After a thrilling pitching duel Friday night in which the Cincinnati Reds (35-35) came away with the victory 2-1 against the Houston Astros (39-31), these two teams meet up again in the second game of this three game series with the defending World Series champions at Minute Maid Park. First pitch is at 4:10 pm EDT.
|CF T.J Friedl||LF Corey Julks|
|SS Matt McLain||2B Jose Altuve|
|2B Jonathan India||3B Alex Bregman|
|3B Elly De La Cruz||RF Kyle Tucker|
|1B Spencer Steer||DH José Abreu|
|DH Tyler Stephenson||C Yainer Diaz|
|RF Will Benson||SS Jeremy Peña|
|LF Nick Senzel||CF Jake Meyers|
|C Curt Casali||1B Grae Kessinger|
|Links: Hunter Greene’s Stats | Brandon Bielak’s Stats
I’ve come to accept that Hunter Greene is just not one of a pitcher who can pitch efficiently, at least not right now. Can he be that pitcher? Yes, because location and command is something that can be learned even at the big league level, and Greene is still 23 years old and only in his sophomore season. You know what he does do well though? He gets outs–just look at his strike out rate. Greene’s K% is at 33.2%, almost three percentage points higher than his rookie season. Think about that for a second. He’s striking out 33 percent of the batters he faces. That’s really good.
One difference from last season is that Greene’s BABIP currently sits at .353, which is kind of high. In 2022, it was at .281. More batters are putting the ball in play against him now; however, more of those balls are ground balls instead of fly balls. His ground ball percentage is at 32.7% compared to 29.3% last year. His fly ball percentage is down to 46.9% from 48.5% a year ago, and his HR/FB rate is at 10.5% compared to 16.1% in 2022.
Right-hander Brandon Bielak was an 11th round draft pick by the Astros in 2017. He made his debut in 2020 and got shelled during the shortened season, giving up 24 earned runs in 32 innings. He’s been up and down between Triple-A and the big league club over the last three seasons. In 2021 and 2022, Bielak mainly pitched out of the bullpen, only starting two games out of 33 appearances, and pitching to a 4.50 and a 3.65 ERA in those respective years. However, this season, with the departure of Justin Verlander in the off-season, the Astros have slotted Bielak into the fifth starting spot. He’s started seven of the eight games he’s appeared in 2023 and is eight innings shy of the most innings he’s pitched at the major league level.
In his short career, Bielak has pitched better to left-handed batters. Right-handed batters have a career .300 batting average and a .951 OPS in 330 plate appearances. However, this season, it’s the lefties that are hitting better against him. Left-handed batters have a .953 OPS against him in 2023 compared to a .893 OPS against right-handed hitters. He’s also striking out right-handed hitters a lot less than lefties this year, which has not been the case for his career overall.
- Time: 4:10 EDT
- Place: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
- TV: Bally Sports Ohio
- Radio: 700 WLW
- Roof Status: Closed
News and Notes
Minor League Update
Rece Hinds is still raking at Chattanooga, and an update on the rehab assignments at Lousiville.
Will the Reds be Buyers at the Trade Deadline?
With the Reds now being a half game out of first place, the talk has turned to whether or not the Reds will be buyers at the trade deadline in a little more than a month and you can find out what Nick Krall said about that here.