April 17, 2006

Reds-Marlins Preview

Some notes from RHM's crack “hard facts” staff on the upcoming series between the Reds and the Florida Marlins:

Brian Mohler starts game one for the Marlins tonight. On the season he's 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA and has been torched for 12 runs and 15 hits (three HRs) in the 7-1/3 innings he's worked so far this season. Lifetime against the Reds, he's 0-3 with a 7.06 ERA in four starts. He'll oppose Claussen.

On Tuesday the Marlins send Jason Vargas to the mound against Milton. Vargas in 1-1, 5.73 this season, and in his last start, gave up five runs to the Mets in five innings, but in his only career start against the Reds, Vargas was the winner, he's 1-0, 1.42 against the Reds.

Wednesday is the battle of aces as Dontrelle Willis opposes Harang. Willis has put up 1-0, 1.93 so far this season, and is 4-0, 0.97 against the Reds in five career starts.

Who's hot: Josh Winningham (.350, 3 HR, 11 RBI).

Who's not: Moehler, who's put up a BAA of .455 in his previous two starts.

Familiar faces: Former Reds player and manager Tony Perez, who is in the Hall Of Fame (class of 2000), is a special assistant to Marlins president Jeff Loria. He also managed the Marlins in 2001 after John Boles was fired.

9 comments to “Reds-Marlins Preview”

  1. Geki says:

    I’m going to the game tonight.

  2. Red Hot Mama says:

    You called it on Moehler, HMZ. He didn’t look like much. Winningham didn’t have much to say about the outcome of the game either.

    On FSN before the game, they were talking some very mild smack about how they’d never heard of any of these guys. They even pulled a fan in front of the camera to list all of the Marlins players he could think of (Dontrelle “Lewis” was the only one he could come up with).

    Geki, put up a Diary to tell us your impressions of the game. And if you go to any future ones, see if you can get on t.v. behind the FSN guys. There’s a shiny quarter in it for you if you take a “Visit [url=http://www.red-hot-mama.com”]www.red-hot-mama.com”[/url] sign.

  3. Geki says:

    You’re lucky I’m a nice person. I might go again tomorrow, but the game isn’t on TV, so your plan isn’t gonna work.

  4. Red Hot Mama says:

    Curses! Foiled again!

  5. KC2HMZ says:

    Regarding Moehler – I should have dug back a little farther, and then I’d have discovered he was on an 8-game losing streak. With the Reds handing him his butt yesterday, he’s now lost his last nine decisions, a Marlins club record.

    Willingham did drive in a run yesterday, sort of. Only because speedy Hanley Ramirez hustled home while Willingham grounded into a double play. That was a great defensive play Claussen made on him in the sixth, too, that ball had RBI single written all over it until Brandon kinda leaped and stretched and snagged that sucker. That was with one out and runners on second and third so it saved a run for sure.

    Speaking of guys named Brandon, how about Phillips yesterday? Yeah, Dunn and Kearns homered, but Phillips did more damge with 3-for-4 with a double, two singles, and four ribbies. This hitting in the eight-hole where, with the pitcher behind you, you often don’t see much to swing at.

    I think the Reds may have finally found their keeper at 2B. Now it’s a matter of deciding what to do with the 23,642,710 other second basemen they have hanging around.


  6. Geki says:

    Phillips has always shown flashes, it’s just a matter of him developing consistency. We should just give Phillips the job while Junior’s out and see what he can do, but the potential is still there. He has awesome bat speed and he’s very athletic, and I think he could develop into a very solid 2B for us immediately if Chambliss can work some magic.

  7. Red Hot Mama says:

    With Encarnación being himself and Felipe showing flashes of his former error-prone self lately, I’m not super-psyched about the idea of developing another young infielder. That being said, Phillips certainly has been a pleasant surprise.

    Along those same lines, Ryan Freel in center is making it easy to imagine the $10 million we spend on our regular CF sunk into the bullpen. Of course, Milton on the mound makes it easy to remember another $10 million that could better spent.

  8. KC2HMZ says:

    RHM, I’ve watched Brandon Phillips play AAA ball in Buffalo for the last three years. I believe that defensively, he’s the best middle infielder the Reds have. It’s generally accepted within the Indians organization that he’s a better defensive shortstop than Jhonny Peralta, the Tribe’s starter at short. The problem was, when Phillips first came up the Indians still had gold glover Vizquel at short, they needed a second baseman desperately and they rushed Phillips to the majors, and put him at a new position (2B) to boot. Well, he was fine with the leather but he tried to go all Jim Thome every time he went to the plate and wound up back in AAA.

    I know he had an error the other day, which I attribute to maybe being a little nervous in his first start in the majors in three years, and with a new team. I think as the season goes on you’ll see that errors like that will be the exception rather than the rule for him. His glove has been major-league ready for at least three years now. The problem with him was him trying to hit for power in every at-bat.

    FWIW, so far he hasn’t looked like he’s been doing that with the Reds, which is good. We have enough guys who can hit homers. Phillips will be a lot more valuable offensively if he just hits for contact and gets on base for the power hitters we already have to drive in.

    John (HMZ)

  9. Red Hot Mama says:

    So Phillips knows he has been brought in for his defensive skills and the pressure is way, way off for him to hit the homers. The irony is that he’ll enjoy a power explosion now that he’s in Cincy, a place that grows sluggers like dandelions.