If you like your baseball full of run scoring and pitching changes, odds are this game will make you purr. Better yet, the Reds appear to have the edge in starting pitching and the hitting match-up. That’s not something you normally can say when Jason Marquis is pitching for the home town team. And check out Bryan Price’s spiffy new lineup!

It’s raining in Cincinnati right now. But according to the latest Weather Channel forecast, it should stop at least an hour before the game and stay away the rest of the afternoon. If you don’t have plans, head down to the ball park, support the Reds, and celebrate Memorial Day with the national pastime. First pitch: 1:10 p.m. ET.

STARTING PITCHERS
All stats are 2015 actuals (not made up, promise):

PITCHER ERA FIP HR/9 BB% K%
Eddie Butler 4.38 5.71 0.97 14.1 12.4
Jason Marquis 6.91 5.31 1.94 6.4 17.7

Despite hints dropped by manager Bryan Price a few days ago (and just plain old common sense), Jason Marquis has made it to another start for the Reds. Perhaps that’s due to Johnny Cueto’s general stiffness. Or maybe the club is determined to have Marquis soak up a few more innings before turning the ball over for good to the next wave of young arms. Then again, despite making every start, Marquis hasn’t pitched enough innings to “qualify” as a starting pitcher.

That’s the only (and ironic) reason why his name isn’t at the absolute bottom of the NL leader board for starters’ ERA. Marquis hasn’t made it through the fourth inning in the last two games. In the last three games combined, he’s struck out four batters, walked three and given up five home runs. No matter what your favorite pitching metric is, when the home run number is bigger than the strikeout number, it’s not promising. C. Trent Rosecrans provided a look at a possible post-Marquis world.

Somehow, the blessed Colorado Rockies have offered up a pitcher with an even less promising early-season resumé. Like Marquis, Eddie Butler, a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher is making his ninth start of the season. He’s pitched six innings only once. In his last two starts, he’s made it through 2.2 and 3.0 IP. You might suspect that Butler’s numbers are inflated by pitching at high altitudes, but only three of his starts have been at Coors Field. More telling (and unrelated to altitude) he’s walked more batters than he has struck out. If the Reds hitters are going to get healthy, Eddie Butler seems a prime candidate.

COLORADO ROCKIES

The Colorado Rockies (17-25) are last in the NL West, with a half-game worse record than the Reds. Park-adjusted, they are the 24th best hitting team in the major leagues (Reds #22). Their pitching staff is #29 (Reds #24).

Their only two Rox hitters having above average seasons at the plate (again, park adjusted) are 3B Nolan Arenado and 2B D.J. LeMahieu. Both Arenado and LeMahieu won Gold Glove awards last year, the second in a row for Arenado. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, a former Gold Glove winner, has gotten off to a terrible start, batting .206/.285/.326.

Reds fans are familiar with the Rockies closer – it’s none other than the well traveled John Axford, who inherited the job when young fire-baller Adam Ottavino was sidelined to have Tommy John surgery just a few days after winning the Rockies ninth-inning gig.

The Rockies have suffered from their share of injuries. You may remember outfielder Corey Dickerson. He’s the one who almost single-handedly knocked down GABP, line drive by line drive by home run. He’s out. So is their starting first baseman Justin Morneau.

STARTING LINEUPS

Wow! The Bryan Price with enough sense to have his best hitter batting second has returned to the clubhouse. Joey Votto is batting second, followed by Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce in the clean up spot. Even more surprisingly, Price has Billy Hamilton batting ninth. He’s following the trend of the cool managers in the division. The idea is to utilize Billy Hamilton’s base-running abilities in front of the top of the lineup, while limiting Hamilton’s number of at bats. It’s sort of like Hamilton is the lead-off hitter, except with the fewest at bats. Great idea. No one believes changing the lineup for one day matters much, but kudos to Bryan Price for being willing to try it. Every inch matters. The Reds lineup (stats):

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

The Rockies are playing their B-team today. Already noted are Morneau and Dickerson missing due to injury. Charlie Blackmon and Troy Tulowitzki are also sitting today. [Update: Rockies have scratched CarGo, per CTR. Added Blackmon back, leading off.] The Rockies lineup (stats):

1. Brandon Barnes (R) CF  Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Carlos Gonzalez (L) RF  Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B  Ben Paulsen (L) LF
5. Ben Paulsen (L) LF  Wilin Rosario (R) 1B
6. Wilin Rosario (R) 1B  Brandon Barnes (R) RF
7. Nick Hundley (R) C
8. Daniel Descalso (L) SS
9. Eddie Butler (R) P
aWESLEY

MESORACO OUT, PARRA BACK

A MEMORIAL DAY MIRACLE

BYRD WATCHING
With his 4 plate appearances yesterday, Marlon Byrd is on pace for 603. If he reaches 550, he’ll qualify for a guaranteed $8 million salary from the Reds in 2016.

STATING THE OBVIOUS
If the Reds are going to make organizational changes, whether that be players traded, managers fired or general managers replaced, waiting until after the All-Star game makes no sense. Those decisions have long-lasting and profound implications, far more important than any potential short-term awkwardness. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports wrote late last night:

I cannot understand, however, why the Reds would hold off on Price if they determine that a change is necessary. The All-Star Game is seven weeks away, for goodness’ sake. It already is sold out, and will shed a positive light on Cincinnati regardless of the condition of the local nine.

MO’ WISDOM
Firing Bryan Price may keep the mob from the door for a while, but without more fundamental change in the Reds baseball operations, it’s nothing more than a stalling tactic. Local guy Mo Egger nails it in his post last night:

Much of what we watched in Cleveland this weekend is not Bryan Price’s fault, but even if you hold him more accountable than I do, you have to admit that the real apology shouldn’t come from the manager, but instead from the men who employ him. Walt Jocketty and Bob Castellini should be doing the apologizing.  They’ve hamstrung their manager by equipping him with a fatally flawed team born from awful financial management, staggering stubbornness, and yes, some unfortunate luck.

TICKETS AND TRAVEL
Reds’ fans can help the team snap the skid by attending Reds games anywhere, at home or on the road. Hipmunk.com is any baseball fan’s No. 1 travel resource with cheap flights to any baseball city in the country, including affordable hotels near any MLB stadium.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Given the Rockies starting pitcher and Sunday Special lineup, if the Reds don’t win today, they may never win again all season. Seriously, I like Bryan Price’s new lineup and wouldn’t be surprised if it gives the Reds offense a much needed (and overdue) shot in the arm.

Go Reds and Happy Memorial Day everyone.

194 Responses

  1. Steve Mancuso

    Rain has stopped in the northern suburbs. The sun is out. Bring on the Rockies!

    • Angus

      Reds stink period, price has been disaster, but when u have lineup of total losers, u lose

  2. doublenohitter

    Butler will probably morph into Cy Young today. It is the way the Reds luck runs.
    Can Marquis make it out of the 3rd inning?

    Who kidnapped Bryan Price and replaced him with the guy who put out this lineup?

    • rhayex

      For all the crap Price gets, its still only his second year as a manager. I’d like to see him given a longer shot than a year and a half. I see both discouraging (bullpen management) and encouraging (willingness to try different lineups) things from him. On the GM front, I’d been calling for Jockettys removal for the last few years.

      • I-71_Exile

        Agree. I haven’t given up on Brian Price. I believe he can find his way.

  3. charlottencredsfan

    If anyone but Marquis was starting, the Reds would probably be favored. As it is, we do have a fighting chance. The key may be, how many runs will Bryan let Jason give up before pulling him?

  4. Mary Lykins

    I look for Jason “Cy” Marqueees to have a great day on the mound, and our hitting to improve. I like the idea of moving Votto to second with Hamilton batting 9th. After the first inning its like Votto is batting 3rd. We need a win.

  5. charlottencredsfan

    If Price is fired and replaced by either Riggleman, Larkin, or DeShields; I can’t see the purpose. This is indicated in the article linked. Anything that might save WJ’s job is not in the teams interest.

    • ohiojimw

      I haven’t done any due diligence on the man or the rumors but in general it is reported that Ron Gardenhire has retained an agent and is looking to get back into the game. He juggled the balls and kept a budget limited team relevant for the most part and might interest the Castellinis or WJ

  6. George Mirones

    Today is a good measure of the Reds ability to hit. If they can’t get to this guy, Oh well.

  7. Tom Reed

    The first move should be Castellini fires Jocketty and makes Barry Larkin the G.M.

  8. GreatRedLegsFan

    Best line-up with available players. Also, go with a starting rotation of Cueto, Leake, Desclafani, Cingrani and Lorenzen. Let in the bullpen Badenhop, Parra, Diaz, Matheus, Iglesias, Hoover and Chapman. Any candidates to replace Jocketty?

  9. ohiojimw

    c.trent with the latest (via Price) On Cueto and Meso (also some Parra thrown in)

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/redsblog/2015/05/25/reds-johnny-cueto-to-be-examined-today/27913631/

    JC’s elbow isn’t all better and Price thought it would be. DocK to look at it this afternoon.

    It looks like Meso isn’t going to be catching but Price is going to discuss options with him. We can only hope that is to go down to the minors for a crash course on OF and not more pinch hitter supreme stuff

  10. jdx19

    Regardless of the state of the Reds, I am happy and fortunate to be watching BASEBALL today, sitting on my couch, watching my big-screen TV because of the men and women who sacrificed for us. No amount of blunders today will get my spirits down. God bless the USA!

    AND HOLY COW… what a lineup. I like it.

    • jdx19

      Just realized I’ll have to watch the Rox broadcast today due to blackout rules. From what I remember, they aren’t too bad!

  11. jdx19

    Rockies pre-game guys are salivating at getting to face Jason Marquis. “He’s still pitching?” Yes, he is.

  12. Indy Red Man

    Get’em on…get’em over….get’em in….which they’re sure to do vs Marquis

  13. Indy Red Man

    This is ridiculous….is there a worse starter in mlb than this clown?

  14. Vanessa Galagnara

    I say just keep Marquis in and force him to pitch a complete game.

    • jdx19

      Yeah, very weird. I hate the infield-in move unless 1 run makes you lose the ball game.

  15. jdx19

    Walk, stolen base, hard grounder, base hit, base hit.. just glad to only have allowed 1 run there.

  16. jdx19

    Rockies announcers just said this is the first time a Reds pitcher has batted anywhere but 9th since 1933.

  17. hof13

    I have a theory that the Reds will score lots of runs today (they still may not win but they’ll score lots of runs). That theory is not based on the Rockies pitcher, it’s based on the fact that Cueto isn’t starting in his normal spot. Call it reverse karma.

    • Indy Red Man

      I think teams have just been pounding him in where that was middle away where he likes it. Atleast we hope its just an adjustment he can make and not his lower half failing him again?

      • ohiojimw

        yeah. if he would do that with any regularity, I wouldn’t draw folks ire for pointing out his typical shortcomings in those situations. 🙂

  18. Vanessa Galagnara

    Nice Todd!!! Carry that load and score us some runs!

  19. jdx19

    I love running yourself out of an inning. Reds now 0 for their last 4, at least, stealing bases.

  20. Vanessa Galagnara

    This character throwing for Colorado actually makes Marquis look good in comparison.

    • Indy Red Man

      He has more walks than Ks….but that’s no case for Marquis in a major league uniform. I feel confident JM is worse overall

  21. pinson343

    Why was Bruce running ? Idiotic. Anyone could see there was a chance for a big inning.
    A bad throw and he’s still out.

    • jdx19

      Think it might have been a hit and run, because I think Pena swung at ball 4.

      • pinson343

        Yes probably a hit and run, but don’t like that any better. Without that strategy, Pena walks.

  22. Indy Red Man

    I hope we see Lorenzen today. That kid really has an arm!

    Making errors behind Marquis….recipe for a crooked number

  23. Marvin

    Just started bottom of the 1st. Digging the Radford love that Cowboy and Thom were giving!

  24. VaRedsFan

    Shouldn’t Votto have caught that bunt? To me he should have

  25. Indy Red Man

    Unearned but that’s when a decent pitcher bails out his defense

  26. pinson343

    Marguis couldn’t afford that error by Frazier.

  27. VaRedsFan

    2 out RISP hit….when is it our turn?

    • jdx19

      When we get a very very lucky guy. LeMahieu batting well over .500 in that situation. Yet he’s not Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds. Thus, luck.

  28. jdx19

    Pena might have the worst throwing arm I’ve ever seen from a catcher. He lobs it to 2nd. Can’t throw it on a line.

  29. doublenohitter

    When you fail at all three areas, the result is a long losing streak.
    Bad defense, pitching and hitting.

  30. spro

    We can’t give the Rockies extra outs. Marquis can’t even get 12 outs as it is

  31. rhayex

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    You have to laugh or you’ll cry at this point. We gave up the lead AGAIN.

  32. ohiojimw

    Frazier working on a prepaid plan today. Normally he makes a bad play then hits a following HR. Today he hit the homer then set this inning up with poor fielding.

    • jdx19

      Nice! Pre-paid option might come in handy later in the year. Glad he’s giving it a try.

  33. spro

    By the way, all the people calling for Jocketty to be fired, just keep in mind that there is the Dbacks and Padres franchise-killing Kevin Towers waiting in the wings that would likely fill his spot.

    • jessecuster44

      One would hope that if Walt was fired, Towers would be out with him. They are essentially the same person.

  34. Indy Red Man

    Hamilton batting 9th is the only thing that makes sense. You can’t have him get on batting 8th and have the pitcher giving up an out for a base that Billy could steal

    • jdx19

      Let’s just hope it isn’t a 1 game thing.

  35. doublenohitter

    Reds swinging at everything instead of working the count on Butler, a guy who has walked the house this year.

  36. jdx19

    For all the 2-out-RISP guys… Cubs, Mets, Cards (winning teams) are 2nd worst, 3rd worst, and 4th worst behind the Reds. FYI.

    • hof13

      I would be interested in 2-out-RISPP (RISP percentage). Been thinking about looking up some stats just haven’t had a chance yet.

  37. VaRedsFan

    Reds fan needed to make that play….

  38. AARON

    Reds just never value the walk. Haven’t in many years. We would rather foul out by hitting garbage out of the strike zone than let the opposing pitcher clog the bases with walks. Maddening.

    • Indy Red Man

      Other than Votto they’re all complete hackers. Hamilton tries to take some pitches but he just can’t hit lefthanded to save his life

  39. Reds Fan in Petaluma

    Wow. A scoreless inning by Marquis? We are now World Series bound, time to board the train.

  40. Indy Red Man

    Who did the Reds callup for Mesoraco?

  41. VaRedsFan

    Sound like I’m in the minority with batting the pitcher 8th. Theoretically, if our 4-5-6 hitters will get on base, then it takes the bat at of our 7 hole hitter, then us normally an out in the 8 hole.

    With that being said, I’m willing to try anything now….so if it works, more power to them.

    • jdx19

      Yeah, there are downsides to it. But you have to ask if the upside outweighs the downside. I think it will take time to judge that for this team.

    • jdx19

      Votto 104mph
      Frazier 98mph
      Bruce 101mph

      1-2-3 inning. Sigh.

  42. jdx19

    Well… two decently hit balls and then Jay doing exactly what he should do and being robbed by a gold glover. Tough 1/2 inning there.

  43. VaRedsFan

    Remember when we faced Cy Guthrie in KC? Yankees lit him up for 9 hits and ELEVEN ER’s in 1 inning today.

  44. jdx19

    3 of 4 runs given up by Marquis with 2 outs.

  45. Kywhi

    What were Price, Jocketty and company thinking (or drinking) when they made the decision to give Marquis another start today?

    • VaRedsFan

      Probably wouldn’t have if Cueto didn’t miss his start.

    • Zibbleman

      How does it f-ing help this team if they tell us what they’re thinking?

  46. Indy Red Man

    Rockies are missing like 4 starters and still taking batting practice. When will they get rid of him? He can’t even hold a runner on and there are plenty to go around when he’s out there

  47. spro

    How many different ways can Thom pronounce Arenado?

    • jdx19

      Thank the Lord for blackouts! The Rockies’ announcers have mastered it.

  48. ohiojimw

    Brantley lamenting that the HR came on an 0-2 change up, the third consecutive change up he’d seen and then the next Rockie singled on a 4th straight change up. Maybe it just means Marquis tank is on empty and that’s all he’s got left.

    • Indy Red Man

      Marquis’s tank was never full and its been on empty since about 2009

    • charlottencredsfan

      Yeah, maybe that’s his fastball.☺

  49. Steelers an

    There is just such a felling of inevitability when Marquis is pitching. I wait for the bad stuff to happen, and it is hard to even get upset when it does.

  50. spro

    I think Marquis is the first pitcher I’ve ever seen use an elbow pad or any other protection while hitting.

    • VaRedsFan

      righty pitcher batting lefty,,,,see it frequently

  51. VaRedsFan

    1st instance of pitcher batting 8th with runners on…bad result

  52. jdx19

    2 out RISP for BIlly. There ya go, folks!

    • VaRedsFan

      We are owed a ton more to get back to league average

    • Steelerfan

      Please have a quick hook here….

  53. charlottencredsfan

    Outfield is playing Billy way too deep but happy they are.

  54. vegastypo

    Except that Price has to be thinking to himself … Gee, if only Marquis had bunted the runners over …………………

  55. Indy Red Man

    So are they keeping Byrd next year for 8 mil? He’s had a good May and his swing is nice and short but has no range in LF and he’s already old

    • charlottencredsfan

      Any excuse to waste Bob’s hard earned money, Walt’s going to take it. Yes, if Walt stays, so does Marlon.

    • hof13

      Who do the Reds have to take his place? No one in the Red’s organization has come close to showing they are ready to be promoted to majors. The closest the Reds have to a replacement at the moment is Mesoraco, and that’s sad.

  56. vegastypo

    The way the Rockies are hitting, and they waste an out on a hit-and-run. Just say thanks, I guess.

  57. VaRedsFan

    Marquis throws that 2 seamer to rightys that floats right back over the plate. Does he have a slider/curve that will break away from them?

  58. jdx19

    Doesn’t feel like Votto’s had many chances with men on base lately, eh?

    Before this game, here’s the cumulative ‘men on base’ stat:

    Bruce 112
    Frazier 108
    Byrd 97
    Phillips 96
    Votto 86
    Cozart 83
    Hamilton 81

    I guess having low OBP guys bat in front of Votto has been a poor-ish idea, in general.

  59. charlottencredsfan

    Man, if we got five innings of 4-run ball from JM, I’d take it and count my blessings. Don’t push it skip.

  60. Steve Mancuso

    Hey, I wanted to mention that Redleg Nation just received a donation from Ben Gish. He set up a monthly contribution through the DONATE button (simple process) in the sidebar. We really appreciate the support Ben, thanks!

    • jdx19

      Indeed. And Jay’s AVG is up to .221.

  61. jdx19

    Pena cannot throw out a baserunner with any speed at all.

  62. jdx19

    5 2/3 of 4 run ball… I’ll take it, I suppose.

      • Indy Red Man

        Good….I think he’s got a chance to be really good. Possibly? Hawk Harrelson said he reminded him of Zach Greinke a little bit

      • jdx19

        I think he’s got a shot to be good, but Hawk is senile. Greinke has the best command in MLB baseball, IMO… tough to make that comparison from 1 start.

  63. AARON

    4 runs…not great…not bad.. errors were not Marquis fault.

  64. Indy Red Man

    Byrd has that GABP stroke going….atleast 4 HRs that prob wouldn’t have gone anywhere else.

    • vegastypo

      at this rate, not only will the Reds keep Byrd for next year, they’re negotiate a long-term extension, let him play til he’s about 45.

    • VaRedsFan

      Indeed. Good to see Billy slap the ball the other way with authority though…tough luck.

  65. jdx19

    Rockies announcers just said the Reds hope to get Sean Marshal back “shortly.” Hah!

    • VaRedsFan

      Actually, the Reds announcers said that they went in for the surgery and found nothing wrong (there was some fluid build up). Welsh said he could start throwing in 6 weeks. I don’t know if they got insurance or not, but that may not be a good thing for the Reds monetarily.

      • jdx19

        I’ll send you a check for $20 if Marshal throws a pitch for the Reds this year. 😉

  66. jdx19

    Bruce 3-4, could easily be 4-4. Let’s get that BABIP back up to respectable levels!

    • jdx19

      BP doing all he can to get outta this 8th! What a play!

  67. yorktownred

    A clean 8th inning! Victory is ours.

  68. vegastypo

    Lordy, 7 saves and only 18 innings for Chapman, with June just a few days away. Wasted resource.

    And a leadoff walk.

    • jdx19

      And he’s throwing 94-97mph. Something is wrong.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Chappy hasn’t been sharp in May. Lack of work or whatever.

  69. Jeff

    Chapman fastballs at 95-96. Is he throwing right handed?

      • Robby20

        Yes he did. He is also not having a good run right now. Hasn’t looked near as sharp this year as last.

  70. jdx19

    Good throw would have got the runner at the plate… but, of course Hamilton did not have an accurate throw.

  71. charlottencredsfan

    Guess everyone has given up.

    Go Reds!!!

  72. jdx19

    4 fly balls to left for Votto. Two hit very very hard. I guess that’s decent news.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Beggars can’t be choosy.

      • jdx19

        Not sure how that applies. I was happy to see Votto attempting to drive the ball the left today.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I was agreeing with you – when in the midst of a 10-game losing streak anything positive is decent news. Can’t be choosy about the good news, in other words.☺ Both Jay & Joey are swinging it real nice, they need some help.

  73. RedsFanEd (@RedsFanEd)

    I love the Reds but they seem to find new ways to lose. At this point I am rooting for them to lose so that Castellini wakes up and lets go of the reins. His ownership along with Jocketty’s GM position has been one of the worst periods of my 59 years. All of the ground work that was set prior to their tenure has been wasted and and under their watch the scouting and development has been disappointing.

    Time for a new direction in management. If Castellini decides to keeps ownership, hire someone who is up to date, purge the scouting department, give him a budget and get out of the way and let him make the baseball decisions.

    • Adam S.

      You have to be kidding. The reds are much better off under castellini than they were before. Krivsky was a terrible GM and Linder was a bad owner. Reds were garbage then.

      • Mutaman

        Some guy feeling nostalgic for the Banana Man years might be the low point of this low season.

  74. charlottencredsfan

    The team, if it plays this hard, will win again.

  75. jdx19

    See you folks tomorrow when we go for 10 IN A ROW!

  76. AARON

    Nine is Divine !

    LLLLLLLLL

    Party like its 1998

  77. jdx19

    Chapman has been downright bad over the last month. AKA 4-5 innings.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Yeah, but it’s a third of his season.☺

    • ohiojimw

      The last month gives lie to the notion that Chapman was a sure fire slam dunk ace starter just in need of the chance to do it. He is having trouble controlling bleeding when quirky things happen which is an essential skill as a starter. It is also possible batters are using a different approach when their team is even versus 3 outs from beaten. Chapman may well have learned the needed skills on the fly and became a dominant starter. We will never know the answer to that one but we do know it wouldn’t have been as automatic as a lot of folks thought.

  78. Jeremy Conley

    In April the ball Votto hit was a HR. Now it doesn’t make it to the warning track. Someone needs to see if he’s injured.

    • jdx19

      First two balls driven to left at 104 and 103mph, respectively. Both of those are 430ft homers with the right loft.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Keep hitting the ball over 100 mph and good things are going to happen.

      • ohiojimw

        Yes, but it is a concern that he seems to be riding/ pushing every think and not turning on pitches at all. Its a huge plus for pitchers to know if he has given up on pulling.

  79. CP

    On the plus side, my 72 win prediction is starting to look pretty solid. 🙁