The Evil Empire is heading to Cincinnati for a 3-game series this weekend. The Reds will don their city connect uniforms tonight for the first time of the season as they welcome in the New York Yankees. Cincinnati will look to continue their home magic, where they are 12-9 on the season, and take advantage of the Yankees road woes (9-10 on the season). Tonight’s first pitch is set for 6:40pm ET.

Starting Lineups

New York Yankees

Cincinnati Reds

Jake Bauers – LF Jonathan India – 2B
Aaron Judge – RF Matt McLain – SS
Anthony Rizzo – 1B Jake Fraley –  LF
Gleyber Torres – 2B Spencer Steer – 1B
Willie Calhoun – DH Tyler Stephenson – C
Anthony Volpe – SS Nick Senzel – 3B
Oswaldo Cabrera – 3B Henry Ramos – DH
Kyle Higashioka – C Wil Myers – RF
Aaron Hicks – CF Jose Barrero – CF
Clarke Schmidt – RHP Ben Lively – RHP

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB K
Ben Lively 5.1 1.69 0.94 0 2
Clarke Schmidt 40.0 6.30 1.65 14 48
Links: Ben Lively’s Stats | Clarke Schmidt’s Stats

Ben Lively

It’s been a good season for Ben Lively between Triple-A and the big leagues. He’s come back to the US after spending time in Korea and he’s throwing six different pitches and mixing them up well and it’s led to good results early on.

This season right-handed hitters have had more success against him – walking more often and hitting for a little bit more power in the process. Left-handed hitters haven’t done much of anything against him as they are hitting .171 and have an OPS against him of just .502 so far.

Splits (AAA & MLB)

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 86 18 3 1 1 8 13 .237 .314 .342
LHH 44 7 2 0 1 2 6 .171 .209 .293

Pitch Usage (AAA & MLB)

4-seam 2-seam Cutter Curve Slider Change
Velo 91.4 91.3 88.8 75.7 80.5 84.4
Usage 32% 20% 12% 11% 19% 6%

Clarke Schmidt

It’s been a tough year for Clarke Schmidt as his ERA currently sits above 6.00. His May had gotten out to a good start after allowing just two earned runs in 10.1 innings over his first two starts, but his last time out saw Tampa Bay put up seven runs against him in just 4.2 innings.

This season he’s pitched fairly well against right-handed hitters. They’ve hit for a little bit of power against him, but he’s not walking any of them, limiting contact, and they are hitting just .250. Left-handed hitters, though, are absolutely crushing the ball against him. They’re hitting .369, drawing walks, and hitting for tons of power against him. Historically he’s had big splits with lefties doing plenty of damage, but not quite as much as they’ve done so far in 2023.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 91 21 7 0 3 4 27 .250 .286 .441
LHH 96 31 8 1 5 10 21 .369 .438 .667

Pitch Usage

2-Seam Cutter Curve Slider Change
Velo 94.8 92.4 84.1 86.8 90.2
Usage 26% 22% 20% 29% 3%

When and Where

  • Game time: 6:40pm ET
  • Where: Great American Ball Park
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: 76°, cloudy, 15% chance of rain

News and Notes

Matt McLain’s rise

In today’s Reds Notebook we talked about how a swing change has helped lead to the rise of Matt McLain, going from a solid hitter with some issues in Double-A to the guy who destroyed Triple-A and had the best OPS in minor league baseball before being called up.

Elly De La Cruz is awaiting his call up

After getting on base three more times last night in Louisville, Elly De La Cruz says he’s ready and just waiting for his call up. He’s hit .360/.453/.733 in his last 95 plate appearances for the Bats after a 1-21 start to the year when he came off of the injured list.

Is Nick Senzel having a true breakthrough?

Matt Wilkes looks at Senzel’s season so far over at Reds Content Plus to see if he’s having a real breakout or not. There are some good signs and some not so good ones, but it’s also still quite early in the year, so it’s tough to know if signs in either direction are real or just noise at this point.

Standings

Team W L GB Playoff Odds
Brewers 24 19 0.0 66.3%
Pirates 23 20 1.0 13.3%
Reds 19 24 5.0 1.8%
Cubs 19 24 5.0 14.7%
Cardinals 19 26 6.0 40.9%
Playoff Odds via Fangraphs

114 Responses

  1. Melvin

    “After getting on base three more times last night in Louisville, Elly De La Cruz says he’s ready and just waiting for his call up.”

    Doesn’t he know Big Bob and Company don’t like pressure like that? lol Personally I like what he said. If he does come up I have no idea how they’re going to do it. I know De La Cruz won’t take a back seat…and he shouldn’t.

  2. Votto4life

    I’m here to root against the evil empire.

  3. Mark A Verticchio

    Facing a right handed pitcher and Reds have 2 left handed bats. They need to get Friedl back and to call up EDLC.

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    With the inminent return of Friedl from IL, plus the call ups of EDLC and CES, I guess that the days of Myers, Ramos and one of the back up catchers in the active roster are counted.

  5. Bet on Red

    the rebel alliance faces the evil empire

    • Daytonnati

      Seems like, if they wanted to go monochrome, they would have gone all-Red, you know? Cincinnati Reds and all …

  6. Melvin

    Some fan is happy out there in RCF with a Judge HR ball. 🙂

    • JB

      It’s like a little league field to Judge

  7. Mark Moore

    How far did the Judge blast go? I’m just tuning in.

    Personally, I like the look of the uniforms. Still contemplating getting some of that gear.

    • Melvin

      Right Center not too far I think. Just a solid hit.

    • JB

      Can’t remember but Paul O’Neill said it was over 400 ft

  8. Melvin

    These black uniforms are cool in one sense I guess but they kind of make us look like cat burglars. 🙂

    • Mark Moore

      That’s funny right there …

      +500

  9. Mark Moore

    Looks to me like Schmidt is dancing off the rubber. Anybody else seeing that?

  10. Dennis Westrick

    In my post earlier elsewhere on this site I said “As much s I detest walks, I’m OK with the Reds walking Judge every at bat tonight!” I guess Bell did not take my suggestion!

    • Melvin

      Now see. The one time you wanted them to they wouldn’t do it. 😀

  11. LDS

    Rough start for McLain, 5 SOS in 9 ABs. Does he get time to develop or does he get the bench in favor of Newman?

  12. Mark A Verticchio

    Stephenson continues to struggle, double play on a 3-1 pitch. Even Larkin hints he isn’t ready to hit on that 3-1 pitch.

  13. JB

    I missed Law going on IL. Who was brought up and what happened to Law?

    • Mark Moore

      What? I didn’t see that either. There goes our opener.

    • JayTheRed

      It was said on the television broadcast. They didn’t say who got called up though.

    • Melvin

      Seeing eye single but it counts. 🙂

  14. Mark Moore

    Glad to see that day off has everybody rested and ready to play. This is NOT a great Yankees team … especially their starting rotation. Our challenge scoring continues.

    • JB

      Law on 15 day IL with right elbow sprain

  15. Mark A Verticchio

    2 on nobody out and what happens = nothing. This team has to be better than that.

    • Melvin

      If you can’t hit you need to bunt. Make something happen.

  16. Melvin

    Mr. Speedster Mr. McLain. Good infield hit. 🙂

  17. Mark Moore

    Chumpire’s zone is a little flexible tonight, no?

  18. J

    Those long-ago days when the Reds were actually enthusiastic about stealing bases at seemingly every opportunity gave me a false sense of optimism. This team is being run as if it’s full of guys who can be counted on to hit three run homers.

  19. Mark Moore

    Pretty efficient 5 innings for Lively. Now if the boys would back him with some Crooked Numbers … 😀

  20. Mark Moore

    I was thinking Freddie B. was going to be taking over there 😛

  21. Bet on Red

    Well that ejection made sense /s

  22. Mark A Verticchio

    I think Bell had a good point. If he had to wash something off his hands that was illegal, why is he still in the game? Regardless this Reds offense is horrible.

    • Mark Moore

      Yep. It’s either a banned substance and you’re out or it isn’t.

    • JayTheRed

      I have seen several odd ejections by umpires. Bell was not yelling at him or swearing at him from what I could tell. Umpires need to be more held accountable for ejections and their inability to call strikes this year.

  23. Dennis Westrick

    Why does this Reds team struggle against a pitcher with a pre-game ERA north of 6?

  24. Dennis Westrick

    Reds need to “get busy” scoring some runs! All other NL Central Division teams are currently winning except for the Dirty Birds who play the Dodgers later this evening!

  25. Mark Moore

    Set up almost behind the RH batter’s box and call one 10 inches off the plate a strike. I’ve really had it with that kind of garbage. Zero accountability for improving and getting it right.

    • JB

      Yeah this guy’s strike zone is all over the place

    • Melvin

      I want to try the “challenge system”.

  26. Melvin

    Can’t complain about the pitching so far. This is even better than Williamson the other night. Lively looking good. Oh come on Freddy. Don’t take him out now. 🙂 He just retired 15 in a row and pitched around Judge….on purpose. Hope it works.

  27. MBS

    Nice starts from some unlikely people, Williamson, and now Lively.

    • Old time red

      Pitching changes like this one are one of the primary reasons are relief core is gassed, or on the IL.

  28. Mark Moore

    Mistake there to Rizzo. Big one.

  29. Hanawi

    Absolute zero reason to take Lively out of the game.

    • J

      I thought for sure it was a left-lefty thing, which would have made it stupid enough, but I gave them too much credit. This stupid team can’t get out of its own stupid way.

  30. J

    Everyone on the planet could predict this outcome except Reds’ management. You’ve got a guy cruising along, making absolutely perfect pitches, but you just HAVE to take him out because you’re soooooo smart. This organization is run by idiots.

    • VaRedsFan

      This is why Freddie B. shouldn’t be their next manager. He pulled guys like Bell does when he filled in the last time. Bell 2.0

      • J

        You can be pretty sure Bell made that call from wherever he is.

      • Mark Moore

        He followed Handy DT Bell’s script on that one. I get they are limiting Lively’s pitches, but … C’MON, MAN!!! 😮

  31. Mark A Verticchio

    That was one of the dumbest moves the Reds have made all year. I am sure it was a Bell call. Lively did the right thing and stayed away form Judge, his reward was to be taken out of the game. This madness has to end.

    • J

      Threw two absolutely perfect pitches and was removed.

  32. Mark Moore

    We really had better convert here. I mean REALLY.

    • J

      Strike out, pop up, fly ball caught at the wall?

  33. VaRedsFan

    If you gonna take him out….why not bring in Young to face Rizzo?

  34. Mark Moore

    WLW audio feed is about half the pitch ahead.

  35. JB

    Boone brings in a Righty against Fraley. Looks like Bell has company for dumb moves award

  36. DataDumpster

    Looks like he had a predetermined budget of 80 pitches as determined by David Bell and to be enforced by Freddie. Judge came up with 78, Freddie was squirming in the dugout according to Thrall. When Judge was walked, there was no hesitation to take him out even though Lively made a very good effort to get him out.
    With moves like these, the “rest” days after getting hot, the strict adherence to the handedness paradigm, I really believe that the way this is team is managed is by autopilot 85% of the time. The only exception seems to be when Bell gets a hunch which usually results in a failed SB attempt or early stage substitution.

    • LDS

      A young programmer from a 6 week boot camp could write a program to replace Bell without breaking a sweat. A monkey throwing darts ….

  37. Beaufort Red

    Stephenson isn’t that great a defensive catcher and isn’t a good enough hitter to DH. What to do

    • Ted Alfred

      Like I keep saying every other day… trade him now while he still has a
      little value left. He’s not the answer at catcher, DH or anywhere else.

    • Mark Moore

      I’m baffled. It’s like he’s still timid in his approach after the surgery.

  38. Mark Moore

    Sitting right at the edge between the batter and the plate … and he STILL can’t get the call right. 3+ inches inside.

    Of course, we didn’t help our own cause much there. Even TySteve’s dribbler had a positive effect. The two backwards K’s killed us.

  39. J

    “Why is Stephenson hitting fifth?”
    “He’s my number five hitter.”
    “Why are guys taking strike 3 in situations where striking out is the worst possible thing?”
    “Guys are being selective and swinging at pitches they like.”
    “Why are you losing so many close games?”
    “Just bad luck.”

  40. Mark A Verticchio

    If he is catching he should bat 8th or 9th and if he isn’t catching, right now, he should not be in the line up. First and third nobody out they don’t score. Please bring up some real hitters.

  41. Dennis Westrick

    Runner at 3rd, NO outs and left there! Then runners at 2nd & 3rd with less than 2 outs and abandoned as well. Simply cannot consistently fail to drive in runners that are in scoring position, especially 3rd base and expect to win against good teams!

  42. Mark Moore

    And the Little League play begins

    • JB

      Honestly why is Gibaut still in? Nothing against him but Bell pulls Lively after a walk.

  43. Dennis Westrick

    Lucky! Lucky! Lucky! Mr. Gibaut!

  44. Indy Red Man

    Fairchild has 2 hits and 3 rbis and you pull him for Jose can I see strike 3? You don’t beat the Evil Empire with a gnome

  45. Votto4life

    How is this home plate umpire looking on TV?

    • Mark Moore

      Consistently terrible. Zone has been 10″ too wide at points. He’s missed calls on the near side where he’s set up that were 3″ off the plate. It’s gone both ways, but it’s a clear example of the Flex-o-Zone tonight.

      • Votto4life

        Thanks Mark. It looked that way from section 521 just wanted to make sure.

  46. LT

    What’s with the taking 3rd strike call? Is Votto telling these hitters to do that?

  47. Mark Moore

    BTW, my dear wife says the unis look like prison wear 😀

    • Melvin

      Haha I’m sure they’re cool as something different. I wouldn’t want to see them all the time though. I’m sure the players wouldn’t want to wear them in the daylight. Black attracts heat and so does red for that matter. White is better for the hot sunny days. We can pretend like we’re “stealth” while wearing these. 🙂

      • Mark Moore

        Cowboy was saying India was on the SS side of 2B … but it was the umpire 😉

  48. Mark Moore

    I know it isn’t technically hopeless here … but it sure feels that way. Staring down the barrel of yet another 1-run loss because we couldn’t score when the opportunities presented themselves. SMH Very Hard and Repeatedly!

    • LDS

      Relax Mark, it may well be more than 1-run real soon

    • Melvin

      Well don’t hurt yourself doing that. It’s not worth it. 🙂

  49. J

    On a different team, after the hitters had made about a million outs on check swings with two strikes, you might imagine the manager would say “hey, guys, let’s try not to do that anymore.” On this team, the manager is too busy to be bothered with such trivial details.

  50. Mark A Verticchio

    Fairchild and Stephenson are not good hitters.

  51. Beaufort Red

    Man LDS’s hatred for McClain is borderline obsessive compulsive. Don’t know what’s worse, that or his never ending devotion to Barrero. Freaky

    • LDS

      @Beaufort, where do you get that? It’s not McLain I’m laughing at. It’s all the folks here that lack patience. Tonight it’s time to dump Stephenson. So what if he’s coming back from an injury. He should be hitting .300+ with 20 HRs. Trade the bum. A couple of weeks ago, folks here were lauding Senzel sudden resurgence. Now that he’s fallen back to earth, trade that bum too. It’s not devotion to Barrero. It’s a practical view of player development. It takes time for most players. Starting once in a while, 2 out of 3 whatever isn’t going to get there.

    • DW

      I haven’t read all the comments over the last week or so, so I may have missed something, but I have only interpreted LDS’s comments as being frustrated with the lack of patience in developing young players. Those comments have been towards both the Reds organization and many of the commenters on here, which I personally agree with both.

      I don’t recall him hating McLain. In fact, I would bet he is rooting for McLain to succeed. He is just pointing out how impatient many people on here are and how the Reds have mismanaged the development of their young players.

      I guess you need to give examples to back up your snide comments.

  52. Mark Moore

    LDS was correct … and that’s a Clete for me.

    Maybe tomorrow, right?

  53. JB

    3-2 game you bring in your worst relief pitcher. SMH

  54. J

    Everyone in the bullpen is available, and in a game that was still potentially winnable, you decided to go with the guy who last pitched well in 2018. And of course the only reason you’re not in a save situation is that you refused to allow your starter to continue cruising along for at least one more hitter.

  55. DataDumpster

    …and those two runs were scored as a result of the bases on balls…
    Ahem.

  56. Mark A Verticchio

    Ball game is over 19 and 25. If things don’t improve in a hurry, when you consider the upcoming schedule and the injuries, this season will over before June. That may actually be good, maybe then they will bring everybody up and cut ties with the dead weight. The bull pen really gave it up tonight.

  57. LDS

    That Myers investment is really paying off

  58. VaRedsFan

    Catching up here…why was Bracho used in a 3-2 game in the 9th?

    • J

      Because there’s no accountability with this team and managers don’t have to do anything that makes any sense to anyone.

  59. LDS

    It’s up to the Dodgers to keep the Reds out of last place. It’s sad to pull for those guys.

  60. Mark A Verticchio

    The Reds need to win the next two and have some momentum for the St. Louis series. But, let’s be honest this team has way way way to much dead weight; Ramos, Fairchild, Newman, Barrero, Maile and Myers. That is almost half of there available hitters and when you throw in Casseli and Stephenson that’s 8 players who seldom if ever get a hit.

    • VegasRed

      Bell. You forgot Bell. He is dead weight.

      Barrero is not dead weight. He is dead to those of you who don’t want to wait until he has proven whether he is a mlb player. Remember, if Barrero can establish himself as a mlb player, then he is an asset.

      So he could be exchanged for a different assset. That’s a good thing.

  61. Mark

    Fairchild Myers Ramos and Stevenson need to go all 4 are horrible hitters and need released or traded .

    • DW

      Stephenson is a good hitter who is struggling right now. Slumps happen. Periods of struggle happen. This is especially true with young guys.

      • Melvin

        …and when they’re coming back from injury. I kind of think maybe he came back too early.

      • TR

        I agree. Especially coming back after injury to a tough position like catching. Patience, certainly the rest of the year, with Stephenson will probably be a positive. He’s a natural meet-the-ball type hitter.

    • Votto4life

      I don’t think we are going to be able to judge Stephenson until next season. To me it’s similar to the Suarez situation. Hopefully, next year he will hit with more authority.

      I agree with you 100% on Fairchild, Meyers and Ramos. I would add Casali to that list. I’m still not sure why the Reds are carrying three catchers.

  62. Votto4life

    We left after the Yankees scored in the 8th. Nice to see the ballpark with fans in the seats, even if half were Yankee fans. Lively pitched a really nice game. I was baffled why he was lifted for another right hander to face Rizzo, but the result was predictable. Nice evening, but crappy result.