The Reds (59-78) wrap up the long NL Central road trip with a trip to PNC Park to take on the sinking Pittsburgh Pirates (66-71). This three-game series starts with an afternoon Labor Day game. First pitch is set for 1:35 ET.

After trading half their farm system (OK, maybe a slight exaggeration) for Chris Archer at the end of July because they thought a 10-game winning streak meant they had a chance at the playoffs, the Pirates came back to reality, winning just 10 games in August and are 0-2 to start September.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Matt Harvey 126.2 4.97 4.34 18.5% 5.7%
Trevor Williams 142.0 3.30 4.78 16.7% 8.2%

After back-to-back solid starts against the Giants and the Cubs, Matt Harvey regressed in his most recent start against the Brewers. He lasted just four innings, giving up five runs on 11 hits, including one home run. He struck out six and walked zero.

Harvey may have been average or slightly below average at best with the Reds (4.42 ERA and 4.29 FIP in 19 starts), but one thing he has done well is not allowing walks. He’s walked 31 batters total, 22 with the Reds, for a 5.7 BB% and 2.0 BB/9. Harvey’s downfall, like many Reds pitchers this season, is the home run ball. He’s given up 21 home runs total, 15 with the Reds.

Gregory Polanco has two home runs off Harvey in his career, and Josh Harrison hits .429 off him with an OPS of .967.

matt harvey vs pirates

In Trevor Williams second full season in the majors, he has been the best pitcher in the Pirates’ rotation this season, with a 3.30 ERA and a 4.22 FIP in 26 starts. In his last start against the Cardinals, he allowed zero runs and just three hits with eight strikeouts in six innings. Williams hasn’t pitched against the Reds since April 6. He gave up 10 hits through 5.1 innings in that start, but only allowed two runs.

Joey Votto has pretty much owned Williams at the plate, with seven hits in 15 plate appearances. Scooter Gennett and Scott Schebler have both hit home runs off him as well.

trevor williams vs reds


Given that Jim Riggleman pulled Anthony DeSclafani in the fourth inning yesterday, the Reds are hoping that Harvey can give them some innings this afternoon. Lucas Sims and Jared Hughes each went two innings, and Raisel Iglesias threw a lot of pitches in the tenth.

The Pirates’ bullpen might be in a little better shape, as only two pitchers came out of the pen against the Braves Sunday. Steven Brault pitched 2.1 innings, so he probably is the odd man out today.


1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Scooter Gennett (2B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Scott Schebler (RF)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Phillip Ervin (LF)
8. Blake Trahan (SS)
9. Matt Harvey (P)
1. Starling Marte (CF)
2. Adam Frazier (2B)
3. Gregory Polanco (RF)
4. Francisco Cervelli (C)
5. Corey Dickerson (LF)
6. Josh Bell (1B)
7. Colin Moran (3B)
8. Kevin Newman (SS)
9. Trevor Williams (P)

-Blake Trahan will make his first major league start today.

-Joey Votto is in the second spot of the lineup, which is good, but Billy Hamilton is still leading off.

-Gennett still leads the NL in batting average over the insanely hot-hitting Christian Yelich.

News, Notes, and Pregame Reading

Gaby Guerrero, Vladimir Guerrero’s nephew, is getting the call up from Louisville.

Pensacola will join the Daytona Tortugas as the two Reds minor league teams in the playoffs starting this week.

First round draft pick Jonathan India hit another home run last night for the Dayton Dragons. It would have been the game-winner in the top of the ninth, but the Dragons gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth to lose on a walk off.

Great read this morning from Steve Mancuso on John Fay’s column about Riggleman and his managing based on ‘The Cardinal Way.’


58 Responses

  1. Matt Hendley

    Is g. Guerrero a legit prospect or is this just a look-see?

    • Hotto4Votto

      He’s got legit power, can cover all three spots in OF, though not everyday option in CF, and has hit for solid average generally. K’s are a little high and he doesn’t walk much. That’s sort of the basics on him as I understand it.

  2. Sliotar

    Holy cow, Ashley.

    Snarking on the Pirates for trying to do something, which has very limited financial risk for them gong forward with Archer, while writing on a Reds-related blog really is something else.

    Go Redlegs.

  3. docproctor

    Thanks for working on Labor Day, Ashley!
    The last time we faced these Pirates right after the ASG, they kicked our butts and took our names. Would like to pay them back a bit.

  4. DeathTaxesAndJoeyVottoOnBase

    What does anybody know about Trahan? I’ve never heard of him before today

    • Matt Hendley

      2015 3rd ROund Draft Pick, Glove first SS, some contact, Little power, Good defense.

  5. WVRedlegs

    Glad to see Guerrero get a chance. He had a good season this year at AA and AAA. It
    was a bit odd to see the Braves come back and trade for P Tucker after only 5 weeks.
    It would be nice to see Harvey go 7 innings today.

  6. Scott Gennett

    Maybe it’s still early, but the Duvall (103/167/103 w/Atlanta) trade for Sims & Wisler looks like a steal now.

    • roger garrett

      The Reds got players the Braves decided weren’t going to pitch for them.Add them to the ones the Reds won’t or don’t want to move on from creates just a bunch more to sort.Maybe we get lucky.

      • Sliotar

        Good call, Roger.

        i heard on MLB Radio recently that the Braves have had 3 different 20-year-olds start a game for them this season….and Atlanta is likely to win the NL East.

        Duvall wasn’t going to be a factor in the Reds 2020s window, so any return is a win.

  7. roger garrett

    Big chance wasted in the first inning.

  8. Seat101

    This umpire has an inconsistent strike zone

    Ashley, I haven’t said this in a while and I should say it more often. I really love your previews.

  9. Scott Gennett

    As things stand right now, Votto will need a wheel chair to run the bases by the time his contract expires in 2024.

  10. Jack

    Trahan gets called up and gets the start. Herrera needs to walk down to Riggleman and introduce himself. There is no reason why Suarez cant play SS and Herrera 3b. Like I’ve said before , we are going to be sitting here next year and typing the same comments from the last 2 years.

    • Matt Hendley

      He is the only SS, Obviously we dont want to move Suarez over. Maybe he showed something in the minors to Prove that he will be the backup shortstop of the future, (if there is such a thing).

  11. Matt Hendley

    On the Pitching front, Ben Lively got DFA’ed today, so i guess we didn’t lose anything in the Byrd Trade. I have been scouring the web and have found a new 2B option if, scooter is traded, Senzel gets vertigo, and herrera gets ( what am i talking about, he aint playing.). The Red Soxs have called up this guy called Brandon Phillips. He is supposed to be really good. Maybe we can get him?

    • roger garrett

      Nope making trades is just to hard for the Reds.

      • Matt Hendley

        True Story, Cueto Trade Failed, Chapman Failed, Bruce, lukewarm at best, Leake worked out, Fraziers was 50/50. Latos trade 50/50. Brandon Phillips was a nuclear fallout level of terrible. The only winning trade was the Simon trade. And yet lets trust this FO to trade yet another performing player.

    • docproctor

      I heard some team paid a lot of money to get another team to take that Phillips guy off their hands.

      • Matt Hendley

        I heard that that guy was later very thankful on June 7th of 2017 that Scooter Gennett, just happened to show up on waivers later that offseason, saving him from such a stupid decision.

  12. roger garrett

    Williams with a 28 pitch first inning follow by a 6 pitch second.

  13. roger garrett

    Williams is showing you don’t have to throw 95 to get guys out.He is around 90/91 but his stats say he has been really good for them.

    • Matt Hendley

      Let us not blame the back up SS for being exactly as advertised. but you are right, as a reds pitcher I am expecting a home run out of Harvey

  14. Indy Red Man

    From what I can see you better be ready to go the other way off this guy. Everyone is rolling over on outside pitches. 13th start for Harvey since June 21 with a 3.89 era and has only given up more then 3 runs 3 times. I think I’d offer him 2 years and if he walks then he walks. If they could get a younger/better guy like Wheeler then let him walk, but this is the Reds we’re talking about.

    • Jack

      The only thing with wheeler is I think he has only 1 more year until free agency? The Reds will trade good players to get him and they are to cheap to sign him to an extension. Can you trust the Front office on that?

      • Matt Hendley

        no, we cant. So dont even try, if you are going to use the Reds Farm system to overpay on the Mets, then overpay on the other starters

  15. Indy Red Man

    Never mind…..we need to get away from flyball pitchers. Too many bombs

    • Indy Red Man

      If we can’t find a kid capable of a 4.25 era in his spot then we’re not going anywhere anyway.

      • Matt Hendley

        but we cant can we, and its not like we haven’t tried.

      • Hotto4Votto

        There was this guy Stephenson who had a 3.30 ERA for the last 2+ months of the season in 2017. He then went out a had a very successful season in AAA to start this year… Got to give guys enough opportunities and allow them to find a comfort level.

      • Matt Hendley

        I remember that guy, on the DL now. Remember that he was walking everyone in AAA and then walked everyone up here as well. BB%/9IP through the roof. Now if that was due to injury, fine, give him a shot in spring training when he gets healthy and see if he is good. If it is an issue of mechanics, then trade him, cause sooner or later it will be a huge issue, and obviously he has not listened to the reds developmental staff over the last 4 years.

  16. Matt Hendley

    Despite all that its still a quality start, and one Homer or two its not like he is gonna win with 0 runs on the board.

    • Indy Red Man

      6 ip with 3 er is nothing great. Thats a 4.50 era, but its worse when its in a big ballpark. They don’t have 13-12 games like gabp. I’d say thats acceptable in gabp. They had a stat earlier where Pitt has only hit 23 in their last 35 games so 2 off Harvey isn’t good.

      • Matt Hendley

        Obviously the homers are not good, i am saying, that it doesnt matter as long as the goose egg is on the score board. Why is Mason Williams up here still? That Guy that they called up today, what side does he hit from.

      • roger garrett

        Its his turn to do coffee and doughnuts.Dilson was so glad to give that job up.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Against an offense that’s largely without teeth and an umpire giving both guys strikes on the edge of the black all game, nonetheless.

  17. roger garrett

    Its not on Harvey today although the Bucs haven’t hit since that 10 game winning steak.Today’s Titanic flop is on the offense or lack their of.Home runs win ball games as was the case yesterday.

  18. roger garrett

    Four singles and a double with only 3 singles after the first will not get it done even against a high school team.Flight must have been bumpy.

  19. Jack

    Sick of this pitching. Sick of this Front office. Sick of Rigglemans stupid lineups. Sick of tootblans. Sick of seeing all the fans in the seats. Oh wait scratch that last one. .

  20. roger garrett

    Ball game.Frazier beat us by himself.Must have watch Yelich on sportscenter.Bet you he doesn’t go 6 for 6.

  21. Matt Hendley

    there it is, the good ol’ Joey Votto ” GOD F&#*( D(#)

  22. VaRedsFan

    Votto pulls a ball a mile just foul. Then starts f-bombing and practicing that inside out swing as if he committed the cardinal sin of pulling the boul foul into the stands

  23. roger garrett

    Joey will do more of that and walk less if he doesn’t regain some of his power.It can be brutal to watch a star start that downward spiral.I really expect him to work out extremely hard over the winter and still be good for a few more years.

    • Jack

      Agree. Hasn’t been a good year for Votto according to his standards. I would not be surprised if he works his butt off and comes back fired up next year. This losing though has got to be hard on him. Knowing your years are dwindling and there is a great chance he wont ever get to the World Series unless he buys a ticket.

      • Matt Hendley

        There is no Possible way that he did not play most of the Season hurt in some way that was not reported. You do not go from the Second best player in the league to this in a year. i think you are right. He is going to be hardcore training in the offseason. Do think that we should start looking to him as the Leadoff hitter of the future.

      • Jack

        I thought the same thing with the “being hurt ” . Everybody regresses but damn you just dont fall off a cliff . This is the type of year we should se from him at 37.

      • roger garrett

        He has been great for a long time and deserved better from this organization.By better I mean you have to know their is only a small window where you have a chance and when it closes followed by now 4 years of just awful baseball its well just awful.

      • Matt Hendley

        Well he has become more vocal in the Press. He is protected, NTC, wont be benched. Maybe starting this offseason he throws up a ruckus. Look on the bright side. Cody reed Pitches tomorrow. Look on the bad side. Homer Bailey pItches Wed.

  24. roger garrett

    Scooter gets the cookie from a mop up guy and chomps it.Stephens is in to pitch.

  25. VaRedsFan

    I don’t think he’s (Votto) hurt. He is just refusing to pull the ball in the air. He occasionally does this and still crushes the baseball. He does not extend his arms, like he did before, when going opposite field. There are so many emergency hacks/check swings, called strike 3’s now. It’s his approach, not an injury.