A visit from the lowly Padres has the Reds (48-67) riding a little momentum into the weekend to take on the Brewers (59-58). After holding on to the division lead for the better part of the first half, Milwaukee has been overtaken by the Cubs, as most predicted would happen, and Cardinals. A 9-17 record since the all-star break and a current five-game losing streak has dropped them to third place in the NL Central, but they still sit only two games back as neither team ahead of them has taken control of the division.

Tonight will mark the 11th time these two teams have met this season, with the Brewers currently holding a 7-3 advantage in the series. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. ET.

Starting Pitchers

Homer Bailey 42.2 8.86 5.35 12.3% 9.4%
Jimmy Nelson 141.2 3.24 3.09 27.3% 5.9%

There’s been little middle ground for Homer Bailey in his nine starts this season. In four of his outings, he allowed two runs or fewer and pitched six or more innings. In his other five, he’s given up at least six runs and lasted four innings or less. His most recent outing was not only his worst of the year but also his worst, well, ever. On Sunday against the Cardinals, he surrendered a career-high 10 earned runs on 10 hits and four walks, blowing an early 3-0 Reds lead and lasting only 3.1 innings. The good news is it doesn’t seem to be injury-related, but it was a bit discouraging after he’d thrown arguably his best start of the season five days before against the Pirates (6 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K). It’s just another reminder that coming back from Tommy John surgery isn’t easy.

Bailey vs. Brewers

In his second start of 2017, Bailey was knocked around by the Brewers, lasting only three innings and coughing up six runs, including three home runs.

Here are his career numbers against the Brewers (stats courtesy of Baseball Reference):

Jimmy Nelson is quietly having a breakout season at age 28, developing into the bona fide ace of the Brew Crew pitching staff. The right-hander ranks seventh among all qualified pitchers with a 4.0 fWAR, nearly doubling his previous season high and his overall career total. His ERA is good for 14th, but the peripheral numbers say he’s been even better. He’s seventh in FIP (3.04), sixth in xFIP, and seventh in SIERA (3.32)

How did Nelson go from a pitcher who was barely above replacement level in 2016 to one of the top hurlers in the game this season? The first thing that jumps out is his strikeout rate has gone up significantly from 17.4 percent to 27.3 percent (13th in MLB), and his walk rate has fallen from 10.7 percent to 5.9 percent (also 13th in the league). The reasoning doesn’t lie in better velocity or a new pitch. Instead, a change in his mechanics has led to a new-and-improved Nelson, as FanGraphs’ Travis Sawchik recently wrote about.

Nelson vs. Reds

Nelson has owned the Reds in two starts against them this season, allowing only three runs on eight hits while striking out 16 and walking one.

Here are his career numbers against Cincinnati hitters:




CF Billy Hamilton (64 wRC+) 2B Jonathan Villar (55 wRC+)
SS Zack Cozart (150 wRC+) 1B Eric Thames (121 wRC+)
1B Joey Votto (166 wRC+)  LF Ryan Braun (128 wRC+)
LF Adam Duvall (112 wRC+)  3B Travis Shaw (131 wRC+)
2B Scooter Gennett (127 wRC+) RF Domingo Santana (115 wRC+)
3B Eugenio Suárez (116 wRC+)  C Manny Pina (96 wRC+)
RF Jesse Winker (95 wRC+) CF Keon Broxton  (87 wRC+)
C Tucker Barnhart (83 wRC+)   SS Orlando Arcia (88 wRC+)
P Homer Bailey (5.35 xFIP) P Jimmy Nelson (3.09 xFIP)

— Typical lineup for the Reds.

— The Brewers have had one of the worst offenses in the game during the second half of the season. They’re batting .229/.292/.362 with an MLB-worst 67 wRC+ and -0.5 fWAR. The only two regular players with an above-average wRC+ since the break are Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw.

News, Notes, and Pre-Game Reading

Scott Feldman’s knee is apparently healthy enough for him to start Saturday.

Minor transaction to complete the Brandon Phillips trade:

A nice read from John Ring on Lee May, who recently passed away.

Joey Votto will look to extend his hitting streak to 16 games tonight. Here are his numbers during the streak so far:

Nick Senzel update: still raking.

Speaking of Reds prospects, Doug Gray recently interviewed Taylor Trammell:

Final Thoughts

The road has not been kind to the Reds this season. The team holds an 19-36 record away from Great American Ball Park, including a sweep at the hands of the Brewers in their only visit to Miller Park back in April. While tonight’s pitching matchup seemingly favors a 37th loss for the Reds, the struggling Milwaukee offense could be what Bailey needs to get back on track.

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.

Join the conversation! 92 Comments

  1. So would Bryan Price take Homer out if he is pitching a no-hitter into the seventh inning?

  2. Homer getting hammered early.Very frustrating to watch him right now.

  3. Brewers hit .304/.368/.623 against Homer.
    Is it going out on too much of a limb to say they own him?

  4. Then he walks the pitcher.I think right now I would rather watch somebody else pitch.

  5. Big K of Thames …

  6. Feldman the starter tomorrow.

  7. C’mon, another Granny

  8. 2 gift runs so far! Cozart is out by 2 steps if their SS just regains his balance and throws to 1st. Duvall would’ve then been the 3rd out

    • He wasn’t getting Cozart, much less by 2 steps

      • No way….he can barely run and that ball was hit fairly hard

      • Either way….we got some 2 out hits and some runs!

        • I’ll buy that the SS, being deep in the hole behind the thirdbaseman, should’ve just eaten the ball. The throw to 2B, to hopefully catch Billy sleeping, was ill advised. Meanwhile, the Reds have a big inning.

  9. Whats up w/Homer? It was about 3 starts ago that he hit 98 mph and now its like his arm has been dead for the last 2 starts and tonite.

  10. Five runs with two outs is a good thing.Now lets hope we don’t need em all.

  11. Oops make that 6 runs with two out.Homer batting twice in the same inning is always good.

    • I’d prefer Joey being the one batting twice, but I’m just greedy …

  12. Wow…..Winker is really a good ballplayer! I think Schebler is in trouble!

  13. Its ok to be greedy tonight because Nelson has been really good.Homer needs to step up right now and shut them down.Of course he knows that and lets hope he can execute and throw strikes.

    • Price is shaking his head in the dugout. Still, 2 outs and guy on first. Homer is battling.

  14. Homer is not throwing good at all and the walks are just not helping.

  15. I think Homer and Stephenson are going to struggle because they used to be power pitchers at 95-97 and now they’re 92-93 most of the time. They have to pitch backwards now…sort of Dan Straily style

    • But…speaking of Dan Straily…per Chad and Doug podcast.. Luis Castillo leads all MLB starting pitchers in avg velocity at 97. Something….that’s a front rotation guy….who knows about Homer….the focus should be in finding an Ace to pair with Castillo. A lot easier to figure out starters 3/4/5…..when u have 1/2…. Than the other way.

  16. I will continue to give Homer a pass but as Indy said he appears to have a dead arm.I don’t know if that is to be expected right now but it is concerning to me.

    • How about “tired” rather than dead? He’s still throwing 95 when he reaches back.

  17. You may be right Indy but 92-93 is good enough but not if you walk a bunch of hitters.Homer walking people is not like him at all.

  18. Welch just said his two walks tonight are the first two this month for Billy. Wow!

    • Billy sat between Joey and Winker on the team plane to Brew City.

    • Nelson blew him away the first time up and couldn’t throw him strikes the next two times up.We will take it.

  19. Another walk for Billy, and he gets his Easy Bake Oven glove on.

  20. 2 walks for Billy tonight? Cozart delivers him after the steal.

  21. Cards are going to win the division. Milw is toast and Contreras is now out 4-6 weeks. Their fans are smug and I still dislike neck-tat but you have to give it to that organization. They find a way to compete….just hope anyone but StL or Cubs win the NL

  22. Joey extends his streak !

  23. Hitting streak lives

  24. Nelson gave up 7 runs to the Cubs back in April but this is by far his worse game of the year.

    • Counsell already had his lineup card out before that 10th run. A regular Captain Hook …

  25. We were 19th last week in runs scored….back up to 14th now. This offense could be scary with an improving Senzel & Winker in there!!

    • It could be but who goes to the bench?We have 4 guys counting the pitcher that play most of the time and have no power(Biily,Peraza,Tucker) but at least two of them are gold glove caliber and Peraza is 23 years old.Schebler is hurt but is his slump because he got hurt.I mean he was on pace for 30 homers and an obp around 320 so does Winker take over for him?

      • Having Schebler and Winker fighting for the same spot is a good problem to have. I’m happy to see Winker getting an extended look and the competition should do them both good.

      • Schebler will get more playing time as well but Winker is going to always be more consistent with getting on base. At the same time…Schebler can blast 7 hrs in 2 weeks which the jury is out on Winker’s power. The thing is WInker is better defensively and on the bases then a lot of people said. He runs ok…he’s not a slug.

        • So what do we do about the 3 guys that have no power with two of them that get on base at a below 300 clip?

  26. Gennett’s second straight chance to do what he do…

  27. Every bloop, bleeder, and hopper is a hit tonight for the Reds

  28. I think Milw chances died when Chase Anderson went on the DL vs the Reds. He even did it in Reds style. The “10 day” DL where you’re actually out half the season or more

  29. “The reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated”.

    Zach Cozart 2017.

    • Is he pricing himself out of Cincinnati? I’m guessing $33 mil/3 years from someone.

  30. Blake Wood is back….giving up a 5 spot

  31. We have ourselves another football score…

  32. Eric “Babe Ruth” Thames hits another homerun off the Reds.

  33. Thames hit the tree run homer but the other 4 hits were of the bloop and infield variety.You could see it on Wood’s face it was going to get worse before the homer.

    • Wood looked nauseous. He gave up 3 somewhat softly hit balls before the homer. You knew it was going to end badly.

  34. Lol….leave for a short while and disaster strikes. This team? I’ve never seen a team give up 4+ run innings like this. I don’t have much faith in Lorenzen either? They just squeezed him vs Shaw? Unbelievable

  35. Do you get the feeling we are going to blow an 8 run lead?

  36. Why is Lorenzen throwing so much breaking stuff now? Where did the 98-99 mph sinker go?

  37. I give up. Lorenzen has just totally feel off the cliff. Too many breaking pitches….velocity is WAY down from 3 weeks ago. He may be hurt? If you can’t keep your velocity with 50 ip out of the pen that how are you going to keep it as a starter with 180 ip expected?

  38. Lorenzen has come apart like wet toilet paper the second half of the season- just brutal !

    • He was just throwing 99 about 3 weeks ago and now he won’t throw a fastball. He was holding his arm after pitches about 2 weeks ago and Price let him go out for a 2nd inning. A guy is holding his arm and I’m taking him out! He’s either hurt or he’s just a mopup younger Blake Wood

  39. I cannot stand Lorenzen. I would gladly DFA him just so I don’t have to watch him pitch anymore. People want him to start? Let another team waste time with him.

    • Look at his numbers last year. I think he’s hurt. His era was 2.93 on July 9th

      • Indy he might be hurt. He might get scared t night too. Anyway I just want him gone. Sports should be fun. He is anything but fun.

        • Guy is a groundball pitcher that throws 99. They don’t grow on trees. He barely pitched in the minors. You have to give him a chance. He’s been shaky most of the year though….can’t argue that. Even when his era was good….think he was letting inherited guys score

          • That wasn’t the case. Until mid July he didn’t allow inherited runners to score – that’s why until recent blow ups he rated so well in whatever the saber metric stat regarding clutch pitching…..

  40. Unfreakin believable…….unfreakin believable

  41. Packers put up a TD to pull within a point of the Bengals, who lead 10-9.

  42. I mean I know its a meaningless game in August and who really cares but that kind of stuff is just brutal to watch.We need something to get us out of this losing culture.I don’t have even a suggestion as to how you deal with stuff like this.My gut tells me you just holler and scream and throw things but I don’t know.

    • Slugfest!! Back up 2

    • Losing culture? The Reds have won 7 of 11, and they have a lead late on the road against a respectable team.

      • How about we say we are headed towards are third straight year with 90+ losses and its because we have these pitching melt downs that continue over and over.Like I said its a meaningless game in August but what kind of culture would you say we have.Certainly not a winning one.

  43. I’d go with Iggy in the 7th. Stop their momentum and hopefully pitch the 8th as well. Then hopefully you’re up atleast 2 and Storen/Peralta can close. I go with my best right now!

    • I’m thinking the same thing. Might not be. Game to close in 9th

      • Price is Price though? Peralta hasn’t been great lately either. This is on Price if he blows it.

        • So since Peralta didn’t blow it, does Price get any credit for bringing him in there?

  44. NIce IP by Peralta.

  45. So we have 1 possibly dependable rookie starter and 2 dependable relievers. That’s leaves 9 spots up in the air. If a guy steps up then 2 other guys get hurt….wow? Next year is toast too….we’re going to score a ton but 77-85 is about the best they can do.

    • We are due for a break next year with injured pitchers.I see Homer,Disco,Finny back and with a couple young guys stepping we may surprise some folks.Two years in a row is enough for me.Go Reds in 2018

  46. Suarez with 3 hits and 2 walks.Nice.

  47. Might as well fire all your bullets and if it doesn’t work it doesn’t work.

  48. Walk Pina and setup the dp….guy is on fire tonite? Price?

  49. Reds have thrown 178 pitches so far….lol

  50. Iggy!!! Does he have enough left for the 9th?

  51. Iggy delivers a 4 out inning without giving up a run.

  52. Iggy plays guitar …

    Gotta like him coming in for 2 innings.

  53. They need 2 runs then Storen can finish it. If Iggy throws 40 pitches then he won’t go again this series

  54. Iggy is out there until we win or they win or they tie it up.Which is good for me.You are right he is done for this series regardless.

    • Insane….feel sort of bad for Price because he can’t do anything when Wood and Lorenzen completely meltdown. Atleast we won….big insurance HR from Tucker

  55. Four hours — the Reds turn a laugher into a nail biter. Iggy keeps us on the edge of our seats, but comes through, as he usually does.

    Go Reds!

    Night all.

  56. Wood and Lorenzen vomited all over the mound period.Wood had that little league expression all over his face.He needed to man up right there and put on his big boy pants.He wanted out of that game before Thames stepped in.Very disappointing and I would have respected him more if he had drilled Thames then took a shower.I watched that inning and they had a ground ball hit,a blooper and two infield hits but you don’t melt down and sulk.Iggy saved the day.

Comments are closed.

About Matt Wilkes

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.


2017 Reds, Game Thread


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