Third times a charm? The Cincinnati Reds (17-19) face the Colorado Rockies (15-24) in the third game of this four game series, trying to break a two-game losing streak and win a game at Coors Field for the first time this season.
Aside from one start, Tyler Mahle hasn’t had a bad season so far in 2021. He gave up six runs in five innings to the Cubs on May 2 (this was the crazy game that ended with a Reds 13-12 victory). Other than that, he hasn’t given up more than two earned runs in a start yet. Will he overcome the Coors Field factor tonight?
Mahle’s been getting a lot more batters to swing and miss at his split finger this season, with a whiff% of 45.1%. He already has three more strikeouts with it (8) than he did in 2020 (5), in fewer pitches (79 compared to 100). However, the whiff% on his slider is way down from last season at 28.4% compared to 41.5%.
After six years and seven different teams, 33-year-old right-hander Jhoulys Chacin is back with the Rockies, the team with which he started his career. He had been with the Yankees during spring training, but did not make the cut and the Rockies swooped in and signed him before the start of the regular season. In 2020, he pitched only two games for the Braves at the beginning of the season in July before being designated for assignment.
Tonight will be Chacin’s first start of the season. He’s made six appearances, all out of the bullpen. He’s most likely been building back up his innings to be a starter, as he’s pitched 3.1 innings in each of his last two appearances. The last time Chacin faced the Reds, it was 2019 and he was pitching for the Brewers. He gave up three earned runs on six hits while striking out five and walking one in just three innings.
Chacin has five pitches in his arsenal and he throws all five pitches. His curve ball, averaging about 80.5 mph, is his best pitch and he gets the best whiff% with it. He only averages about 91 mph with his fastball, so he’s definitely not a power pitcher, and the whiff rates on his fastball prove it. They’ve been anywhere between 10 percent and 20 percent. He gets more batters to swing and miss at his off speed pitches than anything else.
Stat of the Day
Not sure what it is about NL West teams this year, but the Reds are 4-11 against that division in 2021. Two of those four wins have come against arguably the best team in the NL West in the Dodgers. Go figure.
News and Notes
Read about Jose Garcia’s hot start in Chattanooga, and other minor league notes here.
In his pregame meeting with the media, David Bell gave further updates on Senzel and Moustakas:
David Bell on Nick Senzel: “He probably could have started the game today. He’ll be available off the bench and maybe be back in the lineup tomorrow.”
On Mike Moustakas: “A little better than expected today, but we still don’t know for sure exactly what we’re looking at.”
— Charlie Goldsmith (@CharlieG__) May 15, 2021
This content was originally published here.