The Reds and Indians play the second and final game of the current series at Progressive Field today in a 1:10 EDT matinee.  The Reds are looking to bounce back from a tough 2-1 extra inning loss last night to gain a series split. Thus it goes without saying the Indians are looking to break out their brooms and do the sweep.


Anthony DeSclafani  gets the call for the Reds against  rookie righthander Zach Plesac of the Indians. If the name Plesac sounds familiar, it is probably because Zach is following in the footsteps of his uncle, Dan Plesac, who had a 17 season career pitching in MLB.


Anthony DeSclafani makes his 13th start of the season. The best news is that he has been physically able to take his turn  every pass through the rotation after missing all of 2018 and most of the 2 previous seasons with injuries. As might be expected after the extended absence, Disco’s 2019 performance has been inconsistent. In particular, he has been haunted by the long ball.

However after 3 consecutive very poor starts from mid May forward, his last 2 outings have been markedly better. His last start, versus the Cardinals, was one of his best of the season, a 6 inning effort with just 1 run allowed on 7 K’s and only 1 BB.  This is the Disco the Reds need to see today.


Zach Plesac makes just his fourth MLB appearance, all starts. The 24 year old right hander was a 12th round (#362 overall) pick out of Ball State by the Indians in the 2016 June draft. Plesac began 2019 where he ended 2018, in Class AA. As injuries created opportunity, he moved quickly up the chain to AAA and ultimately to MLB on May 28.

The small MLB sample size for Plesac indicates he throws a 4 seam fastball in the mid 90’s about 57% of the time. His change up (20%; 85MPH) is his second pitch followed by a slider (15%; 86MPH).  A slow curveball (79MPH) fills out his repertoire. His K rate isn’t all that high but his BB rate has been miniscule.

Over his 3 MLB starts Plesac has thrown 19.1 inning and accrued a 3.50 FIP.

Tale of the tape:

Anthony DeSclafani 5.18 1.35 2.12 7.4% 24.1%
Zach Plesac (3 games) 3.50 0.88 0.93 4.3% 20.0%



The Reds bullpen was tasked to cover 3.1 innings. David Hernandez threw 2 innings (28 pitches) and given the short turnaround is probably unavailable. Michael Lorenzen worked a quick inning (8 pitches); one would guess he could do the same today. Raisel Iglesias thew 18 pitches in the walk off 10th.  The thought here is David Bell would use him for a 1 inning save attempt today.

The Indians pen had to cover just 2.1 innings. While they used 3 pitchers, only Brad Hand (2.1 innings; 26 pitches) threw more than a third of an inning and would seem to be the only Indian reliever not available today.




SP: Anthony DeSclafani


SP: Zach Plesac

1. Nick Senzel (CF)
2. Joey Votto (DH)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Derek Dietrich (1B)
5. Yasiel Puig (RF)
6. Jesse Winker (LF)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Curt Casali (C)
9. Jose Peraza (2B)
1. Francisco Lindor (SS)
2. Oscar Mercado (LF)
3. Carlos Santana (DH)
4. Tyler Naquin (RF)
5. Jose Ramirez (3B)
6. Mike Freeman (2B)
7. Jake Bauers (1B)
8. Kevin Plawecki (C)
9. Leonys Martin (CF)

This is what it is I keep telling myself.


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Tuesday night was another difficult loss for the Reds. Somehow this team often seems to be just good enough to lose by a run in a tough situation. Last night it was Raisel Iglesias standing in the spotlight as the guy who didn’t get his job done at the end.  But the run he allowed Tuesday was the first run he had allowed in over a month;  and, during the same period (12 appearances; 12.1 innings; 7 saves) just 1 inherited runner scored on his watch.  Much  the same as with an aerobatic pilot, we tend to only remember when a high leverage pitcher crashes.

Unless David Bell has a crystal ball or time machine, how is he accountable here?

As Doug Gray points out in the RLN recap of Tuesday, the offense had chances to end the game ahead of extra innings and didn’t.

The off day Thursday will be much more pleasant if the Reds can pick up the split today, right? GO REDS!!


Stats and data courtesy of  Fangraphs and