Today is potentially a turning-point game for the Cincinnati Reds. A win today would mean the following:
- They won a game in which the opposing pitcher was the top lefthanded starter in the National League over the first seven weeks of the season
- They took two of three games from the team with the top record in the National League
- They won four of six on a homestand against the teams with the two top records in the league
Some say that even with a loss today, a 3-3 homestand against the Dodgers and Cubs should be considered progress. But aren’t we all tired of settling? Today’s 1:10 p.m. Eastern time start at Great American Ball Park has the potential to infuse the team and fan base with confidence and renewed optimism, which could be a real boost heading into a road trip to Milwaukee and Chicago.
One way to frame the challenge facing the Reds today: They are facing the lefthanded equivalent of Luis Castillo, at least statistically. Over his last three starts, Ryu has allowed one earned run in 25 innings. Lefthanded batters, which the Dodgers lineup is full of, are hitting .329 this season vs. Roark. Worth noting: Roark has allowed only two homers this season, so hopefully he can keep the ball in the park today. This appears to be the game in this series in which the Reds face their greatest challenge in terms of the starting pitching matchup.
None of the eight-man bullpen crew pitched in consecutive games Friday and Saturday, so everyone should be available. With a day off tomorrow, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Manager David Bell dip into that bullpen early if necessary in an attempt to keep this game close. Today might be the perfect occasion to think about using Roark as an “opener” over the first two or three innings, and then play matchups with an eight-man bullpen for the rest of the game.
|LF Joc Pederson||CF Nick Senzel|
|1B Max Muncy||1B Joey Votto|
|3B Justin Turner||3B Eugenio Suarez|
|RF Cody Bellinger||RF Yasiel Puig|
|SS Corey Seager||SS Jose Iglesias|
|CF Alex Verdugo||LF Jesse Winker|
|2B Enrique Hernandez||2B Jose Peraza|
|C Russell Martin||C Curt Casali|
|P Hyun-Jin Ryu||P Tanner Roark|
It’s a bit surprising to see Jesse Winker in the lineup against a lefthander, and a dominant lefthander, at that. Essentially, he is replacing Kyle Farmer in what has become Bell’s typical lineup against lefties. Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.
News and Notes
Another obstacle in the Reds’ path today …
#Reds looking for first Sunday win of the season today: 0-7.
— Lance McAlister (@LanceMcAlister) May 19, 2019
Today is 1912 throwback uniforms day …
Putting on the 1912 throwbacks as we play for another series win.#BornToBaseball pic.twitter.com/jtBTGfHATP
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 19, 2019