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.

 

23 Responses

  1. 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….

  2. Seadog

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

  3. Gerardo Helguera

    At what inning will the scoreless streak end ?

    • Gerardo Helguera

      Hahahahhaha, by then w the reds will be 1-10??

  4. Gerardo Helguera

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

  5. 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!!!!!!

  6. Gerardo Helguera

    Maybe tha HBP might wake Winkers bat up!

  7. Hanawi

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

  8. Hanawi

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

  9. Chris

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

  10. 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

  11. BigRedMike

    Kemp pulling a plow in Left Field.

    Hung that slider

  12. BigRedMike

    Defense is suspect

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

  13. 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.

  14. Mark Lang

    Anyone else have an Adam Dunn flashback there?

  15. BigRedMike

    Not a good defensive team

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

  16. Chad Jones

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

  17. 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 …