After splitting a series with the Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds are hitting the road to take on the Chicago Cubs for a 3-game series in The Windy City. Today and Sunday will both be afternoon games, with today’s first pitch set for 2:20pm ET.
|Jonathan India – 2B||Nico Hoerner – 2B|
|Matt McLain – SS||Dansby Swanson – SS|
|Spencer Steer – 1B||Mike Tauchman – CF|
|Tyler Stephenson – DH||Ian Happ – LF|
|Nick Senzel – LF||Trey Mancini – DH|
|Stuart Fairchild – RF||Christopher Morel – RF|
|Kevin Newman – 3B||Matt Mervis – 1B|
|Jose Barrero – CF||Miles Mastrobuoni – 3B|
|Curt Casali – C||Tucker Barnhart – C|
|Hunter Greene – RHP||Justin Steele – LHP|
|Links: Hunter Greene’s Stats | Justin Steele’s Stats
There have been a lot of strikeouts for Hunter Greene in his last two starts, but he’s also allowed 10 earned runs in 11.0 innings. After allowing just one home run in April he’s allowed seven of them through four starts in May. He’ll look to improve on both of those things this afternoon against the Cubs.
Right-handed hitters are hitting very well against Hunter Greene this year, posting a .988 OPS against him. They aren’t walking much, but they are picking up plenty of hits and hitting for a lot of power against him. Lefties are not having nearly the same kind of success, posting just a .666 OPS while striking out significantly more.
After breaking out last year for the Cubs, 27-year-old Justin Steele has taken things to another level in 2023. He currently leads the National League in wins and he has a 2.20 ERA through 10 starts. He’s allowed just two home runs in 61.1 innings this season.
Left-handed hitters have had more success this season against the left-handed Steele, but that could also be a bit misleading because not many lefties are given the chance to face him – so he’s only facing the best left-handed hitters in a lineup. Even still, those guys aren’t performing particularly well against him this year – posting a .652 OPS. That’s better than right-handed hitters have done, though, with a .565 OPS against him. Righties have made contact at a solid clip, but they have not been able to do much when they do put the bat on the ball.
When and Where
- Game time: 2:20pm ET
- Where: Wrigley Field
- Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv, MLB Network
- Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
- Forecast: 61°, sunny, 0% chance of rain
News and Notes
Roster moves incoming!
Wil Myers has been placed on the 10-day injured list as he deals with kidney stones. The Reds also activated reliever Fernando Cruz from the injured list (strained shoulder). Will Benson has been recalled from Triple-A Louisville, and reliever Alan Busenitz was optioned to Triple-A. You can read more about the moves here if that’s something that would interest you.
Elly De La Cruz will be the face of baseball
Last night saw another big game from Elly De La Cruz. He hit a home run to Canada, or at least that’s how far the Syracuse Mets broadcaster thought it went. He would also note that he felt that De La Cruz was going to be the face of baseball very soon. Needless to say, but I’m going to say it – he was impressed.
The Louisville Bats are over .500!
Last night saw the Louisville Bats beat the Syracuse Mets in extra innings. The win moved the Bats to 24-23 on the season. It marked the first time Louisville had been over the .500 mark at any point in any season since July 27th of 2016. Just an incredible streak of bad baseball. Tons more details about just how bad it’s been for the Bats here if you want to read all about it.
|Playoff Odds via Fangraphs|
I’ll have the game up but the volume down until my afternoon meetings are done right around 3PM.
Here’s to kicking the Stupid Cubs across Waveland, dragging them back, and doing it again.
I hope Senzel can manage LF in Wrigley today. I’m not expecting it to be a misplaced Yonder Alonzo out there … but that’s not an easy place in that park by any stretch.
Alright! We got Benson back! Stay down there De La Cruz. You’re not ready yet. 😀
It looks to me like the wheels may be starting to slowly move for a call up of either ELDC or CES though. Meyers being out may cloud the situation; but, appearances are Senzel is now being targeted as Fraley’s platoon buddy thus opening up 3B.
Once 3B is open any and all sorts of things can happen. ELDC or CES could play there. Alternatively Steer could move back to 3B to open 1B for CES. Or, McLain could be moved to 3B to open SS for EDLC.
Wow… a lineup with those hitters 4-9?
Where is Fraley and Friedl? Never mind…I know…the all knowing David Bell.
Meanwhile, this from Doug’s pregame analysis: Left-handed hitters have had more success this season against the left-handed Steele.
I give up…. quite a pathetic four through nine batting order. Plus we have Senzel in LF and Newman at 3rd…we’ll see how it goes
It’s the key word. I was hoping that having a better chance to win might actually be a consideration at some point. Silly me. Last place is no big deal right? Somebody has to be there. 🙂
“Meanwhile, this from Doug’s pregame analysis: Left-handed hitters have had more success this season against the left-handed Steele.”
David Bell is exhausting. Truly
Last time yall complained the Reds scored 10 runs
Interesting thought, Jim.
See…it helps. 🙂 I know that you 2020 would be waaay above “complaining”. lol 😀
Sometimes it’s a good idea to wait and see what happens in the game, don’t you think?
lol, I’m just always right when I do it 😉
Ten hits and counting from those guys.
“lol, I’m just always right when I do it ?”
Can you teach me how to be “always right”? 🙂
If you can play center, you can play left. Anywhere. Senzel needs to get comfortable out in the outfield corner positions if he wants to keep getting AB’s in the future with younger, cheaper players moving up. 15md
If Senzel wants to stay with the Reds he needs to get comfortable playing everywhere except pitcher and catcher. He’s not going to take away a regular playing spot from one of these young guys coming up.
McLain is impressive. Another infield single.
…and Steer again with a triple. 🙂 They make a good combo in the order.
a good aggressive start to the game
I like this start to the afternoon.
So far so good. 🙂
but the lineupz!
I see Bell went with his handedness line up again. Is Bell even vaguely aware that Friedl is hitting .300 against LH’ers? Or that Barrero, despite being RH, hits RH’ers about 70 points higher than LH’ers? Is he just innumerate or clueless? It’s really hard to figure out which.
Well, you could always stop obsessing about it.
Not an obsession. An observation- one that lays to rest the myth that Bell and/or the Reds are in any way analytical.
It’s an obsession.
HOF’er Ian Happ pops out
Highest OPS vs. Reds since 1906 (Min 300 PA)
Rizzo gotta be up there as well.
Braun, Pujols, McCutchen too
Nice to see the Reds jump out to an early lead and then add one on. Need a quick inning from Greene in one of the next couple to get him through 6 and to a rested bullpen.
Does anyone think the musical chairs that Bell does constantly might contribute to being at or near the bottom in defensive statistics? This also impacts pitcher performance too. 16g
Not thrilled with the pitch count, but at least we’re getting it done and finally backing him. Here’s hoping Greene gets that elusive first win for 2023.
I like Greene’s slider at 84, which he just threw, rather than the 89-92.
Keeps hitters way more off-balanced.
Chris Welsh’s point about Greene on 0-2 pitches is very valid. The eye test tells me that Greene misses badly on many of his two-strike pitches. That’s when you want the batter to chase because they look close to the zone, but aren’t actually in the zone. Greene more often than not, with two strikes, is not close enough to the zone to entice the batter to chase. That’s one of the reasons the pitch counts are typically high for Greene, and he has to figure out a way to reverse that trend.
Cubs are Cubbing
Welcome back Tyler Stephenson. Join the young offense.
Holy Freaking CRAP!!!
This really feels good to watch this. Even Casali scores on that one. Got to love it.
And maybe TySteve is on the upswing afterall.
Did we really think TS wasn’t going to turn it around at some point?
I didn’t really. Any hesitance came from not knowing what recovery from his collar bone surgery meant for his swing/power/etc.
k gotcha, makes sense
I know you’ve always loved those “stupid Cubs” as you put it. It’s probably killing you. haha
Tyler Stephenson getting hot!!
Weaver like “Where was all this yesterday?”
Question for Doug: I don’t watch the minors so I have no idea — is de la Cruz better defensively at shortstop than McLain? McLain so far has made all the plays, even the tough ones.
Doug posted yesterday that defensively: Barrero>EDLC>McLain.
That’s saying something because McLain is pretty good.
It was actually Barrero>EDLC>>McClain
That extra greater than is important
I think this was touched on already, however Senzel in Left Field the last two games makes me wonder if De La Cruz is close to be called up to play 3rd?
I still think Hopkins deserves a shot over Benson at this point.
3B was always the best slot to open for him, or the spot to open so he could play SS. My guess is we will see McClain there and EDLC at SS. I’m not that concerned with the combination, but Elly is the best defender so that’s what I’m hoping for. I think the CF idea is a terrible choice.
Benson’s on the 40 and there’s no reason to kill our thin depth in the OF. Hopkins will get his chance.
Good comment, and I believe your correct. Just frustrating, however in time as you said.
A change up would be great right about now
Greene’s gonna be lucky to get through five.
I’m moreso thinking he’s going to get that rare 200 pitch no-hitter.
The Jim Maloney Special! 🙂
Yep…already at 86 pitches through four.
Yep, I agree. The next step for Greene is to figure out how to keep the pitch count down.
Greene hasn’t allowed a hit so far through 4 innings. Can he go 2 more innings? Stay tuned.
Pitching great though
He’ll likely be around 100 pitches by the end of five innings.
I was thinking could he be good for 110 pitches today? Not sure as your right he will around 100 pitches after 5
10Ks after 4.2
Not only in YTD batting average, but in dollars paid per point of OPS, Kevin Newman > Dansby Swanson. Little things.
Girardi in the Cubs booth. He really provides good insight.
Casali…1st time catching Greene this year.
Coincidence or not, he’s pressing the right buttons today (so far)
Brilliant he threw the change up for strike 3
Maybe we should let Greene hit for himself and DH for Casali. 🙂
2 more outs for his first win of the season – assuming the Reds don’t choke.
What a terrific outing by Hunter Greene.
All Steer needs is a dinger for his cycle today. That would be extra sweet.
McClain and the Batboy are the same height 😮
McLain just looks lost at the plate, probably could use some more time becoming the best AAA player that he can be.
In all seriousness, not too happy with that out at the plate.
Was it a bad tag up to try and score? I assume yes?
Not really….he was safe by a mile…Brain cramp by not dropping the hand.
That’s a borderline TOOTBLAN in my book.
Yes…should have dragged the hand across the plate.
Lesson learned hopefully.
Did he miss the plate? I didn’t see a tag.
He did. Completely.
Started a little late but in spite of the pitch count, I think Greene has his best movement and placement in any of the games I’ve seen this year. The Cubs are also terribly late so his speed must be good also. Looks like he’s primed for at least 6 hitless innings. The only downside is, as I suspected, the catcher is Casali. Looks like that 3 catcher “system” is still in blocking mode. On the other hand, have to be excited about the hit parade today and 2 days prior.
Six innings no runs from Hunter Greene is something we’ll take every time. 🙂
No hits as well. Woohoo lol
You really have to wonder if Casali catching made a difference for Greene.
I wonder the same thing, but the Cubs are making a lot of Reds well today. Barrero is looking like a hitter today.
Casali’s catching ERA is keeping him on the team. He’s two full runs below Stephenson and Maile in catcher’s ERA.
I dont know
Castillo was a different pitcher one year with ERA splits Casali v barnhart
Fairchild quietly had a pretty good homestand and is off to a strong start today (3/4, 2x 2B).
On the concluded homestand in 17PAs, his AVE/OBP/SLG/OPS was .313/.353/.375/.728 which was good for a 107 OPS+.
He hit 8 balls in play with an EV of at least 90mph, with 4 of them at 95mph or higher. his only downer was a 29% KRate (5) against a 6% BBRate. Ironically, 2 of his 5 hits were EV’s below 90mph.
I haven’t found a source that breaks out his PAs by handedness for just the last week but on the season, Fairchild now has more PAs in games started by RH pitchers than in games started by LH pitchers.
As self-proclaimed VP of the RLN Stuart Fairchild Fanclub (Jim, of course, is President w/out term limit), he’s one of the better fourth outfielders in the league and could start on a number of teams. I’m always baffled when he appears on peoples’ amateur GM DFA lists. Speed, solid defense, good bat (hits both sides well), inexpensive, and an option remaining–a lot of value as a bench player.
May I be 2nd VP – have always thought he was an ideal 5th OFer, and agree that he’s moving up to a 4th/platoon OFer. Yes to all the attributes listed, and he’s good on lots of the secondary analytics measures as well, and has been throughout his time in MiLB. Just a good ballplayer for being a pre-teen.
I’d take him over Myers any day.
I bet other teams would take him over one of their starting outfielders, too.
Great offensive day for Steer, Stephenson and Fairchild, the latter finally showing signs of turning the corner.
Don’t forget Newman. No flies on him, lately.
Newman, if I’m not mistaken, has had two hits in his last three games. If he keeps that up I’ll become a Newman fan. Promise. 🙂 I can live with two hits a game.
Newman’s two doubles were strong and he is a real gamer
Even early in the season when Fairchild was scuffling to keep his BA above .200, he had reasonably strong quality of contact Statcast metrics (EV/ Barrels/ Sweetspots) and walked enough to keep his OBP in the .330-.360 range.
Then he fell off somewhat with very irregular and inconsistent playing time. However about 10 days to 2 weeks ago, it seemed that half or nearly half of the balls he was putting in play were getting back above 90 in EV. It has been a fortunate thing for him and the team that the last week afforded him the chance to start getting 3-4 PAs a game while playing in 5 of 7 games.
Cub reliever channeling Ricky Vaughn.
Team No-no today?
Not anymore: You just jinxed it.
McLain since being called up .308/.400/.564 Not too bad. 🙂
Yep, he really showed no weaknesses at AAA. It’s amazing how much he improved in the off-season.
OBP now .413 🙂
India injured or is Bell simply being Bell?
Bell is being Bell: up 7-0 in the 8th he puts in his best defensive configuration. He also moved Senzel to third and replaced him in left with Benson. It’s just possible that other MLB managers would do the same thing. If the game gets close, he’s still got Fraley and Friedl to hit if needed.
Some people complain about the dumbest thing.
If the games gets close, the Reds have a bigger problem. I’ve not seen Benson’s defensive profile
@Beaufort, questions aren’t complaints.
After his walk in his last at-bat, McLain’s OPS is .977.
Benson singles!!! Good for him
Benson with a bloop base hit. Woohoo! 🙂 I know he’s at least trying hard.
McLain is going to be one of those pain in the a$& players other teams hate
Enjoy the 9-0 shellacking at Wrigley Reds fans. Weve earned it
Yep and as we saw in that monumental PA the other night, even when he doesn’t reach, he can land the body punches that help lead to eventually getting a guy off the mound.
Providing good health of course he could be a good one for a LONG time. The Reds drafted well when they drafted him
Almost as much fun as beating the Cardinals. A solid six for HG.
Injured or not I know Barrero doesn’t feel good. It was his ball. He’s the CF but he has to call Benson off. Don’t know what happened.
Barrero is tough/durable. Poor Senzel would have been out at least a month on that one.
A great win today