The surging Reds and reeling Brewers meet tonight in game 2 of the current 4 game set in Milwaukee. The Reds have won 7 of 10 including 5 straight to move within 3 games of .500. Meanwhile the Brewers have dropped 7 of 10 including 5 of their last 6 to fall a game and a half off the NL Central lead. The first pitch at Miller park is at 8:10 EDT.
Right-handers Sonny Gray and Chase Anderson square off tonight in game 2.
Sonny Gray has posted a 3.23 FIP in 14 starts for the Reds in 2019. This is good enough for top 10 in the NL among qualified pitchers. Unfortunately for Gray, he is currently a few innings short of qualified status. So, we can’t quite say he has an official NL top 10 FIP. However this doesn’t take away from the quality of work Gray has given the Reds. In the last month over 5 starts (27.2 innings), Gray has been even slightly better, posting a 3.06 FIP despite a rough outing last time out.
Gray has a previous outing versus the Brewers this season. It was one of his best games of the season. Over 6 innings he shutout the Brew Crew on 5 hits to launch the Reds toward a 3-0 win. However he allowed 4 walks in that game. Allowing walks at that rate is something Gray will most likely need to avoid tonight if he wishes to continue his success versus the Brewers.
Chase Anderson is a blue collar pitcher (#276 overall draft pick in 2009) who has managed to hang around MLB since 2014 making 147 appearances of which 141 have been starts and accruing a 4.58 career FIP. All six of those non-starting appearances have all come this year after he was sent to the bullpen at season’s beginning. However in late April, the Brewers moved him back into their starting rotation. Since entering the rotation he has a 4.29 FIP in 8 starts (36.2 innings) In 3 June starts, his FIP is 5.81; and, he has made it past the fourth inning just once.
Both guys can strike’em out but both also tend to walk a few more than their managers would like for them to. The walks are potentially more troublesome for Anderson given his HR/9 rate. For Gray, walking fewer would allow him to pitch deeper into games.
The Reds bullpen was tasked to cover 3 innings Thursday night. Jared Hughes pitched 2 of them and threw 29 pitches in the process. At best he will be available for very limited duty tonight. Zach Duke threw 15 pitches and also would likely make no more than a spot appearance tonight.
The Brewers pen had to cover 4 innings on Thursday. Freddy Peralta threw 45 pitches in 2 innings of work and is almost certainly unavailable tonight. Two other Brewer pitchers threw 13 pitches each in covering the remaining 2 innings and should be OK for an inning tonight. Josh Hader sat for a fourth consecutive game.
|1. Nick Senzel (CF)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Derek Dietrich (LF)
5. Yasiel Puig (RF)
6. Jose Iglesias (SS)
7. Jose Peraza (2B)
8. Curt Casali (C)
9. Sonny Gray (P)
|1. Ben Gamel (LF)
2. Christian Yelich (RF)
3. Lorenzo Cain (CF)
4. Mike Moustakas (2B)
5. Eric Thames (1B)
6. Manny Pina (C)
7. Travis Shaw (3B)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Chase Anderson (P)
NEWS AND NOTES
We noted above that Sonny Gray isn’t on the qualified list for ERA/FIP. To be qualified, a pitcher must have competed at least as many innings as the number of games his team has played. That’s 162.0 innings at season’s end. During the season the number is adjusted downward based on the games played to date. With 71.2 innings pitched Gray is right on the cusp. But is this standard out of date?
Here’s a look at Thursday’s Reds minor league action from Reds Minor Leagues
Cincinnati #Reds Minor League Game Review: 6/20/19
Mitch Nay drove in four runs for the Chattanooga Lookouts in their win on Thursday nighthttps://t.co/uFTP2BrqBm pic.twitter.com/cPiXDokITl
— Doug Gray (@dougdirt24) June 21, 2019
How good has Reds pitching been in 2019?
The Reds are currently on pace for 24.6 fWAR form pitching. That would be the second best season IN FRANCHISE HISTORY. Behind only the 24.8 in 1964.
— Jason Linden (@JasonLinden) June 21, 2019
If you haven’t gotten around to it yet, check out this look at the Reds catching situation elsewhere on Redleg Nation
Tucker Barnhart vs. Curt Casali: The Cincinnati Reds catching dilemmahttps://t.co/bhqJltmXwb pic.twitter.com/DbiVj6Kfaw
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) June 20, 2019
And Jesse Winker is OUT! But then upon further review, he isn’t. Really!
The Matrix (1999)#BornToBaseball pic.twitter.com/jRvrDjSG0W
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 21, 2019
One in the books to the Reds favor and hopefully 3 more to go. Winning is a lot more fun than losing, isn’t it?!? Note to Reds: The way to handle Josh Hader is get a lead early and hold it. Please try your best to do the same again tonight. GO REDS!!
Data and Stats vis MLB.com, Fangraphs and Baseball Reference