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.
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.
¹Sadly, these figures have been verified as accurate.
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.
|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
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!