi Gregorius (SS)
7. Chase Headley (3B)
8. Ronald Torreyes (2B)
9. Masahiro Tanaka (P)

          Reds

1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Jose Peraza (2B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Rookie Davis (P)

All the Reds hitters looked hot versus the Giants pitching. Let’s hope the trend continues. The Reds have two hitters with an OPS of > 1.000 and neither of them is Joey Votto. The two guys over 1.000 are Zack Cozart (1.033) and Eugenio Suarez (1.026).  Votto is plugging along at a pedestrian, for him, .997 OPS rate. Adam Duvall at .924 rounds out the quartet of Reds hitters currently above the .900 OPS level.

Here comes the Judge….  Yankees rookie Aaron Judge ranks right up with Eric Thames among the hottest new hitters in MLB. He is tied for the MLB lead in HRs with 13. His slash line to date is  .317/.410/.772 (1.183OPS). His ISO is .455; you read correctly. His ISO is .455. Former Cub Starlin Castro is having a good season to date for the Yankees with a .941 current OPS. Long time Reds nemesis ex-Cardinal Matt Holliday  is OPSing to the tune of .918 primarily as a DH; however, he has played some 1B.

Final Thoughts

On the surface, Rookie Davis versus Masahiro Tanaka looks like a match up strongly favoring the Yankees. Below the surface, the game sets up well for the Reds. The Yankees played 18 innings yesterday and burned 11 bullpen innings in the process.   After Sunday’s game the Yankees had to travel to Cincinnati, arriving in the wee hours of Monday and losing an hour off the clock in the process. The homestanding rested Reds need to take advantage of the situation early and not let the Yankees wake up and get into this one.

Data and related material from Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, Wikipedia and MLB

102 thoughts on “Reds vs Yankees – May 8, 2017

  1. Doesn’t matter much but that was bad kind of like Wood the other night.Hope neither do that again.

  2. Nine singles a piece but they have walked 5 times and been hit 3 times.Well we just don’t walk much.Big difference in his game for sure.

  3. Pretty much says it all on the double play.No patience at all tonight at the plate.The Yanks have already seen 40 more pitches in 7 innings then we have seen,

  4. Yankees played all night last night but the Reds played tired instead. Oh well….only down 3 and Chapman isnt pitching. Need tomorrow though to feel like we’re still hot!

  5. We pretty much beat ourselves tonight.Pitching was bad but based loaded and no outs and twice with two on and no outs and we don’t score.

  6. Aston can ride the same bus as Davis tomorrow back to Louisville – try some other arms please — keep running the same gas cans out there and they get MULTIPLE opportunities and fail time and time again

  7. Mahle at AA tonight – 6 innings pitched , 5 hits , 2 runs , 1 BB, 7 Ks- up 6-2 and heading for another win

  8. If the bullpen tonight is just trying to make Rookie feel better about himself, they’re doing a heckuva job.

  9. Thom completely fails to grasp a simple argument, yet again.

    Thinks it is “GARBAGE” that people think wins are a bad stat to evaluate pitcher performance.

    The reason he says trash like this is because he thinks the argument is “wins mean nothing.” No, that’s never been the argument. The argument has ALWAYS been that there’s no way to tell, in a vacuum, if a 5-10 pitcher is better or worse than a 10-5 pitcher because wins depend 100% on runs being scored. You can’t win a game if your team scores 0.

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