It is one down and two to go for a Reds sweep  after they crushed the Nats  9-3 in Friday night’s series opener at GABP.  Action goes live Saturday at 4:10PM.

Starting Pitchers

Former Nat and current Red Tanner Roark  squares off against EriK Fedde in a battle of righthanders today.


Erik Fedde was drafted by the Nationals in first round (#18 overall) of the  2014 Draft. He made his MLB debut in 2017 making 3 late season starts.  In 2018 as injuries took a toll on the Nats rotation Feede was called up and inserted into the MLB rotation. However Fedde himself was subsequently beset by shoulder issues which limited him to 11 appearances in 2018, all starts. Fedde began the 2019 in the bullpen despite being seen by many as the Nats top pitching prospect. On May 21, he was elevated to the rotation. Today marks his just third start of the season among 7 previous appearances..

So far in 2019 Fedde has been essentially a sinker/ curve ball pitcher with these 2 pitches accounting for nearly 80% of his offerings (sinker 54%; curve  25%). He has spread the remainder of his pitches pretty much equally among a 4 seam fastball, cutter and change up.

Like many aspiring young starters, Fedde has had trouble with command and control. At times he walks too many hitters and leaves too many pitches in prime hitting zones. Conversely he does not strike out a lot of hitters. Watch for these trends this afternoon.



The Reds acquired Tanner Roark to eat innings while keeping the team in games.  Roark has done well at keeping the Reds in games but has averaged just over 5 innings a start to date for the Reds.  This is a drop of right at an inning per game over his 2018 performance.

While  the Reds almost certainly were expecting  better longevity from Roark, there is a reason for the divergence. Roark’s FIP balloons from under 3.00 for his first and second time through an opponents’ lineup to  5.55 during  his third time through the opposition batting order.  Similarly, his K rate falls from 28% his first time through the opposition order to about 17%. From under 10% his BB rate shoots up to nearly 15%. So, there is a reason David Bell gets Roark out of games when he does.

Erik Fedde 4.07 1.11 0.44 9.8% 14.6%
Tanner Roark 3.00 1.42 0.32 9.8% 24.0%

Bear in mind Fedde’s numbers are based on a very small sample size and mostly as a reliever, as opposed to a typical starter a third of the way through the season. Keep an eye on Roark’s HR/9 as the weather warms and the ball starts flying out of GABP. His WHIP suggests there could be trouble ahead if it normalizes to near his career 0.91 HR/9 rate.



The Nats used 3 pitchers to cover 5.1 innings of relief Friday. Javy Guerra worked 3.1 of those innings and almost certainly is unavailable today.  The other 2 Nats relievers used worked an inning each with both throwing around a dozen pitches. Given the short turnaround, they likely would see only very limited action on Saturday.


The Reds used 3 relievers to cover 4 innings of work Friday. Jared Hughes worked 2.0 inning (28 pitches) while Zach Duke required 23 pitches for a single inning. Both would seemingly be unavailable given the short turnaround. Matt Bowman needed just 10 pitches for his inning and could presumably do a similar stint today if needed.


        NATIONALS           REDS
1. Adam Eaton (RF)
2. Trea Turner (SS)
3. Juan Soto (LF)
4. Anthony Rendon (3B)
5. Matt Adams (1B)
6. Brian Dozier (2B)
7. Gerardo Parra (CF)
8. Yan Gomes (C)
9. Erick Fedde (P)
1. Nick Senzel (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Derek Dietrich (2B)
5. Jesse Winker (LF)
6. Yasiel Puig (RF)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Tanner Roark (P)

Looks like the emerging Reds regular 8 versus right handed pitching. Hope they put another 9 or more on the board today.


News and Notes

Wondering how things are going down on the Reds farm? Wonder no more. Doug Gray and Reds Minor Leagues have this wrap on Friday’s action.

In case you missed it on a busy Friday night, here is Curt Casali talking about his big 3 run HR versus the Nationals

Final Thoughts

Yesterday I lamented the Reds struggle to progress from the fringes of respectability to being a legitimate playoff contender. Today let’s look at an opportunity which could get them to relevancy without the miracle of a 10 game winning streak.

Beginning with Friday’s game the Reds had 32 games before the all  All Star break. These break down into 6 three game series, 2 four game series and 3 two game series with just fewer than half the contests within the NL Central.

Over this run if the Reds can manage the equivalent of winning all the three games series 2 games to 1 and splitting the two and four game series, their record for the 32 contests would be 19-13 (.593). The Reds would then find themselves at  +2 against .500 for the season at 45-43 (.511) going into the All Star break.

Yes, this climb would be a little bit of a steep one. But that’s what’s needed to put that 1-8 start clearly in the rear view mirror. Most importantly as the season progresses, this opportunity provides a lifeline to relevancy.  GO REDS! 

Stats and data courtesy of and Fangraphs