Tonight's game is blacked out nationally and only viewable as part of regional Baseball Night in America coverage on Fox. I'm sure you have your viewing party well under way. The Reds get Thom Brennaman and Tom "Bogus Effect" Verducci.
It's no secret: Jay Bruce has a checkered past against Wandy Rodriguez. He comes into the game 2-29, with 15 Ks lifetime (he added that second hit in his last game against the Astros lefty earlier this season). So that's why he's sitting.
Why has Wandy been such a riddle for Bruce and a fair number of other lefties? Obviously, part of it is just the platoon thing. In the same number of PAs, Jonny Gomes has tagged Wandy to the tune of .357/.379/.714. Rodriguez throws four pitches, going to his curveball quite a bit and flashing a changeup on occasion.
Since 2010, Bruce has put curveballs in play less than any other pitch except the knuckleball. In his career against Wandy, he's put curveballs in play a little bit more than his career rate, but he whiffs 25% of the time. Meanwhile, Bruce has put the fastball - which sits around 89-90 - in play a meager 3.4% of the time (while fouling it off over 40%). It adds up to Bruce being utterly fooled by the curve and unable to square up the straight fastball.
Wandy hides the start of his delivery behind his head and then comes across the body of a lefty at around a three-quarters arm slot. It's a delivery that might be poison without an antidote for Bruce, so it's justifiable to hold him out of this game. Incidentally, Miguel Cairo, Jonny Gomes and Edgar Renteria have three of the best track records against Wandy, each with lifetime OPSes over 1.000.
Last night's game gave the Reds a winning road record. The Reds enter the game 18-11 since the start of May. Team on-base percentage, however, actually ticked down a point after last night. I guess sabermetrics is wrong after all.
||ERA (ERA+)||2.49 (155)
||5 day totals|
||1.0 IP, 13 pitches
|Sean Marshall||0.1, 12p||-
||0.1 IP, 12 pitches|
|Logan Ondrusek||CG:||0.2, 10p||-
||1.2 IP, 21 pitches
||0.0 IP, 0 pitches|
||0.0 IP, 0 pitches
|J.J. Hoover||1.0, 17p||-
||1.0 IP, 17 pitches
|Alfredo Simon||3.0, 39p||-
||3.0 IP, 39 pitches|
- If there is one, Hoover is probably the mop-up guy right now - having only appeared in one high-leverage situation in 12 appearances.
- Chapman has still only made appearances on consecutive days once this season (May 16-17).