The Reds and Brewers meet today in a 1:40pm matinee at Miller Park to conclude the current 3 game series in Milwaukee.  17 games into the season, the Reds have yet to record consecutive victories; and, on the heels of Tuesday’s loss cannot do so today. However with a win today the Reds could secure their first multigame series win of the season. Every journey begins with a first small step; the Reds have a chance to take one today.

Starting Pitchers

Tyler Mahle starts this afternoon for the Reds. The young right hander has flashed moments of great promise punctuated by unpleasant reminders he still has considerable progress to make if he is to consistently perform to the level of potential he has shown. To date, Mahle’s strikeout  and walk rates are both outstanding.  However they have been largely offset by his BABIP of .326 and HR/9  rate of 2.25.  Unlike yesterday’s starter Sal Romano who has typically struggled early in games, Mahle generally hits the deck running but struggles in his third time through the opposition line up. If Mahle is to become a fixture near the top of  the Reds rotation, he must learn to overcome these issues. We all hope he does.  This will be determined by the Reds ongoing sorting process.

Right hander Zach Davies starts for the Brewers. Davies is a 25 year old  who is beginning his third season in the Brewers rotation. Over the last two seasons, he made 61 starts completing 354.2 innings of work, just a touch short of 6 innings per start. Davies FIP over the same span was  4.07  For now at least, he is essentially a league average middle of the rotation grinder, a commodity every team needs. The Reds and Davies have seen quite a bit  of each other over the last couple of seasons. In 9 career starts versus the Reds, he has pitched his way to a 3.72 ERA

PITCHER xFIP HR/9 BB% K%
Tyler Mahle 3.89 2.25 4.4% 20.6%
Zach Davies 3.67 2.25 9.5% 18.8%

Bullpens

The Reds bullpen was tasked to cover 3 innings Tuesday night.  Amir Garrett, Dylan Floro and Cody Reed each provided a scoreless inning.  With the short overnight turnaround, they will probably not be used today.

The Brewers bullpen was called upon for 3.1 innings Tuesday. Josh Hader provided 2 of those innings and almost certainly will not be available today given the short turnaround.

 Lineups

            REDS           Brewers
1. Jesse Winker (RF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Scooter Gennett (2B)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Alex Blandino (3B)
8. Tyler Mahle (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Eric Thames (1B)
2. Christian Yelich (CF)
3. Domingo Santana (RF)
4. Travis Shaw (3B)
5. Hernan Perez (LF)
6. Jonathan Villar (2B)
7. Orlando Arcia (SS)
8. Jett Bandy (C)
9. Zach Davies (P)

Jesse Winker back to the top, Billy to the bottom, Blandino gets to play.  Progress.

Yelich returns for Brewers, not good for Reds.

News and Notes

Devon Mesoraco  was hit by a pitch while batting last night and subsequently left the game. Mark Sheldon provides the details.

Highly regarded Reds pitching prospect Tony Santillan is off to a great start at A+ level Daytona

It is not just a Reds thing. Other teams also have significant and vexing injuries

Final Thoughts

The game today wraps up a run of 14  days without a break for the Reds. It has been a tough stretch for the team and those of us who follow them.  After their off day on Thursday, the Reds are scheduled  to play  through May 2,  13 days, before their next day off.  Welcome to the dog days of August in April.  A win today would ease the pain just a bit. Go Reds!


Statistics, data and information courtesy of Fangraphs and MLB.com

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Twitter: @jn_walkerjr

Join the conversation! 50 Comments

  1. Per a late breaking tweet from John Fay. Scott Schebler is expected back with the Reds as soon as Friday.
    https://twitter.com/johnfayman/status/986629076646494209

  2. While Suarez is out, I’d like to see the Reds bat Tucker Barnhart second against RHP. I know the idea of batting the catcher second would cause head scratching (or worse) in the manager’s office. But Barnhart has been the Reds best hitter so far:

    .302/.423/.535

    That’s great batting average, on-base and power skills. The trifecta.

    Meanwhile, Jose Peraza, a fixture at the top of Price’s batting order now, is whatever the opposite of a trifecta is:

    .233/.246/.317

    • Sounds good to me.

    • Agreed. I was looking at that the night Pereza went 3-4 or something and decided to hold my tongue due to timing.

      The Reds are in desperate need of offensive production and sandwiching Barnhart in the no-man’s-land of pitcher/Billy/Gosselton just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      Batting order impact on runs scored, yada yada yada. But Price should be throwing things to the wall to see what sticks with regard to his approach in getting runners across the plate. The only good move has been his proclivity for batting Billy (9) and Winker (1) several times this year. That seems to be the extent of his daring.

    • What a lousy player, I don’t foresee him in the majors for long

    • That was approximately Mike Leake’s line as a matter for the Reds. They could have put at shortstop and made him a two way player. 😂

      • Yeh, and they need a CF who can provide offense and have a guy who can’t stay arm healthy as a pitcher who was primarily a CF in college and by all accounts was going to be drafted as a CF in the 2nd round before Reds grabbed him at then end of the 1st round and announced to him he was henceforth “just” a pitcher.

        • Jim why bring up those nightmares?

          • Because the Reds appear to have squandered 2 first round draft choices trying make to starting pitchers out of guys who were college position players/ relievers with scant or no history of being starting pitchers. Nick Howard (19th overall pick in 2014) is the other guy in addition to Michael Lorenzen (38th overall in 2013). It is part of how they got to where they are today in the pitching department.

          • Jim, Lorenzen has been a success just by sticking on a mlb roster for a few years. Less than half of first round picks do that much less guys drafted in the back half of the 30’s

        • I agree that drafting relievers and trying to turn them into starters is a bad idea in the first or second round, but I don’t know if Lorenzen would be any better than Hamilton. Someone posted the scouting reports here the other day and he appeared to be an excellent defender, but his bat was the huge question mark; which is exactly what we have with Hamilton

    • Catchers are slow. Must bat below. (Sign in R. Price’s office)

    • Peraza is actually hitting 290 batting second with all five of his doubles coming from that spot.

      • Peraza is one of the worst hitters in baseball. All he has is average. Doesn’t walk, isn’t a very good base runner and has no power.

        • Holy cow. He has 15 hits. Five of them doubles. Votto has 17 hits only one double. Gennett leads with 20 hits and five doubles.

    • The Old Cossack has had the same thought since Suarez went down. Seeing Billy back hitting leadoff yesterday and Billy and Jose at the top of the lineup while Winker was down just made me shake the old noggin. The Reds don’t have many effective bats in the lineup right now and Tucker is certainly one of the few. We may have to dub him the energized bunny…he just keeps getting better and better and better…

      2014 OPS=.482
      2015 OPS=.650
      2016 OPS=.702
      2017 OPS=.750
      2018 OPS=.958

      Especially today with a RHP on the mound and two key bullets missing from the Brew Crew’s bullpen gun, Winker-Barnhart-Votto-Duvall-Scooter would provide the Reds the best chance to get to the starter and into the bullpen early.

      Hamilton has shown some life at the plate this month, but 21 SO in 64 PA (32.8%) doesn’t impress. Hamilton looks like he is trying to work on his plate discipline and 9 BB in 64 PA (14.0%) is a definite and dramatic improvement. Having Hamilton finally get things together at the plate would be such a huge, welcome benefit to the Reds lineup. Hamilton has certainly looked a LOT better at the plate than Peraza.

      Peraza just doesn’t look like he has the physical capability of picking up the pitch in order to make a decision and solid contact. His decision to swing appears predetermined and results in chasing a LOT of bad pitches and simply making a LOT of weak contact.

    • I was just getting ready to post that. The Rockies have Chris Iannetta batting 2nd! 1-0 today on his HR

  3. Jim,

    Excellent set-up, especially with the early start.

    If the Reds don’t win today, it really will feel like a (small) missed opportunity. Brewers missing their top starter (Nelson), closer (Knebel), best position player only back today and overall, their bats have been silent. Most likely, not as easy to win a series in Milwaukee on the next visit.

    • Thanks. It was a hustle to get the lineups in before publication. The Reds are usually early but today theirs didn’t post until within 10 minutes of our “press time”;and, I hate the thought of doing hot updates.

  4. Kick him off the team. He’s the only Red struggling right now. If anyone but Peraza is at shortstop the Reds would 35 games over .500 by now.

    Sheesh

    • You miss the point. Isn’t it okay to seek improvement in small increments?

  5. I continue to be pleasantly surprised every time I check the lineup and don’t see Usain Bolt hitting first or second.

  6. Santillan, Tyler Stephenson, Trammell and Shed Long are all off to excellent starts: Likely future reds and hopefully stars.

    Glad Blandino’s getting a shot today. I’m still watching and optimistic about the increased walk rate for BHam. Poor Meso, hope he’s fine.

    • If you didn’t see it, in Sheldon’s article Price was quoted as saying he thought Meso would be OK to catch today if needed but might have issues batting. Looking forward since these things never seem to resolve quite as quickly as it appears, the only catchers on the Reds 40 man roster are Barnhart and Mesoraco. They’ve got three guys, Tony Cruz, Stuart Turner, and Joe Hudson at AAA; but would need a double (40 man) move to get either of them to MLB.

    • Stuart Fairchild has a .997 ops too. Maybe Trammell or Fairchild hits and we have a CF!

  7. Hmmm that’s weird. Milwaukee has their first baseman batting first.

  8. I don’t see how the Brewers expect to seriously compete for anything with this starting pitching. Even with Nelson back, this isn’t exactly a terrifying staff. I think they got lucky last year, and Yelich is nice but not enough.

    • That’s what I thought when they got Yelich and Cain… that they really needed to allocate for a strong SP. However, with their surplus talent, they may be able to swing a trade if they hang around.

      Of course, until the Reds can beat them regularly, we’ve got nothing to do but admire their progress up the ladder from rebuilding.

  9. Peraza shows zero patience, swinging at the first pitch in the dirt and failing, as normal.

  10. Again Peraza with a pull when he should be concentrating on up the middle or right side. Free run the Brewers were giving away.

  11. Pathetic hitting. Mercy!

  12. The good hitter/bad hitter/good hitter/bad hitter/good hitter lineup doesn’t seem to be working very well.

    • Yup. That inning turned into a gut punch for and the offense.

      Batting Peraza 2 is a total Dusty-ism. C. Trent or someone needs to make him defend this call. If he says he needs a righty to break up Winker/Votto then he’ll be exposed b

  13. Ugh… Ugh… and did I say “ugh”? Runner on 3B, no outs… Zero runs. Of course they walked Votto on 4 pitches.

  14. That there is how last place teams roll! Pa the tic

  15. The line-up cost the Reds a run that time. I suspect Scooter (definitely Suarez) could have gotten a sacrifice if he was batting earlier.

  16. 5-4-3 … Please Reds, play Blandino more and see what he’s got?

  17. It just doesn’t get any better.

  18. Barnhart bailed out Davies on possibly ball 4. Davies doesn’t look sharp at all, hopefully Reds can pounce next inning.

  19. I m imagining 2 months from now with Winker on third and no one out and Senzel in the 2 hole and Suarez in the 4 hole. That run gets home 95% of the time.

    • At least those guys would see more than the three pitches the two guys they’ll be replacing saw

  20. What can we do to get an Steve or Chad from Redleg Nation in the booth during the second inning when Marty and Jeff talk to the writers? That would be AWESOME.

  21. If the Reds are running low on cheap promotions they can have Pennington bobblehead night to the first 1,000 fans.

  22. Redleg Nation was crashed. And I cried for a bit. I thought maybe Chad decided he had enough of this farce.

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About Jim Walker

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