The Reds and Pirates play the penultimate game of their 2019 season tonight at PNC Park beginning at 7:05PM EDT.  Friday night’s 6-5 walk off win by the Pirates managed to rekindle simmering frustrations among Reds fans. Read Jeff Carr’s recap here if you were otherwise gainfully occupied.  Let’s hope the game tonight stirs memories more pleasant than Friday’s game. Or maybe we could get really lucky and have it give birth to hopes for a better future!

Starting Pitching

Trevor Bauer will not make the start for the Reds as previously advertised. Lucas Sims gets the ball instead for what figures to ultimately become a bullpen game. currently lists Bauer as the Reds Sunday probable starter. We’ll see how that pans out.

Right hander James Marvel is scheduled to get the ball at the game’s beginning for the Pirates.

Lucas Sims (RHP)

Lucas Sims pitched his way to the Reds in 2019 with his performance as a starter at AAA Louisville where he posted a 4.56 ERA (4.12 FIP) in 16 starts. Since coming up to the Reds, the former Braves 1st round draft pick (2012; #21 overall) has worked primarily out of the bullpen. However he has made 3 starts for the Reds among his 23 prior 2019 game appearances.  Sims longest outing with the Reds this season was 4.2 innings in a July 24 starting role. That’s the last time he went past 2.2 innings pitched in a game.

James Marvel (RHP)

Tonight will also be the fourth MLB start of the season for 26 year old Pirates rookie James Marvel.  He is a longshot guy (11th round #1087 overall pick; 2012 draft) riding a dream train this year.  Marvel started 2019 at AA and after 17 starts advanced to AAA. Just 11 starts later, he found himself in the Pirates rotation as September call up. However, things have not gone well for Marvel at the MLB level.

Tale Of The Tape

Lucas Sims (MLB) 4.39 4.49 1.15 1.76 10.7% 33.3%
James Marvel (MLB) 10.22 6.71 1.86 2.19 6.5% 11.3%

Even with his  otherworldly  K%, Sims could stand to lower his BB%, especially given his HR/9 rate. Keep in mind that as a starter he may dial his stuff back a bit to pace himself, thus lowering his K%.

Marvel’s BB% is consistent with what he did in the minors this season. However the floor has fallen from under his K% which was >20% at both AA and AAA. I have to wonder if his 2019 dream train is about to turn into a pumpkin at season’s end.



This looks like a night where the bullpens will both be busy. Not to fear. After tomorrow they have all winter to rest their arms.



1. Jose Peraza (2B)
2. Joey Votto (1B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Aristides Aquino (RF)
5. Josh VanMeter (LF)
6. Phillip Ervin (CF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Jose Iglesias (SS)
9. Lucas Sims (P)


1. Kevin Newman (SS)
2. Pablo Reyes (CF)
3. Adam Frazier (2B)
4. Jose Osuna (1B)
5. Kevin Kramer (RF)
6. Jake Elmore (LF)
7. Erik Gonzalez (3B)
8. Steven Baron (C)
9. James Marvel (P)

 A much more normal looking Reds lineup today. My preference would be to see JVM at 2B and Brian O’Grady in the outfield.  I believe saw O’Grady in the OF Friday night; so, health should not be an issue. But David Bell is Reds manager and I’m not.

And just for fun, yes Pirates LF Jake Elmore is the same not quite Blues Brother who was with the Reds in 2014.

News, Notes and Pregame Reading

Eugenio Suarez still has tonight and tomorrow catch this guy. He needs 3 more HR to get the job done.

Another Reds player has undergone a season ending shoulder procedure. Doug Gray fills us in on Derek Dietrich’s situation and some other Reds happenings elsewhere on Redleg Nation:

Derek Dietrich has shoulder surgery, other Reds notes


That MLB team up north in Ohio is also done for the season after tomorrow. Having (at least) 93 wins and nowhere to go but home for the winter doesn’t seem right. Maybe it’s time to expand the playoffs by getting rid of a lot of meaningless late September games?


Final Thought

One more game to go after tonight.  Regardless, I’ve got to say again how much the ending of Friday’s game got under my skin. Guess that’s the way it is if your blood is truly infused with baseball.  Yeah, I’ve been frustrated, agitated and irritated  a lot in recent years by the Reds but  when push comes to shove, I guess I’m still hooked. If you are here reading this, you likely are too! Altogether now,  GO REDS!

Stats and data from Fangraphs,  Baseball Reference and

27 Responses

  1. Chris Holbert

    Is DB trying to destroy any defensive confidence that JVM has left? Bell continues to play him in LF, and JVM continues to prove he is a 2B.

    • Ed

      Not a first baseman either, after yesterday’s play. I don’t want to sound too negative but he hasn’t impressed me anywhere on the field or the batters box. I guess 2B is ok if we all want to compromise and lower our expectations.

  2. another bob in nc

    I must have been asleep. What happened to Kevin Gausman starting the rest of the year?

  3. Doug Gray

    It’s raining. No start time announced.

  4. Doug Gray

    I can. But I’ll let others give it a shot.

  5. Aaron B.

    Ridiculous, It never showed for me even once on I mean he walked off the field I should at least get to see the play one time, it didn’t draw blood. I am sure it was bad but come on all the people in the stands saw it and no one fainted.

    • Ed

      I missed this. What was this in regards to?

    • Ed

      Guessing pirates catcher caught a line drive to the head in the dugout?

  6. Roger Garrett

    Not too upset at AA and JVM because they are rookies.Joey and Suarez have to come through and they didn’t.What was funny was Joey swung at the first pitch and Suarez walked and neither happen very often.Eugenio had pitches to hit and he didn’t but your right its just what losing teams always do

  7. HCHank

    Typical Reds inning! Bases loaded with one out . . . and no runs scored! Seems like another long, miserable night in Pittsburgh! The Reds will probably be able to tie the game up and then blow it in the 8th or 9th inning. This is painful to follow!

  8. Roger Garrett

    JVM is out as part of a double switch in game 161 with 20 pitchers available.Guess he should have got a hit.

  9. Roger Garrett

    Joey and Eugenio again do nothing.Must have a plane to catch.I guess losing 89 is better then 90.Just hope the front office is happy with throwing in the towel with 7 games left.

  10. Ed

    Gausman here to make sure the game doesn’t go into extra innings.

    • Ed

      I was so wrong

      Watching on Gameday- why did Votto go to left field?? Surreal

  11. SaveTheFarm

    Curious minds so i looked it up. Reds are 10th as a team batting with runners in scoring position which i found to be shocking, however if you dig deeper they are 28th in ABs with runners in scoring position AND 26th in RBIs with runners in scoring position.

  12. Don

    how can Bell not have barnhart bunt in 12th with 1st and 2nd with 0 outs. Guess so he could ground into a double play

  13. Ed

    Still awake. Jose Iglesias !! 8 hole seems good for him! 2 walks and an rbi double on the 12th.

    • Ed

      And an incredible sprint home from 2nd on an Alaniz blooper to right field. What a great ball player to watch. Sorry if the stats disagree- I really think he’s becoming great.

  14. Ed

    A win!!!!!!!

    So THAT’S what this feels like again