The 1st place Cincinnati Reds go for the sweep this afternoon at Great American Ballpark. It won’t be easy as they face arguably the best pitcher in baseball as Cleveland sends Shane Bieber to the mound to face off against Wade Miley.

Starting Lineups


Cincinnati Reds

Jordan Luplow – CF Jesse Winker – LF
Cesar Hernandez – 2B Nick Castellanos – RF
José Ramírez – 3B Joey Votto – 1B
Franmil Reyes – RF Eugenio Suárez – SS
Eddie Rosario – LF Tyler Naquin – CF
Amed Rosario – SS Max Schrock – 2B
Roberto Perez – C Tucker Barnhart – C
Yu Chang – 1B Kyle Farmer – 3B
Shane Bieber – SP Wade Miley – SP

Starting Pitchers

Wade Miley

The front runner for National League Cy Young this year, Wade Miley has yet to allow a run in two starts. He’s been credited with the win in both of his starts and allowed just four hits in 11.0 innings while walking two batters and picking up nine strikeouts. While he’s only faced a left-handed hitter eight times this year, not a single one of them has resulted in the batter reaching base.

Since joining up with Derek Johnson in Milwaukee in 2018 and learning the cutter, Miley has thrown 273.1 innings with a 3.49 ERA in 55 starts and two relief appearances. He doesn’t go deep into games, but he’s been a well above-average pitcher when it comes to keeping runs off of the board while he’s in the game. Lefties have hit .197/.285/.310 against him in this span, while righties have hit .259/.325/.394 against him.

Pitch usage from 2021

4-Seam 2-Seam Change Cutter Curveball
Velo 90.0 88.0 81.4 85.4 75.5
Usage 15.9% 4.6% 31.1% 47.0% 1.3%

Shane Bieber

Starting in 2019 we’ve seen Shane Bieber join the elite level of pitchers in Major League Baseball. In 49 games since the start of 2019 he’s thrown 313.0 innings with a 2.79 ERA, 69 walks, and 416 strikes. He’s picked up the 2020 American League Cy Young Award after posting a 1.63 ERA in 77.1 innings over 12 starts.

In his career he’s dominated against both right-handed hitters and left-handed hitters. Righties have a .632 OPS against him with nearly a 7-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. Lefties have a slightly better OPS against him with a .691 mark and a 5-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. If you’re looking for an advantage in the home and road splits, things aren’t looking good as he’s been significantly better on the road in his career with an ERA 1.16 lower when he’s pitching outside of Cleveland.

Pitch Usage in 2021

4-Seam Change Slider Curveball
Velo 93.0 88.0 85.6 83.0
Usage 37.9% 4.5% 28.1% 29.3%

When and Where

  • Game time: 1:10pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ballpark, Cincinnati
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio (formerly Fox Sports Ohio),
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 59°, Mostly sunny, 1% chance of rain

News and Notes

Still no Mike Moustakas

For the third straight day Mike Moustakas is out of the lineup with a non-COVID related illness.

Jay Bruce announces his retirement

Early this morning Jay Bruce announced his retirement. He played in parts of 14 seasons, nine of which came with the Cincinnati Reds. He retires with a .244/.314/.467 line (108 OPS+), 312 doubles, 32 triples, and 319 home runs. One of those home runs is among the most memorable home runs in Reds history.

NL Central Standings

Playoff odds via Fangraphs

Team W L GB Playoff %
Reds 9 5 0 35.1%
Brewers 8 6 1.0 50.2%
Cardinals 7 7 2.0 21.8%
Cubs 6 8 3.0 14.8%
Pirates 6 9 3.5 0.3%

75 Responses

  1. J

    With these two starters, this game might take about 45 minutes.

  2. JB

    Love Bieber but nobody in my opinion is close to Degrom. Apparently Senzel is in the platoon stage with Naquin.

    • Me

      Righty Bieber on the mound, probably just playing the slightly better matchup today. Either way it’s a bad matchup but Reds hitters today 🙂

    • Sliotar

      Good call, JB.

      deGrom is out of this world. The idea that he might not make the Hall of Fame because of not enough wins is … ridiculous.

      IMO, the HOF criteria should be “was this guy the best in his era?” deGrom has already clinched that.

  3. Sliotar

    I think Doug meant “sweep” up above … but it would certainly be sweet.

    The Indians have Bieber and Ramirez, and Francona is a plus in my book … but they aren’t a good team.

    Sweeping not good teams does a lot of paving towards possibly playing in October.

  4. Mark Moore

    And then THAT happens. Grooved it a little too much …

  5. Steelerfan

    Ramirez may be only only above average hitter in Indians’ lineup. Not the guy to give a pitch to with two outs.

  6. Mark Moore

    First pitch swing, which Nick didn’t do, may be key today.

    • Mark Moore

      Then Geno gets that first pitch …

  7. Steelerfan

    Confess these games a little bittersweet for me. Live in Cleveland and when kids younger tickets would be Father’s Day present. They are too old for it now…

    • Mark Moore

      Cleveland park will forever be “The Jake” to me. I remember one trip hauling my trailer where we came through downtown to see it “spring up” in front of me. Never saw a game there, at least not yet.

      • Steelerfan

        Always will be the jake to me and still a great place to watch a ballgame. Still regret couldn’t get my dad (Cleveland native) to WS game but Cubs fans had the cheap seats up to 3k

  8. Mark Moore

    Better 2nd inning for Wade. Now to start hitting the green spaces.

  9. Russell Proctor

    At one point does somebody talk to Castellanos about chasing every single down and away pitch? No discipline.

    • Mark Moore

      Same thought on that AB. I get protecting the plate when you are down 2 strikes, but …

    • TR

      Castellanos is basically a free swinging hitter.

  10. Sliotar

    Really good AB by Naquin.

    Made Bieber use up pitches.

    • Mark Moore

      9 pitches and a walk. Not a bad result.

  11. Mark Moore

    Nice patience by Tucker. Would love to get into Bieber’s head a bit here.

  12. Mark Moore

    Set him up and executed like a Cy Young pitcher does … at least we’ll turn over the line-up for the 3rd.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Beiber always gets swings on the breaking ball away and its never on the plate? Its not going east to west. They made him throw some pitches atleast.

    • Mark Moore

      Looks like NE to SW to me and I think that’s the challenge. Plus the amount of break is HUGE!!

    • JB

      Yeah might be a long day for Castellanos and Suarez. They both have a hard time laying off that off the plate junk.

  14. GreatRedLegsFan

    Bad timing to have Moose out, Farmer is not a particular hitting threat much less against Bieber.

    • MBS

      Maybe Senzel should have got the start at 3B today?

      • Mark Moore

        How many reps at 3B has little Nick had at the MLB level … including last night? And how many balls has he handled?

        Not completely disagreeing with you, but the permanent IF spot for Senzel sailed some time ago. His best value to the team overall is in CF.

      • Sliotar

        That’s just crazy talk.

        Why find ways to get your in-their-prime/former top prospects onto the field?

        Keep playing the age 31 journeyman .. who can’t hit RHP.


      • MBS

        I’m not saying permanently, I like Moustakes, but Moose is sick, and I believe in having as many good bats in the lineup as possible. Farmer is ok in a pinch, but he’s no Senzel.

      • Mark Moore

        After I replied, I also thought about playing Shrock at 3B and starting India. That could have produced something better.

      • RojoBenjy

        Little Nick can play 3B in his sleep


  15. J

    It looks like Suarez hasn’t exactly committed to the “hit line drives” or “hit the ball the other way” philosophy. Every swing he takes looks like he’s trying to hit a 450 foot homer to left, including pitches that are low and away.

    • Mark Moore

      Exactly. Need a little more “contact first” from him.

    • Roger Garrett

      It is easy to say that the year he hit all those homers may have messed him up cause since then in however many at bats he has been terrible.I do believe if Bell dropped him down a spot or two to relieve some of the pressure a clean up hitter faces he would do better.He has to feel in the cleanup spot he must drive in runs by hitting homers.Thats what I see anyway and maybe he isn’t worried about hitting home runs but when you publicly come out and say it I have to believe that is what he trying to do.

  16. Hanawi

    Votto getting locked in. He’s in the top 20 for barrel % in all of baseball. Also pretty high in exit velocity. However, he’s also in the top 5 for negative expected slugging % (bad luck) and top 20 for negative expected batting average. Basically, he’s been much better than his stats indicate, but they are catching up quickly.

    Barnhardt, on the other hand, has been the luckiest hitter in baseball based on his expected batting average.

  17. Steeelerfan

    Interesting issue. Can see the argument that because he hasn’t had the mlb innings it might be a good opportunity to get him some reps while naquin is the “hot hand” on center.

    Not 100% convinced the infield super sub role is entirely closed..

    • Chris Holbert

      I think Naquin’s hand has cooled…..he is 4th outfielder for a reason….anyone else in a slump gets to “hit’ out of it. Senzel goes in one early in the season I might add, and he has to fix his from the bench….he continues to be mishandled by the organization

  18. Indy Red Man

    Game over. You can only slop it up for so long even against weak hitting teams. Miley’s fb was 91 earlier, but I didn’t see anything more then 85-86 today

    Time for the yard and then a nap

  19. Mark Moore

    Well … we took the first 2 games. And last night was pretty special. Not sure how much more I can watch today before I “Clete” (HT: MBE).

  20. Roger Garrett

    India and Senzel need to play every day period and unless they are hurt its insane not to pencil them in.I understand that they can’t and won’t play 150 games and I understand everybody gets a scheduled day off to let somebody else play.For them to even be mentioned in the same sentence as a platoon player is also insane.We play our B team against their A pitcher with a chance to sweep is well just dumb.

    • LDS

      Dumb? It’s just Bell’s usual antics. It’s like he’s afraid that Bieber is too much so he hides the young guys.

    • doofus

      Agree Senzel, Winker, India every day. Stop this insane in-and-out crap.

  21. Steelerfan

    Ok after yesterday I guess luck has to even out…

  22. kevinz

    Well need keep Cle at 4 runs to have even a chance.
    Get Suarez has been swinging it better Lately.
    Love to see the Opposite field approach from him.
    Better Hitter with the CF to RF type approach.
    All just my opinion, but I am not a Hitting coach.

  23. JB

    The boys got a big mountain to climb now.

  24. Roger Garrett

    Miley is a fly ball pitcher in a home run hitting park and we know that.He could not match maybe the best pitcher in baseball pitch for pitch.Bell waived the white flag before the game even started with his B lineup.Just clueless and I mean clueless.

    • Wayne Nabors

      Roger this has been bell’s mo since he’s been there,his Sunday lineups are atrocious, I barely watch Sunday games because of it

      • Roger Garrett

        Dusty was the same way and I loathed it when he did.I am all for guys getting time off but I am so excited about India,Senzel,Stephensen and even Wink because of their talent,youth,and energy I want them out there every day.They are the future of this team.HecK I don’t know anything I just want to see what these young guys can do.I will say it again these guys are not platoon players.Bell to his credit made a bold move yesterday when he hit Tyler for Tucker.Yeah I get the match up thing but there are times when you have to scratch your head on some of Bell’s moves.We will win games this year despite of Bell and that is the beauty of it.Maybe we will today as well.

  25. JB

    They need to score here. 2and and 3rd no outs.

  26. Mark Moore

    Some rocket shot by Nick … but Ramirez fields his spot well.

    Need to make them pay for that miscue in CF here.

  27. RojoBenjy

    Joey Votto really likes hitting off this Justin Bieber kid

    He should keep his music career

  28. B

    Thank God for Votto because Suarez wasn’t going to do anything. 8 stranded yesterday and after 3 ABs today another 3 runners stranded. Good vibes only though right?

    • Mark Moore

      At least Geno turned on that one instead of whiffing.

    • LDS

      Trade him for a shortstop and/or a first baseman.

    • Chris Holbert

      Does Suarez deserve to continue to bog down the middle of the lineup, if it were Senzel or India, it would be to the bench young stud, until you are out of your slump.

  29. Roger Garrett

    Just drop Eugenio down and he will be ok.Just too much for him to play short,not try to hit homers and relax and just hit.Too much right now.The longer it goes the worse it will be for him.Bell should see what is going on and just drop him down in the order.Its been what now close to 80 games over the span of this year and last.

  30. Roger Garrett

    Seven pitch inning for Bieber so that should just about do it.Bet you if Joey comes up again with runners on he won’t see a pitch to hit

  31. Mark Moore

    And I’m done … catch you all on Tuesday for the Snakes.

  32. Sliotar

    Doug did a piece on the bullpen and I posted this reply about Romano …

    “Pitching half his games at GABP, his tosses are a gas can waiting to run into a fire.”

    He should not be on this team come Summer when the ball flys out even easier.

    • LDS

      Sal Romano, Bell’s latest incarnation of Jared Hughes.

    • JB

      Nice guy but to me he just doesnt have a put away pitch. I mean what’s he hitting 93 mph tops? They just foul it off and wait for one down the middle. He will be gone when Lorenzen comes back if not sooner.

  33. Dennis Westrick

    Once again, S. Romano comes into the game and surrenders a HR. More often than not it is preceded by a walk! Bell must have confidence in him but to me he’s just a wreck waiting to happen!

      • Dennis Westrick

        Yep, if Batting Practice Sal doesn’t give up two (2) runs the Reds have a realistic chance for a comeback win! Don’t know what Bell’s fascination with Romano is?