Tonight there is more late night baseball for those of us in the eastern time zone as the Reds (14-27, 5th place NL Central) ride their 6 game winning streak up the left coast to San Francisco to open a 3 game set with the Giants (20-21, 3rd place NL West) at AT&T Park. Game time is 10:15pm ET.

Starting Pitchers

Reds right hander Sal Romano makes his first ever appearance versus the Giants. Tonight marks the big guy’s ninth start of the season. The tale of the tape in his last four starts stands in positive contrast to his results in his first four. He has posted a 2.05 ERA/  4.51 FIP in the last four versus a 5.75 ERA/ 6.25 FIP in his first four starts. The difference between his ERA and FIP in his last  four starts hints he perhaps has been pitching into some good luck recently; but, the nearly 2 run per game improvement in his FIP over his first four starts bodes well nonetheless.

Right hander Chris Stratton makes the start for the Giants. The 27 year old was the Giants first round choice (#20 overall) in the 2012 June draft. Stratton first saw MLB action in 2016 making 7 relief appearances. Last season he was promoted to MLB in early July and made 11 appearances (10 starts) through the end of the season. This season he has been in the Giants rotation from the get go; and, like Sal Romano he will make his ninth start tonight. However unlike Romano, Stratton has come a cropper lately after getting off to a strong start. Here is what to look for from Stratton. He throws his four seam fastball about 60% of the time with a typical velocity of 92MPH and mixes in his slider and curve about a combined 30% of the time. Both these pitches have an average velocity around 84MPH. In the remaining 10% of the time, expect to see his 91MPH sinker or 78MPH changeup.

Here are the 2018 comparative numbers.

PITCHER xFIP HR/9 BB% K%
Sal Romano 5.06 1.49 9.4% 14.4%
Chris Stratton 4.47 0.84 21.1% 11.1%

Bullpens

The Reds bullpen covered 3 innings yesterday.  Amir Garrett went 1.2 innings and likely would be available for only a short stint  of an inning or less tonight. Raisel Iglesias threw 18 pitches to complete his inning of work. He was returning to action following a day off on the heels of pitching 3 consecutive games. He wouldn’t figure to work over 3 outs tonight either.

The Giants pen also covered 3 innings yesterday but were in a position to use their mid and low leverage relievers. Their leverage guys last worked on Saturday covering 2.1 innings between two pitchers.  Their pen should be in good shape tonight unless Stratton flames out very early.

Lineups

            REDS            GIANTS
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. Sal Romano (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Gregor Blanco (LF)
2. Andrew McCutchen (RF)
3. Buster Posey (C)
4. Brandon Belt (1B)
5. Evan Longoria (3B)
6. Brandon Crawford (SS)
7. Austin Jackson (CF)
8. Kelby Tomlinson (2B)
9. Chris Stratton (P)

Here’s Chad’s take on tonight’s Reds lineup. FWIW, I agree

News and Notes

Once again a Red has won National League Player Of The Week. Congrats to Scooter Gennett.  Is there any way to determine if it is a record for a team playing .341 baseball to have had two different players (Joey Votto being the other) to have won PoTW in less than a quarter of a season?

Anthony Desclafani is set to make a rehab start tonight at AA Pensacola. Michael Lorenzen is also scheduled to pitch in the same game

Wesley Jenkins has a take at Nick Senzel’s vertigo situation

Final Thoughts

A  six game winning streak  can really work wonders for a person’s thoughts  feelings about their favorite baseball team, can’t it?  Nothing has really changed with the Reds prospect for this year; but, we dare to hope once again that the next really good Reds team can be in the reasonably near future instead of  a vague further away time. Long live the Nick Krall and Matt Harvey era. Don’t Stop Believing. Go Reds!


Data and Stats courtesy of  MLB.com, and Fangraphs

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Twitter: @jn_walkerjr

Join the conversation! 65 Comments

  1. Buster Posey in a lineup against the Reds is what to get mad about!

  2. Regarding perceptions….

    Am driving around for work, listening to Braves-Cubs on satellite radio, and the Cubs announcers are going on and on about Jim Riggleman and his “magic touch” with the Reds.

    Now I know Riggleman used to manage the Cubs, but I would not have listed him as a Top 5 reason the Reds have this winning streak.

    Nothing has changed except the Dodgers are really a mess this year and maybe someone will bite and trade for Gennett. (Though I still doubt it).

    Go Redlegs…take advantage of everyone out there (including my brother) paying attention to Warriors-Rockets.

    • Uhh, I would definitely list him in the top 5 reasons why the Reds are playing better baseball. Now part of that might be Price was just that bad but it has already come out that he is pushing the players from Shebler’s comments. His late game substitutions have played out well other than his tootblan the other day with Winker. I’m not saying he is the manager of the future but I’m also not saying that he isn’t. Most on here realize what sacrifice bunting means for run expectancy but he played smal balll well with Billy on third and Blandino laying the squeeze on. I think he’s managing the pitching staff well too. Not pushing Harvey in his first start and pulling the hook on Castillo the other night instead of waiting for him to get an out. Pinch hitting for guys to get the right matchup, batting Billy at the bottom of the order. How is he not in the top 5, nay the top 3 reasons why the Reds are playing better baseball?

      • Jack,

        To each their own.

        Sequencing is better of late, Suarez being really great upon return, Gennett riding a hot streak, etc… all that stuff to me is more impactful and outside of what Riggleman affects.

        Not overworking Harvey is literally a no brainer in 2018, and shows how low our expectations have become that it is viewed as good Reds managing.

        Regarding Schebler: I know RLN is the epicenter of “Votto never does wrong” but this team is screaming for a Paul O’Neill/Scott Rolen type to set the tone and stop the losing rot in the clubhouse. Counting on an interim manager is a sugar high.

        • I recall once upon a time JoeyV talked up the role Scott Rolen had played and said he was going to pick it up. Somewhere along the line that went south. I will say it would be hard for any player to be the enforcer when team management seems more interested in gaining draft positions than winning games.
          Maybe Eugenio can become that guy with the younger players. Or maybe it will take a new face who hasn’t had to live through the planned rot, either an outsider or maybe a young no nonsense guy like Nick Senzel seems to be.

          • Being an enforcer doesn’t really help if your starting pitchers don’t get out of the 5th inning. One positive thing during the Price era was that I never really saw a lack of hustle. The Baker era had a fair amount of that, whether it was BP, EE, Adam Dunn, Edinson Volquez,etc. Those squads had some loafers. Talented loafers, but they needed someone to push them. The Price squads just had a bunch of injured vets and struggling kids.

        • The pitching staff can and has been mismanaged in the Price era. I would argue that alone should be a factor in the recent at of the Reds. Putting Garrett in high level situations has paid off tremendously. I agree that taking Harvey out after 4 was probably a no brainier to most and maybe everyone knew Castillo needed to come out when he did but under Price he could have very easily messed those situations up and not given Amir the high pressure situations. I don’t want it to sound like I am a Riggleman apologist because I’m not but he is deserving of credit here I believe.

    • It’s nice to learn the Cubs announcers have been taken by the success of the Riggleman Reds.

  3. Chad! If you need something to be mad about, The Book says your best hitters should bat 1st, 2nd, and 4th depending on their batted ball profiles. Riggleman bats the two best hitters 3rd and 5th. From my past calculations and my estimation skill, this lineup is probably like 5-6 runs a year worse than average! GET MAD!! 😉

  4. Disco 3 inn 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K tonight.

    • 31pitches/ 24 strikes for Disco per @ctrent.
      Also Lorenzen worked an uneventful relief inning, same game, 12 pitches 8 strikes 1H no runs per @dougdirt24

    • Sounds good! If all stays as it is until DeSclafani returns, Homer is the odd man out, based on performance. It will be VERY interesting to see what happens then.

  5. So Garrett now says he wants to stay in the bullpen.
    Great. He’s gone Chapman on us.

    • If he pitches in a relief role for the rest of his career as he has so far this year, that’s okay with me.

      • Why? 60 ip instead of 170? He could be the next Andrew Miller but he could also be the next David Price! I just feel like all the other lefties have crapped out and he’s their last chance to have a good lefty in the rotation!

    • So, it seems; but, sometimes the smartest people are the ones who understand their own strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. Garrett has certainly had a long enough look at the other side of the street at multiple competition levels to be able to gauge where he may fit best.

      • Amir has 3 plus pitches & maybe 4? Thats the ingredients needed for a good starter! The more innings a good pitcher can put up…the better it is for the team!

        • If you look this year, he’s a 2 pitch guy. Fastball percentage is same around 60% but slider percentage up to 35% with change only 5%.

          That tells me he’s staying where is and focusing on uptick in his fastball velo from the pen and commanding a slider.

          If he throws 100 innings and is used like he was Sunday, I’m.ok with it.

  6. Garrett hopes that is the case.

    “Aroldis Chapman signs five-year, $86 million contract with Yankees”

    Garrett sure seems like a bright guy. I wonder if he and his agent(s) see some Reds Politics with Finnegan or DeSclafani or whoever, like with Hamilton. He then just says, I can qualify for my MLB pension and maybe a free agent payday easiest by being a reliever.

    He just turned 26, too. Time to be finalizing what he is.

  7. Peraza looks like he’s reverted to early season form. Chasing balls in the dirt.

    • Yeah….glad he got hot, but he can still be a problem as well. Billy was on 1st and couldn’t steal because Jose swings at EVERYTHING! Jose ended up getting a single but Billy only went to 3rd. If he could take a pitch then its an rbi single. Peraza can get hot and he’s a great bunter, but a .290 average with no power and a .315 opb doesn’t scream top of the order and we’ve already got Billy down there.

  8. no matter the uniform…Cutch hammers reds pitching

  9. Romano is lucky he’s pitching in SF tonight.

  10. Good stat from Welsh on Romano starting too much with his fastball.

    He was good last start vs. Mets. Now back to Nibbiling Romano, 26 pitch inning.

    Feels like he does not trust his stuff fully…yet. Maybe he can borrow some of Castillo’s swag.

    • Romano wouldn’t be in my starting 5 when all is said and done. I think Lorenzen is a similar groundball pitcher but with a higher ceiling. Disco, Garrett, and who knows where Harvey will end up. Atleast we’re finally seeing the depth in the rotation and the pen that they were missing in April.

  11. Is Bochy still there? Romano might be the worst hitter in mlb and they give Tucker a cookie w/a man on 2nd. Thats something Price would do regularly.

    • So he immediately hits a double:) I think thats the first hit I’ve ever seen from him. Stratton is very hittable though! We just need to hold them down!

  12. I wish we had more than 1 but it’s a start to the comeback. Next inning the Reds need to start challenging first pitches.

  13. Nice to see the Reds battle back. I think we will have a game tonight. Right now this is just fun baseball

  14. Is it just me, or did Winker not seem to approach that ball with a sense of urgency? I know he’s slow, but that appeared a little non-chalant to me

    • He hustled to the ball but it looked like he was surprised the guy didn’t hold at 3rd? Romano with an 0-2 cookie right in Cutch’s wheelhouse. He’s bad tonite.

    • After watching it a couple times I would say he went after it pretty hard, but there was a brief pause after he picked it up. It could have been taking a moment to make sure he knew where to throw it, or it could have been a little nonchalance. But whatever he did wrong pales in comparison to the terrible pitch. This team just doesn’t seem to understand when to throw strikes and when not to.

      • Well there is good news and bad news. I took Over 8.5 which looks good, but I also took the Reds +135 to win the series. We do have Mahle and Harvey next against 2 scrub pitchers. It looks everyone will be able to pull a Pete Rose with the new Supreme Court ruling:)

    • Wow. What a mistake to the 8 hole hitter.

  15. Uh oh…. Votto’s hurt…..

    Hopefully just a cramp.

  16. Alright, this one is over. Props to Riggleman for leaving Sal in to see if he could get out of his jam, but this just wasn’t his night.

    Still would rather have Sal getting beat around for 3 innings than have Feldman pitching 7 innings of 3 run ball.

    • Amen on Sal. But every streak has an improbable wi….might as well be tonight.

  17. Don’t give up yet….Harvey’s Wallbangers are back in it:)

  18. Tucker!!!!! This game ain’t over

  19. Tough to see Romano stink up the place tonight. Missing up all night and throwing 2 strike or 2 out cookies for big hits. Combine that with listening to Thom and it made for a depressing 2+ innings of baseball.

  20. Back in the game thanks to Tucker.

  21. Duval at 1B…joey out

  22. Disco and Lorenzen are rehabbing. Lorenzen replaces Stephens. Thats easy. Disco could replace Homer but who would Homer push out of the pen?

  23. Winker down to .256…really slumping

    • I’m not worried about Winker’s average. I’m worried about his pathetic 0.070 ISO.

  24. Stephens is terrible. He’s going to give the momentum right back? Why not give Floro a few innings? He’s been great!

  25. Thats the best swing Duvall has put on a breaking ball all year! Maybe he’ll get it going?

  26. SCHEBS!!!!! This team is fun right now

  27. Don’t look now but it’s a 6-4 game. There’s still time to tie this up.

  28. Any word on Joey?

  29. Suddenly this game doesn’t look so good

  30. So much for that. Floro with the rare bad outing (although his defense let him down too).

    • Yeah, looked like Peraza was turning to make a play at 3rd as he fielded it and that as they say was that for the nite.

  31. Scooter goes from tearing the cover off the ball to 0 for 4 and hitting into 2 rally killing double plays… that’s baseball for you.

  32. Thom: please. Shut. Up.

  33. As I was saying about Duvall earlier……
    3 run Johnson!!

  34. If you watch many reds game,then you would see that’s what they do mutton,they bench the hot hand to cool them off,earlier this year votto had 3 hits on a Wednesday and was on the bench thursday

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