2017 Reds

Reds at Cardinals – September 14, 2017

The Reds look for a series win in today’s matinee versus the Cardinals after rebounding from Tuesday’s loss to even the series last night. Wednesday’s win moved the Reds to 9-6 versus the Cardinals in 2017. Thus a Reds win today would also clinch the season series versus the Birds with just 3 games in Cincinnati left between the teams after today. This would be something to savor through the long winter months, particularly if the Cards come up just a game or two shy of making the playoffs and suffer their second consecutive year of being on the outside looking in during October.

Starting Pitchers

Lefthander Amir Garrett starts for the Reds. This will be Garrett’s second start since being recalled as part of the September roster expansion and 14th overall MLB start this season, his rookie year. Garrett is trying to recapture the magic of his first six starts of the season when he seemed to have all but locked down a spot in the Reds rotation. However he was derailed by a hip injury followed by a trip to AAA apparently for service time management and has not been the same pitcher since, either with the Reds or subsequently in 13 starts at AAA Louisville.

Lest we forget how good Garrett was early on in 2017, in 5 of his first 6 starts, he allowed 2 or fewer earned runs while completing at least 6 innings per start. The only blemish was a performance in Milwaukee when he allowed 9 earned runs in just 3.1 innings. He bounced back from that shellacking to post two more solid starts before his season started turning sour.

Another young righthander, Luke Weaver, will be the Cardinals starter. Weaver, the 27th overall pick in the 2014 MLB draft, was called up by the Cardinals on August 17 to take the place in the rotation of Adam Wainwright who was placed on the DL with elbow woes the same day.

Prior to this most recent call up, Weaver had made 4 appearances with the Cardinals earlier in  2017 including 2 starts. Today will be Weaver’s 7th MLB  start of the season and his career.  What should we expect from Weaver? To date he has struck out over 31% of the MLB batters he has faced while walking just over 6%. However there may be some hope for the Reds as his BABIP is .333.

PITCHER xFIP HR/9 BB% K%
Amir Garrett 5.16 3.13¹ 16.7%¹ 18.1%
Luke Weaver 2.77 0.86 6.6% 31.1%

¹Sadly, these figures have been verified as accurate.

Bullpens

On Wednesday Kevin Shackelford pitched 2 innings (17 pitches) for the Reds. Michael Lorenzen (14 pitches) and Luke Farrell (11 pitches) each pitched an inning.  With the combination of a quick turnaround and roster expansion, these guys will likely see limited if any action today.

Mike Matheny used four pitchers to cover 4.1 bullpen innings Wednesday. John Gant threw 30 pitches in 2 innings and almost certainly is unavailable today. Ryan Sherriff required 9 pitches for 2/3 of an inning. Sam Tuivailala needed just 4 pitches to complete an inning while Matt Bowman threw only 6 pitches to complete his inning. Any of these three could see limited duty today.

Lineups

REDS CARDINALS
1. Jose Peraza (2B)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Scott Schebler (RF)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Phillip Ervin (CF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Amir Garrett (P)
1. Matt Carpenter (3B)
2. Tommy Pham (LF)
3. Paul DeJong (SS)
4. Jose Martinez (1B)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Harrison Bader (CF)
7. Randal Grichuk (RF)
8. Alex Mejia (2B)
9. Luke Weaver (P)

Hope we get an explanation of why Jesse Winker is sitting today; and, wouldn’t Phil Ervin instead of Jose Peraza in the lead off spot make a lot of sense? I think so.

News and Notes

A number of guys, including the Reds Stuart Turner appear to have made the Rule 5 cut this year

If you had an early night Wednesday, here’s two highlights of the Reds win

Final Thoughts

Wednesday night’s  post game feeling was about as good or even better than Tuesday night’s post game feeling was bad. One of the great things about baseball is that unless a team is going really poorly, its fans don’t have to wait long to experience the thrill of victory after they’ve felt the pain of defeat. Unfortunately in 2017, our team has once again lost many more games than it has won and done so in a manner which has often left us with that bad feeling of losing for an extended period. Now the season’s end is beginning to loom large on the horizon; and, sometimes that seems almost a relief.

 I fervently hope the Reds powers to be get things figured out so that next year instead counting down to an inevitable end of the season as September wanes, we will be caught up in the ongoing excitement of a Reds playoff chase. I honestly believe this is possible if the Reds can get their pitching straight for 2018.

Today’s game concludes not just a series and road trip for the Reds but also the final assignment of my rookie season as part of the Redleg Nation game preview team. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my previews even a small fraction as much as I have writing them. My thanks to the management team of Redleg Nation for allowing me this opportunity and to the entire RLN staff for the insights and knowledge they share. Things being equal I hope to see you here again next season when we will root the Reds back to winning ways or know the reason why. Until then, as always, GO REDS!


Data and Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, Fangraphs, and MLB.com

62 thoughts on “Reds at Cardinals – September 14, 2017

  1. Jim, thanks for the excellent articles this season.

    As for an explanation about why Ervin is down in the lineup compared to Peraza batting lead off…Peraza’s OBP for the second half is .347 for the second half. Ervin’s was .328 at AAA. While Ervin is off to a great start with the Reds, the sample size is very small. Even smaller than Peraza’s second half numbers.

    Coming off an injury, I’m not at all surprised that Winker is sitting in the day game following a night game.

    • I think I’m in a bit of a kid on Christmas morning mindset. I want to see as much of Ervin and Winker as possible before the end of the season versus Peraza who we’ve seem off and on for about 2 seasons now. 😉

  2. It’s possible that Winker’s absence from the lineup and leadoff position relates to a balky hip. He seemed to struggle a few times during the game yesterday. I hope there’s a legitimate reason for sitting Winker today and not just to get someone else playing time. If it is an issue with his hip combined with a day game after a night game, I hope there are no additional issues during the remaining few games.

    • This is what I’m hoping we find out. There was virtually no Twitter activity this AM concerning the Reds. Their lineup which is usually among the earliest up wasn’t up today until well after the Cards line up. That often means they are waiting out an injury report. I was thinking more about Scooter than Winker though.

      • Regarding Scooter, I thought I heard the TV guys (I was in another room so can’t claim to be sure) say that Scooter would likely miss a couple more games at least as his finger was quite swollen. I’m guessing if the lineup was delayed due to waiting on injury that it was about Winker.

    • This is common practice for the Reds. A guy off the DL always plays one game and sits out the next.

  3. Great, regular TV coverage for the game on FS-O. I guess the Old Cossack had better get some things done around the house before the game starts.

  4. The Old Cossack has New Computer!!! I once again have access to numbers and stats without relying on my old math skills. Yeah!!!

    • Congrats. Great news. Keep us posted on whether you become more of a Fangraphs or Baseball Reference guy. My personal opinion is that FG presents more already packaged SabreMetric data; but BBRef has more raw data available if a person wants to dive into ideas of their own. The BBRef query building machine in particular is impressive but they are moving parts of it behind a paywall.

      • I’ve always been partial to BRef, but I had been using FG more frequently until the Old Computer failed to compute with FG, BRef or MLB.

    • Cozart has once again regained qualifying status. His ranks in the NL:

      9th in OPS at .944, ahead of such notables as Bryant, Rendon, Murphy, Rizzo & Zimmerman.
      9th in SLG at .550
      11th in OBP at .394
      14th in AVG at .303

      That’s top 15 in all 4 stats. The Reds are going to miss Cozart next season if they do not resign him during the off season.

      Cozart is 6th in wRC+ at 144
      Cozart is 12th in WAR at 4.7, only Corey Seager has a higher WAR as a SS
      Cozart is 9th in DEF at 8.6, ahead of Billy Hamilton.
      Cozart is 14th in OFF at 24.4
      Cozart is 11th in ISO at .247

      Man are the Reds are going to miss Cozart next season if they do not resign him during the off season.

      • Depends on how Senzel takes off w/the Reds? I am 95% confident that Suarez could play SS as well as a hobbled Cozart. The poor guy could barely lean over last night on a sure doubleplay. I like Zack a lot though…def a loss on/off field, but I don’t see how he fits into their plans down the road?

      • I assume Cozart’s agent will be prominently displaying those stats to every team this off season.

  5. Garrett’s movement does not look comfortable, thus the lack of command.

  6. Carpenter and his 202 average against lefties just stood there with bat on shoulder and walks.

  7. Did you know that Peraza is in the top 10 in singles in the NL?

    Unfortunately, he’s probably also in the bottom 10 in XBHs.

  8. not just the walks, but the stolen bases both come home to roost on a single

  9. Walks in the inability to hold runners on is and always will be the problem with young guys but its painful to watch when he is your guy.Amir will get some strike outs but he throws way to many pitches to do it primarily because his stuff is average with no real wipe out pitch.

  10. Brantley said that pitch to Schebler for strike 3 was ‘right down Broadway,’ but Schebler thought it was inside. Maybe it hit the corner, I guess.

  11. The other guys stuff isn’t great its just he hasn’t walked anybody which sometimes is on us because we get in all out hack mode.Not watching today but I do know Garrett saw more pitches in his at bat then anybody else has seen.May mean nothing at all but we tend to get in to those see ball swing modes.We made 6 outs on 11 pitches last night in the 8th and 9th innings.

    • Man…you love the pitch counts…lol. Mahle threw 100 in 5ip, but they didn’t score. I understand what you’re saying, but the goal of a major league pitcher is to pump strikes. Our guys don’t….but you’re supposed to be able to that! If you’re not hacking against good pitchers then its 1-2 and 0-2 on you almost every atbat.

      • I do love the pitch counts and I believe you should be hacking against good pitchers as you said and also agree our guys don’t pump in strikes.Don’t even know what the data says our walk rate is minus Votto’s of course which messes up the data.I just feel if you aren’t getting hits by swinging early maybe you should take a few and I also believe and have heard opposing pitchers talk about how aggressive we are at the plate.

  12. Walks by Reds pitching are getting really, really old… Walks and dingers, dingers and walks.

  13. Assuming the throw was field-able, there was zero chance Votto would be safe on that.

      • Not watching but unless Joey can trot home he is not going to score.Ever since he got hurt he does not nor will go all out and risk injury which everybody knows.

        • Votto was busting butt going around 2B and on his way home and also on his double today. Votto is not fast, but he does run hard when necessary. He drops it down a gear on routine ground outs and routine fly balls, but not when it really counts.

  14. I’m not watching because I’m working. How does Stephens look? I don’t know why he doesn’t get a chance to start. Have they said anything about him getting a start before the end of the season?

  15. Carpenter with 7 walks in the 3 games.Reds as a team have walked 4 times.

    • Yeah. Cards are a patient team and the Reds pitchers struggle to throw strikes. The Reds have a few guys who will work a count but a few others that… well…

    • This data is nutty but in the series not only did Carpenter walk 7 times in 13 times up but he saw 62 pitches and only swung 13 times,This guy is a 240 hitter with an obp of 383.Where do we get one like that.Seems like he does this to everybody.

      • Price would bat him 7th because he doesn’t produce chaos on the bases.

  16. Yeah you would think for as many pitchers we have used this year that some of them would throw strikes.I mean it seems to be a big time problem at all levels doesn’t it.

  17. Reds hitters last night went to 3 ball counts 6 times and 4 times today including 2 walks to Joey and one to Suarez.

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