It’s going to be a very Gray evening at Coors Field in Denver, no matter what the weather forecast says.

The Reds and Colorado Rockies will send pitchers with the same surname (though not related) to the mound as both teams play their first game after the All-Star break. It’s the first-ever Gray vs. Gray matchup in Major League Baseball history.

The Reds are 41-46, and the Rockies are 44-45. In essence, the Reds are two games behind Colorado in the race for a National League playoff berth, so this series has importance for both teams.

The Rockies are one of eight teams between the Reds and qualifying for a Wild Card berth, so getting hot and staying hot must happen at some point for Cincinnati if they have any realistic hopes of making the playoffs. Hanging around .500 obviously won’t cut it. All of the Reds’ opponents for the remainder of July also have similar post-season aspirations. We’ll probably know in relatively short order if the Reds are contenders or pretenders.

Game time at Coors Field tonight in the first of a three-game series is 8:40 p.m. Eastern time.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Sonny Gray 90.1 3.59 3.46 27.8% 8.9%
Jon Gray 108 3.92 3.86 25.1% 9.2%

This pitching matchup appears to be about as even as the spelling of the starters’ respective last names. Sonny Gray’s last outing before the All-Star break was the 8-inning, 12-strikeout, 1-walk performance against the Brewers. I was watching the Milwaukee TV for that game, and the announcers were almost in awe of what Sonny Gray was doing. Brewers color analyst Bill Schroeder, a former major league catcher, said you just don’t see pitchers any more who dominate with the curveball as their primary pitch. Schroeder compared Sonny Gray’s curve to Bert Blyleven’s. If you are old enough to remember back to the 70s and 80s, Blyleven had probably the most effective curve out-pitch that there was at the time. The Reds are 8-2 in Gray’s last 10 starts. Jon Gray’s ERA and xFiP are very slightly higher than Sonny Gray’s, but you can probably attribute that to pitching half of his games in Coors Field.

(Interestingly, there is also an Anderson-vs.-Anderson starting pitching matchup tonight in Milwaukee: San Francisco’s Shaun Anderson vs. the Brewers’ Chase Anderson.)

Bullpen

Hopefully the bullpen has taken full advantage of four full days off from pitching. The Reds now have a lefthander available:

Josh VanMeter was sent to Louisville earlier in the week as a precursor to this move. Amir Garrett is due back in another day or two, and it will be interesting to see what move is made to make room for him. Other interesting decisions looming in the near future regarding making room for players currently on the disabled list involve Alex Wood and Tucker Barnhart.

Starting Lineups

Reds Rockies
LF Jesse Winker RF Charlie Blackmon
1B Joey Votto SS Trevor Story
3B Eugenio Suarez LF David Dahl
RF Yasiel Puig 3B Nolan Arenado
2B Scooter Gennett 1B Daniel Murphy
CF Nick Senzel CF Ian Desmond
SS Jose Iglesias 2B Ryan McMahon
P Sonny Gray C Tony Wolters
C Curt Casali P Jon Gray

Sonny Gray faces quite the challenge tonight, as does the Reds pitching staff as a whole: a Rockies batting order in which the first four hitters are 2019 All-Stars.

If Gennett can begin to recapture his offensive production of the past couple of seasons, that would be like the Reds making a mid-season acquisition without having to give up anybody. The team needs more offensive consistency, and Gennett is a possible source.

Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.

News and Notes

All games this weekend on MLB.com’s online streaming video package are free. So if you are not in the Cincinnati and Denver markets (and therefore blacked-out), you will be able to watch online without charge. …

The Reds have signed another former Rays catcher. Curt Casali is also a former Tampa Bay player who joined the team under similar circumstances last year …

If you had the chance to watch this guy pitch, you were very lucky …

133 Responses

  1. rex e aultman

    I’m looking for a well pitched game from Gray tonight

    Reply
    • Mark Lang

      Dunno… Colorado is where good pitching stats go to die.

      Reply
  2. matt hendley

    I predict Gray Skies. Seriously though, would be nice for the reds to start off strong.

    Reply
  3. Kevin

    Kind of an off-topic question here, but I am looking to take some friends to the July 21 game against the Cardinals and have done some previewing of the weather and it looks like middle 90s for that day. I was wondering if you guys could tell me what sections of great American might be shaded on that day? Sitting in 95° heat does not sound very appealing.

    Reply
    • Rich H

      You’ll want to be as high up in the lower section on the first base side as possible. Nice breeze and shade.

      Reply
    • Sliotar

      Used to buy weekend season-ticket packages for niece and nephew…your question isn’t off-topic at all, IMO. Makes a huge difference in enjoyment.

      This site is clunky to move around in, but for shaded seating/time of day, it is the best. A real lifesaver.

      https://www.rateyourseats.com/showratings/great-american-ball-park-mlb/best-seats/shade-and-cover

      1st Base Side gets the shade as the afternoon goes on.

      Also, if netting is a priority, this site does not specify whether you would sit behind it or not. Would have to check on Reds.com to confirm exact sections.

      Reply
  4. Sliotar

    The over/under for total runs tonight is …. 11.5.
    (expected runs – Rockies 6.31/Reds 5.19)

    Coors Field, where the breaking balls still just don’t break, even with the humidor and whatever else they do the balls pre-game now.

    I watched a Rockies broadcast just a few weeks ago, where it was 5-3 after 2 innings and an announcer said, “Bud Black knows not to panic with his pitcher. Things are just getting started around here.” Rockies won 12-11, I think.

    Go Redlegs.

    Reply
  5. C Holbert

    Oh boy, Jim Day, play by play…time to go to the audio feed….

    Reply
    • Lwblogger2

      He’s not that bad. Take him over Thom and his melodramatic delivery any day. Not a very good announcer but gets it done ok. Has improved quite a lot even over just this year.

      Reply
  6. matt hendley

    Scooter out for being sick, now the question is, was this done before 1st pitch or after?

    Reply
    • vegastypo

      According to the boxscore on mlb.com, Scooter was never in the official lineup. Not that it matters, if he’s too sick to play. I doubt he is available off the bench, either.

      Reply
      • matt hendley

        Bell “scooter, get your sick butt up there”
        Scooter goes up, faints. As he is falling is HBP. Once he is at first replaced by a pitcher to run.

        So yea, he is avalible off the bench. LOL

  7. Sliotar

    Sonny 22 pitches, 14 strikes in 1st.
    Cool to see him attacking guys in a place he has never pitched.

    See if he can keep it up 2 times through order, then be ready for quick hook on 3rd time.

    Reply
  8. Lwblogger2

    Rockies have brought their gloves today. 3 nice plays.

    Reply
  9. Indy Red Man

    I’m guessing Casali has hit about .140 since TB went out. Suarez hit like .145 in June. DD has hit like .180 since the 3 hr game. Either these guys won’t listen or won’t make adjustments or this new batting coach sucks? Let Puig give him a hug and get him on a flight out of Denver tonite!

    Reply
  10. Lwblogger2

    This tanking crap around the league has to stop. There are 5 MLB teams with a legitimate chance to lose 100 games. Teams trying to lose is crap. I recall when a team winning or losing 100 was a pretty rare occurrence.

    Reply
  11. Old-school

    The reds need to hurry up and find some hitters.
    Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray are good. Roarck is a great 1 year guy. Mahle and Disco are ok.

    No hitting at SS and 2b and C. Throw in a pitcher for 2+ at bats abd a bad offense Gennett is hurt but being paid $10 million dollars for nothing abd getting old fast. . Catching is bad. Iglesias is a great 24th player and utility infielder and semi-regular SS and late inning guy.

    This team is better but can’t hit enough. Roster reconstruction is needed.

    Reply
  12. burtgummer

    And the Reds still can’t hit
    So much for the old saying it takes pitching to win

    Reply
  13. TyGuy88

    That was a terrible call on that ground out from Puig. He clearly beat the throw.

    Reply
  14. Mark Lang

    The Rockies making play after play after play for the highlight real and then…. Winker. Just embarrassing. I can count the times I’ve seen that in 40+ years of watching baseball on one hand.

    Reply
  15. Broseph

    Boring game. Outside of some nice Rockies infield defense, both teams are coming out like they just got back from spring break in Panama

    Reply
  16. Old-school

    Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo additions are amazing. Kudos to DW and team. Overhaul the offense please.

    Jesse Winker may need to go to the AL. Good hitter but defense isnt there. Get back to 3 starting OF every day OF instead of 5 left fielders.

    Trade Winker and Dietrich and Peraza and Roarck and Hernandez and Hughes for the future.

    Reply
  17. vegastypo

    And there is another of our DH’s …. Sooner or later, the Reds are gonna pay for these gaffes.

    Reply
  18. matt hendley

    Yea, Deitirch messed up, but he looked pissed when he did. If i recall winker did not, unless it was the camera just getting away

    Reply
    • Lwblogger2

      I call BS on that. Winker clearly said “Oh ” and was clearly upset he misjudged and dropped that ball. He’s a poor defender but let’s not project that he doesn’t care.

      Reply
  19. Indy Red Man

    Reds showcasing that 2nd half intensity:) 1 hit and 2 errors in the 5th. I’m gone. I’ll fast forward it later

    Reply
  20. Seat101

    What’s going on with the Red’s defense? Is it cobwebs?

    So a player has a breakout year then has a cold start to the next year and becomes a bench player for the rest of the season

    Meanwhile the other players are having trouble hearing their way out of a paper bag yet get continuous, continuing, and continual opportunities.

    Go figure

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      don’t even try that. Peraza’s “breakout year” left him with a WAR that is customary for a regular. not even a super regular. he was given his chances and dropped the ball. Deitrich is in a slump. Its different than just not being good.

      Reply
      • Seat101

        Give me a break. Dietrich was hot for a third of a season. His fielding is barely better than scooters.

        I know you have this thing about Puriza, but a young player has a breakout year has a slow start the next year, is known for having slow starts, yet unlike other players isn’t given a chance to work it out . A primarily defense for us shortstop has a hot 1/3 season with an unsustainable BABIP And then turns back into a pumpkin on offense.

        The Reds are hitting yet one guy who has a track record of hitting throughout the season is on the bench. You can micturate on them as much as you want. But a better bad is sitting on the bench right now.

      • matt hendley

        No break for you.

        Peraza has had 3 years to prove himself. 3 years. He was succesful for exactly half of one season.

        He needs to be traded out. that is the last useful thing he can do for the reds.

        Jose I nearly leads the reds in hits.
        Deitrch has already Perazas HR total from last year.
        2.4 WAR is not going to guarantee you a spot on any team.
        Peraza is a bad player. That is not an opinion, that is fact.

  21. Mark Lang

    Okay… I’m sorry all you Winker fans – he’s horrible – no other word for it… every game he’s going to do something horrible – his offense can’t make up for his defense and baserunning… one embarrassing thing after another… Little Leagues would hang their heads at plays he makes EVERY DAY.

    Reply
    • Tom Mitsoff

      Winker is clearly one of the biggest disappointments of the season, his triple a few minutes ago notwithstanding.

      Reply
    • Sliotar

      None of the veteran MLB broadcasters like going to Colorado, skip out of it when possible. The travel, for most of them, is part of it. But, mainly, the games usually take a ridiculous amount of time to complete.

      Marty in sitting in either Cincinnati or North Carolina, wishing he had made this trip to rant on-air after watching that play.

      Reply
      • Mariners77

        Radio said Marty was scheduled for this trip but had to cancel due to a family emergency

  22. Seat101

    Sheesh

    I know we’re ahead right now but it still feels like we’re losing. The leftfielder and second baseman really don’t look like they have their heads in the game.

    No matter what position you play you got to be ready to go in the game at any minute. Dietrich has no excuse.

    Reply
    • RojoBenjy

      I’m tired of those two guys as well. I want to see Ervin and Van Meter/Blandino in those spots, respectively.

      Reply
  23. TyGuy88

    Really sloppy play by the Reds tonight. Still got the lead, lets hope they can put a couple more on the board.

    Reply
  24. VaRedsFan

    Huge fail for Votto in a big spot.
    Then Winker out does him on the same play.

    Reply
  25. Scott Gennett

    I’m definitely in the Ervin-over-Winker’s wagon

    Reply
    • Mark Lang

      I’ll 2nd that motion – Ervin is a at least 3 orders of magnitude better than Winker on defense – has a good eye – much faster, lot’s of hustle all the time.

      Reply
  26. Mark Lang

    You could fill a “Low Light” all star real you could put up against any other two players in all of baseball with Winker and Peraza.

    Reply
  27. Tom Mitsoff

    Chris Welsh: “If the Reds win the game tonight, it will be a miracle … “

    Reply
  28. RedAlert

    This team never ceases to amaze on basepaths ! INEXCUSABLE – been a
    problem now for what – THE LAST 7 YEARS !!! STUPID !

    Reply
  29. VaRedsFan

    DD’s 1st error of the year.
    Anybody that has watched a ball roll in the outfield grass, knows that it snakes…not a little, but a lot.
    Rockie’s broadcasters were quick to point that out.

    Reply
      • matt hendley

        who led the league in Errors last season?

      • VaRedsFan

        You didn’t see the same replay I saw then. Perfect fielding position…using 2 hands…nonetheless an error. Not because of unprepared

      • RojoBenjy

        Matt- Profar led the AL with 25.
        You-know-who led the NL with 22.

        See, he was tops at two things.

  30. VaRedsFan

    Come on ump…7/8ths of that ball 4 pitch was in the strike zone

    Reply
  31. matt hendley

    Sonny Gray out here dodging bullets like the Matrix

    Reply
  32. Mark Lang

    and on the positive note – Gray is pitching wonderfully. This is two ace quality starts in a row.

    Reply
  33. Old-school

    The reds need a new first baseman. Joey Votto is the worst first baseman in the NL central . He’s not Josh Bell or Anthony Rizzo or Paul Goldschmidt. He’s slow old and bad. Look at the data. Joey Votto will not be a player on the next good reds team. He is old and overpaid and done. This gets worse. Reds won’t commit new money with this awful contract. Sell at the deadline. .265 avg and less than 10 home runs in a year of the home run making $25 million.

    Reply
    • VaRedsFan

      It started after 2017 season…Inexplicably changed his approach.

      Reply
    • Sliotar

      Suarez HR sets it all up …. run Sonny out for 7th, try and get through bottom of order

      Then 6 outs after. All hands on deck.

      Winning with 2 runs at Coors is like a unicorn. Pure robbery.

      Reply
  34. Seat101

    Geno And I have the same hair color and same haircut. I come by in my hair color the natural way.

    Reply
    • RojoBenjy

      Glad to hear you have hair. Mine is getting scarce.

      Reply
      • matt hendley

        mine is still its natural color, short for the defense of the country…..for some reason

      • Seat101

        Got a haircut today and I know I have to wear a hat not to not get a sunburn underneath my hair but it is getting awfully shiny on top

        Boy, because Sally made a great play, didn’t he

  35. matt hendley

    Joey Votto with the tag, guess he isnt dead….. yet again

    Reply
    • Seat101

      Do you see those two young women behind the batters are talking to each other paying no attention to the baseball game?

      Reply
    • Sliotar

      Indeed.

      On the other hand, 2 strike em, pick em off plays in same game?
      Yikes.

      Reply
  36. VaRedsFan

    Guy with a ERA of 6 is the 1st guy out of the pen in a 1 run game at Coors.
    Holding my breath

    Reply
  37. Tom Mitsoff

    Not sure why you wouldn’t use Lorenzen here instead of Hernandez, who has been struggling.

    Reply
  38. Indy Red Man

    Word Scramble:

    BIR

    Joey’s stumped? Anyone help him out?

    Reply
  39. Sliotar

    Lorenzen probably saved because of position flexibility, possible extra innings.

    Scooter out, Winker lifted.

    May very well need ML after that rocket HR.

    Reply
  40. Indy Red Man

    33 is old for a pitcher. Why are they riding DH so hard? Since when has he looked like a high leverage guy? Lorenzen is far from a sure thing, but I just saw him mow dow the Cubs in gabp not long ago for a save. His stuff is 3x better then DH? I don’t get it? Why warm up Peralta is you’re not going to use him vs a lefty? I don’t get Bell lately.

    Reply
  41. Indy Red Man

    Shades of Dusty and his stubborn ways

    “We gotta get Hernandez going”

    You warm up Peralta and then let 2 lefties beat you?

    Reply
    • George

      Indy;
      Maybe what Peralta showed in pen caused the non-use.

      Reply
      • vegastypo

        That’s a fair point, George. What’s that line about ‘We don’t know what we don’t know?’ ………….. But it still seems like a curious choice to go with Hernandez, even if Peralta was having difficulties. Is a struggling Hernandez still better than anybody else down there ?

        I would add that sometimes a closer can be asked to get five outs. Not Raisel. Even after how many days off now?? And he’s been erratic as well, so there’s no guarantee that that he would have pitched a scoreless ninth against the heart of the order.

        Hate to lose, but I can’t get myself to think of this team as a contender.

      • matt hendley

        No, even if Peralta was not available, there was still lorenzen. Rasiel I gets alot of heat for recognizing his weeknesses but he has pulled a few 2 SO innings before. If RI went in there and got the save that is one thing. DB needs to find an 8th inning option and the name isn’t DH

    • vegastypo

      The road might have ended a few weeks ago. I think he is on the unpaved stretch now.

      If they were trying to build trade value, failed. … And if they were doing what they thought was best to win the game, so be it. But it ended in failure also.

      Reply
  42. matt hendley

    Hernandez droppes the game again. This should not come as a shock to DB. This is his fault.

    Reply
  43. Indy Red Man

    This is DustyBall 101 excercised by Dusty & Price. Use the wrong guy and end up burning the guys you should’ve used earlier anyway. Only now its in a losing effort. Wade Davis has been bad….so you never know, but its just idiotic.

    Wonder if Steve’s opinion of Bell has changed. Mine has….big time! This stuff with DH pitching 4-5x a week (in high leverage) is insane??????

    Reply
  44. matt hendley

    David Bells has already been exposed with his weakness as it is relative to david hernandez. Now will he pitch him out of a trade scenerio as well?

    Reply
  45. VaRedsFan

    The can’t use the overworked excuse tonight,,,1st game after the break

    Reply
  46. RedAlert

    Unbelievable managerial fail. Another one on you Bell

    Reply
  47. VaRedsFan

    Lorenzen is nothing special, but he is light years better than DH.

    Reply
    • Indy Red Man

      Results aren’t always there, but his stuff is special. Hits 97-99 all the time and I bet he hasn’t given up 2 bombs in a inning like that in several years. Maybe back when he started.

      Reply
  48. matt hendley

    look at that domination. COuld he have done it for 3 batters. Maybe. But better then DH. A bell loss, short of an offensive comeback

    Reply
  49. RedAlert

    What’s the excuse tonight gonna be Bell ? Awful managing , just awful . No feel for the game whatsoever -absolutely ZERO.

    Reply
  50. TyGuy88

    Why does David Bell continue to go to a pitcher with a 6.28 ERA in key moments throughout the season? Hernandez is a guy you throw in when you are losing.

    Reply
  51. matt hendley

    At least Thom would be honest about it. It wasnt the bullpen that gave it up, it was DH. And since that could be spotted a mile off it was DB that faltered. But what do i know. He is obvioulsy the manager of the year. Trying to win those important games. He is smart. Real smart. Uses the information.

    David bell is a bad manager with a good team.

    Reply
  52. Sidney

    Pretty predictable outcome after going with DH. Real head scratcher.

    Reply
  53. Roger Garrett

    Blame it on Hernandez or Bell but the Reds can’t hit and that’s why they are where they are at.Six hits and woeful at bats by the 3 4 5 hitters in the ninth.Two pop ups and a grounder.Little league stuff just like sending JVM down and activating Peralta who will not be used.

    Reply
    • matt hendley

      please inform us of the player that is batting 1.000? Oh there isnt one? The Reds were winnning that game before the Managers incompetence. You post an awful lot for someone who swore not to post until next season 3 weeks ago.

      Reply
      • Timothy Thompson

        Why on earth do you put in Hernandez there when he has been so terrible for a very long time now? That is really incompetent. Makes no sense to blame anyone else but Bell for this loss. The entire bullpen was available. Yes, the offense continues to struggle (question why Turner Ward does not seem to be at risk of losing his job)

      • Roger Garrett

        Heck blame it on me if you want but it doesn’t change the fact the Reds can’t hit.The data says it and we watch it every night.Bell doesn’t hit,pitch or run the bases or field and other then what Gray did nobody else did much at all.Reds played like little leaguers and they lost

      • matt hendley

        David bell is supposed to lead the team. Now I may have been stuck in Iraq too long but when i left leading meant taking responsibility for your failures as well. DB cant seem to do that. Maybe that has changed in teh second half. Team got 6 hits and was winning or tied for more then 70 % of the game. SHould have won. DH was not the right call and its not like ML or WP could just waltz right in and come to the mound when they felt like it.

  54. TyGuy88

    I know Hernandez and Bell will get most blame but the team played sloppy, made Gray make more outs (could have gone longer), and Votto K’d with a runner on third and one out gotta get that runner in. Not a good start to make a run for the NL Central.

    Reply
  55. matt hendley

    I also think that John Fay found his Journalistic integrity here. CIN ENQ is reporting that DH coughed up the game. Not the Reds.

    Reply
  56. Don

    Great pitching by gray, 1 rub in 7 innings at Coors is lights out. Mostly bad defense behind him, awful base running and using herandez in 8th was just poor managing.

    Team looked totally unprepared to play tonight.

    Reds did not deserve to win tonight. Chris was right, a reds win tonight would have been a miracle.

    It is a shame to waste such great pitching.

    Reply
  57. Steve Schoenbaechler

    This is why I don’t believe the Reds will make it and they should start concentrating on next season. For, as many times as it’s seemed like someone has stepped up and won games for us, we’ve had people not perform and caused us to lose games. Nothing against Hernandez tonight. I’ve seen it from various ones throughout. You could say Winker was a cause tonight with his pick off 3rd.

    I’m not so worried about trading for prospects or whatever. Just look to make the overall club better. That will also include what will we be able to get in FA during the off season, also. Just start looking for next year.

    Reply
  58. TR

    After seven strong innings, was there any real reason to take out Gray other than the pitch count or force of habit by Manager Bell? When a pitcher is moving along, the concept of a complete game by a starter seems to be a lost concept in todays game.

    Reply
    • greenmtred

      Gray’s command was starting slip, to my eye, and that seems to be an indicator that he’s tired and losing it. Close game, and I can’t fault that decision. But I don’t understand bringing in Hernandez.

      Reply

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