If the Brewers are ever going to beat the Reds again, it should happen tonight.
Chad Reineke (2.52 ERA, 3.72 FIP for AAA Louisville) is making just his sixth major league appearance tonight, and his first since making one start as a member of the A's in 2009. In 10 appearances (nine starts) for AAA Louisville on the season he's posted a 2.52 ERA but struck out just 31 in 53.2 innings (5.2 per 9) and walked 16 (2.68 per 9). He last pitched against Scranton-Wilkes Barre on Friday, pitching two scoreless innings with two hits, no walks and four strikeouts.
FanGraphs' major league numbers for Reineke are small sample sized and date back to 2008-09, but they suggest that Reineke mainly throws two pitches: A low 90's fastball and a slider he uses over 30% of the time. He'll occasionally mix in a changeup.
As you might expect, Reineke has never faced the Brewers. In fact, there's not a single player on the Brewer roster that's faced him in the majors. And since he's spent the last two seasons pitching in the AAA International League, it's unlikely any Brewers have faced him recently in the minors either.
He'll face off against Zack Greinke (5.79 ERA, 2.78 FIP), who could really use a signature outing to prove he's the player the Brewers thought they were acquiring when he came over from the Royals this winter. He had his best outing of the season on Wednesday against the Nationals, allowing three runs on five hits over seven innings, walking just one and striking out ten. All three runs scored on a fourth inning homer by Mike Morse. Greinke also went deep in the game.
Greinke has been getting hit hard at times this season (he's allowing 1.6 home runs per nine), but the numbers would suggest he's also been more than a bit unlucky. Opposing batters are hitting .348 on balls in play against him, and xFIP suggests his ERA could very well be as low as 1.61 in a luck-neutral environment. That's largely because of his ridiculous strikeout and walk numbers: He's struck out 12.54 per nine this season, and walked less than one.
Greinke faced the Reds once last season and picked up a complete game victory, allowing three runs on just five hits over nine innings, with no walks and 12 strikeouts. Joey Votto took him deep twice in that game. Two current Reds have faced him ten times or more:
As you might expect, most of those numbers aren't recent. Renteria faced Greinke 12 times in 2008 but hasn't seen him since, and Rolen hasn't faced Greinke since going 0-for-6 against him in 2009.
Via Adam McCalvy, here's tonight's lineup:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Corey Hart RF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Nyjer Morgan CF
Zack Greinke P
And in the bullpen:
Sergio Mitre pitched two innings (32 pitches) last night.
Tim Dillard pitched two innings (24 pitches) last night, and only works on Mondays.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (16 pitches) Sunday.
Kameron Loe and John Axford last pitched on Saturday.
Mike McClendon and Marco Estrada haven't pitched since Friday
And for the weather: It's hot in Cincinnati again tonight and will remain that way into the evening. Game time temp will be around 87, dropping to around 80 by the end of the game.