With calls for rain all weekend, the Reds (18-17) look to earn at least a split of the series early on without having to worry about the weather. For a team that can that gets on base at a decent clip (6th in the NL in Avg, 5th in OBS), the Giants have had a horrible time scoring runs. Their 115 runs scored puts them only above the Phillies’ 103 in the National League, and it leaves them with an Expected W-L of 15-20–a two game difference from their current 17-18 record.

All stats are 2015 actuals:

Madison Bumgarner 3.30 3.16 0.82 4.4% 23.2%
Jason Marquis 5.66 5.08 1.80 6.5% 18.3%

The pitching matchup is most assuredly not int he Reds’ favor today as Giants’ ace and World Series hero Madison Bumgarner takes the mound. Bumgarner hasn’t been his usually unhittable self, but aside from a 3 inning outing in his second start of the season, the big southpaw has been reliable. However, in his last start, Bumgarner was chased early, mostly by his own doing. Bumgarner struck out ten, allowed three runs on five hits, and walked two.

For the Reds is Jason Marquis, affectionately known as the one man without an ERA under 3…or 4…or 5. Over the course of his career though, Marquis has been effective against the Giants, posting a 2.95 ERA in 113 innings. In his last outing, Marquis was roughed up to the tune of five runs on ten hits over 5.2 innings. Hopefully,  Marquis can bounce back today and trust his defense to get outs for him.

Brandon Phillips makes his return to the Reds‘ lineup, and Kristopher Negron will spell Jay Bruce in right for the night:

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Zack Cozart (R) SS
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
6. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
7. Brayan Pena (S) C
8. Kristopher Negron (R) RF
9. Jason Marquis (L) P

The Giants‘ lineup is identical to that of the series opener:

1. Gregor Blanco (L) LF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Angel Pagan (S) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
6. Justin Maxwell (R) RF
7. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
8. Casey McGehee (R) 3B
9. Madison Bumgarner (R) P

Or really just Marlon Byrd, but no matter. Kevin Michell wrote about the Jekyll and Hyde season of the Reds left fielder in that his first month was abysmal, but since the flipping of the calendar, he has been an integral part of this team. But it’s not just on Redleg Nation that Marlon Byrd is getting attention. Over at Fangraphs, a piece was published a couple days ago on Byrd’s approach to hitting and how he conveyed that knowledge to former Reds’ minor leaguer Justin Turner. It’s an interesting read, regardless of if you agree with Byrd’s approach or not. As long as he keeps mashing the ball, I don’t think Reds’ fans will have any problem letting Byrd be as aggressive as he wants.

From Mark Sheldon, a decision should be made on the future of Devin Mesoraco’s 2015 campaign during next week’s road trip. Because Mesoraco will be able to DH in both Kansas City and Cleveland, the club wants to keep him on the roster for those games. While there, he will also attempt to catch a bullpen and see if he will be able to catch again this season. To his credit, Mesoraco said:

But I think at this point I’m going to be able to catch, or I’m going to get the surgery. We’re not going to keep pinch-hitting the whole year, I know that. We have these DH games, which will help. After that, if the catching goes well, which I am optimistic it will, then we’ll catch. If it doesn’t, then we’ll make another decision.

RN writer Nick Kirby will be talking a bit about Reds baseball on ESPN Dayton 141o a bit before the game tonight. He goes on at 5:25 EST, and you can find an online stream here.

–Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death. His execution will make him the first terrorist executed by the United States post-9/11.

–The Cavaliers handily ousted the Chicago Bulls in Game Six of their second round matchup, sending LeBron James to the Eastern Conference finals for the fifth year in a row.

–An ESPN the Magazine piece detailing the evolution of the reliever from “fireman” to specialist was published today. The Reds are mentioned in this article, and mostly for all the wrong reasons.

With the rain and Bumgarner staring the Reds in the face, today seems like as good a day as any to be pessimistic. Yet, the Reds are on a three game winning streak and stranger things have happened, so here’s hoping that the Redlegs push it to four straight on Star Wars night at the old ballpark.


153 Responses

  1. jdx19

    I’m tired of rain!

    Good game preview, Mr. Jenkins!

  2. tct

    If we hadn’t spent all that money on Bailey and Votto, we could have had a retractable roof and no rain outs! Grumble, grumble.

    So if Reds players were Star Wars characters:

    BP would be Han Solo. The talented, selfish, infuriating rogue who can’t keep his mouth shut, but still has the good guys backs in the end.

    Chappy would be the death star. An awesome weapon with world destroying properties that never reaches its full potential because of mismanagement.

    • jdx19

      HAHAH! I love the Chappy comparison.

      Brayan Pena would be an Ewok… because why the hell not?

    • tct

      Walt is totally Yoda, because he’s old and some people say he’s wise, but nothing he says makes a dang bit of sense.

      “Put Marquis in the rotation, we will. Veteran grit and clubhouse presence, he has.”

      I wish Ondrusek were still here. I can’t think of a better Chewbacca.

    • tct

      Sorry, Jumbo. You’re Jabba the Hut, dude. Not trying to hurt your feelings, but come on man. No point arguing bout it.

  3. Vanessa Galagnara

    May the Force be with the Reds.

  4. doublenohitter

    This is going to be a really tough matchup for the Reds. marquis v bumgarner. Sounds like the resistance v empire.

  5. Indy Red Man

    Jason Marquis vs the WS MVP….riiiigggghhhttttt

  6. CBD

    3-0…. their average game total in 2 outs

  7. Indy Red Man

    Everybody but Jocketty and Price knew that Marquis and Gregg were washed up and weren’t that good when they were young? You have to beat the other team plus your own management….that’s too much???

    • Indy Red Man

      Plus 8 hrs allowed already. Your D can’t help you when they crush it over the fence. We have Cingrani, either Lorenzen or Inglesias, Moscot at Lville…..we have other options.

      • jdx19

        Agreed. And it’s not like Marquis has face stiff competition:

        Team (MLB Runs Scored Rank)

        Cards (11th)
        Cubs (16th)
        Brew (22nd)
        Brew (22nd)
        Braves (17th)
        Sox (29th)
        Giants (28th)

  8. jdx19

    I bet Bumgarner is a nightmare to face for lefties.

  9. Indy Red Man

    Let Cozart leadoff like he did at Lville before he came to the Reds….move Hamilton down to 9.


      • Indy Red Man

        Yeah u could put Joey 2nd and Byrd 4th while he’s mashing. Joey looks terrible lately though?

      • jdx19

        Still, he’s the best hitter on the team by far, and if you don’t want him leading off he should bat 2nd.

  10. hof13

    Zach Cozart … return of the Jedi … the force is strong in that one.

  11. jdx19

    So, assuming Votto goes 0-4 tonight, which is probably the most likely outcome, all 3 of his AVG/OBG/SLG will be solidly below his career average. Gotta bust out of this funk soemtime soon, Joey… tonight it not likely.

    • Citizen54

      Seems like Votto has been in a funk ever since that game where he got ejected.

      • jdx19

        Started before then. I like the 16-10 win in Milwaukee as the starting point.

      • Citizen54

        Funny thing is even with his slump he is still at .920 OPS.

      • jdx19

        Yeah, Votto slumps are better than most, but he’s at like a .550 OPS for the last 3 weeks. His bad weeks have outweighed his good ones.

    • Kurt Frost

      How is that 0-4 night coming along?

      • jdx19

        It was still the most likely outcome, given Bumgarner on the mound!

        I’m glad it wasn’t the case. Joey is my boy.

  12. jdx19

    If Pena can’t get up and throw the ball, gotta get Tucker in there. Almost threw it into center.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Jon Moscot going tonite for Lville….0-0 in the 3rd. 5-0 with a 2.35 era coming in. He’s 23 years old….go with youth and if you lose then you’re gaining something from experience. What do we gain from watching Marquis getting knocked around? They could easily put Cingrani back in the rotation too since Lorenzen can hit 97-98 coming out of the pen throwing gas and Inglesias too.

    • jdx19

      Couldn’t agree more. Old pitchers with no upside should never start over youth who just may turn out to be good.

  14. jdx19

    Polanco, in RF for Pittsburgh, just had another walk-off error like he did against the Reds.

  15. Indy Red Man

    Tim Lincecum is Dark Helmut (Rick Moranis)….looks like he’s 12 years old out there..lol

    • jdx19

      I’d really like to see him get some rest. If the Reds have ANY chance this year, then they need their main guys healthy for the long-run. Aaaaand Marquis gives up another bomb…

  16. Jackit

    Bagwell, Biggio & Bonds were the killer bees.

    • jdx19

      Should have done the Sunday special tonight. Rest everyone, empty the bench against Bumgarner with Marquis on the mount. I can’t imaging winning chances were more than 15% to start the game. Now they are like 0.5% or so.

  17. charlottencredsfan

    Jason might be buying himself a ticket to Louisville.

    • jdx19

      CNC! I hope you are correct, my friend.

  18. seat101

    This is just obnoxious thatwe give up one game out of five

    Alright this should be the last time this guy pictures for the Cincinnati Reds, right?

    • Indy Red Man

      frustrating not the word I would use although it has 2 of the same letters

  19. Indy Red Man

    Cingrani is allowing a .143 batting avg against and Price names Marquis the starter and puts Tony in the pen w/2 weeks left in spring training?

    • seat101

      Anyone can make a mistake. But making the same mistake over and over again is unforgivable.

      • Indy Red Man

        Gregg and Marquis aren’t even justifiable mistakes though?

  20. Indy Red Man

    Somebody on here said last night that the Reds have won 3 in a row but they’ve got their stopper on the mound tonite…lol

  21. Citizen54

    Marquis’s xFIP has actually decreased today.

      • jdx19

        Because xFIP uses league-average HR rate (so his HRs didn’t count against him just now), K-rate, and BB-rate. So he had a decent-ish K rate and walk-rate through that point in the game.

      • jdx19

        No. The equation uses league-average rate. So, Jason Marquis’ home runs allowed do not count in the equation.

      • jdx19

        Well., they do, but they are divided by the thousands of innings pitched this year.

      • Citizen54

        No xFIP takes all fly balls and assumes only a percentage of those are Home Runs and adjusts accordingly. In Marquis case since his HR/FB% is so much worse than the average, his xFIP is better than his FIP.

      • jdx19

        The beauty of having multiple stats like ERA, FIP, xFIP, and SIERA is knowing when each of them is the most useful.

    • Citizen54

      Actually it just went up with that walk.

      • Citizen54

        It’s because xFIP uses a normalized HR/FB rate.

  22. magi210

    Say what you want about his bat, but Hamilton can play some CF.

    • charlottencredsfan

      As good as it gets. Need to be patient with the young fellow but it would be easier if he was batting at the bottom of the order rather than the top.

  23. hof13

    I choose to look at this in a positive light.

    One could say it is astute to put your worst pitcher against the other teams best and in so doing, give yourself the best chance of winning 3 of 4. Even with this debacle, if the Reds can win 3 of 4 in the series, I’ll be happy.

    • Indy Red Man

      We’ll see? Tony Disco hasn’t been good lately but atleast they should have a chance unlike tonite

      • jdx19

        Tony Disco has an upside, though (as I know you know). Marquis has no upside.

  24. CBD

    lol…should have known… we get above .500 and we must go back

    • jdx19

      You are new here, but this is a family-site. Stop the profanity. It’s against the TOS.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Actually, encourage women and children here so mind your manners and all will be well.

  25. seat101

    Great big gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts. Mutilated monkey meat tiny little red legs feet.

  26. seat101

    Hey, before everyone goes, I have a request: does anyone here know of some good math books that deal with sabermetrics for kids around 12 years old?

    • jdx19

      Not sure if any exists, because a lot of the statistics and modeling behind it is college-level stuff.

      • seat101

        I need to find someway to show my 12-year-old the connection between math and real life. He loves baseball he loves these new statistics.

        He smart as a whip but he’s barely passing pre algebra

      • jdx19

        I’ll do some thought on it, SEAT. I actually have a book called “Math In Your Pocket” which is fantastic, but it has no tie in to baseball.

      • CP

        Poker and math go really well together if you are into that. I didn’t really understand about variance until I had AA beat 4 or 5 times in a row all-in preflop.

      • jdx19

        Good point, CP. You can learn a lot from cards. But, as a recovering poker addict, I wouldn’t suggest introducing a smart youngster to the game!

      • CP

        Also, since it’s appears Seat101 is a Whovian and therefore a fellow nerd, Magic the Gathering is a REALLY sneaky way at getting kids into math. I never actually got into myself, but a bunch of professional poker players started out as competitive MTG players. Lot of engineers, lawyers, CPA, CFAs started playing logic/math games as a kid.

      • charlottencredsfan

        JDX, if you will tutor the youngster, I’ll be your agent and we can split the proceeds. I’d give you a fair cut.☺

      • charlottencredsfan

        Hey, I was going to give you the cash.

  27. seat101

    Hardly anything bores me more then Star Wars. I know this is a 61 ballgame but if they keep talking about Star Wars I am turning it off.

  28. Indy Red Man

    Jon Moscot’s era at Lville is now down to 2.08

  29. charlottencredsfan

    Billy is a little “lucky” that Jay is struggling so mightily or the spotlight would be bright.

    • Indy Red Man

      Every starters era is under 3 except for Marquis….plus Chapman and some HRs…that’s about it

    • jdx19

      Because Jason Marquis doesn’t start every game and we don’t face the WS MVP every game.

  30. CBD

    Can the reds score 6 and hold SF to 0 ?

    Curious what the fangraphs win percentage is now… if its not 99.99999999% then i have no faith in it

  31. charlottencredsfan

    Yup, if I’m JM, I’d have a hard time sleeping tonight.

    • CBD

      He’s living on house money now…the only reason he is still playing pro baseball is WJ love affair with former cardinals.

      • charlottencredsfan

        And his contract. Water under the bridge. When it’s time to let go…………

    • Indy Red Man

      6.63 era for Marquis now….surely this can’t go on much longer? If Mesoraco can’t come back and catch and they can’t get their best 12 arms in Reds uniforms then they won’t be anywhere near .500 for long? Votto worries me too?

      • BigRedMike

        If Marquis makes more starts, it makes it hard to take the organization seriously, and they are not really trying to win

      • jdx19

        The FanGraphs season previews concluded any team rolling out Marquis and Gregg was not really trying to win, so you are in good company.

      • Citizen54

        Hey well he does have the most wins on the starting staff.


  32. hof13

    Nice time to use Badenhop … but he still isn’t throwing ground balls.

    • Indy Red Man

      Jay Bruce style cans of corn are ok too though

  33. jdx19

    YOU CANNOT STOP MARLON BYRD. You can only hope to contain him.

  34. jdx19

    Ok, guys. Taking the Mrs. out. See ya’ll tomorrow!

    • charlottencredsfan

      Adios, don’t eat all our burger!

  35. charlottencredsfan

    Byrd is just red hot. Nice swing, just like Kevin’s GIF example today.

  36. BigRedMike

    Reds pinch hit with a pitcher, well put together team

  37. charlottencredsfan

    Billy destroyed that hanger!!

  38. charlottencredsfan

    Stadium is on fire. Bummer.

  39. CBD

    brings new meaning to the dumpster fire …

    • charlottencredsfan

      Reminds me of the Olympic Torch.

  40. CBD

    the nemesis that has been bugging this team all year.. inability to string hits together when you get someone on with no outs

  41. wdwrolen2713

    So what does Lorenzen pitching mean for the rotation? Will he start the next time or will Iglesias start? I’m kind of confused can somebody please explain.

    • vegastypo

      Price said a few days ago that both of the kids are going to the bullpen while the Reds have three off days from this coming Monday to the following Monday. They will go with four starters in the meantime. ……….Then, when they resume needing a fifth starter, Price said today it will likely be Lorenzen back in the rotation, but that wasn’t a certainty. But maybe he lied to us so we won’t tell anybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. seat101

    Why does a comment made at 8:05 never get superseded by other comments?

  43. charlottencredsfan

    Chris explaining sabrmetrics to Thom, worth watching this game for just that. Chris is frustrated that TB won’t listen. Comedy at its best.

    • BigRedMike

      Thom probably thinks Marquis has pitched better than Leake this year since he has more wins

  44. wdwrolen2713

    I’m getting sick of “mincing words” and I don’t even know what this post is talking about.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Someone had some foul language issues and the comments were deleted. It pushes any clean comments associated with them to the end of the thread, where they remain throughout the game. Can be a tad confusing.

  45. charlottencredsfan

    Looks like our new reliever might fit in well.☺

  46. BigRedMike

    Thom talking about pitcher wins in the playoffs for a reliever as a great indicator of something

  47. whereruklu

    Cuetto (2.93), Leake (2.36), Iglasias (2.77), DeSclfani (2.79), Lorenzen (4.00)…….Since Walt doesn’t seem that interested in making a push for contender this year, bring on the newbies and let them get some experience. Lorenzen’s ERA only rose significantly in his last outing. Out of the bullpen bring Cingrani (2.70), Diaz (6.75 but dropping), Contreras (2.70), Para (2.70), And of course, Chappy (1.10) bringing up the rear. In spite of having a couple of pitchers on the roster that probably have no business in the biggs, the pitching staff isn’t doing too bad considering the youth factor.
    If the Reds can only figure out what to do about a leadoff hitter, avoid anymore DL injuries, how to improve Jays BA, better plate discipline for Frazier (Votto always had it, and Byrd and Dat Dude are figuring it out), someway to get Messo in the lineup, strengthen the bench (Shumaker, Negron, Tucker, and Boesch aren’t the same as having someone like a Heisey, Ludwick, or Stubbs coming off the bench), Sure they weren’t lighting up the sky, but they had some pop and stats show they had better BA. And whatever the Reds do this year, sign Pena to another 2 year deal. That guys is too valuable to let get away right now. I posted this opinion elsewhere on this blog, so sorry if some have already read it.