The Cincinnati Reds (23-28) will try for another series win in 2019 against the Chicago Cubs (30-20) at Wrigley Field this afternoon. First pitch is at 2:20 ET.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA FIP xFIP K% BB%
Tanner Roark 51.1 3.51 3.16 4.61 22.30% 10.30%
Jose Quintana 57.1 3.30 3.73 3.66 22.60% 7.50%

Tanner Roark has quietly been someone the Reds can rely on as a middle of the rotation pitcher that can eat innings. In eight of his ten starts this season, he’s gone five innings or more. This is not out of the ordinary for Roark as he has pitched more than 180 innings in each of the past three seasons. What is out of the ordinary is that his Hard% sits at 39.2%. That’s up from 28.7% in 2018 and 27.8% in 2017. Roark is known for avoiding hard contact, so it’s interesting that it’s so high.

Roark’s BB% is also higher than in previous years. He’s walked 23 batters already this season and has issued a walk in every appearance. However, it hasn’t come back to haunt him too much yet. That’s probably because he’s been excellent at working around runners on base. Roark’s only allowed two home runs all season, even though his FB% is at 36.3%. One might wonder if that’s due to pitching away from GABP, but Roark has actually made six starts at GABP, compared to four on the road. Hopefully the wind will be blowing in at Wrigley today.

Kris Bryant will be the one to watch against Roark, as he is 7-for-14 with a double and a home run off him.

Aside from one start against the Brewers, Jose Quintana has been a solid part of the Cubs rotation this season. His ERA, FIP and xFIP are all below 4.00, making him a better than average pitcher through the first two months of the season. With a 50.6 GB% in 2019 and a career 44.4 GB%, Quintana is very much a ground ball pitcher. However, the last couple of years, and in particular this season, his HR/FB% has increased steadily. In 2016 with the Chicago White Sox, it was at 9.5%. It jumped to 13.2% in 2017 and this season sits at 15.2%. Quintana doesn’t give up a lot of fly balls–his career FB% is 34% (in 2019, it’s only 28.0%)–but when he does, those fly balls will go over the fence.

Quintana faced the Reds last week as well and gave up three runs on six hits in five innings. Joey Votto has had the most success against him, going 8-for-17 with four doubles. Eugenio Suarez and Jose Peraza each have a home run off him.

Bullpens

Wandy Peralta has pitched both games this series, so he’s probably not available today. Michael Lorenzen pitched two innings Saturday. The Reds had to use a good number of pitchers out of the bullpen on Friday, but aside from Peralta, no one who pitched Friday also pitched Saturday.

After using five relief pitchers Friday, the Cubs used only three relievers on Saturday, and Joe Maddon used none of them two days in a row.  Both bullpens appear to be almost at full strength going into the third game of the series.

Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

  1. Nick Senzel – CF
  2. Joey Votto – 1B
  3. Eugenio Suarez – 3B
  4. Yasiel Puig – RF
  5. Jose Iglesias – SS
  6. Jesse Winker – LF
  7. Jose Peraza – 2B
  8. Curt Casali – C
  9. Tanner Roark – P

Chicago Cubs

  1. Kyle Schwarber – LF
  2. Kris Bryant – RF
  3. Anthony Rizzo – 1B
  4. Javier Baez – SS
  5. Willson Contreras – C
  6. Jason Heyward – CF
  7. David Bote – 3B
  8. Daniel Descalso – 2B
  9. Jose Quintana – P

News and Notes

-All signs point to Lucas Sims starting on Tuesday night at GABP.

-Joey Votto doesn’t care about bad takes on his offense. He’s 7-for-18 in his last four games and currently owns a four-game hitting streak. He’s also batting 9-for-22 against the Cubs in 2019.

-Reds prospect Ibandel Isabel is at it again.

-This team has fun. It may be frustrating to watch them lose games they should be winning right now, but the Reds are still fun to watch. How many times have you been able to say that the last couple of years?

Highlight of the Day

-And speaking of fun, José Iglesias makes some of the smoothest defensive plays I’ve ever seen.

51 Responses

  1. matt hendley

    Bell showing faith in WInker today, Will he go and validate it

  2. Roger Garrett

    Winker should play every day.Just pretend he was Billy and is Peraza and give him 4 or 5 years(just kidding) to prove he can’t do it.Winker has 550 at bats in the big leagues,has always hit,is coming off of shoulder surgery and isn’t doing any worse stat wise then anybody else not named Suarez and is 25 years old.Yes he had a lousy day yesterday and he will have more lousy days but give him 600 at bats this year and lets see what happens.

    • Seat101

      And another double play for Winker. He’s got to start helping the team or go down to AAA.

      • Indy Red Man

        That was Iggy on the dp. Wink does need to start hitting lefties though? He’s better then this?

  3. matt hendley

    good start by the top 4. 2-0 Reds. Vottos hit with authority as well

    • VaRedsFan

      88.8 mph…but it was good to see him pull it in the air vs a lefty.

    • Slicc50

      I like how Joey adjusted that ab. Looked not so good on first 2 pitches, got a curveball up and just put it into right field. He’s swinging much better now

  4. VaRedsFan

    4 straight singles to start and they push 2 across. The guys need to continue to add on.

  5. Indy Red Man

    2 is nice, but you have to get more there? Bases loaded & nobody out. Really Puig’s ball was a hit off the bat and they looked to be playing him towards right-center. Hayward had to come a long way? If Votto/Suarez read it off the bat then JV scores and Suarez makes 3rd. I know they’re both slugs, but Hayward to come a long long way? Cost them a run because its then a 3 run inning on the double play

    • Slicc50

      You are right…..our base running could be ALOT better than it it

  6. Seat101

    You’re right. It wasn’t Winker who hit into the double play.

    Is it just me but it seems Contreras is at bat every other batter?

  7. Slicc50

    Tanner Roark throwing pretty good for the Reds right now. So far a very nice pick up!

  8. VaRedsFan

    Senzel bangs elbow…hopefully just funnybone.

  9. matt hendley

    I know that it is technically a caught stealing, however good job on Senzel and forcing the play to extend out, not just giving himself up as players have seemed to do. Hope its just a Funny bone,

    Joey 2-2 today, runner to third.

  10. Slicc50

    Gotta play add on here guys! Suarez gets the job done…..that guy is a pretty good baseball player!

  11. Indy Red Man

    Peraza! When he’s not hitting he makes up for it in othe…..never mind. I think Senzel just bailed him out? Replay might be interesting?

    • vegastypo

      Yeah, Peraza is living a charmed life to still be on the roster. His bat isn’t keeping him in the bigs, and I don’t know what else is.

  12. matt hendley

    Tanner Roark Showing Peraza how it is done

  13. Indy Red Man

    Roark is sneaky good sometimes! I thought he was just a Arroyo junkballer, but he’s hit 94 today with some run on it. Good curveball and working both sides of the plate! He’ll be 33 in October…..2 year deal maybe?

  14. Hanawi

    Man. Double plays absolutely killing them the last two days. Roark having another solid outing. Need to get this one. Series win against the division leaders on the road would be huge.

  15. matt hendley

    SO glad that Kyle Farmer got the start today……oh wait.

  16. The_Next_Janish

    No chance to watch the last few games but hopefully Votto has found his proverbial “wallet”

  17. Indy Red Man

    Farmer is a better hitter & fielder then Peraza. Big shocker to the Reds brass evidently

  18. Chris

    Love that we’re starting to slowly turn things around. I will HATE it if we “Red” this game and lose it.

  19. matt hendley

    I guess the STUPID CUBS were…..(drumroll) stupid. 7 Nothing in the 6th. Bullpen needs to hold. Perfect opertunity for Bowman

  20. VaRedsFan

    Cubs gonna Cub????? Haven’t said that in a while.

  21. Indy Red Man

    Oops! Big win today!! LA beat the Pirates to death this weekend….maybe they’ll be worn out? I know they’re starting their #1 prospect in one of the games tomorrow

    • VaRedsFan

      4 innings to cover….have you not watched this team

      • Indy Red Man

        Its a W as far as I’m concerned. If its not then I can just wait til football.

  22. Chris Holbert

    Great game for the Reds through 6. I am a little surprised a guy who pitched 2 innings yesterday is the first one out of the bullpen. I would think everyone else would be ahead of Lorenzen for today’s game…..Where is Robert Stephenson….especially if the Cubs rally at all…..bite my tongue….

    • Hanawi

      Agree. Would rather have seen Lorenzen for an extra inning yesterday than to come back today. Not sure what the thinking is with Stephenson. He seems to be the long man/garbage time reliever?

  23. Old-school

    Roarck has been a nice pickup…gives the Reds a chance to win nearly every time out.

    Votto is clearly seeing the ball better and giving good at at bats. Not sure the power comes back though.

    Nick Senzel may be the second best player behind Suarez. He does everything well. Hits… Gets on base..has some pop…good on defense and runs the bases. Reminds me of Barry Larkin in the sense he does everything and has the intangibles too. Pittsburgh series very big.

    • Hanawi

      I’d be fine if Votto turned into Tony Gwynn for the next five years. Still think he was trying too hard to bring some of the power back early this season and it affected his hitting overall.

      • Old-school

        Yup…or Mark grace or Joe Mauer. Get on base…hit .300 and be a good #2 hole hitter.

  24. TR

    It’s obvious Lorenzen doesn’t have it today. Keep this up in the 6th. inning and the Cubs will make this a tight ballgame.

  25. Old-school

    The collision between Bryant and Heyward raises a question. Why is Bryant in RF and Heyward in CF… If I were a Cubs fan, I’d want Bryant at 3b everyday and Heyward in RF every day. That was a communication error by 1 superstar out of position with a GG outfielder out of position.

    • Indy Red Man

      Bryant has played alot of RF. They’ve never really found regular OFers besides Heyward. I know Zobrist played OF too, but didn’t they slide Baez over to 3B with Russell/BZ up the middle. That put KB in RF as well.

  26. Indy Red Man

    39 hits in the series for the Reds. We weren’t getting 39 hits in a week in April

  27. Hanawi

    Interesting. Both guys that pitched yesterday going again today. Maybe saving a couple of guys to go longer tomorrow during the DH if needed?

  28. matt hendley

    Nick Senzel twists the Knife on the cubs. Showing the benifit of grit and hustle

  29. Roger Garrett

    Hughes gets it done and gets us to the ninth.He and Lorenzen cover 3 innings and give up a couple of cookies but up 7-0 its ok.Need outs so here it is and the Cubs can hit.Good bounce back by Hughes and as it always is who knows what may happen when a reliever comes in.This series shows what this team could become if they hit.The Cubs three starters in this series are better then average major league pitchers so 3 more outs and a series win is well good.

  30. Old-school

    Nick Senzel 3-4 with 4 runs scored.
    That’s a leadoff hitter.
    Time to start chasing ROY.

  31. Hanawi

    Great series win for the Reds. Hopefully, they can get some momentum going and string a few wins together. Looks like they should have the pitching advantage in Pittsburgh.

  32. Indy Red Man

    Pirates have dropped 5 of 6. Cervelli is their leader imo and he’s on the DL. The Reds need 3 of 4!!! Then its the Nats for 3 and they’ve got the worst bullpen in the NL (or maybe MLB?). They need to go 2-1 there. That would put them on the doorstep of .500!

  33. Hanawi

    Looks like Stephenson can only throw his slider for strikes.

    • Reddawg12

      We might be seeing why Stephenson only pitches in mop up time.

  34. matt hendley

    Reds Dominate Chicago over the series. excellent work all around, all position players but one get hits. even the pitcher gets a hit.

  35. Don

    Great day for team win and series win. 6 & 5 in last 11 vs the 3 best teams in national league.

    Team starting to hit and not swing for fences every time which is good to see.

    Need a great start for #1 pitcher in game 1 on Monday to set up next 3 games against pirates. 3 and 1 gets a tie for forth in division. Go REDS.