Winning streaks have been few and far between for the Reds (61-79) this season, but they’re riding one into Citi Field this weekend. Cincinnati is coming off a three-game sweep against the Brewers, hurting their division rival’s standing in both the NL Central and Wild Card races. The Reds will look to continue that momentum as they begin a seven-game road trip tonight against the Mets (60-79). After not seeing each other until late August, this will be the second time these two teams have battled against each other in the last two weeks. In Great American Ball Park, the Reds took two of three games last week.

Tonight’s series opener is set to kick off at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Starting Pitchers

Tyler Mahle 11.0 2.45 5.06 16.7% 8.3%
Matt Harvey 72.1 5.97 5.01 17.5% 10.8%

Tyler Mahle has been as good as advertised through his first two starts, particularly in his last one on Saturday. The 22-year-old blanked the Pirates through six innings, allowing only five hits and walking no one. That pinpoint command he displayed is his bread and butter. His career walk rate in the minor leagues sat at just 5.1 percent and is part of the reason he was able to get to the majors just four years after he was drafted in the seventh round out of high school. After facing a weak Pirates offense twice in a row, Mahle will get the injury-riddled Mets offense in his third big-league outing.

Matt Harvey’s once-promising career continues to spiral as he’s dealt with injury after injury. He threw only 92 2/3 ineffective innings last season before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, and his return this season has been disappointing to say the least. Not only has he missed nearly three months with a stress fracture in his scapula, but he’s also dealt with off-the-field issues, getting suspended for three games in May after he failed to even show up for a game.

He returned from his injury last Saturday against the Astros, and his start did not go well. Harvey lasted only two innings and was blasted for seven runs on eight hits. Astonishingly, the Mets were poised to let their oft-injured pitcher start yesterday on three days of rest, but common sense took hold and they decided to abandon that poor idea.

Harvey vs. Reds

Harvey has not faced the Reds this year. Here are his career numbers against them:




CF Phillip Ervin (194 wRC+) SS Jose Reyes (85 wRC+)
SS Zack Cozart (144 wRC+) RF Nori Aoki (95 wRC+)
1B Joey Votto (165 wRC+) 3B Asdrubal Cabrera (101 wRC+)
LF Adam Duvall (104 wRC+)  LF Brandon Nimmo (108 wRC+)
2B Scooter Gennett (131 wRC+) CF Juan Lagares (87 wRC+)
3B Eugenio Suárez (127 wRC+) 1B Dominic Smith (49 wRC+)
RF Scott Schebler (104 wRC+) C Kevin Plawecki (77 wRC+)
C Stuart Turner (22 wRC+) 2B Matt Reynolds (62 wRC+)
P Tyler Mahle (5.06 xFIP) P Matt Harvey (5.01 xFIP)

— With Billy Hamilton out due to a fractured thumb and Jesse Winker still on the disabled list, Phillip Ervin is getting the starting nod in center field.

— Tucker Barnhart is getting the day off. Stuart Turner will spell him behind the plate.

— Wondering why you see some unfamiliar names or journeyman veterans in the Mets’ lineup? That’s because their top five offensive players in fWAR are either injured or no longer with the team. For the curious, those players are Michael Conforto (injured), Curtis Granderson (traded to Dodgers), Jay Bruce (traded to Indians), Yoenis Cespedes (injured), and Neil Walker (traded to Brewers).

— You may remember the Reds almost received Brandon Nimmo in the Bruce trade instead of Dilson Herrera. The deal ultimately fell through due to medical concerns for another player the Reds were set to receive. (Interesting that the deal snagged on that issue and neither of the players the Reds did acquire have stayed healthy.) Noted for his impressive plate discipline (13.6 BB% for his minor-league career), Nimmo is getting his first extended chance in the big leagues due to the injuries and trades. He’s carving a potential role for himself on next year’s team, batting .263/.400/.337 with an 18.0 BB%.

News, Notes, & Pre-Game Reading

Behind a 13-strikeout performance from Deck McGuire, the Reds’ Double-A affiliate won their opening playoff game last night:

Hunter Greene made his third career professional start, and it went much better than the second:

The Low-A Dayton Dragons saw a late lead slip away as they lost their first postseason contest:

Kind of a bummer that we won’t get to see this again until next year:

Stat of the Day

It took until almost the last month of the season, but the Reds’ starting pitching is finally keeping the team in ballgames consistently. The starters have a collective 2.64 ERA over their last 13 games, and no member of the rotation has allowed more than three runs in an outing during that time.

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! 21 Comments

  1. Last 30 days stats via yahoo:

    Suarez 31/89 (.348) 25 runs, 6 hrs, 21 rbis
    Scooter 30/94 (.319) 25 runs, 6 hrs, 25 rbis
    Duvall 22/110 (.200) 18 runs, 6 hrs, 16 rbis

    Billy has been bad in Septembers…he wears down. Look at him? He’s not built for 630 atbats or whatever? Also Adam’s diabetes will wear anyone down. Those 2 should’ve been getting more rest? Suarez has literally been better then anyone not named Stanton lately and he’s always batting 6th? Then I go back in my mind to the series in Tampa. Winker played 1 game of 3 at DH….nothing in the outfield? I really can’t believe they’re bringing back Price.

    I still want to see Tyler Mahle pitch tonite. I can’t put my finger on who he reminds me of, but he’s incredibly poised for a kid thats still 22!

    • Agree.
      How ’bout a young Tim Belcher?

      • Funny that you said that! I was thinking about him and looked at his stats. He was a flyball pitcher and had a very solid repeatable delivery. I think Belcher’s stats are sort of mediocre because he hung on too long. He was very good with LA and the Reds til he reached his mid-30s plus it was the roid era.

  2. I love how you posted the wRC+ next to the players. If I could choose one stat to evaluate hitters, this would be it. It is is by far the best stat imo. 7 of our 8 are above league average while only 2 of theirs are.

    • Does wRC+ take into account leverage? Reds have inflated stats from hitting well in low leverage situations. How else to account for Amir Garrett early on in the season with 5 of 6 excellent starts but few wins, same with Castillo’s excellence yet few wins. Reds lose a lot of ballgames even when the pitchers do well.

  3. I think I like Philip Ervin!

    • I totally agree!! It looks like his swing is much shorter then his short stint w/the Reds earlier this year. His stance almost looks like Cozart….where the bat is almost flat on the back shoulder. Plus he’s not a hacker and drew a walk/scored in the 1st. I think his floor is atleast a good platoon player for a few years w/Winker or Schebler. Lets see how he looks defensively. I would play him almost every day and also WInker when he comes back. Sit Duvall and Schebler….they are what they are at this point.

      • I would like to see Price experiment with the top of the lineup the rest of the month. Perhaps Winker, Ervin, and Votto hitting one, two, three. I also like the idea of Suarez hitting in front of Votto.

  4. This Mets lineup is like a constant stream of “Wait, he’s still playing?”.

  5. I look forward to reading the preceding two articles tomorrow.

    Haven’t had the time this evening.

    Is there something about right field at the stadium that makes it difficult to play or is Schebler having a bad night?

  6. Mahle is pretty bad tonite….no velocity and walking people. Oh well….he’ll definitely be in the mix for the rotation next year.

  7. Schebler with a 3 hopper from 230 ft in RF…he’s not a good defensive player. No way he can play CF.

  8. Matt was a little sneaky in the game preview, using ERA as a benchmark.

    I thought we were a xFIP type of “baseball think-piece site”.

    Mahle’s 4 walks in 4 innings tonight is a reminder of how far this staff still has to grow in 2018 to be competent, let alone playoff worthy.

    Entering tonight, Reds starters are:

    30th in HR allowed per 9
    27th in BB allowed per 9
    30th in WAR

    12th in Ks/9 (thanks Castillo!)

    Let the sorting (of pitching) continue.

    • I wonder what those stats would be if you removed Arroyo, Bonilla, et al from the equation.

      • Too lazy to try and compute that. NFL is on.

        Depends on the metric.

        Arroyo’s BB/9 was lower than Castillo, Garrett and Mahle (all over 3). Stephenson’s is 5.98, which would seem to doom him long-term at that rate, 9Ks/9 or not.

        Cody “Walk Machine” Reed gave up over 5 per 9 in Louisville. Welcome back.

        Stay the course, for sure.

        But, IMO, other than Castillo, none of these guys have shown a package (yet) that is going to come close to getting to 90 wins as a team.

        Nick’s article on a mega-trade to make this team competitive this year should be interesting.

    • I would’ve used xFIP, but I’m not sure how to calculate that for a team over a 13-game stretch. Either way, just trying to highlight the progress. The rotation is obviously not a finished product because of a 13-game hot streak.

      • No worries, Matt.

        I just started to compute something myself thru FanGraphs, and gave up. #FirstWorldProblems

        I was also making a joke based on Chad’s Cincinnati Magazine article.

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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