The Cincinnati Reds (20-23) will play the first of four games against the defending AL champion Cleveland Indians (23-19). The first two games will be in Cincinnati today and tomorrow, and the last two games will be in Cleveland on Wednesday and Thursday.

The game on Thursday in Cleveland will be especially interesting. The Reds and Indians will start at 6:10, but the Cavs and Celtics will start Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at 8:30 in Boston (that game has the potential of sending the Cavs to the NBA Finals). The Cavs will be hosting a watch party right across the street at Quicken Loans Arena.

The Reds and Indians are off to very different starts to 2017. The Reds started the season 19-15, but have lost 8 of their last 9. The Indians, like the Cubs, started the season off slower than most, but are coming off a big sweep of the Astros in Houston over the weekend. The Astros, despite the sweep, still have the best record in the MLB. The Indians are currently tied with the surprising Twins for first place in the AL Central.

Reds Indians
OBP .331 (10th) .321 (17th)
SLG .450 (5th) .406 (18th)
wRC+ 102 (10th) 97 (15th)
DRS 16 (3rd) 8 (5th)
SP ERA 5.83 (30th) 4.98 (28th)
SP FIP 5.52 (30th) 3.97 (7th)
RP ERA 3.45 (8th) 1.82 (1st)
RP FIP 3.92 (13th) 2.63 (3rd)

Starting Pitchers

Scott Feldman was absolutely brilliant in two consecutive starts against the Giants (5/7 & 5/12), allowing just 2 ER in 16.0 IP. However, he got rocked in his last start on 5/17 against the Cubs: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. Feldman’s walks are up from his career number (2.88), but his K/9 and HR/9 are both improved. Since allowing 2 home runs on Opening Day, Feldman has allowed just 3 HR over his last 8 starts (45.2 IP).

Feldman has actually pitched in 15 career games against the Indians (6 starts), and has a 3.02 ERA in 53.2 IP (39 K, 10 BB). Feldman pitched two shutout innings in relief against the Indians last season.


You better come ready to swing against Josh Tomlin. His 0.89 BB/9 are the fewest in the AL (min 40.0 IP). Tomlin has always been really good at limiting walks, but is on another level so far this season. Tomlin is susceptible to the long ball, and his 1.86 HR/9 in 2016 was the third highest in baseball.

Tomlin has a career 4.55 ERA in 5 career starts against the Reds. However, he pitched very well in his lone start against the Reds a last season: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Votto has 2 HR against Tomlin.

Starting Lineups

Indians Reds
1. Jason Kipnis (2B)
2. Francisco Lindor (SS)
3. Michael Brantley (LF)
4. Carlos Santana (RF)
5. Edwin Encarnacion (1B)
6. Jose Ramirez (3B)
7. Lonnie Chisenhall (CF)
8. Yan Gomes (C)
9. Josh Tomlin (P)
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. Scott Feldman (P)

The Indians are lead offensively by rising superstar Francisco Lindor, who reminds me so much of Barry Larkin. They have also got great contributions from Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall. Both Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes are having good starts to 2017 after being injured for most of 2016. Former Red, and big off-season acquisition Edwin Encarnacion is off to a slow start to 2017. Bradley Zimmer is the Indians top prospect, and was just called up last week.

News and Notes

Conclusion 

I live up here in Cleveland, so the Reds being successful over the next four days would be greatly to my benefit. I root for the Indians anytime other than when they play the Reds, mainly because my wife is from here and a die-hard fan. But despite that, these fun folks still give me grief about last year’s 13-1 beatdown (the game Steve Delebar walked four straight batters with the bases loaded). So, even more than usual……Go Reds!

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 103 Comments

  1. Pretty crazy to think that Votto could be 3rd all time in HRs by the end of next season. That’s only 55 more, which seems attainable the way he is swinging the bat this year.

    • Assuming health…he will be close in in 2019 on some milestone numbers…300 HR 1000.RBI.1000runs.300 doubles and 2000 hits….not that those define his greatness…but coming from a smaller market…it will elevate his profile nationally to check them off for HOF…he’s well on his way to another top 10 mvp finish.

      • Great points.

        I think many in the national media have a far greater appreciation for Votto’s overall greatness than most of the media in Cincinnati. Amazingly, once one gets past 275 there are credentialed media members who don’t view walks as a slippery slope towards socialism.

        Perhaps if Joey would perfect the head first slide and wager on some games he’d see the adulation that he deserves.

        • JB and Frank Robinson only reds with 300 HR and 1000 rbi…Joey and Frank only ones with ops over .900….

          That Frank Robinson guy was pretty good.

        • “Slippery slope towards socialism” I literally laughed out loud at that.

        • Well – that and get about 3k more hits and win two World Series.

          • Bill Plummer will likely wind up with 2 more WS championships than Votto as well.

            If the present trend continues and Votto finishes with the same number of career PA as Rose he’ll have 4,099 hits….but he’ll have hit 500 more home runs, 150 more doubles and will have walked 1,000 more times.

  2. Calling it now: Great Feldman tonight

  3. Billy being Billy.

  4. Schebler!!!!!!!! Homer in 3 straight. That was CRUSHED.

  5. YIKES!!! That’s a result of somebody who shouldn’t be playing RF tonight being in the lineup. Hate to see that happen. Hope it isn’t severe.

  6. Keep chanting … “He’s still very young … he’s still very young”

  7. Oh by the way…Feldman struck out the 1st 5 before the brilliant catch by Billy

  8. Aaaand their pitcher spoils the perfecto

  9. And two assists by Feldman … the hard way!! Nicely done for our boys.

  10. Two 4 Two Billy

    • Love it … seems like they can’t read the pitcher, though. Let’s see if Adam can put a charge into one.

  11. Feldmans stuff just must be nasty tonight. Everyone is questioning the calls, but they are clearly strikes.

  12. Perhaps a fan promised to share pizza with Feldman … whatever the reason, I’m loving the game so far. 8K’s and climbing. Stuff does look nasty like Preach just said.

  13. Tomlin only threw 6 pitches that inning

    • Shebler was the only strong hit … and Peraza just keeps swinging no matter what. I know … he’s still young.

      • I hate to say this but Peraza often has that deer in the headlights look. I have the feeling he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed….or atleast not particularly baseball smart! Hopefully he can learn because he’s got talent! It seemed like he had quite a few bunt hits last year but he never bunts anymore?

        Feldman is on fire tonite….hard guy to predict! Some nights he’s nibbling and always behind in the count and other nights he’s very sharp!

        • Yep … Peraza is almost Jay Bruce streaky … but rarely that good for that long.

          Feldman is working the zone … every square inch of it!

  14. We continue to make EVERYBODY look like Cy Young.The guy’s ERA is almost 7.

    • So the Reds are on pace to score 5 runs tonight but they’re somehow making this guy look like Cy Young….and career journeyman Scott Feldman looks like 1998 Randy Johnson against the defending American League Chanpions.

      Why is it possible for Feldman to actually be pitching well, but It’s the Reds fault that the nameless scrub for the Tribe is on pace to give up only 5 runs?

  15. Shut out through 5. That definitely helps.

  16. The guy has thrown 39 pitches in 4 innings.Good grief.He is there 6th starter if you please.

  17. Wiffle ball stadium. Wow, would I have loved that as a kid. We had to shoot the ball between the cherry trees in my backyard.

  18. Poor bunt there.

    • Just before that play I was thinking it would be better if he didn’t bunt. Reds’ pitchers just aren’t very good at it.

  19. Stupid bunt … just bad bat control. Run wasted!

  20. well NUTS!!! If Cozy can’t hit then this inning is a waste.

  21. Cowboy is giving a verbal clinic on pitchers bunting.

  22. Gee, Thom, maybe part of the reason Reds pitchers have so few sac bunts is the starters are out of the game before their turn in the lineup comes up and then we empty our bullpen and bench pinch hitting.

  23. So sick of these stupid bunts? The catcher is running so the bunt has to be good….lefty hitter so try to pull the ball? Idiotic and Price never learns! KNP….know your personnel!!
    Thats job #1 and he fails again!!

  24. A 10 pitch inning after a leadoff double and a terrible bunt.

  25. Kipnis hit that off his ankles into the seats

  26. I was going to say we need to hold em here but well I guess I was too late.

  27. Impressive leap by Billy … but unfortunately it still counts.

  28. You can just see it coming with our starters regardless of how well they are pitching.They have no margin for error.

  29. Good pitchers can limit the damage and then you have our guys

  30. I agree INDY we just go south in a hurry and there is no stopping it.

  31. Watch it Mr. Scissor Hands … the ump might have had enough of your comments.

  32. Awful 0-2 pitch got hit 500 feet but it went foul! Good job by Feldman!!

    • Jammed him quite a bit and EE wheeled on it. Thom thought it shot through the gap and out of the stadium (still as a foul).

  33. Nice bounceback by Feldman

  34. I’ll call that limited damage … we could be out of it at this point.

  35. Thanks Santana for the first pitch double play after a 4 pitch walk.I guess guys on other teams do what our guys do.

    • Frustration at 2 K’s will do that at times … just glad it happened.

  36. What is it about facing pitchers with huge ERAs? Samardzia…Ubaldo come immediately to mind

    • Thats a really good question that is missing some context…..Samardzia has actually pitched reasonably well at home and was shelled on the road. He have up 6 ER in Coors Field and 7 in Arizona. When he pitched against the Reds in SF last week, he was better than what he normally is at home, but it wasn’t a complete 180.

      If a guy has a huge ERA in May, it often means he had the crap beat out of him in 1 or 2 games. It doesn’t tell us much.

  37. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased greatly as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, and feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages. The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, and by the founding of universities. The theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, and the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages.

  38. Suarez is due … let’s hope he realizes it.

  39. Votto day dreaming….great hitter but his mind occasionally wanders. Another wasted leadoff double

  40. Votto might lead the Reds in TOOTBLANS

  41. Time to move to more comfortable quarters (not my office by my computer). Let’s hope we can hold on for 9 more outs … we don’t seem to be able to score squat!

  42. Probably another reason Duval shouldn’t bat behind Votto. Strikeouts are killer after leadoff doubles

  43. I just got out of the meeting so I’ve missed most of the game.

    What’s with this low pitch count? Usually the Reds go deep into the count. I guess there’s an exception and every so often

    • 68 pitches….50 are strikes is the reason. No walks. The pitches they are swinging at, they are putting into play. In other words he doesn’t have swing and miss stuff.

  44. This inning is really who we are most of the time.A lead of double by Votto but Duvall doesn’t put the ball in play and strikes out.Suarez lines out and Joey is doubled off second.Poor poor poor execution of hitting or lack of by Duvall and poor poor base running by Votto.Two consecutive innings with lead off doubles and nothing.

  45. Good 6 innings by Feldman.Lets get some runs and put this one away.

  46. When Peraza has the longest AB of the night…..

  47. Great job on the hot and run. Now let’s not let him off the hook

  48. Why not Gennett here? We’ll see

  49. OMG!!!!! I love the squeeze with Perazas speed.

  50. I had an inkling it might be a squeeze….nicely done.
    Safety squeeze

  51. Peraza with a great at bat resulting in a 7 pitch single.Man I would just love it if he could do that a couple of times a game.

    • Yep. And a well executed hit and run, a well done safety squeeze……..with this lineup and in this ballpark, homers will come, it’s nice to see them score this way with nice fundamentals

  52. Putting the ball in play with a guy on third usually is a good thing and that was a good thing.

  53. WOW!! Did our Reds actually just pull of what we saw? Clean hit-and-run plus a surprise safety squeeze? Way to chase the starter … which of course means we face THAT bullpen.

  54. try another squeeze here?

  55. Ouch. A catcher taking a burner off the knee.

  56. Yeah, baby!!!!

  57. Of course when you don’t put the ball in play with a guy on third then its a bad thing.That was a bad thing.

  58. That’s money Zart. Just money.

  59. Zach picks up Billy and the team with a big big two out two run single.

    • Maybe it will end soon but Zach looks like a different hitter than in the past. Evenwhen he had the occasional hot streak, you knew it was very temporary. Right now I’m not so sure.

      • He’s a very solid… complete shortstop…he will get 4 years in FA.

  60. My spelling is terrible or maybe its my hunt and peck routine.Go Cozy.

  61. Thanks I will do just that.

  62. Try quick pitching Kipnis while he’s doing that goofy thing with his bat. He’s in the box.

  63. Lorenzen just has to make it interesting some times.He has great stuff though.

    • He has enough velocity and movement that he can mostly throw the fb and get weaker contact plus alot of ground balls when he’s on! Thats why I want him to start! He could get thru 6-7 innings and keep the pitch count under 100.

      • I think we’ll see him there … perhaps even later this season. He would have a pretty bright future as a member of the rotation.

  64. It seems like Duvall goes 1-4 with a single/rbi every game….no more and no less.

  65. Another 7 pitch inning for the other teams pitcher.Never took a strike.Took 4 balls and went out on the other 3 pitches.You would think one of our guys would take a strike just to see if he could throw one.

  66. INDY I agree with you about Lorenzen.He is just filthy at times with that fastball.

  67. Duvall is just about what you describe INDY.

  68. Play of the game for me is the safety squeeze by AA … put a run across and set the table for another 2 eventually. Got to love it.

Comments are closed.

About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

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