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:
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,Ã‚Â Marquis can bounce back today and trust his defense to get outs for him.
Marquis is having a hard time getting to two outs (.364/.404/.646
with <2outs), but once he does he's shutting things down: .179/.238/.256
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) May 15, 2015
Brandon Phillips makes his return to the Reds‘ lineup, and Kristopher Negron will spell Jay Bruce in right for the night:
The Giants‘ lineup is identical to that of the series opener:
FROM THE ASHES, A PHOENIX
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.
DEVIN MESORACO UPDATE
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.
REDLEG NATION OUT AND ABOUT
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.
ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD, OUTSIDE THE QUEEN CITY
–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.