The days when the Reds (63-85) were atop the NL Central and the Cubs (86-61) were rebuilding seem like centuries ago. Last night, the Reds dropped their seventh straight game to their division foes to make a 90-loss season look even more likely. Cincinnati would have to finish its last 14 games with a 10-4 record to avoid a fourth consecutive year with that number in the L column. So much for positive momentum, huh?

The Reds and Cubs will start game two of the three-game set at 4:05 p.m. ET.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Cody Reed 28.1 5.08 4.14 18.9% 8.7%
Jon Lester 163.2 3.57 4.52 19.3% 8.4%

Cody Reed’s return to the starting rotation has been underwhelming through three starts, as he’s only made it through the fifth inning once — and that was as far as he’s gotten in any of the outings. Reed will presumably spend the rest of the season in the starting rotation, giving him a few precious opportunities left to show what he can do and where his future will be.

The left-hander’s stuff has been impressive, but he’s had some lapses in control that he didn’t show in the bullpen. His defense also hasn’t helped him out at times, and he’s had some fair share of bad luck (.348 BABIP). The good news is his slider looks sharp, and he’s throwing it more than ever, featuring it as his primary pitch while shying away from his four-seam fastball in favor of a sinker. That has led to a lot of ground balls (56.0 GB%), which will bode better results if he gets some better performances behind him than he did in his last outing.


Since a disastrous eight run, three-homer, 3.2-inning outing on August 11, Jon Lester has returned to pitching like Jon Lester. In his last five starts, he’s posted a 2.15 ERA and allowed only one long ball. He did leave his last start on Monday with back tightness, but it was enough to force him to miss any additional time. Despite his recent success, there’s little doubt Lester doesn’t have the stuff he once did. At age 34, his velocity is down, his strikeout rate is lower than it’s been since 2012, and his walk rate is at its highest point since 2011. Strangely, he’s been much better against right-handed hitters this season (.314 wOBA) than lefties (.373 wOBA), which bucks his career splits. The Reds opted to choose the larger sample size and benched both Scooter Gennett and Scott Schebler today.

Lineups

Reds

1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Phillip Ervin (LF)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Dilson Herrera (2B)
8. Brandon Dixon (RF)
9. Cody Reed (P)

Cubs

1. Albert Almora Jr. (CF)
2. Kris Bryant (RF)
3. Javier Baez (2B)
4. David Bote (3B)
5. Addison Russell (SS)
6. Willson Contreras (C)
7. Victor Caratini (1B)
8. Jon Lester (P)
9. Ian Happ (LF)

  • Dilson Herrera is still on the team, apparently. He’s making his first start since Sept. 6 and his second since Aug. 30.
  • Billy Hamilton is back in the leadoff spot. No words.

News, Notes, & Pre-Game Reading

Michael Lorenzen will make his first start since 2015 on Tuesday:

Mark Sheldon believes Lorenzen will throw three to four innings.

Update on the managerial search:

Doug Gray’s reaction to the news that Nick Senzel will focus on left field:

Go check out Doug’s minor-league 2018 awards, too:

Stat of the Day

Guess it’s time to shut this place down.

Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

Join the conversation! 31 Comments

  1. Left field makes 0 logic for the Reds.
    Jessie looks really good.
    CF is the position, but big Bob just love Billy.
    There, They will keep Nick in the minors until he becomes a minor league free agent.
    Also, no #1 pick will ever sign with us again.

    • Gotta agree, some of the decision comming from.the front office are dumb. At least lorenzen is getting a start

      • With all the young guys who have failed to break thru the 3-4 inning mark. Maybe Lorzenzen start is a sign of trying the opener/bullpen day model. Riggleman has seemed to be more open to alternative starter management.

    • Thought that just popped in my head…
      They’re preparing for both Gennet and Hamilton to be starting next year and even beyond. Senzel needs to play. They are still uncomfortable with starting Winker, defense and lack of power, that he may be the trade piece to an AL team (DH) for a young pitcher. I wonder if some teams were asking about Jessie at the deadline.

  2. The Reds seem to fixate on having a player be locked into one position even when trying develop flexability.

  3. Interesting read by Crasnick on ESPN concerning Oakland’s rotation. Makes me wonder if chasing the Ace is not the best strategy this offseason.
    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/24674475/oakland-riding-d-list-starting-rotation-right-october

  4. I think the news about Lorezen is very exciting. Hope they look at making him an opener next year and looking forward even more to how they might exploit his talents on days he isn’t opening.

    • Lorenzen hasn’t been great as a reliever this season, so maybe he should convert to SP or even OF. Next year is his age 27 season…time to get him “sorted”, once and for all.

      If he does make the cut as a SP, would the Reds even land a SP this winter?
      I am skeptical they will, with Bailey on the books for one season. If Lorenzen is in rotation, it could be…

      DeSclafani
      Castillo
      Lorenzen

      Plus, 2 of….
      Reed/Mahle/Romano/Bailey/Harvey (?)

      Maybe better the 3 young guys one more sorting in 2019? They will never have a better chance to make a MLB rotation than with the Reds right now.

      • Disco is suspect for me until he does what he has not been able to do for 3 years running, shut it down for the winter and come back the following spring and be injury free and ready to start the season on time. Actually if he could just stay healthy and be ready to go full bore by 1 May that would be pretty good.

  5. Milwaukee has no SP making $10 million or more this season.

    The Brewers “big” FA SP signing was Chacin…2 years, $15 million. Has produced 2.6 WAR and by all accounts, their best SP this season.

    There is a veteran SP out there every off-season that can be signed in this range and will produce. (Miles Mikolas was also out there last winter, right, WV?)

    The Reds just have to trust their projections on who that will be in 2019 and go after them.

    Go Redlegs.

  6. So Senzel is going to LEFT field? Ok, then what about Winker? Are they thinking of getting another outfield rotation going for the corners while Billy Hamilton continues to be one of the single worst offensive players in all of MLB? Is that REALLY what they are going for here?

    Like Matt said about Billy leading off: No words. Billy Hamilton has become to poster boy of the incompetency of the Cincinnati Reds.

  7. Lots of moves the Reds need to make to become competitive again but will they actually do something?They continue to follow Walt’s practice of rolling the dice and hope for a winner yet forgetting that its still the same players that have lost 90+ games for the 4th straight year.To me anybody not named Suarez could and should be traded but its like our starting line up is protected by some divine power.How about trading some of these guys and plug Ervin or Herrera or Dixon or Casali in and see what they can do.How about Senzel or others in the minors be given a shot.Heck we are middle of the pack in offense so if we fall a couple of spots and at the same time improve to middle of the pack in pitching isn’t that a win.

  8. Thank goodness we have Billy and his .300 obp leading off today.Hope he gets the most at bats today.What a great plan.Go Reds.

  9. If the Reds are considering keeping BHam and getting rid of Winker, I may actually vomit.

  10. “I think we’ll focus on left field first,” Williams said. “In many ways, that’s the most difficult to play. We won’t be splitting time equally between the three. But since that is the most difficult, we’ll probably start him there, just so he gets more time at the one that’s the most difficult.”

    This has to be one of the most idiotic assessments of baseball I have heard. Explain how these people are making any tangible decisions in this organization. You wonder why it’s a dumpster fire right now.

    • I would have preferred he just say we don’t know what we don’t know and because of that we are just starting somewhere.

  11. On a positive note,the Dodgers are pounding the Cards again today 14-4 in the ninth.

    • Yes…heard on radio that Ol’ Devil Magic is like 5-8 or 5-9 in September. I don’t hold ill wishes about many things, but will always make an exception for the Cardinals losing.

  12. Yep but for me I wish we would copy what they do rather then hire the guys they throw to the curb.Guess they will laugh at us as long as we have Walt.

  13. What about bronson Arroyo for manager thoughts?

    • Before I support him I need to know what he thinks about bunting.

    • I am not sure he is interested in that. I think he could be successful, but I would like to see him have some experience before handing him the job

  14. How about Ron’s in a row for not being on TV for three innings?

  15. Hey Ervin:
    Lester is pitching you on the outside black. Every single. pitch.
    How about taking it hard to right field instead of waiting for an inside pitch that’s never coming?

  16. I’m going to switch to radio.

    He’s not saying anything I haven’t heard before.

    I want to watch and listen to a ball game on TV

    I wanted to watch and listen to a ball game on TV.

  17. I say with all confidence we are just going through the motions.Reed has no chance to get any support from this offense today.Two homers by Peraza and one by Votto is all we have in the last 22 innings.It has been a long season hasn’t it but 2019 is just a little over 5 months away.

  18. Not happy about yanking Reed after 5. Send him out for one more inning.

    • I’m going to play devil’s advocate. Reed just pitched shut out dominating baseball against a playoff team with 10 k…. Build his confidence going into the off season…the Reds desperately need a lefty starter.

  19. Yasiel Puig 4 homers in 2 games against the darn Cardinals . Cards get Braves next. NL playoff chase is good.

  20. Running there was stupid with the heart of the order up. Surely Hatcher didn’t green light that attempt by Hamilton.

Comments are closed.

About Matt Wilkes

Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

Category

2018 Reds, Game Thread

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