Tonight the Reds try to salvage a win and avoid a sweep by the Mariners in the series finale. Earlier this season the Reds were lauded for their resilience from adversity. They will need a ton of it tonight coming off of back to back crushing losses. Same Bat time, same Bat channel (10:10 EDT/ FSO).

Starting Pitching 


Tyler Mahle gets the call for the Reds tonight. I almost said “young Tyler Mahle”; but, he is finishing his second season  of getting an extended look in the Reds rotation. As the saying goes in college athletics, at some point freshman need to play like sophomores; sophomores need to play like juniors etc.  That point is probably now for Mahle if he wants to be in the Reds rotation plans for 2020.

On the positive side, Mahle has lowered his FIP into the league average range this year. However he continues have issues with allowing big innings. Four times this year (most recently last week), Mahle has allowed 5 or more earned runs in 5.0 or fewer innings pitched. Overall he has averaged less than 6 innings per start across 21 starts in 2019. He needs to learn how to limit damage in tough situations and go deeper into games to hold onto a rotation spot moving forward.


For the first time in this series, the Mariners will be starting a right handed pitcher when Justin Dunn takes the mound tonight. Dunn, 23, becomes yet another Mariners starting pitcher in this series who was a first round draft pick of a different MLB team (2016; #19 overall; Mets).  Dunn came to the Mariners in the December 2018 trade which sent  Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz to the Mets. Tonight is Dunn’s MLB premier appearance after being called up from AA in the September roster expansion process. At the time of his call up he was rated in the bottom third of MLB top 100 prospects by various lists.

Expect to see a mid 90’s MPH fastball from Dunn and a hard slider, both considered to be a plus pitches by which rates his change up as a work in progress. According to, Dunn will serve as an opener and pitch 3-5 innings tonight. He will be followed by Tommy Milone a veteran left-hander.

Tale Of The Tape

Tyler Mahle 4.94 4.37 1.28 1.59 5.8% 23.8%
Justin Dunn (Class AA) 3.55 3.43 1.19 0.89 7.1% 28.6%

Dunn’s large plus margin between K% and BB% jumps out for someone of his age, regardless of classification. It is right in the same range as Luis Castillo was at AA when he got the direct call to MLB. However Dunn both strikes out and walks about 3% more than Castillo at that juncture.


The Reds pen covered 1.2 innings last night, all thrown by Kevin Gausman (25 pitches). He figures to be on very short duty or unavailable tonight.

The Mariners pen covered 2.0 innings. Anthony Bass worked for a second consecutive night (1.2 innings; 21 pitches total). I’d be mildly surprised to see him tonight. Sam Tuivailala needed 20 pitches to get through just 0.1 innings and is likely a scratch tonight on several counts.



SP: Tyler Mahle

1. Josh VanMeter (1B)
2. Joey Votto (DH)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Aristides Aquino (RF)
5. Freddy Galvis (SS)
6. Phillip Ervin (LF)
7. Brian O’Grady (CF)
8. Jose Peraza (2B)
9. Curt Casali (C)

OP. Justin Dunn
PP. Tommy Milone
1. Shed Long (LF)
2. Austin Nola (1B)
3. Kyle Seager (3B)
4. Omar Narvaez (C)
5. Kyle Lewis (RF)
6. Daniel Vogelbach (DH)
7. Dylan Moore (2B)
8. Donnie Walton (SS)
9. Braden Bishop (CF)

Interesting to see platoon master David Bell’s response to an opening right-handed pitcher scheduled to be followed by a left-handed pitcher.

Pre-Game News and Notes

Nick Senzel is going to miss the rest of the season.

Chad Dotson wrote about Joey Votto yesterday in his piece titled The Decline and Stall of Joey Votto over at Cincinnati Magazine.

There is no way to evaluate Votto’s 2019 season without first conceding that it’s been the worst campaign of his 13-year career. I believe there is plenty of evidence, however, that he can and will be a productive player for the Reds, at least for the foreseeable future.

You can read the entire piece right here. And you absolutely should go read it.

In what seems to be “Award Week” over at Doug Gray handed out his award for the 2019 Cincinnati Reds Starter of the Year to Packy Naughton.

2019 Reds Minor League Starter of the Year: Packy Naughton

Final Thought

According to the Pythagorean Theorem  (of baseball) developed by Bill James, the Reds should be a .500  team today; but, instead they are 12 games under that mark.  As recently as the start of the current series versus the Mariners, the Reds Pythagorean was actually better than .500. This difference is a lot to write off to simple bad luck. Let’s hope there is  abundance of honest self analysis, evaluation and proactive response to the 2019 season inside the Reds organization during the coming off season.

Data and stats courtesy of, Fangraphs and Baseball Reference

13 Responses

  1. TR

    The recent version of the Reds has not had much luck against rookies.

  2. B-town fan

    As for the Platoon Master comment about David Bell. I was pretty excited when he was hired but I will have to admit that his lineup construction is quite puzzling at times. A good lineup has 1 maybe 2 platoons in it, not 3 every day and all the rest platoons. As for Josh VanMeter it looks like he’s turned him into platoon player even though his career numbers don’t warrant that, it seems only because he bats left handed.

  3. JB

    Is it me or whoever is playing shortstop gets to bat 5th every night. Clueless wonders. Galvis is a retread who has been traded or released a number of times because he isnt that good. Seattle is putting rookies out there and Bell is playing Galvis.

  4. Daytonnati

    Nice, Sea

    Reminds me of the Boss’ observation in Badlands:

    “Talk about a dream
    Try to make it real
    You wake up in the night
    With a fear so real
    Spend your life waiting
    For a moment that just don’t come
    Well don’t waste your time waiting”

  5. Chris Holbert

    Is J Iggy now a platoon as well?…smh

  6. RedNat

    Same pattern we have seen the entire second half. We expend all of our offensive energy in the first inning. The offense then stays dormant the rest of the game. P iui is too much pressure on the bullpen. We must develop that killer instinct if we are going to compete next year

  7. Chris Holbert

    I have definitely seen enough of Galvis

  8. Doc

    I wonder if he tore it in early August, explaining the sharp decline, or if the changes they were making in August caused/contributed to the tear. Either way, at least there is a fixable explanation for the decline.

  9. Doc

    Needs a long stretch in Louisville next year to hone his craft. If he is the best we have as a fifth starter, we’re in deep doo doo.

  10. Hanawi

    Getting swept by the Mariners while they trot out a bunch of rookies and the Reds trot out cast-offs like Galvis would be the perfect summation of the Reds rebuild over the past 5 years. David Bell unable to trust Van Meter or O’Grady for more at-bats just adds to the malaise that I feel about the future of the team.

  11. Chris Holbert

    A 32 year old Cy Young Award winner, topping out at 87, shutting down this prolific offense..

  12. Hoosier Steve

    My first comment tonight… Being 65, I have loved and followed the Reds since the 1961 season. I’ve seen the highs and lows and never wavered as a fan. I haven’t always agreed with the FO moves or the manager’s moves. I have gone to many games, at least 2-3 per year and watch or listen to the rest. My wife is tired of hearing me complain, so here goes. Analytics and going with the percentages is fine, but what is going on now is ridiculous. Pinch hitting in the 4th inning(tonight) and double switching early in games is out of control. how can our young players develop or even try to when they do not get a chance? Bell manages as if he is in a fantasy league. What a joke! I have watched all year and tried to be patient and give him a chance, but this is very frustrating. Reds fans deserve better. I know the manager is not on the field playing, but how can the players ever gain confidence when they know that if a wrong-handed pitcher comes in, they will be pinch hit for? Ok I’m done, sorry for the rant….

  13. Aaron B.

    Freddy says: Show me some love, RLN!