If you went to bed before the game last night ended (no shame if you did. I fell asleep too), the Reds won their third straight game. I believe that is called a winning streak.
The Reds are 3-0 since trading for Matt Harvey, but the real question gets asked tonight: can the Reds win when he’s on the mound? The former All-Star pitcher will make his Reds debut tonight at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is at 10:10 EDT.
Harvey started four games for the Mets before being moved to the bullpen at the end of April. His season started strong with five inning, one hit appearance against the Phillies, but it went quickly downhill from there. He gave up 14 runs in 16 innings in his next three starts, prompting the Mets to move him to the bullpen. The final straw for the Mets came on May 3rd when he gave up five runs on three hits in only two innings against the Braves. Combine that with his off-field partying, and the Mets had enough and designated him for assignment.
Most people who try to figure out Harvey’s struggles point to his loss of velocity on his fastball. It’s dropped about four percentage points since 2013. This is no doubt in part because of the injuries he’s suffered, including Tommy John surgery, a broken bone in his shoulder, and thoracic outlet syndrome.
Harvey’s numbers against the Dodgers don’t look too promising, particularly against Matt Kemp, who is already hitting .400/.444/.600 with an OPS of 1.044 in the last seven days.
Kenta Maeda is in his third full season with the Dodgers, and while he hasn’t been at his best yet this season (14 ER in 31.1 IP), he does already have 41 strikeouts. His xFIP is 3.04, which is not bad and is currently the best of his short career. Maeda has yet to pitch more than six innings in a game in 2018, but he’s never been a pitcher that’s gone deeper than seven innings consistently.
Last time Maeda faced the Reds, he pitched five innings at GABP, giving up only one run and striking out five. Maeda has never been a flame thrower, but he does have five different pitches, including a cutter (uses this one rarely) and a slider.
Here are the Reds’ numbers against Maeda:
|1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Matt Harvey (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
|1. Chase Utley (2B)
2. Joc Pederson (CF)
3. Yasmani Grandal (C)
4. Matt Kemp (LF)
5. Cody Bellinger (1B)
6. Chris Taylor (SS)
7. Max Muncy (3B)
8. Yasiel Puig (RF)
9. Kenta Maeda (P)
-Jose Peraza is back in the lineup tonight.
-In the last seven days, Scooter Gennett is hitting .350/.381/.593 with three doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, and four runs scored in 20 at-bats. Only Tucker Barnhart and Joey Votto have been better.
News, Notes, and Pre-Game Reading
Lorenzen and DeSclafani will begin rehab assignments with Double-A Pensacola on the Monday. #reds
— John Fay (@johnfayman) May 11, 2018
-It’s encouraging to see this from Billy Hamilton. I’m still not 100% sure it will last.
Billy Hamilton has hit safely in eight of his last nine games since April 30, batting .333 (10-for-30) with four runs, two doubles, one triple, one home run and three RBIs with a .978 SLG. #Reds
— Jeff Wallner (@JeffWallner) May 11, 2018
-If you subscribe to the Athletic, C. Trent Rosecrans had a great piece today on Matt Harvey and his change of scenery.
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticCIN) May 11, 2018
I think tonight’s game is intriguing not just for Reds fans, but for baseball fans across the country. Many people I follow on Twitter have tweeted about Harvey today. Although some have been Mets fans making jokes, even they want to know how he is going to pitch. A lot of people will be watching this game tonight.
I don’t think Harvey (and the Reds for signing him) should be judged solely on this start, especially since he hasn’t started since April 19th and hasn’t pitched since May 3rd. Give him a couple of starts before making a judgment call. But if Harvey pitches like he did recently with the Mets, there will be no shortage of comments on social media saying “I told you so.”