We’re all still wondering: Just how legitimate is the Reds’ recent hot streak?
Since June 12, #Reds are 15-6, including 5 series wins, a split, and one series loss. They've had 3 series sweeps and avoided being swept. If they do the same thing over the next 21 games, they'll be sitting on a competitive 53-55 record. #GoReds
— BleedingCincyRed (@BleedinCincyRed) July 5, 2018
We’ll have a good idea of the answer following this nine-game road trip against three teams in solid contention, starting today against the Cubs in a 2:20 p.m. matinee at Wrigley Field. After Chicago, the Reds head to Cleveland for three and then St. Louis for three to wrap up the pre-All-Star-Game schedule.
The big news today is that Dilson Herrera was added to the 40-man and 25-man major league roster this morning.
Herrera slashed .330/.417/.524 with 12 XBH, 22 RBI and 17 R in 27 games since June 1 at Louisville. pic.twitter.com/S4pUgazxxL
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 6, 2018
It will be very interesting to see how the second baseman is used. One would think he would get more starts than Brandon Dixon did, only because Herrera is probably still available in trade discussions. He might also give Eugenio Suarez an occasional day off at third base.
Cincinnati’s starting pitching is lined up well, with arguably the team’s two best starting pitchers – Tyler Mahle and Matt Harvey – starting the first two games of this series. In nine games this year against the Cubs, the Reds have a 6-3 series lead, following three years in which the Cubs dominated the series, 40-17.
In six June starts, Mahle had a 2.18 earned run average, and had the impressive 12-strikeout game his last outing against Milwaukee. His longest outing this season is 6.1 innings, so he has not yet developed into an “ace” in the traditional sense. But he is looking every bit of a solid building block of the Reds rotation for the next several years. Against the Cubs this year in two starts, Mahle is 1-1. He’s allowed four runs in 12 innings. Today will be his first start of the year at Wrigley Field.
Montgomery jumped into the Cubs rotation after the injury to Yu Darvish. He’s faced the Reds twice in relief and once as a starter this season, surrendering four runs in eight innings total. Like Mahle, June was Montgomery’s best month so far this year, with a 2-1 record and 2.83 ERA in 35 innings.
— Jeff Wallner (@JeffWallner) July 6, 2018
Both teams were off Thursday, so there shouldn’t be any pitchers in either bullpen who are completely unavailable. It will be interesting to see how Jim Riggleman uses Tanner Rainey, now that he is in the bullpen, ostensibly in the role of Dylan Floro, who was traded to the Dodgers Wednesday. Rainey has a 1.57 ERA in 28.2 innings at Louisville, but has not been as effective in a couple of brief stints with the Reds: nine earned runs and nine walks allowed in six relief innings.
|SS Jose Peraza||CF Albert Almora Jr.|
|2B Scooter Gennett||RF Jason Heyward|
|1B Joey Votto||3B Javier Baez|
|3B Eugenio Suarez||1B Anthony Rizzo|
|LF Adam Duvall||2B Ben Zobrist|
|RF Scott Schebler||LF Kyle Schwarber|
|C Curt Casali||C Willson Contreras|
|P Tyler Mahle||SS Addison Russell|
|CF Billy Hamilton||P Mike Montgomery|
News and Notes
Has Robert Stephenson finally found his groove?
Using his fastball and slider effectively, #Reds right-hander Robert Stephenson (@robsteev44) came through with a career-best 12 strikeouts in six scoreless innings for @LouisvilleBats. https://t.co/jUdpH1TCBQ pic.twitter.com/vxSg1mXh00
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) July 6, 2018
Clearly Hunter Greene is finding his …
Congrats to Dragons starting pitcher @HunterGreene17 on being named @Reds MiLB Pitcher of the Month! His stats during the month of June: 5 GS, 2-3, 2.33 ERA, 27.0 IP, 31 K/5 BB pic.twitter.com/R0ERbpBvKq
— Dayton Dragons (@DragonsBaseball) July 5, 2018
One of the pitchers acquired in the Dylan Floro trade …
New Dragons pitcher Aneurys Zabala just threw a pitch at 101 mph, tying the Fifth Third Field record set by Aroldis Chapman and Hunter Greene. But Zabala allowed 2 runs in the inning as Lake County has taken a 5-3 lead, mid 5th.
— Dayton Dragons (@DragonsBaseball) July 6, 2018
TERRIFIC story on Johnny Bench in this week’s Sports Illustrated. Much about him that probably even long-time die-hard Reds fans don’t know …
— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) July 5, 2018
Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.