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.
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.
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.
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.
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) September 3, 2018
And with Preston Tucker being traded, that's your 40-man move. This also prevents Guerrero from being a free agent, which he would have otherwise been after the season was over. https://t.co/6BBLxnIILg
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) September 3, 2018
Pensacola will join the Daytona Tortugas as the two Reds minor league teams in the playoffs starting this week.
It's official! The Wahoos are in the Southern League Playoffs! Pensacola will battle Biloxi in the first round starting Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/9WXisWrA5K
— Pensacola Blue Wahoos (@BlueWahoosBBall) September 3, 2018
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.
Jonathan India blasts a tie-breaking home run in the top of the 9th for the Dragons, who now lead Bowling Green 7-6 going to the bottom of the 9th inning. pic.twitter.com/QzudZPD8Su
— Dayton Dragons (@DragonsBaseball) September 3, 2018
Great read this morning from Steve Mancuso on John Fay’s column about Riggleman and his managing based on ‘The Cardinal Way.’
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) September 3, 2018