It is matinee time this afternoon as the Reds look to salvage a split in this 2 game series with the Tigers prior to moving on to DC where they will face the Nationals in a 4 game set. Today’s game time is 1:10pm Eastern. Recall that FoxSports Ohio has wall to wall Reds this year; so, video of this game will be available via all the normal outlets.
This afternoon’s game will feature a battle of right handers, Sal Romano for the Reds and Mike Fiers for the Tigers. How often does an MLB game feature starters who were respectively a 23rd round draft choice (Romano; 2011) and 22nd round draft choice (Fiers; 2009)? Probably not very often but that’s what we’ve got today.
Not that long ago Sal Romano appeared to be losing hold of his starting rotation spot. However in his ERA of 4.70 in his seven most recent appearances is 0.75 better than his ERA over his last 15 appearances which at least which looks like progress. This level of performance is not likely enough for Romano to hold a rotation spot indefinitely; but, it has bought him some time to keep on moving in a positive direction.Ã‚Â The knock on Romano as a starter has been that he lacks an effective third pitch to go with his fastball and slider. In his recent run of better results, Romano seems to have learned to more effectively use various grips combined with subtle speed differences to make his fastball essentially a third and even fourth pitch. Hopefully he will have this deception effectively working for him this afternoon.
Right up until the trade deadline Tuesday there was doubt that Mike Fiers would be making this start today as he featured prominently in several trade rumors. However when the rumors cleared, Fiers was not traded and is set to take the mound for the Tigers today.Ã‚Â In 20 starts to date in 2018 the 33 year old Fiers has an ERA over half a run better than his career mark complied in 161 MLB appearances (143 starts). He has been very effective in his last 7 starts, postingÃ‚Â a 2.64 ERA. Fiers mixes his 4 seam fastball, cut fastball and sinker for about 65% of his pitches and throws a curve and change upÃ‚Â in roughly equal portions to round out his offerings. The various fastballs work in the high 80’s MPH range, the change in the lower 80’s and curve all the way down around 70MPH.
Pitching numbers for 2018
Fiers numbers are pretty much those of a career journeyman starter yet he was featured in multiple trade deadline rumors (think your Matt Harvey related thoughts here).
For the second straight day, there is really nothing much to report here! The Reds pen wasn’t used at all. The Tigers closer threw an inningÃ‚Â and was nicked for a run; but. no doubt he will be available for an inningÃ‚Â if called upon.
|Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â REDS
SP:Ã‚Â Sal Romano
|Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â TIGERS
SP:Ã‚Â Mike Fiers
|1.Ã‚Â Jose PerazaÃ‚Â (SS)
2.Ã‚Â Scooter GennettÃ‚Â (2B)
3.Ã‚Â Joey VottoÃ‚Â (1B)
4.Ã‚Â Eugenio SuarezÃ‚Â (3B)
5.Ã‚Â Mason WilliamsÃ‚Â (RF)
6.Ã‚Â Phillip ErvinÃ‚Â (LF)
7.Ã‚Â Preston TuckerÃ‚Â (DH)
8.Ã‚Â Curt CasaliÃ‚Â (C)
9.Ã‚Â Billy HamiltonÃ‚Â (CF)
|1.Ã‚Â JaCoby JonesÃ‚Â (CF)
2.Ã‚Â Nicholas CastellanosÃ‚Â (RF)
3.Ã‚Â Niko GoodrumÃ‚Â (2B)
4.Ã‚Â Victor MartinezÃ‚Â (DH)
5.Ã‚Â Jeimer CandelarioÃ‚Â (3B)
6.Ã‚Â John HicksÃ‚Â (C)
7.Ã‚Â Jim AdduciÃ‚Â (1B)
8.Ã‚Â Jose IglesiasÃ‚Â (SS)
9.Ã‚Â Victor ReyesÃ‚Â (LF)
This could be a big start for both Mason Williams and Preston Tucker. Both are LH hitters as is Scott Schebler; and, thus one of them is likely headed back to Louisville when Schebler returns from rehab.
News and Notes
Hopefully Scott Schebler is close to returning and more Reds minor league action from yesterday
Cincinnati #Reds Minor League Game Review: 7/31/18
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) August 1, 2018
Dick Williams talking about Robert Stephenson
Dick Williams on Robert Stephenson
Dick Williams on how the Matt Harvey news impacts Robert Stephenson. https://t.co/ycHhs619x7
— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) August 1, 2018
Last night’s game was an old time pitchers’ dual, the type of game we seldom see anymore. ItÃ‚Â also featured the rarity of a complete game loss pitching effort. Guess what? The empty feeling of being a fan of the losing side didn’t feel any better to me than it did years ago when games like these seemed to be much more common.
The Reds bungled a couple of early scoring chances then didn’t get another one until the end and came up a run short.Ã‚Â Aside from a bolt from the blue solo home run, the Tigers didn’t even have a real scoring chance until their last at bat when they managed to plate the additional run which turned out to be the game winner. In such situations every little thing which might have made a difference seems to end up under our microscopes.
Phillip Ervin, the guy I hoped to seeÃ‚Â play more, was involved in three of the biggest moments of the game. Only one of these went the Reds way, his 9th inning triple and following run scored. Earlier Ervin clearly made a gaffe running the bases which cost the Reds a run.Ã‚Â Then on the Tigers late run, he didn’t make a perfect play but didn’t really make a misplay as originally called out by the Reds TV team; and besides, the run was going score regardless. What I’m taking forward is that Ervin had 2 extra base hits, scored the Reds only run, and hopefully learned a rookie lesson or two for next time and the times thereafter.Ã‚Â GO REDS!