Game 92 Preview & Thread: Reds vs. Diamondbacks (12:35 EDT). Leake vs. Saunders.

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Arizona Diamondbacks
@ Cincinnati Reds

Thursday, Jul 19, 2012, 12:35 PM EDT
Great American Ball Park

Joe Saunders vs Mike Leake

Coverage

TV: None; RADIO: WLW, KTAR, KBMB; WEB: MLB.tv, Gameday Audio, Gameday

Weather

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing out to left field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 90.

Complete Coverage >


This one's a businessman's special. But let's hope there's at least one businessman in the Reds' front office who isn't shirking. Dusty runs out one of the Reds' most punch-less lineups of the season. Sometimes, this turns into an offensive outpouring and we all have a good laugh. Regardless of how today's game goes, though, the Reds very clearly need some help to shake the Pirates. (It doesn't help to hit Valdez second when he starts, but the lineup should be treated like the wind conditions at this point).

It's becoming clear that not only can Scott Rolen not play more than about four games in a row, he's struggling to do it above replacement level (-0.4 WAR). His replacement at third today has uncorked -0.8 WAR. That's bad stuff. Still, the Reds don't need to go get a third baseman, per se. They just need to go get a guy who tamp down Rolen and Cairo's starts. With Todd Frazier around, could be anyone who can play first base - from a LF/1B type to Jason Giambi.

Mike Leake seems to be in a good place. June and early July last season was one his best stretches and he's currently on a 5 start streak of allowing two runs or less. They might need his bat too. His OPS+ ranks just behind Todd Frazier on the team and he's hit as many HRs (2) as Ryan Hanigan.

Name-stacks after the jump.

LINEUPS

REDS

Drew Stubbs (R) CF
Wilson Valdez (R) SS
Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
Jay Bruce (L) RF
Todd Frazier (R) 1B
Chris Heisey (R) LF
Miguel Cairo (R) 3B
Devin Mesoraco (R) C
Mike Leake (R) SP

DIAMONDBACKS

Willie Bloomquist (R) SS
Aaron Hill (R) 2B
Jason Kubel (L) LF
Paul Goldschmidt (R) 1B
Justin Upton (R) RF
Chris Young (R) CF
Ryan Roberts (R) 3B
Henry Blanco (R) C
Joe Saunders (L) P

Bullpen Log

Reliever 7/14 7/15 7/16 7/17 7/18
5 day totals
Aroldis Chapman 1.0, 14p 1.0, 15p
0.1, 4p
2.1 IP, 33 pitches
Sean Marshall 0.2, 9p

0.2, 14p
1.1 IP, 23 pitches
Logan Ondrusek 1.0, 25p
1.0, 26p
1.1, 17p
3.1 IP, 68 pitches
Jose Arredondo

1.0, 12p 1.0, 19p 0.2, 26p
2.2 IP, 57 pitches
Sam LeCure 1.0, 15p

1.0, 14p 1.1, 19p
3.1 IP, 48 pitches
Alfredo Simon
3.0, 46p

3.0 IP, 46 pitches
Bill Bray 0.1, 3p
1.0, 18p
1.0, 8p
2.1 IP, 29 pitches

Bullpen notes:

  • The bullpen is definitely taxed, with exception of the lefties Marshall and Bray. Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks' hitters are just as right-handed as the Reds.
  • Mike Leake should really consider going at least 7.0 innings. And hitting a bonzai.
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