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Cincinnati Reds

Reds Take on the Mets

Jeffery Carr

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© Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds (49-63) travel to The Big Apple to play the baseball team that isn’t always on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, the New York Mets (45-64).

The team formally known as the employer for Matt Harvey has not fared well since dispelling the Dark Knight. In fact, the two organizations involved in the trade have kind of gone in separate directions.

There have been so many numbers thrown out on the Reds, in regards to different phases of the season, but here’s one more. Since the Matt Harvey trade, Cincinnati is 41-36 while New York is 27-45. The Mets were sitting two games behind the Braves on May 8th with an 18-16 record, but now they are 17 games behind the first place Phillies.

The Red sent to New York for Harvey, Devin Mesoraco, hasn’t exactly taken to his new surroundings. Since donning blue, Mez has hit .228 with a .301 on-base percentage. He does have eight round-trippers with 25 RBIs and is healthy, though, so it isn’t all gloomy.

The Mets, as a whole, can’t hit. They’re last in the league in hits, runs, batting average, and OBP.

From the Reds perspective, they’re looking to bounce back after a tough series in Washington. The pitching actually held up strong, allowing just three runs per game, but the bats fell short when the games were on the line, as the Nationals won two-of-three. Cincinnati was 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position during their two losses in the Capital.

For the year, Cincinnati actually ranks second in the National League in runs scored and at-bats with runners in scoring position while ranking fifth in batting average with runners in scoring position (.258). In other words, the Nats’ series is an aberration.

Though he will be the focal point of the New York media, during this series, Matt Harvey is not scheduled to start against the Mets. 

The series matchups are as follows:

Monday – Homer Bailey (1-8, 5.87 ERA) against Noah Syndergaard (6-2, 2.98 ERA)

Tuesday – Sal Romano (6-9, 5.12 ERA) against Jason Vargas (2-7, 8.23 ERA)

Wednesday – TBD against Jacob DeGrom (5-7, 1.85 ERA)

Homer’s last outing was definitely his best of 2018 as he pitched a complete game and allowed just a pair of runs. The bats didn’t back him up, though, as he was slapped with a loss, despite striking out six and walking just one. He’ll be up against Thor Syndergaard who allowed three runs on seven innings in a tough-luck loss to Washington his last time out.

Sal will be looking to improve upon his last start where he allowed four runs on 5.1 innings. He didn’t allow a walk, which was nice. Sal should figure into the 2019 rotation, as long as he continues to grow and gain some consistency. His opponent looks, on paper, like he’ll give up a few runs. Of course, now that I’ve said that, Vargas will probably twirl a gem against Cincy.

For the finale, the Reds have not announced their probable starter. The spot was Tyler Mahle’s, but he’s been sent to Louisville to get right. For what it’s worth (*cough* not much *cough*), I hope it’s Robert Stephenson. You may have heard, but he is tearing it up in AAA. BobSteve has a 2.87 ERA in 113 innings with a ratio of 10.75 strikeouts per nine innings. I don’t make the personnel decisions for the Reds, though, so who knows.

Going for the Mets on Wednesday will be Jacob DeGrom. For a pitcher with a sub-2.00 ERA, he has a baffling win-loss record. Part of it can be explained by his help. Despite having the best ERA in the NL, Degrom has the third-worst run support at 3.41. So, if he tosses a quality start, then he’s handing the ball to a reliever with the score tied. We’ll see what the Reds can do with that in the finale.

Jeff has spent his entire life around sports. From playing baseball and golf in high school to traveling with college softball, volleyball, and men’s basketball teams as their media relations guy, sports have been at the center of his mind. Just as comfortable talking spread offenses as he is talking Sabermetrics, get ready for simplistic views of complicated sports jargon. The Queen City is his home and he is excited to write about the Reds and the Bengals.

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Cincinnati Reds

Phil Ervin Lifts Reds to Victory

Jeffery Carr

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© David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

A monster shot from one Phillip Ervin gave the Cincinnati Reds (53-69) a walk-off, extra-innings win over the San Francisco Giants (61-62) by a score of 2-1.

The winning run for the Redlegs, Ervin’s third home run of the year came in his second at-bat of the night.

Phil pinch-hit for Preston Tucker in the eighth inning. He grounded out in his first at-bat and then remained in the game in left field.

Coming into tonight, Ervin was 0-for-1 in extra-inning at-bats, reaching base once via walk and once via hit-by-pitch. It is his second career homer with the game tied, but the first time he hit a round-tripper leading off an inning. Despite only batting .238 against right-handed pitchers, this is his fifth career homer off one.

A Few Notes From Friday’s Game:

Ervin’s walk-off homer on Friday was the first of his career.

This is the 23rd game in which Phil has played that he did not strike out in.

Ervin is now batting .287 on the year with an OPS of .808

Phil and the Reds will face Madison Bumgarner and the Giants tomorrow night. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.

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Cincinnati Reds

Reds set for Three Against the Giants

Jeffery Carr

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© David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Reeling from being swept at home by their in-state rivals, the Cincinnati Reds (52-69) welcome the San Francisco Giants (61-61) to Great American Ballpark.

The Reds will be glad to see the schedule move past the Indians. In the six games against their in-state rivals, Cincinnati allowed 50 runs. Yup…rub your eyes, shake your head, and check the numbers. The Cincinnati Reds allowed 50 runs in six games to the Cleveland Indians. See also, roller coaster season.

This is the time to really figure out what kind of depth the organization has. Yeah, Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker are on the DL. Yeah, Joey Votto is playing on one leg (don’t get me started on that). So now you find out what guys like Dilson Herrera, Brandon Dixon, Mason Williams, and my guy, Phil Ervin, got.

The problem is, they have an interim manager whose posture is one of auditioning for a job in 2019. That’s not an indictment, by the way. I mean, the man wants to get a paycheck past this season, it’s understandable, but figuring out what’s in the tank and winning games are not the same thing.

Both Sal Romano and Robert Stephenson threw 1.2 innings, apiece, in their last outings. Sure, they were pitching pretty terribly, but they need to learn what it is to fight through days when you don’t have it. Now, I hear you, and I agree with you, it was painful to watch, both days, but Sal said it himself “There’s nothing for me to take away from this outing.” That wasn’t him lashing out at Riggsy for pulling him so quick, he was just honest about the fact he didn’t have anything that day.

My point with all this is, even when things are tough, when the score is more of a hyperbole, leave the young guys in there to figure it out.

Anyway, enough ranting, let’s preview this weekend’s pitching matchups.

Friday at 7:10 p.m.

Anthony DeSclafani toes the rubber against Casey Kelly. Disco is coming off a superb outing against the Diamondbacks in which he struck out nine in seven innings of shutout ball. In fact, his last three starts look like this: two wins, 18.1 innings pitched, four earned runs allowed, and 16 strikeouts. These are the kind of numbers Reds fans want to see from Disco!

His opponent was supposed to be a sensational young pitcher named Dereck Rodriguez, but he was hurt in a benches clearing altercation with the Dodgers on Tuesday. In his place will be Kelly, the son of Reds bench coach, Pat Kelly.

A former first round pick of the Boston Red Sox, Casey Kelly has pitched in a pair of games this year for the Giants. He’s allowed one earned run on 6.1 IP while striking out three. He’s a straight-laced pitcher, serving hitters a steady diet of fastballs and curveballs, and has a sinker he mixes in, on occasion. His fastball velocity averages right around 93 with his curveball countering at around 82.

Saturday at 7:10 p.m.

Game two will see Matt Harvey square off against Madison Bumgarner. Harvey’s season is a fitting parallel to the Reds season, as a whole. After putting together an abysmal stretch of starts following the All Star Break, the Dark Knight turned in an impressive performance against Arizona. In seven innings of work, he allowed a pair of earned runs, five hits, one walk all while striking out seven. There are precious few days before the end of the waiver-trade deadline, so if he is traded away, this may be the last start Harvey has in a Reds uniform.

Facing him will be a Giant, both in terms of the team he plays for and his position amongst professional pitchers. Bumgarner hasn’t pitched a lot this year, due to injury, but he has been his normal self. He currently has a 2.71 ERA in 79.2 IP with 67 K’s. He’s doing a good job of keeping the ball in the park, having allowed just six homers this year.

Sunday at 1:10 p.m.

The finale will feature Luis Castillo pitching against Andrew Suarez. Castillo had a rough outing against the D-Backs, last time. He was saddled with the loss after allowing five earned runs on 5.2 innings of work. Castillo’s sophomore season has had lots of ups and downs, but his season ERA is inching toward the good, slowly as it currently sits at 5.04.

Suarez has put together a solid rookie year for the Giants. The 25-year old 4.40 ERA in 21 starts and has fanned 100 batters in 116.2 innings. He pitched six shutout innings at Dodger Stadium his last time out, but received a no-decision for his efforts. The Reds beat Suarez and the Giants back on May 16th when they scored five runs (four earned), on eight hits and a walk. Former Red Adam Duvall hit a three-run jack off Suarez in that game.

The Reds won one and lost a pair in that May series with the Giants. These will be the last three games they play against San Fran for the 2018 season.

As of this posting, Joey Votto had just been placed on the disabled list. Here’s hoping a speedy and full recovery for Joseph Daniel.

Keep tuned to Locked on Reds for your daily Reds fix and follow @JamesRapien and @jefffcarr on Twitter.

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Cincinnati Reds

Reds Swept by Indians at Home

Jeffery Carr

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© David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Despite making it dramatic in the ninth, the Cincinnati Reds (52-69) lost to the Cleveland Indians (69-51) 4 to 3. The Indians took the Ohio Cup 4 to 2.

The Rollercoaster Reds had runners on second and third but failed to score. The ninth inning saw Billy Hamilton make an interesting choice to run for home on a soft grounder to the first baseman for the first out, Scooter Gennett walk, Eugenio Suarez strike out (more on that later), and Curt Casali fly out.

The game was a struggle from the beginning.

Robert Stephenson didn’t get any better from his first start, he may have actually gotten worse. Dude had zero control of any of his pitches, erratically spraying the ball everywhere but the strike zone. Given a three-run lead from the first inning, Stephenson proceeded to come out in the second and throw first-pitch balls to the first four hitters, allowing two runs, and getting pulled before the end of the second.

Remember when he walked a Mets pitcher on four pitches? Yeah, he walked Indians pitcher Shane Bieber on four pitches, as well. Bieber had exactly three career at-bats before this game.

Cody reed, however, came into the game in the second and proceeded to insert his name into the discussion for pitching in the rotation the rest of the year. The box score will show a loss and two earned runs in 3.2 innings, but his night looked much better than that. He retired eight in a row before allowing a walk and a homer, consecutively, that gave the Indians a 4-3 lead. He worked quickly and confidently, the exact opposite of BobSteve.

Interesting Notes from Wednesday’s Game:

Despite being talked about in this space a bit, Jose Peraza is having a quietly good season. He had another multi-hit night on Wednesday, bringing his total to 33 multi-hit games. His average is now at .285. He’s hitting .288 from the leadoff spot with 57 hits and 31 runs scored.

Jared Hughes tossed an inning and 2/3 of perfect baseball. He struck out a pair in this appearance and managed to lower his ERA to 1.31. He has the second-best ERA among relievers with at least 50 IP, behind Milwaukee’s Jeremy Jeffress (1.29).

The Reds bench, as managed by one Jim Riggleman, was very active. In the bottom of the seventh inning Dilson Herrera pinch-hit for Hughes. This move left just Curt Casali on the bench…and there were still two innings left in regulation play. In fact, in the top of the sixth, Mason Williams was brought in as part of a double-switch when Hughes came in to pitch. He played for all of one out before Riggsy pinch-hit Brandon Dixon for him in the bottom of the sixth. Confused yet?

Eugenio Suarez had a night he’d just as soon forget. He struck out five times, twice on pitches that were, according to the Fox Sports Ohio strike zone, outside the zone. The fifth strikeout left Geno walking back to the dugout with a purely blank look on his face. Watch out for him on Thursday, man may hit 12 homers.

The Reds will get some rest on Thursday and be back at Great American for the weekend against the Giants of San Francisco.

Keep your eye on @lockedonReds and @jefffcarr on Twitter for all your Reds content.

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