We’re all still wondering: Just how legitimate is the Reds’ recent hot streak?

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.

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.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Tyler Mahle 91.2 3.83 4.04 23.5% 9.9%
Mike Montgomery 66 3.55 4.24 16.4% 8.0%

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.

Bullpen

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.

Starting Lineups

Reds Cubs
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?

Clearly Hunter Greene is finding his …

One of the pitchers acquired in the Dylan Floro trade …

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 …

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.

Join the conversation! 48 Comments

  1. Is Barnhart hurt? Why is he apparently “sharing” time with Casali recently?

    Reply
    • Probably just trying to keep the C positoin fresh. what with recent stretch of warm weather.

      Reply
  2. At this point in his career, I feel more comfortable with batting Peraza seven or eight depending on whether the pitcher is batting eighth or ninth.

    Not only is there less pressure there, I think it would do him good to learn how to bat when he’s being pitched around.

    Reply
    • His stats last seven days are leadoff worthy though. He’s also 10th in NL in hits and 5th in singles. He also has 20 BB’s so far. Last year’s total? 20.

      Reply
      • Thank you for the info

        I wasn’t aware his walk rate had improved so much. I guess I was so pleasantly surprised that he was getting a walk that I hadn’t bothered to count them. If he can keep that up he will be a fine lead off hitter.

        Reply
  3. Love me some Jared Hughes. What a personality.
    Let’s go for 5 straight vs the baby bears!

    Reply
  4. It seems inevitable that Bob Steve is going to be given another shot in the rotation this season. He’s got a million dollar arm, but if reports are to be believed, he’s also got a 2 cent head. For a young player, you would hope they would be more open to instruction, but if the results are there, then let him take another shot at MLB hitters and see if it goes better this time around. If he can succeed, then I guess it doesn’t really matter if he’ll listen to the coaches.

    Reply
  5. Love batting Gennett, Votto, and Suarez in the 2, 3, and 4 slots. Change the order if you want but keep all three in the top four.

    Reply
  6. Marty and Jeff say the wind is blowing way in, or Suarez would have gone yard there.

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  7. Alright, bases loaded, no outs. Don’t go for the fences, play a hooded 3 iron and aim for the walls.

    Reply
  8. got 2 but the GIDP really put a damper on things.

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  9. Perza 1st, Hamilton on 3rd. Should send Peraza right NOW.

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  10. Interesting article about JB, #5.

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  11. Mahle rolling pretty well… let’s get another run back and keep this train moving.

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  12. Big inning here…..3,4,5.

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  13. Mahle into the 7th on the 3rd time through… what awaits?

    Reply
  14. I’ve been busy doing chores and I understand I have missed some great defense of players from both sides.

    Or was it just a hyperbole from my 14yo

    Reply
    • No hyperbole… per the radio, everybody brought their leather. Especially Heyward on a diving catch that saved two runs.

      Reply
    • Heyward was impressive. Billy was Billy. Scooter is doing his part today as well.

      Reply
      • Are you able to be watching? From the radio, Scooter seems to be diving all over and missing… are they good attempts or limited range?

        Reply
        • I am watching and there is some limited range, but I’m also seeing aggressive, good attempts at playing the position. To my eyes, the biggest pending issue is a tired arm.

          Reply
  15. 6.2 innings is now Mahle’s longest start of the season.

    Reply
  16. Scary things happen when they bring Lorenzen with runners on. Hold your breath.

    Reply
  17. Lorenzen hits or herrera PH, either way I’m happy.

    Reply
  18. Are they still throwing Baez fastballs??? Maybe one day someone will read a scouting report.
    1-2 count, Casali set up outside off the plate, and the pitch went to the inner half

    Reply
  19. Raisel coming in for a 5 out save? I dig it. Go get those Cubbies.

    Reply
  20. Who knew Billy could hit right-handed?

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  21. Billy OB x 4

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  22. I hope that our leadoff hitter is bunting for a hit and not a sacrifice

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  23. Not again…Jose trying to bunt Billy to 2nd.

    Reply
  24. Votto is taking too many good pitches again, then he goes into defensive mode with 2 strikes

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  25. But I’m definitely keeping my trade scooter Logo

    Reply
  26. High drama, but Iggy slams the door

    Reply
  27. Anyone else notice that Iggy doesn’t throw gas anymore?

    Reply

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About Tom Mitsoff

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.

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2018 Reds, Game Thread

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