After Monday’s game against the Cubs (50-51) saw the Reds (51-49) both blow a lead on the mound and fail to score any runs with the bases loaded (twice!), the team from Cincinnati will try to rebound during another night game at Wrigley Field.
- First pitch: 8:05 pm ET
- Location: Wrigley Field
- TV: Bally Sports Ohio and MLB.TV for out-of-market fans
- Radio: 700 WLW
- Weather: 85 degrees, clear to partly cloudy and humid
The 25-year-old right-hander had his first bad start in July his last time through the rotation, giving up six runs on nine hits in only four innings against the New York Mets on July 19th. Gutierrez has had some extra rest with the day off and the six man rotation last week, so hopefully he will look more like the pitcher who allowed only three runs in twelve innings in his previous two starts.
Gutierrez actually has pitched better on the road this season. In 33.0 innings on the road, he’s allowed only 13 runs, including three home runs, compared to 17 runs and eight home runs in 21.1 innings at Great American Ball Park.
Gutierrez has five pitches in his arsenal, but really only throws four pitches at a consistent rate (he’s throw the sinker a total of three times this season). With a whiff rate of 39.8%, the slider has been his best pitch thus far this season. He throws it mostly to right-handed hittters and they’re hitting just .212 against it. It is averaging about 82.7 mph, while his fastball averages about 92.9 mph.
In his most recent start, 26-year-old right-hander Adbert Alzolay took the loss against the Cardinals, giving up three runs on four hits and walking three while striking out eight in six innings. He has faced the Reds twice already in 2021. On May 28, he recorded his best game of the season, pitching a shut-out with six strikeouts in 5.2 innings at Wrigley. He pitched at Great American Ball Park on July 3, giving up three runs on five hits with six strikeouts in seven innings. He’s an average pitcher, but the Reds have not been able to figure him out yet this year.
Alzolay can be classified as a ground ball pitcher, as 45% of the balls in play against him are grounders. However, his fly ball percentage is up to 28.2% this year as compared to a year ago when it was just 15.9%. As a result, he’s given up 20 home runs to opposing hitters. This could also be just the result of pitching a lot more innings in 2021. He’s already started 17 games (and that’s with a two week stint on the injured list for a blister), way up from his six appearances in 2020 and four appearances in 2019.
Alzolay has an array of pitches to be able to choose from, but relies heavily on just three of them: a slider, a sinker, and a four-seam fastball. His slider is his best pitch and it is above average in the league, according to his Baseball Savant page. He has thrown it 42.4% of the time this season. With a whiff rate of 36.6%, why not? It averages about 86.0 mph and hitters are only hitting .181 against it.
|2B Jonathan India||CF Rafael Ortega|
|LF Jesse Winker||3B Kris Bryant|
|C Tyler Stephenson||1B Anthony Rizzo|
|1B Joey Votto||C Willson Contreras|
|3B Eugenio Suárez||2B David Bote|
|RF Tyler Naquin||RF Jason Heyward|
|SS Kyle Farmer||SS Nico Hoerner|
|CF Shogo Akiyama||LF Ian Happ|
|P Vladimir Gutierrez||P Adbert Alzolay|
Joey Votto has a golden opportunity to continue his hot streak, as he has a home run off Alzolay in four at-bats. Tyler Naquin also has hit a home run off Alzolay, but also jut hits .167 against him.
News and Notes
Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer also reports that Alex Blandino and Nick Senzel should start rehab assignments this week as well.
Lucas Sims begins his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville today. Alex Blandino is expected to begin his rehab assignment at Louisville tomorrow. Nick Senzel later this week. #Reds
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) July 27, 2021
Javier Báez was in the Cubs original lineup tonight. Here is David Ross’ explanation, for what it’s worth.
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) July 27, 2021
And speaking of Báez, David Bell said he’s heard from MLB about a possible suspension for Báez after last night’s antics. Take that for what it’s worth as well, because we all know Rob Manfred and MLB’s approach to suspensions.
David Ross said he's heard from MLB and a suspension is possible for Javier Báez. If Báez isn't suspended, all it does is tell the Reds that they have to clear the benches for the other team to be punished. It's a signal from MLB that you HAVE TO react like they tell you not to
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) July 27, 2021