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.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Matt Harvey 27.0 7.00 4.53 16.3% 7.3%
Kenta Maeda 31.1 4.02 3.04 29.7% 8.0%

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.

dodgers vs matt harvey

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:

reds vs kenta maeda

Lineups

REDS DODGERS
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

-It’s encouraging to see this from Billy Hamilton. I’m still not 100% sure it will last.

-If you subscribe to the Athletic, C. Trent Rosecrans had a great piece today on Matt Harvey and his change of scenery.

Final Thoughts

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.”

Join the conversation! 73 Comments

  1. Well Riggleman is putting the Reds ‘A’ lineup on the field tonight for Harvey.

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  2. Unless the Reds get a VERY serious trade inquiry for Scooter, they are going to be hard pressed to replace him in the lineup, especially if his severe defensive issues this season are (were) shoulder related and significantly lessen with some rest and Senzel’s vertigo issues are unresolved.

    .301/.345/.485/.830 slash for the season
    .333/.364/.905/1.269 slash over the last 7 games

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    • What little I watched last night , he did have a nice strong throw to first. Seems to be throwing harder and not side armed. If I was the Front Office I would be a little nervous about Senzels vertigo.

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  3. I wish the young man well. What he does off the field is none of my business. New York is a hard place to play and live.

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  4. I hope we get a Guzman and not a marquis

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  5. Interesting baseball night for the Reds, one that could have a domino effect in the rebuilding process. Restablishing Harvey’s trade value and Reds’ reputation for developing reclamation projects ala Bucs- could bring interesting pieces down the road. Those are the things that make a FA sign with a team not only money.

    I am not expecting too much, 3-4 decent innings keeping the game close or better yet, the offense comes at full speed and gives him some cushion to work with.

    And hopefully the defense won’t mess things up like almost happened last night with Mahle. Lord knows this team needs to convert every chance they get for an out.

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  6. Hello? Is this thing working? What space time continuum have I fallen into? People across the country want to watch the Reds?
    People complain when Jose Peraza is not in the lineup? People like the defensive play of Scooter?

    I know I’m really in the wrong space time continuum if you start telling me Billy Hamilton should be batting leadoff

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  7. West coast games leaves us Reds fans hanging, but it’s a positive for me that WLW, the former Nation’s Station, comes in pretty clear around Tampa Bay. A big game tonight with Harvey’s Reds debut.

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  8. Nice setup, Ashley.

    Agree on not judging Harvey on a couple of starts, especially this one. His xwOBA and hard contact rates against LHs have been awful.

    Not a shock then, 3 lefties at top of lineup. Grandal has much more power from the LH side.

    Go Redlegs.

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  9. OT: Jim Kaat proposes moving to 7-inning games. Article at espn.mlb.com. Interesting. Require 2 infielders on either side of 2nd base (eliminating shifts) and perhaps another change or two proposed by Jason Stark in his recent article at The Athletic, and perhaps the game moves faster, with more action/balls in play, etc. Food for thought. (And I’m not a young whippersnapper, but in my 7th decade, so I’ve been watching baseball for a long, long time. The game has evolved.) And please get rid of the DH!

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    • *eliminating DRASTIC shifts

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    • I’m not sure how I feel about eliminating the shift. I understand why it is suggested, but I don’t like the idea of dictating where the defense positions itself. The seven inning game would reduce the length of the game and eliminate the three hour games. It was also alter the pitching strategy and probably reduce the bullpen size. I could see teams sending out the starter for three to four innings.

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  10. soooooo scooters fielding wasn’t poor before the shoulder?

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    • Scooter has always been a poor to marginal fielder, but this season, he’s been terrible.

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      • Yes. But he can hit. And he’s a positive factor in the clubhouse. And I believe that it was you, Schi, who pointed out his ability to hit through the gap created when the big shift is put on against him. Scooter can play on my team, and right now he has a place on the Reds.

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  11. Stephenson is having an interesting game for the Bats tonight.

    In the 1st inning, he gave up a leadoff HR followed by a single, walk and HBP before getting the final out with no more damage.

    In the 2nd inning, he he gave up a leadoff HBP, followed by a GIDP and grooundout.

    Then Stephenson started dealing w/ 2-BB & 5-SO over the next 4 innings, facing just 14 batters and throwing 88 pitches through 6.0 innings.

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  12. There once was a time when I was ecstatic about a trade the Reds made with the Mets for a SP. His name was Tom Seaver.

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  13. Interested to see Harvey pitch, not expecting much especially with his long layoff. I like the “A” lineup, though I’d swap Scooter and Schebler. I’m still skeptical of both Peraza and Hamilton at the plate, but both have been much better lately so let them play for now. Go Reds!

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  14. I still have the Sports Illustrated issue titled “Look who’s in Cinci” with a head shot of Tom Seaver in a Reds uniform on the cover

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  15. That whole Winker sequence qualifies as an honorary TOOTBLAN, even with no out created.

    Surely, he is going to get some good-natured stick from the dugout about it.

    Good thing that dude can hit and get on base.

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  16. #RedsAfterDark

    Going to be one of those games, isn’t it?

    Reds cleanup hitter trying to bunt

    Announcers ripping Votto for not knowing Puig’s location, even though the replay showed up him staring directly at the landing of the hit.

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  17. The whole focus on baserunning this inning is absurd. Two good hitters created a run. To suggest Votto goes to third on that shallow blooper to shallow right center on Yasiel Puig is ludicrous….never make the first out of the inning at 3b.

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  18. Go Harvey go!

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  19. The guys on the radio said Vitto was just fine as a baserunner

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  20. I like him better than Finnegan already

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  21. We are witnessing a future movie and a gripping ESPN 30-for-30! A team is 11 games out of 4th place and then led by a renegade pitcher they call the Black Knight…goes on a 22 game winning streak! Its fun to dream but overall I agree with VARedsfan….putting Finnegan in the rearview is a plus! Mesoraco hit a HR tonite too…good for him!

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  22. Where’s the communication? Everyone loses a ball once in a blue moon…but the ball bounced 15 from Hamilton who was standing there. Schebler has to say i dont have it . That was a 50/50 RF/CF ball.

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  23. Welcome to the Reds Matt. Home of the tootblan.

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  24. Harvey suddenly hitting 95-96 on his pitches.

    Isn’t this where he was when he was good? Or did he throw even harder?

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    • 96-98 I think….but he looks good. We need to see more of his other stuff. Straight change looked decent!

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  25. Nice job bailing out Schebler’s goof.

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  26. That was all on Schebler. And his acting job was not worth a nomination from the Academy

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  27. He battled out of it and got his heater up to 96. I’m impressed!

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  28. Scooter with a pair of duck snort singles…that one drove in Peraza

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  29. Maeda with 70 pitches in 2 and 2/3 innings.

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  30. Tucker!!! picks Schebler up

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  31. I am going to stay up for one more inning I can barely keep my eyes open, though. I might as well listen to it on the radio.

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  32. Its going to bum me out if Harvey does well and we’re still forced to trade him. We need solid big game pitchers and not more prospects. Hopefully he’ll do well and want to stay. We’ll see how he reacts to his first few cheapie HRs given up in gabp.

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    • He’s already 29, though. I don’t know what his contract situation is like, but I’m willing to bet if he does well, he’ll be looking for a fat 5 year contract which the Reds under no circumstances should even consider giving him.

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      • He’s a free agent at end of season and worse, he is a Scott Boras client. The Reds will flip him if they can.

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        • I knew he was a Boras client, and yeah, if he’s a free agent, he’s as good as gone. Hope he pitches lights out up to the end of August and we can get a nice prospect for him.

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  33. Looks like that’s it for Harvey. Bummer–wanted to see one more.

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  34. They’re taking Harvey out? Why? Because he hasn’t pitched for awhile?

    He looked fine! Let him get to at least 60 pitches!

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  35. I’m no pro account but promising stuff from Harvey. I hope the Reds have finally ended up on the smiling side of a recent trade/pickup.

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  36. Looked like he was coming back in

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  37. i Don’t understand that bunt attempt up in the count in that situation

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  38. Thom on a rant about other announcers “just going off.”

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  39. Is Scooter starting to repeat last year?

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  40. Legend 2 run shot!!!

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  41. En fuego

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  42. Hoping they would leave Harvey in to get the win.

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  43. Why Jackson Stevens??

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  44. Stephens needs to go away.

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  45. Hope somebody is up in the pen.

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  46. Stephens proved he isn’t mlb ready with another lackluster outing. Brice bailed him out.

    Generally speaking, I love what this team is doing right now. I am sure the dodgers hoped the reds would be slump busters but they are getting knocked around instead.

    Suddenly this bullpen is getting meaningful innings – let’s see the wheat separate from the chaff.

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  47. what just happened?

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  48. Somebody needs to tell peraza it’s ok to strike out, you don’t have to swing at everything….I think if he could just get a little better plate discipline he could be a very good hitter.

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  49. Love these late West Coast games…..originally from the Queen City but now in SoCal. Can’t remember the last time the Reds won the first two games of a West Coast trip.

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2018 Reds, Game Thread

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