The Cincinnati Reds (25-30) will kick off a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals (26-28) tonight at 7:10 at Great American Ballpark. The Reds were just a game below .500 at 24-25 a week ago, but have since lost 5 of 6. Reds pitching allowed 49 runs over the last 6 games, an average of 8.2 runs per game.

Even with the poor play of late, the Reds are still just 4.0 games out of first place in the NL Central as the rest of the division has struggled too. The Reds are 3-2 this season against the Cardinals, including a rare series win in St. Louis back in the first weekend of the season.

Starting Pitchers

Asher Wojciechowski will be making his second start for the Reds. Jim Walker wrote more about Wojo’s history in his game preview before his last start. The one thing he has done really well is throw strikes, as he has just walked 1 batter in 8.0 innings. In his last start in Toronto, he gave up 3 home runs. The good thing for Wojo is that the Cardinals rank 25th in the MLB with 54 home runs. Tonight will not only be his first career appearance against the Cardinals, but the first time he has faced anyone on the Cardinals roster.

Carlos Martinez is coming off a couple brilliant starts. He allowed just 1 run in 8.0 innings in his last start against the Dodgers on 5/31. Martinez had a quality start on 5/26, but on 5/20 he allowed just 2 hits, and 0 runs in 9.0 innings against the Giants.

The good news for the Reds is that Martinez had arguably his worst start of the season against the Reds on 4/9: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K. That isn’t the norm though, as he has a 3.38 career ERA with 49 K and 17 BB in 50.2 innings against the Reds.

Starting Lineups

Cardinals Reds
1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Matt Carpenter (1B)
3. Stephen Piscotty (RF)
4. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Tommy Pham (LF)
7. Paul DeJong (2B)
8. Aledmys Diaz (SS)
9. Carlos Martinez (P)
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scooter Gennett (RF)
7. Jose Peraza (2B)
8. Devin Mesoraco (C)
9. Asher Wojciechowski (P)


The Reds starting pitching has been absolutely terrible of late. They are desperate for someone to step up. Let’s hope for all of our sanity that the guy is Asher Wojciechowski. Let’s not forget this guy was once a first round pick, who could just be a late bloomer following injuries. There is no better team to start a winning streak against than the St. Louis Cardinals. Go Reds!

69 Responses

  1. Patrick Jeter

    Looks like Mesoraco is firmly re-entrenched as an 8-hole guy after moonlighting above 8th that one time Price remembered Mesoraco was once a guy who could hit.

    • Big56dog

      down right bizarre to wonder what the logic is, does Price actually think Scooter and Peraza are better hitters,? more likely to bat in runs? Not sure why Peraza is not at the bottom even when Tucker bats , but it just seems dumb to not hit Mesoraco higher considering his power

    • Chuck Schick

      Playing devils advocate:

      The Reds are 9th in runs scored and 4th in OPS. I understand that there is a ton of empirical data around optimizing a line up. I also understand the Reds pay some PHD’s to figure out new things. Is it possible that line up combinations the Reds are using factor in new data?

      I will concede that Price may very well be a clown, but the offensive results have been rather good. Are we basing our opinions on old data?

  2. msanmoore

    Perhaps it’s an omen that I watched “Angry Birds” streaming last evening … I’m hoping we can leave some Birds very angry over the next couple nights.


    Mesoraco batting 8th? Come on. It’s not that hard.

    • msanmoore

      Where would you bat him? He’s a catcher for crying out loud. You can’t bat a catcher higher up in the order. It’s in the rule books somewhere. You don’t see the Birds batting The Neck Tattoo someplace crazy like 5th, do you?

  4. TR

    At least a split is needed to keep from sinking further away from .500.

  5. msanmoore

    OK, if you discount the fact that he’s almost at 40 pitches, he’s doing OK … right?

  6. J

    For free, I’d be perfectly willing to offer the Reds a lecture on basic baseball strategy. Topics would include:

    a) Don’t make the first or third out at third base, even if you’re very fast.
    b) Don’t ever take strike three with a runner at third base and one out.
    c) Don’t hit-and-run against a pitcher/catcher combination that almost never gives up stolen bases with a guy at the plate who swings and misses a lot and a guy on first base who isn’t particularly fast.
    d) Don’t give your weaker hitters more at-bats than your better hitters.
    e) Don’t swing at the first pitch when you’ve just watched three guys walk.

    And many more! It would be the best zero dollars the team ever spent.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      It would be very interesting to hear the justification of trying to steal third against Molina with Duvall at the plate. I can’t imagine one that makes any sense.

      • J

        I think almost every justification for almost every dumb thing these guys do would be something like “I thought it would work out.”

      • Jack

        He made the third out a few games ago. Apparently didn’t learn anything then.

    • vegastypo

      When Billy Hamilton gets to second base, it’s like he becomes Willie Mays Hayes Hamilton. I don’t get it. Twice with Votto at the plate, and now with Duvall batting. Not smart baseball.

  7. james garrett

    I agree and agree and agree.We do some really dumb things from time to time and it never seems to be corrected.I would like to add one more please.Just because you are ahead in the count 2-0 or 3-1 it does not mean you have to swing nor does it mean you will get a cookie to hit.

  8. james garrett

    Martinez is really good and to give him outs on the base paths is really really bad.

  9. james garrett

    He is also looking unhittable tonight.Nasty nasty stuff.

  10. Tom Mitsoff

    Anyone know how many Reds games this year have been scoreless after four? Probably very, very few.

  11. VaRedsFan

    Did Wojo not get the memo that Molina likes the 1st pitch?

    • msanmoore

      Same thought here … and we’re not hitting tonight, so I’m thinking of packing it in early. Tough to watch our boys lose, but I really hate it when it happens against the Birds.

  12. james garrett

    Not many but the wheels are getting ready to come off for Wojo.

  13. msanmoore

    Yeah … I’m thinking our pitchers couldn’t have done that.

  14. VaRedsFan

    Bunts can be good, if you execute them properly…Cards squeeze home a run.

  15. james garrett

    Martinez has the same number of hits that our team does and he drove in a run.I’m done but Wojo was real good for 4 innings.

    • msanmoore

      +5 … yes, for 4 innings … sadly, he pitched in the 5th.

  16. james garrett

    Some of our pitchers can bunt its our hitters that can’t bunt.I hate bunting anyway.

  17. Indy Red Man

    Yeah Duvall is terrible defensively:) Whatever metrics have changed since last year are wrong! Despite average speed at best he’s pretty solid and gets a good jump on the ball.

    • msanmoore

      Both he and Suarez have made major improvements based on my eye test.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I’m with you. Duvall I think lost a fly ball in the sun a few weeks back, but he has not looked any less of a defender to me this year than last year.

  18. msanmoore

    Only 2 runs … somehow that felt like they scored 6. Now the question remains … can we hit a few, please??

  19. Indy Red Man

    Taping and fast forwarding is the only way to watch this team. They’re just playing out the string every year from mid-April on.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Really? Are we watching the same team? Just recently on Friday night they could have just rolled over down 2-0 in the 9th but fought back to tie it up and win on a walk-off HR. Yesterday their starter coughed up 9 runs in less than 3 innings but they came back and tried to make it interesting. Tonight Martinez was unhittable for 6 innings and they just scored 4 in the 7th and are still batting. That’s hardly a team playing out the string.

      • Indy RedMan

        I wasn’t trying to say the effort isn’t there…its just not exactly meaningful baseball but that’s true for most teams.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I misinterpreted what you were saying. It just sounded awfully negative. Last year was some of the most unwatchable baseball I’ve ever witnessed so this year has been much more entertaining for me, plus I had no expectations of the Reds contending this year. I still wish more of the young guys were starting games even if it means more losses, as long as the Reds can then make decisions on who can help them in 2018 and 2019 and who can’t be counted on. Unfortunately that isn’t happening.

  20. msanmoore

    OK, good night Redleg Nation. Perhaps we’ll come back, perhaps we won’t. But I’m not optimistic at this point.

    • msanmoore

      Our entire regular outfield has good arms.

  21. Tom Mitsoff

    You can’t ask anything more of Wojciechowski (or anyone else in the rotation at this point). He got out of jams — admittedly with some superior defensive help. 100 pitches, 65 strikes, only two walks. He would win more often than not with this team with that kind of performance.

    Someday the Reds will have the kind of starting pitchers who can go toe-to-toe with someone who is on like Martinez is tonight. But not at this point in time.

  22. james garrett

    A 7 pitch inning for Martinez.He doesn’t need any help guys.Swinging on 2-0 is just a gift to him.Need runners.

  23. BigRedMike

    Bad teams like the Reds seem to go out of their way to get below average players like Gennett a lot of AB’s

  24. VaRedsFan

    I think that is 3 bunt hits for Billy in the last week or so.

    • CI3J

      Hopefully a sign of things to come. If Billy would bunt more often, he’d be dramatically more effective on offense.

    • vegastypo

      It makes a difference when he actually stays at the plate to bunt rather than trying to do it while he’s breaking out of the batter’s box.

  25. Old-school

    That sequence is why Suarez and schebler need to hit above Duvall.

    • Old-school

      Suarez hit a 2 iron off a good pitcher.

  26. Tom Mitsoff

    This team never gives up — but they are ahead in the eighth because of the outfield defensive plays they made and that St. Louis didn’t make.

    • msanmoore

      As I tuned back in on my phone to see we tied and then went ahead, I “heard” you saying that. I have to agree and that’s what makes the team so exciting even when they are frustrating me. They keep on coming at it on all fronts. It paid off tonight.

  27. vegastypo

    It’s situations like this when I wonder why you don’t let Lorenzen finish, and have Iglesias fully rested for later in the series. ……..

    • msanmoore

      +25 had the same thought (again). Perhaps we’re time sharing a brain?

  28. Indy RedMan

    I should miss most of the game more often!! Another assist for Duvall!! Where are you at Chuck? How many times did Dave Kingman get 2 assists in a game? I’m going to safely (I think?) say NEVER! He’s a good ballplayer! WoJo should’ve been in the rotation for a while now! His stuff dwarfs Arroyo and Bonilla! He’s prob as good or better then Feldman and Adleman too!

    • Old-school

      But….Bonilla got the Win????
      Herrera/shed/ and a guy named Senzel all went yard.

    • Chuck Schick

      Duvall now has as many OF assist for his career as Dave Kingman had just in 1979

      • Indy Red Man

        I was just a kid….maybe Kingman was a wiz out there? I don’t know but I do know Duvall was a pretty good find for the Reds!

      • Chuck Schick

        I was 8 in 1979, but Kingman was a slug. Those 11 asssist were likely the result of throwing guys out who had no respect for his arm

      • vegastypo

        That’s exactly right. Teams ran at will against him. I feel kinda bad for the guys he actually threw out.

  29. VaRedsFan

    Iggy slams the door, strikes out three

  30. Tom Mitsoff

    Neither Iglesias nor Lorenzen is going to pitch 100 innings this season. The pattern of Lorenzen eighth inning, Iglesias ninth inning is forming.

    • Old-school

      I don’t think so Tom… Tonight was a good game…but the Reds aren’t going to be in a lot of situations with leads after 7. The cards will run out 3 more good SP and then the dodgers. Lorenzen will pitch….I think 80+ will happen.

  31. TR

    Big win for the Reds with good pitching and timely hitting with Scooter coming through with grit.