The Reds will look to rebound after a tough series in San Francisco, in which they dropped 3 of 4 against the Giants. The Cubs will enter this matchup 3-7 through their last 10 games – an unexpected skid in what has been an underwhelming early 2017 for the defending champions. Both teams will look to take advantage of their opponent’s recent downswings in this series taking place in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Game one starts tonight at 8:05PM EST. Let’s dive into the matchup.

Starting Pitchers

Bronson Arroyo 36.1 5.94 4.91 16.0% 7.1%
John Lackey 42.0 4.29 4.16 25.3% 6.0%

Bronson Arroyo has been solid, if unspectacular, in his return to the Queen City. His last few outings have seen him cut down on his BB%, which has resulted in less earned runs. He’s still very homer prone, mostly due to the poor quality of his mistake pitches. When Bronson makes a mistake, it’s basically a batting practice fastball. Bronson is the ultimate gamer, and was able to hold these Cubs to 2 earned runs through 6.0 innings, striking out 7 and walking no one in his last outing against Chicago. We’ll see if he can repeat that tonight.

On the mound for the cubs is the big righty John Lackey. He’s a guy the Reds have seen quite a bit in recent years, having pitched for both the Cubs and the Cardinals in the last half-decade. Lackey was the loser in the last Arroyo/Lackey faceoff on April 23, giving up 5 earned runs through six innings. He made seven Reds whiff in that game, and on the season has struck out over 25% of the batters he’s faced. He’ll look to bounce back against his team’s NL Central rival tonight.

The lineups

Reds Cubs
CF Billy Hamilton (71 wRC+) LF Kyle Shwarber (78 wRC+)
SS Zack Cozart (157 wRC+) RF Kris Bryant (147 wRC+)
1B Joey Votto (148 wRC+) 1B Anthony Rizzo (95 wRC+)
LF Adam Duvall (116 wRC+) CF Ian Happ (277 wRC+)
3B Eugenio Suarez (134 wRC+) 3B Jeimer Candelario (-55 wRC+)
RF Scott Schebler (120 wRC+) SS Addison Russell (70 wRC+)
2B Jose Peraza (52 wRC+) C Wilson Contreras (82 wRC+)
C Tucker Barnhart (67 wRC+) P John Lackey (4.16 xFIP)
P Bronson Arroyo (4.91 xFIP) 2B Javier Baez (76 wRC+)

Same ole’ same from the Reds. Just by looking at the wRC+, it’s easy to see that the offense for the Redlegs has been there all season. Cozart, Votto, Duvall, Suarez and Schebler all have a chance to make the All-Star team given their production in comparison to the rest of the league. The defense generated by this every day lineup has been near or at the top of the rankings of just about every defensive metric category. Add that to a top-10 bullpen, and it reveals the only weakness this team has shown so far – the starting pitching. Bronson Arroyo will head to the mound tonight to try to back up this offense. Let’s hope he can get the job done.

How this Cubs lineup isn’t winning more games is beyond me. Somehow the Cubs have gotten younger and more talented since the last time the Reds played them, as today the Redlegs will get their first look at a pair of top-100 prospects in Jeimer Candelario and Ian Happ. Candelario has struggled in the five games he’s been up in the majors, only managing one hit in 18 ABs, and none since his debut. Happ will man Center Field and hit cleanup for the Cubbies in his first ever major league game against the Reds. Hopefully the Reds can stymie both of these young hitters in an effort to beat the Cubs tonight.

News and Notes

Final Thoughts

As a fan, the intensity always ramps up against the Cubs. They’ve been struggling this year, and with the Reds not looking as bad as we thought they might heading into the season, it’s fun to watch these two teams face off. Both teams are looking to get back on track, so there should be a little extra competitiveness between them throughout this series. I’m looking forward to it!

Jordan has been a lifelong Reds fan, attending games since before he can remember. When he’s not watching, listening to, or writing about the Reds, he’s designing websites, photographing weddings, and hanging out with his friends and family.

Join the conversation! 67 Comments

  1. Jordan,

    Good preview.

    A minor note…this will be Ian Happ’s 3rd game. He is 3 for 7 with a HR so far. I only know because I inherited him as a cheapie prospect stash on an abandoned Ottoneu dynasty team.

    Looking forward to tonight as well. Go Redlegs.

  2. How soon before Rizzo takes a Reds pitcher deep?

  3. So the great Joe Maddon can bat the sub .200/78 Wrc Schwarber leadoff and all is good.

  4. Wind blowing out…Hold on to your hats

  5. Last year, Reds @ Cubs felt like Incarnate Word at North Carolina in college basketball.

    It just feels different this year, in a good way.

  6. Lackey is laying the 1st pitch in there. Go up ready to swing early. Cozart whacked it, Duval watched it, then jammed himself on the next pitch.

  7. Garrett will be starting Thursday

  8. Arroyo nibbling and already in trouble.Lackey gave up two hits and only threw 15 pitches to 5 batters.

  9. I’ve had enough of Arroyo! He might get SF out in that canyon but thats about it. He pitches in GABP! He’s going to get destroyed tonite….Cubs won’t chase his garbage!

  10. Base loaded,tie game and 1 out.Already walked two guys.

  11. Russell is our kind of guy.Swings at first pitch and gets himself out.

  12. Well that lead didn’t last long –

  13. Anybody think Arroyo makes it through the 4th?

  14. Well when the Reds quit throwing out stopgap retreads then maybe I’ll come back to GabP. When they’re serious about winning then I’m serious about giving them my $. Judging by attendence I think many Reds fans feel the same way! I don’t enjoy watching Bob Steve or Reed get shelled either but atleast they’re moving forward and trying to learn something!

    • They can’t help themselves Indy – have one of these guys every year. I mean every year …

  15. Barnhardt…wayyyy deep bomb

  16. Reds may hit 5 HRs but it probably won’t be enough!

  17. Of all the cold windy days, with the wind blowing in 20 mph….The Reds get stuck with Bronson when it’s blowing out 20. Not a good fit.

  18. Nobody on base because Scott and Peraza saw 4 pitches between them.

    • All 4 were strikes though. Lackey is a strike thrower. 38 pitches thrown 31 for strikes. 4 of the 10 batters have taken a strike right down the dead center of the plate

  19. Schwarber is a fellow IU grad like me but I have to admit he’s a big liability when he’s under .200 because he’s a slug in the outfield!

  20. 6.69 era for Arroyo and counting…..and its just now warming up. Marquis was better at 6.46…lol

    • It is a great story so it does not matter. It is a great story and does not matter if the Reds are competitive

      • Whats a great story? A B-/C+ pitcher in his prime is taken in by the only team that would have him and gets hammered! He goes right from the mound to retirement (or Japan) like Marquis, Simon, Ohlendorf, Schumaker, etc etc. Thats pretty sad that the Reds suck that badly!

        • I concur. Just noting what several have pointed out on this site. Fans are interesting in that they enjoy bad performances from players they like. Yet, several cannot wait to get rid of good players they do not like

          • I thought thats where you might be going….you’re completely right!

  21. Homer for Schwarber.He can’t filed at all but he can hit.Kind of opposite lead off guy when compared to Billy but that’s what you see these days.

  22. Anybody think we have a chance to win this game?

  23. What does a sub .180 hitting Schwarber need to get going?? Arroyo

  24. It’s almost memorial day..the Cubs are going to start winning a lot if games.Bronson Arroyo gave everything he had…but the deception and change of speeds and smoke and mirrors is reaching it’s final lap.

    Hilarious ….Chris Welsh just said Joey hitting better than even we think……advanced stats suggest so…babip….Jim day said are u laying that on since Thom isn’t here???

    • THOM’s head would have exploded before peeling off a 55 word run-on sentence

  25. Great play by Suaerz

  26. We might have to lobby for a TOOTBLAN counter to be added to this site. Sure seems like a lot of them in the first 2 months of the season.

  27. Good AB by Arroyo, got the run home

  28. Well…BA just ate 2 innings. He was on a hunger strike in the 1st 2

  29. Suarez may need to take a day or two and regroup.Struck out twice and had the count 3-0 that time up.

    • Duvall and Suarez are both ice cold! They’re taking good pitches or swinging thru them. They’ll get going….maybe Scooter needs to give each one a day off?

      This game is winnable if Price gets Arroyo out before they stretch the lead.

  30. Another 4 or 5 inning start with the same number of runs.I don’t know if Reed or Stephensen or anybody else would do better but can we just try and see.

  31. That looked like a catch to me. Probably wouldn’t be overturned though. Why save the challenge though?

    • Slow mo showed Billy’s glove on the ground. The ball hit the glove, not the ground, and bounced up into the web

  32. If he pitches to their catcher this game is over.

  33. Guess I was wrong.He got him out.

  34. Cubs pen is good too.This game is over.

  35. Great 8 pitch at bat by Peraza yes by Peraza results in a single.I love to see that from him.

  36. I’ll never understand why Wood is the 1st guy out of the pen in a close game

    • He is a dumpster fire pretty much nonstop this year! He’s the new Jumbo….once decent year but he’s already in his 30s and only getting worse. I followed the Reds for the whole season pretty much last year but I’m a little tired of the “rebuild” and all the losing that goes with it. I never made it to July in the Junior/Dunn years and I’m not making it this year either. We have some good players but the rotation going down ruined the season!

      • According to the 3 up 3 down column, Wood had given up a total of two hits to the last 33 batters he’d faced prior to tonight. I wouldn’t call that a non-stop dumpster fire.

        • And I wouldn’t call you wrong either, Jazz. Sometimes people just have to pay attention.

  37. Bob Steve put out the fire with a double play

  38. That Votto guy might be ok

  39. Votto-bomb get the 2 runs back that Wood dished up

  40. Suarez in a real funk. Jordan needs to put him in the 3 down column to get him going

  41. Tucker wanted that ball in the dirt. Bob Steve didn’t oblige and hung it

    • Stephenson pitching well…Addison Russell is good and hit a hanger. reds have given up 8 runs…it’s starting pitching….Stephenson is part of the solution….not the problem.

  42. Bob Steve is for sure part of the solution just needs to pitch.Young guys need to pitch.

  43. Rizzo tees off on Lorenzen again

  44. 3 of the 4 Cub homers have been wall scrapers…..stupid wind

  45. This year is now about finding a nuclear starting pitching staff for 2018. Period. Starting pitching is fundamentally flawed. Injuries clearly contributing….but it’s time to start sorting serious starting pitching.

Comments are closed.

About Jordan Barhorst

Jordan has been a lifelong Reds fan, attending games since before he can remember. When he's not watching, listening to, or writing about the Reds, he's designing websites, photographing weddings, and hanging out with his friends and family.


2017 Reds, Game Thread


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