The Reds (15-15) look to take their first interleague series of 2015 this afternoon against the White Sox (11-16). A win would mean the Reds finish their 10 game road trip at 6-4 and would send them back to Cincinnati with a record above .500. Afternoon showers are projected for this one, so here’s hoping another game won’t be rained out.

STARTING PITCHERS
All stats are 2015 actuals:

PITCHER ERA  FIP HR/9 BB% K%
John Danks 6.20 5.23 1.82 5.2% 16.5%
Michael Lorenzen 3.27 7.62 3.27 8.2% 18.4%

Two starts into his young career, Michael Lorenzen has proven he can pitch at the Major League level. True, he has some kinks and it hasn’t been smooth sailing entirely, but the kid’s pitched well, shown composure, and has a willingness to learn. His current glaring problem is his tendency to give up home runs (luckily, they’ve all been solo shots). Lorenzen’s inflated FIP is due to all of his earned runs being home runs so far. It seems that when he gets behind a batter, he doesn’t trust his offspeed pitches to battle back, and a major league hitter can crush a straight fastball. Last time out, Brayan Pena was forcing Lorenzen to throw an offspeed pitch again if he missed his spot, trying to break the young gun of the fastball-first mindset. Lorenzen did walk three last game, but also went six innings, giving up only one on a solo shot.

On the other side of the chalk, the White Sox once again run out a pitcher with a 6+ ERA against this sporadic Reds’ lineup. In five starts this season, Danks has yet to pitch a game allowing less than three runs and was hammered his last time out to the tune of seven runs on eight hits in just 2.1 innings. Granted that horrible start was aided by some shoddy defense–only three runs were earned–but Danks still doesn’t seem to be missing many bats this year.

STARTING LINEUPS
Devin Mesoraco will DH again (!!!!) and Marlon Byrd will hit in the 2-hole (….) in today’s Reds‘ lineup:

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
6. Jay Bruce (L) RF
7. Devin Mesoraco (R) DH
8. Brayan Pena (S) C
9. Zack Cozart (R) SS
WESLEY

The White Sox lineup:

1. Emilio Bonifacio (S) 2B
2. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
3. Jose Abreu (R) DH
4. Adam LaRoche (L) 1B
5. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
6. Alexei Ramirez (R) SS
7. Gordon Beckham (R) 3B
8. Tyler Flowers (R) C
9. J.B. Shuck (L) CF
WESLEY

MOTHER’S DAY

Make sure to tell your mom, grandmother, wife, any women in your life (that are mothers) happy Mother’s Day today. And for any mothers out there reading this, happy Mother’s Day to you! Mother’s do so much not only for their children but also for society in general that one day is not nearly enough gratitude. Thank you to all the mother’s of Redleg Nation, without you, there would be no site, no baseball, no lineups to critique.

WEDNESDAY OPENING
Due to the double header yesterday, there is a hole in the rotation for this Wednesday’s game against the Braves. Presumably, Rasiel Iglesias will called up to fill that role. Since his demotion to AAA, Iglesias has made four starts and posted a 3.80 ERA. He hasn’t been striking out many hitters (11 in 21.1 innings), but his walks do seem in line with the average (7).

HALL OF FAME HIRING
On Friday, Barry Larkin was hired as a roving minor league infield instructor. To me, that sounds like a job to get him on the payroll in order to promote him up the ladder at some point, but I also have no idea what I’m talking about. I feel like it’s been proven over the past couple of seasons that my thought processes and Walt Jocketty’s thought processes are wildly different. Larkin answered some questions for the media in Pensacola, an excerpt of which Mark Sheldon has published. Of note, when asked about managing, Larkin said:

Not at this point, I don’t think. I manage the national team in Brazil. I really enjoyed that, but I enjoyed the fact that after the tournament was over, it was over.

TRAVEL

Catch the Reds on the road by receiving thousands of Chicago flights options through Hipmunk.com. Enjoy Mother’s Day with the help of Hipmunk by reserving hotels in Chicago starting from $25 that will have any fan right near the stadium or airport.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

I saw this yesterday, and it summed up my feelings about the Reds this season quite well. Imagine the Reds are the kid in the ghost costume and the dad is the combination of Bob Castellini/Walt Jocketty/Bryan Price. The Reds are just around the corner talentwise–ready to make a run and scare some teams–but every time they make their move, some one of that trio opens a door in their face, unknowingly thwarting the momentum. This team has potential to turn that corner, we just need the organization to stop creating obstacles of entirely their own device.

*This video is exhibit A of why mothers are crucial. Happy Mother’s Day!!!

163 Responses

  1. ohiojimw

    RedSox have sent Allen Craig to AAA. If the Sox will eat enough salary, how long before WJ sends a middling pitching prospect or two over to the Sox to get him 🙂 🙁

    • jdx19

      Oh, geez. A former Cardinal.. might as well start planning the welcome party now!

      • jdx19

        No idea if the injury against the Reds was his downfall, but he’s been terrible since then.

      • ohiojimw

        I haven’t been following Craig’s situation with the RSox this year but I figure this move has to be the functional equivalent of a DFA. Sox know anybody inclined to take a flyer on him would just wait out the DFA waiver period; and the Sox would be 100% on the hook for salary with 0 return. He had an option left and couldn’t refuse it at risk of voiding the remaining term on his contract ($21M remains guaranteed). This allows the Sox to shop him at leisure and maybe even get a bit of a bargain basement bidding war going among the bottom feeders, every little million helps even among the rich..

  2. Kurt Frost

    Larkin is too old school for me. I don’t want him anywhere near the manager seat.

    • Vicferrari

      Just curious what promotes this comment. I have never seen much out of him that would give me an opinion that anything perceived as old school would be a negative. Does he like relievers getting saves with 3 run leads and guys who strike a lot?

    • Indy Red Man

      Well if new school is thinking old school like Gregg, Marquis, and Schumaker can be new school again then give me someone else….anyone else

    • jdx19

      I’m not sure about Kurt’s experience, but I’ve heard Larkin on Baseball Tonight talking about the merits of bunting. That’s about it from my side, but he does strike me as an old-school guy.

    • jessecuster44

      What manager besides Joe Madden isn’t old school? Larkin would be better than Price.

      • jdx19

        Agree, Larkin better than Price IMO. Not sure about the Maddon question, but if I were interviewing candidates, I’d make darn sure to ask about their thoughts on bunting and other things, like “getting guys going” and using your best pitcher only once a week.

    • jdx19

      What’s wrong with his opinion? From what I’ve seen, Larkin is an old-school guy. Some folks may be tired of old-school and want a more Madden-esque manager.

      • User1022

        Wasn’t Price supposed to be new school?

      • FLA Red

        Point accepted. But how much has the game changed since Larkin’s days? Other than PEDs.

      • Kurt Frost

        I’ve seen him on Baseball Tonight and he seems to go with the bunt often/closer rules crowd.

  3. User1022

    Re: Byrd in the 2 hole.

    The way he’s been hitting, this makes a lot more sense:

    BHam
    Votto
    Frazier
    Byrd
    Bruce
    BP
    Mez
    Pena
    Cozart

    It’s funny, I got into a mini-debate with someone on here about wether or not Byrd would hit .250+ this year when Byrd was still hitting well below the Mendoza. Shortly thereafter, he went on his offensive tear and is now hitting .228.

    Coincidence? I think not.

    • Vicferrari

      I really do not believe line-up constructions really matter as long as you put the people least likely to get on base toward the bottom of the line-up. Possibly you want the guys less likely to knock someone in above those that will, so I agree Byrd should hit a little lower. Despite Cozart hot start he should not hit above 6th ever so I think he is basically fine where he is except there is one candidate who should always hit 9th until he learns to get on base at an acceptable level. If Votto does not lead off- at this point I believe BP would be the best choice- sad to say

    • jdx19

      Might have been me. Not sure.

      But what is the non-coincidence?

  4. Vicferrari

    Reds really need 6 solid innings from Lorenzen, they should crush Denks today and with a relatively fresh bullpen might only need Cingrani and Chapman.
    I defended Marquis heavily on the previous thread not so much that I think he is good, but that he has been adequate. If Lorenzen cannot win in this match-up it will cast doubts on a team already on unstable ground with the need of spot starter Wed. A shaky Disco with 3 straight worse-than-Marquis starts in a row will make finding a Marquis replacement the furthest from mgmt’s minds.
    I wish finding Marquis’ replacement were the #1 issue, but it is a luxury that this issued- filled mediocre team does not have. Get 2 effective dependable RH relievers who can throw strikes; hope Lorenzen can be effective and find a suitable replacement when they shut him down after 150 innings; find a back up OF/IB, find a back up Infielder to play in front of Negron, are the bigger personnel issues for me.

  5. mdredsfan

    I am stuck with the white Sox broadcast and I actually wish I could listen to Thom today. Harrellson makes me want to mute the tv!

  6. Vicferrari

    Are all the pitches called balls on the edge of the zone as they show on Gameday?

  7. AARON

    RE: Larkin….

    I don’t mind an old school guy as long as he is willing to have “new school” ideas/staff members. The Reds could use a good mix of old and new school management.

    • tct

      I just want a manger who plays the percentages instead of his “gut”. I want a manger who will try to give his team every advantage, large and small, to try to win, like optimal lineup construction, platoon advantages, basing bullpen decisions on leverage instead of roles, etc.. These things add up over the course of 162 games.

      Whether that guy is called “New school” or old school, I don’t care. After all, Earl Weaver, Buck Showalter, and Tony LaRussa all adhered to some of these ideas and I don’t think they were considered new school.

  8. Indy Red Man

    96 with movement….I’m sure Lorenzen will have some growing pains but he’s for real!!

  9. mwvohio

    Larkin is definitely old-school. He likes sac bunts, talks a lot about clutch hitting and having speed at the top of the order, etc. Not saying he wouldn’t be better than Price but he would still be making a lot of decisions that stats say shouldn’t happen.

    • Vicferrari

      A bit off topic from your point…What is wrong with speed at the top of the order?Pena got one of the best obp but no one wants him at the top, I would think we both agree it makes less sense to put a fast guy at top who has the worst obp

      • mwvohio

        I was generalizing, sorry. I meant speed to the exclusion of OBP. For example he would continue to bat Billy at the top simply because he has speed even though he is awful at getting on base.

      • Vicferrari

        No need to apologize, figured we agreed on that

      • CP

        No one wants Pena at the top of the lineup because he can’t really hit. He has a career OBP of .297. His numbers this year are just SSS.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be ahead of B-Ham.

    • Vicferrari

      Walks a .230 hitter on 5 pitches which were not close

  10. mikemartz

    I know Pete will never be allowed to manage a MLB team even “IF” he is ever reinstated but man he would be a great hitting coach! Just listening to him talk about baseball and hitting why wouldn’t a team want to tap into that GOLDMINE of knowledge about the game!

  11. VaRedsFan

    that ball was just above the dirt that Bonafacio hit

  12. Indy Red Man

    2 outs nobody on and they score. We get 2 men on with 1 out and regularly don’t score??? Lorenzen walked the 9 hitter and had Bonifacio down 1-2 and came down & in to a lefty….needs to learn.

    • docmike

      That was an excellent pitch by Lorenzen to Bonifacio. When a guy goes down and gets a pitch at his shoetops and lines a base hit, you just have to tip your hat and move on.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Danks since 2012……19-32 with a 4.96 era. That’s horrible for the non-steroid era so of course he’ll mow us down today. Such a big mental diff between 6-4 road trip and 5-5

    • Vicferrari

      exactly and starting a homestand a game over .500 and a game under, Reds cannot win on Sundays…Danks is awful they need to take charge

  14. Indy Red Man

    Cueto and Leake and then its gonna be a long week

  15. vegastypo

    George Grande says nice job of Lorenzen to cover third while Frazier chased the loose ball. Hey George, Lorenzen should have been backing up the throw IN CASE the ball gets away.

  16. Indy Red Man

    Meso…just missed a 2 run bomb in the first atbat. Of course Bruce can’t move a guy over….contributes nothing offensively when he’s cold which is 80% of the time.

  17. AARON

    Need this game bad. Hopefully price plays it that way.

    Reds should be able to easily get 2 of 3 from ATL…and finally get some breathing room over .500

  18. AARON

    Runs saved category there.

    Way to make up for last nights offense Todd !!

  19. docmike

    Bases loaded, no one out, meat of the order coming up… and nothing.

    White Sox fans feeling our frustration now.

    • CBD

      Amen…us Reds fans know how they feel

  20. Indy Red Man

    Wow…….3-6-1….that was beautiful! Now lets get some runs!!!

    • mwvohio

      Okay, that’s not fair usually the infield is drawn in vs Billy but still much better than he usually manages.

      • VaRedsFan

        Your 2nd point explains it all. I’ve been wanting Billy to try to bunt with 2 strikes more

  21. docmike

    Byrd has gotten much more selctive lately. Not so coincidentally, he is also hitting much better too.

  22. CBD

    only 3rd caught stealing all year…i’ll take it

  23. vegastypo

    Two straight overturns. But remember, we were told that umpires get the calls right 95 percent of the time. What was the final tally last year of calls overturned?

    • CBD

      2014: 608 overturned, 668 upheld 47.7% overturned

      2015: 98 overturned, 118 upheald 45.4% overturned

    • CP

      Well, since only the most egregious mistakes are challenged, their numbers still look pretty good.

  24. VaRedsFan

    as per usual, Reds struggle with soft tossers

  25. CP

    Crossing your fingers and hoping a player figures things out in the majors doesn’t tend to work out very well. B-Ham will never be a leadoff hitter. Get him out of there and be happy that you have a great defensive CF.

    • VaRedsFan

      Disagree…He’s increased his walk rate, and decreased his caught stealings. He’s hit into a little bit of bad luck this year. Patience.

    • Indy Red Man

      He got 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 steals yesterday. You waste his speed if u bat him 8th because Price would give away an out trying to bunt with the pitcher just like Dusty did w/Stubbs. 9th is the only alternative which would be ok but Bryan Bakerice wouldn’t do it because Dusty wouldn’t do it.

      • Vicferrari

        Bat him 9th, it is not like it that radical of a line-up move, no reason to not do it with a DH

    • User1022

      “Never” is a long time.

      The kid is not yet 25 years old. HIs BB% is at 7% right now, up from 5.6% last year. If he can improve that number and get up to about 8-9%, I think he’ll be fine as a leadoff hitter provided he can also hit above .250.

      But I do agree, wish he’d had a little more time in the minors. But so it goes.

  26. CBD

    this game for the sox is like game 1 for the reds…. a ton of men left on… yet a close game… Reds need to put this one away

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah Lorenzen…..7 hits and 4 walks in 5 ip but only 1 run. That’s hard to do!!

  27. Vicferrari

    IS that the first time all day he has gotten 3 batters in a row?

  28. Indy Red Man

    Hey Bruce did something different!!

  29. Vicferrari

    Pitcher came in averaging less than 5 innings a start, and he nearly lowered his ERA by a run going strong into the 7th

  30. VaRedsFan

    Leadoff walk…go figure.
    Let’s get 2

  31. spro

    Is it possible for our reliever to come in a tie game or with the lead and not walk the leadoff guy?

  32. AARON

    and the bullpen is true to form an walks the lead off batter…

  33. jdx19

    Oh, hey. Hello leadoff-walk-by-the-bullpen. How I’ve missed you.

  34. AARON

    Do we see Cingrani at all this series?

  35. spro

    Now there’s some of the first bullpen foresight from Price that seems to make sense.

    • Vicferrari

      If Parra were available he would have been used first

  36. Indy Red Man

    Typical Reds…we get 10 in the first game and then I get out of the car last night and Votto had just tied it up in the 3rd 2-2….and here 13 innings later we have 1 additional run

  37. spro

    Even Cingrani’s not immune to the leadoff walk

  38. jdx19

    Votto’s GB percentage this week is like 80% at least.

    • VaRedsFan

      Took it for a ride, but as stated here small sample sizes don’t matter

    • jdx19

      I always feel bad for guys when they send it for a 380-ft fly ball out.

  39. jdx19

    Here’s a general question. I’d be interested if anyone knows.

    Why aren’t outfield dimensions somewhat more symmetrical? What I mean is, why is it that it’s always 60-80 feet shorter to the fence in left and right than it is in center field? Seems too specific and consistent to be arbitrary.

    Just curious if anyone knows how that tradition started.

    • CommonSense

      Probably because it depended on the plot of land where stadiums were built.

      • jdx19

        Ahh, like an a turn-of-the-century city block? That makes sense, I suppose! Common sense, one might say. 😉

    • VaRedsFan

      I have a book with every ballpark ever. Most every early ballpark had anything but symmetrical numbers. A lot of centerfields were 450-500 feet.

    • AARON

      From Forbes :

      When fields were first being built, outfield fences didn’t exist. Much like some recreational softball fields, the edge of the playable area was just wherever the ball stopped. There were no out-of-the-park home runs because the ball could always be retrieved.

      As baseball became more standardized & popular, fences were eventually erected, but physical limitations prevented pure standardization. Fenway Park (home to the Boston Red Sox [and for a time, the Boston Braves]) has a short left field to accommodate Landsdowne Street.

      That said, there are limits to the quirks of the stadiums. While some teams used to alter the dimensions of their fields from time to time [2], new dimensions today are usually small adjustments to allow more seats or renovate stadium amenities or completely new stadiums. There are limits to what teams can do, and new stadium plans have to be approved by the commissioner’s office. Some dimensions (such as the pitcher’s mound, the distance between bases, and the orientation of the stadium [3]) are not up for debate. [4]

      Teams today (post-1993) do try to create slightly quirky stadiums because they believe [5] that it will give them a larger home-field advantage. [6] See, for instance, the geography-constrained Fenway park contrasted with the recently-constructed (and highly designed) Yankee Stadium. There isn’t an incentive to make a standardized field because old stadiums are still in use today.

  40. AARON

    1 run isn’t going to get you a lot of W’s

    • jdx19

      You are correct. Seeing as how a guy with a 6+ ERA was going today, I think 1 run was fairly predictable.

  41. CommonSense

    Jay Bruce is going to get a hit again. Right? Right?

      • CommonSense

        167 .283 .363 that’s what he’s slashing now. I’ve seen nothing from him.

      • jdx19

        Yep, he’s had a rough go of it so far this year. No doubt about it.

  42. AARON

    huge run.

    well…baring a mircale… 15-16 just totally frustrating

    • jdx19

      Sure it. Especially since we didnt’ see EITHER of the Sox good pitchers.

  43. jdx19

    Meso heating up just in time to ride the bench.

  44. CommonSense

    I don’t know why having Mes learn how to play OF is not an option. The Reds bench is awful, he still could be an asset playing LF or 1B at times.

  45. vegastypo

    I’m trying to remember when, if ever, I’ve seen two pinch runners inserted at the same time.

  46. jdx19

    BIlly pulls the bunt back more than anyone I’ve seen in 20+ years watching baseball.

  47. CBD

    0 for 5 billy… milton would be impressed

  48. VaRedsFan

    Not a good AB by Billy. Pick him up Marlon.

  49. DHud

    It’s not like you just saw that exact same pitch or anything Malon…

    • jdx19

      He’s got the highest swing rate in MLB right now by almost 2% and he let two easy strikes go right by him. We may not see that again all year.

  50. jdx19

    What a let down. 1-2-3 with a man on 2nd base. Terrible ABs from Billy and Marlon, and a 1st-pitch groundball by Joey.

  51. kywhi

    Nice work by the top of the order. Jeez.

    • jdx19

      Hamilton is quickly reaching dumpster-fire territory, Byrd is Byrd, and Votto is mired in a 2-week long slump (3-4 yesterday notwithstanding). Sad, sad top of the lineup right now.

  52. ProspectCincy

    Chapman in … do my eyes deceive me?

    Best game Price has managed all season. Hands down.

    • AARON

      A++

      he’s made the right calls all game long to WIN…he knows this is important and I’m glad to see him managing as such.

      • User1022

        And the move backfired, so he will never do it again, ever.

  53. jdx19

    Well, Chappy wasn’t going to have an ERA of 0.00 all year. Sigh.

  54. old-school

    Worst outfield, worst bullpen, worst bench in all of baseball.

    • Adam S.

      No money to spend means bad outfield bad bullpen.

  55. VaRedsFan

    should have used gregg.
    2 down, 3 straight hits

    • VaRedsFan

      I kid of course…they beat our best, which is how you want to go down if you must.

  56. TomatoTovotto

    There must be a Cuban pastry shop on the Southside.

  57. CBD

    someone earlier said snake bitten…. this team just can’t get it going…its like a car stuck in neutral … it moved forward somewhat but it wont go very far.

    • jdx19

      What was horrible about it? Did you think he wasn’t ever going to give up a run? Sometimes guys catch up to your 102 mph heat. And sometimes you get unlucky that 3 straight balls in play don’t find gloves.

      Results-based thinking is worthless. The outing wasn’t bad even if the result was.

  58. kywhi

    Tough loss. Each time you think the Reds are on the verge of something good, it usually ends in a frustrating loss like this one. No way they shouldn’t have taken this series from the depleted White Sox.

  59. CommonSense

    Price did everything right today and Cingrani and Chapman let him down. This team is the definition of mediocre right now.

    • jdx19

      He did everything right except batting Hamilton and Byrd 1-2. But hey, baby steps.

      • whereruklu

        Better 1-2 batting order is Hamilton and Votto. Best order for both players, but what happens? Price tinkers with the lineup. Hasn’t been the same since. Not that they were setting the league on fire, but the combo definitely had some excitement.Something works, don’t change it. At this time, Hamilton, Votto, Bryd, Frazier, Phillips, Bruce, Pena, Cosart. Just my opinion. Pitching? Good luck….

  60. Indy Red Man

    Story of the Votto era Reds…..we have Cozart on 2nd with nobody out and can’t execute. The White have 2 outs and nobody on and they score. If Schumaker is worth a bag of footballs and got 3 hits yesterday then what is Jay Bruce worth? He’s lucky if he gets 3 hits a week

    • jdx19

      Your Jay Bruce comments are getting old. They are redundant and not interesting. Bruce is struggling. But if you think Skip is a better option then I need to stop typing as to not break the commenting guidelines.

      • old-school

        The Reds outfield is the worst in baseball….again. No team can win that way.

  61. Adam S.

    My nay hope is ft they can have a winning record this year. I’d consider 82 wins a success