The Reds (52-69) will look to end the four-game losing streak as they start a weekend series with the San Francisco Giants (61-61) tonight at Great American Ball Park. First pitch is at 7:10 ET.
The Giants come to town trying to stay in the NL West race at 5.5 games back of first place. San Francisco is 5-5 in the last 10, and is desperate for wins to keep pace with the three teams ahead of them. With a .699 team OPS, the Giants are near the bottom of the National League in batting, but are middle of the pack in pitching with a team ERA of 3.94.
The Reds faced the Giants in May, and had just come off a four game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers only to promptly lose two of three at AT&T Park.
**Kelly’s above stats are from Triple-A Sacramento.
Anthony DeSclafani by far has been the best starting pitcher for the Reds the last two times through the rotation. In each of his last two starts, he’s gone seven innings. He’s allowed just one run in those two starts and has struck out 11 (nine in his last start vs. Arizona) while walking only one. He’s looked like the pitcher he was in 2016, before the injuries.
If there’s a negative to his season, it’s that he’s been a victim of the home run ball. DeSclafani has given up 15 home runs this season in only 66.2 innings. For comparison, in 2016, he gave up 16 in 123.1 innings. However, he has surrendered exactly zero home runs in his last two starts against the Diamondbacks and the Nationals, so maybe he’s improving in that category.
DeSclafani has faced Andrew McCutchen the most, from McCutchen’s days with the Pirates. He’s handled McCutchen fairly well. Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence both have home runs off DeSclafani.
Dereck Rodriguez was supposed to start for the Giants, but went on the disabled list yesterday with a hamstring strain supposedly suffered in the altercation with the Dodgers Tuesday night. Instead, rookie Casey Kelly will be starting. Kelly will be making his second start for the Giants after being called up to pitch against the Pirates last Saturday. Kelly also just pitched 1.1 innings out of the bullpen Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
In his very short time with the Giants, Kelly has given up four hits and one run in 6.1 innings. At Triple-A Sacramento this season, he has both an ERA and a FIP nearing five. He’s very much a fly ball pitcher, with his FB% being 38%, but he didn’t give up a crazy number of home runs at Triple-A (18 in 130 innings).
He’s a 28-year-old journeyman who was drafted out of high school by the Red Sox at the end of the first round of the 2008 draft. Kelly has four main pitches–fastball, curveball, change up, and slider–but throws his fastball almost 50 percent of the time. His velocity tops out in the low 90s for his fastball and the high 80s for his breaking stuff.
The only Red who has faced Kelly is Eugenio Suarez, and he is 0-for-1 against him.
With an off day for both teams yesterday, both bullpens should be fully rested. Cody Reed would be the only pitcher who might not be available since he pitched 3.2 innings Wednesday.
The Reds lineup was posted early today. You can find the Giants lineup here.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 17, 2018
-Billy Hamilton leads off for the first time in a long time, Scooter Gennett moves to the three spot, Tucker Barnhart is playing first base (?!), and Phillip Ervin is not in the lineup again. I think that about covers it.
News and Notes
-This is not the news you want to hear today. It is entirely Ryan Madson’s fault.
The #Reds have placed 1B Joey Votto on the 10-day DL with a right lower leg contusion. Votto was hit by a Ryan Madson pitch on August 4 at Washington.
OF Aristides Aquino has been recalled from Double-A Pensacola. He will be making his ML debut when he first enters a game. pic.twitter.com/GmDf9178mA
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 17, 2018
-The Giants starting pitcher Casey Kelly is the son of Reds bench coach Pat Kelly.
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) August 17, 2018
-Ken Rosenthal posted a very good Q&A with Dusty Baker on The Athletic this morning.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 17, 2018
-I wrote about Phillip Ervin and why the Reds should be giving him more playing time.
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) August 17, 2018