Going into today’s game, the Reds (14-14) are 7 games behind the Cardinals for the division lead and a half game behind the Cubs in second. In the wild card hunt, the Reds are tied with the Padres and the Braves for the second spot and sit a half game above the Nationals, Giants, Diamondbacks, and Marlins. In brief, all that standings update tells anybody is that the Cardinals are really, really good and that it’s still May, the wild card doesn’t mean a thing yet.
This series will be the first between the White Sox and Reds since 2009 and the first played at US Cellular field since 2001. The last time these two teams played in Chicago, Great American Ballpark was still just the wedge, Ken Griffey Jr. had made 11 straight All-Star games, and Adam Dunn was still a month away from making his Major League debut for Cincinnati much less taking the mound for the White Sox 13 years later.
Any excuse I have to watch that video, I will take.
All stats are 2015 actuals:
Remember the old Old Spice commercials with Isaiah Mustafa? You know, the ones where he would walk around saying declarative sentence as things randomly appeared? The commercials I can just link to in this post basically:
Technology is awesome. Anyway, when I was typing that table of stats for today’s probables, all I could think of was this commercial. Normally, when I type the table for Jason Marquis starts, I cringe and curse Walt for plaguing us with such a pitcher. But today, I was confronted with the stark reality of Hector Noesi’s statline and had to think to myself, “Well, at least we don’t have him.” I looked at Noesi then back at Marquis, and then back at Noesi then back to Marquis. Happily, Noesi isn’t Marquis. Sadly, Marquis is still Marquis.
Over his past three starts, Jason Marquis has been the winning pitcher. In those starts, Marquis has given up 5, 2, and 3 earned runs. Also in those starts, the Reds have scored 16, 9, and 8 runs. Somewhere Johnny Cueto is softly crying and shaking his head.
Hector Noesi has made three starts this season and has yet to last six innings in any of them. In his last start against the Minnesota Twins, Noesi went 4.1 innings, giving up five runs on five hits with two home runs and two walks. Last year, Noesi led the American League in home runs allowed. If today’s game happens to be another high scoring affair, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest.
Price on Gregg: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I thought tonightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s game was another opportunity to get him in a close game and get him on a roll.Ã¢â‚¬Â#reds (cont)
— John Fay (@johnfayman) May 8, 2015
"Cingrani and Diaz are going to get us to Chapman when weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re tied or ahead, but weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve got to have guys to come in and keep it close too."
— John Fay (@johnfayman) May 8, 2015
When Price took over as manager, I remember being unduly excited because the pitchers would no longer be mismanaged like they were under Dusty Baker. A bit over a year into his tenure, that has quite obviously been proven to be untrue. While I realize Price has to work with the bullpen he’s been given and not everyone can pitch everyday, using Kevin Gregg in a one run game against the big bats of the Pirates order is just bad decision making. It’s basically conceding the game. Using your lesser pitchers when you’re behind follows a defeatist mentality that has plagued Reds’ teams for years. In Joe Atkinson’s post earlier this week, he talked about the fire this year’s Royals have. They get behind, but they still expect to win as Joe said. When the Reds get behind, not even Bryan Price expects them to win, judging by his managing.
Devin Mesoraco makes his triumphant return to the Reds‘ lineup as a DH in today’s interleague game. Kristopher Negron starts at first in place of a suspended Joey Votto:
The White Sox lineup:
Joey will be out of the lineup tonight as he serves a 1-game suspension for bumping umpire Chris Conroy on Saturday. Votto apologized immediately after that game, acknowledging that his actions were out of line.
FROM THE ENEMY’S PERSPECTIVE
We don’t often see how other team’s fans and writers feel about our club, but this morning, South Side Sox–the White Sox SB Nation blog–broke down the Reds roster and chances for the 2015 season. The article is written with just the right amount of sarcasm and humor, and I encourage everyone and to check it out before the game tonight.Ã‚Â Highlights:
Defensive whiz Zack Cozart hit worse than Zack Greinke, Ryan Ludwick played entirely too much baseball.
Jumbo Diaz has had trouble keeping the ball in the park, J.J. Hoover has had trouble finding the strike zone, and Kevin Gregg has made you feel a lot better about your team’s middle relievers.
FEEL GOOD STAT OF THE DAY
Top five rotation ERAs: PIT 2.85, NYM 2.95, STL 3.11, CIN 3.31, TB 3.40. Bottom five: COL 5.59, BOS 5.54, CWS 5.41, TOR 5.40, CLE 5.31.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 8, 2015
That stat just makes you feel great doesn’t it? Now it’s time for the “Feel Bad Stat of the Day.” The Reds’ bullpen ERA ranks dead last in baseball at 5.32.
WE THE PEOPLE
Building upon the “Feel Bad Stat of the Day,” some Reds’ fans have started a petition to demote Kevin Gregg to AAA.Ã‚Â Personally, I feel releasing him would be a better move for the organization as a whole, but I’m always happy to see the instruments of democracy being put to good use.
I have great faith in this Reds team and think they could take that second wild card spot. Todd Frazier and Joey Votto have been great to watch this season and Disco DeSclafani and Michael Lorenzen give me hope for the future. Despite what Twitter says, the sky isn’t falling just yet. Maybe the stereotypical Little League coach is right; the Reds (and their fans) just need to go out there and “have fun” and not worry about anything else.