Last night’s extra-inning affair saw the Reds steal one form the Cubs for a 5-4 win. I mean, how did they win that game? I was actually contemplating going to bed after the Luis Valbuena homer, but my stubborn side prevailed and I watched Cincy pullout an exciting comeback (they actually came from behind twice, too) win.
After last night’s action, the Cubs offense is a bit on the woeful side. They rank 12th in the NL in runs per game (3.39), 14th in batting average (.230) and OBP (.286). Our Cincinnati Reds’ NL ranks are 3rd in runs per game (5.55) and BA (.262) and tops in OBP (.352). NL averages are 4.20, .248 and .316 respectively.
For this evening, not exactly a sexy pitching matchup. I know Tony Cingrani is hurling for the Reds, but after all, this is his second MLB start. Dale Sveum sends Carlos Villanueva to the hill for Chicago. The Cubs inked Villanueva to a 2-year/$10M deal in the offseason.
2013: 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 0.810 WHIP
v. CIN: 2-2, 3.99 ERA, 1.349 WHIP
@ GABP: 0-1, 1.21 ERA, 0.896 WHIP (10 G, 2 starts)
last app. v. CIN: 6/19/11 (L) – 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 SO (as a member of the Blue Jays)
Villanueva v. Reds Batters
Villanueva features five pitches: four-seam fastball, two-seamer, slider, curve and changeup. He will toss an Eephus pitch every once in a while (0.4% this season). His velocity ranges from 73 mph (change) to 87 (four-seam). According to Fangraphs, Villanueva throws his four-seam and changeup the same amount of the time (26.1%).
Tonight will mark the 21st time Villanueva will face the Good Guys. It will be only his 6th start against the Reds.
2013: 1-0. 1.80 ERA, 1.600 WHIP:
v. CHI: 1st appearance
@ GABP: 1-0, 2.25 ERA, 1.125 WHIP
No Cubs have faced Cingrani.
We know what the rookie did in his first MLB start. With another supposedly inept offensive team, Reds fans look for the lefty to be a little more economical and go a little deeper in the game especially with the use the ‘pen had forced upon it last evening. But don’t look for him to pitch just to pitch and eat innings. That would be a major detriment to his growth and development.
|1. Dave Sappelt (R) CF||1. Shin-Soo Choo (L) CF|
|2. Starlin Castro (R) SS||2. Zack Cozart (R) SS|
|3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B||3. Joey Votto (L) 1B|
|4. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF||4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B|
|5. Welington Castillo (R) C||5. Jay Bruce (L) RF|
|6. Scott Hairston (R) RF||6. Todd Frazier (R) 3B|
|7. Cody Ransom (R) 3B||7. Chris Heisey (R) LF|
|8. Darwin Barney (R) 2B||8. Corky Miller (R) C|
|9. Carlos Villanueva (R) P||9. Tony Cingrani (L) P|
Changes abound for the Cubs: no DeJesus, no Shierholtz and no Valbuena…all lefty bats.
Of course the BIG news is the 2013 MLB debut of baseball’s best ‘stache: Corky Miller. Gives Devin Mesoraco a rest seeing as Mes has started 5 of the last 6 games and there is a day game tomorrow. This will be Corky’s first MLB game action since October 3, 2010.