The Nationals and Reds will square off in the third and final game of their current series today at GABP.  The Nationals 5-2 win Saturday sets up today’s  game as the series rubber match. The Reds were unable to seize upon several opportunities to flip Saturday’s contest back to their favor. Fangraphs says the Nationals are 54.4% likely to win today’s game. So, the Reds will  need to really focus and bear down if they are to win the game and thus the series.

STARTING PITCHERS

Super ace Max Scherzer will start for the Nats against the Sonny Gray for the Reds.

Nationals

What is there to write about Max Scherzer which hasn’t already been written? By way of review, Scherzer has finished in the top 5 of Cy Young Award balloting every year since he won it for the first time in 2013 (with Detroit). In the past three seasons, he has won the CYA twice (2016, 17) and finished 2nd the other season (2018). Along the way, Scherzer has accrued 54.6 career fWAR.

But there may be hope for the Reds in today’s game. As MLB.com points out, the Nats have struggled to win games this year with Scherzer on the mound. The team is just 2-10 in games Scherzer has started even though he is among MLB leaders in FIP and strikeouts. Reds fans, keep your fingers crossed for Scherzer’s bad luck to continue for at least one more game.

Reds

Like Max Scherzer, Sonny Gray was also a top 20 overall MLB draft pick (Scherzer #11/ 2006; Gray #18/ 2011). Through the pair’s respective age 25 seasons, Gray actually earned more fWAR than Scherzer did (8.9/7.8). However, Gray suffered through injury woes in his age 26 season, 2016, despite making 22 starts and has never been as productive as he was previously.

With the Reds Gray has been reunited with his college pitching coach Derek Johnson. To date the results of this collaboration have been mixed. However following a string of ineffective starts from mid April to mid May, Gray’s last 2 starts have been among the season’s best. In these 2 starts, both Reds wins, Gray has pitched to a 1.98 FIP over 12 innings of work. The results of this good work allowed Gray to already match his fWAR output for all of 2018 (1.6). The Reds and Reds fans hope this is just the beginning of a long term revival for Gray who the Reds have extended through the 2022 season with a team option for 2023.

Tale of the 2019 Tape:

PITCHER FIP WHIP HR/9 BB% K%
Max Scherzer 2.33 1.19 0.70 5.3% 31.8%
Sonny Gray 3.02 1.21 0.64 9.4% 27.5%

 

BULLPENS

Nationals

The much maligned Nats pen covered 5 innings in shutout fashion Saturday versus the Reds. Wander Suero, the lead setup man, threw 2 innings (30 pitches) and would figure to be unavailable today. Closer Sean Doolittle needed just 15 pitches for his inning and should be good to go Sunday.  Matt Grace required just 4 pitches to record a single out and should also be good to go.

Reds

The Reds used 3 pitchers to cover 3 innings of relief.  Michael Lorenzen completed 1.1 scoreless innings (11 pitches).  Amir Garrett threw 17 pitches to record 0.2 of an inning. Both should be available today for up to an inning. Matt Bowman was working on a consecutive day and threw 17 pitches to compete an inning after throwing 10 pitches Friday. He likely is unavailable Sunday.

 

LINEUPS

        NATIONALS          REDS
1. Trea Turner (SS)
2. Gerardo Parra (RF)
3. Anthony Rendon (3B)
4. Juan Soto (LF)
5. Matt Adams (1B)
6. Kurt Suzuki (C)
7. Brian Dozier (2B)
8. Victor Robles (CF)
9. Max Scherzer (P)
1. Nick Senzel (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Derek Dietrich (2B)
4. Jesse Winker (LF)
5. Yasiel Puig (RF)
6. Josh VanMeter (3B)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Sonny Gray (P)

Eugenio Suárez gets a rest. Josh VanMeter gets the start at 3B. Against Max Scherzer. Good luck Josh.

NEWS & NOTES

30 years ago today Eric (The Red) Davis hit for the cycle. Have a look:

All Nick Senzel; All the Time,

Tomorrow is an off day for the Reds on the field but a very busy and important day for the future as the MLB 2019 draft gets underway.  Be sure to follow Doug Gray’s coverage of all the action at RLN’s companion site Reds Minor Leagues

And this just in, the Reds may be seeing a very familiar face in yet another different uniform later this week…

FINAL THOUGHTS

We have talked about the need for the Reds to be more consistent if they are to break their cycle of lingering 4-5 games below .500. Today is the rubber game of a three game series versus a team with a worse record than the Reds. This then would seem to be a “must game” for the Reds if they are to move on up in the MLB world. For those not convinced, consider the next 8 games on the road starting Tuesday feature the likes of the Cards, Phillies, and Indians. All three are traditional Reds nemeses. So yeah, this is a must game if a 27-31 team can have such a thing. GO REDS!!


Data and stats courtesy of  FangraphsBaseball Reference  and MLB.com

100 Responses

  1. Lwblogger2

    Haven’t really said so yet but I’ve really enjoyed reading your previews. Keep it up friend.

    • Jim Walker

      Thanks LW, A crazy 10 days or so since we’ve been back stateside. Got in at 1AM on a Friday and several days later the big tornado (thankfully) just missed us but very much complicated getting around the area doing everyday things. Hopefully be in touch soon,

      • Jim Walker

        And excuse me for complaining about difficulties getting around when there are so many so close and across the Dayton area whose homes were seriously damaged or totaled.

  2. Seat101

    Great precap Jim! Welcome back.

    I’d rather have a guy who’s hot rather than a guy who’s due. 3b & Lf are due.

    • Jim Walker

      Thanks, gIad you liked it. And I am glad to be back

  3. Shchi Cossack

    All [left] handers on deck against Scherzer today.

    Outside of 2 series against SF and 1 series against CHI, I’m having a difficult time justifying Puig’s bat in the lineup this season. That .214/.263/.383/.646 slash line in the middle of the lineup just doesn’t work, and that includes those 10 games where he OPS’d well over 1.200.

    • doofus

      Agree.

      After 7 seasons, plate discipline is still a mystery for him. No extension for him.

  4. Old-school

    The National League is good baseball. Reds play the 4th place team in the East and get Corbin and Scherzer. They play the third place AL east and get DeGrom and Syndegaard. Every NL central game is a battle. They got Kershaw and Ryu and Bumgarner already.

    The AL superteam races are over basically. ThevMariners are now tanking in early June . I wonder if the Reds changed spots with the Indians if they could be a wild card team in the AL, playing the Royals/ Tigers/white Sox 50 times a year.

    • Old-school

      NL East.
      Yes, welcome back Jim.

  5. Brad

    Just a suggestion, but it helps those of us out of the area when you include the start time in the previews. I know it is easy to find elsewhere, but when I get it here I don’t need to. Thanks for all you do to keep us up to date though.

    • Jim Walker

      Sorry. I normally do include the star time; and, I distinctly recall putting it in last evening when I sketched out my 1st draft. I did some late editing this AM on that first section and must have fat fingered it out. Again, apologies.

  6. matt hendley

    AN interesting lineup today, admittedly, i cannot recall the last time Suarez had a day off, and JVMR is in the lineup, at a position he is somewhat familiar with. Puig may have his issues but he does produce….something other than DP, when he is given chances in the lineup.
    WInker has a redemption chance today. Must take advantage of it. JVMR has a produce it a chance today, He must take advantage of it. Reds are in another must-win game to win the series. Doing so will send a statement.
    Cardinals are in Freefall, Pirates are not very good and 2 separate brewers SP went to the IL yesterday. 5 Games separate Worst from 1st. This DIvision is still easily in play.

  7. VaRedsFan

    Gray’s fastball is around 93….but his changeup is 90. I wonder if they can teach him to throw it slower

  8. VaRedsFan

    Double-clutch by Winker removed any chance that they get the speedy Turner

  9. matt hendley

    near 30 pitch inning and still going. needs to be better, and the reds need to do the same to MS….if we ever get up

  10. VaRedsFan

    It took Gray 32 pitches to get through the 1st….and they only had 2 singles, and there were 3 K’s
    Credit the Nats for piling up a bunch of foul balls.

  11. vegastypo

    Nationals TV broadcast talking about Dietrich hot-dogging it on a home run against Scherzer a few years back. Apparently he is more known for that than I realized.

  12. Seat101

    Winker takes one for the team. That’s going to hurt tomorrow

  13. Jeffery

    Marty just said if Scherzer has all 3 pitches going bend over and forget about it…..gonna miss that next year.

    • David

      The Reds do seem overmatched against Scherzer today. One run may stand up.

  14. Indy Red Man

    I thought Puig hit that ball out for sure earlier? Chris Welsh noticed what I thought earlier….all upper body swing and no stride? Even a guy as big/strong as Puig needs to stride into the ball. Of course lose a series to the Nats at home and what the Reds do/don’t do won’t matter to me once NFL training camp gets rolling. I can only make it thru about 110 meaningless games out of the 162 meaningless games they play every year.

  15. Burtgummer

    Yesterday the Reds would’ve been shut out if it wasn’t for Roark driving in both runs
    Looking like another shutout today
    Offense looking anemic again

  16. VaRedsFan

    That might be Votto’s best ever defensive play.

  17. matt hendley

    Votto with the CLutch D, Hitting needs to appear, everyone has had a look now, time to take it to Scherzer.

  18. VaRedsFan

    To echo Indy’s thoughts on Puig. His swing is all arms, and he’s stepping in the bucket a little. his head is pulling out also. He can only hit a mistake on the inner half.

  19. VaRedsFan

    DD got a hit that wasn’t a HR!
    RBI double.

  20. matt hendley

    “I am Maximus Lookatus Dietrich, and I will have my RBI’s in both this at bat and the next”

    Seriously, good batting and Baserunning for DD and Votto

  21. VaRedsFan

    The one time Winker doesn’t roll over on one when they needed it.
    He hit it hard though…so there’s that

  22. Old-school

    Scherzer is a hall of famer and dominant…..on a 4 th place team.
    It’s getting close to admitting the obvious. This year isn’t the Reds winning window. Derek Dietrich Tanner Roarck and Raisel Iglesias might get you a cornerstone piece for 2020+. The NL is too good right now.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah…this team has talent, but way too many disheartening losses? 8 run lead to SF? 4 -0 lead after 4 Reds hitters vs SF (w/Castillo on the mound). 5-0 with Castillo on the mound vs Yelich-less Milw? 3-7 vs Pittsburgh? Cmon?

      I decided to look up Reds stats at Pensacola the other day. Noticed several young pitchers have major success! Especially a lefty named Smeltzer! Problem is Pensacola is now with the Twins. No wonder they’re doing so well! In the last several years the Reds have groomed Senzel, Lorenzen, and Garrett. Neither pitcher is a starter? Winker. Who knows? Mahle? Hopefully? Just not enough talent thru the pipeline! They’re not going to steal guys like Suarez and Castillo that often.

    • Indy Red Man

      I’d keep DD over Scooter. He’s younger and a much better outfielder. Scooter is also too short for 1B if Joey ever went down

    • matt hendley

      Not even out of this game and people want to give up on the entire season. Unbelievable. Reds are not going to face Scherzer for every remaining game. only 5 out of first.
      Keep both, DD and Scooter, One is controllable, and the other is an All-star, and will be a few seasons more, Injury notwithstanding.
      Roark, DD and Rasiel in the same trade package will get you mike trout. assuming the angels would give him up and the reds would take all the money. Obviously, that particular trade is not going to happen, but something comparable

      • Indy Red Man

        Roark, DD and Rasiel in the same trade package will get you mike trout.

        Michael Trout from Illinois maybe? He’s 44 and drives for Uber.

        DD will be 30 in July…a third of a year wonder. Roark is old. Iggy is shaky. Those 3 might get you Clint Frazier maybe?

      • Old-school

        I disagree. The reds are looking at 5 under and last place again approaching 40% of the season. I hope they sweep the Cards but the reality is the NL is very good in 2019. Other than the Marlins, there aren’t any 9-1 streaks. And if the Reds can’t make the playoffs in 2019, yes…. All in for 2020. The Astros have Springer, Altuve,Correa a 2b and a bullpen guy on the DL. They have 6 top 100 prospects major league ready.

      • matt hendley

        Reds send a 2y controlled Multi Defensive slugger, a Reliable SP, and a 3y controlled Closer. Additionally Reds would take on a 30+million salary.

        Angels send massive money out, allowing them flexibility, additionally could Flip Iglesias again for Prospects. DD for Prospects. Angels rotation in shatters so they are not sending ROark away. So in theory yea the trade would be fair.

        Now Trout also is the face of the franchise and has a full NTC. so its not happening obviously, but the point is, Reds players trade value is getting grossly undersold on this site.

        MS wont go past the 7th. Reds pulling out all the stops.

      • Old-school

        What??? No one said Mike trout x you. The issue is the Reds packaging short term assets to an all – in win now team now to improve 2020-23. That’s very open ended.
        No one says Mike trout.

      • matt hendley

        mike trout is a highly controllable asset. I was using it as an example of the return should be comparable too, with those three packaged together.

      • Indy Red Man

        The Reds have no pitching that can help in the near future. None. Romano is a bust. Reed is the last of the 3 lefties for Cueto and he’s not a factor. They stole Suarez and Castillo. The Reds just aren’t producing enough help from their farm system? Period. The Cubs don’t either, but they have a key core that is still pretty young and a huge checkbook. Its just depressing. The Pirates suck. Trade their top talent for Chris Archer. That completely blows up. Marte and Polanco barely care….just go thru the motions….BUT THEY STILL OWN THE REDS?? 3-7 against a team we should own!

        Then a game like yesterday. They just pounded a good pitcher in Corbin, but turn around and get shut out 1-8 in the lineup. Roark drove in their only 2 runs? What?

      • Steven Ross

        We started the season in last place and we’re still there. Unless this team gets at least 5 games over .500, how can you take them seriously? They do have some decisions to make and soon. That might change my mind but as of right now, I just don’t see it. Casali needs to get more PT over Tucker and Ervin should be in the OF mix. How much leash are we going to give Winker?

      • Old-school

        Winker is a sophomore slump.
        On a franchise that isnt winning, he needs another 1000 at bats. This team isn’t making the playoffs in 2019. If they sweep the Cards come Tuesday…. I’ll take that back.

  23. matt hendley

    progress in the 4th, got hits, runs, hard contact and only 1 K. Reds showing life.

  24. Hanawi

    Hopefully, Scherzer has thrown enough pitches now with all of the Ks. Though maybe one more inning for him?

  25. matt hendley

    Reds go and literally come up short on the one swing tie-up effort. Will Scherzer come out for the 8th. Do the Nats want to risk an injury?

  26. Hanawi

    Not sure what Hernandez has shown to be the high-leverage guy in the bullpen.

    • Jack

      Part of the usual pattern of keep changing relievers until you find the one having a bad day to put the game out of reach.

      • Hanawi

        Well, glad it worked today. Hopefully, they can get to the Nats bullpen.

      • Rich H

        The Reds still have a top five bullpen by ERA. How do people complain about that?

    • Indy Red Man

      The Nats were just waiting til they could get to Iggy. He’s been horrible this year. Save a game when they’re up 5-2 in the 9th, but when they’re tied or a 1 run game?

      • matt hendley

        I mean really, who could have seen that coming…… oh wait, Iggy did. And the shift management again has failed the reds. That ball was straight to a 2B played normally.

  27. matt hendley

    Jose Lopez who was claimed on waivers over the offseason twice (SFG, CIN) was outrighted off of 40 man roster over the Weekend. The spot is undoubtedly going to someone coming off of injury…. but who?

    JVMR out after a 1BB, 2 K day, had a chance to show up, and halfway delivered with some D and plate discipline. Lorenzen may infact bat

    • WVRedlegs

      Might be adding dome one already at Louisville just before they bring them up. That could be one of several though. Maybe Ian Krol.

  28. Hanawi

    Nevermind. I thought Adams was the 3rd out in the inning. Thought Bell learned his lesson about bringing in Iglesias in these situations. He’s not good at all in the 8th.

  29. VaRedsFan

    Iggy gives it up again….center cut fastball…to a fastball hitter.

  30. matt hendley

    ALas, Dozier does them in. also effectively guarantees Scherzer comes back out. if DD had just been placed in a normal 2b spot that would have been the 3rd out in a 2-1 game.

    • VaRedsFan

      At least throw a breaking ball, that he will get out in front of, if you are shifting.

  31. doofus

    Welsh makes an interesting point. “If you are going to pitch him away, set-up away.’ “If you are going to pitch him to pull, set-up to pull.”

    Barnhart calls pitches away, but defense is set-up to pull. Or, Bell should make sure that the pitches call match the shift. Not hard.

  32. matt hendley

    Scherzer has been getting a ton of favors on the outside during at bats both sides of the plate. I know its name recognition and all but still.

    • matt hendley

      A TON of favors. both Vottos K’s 3rd Pitches were near balls, if not balls.

  33. Indy Red Man

    Scherzer is just an old school competitor! Have to respect that!! Hard to believe they’re 2-10 in his starts? Guess that why I felt like yesterday was a must win because the odds with Max on the mound were bound to change. 14 Ks…wow

  34. TR

    Some good moves in the winter, a downer to start the season, and exasperation continues.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah….spring training was a downer too. A good team goes 10-20 in spring training and I shake it off, but a bad team barely hits and I worry. Started 1-8 and will never recover. Puig is the biggest downer to me. Winker has 1 Hr in a month. I feel like they can build a decent rotation around Castillo, Gray, and Mahle, but they still need alot of help?

      • TR

        Yes, spring training set the table offensively for the first month or more of the season. I thought Puig would be a sparkplug but he’s been a disappointment seemingly trying for a homerun almost every time at bat.

  35. Mark Lang

    Grrrr – all game long Reds pitchers have been squeezed and this #)_$#*(@ behind the plate giving Scherzer 5 more inches

    • Hanawi

      Do you want him to swing at bad pitches?

      • doofus

        There are games when Joey Votto needs to adjust to the umpire. The umpire will rarely adjust to a .247 just because his name is Votto. JV had a whole game to realize this. He needs to learn. I do not think his ego will allow that.

        Perhaps if he was hitting over .320 the umpire would be more favorable?

      • matt hendley

        an umpire will rarely adjust to a 2-5 mid-three ERA pitcher just because his name is Scherzer……oh wait… that happened all day today.

    • matt hendley

      yea, not at that. Guarantee that any pitcher not named Max and that was a ball. Hate it when an umpire falls in love with a player. At least the high strike zone was consistent for both teams.

  36. VaRedsFan

    Max yells no at the manager coming to get him. This is Exhibit A for why you groom guys go to 115-120 pitches, instead of yanking them in the 6th inning with 93 pitches…only to shuffle in 4 RP’s, hoping one doesn’t fail.

    • Lwblogger2

      I’d agree but you can’t say that even 1 in 20 guys turns into a guy like Scherzer.

  37. Hanawi

    I wonder how many times Votto has struck out looking on a non-strike this year. Maybe I’m just a Reds’ homer, but the strike zone for him has been god awful the whole season. It’s almost getting to the point of looking intentional.

    • Wayne nabors

      he needs to swing at close ones,when you leave it up to the ump its not necessarily gonna end well for you

      • matt hendley

        no, umpires need to call balls, balls and strikes strikes, and do it the same for both teams. Scherzer’s zone was at least a foot wider then Grays during the game.

      • VaRedsFan

        +1. Pitch 1 was a strike, Pitch 2 was a strike, pitch 3 missed by an eyelash. Gary Sanchez hit a ball that was 4 inches outside, out of the park yesterday.
        He can’t touch that pitch because he is choked up so much.

  38. matt hendley

    Reds are going to have to outsource again next season. Hughes and Hernandez gone, (hughes may have his option exercised) Only Bowman there to replace them. Puig gone, may be replaced by DD. Scooter (should be extended) will be gone, going to the 4?5?6? iteration of who does Jose Peraza lose his job too this time. iggy gone, Roark gone, there isnt enough talent to replace that in the Minors. FA class of 2020 has been reduced through extensions. Where will the reds fill the holes from.

    • burtgummer

      That’s why the Reds and their fans can look forward to another season of 90+ losses next year with no hope of change in the near future

      • Lwblogger2

        They may not lose 90 this year. Geeze. I had them at 79 wins and that still feels possible. Not saying we as fans should be happy with that. What I am saying is it is bad enough without exaggeration.

    • Indy Red Man

      Been on a Chris Cornell kick lately

      The Reds fell on black days. For about 5 years straight. It is just a game though. Truth is they’ll be less talented next year then they are now. There’s no way around that.

      I’m only faking when I get it right
      When I get it right
      ‘Cause I fell on black days
      I fell on black days

      • Indy Red Man

        He bought into his own lyrics though. Sad. How bad can life be when you’re as talented, rich, and handsome as he was? Prob not the place for those thoughts but its true.

    • TyGuy88

      Maybe he turns it on in the 2nd half, but I’ve been pretty disappointed with Puig.

      Also maybe Winker needs to be sent down for a little while to get back the patient, high OBP plate approach he has had up until this season.

    • Wayne nabors

      matt im been watching reds a whole lot longer than you and o guarantee votto has gotten a hugh amounts of strikes called balls in the last 14 yrs,umps are not as perfect as you would like,but votto has been watching way to many close pitches,im glad you have pitch trax tho

      • matt hendley

        so does the MLB. The overall issue isnt the Votto at bat. Its the issue of oversight and fairness. If Gray and the others had gotten the Zone Scherzer did that would have been one thing, they didnt. Umpires above all else must be impartial. Call the zone the same for both sides.
        MLB has to also come up with a system to maintain umpires to a standard. Currently, once an umpire gets to the MLB they are there for life or until they want to leave. There is no mechanism in place to remove temporarily or permanently for an umpire that grossly underperforms. (waiting for the angel Hernandez fan club to speak up). Doing that will adress the first issue and create a better game.
        I got it, maybe Votto should have swung at that particular pitch, but the issue is there and it is not going away.

      • doofus

        agree. perhaps if votto starts swinging at more pitches instead of taking pitches and demonstrating to umpires that he is superior to them he will get better calls.

        Perhaps this board should realize that during the course of a game our hitters must realize where an umpire’s strike zone is and adjust accordingly.

        Votto can be his own worst enemy when dealing with an umpire and his strike zone. Less attitude and more thinking.

  39. Lwblogger2

    Puig swing at high fastballs 3 times in the last AB, swinging for the fences. Can’t hit a 3-run HR with nobody on base. Call to Votto iffy in the 8th. Hate to agree with Thom but yes, the pitcher is going to get that call. Also, fans need to remember that the kzone on TV isn’t perfect.

    My Reds can’t get over the hump. My computer Reds can’t either. Exact same record which is crazy.

  40. matt hendley

    Reds wiped out by Scherzer. DD and Votto come through for the only run. Jesse is removed for nonperformance, JVMR removed for nonperformance, yet Peraza is still on the Big League roster. Blandino starts his rehab assignment tomorrow. How soon Scooter?

    • Indy Red Man

      Scooter would have to be Robert Redford in the Natural….complete with screenwriters and actors playing opponents. Then the Reds might finish .500 and get out of last

      • matt hendley

        Roy Hobbs. I believe is the name you are looking for.

  41. Don

    as long as Winker, Puig and Barnhardt keep keeping many starts the team does not have much of a chance. Even when scoring runs this trio contributed very little.

    Barnhardt’s moving around so much while pitcher is in windup has to be distracting to umpire and pitcher. Barhardt’s moving around so much has to cost them close pitches as the umpire is blocked. Cost Hernandez a strike 3 today and saw another yesterday.

    These 3 have had 1/3rd of the season to show what they can do. Time to try some others. Give VanMeter more than one pinch hit a game, at least he drew a walk today.

    Team needs to go 5-3 or 6-2 on this 8 game road trip to not be out of it before Scotter gets back which will be put DD in outfield and benches either Winker or Puig. Then Wood can get Disco out of starters role as well.

    Ever hopeful but reality is this team is probably a 71 or 72 win team which would be the best in 5 years.

    • doofus

      Interesting. Barnhart still jerks his glove into the zone when he receives a pitch. He needs to be more subtle with his glove work. He still is a horrible pitch framer. Umpires know this.

      • matt hendley

        But why should the umpires care, Pitch Framing, by definition should take place after the ball is in the glove, which by definition takes place after the ball has passed over or by the plate which is where the Umpire is supposed to have made his determination of the unswung on pitch is a ball or strike. Pitch framing is an artificial analytic, that once again fails to hold umpires accountable for their incompetence.

  42. Eli J

    Moving Lorenzen to LF after he pitched was interesting. It means that the Reds trust Lorenzen in the OF more than Peraza (who PH for Lorenzen in the 8th). Can’t say I blame them, after Peraza misplayed Soto’s second inning double on Friday.

  43. Wayne nabors

    don i agree about barnhart, casali was better last year and so far he has blown him away this year,yet he gets bulk of aying time

    • Don

      Not talking about pitch framing (not a real metric, meaning as I see baseball) Barnhart moves around behind the plate which moves the pitchers aim point and the umpires view point.

      He actually moved the umpires leg on a pitch yesterday while the pitcher was in wind-up and starting to pitch to jump from lining up 6 inches outside the plate to 6 inches inside the plate. Umpire was more worried about being knocked down than watching the pitch.

      See something like this once a game on a critical pitch that turns a pitch which is on the edge and been a strike all day to a ball.

      When Joe Morgan was on the broadcast a couple of weeks ago he told a story about Seaver pitching to Bench. Seaver never wanted Bench to move as he used Bench’s body parts as his aim point. Bench wanted low and pitch to side, aim at Bench’s knees, wanted a high pitch, aim at the Bench’s shoulders.

      I realize none of the Reds pitchers are close to what Seaver was and catchers can only dream of being 1/2 as good as Bench but they should be able to catch a ball that is between their knees and shoulders without moving their entire body.