After splitting the two game set in the Motor City, the Reds (29-35) travel back down south looking for their 30th win of the season. Tonight’s game is a battle of two aces: the Tigers David Price against the (for now) Reds’ Johnny Cueto. Last year, the Tigers snagged Price from the Rays at the deadline for their playoff push, and there are already rumors that they could be looking at Cueto for the same role this year.
All stats are 2015 actuals:
Since his two week hiatus with shoulder soreness, Johnny Cueto has been usually dominant self. In three starts, he’s thrown 20.0 innings, struck out 22 while only walking two, and pitched to a 2.25 ERA. For the season, Johnny Cueto is tied for 23rd in WAR of all eligible pitchers with 1.78 (according to ESPN). Fangraphs lists Cueto’s WAR as a 2.0, which would bump Cueto up to 15th on ESPN’s leaderboard. Regardless of the WAR discrepancy, Cueto is still more in demand than sweet tea in the South.
Opposing Cueto tonight is the sensational David Price, who is coming off of a seven hit, complete game shutout. Price struck out eight in that game, which was on the heels of another complete game against the White Sox. In total, over his last two starts, Price has thrown 18 innings of 12-hit, one-run baseball, striking out 19. Price has thrown three complete games so far this year, and he has gone at least 8.0 innings twice more, yet his K/9 is still a very good 7.99. What makes Price so dominant is his elite command and efficiency, leading to the ability to strike batters out in three pitches.
Price has long been one of my favorite non-Reds because he’s a Tennessee boy who pitched for Vanderbilt, but also because he just seems like a genuinely good guy. Hopefully, the Reds touch him up just enough for Johnny to get the job done tonight.
. @DatDudeBP your bobble head comes out 2 days after we play yall in cincy…I'm gonna need that for my mom!! Much appreciated…Ã°Å¸â€˜Å Ã°Å¸ÂÂ¾
— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) June 16, 2015
— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) June 15, 2015
(This is my subtle reminder that Vandy is 2-0 in the CWS right now, and everyone should watch what’s going on in Omaha because it’s honestly the most entertaining baseball played all year.)
Chris Dominguez gets the start at first in place of Joey Votto in today’s Reds’ lineup. Bryan Price must have a lot of faith in Cueto throwing a shutout because there don’t seem to be many runs for the Reds on paper:
Kinsler, Cabrera, and Cespedes make up the heart of the Tigers’ order:
The official 2015 All-Star Game cap for your #Reds.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 17, 2015
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 17, 2015
BYRD ON THE FARM
Marlon Byrd, who has been out since June 3 with a fractured wrist, will start his rehab assignment today with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Byrd is expected to play the next two games with the Double-A before being re-evaluated to join the big league club. Bryan Price commented that, “He’s done a lot of really good work without having any setbacks. I didn’t anticipate having him back as soon as this.”
AND OUT GOES FRAZIER
This is the 10th time a #Reds hitter hit 20 HR in the team's first 64 games, last done by Adam Dunn in 2006 & 2003.
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) June 17, 2015
The Toddfather is having one heck of a year for the Reds. I know plenty of people are calling to trade him (and literally everyone else), but I stand behind keeping Frazier as the cornerstone of the next incarnation of the Reds. He’s young enough, under contract through 2016 and arbitration eligible in 2017, and a leader. Keep Todd around to balance out all the younger guys that will be filling this roster the next few years.
— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) June 17, 2015
OR JUST AN INEPT FRONT OFFICE?
Back of the envelope math….
Reds have had 113 players on their 40-man roster at one point or another this season.
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) June 16, 2015
I know it's only temporary, but 9 relievers for the #Reds! 3 man bench tonight.
— Joel Luckhaupt (@jluckhaupt) June 16, 2015
CONGRATS TO THE WARRIORS
The Cavs…erm Lebron…finally succumbed to the relentless assault that was the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 last night. Andre Iguodala took home the Finals MVP honors, and Steph Curry became the sixth player to win his first MVP and title in the same season. Meanwhile, the reaction in Cleveland:
LeBron: Okay we need to play perfect basketball here, no mistakes or… *J.R. Smith stabs basketball with knife* Oh dude COME ON.
— Hunter Felt (@HunterFelt) June 17, 2015
The Finals In A Picture pic.twitter.com/e0mfe94L38
— Lord Quack (@EasyMoneyJay) June 17, 2015
Don't worry Cleveland, Browns season is right around the corner! pic.twitter.com/YChmad8pMB
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) June 17, 2015
This is the best of the best today, and an interesting matchup pitting one former ace for sale against a current ace for sale. From here on out, every start Johnny Cueto makes is a glorified audition, and while that stings a little bit to have to write, I still wish nothing but the best for Johnny Beisbol.