On the heels of their incredible ninth inning comeback last night, the Reds hope to get out the brooms tonight and sweep the Indians into Lake Erie in the series final. Same Bat Time; Same Bat Channel (7:10pm Eastern Fox Sports Ohio).

Starting Pitchers

Tonight will feature another battle of right handers, Tyler Mahle for the Reds versus Carlos Carrasco. for the Indians

At just 23 years of age Tyler Mahle appears to be stepping to the head of the class among the Reds young starters.  In 7 starts since the first of June Mahle has compiled an ERA/FIP of 2.04/3.56 over 39.2 innings pitched.  While he still has bouts of control issues resulting in too many walks, he has offset the walks by severely cutting back on his HR/9 rate and striking batters at a rate of just better than 1 per inning.  Mahle is demonstrating that location, command and varying pitch speeds, even on the same pitch type, are all more important than raw speed for an MLB starting pitcher. Other young Reds pitchers  would be well served to grasp these concepts and follow Mahle’s example.

Carlos Carrasco, 31, was  signed by out of Venezuela by the Phillies in 2003. He came to the Indians in a 2009 trading deadline deal which most notably sent star pitcher Cliff Lee (43.5 career bWAR) to the Phillies. In 2015 Carrasco was installed into the Cleveland rotation and has remained there since making 103 starts and compiling and ERA/FIP of 3.55/3.24. Carrasco has earned 17.8 career bWAR, essentially all as pitching from the Indians rotation. Tonight will be Carrasco’s second start since returning from the DL following a forearm bruise suffered in mid June when he was struck by a line drive while pitching. He pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 ER in  his return July 6.  Carrasco throws his fastball (4 seamer/ sinker) on about 50% of  his pitches (mid 90MPH range) and mixes a curve, slider and change fairly equally on the remainder of his offerings.

Comparative 2018 Stats:

PITCHER FIP IP/ Start HR/9 BB% K%
Tyler Mahle 4.58 5.1 1.46 9.7% 22.9%
Carlos Carrasco 3.59 6.0 1.21 5.5% 25.9%

Another Indians starter with a very high K rate; and, this guy is stingy with the BB’s too.

Bullpens

The Reds pen looks to be in overall good shape thanks to Sal Romano’s strong effort on Tuesday. Raisel Iglesias would be pitching for a third consecutive day if called upon. However Iglesias has thrown just 20 pitches combined in the last two days and is probably available for a 3 out save attempt, especially given the Reds are off on Thursday. Nonetheless don’t be surprised if Jim Riggleman goes in a different direct to open the ninth if he has a 2 or 3 run lead.

Cleveland closer Cody Allen threw 31 pitches in his failed save attempt Tuesday and would seem to be a question mark at best for tonight. All other hands look set such as they are.

Lineups

            REDS           INDIANS
1. Scott Schebler (RF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Jesse Winker (DH)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Adam Duvall (LF)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Francisco Lindor (SS)
2. Michael Brantley (LF)
3. Jose Ramirez (3B)
4. Edwin Encarnacion (DH)
5. Yonder Alonso (1B)
6. Jason Kipnis (2B)
7. Yan Gomes (C)
8. Tyler Naquin (RF)
9. Greg Allen (CF)

Not a lot of creativity in the Reds lineup as they are just using the DH to  accommodate the outfield rotation members.

News and Notes

Michael Lorenzen in the Home Run Derby?

Should Nick bring a broom to the game tonight?

A possible trading partner for the Reds?

Fans express their feelings about the Reds.

It is perfectly OK this happened last night since the Reds got the last laugh!

Final Thoughts

The good guys came out on top again last night in the latest exciting episode of Who Are Those Guys Wearing Reds Uniforms? This team seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. They get burned, sometimes twice, but take their medicine and bounce back. Over the last three weeks they have played really good baseball against several very good teams. There are important, even crucial, personnel decisions ahead for the Reds front office as the trade deadline approaches. Whatever the front office decides to do, let’s hope they find a way to bolster and ensure the future while avoiding a giant step back to the recent boring and distasteful recent past. GO REDS!


Data and Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference , Fangraphs and www.MLB.com