Game 1: Astros v Reds


Here’s to starting a winning streak…

Tonight the Reds begin a three game series against the Houston Astros with a 7:10 PM ET start time. The Reds will send Mike Leake to the hill while Brad Mills will send J.A. Happ to the mound. Here’s a look at tonight’s starting pitchers…

Cincinnati: Mike Leake (season: 3-0, 4.40 ERA; career v Astros: 2-1, 2.49 ERA)

Leake has encountered the Astros already this season, giving the Reds 6 innings of work in an 8-2 Reds victory.Tonight will be Leake’s 6th start of the season. In his previous five outings, he has 4 quality starts and the Reds are 3-2 in all games where Leake is the starter. Leake pitched 7 strong inning his last time, but the Reds lost due to a Rickie Weeks 8th inning home run off of Logan Ondrusek.

Here’s how Astros hitters fare against Leake…

Here’s the Astros starting lineup for tonight…

1. Bourn, CF
2. Bourgeois, LF
3. Pence, RF
4. Wallace, 1B
5. Johnson, 3B
6. Hall, 2B
7. Barmes, SS
8. Quintero, C
9. Happ, P

At looking the chart and the lineup, Michael Bourn is a hit-or-miss guy with Leake. He either gets a hit or he whiffs (5 SO in 12 PA). The same could be said of Hunter Pence (4 SO in 12 PA). If Leake can keep Bourn off the basepaths, things might look good for the Reds.

Houston: J.A. Happ (season: 1-4, 6.35 ERA; career v Reds: 0-1, 8.18 ERA)

Like Leake, Happ has already faced the Reds this season. And it wasn’t a pleasant outing either. Happ went 4 innings and allowed 7 runs in an 8-2 Reds win back on April 5th. Happ’s only other start against the Reds cam back in 2009 when he went 7 innings and allowed 3 runs when he was a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Reds won that game 4-3, but Happ did not get the loss.

The current Reds roster still hasn’t seen a lot of Happ…

…but some sure do like seeing him, especially Brandon Phillips. And yes, BP’s in the starting lineup tonight. It’s a little different for this evening, too.

1. Stubbs 8
2. Renteria 6
3. Votto 3
4. Phillips 4
5. Gomes 7
6. Heisey 9
7. Hernandez 2
8. Janish 5
9. Leake 1

There was talk of Renteria starting at third, but I’m guessing that won’t be happening now. Yesterday, Tom Groeschen was told by Dusty Baker that Renteria would be at third for tonight’s game due to Miguel Cairo being a bit sore from playing as much as he has. (Hat tip to Redleg Nation)

Here I go…

I severely dislike Janish at third. Why? He’s far better at shortstop than Renteria defensively, a vast understatement. If Renteria is such a deteriment in the field regardless of the position he plays, why is he even on the roster then? Don’t give me the fact he got the game winner against the Marlins in the middle game of the series as an argument either. It was one freakin’ game! I get that Renteria may not be a third baseman by trade but dude seriously has to consider at least trying it. Hell, Chris Valaika did. Yes he was 0-3 at the plate, but he made a couple of mice defensive plays out there. Sure, it could be Dusty’s call on this. It most likely is and all that does is leave us to wonder if the kool-aid really tastes that good.

For you Chris Heisey fans, here’s the chance you’ve been screaming for. But before you scream too loud, let take a look at this…

I can hear you all know…”He hasn’t gotten enough time to prove himself”. A justifiable argument based on one fact and only one fact: the Reds are 4-1 when he starts despite those atrocious hitting numbers when he does start. To me, this implies that the Reds win those game in spite  of Heisey and his immense talent.

He gets his chance against a lefty tonight and lefties have not been to kind to Mr. Heisey over his career (3 HR, 13 RBI, splits: .187/.272/.319 in 104 PA). We’ll see how this all works especially when you consider that Dusty’s mancrush, aka Jeremy Hermida, has a nice line against Happ from their NL East days.