Tonight the Reds open their last road trip before the All Star game with the first of 4 games versus the Brewers in Milwaukee. Game time at Miller Park is 8:10 EDT.   The Reds (34-38; 4th place NL Central) hope to extend their current 4 game winning streak. The Brewers (40-34; Tied 1st NL Central) have lost 6 of their last 10 including 2 of 3 in San Diego where they closed a west coast  road trip Wednesday. They hope to get well at the Reds expense. Yes, it is getting to that time of season when something has to give.



Tanner Roark will start for the Reds against Jimmy Nelson for the Brewers in a match up of righthanders.


The Reds want Tanner Roark to pick up right where he left off against the Rangers in his most recent when he retired  the last 10 men he faced. That 7 inning quality start effort was Roark’s longest outing of the season and bested  his season’s average  start by just less than 2 full innings,  For those who track such things, Roark was charged with a 4-3 loss; but, this was largely due to 2 unearned runs enabled by the Reds defense.

Since 2016 Roark has accrued an FIP of a tad less 2.95 against the Brewers over 39.1 innings (6 starts).  If he can match this performance level tonight, the Reds will be happy to take their chances.


Jimmy Nelson, on the other hand, is hoping tonight doesn’t end like his last start. Nelson threw 13 pitches in the fifth inning of that start; and, 12 of them were balls. When the dust cleared, he was charged with 4 runs (all earned) in 4+ innings of work. However, that start was just Nelson’s second MLB start since September of 2017 when he suffered a serious shoulder injury while running the bases.  The injury eventually required surgery and cost him the entire 2018 campaign. Prior to the injury, Nelson was having what appeared to be a breakout season in 2017 with a 3.05 FIP in 29 starts. The the good news for Nelson and the Brewers is that he is back on the mound in normal rotation 5 days later.

Since 2016 in 6 starts (42 IP) versus the Reds, Nelson has a 4.05 FIP. If he is near being his prior self, expect a lot of strikeouts and not many walks.

Tale of the tape:

Tanner Roark 3.30 1.39 0.61 8.4% 22.9%
Jimmy Nelson (2017 Stats) 3.05 1.25 0.82 6.6% 27.3%




Thanks to Tyler Mahle’s sterling 7 inning effort, the Reds pen had to cover only 2 innings on Wednesday. Matt Bowman pitched both of them. Everyone else should be rested and ready to go. That’s a good place to be starting from in  a 4 game series with the Brew Crew.


The first order of business tracking the Brewers bullpen is knowing what is going on with Josh Hader. He hasn’t pitched since Sunday (2 IP; 19 pitches). There are no indications he is injured or otherwise unavailable.  Wednesday, the Brewers pen had to cover 5.1 innings.  Adrian Houser threw 3.1 of those  innings and figures to be unavailable tonight. Setup man Jeremy Jeffreess threw 22 pitches to complete 1 inning of work (blown save) and also may be unavailable.


          REDS        BREWERS
1. Jesse Winker (LF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Derek Dietrich (2B)
5. Nick Senzel (CF)
6. Yasiel Puig (RF)
7. Jose Iglesias (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Tanner Roark (P)
1. Lorenzo Cain (CF)
2. Christian Yelich (RF)
3. Ryan Braun (LF)
4. Mike Moustakas (2B)
5. Yasmani Grandal (C)
6. Eric Thames (1B)
7. Travis Shaw (3B)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Jimmy Nelson (P)

Standard lineup against a RH starter for the Reds.

Hopefully the Reds have taken note that Reds killer Eric Thames is getting the start tonight at 1B


Doug Gray has completed his wrap up of the Reds 2019 June draft. Check out this report at Reds Minor Leagues

The Reds Minor Leagues midseason Top 25 Prospect List  2019 update is also now available

Here’s an idea which injects a little excitement into a gray last day of spring


The Brewers are  home off a tough west coast trip without an off day to rest and recuperate. Their starting pitcher is making what amounts to an MLB level rehab start. Meanwhile the Reds are showing signs of being genuinely REDS HOT, as we said back in the day, with their top 3 starting pitchers set to go in the first 3 games of the series. If the Reds are going to make noise in the playoff chase, this is an opportunity  they need to take full advantage of by jumping on the Brewers early and going on to take at least  3 of 4.  GO REDS!

Stats and data via Fangraphs, Baseball Reference and