This afternoon, the Reds (47-55) look for a series win over the Pirates (60-43) as they run out their fifth consecutive rookie starting pitcher. Keyvius Sampson will make the start after being called up earlier in the week to replace the injured Nate Adcock.

*Stats from AAA Louisville

Charlie Morton 4.61 4.49 0.90 8.0% 13.6%
Keyvius Sampson* 5.08 3.67 0.23 12.4% 18.5%

Filling in for the fondly missed Mike Leake is Reds’ offseason waiver wire pickup Keyvius Sampson. Plucked from the Padres in early January, Sampson was a former fourth-round pick who had long been regarded as one of the top prospects in the Padres’ organization. Struggles in 2014 led to his DFA and subsequent Reds’ career. In 8 starts at AA to begin the year, Sampson dominated, pitching to a 1.85 ERA in 43.2 innings. After his promotion to AAA, Sampson has struggled a bit more. The peripherals are there as his FIP was better at AAA than it was at AA, but teams are finding ways to get runs past him. Sampson’s calling card is that he is a groundball pitcher who won’t give up the long ball, but he does have control issues and will walk his fair share of batters.

Charlie Morton finally starts a game in a National League ballpark again after his past two starts have come at the homes of the Twins and the Royals. The lessened distress over wielding a bat didn’t help the Pirates #5 any as over the two starts, the righty went 12.1 innings allowing 8 runs on 13 hits with 5 walks and 9 strikeouts. For the season, Morton started out strong but hasn’t pitched particularly well since a 0.2 inning, 9 run disaster against the Nationals in June.


Joey Votto is out of the Reds’ lineup after an rough day at the plate yesterday following his torrid streak:

1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
2. Skip Schumaker (L) LF
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Marlon Byrd (R) CF
6. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
7. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
8. Ivan De Jesus (R) 1B
9. Keyvius Sampson (R) P

The Pirates’ lineup:

1. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
2. Starling Marte (R) LF
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
4. Jung Ho Kang (R) SS
5. Neil Walker (S) 2B
6. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
7. Pedro Alvarez (L) 1B
8. Sean Rodriguez (R) 3B
9. Charlie Morton (R) P

The Reds speedy center fielder swiped his 50th and 51st bags last night, making him the first player to have back to back 50 steal seasons since Eric Davis in 1986 and 1987. The two steals also gave the Reds 100 on the season, leading the Major Leagues.

Another day, another loss for Gerrit Cole against the Reds. It’s nice to have an ace pitcher you want to see take the mound for the other team. Regardless of any truth to the phenomenon, it must be a great morale boost to know you have a guy’s number forward and backwards.

Despite the Pirates’ superior record and, by transverse property, talent level, the Reds have handled the Pittsburgh team this year. Compiling a 9-3 record against their rivals while yet to lose a series is impressive considering the strength of this Pirates’ rotation. Now if only we could figure out how to do this against the Cardinals maybe another playoff berth wouldn’t seem so far away.


86 Responses

  1. seat101

    How does one become a “former fourth round draft pick”?

    Did they hold the draft a second time and he was picked in a different round?

    • seat101

      I am just kidding folks. I understand the conceit. It is easier to say “former” than it is to say the fourth round draft pick of the 2013 season.

  2. vegastypo

    Looking at the Reds’ outfield today, Sampson had BETTER BE a ground ball pitcher. Sheesh.

  3. Eric the Red

    With those 8 position players, I could probably come up with 15 different batting orders that would seemingly be better than the one we have. Picking out of a hat would probably come up with something better. That said, I’m not a professional baseball manager and it wouldn’t surprise me if we score 10 runs today.

    If at any point in the game the Pirates have a LH pitcher on the mound and Price bunts instead of letting Votto bat I may cry.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Skip has ten hits against Morton. That certainly explains Price’s thinking on batting him #2. Of course, none have been since 2011. Neither player remotely resembles the player they were back then. But no sense in letting those details get in the way of building the best lineup.

    • Evan armstrong

      I think when Price gives a guy a day off that means he doesn’t play no matter what in that even PH.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Not what he’s done in the past. Guys with days off have PH.

    • Steve Mancuso

      That double down the right field line that Bruce hit last night was what I had in mind the previous night when the Reds gave up one of their last three outs instead.

    • wizeman

      e are in 4th place. you better cringe once in a while

  4. wizeman

    while i don’t always see the games live since we are out of it… i am enjoying watching the new guys pitch.
    after complaining about stephenson not being here for at least a month… i get why he isn’t coming until september. looking forward to seeing sampson.
    i think iglesias is going to be a stud. dominant early in games… will figure out going thru the order the third time. was better last night.
    lorenzen at 103 innings. was 120 last year. figure 6 more starts to get him between to 140 or so.
    going to be scrambling to eat innings in september. could be some interesting nights. but will see stephenson who has plenty of innings left in the tank. cingrani going to have opportunity to show whether he has learned anything or become off season bait.

  5. tct

    I like the day off for Votto. Dude has been running the bases a lot lately. Keep him fresh. Although we just traded for a guy who is a back-up first baseman and looks as ready as he will ever be. Would like to have seen Duvall up and getting the start.

    I don’t like Skip still getting PA. Surely there is someone that they could give those at bats to that actually has a chance to help out in the future. Yorman is hurt, but what about Waldrop? They send him down already? He hasn’t been very good this year, but still I’d rather see him than Skip.

  6. Jeff Adams

    Gotta wonder, if you take out Skip’s pinch hit appearances, how much lower are his overall numbers?

  7. vegastypo

    Reds’ record vs. Pirates and Nationals: 14-3
    Reds’ record vs. anybody else: 33-52

  8. renbutler

    I don’t know if they said anything about it on the broadcast, as I don’t have the sound on. But on Schumaker’s catch against the wall, did you see Marte’s backswing clock Barnhart in the head?

    It’s surprising that doesn’t happen more often to catchers.

  9. User1022

    Nice start for Sampson. K’d Polanco and McCutcheon (!!!)

    If he can keep this going the 2nd and possibly even 3rd time through the lineup, it would be something.

  10. muttonlettucetomato

    Man, the ump was giving Morton every corner of the plate in the top of the 3rd. Hi, Lo, In and Out. Reds better be ready to cover the whole plate and more.

  11. vegastypo

    Guess maybe pitching around the .247 hitter to get to the .287 hitter wasn’t such a good idea?

  12. Wesley Jenkins

    And if you play a terrible defensive outfield, you get terrible defensive plays…that second run shouldn’t be on Sampson

    • User1022

      Well, he did walk the guy, which is never a good thing….

      • Wesley Jenkins

        True but a good play in the outfield keeps him at third which if suarez had made the next play keeps it at 1

  13. jamesgarret

    This reminds me of one of Dusty’s lineup.Skip is what he is and that is a pinch hitter and a good guy in the clubhouse.He’s not a centerfielder just as Marlon is not a left fielder in regards to defense.

  14. Indy Red Man

    Byrd has pretty good instincts defensively but his arm is horrible and the other guys know it. He’s been hitting pretty well lately but I hope they aren’t planning on bringing him back?
    As for Sampson….my first impression is Moscot is a little better or Cingrani when he’s throwing 93. They may have so many good arms next year that none of those guys make it.
    DeJesus with another hit…..he’s a keeper for a utility guy

    • seat101

      I’m having a hard time finding the transaction they got Ivonne to the Reds. Can you help me?

      • vegastypo

        This is background from when the Reds got him in November………………

        The 27-year-old infielder was acquired by the Red Sox as part of last season’s Kelly Johnson trade with the Orioles. He hit a respectable .281/.359/.386 with five homers and 57 RBI in 115 contests at Triple-A in 2014. He’ll have a chance to compete for a utility role with the Reds during spring training.

  15. muttonlettucetomato

    Wow, an inning ago Morton got every close pitch. This inning it’s pretty much the opposite. Someone must have barked about it from the dugout.

  16. vegastypo

    This home plate umpire doesn’t have a clue. (Unless my eyes AND the Gameday strike zone are out of whack.)

  17. User1022

    Ug, this defense…

    At least act like you care.

  18. VaRedsFan

    With a day off tomorrow, I’ll never understand resting players. Give people days off in the midst of 20 in a row.

    • User1022

      Maybe most minor league stadiums are bigger than Great American Smallpark.

      • VaRedsFan

        True, that was a GABP HR for sure. Billy might of had a chance to get that one.

  19. muttonlettucetomato

    Morton looking tough today. Reds can’t lay off the breaking stuff. His level of deception must be pretty good right now.

  20. jamesgarret

    Five more innings but Morton sure is making us look lost at the plate.I hope we are not satisfied with a split in this series.Let’s go guys.

    • User1022

      I think Price already telegraphed that he’s satisfied with a split, given the lineup he ran out there.

      Anyone remember earlier in the season when he played the full squad on a getaway day, saying he wasn’t going to give any games away?

      Whatever happened to that guy?

  21. VaRedsFan

    Waldrop debut…not so hot….3 pitches

  22. User1022

    Must have been a lot of gnats around the plate. Waldrop certainly wasn’t swinging at the ball.

  23. VaRedsFan

    They roll Villareal out there, since this is a blowout (3-0)

    • VaRedsFan

      With Votto out, they needed Bruce and Frazier for offensive production today. 0-6 so far.

  24. VaRedsFan

    Dejesus made that look easy….showing his versatility as a very good utility guy.

    • I-71_Exile

      Yeah, they are such tough guys.

  25. Indy Red Man

    I’m 49 years old and Cole has 15-20 lbs on me but I’d like a big piece of him. He’s the first one of the dugout like he’s ready to rumble. He’s so cocky….glad we smack him around every time he pitches against us.

  26. Indy Red Man

    He’s time to bring Chapman in for payback before they get out of town

  27. Carl Sayre

    If the first pitch in the top of the inning isn’t in his earflap then Price should not only be fired but have his arse kicked.

    • Carl Sayre

      Badly dissapointed, Diaz has been around long enough to do it without being told.

    • Ellis Henry

      You don’t throw at players’ heads.

      • Carl Sayre

        Tell that to Byrd who just barely got his shoulder up last night to deflect the ball. All of baseball claims they don’t head hunt but that is BS.

  28. Austin

    Stupid. Grown men acting like children. I’ll never understand the logic of if someone does something we don’t like, let’s get them back by giving them a free base.

  29. vegastypo

    Somebody wisecracked on Twitter that the Reds-Pirates fight lasted longer than the Ronda Rousey ‘fight’

  30. George Mirones

    Wining the game in 9th should be payback, hurt their playoff chances!

  31. Michael J Hampton

    When they have the next bench clearing, somebody needs to go after Clint Hurdle like Carl Furillo did Leo Durocher in one of the Dodgers/Giants donnybrooks. That cowardly little —- Hurdle is behind every bit of that. He’s not protecting his players, he is just escalating a situation when there is no need for it. He is trying to make himself look good in his players eyes, but he is going to get (and has gotten) players needlessly hurt and sooner or later will produce a career ending injury.

  32. DavidTurner49

    Could someone summarize hbp fisticuffs etc. for those like me who aren’t watching/listening but stuck with ESPN MLB gamecast?

    • Wesley Jenkins

      Villareal hit McCutchen in the back (seemingly non intentional) and then Watson drilled BP (seemingly intentional) which led to a lot of standing and shouting and maybe a couple of shoves

  33. I-71_Exile

    Come on Eugenio, take this…bad person…deep.

  34. Playtowin

    The Prates do not like the Reds very much.

  35. vegastypo

    Hey HUrdle, Villarreal wasn’t trying to hit McCutchen, either, but you didn’t care about THAT. Works both ways.

    • I-71_Exile

      Clint Hurdle and Tony LaRussa hang side by side in the tool shed.

  36. Austin

    And look at that. Because of all that nonsense, your closer gets ejected from the game when he clearly has no intent. I would be going crazy if I was a Pirates fan. If I was commissioner, one of my top priorities would be taking steps to eradicate this idiotic nonsense of throwing at people. I don’t care who does what to who and who initiates what. It’s nonsense, it’s childish, it all begins from baseless assumptions and it results in injuries, suspensions, and in rare cases (like today) a needless impact on the game.

    • seat101

      The arms must have a lot of respect for that Pittsburgh catcher. He kept his picture from being thrown out Friday night. And he got away for grabbing and accidentally bumping and I’m tire and putting his finger in his face

  37. Carl Sayre

    Those who thinks Villareal didn’t hit McCutcheon in retalliation you are welcomed to your opinion. I couldn’t see the spin to tell if it just didn’t break but to hit their star that high makes me think it was a message. Protecting your hitters is as old as the game good luck in getting rid of it. I have had enough birthdays that I remember when the pitchers were truthful and would tell you “yeah I threw at the S O B” .

  38. DavidTurner49

    OK, I’ll bite. Retaliation for what?

  39. Nelson Coble

    We saw the replay and you could see the spin.