The Cincinnati Reds (9-10) lost their fifth straight game last night, but they don’t get much time to ruminate on it, as they’ll face the St. Louis Cardinals (9-10) in an afternoon matinee for the second game of this weekend series at Busch Stadium.
Update: First pitch is now set for 4:35pm ET
- First pitch: 2:15 EDT
- TV: Bally Sports Ohio and MLB.TV (out-of-network)
- Radio: 700 WLW, or streaming on the iheartradio app and 700wlw.com
- Weather: 63 degrees with rain tapering off later in the afternoon
To many fans, Wade Miley has been an early surprise of the season for the Reds, but not to me. I knew there was a chance he could be better. Most fans were casting him aside based on a lack of innings and an injury in 2020. That’s not fair to him. Is he going to be a #1 or #2 top-of-the-rotation pitcher? No, but he can be a very serviceable #4 or #5 starter. Anyway, Miley pitched five inning shutouts in each of his first two starts against the Pirates and Giants. He struggled his last start against the Indians, giving up four runs over five innings, including two home runs. One factor that might be helping with his success is that he’s currently limiting his walks. His BB% is only at 5.1%. It’s early, but that is down from his career walk rate of 8.9%.
Another contributing factor to Miley’s success is that manager David Bell is not afraid to pull him before he faces the lineup a third time. In 2019 with the Astros, Miley’s ERA went from 2.52 the second time through the lineup to 5.61 the third time through the lineup in 33.2 innings. In 2020, Miley pitched only one inning the third time through the lineup and didn’t allow a hit (albeit in only 14.1 innings), but walked two of the five batters he faced. This season so far, he’s pitched 1.1 innings the third time through the lineup. Given the Reds’ current bullpen issues, it will be interesting to see if Bell takes Miley out early or lets him pitch longer going forward. Most likely it will all depend on the situation at the time.
Right-hander John Gant makes his fourth start of the season for the Cardinals today. He’s coming off a loss to the Phillies in which he pitched five innings and gave up two runs on five hits with five strikeouts. He walked five batters in that game, but that’s indicative of his entire season and to be honest, his entire career. His BB rate is 16.7% in 2021, and for his career, it’s 11.9%.
Gant throws five pitches, but much like Miley, he tends to rely a lot on his off speed and breaking pitches. He throws the sinker most, but mixes in his change up and slider fairly often as well. Those are the pitches he relies on to get batters out, as both pitches had over a 50% whiff rate in 2020. His whiff rate this year is at 43.3% for the change up and 41.7% for the slider so far in 2021. Gant’s velocity has averaged in the low 90s for his fastball and mid 80s for his off speed pitches.
St. Louis Cardinals
|LF Jesse Winker||2B Tommy Edman|
|RF Nick Castellanos||CF Dylan Carlson|
|1B Joey Votto||1B Paul Goldschmidt|
|SS Eugenio Suárez||3B Nolan Arenado|
|CF Tyler Naquin||SS Paul DeJong|
|2B Jonathan India||LF Tyler O’Neill|
|C Tucker Barnhart||C Andrew Knizner|
|3B Kyle Farmer||RF Justin Williams|
|P Wade Miley||P John Gant|
News and Notes
- Ryan Hendrix made his MLB debut yesterday for the Reds and Doug Gray wrote about it here at Redleg Nation.
- ICYMI, Nick Castellanos’ home run last night was his 1,000th career hit. Not many Reds players can say they’ve hit a home run for that milestone (and I’m guessing it’s also pretty rare in all of baseball too).
Prior to Castellanos last night, the last few Reds players whose 1,000th hit was a home run:
Brandon Phillips 2011
Vada Pinson 1963
Johnny Temple 1959
Gus Bell 1956
— Jamie Ramsey (@Jamieblog) April 24, 2021
- Also, if you missed it yesterday, it looks like Mike Moustakas will be back for the Dodgers series starting Monday and Shogo Akiyama is getting closer to returning as well.
David Bell said Mike Moustakas (10-day IL, illness) is doing much better: “We can take the weekend to get him back into as much baseball activity as he needs and have him ready to go in LA.”
Shogo Akiyama expected to play in a scrimmage at the alt site tomorrow too. #Reds
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) April 23, 2021
Mike Moustakas says he started doing some baseball activities yesterday. He was hoping to hit on the field today, but it’s raining here in St. Louis.
“I’ll be ready when I’m ready to go."
— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) April 24, 2021
From the #Reds game notes today: In the 4/14 game against the Giants there was a scoring change, charging Jonathan India with an error that was previously ruled a single. That removes an earned run from Sal Romano's line, dropping his ERA to 3.95 on the season.
— Doug Gray is fully vaccinated (@dougdirt24) April 24, 2021
If this is a sign as to how the season will go, buckle up. It’s going to be quite the roller coaster ride.
The season isn't even 20 games old and the #Reds already have a 5-game winning streak and now a 5-game losing streak.
— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) April 24, 2021