Today is potentially a turning-point game for the Cincinnati Reds. A win today would mean the following:

  • They won a game in which the opposing pitcher was the top lefthanded starter in the National League over the first seven weeks of the season
  • They took two of three games from the team with the top record in the National League
  • They won four of six on a homestand against the teams with the two top records in the league

Some say that even with a loss today, a 3-3 homestand against the Dodgers and Cubs should be considered progress. But aren’t we all tired of settling? Today’s 1:10 p.m. Eastern time start at Great American Ball Park has the potential to infuse the team and fan base with confidence and renewed optimism, which could be a real boost heading into a road trip to Milwaukee and Chicago.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Hyun-Jin Ryu 52.1 1.72 2.49 28.6% 1.6%
Tanner Roark 46.1 3.50 4.62 21.2% 9.9%

One way to frame the challenge facing the Reds today: They are facing the lefthanded equivalent of Luis Castillo, at least statistically. Over his last three starts, Ryu has allowed one earned run in 25 innings. Lefthanded batters, which the Dodgers lineup is full of, are hitting .329 this season vs. Roark. Worth noting: Roark has allowed only two homers this season, so hopefully he can keep the ball in the park today. This appears to be the game in this series in which the Reds face their greatest challenge in terms of the starting pitching matchup.

Bullpen

None of the eight-man bullpen crew pitched in consecutive games Friday and Saturday, so everyone should be available. With a day off tomorrow, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Manager David Bell dip into that bullpen early if necessary in an attempt to keep this game close. Today might be the perfect occasion to think about using Roark as an “opener” over the first two or three innings, and then play matchups with an eight-man bullpen for the rest of the game.

Starting Lineups

Dodgers Reds
LF Joc Pederson CF Nick Senzel
1B Max Muncy 1B Joey Votto
3B Justin Turner 3B Eugenio Suarez
RF Cody Bellinger RF Yasiel Puig
SS Corey Seager SS Jose Iglesias
CF Alex Verdugo LF Jesse Winker
2B Enrique Hernandez 2B Jose Peraza
C Russell Martin C Curt Casali
P Hyun-Jin Ryu P Tanner Roark

It’s a bit surprising to see Jesse Winker in the lineup against a lefthander, and a dominant lefthander, at that. Essentially, he is replacing Kyle Farmer in what has become Bell’s typical lineup against lefties. Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.

News and Notes

Another obstacle in the Reds’ path today …

Today is 1912 throwback uniforms day …

91 Responses

  1. RojoBenjy

    I’m glad to see Winker in the lineup. Let him play. He was looking good in his at-bats yesterday. As many have mentioned, gotta get him reps against LHP if he is to be an everyday player.

    • Roger Garrett

      Amen.Just can’t overlook what he has done in the minors and in his 350 at bats in the majors coming in to this year.Guy has always hit.Just let him play and get his 550 at bats this year and lets see.

  2. BK

    Over the last two seasons, LHH have been more successful against Ryu–potential explanation for Winker remaining in the lineup. Also, with an off-day tomorrow, today would have been a good day to rest Votto.

    • Pete

      Thanks for bringing that important tidbit to our attention.

  3. Pete

    Tom I like your attitude. Yes let’s win today and take two out of three from the best team in the league. Surely it will take all we have but it’s doable. Also, I hope you are correct in Bell’s usage of the bullpen especially with the day off tomorrow. All hands on deck!

  4. matthew hendley

    Hope for the series win today. Surprised they didn’t give Ervin a chance today. Ryu proving the QO was worth it, hopefully the reds hiccup his stats today.

    • matthew hendley

      Also, what are our stats in ‘Alternate’ uniforms.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Are they only wearing them on home Sundays? If so then I believe winless.

  5. Pete

    Concerning Cory Bellinger: he might be cooling off a tad:

    March/April: 431/508/890, wRC+ = 259
    May: 360/439/560, wRC+ = 167

    It’s all I got.

  6. Old-school

    Who is this Senzel guy? He might be ok.

  7. matthew hendley

    Vottos right to be angry, it would have been one thing to call it a check swing strike, but that was not a foul ball at all. ANother blown call by yet another Ump.

    • VaRedsFan

      since the ump didn’t signal foul tip immediately, I tend to think Joey’s correct.

  8. Old-school

    Nick Senzel is quietly proving he is a solid all around baseball player at the major league level. He gives you a good at bat. Has some power, hits the ball to all fields , can steal a base and plays solid defense. Major upgrade for the Redlegs.

  9. VaRedsFan

    On another note, it’s been 200+ games since Joey has joined check-swing-palooza. Has a beat reporter bothered to ask “What’s up with all of the check swing?

  10. Old-school

    Winker Dietrich and Votto all had big hits against Cubs lefties in the walk off win Wednesday. Winker singles against the best lefty in the NL so far.

  11. Pete

    Get one more inning from Roarke and pinch hit for him leading off next inning.

  12. matthew hendley

    And there it is, the defensive incompetence of Peraza on display again. Instead of 2 outs, there are 0 outs.

    • Broseph

      Time to move on from Peraza. He is not a center piece for the Reds future. Most average infielders are either an offensive liability or defensive liability, but not both.

      • matthew hendley

        not only a liablity both ways in the same game. But in the same half inning. Agreed, should have been traded in the off season, now may have to be a release or DFA.

      • Broseph

        And then they allow Turner to tag up on a short fly to right. Maybe Bell should start sitting players for incompetence, lack of hustle, or just not getting it done. I’m beginning to believe others comments that this club in general has way too much of a lax attitude.

        Play like an 8 year-old, get coached like one

      • RojoBenjy

        “I’ve seen (more) than enough.”

    • RojoBenjy

      @Broseph: Bell should be like, “Farmer, get your glove. You’re playing second base.” I mean come on. Even Welsh was p-o

      • Broseph

        Agreed. They said he made the right move throwing home on a line and Votto should cut, but Peraza was only 50 ft off the grass with an entire view of the infield. As soon as he pulled his arm back the runner on third went back to the bag and Turner started moving.

        I’ve seen, and had, runners do this in beer league softball. Turner was an easy out at second base

        I don’t necessarily agree with others on extending Gennett, but Reds FO needs to improve catcher, second/short, an outfielder today and draft the 1st baseman off the future.

        If they don’t right the ship after this season, this window is going to get really long

    • Old-school

      Conventional wisdom until last year was Peraza’s ceiling was a utility player. Most agree Iglesias needs extended and is the everyday Reds SS. But, if he gets injured…. Then what. Any updates on Blandino? For now it’s Peraza.

      • matthew hendley

        Blandino “just about ready” to begin to start a rehab assignment. currently at extended spring training.

      • Broseph

        I think they said July for Blandino. If he played today, I’m sure he could see more than two pitches total in two AB.

        Peraza can’t even make Ryu work for it.

    • Roger Garrett

      Certainly can’t give this team any extra outs.Not watching but was it a routine play?

      • matthew hendley

        Directly hit each of his legs as it went through it. A little fast but directly at him and would have been a DP

  13. Tom Mitsoff

    That inning could have been much uglier than it was. Roark is hanging in there, but it will be a short day for him since he is already at 60-plus pitches through three innings.

  14. Pete

    Need to get Senzel across the plate here.

  15. Roger Garrett

    Reds could win this game because they are getting guys on and in scoring position but not getting that big hit.Hope we can keep it close and who knows the big hit may come.Go Reds.Senzel with two hits the other way.Guy gets it.Glad he is here with big club.Could be fun for the next several years watching him as he gets better and better.

  16. Old-school

    Ryu is a FA. Might be a nice contrast to Castillo and Gray and Mahle

  17. matthew hendley

    Roark went from an early exit to a possible quality start today. Definite show of resiliency, could be less of the walks, but has kept the reds in the game.

    • matthew hendley

      And just like that, I jinxed him. Ervin pinch hitting.

  18. Roger Garrett

    Roark did a great job against a great line up lets get this guy some runs.This is a winnable game.Lets go offense.Lets go offense.Left guys in scoring position in 3 innings already.Time to get it done.Its Sunday again just like last week and its the difference between 3 under or 5 under.Go Reds.I am going to go nap and dream of a 5 run inning and a big time win.

    • Broseph

      Yup. Some ugly ABs this season and even uglier Ks. Dude is check swinging his way out of Cooperstown.

    • matthew hendley

      I think they are booing everyone that does not have a productive at bat.

  19. Mutton Lettuce Tomato

    Looks like a Zack Duke sighting… must be white flag time here in the 6th inning. Geesh.

    • matthew hendley

      He certainly played like it. 2 BB in 3 Players, garbage.

      • matthew hendley

        no, because as soon as I did click on it, it tried to get me to buy something.

      • doofus

        Funny, when I clicked on it there was no pitch to buy anything.

      • Doug Gray

        It probably asked him to buy a subscription.

        Of course, that’s not at all what clickbait is…..

  20. Jeff Morris

    Here we go again! Zach Duke comes in and walks two batters. Why, oooo Why do the Reds keep bringing him in? He is causing nothing but problems. Reds need to either DFA him or keep him, and only pitch him if they are up something like 8-0 or behind 8-0. Not in a situation like todays game!

  21. matthew hendley

    Puig showing some self sacrifice there, hope nothing is broken.

  22. doofus

    I thought Puig took a shot in the ribs.

  23. matthew hendley

    Reds Pitching Trying to placate the fans with some Pizza, expect it to get real loud after the next K. 10Ks

  24. matthew hendley

    Some utter managerial brillence there. Lets take out a dealing Micheal Lorenzen, for a lowball fastball pitcher. This game is done. Reds did split the homestand, which is good. Not as great as 2 b2b series wins though.

  25. VaRedsFan

    Can they stop already with the left lefty matchups with Duke and Peralta. Duke walked 2 leftys, not Peralta give up a 2 run bomb.

    Low fastballs are not in the gameplan. Stop flipping throwing them.

    • Broseph

      What’s even worse about it is Lorenzen’s numbers against lefties this year so far are better than against righties. Peralta has higher WOBA and Slg.

      Matchups are so stupid, just put your better pitcher in. Does Bell pull Iglesias for a lefty?

  26. TR

    A winnable game until Wandy in the 7th. Too much strategizing from the manager.

  27. TyGuy88

    I said this weeks ago – not sure why Zach Duke is on this team vs Cody Reed, let alone getting regular use in close games.

  28. matthew hendley

    Puig out, makes sense no reason to risk it now. Peraza to LF farmer to 2n

  29. Roger Garrett

    Short nap.Peralta in for Lorenzen is never ever a good idea at any time.Peraza has saw 4 pitches and made 3 outs and booted a double play ball and he still is in the majors.Please send him down for his own good and the teams.None of this will make any difference today since we can’t score but these two things are just so obvious I just wanted to bring them up.

  30. matthew hendley

    New york mets have put their manager on the hotseat. Owner opened the purse strings, had a new GM that went out and made trades and they failed to produce. May be fired this week. Wish the reds FO/Owner would pay attention to that.

  31. Tom Mitsoff

    I will be very short and sweet with this … it is so clear that Thom does not focus on the current situation in the game, which is so important for a play-by-play guy. He so often is wrong on who is batting or who is hitting where in the order. It should not be difficult when you have a scorecard in front of you.

    • doofus

      Totally agree. He is good for many flubs per game.

      I get a kick when Brennamann goes off on some tangent that has nothing to do with the game being played.

      ADHD?

      • matthew hendley

        Its called filling space, when the reds cant fill the space themselves. I actually learn a little bit on his Tangents.

      • ToBeDetermined

        I heard from announcers that baseball is the most difficult of the sports to be an announcer.
        Like I’ve said before I’ve heard Thom Brennamann announce Basketball and Football games and I thought he was fine.
        But, for Baseball, it’s great that there is a volume button.

      • doofus

        “It’s called filling space.” No, it is called not preparing for the game. Or, in other terms: “Lazy.” Thom is not the only lazy announcer, there are many around the league.

        Anyone that has listened to Vin Scully announce a game will see the difference. Skully was one of the most prepared announcers. He did not go off on stories that had nothing to do with the game at hand. He provided background on players that were in the game; he shared relevant anecdotes. He knew about the prospects of the opposing club. To summarize he was not lazy, he studied his subject matter and came prepared to do a broadcast.

      • matthew hendley

        So let me get this straight, Thom sucks, but everyone else in the league sucks, except a guy who retired last year. (who was admittedly very good).
        as far as variations from the games, I notice 2 major themes. Local Cincinnati HS, especially that hole in the ground Moeller HS (may it burn to the ground tomorrow), local initiatives. Etc. Which overall is alright cause people who don’t live in cinci that were from cinci sometimes want to hear about cinci.
        2. He does go on major critiques about players, plans, objecting to the way the game is played. Could be called rants. Most of the time he is right though. News flash, beyond pizza for the home crowd, strikeouts are bad. Being able to hit is good. Players should be held accountable, as should managers etc etc. Its nothing that isn’t being said here.
        3. SO he occasionally gets things wrong. Nobody is perfect. Is he getting it right 80% of the time. I would say so, and that’s 50% better then most of the batters are.
        If they go and hire someone new next year, I won’t be heartbroken, but Jim day needs a lot of work if he is to be the D2d guy.

      • doofus

        Dear Mr. Hendley,

        With respect, I never wrote that “everyone else in the league sucks.”

        My example of Vin Skully’s on air work was to provide an example of one of the best. An announcer who came prepared to do his job. Presently, there are good announcers and bad announcers across MLB.

        It is not necessary to “arm” wrestle people on this forum that do not agree with you or share the same opinion as you.

        Have a nice day!

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I’m mostly talking about not knowing who is actually in the game, where they are batting in the batting order, sometimes not knowing what the actual count is on a batter. It happens so, so often. I am very hesitant to criticize because it’s a tough job and I am certainly not perfect. But it happens several times a game sometimes, and the only explanation is not paying attention.

  32. VaRedsFan

    Poor Cody Reed. Gets shuttled back to Louisville….while they kept 2 guys up that he has outperformed.

    • Wayne nabors

      in my opinion that should be criminal what they doing to reed,he would be on almost all other teams but the reds fo figure he not good enough for their last place team

      • matthew hendley

        go look back to 2006 and Homer baileys many trips. While it looks bogus now, its actually a sign that they think he has good work, cause all the movement is allowing for team control for an extra year.

      • matthew hendley

        on the same vein, wandys staying up as opposed to being sent down to fix him self cause they don’t care about his Service time. Fans should be pissed if BobSteve doesn’t get at least 1 K this inning. Pizza cheers are the best.

  33. BigRedMike

    Good AB by Senzel

    Thom is more interested in his agendas then the actual baseball game.

  34. Old-school

    Can’t win if you don’t score. Dodgers best team in NL 3 years running. It’s about the process of getting better and it’s time to move forward. Reds cut Matt Kemp… Brought up Nick senzel . It’s time to cut Zach duke and bring up Cody Reed. Until Alex Blandino and Scooter are healthy, Not much to do on offense.

  35. doofus

    Stephenson is not breathing through his eyelids.

  36. BigRedMike

    Not really good by Stephenson

    Not even close to throwing a strike

  37. matthew hendley

    Never will you ever see a teams fans cheer so much, losing so much. Selling my stock in Larossas now,

      • matthew hendley

        A joke, Free pizzas have happened 4 times in the homestand, at that rate they will go broke. Jose with the blast, entirely way too late and doesn’t make up for the rest of his mistakes.

    • burtgummer

      Did you bother to notice that most of the fans the last 2 series were fans of the opposing team?

      • matthew hendley

        did you bother to notice that the closeups of fans cheering on K11, are reds fans.

      • burtgummer

        Heck they wanted free pizza,I might cheer too but won’t spend money to watch these guys

  38. VaRedsFan

    Peraza helps the Reds be a better team in the run differential department
    2 run shot

  39. matthew hendley

    Deitrich with Hit #500, and a Bomb.

  40. Pete

    Votto is now hitting .208 with an OPS of .633
    Puig is batting .206 and an OPS of .611

    Very, very bad when 2 of the first 4 batters in the lineup basically can’t hit. After one of his K’s, Votto was booed and it sounded pretty loud. The Reds have to work this situation out one way or the other.

  41. doofus

    It is interesting that someone would admit that they learn something from Thom Brennaman’s irrelevant rants during a game.