The Cincinnati Reds (53-76) finish their six game road trip in Chicago with a three game series against the 74-55 Cubs. The Cubs boast the third best record in the National League and the 4th best record in all the majors but are still just 3rd in the NL Central division. They are sitting 9.5 games behind the Cardinals for first place, five games behind the Pirates for second, and are 5.5 games up on the Giants for the second wild card spot.

The Cubs had been red-hot in August with a 17-4 record (.810 Wpct) before a six game West Coast road trip last weekend that saw them drop four in row, two each to the Giants and Dodgers. Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta snapped the four game losing streak with a no-hitter Sunday night against the Dodgers.

STARTING PITCHERS

PITCHER ERA FIP HR/9 BB% K%
Michael Lorenzen 5.46 5.76 1.5 12.9% 15.8%
Kyle Hendricks 4.11 3.50 0.9 5.7% 20.9%

Michael Lorenzen is back with the Reds tonight after a brief demotion to AAA to get things worked out. In his first start with Louisville, he threw a complete game, four hit shutout. He allowed three runs over seven innings in his second start before tossing another eight shutout innings in his last start on August 26th. Lorenzen has faced the Cubs twice already this year. In his first time facing the Cubs, he allowed six runs over 4.1 innings. His second outing wasn’t much better with four runs allowed over five innings.

Kyle Hendricks has also struggled recently, making it past the 6th inning just once in his last eight starts. He made it to the 7th inning in that game against the Brewers, which accounts for his only quality start in his past eight games. He’s pitched against Cincinnati twice this season. He allowed one run over five innings on a June 13th start in Wrigley, and he was pinned with the loss on July 22nd in Cincinnati after allowing five runs over six innings.

STARTING LINEUPS
Tonight’s Reds lineup:

  1. Jason Bourgeois (R) CF
  2. Jay Bruce (L) RF
  3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
  4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
  5. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
  6. Ivan De Jesus (R) LF
  7. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
  8. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
  9. Michael Lorenzen (R) P

The Cubs lineup:

  1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
  2. Kyle Schwarber (L) C
  3. Chris Coghlan (L) LF
  4. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
  5. Kris Bryant (R) RF
  6. Tommy La Stella (L) 3B
  7. Starlin Castro (R) 2B
  8. Kyle Hendricks (R) P
  9. Addison Russell (R) SS

REDS TRANSACTIONS
To make room on the roster for Lorenzen, the Reds optioned David Holmberg to AAA Louisville. Also, Brennan Boesch was placed on the 15-day DL with a right ankle contusion. Taking his place on the roster is Adam Duvall. Duvall was acquired from the Giants in the trade for Mike Leake. He was hitting .264/.311/.511 in AAA (combined, both clubs) and is tied for third in all the minors with 30 homeruns. For Louisville, he split time between 1st base and left field, and he also played 46 games at third base for AAA Sacremento.

CUBS ADD RELIEVER
Over the weekend, the Cubs traded a player-to-be-named later to Seattle for Fernando Rodney. The 38 year old righthander was not having a great year in Seattle, but the Cubs needed a bullpen arm with the shoulder injury to Jason Motte last week.

THE ELITE SECOND HALF PLAYER
Joey Votto is having a monster second half:

Entering the day[Sunday], Votto had a slash line of .385/.568/.715 since the All-Star break, with 10 homers. In the second half, he’s leading the Majors in hitting, on-base percentage, walks and with his 1.283 OPS. He reached safely in 18-straight games.

THE ELITE INTERVIEWEE

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
The Cubs want to host some post season baseball games and the Reds want to play spoiler. Here’s to hoping that Lorenzen’s stint in AAA allowed him to work out the kinks and he comes back with one of the great outings that he posted in the minors.

Go REDS!

129 Responses

  1. preacherj

    Stupid Cubs. Maybe we can let Milton loose at Wrigley.

  2. big5ed

    The only way David Holmberg could be any worse is if he broke into your house and threw up on your bedroom floor.

    The Reds should have felt guilty charging admission when he pitched.

    • msanmoore

      +1879 HAR on that one … totally random point distribution, but that’s just how I’m feeling today and it made me laugh.

  3. msanmoore

    To H-E-Double-Hockeystix with a slightly higher draft pick … 🙂

    Go Reds! Beat those Stupid Cubs! Much rather see my Pittsburgh friends get to watch their team host the play-in game.

    • preacherj

      Agreed. Any chance to stick it to the Cubs or Cards is definitely one to root for.

  4. classicchad

    Readers were just talking about all the JV related sarcasm and today’s preview is about elite…chuckles

  5. Morgan Mayham

    Surprised did’nt wait till tomorrow when rosters expand to call up duvall. Only been playing a man short what a week now? Whats another day …

    As far as holburg, not wantimg this, but if a player is optioned to AAA aug.31st can he be recalled sept.1st or not till AAA is over for the season?

    • ohiojimw

      I think the 10 day rule applies here up to the point the minor league season ends. If so he can’t be recalled except as an injury replacement for 10 days or the end of the season of the team where he is optioned, whichever comes first.

      As much as none us want to see Holmberg again, with the innings restrictions on the young starters and a couple of guys in pen apparently gimpy if not outright injured, Holmberg could be back out of necessity to help fill in to the end of the season.

      Somebody pointed out last week that it amounts to something in the order of an $80k-$85k bonus for these minor league guys to get the September call. So, Duval is probably happy to have another $3k or so tacked on by being up a day earlier.

      • seat101

        Additionally, he gets a (slightly) better locker location ahead of the later call ups!

        Does anyone know the accommodation arrangements for the late call ups? Is there a baseball equivalent of a ‘comedy condo’?

    • jdx19

      Agree. He’s the kind of guy that is worth the gamble. Sometimes, these once-highly-touted prospects can be fixed.

  6. Kurt Frost

    Why is Bourgeois playing over Lamarre?

      • jdx19

        Pretty much. And it’s not like he’s a youngster that needs PT.

    • Kurt Frost

      I’m not sure he knew the ball was hit. I think he was sliding on the steal.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Really close. Close enough the radio announcers called him safe.

      • VaRedsFan

        both runners were running on the pitch. hit and run …maybe a straight double steal

    • Steve Mancuso

      Trying to get to the baase and be safe.

  7. VaRedsFan

    Cubs traveled back in one-sy PJ’s by order from their skipper.

  8. Tom Billings

    This team is a joke I hope they blow it up

  9. Playtowin

    Thom does not know a player has to be called up before September 1 to be eligible for the post season. Welsh knows the rule.

    • jdx19

      I find Thom generally doesn’t know much about baseball.

  10. msanmoore

    Ladies and Gents, tonight’s Left Fielder … Ivan DeJesus, Jr.!!

  11. RedAlert

    I like Ivan as utility man next year -he has done a good job for Reds thus far

    • msanmoore

      Yep – All 4 IF positions plus a capable LF’er … makes sense to me, especially as a GAR (that’s Grit Against Replacement)

  12. Tom Billings

    Rumors are Jocketty will be done as GM and will move to advisor role like Melvin of the Brewers

  13. james garrett

    How is Lorenzen looking tonight?

    • jdx19

      He was just hit on his pitching hand. So, that’s good…

  14. Indy Red Man

    93 mph cutter from Lorenzen and an easy 95-96 mph tonite. Way too many people have jumped ship on him around here? You teach a guy to take something off a pitch but you can’t teach velocity and he’s got a repeatable delivery! The guys stuff is dynamite….when he figures it out then he’s easily got #2 starter stuff and maybe #1? Fowler’s HR was just bad luck with a ball right down the line? Speaking of Fowler….it seems weird to have a 6’5″ leadoff man but we need him next year! Denard Span would be great as well or even Austin Jackson (.334 obp lifetime) that the Cubs just picked up will be a free agent and might be affordable?

  15. james garrett

    Thanks for the update.I have been a big fan of his because of exactly what you said about his velocity.I agree he has a great upside.Thanks again INDY.

  16. VaRedsFan

    See if BP can make ’em pay for the IBB

  17. Playtowin

    Vottowas intenionally walked with men on 1st and 2nd…..wow!

  18. Indy Red Man

    I would trade Bruce for Wheeler or Bueller…as in Ferris!

  19. msanmoore

    Joe Maddon NOT happy he did that now.

    • Indy Red Man

      The wind isnt blowing out….a Votto single only scores 1? I would walk the bases loaded to face Bruce right now but its asking for trouble overall.

  20. Indy Red Man

    Denard Span will be 32 going into next year and is a free agent.

    2014 = .362 obp vs righties
    2015 = .393 obp vs righties

    They could always play DeJesus in LF vs lefties or maybe Frazier in LF and Cozart/Suarez at 3B?

  21. RedAlert

    Lorenzen – adversity – let’s see how he handles it

    • RedAlert

      Middle of the plate – bad , bad pitch –

  22. msanmoore

    OK – I officially take back “capable LF’er” for now. He’s having some trouble. Maybe the ivy is getting in his eyes.

    • msanmoore

      Your lips to God’s ears … we’ve seen this re-run a few too many times this season.

  23. RedAlert

    Well, guess everything back to normal – he answered the question about adversity – crumbled

    • VaRedsFan

      52 hopper through the middle is hardly crumbling

      • RedAlert

        Yea , he’s crumbled – Cubs have tattooed balls this inning – then he hits Rizzo – if it’s not crumbling, what is it ? Bad luck ?

      • reaganspad

        He got hit by pitch in his pitching hand in the top of the inning’

        He was dealing up to that point. Safe to say that had an impact on him tonight.

        Rizzo was not having fun facing Lorenzen tonight

    • jdx19

      Yeah, I was very surprised that ball got through.

  24. Indy Red Man

    I’ve had it with these young guys….0-2 and throws 96 so he hangs a slow curve? We should all just check back in April 2017 because growing pains aren’t fun to watch? Its one thing to get beat but giving runs away is unacceptable?

  25. RedAlert

    And as we all have seen countless times this year , Reds get the lead and he freaking pitchers give it right back the same inning – broken record, Groundhog Day , rinse and repeat …

    • VaRedsFan

      Kind of like your nightly comments…. copy and paste

  26. jdx19

    Anthony Rizzo with Taylor Swift as walk-up music. That’s interesting.

  27. jdx19

    Welp, Lorenzen probably still needs to be in AAA.

    • Indy Red Man

      Holmberg was the other option….no thanks

      • jdx19

        I wasn’t implying he should be in AAA because there are better options. I’m implying he should be there because he isn’t a major league caliber pitcher.

      • Indy Red Man

        He just had a brain cramp in that last inning but he looked really good tonite stuff wise! He hung an 0-2 pitch to Russell which really hurt. He won’t learn anything from beating up on AAA guys. Cingrani always kills them at Lville and it doesn’t translate. Their season is about over anyway I think?

  28. VaRedsFan

    OK…don’t move Rizzo…but don’t cry when you get hit either.

  29. RedAlert

    Well , Mr. Automatic runs coming to the mound now – Mattheus . Gas can in hand

  30. BigRedMike

    Phillips has to keep that ball under control.

    Looks like the player made it home before the out at 3rd

  31. Mack Ashley Potter

    The Reds have got to have the worst advanced scouting in MLB. Both ground balls by Schwarber and Bryant should have been outs. That inning was the epidemy of the 2015 Reds

    • wildwestlv

      They don’t believe in advanced statistics, why would it be any different for advanced scouting?

  32. Indy Red Man

    Suarez>Cozart and its not close. I know Cozart is steady but its not like he was Ozzie Smith with range b4 the injury

    • Mack Ashley Potter

      No where near close. Either get what you can out of Brandon and dump his contract, move Surez to 2nd, or I’m fine with Cozart never playing another inning as a Cincinnati Red. Cozart would be great off the bench.

  33. DavidTurner49

    Can’t see the game so I don’t know how he looked, but even after the meltdown Lorenzen’s stats are better- 5 K’s and 1 bob.

    Silver lining or wishful thinking?

    • VaRedsFan

      I thought he did ok….2 runs scored on infield bleeders….Made a bad pitch to Fowler

  34. VaRedsFan

    Duvalllllll!!!!!!! Could have used that the last week maybe????

  35. Indy Red Man

    Duvall just outhomered Grit, Boesch, and Negron combined…lol

    • jdx19

      Yes, indeed! Also, Brayan Pena.

      Why we roster guys with literally no power is beyond me. (Pena is fine)

      • Grand Salami

        Boesch could hit it a country mile if he made contact outside of Spring Training and AAA

  36. msanmoore

    Sure … I close out the game in disgust and then THAT happens. Looks like Cubs still will Cub sometimes to the Reds in Wrigley.

  37. Indy Red Man

    Miami won and I know it would make more sense to suck for the #1 pick but it would be nice to win this game! It would give me bragging rights tomorrow with my Cub fan coworker. Its literally impossible to gain much though in the chase for #1 because the Marlins, Rockies, and Phillies never win more than 1 game combined per night….lol

  38. RedAlert

    Anything leaked out on calllups tomorrow by chance ???

  39. CP

    Using Chapman for multiple innings is weird at this point in the season.

  40. RedAlert

    Price now managing like his jobs is on the line – go figure – bringing in Chapman in the 8th

    • RedAlert

      23 games under and he starts doing it now. Day late and a dollar short Bryan!

    • DavidTurner49

      Egregious violation of closer rules!

      • RedAlert

        For sure – broke his own rules !

  41. Indy Red Man

    Why listen to the fans…..we all said Gregg and Marquis had nothing! We all said if Chapman isn’t going to start then get as many innings out of him as possible…..4-5 out saves whenever he is fresh enough. Jocketty/Price really need to go!

    Barnhart with a great game tonite! DeJesus, Barnhart, and Wily Mo Duvall make our bench look 100x better. Please send Grit packing along w/Bruce

  42. RedAlert

    Man Cody Reed dealing at AA – Pensacola won 1-0 tonight. His line was 8 ip, 4 hits , 0 BB,
    8 ks . ERA now sits at 2.47. Look for this kid to be on the fast track – he might end up being the best piece Red’s got in the Cueto trade. Lamb also looks solid and a possible rotation starter next year . Then you have Fiiinegan , who has struggled but has plus stuff also.

      • Indy Red Man

        I read where Finnegan is under 6′ and that usually equals reliever although Cueto is kind of short. They say he throws mid 90s though….maybe a Randy Myers late innings type of guy? We need relievers too!

      • RedAlert

        Yep – Reds for sure have now stockpiled some power arms

  43. RedAlert

    Would like to see them light up Travis Wood – he has owned them ever since the trade

  44. Grand Salami

    I would just like to see them win against the stupid Cubbies. I remember around ’04 or ’05 a hapless Reds club just couldn’t lose against a stupid Cubbies team that was trying to get into the playoffs. The Reds sunk their chances and a sweep this series would be a blast. A little schadenfreude goes a long way . . . .

    By the by, MLB has a filthiest play award for which Phillips is nominated for a particularly sick snag of a sure-fire hit up the middle. Of course it’s losing to relatively pedestrian ankle grab (that’s the proper term when a Cardinal bends to snag anything) by a corner OF. I am beginning to think the Borg have transformed into Cardinal fans . . .

  45. RedAlert

    Reds are fools if this kid doesn’t play every day next year (somewhere)- guy can swing the bat period ! I know he just reached on an error, but no way Cozart hits with this guy. I understand the concern about the defense, but bat isn’t close.

    • Grand Salami

      Agreed. I think a team would take Phillips if the Reds would eat part of the contract. This year demonstrates that his regression isn’t as sudden as many feared. Perhaps they could shed a few million, get a B level prospect and open a spot for Suarez. To do this assumes Cozart tests his knee and has something left. That injury was potentially career altering . . . (man I am loving the ellipsis tonight)

  46. VaRedsFan

    Cubs are CUBBING!…Castro 3rd error.

  47. RedAlert

    Ha Ha ! – CUBS GONNA CUB! – we can enjoy it for one night anyway

  48. VaRedsFan

    Chapman scores from 1st….he was moving!

    • Grand Salami

      An athlete like that should be used as few ways as possible . . . whoops I caught a little case of the Red’s.

  49. CP

    Chapman has wheels. The dude is an athlete…too bad he’s just a stupid closer.

  50. Indy Red Man

    I know Castro’s body is in Wrigley and his mind is usually at the club or somewhere but that should’ve been a hit/rbi for Suarez? Castro had to go quite a way for that ball. Now we’ll prob score 1 run total in the next 2 games but this was a nice team win! They have the pieces in place to fix the bench and the pen. If they can get a leadoff hitter and Mesoraco can catch/hit like 2014 then who knows? We could have some hope?

    • RedAlert

      Agree- but don’t stop there. You were on a roll Indy . Let’s get the manager and GM situation fixed while we at it !

  51. Tom Reed

    The game of the year for the Reds. And before a full house of Cubbie fans.

    • Chuck Schick

      The highlight of the year is beating a team that flew cross country all night and arrived home at 5AM. If Bob Howsam weren’t dead, he’d kill himself.

      Ladies and gentleman, Your 2015 Cincinnati Reds!!!!!!!

      • vegastypo

        Hey, they were in their jammies, so I assume they slept on the plane. No excuses!

  52. CP

    I think Castro is a good example of a player who needs to land with a new team/organization. 2B is probably the right position for him, but it has to be hard to have lost your starting gig to a younger, better player. He reminds me a little of BP with the Indians.