After splitting the first two games of the series, the Reds (18-18) look to take home a win in the third iteration amidst calls of storms and rain. Good news: neither Madison Bumgarner nor Jason Marquis are pitching tonight. Bad news:
Things that have caught on fire during baseball games in Ohio: 1) rivers 2) ball parks
— Scott Hoberg (@Scoberg) May 16, 2015
C’mon Ohio, you’re better than this.
Ryan Vogelsong’s 2015 season for the Giants can be best summarized as interesting. He started the season in the rotation and was shelled in his first start against the Diamondbacks, thus earning a demotion to the bullpen. After two rather terrible long-relief appearances (7.94 ERA, 5 K, 5 BB in 5.2 innings), Vogelsong was promoted back to the rotation and pitched well enough in his first start back to earn his keep. In fitting fashion, Vogelsong laid an egg in his the very next start, giving up six runs on four home runs in 3 innings to the Dodgers. But yet the Vogelsong saga has one more twist as in his last two starts, he has thrown 14 innings and only allowed one run on seven hits. So which Vogelsong will show up tonight? I doubt even he knows.
Mike Leake on the other hand has been consistently good all season long. He’s even improved! While pitch count knocked him out after 6 innings in his last start, Leake went 8 shutout innings in each of the previous two. Leake’s strikeouts are down this season, but he’s never been much of a strikeout pitcher anyway. His BABIP is also hovering around .200 so that certainly isn’t sustainable, but Leake won’t suddenly become significantly worse as the season goes on.
SEAN MARSHALL UPDATE – OUT FOR 2015
LHP Sean Marshall on Wed will have surgery to repair the torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. Mets' Dr. David Altchek will do it.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 16, 2015
The Giants starting lineup is the same as last night except Hunter Pence was activated from the DL before today’s game and will be starting in right field. Pence has been recovering from a broken left forearm that he suffered after he was hit by a pitch during a spring game in early March.
- Gregor Blanco (L) LF
- Joe Panik (L) 2B
- Angel Pagan (S) CF
- Buster Posey (R) C
- Brandon Belt (L) 1B
- Hunter Pence (R) RF
- Brandon Crawford (L) SS
- Casey McGehee (R) 3B
- Ryan Vogelsong (R) P
The Reds lineup gives Billy Hamilton a day off with Zack Cozart batting leadoff. Brennan Boesch gets the start in centerfield while Tucker Barnhart gets today’s start behind the plate:
- Zack Cozart (R) SS
- Marlon Byrd (R) LF
- Joey Votto (L) 1B
- Todd Frazier (R) 3B
- Jay Bruce (L) RF
- Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
- Brennan Boesch (L) CF
- Tucker Barnhart (S) C
- Mike Leake (R) P
ZACK COZART, MORE THAN JUST QUICK HANDS
With another homer in last night’s game, Cozart is not so quietly putting together one of the best hitting campaigns on the Reds. If it weren’t for Dee Gordon down in Miami, I might even say he’s slashing the most surprising line in all of the National League. Even though Cozart’s success has been written off time and again as unsustainable, it might be more than just smoke and mirrors.
First of all, I will admit that the .341 BABIP won’t last and that hitting in front of Joey Votto most of the season has certainly helped his cause. While both valid critiques of why Cozart’s success won’t last, Chris Welsh did make a good point as to why it might a couple of nights ago. Cozart’s approach has changed dramatically from a year ago to where he isn’t off balance at the plate. Beside the common cliche of “he’s seeing the ball better,” Cozart no longer looks as if he’s swinging out of shoes on every pitch. I realize this is just the eye test–there is no stat on head pull or foot movement during the swing as far as I know–but Kevin Michell did say in his Cozart preview that:
It stands to reason that if he can keep his hands back and thus tighten his swing, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be able to get around on more fastballs leading to more solid contact and extra base hits.
Who knows? Maybe he won’t be league-leading, but Cozart could certainly be above league-average in 2015.
The smokestack malfunction of last night should be all behind us now, but I figured this was as good a place as any to share the more humorous takes.
We all lived brought The Great Power Stack Fire of 2015.
— WoooooÃ¢â€žÂ¢ (@WoooooTheReds) May 16, 2015
Apparently we have not yet named a Pope. pic.twitter.com/KGhBBvXYKf
— Mo Egger (@MoEgger1530) May 16, 2015
music playing btwn innings is Billy Joel's 'We didn't start the fire' #reds
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) May 16, 2015
Hopefully the Reds can get this one in; there have been enough rainouts already this year. Unlike last night, this pitching matchup seems to be in the Reds’ favor, but it always depends on what bats show up. Let’s get one tonight and on to the next tomorrow to clean up the series.