The task is simple tonight for the Reds. They must put Monday’s meltdown behind them and  post a win in game 2 of the current series with the Indians to have any hope of taking the 2018 Ohio Cup away from them. What more incentive could the Reds need?Game time  is 7:10pm Eastern at GABP

Starting Pitchers

Righthander Sal Romano gets the start for the Reds. Righty Corey Kluber,  the reigning AL Cy Young award winner, will start  for the Indians. Romano  started game 2 of the previous 2018 series between these two teams. In that game, after being roughed up for 4 runs in the first 2 innings, Romano settled in to blank the Indians for the remainder of a 7.1 inning stint. The Reds eventually  cashed in with 7 runs in the  ninth inning to steal a memorable 7-4 victory from the Indians. Kluber did not appear in that series.

Sal Romano has pitched well since the the All Star break, compiling an ERA of 3.69 over that period. His turnaround has been fueled by reducing walks and doing a better job of limiting home runs.  He is attacking batters by effectively mixing his variety of fastball types at varying speeds and locations to compensate for a lack of a true “third pitch” in his arsenal.

In the last 4 seasons Corey Kluber has won the AL Cy Young award twice and finished third on another occasion. This said, Kluber has not consistently been at his best over  the last 6 weeks. Nevertheless, in 4 starts since the All Star break he has pitched to an outstanding 2.63 ERA mixing very ordinary and very strong starts, including a complete game shutout on August 4th. The bad news for the Reds is that Kluber is due for a strong effort tonight if he continues his recent pattern. Kluber throws a cut fastball or sinker in roughly equal proportions on a around 63% of his pitches, the cutter at a bit over 90MPH with the sinker a tad under 90. He augments these pitches with an mid 80’s slider (20%), a change up (~7%) at about the same speed and a 4 seam fastball in the low 90s.

2018 Comparative Statistics

PITCHER FIP IP/ Start HR/9 BB% K%
Sal Romano 5.15 5.1 1.55 8.4% 16.3%
Corey Kluber 3.36 6.7 1.17 3.2% 24.7%

Oh to have a couple of pitchers even with a league average BB rate and Kluber’s K rate (or vice versa) let alone one with both!

Bullpens

Three lefthanders worked out of the pen for the Reds Monday covering a total of 2.2 innings. Wandy Peralta threw 26 pitches in an inning of work and figures to not be available tonight.  Amir Garret threw 16 pitches in a rough 0.2 innings of work and is likely on short stint availability at best.  Just recalled Cody Reed threw a clean inning of work and presumably could work a similar stint tonight.

Cleveland used 4 relievers for an inning each on Monday. Righties Dan Otero (22 pitches) and Neil Ramírez (19 pitches) would figure to be on short availability tonight. Bullpen mainstay lefty Andrew Miller threw 15 pitches and could also be limited especially given this was just his fifth appearance after missing 2+ months with a knee injury.

Lineups

            INDIANS            REDS
1. Francisco Lindor (SS)
2. Michael Brantley (LF)
3. Jose Ramirez (3B)
4. Yonder Alonso (1B)
5. Melky Cabrera (RF)
6. Jason Kipnis (2B)
7. Yan Gomes (C)
8. Greg Allen (CF)
9. Corey Kluber (P)
1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Tucker Barnhart (C)
6. Mason Williams (RF)
7. Preston Tucker (LF)
8. Sal Romano (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

So I guess either Phillip Ervin may be a little sore from his brush with the right field fence last night or the vaunted outfield rotation has returned.

News and Notes

Some guy named Chad Dotson recently wrote this for Cincinnati Magazine

Doug is no longer taking new questions;  but, I’m sure you’ll find some good answers here

Nice to know I’m not the only one wondering why Phillip Ervin isn’t an automatic in the daily lineup (as of yesterday he was leading the team in wRC+ (161) since the ASB).

Final Thoughts

Homer Bailey’s bottom line for Monday looked pretty nasty when all was said and done. However, behind those numbers were a couple of breakdowns by other Reds players which ended up impacting Bailey’s bottom line.

First came the textbook double play ball booted by Jose Peraza in the fourth inning. Bailey was up to the task of escaping that ensuing mess unscathed; but, it cost him ~15 high leverage pitches. The mental and physical energy consumed by those pitches just might have made a difference in what turned out to be the fateful sixth inning.  In that sixth inning Bailey left with 1 out and the the score still just 3-2  in favor of the Indians but with 2 runners “charged” to him on base, 1 of whom was put there by an IBB actually ordered as Bailey was walking to the dugout. Enter Amir Garrett who promptly allowed Bailey’s 2 runners to score soon followed by a 4 more of his own. Game over.

It is often said that baseball is a game of individual accomplishment played for a team result. Regardless, an individual’s record is often shaded by the efforts of others, sometimes to the good, other times to the bad.  GO REDS!


Stats and data courtesy of Fangraphs, and MLB.com

 

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Twitter: @jn_walkerjr

Join the conversation! 44 Comments

  1. That was a great article on Ownership Meddling by Chad Dotson. It is the numero uno problemo.
    Tough contest against Kluber.
    Holy crap. An outfield of Tucker, Hamilton and Williams with Peraza at SS. Kluber’s eyes lit up like Michael Jackson’s Pepsi hair.

    • And even if Ervin played and took a sombrero tonight, he’s seemed like the kind of guy that actually learns and adjusts from his plate experiences. 3 or 4 PAs against a Kluber could teach a guy like that a lot.

  2. Sure Ervin is 20 for 56 since July but grab some bench anyway. I boycott tonite in protest.

  3. Really unhappy about Ervin sitting (I see I’m not alone). With Schebler and Winker out and Duvall traded, he should play every day. Period.

    • Just have to say that this is another thing that bugs me about old-school Rig. Ervin and Herrera need to play, even if it’s against a tough righty. I seriously doubt that Tucker or Williams will be on next year’s team. Or at least I hope not.

      • Never know, there could be FO meddling in Tucker getting PT since he came in the Duvall trade and the other two, who may ironically have futures with the Reds, are both at AAA.

  4. Maybe someone in the Reds management team is down on Ervin, for reasons we don’t know.

    This is the second manager that refuses to play Ervin daily, and he is producing much better this time around.

    August 17, 2017 – Ervin goes 3 for 5, 2B, HR in wild 13-10 win at Cubs.
    Price does not start him again until August 30.

    Just bizarre to see it being repeated.

    Go Redlegs.

  5. Not sure why but Duvall is barely playing with the Braves. In a DH yesterday, he had one PH AB. As for the here and now, yes Ervin should be in the lineup but both Price and now Riggleman both do strange things.

    • Duval was not brought in to play everyday. He was brought in to platoon with Ender against left handed pitching. That is why they traded Preston because he was a lefty and they needed a right handed bat.

  6. Welp that was fast. Same time tomorrow

  7. This blows.

  8. Well I’ll be going to bed early again tonight. I would leave Romano out there until his arm falls off. No sense in burning up the bullpen.

  9. Kluber has the lowest walk rate in the AL. Why are they taking strike 3 down the middle?

  10. Williams, Gennett, and Peraza all fall asleep on the same play.

  11. Ouch. Not a good day at the office for Big Sal.

  12. To bad Reed pitched last night. He could come in and pitch the rest of the way.

  13. Romano gave up more runs than he got outs.

  14. Oops the big guy got hammered.File it and move on.

  15. Lorezen needs bigger shirt sleeves.

  16. What’s Sal’s excuse?

  17. Kluber just walked Billy on 4 straight.He has to be bored.

  18. Collectively, the Reds SP sorting isn’t building a winning formula.

    Only a few Reds teams in revent histiry had 3-4 starters at 10+ losses and no 10 game winners. The 2003 team had no 10 game winners but Paul Wilson.danny graves and the immortal.jimmy Haynes had 10/12/ and 15 losses.The 1982 team had (5) 10 game losers in a different era but they also had Soto and Seaver and 200 inning guys

    Starting pitching has zero traction heading into 2019 and no Ace/ leader/ consistent winner capable of reliably winning 12-15 games.

    • Your last paragraph says it all and nothing will change from now to opening day unless Bob C. agrees to spend money on starting pitching because the Reds have nobody of real value to trade except Iglesias.

    • It’s really hard to see the sun on the horizon when the horizon is Mt Everest.

      This office can’t be relied on to fit all the pieces together. It comes in waves of a pitching and defense focused team, or an offensively focused team. That perfect mix of pitching, hitting, and defense eludes this front office.

      I’m not saying you have to be great in all aspects of the game, just good in all or a mix of great and adequate.

      • The way team is currently comprised, I think an argument can be made that the Reds should go “mini-Rockies”…try to win 7-5, shrug when a Kluber/deGrom shuts them down.

        Spend whatever $ available on upgrading offense, adding maybe a no 4/no 5 level SP, and hope Castillo/Mahle/others in system become decent.

        Between just GABP/Milwaukee/Cubs, that’s 100 games in very friendly HR parks.

        But…that would mean ditching Hamilton, moving Peraza to bench and getting real hitters at both spots.

        And, ditching Mr Bunt as the manager.

        Feels too “radical” for ownership, however.

        • No doubt.Look at the Brewers.

        • I think that falls under the “great and adequate category”. Right now, sp is not an adequate area for this team, nor is offense great. I think getting one or two middle of the road starting pitchers is good along with adding another offensive weapon.

        • Sliotar, your suggestion may be right for the way the team is currently comprised.
          Problem with that is if the Reds ever get to the playoffs, almost every starting pitcher against them will be a “Kluber/deGrom” guy.
          As you said yesterday, the Reds have to get better players to win more games.
          In spite of claims to have a “winning culture” the Reds first have to get closer to a .500 record.

      • Well said and great points.Hope they read your post.

  19. Kind of ironic that Williams and Tucker have been on base 3 times in 4 trips to the plate.while the rest of the team is well you know.Throw in Ervin and these guys have held their own since being given a chance.Small sample size but no reason not to give these guys some time especially Ervin who should be out there every day in my opinion and Herrera should also.

  20. Can’t and won’t take anything away from Kluber but we should be able to square up 90/91 sinkers and 87 curves.Joey looking lost against him.

    • Something wrong with Votto. His leg is probably keeping him from a full hip turn swing with power. He swings like Peraza, all arms and shoulders.
      Last few games he missed several pitches that he used to hit or foul off, but instead struck out. I think his coordination is showing its age.

  21. Suarez at short and Herrera at 3rd. Riggleman has gone crazy. Who would have thought to do that!

    • Its for two innings only on a hot night in August but its progress.Way to manage Riggs you sly dog.Just when you just about give up on the guy he does that.WOW

    • Riggs has apparently been touched by the idea of flexibility for the Reds.

  22. I knew runs would be at a premium tonight against Kluber. I just didn’t know they would be imaginary too.
    4-10 in last 14 games after this one. And Big Bob loves him some Riggleman.
    Feel bad for Big Sal. Just what he didn’t need.

  23. Lorenzen deserves a mention for pitching as long as he did. He was clearly tiring, but kept battling.

    Beyond that, I really am struggling to see any positives. Happy Milton day.

    • Yep,me too.Enough of my negativity for tonight,So I leave with a we will get em tomorrow shout out.

  24. One more thing please.Hughes and Hernandez were great signings.They have been great.

    • Yes, H. and H. have been outstanding for the last place Reds and they were prime candidates to be moved at the trade deadline and nothing happened as usual after so much anticipation.

  25. Milton should have been given some time in the pre-game writeup with Kluber pitching.

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