The Cincinnati Reds (56-62) will try to avoid a three game sweep to the Washington Nationals (64-55) and snap a three game losing streak in the process. First pitch is set for 4:05 ET.

The Reds have now lost seven of their last nine games at Nationals Park going back to 2017. Yes, it’s been a house of horrors for them, but the Reds also haven’t been able to beat the Nationals at all, as they are now 3-15 against the Nats since 2017.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA FIP xFIP K% BB%
Trevor Bauer 168.1 3.74 4.11 4.28 28.0% 9.5%
Stephen Strasburg 152.1 3.72 3.28 3.28 29.2% 6.1%

REDS

When the Reds acquired Trevor Bauer, his performance against the Chicago Cubs at Great American Ball Park last week was the reason why. He was absolutely dominant, pitching seven innings of one run baseball, while striking out 11 and walking only two. The lone run came on a Nicholas Castellanos lead-off home run, his only real mistake of the game.

Bauer isn’t having the kind of season he had last year, and you can point to two factors as the reason for that: walks and home runs (I know I sound like a broken record on these game previews talking about walks and home runs with the starting pitchers, but if you look at the stats, it really is one of the keys to being a good pitcher, unless you’re Justin Verlander). Bauer’s BB% is the highest it’s been since 2015, when he had a BB% of 10.6%. He’s also given up 23 home runs already, more than double the nine home runs he gave up during 2018. He’s on pace to set a career high in that category, breaking his record of 25 home runs allowed in 175.1 innings in 2017.

Bauer does, however, still have a high strikeout rate and has reached 200 strikeouts for the second consecutive season. Of course, when you have sliders like the one shown below, that’s going to happen.

Bauer has faced only a few Nationals players from their time in the AL. Two of the three have homered off him.

NATIONALS

Stephen Strasburg is having a good season that no one is talking about. He’s got an ERA of 3.72, and he has a FIP and xFIP of 3.28. When your FIP is lower than your ERA, you know you’re having an excellent season. Strasburg did almost the same exact thing last season, finishing with a 3.74 ERA/3.62 FIP, but in only 130.0 innings due to injury. This season, he’s been healthy and able to already pitch 152.1 innings. He won’t reach 200 innings, but he has been a player to count on in the Nationals starting rotation in 2019. With 181 strikeouts already, he’ll likely reach 200 strikeouts for the third time in his career.

Strasburg has five pitches, but very rarely throws his slider. He usually will use his curve ball and four seamer interchangeably. He doesn’t throw the sinker and change up as much, but still relies on them about 20 percent of the time. His four seamer has topped out at 93.7 mph this year, while his curve ball is at 80.9 mph. His good pitch mix and variation of speeds in the pitches he throws helps him stay successful.

Strasburg hasn’t faced the Reds this season, but did give up only one earned run on eight hits with seven strikeouts in 6.1 innings the last time he faced them during the opening series of 2018. There are a couple of Reds who hit him well, namely one Joey Votto.

Random Fact of the Day

Stephen Strasburg and I share a birthday, though he is two years older than me.

Bullpens

REDS

The Reds, playing short-handed in the bullpen with Amir Garrett serving his suspension this week, don’t look too bad from this perspective. They’ve gotten two innings each from Kevin Gausman, Jared Hughes, and Lucas Sims. The only reliever to give up any runs was Hughes on Monday, and he allowed only one run.

NATIONALS

The Nationals are also looking good when it comes to their bullpen for the final game of the series. Their starters both pitched into the seventh (still trying to figure out how, Reds) and they did not use any reliever two days in a row.

Lineups

REDS NATIONALS
1. Jesse Winker (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Josh VanMeter (LF)
5. Aristides Aquino (RF)
6. Freddy Galvis (2B)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Trevor Bauer (P)
1. Trea Turner (SS)
2. Adam Eaton (RF)
3. Anthony Rendon (3B)
4. Juan Soto (LF)
5. Matt Adams (1B)
6. Asdrubal Cabrera (2B)
7. Kurt Suzuki (C)
8. Victor Robles (CF)
9. Stephen Strasburg (P)

News and Notes

-Tyler Stephenson is absoluely raking at Double-A right now.

-Congratulations to our friend Yasiel Puig for becoming an American citizen!

-New Redleg Nation podcast, with Chris Welsh!

Pre-game Reading

-Lots of good stories out there on the internet today. Here’s some of them:

-Finally, if you are an Athletic subscriber, this one is worth your time.

75 Responses

  1. matthew hendley

    This is a good, ‘Senzel needs a rest day’ lineup. Can’t complain. Reds need to win this one in the worst sort of way.

    • RojoBenjy

      No sweat, Matthew. DB has his guy at 2B today—it’s a lock.

      • Sliotar

        Today’s starting infield for Ye Olde Redlegs….

        3B – age 28 season
        SS – age 29 season
        2B – age 30 season
        1B – age 36 season

        Combined WAR of the four … 6.2.
        Almost half of which is coming from Suarez (2.6)

        Aging and not providing superior production.

        Let the good times roll. Go Redlegs.

      • matthew hendley

        3B no legitimate backup, SS backup playing 2B (still in LU), 2B playing LF (still in lineup) legitimate backup starting. 1B no legitimate backup.

        Correction: their combined WAR is 6.7

        Jose Peraza Age 25 season negative .4 WAR. Age isn’t everything. JVMR is still in the lineup. Senzel is getting a (needed) rest day.

        Vottos stats have Rocketed upwards since he has changed his batting stance. Near hundred points increase in OPS in the last month.

        And Peraza is on the bench. Where he belongs.

      • Chris Holbert

        The problem with 3B and 1B backup, he is currently the backup catcher…

      • doofus

        Senzel is not a legit backup for 3B?

      • matthew hendley

        Only if he can clone himself and play 3rd base while playing CF at the same time. BU cannot be a starter somewhere else

  2. matthew hendley

    BTW, ‘watching’ this on gameday, no sound available, can someone be a champ and describe ‘special plays’

  3. Roger Garrett

    Seen enough.Strasburg is good and we are in one of those sleep modes like last night at the plate.Need this win but unless they just give us a couple and Bauer shuts them out we ain’t winning.Would have loved to see Ervin today and Galvis at short but I guess that ain’t happening.Oh well.

  4. Don

    On a little dealy on MLB AB as got home from work later than wanted to see game.

    Iglesias pulls the Peraza did vs Trout on the Soto stolen base in bottom of 2nd. Barnhardt got ball there in plenty of time and Igelesias did not look for where runner was sliding and missed tag badly.

    At least Bauer got out of 2nd win no harm.

    Neither team is hitting yet.

  5. Slicc50

    Boy…..we got lucky there, Strasburg gave us a run

    • vegastypo

      Yeah, as in, ‘You’re incapable of scoring on your own, so here, take it!’

      • Slicc50

        I know one thing. The Reds need a few tough outs like Trea Turner. I admit I don’t see him play alot, but when the Reds play the Nats, that guy looks like a solid player!

  6. vegastypo

    Floodgates are open … Beware in center field, Bauer might be about ready to uncork one of his super throws.

  7. Jack

    Wow he really hasn’t been that good since he came here

    • Sliotar

      The Indians sold high on Bauer.

      Third time through the lineup, 90 pitches…he’s got nothing left today.

      • Ed

        I’ve been saying- Francona is an absolute excellent manager. He knew what he was doing here.

      • matthew hendley

        Indians robbed the padres blind and shot us in the foot it seems.

      • TyGuy88

        What’s this sold high you talk about? I’m not familiar with this as a Reds fan.

  8. Ed

    Maybe we get to see Bauer throw a ball into centerfield today

  9. Slicc50

    LOL, 7-1. In a must win game on the road against the wild card leader, already down 0-2 in the series,this is how they play????

  10. Ed

    I gotta continue to be a whiner. Sometimes it helps to vent. We needed some experienced bats and bullpen relief to compete this year. The youngsters have been amazing, but for this year- offense and bullpen have cost us games. Bauer has been sub-Roark, about Mahle so far.

  11. Roger Garrett

    It started on Sunday and has got worse.Reds have bounced back all year but it really is obvious now they can’t run with the big boys yet and that’s ok if we do all the right things the rest of the year as we prepare for 2020.Nobody would still want to face Bauer,Castillo and Gray and with some tweeking in the pen and adding a bat or two over the off season who knows about 2020.Go Reds.

  12. Hanawi

    Reds definitely overpaid for Bauer. Last year is the outlier among his pitching performances. He’s basically a solid number 3 starter on a decent staff.

    • Ed

      Bah. Suarez Aquino Puig would’ve been a sweet middle of the order with Senzel at second and Winker at 1st:

      • doofus

        Aquino would not have been playing if Puig was still here.

  13. doofus

    Congratulations to Yasiel Puig for becoming a U.S. Citizen!

    • Sliotar

      Heck, yes. Congrats to Puig and all those naturalized with him today.

      Much more fun than anything we have seen here today.

  14. Slicc50

    Man, I don’t like the way the game is now. That ball Suzuki hit was knee high with some sink, and he still crushes it out of the ball park. It has to be tough to be a pitcher right now with the way the “superball” is in MLB.

  15. Curt

    “In a must win game”…
    See that’s the problem right there, take the pressure off of leap frogging 4 or 5 teams just to sneak into the last wild card slot (still a long, long shot) and this team probably starts winning again. Focus on putting a team together, who plays where, who to bring up, who to let go. Play the kids, work on team chemistry, sit Votto once a week, forget about 2019 standings. Just have fun. The FO is doing good things, unfortunately not gonna happen over night. Raising the white flag, ironically might be the best way to the strongest finish.

    • RojoBenjy

      My wife said, “It doesn’t look like anyone is having any fun.”

      • Curt

        @Rojo: Ha, my wife still says, “why do you torture yourself, just watch the Dodgers” (we live in L.A.). “Honey” I say, “You know the answer to that.” “I know” she says, “I know.”

      • vegastypo

        Oh, I don’t know … I suspect the Nationals are having a lot of fun today.

    • Roger Garrett

      Well sad Curt and correct but the front office still seems to be concerned with wins and as long as they think they can you get what you get.As I said earlier the last 4 games we lost in multiple ways.We scored 3 runs against Lester and the Cubs pen on Sunday and our pen blew it.Disco gives up 6 runs in 4 innings and we have a guy thrown out at home by a mile and can’t get a guy in from 3rd with one out and still fight back only to lose 7-6.Last night again we got 9 hits and two walks and lose 3-1 to a starter who isn’t or hasn’t ever been any good.Today is just one of those days out 162 games where you get hammered.Maybe if we lose 4 or 5 more then what you said may sink in.

      • Ed

        With Bauer dealing, 4 runs off of Strasburg is not bad. This one is his loss, hopefully he figured out how to live up to his potential.

      • Curt

        @Roger: I hear ya pal. Appreciate the interaction. Thx

  16. Chris Holbert

    It looks like the fat lady is singing and the lights are out on this season….

    • Sliotar

      Reds are still going to be going for “Mission Accomplished” … avoiding 90 losses for the fifth straight season.

      Curt’s suggestions up above seem reasonable, but I believe you won’t see most of them, if at all, until 73 wins are in the books.

    • RedsMonk65

      Barring a miraculous comeback, this may be all she wrote — for the game, and the season. Play the young’ns!

  17. Chris

    Well that escalated quickly. You know these guys might be pretty tough with Scherzer, Corbin, and Strasburg in a short series.

    And if our entire 25-man roster took on a 3-man roster of Gerardo Parra, Matt Adams, and Joe Ross with Ross pitching to Adams and Parra in short CF, we would win 9-7 in 12 innings…

  18. Chris Holbert

    If Romano is he best thing the Reds have available at AAA, better hope there are so good relievers on the FA market…..

  19. Chris Holbert

    Romano is the Peraza of the Reds pitchers

  20. Pete

    Looks like it’s Sal’s game, win or lose.

    • Sliotar

      Thankfully, Jared Hughes is coming on to put out all of the fires.

  21. Chris

    **correction**

    Looks like Sal’s game, lose or lose by more

    • RedAlert

      Big Sal just don’t belong up here – will never be more than a AAA Talent

  22. Chris Holbert

    Can the Reds go 17-26 in their last 43 games, that would avoid 90 losses, it will be close….in theory they would have to win all ten of Gray and Castillo’s starts, and the way the rest have pitched recently, hopefully get seven from somewhere…..

  23. Curt

    Romano’s a mystery. Big strong lookingguy, intimidating even. Throws hard. You look at him and think, this guy could be good. But he just can’t seem to put it together, always gets worked.

  24. matthew hendley

    Raise the white flag? Tell the ‘youngins’ that its ok to lose again, just tank for that draft pick after all….oh wait… ALC, ALE, ALW, the Marlins, the Pirates. Its too late. The top 5 picks are locked up between 2 or 4 teams. the top ten probably as well. Reds aint there. Teaching MLB players to lose is bad baseball. Today is bad. Reaaalllly bad. But the game starts 0-0 tomorrow, and worst case we will be what 6-7 GB at the beginning of the day? That’s right, give up there and teach a new generation of players to quit.

    SMH

    • Chris Holbert

      If you seriously still think they are a playoff team, you are dreaming….no one said teach the young guys to lose, but let them learn how to play at the big league level for the remainder of the year, to see what you have. The Reds know what they have in JV and J Iggy…the future needs to be now then add in the winter….

      • matthew hendley

        “no one said teach the young guys to lose” anything short of all out to win, until a situation like today, is playing to win. JVMR, Aquino, Ervin, Winker all got their shots today, and most will tomorrow, as will Senzel, off due to rest. 7.5 games out is not insurmountable, as long as the reds get off of their 4th point of contact. The Cream will come to the top. These individuals will not not be started on a regular basis, but they need to keep going for that playoff spot until either they get it or its late September and they are mathematically eliminated.

      • Curt

        Thank you @Chris Holbert. Nobody misinterprets the gist of a comment and then turns around and beats you over the head with it like MH. Tanking? Teach kids to be quitters? It’s ok to be losers? How do you come away with that nonsense when no one else had a problem understanding the point I was making. Spare me. If you’re not going to take the time to get what I’m trying to say, lay off. I do these threads with my 11 year old. Have some manners.

      • Indy Red Man

        Yeah….I’d rather listen to his cousin Don Hendley sing about the Boys of Summer then read Matt Hendley write about them. The trailer court residents that talk about alien abductions and probing are less delusional.

      • matthew hendley

        I must have been misinterpreting your all your comments for months then, cause you have made the same ones declaring the reds have been dead since mid April. The same ones that said trade Puig for peanuts. The ones that said JV was a foot in the proverbial grave. Yep, that’s all you. So you can understand how I may misinterpret them then.

        Ill tell you what else I may misinterpret, any remotely attempt at a personal insult, sly references to trailer park trash, children etc etc. I am going to misinterpret it as a personal insult and misinterpret it all the way to Doug to let him take care of it.

        also its Don Henley not Hendley. Common misconception.

  25. FRANK Howard

    How about this….from ownership on down to batboy nobody going to be involved with next good Reds team…so lets get geared up for 2035

    • Indy Red Man

      Nobody involved with the next good Reds team? How about nobody will be alive for the next good Reds team.

  26. Hanawi

    I don’t understand bringing Romano up to pitch out of the pen. He was terrible there in AAA but did well as a starter.

  27. Indy Red Man

    Well if 17-7 doesn’t tell you that its time to bury the Reds and get ready for football then I don’t know what to tell you. I took a call and it was 2-1 Nats then I got something to eat and forgot about it for a little while. I then saw the score and had to just burst out laughing. This team? They talk about Bauer being such a hard worker. Ok….will then why does he possess outstanding stuff and yet only have one season in his career with an era under 4?

    Once again:

    If he’s such a good pitcher then why doesn’t he pitch good?

    The Reds have no luck and my Colts have no Luck. I think I need to work more and watch less sports, but thats just me.

    • Ed

      I agree on most of this- but man, I don’t like football. I’m stuck watching with no silver lining.

  28. Eric B

    This is why I stay away from posting during games.