Thursday: Chase Anderson (5.55 ERA, 7.0 K/9, 3.7 BB/9) v. Alfredo Simon (13.50 ERA, 10.8 K/9, 6.8 BB/9)
Hoo boy! We thought we had it rough here with the bad starts from Wily Peralta, Taylor Jungmann and Zach Davies. Alfredo Simon has made four starts, the longest of which was five innings and the shortest just two outs. The Cubs tagged him for eight runs on 10 hits over 2.2 innings on the 24th. He’s been victimized by a .479 BABIP, but he’s also brought plenty of pain down upon his own shoulders. Chase Anderson will try to recover from his first truly poor start this season, a 4.1 inning affair in which he allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and four walks.
Friday: Tyler Cravy (3.18 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 0.0 BB/9) v. Tim Adleman (3.00 ERA, 9.0 K/9, 3.0 BB/9)
Cravy gets the spot start on Friday with Peralta headed home to attend to his wife after the birth of their son; his start will be pushed back to Monday. Congratulations to Wily! Cravy joined the team following the DFA of Ariel Pena, and acquitted himself well in five relief appearances before being optioned back down to make room for outfielder Alex Pressley. He tossed 64 pitches in his first start with Colorado Spring on Sunday, so he’ll be at around an 85-pitch limit Friday per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. Cravy started seven games for Milwaukee last season, with a 5.91 ERA. I don’t know who Tim Adleman is. Who cares.
Saturday: Jimmy Nelson (3.05 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 4.0 BB/9) v. Brandon Finnegan (3.97 ERA, 7.2 K/9, 4.8 BB/9)
If you’re going to clear your schedule to see one game from this series, this is the one you want. The Brewers send their young ace to the mound to match the same from Cincinnati. Both have struggled some with their command so far this season, but each is their respective team’s best pitcher and have the best chance to be a part of their franchise’s next competitive team.
Sunday: Junior Guerra (6.00 ERA, 4.5 K/9, 1.5 BB/9) v. John Lamb (1.50 ERA, 6.0 K/9, 4.5 BB/9)
John Lamb became the ninth starting pitcher the Reds have used this season already, which leads the league, when he tossed six strong innings in a 3-1 loss to San Francisco on Tuesday. He had a 5.80 ERA in 10 starts last season. Guerra was not as successful in his debut Tuesday, though he team was, as he recorded his first major league win in a 5-4 win over Los Angeles despite allowing four runs on seven hits over six innings.
2016: No Games
All-time: 140-155 (67-84 in Cincinnati)
Are the Reds Good?
Reds Players to Watch:
RF Jay Bruce: This monster that won’t die is my greatest nemesis, and if you like home runs then you’ll love this jerk all weekend. In 58 games against Milwaukee at Great American Ballpark, Bruce has 21 home runs in 205 at bats – a ridiculous 9.8 AB/HR rate that would easily be the greatest of all time spread out over the course of a career. He has 12 career go-ahead home runs against Milwaukee, and has walked off on the Brewers twice. He has collected a hit in every game against the Brewers in Cincinnati since September of 2014. He will at some point this weekend cause me to throw something.
SS Eugenio Suarez: The Reds’ 22-year-old shortstop was trying to keep pace with Colorado’s Trevor Story for a while as Official Breakout Shortstop of the National League, busting out to a .314/.364/.569 slash line over his first 13 games and slugging four dingers. He has crashed back to earth in the 14 games since, batting just .226/.281/.377. Still, he had himself a nice start to the season after looking like a serviceable starter in 398 plate appearances last season.
Who Would Win if the Mascots Fought?
“Reds” is short for “Red Stockings,” the team’s original nickname. The only way a human being is being felled by laundry is if it’s being stuffed into his mouth by the hand of some miscreant who wishes to silence him and do him harm. As it is, in this instance the Reds seem to be merely a pile of socks someone left on the floor. Our brewer kicks them, into the mud for good measure, and prevails. The Brewers win.
If the Reds were a Taylor Swift GIF, which one would they be?
Milwaukee Broadcast Information:
Thursday: 6:10 pm on FS Wisconsin and WTMJ 620
Friday: 6:10 pm on FS Wisconsin and WTMJ 620
Saturday: 6:10 pm on FS Wisconsin and WTMJ 620
Sunday: 12:10 pm on FS Wisconsin and WTMJ 620
Let’s Talk To A Reds Fan!
Even though he probably erroneously thinks that Jay Bruce is not the world’s worst monster, it can still be said that Wick Terrell (@wickterrell), Reds fan and editor at SB Nation’s Red Reporter, is a good writer and a nice person just like me, Travis. I asked him to provide me with a few words about his favorite team this season, and he blew me away with the following:
The problem with the Cincinnati Reds is that they both are and are not the same team that won 97 games in 2012. They are an aging, brittle offensive core, a flawed heart of the order that is now four years removed from its peak. They are “Brandon Phillips: cleanup hitter,” despite the near 35-year-old middle infielder owning just a .717 OPS over his last 591(!) games played. They are still “Jay Bruce hitting into the shift” [Author’s note: Good. Screw Jay Bruce] and “speedy center fielder who can’t hit,” the same flawed offensive team sporting the dinger-first offensive mentality they’ve owned since the opening of Great American Ball Park. Only now they’re older, more predictable, and surrounded by a less proven core.
Gone are the predictable days of sending Johnny Cueto, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake, Mat Latos, and Homer Bailey out day after day. In that pitching stable’s wake sits a loaded farm full of arms, but they’re mostly either not quite ready to chip in (Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett) or fighting nagging injuries by the dozens (Raisel Iglesias, Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen and Jon Moscot).
The Reds of tomorrow can be looked at with a bit of an optimistic light, since its clear the rebuild has brought in numerous talented pieces to pair with an already top-heavy farm system. The Reds of today, however, are a battered B-17 just trying to coast home on one shot-up engine. They’ll face the Milwaukee Brewers without their two most recently extended players (Devin Mesoraco, Homer Bailey) and with otherworldly slugger Joey Votto off to the worst start of his career. They’ll do so with scrap-heap starters taking the mound in the first two games of the series and with a bullpen that’s currently setting MLB records for futility. They’ll bring their -54 run differential, league-worst BB/9, and league-worst runs allowed with hopes that they can scrape out a few scenes of respectable entertainment until the reinforcements can roll into the dugout and actually compete again.
They’ll do all of that with their feet kicked up and a cold beer in hand, however, since they know the 2016 season means squat in the long run. You all know. You’re watching it happen in Milwaukee, too. Stupid Cubs.
Can I Hang Out with Travis at the Baseball Game?
No. The games are in Cincinnati and I don’t live there.