The Reds (24-28) keep creeping toward .500 only to go on a losing streak. The club got a much-needed day off on Thursday after getting swept by the Toronto Blue Jays at the beginning of the week. Perhaps a return home against a subpar team will get them back on track.

Tonight, the Reds will take on the Atlanta Braves (22-29) for the first time in 2017, with first pitch set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Mike Foltynewicz 50.2 4.44 4.28 18.2% 6.7%
Bronson Arroyo 51.2 6.62 5.50 14.9% 7.0%

With Julio Teheran struggling, right-hander Mike Foltynewicz has been the Braves’ top starter this season, along with Jaime Garcia. That said, his overall numbers are fairly pedestrian. The former top-100 prospect dials his fastball up to the mid-90s but doesn’t strikeout many batters, instead relying on above-average control to get hitters out. He isn’t much of a ground-ball pitcher (41.9 GB%), so he gives up his fair share of home runs (though not to the extend of the Reds’ pitching staff). He is coming off a rough outing against a less-than-stellar Giants offense, in which he surrendered five runs on seven hits in four innings.

Here’s how Foltynewicz has fared against current Reds’ batters in his brief career (stats courtesy of Baseball Reference):


Bronson Arroyo is still in the rotation, and things aren’t getting any better. He’s given up 12 home runs over his last five outings (26.2 innings) and is now tied with the Astros’ Mike Fiers for the MLB lead in long balls allowed (18). Somehow, all of those home runs over his last five outings were solo shots; otherwise, his numbers would be even uglier than they are. With Brandon Finnegan, Homer Bailey, and Anthony DeSclafani all expected (fingers crossed) to return this month, Arroyo’s time in the rotation may be running out.

Here is how the right-hander has fared against Braves hitters over the years:

*Note: The Braves designated Bonifacio for assignment today, so he’s no longer on their roster.

Lineups

Braves Reds
CF Ender Inciarte (97 wRC+) CF Billy Hamilton (79 wRC+)
2B Brandon Phillips (102 wRC+) SS Zack Cozart (169 wRC+)
RF Nick Markakis (99 wRC+) 1B Joey Votto (152 wRC+)
LF Matt Kemp (160 wRC+) LF Adam Duvall (105 wRC+)
1B Matt Adams (92 wRC+) 3B Eugenio Suarez (144 wRC+)
C Tyler Flowers (158 wRC+) RF Scott Schebler (116 wRC+)
3B Adonis Garcia (66 wRC+) 2B Jose Peraza (69 wRC+)
SS Dansby Swanson (46 wRC+) C Tucker Barnhart (74 wRC+)
P Mike Foltynewicz (4.28 xFIP) P Bronson Arroyo (5.30 xFIP)

— Nothing notable from the Reds’ batting order tonight. After an off-day, the usual lineup is rested and ready to go.

— Tonight marks Brandon Phillips’ return to Cincinnati after being traded to the Braves in February. He’s having a solid season thus far, hitting .294/.343/.413 with 10 doubles, three home runs, and seven steals, though he has cooled off since a red-hot start.

— As you can see, the Braves have a solid offense, although their big bat, Freddie Freeman, is out for the foreseeable future with a broken wrist. It’s a shame, too, because he was producing at MVP levels (.341/.461/.748, 14 home runs, 208 wRC+, 2.7 fWAR).

— Although his defense is poor, Matt Kemp is still mashing the ball. The 32-year-old is hitting .345/.381/.608 with 15 doubles and 10 home runs, good for a ridiculous 160 wRC+.

— In case you missed it, the Braves recently acquired a player familiar to Reds fans, making a trade with the Cardinals for first baseman Matt Adams.

News and Notes

Welcome back, DatDude!

For those listening on radio tonight, you may hear a different voice than you’re accustomed to:

Scott Schebler = good

Some big-name Reds prospects made the Florida State League All-Star Game, though Gavin LaValley was snubbed:

The Louisville Bats are wearing some cool uniforms tonight:

Final Thoughts

With Arroyo and Foltynewicz taking the mound for their respective teams, tonight’s game has the potential to be a slugfest. Buckle up, everyone!

About The Author

Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

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58 Responses

  1. Tom Mitsoff

    I hope Brandon Phillips gets a standing ovation his first time up. That would be a terrific way for the fans to say “We appreciated the way you played for us for so many years.”

    • TR

      I’ll second that for Brandon Phillips. I’ll always remember the welcome Tony Perez got at Riverfront Stadium in 1977 when he returned as an Expo.

  2. Chuck Schick

    I’m sure BP will have his day at some point in the future, but I hope he is greeted warmly and the Reds put forth some classy, subtle tribute like a video montage when he comes to bat.

  3. lwblogger2

    I will be in sec 112 for this evening’s slug-fest. I’ll be thrilled if Arroyo goes 5 IP and give up 3 or less. Thrilled!

  4. lwblogger2

    Inciarte and Hamilton with two fly-ball pitchers going might be a lot of fun to watch tonight.

    • Matt Wilkes

      Didn’t even think about that! Could be a fun matchup between those two defensively.

  5. Mike Adams

    If we are talking about what would be thrilling, I would like to see BP get 3 hits (the only hits by the Braves) in 7 innings of shutout pitching by Bronson.
    Also the standing O Tom hopes for and the tribute Chuck hopes for.
    I envy you being at the game LWBLOGGER2, on a warm, dry evening. GO REDS!

  6. james garrett

    I would rather have their guy then our guy.He throws 95 and is young with an upside.Learning to pitch at the big league level.What an idea.

    • Mike Adams

      I agree. Would rather see a young Reds pitcher getting better and gaining experience. But Bronson is pitching so I wish him and the Reds success.

    • Big56dog

      seems like his ML debut was against us a few years back, Disco was cruising until he gave up a base clearing double to him

  7. msanmoore

    Start #11 … and how many HR’s was it? 18 so far? Let’s hope his stuff moves well and often tonight. Skip the “fast” ball, please.

  8. msanmoore

    Nicely done, Cincy crowd. BP deserves that kind of welcome from you. Very classy.

  9. msanmoore

    Weak hits on balls out of the zone are still hits … and now they have two on with nobody out.

  10. VaRedsFan

    That 1st hit by the Braves was literally a few inches off the ground when he hit it

  11. Sliotar

    Danger on the horizon.
    Second time through the lineup. Runners in scoring position.

  12. VaRedsFan

    Must be hard bunting 73 mph with 2 strikes…not

    • msanmoore

      At least throw him a screwball …

  13. VaRedsFan

    Schebler robs BP of extra bases….inning over

  14. seat101

    Meh. The manner of Phillip’sparting was a stiff middle finger to the Reds. It’ll take me a couple years to forget that and remember how much I enjoyed him.

    But I love those Louisville Bats uniform!

    Did Schebler miss play that ball into a great catch?

    • msanmoore

      Looked a bit misplayed to start. I think he angled in too far but then corrected.

  15. Broseph

    Holy strike zone batman! Angel Hernandez is looking conservative tonight

    • VaRedsFan

      Billy’s and Schebler’s were confirmed strikes. Duval’s wasn’t

  16. VaRedsFan

    Another long ball given up by Bronson

  17. Playtowin

    Allowing Billy Hamilton to get the most at bats on this team is a mistake. Billy deserved the opportunity but he has not taken advantage of it. He is a weak hitter with speed and good defense. He need to move down in the order…..the Reds lead off hitter is……

    • Tom Diesman

      …. playing OF in Louisville.

      • Old-school

        There’s a guy named Jesse Winker who is now hitting .318 with an OBP approaching .400 and OPS over .800.

        I want that guy hitting in the top 2.

  18. VaRedsFan

    Absolutely horrible call on Zach….None of the called strikes were strikes according to Fox Trax

    • lwblogger2

      I’m at the game and behind 3B so can’t tell much on the strike zone. How bad is it? Seems like the Reds have had a couple called 3rd strikes where they have been very unhappy.

      • lwblogger2

        Nevermind, I just saw it was Angel Hernandez who is perhaps the worst HP ump in MLB.

      • lwblogger2

        Thanks… I said that and then told my girlfriend “no idea who it is but not Angel Hernandez”

  19. VaRedsFan

    Folty is at 103 pitches…We’ll see if he comes back out for the 7th

    • VaRedsFan

      He batted, so guess not.
      The 100 pitch thing is one of the lamest things about modern baseball anyway

  20. TR

    Blake gets it done. Now we need some offense.

  21. mariners77

    Arroyo has given up five runs over 11 innings in his last two starts. In the grand scheme of this rotation, that’s getting it done!

    Better run support in either or both games would have been a couple of wins…

  22. lwblogger2

    Another called strike 3 that was iffy!

  23. VaRedsFan

    Another awful call….inside by 2 inches on Billy

  24. james garrett

    Wasted a rare good start by one of our starters by hammering out 3 hits with 11k’s after 15 k’s night on Wednesday.Not good not good at all.

  25. VaRedsFan

    Johnson is probably the worst pitcher that we’ve faced tonight. Let’s see what happens.

  26. VaRedsFan

    There you go…Blown save on a wild pitch!

  27. lwblogger2

    Bonus baseball on a Friday night!

  28. TR

    Game tied 9th. inning and nobody on, and Barnhart is bunting?

  29. VaRedsFan

    They did put Mez in, so Iggy can go 2 if he has to. Lets hope he can get a Dubya

  30. VaRedsFan

    Walk off Mez…..Finally a big hit

  31. TR

    What a sweet win that was and a hit by a guy we’re all pulling for.

  32. Greg Pearson

    That felt good.

    It almost didn’t feel like a real baseball game for a while, considering that there wasn’t a real strike zone.

  33. Tom Mitsoff

    I’m sure there’s a reason Atlanta is using Johnson as the closer, but they have some other darn good arms in the bullpen that watched him in the ninth. He’s been just hanging on as a reliever for years.

    And it was great to see Mesoraco time the heat perfectly in the 10th! It’s also great that a rare good starting pitching effort didn’t get wasted!

  34. gusnwally

    How about a little love for a guy who takes a lot of flak around here. Peraza does what he does best. Puts the bat on the ball. Runner goes to third, scores on a wild pitch. Nice job Jose.

    • renbutler

      He’s been hitting better for sure, but it wasn’t a good situation in which to give up an easy out just to move a runner to third. The Reds got lucky with the two-out wild pitch

    • VaRedsFan

      Good point. He picked Schebler up, who failed to do so.

  35. james garrett

    Johnson’s best days are behind him.At one time he had a great power sinker that served him very well.Now not so well as evident by the wild pitch.We will take it .