The Reds road show moves on to Cleveland tonight for the opening of a 3 game series which also begins the 2018 Ohio Cup. The Reds (39-51; 5-5 last 10) hope to reverse the bad karma of the final two games in Chicago which saw them morph a potential sweep into a series loss. The Indians (49-39; 1st place AL Central) are essentially in cruise mode already with a 9.5 game lead in their division but are looking to figure out how to navigate some injury issues over the long haul. Game time is 7:10 on FoxSports Ohio.
The game will be a battle of right handers at the start with Anthony DeSclafani going for the Reds and Mike Clevinger for the Indians.
After very impressive looking starts in his second through fourth outings since returning from the DL, Anthony DeSclafani has struggled a bit in his two most recent starts. However a deeper look at the stats via a comparison of ERA and FIP suggests that maybe Disco wasn’t quite as sharp as he seemed on the surface in those three “impressive” starts and that luck has caught up with him in the two most recent starts. Perhaps most troubling of all, to date in 2018, Disco’s HR/9 rate is double what it has been in any of his prior MLB seasons. Starting pitchers often struggle as they seek their week in week out rhythm at season’s beginning. Hopefully this is what we’ve witnessed with DeSclafani in his last two starts, and, he will pitch effectively and deeply into the game tonight.
At 27 years old Mike Clevinger, the #135 overall pick (4th round) in the 2011 draft, is in his first full season as a starter in the Cleveland rotation. In 2017, he made 21 starts in 27 appearance after being brought up to MLB in early May and compiled an overall ERA/FIP of 3.11/3.85. In 17 starts so far this season, Clevinger has compiled that same 3.11 ERA but has lowered his FIP to a nearly matching 3.19. He will walk a few guys from time to time; but, he is very stingy with allowing home runs. About 75% of the time Clevinger throws a fastball (54%) or slider (20%) both in the low to mid 90MPH range. On his other pitches he favors an 88MPH change up (~15%) over his 76MPH curve (~10%).
Comparative 2018 stats for tonight’s starters:
The Reds pen was very used and at times abused (much of it self inflicted) in Chicago. It is a pretty safe bet that Michael Lorenzen who threw 40+ pitches Sunday won’t pitch again before Wednesday. Jared Hughes has worked an inning on consecutive days. David Hernandez has worked 1.2 innings in the last 2 days. Jackson Stephens threw 20 pitches in the process of walking in the
winning losing run on Sunday. It looks like tonight the bullpen for the Reds is Garrett, Iglesias and whoever else is currently filling out the billets.
Josh Tomlin and Zach McAllister both have worked an inning or more on consecutive days and would figure to be limited or unavailable tonight. Closer Cody Allen should be well rested if called upon.
|1. Scott Schebler (RF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Jesse Winker (DH)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Adam Duvall (LF)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
|1. Francisco Lindor (SS)
2. Michael Brantley (LF)
3. Jose Ramirez (3B)
4. Edwin Encarnacion (DH)
5. Yonder Alonso (1B)
6. Jason Kipnis (2B)
7. Yan Gomes (C)
8. Tyler Naquin (RF)
9. Greg Allen (CF)
About as expected by the Reds with a right handed pitcher going for the Indians. It would be nice to get Scooter’s shoulder some rest by using him as DH; but, with BHam on a hot streak I didn’t really expect him to sit out; so, that’s that.
News and Notes
OK, if you are looking for a Reds minutia/ trivia question here’s your answer
Fun Fact: In the 10th inning of yesterday’s 6-5 loss at Cubs, Billy Hamilton was credited with his first career appearance in right field after LF Adam Duvall moved to the infield and RF Scott Schebler moved to Duvall’s vacated position.
— Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) July 9, 2018
Abracadabra presto changeo (yes, I’m very skeptical about this really coming to pass)
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) July 9, 2018
And just in case you missed this good news about the Reds
— OhioJimWalker (@jn_walkerjr) July 9, 2018
And hopefully there many guys on this list who will become multiple year All Stars
— Jason Linden (@JasonLinden) July 9, 2018
It has been a couple of tough days for the Reds and their fans as the team frittered away a game which looked already won on Saturday then crashed in drive time again on Sunday. And against the Stupid Cubs at Wrigley Field nonetheless!! However along with frustration we Reds fans should also be feeling at least a hint of encouragement. Despite how frustrating these loses feel, the Reds were in a position to win both games. For a couple months now, that’s how things have been with the Reds nearly every day; and, the team has won about half the time. That’s quite an improvement over the last several years. It is a step forward, an indication that the Reds are at the part of process where the task is to learn how to win these games. That’s really good news. GO REDS!