The Cincinnati Reds (41-60) have been in a tailspin since the all-star break, dropping 11 of 13 games and three straight. For a second consecutive weekend, they’ll take on the Miami Marlins (46-53), this time on the road. The Fish stayed hot after taking two of three in Great American Ball Park, again winning two of three games against the Texas Rangers. Last night, their offense exploded for 22 runs — against Yu Darvish, no less — smashing 14 extra-base hits and scoring against every pitcher they faced. Even Dee Gordon homered.
Reds pitchers will look to slow the Marlins down this evening at 7:10 p.m. ET.
Stephenson did what he was asked to do in his two-month stint at Triple-A Louisville: throw strikes. Now, the Reds finally seem willing to give him his first extended shot at staying the big-league rotation. The right-hander’s first start was encouraging. Although he gave up five runs in 5.1 innings, he limited the walks (two walks, one of them intentional) and struck out five. He really only made two big mistakes, allowing a pair of two-run home runs against J.T. Realmuto. If he can continue throwing strikes with his fastball, limiting home runs will be the next big step in Stephenson’s development. He’ll get a second crack at the Marlins tonight in a more pitcher-friendly ballpark.
(Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference)
The Reds will see O’Grady — a former Rule 5 pick by the team in 2015 — for the second time in less than a week. Called up to replace another former Red, Edinson Volquez, the left-hander is making his fourth big-league start after transitioning from the relief role he held in previous seasons. The 27-year-old has showed some promise, striking out hitters at an above-average rate, but walks have gotten him into trouble. Against the Reds last Saturday, he issued six free passes in 4.2 innings and is carrying an ugly walk percentage overall. However, O’Grady still got the best of Stephenson and the Reds in their first meeting, as the Cincinnati offense couldn’t capitalize on numerous opportunities to put a crooked number on the scoreboard.
|CF Billy Hamilton (66 wRC+)||2B Dee Gordon (84 wRC+)|
|3B Eugenio Suárez (112 wRC+)||RF Giancarlo Stanton (144 wRC+)|
|1B Joey Votto (151 wRC+)||CF Christian Yelich (113 wRC+)|
|LF Adam Duvall (112 wRC+)||LF Marcell Ozuna (139 wRC+)|
|2B Scooter Gennett (139 wRC+)||C J.T. Realmuto (121 wRC+)|
|RF Scott Schebler (100 wRC+)||3B Derek Dietrich (74 wRC+)|
|SS José Peraza (50 wRC+)||1B Tyler Moore (88 wRC+)|
|C Tucker Barnhart (76 wRC+)||SS Miguel Rojas (93 wRC+)|
|P Robert Stephenson (5.01 xFIP)||P Chris O’Grady (5.39 xFIP)|
— Zack Cozart is once again out of the Reds lineup as he struggles with a quad injury. With the condition of his leg, it’s hard to imagine the team getting anything substantial out of him in a trade at this point.
— The Marlins won’t have Justin Bour available in this series, as the first baseman was placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain earlier in the week.
News and Notes
There’s not much left to say about the way the Reds have played in the second half that hasn’t already been written here at Redleg Nation. It’s been ugly at best and nearly unwatchable at worst. The team could desperately use a win tonight to start this weekend’s series.