The Cincinnati Reds (28-35) try to avoid a three-game sweep against the Philadelphia Phillies (37-27) at Citizens Bank Park this afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:05 ET.

Starting Pitchers

Sonny Gray 61.0 3.54 2.95 3.29 26.90% 9.10%
Aaron Nola 70.0 4.63 4.39 3.80 25.50% 10.00%


When the Reds traded for Sonny Gray and signed him to an extension in the off-season, his performance through the first two months of the season is exactly what the club was hoping for. Gray has been an excellent addition to a rotation that had been one of the worst in baseball the last few seasons. He’s got a 3.54 ERA/2.95 FIP with 68 strikeouts and 23 walks in 61.0 innings. In his last start, he pitched five innings of one run baseball, striking out four and walking one against the Washington Nationals.

According to Baseball Savant, Gray is throwing more sliders and less curve balls then he did a season ago, which is a little weird because he made it known that the Yankees had him throw too many sliders and that it was a reason for his struggles. More noticeable than the slider usage is that Gray’s been throwing his sinker a lot less. It was his most used pitch in 2018 (30.5%). This season he’s only used it 15.8% of the time. He gave up four home runs off the sinker alone in 2018. In 2019, he’s given up four home runs total and none off the sinker.

No Phillies player has more than five at-bats vs. Gray. But of course, the one player who has had success of him is Jay Bruce, who is 2-for-5 with a home run and a double off him.


Aaron Nola was the breakout player of the year in 2018. In 33 starts, Nola had a 2.37 ERA/3.01 FIP with 224 strikeouts and only 58 walks. He finished third in the NL Cy Young award voting, behind Jacob Degrom and Max Scherzer. This season, however, his performance hasn’t been to the standard of where he was last season.

Despite his regression, Nola’s K/9 rate has actually gone up from 9.49 last season to 10.16. He is still a very good strikeout pitcher, but his BB% and HR/9 are elevated from 2018. His HR/9 rate, in particular, has skyrocketed, from 0.72 to 1.41. He’s already given up 11 home runs in 2019. For comparison, he gave up 17 home runs all of last season and 18 in 2017.

Nola relies on four pitches and throws all of them with some regularity. In 2019, he has thrown his curve a little more than the four-seamer. Not locating the curve ball well might have something to do with his home run totals being up. Nola has already given up three home runs off the curve ball. Batters hit three home runs off the curve over the entire season in 2018.

Derek Dietrich has a home run in 20 plate appearances off Nola. Eugenio Suarez also has a home run off him. The player who hasn’t done well at all in facing him? Joey Votto, who is 0-for-12 against him.


Cincinnati Reds

  1. Jesse Winker – LF
  2. Joey Votto – 1B
  3. Eugenio Suarez – 3B
  4. Derek Dietrich – 2B
  5. Yasiel Puig – RF
  6. Jose Iglesias – SS
  7. Jose Peraza – CF
  8. Curt Casali – C
  9. Sonny Gray – SP

Philadelphia Phillies

  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. Aaron Nola – SP

News and Notes

-Tomorrow is today. Nothing is wrong with Nick Senzel. It’s just a day off.

-Here’s a little pregame reading for you.

-I finally got the content I’ve been waiting for on the Reds Twitter profile: Joey Votto and Jay Bruce together.

Baseball Highlight That Has Nothing to Do With The Reds, But Is Too Good Not to Share

-Kumar Rocker had 19 strikeouts en route to a no-hitter against Duke to keep Vandy’s season alive. College baseball is exciting this time of year.

147 Responses

  1. redfan4life

    This team is a mess right now. If they don’t reel off a winning streak soon it is time to start selling. Problem with that though is nearly all trade candidates are either injured or under preforming.

  2. Centerfield

    Isn’t Jay Bruce due for a day off? He looks like he could use some rest….

    • vegastypo

      Yeah, a day off from all that running around the bases. (Except for when he can just trot around the bases.)

    • matt hendley

      so glad we got rid of that guy

  3. Seat101

    Here’s an update on Jose Peraza:

    Tri State police departments state that there have been no reports of Jose Peraza turning in a little kids selling lemonade on sidewalks;

    The SPCA has no reports that anyone fitting the description of Jose Peraza has been seen to be kicking dogs;

    Tri-state fire departments also report that no one fitting the description of Jose Peraza has been putting cats in trees and then abandoning them;

    The police of East Arnwell, New Jersey have definitely ruled out Jose Peraza as the wheel man in the Lindbergh kidnapping.

    Please stay connected to this blog for any further details on the horribiity of Jose Peraza.

    • Satchmo

      “Peraza sucks” screeds from WVredlegs and/or Sliotar in 3…2…1…

      I think they’ve abandoned their wives and families for the sole purpose of hating a man they’ve never met.

      • vegastypo

        We’re gonna start this again? If Peraza shows he belongs on the 25-man roster, people will back off. To date, he has shown no real ability to play any position exceedingly well, especially when his defense would need to be special to make up for his subpar bat.

        What’s not to understand here?

      • WVRedlegs

        Satchel, I don’t criticize Peraza. You have me mixed up with somebody else. But don’t let facts get in the way of a good rant.

  4. FreeHouse

    After getting swept today, they need to really focus on the trade deadline and focus on 2020.

  5. Sliotar


    Mate, I am appalled at how the Reds are owned and operated, but I don’t hate anyone.

    And, shame on you as well for falsely accusing me regarding Peraza. You are confusing me with Matt Hendley or any number of other RLN posters.

    I am agnostic towards Peraza. He is young and cheap/controlled, which the Reds don’t have enough of. But, he needs to get back to the 2.7 WAR guy has was in 2018.

    My loving girlfriend will laugh when I show her someone who never met me has accused me of “hating” and “abandoning” anything/anyone.

    Thanks for the “compliments”, though.

    Go Redlegs.

  6. Indy Red Man


    No tienes que ir a casa, pero no puedes quedarte aquí.

    • vegastypo

      Help me out here, “You don’t have to go home, just don’t stay here” ?? My Spanish was never that good ….

      • Indy Red Man

        Yes! The standard bartender line at closing time in Spanish

  7. Indy Red Man

    Thats one good thing about Peraza!! Men on 1st/3rd & 1 out…..there is literally no chance he will hit the ball hard enough for a double play! See? Never say we don’t praise him!

    • vegastypo

      He got the run in, I’ll give him that. After that feeble first half-hearted swing, I wasn’t even sure he would make contact. But a run is a run.

  8. Seat101

    A criticism of Jose Peraza has been that he can’t catch balls hit right at him. Somebody please tell David Bell that Peraza will drop everything hit to him in centerfield today.

    • vegastypo

      He looks like what he is, an infielder playing the outfield. As long as he makes the plays …

    • VaRedsFan

      Peraza dropped 7 line drives in 2 years at ss/2b (that I saw). He’s been perfect on those types of hits so far this year. I’m glad he overcame that weakness of catching balls hit right at him (like catching a throw).

  9. Indy Red Man

    Surgical by Sonny right there. Pounding the outside corner on Kingery with 95 and catches him leaning out there with a heater on the hands inside for a little popup.
    He’s pretty good….#3 on a excellent rotation. #2 for the Reds good rotation

    • matt hendley

      yes SOnny looks vintage today, only being beaten by the shift.

  10. Indy Red Man

    Pathetic effort from that lazy ump? That 3-2 to Suarez was outside and he didn’t even lean over there to look? Overhead shot showed him just assuming it got the corner and didn’t bother trying to lean that way? Winkers was borderline at best and Suarez was 100% outside the strike zone

  11. WVRedlegs

    There is another David Bell defensive shift that “worked”.

    • Doug Gray

      I imagine you’re the guy at the casino that hits in blackjack on 19 and the time you get an ace or a two screams I told you so despite the fact that it’s a terrible play and rarely actually does work out.

      • matt hendley

        Here is the problem, besides a defunct blackjack reference.

        The play where bruce grounds to second and is played by a shifted iggy is going to be counted at the shift work. However, it would have in a normal alignment been fielded by DD and thrown out. Yet it will still count to validate the shift.

      • Doug Gray

        Go read the article posted this morning, Matt. The data is clear. The shift is helping every team in baseball. The Reds are benefiting from it more than 28 other teams. The Reds are closer to the ball when it’s hit, by a large amount, than they would be if positioned “normally”. These are absolute proven facts.

        There is no problem other than the refusal to accept that the shift works a lot more than it doesn’t.

      • matt hendley

        I read the article, First the Red Sox are mentioned of having gotten worse. Second I only see a change in the Reds defensive shift. nothing that says they are 3rd in the Majors in improvement.

        Furthermore, reading this correctly the article refers to a 3 degree placement of the ball from the fielder. That is an awfully small size. Is the author assuming that the fielders are playing on broken legs? Is the assumption that the ball is supposed to come to the fielder as opposed to the fielder coming to the ball. If the author ran the numbers again with a 5 degree or 7-degree variance would the results be the same?

        I believe it is an issue of selective mathematics. Cause most fielders have a greater range of 6 degrees from teh plate.

  12. Indy Red Man

    I’m done. Suarez’s pitch was worse then that and Nola gets the call. The Reds have enough problems without being cheated my someone thats too lazy to do their job.

  13. VaRedsFan

    .Ball in the sun drops. tie game..
    Harper looked safe

  14. Seat101

    This only happens when Jose Pereza starts in Centerfield

  15. matt hendley

    Having trouble with my computer today. GOt it working to find that some people are upset at me calling a bad player a bad player. When he isn’t bad, then i will stop

    Garbage mashup. The umpireing is awful, but cant argue that when you lose the ball and give 2 runs up. shame.

  16. Sliotar

    The first base area of Philly’s park is becoming the most memorable piece of road territory this season.


  17. Mark Lang

    There it is…. yesterday I said the only value this team has at this moment is the new and creative ways of screwing up to lose….and BAM! A two run pop up that land 25 feet from the guy who was supposed to catch it.

  18. VaRedsFan

    That’s on Casali. He has to go out and meet the runner.

  19. matt hendley

    Suprised that Casali got a start against a right-hander.

  20. Seat101

    Jose Peraza is Ofer.

    Drew Stubbs would’ve had two homers by now and at least one assist – that one coming in the first inning

    • matt hendley

      Thats a blast from the past. But Drew Stubs was a superior hitter and superior CF then Peraza. Not even arguable. Might still be, even though i think he retired. And your right, Peraza is 0-2 right now. Wasting another opportunity. And yes i am tracking he got an RBI on what was basically a swinging bunt.

  21. VaRedsFan

    That’s the most helpless feeling in the world, losing a ball in the sun. I had it happen on back to back plays once. Awful

  22. Roger garrett

    Reds can’t hit this they lose

  23. Seat101

    I’m not trolling. I’m showing you how tiring it is to hear this constant negative refrain when it’s really not all that applicable

    I get it. Some of you firmly believe that there are better players on the roster or in AAA or that we should’ve gotten in trades or in free agency.

    We know how you feel.BUT He’s not the only player who makes errors he’s not the only player who strikes out.Yet the negative comments for him alone are equal to virtually all the other negative comments combined for Reds players.

    As long as you all feel it’s necessary to micturate on him I’m going to give you a taste of your own, Ahem medicine.

    • matt hendley

      The difference is that many of the players and Peraza is that they are good players that are having a bad stretch vs. a player that is not good. Peraza is not good. Do what you want, its not going to change the fact that Peraza isnt good.

      Oh and when you are bringing up names like Drew Stubbs, your Trolling

      • Seat101

        As I said earlier, I get it. But until you start criticizing the other players for their poor performance at anywhere near the level you criticize Peraza you guys are the trolls.

        I’m tired of reading it. Even when he’s not playing you guys are making comments.

        But get a new song, will you? That tune is getting really old.

      • matt hendley

        Your argument is invalid. Puig receives dozens of negative comments daily. I assumed Votto had died of old age that based on the number of negative comments the both of them received.

    • vegastypo

      Seriously? The guy is batting .210 and plays shaky defense most of the time. He’s going to get more criticism because he doesn’t play as well as other guys. … When he plays better, that will stop. What is so seriously hard to understand about that?

  24. Hanawi

    Ball 2 and strike 3 were in the exact same spot. I’m not sure how you’re supposed to adjust to that as a hitter. It’s the variability within at-bats or even within the game that drives me nuts.

    • Frogem

      Sorry, but it’s time to remove the HP umpire from calling balls/strikes. Harper should have just struck out instead of have another chance to hit the single turned into a double.

  25. vegastypo

    Marty Brennaman after Votto struck out looking: “It’s not hard to believe sometimes that he’s just up there for a walk.”

  26. Sliotar

    Marty, after the Votto K….

    “It’s not hard to believe that often times he is up there just to walk.”


    Votto is clearly not the player he has been, but that’s going a little too far.
    Plus, Votto is actually one of the few actually getting on base this weekend.

    • Hanawi

      It would be helpful if more guys on the team were going up there looking for a walk. Instead they are looking for a 3 run home run with no on base. OBP as a team is down big-time this year and some individuals (i.e. Winker) are even worse off.

    • Pete

      Marty’s problem might be he resents JV taking the exact same approach regardless of the situation on the field. If there are two outs and runners on the bases, a ~.250 hitter behind him, he will still stick with his approach. Not saying it’s wrong but I can understand why some may be put off by it. He s arguably the best all-around hitter the Cincinnati Reds have ever had, so most people perceive MB’s comments as nitpicking and small-minded. But there it is.

    • VaRedsFan

      Well, Marty did get Votto going, when he started the season off in a 2 month slump before. So there is a method.

  27. Seat101

    I say one more batter for Sonny Gray

  28. vegastypo

    And there’s vintage Puig. He’s going to show off his arm at all costs, even if it means giving the trail runner an extra base. Please don’t re sign this guy.

    • Pete

      To date, YP is my biggest disappointment. Didn’t see this coming. His bat is so slow and his swing so long. Never makes an adjustment, ever. He is who he is and that’s not good.

      • vegastypo

        The “never makes an adjustment” criticism is something I’ve heard about for years now, living near LA as I do. … What I’m surprised about is how badly he seems to get beat by fastballs.

      • VaRedsFan

        I certainly thought he would thrive. I whiffed on that one too.

  29. Pete

    It’s going to be extremely hard for the Reds to score 4 runs today. Sonny better hold them here.

  30. Big Ed

    This ump has a God-awful strike zone. Harper was out.

    Sonny made his bed with the walk, though, so he needs to lie in it.

  31. vegastypo

    Haha. Harper was determined to keep trying until they actually got him at home. Terrible baseball to make the last out of the inning like that, especially with the cleanup batter at the plate.

    • VaRedsFan

      The crazy part about that is, it was strike 3 right down the middle, not called.

  32. Roger Garret

    Ball game but we have our usual one run so we are consistently just awful.

  33. Sliotar


    Feels like Harper was thinking same thing. Smelled that a 4th run would be a huge hurdle to get over.

  34. matt hendley

    Strike zone favors the Phillies, Harper should have never been on base. Giving that run to the Umpire.
    What is this, the 40’s, who steals home anymore.

  35. Pete

    I don’t understand this move…at all. Is Bell bored?

    • matt hendley

      Bruce. never hurts to pitch a lefty to him.

    • Seat101

      Bell seems to know something we don’t. Or else he’s lucky. I wouldn’t of let Greg come out for the inning. Or finish the last one.

      I would love to see David Bell call out some players in public

  36. matt hendley

    Cant fault gray for this appearance, If the umpires had been doing their job it would be 2-1, if the reds IF and the umpires had been doing their jobs it would be a shutout still. Really would have liked to see him get through 6 innings..

  37. Roger Garrett

    3 outs on 6 pitches. I just don’t think we are going to get any where with this team. We are just a joke of a team

    • Pete

      With all the pop-ups I have to believe we have highest launch angle in MLB.

  38. FreeHouse

    Redlegnation should have a one sentence recap after the game. Reds are a joke.

  39. Pete

    Nola looks like the greatest pitcher since the guy we faced yesterday…

    • matt hendley

      but not as great as the pitcher we will face tomorow

  40. Seat101

    For those of you keeping score at home Jose Peraza is 0 fer three

  41. matt hendley

    Bruce. never hurts to pitch a lefty to him.

  42. VaRedsFan

    Where are those people that were saying the Reds were better than their record because of run differential?

    • matt hendley

      I beleive they have disapeared

    • Pete

      Hey, Reds are third best ERA, FIP and xFIP. In the entirety of MLB!!!! How was I to know the hitting would be this inept?

  43. Cincyborn2012

    Well at this pace, it’ll only be about another week until the Reds are as bad this season as they were season. They went on a run winning 12 of 15 games starting on June 10th last season. They got their deficit down to 12 games under .500 and held it there for awhile. A few more losses this week, and the team will be right on track to lose 95+ games again.

    Where are all those people now who said this team was so much fun to watch earlier in the season??

    • Adrian

      They are fun to watch this season and if you really believe, watching the games and seeing the results, that the team this year is actually as bad as it was the past few years, then I feel bad for you because why automatically jump on the negative projection? Sure, if they lose 6 straight they’ll be as bad as last year, but if they win 6 straight – which would only be balancing out the crazy losing streak to start the year – they’ll be right at .500.

      I can’t speak for anyone else or tell anyone else what to do, but this year when I watch the Reds they are competitive 90% of the time and actually win 50% of the time since 4/9. That’s not great – or where the team ultimately needs to get to – but it’s a heck of a lot more fun than the misery of the last few seasons.

  44. matt hendley

    VOTTO…. Multi On base day….. AND PLAYS THE HERO….. that is a good player who was having a bad stretch. New Ballgame

  45. Pete

    Vottos and Senzel’s hits look like line drives in the box score. We’ll take ’em.

    • vegastypo

      I hear THAT. The Reds have hit some balls hard lately that were right at fielders. Darn right we’ll take ’em.

    • VaRedsFan

      80 mph Duck Snort by Votto….desperately needed that

  46. Sliotar

    Suarez so far in Philly this weekend….

    0 for 12, 0 BB, 6 K’s

    “He’s due” is an understatement.

  47. matt hendley

    SUarez for the Lead, well how about that. Senzel produces a run from the bench.

    • Seat101

      Not just because of today but this is a good time to bring it up, we should seriously think about extending this guy (and buying insurance policy, too)

  48. Pete

    As bad as we’ve hit this weekend to snatch even one win would be awesome.

  49. matt hendley

    This is the perfect spot for Lorenzen, BOT 7th full inning, with the bottom of the order.

    • matt hendley

      And then they pull him after 2 outs, lol shows what i know. Still good placement in the BP usage.

  50. VaRedsFan

    Let’s give Bell a little credit, for not letting Winker bat against a lefty

    • matt hendley

      WIth Senzel on the Bench, absolutly the right move. Hope he enjoyed those 6 innings off, cause that was the last off day this month…lol

  51. TR

    The Reds need this game so use everybody today with an off day tomorrow in Cleveland.

  52. vegastypo

    Terrible call on Iglesias. And the way the catcher caught it made it look even worse.

  53. matt hendley

    SO shocked that that pitch was a strike after it was a ball after it was a strike after it was a ball….. etc. The enitre crew has been suspect this afternoon.

    • matt hendley

      Thats umpiring crew and weekend not afternoon

  54. VaRedsFan

    Casali can’t swing at that 1st pitch….Peraza had that base stolen

  55. Hanawi

    Not sure how much more rope they can give Puig. Plenty of guys in AAA hammering the ball that could put up better than a .650 OPS given the chance.

    • vegastypo

      This season could be better spent getting more of an evaluation of Ervin, in my opinion.

    • yorktownred

      Yes. We saw the earlier post that the Cincinnati PD has zero reports of his thefts.

  56. Centerfield

    I wish TV would eliminate that strike zone box on the screen…..we need to be complaining about the players instead of the umps….

    • matt hendley

      There is nothing stopping an individual from criticising both. Umpires are paid well, they are expected to do that job well. When they don’t, and this particular crew has a few habitual offenders, they should be criticized.

  57. Big Ed

    Stevie Wonder umpiring behind the plate.

  58. Old-school

    Turning out to be a good baseball game. 7 th inning will make Phillies fans boo. Great but tired Nola gives up Infield single to a catcher, 4 pitch walk to a rookie Call -up… Infield single to a rookie . Bell outmanaging Kepler today.

    Iglesias should get his wish to pitch in his preferred role.

  59. Old-school

    Gray, Duke,Lorenzen,Garrett job well done. Iglesias needs to finish.

    • Big Ed

      I would have let Garrett pitch to one more hitter. I can understand the logic, but Garrett is a better pitcher than Iglesias.

      It worked, though.

  60. Steve Mancuso

    Master course by David Bell managing platoon splits today.

  61. matt hendley

    Hoskins, JTR and The pitchers spot for the bottom of the ninth, 3 outs to go.

    • Seat101

      The world turned upside down for the Phillies, eh?

      • vegastypo

        Oh, I suspect those kind, considerate, compassionate fans in Philadelphia will take it all in stride.

  62. matt hendley

    A new Feeling, grasping victory from the jaws of defeat. Great job by the reds. A tolerable job by the CF/LF/2B in some older players. Votto’s resurgence continues. Senzel comes in clutch. Infact a lot of clutch plays. Good job on the win

  63. docmike

    Still struggling to score runs, but the pitching at least gives the team a chance most games. Lots of teams will drop 2 of 3 in Philly this year.

  64. docmike

    Still struggling to score runs, but the pitching at least gives the team a chance most games. Lots of teams will drop 2 of 3 in Philly this year.

  65. Centerfield

    so who gets the “win” ????

    • docmike

      Duke pops in, throws a whopping 2 pitches, and steals a completely meaningless statistic from Gray.

      • yorktownred

        Totally worthless, but I’m glad Sonny Gray wasn’t saddled with the worthless “Loss.” He never deserved that if the comeback had not ensued.

      • docmike

        Is there any way in the next round of negotiations between the clubs and owners, that we can completely abolish the “pitcher win/loss” as a statistic?

        I’m only half kidding.

  66. TR

    You seem to be saying that Zack Duke did not deserve this win.

  67. doofus

    My youngest son and I were at the game today. The Phillies had a shout out to Marty Brennaman for his years in baseball, HOF, etc. No they did not boo him. There was a loud applause for him from the Philly fans.