Tonight the Reds (7-21; 5th place NL Central) open a 9 game home stand with the first of three games versus the Milwaukee Brewers (16-13; 4th place NL Central). Note that the starting time is 7:10pm as weeknight games have returned to their traditional starting hour until September 6. The Reds will be looking to continue the positive momentum they started last week when they went 4-3 and in the process recorded their first series win of the 2018 season. The Brewers come in on the other side of the street having just been swept by the Cubs in a brutal four game series at Wrigley Field which saw only 11 runs combined scored by the two teams. For their part, the Brewers scored only 2 runs in the process of being shut out 3 times in the four games.
Left hander Brandon Finnegan makes his fourth start of the season for the Reds. Finnegan is coming off his strongest effort of the season having lasted 5 innings (77 pitches/ 52 strikes) against the Braves allowing 3 runs (2 earned) in a game eventually lost by the Reds when the bullpen failed to hold a 4-3 lead. To continue progressing, Finnegan needs to consistently maintain a strike percentage similar to his last outing (68%) and thus avoid walks and running deep counts. He must also avoid wildness in the strike zone which has resulted in many hard hit balls against him.
Jhoulys Chacín, a 30 year old right hander, will start for the Brewers. Chacín will be making his seventh start of the season, his first with the Brewers. Since 2009 Chacín has been with 5 different teams and made 173 career MLB starts. After his once promising career with the Rockies flamed out, he found himself back in the minors 3 years ago and bounced through 3 organizations as a reliever before landing with the Padres in 2017 as an MLB starter. His 32 starts with the Padres (173 IP; 3.89 ERA; 4.26 FIP) earned him a 2 year $15.5M contract with the Brewers. Such is the price of starting pitching on the open market. He is a sinker (37%) /slider (39%) pitcher having used his 4 seem fastball slightly less than 20% of the time this season. He will also mix in an occasional change up or curve. He has had some issues with BB; and, he does not record very many strike outs at this point in his career. To date in 2018 he has been a 5 inning pitcher.
Here are the comparative 2018 numbers.
Neither pitcher has a significant history versus opposition players he will face tonight.
|1. Lorenzo Cain (CF)
2. Christian Yelich (LF)
3. Ryan Braun (1B)
4. Travis Shaw (3B)
5. Domingo Santana (RF)
6. Manny Pina (C)
7. Jonathan Villar (2B)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Jhoulys Chacin (P)
|1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scott Schebler (RF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Alex Blandino (2B)
8. Brandon Finnegan (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
There is a lot to like with this Reds lineup; but, it is a bit short on RH pop. That problem hopefully will be solved when Nick Senzel is eventually brought up.
News and Notes
For those of you to whom Johnny Bench is simply a legend and not a guy you watched play in his prime, here is this….
The #Reds Johnny Bench in the '72 #Worldseries. In '72 Bench won his 2nd NL MVP by leading the lg in HR & RBIs. Can it be that we take for granted just how great Bench was? His @sabr bio https://t.co/xnUdaq5ndr #redscountry pic.twitter.com/HOuFfAnTFp
— SABR BioProject (@SABRbioproject) April 30, 2018
And here’s yet another award for a Reds player who hopefully will join Bench someday in both the Reds and National Hall of Fame.
Joey Votto is your National League Player of the Week for April 23-29!
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 30, 2018
Just in from Reds sick call:
Scooter Gennett is dealing with what Jim Riggleman described as a ‘tender’ shoulder. he got an MRI this morning
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 30, 2018
There is a new guy on the Enquirer Reds beat. I’ve not seen any indication that John Fay is leaving; so, I’m guessing this move is to put their team back to full strength. Welcome Bobby.
— Enquirer Sports (@ENQSports) April 30, 2018
Feliz cumpleaños José
RT to wish shortstop José Peraza a very happy 24th birthday! 🎂 pic.twitter.com/bbhg3HgyxU
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 30, 2018
And here is some really good news about Nick Senzel who jammed his shoulder Saturday and was held out of action Sunday
The Bats take on the Clippers tonight @ 6:30 p.m. at Slugger Field!
The starting lineup brought to you by @McDonalds
— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) April 30, 2018
It felt good to have positive thoughts and feelings again about the Reds this past week. Not only did they win 4 games, in no small part due to the return of Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler, they also seemingly indicated a more focused look toward the future by replacing the veteran players on the bench and in the bullpen with younger guys who may actually have a role to play with the next good Reds team. There is still a lot of sorting and figuring out to be done; but, at least we are seeing some signs the team is finally moving the process along with perhaps a hint of urgency. Go Reds!