Following a loss in the series opener last night, the Reds (61-80) are back at it tonight to face the Mets (61-79) for the second of four games this weekend in Citi Field. To avoid a losing record, Cincinnati needs to go at least 20-1 over the last 21 games. I think they can do it.

That journey starts tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Starting Pitchers

Amir Garrett 58.1 7.41 5.17 18.6% 11.0%
Seth Lugo 77.1 5.00 4.43 18.7% 6.5%

With Luis Castillo shut down for the season after hitting his innings limit, Amir Garrett is returning to the rotation. The southpaw hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since June 20, spending the last two-and-a-half months in Triple-A Louisville. As most remember, Garrett started the year in the Reds’ starting rotation and was their best pitcher through the first month of the season.

But he was sent down to the minors due to service time reasons and later injured his hip, and he wasn’t the same upon his return. The Reds demoted him back to the minors, where he continued to struggle at times (5.72 ERA, 3.94 xFIP). That is, until his most recent start for the Bats.

Garrett threw a one-hitter on Sunday, striking out 10 and walking only one batter in seven innings. His velocity has been noticeably better in his last few outings, which he’s attributed to finally being healthy, as the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan wrote about yesterday.

Garrett vs. Mets

This will be Garrett’s first time facing the Mets and any of their current hitters.

A 34th-round pick in the 2011 draft, Seth Lugo made it to the major leagues last season at age 26 and was a stabilizing force at the back-end of the Mets’ rotation, posting a 2.67 ERA (though his 4.67 xFIP indicates he overperformed). The right-hander is highly regarded for his curveball with a ridiculous spin rate. Among pitchers who’ve thrown the pitch 200 times this season, he ranks second with an average spin rate of 3,072 rpm.

But he hasn’t been able to show off his nasty breaking ball much this year because, like most Mets pitchers, he’s been kept off the field due to injuries. Lugo missed the first two months of the year with a partially torn UCL — the same injury Anthony DeSclafani has missed the whole season with — and this will be his third start back from a shoulder impingement. As a result of the arm problems, he hasn’t seen the same results this year (his peripheral numbers are better, however) and even his ridiculous spin rate has dropped from an average of 3,318 rpm last year.

Lugo vs. Reds

Lugo has never faced the Reds or any of their current hitters.




CF Phillip Ervin (211 wRC+) SS Jose Reyes (84 wRC+)
SS Jose Peraza (64 wRC+) LF Brandon Nimmo (130 wRC+)
1B Joey Votto (164 wRC+) CF Juan Lagares (89 wRC+)
LF Adam Duvall (103 wRC+)  C Travis d’Arnaud (80 wRC+)
2B Scooter Gennett (131 wRC+) RF Travis Taijeron (-3 wRC+)
3B Eugenio Suárez (125 wRC+) 1B Dominic Smith (53 wRC+)
RF Scott Schebler (105 wRC+) 2B Gavin Cecchini (39 wRC+)
C Tucker Barnhart (86 wRC+) 3B Matt Reynolds (66 wRC+)
P Amir Garrett (5.06 xFIP) P Seth Lugo (4.43 xFIP)

— Tucker Barnhart is back in the lineup, while Zack Cozart is getting a breather in favor of Jose Peraza. Why Peraza is batting second, however, I do not know.

— Check out Phillip Ervin’s crazy wRC+ right now. He’s clearly the greatest hitter who ever lived.

— If you thought the Reds’ luck with injuries was bad, the New York Mets would like to have a word with you. Brandon Nimmo, who hit two homers last night, is the only above-league-average hitter in their lineup tonight. Asdrubal Cabrera (102 wRC+) left last night’s game with a hamstring injury. In his place, feared slugger Juan Lagares is batting third. It’s also been announced that Wilmer Flores (106 wRC+) is done for the year with a broken nose.

News, Notes, & Pre-Game Reading

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos are champions of the Southern League, sweeping the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in three games:

An update on the minor league playoffs from yesterday:

Both Baseball America and Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan released their minor league all-star teams today. Nick Senzel and Tyler Mahle were first-team members for Baseball America, while Jimmy Herget was an honorable mention. In Passan’s piece, Mahle, Senzel, and Taylor Trammell were honorable mentions. You can check out both pieces here:’s Joe Posnanski and Michael Schur (better known as Ken Tremendous to some baseball fans and Mose Schrute to fans of The Office) started a tournament to determine the “funnest” player in baseball. Billy Hamilton is matched up against Bartolo Colon, and he’s losing pretty badly right now. Go vote here to get him back in the race:

Stat of the Day

On the subject of curveball spin rates, let’s take a look at some notable ones for Reds’ pitchers. It’s probably no surprise that Ariel Hernandez ranks 18th among pitchers who’ve thrown a curveball 10 or more times (2,879 rpm), but an unexpected name on the list is Jackson Stephens, who ranks 11th at 2,932 rpm. The meaning of spin rate varies between pitches, but a high one is generally a great thing for curveballs, as it equates to more movement and drop.

24 Responses

  1. citizen54

    Gotta admit I wasn’t all that impressed with his Garrett the first time around. Even when he had his first three good games he was only sitting at 90-92. Good to see that he has regained his velocity.

    • VaRedsFan

      He needs to keep his fastball UP….above the waist…at the top of the zone. His low fastballs are the ones that get rocked.

  2. VaRedsFan

    Fastball down…did I mention something about this earlier? Home Run Mets

  3. VaRedsFan

    One thing about not being at GABP…you get excellent replay reviews with multiple angles

  4. VaRedsFan

    Laser throw by Tucker…another baserunner gone

  5. Old-school

    Tv feed showed Bryan price giving signs to Barnhart. Is Price calling Garrett’s pitches??? If so….that’s great. Price is managing a young pitcher.

    • VaRedsFan

      If he is, he needs to tell him to elevate the fastball. Tony C struck out batter when he threw high fastballs at 92. Got destroyed when he threw low strikes with them

  6. VaRedsFan

    Schebler swings at a pitch at his eyes….whiff

  7. VaRedsFan

    Amir’s off speed stuff has looked decent…better than I remember it

  8. citizen54

    2’s are wild for Garrett. 2 hits 2 HR 2BB 2 Ks 2 outs 2nd inning.

  9. VaRedsFan

    Another solo shot.
    He did touch 97 on that last elevated fastball for the K

  10. VaRedsFan

    Awful AB by Duval… up and in on a 2-0 count…popped up with 2 on and none out

  11. VaRedsFan

    Ron Darling is so good as a color guy. Explained how Garrett was tipping his pitches. MLB hitters have to know this too…thus all the HRs

  12. BigRedMike

    Why are they leaving Garrett in?

  13. VaRedsFan

    Garrett hurt…looks like a cramp. For some reason they are leaving him in.

  14. VaRedsFan

    Reyes had to know that changeup was coming…6 inches of the ground…golfed it out.

  15. VaRedsFan

    Reed is greeted with back to back doubles.

  16. VaRedsFan

    Scooter…taylor made DP ball…and he inexplicably throws home. High throw pulls Tucker off the plate

  17. Indy Red Man

    They don’t even compete on the road? They get shut down routinely by lousy pitching. They usually blow a couple of early opportunities…then fall behind by several runs and quit. I guess thats not on Price either? He’s the teflon scrub. They should sell him on the food networks for cleaning up the kitchen!

    • Sliotar

      Which Food Network program would Bryan Price appear in?

      “Diners, Drive-Ins and (Back to First Base) Dives”

      or, since his option was picked up….

      “(Not) Chopped”

      (No need to boo me off-stage for these. I will see myself out.)

    • CI3J

      Exactly. I’ve seen a narrative being pushed by some on this site that the players “play hard” for Price, but I don’t see it. Not running hard to 1st base, sloppy play in the field, mental mistakes with no repercussions, etc. I’m not sure where this “they play hard” idea comes from, but maybe fans here have forgotten what it looks like to have a team that plays good, clean baseball.

      • VaRedsFan

        It comes from when the are trailing 9-1, but score 3-4 runs in the 9th off of a mop up guy and lose 9-5