The Cincinnati Reds (66-85) will try to bounce back from last night’s 8-7 extra inning loss to the St. Louis Cardinals (78-72) in the second game of this three-game series tonight at Great American Ball Park. First pitch is at 7:10 ET.
The Reds missed a golden opportunity to crawl with a half game of fourth place in the NL Central, as the Brewers beat the Pirates last night. There’s still a chance to avoid finishing in the basement of the division, but the Reds will need to get better pitching than what they got yesterday.
Davis makes his return to the rotation for the first time since May 8 against the New York Yankees. It’s been a struggle for Davis this season, with being thrust into the big league rotation and not having success immediately. He had one solid start against Pittsburgh, allowing no runs on four hits through five innings, striking out two and walking three.
Davis was also injured for about a month after being sent back to Triple-A. When he did return to the rotation in Louisville, he was very inconsistent. He started 11 games and posted a 4.77 ERA while surrendering 10 home runs and walking 13 batters in 60.1 innings. There were some good starts in August, but he would then turn around and give up five runs the next start. Part of his problem has been his BB%. At Triple-A, it was 5.0. At the major league level, he’s walked 14 in 21 innings.
Davis’ only appearance since being recalled was against the Cardinals. He pitched two innings out of the bullpen and gave up two runs and four hits, including a home run.
As a rookie pitcher, Weaver has been the opposite of Davis. A late first-round draft pick in 2014 (yes, the same year as last night’s pitcher, Jack Flaherty), the Cardinals called him up at the beginning of July and made him a starter a few weeks later. He’s been nothing short of brilliant since. In ten games, he’s 6-1 with a sparkling 1.89 ERA. Expect him to be in the Cardinals starting rotation in 2018.
He’s very much a strikeout pitcher. In 2017, Weaver has already struck out 58 in 47.2 innings. Last season, he pitched 36.1 innings for the Cardinals and struck out 45. He’s also very much a ground ball pitcher, as 55 percent of balls hit off him in 2017 have been ground balls. Even last season, his GB% was 44 percent.
Although his GB% is high, when Weaver does give up fly balls, they’ve been home runs. That’s one area where he’s struggled. He’s given up four this season and seven in 2016, including one to Adam Duvall. Weaver faced the Reds last week and came away with the victory, giving up just one unearned run on two hits and striking out six in six innings.
|1. Matt Carpenter (1B)
2. Tommy Pham (LF)
3. Dexter Fowler (CF)
4. Paul DeJong (SS)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Kolten Wong (2B)
7. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
8. Stephen Piscotty (RF)
9. Luke Weaver (P)
|1. Jesse Winker (RF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Adam Duvall (LF)
6. Jose Peraza (CF)
7. Patrick Kivlehan (3B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Rookie Davis (P)
-In yesterday’s preview, I said Eugenio Suarez had the day off. Instead, he was at the hospital with his wife waiting for his first child to be born. That’s a good reason to have a couple off days.
-Scooter Gennett has 26 home runs. Chalk that up as something I’d never thought I’d see this year.
News, Notes, and Pre-Game Reading
-Billy Hamilton is back, but in a limited role. Hopefully it will help him retain the NL stolen base title this season.
-Forgot to post this yesterday, but if you haven’t read it yet, it’s a good behind-the-scenes story on what Joey Votto does to prepare for games.
-And finally, a fun, “what-if” post here at Redleg Nation today about what trades the Reds could make for next season.