The Cincinnati Reds (23-26) go for the series win tonight at 6:40pm ET against the Pittsburgh Pirates (14-32). Cincinnati is just 1.0 game back of a playoff spot with 11 games remaining, making the start today by Michael Lorenzen a vital one against one of the worst teams in baseball. Pittsburgh will be sending Joe Musgrove to the mound to try and spoil the night for the Reds.

Starting Lineups

Pittsburgh Pirates

Cincinnati Reds

Erik Gonzalez – SS Shogo Akiyama – LF
Bryan Reynolds – LF Nick Castellanos – RF
Ke’Bryan Hayes – 3B Joey Votto – 1B
Colin Moran – 1B Jesse Winker – DH
Josh Bell – DH Mike Moustakas – 3B
Gregory Polanco – RF Brian Goodwin – CF
Cole Tucker – CF Freddy Galvis – 2B
J.T. Riddle – 2B Jose Garcia – SS
Jacob Stallings – C Tucker Barnhart – C
Joe Musgrove – SP Michael Lorenzen – SP

There was a change to the lineup after the team placed Eugenio Suárez on the paternity list, so if you saw the previous version – no, your eyes are not deceiving you. Jesse Winker’s back in the lineup at designated hitter. He hasn’t played in four days. Nick Senzel, who was activated yesterday and played in game one of the double header is not in the lineup today.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB% K%
Michael Lorenzen 20.2 5.23 1.65 14.7% 17.9%
Joe Musgrove 21.2 5.40 1.57 13.5% 27.1%
Links: Michael Lorenzen’s Stats | Joe Musgrove’s Stats

Michael Lorenzen

With two starting pitchers on the injured list and a double header yesterday, the Reds options to start today was a bit limited. That gives Michael Lorenzen a shot to take the mound as a starter for the first time since 2018, when he started the final three appearances of the season after making 42 relief appearances.

In the last eight appearances, stretching back to August 13th, Lorenzen has allowed just two earned runs in 15.1 innings (1.17 ERA). He’s struggled with control, though, walking nine batters with 11 strikeouts in 15.1 innings in that span. He’s kept the ball in the ballpark, though, not giving up a homer in that stretch.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Change Slider Curve
Velo 97.4 96.5 93.1 87.5 85.4 83.3
Usage 35% 6% 20% 18% 14% 7%

Joe Musgrove

The Pirates have sent Joe Musgrove to the mound five times this season. He missed most of August, making just one start on the 4th before returning in September. Since his return he’s allowed two earned runs in 7.0 innings. He allowed 11 runs in 14.2 innings over his first three starts of the year.

Pitch Usage in 2020

4-Seam 2-Seam Cutter Change Slider Curve
Velo 92.8 92.2 88.5 86.7 82.6 80.8
Usage 27% 13% 7% 10% 25% 18%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:40pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
  • Watch: Fox Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 72­°, sunny, 0% chance of rain

NL Central Standings

Team Wins Losses GB
Cubs 28 20
Cardinals 21 21 4.0
Reds 23 26 5.5
Brewers 21 25 6.0
Pirates 14 32 13.0

News and Notes

Roster Moves

It’s been a busy day for roster moves for the Cincinnati Reds. It started with optioning Aristides Aquino to Prasco Park following the double header. Then later in the afternoon the team placed José De León on the 10-day injured list, called up R.J. Alaniz to take his place in the bullpen, and designated Nick Williams for assignment.  They weren’t done, though. About an hour and a half later the team placed Eugenio Suárez on the paternity list and recalled Aquino. Did you track all of that?

Playoff format officially unveiled

Over the weekend we caught news that the 2020 Major League Baseball playoff bubble was agreed to by the owners and was now in the hands of the players to vote on or attempt to alter in some way. Today that plan became official. Here’s how the series will break down, as well as when and where they will be played:

Looking at the full schedule for the playoffs shows that there are no off days in any series until you reach the World Series. Every other round will be played with no days off between games. With no travel involved, this games some sense. But it’s really going to alter how pitchers are used in 2020 during the playoffs compared to past years – both for starters and for relievers.

Updated Playoff Odds

After sweeping the double header against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, Fangraphs has the Cincinnati Reds playoff odds at 37.5% with a projected record of 29-31. Baseball Reference has their current playoff odds at 35.6%.

98 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Well, let’s see if Tucker can keep Mikey focused. Interesting to see Moose slotting in for a resting Geno. I don’t recall that we’ve seen him in Red at 3B.

    Need to get after the Pie-Rats early and often so we can put it out of reach. Have to figure 3 innings is the goal for our opener. Not sure who gets the nod after that.

    Reply
    • Mark Moore

      I see … paternity list, not resting. That’s a 3-day thing if I remember correctly, right?

      Reply
      • Tom Mitsoff

        I wonder if since he is (very likely) leaving the area and going to Florida where his family lives, will there be an extended, multi-day process to get him COVID tested once he returns?

  2. docproc

    I’m not happy that TySteve and Garcia are sitting again, but oh well.

    Reply
    • Mark Moore

      Garcia is the starting SS. As for TySteve, I can actually see at least some logic in trying to keep Mikey Biceps focused as I noted in my post.

      Reply
      • docproc

        Sorry–Garcia wasn’t in the first lineup I saw.

  3. Mark Moore

    So if we somehow squeak in, as it stands now, we have to go play in Chavez Ravine … well THAT would be fun.

    OK, one game at a time … let’s blow them out tonight!

    Reply
  4. Johnnie Sparks

    Dodgers will b tough. Bauer Castillo Gray are tough too

    Reply
  5. Old-school

    Pretty clear Bauer and disco not coming back and Miley is at best a 6 month hope.

    Lorenzen admitted its boring with Dh and has nothing to look forward to in the bullpen

    Is it time to transition Lorenzen back to starter with the DH now apparently in the NL and Lorenzen healthy?

    Lorenzen wants to start.

    September Shogo continues

    Reply
  6. Tom Mitsoff

    BABIP through the first two batters is 1.000. 🙂

    Reply
  7. JB

    Hopefully these guys can see Shogo slapping the ball around and getting on and it will become contagious. Nice hit by Nick to follow.

    Reply
  8. Mark Moore

    Jesse … take note of what Goodwin did with his AB. That’s how you get an RBI.

    Reply
  9. TR

    That’s my kind of baseball. Opposite field hitting by Shogo and fly ball from Moose to score a run from third base.

    Reply
      • Mark Moore

        Right. Moose took one for the team to score a run.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Opposite field hitting by Galvis as well to drive in a run.

      Reply
  10. Mark Moore

    I was OK with 2 runs … happier with 3 and pushing up the pitch count. That will throw a wrench in the Pie-Rats works in a hurry if we keep it up.

    Reply
  11. JB

    Walks, sacrifice flies and opposite field singles. Who is this team?

    Reply
  12. Mark Moore

    Two very clean innings for Mikey. Would love to see him get through 4 if he’s effective, but 3 is okay as well.

    Reply
    • Tom Mitsoff

      I’m guessing twice through the order will be the max. His pitch count is pretty low so far.

      Reply
    • seadog

      Very nice by him. At this score/pitch count we could see 4 maybe 5. This is a 9 inning game.

      Reply
  13. Mark Moore

    Everybody hits … everybody scores … Mikey has to feel the love and support.

    Reply
  14. Mark Moore

    Hits, productive outs, everybody contributing … really like these guys again tonight.

    Reply
  15. SteveO

    Really hope that Lorenzen and Sims get a chance next year to compete for the starting rotation. Won’t be able to afford Bauer and should let Disco walk. Gray and Castillo along with 3 of Mahle, Antone, Lorenzen or Sims. Maybe Santillan, Lodolo and O’Brien also in the mix. Miley as the spot starter/long reliever. Greene needs a season in the minors and in the mix in 2022.

    Reply
    • seadog

      It is quite amazing even in a 60 game season how you CAN’T have enough starters.
      I agree Bauer is probably gone. Disco as well.
      Did anyone even think Lorenzen would get a start this year?? I sure did not.
      Sims/Antone/Mahle. Reds have them in there pocket. Also Iggy/Bradley.
      Reds have done a good job of “stock piling arms” for 2021

      Reply
  16. Mark Moore

    35 pitches, 3 good innings. Not sure you press your luck, but …

    Reply
      • seadog

        Yes at 35 pitches. They have not hit him hard yet. Depending on how he feels. He may go 5

  17. Mark Moore

    Moran just seems to be a gamer to me. Not sure why other than he’s been a bit on the brutal side to us.

    Reply
  18. Old-school

    Lorenzen interviewed

    He said different year. Bored in bullpen loves opportunity To start.
    He’s got at least 60 pitches but more
    He said he is a professional and his job to tell coaches I can go deeper.

    Lorenzen needs to transition to a starter . DJ and Boddy and Lorenzen can do that by 2021

    Michael Lorenzen has found his role.

    Starting pitcher.

    Reply
  19. Mark Moore

    4 solid innings with 60 pitches. I’d say he’s done his job. Glad we spotted him the 4 runs. Pass it to someone else for 3-4 innings and then on to the finish.

    Reply
    • TR

      Not panicking on Akiyama means the Reds potentially have someone to fill the very important leadoff position.

      Reply
  20. Mark Moore

    Raise your hand if you saw a 5th inning coming? Seriously … be honest. Nobody?

    Reply
      • Don

        Winker
        2-17 July
        31-84 August
        1-25 September

        Some walk up to Winker and tell him it is August 46th maybe he will start hitting again.

      • Old-school

        Stop with the Winker nonsense
        He needs 15 at bats to warm up.
        Amazing how an analytical baseball site attacks the best hitter on the team which is undeniable.

        Winker #1 wRC+
        Winker #1 OPS
        Winker #1 slugging
        Winker #1 Obp
        Winker #1 BA
        Winker #1 fWAR

        These are the same people who said Hamilton was the guy… Gennett was the guy.. Peraza was the guy. Ervin was the guy .

      • Don

        No where did I say Winker good or bad. Just listed stats.

        Winker now 1-26, he is in a major slump. The hot streak he was on is over.

    • TR

      The Reds situation was not looking too well a week or so ago. Time happens – things change. If the Reds make the playoffs, let’s see what happens with Winker.

      Reply
  21. docproc

    I’m all for letting Disco and Lorenzen switch roles this year.

    Reply
  22. Don

    Strong outing Lorenzen.

    Reds need some add on runs to put this game away.

    Brewers up 4-1 after 3 inning vs Cards which if they can hold on is a positive for the Reds.

    Reply
    • seadog

      Strong would be an understatement. Even against the Pirates.
      Dude stepped up. Big time

      Reply
      • Don

        He took care of business and worked through possible issues in the 4th.
        He did step up, this season he has pitched better when he knows he is expected to go multiple innings. When he comes in for one inning or less he has been a thrower which has gotten him in trouble.

        Hopefully he is understanding this and will pitch and not throw the next time he is being used in a short role.

  23. vared

    Hope we’re not now in one-inning-per-reliever mode. Send Sims back out there. No need in taking a chance of someone having a wild/off night in the 8th.

    Reply
  24. Mark Moore

    OK, I missed a transaction … who did AA come up for?

    Reply
  25. Don

    Brewers are pulling away in the 4th.
    Ahead 7-1 now, still 1st and 3rd no out, just chased Flattery

    Good for the Reds

    Reply
  26. Don

    Smart play by Barnhart.

    Brewers have now just blow open the game now up 11-1 still no outs in bottom of 4th.

    Reds hold on in the 9th and they will be 1/2 game behind Cards but 4 in the loss column. So we need the Cards to keep losing while the Reds keep winning.

    Reply
  27. Mark Moore

    Couldn’t let TySteve or even Casali hit for Wink there? Really? Not surprised …

    Reply
  28. Woodrow

    Have to throw a strike 1-2 and/or 2-2. Garrett. Just can’t do that.

    Reply
    • Woodrow

      Tell me there’s action in the pen. We’re three batters in.

      … I’m sorry … did he say “Robert Stepenson”?

      Reply
  29. Mark Moore

    Can’t let this one slip away … AG or whoever has to nail it down.

    Reply
      • Woodrow

        Nope. He needed to be out of the game for Bradley or Iglesias a batter ago.

      • Don

        Bob Steve up, do not think either are available after both warmed up in both games yesterday

  30. Woodrow

    Does anyone else remember Don “Two Pack” Stanhouse?
    Because that’s how many cigarettes Earl Weaver smoked watching him close.

    Reply
    • JB

      I do. Loved that team. Orioles are my American league team.

      Reply
  31. Mark Moore

    White knuckle kind of inning … but we win and that’s what matters.

    And Mikey Biceps gets the W as a starter … did NOT see that coming in a bullpen game.

    Reply
  32. Don

    Reds hold on for the win.

    Yes, That is a 4 game win streak. I think 1st of the year.

    Reply
  33. TR

    Five strong innings from Lorenzen. It’s taken awhile with use him here and use him there, but this guy is a starting pitcher.

    Reply

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