2017 Reds / Game Thread

Reds vs. Pirates — August 26, 2017

After a win last night that including good pitching and timely offense, the Cincinnati Reds (55-74) look to continue their dominance against the Pittsburgh Pirates (61-68) this season tonight at Great American Ball Park

Note that first pitch is at 6:40 ET, instead of the usual 7:10 ET, due to the post-game concert featuring the Avett Brothers.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Luis Castillo 70.1 3.45 3.86 25.5% 10.3%
Gerrit Cole 160.0 4.16 3.92 22.0% 5.9%

Castillo (or ‘La Piedra’ this weekend) pitched just four innings in Atlanta last Sunday, but it wasn’t because he didn’t pitch well. He gave up just two runs on four hits, striking out eight and walking only two. Castillo has more than proven himself this season, and now it’s all about starting to limit his innings. This will likely be one of Castillo’s last starts of 2017, as Bryan Price said he doesn’t want Castillo to pitch much more than 150 innings. Combined with the 80.1 innings he pitched at AA-Pensacola before being called up, Castillo is right at that 150 mark now. My guess is that he gets two more starts, including today, before the Reds shut him down for the season.

For as good as Cole (‘Cole Train’) has been in his career, he is 0-6 with a 5.14 ERA in nine games against the Reds. He’s faced the Reds just once this season back in May, pitching 6.0 innings and giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits and striking out seven while walking only one.

This season, Cole has pitched decently for the Pirates. His strikeout and walk rates are comparable to his breakout year of 2015, when he had a 24.3 K% and a 5.3 BB%. His issues this year, however, have been the home run ball. He’s given up 27 home runs this season, more than double his career high. His fly ball percentage has increased from 29.0% a year ago to 34.5% this year, and consequently his HR/FB ratio has gone up about 10 percentage points, from 6.8% to 16.7%. Cole is using his change up about 11 percent of the time this season, up from 5.4 percent a year ago.

Here’s how he has fared against the Reds:gerrit cole stats

Lineups

Lineups can be found here.

-Jose Peraza gets the start at shortstop today, in what I presume is just a day off for Zack Cozart. Cozart doesn’t hit Cole very well, and Scooter Gennett does, so it looks like Price felt this was a good off day for him.

-Joey Votto extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a walk in the eighth inning last night. He’ll try for 30 games tonight.

Stat of the Day

Eugenio Suarez has been getting better and better, and he’s just 26. His home run total has increased every season, and now he’s part of an elite group to hit 20+ home runs at GABP in a season. The Reds will have a decision to make with Suarez and Senzel at the same position in the next couple of years. It’s a good problem to have.

-If you’re curious, Votto currently has 18 home runs at GABP, so he could also join the list this season.

News and Notes

-Tyler Mahle will make his MLB debut tomorrow.

-Continuing with the theme of exciting Reds prospects making their debuts, Hunter Greene is scheduled to make his professional pitching debut for the Billings Mustangs tomorrow.

-The Blake Wood era in Cincinnati is over.

-Rookie Davis turned in another outstanding start for Louisville last night. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets at least one start with the Reds in September, especially with Castillo being shut down.

Final Thoughts

With Mahle getting the start on Sunday, the weekend rotation for the Reds will have been Robert Stephenson, Castillo and Mahle. This is a very good thing.

With Stephenson’s performance last night, Castillo’s performances since he was called up, and Mahle’s potential based on his minor league performances, are we finally seeing the future of the Reds? If so, based on some small sample sizes, it looks bright.

34 thoughts on “Reds vs. Pirates — August 26, 2017

  1. With Stephenson’s performance last night, Castillo’s performances since he was called up, and Mahle’s potential based on his minor league performances, are we finally seeing the future of the Reds? If so, based on some small sample sizes, it looks bright.

    Don’t forget Big Sal! He’s really come into his own in the last few starts too.

  2. The reason the offense is scoring runs, is because Cozart, Votto, Duvall, Suarez, Gennett, Schebler (other than in July, when he was hurt)…Winker (for the limited time he played), and sometimes Barnhart. Where Price thinks Hamilton is best batting leadoff, I will never know?? When he gets on base, he can steal bases, and cause havoc for the other team, but thats a Big IF he gets on base, which by his on base percentage, is very low.

  3. Of course he is wrong but as he said he doesn’t even think about moving Billy.Very sad but he steers his comments towards the team’s ability by saying he is satisfied with the offense.

  4. With eight games remaining vs Pirates (tonight included), it’s still possible for us to lose the season series after starting 9-2.

    Still, the lopsided record as of today has me wondering: what’s our best season record vs. a division opponent? Anyone have an easy reference on that count?

  5. Billy and Peraza back to back is just not good but maybe they do something this go round.

  6. Billy out trying to bunt again.Little league stuff good grief just giving outs away.

    • Now, hold on just a cotton pickin’ minute. Chris Welsh just said he had no problem with Hamilton continuing to bunt.

      (rolls eyes)

      Welsh seems like a nice man, but he is fortunate to be in a small market, with a local media that has to little interest in discussing or reporting on sabermetrics.

      His takes are literally straight from of the NBC Game of the Week. Expecting to hear any time that is just filling in because of an extended absence by Tony Kubek.

      He and “it’s just as easy for (Peraza) to steal third base” tHom are quite the pair.

      • I listen to Welsh and Thom last night just for a little while(I normally mute the sound) and these guys are so wellllllllllllllllllllllll.

      • Interesting that Welsh seems so out of touch in that he at least occasionally has been known or suspected to visit this site.

  7. Cole and other power pitchers literally knock the bat out of Billy’s hands but Billy can’t bunt period.Not sure why he can’t but he can’t.

    • That last strike felt like one of those “benefit of doubt” calls that umpires gives to established pitchers when they are “on.”

      Good to see Castillo getting that.

  8. Seeing Gerrit Cole pitch like this tonight, I can’t help but remember this…..

    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/14863495/gerrit-cole-pittsburgh-pirates-unhappy-2016-salary

    Where Cole wanted a bump in salary for making the All Star team and the Pirates refused, citing it would “break their scale.”

    Cole is gone the minute he reaches free agency, unless he is traded first.

    Would the Reds treat Castillo like this if he were to make the All-Star Game in 2018 or 2019?

    I wonder.

  9. Done for tonight.Castillo was great but Cole was greater.No offense tonight can’t wait to see Mahle tomorrow along with Billy and Peraza at the top of the order.

  10. You know—I can see the argument that when Billy gets on base he wreaks havoc with the other team by his speed. When he gets on base.
    When the guys behind him are knocking the ball all over the place that speed isn’t nearly as valuable.
    Tonight, in this tight game, when the opposing pitcher is doing well, THAT is when we really need his speed to come into play. But it didn’t cause he has trouble getting on base.

  11. I am glad that the reliever who is entrusted with high leverage situations and has the nickname of “Zen Master” is on my favorite team.

  12. Another impressive inning from Lorenzen. He might be getting his mojo back. Need a bloop and a blast

  13. Castillo gets it done again, but the same cannot be said of the offense with the Pirates providing real good pitching.

  14. If the Reds displayed better high leverage OFFENSE during Castillo’s starts….they’d be within striking distance of .

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