by Steve Mancuso

RC+ Preview: Senzel-less in Seattle

The Reds (67-77) play the Seattle Mariners (58-86) in the first of a 3-game series. They spent the off-day yesterday sightseeing in Seattle. It’s the Reds next-to-last road trip. They’ll visit the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs for 3-game series before returning home for the last home stand of the 2019 season.

Joey Votto turns 36 today and he’s hit well on his birthday.

GABP Like You’ve Never Seen It

Check out this amazing “word art” by Dan Duffy of Great American Ball Park using the names of all former Reds players dating to 1869. Here’s a short video about Dan’s art. You can buy a 16 x 22 GABP print framed or unframed.

Pitching Matchup

Trevor Bauer takes the mound for the Reds tonight. Matt Wilkes wrote a terrific in-depth analysis of Bauer’s struggles this season. If you haven’t read his comprehensive and sobering post from this morning, this would be a good time to catch up.

Justus Sheffield (23) came to the Mariners in November when Seattle traded James Paxton to the Yankees. Sheffield had gone to the Yankees in 2016 when Cleveland traded for reliever Andrew Miller. Sheffield was Cleveland’s first round pick in 2014 and has been regarded as a top prospect. He’s a lefty and has a big fastball and a wipeout slider considered his best pitch.

Sheffield has made three starts for Seattle. His most recent was Sept. 2 when he threw 5 shutout innings against the Cubs.

Reds Lineup

David Bell goes with his Lefty-Slaying lineup minus Nick Senzel who remains sidelined with shoulder soreness. Alex Blandino leads off and DHs in the AL ballpark. Blandino is off to a nice start in his first 19 plate appearances, hitting .364/.579/.455. He has one extra-base hit (a double) and five walks. Jose Peraza gets a rare start, playing LF. Switch-hitters Freddy Galvis and Tucker Barnhart will bat RH. Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and Aristides Aquino are in their regular 2-3-4 spots.

Here are the splits for Reds hitters against left-handed pitchers:

Mariners Lineup

[Graphics: Baseball Savant]

Big thanks to Mike Hart, who contributed graphics and statistical charts for this post. 

Steve Mancuso is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up during the Big Red Machine era. He’s been writing about the Reds for more than ten years. Steve’s fondest memories about the Reds include attending a couple 1975 World Series games, being at Homer Bailey’s second no-hitter and going nuts for Jay Bruce at Clinchmas. Steve was also at all three games of the 2012 NLDS, but it’s too soon to talk about that.