The Cincinnati Reds (60-97) are playing October baseball. It’s a battle of the left-handers this afternoon, as rookie Nick Lodolo tries to snap the Reds’ four game losing streak against veteran Drew Smyly and the red-hot Chicago Cubs (71-86), who are 9-1 in their last ten games and currently have a five game winning streak.

Details

  • When: 2:20 p.m. ET
  • Where: Wrigley Field
  • Forecast: 67 degrees and mostly sunny
  • TV: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB Network
  • Radio: 700 WLW

Lineups

Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs

2B Jonathan India C Willson Contreras
3B Spencer Steer RF Seiya Suzuki
DH Kyle Farmer LF Ian Happ
1B Donovan Solano 3B Patrick Wisdom
CF Stuart Fairchild SS Nico Hoerner
RF Aristides Aquino DH Franmil Reyes
LF Matt Reynolds 1B David Bote
SS Jose Barrero CF Nelson Velazquez
C Austin Romine 2B Christopher Morel

Aristides Aquino has three home runs and five RBI in 11 at-bats against Smyly.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xERA FIP xFIP WHIP K% BB%
Nick Lodolo 98.1 3.75 3.95 3.86 3.34 1.24 30.1% 8.1%
Drew Smyly 103.1 3.48 4.09 4.31 4.23 1.19 20.5% 6.0%

REDS

As the seventh overall pick in the 2019 draft, it was assumed that Lodolo would be good when he got the call to the major leagues. And in his rookie season in 2022, he’s delivered on that expectation. He’s been a bright spot in an otherwise terrible season for the Reds. In his most recent start last Sunday against the Brewers, he gave up one run on four hits with six strikeouts in six innings. The six strikeouts were a low total for him recently, as he’s had two 11-strikeout games and a 9-strikeout game in September.

Lodolo has 126 strikeouts in just 98.1 innings and his whiff rate is 82 percent. That long sweeping curve ball of his is a thing of beauty and it’s fooling a lot of hitters right now.

Lodolo has faced the Cubs one other time this season, on August 11 at Great American Ball Park. He gave up four runs on seven hits and walked four while striking out six in just 4.2 innings.

CUBS

Excluding the 2020 shortened season, if you look just at ERA, this season has been the best Smyly has pitched since early in his career when he was with the Detroit Tigers and the Tampa Bay Rays, However, looking closer at his splits, he’s just having an incredible second half of the season. In the month of August, Smyly gave up only three runs on 22 hits in 30.0 innings. He’s continued the outstanding pitching perfomances in September, minus one start against the Cardinals where he gave up seven runs in 2.1 innings. Overall for the second half, he’s pitched to a 2.82 ERA with 50 strikeouts and a .211 batting average against in 54.1 innings. That’s a stark difference from his 4.22 ERA in the first half of the season.

Smyly hasn’t been striking out a lot of batters this season, just 89 in 103.1 innings, and his BABIP isn’t abnormally high at .272. Hes’s just not walking batters and not giving up home runs. Smyly is forcing a lot of ground balls: nearly 42 percent of the balls in play are ground balls. Smyly also doesn’t walk many batters. His BB% in 2022 is 6.0%, and while that’s the lowest rate of his career, it is indicative of the type of pitcher he is. He’s never had a percentage higher than 10.7% across his ten years in the major leagues.

News and Notes

I’ve got no news and notes of importance for the Reds, so please enjoy this clip of the Seattle Mariners clinching a playoff spot for the first time in 21 years. It takes me back to that night on September 28, 2010 when I watched Jay Bruce clinch a long-awaited postseason berth for the Reds. That memory still lives with me, just as this memory will live with Mariners fans the rest of their lives.

And congratulations to Luis Castillo, Eugenio Suárez, and Jesse Winker. I’m all aboard the Seattle bandwagon for the MLB playoffs.

 

47 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Hoping you can bring us a little luck today, Ashley. I’m wondering if we’ll see another stellar performance by Lodolo … and then won’t provide much in terms of offense to back him up. It’s anybody’s guess at this point.

    I guess we see this through until the end, right? I mean … where else are we going to go? 😀

    Time to pony up and beat the Stupid Cubs.

  2. DataDumpster

    Nice clip, Ashley. Also wish the best for the Mariners, that’s why we love this game. Wasn’t following the Reds in 2010 but remember clearly as a young boy the Johnny Bench homer and subsequent wild pitch walk off that brought the Reds to the World Series in 1972.

  3. Daytonnati

    Really happy for Eugenio, Winker, and Castillo.

  4. Kevin H

    Let’s go Seattle Mariners!! Jesse Winker was correct, Seattle is all about winning. Reds not so much.

    Can’t wait to see the mariners beat the reds next season. Go Mariners Go!!

    • Doc

      I guess it is Winker’s .218 BA, <.400 slugging and <.700 OPS that Seattle needed to put them over the top. I’ll be rooting for the Red’s parent club in the playoffs.

      • Kevin H

        Eh, whatever dude. Winker has had a bad year so what. He is a good hitter. Gonna guess you never played major league baseball. So really your comment here has no merit

      • LDS

        Winker does lead the Mariners in BBs and OBP. I’m sure that was the missing ingredient.

      • Greenfield Red

        Kevin, I bet you never played MLB either. Does than mean none of your comments have merit?

        A .218 ba and an OPS under .700 has done little to help the Mariners. Doc was right.

        And no, I did not play major league baseball.

  5. Old-school

    Cowboy did a radio segment and was asked if he were Nick Krall what would he focus on the next 5 months before the start of the 2023 season. He said:
    1.) good veteran starting pitcher
    2.) good veteran reliever(s) plural. He said Diaz needs help and need to take pressure off guys coming back. H e specifically mentioned Antone.
    3.) HE then became very animated and said no one talks about how terrible the defense is this year and the Reds need a center fielder. That would help the pitchers immensely.

    4.) he was asked about an outfield big bat. He said those cost a lot of money and I dont see that. He did say the #1 priority of the franchise is continuing to develop those 3 big young pitchers and continue young pitching.

    I just cant see the Reds going external for a CF. He said I dont care if he cant hit a lick. You need defense in CF. You can tell Cowboy is disgusted with the defense this year.

    • Jim Walker

      If they are not going external for a CF. it is Fairchild or a repurposed Barrero/ EDLC.

      Start with Fairchild and do the repurposing at AAA.

      • Old-school

        It takes a special player to convert and even Billy Hamilton had several years in the minors to adjust. Ive never seen EDLC but he would solve a lot in CF but you have to be proactive and give years for that and bring in Eric Davis to Arizona and have a plan. Maybe thats the right move as i think CF is just as important as SS. Barrero’s non-development has hamstrung things.

      • Jim Walker

        Amen on “years”. We have seen the result of sending a very athletic infield guy (Senzel) out to CF with an abbreviated training time. He wasn’t really that adept at playing the position and kept getting hurt in the process.

    • doofus

      Cowboy voiced his disgust with Reds defense this season a couple of nights ago. He is correct.

      “Tharse no gold in them there gloves.”
      ~ Gabby Hayes

      Farmer has medicore range; ditto India. India also has bad hands and a suspect arm. He is not a secondbaseman. Votto is horrible 1B. The catchers are a collective mess. Senzel in center, meh.

      I still think Senzel should be given a chance to show what he can do at 3B. Siani as the main fly-catcher, possibly. He has got the goods.

      Like to see Ty Stephenson transition to 1B and Krall find a couple of decent backstops. Probably will not happen. That Logan Tanner looks like a real gun-slinger behind the plate.

      • 2020ball

        You dont just “find” a couple decent backstops. Would be nice if they found one so TS could split time, but y’all are making it sound waaaay too easy.

    • Votto4life

      The Reds have been outscored by 149 runs. You could put Willie Mays in CF and they would still be awful.

    • 2020ball

      The defense has been awful this year, he aint wrong

  6. LDS

    Friedl is hitting .333 vs. LH’ers, though small sample size. Reynolds is hitting .214, also a small sample size, though larger than Friedl. RH’ers hit Smyly better .256 to .191 (this year, for his career LH’ers hit about 20+ points higher). But the number of LH’ers vs. Smyly is also a small sample size. Reynolds is RH’d so he plays. For reference, Fairchild’s BA splits are about equal though his OBP & SLG is higher against LH’ers. Also, Aquino hits RH’ers better, .219 to .163, though against the Cubs, I’m not sure it matters – 12 of his 41 HRs are against the Cubs. If you go down the analytics rabbit hole, it really gets messy. I guess that’s why Bell sticks with handedness. It quicker and simpler. All this really points out is just how weak the Reds are at the OF positions. Sell the team Bob or spend some money.

    • Jim Walker

      Fairchild is currently above 100 OPS+ from both sides with roughly the same number of PAs from each. That’s why he is the guy they should have been riding harder to see if he can maintain it.

    • Old-school

      @ LDS, it is a sad state of affairs in the OF when the entire OF in back to back games is a 3 in 3 out platoon…6 man rotation. As Cowboy said, they have to find a defensive CF and that guy plays every day regardless of handedness splits. Reynolds isnt an outfielder but is being used there again. I wonder if the Reds are viewing him as a cheap back up SS and RH utility bat. Farmer would be the obvious choice but costs $4 million more.

      • Jim Walker

        See my comment that went above. Fairchild is above 100 OPS+ from both sides. He seems to be the defensive choice for CF over Friedl when both have played lately.

        His OPB is .341 vs LH pitching and .327 vs RH pitching.

        He is the guy till they come up with someone better.

    • BK

      Friedl had an OPS of .884 vs. RHP and .702 vs. LHP at Louisville this year. We could argue this is a small sample size, but going back to 2019, he maintains a healthy split favoring his matchups against RHP over LHP.

      • LDS

        I agree. I’m with Jim on seeing what Fairchild can actually do. Fraley & AA can both go as far as I’m concerned. I still think AA could come around with decent instruction or an eye exam, but that ship has pretty much sailed. But Fairchild, Friedl, and Senzel are not a competitive OF.

      • BK

        I’d like to see Fairchild play more, too … against both LHP and RHP. He’s solid across the board–defense, running, arm, hitting, and power. The current red flag on him is K-rate. The Reds have missed several chances to see if his MLB K-rate continues to decline with reps.

        I’m perfectly fine with the Reds retaining an outfielder who hits 20 percent better than average (Fraley). That kind of production on the strong side of a platoon brings tremendous value. Fairchild provides an obvious platoon partner. My biggest hangup with Fraley is not his splits, but rather his defense. As a player who came up as a CF, it needs to be better.

        As for AA, if other teams believed they could do as you say, they’ve had two opportunities to claim him–they ALL passed both times. His ship has sailed.

        I think the Reds need to add an outfielder (either externally or transition an infielder internally). Friedl provides value but is best suited as a 4th or 5th OF on a good team.

      • 2020ball

        lol, an eye exam. What in the world are you talking about?

      • 2020ball

        If the Reds decide to let go of one of the only guys on the team having success, theyd be even more of a laughing stock. Letting your bias against platoons, something thats been used in baseball for a century, cloud your judgement is absolutely mind-boggling.

  7. Bet on Red

    yep, going to be a lowkey mariners fan for the next month

  8. LDS

    What happened to Lodolo’s control? Just a few games ago, it was stellar. Now?

  9. Mark Moore

    Kill 2, let the 3rd get on base. SMACK MY FREAKING HEAD!!!

  10. Mark Moore

    And great to see a consistent and accurate zone by th HP Chumpire

    *sarcasm font off*

  11. RedsGettingBetter

    This offense is really pathetic and ashaming., I thinking if the Reds Front Office will not land 2 or 3 respectables hitters in short-term deals by the 2023 season, this team would suffer 110 or more losses in an easy way…

  12. TR

    When your favorite team is not in the playoffs, it’s nice to have another team to root for. That’s the Mariners with Castillo, Winker and Suarez. I’ve been to a couple games at Safeco and what is now called T-Mobile. A real nice ballpark with a movable roof, when needed, to deal with the often drizzly weather in Seattle.

  13. Old-school

    Cowboy and Bobby Nightengale agreed there would be no major acquisitions over the winter. Reds are going to lose 100 again in 2023. They have no one even close to a 3 WAR season…let alone 4-5. They are bad because they have no talent and no one can hit and no one outside of Diaz in the bullpen.

    Krall is not going to invest in 2023. It’s lose again and use 2023 to purge the contracts of moose and Votto and get high draft picks. Long cold winter coming.

    • LDS

      Nightingale? Sounds like a leak from the front office confirming everyone’s expectations. Maybe I’m selling the guy short, but his Enquirer columns often sound like press releases from the Reds organization.

  14. Mark Moore

    We’re at my daughter’s place. She saw Fairchild checking his notes and asked if maybe he has a 6th grade science test on Monday.

    😀

  15. Dennis Westrick

    Tuned in late! See the One Run Reds are about to suffer loss No, 98

  16. Old-school

    Im tapping the brakes on my India extension suggestion.

    See what the baseball looks like in 2023.

    • 2020ball

      I think this is prudent, he’s been decidedly average this year on both sides of the ball

      • Old-school

        Reds have a talent problem. They’ve been absent in Latin American since Aroldis and cueto and Geno. Alf Rod? Barrero a reasonable gamble. They did acquire some great Latin talent through trades and maybe struck gold with EDLC. IF you dont have a 200 mil budget, you need to stock the pipeline.

        Marte and EDLC and Arroyo look promising.
        Maybe Reds need to spend more capital there. The MLB draft is a crap shoot after pick 5.

  17. LDS

    100 is about guaranteed. ThevReds now need 3 of 4 to avoid it. Hard to imagine that.

  18. Kevin H

    So it was play the young guys, play the young guys

    Now it’s the reds have no talent. LOL

    Man can’t have it both ways people.

    • LDS

      Still think playing the young guys is the right answer. And I think they have talent. I just think they do a lousy job of developing that talent. Too many fundamental deficits.

    • Old-school

      Shogo Akiyama $24 million and nothing
      Mike Moustakis $64 million and nothing
      Joey Votto $57 million in exit fees 2022/23 and nothing

      Thats a talent problem and a finance problem. $144 million why 2022-23 isnt working. Reds cant absorbs contract like that with no production