The Cincinnati Reds (51-64) will square off with the Los Angels Dodgers (66-51) today at 4:10 for the final game of the four game series. The Reds will look to leave LA with a series split, but it will not come easy against NL Cy Young front-runner Zack Greinke. Last night, the Reds fell 8-3 to the Dodgers. Reds starter David Holmberg got rocked, allowing seven earned runs and only lasted two innings.

Starting Pitchers

DiscoGreinke

Anthony DeSclafani has had about as good of a season as anyone could have ever imagined. Today, he will face his biggest challenge yet against Zack Greinke. Most keep expecting DeSclafani to regress, but it just isn’t happening. Over his last three starts, he has 2.37 ERA (19.0 IP, 5 ER, 15 K, 4 BB). It was pointed out in Friday’s preview, but the trade of 1 year of Latos for 6 of DeSclafani was an absolute steal.

DeSclafani has fond memories of Dodger Stadium. His lone start of his career against the Dodgers was actually his MLB debut with the Marlins. He pitched brilliantly over six innings (video), and also had a hit and 2 RBI. His line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.

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Zack Greinke has been nothing less than tremendous in 2015. He is the front-runner for the NL Cy Young, although his teammate Clayton Kershaw is right there (Kershaw could be a victim of his own success). His numbers this year are similar to his 2010 AL Cy Young winning season with the Royals (2.16 ERA, 2.33 FIP, 9.50 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 0.43 HR/9, 8.6 fWAR). The strikeouts are down 1.43 from his dominant 2010 season, but his walks are also down 0.89.

Greinke has faced the Reds quite a bit, and has done well in his career. In 10 career starts vs the Reds, Greinke has a 2.75 ERA and 0.92 WHIP, with 79 strikeouts and only 12 walks. Most of that domination came earlier in his career with the Brewers though. Greinke has a 3.78 ERA against the Reds in 4 starts over the last two years with the Dodgers.

Lineups

Dodgers: Rollins SS, Hernandez 2B, Gonzalez 1B, Turner 3B, Ethier LF, Puig RF, Grandal C, Pederson CF, Greinke P

Reds: Phillips 2B, Suarez SS, Votto 1B, Frazier 3B, Bruce RF, Byrd LF, Barnhart C, Desclafani P, Hamilton CF

Todd back on track?

Todd Frazier is 8 for 20 (.400) with 2 HR over his last five games. The most concerning thing about Frazier is that he has only walked twice in 57 PA in August. His BB% is only 6.3% in 2015, down from 7.9% last season (MLB average is 7.5%). It is good to see him hitting though.

Other news and notes 

This date in Reds history

On August 16, 1999, the Reds beat the Pirates and former pitcher Pete Schourek 9-3 (Cincinnati Enquirer Recap). Pokey Reese hit a 3-run homer in the second inning to give the Reds a 4-0 lead. The Reds chased Schourek after just 2.2 innings. Juan Guzman pitched 7.0 innings, allowing just 5 hits and 2 runs. The win kept the Reds tied with the Astros for the lead in the NL Central.

The Reds would end up losing a close battle with the Astros in 1999, but did manage to finish the season tied with the Mets for the NL wild-card. The sad thing about reading the Cincinnati Enquier’s reacp of the game from Chris Haft was this line: “While much of the Tristate remains apathetic to the Reds — a mere 19,693 showed up at Cinergy Field.” If only Cincinnatians would have known that it would be another decade before they would see another pennant chase.

Travel and Tickets

Watch the Reds at home by using Hipmunk.com for Cincinnati flights that can be reserved through most major airline carriers. Hotels in Cincinnati can be booked too, with rates starting from $53 near the airport or the ballpark. For the best ticket prices, use TiqIQ – it also supports Redleg Nation.

Concluding Thoughts

You will always take a series split in LA. Always. The Reds should try to do that.

34 Responses

  1. Keith

    NL Central has 3 of top 4 teams in MLB by record… and 2 of bottom 6 teams. Hope Uncle Walt sees this and recognizes the importance of overhauling team that can really challenge the top flight of the division, rather than just trying to piece together a team that won’t be able to keep up with teams far better/deeper than the Reds currently are.

  2. LoopingHR

    Don’t think we have a chance at this game. Greinke has been lights out this year

  3. Indy Red Man

    I’ve been on Jay Bruce for years now and just when I’m glad they didn’t trade him he goes 8-55 in August (.145) with 1 hr….2 bbs/17 Ks. He’s still a solid player but I think if the Reds are ever going to get back to an elite offense with this crew then need to drop him to 6th with BP 7th. They need a leadoff hitter in LF…..moving Mesoraco or Suarez there defeats the purpose in my mind. The object is to get better than avg. production out of a position and they could really put up plus #s at C or SS where they’re supposed to be. Not to mention they might be worse than Byrd defensively?

    • Shchi Cossack

      How much would it take to sign Fowler to man LF next season, assuming he doesn’t receive and turn down a qualifying offer?

      • Steve Mancuso

        Cossack – you have email from me.

  4. Shchi Cossack

    Interesting lineup for a Sunday game. It’s like the Reds are trying their best to win against the NL CY winner this season. That just feels weird.

    • msanmoore

      +25 for the “weird” feeling as I’ve tuned in during the 4th.

  5. Steve Mancuso

    The Reds have had a few good games against pitching aces this year. Maybe another one today?

  6. Shchi Cossack

    The game in Chavez Ravine is developing quite nicely. Disco is dealing and matching ZG, pitch for pitch, for the 1st trip through the lineup. After 3 inning, 0-0.

  7. msanmoore

    Byrd singles … go figure. I still hope we don’t get stuck with him at $8M though.

    • Carl Sayre

      It seems to me that he is getting an unbelievable number of PA’s considering what is at stake. What are the chances that his contract can be restructured for next year? Do away with the 8 million vesting option and bring him back for a guaranteed 1.75 with incentives to get it up to say 3. If the price was right we don’t have an answer for LF I wouldn’t be opposed to have him for insurance or maybe some pop off the bench.

      • msanmoore

        As insurance, I could totally agree.

  8. msanmoore

    Flash that leather Puig … or don’t. Let’s see if we can crack this nut now.

  9. Indy Red Man

    I think their radar gun is a tad fast? Isn’t Dodger Stadium known for that? They had Sampson and now Disco up to 95-96 mph. Its unlikely they get Chapman in today but he might hit 106…lol
    Disco is really a polished pitcher….he’ll never be an ace but he could def do what Latos did for us and a cooler head in a playoff situation.

    Scratch what I said about Chapman for Puig….I’ve never been more wrong and I’m wrong often

    • msanmoore

      +85 – I has the same thoughts on Puig, though I really didn’t want that headcase in our dugout

      Disco has all the markings of a solid #3 in our rotation as I see it. I’m happy with that instead of Mat, Cat, or Dallas.

      • Carl Sayre

        I wondered when the trade happened would he be a ML pitcher and if so would he be a starter or come out of the pen. I am now a liitle more optimistic than you are. I see him being a solid number 2 starter instead of a 4 or 5 that I was praying he might be. The other thing is another dominant 10 game road trip by Chapman. We go on the road for 10 games and he doesn’t give up a run. I don’t have a clue what kind of interest or offers WJ had for Chapman but if this dumb Arse hillbilly can spot the problem why can’t WJ? The positive note Price didn’t waste him he was available. SHEEEEEESH

  10. msanmoore

    You know, what amazes me most about what I just saw was that Joc appeared to “wrist flick” that one and it cleared the fence. The kid is pretty amazing.

  11. RedAlert

    Figures – get the lead then give it right back – on home run to the pitcher of all things – terrible

    • Indy Red Man

      Young pitchers? What are you going to do? You don’t want to fall behind hitters but you don’t want to be wild in the strike zone and lay them right down the middle like that either? Theres nothing wrong with coming inside.

  12. RedAlert

    I’m sorry – Bryan Price has got to go – the losing atmosphere on this team has settled in like a cloud of ether – I know Reds aren’t getting it done offensively , but this losing , losing , losing is freaking old – something has got to change ( namely Castellin’s “good ole boy ” mentality when it comes to running his baseball business)

    • Tom Reed

      The principal ownership of the Reds is what it is. Nothing is going to change unless another moneyed person takes over.

  13. Jeff Morris

    The Enigma that is Jay Bruce continues…..how many Strike Outs is that today??

    • Tom Reed

      And Jay swings at pitches that are on the ground.

  14. Carl Sayre

    I thought Price being gone was a forgone solution. Help me out here can Byrd and WJ sit down and say we are not going to let you get vested would you like to come back for 1.75 and you hit these otions it will balloon to 3? Will MLB let this happen and is it something the Reds would let happen?

    • Chuck Schick

      It’s unlikely that Byrd would sign for 1.75M. He would likely receive more if he is a free agent. If the Reds are dumb enough to imply in a negotiation with a player under contract that they want him back, but are not playing him so they can avoid the vestiing then the union would be all over that.

      • Carl Sayre

        That what I was trying to get an answer or opinion too. The Reds will do somethingt so he doesn’t get those 550 PA’s everyone knows it and yeah I figured the union would have a cow but reality is reality/ that is why I think he would take something in that area if there were incentives for HR’s. He might be worth more as a DH to an AL team but his value IMO is about that 1.75 to 2.00.. The Reds have Winker they could give Byrds PA’s to get an extended look then they just traded for Duvall they will be interested in seeing his ability at big league pitching?

      • Myron Gaines

        Skip SCHUMAKER is being paid 2.5mil this year. I think you’re being way too optimistic.

        On top of that, Byrd is fighting off the aging process very well, due to his steroid use.

  15. Jeff Morris

    The inconsistent hitting continues. Reds get 10 runs first game, then 3, 3, and 1 the next three games. Though today, I know it is hard to score against Greinke, but the other games this series, and also the same against the Pirates, where they scored like 15 one game, then nothing much after that. I think if other pitchers are off their games and make mistakes, then the Reds can take advantage and hit, but when pitchers are on their game and don’t make mistakes, the Reds are not good enough to hit very well.

  16. Carl Sayre

    Chapman on a 10 game road trip threw 38 pitches and recorded a save. Are you telling me that the most dominant closer in the game didn’t draw an offer that was worth more than 38 pitches and a save over a ten game span? The interest in the off season may be off the charts but 38 pitches? sheeeesh.

    • Myron Gaines

      Have faith they’ll snatch a better deal this winter than what was available at the deadline. More teams in the picture in the off-season.

      It’s not worth stressing about Price’s use of him at this point, as the Reds are way out of the playoffs, and any injuries could ruin that winter trade value.

      • RedAlert

        Have absolutely no confidence whatsoever that Jocketty will deal him this winter – hope I’m wrong. As long as he is the GM and Castellini allows him to be , Reds are stuck in proverbial mediocrity.

      • RedAlert

        Appears he did get some nice pieces in the Cueto trade though –

      • Carl Sayre

        Thank You I wasn’t able to find a good reason for not using him at least I can pretend that they are thinking like that. Your reponse above about Skippy was dead on also but just because we overpaid for him and a bunch others doesn’t mean it is always gonna be like that……………….um nevermind silly me.