Hope you slept soundly but quickly because we have a 12:10ET matinee game coming up for you. With a win today the Reds can secure a series victory and ride a 2 game winning streak back to Cincinnati to kick off the next homestand against the Brewers. And that’s not to mention how good it would feel to look at the standings Thursday morning and see our favorite team was 9-1 in their last 10 games!
Today will be a righty/ lefty dual as Luis Castillo goes for the Reds opposed by left hander Sean Newcomb of the Braves.
Luis Castillo is learning the hard lesson that life in MLB isn’t as easy as it must have seemed to him last year in his rookie season. Just when it seemed he might be leaving his early season sophomore struggles behind, he has regressed into a 5 game skid which has seen him compile an ERA/FIP of 6.49/5.84. While his 2 most recent starts are nothing to be proud of, at least they are markedly better than the 3 which proceeded them. Hopefully he will take another step in the good direction today. For the most part even recently he has looked good and at times even impressive on the mound. However he needs to find a way to avoid the sudden outbursts of trouble which have plagued him. That starts with limiting walks and avoiding home runs.
Sean Newcomb, like Castillo, is a 25 old pitcher in his sophomore year in MLB. However the former first round pick (#15 overall; 2014) seems to be moving in the opposite direction from Castillo. After a somewhat mediocre rookie season in which he posted an ERA/FIP of 4.32/4.19 in 19 starts, Newcomb stands at 2.59/3.38 for the same metrics in 15 starts to date in 2018. Newcomb’s “secret” is a 49.1% ground ball rate paired with a 7.9% HR/FB rate (Castillo’s HR/FB rate is 21.2%). Newcomb has been particularly effective against LH hitters, holding them to a batting average of .177 and OBP rate of .300 which could bode ill for the Reds typically LH heavy lineup.
Comparative 2018 season stats:
Does the HR/9 rate comparison grab your eyes too? Newcomb’s may be unrealistically low as the difference between his FIP/ xFIP with his xFIP over half a run per game higher suggests. However Castillo’s at HR/9 of 1.94 is too high; and, again FIP/xFIP comparison bears this out as Castillo’s FIP is over a run per game higher than his xFIP. Thus we might be prone to blame Castillo’s troubles on luck. But when they have persisted for going on half a season now, there has to be concern that something more is behind his struggles.
Matt Harvey did the Reds pen a huge favor by completing 6.2 innings of work on Tuesday, leaving the pen to cover just 2.1 innings. Michael Lorenzen and Amir Garrett combined to pitch 1 inning. Neither is likely to see action today, Garrett because of being injured last night and Lorenzen because of the short turnaround on the heels of having worked consecutive nights. Raisel Iglesias worked 1.1 innings Tuesday. He would most likely be available for a 3 out save opportunity today.
The Braves pen was tasked to cover 4.1 innings Tuesday. Matt Wisler and Shane Carle answered that call pitching 2.l and 2.0 innings respectively. Neither would figure to be available today on the short turnaround.
|1. Scott Schebler (RF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Scooter Gennett (2B)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Curt Casali (C)
8. Luis Castillo (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
|1. Ender Inciarte (CF)
2. Danny Santana (LF)
3. Freddie Freeman (1B)
4. Nick Markakis (RF)
5. Kurt Suzuki (C)
6. Charlie Culberson (3B)
7. Johan Camargo (2B)
8. Dansby Swanson (SS)
9. Sean Newcomb (P)
News and Notes
Here’s the word on scary looking injury suffered by Amir Garrett Tuesday. Thankfully it’s mostly good.
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) June 27, 2018
Amir Garrett's leg was good enough to get mercilessly teased by his teammates — always a good sign
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) June 27, 2018
And a market report to start your day
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) June 27, 2018
Today the Reds finish a run of 7 games against a couple of excellent teams, the Cubs and Braves. It feels very good to be able to say that at the worst, the Reds will be 5-2 in those 7 games. But there is little rest ahead because next it is home to face the Brewers for 4 then after a potential respite at home versus the White Sox comes 9 more toughies, 3 each with the Cubs, Indians and Cardinals, all on the road, to take the Reds to the All Star Break. If we feel anywhere nearly as good about the Reds at the All Star break as we do right now, that’s probably a sign the light at the end of the tunnel is finally sunshine and not the headlight of an oncoming locomotive. GO REDS!