If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Tonight the Reds will be trying again in game 2 of the series versus the Mariners in Seattle after yet again stumbling across the finish line in the game 1 loss. Game time is 10:10 EDT.
Sonny Gray gets the ball for the Reds tonight. In the second half of the season, the Reds right hander has elevated his game to levels approaching genuine ace. Among qualified starters in the NL, Gray ranks in the top 5 best for BABIP (4th) and HR/9 (4th). He also stands in the top 10 for FIP (7th), fWAR (8th) and K/9 (10th). Best of all for Reds followers, Gray is under team control through the 2023 season at an annual average cost of just a tick more than $8M per season prior to any bonuses. Just go out there and do your thing tonight Sonny.
Marco Gonzales starts for the Mariners tonight, their second leftie starter in as many nights. Like Justus Sheffield, the Mariners starter Tuesday, Gonzales also was a first round draft pick (2013 #19 overall by St. Louis). After struggling to gain traction in the Cardinals organization, Gonzales was swapped to the Mariners in July of 2017 for Tyler O’Neill. The Mariners inserted Gonzales into their rotation early in 2018; and, he has been there since making 59 starts, compiling a better than average FIP of 3.81 while earning 6.6 fWAR to date.
Look for Gonzales to use a 4 seamer, cutter and sinker in about equal proportions for about 60% of his pitches. All are in the high 80’s to low 90’s velocity range. He throws a low 80s MPH changeup (25%) and sub 80 MPH curve to fill out his offerings. Typically he is a ball in play guy who neither strikes out nor walks a lot of batters.
Tale of the Tape:
What’s the difference in these 2 guys? Gray strikes out nearly 14% more of the hitters he faces with a 20% net plus of K% over BB% versus Gonzales net of 10%. Gray also has a BABIP average ~ .050 lower.
The Reds pen covered 1.2 innings. Michael Lorenzen threw 19 pitches (1.1 IP) while Amir Garrett thew 14 (0.1IP). Maybe Lorenzen is available for other duties tonight. Garrett can probably pitch a short to medium assignment.
The Mariners pen covered 3.0 innings. Two players, both right handers threw over 15 pitchers and could be limited. Old friend Matt Magill who appeared in 5 games for the Reds in 2016 is the Seattle saves leader (4) but hasn’t pitched in a week or so.
SP: Sonny Gray
SP: Marco Gonzales
|1. Alex Blandino (3B)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (DH)
4. Aristides Aquino (RF)
5. Jose Iglesias (SS)
6. Phillip Ervin (CF)
7. Freddy Galvis (2B)
8. Jose Peraza (LF)
9. Curt Casali (C)
|1. Shed Long (LF)
2. Austin Nola (1B)
3. Kyle Seager (3B)
4. Omar Narvaez (C)
5. Kyle Lewis (RF)
6. Daniel Vogelbach (DH)
7. Dee Gordon (2B)
8. Donnie Walton (SS)
9. Mallex Smith (CF)
For those of you who don’t do Twitter, RLN boss Doug Gray pointed out there the following about this Reds lineup:
This lineup has 1 left handed hitter in it. Marco Gonzales has reverse splits. RHH: .258/.312/.415 w/19% K rate LHH: .321/.358/.489 w/ 12%K rate What am I missing here?
Pre-Game News and Notes
Here is probably the biggest overnight story in baseball.The Brewers trail the Cubs by just 1 game for the second wildcard spot. I suspect many Reds fans join me in saying GO BREWERS!. Find a way!
— OhioJimWalker (@jn_walkerjr) September 11, 2019
Reds Minor Leagues Names Its 2019 Red Organizational All Star Team
Josh VanMeter posted a 1.097 OPS with Louisville this season in 211 plate appearances, earning his spot on the Cincinnati #Reds Organizational All-Star team. See who joined him on the squad:https://t.co/weu1FTvQqJ pic.twitter.com/PNrFxnaHtK
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) September 11, 2019
The Reds snatched defeat from the jaws of victory (yet again) last night. Maybe I’m too old school; but, I believe there is an art and mindset to closing out games as a team. I’ve heard too many MLB players say this over the years to cast it aside. Hopefully in the off season the Reds will find a way to teach it to next season’s team. GO REDS!