The Reds and Phillies square off for the deciding game of their three-game series. Homer Bailey faces rookie David Buchanan. See the details of the pitching match-up here.

VOTTO UPDATE: Reds first baseman, Joey Votto is batting second (foreshadowing?) for the Louisville Bats today (1:05 p.m.). Here’s a photo of Joey taking batting practice this afternoon. We’ve dispatched Richard Fitch to Pawtucket for the coverage and eagerly await his first-hand report.

LATOS UPDATE: Reds manager Bryan Price told reporters (CTR) this afternoon that Mat Latos will pitch in Pawtucket tomorrow and if he hits his pitch count and feels good he’ll join the Reds rotation for his next game. Latos could be in line to pitch next Saturday in Milwaukee against the first-place Brewers. No announcement yet as to who will move to bullpen – Cingrani or Simon – or both (wink).

LINEUP: The Reds lineup once again today features Skip Schumaker in left field. I know we’re not supposed to complain about the line-up because the batting order doesn’t make much difference. But it sure feels wrong to have Todd Frazier (.279/.348/.521) batting sixth while Schumaker (.234/.280/.312) bats second and DatDude (.268/.302/.394) bats third. Maybe it’s Bryan Price’s tribute to former manager Dusty Baker’s indifference to the #2 spot in the order and his Sunday Special lineup. Thought we were past that, seriously. Donald Lutz gets a rare start at first base and bats seventh.

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Skip Schumaker (L) LF
3. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Devin Mesoraco (R) C
6. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
7. Donald Lutz (L) 1B
8. Zack Cozart (R) SS
9. Homer Bailey (R) P

It should be another beautiful June day for baseball. Forecast is 70º and 17% chance of rain. Discuss the game here and GO REDS!

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 185 Comments

  1. This should be the last we see of Donald Lutz for a while. He needs to go back to AAA and get consistent playing time. if the Reds aren’t going to play him regularly, send him down.

    Votto should be back tomorrow, Tuesday at the latest.

    • Agreed. It’s a shame that Price never gave Lutz a chance and has probably set his season back. He was tearing up AA and had just got promoted to AAA when they called him up. Price has set him for at least 3 weeks in favor of such stalwarts as Santiago playing out of position at 3rd. I’m sure Lutz is rusty now and it may take weeks to get his timing back.

      • The personnel moves have been very questionable, would like to have seen Lutz get regular PT especially against righties, really wonder why Bernadina is even on the roster (despite that he hits Arroyo), the injuries did put them in bind but they should have found a way to give Lutz a shot

  2. 17% chance of rain? Now that’s specific. So 83% chance it won’t.

  3. It would be great if Lutz has a really big game so Price might learn a lesson. Frazier batting 6th?? Bryan Price is starting to look, more and more, like a one-year story. Has anyone been more consistently productive than Todd, out of the position players?

    Oh well, Go Reds!!

    • What lesson would that be?
      And if Lutz goes 0-4, is that a “told you so” moment?

      I think Price tries to play match ups and the best players as much as possible. Lutz has no history so there are no match ups to play and he certainly isn’t one of the better players on the team.

      He started the year in AA for a reason. His day will come.

      • Thfey should not have brought Lutz up then, they could have set Soto on the bench as the emergency 1B and let Lutz continue his development.

      • I’m referring to Santiago getting the stars over Lutz, not even Ludwick, Heisey, or Bernadino. It is an embarrassment so make a case if you can, I’m sincerely interested to hear one.

    • Overreact much? Come on, “a one year story”? I also think Frazier should be batting higher in the order, but having him bat 6th yesterday worked out pretty well. Managing this MASH unit through this schedule to this record is not the stuff of which managerial-washouts are made.

      • Not really. I’ll stand by my post. Just being objective. If you want to argue the points, have at it: Santiago > Lutz, Frazier the 6th best hitter on the team.

        These move do instill confidence but they may to you.

        • These moves do “not”….

        • On most of the occasions Santiago has been in the game instead of Lutz (via the 1st base/3rd base transitive property), we’ve been facing a LH starting pitcher. At this point, yes, Santiago>Lutz vs LHP. ( The game against Arroyo, when Bernadina started at 1st instead of Lutz against a RHP was a unique situation, and Bernadina showed that Price’s extremely gutsy decision was the right one.)

          Now that Cueto has come down to earth and is pitching merely like a Cy Young candidate and not like Cy Young himself, I hope Price will break up the personal catcher thing; that would make it possible to give Devin the day off when it makes sense instead of when Cueto is pitching, in which case Peña could be catching and Lutz could play 1st against a tough RHP, for instance. Of course, with Votto back that probably won’t happen much. It will be interesting to see if they keep Lutz up and DFA Bernadina; that might be the best thing for the team in the short term even if it slows Lutz’s development.

    • If Lutz went 5 for 5 with 5 homeruns Price would probably still start Santiago at 3rd next game. And Frazier batting 6th? Really? Fraizer should be batting somewhere between 2nd and 4th, 5th as a worst case.

  4. Should have never signed Homer to a deal like that. An extension for Cueto + 20 mil saved for a bat would have been more prudent. One of the two mega-prospects on this team that have never lived up to the hype. It was cool to see Golden Boy Bruce actually do something yesterday.

    We know he can sting the ball. He just doesn’t put together many good AB’s in a row. Jay Bruce is the Reds’ most undisciplined everyday hitter because Zack Cozart don’t count.

  5. I’m expecting shutout baseball from Homer today.

  6. It’s too bad Kendrys Morales is mostly a DH. I see he signed with the Twins.

  7. wow, byrd is 7 for 18 lifetime against bailey with 2 homers? scary

  8. Great to see HB battling through that inning.

  9. It’s obvious early that the game plan is to take a lot of strikes down the middle, get to 2 strikes, then swing at a pitchers pitch.
    Hope that works.

  10. Brandon Phillips = Ron Hunt ?

  11. Excellent hitting by JBruce.

  12. Mes needs to heat back up. He is in the throws of a major slump.

  13. Votto strikes out looking on a 3-2 pitch in his first at-bat.

  14. Boy, Bailey’s stuff is nasty today.

  15. Dealing

  16. When Homer can command the bottom of the strike zone like he has in the first two innings, he’s a handful. His problems this year have been getting pitches up in the zone, particularly to left handed hitters. Hope he can keep it up.

  17. Cozart now 6 for his last 40.

  18. Regarding Jay Bruce’s plate discipline. He’s got the third lowest rate of all starters (behind Votto and Hamilton) for swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. He’s second on the team (behind Votto) in walks. The idea that Jay Bruce is less disciplined at the plate than, say Brandon Phillips or Ryan Ludwick, is laugh-out-loud funny.

  19. So if he only swings at 1 pitch out of the zone per at bat, and it’s strike 3………then yes, his percentage should be low.

    • Sorry to say something nice about a guy who has hit 30 home the past three seasons. I was responding to the comment above where someone said Bruce was the least disciplined player in the Reds starting lineup other than Cozart.

  20. Homer needs to bone up here.

  21. Thom: A very quiet, laid back crowd here Sunday….

    Isn’t that what Ludwick said and got blasted for?

    • Ludwick made the comment about a midweek, day game, if I recall.

      • Last week of the season, thought it was in response to a Mets players saying I thought you guys when in a race for the playoffs?

  22. Bruce is also at -0.2 War and is $ value is -1.1 million.

  23. Another wasted, one-pitch AB for Hamilton trying to bunt. Easy out for the rookie pitcher. Some real chaos there.

    • Almost as bad as taking a called strike 3. Billy’s growing and learning and hasn’t been as bad as you think. See the next article.

      • In contrast to the Nationals, the Reds have made the poorest use of the bunt this season. Coming into the week, Cincinnati’s 60 bunts were second most in the NL, after the Milwaukee Brewers’ 63. The Reds’ cumulative WPA on those bunts was minus 0.83, meaning their average bunt cost the team more than 1% of win probability.

        Cueto has been one of the primary culprits, failing to reach base on any of his 10 bunt attempts, including two in non-sacrifice situations, costing the Reds 0.23 points of WPA. Not surprisingly, Cincinnati’s most frequent bunter has been Billy Hamilton, who has balanced five bunt singles with 11 failures to reach base or move a runner. Hamilton’s 19 bunts (including three sacrifices) have yielded a WPA of minus 0.12.

        Cueto’s struggles while bunting are not uncharacteristic of pitchers. NL pitchers have dropped 273 bunts, or 43% of all NL attempts, and have averaged minus 0.020 points of WPA on each attempt, compared with an average WPA of minus 0.011 in all plate appearances. NL position players have averaged 0.04 WPA when bunting, far better than their average WPA in all plate appearances, which is about a hundredth of a percent less than zero.

      • You did see the word “minus” in front of his WPA on those bunts according to your article?

        • So lets call it a .250 avg (5 for 19). A little below average, but not horrible. And lets not forget when he reaches, it’s a double with added pressure on the defense causing errors. So with practice an experience its fare to say it will get better.

          • He’s not stealing bases at a rate where it has much positive value. Too many times thrown out. It’s not a double. Add that the bunts don’t help drive in runs or drive up pitch counts. Sure, some errors caused some times. Also lots of times when it dosn’t cause errors. I hope it gets better. I’ve been assured he’s a really fast learner, but his bunt game doesn’t reflect that.

            I’d like to see him concentrate on hitting line drives and taking walks than giving up so many AB to the bunt.

            Your own article showed it had a negative WPA. That’s net.

        • There are some that Billy has reached his zenith and this it. They are in for the surprise of their lives and it will be a joy to watch it evolve.

  24. Reds getting 1 hit by “Cy Young” Buchanan and his 6+ ERA.

    And where is Walt Jocketty?

  25. Dismal offensive effort thus far.

    • When you don’t work counts and take walks, this is what you get. A team that “hits” .238 as a team.

    • Hence, the quiet, laid back crowd.
      I am here and ready to cheer…

    • First time through the lineup against a new pitcher. Top of the order loaded with low OBP players. Let’s see how it goes the second time through the order with the good hitters.

  26. Votto flies out to left in his 2nd at-bat.

  27. Dominic Brown wears out the Reds. Seems like everyone else in baseball has figured out how to get him out. Reds need to tear up the scouting report on him.

  28. Thank goodness for the Reds D.

  29. Homer is really buckling down when the heat is on. Very nice!

  30. Buchanan was 5-1 w/ 3.98 ERA at AAA.

  31. Too close to overturn?

  32. I keep hoping this team will figure it out but it just ain’t happening. This team has the worst time hitting bad pitchers. Well, really any pitchers.

  33. Phillips takes something off of his swing to make the ball go straight and soft enough to land in front of the CF. Bruce comes up next, gets the same fastball, and hits it as hard as he can…just hard enough to land straight in a glove. Bruce can’t guide the ball. No bat finesse.

    • ???

      There are no Rod Carews on this team or in the whole of baseball at the moment.

    • In the previous at bat, Jay Bruce “guided” the ball into left field against the shift. Guess he lost his bat finesse in the intervening innings. The idea that Phillips (or any other hitter) can guide the ball like that is belied by Brandon Phillips batting average. If he can do that, why only 27% of the time?

      • Go watch Carew, I actually believe he did and Wade Boggs to a lesser degree. Regardless, it is skill as rare as a diamond.

      • I see Bruce getting most of his hits from hitting it over heads. I’ve been watching Phillips improve his bat control for years. Meanwhile, Jay has been dead as a duck against shifts for years. I’m glad he defeated one.

        Career AVG/OBP

        Bruce: .254/.329
        Phillips: .271/319

        One guy is 6’4” and hits the ball harder…

    • Wrong… BP hit a laser with top spin. Bruce had more backspin to hold it up.

  34. Votto’s .257 average will resurrect this offense!

  35. Billy has range and a gun.

    • That was a great play by Hamilton (the catch) made to look easy. Too many walks by Homer this year.

      • The throw while in an awkward motion impressed the heck of me, as well. Can’t wait until the new metrics that Richard wrote about; I’d like to know how many guys can get to that ball. Saved a run on that play, no doubt.

  36. Sadly, at the ends of June, I have to go see my Reds play here in San Francisco with a group of friends. They’re all Giants fans. It’ll be a sad, long, lonely, awful night for me.

  37. That was the right call, but it seems like we NEVER get any of the borderline calls.

  38. Bailey keeping the Reds in the game. Can the Reds figure out how to get more than 2 hits is the big question.

    • Very inspiring start by HB.

      Frazier is probably the best 6th hitter in all of baseball. (eye roll)

    • Yes… Homer knows when to start the relay,,, go billy

  39. I see now why Price has been reluctant to play Lutz. Dude needs to go back to AA.

  40. Terrible strike three call against Lutz. Terrible.

  41. Cozart as a very competent hitter when he doesn’t try to pull the ball.

  42. Homer!!!Bailey!! for clarity.

  43. Bailey say, “Screw you people, I’ll do it myself!”

  44. Atta boy homer !!!!!

  45. Homer showing them what that stick is for!

  46. I’d take a FC if nothing else.

  47. Lol, right after I say that…..
    Homer Bailey might be responsible for every run in his game today!

  48. BHammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!

  49. See what can happen when you don’t bunt?

    • Touche’. I do like that result better.

    • Billy does more than steal bases. HR from the left side of the plate. Defensive throws. He is the most exciting Reds player right now!!!

  50. Wow, I was sitting here thinking Hamilton should hit it out. And he did!

  51. Bombs away Billy !!!

  52. I’m. In. Shock………BILLY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  53. What is happening right now? ::cartoon head shake::

  54. Are those stil Hamilruns?

  55. I hope Schumacher takes care of this Hamilton smiling after his home run problem.

  56. That strike 3 call to Schumaker as a good foot outside.

  57. The short porch they built for Junior to break the home run record just helped Hamilton out, as it has countless others.

    That strike three call against Schumaker was a foot out of the strike zone.

  58. It’s June and Billy Hamilton has half as many homeruns as Jay Bruce. 🙂

  59. With this umpire why would you ever throw a strike?

  60. Nice inning.

    Hope Homers treats it like the game is tied. No freebies.

  61. Runs came with the Cozart, Bailey, and Hamilton part of the order. Thankfully our #2 and #3 hitters put an end to those shenanigans.

  62. Nice inning despite the bad calls. Hold ’em there Homer…need a goose egg this inning

  63. Forgive me if I missed this elsewhere, but is Pena dinged up? I don’t recall him being in the line-up the last few days (minus the Cueto start).

  64. I must have been dreaming…….a 4 run rally by the bottom third of the line up and the lead off man. Nice job.

  65. Nice adjustments made by some of the Reds hitters,…waiting on the bevy of breaking pitches.

  66. Come on Homer……set them down in order this inning.

  67. Homer is batting .217 and has an OBP of .250.

    97 gas from Homer. Here comes the late inning mph surge.

  68. Billy Hamilton has the same number of home runs as Robinson Cano. Talk about a bad contract.

  69. Joey Votto breaks up Pawtucket’s no hitter.

  70. Votto breaks up the no hitter with a single in the 7th

  71. Another great inning. I like this Homer Bailey. A lot!

  72. Homer is dealing. Strikes out Byrd with a 97 mph fastball and makes Ruiz look bad.

  73. I’m confused, I thought Homer is always supposed to give up leads, the inning after he gets them. What’s wrong?

    • Its not April- what exactly happened in Spring training- is there some room for optimism in Homer actually putting up decent ace like stats

  74. Another terrible strike call on Shuemaker.

  75. I wonder if the umpire has to answer for some of these horrible strike calls.

  76. Back to back starts vs. the DBacks and Phillies hopefully is a cure for Bailey.

  77. Regardless of how good of a 7th homer has, do you let him bat next inning if he is at around 100 pitches?

  78. This ump loves the outside pitch to lefties

  79. Sampson should have not cut his hair.

  80. Nice, Rollins makes me nervous, and didn’t want Utley up as the tying run.

  81. I think you bring in Parra for some redemption with Utley and Howard due up, Broxton probably needs a day off so he can be available for the Dodgers series. Be nice if they open it up so Ondrusek can get some work in.

  82. Lutz at least swings like he means it.

  83. Bailey is batting with 108 pitches? I’m confused.

  84. Leaving Homer in for another inning, when he’s gone 7 on 108 pitches? Hmm…

    • Exactly my thoughts. Another strange managerial move IMO.

      • Especially with 2 lefties coming up- he knows Homer and I saw a quote from Homer the other day he thought 100 pitches was a ridiculous limit to put on pitchers that back in the day pitchers threw every 4 days- complete games at 140 to 150 pitches. He thinks the rise in Tommy John surgery is due to rise in video game popularity.

  85. Not sure I agree with sending HB out with 100+ pitches and Philies middle of the order due up. But hopefully it works out .

  86. Homer batting in the bottom of the 7th, with Utley and Howard, coming up, shows a lack of confidence in Parra. And that Price wants to rest Broxton today if possible.

    • What I am thinking, posted he should let Parra try to get some redemption

      • Right I saw it. But a 3 run lead is not that much with Utley, Howard and Byrd coming up. Parra will get plenty of chances for redemption. The main things is that Price knew Homer was still strong.

      • This is bad when you can only go 3 deep into your pen with any confidence. The Reds have not been exposed because they do not have leads consistently and can pitch Broxton and Chapman without really being overworked.
        The starting pitching has been decent enough to get them to the 7th if the line-up can score, if this line-up starts creating lead situations and Broxton may need Lecure to take the 8th a few nights it is going to be a tough call if your starter is struggling in the 6th

        • Yep. Another reason that Latos’ return will be important. Then with either Cingrani or Simon, the Reds will be 4 deep “with confidence” in the pen.

  87. Homer threw 115 pitches or more 7 games out of 32 last year.

    • True. And he does seem to get better as the game goes along.

    • Steve, I’m sure what I’m about to say is due to a faulty memory but if I recall the starts following those high-count outings were not among his best. Can you confirm or nullify this notion?

      • Mixed bag. Couple of shutouts, couple of ok games, couple of bad games (using runs as a criteria, didn’t want to take the time to look at anything more deep than that).

  88. First Phillies hit since the fourth inning.

  89. Throwing 97 mph fastballs in the 8th inning, I love it how in a good start Homer gets stronger late in the game.

  90. Great outing for HB. He appears to be moving past his rough start which is great news !

  91. Price stuck with his horse, got 3 lefties out in the 8th…not bad for an over-paid that has no mental toughness, remember this next time you complain about Prices moves

  92. why not use Ludwick or Heisey?

  93. What could possibly be the reason to choose Skip Schumaker to bat second?

  94. What a game by Homer. I know the Phillies aren’t exactly world-beaters but 1 run in 8 innings against anyone is getting it done.

  95. Another great use of Aroldis Chapman. One inning. A game the Reds are ahead by three runs. Bottom of the Phillies order. Sigh. What a waste.

    • It’s gotten to the point where I just don’t care about the situation. I just appreciate getting to watch him pitch. The more that happens the better. That changeup is disgusting.

      • You’re right about his changeup but he was getting swings and misses today with the slider,

    • Just curious if he is not starting, would you have used him any differently this season. I imagine your venting that it would be to make your Pulp Fiction a reality?

      • Not much. Of course I’d make him a starter. I would have in 2011. If he’s going to be a reliever, the closer role is fine, although there are some situations of high leverage that don’t meet the traditional criteria for when to use a closer. Chapman should be used in the most difficult spots. He’s by far the best pitcher in the bullpen.

        • Thought he wants to be a closer. Shouldn’t that be the end of the never-ending complaining?

          • No. Players should play where they help the team the most. Not where they want to play. It’s a never-ending mistake, why shouldn’t there be never-ending complaining?

    • Question I would like an opinion on, how much of a difference would a Cingrani-Broxton combo be in comparison to a Broxton- Chapman 8th/9th end of game situation currently- because I assume Chapman could be twice as effective as Cingrani in his starts

      • Very hard to say, but if I were the Reds manager I’d tell Chapman (when the time comes) that he’s starting in 2015 and go with Cingrani-Broxton as the back end of the bullpen. Cingrani closed in college and is well-suited for that role. As a starter, so far this year he’s had trouble getting thru the 6th inning.

  96. Chapman struck out all 3 with a slider ! And a good idea with Ruiz, who is a very good fastball hitter who was geared up for one.

  97. Phillies hitters had absolutely no chance. Wow.

  98. Homer Bailey seems to be able to throw better pitches 90+ pitches than he is in the first 25-30 pitches. Lot of power pitchers have that problem, it takes them a while to get going. It’s a big reason the Unit and Nolan Ryan walked so many people. They were not that good early, but once they got into a groove, they shut it down. Homer while of course not to that level (although I think it possible) is a similar pitcher style wise.

    I’d love to see the Reds perhaps start stretching Chapman out. I’d basically have him set up twice a week to try to go for a 2-3 inning save. They get up a run early with the back part of the rotation going in the 5th or 6th, you bring in Aroldis and let him go the rest of the way and try to make the 1 run stick. They need to get aggressive with the good part of the pen on some days and try to nasty boys out that last 3 innings. Use the pen to close out games.

    Tony Cingrani is going to be on an innings hold for the season. I could see having him miss 1 or 2 starts, perhaps using them in a long man setup like above for a few weeks. Then flip flop him and Simon in the pen. I’d say Cingrani goes to the pen for maybe 4 start turns. Perhaps you have Simon setup at date to cover for Cingrani’s first start, so maybe he only goes 5 (80-95 pitches) to ease him back in. SImon then comes in for a couple innings to get them to the back part of the pen.

  99. ” It’s a never-ending mistake, why shouldn’t there be never-ending complaining?”

    Cause its boring!

    • Not to everyone, I would love to see Chapman go against a line-up 3 or 4 times through, just to know if he is better than Cingrani right now, I would think he would be about 2 ER a game better and Tony is probably best suited for bullpen duty

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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