Sonny Gray hopes to bounce back from his poor outing last Tuesday night and help lead the Cincinnati Reds (19-24) to a series win over the Chicago Cubs (25-19) at Wrigley Field tonight.

First pitch is once again at 8:15 ET. The game can be found in all the usual places: Fox Sports Ohio if you’re in the Reds viewing area, MLB.TV for out-of-market fans, and 700 WLW on the radio.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA FIP xFIP WHIP K% BB%
Sonny Gray 42.1 3.19 2.85 3.14 1.18 31.6% 10.2%
Adbert Alzolay 8.2 2.08 2.82 3.95 1.38 31.6% 18.4%

REDS

Gray was pushed back a couple days after he got rocked against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park last Tuesday. He didn’t make it out of the first inning, giving up six runs on five hits. The good news is that the only other time this season he’s allowed more than two runs (August 9 in Milwaukee, he gave up four runs in 5.1 innings), he rebounded to throw a gem against Pittsburgh, where he allowed just one home run and struck out 10 in 6.2 innings.

Gray has faced the Cubs only once this season, but struck out 11 batters in 6.2 innings while allowing only two runs. Jason Heyward and Kris Bryant both have hit home runs off him in his career.

CUBS

MLB Pipeline ranks Adbert Alzolay as the Cubs #7 prospect, and he’s played like it in the limited innings he’s gotten to pitch thus far this season. In his debut season last year, he made one bad start against the Pirates, allowing seven runs in 2.2 innings. However, aside from that, he pitched pretty well. In the other three games in 2019, he allowed a combined three runs in 9.2 innings. And he’s carried that over to 2020, albeit in a smaller sample size.

Alzolay has faced the Reds once this season. On August 29, he pitched one scoreless inning, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out two. Alzolay relies on four pitches: a curve ball, sinker, four seamer, and change up. He’s only pitched eight innings in 2020, but in those eight innings, he’s thrown the curve almost 33 percent of the time, followed by the sinker at 28 percent.

Bullpens

Since both starters each of the last two nights pitched deep into the game, the Reds bullpen is in good shape heading into the final game of the series. The Reds only had to use three relievers in this series, and all three–Robert Stephenson, Lucas Sims, and Raisel Iglesias–have pitched no more than an inning.

Cubs manager David Ross has used six relievers this series, but none of the six have pitched in both games, and only one pitched more than one full inning. Both teams should have everyone available tonight.

Lineups

REDS CUBS
1. Joey Votto (1B)
2. Nicholas Castellanos (RF)
3. Jesse Winker (DH)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Mike Moustakas (2B)
6. Shogo Akiyama (LF)
7. Tyler Stephenson (C)
8. Brian Goodwin (CF)
9. Jose Garcia (SS)
1. Ian Happ (CF)
2. Kris Bryant (3B)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Javier Baez (SS)
5. Willson Contreras (C)
6. Jason Heyward (RF)
7. Cameron Maybin (LF)
8. David Bote (DH)
9. Nico Hoerner (2B)

Tyler Stephenson gets his first career start tonight.

News and Notes

A few minor transactions were made this afternoon:

Update on Wade Miley and Nick Senzel:

Here’s a little pre-game reading on Trevor Bauer and his chances to win the Cy Young award:

And finally, a very Happy Birthday goes out to one of the greatest players in Reds history, Joey Votto.

63 Responses

  1. Ghost_Runner

    Pulling for Tyler Stephenson to have a good game.
    And Joey to go 4 for4 on his birthday with 7 RBI’s.

  2. RedNat

    If you are david Bell why mot give Shogo a crack at the leadoff spot. He is starting to figure things out it seems

  3. Melvin

    If Aquino was in instead of Goodwin this could possibly be the best lineup in terms of players (not necessarily order) for the rest of the season until Senzel gets back. Maybe something like this:

    Akiyama CF
    Castellanos RF
    Winker DH
    Suarez 3B
    Votto 1B
    Moose 2B
    Aquino LF
    Stephenson C
    Garcia SS

  4. realist

    Why is Votto in the lineup in a road game? Why is he batting lead off?
    SPLITS GP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO
    Away 18 64 5 5 2 0 0 0 9 16

      • Old-school

        Really weak comment. Joey votto isn’t a lead off hitter.

        Who would you hit lead off instead of a slow old 37 year old hitting .217

        Joey votto hitting lead off Is failing and that’s simply not up for discussion unless you want to dig deeper?

      • 2020ball

        Digging deeper is fine with me. It’s a simple question. Who do you suggest instead? Personally I think just saying he isn’t a leadoff hitter is pretty weak.

      • RojoBenjy

        I suggest Winker, or Shogo, or even Farmer (who has shown he can take a walk from time to time).

      • Sliotar

        Ronald Acuna, Jr. bats leadoff every game he is healthy for the Braves.

        4th in NL in OBP
        2nd in ISO

        One of the best players in the NL … can put opposition under pressure from team’s 1st at-bat.

        Winker –
        13th in OBP in NL, 12th in ISO

        Instead, negative WAR, below league average wRC+, age 37 Votto is running out as leadoff hitter.

        Votto holds this franchise hostage in several ways… he deserves every penny … but, these final years of his contract … stink.

      • 2020ball

        Winker would be fine there, but it opens another hole in the middle. I understand people saying Shogo, but he’s shown far less than Votto has. Farmer is the more outside the box type of answer I’m looking for.

        I dont think replacing Votto at leadoff is a bad idea, but I do think theres a shortage of options on this team. That isnt to say I don’t think theres options either.

  5. RedNat

    The weather models can now predict rain almost down to the minute today. With no fans in the stands why not have alternate starting times for these games. Weather in Chicago was great this afternoon. Tgey CV ould have already played

    • Colorado Red

      In a word, TV audience.
      The more fans on the couch, the more advertisers pay (on average)

  6. Doug Gray

    Game now scheduled to start at 9:30pm ET

  7. earmbrister

    Wha, wha, where did everybody go?

    If the Reds score and no one sees it, did it really happen?

  8. earmbrister

    NINE pitch AB by Goodwin on his double.

    That is NOT the Reds way. Hopefully he won’t socially distance and it’ll be contagious

  9. Don

    HEADLINE:
    Reds score 3 runs without a home run

    Gray has to pitch a good game tonight

  10. Don

    Good defense by Akiyama to get the force at 2nd.

    • Doug Gray

      Gonna be the only warning I’m giving you – do not speak of people in the way your previous comment did or you will be banned. You can call a decision poor. You can say it was a dumb decision. You can not phrase it in the way that you did.

  11. Don

    Winker and Suarez need to start getting some hits again.

    Winker 1-23 in Sept, since suspension game

    Suarez 0-15 since 3 HR game

  12. Don

    Strong arm and good play by Garcia for 1st out in 3rd.

    • Don

      good try by Garcia but Bryant just to fast

      Gray walks Bryant,

      Needs to take care of Baez for close out the 3rd.

      • earmbrister

        And take care of him, Gray did. Whew.

        That was big

  13. Don

    Wow, 93MPH fastball at Beaz knees middle of plate after what 6 breaking balls.
    That was a great pitch

  14. Tom Mitsoff

    It’s raining again. Not hard enough for the tarp yet.

    • Don

      I would assume unless it is a total downpour and the pitcher cannot have a drip on the ball that the umps will play through 5 to make official

  15. Woodrow

    Garcia looks like he’ll be a good player for the Reds. In 2022.

    He wasn’t playing so deep he couldn’t beat the other team’s catcher to third.
    He just didn’t move to the ball.

  16. Don

    to bad about the bad weather impacting gray’s ability to have solid footing.

    hopefully he can get the last two outs without a 3rd run scoring.

  17. Jack

    Well Reds down 4 to 3 now and they’ve already got their 3 hits for the game. Not looking good.

  18. Tom Mitsoff

    It will be interesting to see the battle of the bullpens the rest of the way. Both started terrible this season but have improved considerably.

  19. RedAlert

    Lorenzen coming in to seal it away – does what he does – starts with a walk –

  20. RedAlert

    Lorenzen coming in to seal it away – does what he does – starts with a walk –

  21. Don

    Lorenzen cannot seem to find the strike zone. playing with trouble pitching from behind

    Reds need something food to happen and get out of this long 4th inning

  22. Don

    5th run probably ends Reds chances.

    Need a big comeback and without trying to hit HRs. Reds need to play totally different than they have so far this season tonight.

    Cold wet night, no HRs.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Now we see if these guys have anything left in them. They get five innings against the Cubs bullpen.

  23. Don

    Reds have scored 6 or more runs 11 of 43 games in 2020.

    so 1 in 4 chance to score 3 more tonight.

    Need some base runners in 5th.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I don’t like those odds. 😉

      • Don

        4 of the >=6 runs have been in the 9 games vs the Cubs

  24. Don

    good start by Garcia.

    Up to Votto and Castellanos to keep the line moving

  25. Don

    Votto fought off a lot of good/marginal pitches with 2 strikes.

    Castellanos needs to hit another line drive into the gap like the 1st inning.

  26. Don

    Winker needs to have a bloop single now to score Garcia

    • That that had had

      Goodwin is brutal on defense. That trade feels like a fail

  27. Don

    Up to Suarez. Time to get off the 0 hits in 3 games since the 3 HR game.

  28. Don

    Suarez 0-11, 2 walks, with 9 Ks since 3 HR game.

    Just pitch him a slider low and away and he swings at it just like the Reds are doing to Baez.

    • Don

      Suarez has 28 hits + 22 walks (on base 50 times) vs 48 Ks in 2020.

  29. RedAlert

    Goodnight – ballgame over- this team never ceases to amaze – Lorenzen standing there gazing

  30. RedAlert

    Clown show – Lorenzen can’t help this team next year either

  31. Don

    same here, midnight, down 3 runs in the 5th.

    No energy, pitchers putting own defense to sleep with slow pace and no able to throw anything close to the strike zone.

    TV announcers, please stop talking up Lozenzen, he has lost it, whatever he has done to get better has resulted in regression.

  32. Frankie Tomatoes

    This is just embarrassing.

  33. Don

    Now time to go to bed after Goodwin drops 3rd out. Would call it little league defense but that would insult little league players

  34. TR

    And this is who the Reds traded for at the deadline of this short season. And it’s also past time to trade Lorenzen and R. Iglesias to new pastures. The so-called rebuild has not occurred. Without continued change, the Reds are a perennial fourth place team for the forcible future.

    • Jimbo44 CN

      And Aquino sits on the bench, never even given a chance. Unbelievable.

  35. Janet Freland

    Why didn’ t Manager Bell confir with Cubs Manager about pitching mound?