The rubber match for this series will be played at 4:10pm tomorrow with Mike Leake (1-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (0-1, 3.00 ERA). It'd be a huge win and would give the Reds another series win to go undefeated 3-0 in series this year.
Now we'll look at the lefty, Saunders, and how he matches up vs the Reds. His last start he went 6 innings at Wrigley Field and gave up 2 runs in a 3-1 loss vs the Cubs. Most Reds have seen him, but the sample size is pretty small. Check out the match ups here on baseball reference. I'll discuss a few notables here:
- Ramon Hernandez is 7-17 with a hr and 6 rbi.
- Votto and Phillips both haven't done well at 1-6 and 1-8 respectively.
- Gomes, Stubbs, Bruce, Renteria and Rolen have had pretty solid #s vs. Saunders, but there isn't enough sample size to determine if it was a good day or if they see the ball well vs Saunders. Bruce and Stubbs have HRs.
- In 7 starts at Chase Field he has a 3-2 record with a 3.12 ERA.
- He is AWFUL vs righties..especially in the power department. Righties bat .280 vs him and have 63 home runs over 150 innings pitched. To put that in perspective lefties bat .259 and have 12 home runs in 53 innings. To put that in perspective, if the innings were the same for RHB/LHB, there would be ~35 homers vs lefties with 63 for righties.
- Also worth mentioning he tends to walk a lot of batters, nearly 1 per inning. Quantitatively, 43BB to 53 innings vs LHB, 138BB to 150IP vs RHB.
Pick to Click: Drew Stubbs
Now onto the Mike Leake matchup, he has never faced the D'backs. I think this definitely goes to the Reds advantage because we saw last year that teams had issues with him especially in their first matchup versus him.
- Leake performs better on the road, with a 3.82 ERA compared to a 4.56 at home. He has never pitched at Chase Field.
- Leake hasn't pitched at Chase, but he has pitched 3 times on west coast trips, once at Oakland, once at SF and once at Dodger Stadium. He went 0.1 IP vs SF and gave up 6 runs with an ERA higher than the amount of views I'll get on this post, only 2.1 IP at Dodger stadium, and 6IP 1R in Oakland. Overall, not too good out west, but I really think the fact that the D'Backs haven't seen Leake will be an advantage.
- I'm very happy that I looked at Leake's splits...this stuff is interesting and really makes me scratch my head. I'm hoping someone has something to add to these numbers because they make NO SENSE. Warning: You're about to find out why no matter how long you can look at numbers, baseball can never be accurately predicted. Leake's avg splits vs RHB and LHB is .292 to .291. The IP are within 15 of each other, so are the hits, home runs, and walks ..but his ERA vs RHB is 2.93 and vs LHB it is 5.71. Someone help me out here...I'm no sabermetrician (that may be a new word I just invented) so maybe I'm overlooking something here? Comment on this or tweet @EricLilly7 if you can find anything on this..I'm always trying to learn. I'll be sure to give you a shoutout on tomorrow's blog post as well.
After looking at all stats from both teams I think the Reds have a pretty good shot today to win this. Not only do the Reds have decent success vs Saunders, but I also think Leake does well vs teams that haven't seen him. He performed pretty well last start and it would be huge if he did well again today as Bailey and Cueto are coming back soon and he needs to make a strong case to stay in Cincinnati. I could also see things going wrong for Leake because it is out west and the D'Backs will be loaded with lefties. The Reds will counter with a bunch of righties + Votto/Bruce..wouldn't be surprised to see some big time power from our righties tomorrow as Saunders tends to give up the long ball to righties.
Some other useless stuff:
-Seattle is putting some of their vendors at Safeco on Twitter, and fans can actually request service via Twitter. I'd love to see the Reds do this. #goodidea
-Votto's 7 game hit streak ended today, but he had 3 walks and 2 runs scored to up his OBP to over .500......ridiculous.
-These will look good with that red C on them next year.
-The Reds are the only team in the NL Central to have a positive run differential even though the Pirates have a winning record.
-I am watching "40 Sexiest Videos" as I write this blog tonight, and I just realized that there are 2 girls other than Beyonce in this video. Lady Gaga sexiest video? Good one...
-My mom is going to read this and get mad that I included that sexiest video comment, so please defend me in the comment section. I do it for you guys.
-Ty Lawson went 10-11 from 3 last night, and started out 10-10. Wow.
-Manny Ramirez retired. I'd talk about it, but ESPN already reached the quota of 50 hours of coverage on this subject. Yes, I'm counting.
-Ladies and Gentlemen, George Hill. For the record, I'm not sure why the announcer is talking about "ooey pooey", or how he will keep his job after saying that on TV.
-The tweet of the day is a good one, and it's from a funny dude, Mo Egger. It's actually two tweets, but I decided to combine them both because they are both funny and related:
"After watching Bronson Arroyo's last two starts, I have decided that I want mono. Hell, maybe they should have Arroyo make out with Volquez before his next start." Good stuff. I just hope none of them have what I have because it's killing me.
Everyone have a good Sunday, enjoy the beautiful weather, and get ready for the work week! Let's win this series!