Three-and-a-half months ago when these teams met, they were both in rough shape despite the hope that their respective rebuilding years were nearly over. The Reds (45-57), of course, were in the midst of their early-season meltdown that eventually led to a 3-18 start. The Phillies (57-44) were off to a 3-5 start that had fans calling for new manager Gabe Kapler’s job. The series was rather one-sided, as Philadelphia completed the sweep and has had a winning record ever since. While the Reds don’t have a winning record (yet!), they’re certainly in much better shape than they were back in early April.

After getting swept by the Pirates to begin the second half, the Redlegs recaptured some momentum by taking two of three from the Cardinals to begin the week. Now sitting within six games of fourth place in the NL Central, they’ll hope to avenge a sweep at the hands of the Phillies starting at 7:10 p.m. ET this evening.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Ranger Suarez
Tyler Mahle 106.1 4.32 4.35 21.6% 9.9%

RED ALERT: Another pitcher is making his big-league debut in Cincinnati tonight. Facing their third such pitcher in the last four games, the Reds are hoping just to get a hit tonight against Ranger Suarez after putting up a goose egg against the Cardinals’ Daniel Poncedeleon and Austin Gomber on Monday and Tuesday.

Suarez is the Phillies’ ninth-rated prospect by MLB Pipeline and has only 15.2 innings of experience at the Triple-A level under his belt. The 22-year-old southpaw started the year in Double-A, posting a 2.76 ERA in 75 innings before he was promoted. He made only three starts at the next level and gave up just one run before he was promoted again, this time to The Show. It’ll likely be a short stay for the rookie, as the Phillies only need another starter due to a doubleheader on Sunday. Bizarrely, Suarez will be the first lefty to start a game for the Phillies since September 28, 2016.

Scouting report: Suarez is a sinker-ball pitcher, mixing in a slider, curveball, and changeup. He’s demonstrated solid control throughout his minor-league career, owning a minuscule 5.5% walk rate. After an significant uptick in strikeouts last season (26.4 K%) sent him racing up top prospect lists, he hasn’t been able to fan hitters with the same regularity in the upper levels of the minors (18.3%) this year. The Reds should have the upper hand in this pitching matchup, but given how Monday and Tuesday went, it’s safe not to make any assumptions.


As impressive as Tyler Mahle’s June was, his July has been almost the polar opposite. After a solid start to the month when he tossed a career-best 6.2 innings, his last two outings have been ugly (11 ER in 8 IP), raising his season ERA to 4.32. Since his brilliant 12-strikeout performance on June 30, the rookie has struggled to miss bats with the same frequency, punching out just eight hitters in his last 14.2 innings. His control has been unusually shaky in his last two trips to the mound as well, with five walks in that time. These are the ebbs and flows most pitchers go through in their first full year in the big leagues, and Mahle is no exception. Let’s see if he can recapture his June form tonight.

Lineups

Phillies

1. Cesar Hernandez (2B)
2. Rhys Hoskins (LF)
3. Odubel Herrera (CF)
4. Carlos Santana (1B)
5. Maikel Franco (3B)
6. Nick Williams (RF)
7. Scott Kingery (SS)
8. Jorge Alfaro (C)
9. Ranger Suarez (P)

Reds

1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Scooter Gennett (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Adam Duvall (LF)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Phillip Ervin (RF)
8. Tyler Mahle (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

News, Notes, & Pre-Game Reading

The disappointing news of the day: Jesse Winker is done for the season.

Mason Williams, a former top prospect in the Yankees organization, was promoted to take Winker’s place on the roster.

Jonathan India has been promoted from one rookie level to another:

A Scott Schebler update:

Stat of the Day

Entering Thursday’s games, Eugenio Suarez leads ALL qualified hitters in hard-contact rate (as measured by FanGraphs) at 52.2%. His soft-contact rate of 9.0% is bested only by Joey Votto and Matt Carpenter (both 8.7%).

65 Responses

  1. Matt Wilkes

    Sorry for the late game thread tonight, everyone. Got caught up at work unexpectedly. Go Reds!

  2. vegastypo

    Wow, Hoskins is still in Home Run Derby mode, and he’s in just the place to do it.

  3. CI3J

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one: The Reds are already losing in the top of the 1st.

  4. docproctor

    This half inning is taking forever.
    And there goes a 2-run HR.

  5. roger garrett

    Mahle has 1 out and 22 pitches with 20 of them being fastballs.I know he throws a lot of them but so does every team he will face.The Phils are young for the most part and all major leaguers can hit fastballs.

  6. Indy Red Man

    I like Mahle, but he needs to get DL’d for something? Shoulder soreness or something. He doesn’t need to throw more at AAA. Aren’t some of these young guys on innings limits anyway? You just came out firing straight as an arrow 92 mph fastballs one after another in mlb? DL him for some rest and call-up BobSteve. Lorenzen replaces Harvey.

    • Bill

      I don’t think anyone is on an innings limit. Especially with the majority of them only going 5 innings or less in a start

  7. roger garrett

    Fastball,fastball,fastball fastball BOOM.Fastball,fastball.fastball BOOM.Tucker please drop down another finger just for fun.

  8. docproctor

    45 pitches and 25 minutes. Thought that half inning would NEVER end.

  9. Indy Red Man

    Joey’s last 30 days:

    .195 with 1 hr. Slugging % of .293. I really hope he’s not Adrian Gonzalez II

    Eugenio….money!!! Put in Lorenzen and win this game 8-5

  10. WVRedlegs

    That should cement Mahle’s ticket to Louisville. No sense keeping Stephenson there with Mahle pitching like this. Mahle definitely has work to do.
    Geno Suarez for MVP. WOW.

  11. Sliotar

    Welcome to Coors on the River, Rookie Pitcher.

    Did Indy bet the over on the first 4 1/2 innings tonight?

    • Indy Red Man

      No I didn’t:( Thought Mahle would rebound for some reason. I’ve been riding Oakland so I took them Over 5.5 vs Big Sexy Colon tonite.

  12. roger garrett

    Eugenio hits the cripple out.As Indy said he is money.

  13. liptonian

    Pulled after a bloop single to the first batter in the 2nd inning of a 3-2 game? I mean he wasn’t having a great game but how does this make him better for the future? This, to me, barring an injury is ridiculous. Riggleman is managing for himself and not for the future of the team.

  14. Sliotar

    Vegas,

    To your point on the other thread, jerking the pitcher out at this point is totally managing to get the job full time.

    That “hit” surely looked it would have been an out, with a better effort from Duvall.

    Does winning this game overrule the opportunity cost of giving TM a shot to work out his problems? TM has to step forward, along with other SPs, to get this team into playoff worthiness, next year, 2020, whenever.

    When we get to year end, what will have been “sorted”, with overreactions like this?

    • vegastypo

      I’m going to guess that they suspect an injury or something. Riggleman let Romano pitch through trouble in Cleveland, I think it was, and he did pretty well. There has to be more to this hook now than we know.

      Although, I do think Riggleman thinks he’s a candidate to remain as manager.

      • vegastypo

        Although, looking at it a different way, maybe Riggleman thinks he’s auditioning for other managerial jobs, so every win counts. He still likely has some stigma from bolting on the Nationals like he did.

      • old-school

        I was at the game and right behind the dugout. Darwin’s body language in the first inning was telling when he went to the mound. They pulled him in the 2nd after one batter on a blooper.
        Mahle just throws everything at 90-94. maybe he has arm fatigue. IDK- but the Reds know something that suggests he might not be pitching every 5th/6th day. Lorenzen had better mound presence and he gave quality at bats, but the Phillies young hitters – WOW- the ball just explodes of their bats. The Phillies young lefty also was around the zone all night. The Reds need a lefty starter- #1 priority.

  15. Indy Red Man

    Take some notes Mahle and big Sal. Lorenzen threw about 4 fastballs that inning.

  16. Indy Red Man

    1-2 pitch right down broadway? Our guys give opponents wayyyyy too many cookies when ahead in the count! The pressure is on the hitter!

  17. roger garrett

    The Phils have a small park and built there team around power guys.We just don’t have that right now but someday I think we will.

    • Indy Red Man

      You and I have said it a million times. Can’t have 3 guys in the lineup with no power plus the pitcher. Tucker might hit 12 in a good year, but thats less then 30 HRs from 3 regulars that play in a bandbox half the time.

  18. roger garrett

    I think the real issue for baseball people is that the three positions they believe in defense first is exactly where the 3 guys with no power play on the Reds.It always will be a good discussion but its only valid to me in a ball park that plays fair and ours doesn’t.Wall scraping first row homers are the norm and have been for years.You know our pitchers will give up some of those so we have to match them with some of our own and we don’t.

  19. roger garrett

    I wouldn’t pitch to Suarez either and that’s why he needs to move up to the 3 hole and put Scooter in the 4 hole.

    • roger garrett

      He goes deep in back to back games.Way to step up.

    • Matthew

      Lorenzen gives the lead right to back to them though.

  20. roger garrett

    Joey is in bad place right now.Bat never left his shoulder.

  21. Indy Red Man

    There’s a gabp shot from Tucker! We can prob take him off the list. If he hits 10-12 then thats fine. Its nice to have a big guy for a backup that can run into one too. Billy/Jose though? If you can’t go yard then be a pest and get on base alot. Billy no…never. Jose? He has improved….we’ll see, but we have Senzel and India coming after him!

  22. vegastypo

    Gotta be the top team in the majors in letting a team score right after we tied the game or took the lead. Gotta be.

  23. Sliotar

    12 hits in game…6 HRs.

    Halfway through the game.

    • CI3J

      I believe if this keeps up, this is what would be referred to as a “slugfest”.

  24. Indy Red Man

    First 2 hrs allowed for Lorenzen. A little lazy on a couple of fastballs but he hasn’t been throwing 60 pitches? I still think he’s about as good as we have currently.

    • vegastypo

      Well, for his sake, I’m glad the Phillies’ third base coach sent that runner.

      • Indy Red Man

        That was Kingery. He’s pretty fast. He must’ve got no lead off first?

  25. Sliotar

    Votto may be carrying a knock and hidiing it….and for sure, still much better than most guys in MLB,

    but, ….boy, tonight he is looking and acting like a guy turning 35 in September. Not the same old Votto.

    • Indy Red Man

      I think he needs more rest! Probably more mental then anything? He doesn’t have the adrenaline of a playoff rush to help him either.

    • roger garrett

      He still can get hit and walk but his power has just went and I mean just went.He smoked a ball in the All Star game because he turned on it but for the longest time he is just trying to inside out everything and go to left field.

  26. vegastypo

    I’m feeling very left out tonight. I haven’t hit a home run against Reds pitching, and everybody else is making it look easy.

    • Sliotar

      LOL.

      What do the fans still left in the ballpark tonight get when the Reds give up 11 HRs?

    • Seat101

      Lay off the high balls and lay off highballs

      That’s been my secret to success

  27. Indy Red Man

    Had enough. I’ve never been a Brice fan. He just has 1 pitch and it might get a groundball and it might go 420 feet. This whole organization needs to work on their ideas for developing pitching.

    • roger garrett

      Better learn to keep it down because anything up gets lifted and it goes in this park.Hard to keep it in and that’s what makes it even harder to get a free agent pitcher.

  28. roger garrett

    Crocket may have to take one for the team right here.This is a bad match up for him against these guys,Hope for the best.

  29. Matthew

    The Cubs are likely going to land Hamels

  30. Bob Purkey

    Time to move Votto to #2 in the order, Scooter to #3 Votto has become a singles and doubles hitter, walks a lot and makes contact. Sure sounds like a #2 hitter to me!

  31. vegastypo

    A pitch that was not EVEN close, he calls strike three on Barnhart. We’re gonna lose anyway, but c’mon ump, give him a fair at-bat. You already jobbed him one earlier in the game. Sheesh. Embarrassing.

  32. Jeffery Stroupe

    Mahle needs to watch youtube videos of Bert Blyleven. Little chin music would not hurt either.