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.

Starting Pitchers

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:

PITCHER FIP WHIP HR/9 BB% K%
Sonny Gray 3.28 1.06 0.87 9.1% 29.3%
Marco Gonzales 4.18 1.37 1.03 6.5% 16.8%

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.

Bullpens

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.

Lineups

                      

        REDS     

SP: Sonny Gray

       MARINERS

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!

Reds Minor Leagues Names Its 2019 Red Organizational  All Star Team

 

Final Thought

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!


Stats and data courtesy of  Baseball Reference, Fangraphs,  MLB.com and Cot’s Contracts 

24 Responses

  1. Don

    Same lineup against lefty on Wednesday night with Casali instead of Barnhart catching.

    No other starting lineup player changes.

    JVMs splits are 4 point lower BA (both over 290), 10 point high OBP and 100 points higher slugging vs lefties than righties in all of 2019 (AAA and Majors).

    O’Grady has a 50 point higher batting average, 4 point higher OBP and 80 point higher slugging vs LHP than RHP for all of 2019.

    Blandino only has a higher OBP as a RHB vs LHP than either JVM or O’Grady.

    Galvis has lower stats across the board as a RHP vs LHP that with JVM or O’Grady.

    And the pitcher has bad reverse splits as Doug points out. (Thanks Jim, I do not use Twitter)

    Cannot find any analytics that show that either or them should be playing in front of JVM or O’Grady.

    Glad game is on west coast and to late to really watch as there is no real need to watch tonight’s game again as they offense may score another 1 run and hit into 5 double plays or strike out 10 to 12 times in 6 or 7 innings before the double switches start.

    Prediction is Gray will get a no decision after going 7 and give up 1 run which is all the Reds will score through 7.
    Insanity is doing the same thing again and expect a different result.

    Reply
    • Shchi Cossack

      Insanity is watching Bell fumble through the 2019 season with his matchup platoon fetish and then retaining him as manager for the 2020 season so he can do the same thing again next season.

      Reply
    • RedsMonk65

      I’ll join the refrain: Cannot begin to fathom why Bell continues to insist on starting Peraza in LF, starting both Iglesias and Galvis, period (one is enough!), and NOT starting Van Meter and O’Grady. For crying out loud!

      On another note: Will be interesting to see Sonny Gray face off against Shed Long tonight — the player traded for Gray.

      Reply
      • Jim Walker

        Agree. The Gray/ Long angle crossed my mind too but somehow didn’t get included.

      • RedAlert

        He’s gotta go – might be absolute worst manager in MLB . HAS NO CLUE WHATSOEVER

  2. JB

    OGrady taps Bell on the shoulder and says” I’ll be over here when you need a hit.”
    New coach same stupid logic.

    Reply
  3. doofus

    “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.”

    I agree with you Jim. I spoke about this team not having the “Grit” necessary to win games a month or so ago. They have no tenacity, no bulldog in them. They just rollover.

    Reply
  4. Don

    Jim,

    I agree with your comment “there is an art and mindset to closing out games as a team”
    Winning is an attitude, culture and expectation set from the top and a refuse to loose mentality. It is I know I am good enough to win and it does not matter the reputation or the opponent, the attitude of I am going to beat you exists.

    Reds players have played all of 2019 tight, stiff, worried, no confidence and worst off all they all seem to be thinking. This overall has resulted in a trying to not make a mistake which inevitable results in making mistakes.

    Team that play trying not to lose never win.

    Reply
    • greenmtred

      And I agree, but when a team is bad, the players can refuse to lose until the cows come home, and they’ll still usually lose.

      Reply
  5. Aaron B.

    The Reds are now #10 in draft position tied with San Diego and someone else (too lazy to look it up) and they can def. make a push to draft #8, but it will take some losing to do it… so I don’t mind these lineups or the bad managing right now. The best way to improve this team is by drafting as high as possible not by winning meangless September games against the dregs of the league.

    Reply
  6. DocProc

    So much for David Bell being an analytics guy.
    Sorry not sorry I’ll go to bed instead of staying up for this.

    Reply
  7. TomN

    So disappointed as so many others are that we aren’t seeing Van Meter and O’Grady in the lineup. If Iglesias is regularly hitting 5th next year, why bother watching games? Only if Suarez and Aquino hit HRs?

    Reply
    • Aaron B.

      O’Grady is a keeper. The fact he can play CF makes him a near lock to make the team. I don’t expect Iglesias will be back. He is going to test the market and when have the Reds gotten into a bidding war lately? For a guy whose replacement they already have in Galvis I don’t see his return very likely unless there is literally no interest by other teams which seems unlikely. I can live with Galvis despite his recent slump. 22 home runs from a shortstop is good and I think he will do well in GABP next season. He is Venezuelan like Suarez, I like them manning the left side of the infield, I mean sure we could do better but we could do worse. I think Blandino looks like a decent bench player too. That makes Van Meter’s versatility less important and they can play him at 2B every day. O’grady should get a lot of time between spelling Votto and Senzel. Then you got Winker and Phlerv as a platoon and your team is pretty much set, so I don’t see Iglesias returning. Note that this also means Peraza goes to AAA where he can play everyday and maybe improve some things. He is the next man up in case of injury so he is useful to keep around IMO.

      Reply
      • Tomn

        Sure hope that the Reds can upgrade at Catcher. Tucker is a great guy but we need a hitter. Grandel?

      • Curt

        Smart ideas Aaron! I would boldly add… Move Senzel back to 3rd, trade Suarez for an OF of EQUAL power and production (straight swap is fine) or two for one that = Suarez. Not for prospects, I repeat NOT prospects.
        Alternately, we could keep Suarez and move him to LF, I mean if Peraza can do it..ha.
        Otherwise
        Find a young catcher that can hit, perhaps an outfielder that doesn’t need to be platooned
        And then
        BUY pitching!

        Good to go 🙂

  8. Aaron B.

    I have no problem with a Casali/Tucker catching tandem. Although Grandal could be a beast, so maybe they trade one of the others, but without a doubt the best money spent will be on bullpen. How many games could have been salvaged or won with a much improved bullpen. It’s a huge difference maker, this team scored more runs than the opposition but the inability to win close games I think is a bullpen issue more than an offense issue. This team set a record for 1st inning success! With good pitching you hold a majority of those leads. Spend all the money on the bullpen and don’t leave any stone unturned. SOme of our own guys may pan out yet, but we need some proven talent it can’t just be a gamble every year, that dept. is far too important. And no mirror and illusion guys in the bullpen, we need electric strikeout arms. This was the strength of our last world series team and should be an organizational goal: dominant deep bullpen.

    Reply
  9. Aaron B.

    Meanwhile Sonny Gray is rolling and looks fantastic. We have this guy and Castillo anchoring our rotation, you know a bunch of other teams wish they could have such a solid 1-2 punch. Things are looking up, gents and I still believe in Bell once the roster is more decided. He had their backs in Pittsburgh and they have been in so many more games than in recent years I don’t want to give up on him this early. The GMs can certainly meet with him and discuss player roles and if they probably are doing this, so it probably isn’t entirely his doing when it comes to lineups, platoons, etc.

    Reply
    • Sliotar

      Gray deserves a no-hitter…he has been that consistently good.

      True gamer. Would have no worries him starting a playoff game.

      But, selfishly….would already be asleep if the M’s had a hit.
      Two teams playing out the string.

      May as well finish out off now. LOL.

      Reply
      • Sliotar

        Darn it, Kyle Lewis.

        Thanks for teasing us.

        (Gray had still had a really remarkable season. Kudos.)

  10. george

    I wish I had just gone to bed at 10pm. The Mariners will want to schedule at least 10 games a year with Reds. This has been really sad.

    Reply
  11. Erik the Red

    Another 90 loss season and last place is not out of the question this year. Absolutely no offense this year has been the main culprit along with questionable management of the team. This team woefully has underachieved. So many holes to fix next year.

    Reply

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