It’s been a rough week for the Reds. Their losing streak now sits at six games after they were swept by the Cubs, capping off a 1-6 road trip. Now 19-21, they’re back under .500 and have dropped to fourth place in the NL Central, just ahead of the last place Pirates. Perhaps a return back to Great American Ball Park will get them out of their funk. The club is set to meet the Rockies, who lead the NL West at 26-16, for the first time this season in a three-game weekend series.

Starting Pitchers

Tyler Anderson 42.0 6.43 3.76 22.7% 7.6%
Lisalverto Bonilla 13.0 4.85 4.55 20.8% 9.4%

Tyler Anderson’s ERA might cause some to write him off, but the underlying numbers paint him in a more positive light. The southpaw has been particularly prone to the long ball, giving up 10 home runs in 42 innings. Believe it or not, only three of those have come at Coors Field. His 24 percent home run to fly ball rate, along with an above-average strikeout and walk rate, is why you see such a disparity between his ERA and xFIP.

The 2011 first-round pick is coming off his best two starts of the season, striking out 18 while allowing only four runs, 11 hits, and three walks over his last 11.2 innings. Anderson has never faced the Reds.

In his first big-league start since 2014 with the Rangers, Lisalverto Bonilla was impressive against the Giants last Saturday. The right-hander pitched a complete game, becoming only the second Reds pitcher to go the distance this season (Scott Feldman being the other). In his eight innings, he allowed three earned runs on six hits, walking two and striking out five. It was enough to earn himself another start in the big leagues.

Bonilla has never faced any hitters currently on the Rockies, so perhaps he’ll have a leg up, at least in the early innings as hitters get their first look at his stuff.


Rockies Reds
CF Charlie Blackmon (130 wRC+) CF Billy Hamilton (74 wRC+)
2B DJ LeMahieu (73 wRC+) SS Zack Cozart (168 wRC+)
3B Nolan Arenado (124 wRC+) 1B Joey Votto (155 wRC+)
1B Mark Reynolds (145 wRC+) LF Adam Duvall (108 wRC+)
RF Carlos Gonzalez (39 wRC+) 3B Eugenio Suarez (129 wRC+)
LF Ian Desmond (75 wRC+) 2B Jose Peraza (56 wRC+)
SS Alexi Amarista (95 wRC+) RF Patrick Kivlehan (84 wRC+)
C Tony Wolters (101 wRC+) C Tucker Barnhart (75 wRC+)
P Tyler Anderson (3.76 xFIP) P Lisalverto Bonilla (4.55 xFIP)

It’s a pretty typical lineup for the Reds tonight. The one notable exception is Scott Schebler, who is sitting with a left-hander starting for the Rockies. Patrick Kivlehan will get a start in right field. Devin Mesoraco is out of the lineup for a fifth straight game as he nurses a left hamstring injury.

On Colorado’s side, the most notable omission from the lineup is Trevor Story, who is currently on the 10-day DL with a left shoulder strain.

As you can see from the wRC+ figures, the Rockies have a formidable lineup. Nolan Arenado continues to be the best third baseman in the game, while journeyman Mark Reynolds has been a big addition, leading the team with 12 home runs and a 1.007 OPS. In terms of fWAR, Charlie Blackmon — one of the most underrated players in the game — has been the best outfielder in the National League whose name isn’t Bryce Harper. If they can get Carlos Gonzalez and Story (when he returns) going, this offense will be scary.

News and Notes

MLB is planning to start streaming games on Friday nights, and this game will be the first one. Blackout restrictions do not apply, so you can watch from anywhere.

With the bullpen worn down, Bryan Price plans to let Bonilla pitch as long as he can tonight. In case of emergency, Tim Adleman is available tonight.

Some encouraging news on Anthony DeSclafani and Homer Bailey:

Although he’s not in the lineup tonight, it seems Mesoraco’s hamstring has improved:

Bad news on the Luis Robert front. It sounds like the Cardinals and White Sox are the favorites to sign the 19-year-old Cuban phenom.

Stat of the Day

Strikeouts have been on the rise every year for the better part of a decade, and this year is no different. A whopping 21.4 percent of plate appearances this season have ended in strikeouts. But the Reds are doing their best to bring that number down. While the team ranks at the bottom of the league in walk rate (despite the best efforts of Joey Votto and Zack Cozart), they have the fifth-lowest strikeout rate at 19.6 percent. In fact, the only Reds regulars with an above-average strikeout rate are Adam Duvall (22.6 percent) and Eugenio Suarez (22.2 percent).

Final Thoughts

The offense and bullpen have done their jobs all season, but the starting pitching is holding the Reds back right now. Since Bonilla’s complete game, the Reds’ starting rotation has been rather brutal, with no pitcher making it past the fifth inning and only Bronson Arroyo getting past the fourth. Bonilla probably won’t throw another complete game (though it would be nice if he did) against the Rockies’ talented lineup, but even six solid innings would be huge for the team tonight.

46 Responses

  1. doublenohitter

    Unfortunately, I’m expecting Bonilla to get shelled. His last start was a fluke because his numbers in the minors were…terrible. The Giants offense is pretty lame compared to the Rockies.

    • reaganspad

      I disagree, his last start was not a fluke. There were 2 crushed balls on missed spots, but other than that he held the Giants team. Loved the action on his pitches.

      The flukes so far have been other Reds starters, but nothing that Bonilla did was fluke like. There were not 10 fly balls hit into the 420 foot notch that were loud warning track outs. And we know what those look like (see Votto, Joey and his shots to LF)

      maybe he gets knocked around tonight, but if he pitches like he did against the Giants, we will win tonight

      • Chuck Schick

        How do you define fluke? Were his bad minor league starts all a fluke and the real Lisalverto magically showed up against the Giants? Perhaps he’s been sandbagging for the 27 years he’s been in the minors so he could fool everyone if he ever got a shot.

        A bad pitcher had a nice game. Maybe he’ll have another.

  2. Darrin

    18 strikeouts over his last 11.2 innings sounds like it might be a problem for the home team

    • Jim Walker

      He gets credit for a complete game because the Giants did not need to bat in the bottom of the 9th. I’ve always thought that it a little strange also to grant a complete game in a losing effort; but then what is the real meaning of a pitcher’s W/L record anyway as often debated here

      • seat101

        Thank you, Jim! I guess the fact it was a loss threw me. Of course had we won on the road it would’ve had to of gone at least nine innings. But it down to what Mar used to call vapor lock in the brain.

  3. james garrett

    I don’t expect much from Bonilla because we aren’t in SF facing the Giants.It still won’t be about him though because it will be rather or not we do anything at all against a guy that has an ERA over 6.

  4. james garrett

    Seems like Price has a worn out pen.I mentioned two games ago that he should have left Feldman in regardless but I guess the new guy will have to take one for the team.

  5. Sliotar

    40 games is historically a good starting point to begin assessing how a team’s season might look.

    However, it’s funny how momentum can affect judgment. 19-21 is actually better than I thought the Reds would be, back before the first game was played.

    But, the makeshift pitching staff, the TOOTBLANs, and the 1-6 road trip make it seem like 19-21 is a mirage, an overvaluation of the club at the moment.

    Also, no more 5 run 1st innings for a while, hopefully. This team just feels fragile at the moment, unlikely to overcome early setbacks.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      Looks like it’ll be 5+ runs in 1st inning again…

  6. james garrett

    Encouraging words on Disco and Homer.I really thought Finny would be back before now.Any word on him and what was his injury?

    • Indy Red Man

      I heard August somewhere on Finnegan. Its not good:(

  7. Indy Red Man

    0-2 pitch right down the middle on a tee and so it goes! I’d say Rookie and Bonilla aren’t even in the top 5 of young available arms. Its like we’re trying to dump games or something? I took Over 8.5 so I don’t mind!

  8. james garrett

    I am not sure what the plan is but we must ride it out I guess.

  9. james garrett

    Bonilla got called up and he did ok so he gets another start,Its really not any more then that.Winning isn’t important but we need one badly.This could get really ugly if we keep this up.

  10. Indy Red Man

    Bonilla walks the pitcher…lol

    Bonilla at AAA 5.61! Some guy named Asher Wojciechowski 1.40. If you want to punish Stephenson and Reed for some unknown idiotic reason then I’ll throw Austin Ross at you from AA. He has a 1.13 era with ZERO hrs allowed in 48 ip. He had a 3.89 era in AAA Pacific Coast league last year. 3.89 in that league compared to Bonilla’s 5.61 at AAA. 5.61 would equal about 6.50 or 7 in the PCL….there is no comparison between Ross and Bonilla. I don’t get it? Other then being related to the decision makers….how does someone struggle to outright fail at one level and get promoted?

    • Chuck Schick

      Bonilla is a warm body they can waste to allow the real pitchers to catch a break. His days are numbered.

      You can’t rush young guys in AA with potential or risk them being injured while on the MLB roster and having to eat almost a year of service time for nothing.

      • Indy Red Man

        Ross is filler too though and some of these other guys with much better #s then Bonilla. Stephenson and Reed are in limbo….ones in AAA and the other only pitches in blowouts once in a while? Its stupid and non-productive!

  11. james garrett

    Brewers 6 games over 500 and are up on the Cubs in the 9th.Who saw that coming?

  12. Indy Red Man

    This guy has a 8 something era on the road with 7 hrs allowed in 19 innings. The Reds should destroy him!

  13. james garrett

    Won’t happen INDY but it should.We are just in a terrible place right now.We pitched in SF and didn’t get a big hit at all.We hit in Chicago and couldn’t pitch a lick.We just need a win in the worse way.

  14. Indy Red Man

    The Rockies are pretty good! 13-6 on the road. 5-4 vs LA and 4-2 vs Arizona. They’ve already played the Nats, Cubs, and Brewers.

  15. james garrett

    They have always hit at home but 13-6 is good on the road.

  16. Indy Red Man

    Cubs 16-19 vs everyone else….we pitch to every guy like he’s Mike Trout. Sickening!

  17. Jack

    61 pitches so far in 3 innings. Better get the bullpen ready. These ininngs eaters aren’t very hungry.

  18. james garrett

    Of course you are right CHUCK but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch.

  19. james garrett

    Bonilla had a 5 pitch at bat.That’s a positive.

  20. james garrett

    Of course Cy Young got the next 2 on 6 pitches.I’m done.Its not worth it tonight.

  21. jazzmanbbfan

    After that rough first inning at least Bonilla had held them in check. Apparently he competes at least.

    • Indy Red Man

      What was that…lol. Here comes a 3-4 spot and game over! You’re right though…hes done pretty well considering.

      • Indy Red Man

        Ok….maybe a 6 spot? My God the Reds suck! Get curb stomped on the road and then come home to hundreds of bored fans. No energy whatsoever and when Billy has a bad night we’re not picking up any.

  22. Indy Red Man

    So let me get this straight? Wood comes in when the game is close in Chicago but now Peralta comes in when we’re down 4 and have zero offense. Price back to the same old stupid bs from last year.

  23. Indy Red Man

    You have a kid battling his brains out in Bonilla and he’s close to 100 pitches….meanwhile Price doesn’t have anyone warming up? Thats insane?

    • Jack

      Yeah I don’t understand that. He was at 92 pitches and you know he wasn’t going into the 7th or maybe get out of this inning. You should have had somebody up and warm in case the first runner gets on. 2-1 ballgame you want to keep it close. They hung Bonilla out to dry. Terrible.

  24. J

    Price thinks he’s operating on a different level than the rest of us. He sees things we don’t see. He feels things we don’t feel. He knows things we don’t know.

    • Indy Red Man

      He has to go out there and defend Arroyo and Marquis/Gregg before him. Defend fat Simon who was busy murdering people when he wasn’t getting shelled on the mound. Any Reds manager has a tough job

      • J

        Maybe that’s why he’s unable to exhibit much common sense. He’s too busy thinking about Marquis, Gregg, and Simon.

  25. Jack

    Bonilla pitched well against this good hitting team. He has stuff. Better than the 3 innings eaters. I’ll take him as the 5th starter right now if he keeps this up. Of course on the Rockies side Tyler Anderson is the next Kershaw against the potent Reds.

  26. Darrin

    You don’t fluke into bombs like that and the one in San Diego last year, I think the kid needs to be less worried about striking out and use his legs more.

    • Jack

      He is still young. He will go through slumps and miscues. He just needs time to get comfortable. I think he will be good with time. God let’s remember Votto’s first year , we spent all off season listening to people who wanted to put him in left because he was no Tony Perez over at first.

      • Darrin

        Ah, yes. You’d think somebody along the way would have said “you’re not a 165 pound teen anymore, extend your arms and use your body”. There’s prolly a reason I’m not a major league hitting coach tho.