Today’s Cinco de Mayo matinee versus the White Sox concludes the Reds all Chicago homestand with the second game of their interleague series at GABP. Game time is 12:35pm Eastern. The Reds find themselves in need of a win today to close out this Chicago week with a winning record after being drubbed 9-0 by the White Sox Tuesday night.


We could witness a pitching classic with Reds righthander Sonny Gray set to square off against lefty Dallas Keuchel of the White Sox. Then again, these top of the rotation confrontations sometimes have a way of turning into unexpected shooting matches for the offenses. We will have to watch and listen to see where this one goes.

Sonny Gray -2020 3.70 3.05 1.21 0.64 11.1% 30.6
Dallas Keuchel – 2021 4.65 5.68 1.32 0.87 8.4% 12.2%

Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray makes his just his fourth start of the season after being sidelined by back woes in spring training. Reds fans are hoping his strong effort against the Dodgers last week in LA (6IP; ERA/FIP of 3.18/3.11) is an indication they are about to see the 2020 version of Sonny Gray back on the mound every 5th day versus the not so sunny version of him from his first 2 starts of 2021 (8IP; ERA/FIP of 7.88/5.23).

Dallas Keuchel

Dallas Keuchel at age 33 is now 3 years removed from his glory days with the Astros where he won the AL Cy Young Award in 2015. He continued as an integral part of the dominate Astros rotation through 2018 as the team won 101 games and the World Series in 2017 followed by 103 wins in 2018 which ended with an ALCS loss to Boston. After spending a single year in Atlanta, Keuchel signed a deal with the White Sox guaranteed through 2022 at $18M a year with 2023 on option at $20M (guaranteed if he pitches 160 innings in both 2021&22/ $1.5M buyout otherwise).

Keuchel marked his return to the AL in 2020 with a vintage Dallas Keuchel season (1.99ERA/ 3.08FIP) such as it was given the pandemic situation. However through 6 starts in 2021 his ERA/ FIP line is very league average at best as reflected in the table above. Perhaps more telling than his ERA/FIP, Keuchel’s K% has fallen to just over 12%. While his K% was never extremely high for a top of the rotation pitcher, with his K/BB ratio for 2021 at only 1.45, Keuchel would appear to be very much at the mercy of his BABIP which is currently at .270 so far in 2021.



The Reds pen had to cover a whopping 7.1 innings Tuesday night with Alex Blandino making his second beyond mop up time appearance in a week. The only pen pitcher used who has been seeing any leverage time was Jose De León. It could have been much worse for the pen but at least starter Jeff Hoffman and first man from the pen De León put the outcome beyond question prior to any top pen arms being used. The Reds have another off day on Thursday and can throw caution to the wind with their bullpen usage today.


The Sox used 2 pitchers to cover 3 innings. They are good shape as far as their leverage guys.


1. Tim Anderson (SS)
2. Nick Madrigal (2B)
3. Yoan Moncada (3B)
4. Jose Abreu (1B)
5. Andrew Vaughn (LF)
6. Yasmani Grandal (C)
7. Leury Garcia (RF)
8. Billy Hamilton (CF)
9. Dallas Keuchel (P)
1. Nick Senzel (CF)
2. Jesse Winker (LF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suárez (SS)
5. Mike Moustakas (3B)
6. Tyler Stephenson (C)
7. Tyler Naquin (RF)
8. Jonathan India (2B)
9. Sonny Gray (P)
If you are wondering, yes, that is the same Billy Hamilton in CF for the Sox who patrolled CF for the Reds from ~2013-18.  Good to see Nick Senzel’s shoulder issue was just a 1 day thing.

News and Notes

Nick Castellanos scratched from the lineup

Last night Nick Castellanos was taken out of the game with some back tightness. He was in the initial starting lineup today, but at 11:15am he was scratched from the lineup. He’s been replaced in the field by Tyler Naquin and the lineup has been changed a bit.

Late Breaking Reds Roster News

The Cincinnati Reds have optioned José De León to Triple-A Louisville and recalled lefty Cionel Pérez to take his place on the roster. Doug Gray wrote a little bit more about it here at Redleg Nation.

There was a Reds game last night?

If you are not familiar with the gory details of the Reds thumping by the Sox Tuesday, here is Richard Fitch’s recap

Minor League Opening Day Reviews

The minor league baseball season began yesterday. Over at they take a look at all that took place on Opening Night – the first time they’ve played minor league games since September of 2019. There was a little bit of good and bad mixed in for the Reds farm teams, including a rain out of Hunter Greene’s 2021 debut.

Amir Garrett’s Suspension

Closing Thoughts

I’ve always thought that a team being at 1 game below .500 was one of the toughest mental situations for the fans and possibly even the players. Win today, make it to .500; and, the world seems so much brighter. Lose and suddenly it seems like such a much longer and harder job just to get back to even. That’s where we were with the Reds were last night and things did not go our way. Now, like the players, we fans have to roll our sleeves up and just grind it out too. Concentrate on winning series and everything else will eventually take care of itself. Let’s get the that win today. It will only split this 2 game series; but, that sets the stage for a series win in Cleveland to get the Reds to .500.  GO REDS! 

Game Time: 12:35 EDT

Venue: GABP Cincinnati,OH

Watch: Bally Sports Ohio MLB,TV

Listen: 700WLW

Weather: Emerging sunshine but cool, 55-60

Data and statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Reference

97 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I thought Bell used the pen beautifully last night.
    Time for Sonny to get that first Dub.

    • Jim Walker

      And I have to wonder if the just breaking news that José De León has been shuffled off to Louisville in favor of Cionel Pérez in the Reds pen could be as much about getting De León back on a starting pitcher track as strengthening the Reds MLB Pen

      • MBS

        That’s a good take, Hoffman is showing signs of failure. 2 bad starts in a row is no reason to panic, but 3 might be, and 4 would definitely be. Also hopefully Perez is being promoted because there was tangible progress.

      • Klugo

        Well and the fact that De Leon would probably be unavailable for a couple days any ways, right?

      • Jim Walker

        @Klugo De León worked 1.2 innings and threw 39 pitches. He certainly would not have been ready for today but Thursday is an off day; and, I’d think he would have been available Friday. FWIW (or not) Pérez threw an inning at Louisville on Wednesday evening; so, I’d judge him to be limited availability today on the quick turnaround.

        To the best of my recollection unless there is some special pandemic waiver, guys on disciplinary suspension still count against the active roster count. But Garrett is appealing; so, that isn’t in play just yet.

      • Redsfan4life

        If DeLeon pitches another game for this team. They have waived the white flag.

  2. JB

    I was wondering if Bell would bring back the lefty Perez now that Garrett will be suspended. Hopefully Garrett can get it down to 5 . I dont see the league going less than that.

    • Jim Walker

      Very possible. I was so busy getting the preview updated I may have missed the tree for thinking about the forrest!

    • docproc

      I’m thinking down to 3. But the fact that Baez will stay at 0 is the galling part.

      • Daytonnati

        Excellent point on Axios Sports this morning:

        “Reminder: A.J. Hinch and Alex Cora are back managing MLB clubs, and Nick Castellanos received a longer suspension for playing baseball with passion than any player on the Astros did for cheating.”

  3. Fanman

    Travesty. Who is handing out suspensions this year? Personal vendetta against Reds!

  4. TR

    Here’s hoping Sonny Gray is on and the offense wakes up. The Reds need a split with the Sox.

  5. RojoBenjy

    Hey! This lineup doesn’t look like a getaway day lineup?

    It may have the possibility of producing!

    • Jim Walker

      The Reds really need this one; and, with the off day tomorrow and short hop to Cleveland, hardly seems like a getaway day. Then they go over to Pittsburgh for 3 before Colorado, the only real travelling on the upcoming road trip.

  6. Roger Garrett

    Just hoping today is different.I don’t watch the games but games like last night do happen from time to time.Hope the Reds come out fired up because of the beat down last night so we shall see.

    • Redsfan4life

      Teams being fired up has everything to do with the starting pitchers. How good or bad each pitcher throws the ball. At least IMO.

  7. MBS

    We are well on our way to a 90 pitch CG. Nice inning Sonny

  8. VaRedsFan

    2nd and 3rd no out = no runs 🙁

    • RojoBenjy

      Switch Moose and Henny and it would be better

  9. Chris

    I think we just broke the all-time record for most double plays grounded into in an inning!

    • Jim Walker

      Yep. What a tough way to be out of an inning with 2B&3B zero outs with no runs.

      Not really sure that was a TOOTBLAN for Senzel though. Looked he was breaking in contact and the play at home was close enough had the Sox 1B made sure of the out of 1B Senzel may well have beaten the play at the plate.

      Suárez jumping at the 1st pitch when Keuchel clearly did not have a put away pitch working was the Reds biggest issue IMO.

      • RojoBenjy

        Love Senzel agressiveness. Turn him loose and let him be the ballplayer he is

      • JB

        Senzel going on contact and it took a perfect throw. If that ball was up any higher he makes it. Get the ball in the air would have been nice.

  10. Roger Garrett

    Second and third and nobody out and don’t score.Just awful and I mean just awful.First two guys work the count and walk and double and 5 pitches later we have 3 outs and don’t score.How can that possibly be with your 3 and 4 hitters up there?This team had no clue and I mean no clue of what it takes to win.If I wasn’t so old I would just check back in 3 or 4 years down the road when this core group is gone and see if anybody has learned anything.For today I am out of here.

  11. Wayne Nabors

    Absolutely incredible how many times reds have 1st and 3rd no outs and can’t score,and what’s even more incredible is,they don’t try anything different ,just cannot get the ball out of the infield

  12. JB

    Hey Johnson go out and talk to your pitcher and call him down. The one thing he is terrible at. Always waits until the inning blows up.

  13. Roger Garrett

    Maybe Sonny is still trying to figure out why he doesn’t have a 2 or 3 run lead right now.He knows if he gets behind well its over.Now I am gone.

    • Redsfan4life

      Keuchel is a groundball pitcher. Votto and Suarez put the ball in play. Better than a K.
      The other team is trying as well. Not easy to hit a flyball against a groundball pitcher.

  14. JB

    Billy Hamilton always has that look on his face of “please just let me hit it.” The Les Nessman right field look.

  15. JB

    Seems like Stephenson is having troubles this year on the transfer throw. I’ve seen him bobble at least 2 so far and that one he couldn’t find the handle. He needs to work on that.

    • VaRedsFan

      Correct. He and Suarez need to go to the transfer school.

  16. VaRedsFan

    As the Reds came to the plate in the 1st:
    Larkin: The way to attack Keuchel is to go to the plate thinking opposite field.

    Larkin might not be a qualified manager, but I would love for someone in the dugout to preach that philosophy to our hitters. And for their to be consequences if you didn’t listen.

    • JB

      I also like what Larkin said about Winker hitting Lefties. You cant get better if he doesnt have the opportunity to hit lefties.

      • RojoBenjy


        That’s why Bell made most of us insane with platooning Winker in 2019

  17. RojoBenjy

    The first inning missed scoring opportunity looms larger every 1-2-3 inning

    • rex

      they are showing off their versatility, they can loose by a little and they can loose by a bunch

  18. RojoBenjy

    I’m checking game day periodically.

    Why is Votto out? HBP or his diving play?

  19. JB

    Going to be one of those 1-0 games. Hopefully it’s the good guys.

    • RojoBenjy

      man Sonny sure deserves this win

  20. Mark Moore

    Nice outing by Sonny so far. But we’ve got to back him with some runs.

    JV going out concerns me. That was a direct hit on the thumb. I fear it’s broken. That may play out OK for the immediate return of Shogo, but not how I wanted to see that happen. Joey seemed to be dialing in.

    • RojoBenjy

      that would really stink, but would give a chance for his detractors to see whether or not the Reds are better off without him.

      I was all for moving him down the lineup earlier in the year until he rebounded and shut me up

  21. Chris

    This is giving me very upsetting flashbacks to last year’s playoff series against the Braves.

    • RojoBenjy

      Ouch i was thinking the same. First inning opportunity squandered then silence

  22. Mark Moore

    Time for Moose, Tyler, Tyler to get something going for the good guys.

  23. JB

    Going to come down to bullpens. We could be in trouble.

  24. JB

    I’ve seen kids in T-ball hit the ball harder than the Reds today. Kuechel has them off balance big time today.

  25. Jon

    Baseball’s a funny game. You have a game like Sunday’s, then get the complete opposite from both of today’s teams.

  26. Indy Red Man

    Score 13 and then get shutout back to back? Yep….thats them. I’d be lining up my lefties for the Reds. That degrades Winker, Votto, Moose, and Naquin. Suarez is busy trying to pull/uppercut everything so he’s not much of a lefty killer right now. Just pitch around Castellanos and don’t give Stephenson a cookie.

    • LDS

      Yep and he’s back to the cleanup slot. I guess Bell thinks he’s worked it all out.

  27. JB

    Wow! A Reds relief pitcher that didnt walk the first hitter. Impressive!

  28. Chris Holbert

    Senzel seems so much better and relaxed leading off…

  29. LDS

    Probably wouldn’t have pitched to Winker with Farmer on deck. I guess despite the year he’s had thus far, he’s not earned the respect of the other teams just yet.

  30. JB

    Farmer swings on 1-0 count after Kopech has a bit of a time finding strike zone. Crazy

  31. Indy Red Man

    The White Sox broadcast has a graphic on HRs that shows how many parks that ball would’ve been a HR in. Abreau’s last night was a HR in 28 of 30 parks. I wish we had that graphic! A bunch of gabp HRs would be a HR in 3 parks or something.

  32. JB

    Seriously need to get Antone in the Starting Rotation. I would like to see him throw 6-7 innings every 5 days than 2-4 out of the bullpen.

  33. Dennis

    Sonny Gray is looking like the Reds version of Jacob deGrom. Reds seldom score more that 1 or 2 runs when Sonny pitches a gem like today!

  34. LDS

    India needs to end the game here. He’s due.

  35. VaRedsFan

    At this point, I’ll take a wild pitch, or a HBP

    • LDS

      Me too, anything other than extra innings. White Sox chances go up if the game goes extra. Who pitches for the Reds?

      • JB

        Got to be Blandino. He is the best pitcher left.

  36. RojoBenjy

    Will Bell be the first to intentionallly walk the leadoff to cause the forceout in the 10th inning?

    • RojoBenjy

      well regardless Sims does it anyway

      Yikes he’s all over the place

    • VaRedsFan

      That strategy should really only apply to the away team when they don’t score in the top of the inning.

      • RojoBenjy

        Ah ok. We were discussing it with Jim Walker the other day and I missed that point. An interesting topic for sure.

  37. LDS

    18 innings without a run. Only 5 hits in the last 2 games. It’s hard for any team to be overly concerned about the Reds at the moment. What happened to the team from the first couple of weeks that showed they could hit and score without HRs? I really don’t like the extra innings odds.

  38. VaRedsFan

    Leadoff walk to a guy batting .1-something

  39. Mark Moore

    Please don’t over-manage this Mr. Bell. Give us a chance.

  40. Tim

    How can you walk Grandal who is hitting .121 three times? Does he have a get-out-of-jail free card?

  41. JB

    Great play Tucker. Should be able to strike out Billy too.

  42. VaRedsFan

    Tucker….no problem with the transfer

  43. Mark Moore

    OK. Step 1 complete. Now let’s get us a run and win this mess.

  44. JB

    Just like when Billy played for the Reds. Everytime the Reds needed a big hit ,he was always up. Baseball is funny. It always finds its weakest hitter at the most crucial moment.

  45. Indy Red Man

    I started saying it above 7 years ago, but Billy is really only a fit for the Rockies. I wonder why they can’t see it? He could save 2 runs atleast on every homestand and the outfield can’t really play in on his bloopers or he’d hit 10 triples and 5 inside the park HRs at home every year.

  46. Mark Moore

    Got to love that result! Da Wink comes through in the clutch!

  47. VaRedsFan

    Surprised they arent walking Winker

    • RojoBenjy

      they aren’t believers

      they paid for it

  48. JB

    Well earned win. There are going to be games like yesterday and today.

    • Dennis

      Regardless of the final score a win shows up as a W in the standings today and in September!

  49. RojoBenjy

    Good job pitching out of the top of the 10th

    Great job getting the win in the bottom of the 10th

    They sure needed this one

  50. CI3J

    Cardiac Kids do it again.

    It’s too early to say “This reminds me of the ’99 team.”, but I like the general trend.

  51. RedAlert

    Winker = P R O F E S S I O N A L
    H I T T E R

    Dude can just flat out rake !

  52. Indy Red Man

    Big win! They just had a losing streak and then won 2 series. Getting swept, even in a 2 game series, is going in the wrong direction.

  53. TR

    A big win for the Reds with great pitching and clutch hitting by Winker.