After splitting an abbreviated two game series with the Cardinals in St. Louis, the Cincinnati Reds (28-33) head to Philadelphia this weekend for a three game series with the Phillies (35-27) at Citizens Bank Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 ET.

The Phillies currently lead the NL East by two games over the Atlanta Braves. Their pitching hasn’t been terrible, but the team ERA is 4.32, ninth in the National League. The FIP is second to last in the NL at 4.94. They have also been just average at the plate, with a team slash line of .245/.325/.419. If the Phillies played in any other division, they probably wouldn’t be in first place right now. With a record of 15-9, they are feasting on NL East teams. Against all other teams, the record is 20-18.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA FIP xFIP K% BB%
Tyler Mahle 61.1 4.26 4.09 3.48 26.20% 5.50%
Zach Eflin 65.2 3.02 4.36 4.81 18.70% 5.10%

The most impressive part of Tyler Mahle’s season has been his K/BB ratio compared to his rookie season last year. His K% has jumped by five percent from a year ago, while he’s lowered his BB% by five percent. His K/BB ratio sits at 4,79, up from 2.08 in 2018. It’s the highest it’s been since the 2017 season when he split time between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Louisville.

While Mahle is striking out batters more frequently, he’s also giving up home runs. He’s allowed 11 home runs already this season, with four of those coming in his last two outings. He gave up 22 home runs in 23 starts in 2018. He hasn’t been giving up a lot of fly balls (42.9 GB% and 32.4 FB%), but when he does give up fly balls, they go out of the ballpark. His HR/FB% is 20.0% this season.

The Phillies team ERA may be below average right now, but it’s not because of Zach Eflin. Before being put on the IL for back stiffness, he was their best starting pitcher this season, with a 3.02 ERA and 4.36 FIP in 65.1 innings. Tonight he makes his return to the rotation. Eflin won’t strikeout out a lot of batters–he has 51 strikeouts this season–but he won’t walk batters either. His BB% in 2019 is 5.1%, and for his career, it’s 5.8%.

Eflin has six pitches, but relies mainly on a four-seamer, a slider, and a sinker. He will throw a change-up as well, but mostly to left-handed batters. He very rarely throws a curve or a cutter. His velocity has topped out at 93.7 for his fastball and the high 80s for his off-speed pitches this season.

Bullpens

Here’s a fun fact for you. Both team have used their bullpens almost exactly the same number of innings. David Bell has used his bullpen 212.2 innings, while Gabe Kapler has used his bullpen 212.1 times.

The Phillies were off yesterday. The Reds, while not off yesterday, were rained out Tuesday night. Both teams should have a fairly rested bullpen.

Lineups

REDS PHILLIES
1. Nick Senzel (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Derek Dietrich (2B)
5. Jesse Winker (LF)
6. Yasiel Puig (RF)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Tyler Mahle (P)
1. Cesar Hernandez (2B)
2. Bryce Harper (RF)
3. Jean Segura (SS)
4. Rhys Hoskins (1B)
5. J.T. Realmuto (C)
6. Jay Bruce (LF)
7. Scott Kingery (CF)
8. Maikel Franco (3B)
9. Zach Eflin (P)

-No Reds player has more than six at-bats against Eflin. Joey Votto has hit him the best, going 3-for-6 with a walk off him.

-Jay Bruce faces his former team tonight.

News and Notes

-The Chattanooga Lookouts have five All-Stars.

Pre-Game Reading

There’s lots of new content on this website and others today. Here’s a few for your enjoyment:

-If you’re an Athletic subscriber, read C Trent’s latest on AJ Bumpass, former Bearcat and one of the Reds draft selections.

Random Thoughts That Have Nothing To Do with Baseball

My brother moved to Arizona two years ago and will be back home this weekend. One of the first places he’s going when he gets back to Cincinnati tonight? Skyline Chili. He hasn’t had real Skyline (while a nice substitute, Skyline from a can doesn’t count) in 18 months. If you see a 25-year-old guy at a local Skyline restaurant tonight crying tears of joy while eating a cheese coney, it’s probably him.

126 Responses

  1. matthew hendley

    is it true that Bryce harper is not as good as his contract? I heard Andrew McClutchin was better then him

    Reply
    • Wayne nabors

      harper is not as good as his contract,thats why he wanted such aong guaranteed contract,he only batted .248 last year and he’s around that again this year

      Reply
  2. Roger Garrett

    13 games of scoring 1 run or less so far this year along with 16 consecutive inning of being shut out by the other teams bull pen.Will it change tonight?We shall see.

    Reply
    • Jim Walker

      The problem with canned Skyline is that it takes away the plausible deniability of knowing how high the sodium content is. At the restaurant I can always just say, well it didn’t taste that salty. 😉

      Reply
      • I-71_Exile

        True. I have to cut it with beans if I ever dare a bowl of chili without spaghetti. Also, GO REDS.

  3. Seat101

    To be honest with you I have more animosity towards the Phillies then I do the Cardinals.And when we play the Phillies I’m reminded of what a bad in game manager Dusty Baker was.

    But that’s just me. I want every Red to do well. Right now, I’m really wishing that Winker and Votto get well on Phillies pitching.

    Not to be Debbie downer or anything but I do not have a good feeling about this series. Please prove me wrong

    Reply
    • Pete

      This team is so wobbly it could go either way: win 8 of 10 or lose 8 of 10. More than likely they will saunter along playing .500 baseball. Until proven otherwise it’s who they are. Votto is coming on and I really don’t have an immediate concern, the poor hitting of our corner outfielders is a major concern. Hard to be very successful when they’re not getting prime contributions from those positions.

      Reply
  4. Sid

    Anybody have any idea the record of the LHP line-up (Peraza/Farmer usually) vs. the RHP line-up (DD, Winker)? Just curious. Regardless, I wish Ervin was up and getting about 10 straight starts, just to see what he’s capable of. I think he could be a solid contributor if given opportunity.

    Reply
  5. VaRedsFan

    1 at bat late, but Votto bangs one out…1-0 good guys.
    Swinging the bat works.

    Reply
    • Slicc50

      I was really aggravated with Joey after that at-bat! I love him again now, lol

      Reply
  6. matt hendley

    But i dont understand? I thought he was washed up. I thought father time had put him in his grave?

    Also the no strikeouts looking count today. possibly the worst umpire ever is behind the plate tonight

    Reply
  7. VaRedsFan

    Tremendous defensive play for Joey V. He’s off to a nice start 1 inning in.

    Reply
  8. Slicc50

    Good, its time for Jesse to start swinging the bat like he is capable of!

    Reply
  9. Slicc50

    Come on guys, if you want to be above .500. You HAVE to get these kind of runs home!

    Reply
    • Roger Garrett

      Exactly right but Puig was key right there.He has to at least get him over but he strikes out on 3 pitches.

      Reply
      • Slicc50

        Yes he was, I keep hearing how Puig heats up as the weather does. Hope that happens very soon.

  10. matt hendley

    Scared of Barnhart and then walk the eagle eyed slugger….wait thats the pitcher

    Reply
  11. Mary Beth Ellis

    I was like one second from Cleting out on this game during that Harper loud out.

    Reply
  12. WVRedlegs

    You know, the Mariners got a better trade return for Jay Bruce in 2019 than the the Reds got for Bruce in 2016 from the Mets. Hmmm.

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      Reds cleared Bruce’s entire salary, Seatle is still on the hook for everything minus a couple million. That might have something to do with it.

      Reply
    • RojoBenjy

      That one was a laugher. All you can do about it now anyway.

      That front office was like the 3rd grader in a room of sixth graders at a baseball card swap. “I’ll trade you these 10 new shiny cards for that one old one of Willie Mays.”—“Ok, sure. Cuz 10 is more than one!”

      Reply
  13. Roger Garrett

    Votto first pitch out.Suarez first pitch out.Those things amaze me.Dude walked the pitcher earlier.

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      first you want him to swing at strikes, now you dont want them to swing at strikes. Suarez’s nearly got past Franco. Vottos was down the middle,

      Everyones out here tonight trying to win gold gloves

      Reply
    • vegastypo

      Yeah, I was away for about 30 seconds, came back and there were already 2 out. Hack-tastic inning.

      Reply
  14. matt hendley

    I dont know how, but somehow I think DD stopped and Stared while throwing that to first.

    Reply
  15. Mary Beth Ellis

    I am hereby inviting Jesse to my next yoga class.

    Reply
  16. Old-school

    As usual, Votto and Dietrich and Winker carrying the Defense

    Reply
  17. VaRedsFan

    OMG Winker…he won’t make a better catch EVER in the rest of his life. STANDING OVATION! Sportscenter Top 10…incoming

    Reply
  18. vegastypo

    When three of the Reds’ worst defenders are making highlight reel plays, gotta wonder what’s going on.

    Reply
  19. Old-school

    Phillies might be overrated. This series winnable. Go reds.

    Reply
  20. VaRedsFan

    I’ll never moan about a guy swinging at the 1st pitch. I’m from the camp that if it’s a strike (hittable strike), pound away. There is some merit to working the pitcher sometimes…only if he has trouble locating home plate….the nibbling types.

    Reply
  21. Mary Beth Ellis

    Yasiel Puig stepping on his own hand is peak 2019 Reds

    Reply
    • Seat101

      He stepped on his hand because he was hustling and being smart about his slide.
      Is that what you meant?

      I have been to more than 1000 professional baseball games and I have never seen that before in my life FYI

      Every game there’s a chance to see something you’ve never seen before

      Reply
      • Mary Beth Ellis

        No, nothing against Puig, just this team’s tendency to do something great and immediately follow it by a step backwards. WLWLWLWLWLWL.

  22. Old-school

    Tyler Mahle is developing before our eyes. Give the young man credit and give DJ credit. This starting pitching staff is very good.

    Reply
  23. matt hendley

    Incidently the Pitch that VOtto Grounded to second on is close to the area where the Standing still K came from yesterday. Obviously a weaker zone for VOtto.

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      Actually ignore this one, i was reading the Px backwards.

      Reds need to force the Philles into the Bullpen.

      Reply
  24. Nmstrauss@cinci.rr.com

    We are well on our way to a game that could end and under 2 1/2 hours

    Reply
  25. VaRedsFan

    Someone has to do it this series, so I’ll be the one.
    I sure wish JT Realmuto was a Red

    Reply
  26. seat101

    Here comes that rainy day feeling again.

    Debbie downer here…

    Reply
  27. matt hendley

    Alright, the Slightly nostalgic piece has taken place. Get off the field and back into the Dugout.

    Reply
  28. Roger Garrett

    Ball game and make it 14 games with scoring only 1 run.

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      its the bottom of the 5th. No way is anyone mailing in half the game.

      Reply
  29. Seat101

    When do we get to the part where Angel Hernandez crews us?

    Reply
    • seat101

      Never mind… We’re doing it to ourselves. Going to take an hour off here see if you guys can fix this for me

      Reply
  30. matt hendley

    amazing, just amazing, now Mahle is effectively done, great job tucker

    Reply
  31. Indy Red Man

    Walked in 10 minutes ago….can I just walk back out and pretend I never turned the tv on? Dead team walking. All this team can do is possibly win enough to fall out of the top 10 in the draft next year. Thats their ceiling. Whoop-de-#$&$&# doo

    Reply
  32. Old-school

    Offense has 1 run in a hitters park at on a Votto fence scraper.. no slight to Votto .. great job. Every one else has same opportunity. Offense is bad.

    Reply
  33. slicc50

    the way the ball is carrying tonight…..this one isn’t over yet

    Reply
  34. Slicc50

    Ok guys….No excuses here. Need to score! Puig, you need to put up a good at-bat!

    Reply
  35. Roger Garrett

    Same line up getting the same results.Would there be any harm to bring up Ervin and give him a few starts in right?How about the same for Van Meter at second or Farmer?Just can’t stand pat and hope it gets better or can we?Reds need a spark from somebody some where

    Reply
    • Slicc50

      I agree…I love Phil Ervin, I think when he finally gets his chance, he is going to be a fine player for the Reds.

      Reply
      • TR

        Ervin has been up and down for quite a while and he’s been slotted as a 4th. outfielder. I’d also like to see him get a real chance as a regular. He can hit, run, and plays good defense with a good arm. I think he could surprise fans in much the same way Duvall did.

    • Old-school

      I agree with you on 99% . But a big problem with this offense is Yasiel Puig. The solution is he gets better or gets replaced. He’s being paid $10 million to be an offensive anchor. Not showing up for the first 3 months of a 6 month season is grounds for dismissal.

      Solution – Puig gets to 81 games to fix it. If not, it’s a jesse Winker Nick Senzel and Phillip Ervin OF the next 81 games.

      Reply
      • Slicc50

        You are right, Puig has single-handedly hurt 2 possible run scoring situations. The first one, he strikes out on 3 pitches after a leadoff double. Then the last inning…….2 on, no outs, he pops up. Doesn’t even move a runner forward either at bat.

  36. Indy Red Man

    We can win with Iggy the SS. Extend the man! He’s a professional and he’s got a plan in the field and at the plate!

    Reply
  37. matt hendley

    Iggy comes through. PH prob coming up. VanMeter, definate position to make a statement about why he should be in the lineup.

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      and nothing thats why he isnt getting starts right there.

      Reply
      • Indy Red Man

        Look at Brandon Dixon though? He’s producing! Most of these young guys don’t get endless chances to start like Peraza. Its mostly pinch-hitting with a few spot starts. That would be hard for 95% of the league

      • matt hendley

        losng Brandon Dixon was a huge mistake by the reds, My opinion still says that he was the best part of the Fraizer trade. The thing with VMTR, is that he was brought up as a favor to Nick Senzel. They were buddies on the bats and I am sure that they asked Nick (being a future piece and a play right away guy if anyone would make him more comfortable up here) WIth Kemp getting released and Schebler needing a tune-up (and more ) in LOU, it made sense to bring up a proper bench piece. Gotta make the Number one prospect as comfortable as possible. I would say for the most part it worked.

  38. matt hendley

    Angels zone has been getting wider to the outside for LHB all game. SMH.

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      and not recipricating for the RHB. So a slanted left zone as one is looking at it.

      Reply
  39. VaRedsFan

    That’s what I’m talking about on 1st pitches. Puig takes the 1st pitch right in his wheel house. Are hitters up there guessing? or are just not of the “see ball hit ball” mold?

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      puig was obviously taking all the way. The way some of the commentators were going on about the early outs, it might have been a good plan. obviously, the location wasn’t a help, I am sure Puig is upset about it. It is possible that he got the hold sign as well

      Reply
  40. Hanawi

    Reds have missed multiple opportunities to move guys on 2nd to 3rd with 0 or 1 out. Struggling to do ther little things.

    Reply
  41. Jeff Morris

    Don’t understand why Casali is not playing catcher, he is a better bat than Barnhardt, who just struck out by the way. Also, why not bring up Ervin to be on the bench, instead of Van Meter, who looks overmatched and just struck out….by the way.

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      A look at his RHP splits might give you a hint. Against LHP, absolutely no doubt should start every game but the problem with Casali is that he is a platoon hitter.

      Reply
      • matt hendley

        I forgot about the Hip surgery, makes sense now too.

      • Indy Red Man

        Problem is Tucker can’t hit from either side and is overrated defensively. Casali is twice his size and atleast gives the pitcher something to think about. We already know TB’s ceiling is a .700 ops give or take. Nobody knows what Casali can do fulltime?

      • matt hendley

        Please don’t misread my comments about CC being bad against righties as somehow saying that TB is good, cause that is definitely not the intent. C is a problem. Maybe the reds will fix it in by the Deadline.
        Reds in the bullpen now. Need to make moves

      • Slicc50

        Not trying to argue with you or anything. You said look at his splits….so I did. .372/.438/.581/.1.019 against RHP this year. Obviously, that is THIS year only. MUST be the hip is all I can say.

      • matt hendley

        interesting, I will give you that one, I have been looking at his 2018 and prior split due to full-season stat availability. Now caveat, it’s still a SSS for this year so far, but it looks like he has reversed those splits. Interesting, I guess tucker must call a really good game or something

    • Seat101

      I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in. Going to go outside and pull weeds no TV or radio see you in half an hour

      Because Casali had hip surgery over the winter. Maybe? I have a feeling that he is limited to X number of games for the season. The longer the time between starts, the more games he can play later in the season. It’s just a guess.

      Reply
  42. Indy Red Man

    8 outs to go. If it walks like a 1 run loss. If it talks like a 1 run loss….then guess what it normally ends up being? Hope I’m wrong of course

    Reply
  43. Roger Garrett

    Now have not scored against the other teams pen in 17 innings.Five hits yesterday and 5 today.Just have to make some changes.I don’t know what may turn this around but we know what doing the same thing and expecting different results is.

    Reply
  44. Roger Garrett

    Hughes was really good and at least we have a chance which is all you can ask of a reliever.A bloop and a couple of errors and another bloop would be nice.

    Reply
  45. Old-school

    Yasiel Puig gets 2 more weeks. He’s simply awful. Then move on to a Winker Senzel Ervin outfield.

    Reply
    • Roger Garrett

      I agree.No reason not to do it.He won’t be here next year anyway and as you said he is just awful.If you throw him anything other then a slider low and away you should be sent down

      Reply
  46. Indy Red Man

    Puig:( Hitting .211 isn’t necessarily as bad as it used to be. If you’re hitting the ball out of the park and drawing walks. 10 hrs is nothing in todays game & he’s not drawing walks. He drew 60+ in a season with LA before? Fastballs up and sliders away…execute that and he Ks. Its that simple. Its a bummer….can’t trade the guy at .211? I feel a little bad for David Bell. Nobody thought this team would be this pathetic offensively.

    Reply
    • Roger Garrett

      His OBP is .256 which is well I don’t even have the words.I also feel sorry for Bell.Finally we can pitch and this offense is just awful and that’s being nice.

      Reply
    • matt hendley

      No. The first person to go needs to be Peraza. As long as he gets chances at the Majors, so does Puig. Puig has a better upside history etc.

      Reply
  47. Indy Red Man

    Wandy in a 1 run game late….what could go wrong? Its like making Stevie Wonder a crossing guard

    Reply
    • Roger Garrett

      I like that one.To be honest I hate to lose but if they score a bunch right here I am good with it.Losing 3-2 is just terrible.

      Reply
  48. Slicc50

    Man….why does it cause me so much pain to watch them throw away winnable games like this?

    Reply
    • Don

      this is what a last place team does. Tonight’s game demonstrates the difference between a 1st place team and a last place team. Last place team tries dump plays (Barnhardt) and then makes a error all while not being able to hit.

      3rd worst batting average in the NL, lower than Miami who is trying to loose.

      Reply
  49. Scott C

    Just saw why Iglesias should play Short and Peraza should not.

    Reply
  50. Indy Red Man

    Peraza. He a C-minus defender. He doesn’t steal bases like he should. He could hit .280 with 14 hrs in a perfect world but with a .300 obp. He just doesn’t bring enough to the table. Maybe if you just need him to be the 24th-25th guy on the roster, but the Reds play him all the time?

    Reply
  51. EDWARD ALLAN WINSTON

    Bell simply overmanages! This team underperforms. When are the Reds Mgmt going to wake up ???

    Reply
  52. matt hendley

    But your all right, Peraza is the SS of the future.

    This loss is an even split. Barnhart gets half. he gave up the lead with his throw to the LF.

    Bell gets it with the shifts, that allowed the runners on base, his removal of competent baseball players for Jokes.

    I am not defending TB by any stretch, but if we run CC and he crashes or gets hurt, there is no depth of any note.

    Top of 9th leads to 2 garbage players and Nick Senzel. For the Record. Now is when you can call the game

    Reply
  53. Indy Red Man

    Jay Bruce….such a nice guy! Sucks though that he hits a decent pitch down & way out of the park to left-center. The Reds tried to get him to do that his entire career in Cincy without success. Maybe a few during a heater but usually he’d roll over 4-3 on those all day long.

    Reply
    • Slicc50

      absolutely……if that guy could have done that for longer than a 2 week stretch per season during his whole career, we would be talking about a much different player. That was a good pitch actually from Tyler. Jay still hit it out!

      Reply
  54. Indy Red Man

    Peraza with a vicious shot…glove not required:)

    Reply
  55. Roger Garrett

    No need to pull Iggy.Just leave Hernandez in the 9 hole and pinch hit for him.It isn’t a tie game and Hernandez isn’t going to go another inning anyway because well we aren’t going to tie this game.

    Reply
  56. Don

    senzel 3rd strike has been a ball all games until 2nd out in 9th inning. terrible

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      Barely a strike, but Senzel would have argued that till an ejection. GOtta establish dominance against notoriously poor Umps

      Reply
    • matt hendley

      seems Puig is not the only one to do that today.

      Reply
  57. Slicc50

    This one is a tough loss…..The Reds seem like they are playing themselves right along with the other team. Very discouraging. They can’t hit the other teams bullpen because they just don’t have enough guys that can go up there and put up a tough at bat late in the game. Their offense pretty much has 3-4 automatic outs in it on most nights. It’s a shame to waste all of these good pitching performances with a lack of offense or bad defense. Anyone heard the latest on when Scooter may be back?

    Reply
  58. WVRedlegs

    Well, former Red Jay Bruce and should have been a Red JT Realmuto beat up on the current Reds.
    At least it wasn’t Harper.
    Let’s hope the charitable Barnhart and Peraza are on the bench tomorrow and not in a position to be gifting runs.

    Reply
    • RojoBenjy

      Alas, we’ll likely see at least one of those generous players.

      Reply

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