Tonight is game two of the current three game series between the Reds and Pirates in Pittsburgh. For the first time in nearly a month, the Reds are on a two game winning streak looking for three in a row. Dare I point out that if the Reds could manage to sweep the Pirates, they would come home Friday at a respectable 4-6 for a road trip that found them at 0-6 prior to Sunday. Meanwhile the Pirates must be wondering how they can be 1-7 versus the Reds this season. The Reds are just happy that’s the case and hoping to keep the train rolling down hill.
Righthander Robert Stephenson makes his third start of 2017 for the Reds tonight after being inserted into the rotation on July 22. Stephenson’s first two starts were a tale of day and night. In his first 2017 start he seemed for the most part to have left behind the control issues which led to him being exiled from the Reds bullpen to AAA in late May. Unfortunately in his second start his wildness returned with a vengeance, resulting in a career high 7 walks in just 4.1 innings. With Scott Feldman apparently nearing return from the DL, Stephenson may need a start at least as good as his first one of 2017 to hold onto his rotation spot.
Trevor Williams, also a righthander, gets the start for Pirates. The 25 year old Pirates rookie will make his 16th start of the season since being elevated to the Pirates rotation in early May. Williams has also been prone to erratic bouts of control issues. However these have been largely offset by stronger performances to leave his BB% at a near average level. Because he doesn’t strike out a relatively high percentage of hitters, if things run true to past form, expect to see a lot of balls put into play off of Williams.
The Reds used three relievers for an inning each in Tuesday’s game. None of the A Team saw action.
Lefty Wade LeBlanc went 3 innings for the Pirates on Tuesday and figures to be unavailable tonight.
UPDATE: The Pirates have called in bullpen reinforcements….
Glad to see Hamilton’s gimpy ankle is good enough for him to play. However, once again no Mesoraco. Should we be worried about his knee?
News and Notes
As they say on TV, we have breaking news
Here’s the more we now know
And this not so good sounding news came accross
Tuesday seemed to be a night for dramatic outfield catches.
The Pirates Starling Marte’s kept Jesse Winker’s big night from being even bigger…
Then this catch by Cleveland’s Austin Jackson made Marte’s highway robbery of Winker just the second best catch of Tuesday night in MLB
For folks less than 50 or so years of age, here’s faces to put with some names we old timers bring up from time to time.
Tuesday was a genuine feel good game for weary Reds fans. Everything worked for the Reds as it was intended to. Homer Bailey
threw pitched a gutsy 6 innings. The bullpen followed suit. Billy Hamilton was his intoxicating best at the top the order. Jesse Winker seemed to announce he was here to stay with a dazzling performance “on both sides of the ball” as he himself put it. The guys down the order we’ve come to almost take for granted did what they’ve been doing with regularity. Even Jose Peraza chipped in with 3 hits.
Today is a new day with the slate wiped clean. The Reds task the rest of this season is to use each new day to figure out which players will enable them to have games like last night at least 4 times a week, regardless of the opposition, versus the 1 or 2 times a week they’ve been able to do it over the last couple of months. As such, there will probably be many more games not nearly as good as last night before the season ends.
Savor the good times. Try to keep the not as good times in context. That’s our lot right now as Reds fans. As always, Go Reds!