The Reds and Pirates meet this afternoon in a 12:35 matinee at GABP to close out the series and homestand for the Reds. Last night was a tough 12 inning loss for the Reds. If you had to get to bed before the game ended you can check out the RLN recap here. Despite the loss last night, the Reds can still record a series win with a victory today. Remember, these matinees are available on the usual Fox Sports Ohio outlets this year.
Luis Castillo gets the ball to start the game for the Reds. Castillo appears to have left his early season struggles behind him and can now focus on continuing his development as a middle to top of the rotation starter. In four prior May starts Castillo has pitched to a 2.78 ERA/3.39 xFIP. That’s solid work with little indication of an excess of favorable luck influencing his outcomes. The next way point for Castillo to take on is pitch efficiency and game longevity. He needs to first establish himself as a routine 6 inning minimum pitcher then learn to push to and beyond the 20 outs a game barrier on at least a somewhat regular basis.
Ivan Nova will be the Pirates starter. The veteran righthander has struggled a bit in the opening fourth of the 2018 but has shown signs of returning to form of late. Comparison of his season’s ERA to xFIP suggests that some of his struggles may have related to a cycle of bad luck. This is also borne out by looking at his career versus 2018 peripherals. About 63% of Nova’s pitches are fastballs which he gets to the plate at around 92MPH. Most of his fastballs are four seamers (37% of all pitches); but he also throws a significant number of sinkers (26% of all pitches). His main secondary pitch is his curve which he throws about 27% of the the time at a typical speed of 80MPH. The remainder of his offerings are a slider or change up, both thrown around 88MPH.
2018 Comparative Numbers:
The Reds bullpen had to cover 7 innings Wednwesday night. Tanner Rainey and Dylan Floro each went 2 innings and would figure to be unavailable today. I’d guess that out of caution due to the quick turnaround, Michael Lorenzen who worked an inning Wednesday will be held out of action today. Jared Hughes worked an inning for the second consecutive night; given the turnaround, he is also likely not available.
Five Pirates relievers were used to cover 6 innings of work. Leftie Steven Brault worked 2 innings and would figure to be unavailable. No one who worked Wednesday out of the Pirates pen had appeared on Tuesday and thus aside from Brault, everyone should be available for at least a short stint.
|1. Josh Harrison (2B)
2. Adam Frazier (RF)
3. David Freese (1B)
4. Corey Dickerson (LF)
5. Colin Moran (3B)
6. Austin Meadows (CF)
7. Elias Diaz (C)
8. Sean Rodriguez (SS)
9. Ivan Nova (P)
|1. Jesse Winker (RF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Scooter Gennett (2B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Scott Schebler (CF)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Brandon Dixon (1B)
8. Tony Cruz (C)
9. Luis Castillo (P)
Votto has the day off; no backstory to him being out of the lineup.
News and Notes
Not sure exactly what the reference to “Happy Friday Junior” is about; but, Scooter Gennett has hit 5 grand slam home runs inside of a year and you can see them all here
Happy Friday Junior!
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 24, 2018
Here’s Homer Bailey’s take on his performance last night
Homer Bailey says he's not concerned with his performance on the mound. pic.twitter.com/yfvRrVCoRp
— FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) May 24, 2018
If you like detailed explanations of obscure rules, this is just for you. Either way Brandon Dixon is still out and the Reds still lost the game perhaps in large part due to this play.
Tough extra inning @Reds loss could be pinned on players not knowing simple rules. Runner's lane infraction is the most misunderstood rule in baseball. Learn all about it from MLB Umpire Ted Barrett: https://t.co/NfJ308p73Y pic.twitter.com/TPxlgep4wm
— Chris Welsh (@thinkpitch) May 24, 2018
And in other sports news….. Is the finagling finally over in Cincinnati’s bid to secure another major league sports team?
Sources confirm Major League Soccer officials are headed to Cincinnati next week for a major announcement. "Major soccer announcement" was the phrasing used as a not-so-subtle heads up prior to the December expansion announcement in Nashville. https://t.co/Sjr1LGGPUa
— Enquirer Sports (@ENQSports) May 24, 2018
Today is a quick turnaround not just for the teams but also for people who write about the teams. However, here is a thought to ruminate about. Since starting the season at 3-18, the Reds have played nearly .500 baseball (14-15). If they were to play .500 over their remaining games (56-56), they would finish the season with 73 victories which isn’t that far off what many of us saw as a likely result for the season before it started. This would also be their best record since 2014 when they won 76 games. Does this make you feel better or worse about the rebuild in general or the historically poor start to 2018? And with that, here’s hoping the Reds play well enough to win today. Go Reds!