The Reds meet the Giants at 3:45ET this afternoon to wrap up their 7 game west coast swing. They will be looking to salvage a victory from this series after falling 5-3 to the Giants last night.  Here is Matt Habel’s RLN recap of that action. Let’s hope the guys get the job done today because a 5-2 road swing sounds so much better than a 4-3 trip.

Starting Pitchers

Matt  Harvey makes his second start as a Red. He will be looking to build upon his 4 inning 1 hit shutout effort in Los Angeles which required just 55 pitches to complete. We know the storyline by now.  Harvey hopes to kickstart his stalled career; and, the Reds hope he succeeds in spades over the next two months so they can cash him in at the trade deadline for somebody who might turn out to be a significant contributor in the future. This said, the reviews of Harvey’s performance versus the Dodgers were outstanding. He seemed to be throwing loosely and easily with good velocity and command. For a deeper look at how Matt Harvey’s situation might play out check out this RLN post by Jeff Gangloff . Just keep it coming Matt.

Left hander Andrew Suarez will be the Giants starter. This is 25 year old Suarez’s rookie season in MLB. He was a second round #61 overall pick out of the University of Miami for the Giants in the June 2015 draft . Suarez split 2017 between the AA and AAA levels making a combined 26 appearances (24 starts). He was in the Giants camp this spring as a nonroster invitee and subsequently brought to MLB when injuries opened slots in the Giants rotation. To date Suarez has made 4 MLB appearances, all as a starter. Saurez throws a 91-92MPH fastball about half the time mixing both a 4 seamer and sinker. He throws a  slider  about a third of the time at 88-89MPH which given his similar fastball speed might suggest this pitch is really more of a cut fastball. He rounds out his offerings with a changeup (9%; 86MPH) and curve (12% ~78MPH).

Comparative 2018 numbers:

Matt Harvey 4.55 1.74 6.6% 16.2
Andrew Suarez 3.17 2.09 4.7 27.1%

How about Suarez’s K%? Definitely in the elite range. When researching him I read he was considered by some to be a finished product as a pitcher. That K rate in the absence of seemingly overpowering stuff probably prompted such evaluations. Then for dessert, there’s his K/BB ratio.


Once again it was a busy night for both bullpens.  By virtue of being  a losing visitor, the Reds had to cover only 8 total innings of which 4.2 were provided by the bullpen. Amir Garrett turned in an excellent 2.2 inning stint and figures to be a spectator today. David Hernandez provided 1.2 innings and likely is on short call today. Wandy Peralta pitched 0.1 innings and should be unlimited today. With an off day coming Thursday, otherwise it should be all hands on call and ready to go for the Reds pen today.

The Giants pen covered 5 innings evenly among 5 pitchers. Of the 5, only Pierce Johnson had pitched on Monday and would figure to be unavailable today. The Giants are also off on Thursday and thus also can be uninhibited in their pen use today.


           REDS             GIANTS
1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Scooter Gennett (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Scott Schebler (RF)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Alex Blandino (3B)
8. Matt Harvey (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Gregor Blanco (CF)
2. Andrew McCutchen (RF)
3. Brandon Belt (LF)
4. Evan Longoria (3B)
5. Pablo Sandoval (1B)
6. Nick Hundley (C)
7. Miguel Gomez (2B)
8. Kelby Tomlinson (SS)
9. Andrew Suarez (P)


News and Notes

Joey Votto has offered some clarification of remarks he made on a Yahoo Sports podcast we highlighted yesterday

While many of us slept, Billy Hamilton made another of his incredible catches

At AA Pensacola, Reds prospect outfielder Aristides Aquiño is on a roll

And finally we check in on Robert Stephenson at AAA Louisville

News and Notes

We often debate just how much manager decisions influence the outcome of MLB games. Last night seemed to provide an example where a game may have turned on the decision of one manager and the response of the other. With the Giants trailing 3-1 in the fourth inning, 1 out and the bases load, the Giants Bruce Bochy decided to pitch hit Pablo Sandoval, a switch hitter, for his pitcher. Jim Riggleman chose to stand pat with his starter Tyler Mahle despite the fact reliever Amir Garrett appeared to be ready in the bullpen This choice set up Sandoval to bat from his clearly stronger left hand side instead of being turned to his weaker side versus Garrett. Sandoval produced a 2 run single to tie the game. Garrett was then brought on to relieve Mahle. Jose Peraza did not corral a line drive that looked catchable which reloaded the bases. The Reds then failed to complete a double play that looked very turnable, allowing the lead run to score. A manager’s decision and two plays not quite executed; a 3-1 lead became a 4-3 deficit; a game transformed and eventually lost. Let’s hope for better luck (and execution) today. Go Reds!

Stats and data courtesy of Fangraphs and

63 Responses

  1. lwblogger2

    Jim… I love how you provide the bullpen availability of each team in the previews. That’s important information for any pre-game analysis.

    • Jim Walker

      Thanks. I also think keeping track of the pen and how many innings it has to cover offers insight into the starting pitching situation.

    • Jim Walker

      Presumably because of another LH starter for SFG? Winker has been scuffling at the plate

      • Old-school

        Billy Hamilton has been scuffling at the plate for 5 years. Adam Duvall is below the Mendoza line. The reds are 14-29 in year 4 of 90 losses in a row. Who isn’t scuffling?

  2. Scooter Rolen

    Was Suarez originally in the lineup? The first lineup I saw had Suarez 3rd and Votto cleanup, thought it looked strange.

    • Jim Walker

      Yes. Suarez was scratched after the first Reds lineup was publicly posted. Don’t know why. haven’t seen any tweets. Picked it up from the source where we get preformatted line up info

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Thought I read that he turned his ankle last night but stayed in the game. Maybe it’s more sore today.

  3. Jeff Reed

    Scuffling happens to everyone over the course of a season. Winker has a command of the plate and should be a regular in the lineup. No need to worry about a lefty pitching. Duvall hasn’t been setting the world on fire. At best he should be a pinch hitter and the 4th. outfielder.

  4. Mike Adams

    Jim, in your first paragraph I think you meant the best case road trip record to be 5-2 (says 7-5).

    • Jim Walker

      Thanks. Fixed better late than never. Had somewhere to be shortly after “press time” and just saw your comment.

  5. kmartin

    This is one seriously bad line up.

    • lost11found

      Which of course means it will score 10 runs today. 🙂

      • lost11found

        Posted even before looking at gameday. I’m 40% of the way in just the first inning.

  6. Daytonian

    And the game has just started.

    Just sit back and enjoy the game.

    Or you can argue about something, maybe a Matt Harvey effect?

    • Daytonian

      Four batters up. Four runs. Including a Duvall homer. What’s not to enjoy?

    • lost11found

      He certainly can’t complain about run support so far!

  7. CI3J

    Harvey getting dented hard early on. 2 doubles, no outs to start the game.

  8. docproctor

    Looks like this might be a long, high-scoring affair today.

    • CI3J

      Hoping Harvey grows into the game. Something I noticed about him last time, and this time too, is his fastball seems to pick up velocity as he throws more pitches. It seems like he’s not fully warming up before coming in, and we saw it in this game. His first 10 pitches or so, his fastball was topping out at about 92-93. Then suddenly he started hitting 94-95, and I’ll bet we’ll see him hit 96 in later innings if he makes it that far.

      Hopefully the coaches have noticed the same thing and will communicate it to Harvey.

      • da bear

        could be a conscious decision. Cueto typically closes stronger, saving an extra 2 to 3 mph for his FBs toward the end of his starts.

  9. lost11found

    The Dread Giant McCutcheon has really worn out this pitching staff these three games. He has been on-fire recently though. Minimized the damage though.

  10. CI3J

    Huge letoff for the Reds when Duvall airmailed that ball to the backstop but the runner at 3rd didn’t go.

    • docproctor

      One of many breaks that went Harvey’s way that inning.

  11. james garrett

    Like Homer,Harvey’s velocity is good enough but you can’t throw it right down the middle.All major leaguers can hit those even the bad hitters.

  12. docproctor

    Harvey isn’t fooling much of anyone today.

  13. james garrett

    This is not going to end well for Harvey I am afraid.

  14. Shchi Cossack

    I will be the 1st to admit, I thought Riggleman was an imbecile for pitching to Blanco with runners at 2B & 3B and 1 out. I still think it was a bad decision, but it worked with Harvey getting Blanco on fly ball to LF and Cutch on a line drive to CF with no runs scoring.

  15. lost11found

    So do you send Harvey out for the 5th? 78 pitches. Has been hit hard, but no walks and 5 K’s in the 4 innings.

  16. lost11found

    If they can put some runs on the board it’d make the choice easier.

  17. Shchi Cossack

    Now that was an Earned Walk by Votto!

  18. james garrett

    It did end well for Harvey having struck out 4 of the last 5 guys he faced.

    • CI3J

      Yep, that jibes with what I said earlier: It seems to take Harvey some time to “loosen up”, like he’s not fully warmed up when the game begins. I’ve heard of this being the case with other pitchers coming back from surgery, so hopefully the coaches can let Harvery know he needs to throw an additional 10 or so warmup pitches before the game begins.

  19. james garrett

    Could be it because he looked better the last two innings.Not that he got them out but he just looked looser and was hitting his spots with the increased velocity.

  20. Broseph

    Peralta giving you flashbacks and the confidence of Francisco Cordero as of late

    • james garrett

      Brutal but they didn’t score.

  21. Sliotar

    Felt like Peralta had been out there for a bit while I was driving home.

    Just looked it up….that was a season-high 9 batters he faced today.

    Good job, but glad he is done.

  22. Preach

    Ok, Scooter simply can play ball. This has gone on long enough to give us a solid sample size. Don’t you have to include him into long term plans?

    • Sliotar

      Just like Zack Cozart had to be included in the Reds long-term plans.

      He’s controllable this year and next. That’s plenty of time to sell high, although teams won’t be bite on a guy in his walk year. Tigers got nothing for JD Martinez last trade deadline.

  23. Jeff Reed

    What a catch by Gennett to end the sixth and now he pops one in the seventh. The Reds should try him in the outfield. We need his offense.

  24. CI3J

    I really don’t know how Scooter keeps mashing. He’s 5’10” and listed at 185, yet he somehow slugs like a guy who’s 6’3″ and weighs 220.

    I admit, I was very dubious of Scooter and thought he would regress, but he’s the Energizer Bunny and just keeps on going. It’s getting to the point where I’m starting to wonder if he can play CF. That catch he just made shows he has some serious speed. Might be something to look into, especially given he’s fairly mediocre as a 2B.

    • james garrett

      Good idea.Won’t hurt a thing to see if he can play the position.

  25. Preach

    If I never see Brandon Belt again…..
    Good defense on that by Schebler.

  26. james garrett

    Hughes is pretty good.His movement is really great.Din;t think he would go back out after throwing so many pitches in the 7th but it took what 5 or 6 pitches to get em out in the eighth.Somebody will want him at the deadline.Good pick up so far.

  27. seat101

    The way West is calling the outside piitches strikes the batter to swing at virtually anything that the catcher can catch

    • james garrett

      He must be in a hurry to move on because both teams are hacking away.Billy and Winker out on the first pitch.Joe must have clued them in he was ready to go.

  28. CI3J

    West must have run out of Imodium just before the game started.