The Reds and Marlins square off at 7:10 tonight in game 2 of the current 4 game set at GABP. Thursday was a very productive night for the Reds. Their victory over the Marlins paired with a Milwaukee loss in St. Louis moved the Reds a game closer to the Brewers. More importantly the Reds moved to within a single game of the idle Padres in the wildcard chase. Despite fits and starts along the way, including an ownership seemingly more interested in dumping salaries than winning games in 2021, the Reds are in an old fashion playoff race. Enjoy.
Sonny Gray is scheduled to start for the Reds. He will be opposed by Elieser Hernandez in a match up of righthanders.
2021 has not been the year Sonny Gray, the Reds or their fans hoped it would be for him. He started the season on the injured list (back issues). Gray was activated in mid April but returned to the IL on June 8 (groin) and briefly again on July 8 (rib cage sprain), Between and among the IL stints, Gray has made 18 starts and compiled a 4.47/3.80 ERA/FIP. Maybe he has been a bit unlucky; but, clearly he has not been the force on the mound he was on 2020.
Gray’s pitch usage and velocities appear largely unchanged from the recent past; but, the effectiveness of his slider and fastball seem diminished in 2021. This said, he remains essentially a three pitch pitcher, 50% fastballs (low 90sMPH), 25% curves (~80MPH) and 15% slider (low 80sMPH) along with a change up shown for effect. Over time Gray’s slider and curve have become nearer to the same velocity. Could this be an emerging issue for him?
Elieser Hernandez, a 26 year old from Venezuela, will make just his fourth start of 2021. It will be his second start since returning from the 60 day IL on August 15. Hernandez has been sidelined nearly all year with bicep inflammation followed by a quad strain. The Marlins had been expecting big things from Hernandez in 2021 based on his performance in last year’s COVID shortened season. In the abbreviated 2020 season Hernandez compiled an ERA/FIP of 3.16/3.89 during 6 starts covering 25.2 inning. In 2019, over 21 appearances (15 starts) totaling 82.1 innings, he posted a not as eye catching 5.03/5.58 ERA/FIP mark at the MLB level
So what should the Reds expect from Hernandez? The historical charts say he is not a power pitcher and has not significantly changed his mix or velocities from 2019 when he wasn’t that good thru to the present. Hernandez throws a 90ish MPH four seam fastball about 60% of the time and an 80MPH slider on about 35% of his pitches. He flashes an 85 MPH change on the remaining ~5% of his pitches. He walks very few batters and finds a way to strike out a more than just healthy percentage of them. His out of zone swing percent is >30 which would seem to indicate his slider and fastball move a lot.
Pitching Tale of the Tape
|Elieser Hernandez (2019-21)||4.40||5.13||1.14||2.09||6.3%||26.0%|
The Reds pen was called upon to cover just 2 inning each last night. Michael Lorenzen (17 pitches) and Tony Santillan (15 pitches) each completed an inning. Lorenzen should be OK for an inning tonight. Santillan has thrown 27 pitches over the last 3 days and may be limited.
As the losing visitors, the Marlins were spared covering the 9th inning which reduced their pen exposure to 3 innings. Bryan Mitchell needed 37 pitches to cover 2 of them and is no doubt out for tonight. Such as it is, everyone else should be available. Here’s hoping we don’t see old friend Dylan Floro who appears to have possibly inherited the closer job.
|1. Miguel Rojas (SS)
2. Jazz Chisholm (2B)
3. Jesus Aguilar (1B)
4. Jesus Sanchez (RF)
5. Brian Anderson (3B)
6. Lewis Brinson (CF)
7. Jorge Alfaro (LF)
8. Alex Jackson (C)
9. Elieser Hernandez (P)
|1. Jonathan India (2B)
2. Tyler Naquin (CF)
3. Nick Castellanos (RF)
4. Joey Votto (1B)
5. Kyle Farmer (SS)
6. Mike Moustakas (3B)
7. Aristides Aquino (LF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Sonny Gray (P)
Several things not exactly to my liking here; but, it is what it is. GO REDS!
News, Notes and Thoughts
Nick Senzel has been reinstated to the MLB Injured List
Confused about what’s been going on with Nick Senzel? Check out Doug Gray’s time line and explanation to get as unconfused as possible about Senzel’s status
We wish thee well Heath Hembree, especially versus the Phillies and Braves
The Reds DFA’d Heath Hembree on Tuesday. This afternoon he was claimed off of waivers by the New York Mets. As Doug Gray wrote earlier today, Hembree was either really on, or really off.
Calling all dreamers, it is now official!
We are headed to Iowa! ???
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) August 20, 2021
National League Wild Card Standings
(Top 2 teams qualify for wild card play in)
When: 7:10pm EDT
Where: GABP, Cincinnati
Watch: BallySports Ohio, MLBTV