Tonight there is more late night baseball for those of us in the eastern time zone as the Reds (14-27, 5th place NL Central) ride their 6 game winning streak up the left coast to San Francisco to open a 3 game set with the Giants (20-21, 3rd place NL West) at AT&T Park. Game time is 10:15pm ET.

Starting Pitchers

Reds right hander Sal Romano makes his first ever appearance versus the Giants. Tonight marks the big guy’s ninth start of the season. The tale of the tape in his last four starts stands in positive contrast to his results in his first four. He has posted a 2.05 ERA/  4.51 FIP in the last four versus a 5.75 ERA/ 6.25 FIP in his first four starts. The difference between his ERA and FIP in his last  four starts hints he perhaps has been pitching into some good luck recently; but, the nearly 2 run per game improvement in his FIP over his first four starts bodes well nonetheless.

Right hander Chris Stratton makes the start for the Giants. The 27 year old was the Giants first round choice (#20 overall) in the 2012 June draft. Stratton first saw MLB action in 2016 making 7 relief appearances. Last season he was promoted to MLB in early July and made 11 appearances (10 starts) through the end of the season. This season he has been in the Giants rotation from the get go; and, like Sal Romano he will make his ninth start tonight. However unlike Romano, Stratton has come a cropper lately after getting off to a strong start. Here is what to look for from Stratton. He throws his four seam fastball about 60% of the time with a typical velocity of 92MPH and mixes in his slider and curve about a combined 30% of the time. Both these pitches have an average velocity around 84MPH. In the remaining 10% of the time, expect to see his 91MPH sinker or 78MPH changeup.

Here are the 2018 comparative numbers.

Sal Romano 5.06 1.49 9.4% 14.4%
Chris Stratton 4.47 0.84 21.1% 11.1%


The Reds bullpen covered 3 innings yesterday.  Amir Garrett went 1.2 innings and likely would be available for only a short stint  of an inning or less tonight. Raisel Iglesias threw 18 pitches to complete his inning of work. He was returning to action following a day off on the heels of pitching 3 consecutive games. He wouldn’t figure to work over 3 outs tonight either.

The Giants pen also covered 3 innings yesterday but were in a position to use their mid and low leverage relievers. Their leverage guys last worked on Saturday covering 2.1 innings between two pitchers.  Their pen should be in good shape tonight unless Stratton flames out very early.


            REDS            GIANTS
1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Sal Romano (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Gregor Blanco (LF)
2. Andrew McCutchen (RF)
3. Buster Posey (C)
4. Brandon Belt (1B)
5. Evan Longoria (3B)
6. Brandon Crawford (SS)
7. Austin Jackson (CF)
8. Kelby Tomlinson (2B)
9. Chris Stratton (P)

Here’s Chad’s take on tonight’s Reds lineup. FWIW, I agree

News and Notes

Once again a Red has won National League Player Of The Week. Congrats to Scooter Gennett.  Is there any way to determine if it is a record for a team playing .341 baseball to have had two different players (Joey Votto being the other) to have won PoTW in less than a quarter of a season?

Anthony Desclafani is set to make a rehab start tonight at AA Pensacola. Michael Lorenzen is also scheduled to pitch in the same game

Wesley Jenkins has a take at Nick Senzel’s vertigo situation

Final Thoughts

A  six game winning streak  can really work wonders for a person’s thoughts  feelings about their favorite baseball team, can’t it?  Nothing has really changed with the Reds prospect for this year; but, we dare to hope once again that the next really good Reds team can be in the reasonably near future instead of  a vague further away time. Long live the Nick Krall and Matt Harvey era. Don’t Stop Believing. Go Reds!

Data and Stats courtesy of, and Fangraphs