Today is May Day; but, given the Reds most recent meltdown, no one would fault manager Jim Riggleman if he was heard screaming “mayday! mayday! mayday!” during the seventh inning last night. However tonight is a new night and game; and, the Reds will attempt to set the ship right against the Brewers in game 2 of the current 3 game series at GABP.

Starting Pitchers

Tonight’s game will feature another battle of right handers as the Reds Homer Bailey faces Chase Anderson of the Brewers.

Bailey will make his seventh start of the season. After going at least 6 innings in three of his first four starts, he has not made it through the sixth inning in his two most recent starts. Should we be concerned by this trend? Probably not, at least not yet as there is no indication that Bailey’s injury woes are once again rearing up. His velocity has not dropped; and, his strike percentage has remained relatively stable. Bailey has however been tagged for 2 HR in each of his last 2 outings. He blames issues with his slider for the those woes.  Hopefully he will be back on track tonight.

Chase Anderson is another 30 year old in the Brewers rotation. Anderson was the drafted by Arizona in the ninth round (#276 overall) of the 2009 June draft. He was subsequently traded to the Brewers late in the 2015-16 off season and is now in his third season as part of the Brewers rotation. Since breaking into the Arizona  MLB rotation in 2009, Anderson has made 110 MLB appearances, all but one of which have been as a starter. 2017 was something of a breakout season for Anderson as he compiled a 2.74 ERA (3.89 FIP) while completing 141.1 inning in 25 starts for the Brewers. Anderson sports a career ERA of 2.68 against the Reds complied over 37 innings during 7 starts. Anderson has a varied repertoire; but relies on his 4 seam fastball (92-93MPH) roughly 40% of the time with the rest of  his pitches about evenly distributed among a cutter, slider, change up and  curve. The change up (83MPH) and curve (78MPH) serve as his significant off speed offerings.

 Here are the 2018 comparative stats. Both pitchers have 6 previous starts this season.

PITCHER xFIP HR/9 BB% K%
Homer Bailey 5.09 1.57 7.5% 14.4%
Chase Anderson 5.04 1.82 7.4% 16.9%

Bullpens

The Reds used 4 relievers to cover 4 innings. Austin Brice needed 25 pitches to record his 3 outs and may be questionable for tonight. Wandy Peralta worked for the second consecutive day and is probably unavailable tonight. Jared Hughes and Raisel Iglesias should both be able to handle a inning.

The Brewers used 4 relievers to cover 4.2 innings. The heavy lifting was done by Brandon Woodruff (1.1 innings) and Josh Hader (2.2 innings). Presumably Woodruff will have limited availability tonight; and Hader would be unavailable. We’ll have more to say about Hader’s night in the News and Notes below.

Lineups

          BREWERS           REDS
1. Lorenzo Cain (CF)
2. Christian Yelich (RF)
3. Ryan Braun (LF)
4. Travis Shaw (3B)
5. Jesus Aguilar (1B)
6. Manny Pina (C)
7. Jonathan Villar (2B)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Chase Anderson (P)
1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Adam Duvall (LF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scott Schebler (RF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Rosell Herrera (2B)
8. Homer Bailey (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

Oh my! Adam Duvall, he of   .175 batting average and .257 OBP, has been elevated to the 2 slot in the Reds lineup tonight. I guess Jim Riggleman must be figuring that batting immediately ahead of Joey Votto seems to have worked wonders for José Peraza why not give it shot with Duvall. Then there is the issue of Peraza’s own OBP of just .308 occupying the leadoff spot. And where is Jesse Winker? At least we get to see Rosell Herrera play in the field and hopefully get several plate appearances.

News and Notes

The 2.2 inning relief outing by the Brewers Josh Hader Monday was pretty special. All 8 outs he recorded were K’s. It was the first time in MLB history  a pitcher recorded 8K’s in less than 3 full innings.

Jim Riggleman did not mince words about what went down Monday with the Reds

Nick Senzel is doing all he can to make his case to be called up to the Reds

Late word about Scooter’s shoulder

Final Thoughts

We all know there are two main parts to pitching, starting and relieving. For the most part Reds fans have been focusing their attention on the starting pitching lately because the Reds rotation is at best a work in (early) progress. We’ve been somewhat comfortable to believe that the situation with the Reds bullpen was much more settled. After all, the Reds have Raisel Iglesias at the back end. Amir Garrett has done so well at what’s been asked of him many of us have been wondering why he isn’t being asked to start. Also, several other guys working out of the pen also seem to be up to the task.

However this last week has been a tough one for the bullpen despite increased overall success for the team. In no less than 3 games, the pen gave up a lead in the seventh inning or later. The Reds got lucky and salvaged an extra inning win in one of those games; but, the other two, including Monday night, went into the books as losses. As if this wasn’t enough, in yet another contest, the pen allowed a game tied in the fifth inning to slip away with late runs allowed in the eighth and ninth innings.  In my mind I can hear  Roseanne Roseannadanna explaining to Chico Escuela that no matter how very, very good baseball has been to him that because baseball is part of life there is always something. Go Reds!


Stats and data courtesy of Fangraphs, Baseball Reference, and MLB.com

102 Responses

  1. Optimist

    Ben Stein voice – “Winker? . . . Winker? . . . Winker?”

  2. Tom Mitsoff

    Very interesting idea of hitting Duvall second ahead of Votto. Somewhere here in Redleg Nation I had seen the reasoning that Peraza was getting pitches to hit because opposing pitchers are not about to walk him with Votto up next. We’ll see how that works. I’m intrigued by the thinking.

    I live in Wisconsin, and the sports talk host I listen to in the evenings driving home from work says Chase Anderson is the equivalent of the ace, the stopper on the Brewers staff. I am interested to see his stuff, and curious that his numbers as provided by Jim above so closely mirror those of Homer Bailey — who has pitched decently this year but is nowhere near ace-caliber.

    Lastly, I’m interesting in seeing Herrera. He was a former top prospect with Colorado who never made it to the big club. It seems like his niche might be a utility player with speed. He’s only 25 and has six full years of team control, so certainly worth a look.

    • Jim Walker

      I agree Tom. I was sort of mindless plugging the pitching numbers into the format when the similarities rose up and smacked me in the face. Right now neither guy is missing enough bats per K rate to rank anywhere near elite though.

      I also feel the same as you about Herrera. And given his age, he could be a late blooming sleeper given the way he was hitting at AAA; or, just another 4A guy. That’s what looks like this can help determine.

      • Eddie Milner

        Some (somewhat random) stats consistent with your mentioning in the preview about how bad the pitching has been.

        In national league, Reds have scored 10th most runs per game (which is something given how bad we started offensively), but Reds are 15th (last) in runs allowed per game.

        Among Reds pitchers with better than league average xFIP, there are only 6 – one of them is Hernandez who only has 2 appearances and another is Cody Reed who is in Louisville. The other 4 Reds with better than average xFIP are Garrett, Mahle, Brice, & Floro. That is it. With 4 of our 5 starters below (mostly well below) league average.

        I guess to look at it another way, our hitters who are as below average as most of our pitchers get labeled (I think correctly) lineup “sink holes”.

        Hopefully our pitching will still improve. But it has been very bad.

    • Dave Roemerman

      I was about to say, if you wanna get a guy going, put him in front of Votto! I’m late to the party, but iI with with you. Wouldn’t happen with lockstep Price.

  3. Sliotar

    Hader’s performance is reminder that the 3-outcome game (K/BB/HR) is getting bigger all the time.

    April – first month ever in MLB, more K’s than hits
    Since 1871, has never been a season with more K’s than hits
    (Weather probably played a role, but not impossible to see it happen this season)

    Bryce Harper has 38 walks and is on pace for more than 200, second in a season to Bonds. His response: “I want to hit.”
    https://twitter.com/ESPNeddiematz/status/991416131641597952

    Yoan Moncada, on radar for AL Rookie of the Year, strikes out 39% of the time and walks 12%, makes up for that by having 6 HRs and a .423 BABIP (Source: FanGraphs)

    Personally, I think the game is much worse off with this trend. I find myself going less because the ball is in play so little now. Awfully easy to just watch a bunch of K’s from my couch.

    But, it certainly should impact the Reds long-term plans, playing in a consistent top 10 park for HRs.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      My wife watches baseball with me only on rare occasions, just to humor me if there is nothing else on. After a few minutes, she’ll say “This is so boring,” and open a book or look at her phone for awhile.

      I’m sure someone has done this research, but I wonder what the average pitch counts for both teams are for games in 2018 compared to say 1918. With the increasing strikeout numbers, combined with more and more hitters focused on the idea of working pitchers deeper into the count, there are obviously more pitches being thrown per plate appearance than in the past. If both walks and strikeouts are up, that’s less balls being put in play and less for people to actually watch.

      I checked last night’s box score and the totals were Brewers 135 pitches and Reds 162 pitches, for a game total of 297. My guess is that’s pretty average for a game in this day and age. Another guess is that’s notably higher than 1918, or even the 1970s, when I first started watching with great interest. Games went quicker back then for many reasons, not the least of which is fewer commercials. But those days are not going to return.

  4. docproctor

    I can think of no good reason to start both Hamilton and Duvall in the same game. Winker and Schebler are raking. This is just stupid.

  5. Jack

    All I can say is the Reds are going to pay Billy Hamilton. Either in arbitration or an extension. They love the guy. This team will not win with him in center. He is a liability offensively. He is so bad the Giants signed Austin Jackson to play center and is hitting 214. They wanted nothing to do with Hamilton.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      They absolutely can’t extend him. It would be a complete waste of money to extend him at the pay rate of a starting player. I just don’t believe they’ll do that if his hitting skills continue to slide. Arbitration is something they’ll have to face for two more years.

      As the team currently is constituted, I’d start Winker and Schebler every day, and platoon Duvall and Hamilton. Hamilton can then replace Winker for defense late in games when they’re ahead.

      • Jack

        I agree but they love his speed. There is no other reason to start him. He is what he is. He refuses to change. Doesn’t choke up . Doesn’t even try to be a a slap hitter or drag bunter. Watching aWilly Mcgee and Vince Coleman and Brett Butler for years get better at doing both. You can’t hide your worst player. They will show up at the most critical time of the game. Go back and look at how many times, he came up to the plate in the 9th with the Reds needing a hit, and he ends the game striking out.

      • james garrett

        I could live with that but once Duvall starts hitting then he plays every day.

    • sezwhom

      Not true! Giants wanted Hamilton but Reds asked for Heliot Ramos in return. Once the Giants stopped laughing, they said don’t call us, we’ll call you. Thus no deal.

      • Aaron Bradley

        Exactly, Bob said in an interview no one wanted Hamilton… hogwash, they just don’t want to pay a ransom for him. Reds overvalue him and thus could not find a trade partner. I don’t know where Revere ended up, but he would have been a servicable replacement for Hamilton and then anything you get in return is a plus. Hamilton is not a starting player and everyone sees this but our management group.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I agree with your first two sentences Aaron but Revere looked awful in spring training so I question whether he would have even been servicable.

      • Aaron Bradley

        I only meant short term, coming off the bench or whatever… I mean they were hesitant to trade Billy because they had no CF, but my point is any replacement level CF will do the trick until they land a franchise player. Anyhow, that ship has sailed.

    • tomn

      Well at least the Brew crew is resting Cain and Yelich to even things up a bit. Oh … Wait …

  6. Indy Red Man

    They were just talking about the Yankees on the MLB network. They hit 6 balls 110+ mph on Sat night….more then the Reds and Giants have hit all season. Houston only has 8! They said the batting average on 110+ mph is .750! I’d still rather have a long majestic Votto HR then some screaming liner at the pitcher, but I have noticed then when the Reds were struggling to score…they weren’t even hitting anything hard.

  7. tomn

    I heard that if Hader pitches tonight the ump crew has agreed his strike zone extends from one dugout to the other so he can set another record.

    • docproctor

      Pretty close to what they gave him last night. Not they he needed much help.

  8. docproctor

    Homer living up to his name (sorry, too easy).

  9. Indy Red Man

    Lord….the Reds are the ugly ones at 2am alright. The slumpbusters. Homer and Finnegan never got it back and prob never will

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Gotta disagree about Homer. He’s pitched a couple of pretty decent games this year. Not so sure about Finnegan. Still think he would be more effective out of the bullpen.

  10. VaRedsFan

    So the preview had Homer and Anderson as similar pitchers.
    Let’s just hope Anderson is this bad.

    • Indy Red Man

      Chase Anderson reminds me of Disco. Except he was only hurt last year as opposed to every year

  11. Indy Red Man

    Unless Billy develops a 940 inch vertical leap then his defense doesn’t help the Reds much

  12. Jeff Reed

    What is there to say except a terrible way to start off the first inning in May.

  13. seat101

    Great review Jim! Let’s see how this lineup Jim. Shall we?

  14. Jack

    There is no reason to ever throw Duvall a fastball.

  15. VaRedsFan

    Finally Peraza tries to steal. He had become a statue over there when Votto bats.

  16. Shchi Cossack

    On the pregame radio interview with Riggleman, he addressed starting Duvall today. Riggleman said he expected the OF rotation to be resolved in 7-10 days with a consistent starting OF with 3 starters. That’s pretty strong after the emaphsis the previous manager placed on the 4-man OF rotation extending through the entire season and getting all 4 OF 500 AB.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Riggleman also stated that Scooter would be out until Friday.

    • Jack

      The only thing is this team has no centerfielder. Winker in left and Schebler in Right. They desperately need a centerfielder.

      • james garrett

        I agree we have only Billy but lets try Scott and see what happens.Offense matters especially in GABP.Do we want to continue to talk about Billy and his offense or Scott and his defense

    • Tom Diesman

      Well then I hope that implies there will be a trade made for a legit CF who can hit. They’ve just got an awkward 4 guy mix right now.

      • docproctor

        I see this Herrera guy has played some CF. I’m game for trying anything about now.

    • Shchi Cossack

      That’s a nice way to finish the 1st inning!

  17. Jack

    This team. One half inning you’re crying in your beer and the next half you’re buying a round for everybody.

  18. Shchi Cossack

    Well Homer has given up his obligatory 2 HR, so now maybe he can coast through 6 innings effectively.

  19. seat101

    Did you hear what Jim Day said? That was only the third three ball no strike count of the season for Jose.

    I wonder if someone else besides Joey was batting behind him then?

  20. docproctor

    Adam Duvall is playing his way out of that (stupid) 4-man outfield.

    • Grand Salami

      Lol at Riggleman thinking he can get Duvall going at the expense of this team. The Reds could have 5 runs at the moment if Suarez were where he belonged

  21. docproctor

    Duvall hit .198, .209, and .226 in the last three months of 2017. He has to be running out of leash.

    • Ernest

      Those numbers and his production earn the 2nd spot in the batting order with an organization like the Reds.

  22. VaRedsFan

    What a great play by Votto there.

  23. VaRedsFan

    Bob Steve tonight
    2.1 IP 7 Runs ( but only 6 were earned 🙁 )

    • Indy Red Man

      BobSteve, Reed, and Finnegan aren’t going to hack it….and thats that. Garrett should get a spot and then maybe Lorenzen or even Mella from AA. They should bring up Mella to AAA soon and see how he does.

  24. Shchi Cossack

    Yesterday Winker layed down a successful bunt hit. Today Barnhart layed down a successful bunt hit. Hamilton, with with his other-worldly speed, not so much.

    • Indy Red Man

      Thats because they can hit and the corner infielders are pinched in so far they could fall over and land on the pitchers mound.

      • Indy Red Man

        “aren’t pinched in” rather

  25. Indy Red Man

    Chase Anderson is pretty good! I think he was leading the NL in era when he got hurt in Cincy last year. He really changes speeds with 3 pitches despite having a straight fastball and average velocity. Like to see guys like Romano really try to copy that style!

  26. VaRedsFan

    Harper and Rizzo are both batting leadoff tonight. Both homered

  27. Indy Red Man

    They get all the big 2 out hits. We get picked off before the next guy can’t even have an at-bat? This team should not be this frigging bad?

  28. VaRedsFan

    Worst review ever. Duvall was safe. Unlike most other stadiums, GABP has the worst camera angles around.

    That said, Duvall should be benched for several games.

    • Jack

      Wasn’t even close. But when you’re 5-22 as a team you tend to not get the calls.

  29. J

    In Duvall’s defense, he’s on base so infrequently — I’m sure it must be hard to remember how to do it.

  30. Indy Red Man

    How does Schebler miss that ball? Their catcher barely made it as it was….another gift run. I’m done….can’t take any more tonite

  31. Ernest

    Brewers shut out in 3 games in Chicago, certainly not the case in Cincinnati

    Reds team pitching WAR will get back over the -1.0 mark

      • Ernest

        Always good when the lead off hitter gets on 3 times and scores twice

      • seat101

        Steely eyed missile man keeps his hit streak going.

  32. james garrett

    Tucker with 3 walks last night and 2 tonight.Rookie behind him last night and tonight.Can’t hide them of course nor can you hide the pitcher or others with no power.We are in a gun fight every night but we only have guys with knives.Too many holes in this offense especially with Winker setting and Senzel in the minors.Once they both play every day this team could be really good on offense.

  33. VaRedsFan

    Blandino-bomb makes it a 1 run game

  34. Aaron Bradley

    New personnel strategy: stockpile players whose name ends in “O” … Votto, Fioro, Blandino….

  35. VaRedsFan

    Votto needs to do something special here.

    • VaRedsFan

      Nevermind…you knew when the catcher set up inside, that he was going to take strike 3

  36. Jack

    I just have no idea why they sit Winker.

    • james garrett

      Silly isn’t it.He can just flat out hit.

  37. Indy Red Man

    Alright I came back. I’m a glutton for punishment:) Play Winker every day and platoon Blandino vs lefties. Actually they could put Scooter in LF vs righties. That way it takes Duvall out of the lineup and Scooter can’t make errors at 2B. If you’re not bringing Senzel then play Blandino at 2B more. Duvall can play vs lefties and see if he can get his stroke back then.

    • james garrett

      Strike 3 looking and down goes Votto.

      • Wobaisnotyoda

        As usual when the team desperately needs him to come through. But hey, his obp is up 🙂

      • Broseph

        I think part of the problem is Votto expects getting pitched around which is not happening as much the past year.

        That and the 3rd strike was his worst hitting zone (high and tight). He either misses those, or gets called out. I’ve witnessed it several times this year already

      • Wobaisnotyoda

        No my friend. IMO he’s a “soft” player. Those who are not made for the big moments. He has to be “relaxed” to focus. Sure, great hitting skills but gets too anxious when the situation calls for greatness. He’s always been like that, This is what the saber boys cannot understand. The numbers don´t tell the whole story. To be a clutch hitter you have to be effective in these kind of at bats, with the game on the line, not when you are winning or losing 10-1.

      • Indy Red Man

        I think his lifetime batting average w/risp is very good, but sometimes you just need to expand your little zone to bring in a key run….and tonite was one of those times.

      • Wobaisnotyoda

        That’s what I mean Indy. His numbers don´t tell the whole story. If you hit 10 times with RISP and get 3 hits you hit .300. Gret right? No necessarily, you might get those hits in a 10-1 game so they “don’t matter”. But if you miss with the tying run at 3b with less than 2 outs in the 8th inning looking at strike 3 just down the zone, it hurts like hell and probably cost the game. Statically is just one at bat, though.

      • Broseph

        I’m with Indy. This was definitely a poor appearance and Votto’s strike zone definitely hurt him in this instance.

        However, Votto is a .337 hitter with RISP. It does get worse depending on the situations (all possibilities included he hits .273) but for “clutch” the RISP avg is what most people would reference.

  38. Indy Red Man

    Ouch….Jeffries is prob their 4th best guy in the pen and he has closer experience. Dick Williams need to fix our pitching. You can see alot of potential with the offense.

  39. Broseph

    Love Votto. But if the Reds lose without extra innings, this game is on him for not putting bat on ball with 1 out and the game’s fastest runner on third

    • Grand Salami

      Completely agree. That was not a Votto-esque AB. Heck that wasn’t even a good AB for anyone.

      As expected the Reds have lots of hits and less runs with a ‘gap toothed’ lineup that Riggleman seems to like.

    • Petaluma Reds fan

      I agree. Years ago Votto would hammer an inside pitch. Now, rarely. Add that he has been leaving men on base way too often. Should at least hit a sac fly to tie the game.

  40. Indy Red Man

    They’ve played sloppy all the way around tonite…as usual. Schebler overrunning the ball on the track allowing their slow catcher to score the 7th run. Stand too many guys…walk too many guys. Same old same old

  41. Indy Red Man

    11 hits to their 9. 6 walks drawn to their 2, but can’t even get bat on ball w/Billy on 3rd?

  42. Grand Salami

    Woof on that sad show last inning. 7 or 8 pitches to retire the side in order.

    The team is more competitive and playing to expectation now.

    Is Homer done? He has what 3k in his last 11 innings or so? He isn’t fooling anyone and he built off his plus fastball that simply isn’t there.

    • Broseph

      He either needs to be spot on or needs to develop another pitch.

      His fastball no longer misses the bats, so players can sit on his off speed stuff and still make contact if they if they guess wrong and get a fastball. This is without looking at statistical data but I’d bet it would confirm

    • VaRedsFan

      Pitch count really had nothing to do with it. Geno and Tucker both hit rockets right at the fielders. 108 and 100 mph

  43. Broseph

    Well that was an unpleasant finish to the evening. How about avoiding another sweep tomorrow, eh?

  44. Indy Red Man

    1-11 vs the Cards and Brewers. Wouldn’t it be funny if one of these weird things happened and they went 11-8 vs the Cubs this year….and it cost the Cubs the division!

  45. Wobaisnotyoda

    Hopefully blame will not be put on the much maligned Peraza and Billy. They did their job.

    I am liking this kid Floro as Brice too.

    Something has to be done about Duvall, probably a trip to the minors if he has options left as a waking call.

    The Reds are being constantly hurt by the umps’ strike zone in both sides of the ball. Riggleman needs to step up on it.

  46. J

    What this teams needs more than anything right now is a lecture on fundamental baseball strategies.

    Sample questions on the quiz:

    With two strikes and the potential tying run on 3rd, do you: a) become more selective; b) swing at all borderline pitches; c) sacrifice bunt; d) think about something other than baseball

    Your worst hitter should:
    a) Hit 2nd; b) Hit 4th or 5th; c) not play every day, and when he does play he should hit no higher than 7th; d) hit wherever your “gut” tells you he should hit