Sonny Gray gets another chance at the Pirates (2-3) in the span of one week, this time at PNC Park, as the Reds (1-5) continue to search for that elusive second win in 2019.

First pitch is at 7:05 ET.

Starting Pitchers

REDS

After Sunday afternoon’s loss, there were Reds fans calling the trade for Gray a bust and Yankees fans were saying “I told you so.” He pitched only 2.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks. Those four walks are more of a concern than any of the five hits he gave up. Last season with the Yankees, his BB% jumped to 9.8% from 8.4% in 2017 and only 7.1% in 2015 with the A’s. If he keeps walking hitters like he did last year, it won’t be a pretty sight and everyone will continue to wonder if anything changed. On Sunday, he seemed to be trying to paint the corners of the strike zone, but just missed his targets.

One positive that came from Gray’s start is that he is definitely a ground ball pitcher. Almost all of the hits he gave up were either line drives or ground balls that beat the shift. If he can just figure out how to eliminate the walks, his style of pitching will play well at GABP.

Corey Dickerson has had the most success off Gray, and he’s on the injured list now. Melky Cabrera has two doubles off him, and I’m sure Gray is relieved to know Trevor Williams is not the opposing pitcher, as he was on base twice and drove in two runs on Sunday.

PIRATES

Joe Musgrove, in his second year with the Pirates, will be making his first start of 2019 tonight. It’s his second appearance of the season. His first appearance came Sunday against the Reds. He had one strikeout in 2.0 innings while facing the minimum number of hitters.

Musgrove hasn’t been known to walk a lot of batters. His career BB% is 5.5% and in 2018, it was just 4.7%. He also doesn’t give up many home runs. He’s only given up 39 in 288.2 career innings. Musgrove is actually a very similar pitcher to Gray. He pitches to contact and gets a lot of ground balls. His GB% was 45.5% last season. The difference between him and Gray is that he hasn’t walked batters as often as Gray does.

He relies on six pitches (four seamer, slider, sinker, cutter, change up, and curve) and throws a good mix except for the curve, which he throws only about 2.1% of the time. Both Musgrove and Gray have a vast pitching arsenal; however, Musgrove throws his slider more, while Gray relies on the curve.

Yasiel Puig and Eugenio Suarez each have a home run off Musgrove, while Joey Votto and Scott Schebler are both 2-for-6 against him.

IP ERA FIP WHIP HR/9 BB% K%
Sonny Gray (2018) 130.1 4.9 4.17 1.5 0.97 9.80% 21.10%
Joe Musgrove (2018) 115.1 4.06 3.59 1.18 0.94 4.70% 20.60%

 

Bullpens

REDS

The Reds used three pitchers last night, but none pitched more than 0.2 innings. While Michael Lorenzen didn’t appear in Wednesday’s game as a pitcher, he has played in every game thus far this season. And he hasn’t looked good when he has been on the mound, pitching 3.1 innings and giving up two runs on five hits and three walks.

PIRATES

The Pirates’ bullpen also appears to be in good shape heading into game two of the series. While Jordan Lyles only went five innings, Nick Kingham was able to pitch two innings in relief. He might be the odd man out tonight for Clint Hurdle.

Lineups

REDS PIRATES
1. Jesse Winker (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Yasiel Puig (RF)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Matt Kemp (LF)
6. Jose Peraza (2B)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Jose Iglesias (SS)
9. Sonny Gray (P)
1. Adam Frazier (2B)
2. Starling Marte (CF)
3. Francisco Cervelli (C)
4. Josh Bell (1B)
5. Jung Ho Kang (3B)
6. Colin Moran (LF)
7. JB Shuck (RF)
8. Erik Gonzalez (SS)
9. Joe Musgrove (P)

-Jesse Winker is playing center field tonight.

News and Notes

-Yikes. I’m not sure if I’ve seen so many players hitting this badly at the same time.

-Finally, go listen to the newest episode of the Redleg Nation podcast.

 

57 Responses

  1. CI3J

    Jesse Winker in centerfield.

    Ohhhhhhhh boy…….

    • vegastypo

      Yeah, you said it. Puig would be a better choice, but the Reds seem determined to leave him alone in right. …. Next question: Who would play better defense in centerfield, Winker or Senzel (even while wearing the boot)?

  2. Old-school

    Just looking at the lineup card – on paper- no way the Reds lose this game. Other than CF, Reds should have advantage or tie at every other position. Bullpen is the wildcard.

    Reds gotta get win #2 tonight.

  3. matt hendley

    Everything should even out, hopefully that starts tonight

  4. 1995Redleg

    I just bet my girlfriend (we shook on it, so it’s definitely legitimate) that if the Reds don’t get a run this game, I will not watch a single game for the rest of the season- excluding games in person, of course….. I’m somewhat nervous….

  5. Seadog

    Just Wow. Winker in CF. I do like him in the #1 hole though.

  6. Bred

    Free Lorenzen! Bell should have put him in CF. He would be a defensive upgrade, and the way the OF is hitting he could not do worse.

    • VaRedsFan

      Agree…for the simple point as maybe he wouldn’t pitch.

  7. vegastypo

    Haha, supposedly Tucker Barnhart burned a baseball bat earlier today as a sacrifice to the baseball gods. I wonder if it was Schebler’s bat.

    • VaRedsFan

      They might need to have a bonfire at this point.

  8. VaRedsFan

    The ball will find you. Collin Moran also playing CF tonight….Played Votto’s pop fly into a double.

    • vegastypo

      I just got an email from a friend of mine who is a Pirates fan. He knows what I think of Winker’s defense, and he was saying Moran is the worst defensive player he can remember the Pirates having, replacing the previous-worst, Pedro Alvarez (before Alvarez got moved to first base).

    • VaRedsFan

      I misheard the Pirate announcers…Moran is in LF

  9. Gerardo Helguera

    At what inning will the scoreless streak end ?

  10. VaRedsFan

    Selective memory??? It seems other team’s defensive shifts work and the reds shifts don’t. Anybody else???

  11. VaRedsFan

    Could we give the Dodgers back that 7 million and Kemp along with it?

  12. Gerardo Helguera

    Lead off double to waste. Smh this team needs to go back to the fundamentals

    • Pete

      Can Kemp bunt? Maybe a little Dusty-ball wouldn’t hurt.

  13. steve stevens

    At what point should Votto be called out for his mental errors on the bases and on defense (the missed pop out the other night was just embarrasing) or he gets a free pass? Hope not foer the youngsters!

    • Phil Gasson

      Shame on you Steve!! He’s a first ballot HOFer. Riiiiiiight!!!!!!

      • MrRed

        Ah hell, young men, Votto’s been harangued for his base running and defense for the better part of the last decade. Where’ve you been???

        As for first ballot HOFers that have been called out for their flaws, let’s take a look at recent history:

        Chipper Jones – slow runner
        Jim Thome – lousy defense
        Pudge Rodriguez – Roids
        Junior – injuries
        Frank “The Tank” Thomas – no glove

        I get the temptation to critique. But perspective is needed.

  14. Gerardo Helguera

    Maybe tha HBP might wake Winkers bat up!

  15. Hanawi

    Seems like Votto is hitting the ball in the air at a much higher rate than normal so far this year.

  16. WVRedlegs

    Sonny Gray ha 5 batters he can face in the 5th before he starts a third time through the Pirates lineup.
    It’s doable to get out of the 5th before turning the lineup over.

  17. Old-school

    This just in…Sonny Gray dealing.

  18. WVRedlegs

    Gray breezed through the 5th. Very impressive tonight.

  19. Hanawi

    What’s the reverse Hershiser record for a team going scoreless in consecutive innings?

  20. Chris

    You just knew the Pirates would get a runner on 3rd with less than two outs. Sigh.

  21. VaRedsFan

    Marte …failed there…keep running and he’s safe

  22. BigRedMike

    Bad job by Barnhart on that to allow the runner to get to second.

    Wonder if the Reds can score if they fall behind here

    Thankfully, Marte is a terrible baserunner. Got away with a bad throw by Peraza

  23. vegastypo

    That was nice of that base runner to stop. He has been watching us run the bases, apparently.

  24. BigRedMike

    Kemp pulling a plow in Left Field.

    Hung that slider

  25. VaRedsFan

    Tough inning for Tucker…2 balls under the glove…the 1st one set the whole inning up.

  26. Old-school

    Lots of blame to go around but this awful offense is unacceptable. Sorry..it’s starts with Joey Votto. They are missing a 6-7 WAR offensive leader. DECLINE is a funny t shirt. Unfortunately, it’s a reality. Matt Kemp and Puig and Votto being paid $50 million to hit. Gennett hurt at $10 million . That’s $60 million in players paid to hit who are not hitting.

    • vegastypo

      OK, but it’s one week. My expectations weren’t as high as most people’s apparently, but come on, it’s one week. That doesn’t make it much fun. But still …

      • MrRed

        Agreed, Vegas. And I know Old-school agrees with you when you get down to it. It’s been a tedious start, But then again, baseball is can be a tedious and long season. Let it play out a little.

  27. VaRedsFan

    What kind of technique is that Votto? Stretch towards 2nd base to receive a throw from the catcher.

    • VaRedsFan

      Followed immediately by that horrendous throw to 2nd base on the bunt…There was no play at 2nd!

      • vegastypo

        Wanted to say at the time, but odd that he usually gets grief for automatically going to first with the throw without even considering taking a shot at the runner at the second, so today, when he does try for the guy, he had no chance at second and didn’t get the guy at first either. … The Reds have no margin for error with bad defense/bad baserunning.

  28. BigRedMike

    Defense is suspect

    Just not playing good baseball. Pitching has been solid the last 3 games

  29. Mark Lang

    Just embarrassing play. I still think they’ll have a good team this year, but they’re playing so bad – the hole is going to be too deep to make any upswing in their play matter.

  30. Mark Lang

    Anyone else have an Adam Dunn flashback there?

  31. BigRedMike

    Not a good defensive team

    It doesn’t matter much if you cannot score a run

  32. Chad Jones

    We ain’t scoring or winning tonight boys. On to tomorrow. Shame to waste another excellent start.

  33. matt hendley

    Good on Puig running that out. Good Start by Gray, Defenatly will take 3 years of that.

    • vegastypo

      And he was safe at first. But no way the umps were gonna let that call get overturned. (Not that the Reds deserved to win, but still, make the right call.)

      • matt hendley

        Agreed and Agreed. Regardless of whatever sport at whatever level, if the referees/umpires mail it in and start cutting corners so will everyone else.