Anthony DeSclafani has only made two starts this season. In those – both at home in GABP – he’s allowed 6 ER, and managed to log only 10 IP. Ho hum, really, and pretty much par for the course for what we’ve come to expect from Cincinnati Reds starting pitching these days.
However, Disco has managed to fan 11 batters and issue just 3 walks in those 10 IP, and that’s the kind of zone-attacking that the rest of the Cincinnati starters have struggled with mightily for years on end. So, despite the tiniest of tiny samples, seeing Disco’s 3.08 FIP against the backdrop of the Reds league-worst starting rotation FIP of 5.37 is at least a bit exciting, specifically because we’ve at least seen Disco be precisely that kind of pitcher in his past when healthy.
He’ll allow his share of hits, to be sure. However, he’s been pretty danged good at keeping those in the park, and with just a 2.4 BB/9 across his 351 career MLB innings pitched, it’s pretty clear he’s not simply going to give the opposition free bases. And really, it’s that kind of skill set while on the mound that has me so irrationally excited to see him back, healthy, and poised to jerk at least a part of this rotation into something worth watching.
Disco will face the Pittsburgh Pirates this Sunday for his first road start of the year. He’ll share the mound with Pirates starter Joe Musgrove, who along with Michael Felize and Colin Moran – who dingered for Pittsburgh yesterday – were the return from the Houston Astros in last winter’s Gerrit Cole trade.
First pitch is set for 1:35 PM ET.
The Pittsburgh Pirates had to wait several weeks into the season to see just what they got with right-hander Joe Musgrove in an offseason trade with Houston.
It has been about a month since he came off the disabled list after a shoulder injury delayed his season debut, and Musgrove has proved fiercely competitive and fiercely loyal.
Musgrove is 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA for Pittsburgh (35-35) going into his sixth start Sunday, against right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 5.40) and the Cincinnati Reds (25-45) in a series finale at PNC Park.
With a 6-2 victory Saturday, the Pirates won their third straight, climbed back to .500 and ensured themselves of winning a series after dropping eight in a row.
The Reds have lost two straight after a three-game winning streak.
Not only is Musgrove averaging more than six innings per start, with 23 strikeouts in 25 innings and a 1.12 WHIP, but also has played with an edge.
“He’s a tough guy,” Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli said last month. “When he’s on the mound, he’s mean. He’s the kind of guy that you want to have on the mound all the time.”
In his most recent outing, a no-decision Monday in Arizona’s comeback 9-5 win, Musgrove was cruising with a 5-0 lead in the seventh inning when he hit Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Chris Owings in acknowledged retaliation.
An inning earlier, Diamondbacks right-hander Braden Shipley hit Pirates infielder Josh Harrison — who got plunked 23 times last year and spent time on the DL this season and last because of a broken hand after being hit by pitches — and Pittsburgh rookie Austin Meadows got knocked down by a pitch earlier.
“It’s nothing more than just protecting your teammates,” Musgrove said. “It’s baseball. That’s how the game is played. That’s how I was raised to play the game. You protect your teammates, especially when a guy gets hit high up and in.”
The Pirates appreciated Musgrove’s loyalty, despite the fact that his retaliatory move might have sparked Arizona’s winning rally.
“That wasn’t the turning point of the game in my eyes,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “You can’t control what other people are going to think.
“The importance of teammates taking a stand for one another, I think that is part of the game. Everybody can construct their own narrative afterward. But I know (Harrison) has been hit a ton, been hit a lot. … Just plunking our guys, whether it’s accidental or not, is just not OK.”
Harrison said “it felt good” to have his new teammate stand up for him.
Musgrove has never faced the Reds.
DeSclafani has made six career starts against Pittsburgh, going 1-2 with a 3.41 ERA, but not since Sept. 17, 2016.
DeSclafani missed all of 2017 because of an elbow injury and, like Musgrove, opened this season on the DL because of an oblique strain.
Last Sunday, in his second start this season, DeSclafani picked up his first win since Sept. 28, 2016, 6-3 over St. Louis. He gave up two runs and 10 hits in five innings, with six strikeouts and two walks.
“I don’t think I was as good as I wanted to be,” DeSclafani said. “There’s definitely a lot of work from here on out. I was falling behind some guys and giving up too many hits.
“But it’s definitely something to build on.”
He has yet to get his setup pitch, his curveball, back to where it once was.
“Definitely still getting a feel for it. I only threw a few of them,” he said. “It’s definitely got to be incorporated. I need some kind of equalizer to (go along with) my fastball and slider. Once that comes around, it should make things a little bit easier.”
The Pittsburgh Pirates scored twice in the sixth inning and Chad Kuhl gave up one earned run in six innings Friday in a 3-2 win over the visiting Cincinnati Reds.
The Pirates’ scoring plays came on a double play and two sacrifice flies. They have won back-to-back games for the first time since they won three straight May 15-17.
Cincinnati had its three-game winning streak halted.
Kuhl (5-4) allowed two runs — one unearned because of his error — and six hits in six innings, with six strikeouts and three walks. He has given up just eight earned runs in his past five starts.
Felipe Vazquez pitched the ninth for his 13th save.
Matt Harvey (1-5) gave up three runs and four hits in five-plus innings, with two strikeouts and two walks. The Reds won in his first three starts after he was acquired from the Mets, and now have lost in his past four starts.
The Pirates took a 1-0 lead in the second. Harvey walked Colin Moran and Francisco Cervelli, and Josh Bell singled to load the bases. Gregory Polanco grounded into a double play, scoring Moran.
Cincinnati tied it in the third. Scott Schebler led off with a single and, an out later, moved third on Joey Votto‘s double off the wall in center. Scooter Gennett’s sacrifice fly brought Schebler home.
The Reds took a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Adam Duvall and Jose Peraza singled. Kuhl picked up a bunt by Harvey but threw wide toward third, allowing Duvall to score.
Pittsburgh moved back ahead in the sixth. Pinch hitter Elias Diaz and Josh Harrison singled, chasing Harvey. Wandy Peralta came in for one batter, hitting Corey Dickerson to load the bases.
The third pitcher of the inning, Michael Lorenzen, gave up a sacrifice fly to right by Starling Marte, tying it, and Moran followed with another sacrifice fly to bring home Harrison for a 3-2 lead.
–Field Level Media
Reds starter Tyler Mahle pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings in the team’s 7-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. The Enquirer/Bobby Nightengale
Because this is one of Those Days when I have nothing to say and 1,500 words in which to say it, let’s go off road. Either that, or we can discuss mascots and nicknames. That’s a new topic.
REMASTERED VINYL YOU HAVE TO HAVE. This comes up because I wrote a few days ago that I didn’t agree with my son on the greatness of Black Sabbath’s 1st album. A Mobster suggested I get the remaster, then said his affection for Led Zeppelin caused him to drop big change on Physical Graffiti and Coda.
My choices: Allmans Live at Fillmore East, Sgt. Pepper’s.
BUCKET LIST VACATION SPOT. It’s the time of year when wanderlust grabs me by the neck and shakes. I wanna rattle and roll on outta town for a bit. Our Tristate really is a good place to live – low housing costs, relatively safe, very easy to navigate – but it’s not exactly Vacation Central.
My vacation choices (only places I haven’t been): Bend, Oregon, home of Deschutes Brewery and about a million places to hike and boat.
Big Bend National Park, Texas, miles from nowhere, millions of stars, ultimate solitude.
Cumberland Island, Georgia.
PLACE YOU WANT TO LIVE, MONEY NO OBSTACLE.
North Beach, Telegraph Hill, San Francisco
Angel Island, San Francisco, though nobody lives there. It’s a park in the Bay.
Norwood Park, Asheville.
My house as a kid in Bethesda, Maryland.
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SPORTING EVENT YOU WANT TO ATTEND.
A World Cup final in Brazil, with Brazil a finalist. A year covering SEC football.
I’ve actually seen everything else I want to see: A British Open at St. Andrews, two U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach, four Rose Bowls, 22 Masters, an NFC title game at Lambeau, an October game at Wrigley (from a Waveland Avenue rooftop, no less), Pauley Pavilion, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Palestra, an LSU home nighttime football game, Dodger Stadium at twilight, an Army football game at West Point, an Olympics in Athens, a Daytona 500 (the year Dale Sr. won, very cool).
VENUE YOU’D LOVE TO VISIT THAT NO LONGER EXISTS.
Ebbets Field, period, end of discussion. I’m convinced I was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in an earlier life. The lore and romance of Dem Bums is intoxicating, the players memorable: Jackie and The Duke, Campy and Preacher and PeeWee. A neighborhood team in the truest sense, the likes of which we’ll never see again.
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COACH/MANAGER YOU’D MOST WANT TO HAVE DINNER WITH, LIVING OR DEAD. I’d say Red Auerbach, but he seemed kind of insufferable. I’d say Bob Knight, but I’ve already had dinner with him. Lombardi, then. Not Belichick or Saban, for sure. Stengel, maybe. Dean Smith.
PLAYER YOU’D MOST LIKE TO INVITE TO YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY.Willie Stargell. Only jock I ever hero-ized. Bronson Arroyo gets the silver medal.
ATHLETE YOU’D MOST LIKE TO BE, EVER.Dan Gable. (He was a wrestler, kids.) What’s it like to own complete domination of your craft?
TV SHOW YOU’D WANT A CAMEO IN.All In The Family. Back before we all lost our PC minds.
ACTOR YOU’D MOST WANT TO BE, MALE DIVISION. Kevin Costner. Always loved his looks, the way he fit his clothes, the smooth, athletic way he moved. Is that weird? Yeah, could be.
My wife is forever enamored with Johnny Depp. You’ve got to be kidding. Costner in Bull Durham? Never has an actor better and more convincingly portrayed an athlete. He wasn’t bad in Tin Cup, either. HM to Paul Newman, in Hud and Cool Hand Luke. “What we have heah, is failure to communicate.’’ And to Denzel Washington.
ACTOR YOU’D MOST LIKE TO BE, FEMALE DIVISION.Annette Benning, in An American President. She glowed. Meryl Streep, who’s never been in a bad movie.
ONE SPORTING EVENT TO ATTEND, IF YOU COULD ATTEND JUST ONE MORE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. Some of you will say a Bengals Super Bowl W. I will say a Xavier-UC national title game.
ROCK STAR YOU’D LIKE TO BE FOR ONE NIGHT. Oh, Mick, no 2nd place. Sold-out stadium, 1969, prancing in one of those leotard-looking outfits, belting Jumping Jack Flash or Sympathy for the Devil. A hundred thousand fans, half wanting to be you, half wanting to … well, you get the picture.
IDOL WITH WHOM YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE A COCKTAIL. Rod Serling. Lookimup, kids.
IDOL TO DRINK WITH AT 3 A.M. Hemingway.
IDOL WITH WHOM TO DISCUSS YOUR CRAFT. Pat Conroy. Jim Murray. Curry Kirkpatrick. David Halberstam.
18 HOLES WITH … The Eternal Jack Nicklaus.
15 ROUNDS WITH … Jack Johnson, the guy Trump just pardoned.
IN THE BATTING CAGE WITH … Clemente.
And so on.
Now, then …
REDS WIN. WHY IT MATTERED. Wins are wins. Worst starting pitching in MLB v. almost-worst hitting. Something had to give. It was the Royals – 14th in the AL in runs, HRs, OPS and Total Bases – who managed 1 run in 2 games. Props to Romano and Mahle.
AND NOW, FUN AND GAMES WITH THE -ESPONDENTS.
BEERMANDAVE is live from Seattle. Of course he is.
While in Seattle this week, a friend recommended that I check out Fremont Brewing company. What I didn’t know is that I would be stumbling upon what felt like the MadTree of the Pacific Northwest. This place has the absolute perfect proportions of grudge, chill and cool. At the same time the beer is refined and delicious. Make sure you check this place off your list if you have a chance to tour Seattle. Here’s a rundown of the great craft beer they are pouring during their sunniest month of the year: Parkland Pils, Universale, Session, and Summer Pale Ales, Homefront, Head Full of Dynomite, and Folly IPAs, The Sister Imperial IPA, Trial by Haze NE IPA, and of course the outstanding Lush IPA, which is the Seattle equivalent to our Psychopathy or Truth. Guaranteed good times. Cheers! [email protected]
FUNMEISTER BRIEN has a thing for The Thing.
Every so often movie theaters offer revivals of classic films. These are not very well publicized so I wanted to take the chance to let everyone know that The Esquire in Clifton is showing “The Thing” on Friday, June 22, at 10 p.m.
The Thing is a science fiction/horror film from 1982. It is a remake of a 1950s creature feature called The Thing from Another World. However, this is one of those rare cases where the remake outshines the original in every way.
A science team in Antarctica stumbles upon an alien life form that has the ability to shape shift. The setting adds factors of claustrophobia and isolation to the suspense of the scenario. This is dread horror at its finest.
John Carpenter (Halloween, Christine, Escape from New York) upgrades the campy plant monster of the original film into something much more disturbing. The special effects of this film are a wonder to behold. Using puppetry, makeup and stop-motion animation, The Thing is able to depict nightmarish creatures with unrivaled acumen. This technical achievement is especially impressive when you realize the film was made 36 years ago.
Kurt Russell, Keith David and Wilford Brimley star in one of the five best horror films ever made. This one is absolutely worth seeing on the big screen if you have the chance (or courage) to do so.
I can guarantee youse that this is the only kinda-sports blog in the world today that includes a review of The Thing, thankyouverymuch.
TUNE O’ THE DAY … Lots of Elvis fans didn’t like his late-career stuff. I did. Excepting In The Ghetto, which was one of the dumbest musical stereotypes ever written. This one is especially good.
Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton made two catches at the wall and threw out two runners in a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. Bobby Nightengale/The Enquirer
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – Homer Bailey made his first rehab start Monday after he was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation and his final inning didn’t go well.
At Triple-A Louisville, Bailey allowed five runs on six hits in three innings. He walked one and struck out one in 68 pitches.
All five runs scored in the third inning, which required 42 pitches from Bailey in the frame.
Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman talked with Louisville manager Dick Schofield afterward, but Riggleman said results in rehab starts can sometimes “be a mystery.”
“I think his knee felt good,” Riggleman said. “There had been some talk of maybe changing some things up with his delivery. I don’t know how that went or if he even did that. That could play into it too.”
Bailey hasn’t pitched in a Major League game since May 28.
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HAMILTON SPEAKS UP: Speaking in front of more than 40 African-American teenage baseball players at the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy, Billy Hamilton admitted he was nervous.
Hamilton was comfortable taking questions from youth players at the Breakthrough Series, which highlights players from underserved communities nationwide. He even had the opportunity to meet two kids from his home state, Mississippi.
But speaking in front of the entire group was different.
“Just to give encouraging words, for me, it meant a lot to me,” Hamilton said. “I was nervous myself talking to the kids that are younger than me and looking up to me. I feel like I should be the one all hyped about it but I’m nervous just sitting there thinking, ‘This is where I was at one point.’ ”
Hamilton spoke at the event Tuesday afternoon alongside Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Former Major Leaguers George Brett, Dmitri Young, Tom Gordon and LaTroy Hawkins were among the Breakthrough Series coaches, an instructional camp and showcase in front of scouts that lasted four days.
“It was just amazing to be around those kids,” Hamilton said. “Just give them confidence, give them a boost, give them the leeway to be able to want to play and want to continue to do it after high school.”
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DRAFT SIGNINGS: The Reds announced they had signed 21 of their draft picks Tuesday, including nine of their first 11 selections. That includes second-rounder Lyon Richardson (right-handed pitcher), Competitive Balance round choice Josiah Gray (right-handed pitcher) and fourth-round pick Bren Spillane (outfield).
First-round pick Jonathan India, a third baseman at Florida, is unable to sign until he concludes his college baseball season. The Gators advanced to the College World Series with an extra-inning victory over Auburn on Monday. India hit a solo home run in the first inning.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported the Reds have agreed to a $2 million deal with prep outfielder Mike Siani, their fourth-round pick, but the team has yet to announce the signing. Siani was committed to play college baseball at Virginia.
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RIGGLEMAN NO FAN OF DH: Playing in an American League ballpark Tuesday and Wednesday, the Reds moved to a three-man bench by using a designated hitter.
If Riggleman had a vote, all of baseball would be played by National League rules.
“The bunting, the hit-and-running, the things that used to take place more in the National League than they do now,” Riggleman said, “I think all that is interesting.
“In the big leagues, I’ve done both. Believe me, your stomach is not churning as much during games in the American League game.”