Sunday, August 3, 2014
Mike Leake v. Jacob Turner
If the Reds aren't going to win any sweepstakes that grant entries based on trades made, the least they can do is win series against their NL competitors. The Reds will look to do just that this afternoon in the finale of a four game series against the Miami Marlins. Despite winning the first two games of the series, the Reds let a win slip away last night in extra innings. Bryan Price will look to stop the bleeding with tourniquet consisting of quality pitching from Mike Leake and timely hitting for the remaining healthy everyday players.
The Marlins will trot out Jacob Turner in the series finale this afternoon. Turner was drafted ninth by the Detroit Tigers in the 2009 draft immediately after Mike Leake and came to Miami in the Anibal Sanchez trade in 2012. In 20 starts last year as a 22 year old, Turner logged a respectable 3.74 ERA despite a WHIP of 1.441. This year, while his strikeouts are up to 6.3 per 9 from 5.9 per 9, Turner has been much less dependable with an ERA of 5.69 in 11 starts after being moved in and out of the bullpen.The Reds have not had much experience facing Turner. Only Skip Schumaker has logged more than five plate appearances against the former ninth overall pick in 2009. In his six career appearances, Skip the Grit has doubled and collected 2 walks.
Turner's erratic, to say the least, track record contrasts nicely with Mike Leake, who has been a model of consistency for the Reds this season. Leake has assembled 14 quality starts in 22 games for Cincinnati. Meanwhile, Leake's FIP is down to 3.68, which is a career best for him. Like Turner, Leake has not faced many of his adversaries today. However, Garrett Jones has logged 39 at bats against him. In 43 plate appearances against Leake, Jones is hitting .333 with a Brandon Phillips-like OBP of .333.
If Dusty Baker was Mr. Consistency when it came to lineups (and hitting the shortstop second), Bryan Price may be the constant tinkerer. As pointed out by Erik Bacharach, in 110 games, Price has used 87 different 1-8 lineups. Sure, you may be able to explain a large portion of that on the glut of injuries, but it's hard to say that Price hasn't tried just about everything imaginable with the tools he has been given. While some may blame Walt Jocketty or Bob Castellini for this, let's at least relax and know that this clown is out of the picture.
Go Reds! They're not run by Leatherpants!
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