The Reds and Brewers conclude their 2018 season series tonight with game 3 of the current set at Miller Park. With a win, the Reds can record a series victory over the Brewers and pull to an even 3-3 on their current road trip before moving on to Miami for 4 games to conclude the road portion of their 2018 season. Despite losing to the Reds Tuesday, the Brewers remain the top NL wild card team, 3.5 games clear of the #3 team, Colorado. Game time tonight for the Reds and Brewers is once again 7:40PM Eastern.
Reds right hander Matt Harvey will face off against Brewers leftie Gio Gonzalez in a battle of one time pitching titans now laboring as rental players who face free agency at season’s end. For an in depth look at Harvey’s sojourn with the Reds and the debate on whether the Reds should try to retain him, check out this recent RLN post by Matt Wilkes
Since coming to the Reds in May, Matt Harvey has become arguably the most consistent pitcher in the Reds rotation. In 22 starts as a Red, Harvey has compiled a 4.13 ERA backed up by 4.23 FIP. In the last month he has elevated his game to a higher level, compiling an outstanding 2.94 ERA (3.09 FIP) in 6 starts (33.2 IP). During this run Harvey has struck out batters at a rate of more than one an inning, largely avoided walks (1.6 BB/9) and most importantly seems to have left behind his penchant for giving up the long ball (1.07 HR/9). The not so good news is that the only blip in Harvey’s last month came against the Brewers on August 29 when he gave up 5 earned runs in as many innings of work in that memorable beer league slugfest eventually won by the Brewers 13-12 in extra innings.
Gio Gonzalez came to the Brewers on August 31 as part of the Washington Nationals belated fire sale. Tonight will be just his third start for the Brewers. He has done quite well in first 2; but, as the cliche shouts, “small sample size!”. For the 2018 season, Gonzalez has been marginally a league average starter with a 4.18 FIP in 29 starts. Over the last month he has posted a 3.74 FIP in 5 starts (27.0 IP) but allowed a troubling 4.00 BB/9 and experienced 2 blowout games. While with the Nationals, he faced the Reds on August 4 and was roughed up for 6 runs (5 earned) in just 3.2 innings of work.
Comparative 2018 Stats:
Beneath the glitter of Michael Lorenzen’s first start since 2015, Tuesday was essentially a bullpen night for the Reds. This said, no one except Lorenzen and Sal Romano pitched more than an inning; and, everyone but them should be available for at least an inning tonight.
The Brewers pen was called upon to cover 5.1 innings on Tuesday and used 5 relievers to get the job done. Incredibly no one who worked out of the pen for the Brewers Tuesday had been used on Monday (September baseball, catch it!). Nobody worked more than 1.1 inning last night. The big hammer Josh Hader got the night off. There should be no bullpen issues for Craig Counsell tonight.
|1. Scott Schebler (RF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Scooter Gennett (2B)
6. Phillip Ervin (LF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Matt Harvey (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
|1. Curtis Granderson (LF)
2. Christian Yelich (CF)
3. Jesus Aguilar (1B)
4. Travis Shaw (2B)
5. Domingo Santana (RF)
6. Mike Moustakas (3B)
7. Manny Pina (C)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Gio Gonzalez (P)
News and Notes
Today’s historical note…..
Was there ever a better 2B than #RedsCountry stirrup-clad Joe Morgan? He was NL MVP in 75-76 for WS champ #BigRedMachine and led majors in WAR both seasons. Check out his @sabr bio https://t.co/iQLuTAtnUN pic.twitter.com/i8a7iDGEZJ
— SABR BioProject (@SABRbioproject) September 19, 2018
The RBI crown is up for grabs (FWIW)……
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 19, 2018
We are all unique in some way or another; but these are nice numbers for any Shortstop…
José Peraza is the only player in the Major Leagues with at least 174 hits, 31 doubles, 13 HR and 23 stolen bases.
— Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) September 19, 2018
Scooter also has a shot at some uniqueness
Scooter Gennett is 1 of only 3 players to produce at least 49 HR and 185 RBI in his first 2 seasons with the Redlegs…he is trying to become the first player in franchise history to reach those numbers while hitting at least .300.
— RedlegsRadioReport (@RedlegsRadioRep) September 19, 2018
Some thoughts from Doug Gray about how the Reds could best utilize Michael Lorenzen’s talents
The Cincinnati #Reds may have a decision to make with Michael Lorenzen between the rotation and the bullpen. But should his bat also come into play with regards to the decision?https://t.co/lnjHERGVKu pic.twitter.com/sKkVZAyH4J
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) September 19, 2018
Counting tonight there are 10 more bottles left on the wall for the 2018 Reds. As a team the Reds have nothing left to play for. After tonight all the teams remaining on the Reds schedule will be in the same boat as the Reds. However many individual players have a lot riding on their performances over the remainder of the season. Perhaps it’s formal individual recognition for a job well done in 2018, a chance for a better contract or in a number of cases to just secure their employment with the Reds or some other organization come 2019. Such are the situations which can give some bit of meaning to these final games for we fans. Savor them as the off season looms.
For me, after tonight there are no more preview bottles left on the wall for 2018. Take care; be healthy. See you around the RLN comments section and on Twitter. As always GO REDS!