The Reds meet the Giants at 3:45ET this afternoon to wrap up their 7 game west coast swing. They will be looking to salvage a victory from this series after falling 5-3 to the Giants last night.  Here is Matt Habel’s RLN recap of that action. Let’s hope the guys get the job done today because a 5-2 road swing sounds so much better than a 4-3 trip.

Starting Pitchers

Matt  Harvey makes his second start as a Red. He will be looking to build upon his 4 inning 1 hit shutout effort in Los Angeles which required just 55 pitches to complete. We know the storyline by now.  Harvey hopes to kickstart his stalled career; and, the Reds hope he succeeds in spades over the next two months so they can cash him in at the trade deadline for somebody who might turn out to be a significant contributor in the future. This said, the reviews of Harvey’s performance versus the Dodgers were outstanding. He seemed to be throwing loosely and easily with good velocity and command. For a deeper look at how Matt Harvey’s situation might play out check out this RLN post by Jeff Gangloff . Just keep it coming Matt.

Left hander Andrew Suarez will be the Giants starter. This is 25 year old Suarez’s rookie season in MLB. He was a second round #61 overall pick out of the University of Miami for the Giants in the June 2015 draft . Suarez split 2017 between the AA and AAA levels making a combined 26 appearances (24 starts). He was in the Giants camp this spring as a nonroster invitee and subsequently brought to MLB when injuries opened slots in the Giants rotation. To date Suarez has made 4 MLB appearances, all as a starter. Saurez throws a 91-92MPH fastball about half the time mixing both a 4 seamer and sinker. He throws a  slider  about a third of the time at 88-89MPH which given his similar fastball speed might suggest this pitch is really more of a cut fastball. He rounds out his offerings with a changeup (9%; 86MPH) and curve (12% ~78MPH).

Comparative 2018 numbers:

PITCHER xFIP HR/9 BB% K%
Matt Harvey 4.55 1.74 6.6% 16.2
Andrew Suarez 3.17 2.09 4.7 27.1%

How about Suarez’s K%? Definitely in the elite range. When researching him I read he was considered by some to be a finished product as a pitcher. That K rate in the absence of seemingly overpowering stuff probably prompted such evaluations. Then for dessert, there’s his K/BB ratio.

Bullpens

Once again it was a busy night for both bullpens.  By virtue of being  a losing visitor, the Reds had to cover only 8 total innings of which 4.2 were provided by the bullpen. Amir Garrett turned in an excellent 2.2 inning stint and figures to be a spectator today. David Hernandez provided 1.2 innings and likely is on short call today. Wandy Peralta pitched 0.1 innings and should be unlimited today. With an off day coming Thursday, otherwise it should be all hands on call and ready to go for the Reds pen today.

The Giants pen covered 5 innings evenly among 5 pitchers. Of the 5, only Pierce Johnson had pitched on Monday and would figure to be unavailable today. The Giants are also off on Thursday and thus also can be uninhibited in their pen use today.

Lineups

           REDS             GIANTS
1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Scooter Gennett (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Scott Schebler (RF)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Alex Blandino (3B)
8. Matt Harvey (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Gregor Blanco (CF)
2. Andrew McCutchen (RF)
3. Brandon Belt (LF)
4. Evan Longoria (3B)
5. Pablo Sandoval (1B)
6. Nick Hundley (C)
7. Miguel Gomez (2B)
8. Kelby Tomlinson (SS)
9. Andrew Suarez (P)

 

News and Notes

Joey Votto has offered some clarification of remarks he made on a Yahoo Sports podcast we highlighted yesterday

While many of us slept, Billy Hamilton made another of his incredible catches

At AA Pensacola, Reds prospect outfielder Aristides Aquiño is on a roll

And finally we check in on Robert Stephenson at AAA Louisville

News and Notes

We often debate just how much manager decisions influence the outcome of MLB games. Last night seemed to provide an example where a game may have turned on the decision of one manager and the response of the other. With the Giants trailing 3-1 in the fourth inning, 1 out and the bases load, the Giants Bruce Bochy decided to pitch hit Pablo Sandoval, a switch hitter, for his pitcher. Jim Riggleman chose to stand pat with his starter Tyler Mahle despite the fact reliever Amir Garrett appeared to be ready in the bullpen This choice set up Sandoval to bat from his clearly stronger left hand side instead of being turned to his weaker side versus Garrett. Sandoval produced a 2 run single to tie the game. Garrett was then brought on to relieve Mahle. Jose Peraza did not corral a line drive that looked catchable which reloaded the bases. The Reds then failed to complete a double play that looked very turnable, allowing the lead run to score. A manager’s decision and two plays not quite executed; a 3-1 lead became a 4-3 deficit; a game transformed and eventually lost. Let’s hope for better luck (and execution) today. Go Reds!


Stats and data courtesy of Fangraphs and MLB.com