We had to wait an extra day, but opening day is finally here! The Cincinnati Reds (0-0) will kick off the 2018 season at Great American Ballpark with a three game series against the Washington Nationals (0-0) at 4:10 PM. The Reds have killed the term “rebuild” as we head into the 2018 season, and are now looking for some results.

The outside expectations could not be any different for the Reds and Nationals. The Reds are projected by PECTO to finish last in the NL Central with a record 75-87. The Nationals are expected to win the NL East with a record of 89-73.

The Reds bring back most of the pieces of a lineup that was 8th in the National League in runs scored. The Reds rotation is full of question marks, but the Reds should be able to avoid for the first time in several years having pitchers start who have no business being in the big leagues. The Reds will need their young starters to take a major step forward if they want to avoid a fourth consecutive 90 loss season.

The Nationals parted ways with Dusty Baker after another first round playoff exit in 2017, and are now managed by Dave Martinez (he was a bench coach for the Cubs a season ago). The Nationals won the NL East each of the last two seasons, and have finished at least second in the division each of the last six seasons. This season is incredibly important for the Nationals as this is Bryce Harper’s free agent season. Harper seems content to get to the open market after the 2018 season.

Starting Pitchers

The following stats are 2018 ZiPS projections, with the exception of FBv (fastball velocity):

Between August 8th, 2014 through June 23rd, 2017, Homer Bailey made a grand total of 8 pitching appearances. It was obvious that Bailey would have some serious rust when he returned, and that definitely was the case. The biggest thing for Bailey was that he was able make 18 consecutive starts once he made his season debut June 24th through the end of the season.

Bailey’s overall numbers were certainly not good in 2017, but he did give some signs of life. Bailey had several starts where he got destroyed, which dramatically inflated his ERA. Bailey did however allow 2 ER or less and go 5+ innings in 8 of his 18 starts. Bailey had a 3.63 ERA over his last 7 starts of 2017, including pitching seven shutout innings against the Brewers in his final start.

The projections don’t like Bailey. Much of that is due to his low strikeout projections. It is hard to believe that Bailey, whose fastball velocity was right about his career average in 2017, will only strikeout around five batters per nine innings. If Bailey can find a way to miss bats in 2018, there is no reason he can’t at worst be a league average pitcher. If Bailey can make 25+ starts and produce at a league average rate, I believe the Reds would be thrilled.

Bailey’s career numbers against the Nationals are….not good. He has a 8.44 ERA in 6 career starts against the Nationals. The individual numbers vs Bailey below are terrifying. Last season, Bailey gave up 16 ER in 5.2 innings against the Nats. In fairness, one of those starts, where Bailey lasted just 1.2 innings, was his first start of the season coming off the DL.

Max Scherzer has won back-to-back NL Cy Young awards, and has been in the top 5 in Cy Young voting in each of the last 5 seasons (he won the AL Cy Young in 2013). Needless to say, the Reds have a tall task on Opening Day.

Scherzer has a career 2.25 ERA in just four career starts against the Reds. Scherzer pitched six shutout innings in his only start against the Reds last year. The Reds did light Scherzer up on July 7th, 2015: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER. Votto homered off Scherzer in that game.

Starting Lineups

Nationals Reds
1. Adam Eaton (LF)
2. Anthony Rendon (3B)
3. Bryce Harper (RF)
4. Ryan Zimmerman (1B)
5. Howie Kendrick (2B)
6. Trea Turner (SS)
7. Michael Taylor (CF)
8. Matt Wieters (C)
9. Max Scherzer (P)
1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Scott Schebler (RF)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Jose Peraza (SS)
8. Homer Bailey (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

Bryan Price went with the lineup most of us were clamoring for. This could not be any more encouraging to me. Let’s hope this will last all year. Jesse Winker has a minor league career .398 OBP (Joey Votto had a career .385 OBP in his minor league career). Winker absolutely needs to be leading off (at least vs RHP) until he proves he can’t. Adam Duvall is the odd man out on Opening Day. That is the right decision vs RHP in my estimation, but it does stink for Duvall. He has done everything the Reds could have asked of him. That being said, having Duvall on the bench makes the Reds bench much better than we have seen in a long time. Billy Hamilton batting 9th is absolutely perfect. I never liked the idea of him batting 8th in front of the pitcher because that nullifies his speed (the pitcher would bunt him over if he did get on base). This takes pressure off Hamilton and still makes him the leadoff hitter the second time through the order. Win-win.

The Nationals lead the NL in OPS in 2017. That was mostly without their leadoff hitter, Adam Eaton, who a 6 win player in 2016 with the White Sox. Daniel Murphy is starting the year on the DL, so that does tame the Nationals lineup a little bit.

Weather Update

The Reds definitely made the right decision to cancel the game early yesterday. The latest weather forecast looks pretty good for uninterrupted baseball. Fingers crossed.

The rest of the rotation

Luis Castillo – Sat, 2:10 vs Nationals (Strasburg)
Sal Romano – Sun, 4:10 vs Nationals (Gonzalez)
Tyler Mahle – Mon, 4:10 vs Cubs (Chatwood)
Cody Reed – Tues, 6:40 vs Cubs (Lester)

The patched together Bullpen

The Reds bullpen will consist of Jared Hughes, Wandy Peralta, Amir Garrett, Austin Brice, Kevin Quackenbush, Zack Weiss, and Jackson Stephens to start the season. Iglesias is on the 3-day paternity list from Thursday, so he could be available Sunday. David Hernandez, Michael Lorenzen, and Kevin Shackelford are all starting the season on the DL. This is certainly not the optimal bullpen for the Reds, so it will be interesting to see how they get through the first couple weeks of the season with limited resources.

Hype Video

If you are looking for a good hype video to get you ready for the season, the one below is absolutely terrific. You should also check out Chad and Jason’s 2018 Reds preview on the latest Redleg Nation podcast as you are counting down to first pitch.


I supported the Reds 110% with the rebuild. I even called for the rebuild to start before the Reds actually went “all out.” I have been patient over the last four miserable seasons, and have even been happy the Reds lost in as glorious fashion as they did because it netted Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene. That all being said, the Reds need to do something this season. They don’t have to make the playoffs this season, but they have to at least make a major step in the right direction and figure out what moves are needed to get back to the promised land in 2019. We are wasting precious years of prime Joey Votto that we will never get back.

The Reds could also just start a magical season with a win today, and shock the world and win the 2018 World Series. That would be pretty cool too, huh? Go Reds!

154 Responses

  1. doublenohitter

    Awesome video. i’m hyped and ready. i’m not expecting a lot but watching the young guys mature and get better and get ready for 2019!

  2. Bill

    I didn’t think we would see Winker leading off and Billy 9th in the first game.

    • Big56dog

      (warning total sarcasm will follow)
      – What are they gonna a due when Winker is on 2nd and cannot score on a base hit?
      – with no speed at the top of the line up the bases will surely get clogged and the pitcher will be let off the hook w/o all the HAVOK the fast guys can create getting the most AB
      – it makes 0 sense to hit Bailey in front of a superior batter like Hamilton- total slap in the face or just trying to get Billy going?

    • Jeff Reed

      A pleasant surprise. I hope it becomes a habit.

  3. JB WV

    Rock on, baby!!! Time to quit talkin’ and play ball!!! If Homer stays healthy I’m lookin’ at a real solid year from him. GO REDS!!!!!

  4. Chad Dotson

    Great preview, Nick. I’m ready for some baseball.

  5. Shchi Cossack

    The Reds have always been under-committed. When they needed a player at the trade dealine in order to enhance their ability to compete in the playoffs, they whiffed. When they needed to move players, who would not be members of the next cpompetitive team, at peak value, they whiffed. That under-commitment is directly attributable to BC. BC is just too susceptible to emotional attachment and emotional over-reaction rather than focused on what is best for the long-term or short-term needs of the team to be competitive. The sooner he steps away and washes his hands completely of baseball operations, the better for the Reds baseball fortunes.

    GO REDS!

    T-150 minutes and counting. The weather looks cooperative.

  6. Sliotar

    Nice setup, Nick.

    While driving around this morning, MLB Radio was having “Opening Day Overreactions.”
    It was funny to hear that the Phillies Gabe Kapler (for the moment) has the title of worst MLB manager, after his shenanigans yesterday and Price’s lineup construction today.

    Tough draw to start, Nats and then Reds killer Rizzo and the gang. Hope to see some good outings from the kid SPs over the next few days, regardless of outcome. Many teams are going to hit hard this season by Washington and Chicago.

    Go Redlegs.

  7. VaRedsFan

    Nice right up Nick. Right there with you…been beating the Billy batting 9th drum for so long. Here’s to no Milton appearances for a good long time.

  8. Tom Mitsoff

    I think all of us want Billy Hamilton to suddenly develop the ability to get on base. It would do nothing but help the team. But the lineup today gives fans including me the feeling that they’re doing everything they can to win today. It’s been a long time coming. Nice feeling. Makes me feel for one fleeting moment that they feel it’s time to compete again. 🙂

    • JoshG

      with his defense and hitting at the bottom, I’d probably be content with a .315 OBP from Hamilton

  9. GreatRedLegsFan

    I really wish for some improvement this season, a .500 record would be a major achievement. Still concerned with bullpen and SS, will see…

  10. Scott Carter

    WOW! I am shocked and amazed. Did not see that coming. Go Reds!

  11. Steve Mancuso

    Two separate issues with lineup and Winker. (1) Winker is playing ahead of Adam Duvall. Price says that’s because Scherzer is brutal vs. RH batters, so expect Winker to be benched tomorrow or at least one out of every 3-4 games, (2) when Winker *is* in the lineup, he’s batting first and Hamilton is batting at the bottom.

    The second of these is progress. The first is YTBD.

  12. Old-school

    What changed from yesterday to today….the lineup yesterday was different.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Old-School, you almost jerked a snarky little comment from the Old Cossack on opening day. Let’s just leave it at, I think Steve addressed this earlier.

      • Old-school

        Trae turner hitting 6 th?
        They are loaded. Homer has his hands full. Gotta get to great pitchers early.

  13. MrSaturdayNite

    About an hour left to go! Feeling pumped!

    • Shchi Cossack

      I just advised Mrs. Cossack that I’m not cooking dinner tonight. We’ll just get some takeout or delivery. The sun is pummeling the Midwest. Cincinnati is the center of the universe and GABP is the center of the tristate. C’mon 1st pitch!

  14. Preach

    I’m working third shift so I can sleep or watch baseball…..

    It’s going to be a long night, because I’ve waited too long for this! Go Reds!

    • Shchi Cossack

      The Old Cossack did the 3rd shift thing for 6 months during baseball season a couple years ago. That was a forgetful six months. Good luck Preach!

  15. WVRedlegs

    I’ve been grumpy about the Reds front office for the last couple of weeks. Heck, since the Winter Meetings really. But it is time to shake off all that grumpy and go with the guys on the field and in the dugout.
    A new lineup from Price is a good sign to start off the season. I’ve been cautioning patience with Price this year that things will be different. One step in the right direction. Compare the Opening Day roster to the last 3 or 4 and Price has some ordinance at his disposal more so this year.
    Time to go to battle in games that count. Maybe Price and staff can outfox the Nationals rookie manager and staff in this series.

  16. Scooter Rolen

    Really good preview, nice in-depth info! Let’s Go Reds!

  17. Preach

    Wow, just watched the video. The end really, really got me.

  18. Preach

    As much as we’ve been talking about the Reds lineup, that National one is straight up stacked.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Money buys talent and spending money to win now will always be the mantra of big market teams.

  19. WVRedlegs

    Has the waiver-wire claim order changed now that the season is under way? The Reds have the 5th chance to put in a waiver claim on a player I think if it is still by overall record. But if a waived player in the NL has to go through NL teams first on the waiver wire, the Reds would have the 3rd chance to make a claim. Not sure which is in effect now.
    The Cards DFA’d a very good pitcher in RHP Josh Lucas. The Cards have until next Wednesday (04/04) to trade Lucas or expose him to the waiver wire on Wednesday. He would be a good addition to the already beleaguered bullpen. I don’t think the Reds would make a trade with STL. But if he goes through waivers the Reds could be sitting in a good seat to select him with a claim. I just don’t know how many teams ahead of Cincinnati though, either 4 or 2. SF being ahead of Cincinnati either way makes it tough to wait until waivers though. It might benefit the Reds to try to make a trade, even this early.

  20. Darrin

    If Peraza can hit, if, that’s a good looking lineup. It’s not the Nats, but few are.

    • Preach

      I’m calling it now: Peraza is going to have a breakout season. Didn’t like the way he was handled when he first came over, and now all that’s behind him and he’s going to flourish with both the bat and the glove.

      Bank it.

  21. Shchi Cossack

    NOBODY!!! NOBODY doea opening day better than Cincinnati. This should be written into the next CBA in perpetuum. Cincinnati opens the day before every other team so the entire country and baseball fans everywhere can enjoy the experience. It’s good for baseball.

  22. Preach

    Didn’t like the location of that last fastball to Harper.

  23. KDJ

    Reed? Really?
    If Scherzer has a Scherzer-like outing, let’s hope it does not discourage Price from continuing with this lineup.
    Even in his best years, Homer would be either lights out or extremely hittable. I am eager to see what this year is like. Go Reds!

  24. VaRedsFan

    1-0 Nats. Would have taken some spectacular defensive plays. But Peraza couldn’t make the play up the middle, and Joey couldn’t dig the double play ball out of the dirt. Both tough opportunities.

  25. Old-school

    Scooter has to turn that double play.

  26. Indy Red Man

    Peraza has to stop the ball….even if he doesn”t get the out. They don’t score with 1st/2nd and 1 out. Of course Scooter to Joey would’ve saved the run too. Harper was hustling…give him that much. He put some heat on Scooter like he’s supposed to.

  27. Shchi Cossack

    Harper’s sharp ground ball up the middle was a VERY fieldable ball. Peraza may have been shielded by the pitcher, but that’s a play that should be made. At the very least, the ball has to be kept in the infield.

  28. JB WV

    Scooter has to turn that DP. No excuse

    • Indy Red Man

      Its not worth investigating it deeply but Harper was on him pretty good. To me the run was more Peraza or even Joey. He’d usually scoop that ball. Most 1B scoop those 90% of the time.

      • Old-school

        Scooter doesn’t have the arm or the height……so he was on first base side throwing over sliding runner. BP has foot on LF side 2b and flips sidearm to first.

    • VaRedsFan

      Harper coming full speed at your knees is a pretty good excuse.

  29. Preach

    And it was a tough scoop for Joey, but he could have made it as well. Tough all the way around

  30. MrRed

    Some shaky defense in the top of the 1st. Is that Opening Day jitters or a preview of what we can expect from #9 and #3 manning the middle this year?

    • Preach

      Thom basically called him a combination of Nolan Ryan and the Terminator.

      Our boy sure loves his hyperbole, I’ll give him that.

      • VaRedsFan

        I’m in the Nats market, so I have a THOM! free afternoon.

      • Eric

        Yeah, I’m stuck in the Nats market, as well. Feels wrong to be watching Reds Opening Day called by the opposition’s sympathizers, but whaddyagonnado…

  31. Indy Red Man

    Scherzer 200+ innings 5 years in a row and 187+ for 8 years in a row. Our guys can’t throw 160 innings 2 years in a row?

  32. Old-school

    Homer unlucky first inning…pitching well.

  33. JB WV

    Good job Homer. Working ahead for the most part

  34. Preach

    Homer be like: forget the ground ball, catch the pop ups.

  35. VaRedsFan

    Scooter!!! The legend continues…leadoff double.

  36. Indy Red Man

    Peraza…takes a strike right down broadway then swings at a ball 1.5 feet outside

  37. Preach

    Leadoff double, 3 straight Ks. Runner still on 2nd.

    • VaRedsFan

      queue up the 1st robo-ump comment of the year.

  38. JB WV

    Big out for Homer early. Time for some O

  39. Indy Red Man

    Homer! He doesn’t look too bad. A couple balls would’ve be scary in warmer weather but he’s spotting the ball pretty well so far!

  40. Old-school

    Homer outstanding.
    Not many hard hit balls. Unlucky and still only 1 run against really good MLB offense.

  41. Preach

    All these strike outs and he’s only thrown 40 pitches.

  42. WVRedlegs

    Six straight K’s on the Reds offense. P-U.

  43. Indy Red Man

    Pirates blew 4 run lead in the bottom of the 9th. Still tied but not a fun way to start the season

      • MrRed

        Yeah, I’m not sure what’s not fun about this?

  44. Old-school

    Scherzer. Randy johnson.pedro Martinez and Fergie Jenkins only 4 pitchers ever with 250k 5 years in a row. The guy is a hall of famer.

  45. james garrett

    Our guys 6-9 don’t have much of a chance against average pitchers and against Scherzer its a no contest.Can’t hide Billy and Peraza nor the pitcher’s spot.Tucker’s higher obp last year was primarily because he hit 8th.Going to be a long year offensively but I expect our starters to be much much much better so lets see what happens.

  46. james garrett

    Yes Homer is dealing which is great to see.Barring injury he will be at or slightly above league average.If the youngsters can follow suit,we have the making of a good group because with experience they will get better.

  47. Preach

    I think Bailey was the only K that was looking. Everyone else is swinging, and swinging hard.

  48. VaRedsFan

    If we had 9 Scooters, we’d be in business.

  49. Preach

    The legend….

    And he made Scherzer throw some pitches. That may be more important than the single

  50. Indy Red Man

    Hopefully Senzel will be a better hitter then Scooter but it won’t be this year….atleast against righties. Scooter can just flat out rake! They need to reconsider at Lville and move Nick back to SS!

  51. james garrett

    Yeah and would still have no outs.Scooter came to play.

  52. VaRedsFan

    Schebler going sans mouthpiece this year….chomping on gum now.

  53. Joel

    Quackenbush warming up. Is that another way to say that Homer is back on the DL?

  54. Indy Red Man

    They’ve made Scherzer work a little bit atleast….73 pitches

    • Preach

      Take away those 2 ABs by Scooter and Schebler and he’s down around 50. Just crazy. Maybe he’s slowing down.

  55. james garrett

    Great at bats by Scooter and Schebler.

  56. Old-school

    Homer Bailey is really doing well against a top 3-5 offense in baseball. A dink and a bomb and reds are ahead.

  57. VaRedsFan

    With the piece-meal bullpen, I think you let Homer bat this inning.

  58. JB WV

    Probably it for Homer, up 2nd this inning. The Duck Hunter in the pen.

    • JB WV

      Glad I’m wrong and Homer gets a hit!

  59. MrRed

    Whew! It’s a gusty day at GABP and I don’t mean the weather!

  60. Indy Red Man

    Homer is a better hitter then he was before he got hurt. Peraza….not so much.

  61. MrRed

    Haha! Bailey with the base knock off Scherzer. Watch how it’s done BH

  62. Preach

    Anyone else holding their breath when Homer was hit in the head and followed with that ‘slide into 2nd?

  63. Indy Red Man

    Really nice atbats last inning from Scooter and Schebler have really upped Scherzer’s pitch count! Hopefully it will pay off?

  64. james garrett

    It took an innings worth of pitches to Scooter and Schebler who both got hits.It gets him out of the game earlier in most cases.

  65. Preach

    Apparently, Homer was tagging up with 2 outs. If that had fallen in, we might have had the first TOOTBLAN of the season

  66. Eddiek957

    Just got home from work I love the lineup Go reds

  67. Indy Red Man

    Danger zone inning? They’ve seen him twice now and their guys are dangerous!

  68. Preach

    Why aren’t there at least 2 guys up before now?

  69. Indy Red Man

    Do we have 2 guys left in the pen? No Iggy, Lorenzen, Shackleford, or Hernandez

  70. Old-school

    Bailey is competing his ass off.

  71. Preach

    I say roll the dice one more batter

  72. Preach

    That had so much disaster written on it.

  73. VaRedsFan

    Nice battle for 6 innings Homer… Good for him.

  74. Old-school

    What a baseball game. Get some runs.

  75. Preach

    Someone needs to teach this Votto kid how to take a pitch

    • Patrick Jeter

      Hah! No kidding! Last AB was so quick it wasn’t even televised.

  76. renbutler

    What’s more impressive — hitting four runs against the Cards, or going 3-for-3 against Scherzer?


  77. Indy Red Man

    Garrett? Interesting….think they’d go with Peralta or Hughes in a 1 run game but lets see what he has!

    • Chad Dotson

      I like the confidence in the kid. Let’s hope it’s justified.

      • Indy Red Man

        I do too. Kind of shocked/impressed with Price going to him here. He loves his Ohlendorfer veteran-ness

    • MrRed

      Personally, I would have gone with Reed there but what do I know?

      • VaRedsFan

        Reed is starting game 5. It should be Garrett to the rotation..IMO

      • MrRed

        Now you’re getting around to my point!

  78. Old-school

    I like this . Throw Garrett in a meaningful high leverage situation against the Nats.
    PITCH. When it matters.

  79. Preach

    Would have liked to see Bronson on in the 7th for GBA

  80. Indy Red Man

    I think if nothing else…Garrett could be a very useful Matt Thornton type reliever. Of course if he can keep his pitch totals down as a decent starter then the best situation!

  81. Indy Red Man

    Cmon Reds….this game is right here for the taking!! Price has Duvall for Doolittle but hopefully they don’t get in a closing situation. KK dribbler for Peraza…..not a fan. He gets his singles but I’ve never seen a guy hit the ball hard less frequently then him.

      • Indy Red Man

        I guess they could check exit velocities, but even Billy’s hits are harder. Peraza’s typical single is a floater that bloops in front of the RFer

      • MrRed

        Meh, when BH hits a 430 ft HR like Peraza has, let me know. Peraza at least has the physical make up to be a big league hitter.

  82. Preach

    Speed doesn’t help much on swings and misses

  83. Preach

    Nuxy used to say that you’re dangerous when you swing a bat. He clearly didn’t see Billy play.

  84. Indy Red Man

    GABP is just not designed for defensive players. The opponents are going to hit cheapie 370 ft HRs when its warm. The Reds need to have 8 guys in the lineup that can atleast take advantage of that too occasionally. The Orioles have no pitching, but I don’t see them running out 2 punch-n-judy hitters in their bandbox

    • MrRed

      They’d better not since they have a DH.

  85. Old-school

    Homer bailey and Amir Garret pitched great. This is a great day.
    Find a way to score 2 runs

  86. Indy Red Man

    Boy they are just pounding Winker inside! They know he hits it really well the other way!

  87. VaRedsFan

    Knowing Price, the Winker experiment is over. 3 K’s and a pitch around walk.

    • Mike Adams

      Yeah! Put Billy back at leadoff.
      No wait, Billy couldn’t snuff a lit candle by swinging just over the flame.
      Guess it is a pitchers’ day because the good hitting Nats haven’t done much either.

  88. Wobaisnotyoda

    3 k’s for Winker leading off…guess that’s going well.

    • Old-school

      Against the best RH pitcher since pedro martinez and a hall of famer . Strong comment. Hamilton cleary dominated against scherzer. As well as the rest of the Reds hitters not named scooter.

      • MrRed

        Yeah, that was a gaslighting comment. I will still take my chances especially considering the last at bat of the game…

  89. Preach

    First pitch swinging by Joey again. Pays off this time.

  90. Indy Red Man

    Doolittle is not as good as Kintzler or Madsen imo. Wish Price would’ve held back Duvall for him, but he’s still got Mesoraco vs a lefty. Brandon Dixon or Blandino would’ve been nice? Did we keep anyone else on the bench that can pinch hit?

  91. HoosierRed

    Adam Duvall throws Taylor out at the plate

    • MrRed

      Probably not and it certainly didn’t matter in this game.

  92. BigRedMike

    Tough loss. Hamilton is overmatched.
    Good start for Bailey, lot of fly balls on a day with no carry helped.

  93. tomn

    Bailey was much more than I hoped for. If he can be that good or close this year, it’s a big boost. Our relievers also tough against a very good lineup. We just got Scherzered today.

  94. cfd3000

    Good start for Bailey. Huge, pleasant surprise from Gennett. Unfortunate to face a Scherzer on his A game. Nice lineup surprise with a start and leadoff slot for Winker. Peraza and Hamilton are going to make me sad at the plate this year. Another game tomorrow!

    • Aaron Bradley

      Scherzer was downright evil, throwing inside at our guys heads. And no one protested or retaliated. Bailey stayed outside the whole time. I am disgusted. I won’t give hats off to Scherzer he played dirty, dusting Suarez off not once but twice, am I the only one that saw this?

  95. Eddiek957

    I wonder why billy and Jose swing at so many high pitches