Every time it looks like the Reds (29-30) are going to start sliding down the standings, they reel off a winning streak and move themselves right back in the thick of things in the NL Central. The club has crept back into third place after sweeping the Cardinals in four games — the first time they’ve done that since 2003, the year Great American Ball Park opened — and now sit two games behind the first-place Brewers and one game back from the Cubs.

They’ll look to keep their momentum going on the west coast as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers (36-25) for the first time in 2017. First pitch is set for 10:10 p.m. ET. Despite their impressive record, the Dodgers are also in third place in their respective division, trailing the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.

Starting Pitchers

Amir Garrett 47.2 7.17 5.24 17.0% 10.4%
Rich Hill 26.0 4.15 5.53 23.0% 15.9%

In a battle of struggling southpaws, Amir Garrett will take the mound for the Reds. His last three starts have been disastrous, allowing 22 runs (21 earned), 19 hits, eight walks, and nine home runs over 11.2 innings. As both the walks and home runs indicate, his command has been poor in recent outings, which is a far cry from his first three starts of the season in which he walked only one batter and didn’t surrender a homer. Now, his walk rate has climbed above 10 percent and there are only six pitchers in all of baseball who have allowed more homers (including, yes, Bronson Arroyo).

All that being said, there’s no reason to think this is anything other than a rookie facing a learning curve in the big leagues. Unlike their other young arms, Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson, the Reds are letting Garrett work through his struggles in the majors, which is the right move in a season of sorting.

This will be Garrett’s first career start against the Dodgers.

Rich Hill battled injuries for much of his career but came out of nowhere last season to put up a 3.8-fWAR season at age 36. He made the All-Star Game for the first time in his career as a member of the Oakland Athletics and was shipped to the Dodgers before the trade deadline, along with outfielder Josh Reddick, for a trio of promising pitching prospects. Hill ended the season with a 2.12 ERA and 3.36 xFIP while striking out nearly 30 percent of the hitters he faced.

The lefty hasn’t replicated that success in his first full season with the Dodgers. He’s battled blister issues for much of the year and hasn’t been effective when healthy enough to pitch. His walk rate is among the worst in the game, ranking as the fifth-highest mark among 331 pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched. According to Hill himself (and reported by the LA Times’ Andy McCullough), his problem has been with his mechanics, which makes sense if he’s having issues gripping the baseball due to blister problems.

Hill has only faced two current Reds, both when he was with the Cubs: Arroyo (1 for 5) and Joey Votto (0 for 2).


Reds Dodgers
CF Billy Hamilton (63 wRC+)  CF Chris Taylor (148 wRC+)
SS Zack Cozart (170 wRC+)  SS Corey Seager (126 wRC+)
1B Joey Votto (161 wRC+)  3B Justin Turner (162 wRC+)
3B Eugenio Suárez (130 wRC+)  LF Franklin Gutiérrez (89 wRC+)
RF Scott Schebler (125 wRC+)  2B Logan Forsythe (69 wRC+)
LF Patrick Kivlehan (98 wRC+)  C Austin Barnes (134 wRC+)
2B José Peraza (60 wRC+)  1B Cody Bellinger (125 wRC+)
C Tucker Barnhart (78 wRC+)  RF Kiké Hernandez (104 wRC+)
P Amir Garrett (5.24 xFIP) P Rich Hill (5.53 xFIP)

— No Adam Duvall tonight after he went 3-for-4 with two doubles yesterday afternoon. He already had a day off earlier in the week, so this seems a bit odd. If there’s an injury or anything to note, we’ll certainly keep you posted.

UPDATE: Duvall is sick, according to the Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan.

— Cincinnati Reds legend Scooter Gennett is also out of the lineup for the first time since his four-homer game on Tuesday.

— The Dodgers activated former Reds farmhand Justin Turner off the DL today. He’s been raking this season when healthy, batting .379/.453/.493 and leading the team with a 2.1 fWAR.

— Another former Reds prospect, catcher Yasmani Grandal, is getting a day off.

News and Notes

Stat of the Day

Only seven of 299 players with at least 100 plate appearances have more walks than strikeouts. One of them is, unsurprisingly, Joey Votto.

Player Team BB K
Buster Posey Giants 26 17
Joey Votto Reds 44 32
Anthony Rizzo Cubs 36 29
Dustin Pedroia Red Sox 21 17
Robbie Grossman Twins 33 28
Omar Narvaez White Sox 15 14
Mookie Betts Red Sox 25 24

Final Thoughts

The Reds finally received some quality starting pitching to go with their strong offense in the sweep of the Cardinals. Even a decent start would be encouraging for Garrett tonight after his performance against the Braves last Sunday. He has been either really good or really bad in all his starts this season, with no middle ground; let’s see if the “really good” Garrett shows up tonight.

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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25 Responses

  1. redbonebuck

    With Greene wanting to stay on the west coast he may ask for huge money to sign. It would seem his handlers are flaming the smoke as well.

  2. citizen54

    For those of you interested, Robert Stephenson just finished his night. He had a rough start early walking 5 in 2 innings but settled down giving up one hit, no runs in 5 innings while striking out 6 and walking 5. 43 strikes 40 balls.

  3. Indy Red Man

    Something must be up w/Duvall? I know diabetes is no joke or he could be dinged up from yesterday? He just had a day off and he destroys lefties plus he 14-39 (.359) in his last 10 starts. Not to mention Barnhart is worthless vs lefties. I don’t get it? Maybe they’ll look past Kvlihan! Go Reds!

  4. Indy Red Man

    Good news on Homer & Bob Steve and hopefully Duvall would get well soon!
    Tyler Glasnow beat up again for Pittsburgh…his era is up to 7.45! There has to be a fine line between letting a youngster develop in a rebuild season and sending them down to work on things and get some confidence again. Or ignore both sensible options and pitch the guy out of the pen once a week in 10-1 games.

  5. seat101

    back when Colorado first started, didn’t some teams send some players early so they could get acclimated?

    Apropos of absolutely nothing is why I ask.

  6. seat101

    Everybody is out having a fun time on Friday night. Same as it ever was.

  7. Indy Red Man

    3-0 in gabp with back to back hrs. Amir needs to go back to AAA too. He hasnt been hitting the knees since April

  8. redbonebuck

    We need to run up Hill’s pitch count early..

  9. redbonebuck

    Let’s hope nothing serious for Amir after that comeback.

  10. Indy Red Man

    Exit Amir….lucky his hand isn’t broken after that! Cueto and Bailey struggled early but nothing like these guys. They give up BOMBS….nothing but walks and absolute laser beams

    • msanmoore

      Still could be a fracture. I guess we’ll know more tomorrow.

  11. msanmoore

    Wow! Take a break to brush your teeth and come back to Garrett having to leave the game. Hope there isn’t any damage, but that came at him hard and fast.

  12. Indy Red Man

    How bad is our starting pitching? We’ve had 4 guys start games that are worse then Arroyo and Bob Steve (8.03 era) isn’t one of them. Dick Williams needs to go out and get a #3-4 guy for next year and 2019. I don’t think they’re going to find 4 guys that can keep an era under 4

    • Matt Wilkes

      There’s a lot of solid young pitching in the system. Have to be patient with them right now.

      • Indy Red Man

        No….I’ve had enough with patience. They said Homer was throwing 99 in the 7th inning or whatever in the minors but I never saw it. Too much hype for the results and they paid him anyway. I’m 50 and they’ve had less then 10 really good starters (prob no more then 5?) in my lifetime. Thats ridiculous! If they found 4-5 guys that could form a good rotation then 2-3 of them would Bailey up and go on the 700 day DL….thats just what happens with this organization.

    • Tom Diesman

      The average MLB SP has a 4.40 ERA. So someone with an ERA under 4 is a #1 or #2 starter. So yeah, he’d be hard pressed to find 4 of them.

  13. bhrubin1

    ummm…did I just hear that right? Did Brantley say the Dodgers were in the World Series in 1990? Did he forget that the team representing the NL that year was THE ONE HE WORKS FOR?

    • Indy Red Man

      I think he meant 1988 w/Hershiser

  14. redbonebuck

    At least Cozy and Votto wore Hill out that inning, should in the pen late fifth or early sixth at the latest.

  15. Indy Red Man

    Suarez is hitting .250 since April. He’s drawing walks but nothing the other way and it seems like he’s dribbling 2 weak grounders a game. He usually kills lefties!

    • Indy Red Man

      Squeeze the scrub pitcher…..thats BS? Hill was 2-0 on Votto and ALL OVER THE PLACE and they gave him the corner on 2-0. I’ve had enough….goodnight boys

  16. Chuck Schick

    I can’t believe the phrase ” Imagine where this team would be if it had average starting pitching” hasn’t been written yet.

  17. redbonebuck

    4 thirty comes early, hope they pull it out!