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 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 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)
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 RedsMinorLeagues.com 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
Amir Garrett has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 7 games for yelling at some of the Chicago Cubs, while Javier Báez was simply fined for coming onto the field to challenge Garrett to a fight.
Because of course that's how it worked out.https://t.co/8KjZVqqE8k
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) May 5, 2021
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
Weather: Emerging sunshine but cool, 55-60