The Cincinnati Reds (24-25) go north of the border for a three game series against the Toronto Blue Jays (23-27), starting tonight at 7:07 ET. These two teams have not played each other since 2014, and the Reds have not visited Toronto since 2009.

The Blue Jays come into this series in last place in the AL East, 7.5 games behind the New York Yankees. It’s been a rough first two months of the season for Toronto, which has had a revolving door of injured players. Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Dalton Pompey, J.A. Happ, Russell Martin, Francisco Liriano, first baseman Steve Pearce and pitcher Aaron Sanchez have all spent time on the disabled list. Things are looking up for the Blue Jays though, as they are 6-4 in their last 10 and got back Donaldson and Tulowitzki over the weekend.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Lisalverto Bonilla 23.1 6.17 5.14 15.5% 10.7%
Marcus Stroman 62.2 3.30 3.43 19.7% 7.3%

Aside from the game in San Francisco when he went eight innings, Bonilla can’t seem to make it past the fifth inning. The problem stems from walking too many batters. In 23.1 innings, he’s walked 11. Combine the walks he’s allowed with the number of runs he’s given up (16), and it leads to more pitches thrown. If he can somehow find a way to be more pitch efficient and limit the number of home runs he surrenders, he could have a decent start.

Stroman is one of two starting pitchers for the Blue Jays who have been mainstays in the Toronto rotation. In 62.2 innings, Stroman is 5-2 and has given up 23 earned runs, including six home runs, while striking out 51 batters and walking 19. Only Eugenio Suarez and Arismendy Alcantara have faced Stroman, and are a combined 0-for-5 against him.

Stroman’s K% is about the same as in previous years, but his BB% is up slightly from last year. He’s giving up more walks and hits, but also getting out of trouble more often, as his 80.4 LOB% is way up from last year. Stroman is very much a ground ball pitcher, as 61.0% of the balls in play off him are ground balls. He’s induced 14 double plays, far and away more than his teammates.

Joey Votto Returns Home

Votto no doubt will have a section of family and friends in the seats at the Rogers Centre this week. Votto has only played in Toronto once, in 2009. He batted .417/.462/.750, with an OPS of 1.212 in 13 plate appearances, and five hits, including a double and a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. Four of his five hits came on getaway day of that series, when he went 4-for-5, and the Reds lit up Brett Cecil for five runs in three innings.

With Votto coming off a poor series in Philadelphia where he batted 1-for-11 with three strikeouts, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him have a great series in his hometown.

Lineups

You can find the lineups here.

News and Notes

Final Thoughts

On Memorial Day last year, the Reds were 16-34, had lost nine of their last 10 and were seven games behind the fourth place Milwaukee Brewers. Contrast that with this year where the Reds are 24-25 and sit 2.5 games behind the Brewers, another team playing surprisingly well.

It’s rather impressive the Reds are doing this with the starting rotation being what it currently is. It will be interesting to see how the team plays when the regular starting pitchers return. And if you’re not having fun watching this offense right now, then I really don’t know what to tell you.

Join the conversation! 112 Comments

  1. Nothing says baseball like Memorial Day in Canada!

    Wait…

  2. The Dragons just wrapped up their Memorial Day game and Cingrani’s 1st rehab game. It looked like it was his 1st rehab game. Cingrani pitched 1.0 inning, 13 strikes and 11 balls with 1-BB and 0-SO. Nothing spectacular or particularly disturbing, just rusty…hopefully. It’s more about getting the work from the bump in live game situations and getting his mechanics in line. We know Cingrani can dominate at every level of the minor leagues, so the results aren’t really relavent but a healthy Ciongrani should be part of the sorting process in the bullpen.

  3. I missed Stuart Turner being sent to the Bats for a rehab game yesterday.

  4. I wonder if Votto is taking the team to his favorite mayonaisse bar tonight.

  5. Reds should go get Sonny Gray from the A’s. He’s available and pitching well for a starter. Hey, what a concept.

  6. 2 starts in a row with a bunt single for Billy

  7. A successful bunt by Hamilton puts Billy on 1B to lead off the game…but…

    • A visit to 1B by the manager and trainer after being called from the dugout by Hamilton. Hamilton stays in the game and promtly steals 2B.

  8. I like this philosophy of Billy bunting.

    • If he can bunt like that more often I will like it but too often his attempts haven’t looked good.

  9. Duval delivers again. He’s on fire!

    • Just a little poke up the middle on a 3-2 count. Reds up 1-0 going into the bottom of the 1st.

      • That was a really good at bat by Duvall. He fought off pitches and finally got one he could hit.

        • Dave Kingman wasn’t getting the rbi there. Duvall is the real deal!!

  10. A Hamilrun is a great thing in the first. Has to provide energy, in addition to the obvious lead

  11. bunting is evil I thought? Oh yeah unless it works then it is great stuff. Who is Tony Cingrani going to force off of the roster?

    • Sacrificing an out by bunting is often an evil, bunting for a base hit when you are the fastest guy in the sport ain’t so bad.

    • Cmon man…..you know better then that! We’re talking pitchers bunting when

      A. They can’t bunt
      B. The corner infielders are about 35 feet away

      • Forgot C…….Tucker “I ain’t Billy on the bases” Barnhart on base

  12. Bonilla simply can’t throw strikes consistently,,,sigh.

    • Bonilla reminds me alot of Volquez without the 96 mph heater. He has a repeatable delivery and a good changeup! If he has a 6+ era or whatever and we’re that short of starters then atleast we’re learning something. We learn nothing with Arroyo.

  13. Pillar pulled a Billy….awesome play

  14. I’ll be happy when Martin retires

  15. Nor keep the ball in the park consistently…sigh.

  16. Bonilla is pitching just like he did in the minors… imagine that.

    • He pretty much sucks….some guys can pick their game up in the bigs but he is what he is:( This is the best Reds offense in many years but no starting pitching.

      • He’s a placeholder on the 25 and 40 man roster. Holding it for the injured.

  17. Stroman is a tough customer when he’s on. Looks like we will have to wait until he’s out of the game

    • Pitching mismatch to say the least. The White Sox won today with former Reds scrub David Holmberg vs David Price but Price just came back. This one is going to get ugly

  18. I realize I’m probably overly optimistic, but I’m thinking if we threw anybody else on the mount (exception of BP Arroyo) we’d have a chance tonight. Like the guys in the booth are saying, he just can’t get ahead tonight.

  19. We will give up at least a TD and a field goal in at least two games in this series and maybe all 3 games.Its who we are right now.

  20. Stephenson warming up in the bullpen. Could this be the game when Stephenson gets the chance to put up or…

  21. i get the distinct impression Bonilla is afraid to pitch inside.

    • I’m not so sure it’s fear, I just don’t think he has any idea where the ball is going once it leaves his hand.

  22. Stepheson>Bonilla and its not close. The decisions the Reds make boggle the mind sometimes. How is Stephenson supposed to ever improve by pitching once a week?

  23. Let’s see what Bob Steve can do … I really hope he can douse the fire and have a good couple of innings (like 5 or 6 of them).

  24. Going to the pen in the third. Just another game……

  25. Great call with Bonilla!! Austin Ross at AA has a 1.21 era. He had a 3.89 era at AAA in the Pacific Coast League last year. He’s 10x better then Bonilla! The Reds FO sucks for the most part. They don’t make a legitimate effort to win….its that simple!

  26. Well………

  27. These guys just got everyone back and they’re feeling good. I feel a sweep coming on.

  28. Now that the game is over let him pitch.

    • Was thinking the same thing until that single. Not sure I can watch any more of this tonight. It’s looking like it could be batting practice.

  29. Bonilla’s line: 2.1 ip, 6 runs, 3 hits, 5 bb. Ouch

  30. Booth is calling it … not enough warm up time for Bob Steve and an 8-day layoff. That’ll screw with your mechanics.

  31. Stephenson ain’t nothing but batting practice

  32. Grooved that one … I’m out, friends. We’ll see what tomorrow looks like.

  33. Nothing new here. Every team they play, it’s always the same guys beating us. It’s Tulo’s 14th HR against the Reds

  34. Let him pitch it doesn’t matter.

    • Might be good to just let him get hammered. This guy Stephenson sure seems to have a low baseball IQ.

  35. You think the scouting report in MLB is out on Stephenson – can’t hit the zone with anything but fastballs. Good grief

    • Yup this is it. He relies only on his high heat. Which makes for some really hard hit balls. Maybe one of these years he will figure it out. I’m not convinced. If he was a starter he’d be making Bronson Arroyo look like an ace.

  36. Anyone know what happened to Romano? 720 day DL…Homer style? We prob won’t see Garrett again til August. It never ends with this team.

  37. Votto in a mini slump. Hope he figures it out soon. Still way ahead of this time last year

  38. Had Mes played perfect on that one.

  39. ….and Bautista hit that off the top of the bat…..sheesh.

  40. If I had a vote I’d replace Stephenson with Cingrani and let Stephenson spend the remainder of 2017 back in Louisville. But… I trust that the FO knows more about what to do than I do. Maybe they have already reserved themselves to thinking of stephenson as nothing more than another round of cannon fodder.

    • I’m giving up on Reed and Stephenson. You need an off-speed and neither one of them has it. You could take the broadcasters away and being doing something else and you’d still know when Bob Steve is pitching because of the timber being stacked again and again! He seldom hits a corner and seldom keeps it at the knees. The best they could do this year would be Disco, Finnegan, Feldman, Adleman, and Garrett….providing those guys every make it back? Homer maybe but probably not.

      • Stephenson and Reed both have the same issue…. inability to find the strike zone except for their fastball. Batter sit back and tee off. Send them both down to AA mandate that they throw at lower velocity until they find the strike zone with their off speed pitches. Once they can locate at a slower speed slowly have them ramp up the velocity again. Easier said than done but this is the solution to improve them.

  41. I really expected him to get hammered.It doesn’t matter for this game anyway but maybe it does matter down the road as to what happens with him.

  42. Not enough warm up time for Stephenson?. I fainted. This guy has been a disappointment in the minors and majors. He is a colossal bust. He has no idea how to locate a pitch.

    • He and Bonilla ought to be on the same flight headed back to Louisville or wherever tomorrow …. neither one has any business even close to a major league roster.

      • How can you expect Stephenson to be any good when he’s going so long in between appearances? Pitchers need regular work to be sharp and effective, and he isn’t getting it. If Price won’t use him more, he needs to go to AAA. This isn’t helping his development at all.

  43. Reds pitching staff just like waiting in line in at the barber shop …… NEXT !

    What a joke this has become. It’s really pathetic !

  44. It’s like I can’t turn away.

  45. Man he isn’t fooling anybody. This is a joke. Price will leave him out there to take a beating.

  46. That ball hit the wall so hard it almost came back to the infield on a single bounce and he was held to a single

  47. Schebler just needs to move to the right field line at the wall. That’s where they’re hitting them all.

  48. Wow , a balk followed by an obstruction because they can’t execute a rundown

  49. Does Stephenson play for Toronto?

  50. Ohhh Christ, just checked in right now…If this doesn’t call for a “Milton” I don’t know what does…

  51. I was wrong on Stephenson >Bonilla. Batting practice > Stephenson. I’ve never seen a Reds pitcher get hit as hard as he gets hit! The exit velocities could prob prove me right. He needs to go back down and work on his slider/off speed. We’ve got better then Bonilla and Arroyo even if its not Stephenson or Reed. Thats whats unacceptable

  52. Robert Stephenson ERA 7.77…. but let’s make him a starter. How about No? I think his time up on the big league roster is coming to an end for this year. Maybe they will stretch him back out as a starter for lowly Louisville and see what he can do there. If he goes back to Louisville until September we gain a year of service time? (not that I am wanting it at this point but…)

  53. Stephenson makes me long for Bonilla. I guess Bonilla didn’t pitch that bad. Lol

  54. I don’t care what anyone has been saying about Robert Stephenson, past, present or future (if there actually is one) he might have been a decent minor league pitcher but he totally sucks as a major league pitcher. Can’t believe this guy was rated our #1 prospect for so many years. We sure got hook winked with him. I would trade him in a minyte if any body else would want him.

  55. Man, can’t even get the out at first

  56. and poof his curveball finds the strike zone.

  57. Stephenson is past brutal

  58. Don’t pull him man. This carnage is entertaining. Watching an ego implode before ones eyes is a glorious thing to behold. Bob Steve will be the bat boy after this game.

  59. Stephenson threw 55 pitches of suck today.

    On the bright side: Buchanan doesn’t have to do much to be an improvement tonight

    • I am wondering if he is already on the next bus to Louisville. I don’t think he will be on the 25 man for long. The Reds will have another pitching need for this week. Cingrani isn’t ready yet but maybe he can just warm up with the big league team. Results won’t be this bad.

  60. The new guy got us out of that one. Might as well let him have the rest of the game, good or bad.

  61. Time to send all those guys with an era over 5 down or release them and bring up some new blood to evaluate. I mean really enough is enough. They can’t be any worst that those guys. Bonilla is better than some of our other arms in AA & AAA? Really.

  62. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team go from the worst bullpen to the worst starters in consecutive seasons. And when I say worst it’s not even close.

  63. Duvall is trying to overtake Schebler

  64. Charlie Blackmon/Adam Duvall number 1 & 2 in rbis in mlb! Crazy!!

  65. How about we send Stephensen down right after the game.I mean he got his one chance like Reed did and he blew it.Matter of fact we should do that every time a starter gets hammered on this team but of course we already missed that opportunity on the other guys but we will get them the next time out.Who starts tomorrow?My sarcasm is that one game doesn’t define anybody and it really doesn’t matter if he put up zeroes or got hammered like he did.He got taught a lesson tonight and lets see if he really learned anything.Maybe he didn’t and maybe he never will but its only one appearance.

    • Stephenson has had plenty of chances. He has been bad in the minors and awful in the majors. The only reason is he is pitching is because he got millions of $ as a #1 draft pick. He has not earned his opportunity. He does not merit being on an MLB roster. He is a bust.

  66. Lisalberto, Robert & Bronson…

  67. They are beating the hell out of the corner fences tonight.

  68. I’m pretty sure we don’t need a post game writeup tonight.

  69. Is it too late to change from a TD and a field goal to 2TD’S?I mean you could see this coming before we left Philly

  70. The Stros had an 11 run inning. The Reds down 16 to 2 have a ways to go to beat that.

  71. Now who is our starter tomorrow?Does anybody expect it to be any different?

  72. Stephensen has 8 starts in the majors which came last year and 12 relief appearances this year.Reed has appeared in 17 big league games with 11 starts.Neither of these guys have been given plenty of chances they just haven’t been successful so far.In this year of sorting(term used plenty on this site) they should be in the rotation.I doubt anybody would say they don’t have what it takes or are a bust based on such a small sample size.We need to find out as we did with Disco in 2015 and Finny in 2016 if they can start in the big leagues.Both started 31 games.

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2017 Reds, Game Thread

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