Tonight the Reds open their last road trip before the All Star game with the first of 4 games versus the Brewers in Milwaukee. Game time at Miller Park is 8:10 EDT.   The Reds (34-38; 4th place NL Central) hope to extend their current 4 game winning streak. The Brewers (40-34; Tied 1st NL Central) have lost 6 of their last 10 including 2 of 3 in San Diego where they closed a west coast  road trip Wednesday. They hope to get well at the Reds expense. Yes, it is getting to that time of season when something has to give.

 

STARTING PITCHERS

Tanner Roark will start for the Reds against Jimmy Nelson for the Brewers in a match up of righthanders.

REDS

The Reds want Tanner Roark to pick up right where he left off against the Rangers in his most recent when he retired  the last 10 men he faced. That 7 inning quality start effort was Roark’s longest outing of the season and bested  his season’s average  start by just less than 2 full innings,  For those who track such things, Roark was charged with a 4-3 loss; but, this was largely due to 2 unearned runs enabled by the Reds defense.

Since 2016 Roark has accrued an FIP of a tad less 2.95 against the Brewers over 39.1 innings (6 starts).  If he can match this performance level tonight, the Reds will be happy to take their chances.

BREWERS

Jimmy Nelson, on the other hand, is hoping tonight doesn’t end like his last start. Nelson threw 13 pitches in the fifth inning of that start; and, 12 of them were balls. When the dust cleared, he was charged with 4 runs (all earned) in 4+ innings of work. However, that start was just Nelson’s second MLB start since September of 2017 when he suffered a serious shoulder injury while running the bases.  The injury eventually required surgery and cost him the entire 2018 campaign. Prior to the injury, Nelson was having what appeared to be a breakout season in 2017 with a 3.05 FIP in 29 starts. The the good news for Nelson and the Brewers is that he is back on the mound in normal rotation 5 days later.

Since 2016 in 6 starts (42 IP) versus the Reds, Nelson has a 4.05 FIP. If he is near being his prior self, expect a lot of strikeouts and not many walks.

Tale of the tape:

PITCHER FIP WHIP HR/9 BB% K%
Tanner Roark 3.30 1.39 0.61 8.4% 22.9%
Jimmy Nelson (2017 Stats) 3.05 1.25 0.82 6.6% 27.3%

 

BULLPENS

REDS

Thanks to Tyler Mahle’s sterling 7 inning effort, the Reds pen had to cover only 2 innings on Wednesday. Matt Bowman pitched both of them. Everyone else should be rested and ready to go. That’s a good place to be starting from in  a 4 game series with the Brew Crew.

BREWERS

The first order of business tracking the Brewers bullpen is knowing what is going on with Josh Hader. He hasn’t pitched since Sunday (2 IP; 19 pitches). There are no indications he is injured or otherwise unavailable.  Wednesday, the Brewers pen had to cover 5.1 innings.  Adrian Houser threw 3.1 of those  innings and figures to be unavailable tonight. Setup man Jeremy Jeffreess threw 22 pitches to complete 1 inning of work (blown save) and also may be unavailable.

LINEUPS

          REDS        BREWERS
1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Derek Dietrich (2B)
5. Nick Senzel (CF)
6. Yasiel Puig (RF)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Tanner Roark (P)
1. Lorenzo Cain (CF)
2. Christian Yelich (RF)
3. Ryan Braun (LF)
4. Mike Moustakas (2B)
5. Yasmani Grandal (C)
6. Eric Thames (1B)
7. Travis Shaw (3B)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Jimmy Nelson (P)

Standard lineup against a RH starter for the Reds.

Hopefully the Reds have taken note that Reds killer Eric Thames is getting the start tonight at 1B

NEWS AND NOTES

Doug Gray has completed his wrap up of the Reds 2019 June draft. Check out this report at Reds Minor Leagues

The Reds Minor Leagues midseason Top 25 Prospect List  2019 update is also now available

Here’s an idea which injects a little excitement into a gray last day of spring

FINAL THOUGHTS

The Brewers are  home off a tough west coast trip without an off day to rest and recuperate. Their starting pitcher is making what amounts to an MLB level rehab start. Meanwhile the Reds are showing signs of being genuinely REDS HOT, as we said back in the day, with their top 3 starting pitchers set to go in the first 3 games of the series. If the Reds are going to make noise in the playoff chase, this is an opportunity  they need to take full advantage of by jumping on the Brewers early and going on to take at least  3 of 4.  GO REDS!


Stats and data via Fangraphs, Baseball Reference and MLB.com

128 Responses

  1. Old-school

    41 days to the trade deadline. DW just gave an interview. He feels the reds are turning the corner on offense and about to get 2 MLB starters already in the budget back to playing in Wood and Gennett. He went out of his way to say the days of players hitting in the same spot and playing in the spot 150 games a year are over and Bell has done a great job and the players as well with the new normal.

    • Mark Lang

      ” He went out of his way to say the days of players hitting in the same spot and playing in the spot 150 games a year are over and Bell has done a great job and the players as well with the new normal.”

      He has seen the team’s offense stats, right? Nothing like doubling down on what’s got you one of the worst offenses in baseball.

      • Old-school

        I don’t need an everyday 8. I do need a good everyday 6. I don’t care if Winker hits 2nd or 5 th or Senzel.leadoff or 2nd. A big 3 weeks coming up.

  2. RojoBenjy

    Excellent intro, Mr. Walker.

    Get us a W!

  3. Indy Red Man

    Kind of feels like a little playoff series to me! 2-2 is not the end of the world, but if you want to be a player then you have to get on a hot streak at some point! Nelson is rusty and they probably won’t have Jeffress. Should be interesting if the ole Redlegs swing the bats?

    Alex Blandino with a .949 ops at Lville. I’m not too big on drafting guys in the 1st round with a ceiling of a utility player, but he’s promising! He didn’t tear it up last year w/the Reds in his stint, but I like a guy with an obp was 90 points higher then his batting average!

    • Jim Walker

      @Playoff feel> Especially with the quick turnaround and the Brewers coming into GABP for 4 the 1st thru 4th of July. That’s almost half the season series between these 2 teams inside 2 weeks if I’m counting correctly.

  4. Wayne nabors

    Brewers are 1/2 game back so reds need the Mets to win also to gain ground today,but chances look really well,but man I wished casali was starting

  5. Klugo

    A series sweep would essentially and finally cancel out the 1-8 start. I’ll take 3 out of 4 and call it even.
    That’s a heck of a lineup the Brewers run out there though. They’re pitchers, not so much.
    Go Reds!!

  6. ToBeDetermined

    A 2 city team. How wild. If they make the playoffs where would they play?

  7. Indy Red Man

    Rockies righty Jeff Hoffman bad again today. Former 1st rounder….maybe he just needs out of Coors! I saw him pitch on tv in Wrigley a few years ago and he was dynamite! He’s 26. Dick Williams should try to steal him! Move him for Stephenson since they never pitch the kid….and when they do its in complete garbage time.

    • Colorado Red

      Coors field ruins pitchers. They are never the same.
      Lots of Rockies pitchers are struggling this year.
      Like to Jeff pitch when I watch the Reds on July 13th.
      Do not think the Rockies would trade him, Jeff is afraid to make trades.

  8. matt hendley

    I will also take 3 of 4 for the Brewers, But they must take tonight. Nelson just returning to baseball. Gone an awful long time. Must take advantage. GOod movements on the lineups Winker a good RHP Leadoff, and senzel is doing well enough his RBI posibilites must be increased.

    This season is far from over. Not only not in last place, but only roughly 5 games out of first. Overtaking STL is also the next Phase line.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree, the Reds need to focus on catching the team immediately ahead of them as they climb and count on (hope) the closeness of the division keeps anyone from a breakout at the top as they are climbing.

      I like to break seasons into 16 games segments since each one is essentially a tenth of a season. Most teams play most of the segments between 9-7 and 7-9. As the Reds are learning if you pop a 5-11 segment, it a haul to get it back. On the other side of the coin, if a team can put up a 12-4 (or better), it is very hard for others to keep pace or catch them unless the team with the 12-4 run obliges with a poor segment (6-10 or worse) to offset their strong one.

  9. Joey

    Prefer all our starters in this series. Wow, it’s been quite awhile since we as Reds fans could say that with any regularity.

  10. Mark Lang

    If you lived in Tampa – why on earth would you show up in the first part of the season for a team that will play the 2nd half – the “down the stretch” games over 1000 miles away? That’s just crazy.

    • RojoBenjy

      Maybe it’s a prelude to moving to Montreal for good.

      • Mark Lang

        Whether it’s intended to or not – that’s what that is.

    • Colorado Red

      Not a nice location. Used to live in Tampa, (The lightning played there), not the best part of town, and not easy to get in or out.
      Poor location.

  11. TomN

    Why don’t the Reds try to package Blandino, Ervin, Barnhart and maybe a top 10 prospect for Omar Narvaez or Wilson Ramos? Blandino and Ervin are both looking good and blocked in Cincy. We need a good starting catcher and more of a consistent offensive threat in our lineup. When and where is Blandino going to play? Hate to give up Ervin but the same with him, unless we were to trade Puig. Narvaez is a LH batter too.

    • TomN

      And maybe I’m overpaying. Maybe we don’t need to add a top 10 prospect or maybe we can keep either Blandino or Ervin instead.

      • matt hendley

        yea its a massive overpay for all of them. A 10-15 prospect and TB or TB and ONE of the other names. Thats really it.

  12. C Holbert

    Can they not find someone, anyone, to sub for Thom?

  13. matt hendley

    WHile i know this will go against the normal RLN opinion, this is the perfect game for drawn out counts. The guys FB is gone, cant find the zone, Dont swing until the first called strike comes across and i think we will be in the Bullpen by the 6th

  14. Mark Lang

    This is encouraging – we’ve already gotten more walks than we get in whole games sometimes.

  15. Mark Lang

    Sign this guy to at least a 3 year deal today.

    • vegastypo

      I wonder if they’d get him at a decent price since he’s getting a little contract security. Might be welcome after being flat-out released. I don’t expect he can sustain his offensive numbers, but a big glove goes a long way, too.

  16. Old-school

    Exactly what the reds needed.. a crooked # in the top of the first with a rehab pitcher throwing 30+ pitches

  17. Indy Red Man

    Big hit from Iggy! 1 run would’ve been a bummer after all the wildness. Need to pitch and add-on now! They’re among the leaders in scoring in the 1st inning, but no add-ons.

  18. Roger Garrett

    Big two out hit by Iggy.They make the difference and agree Indy 1 run right there well it never happened so lets get more and more.

  19. vegastypo

    Winker feeling his oats a little bit there. Bad decision. Although I think he jumped over the tag ??????????

  20. Old-school

    Winker being winker. Guns out the runner at home yesterday with defense and hustled out the triple with athletic gymnast moves at 3b.

    • DHud

      But he obviously still has to prove he wants to play every day

  21. matt hendley

    A sport center not 10 for the brewers tomorrow

  22. Steve Schoenbaechler

    With Winker, safe or not, I have no problem with Winker going for the triple. That’s how you as a player learn just how fast you are.

    Even though he was safe, I would hope that Winker would consider, he wasn’t fast enough to beat that. That was simply poor defense from the 3rd baseman.

    • Indy Red Man

      You don’t make that play on Cain. He’s too good. Baseball Gods agreed…no run

  23. RojoBenjy

    Is a deep fly too much to ask from #19?

  24. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Votto looked like he swung awfully late at that 3rd K.

  25. Jim Walker

    Votto is still capable of putting up good numbers but his days of being able to waste borderline and “pitchers'” pitches almost at will appear to be a thing of the past.

  26. RojoBenjy

    Disappointing. Runner at third no outs and nuttin

    • Indy Red Man

      They had 1 out. Jim Day got it wrong at first. Roark led off

  27. Seat101

    That was anything but a “slide” I guess “approach” would be the right word

  28. Roger Garrett

    Need to keep the pressure on.Please don’t go to sleep on offense.Already missed some chances to add on.Its huge to get this first game.Nelson is in spring training mode.Need to get him out of there.Counsel will go a little longer because he is just coming back.

    • RojoBenjy

      Agreed Roger. No mercy. Make these two infield hits sting hard!

  29. vegastypo

    Geez, that pitch that was called a strike to Iglesias was caught on the ground. No breaking pitch goes from the strike zone to the ground that quickly. And then the popout, oy …..

  30. Mark Lang

    jokes on them – Roark is a better hitter than Barnhart

  31. vegastypo

    And then a pitch high and out of the strike zone is strike three called to Roark. Laz Diaz is trying to give Angel Hernandez some competition as the worst ball-and-strike ump in the majors.

    • matt hendley

      I was just about to come in with the Laz diaz comments

  32. Mark Lang

    The baseball God’s hate those who leave scoring opportunities unfulfilled and usually grant such teams losses. We’re up by 3 – but it’s looking bad.

  33. Indy Red Man

    Roark is on it tonite! Nice command so far! They just need to add-on badly! Nelson has nothing.

  34. Indy Red Man

    Hard to say about Joey? He hit a HR in Cleveland like 105 mph or something. Thats the hardest ball I’ve seen him hit this year, but I think that wasn’t a sign of much. Father Time is undefeated

    • vegastypo

      If this is really the ‘new Joey,’ I didn’t expect the dropoff to come so suddenly.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        From what I’ve been seeing, he seems to be waiting an awful long time to swing. Probably why he fouls so many off. I wonder if he can’t recognize the ball very early. Vision test possibility?

  35. matt hendley

    Jokes on Yelich, no ones on base, Reds need to keep pressing

  36. vegastypo

    Just as Welsh is talking about how unusually aggressive Roark is being in the strike zone, boom, home run from Yelich.

  37. Indy Red Man

    I’m no pitching coach, but thats a classic example of the pitcher being psyched out by facing a great hitter. He thinks he has to do something special! A cut fastball? His breaking ball has been outstanding all night and spotting 93-94 really well. Yelich was still making outs over 65% of the time. Only 1 run though

  38. Old-school

    Give Puig and Winker credit .. both running 100% out of the box.

    Iglesias needs an extension. The guy can play shortstop and hit a little bit.

    • Mike Adams

      Senzel too. Love that hustle from all three. Reminds me of Charlie Hustle.

  39. Indy Red Man

    Too bad they don’t have American football in Cuba. Puig would be another Bo Jackson

    • PhP

      That seems like a good comparison, I never realized he was this fast before he came to Cincy, and he’s built like a tank.

  40. matt hendley

    Puig and Iggy combine for 2 more. Covering for TB non batting.

    • Grand Salami

      What if the Reds started rotating Farmer in for some starts at C? I hate to say it but Tucker looks lost and AAA seems like it would make sense. Does he have any options remaining?

    • Old-school

      Ok ..reds getting to be really fun.
      Finish this!

  41. Indy Red Man

    The other night with Castillo pitching was the 1st time all year that I noticed Casali struggling. Barnhart threw a ball into LF for no reason a few weeks with a man on 3rd. He might be 15% better defensively, but nobody runs much anymore. Casali needs to get 2/3 of the playing time. Quit screwing around Bell?

  42. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’d consider IBB’ng Yelich in the 5th.

  43. Mark Lang

    That’s why I like Roark – the easy way to go was “pitch around” and/or walk him – but he went right for him… I like the cut of his jib.

  44. Sliotar

    2 age 36 guys involved in that Votto 77 mph hit and Braun “field.” LOL.

  45. TyGuy88

    This might be unpopular but if the Reds are eventually sellers and if Roark continues like this, I gotta believe a team would give up a very good prospect for him.

    • RojoBenjy

      Could be if the market goes that way. If the more highly regarded pitchers are taken but there is still a team desperate enough to make the playoffs, they may give valuable prospects.

    • Sliotar

      I don’t think the Reds are selling anyone.
      The optics of that would be horrible.

      I am not sure how many teams are bumping their own established guy for a half-season of Roark.

      Milwaukee probably would, but can’t see that happening.

      • Indy Red Man

        Texas would love Roark. 17 starts between Shelby Miller/Smyly with a +8 era. Boston, Oakland, and maybe Philly?

      • vegastypo

        Would the Reds dare trade within their own division? The Brewers need pitching …..

        And yes, the ‘optics’ would be terrible if the Reds are in contention. But at some point, you have to consider the future. I’m trusting Dick Williams not to take his eye off the future for a lottery shot at the playoffs this season.

      • TyGuy88

        If they leveraged Roark into another Castillo-like prospect (a la Straily trade) or some other high prospect, I’d be fine with it.

      • Colorado Red

        And as a note, Dan was DFA’d today.

  46. Old-school

    This just in. The Brewers have 1 run.

    • RojoBenjy

      What happened to DB’s planned days off?

    • TomN

      He looks completely lost at the plate. Simply awful. Fortunately, he is still making just about every play on D.

    • Indy Red Man

      Maybe mentally. They’d had a ton of days off and off Monday & Thursday next week too.

    • RojoBenjy

      Wonder if his hand is bothering him more than that are letting on?

      #piratesarescum

      • ToBeDetermined

        Interesting, I hadn’t thought of that

  47. RojoBenjy

    Grandal May start taking those personally.

  48. Mark Lang

    I like the hustle they’re showing in this game… that’s a big difference from earlier this year.

    • Indy Red Man

      I agree, but you always look flat when you’re not hitting. Did they have some kind of meeting after the first two Texas games? They got smashed in the first game and then gave them 2 runs on errors in the 1st inning to lose the 2nd game. You’re not always going to hit, but don’t give away at-bats and concentrate in the field.

  49. Mark Lang

    it was WAY up there …. where that ump has been calling them strikes the whole game.

  50. Indy Red Man

    Can’t get too cocky. They beat Milw 10-2 or whatever without Yelich last time in Milw in the 1st game and then jumped out 5-0 with Castillo the next day and lost.

    Feels good and it really doesn’t feel like they’re that hot with the bats. Just hitting like the back of their baseball cards except for Iggy. He’s the only one overachieving vs. his past results

    • vegastypo

      And I think that going from the AL to the NL has to be an easier transition for someone like Iglesias. Over there, pitchers have to be a bit better to succeed, since they routinely face lineups with nine hitters, not eight hitters (and one of those who can be pitched around with the pitcher in there too).

      • Indy Red Man

        .684 career ops and he was at .741 coming into tonite. Not a huge huge swing. Career high 6 hrs and tonite was his 5th. GABP is about 80% of the size of Comerica.

      • vegastypo

        Thanks for the numbers … that’s kinda my point. This might not be a particular hot streak for him in the NL. This might be his new normal if he sticks around. I wonder what better option the Reds expect to have at shortstop beyond this year if they don’t re-sign him.

  51. Mark Lang

    This guy has to pitch COMPLETELY different with a runner on base or they could just crawl/steal every base.

    • Mark Lang

      I guess – after all that herky-jerk, he comes to a discernable stop before delivery to the plate.

  52. matt hendley

    Reds (assuming they hold the lead) will go to 4 games behind in the 2WC. MIA and STL tied and on its way to extras if MIA wants to win. Move to 3 under .500. A definite recovery from last week.

    I’m Sorry, did Chris Welsch say pimping?

    • RojoBenjy

      Are you predicting due to all the hit batsmen?

      • vegastypo

        Eh, the only hard feelings would be if the Brewers thought that Dietrich didn’t really try to get out of the way. None of those pitches looked to be the least bit intentional. … Now, if this were the Pirates, we’d already be watching a brawl.

  53. Mark Lang

    Uh oh – Duke pitching… this can get interesting fast

    • Mark Lang

      and OF COURSE he walks the leadoff batter

    • RojoBenjy

      Well for now they are out of Dusty Baker’s “slam range “.

      But give it time lol.

      • RojoBenjy

        Um- he was just setting up the DP…yeah, that’s it…

      • RojoBenjy

        And then he sets up another DP.

        For him to prove himself he really needs 4 outs.

  54. Grand Salami

    The double plays tonight have been back breaking for the brew crew – love it.

  55. RojoBenjy

    Very, very nice victory for the men wearing Red Stockings.

    Good night, all.

  56. Grand Salami

    Can this team buy and sell?

    Presume for the sake of argument that both Scooter and Wood come back and look solid. Can this team sell on Puig or Roark, get prospects and then flip them or others that become expendable to another for the piece they need (a controlled corner OF with some offense is about it)?

    I think this team needs to sell a bit. They should sell because they can potentially do so without missing a beat and bolster the farm.

    • Colorado Red

      I would rather extend Roark at this point.
      Similar deal to Sonny’s?

      • RojoBenjy

        I hear you, but Roark’s pitch inefficiency is going to catch up with him.