Final R H E
Washington Nationals (57-45)
4 5 0
Cincinnati Reds (52-52)
2 7 2
W: D. Fister (10-2)   L: M. Latos (2-3)   S: R. Soriano (25)
Box Score | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability

Mat Latos touched 96 mph in the 1st inning, for those concerned about the status of his arm. Latos had a no-hitter through the first four innings, but found himself in a whole passel of trouble in the 5th when he lost his command culminating in a walk to Jayson Werth with the bases loaded after getting ahead in the count 0-2. A soft single by LaRoche and Latos went from no-hitting the Nats to trailing 3-0.

Donald Lutz made a fine defensive play in left field in the seventh, starting a relay play with his momentum carrying him the opposite way that doubled off Denard Span, who wandered too far off second base.

Jumbo Diaz relieved Latos in the 7th and looked like money again, surrendering a leadoff walk before getting a double play and striking out Werth.

Sam LeCure pitched an uneventful 8th.

Carlos Contreras had tossed a smooth and efficient 9th inning until with 2 outs, Skip Schumaker made a bad throw and his second error of the game and Devin Mesoraco surrendered a passed ball. Contreras sagged a bit after that, giving up the 4th run of the game.

The Reds offense, like a teenager waiting until the last minute to begin his homework, procrasinated until the very last moment to get to work. In the 9th, Todd Frazier singled, Jay Bruce singled and then Mesoraco doubled near the base of the wall in left center field to plate two runs and cut the deficit to 4-2. But, after outs by Hannahan and Lutz, Chris Heisey came to the plate and just got under a pitch, flying out to deep left field.

Not So Random Thoughts …

Hard to believe the Detroit Tigers could give Doug Fister away as easily as they did this past off-season. With Verlander struggling the way he has lately, you’ve got to believe the Tigers would like to have that move back. It’s a real object lesson for the Reds. You cannot have too much pitching. The front office has some tough decisions ahead of them as they decide whether to give big money to Cueto or Latos and going forward, how much to rely on the youth of Cingrani, Stephenson, Lorenzen, et al.

I cannot find it in my heart to blame Schumaker, Hannahan, Lutz or Santiago for not providing the offense this team so desperately needs right now. These guys are here to play selectively, fill in for minor injuries, give some flexibility to the lineup and provide capable late inning gloves. The guys who should be carrying the team offensively right now—Bruce, Frazier and Mesoraco—just are not getting it done.

The Reds actually outhit the Nationals. That’s the Baseball Gods mocking the Reds.

Since his disastrous maiden voyage against the Blue Jays, Jumbo Diaz came into today having pitched 10.1 innings, posting a 1.74 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 3 BB, 12 K.

The Joel Luckhaupt Stat of the Game: Mat Latos has a loss or a no-decision in each of the last 8 times he’s allowed 3 or fewer hits in a start.

The New York Mets have beaten the Bernie Brewers again, 2-0. So, the Reds lose no ground to the NL Central leaders, but fall another game behind the Cardinals, who won earlier 1-0.

78 Responses

  1. JM

    SELL Walt, SELL. Unload payroll and get young cost controlled prospects in return. Simon and Broxton for sure. This team is not making the playoffs. Go get the Cuban OF Castillo and call up some AAA guys and see what they got before 2015.

      • ToddAlmighty

        Yeah, I don’t think this team has the 38-20 finish in them in order to get to 90 wins. Still wouldn’t mind shopping Simon/Broxton/Chapman, and seeing if the Dodgers want to give Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and a middling pitching prospect for Cueto. Then the Dodgers can throw out Kershaw/Cueto/Greinke/Ryu/Beckett and just shut out all the teams with the best rotation in the history of baseball.

      • droomac

        Pederson is a big strikeout guy, but can rake with a high OBP, and is a natural CF, who could play LF in 2014. How many wins would that be worth (at least compared to the horror that has been LF this year)? . . . Yes, please.

  2. Jeff Morris

    With the Reds rallying in the 9th inning, I would have PH Hannahan with Pena. Pena has the power to hit a HR or could have got any hit to deliver Mes from 2nd. Hannahan just got off the DL and is not ready for prime time yet. I hope this is not a big man crush on Hannahan now, where he plays 1st Base everyday now??

  3. ToddAlmighty

    Hannahan when a completely unsurprising 0-4, 2K.. Schumaker showed why he is a bench player with two throwing errors, making it 3 in the last 3 games.

    On the bright side Jumbo and Carlos keep impressing me. LeCure being solid. At least it looks like they have 5 reliable bullpen pitchers now.

    Frazier and Mesoraco both with multihit games is a good sign. They scored twice as much as they did in the win yesterday. Can we stop benching Mesoraco for Pena now?

    • BigRedMike

      Schumaker really brings nothing to the team. Has a significant negative WAR

      Bruce getting close to negative WAR

      • greenmtred

        He brings SOMETHING: they have to have a guy at every position. He was not intended to be a starter, and now he is due to injuries.

      • Vicferrari

        Shumaker has been a disappointment, way below his career numbers. He is much better than Hannahan though. It is bizarre that h eis even considered an option, Soto would make more sense to me at this point

  4. Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

    I love to watch Latos pitch. Full of fire and passion. However he is extremely lucky he didn’t get thrown out of this game. It’s great to see a player care but he was very hot headed today. He was literally shaking his head in anger after every mistake he made or call he didn’t agree with. Nothing wrong with showing emotion but as a pitcher he needs to let things go a bit better.

    • Aaron Bradley

      He was also wrong…the umpire was generous on the 2nd strike, and the 2 balls were def. outside the strikezone.

    • 666wolverine

      Latos has every right to be angry!!! The dude pitches his heart out and gets no help! With that lineup that was behind him was just terrible! I don’t blame him at all.

  5. Dale Pearl

    Here is the latest on Winker in case anyone was interested

    Winker suffered a partially torn tendon in his right wrist in a car accident earlier this month and tried to play through it, including his appearance in the Futures Game at the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, where he was 1 for 2.
    “I went (to the Futures Game) there and my whole body was sore, my knee was sore, my shoulder was sore — and so was my hand, but I just played because I figured that’s what happens in a car accident, your body is just banged up,” Winker said. “I came back and then we had a scheduled off day after that and then a rainout in Jacksonville and I was swinging in Jacksonville and something just didn’t feel right in my hand. I thought it was just a little sore, and everything else was feeling fine. My neck wasn’t sore, my knee wasn’t sore. We went and got it checked and I ended up putting a cast on it, we came back up and had an MRI and I had a partial tear of a tendon in my hand.”
    The good news is the injury won’t require surgery and while it will most likely end his season — the Blue Wahoos’ season finishes on Sept. 1 — Winker isn’t giving up on 2014.
    “Whatever the next step is, I’m hoping I can come back for the last week of the season,” Winker said. “We just have to wait and see with this process, when it heals. The doctor said two-to-four weeks, so I just have to sit back and let it heal.”

    • ToddAlmighty

      Glad it won’t require surgery. Does explain maybe why he’s been hitting so poorly and with zero power in AA though.

      • Thegaffer

        Maybe somewhat, but he hit 2 HR, won the A HR derby and hit a long double in the futures game with the injury. Thats more than Votto on his hurt knee.

  6. Newt

    Soon, if this continues, it will be time to get serious about giving Chapman a run at being a starter.

    • greenmtred

      It might be time to give Chapman a run at left field and hitting 3rd, as well.

  7. AnnapolisHoosier

    Richard, right on about the offense. Getting angry at Schumaker, Hannahan, Lutz or Santiago for not hitting is silly. They are who we thought they are.

    • pinson343

      Absolutely. But it’s still frustrating to watch. In the 9th inning, after consecutive hits by Frazer, Bruce, and Mes, the tying run is at the plate with none out. I’m a diehard, I always have hope. But with Hannahan and Lutz coming up, I could see how this was going to end. Hannahan naturally strikes out on a pitch way inside and low, etc.

      I never knew what WJ saw in Hannahan, a 2 year contract for a corner IFer who can’t hit.

    • Vicferrari

      Schumaker has got to be better, his career slash line is .282/.340/.368- I realize he is not a pwer hitter, but he has been awful at getting on base and the team needs this in the worst way.

  8. Aaron Bradley

    Can’t we be angry Schumaker is being paid multi-millions to provide sub-par defense and clutch offense to the tune of 230 something? He is another example of an ex-Cardinals charity project and I am disgusted by it. His two pathetic throwing errors both got in the heads of the pitchers and led to runs today.

    • redmountain

      Schumaker was brought in to provide back up outfield defense and some experience in the infield. He is not a second baseman, he is an OF and so he makes a couple of errors, what do you expect. Santiago would be playing 2b if there were not other places he needed to play. This is why you do not blame him. Plus his contract is not that expensive in veteran utility player terms.

      • Robby20

        He made two errors. So if one doesn’t blame him for the errors who does one blame? He is a major league player who was signed to play some back-up second base. He is expected to make the routine plays.

    • droomac

      Please sell, Walt. . . Free up some payroll and get some prospects from unloading Cueto, Simon, and Broxton. Their value won’t be more after the season. If you won’t start Chapman, trade him too. Then, with some of the money, sign Yasmani Tomas for LF or Rusney Castillo for LF/SS/2B (he could be a Cuban Zobrist!).

      Whatever you do, don’t sit on your hands and please don’t deal to contend this year. When half of your position players are Santiago, Hannahan, Lutz, and Schumaker, you aren’t contending anytime soon.

    • Richard Fitch

      Sure. You can be angry at whomever you want. But, the Reds aren’t in the position they are because of Skip Schumaker. He’s being asked to play a role he was not meant to. He’s not an everyday player. Four bench players in the lineup at the same time is not a recipe for winning.

      • Aaron Bradley

        I think he is being grossly overpaid for what he does and what his role was supposed to be. By sheer bad luck his role has expanded and he isn’t capable of stepping it up. I don’t remember the exact salary, but I want to say he is making 5 million for 2 years. Negron is a better infielder and Lutz is a better outfielder. Walt overpaid for Grit and Veteran leadership, which is worth nothing as we saw today.

      • Richard Fitch

        Yeah, it’s a bad contract, but in the grand scheme of things 2/$5M is nothing. When you look at contracts, don’t look at the money, look at the years.

      • Robby20

        Come on. He is being paid to make routine plays as he fills in for guys who are hurt or who need a day off. He is not the reason the Reds are awful right now but he is not doing his job very well either.

  9. Tom Reed

    Too little, too late. Here’s hoping Walt and the front office are prepared to make the right moves to get the Reds ready for opening day in eight months.

    • droomac

      Amen. Next week will be a big one, not for 2014, but for 2015 and beyond. If they don’t leverage some big pieces into future help, I fear we are headed toward the bottom of the division.

    • redmountainH

      Aside from a LF, what do the Reds need to add to this team? Are you referring to signing pitchers? Were they healthy, they would be running away with the division. Hanahan is probably not going to be back, but Santiago and Pena and Schumaker should be kept.

      • droomac

        It’s not a matter of what they need for 2015. You are right, they are pretty set, save for LF and, arguably, SS. That is, provided everyone is healthy. However, given the situation, the question becomes are the Reds in a very unique position of being able to deal in a manner that maximizes present worth of players to make the team better in the long run. I believe they do. Sending Cueto, Broxton, and Simon (and perhaps Chapman) away for some prospects would save money and bring back some major league ready and controllable players back in return. With the money saved, they could sign one of the Cuban outfielders, get some bench help, lock up Latos, or have the payroll flexibility to be buyers next year.

      • Robby20

        Can’t agree with the rosy outlook for 2015. The team crawled to the finish line in 2013, and hasn’t looked very strong this year even when all the pieces played. Bruce may bounce back next year, but he may not, Votto may never be the player he was and Frazier, Mesoraco and Hamilton still haven’t put up great numbers for a whole season. Lots of question marks. The team has evolved to one that absolutely must have great pitching and defense to win. If those two components slip the Reds lose because the offense struggles so much.

      • Hotto4votto

        I disagree Robby. I believe the team, offense especially, played very well even with a less than optimal Votto when everyone was on the field. Votto and Phillips going out has caused a chain reaction of negative events to our offense. The obvious is that you lose Votto’s on-base skills which were still good even with the injury, and you lose Phillips defense and replace him with a guy that is worse in the field and at the plate, even if BP wasn’t a world beater this year at the plate he was better than the alternative. Additionally we’ve seen a rise of Schu/Cozart hitting in the two hole behind Billy. It’s no wonder that Billy has started to slide a bit with that sort of protection behind him, as opposed to Frazier being there. You could also make a case that Frazier, Mes, and Bruce feel pressure to produce as the majority of the offensive production lays on their shoulders. Bruce has also had to spend time learning a new position, one he’s never played before. When he’s already struggling and under pressure to help carry the offense it can’t help to add more to his plate. And that’s not even mentioning the pitching side where they must feel they need to pitch a shut out to win.

        All of that to say I don’t see the outlook in 2015 to be bleak. I think at full strength, even with the obvious roster holes, this is a team that can contend. The starting pitching is top notch, the bullpen at full strength is also a plus considering the emergence of Diaz and Contreras. Add Iglesias to that mix next year and you have a solid young core to add to Chapman, Broxton, Parra, and LeCure. Solid enough that you could even trade an asset and still be good. LF and SS still need to be addressed and the bench can always use strengthening. But a healthy squad next year will look to contend.

      • ToddAlmighty

        LF, SS, maybe 2B? Even healthy BP was a subpar hitter.

      • drew

        If our hitters are playing and producing I can live with a light hitting very good fielder at SS.

      • Robby20

        The Reds would be running away with the division if they were healthy? How do you know that? The Cardinals have also had a number of injuries. What if they were healthy? The Reds have had an unusual number of injuries and that has been one of the reasons they have struggled but remember this team crawled to the finish line last season with most everyone healthy and got embarrassed in the playoffs. There are needs that must be addressed if this team is to contend and I’m not talking about this season. Too late for 2014.

      • greenmtred

        In looking toward 2015 and beyond, isn’t Votto’s health the elephant in the room? I don’t know what his prospects for a full recovery are (I know, the current injury is evidently curable by rest, but it has been a long time since he had much beyond guile to bring to the game). Bruce is another elephant. What’s going on with him? He has always seemed streaky, but this season has been almost unrelieved futility for him. I’m not entirely negative, but I don’t think the team is only missing a piece or two. They have a lot of quality pitching, for now, and that is not to be taken lightly. And, when healthy, they have terrific defense, but the hitting is nothing but questions.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Micheal Maffie made a VERY compelling discussion against trading Cueto this season in his ‘Trading the Pitchers’ post.

      Cueto has significant value to the Reds as the staff ace and he probably has no more value in a trade now than he will at the trade deadline in 2015, so why trade him now and not have him pitching as the staff ace for the Reds in 2015?

      Broxton and Simon are the trade options available right now that would bring a better return in trade now rather than waiting. Chapman would also figure in that same senario, but I don’t think WJ has the cahoonas to pull off that trade.

      • droomac

        I completely disagree with the premise that Cueto will be worth the same at next year’s deadline. Part of his value is that he is under contract for next year, at a relatively reasonable $10 million. Also, this is the epitome of a seller’s market, given what other teams have received for both starters and relievers in trades. Nobody knows what next year’s market will be like. Plus, the Reds are one lat strain or arm injury in ’15 away from getting nothing but a comp pick (or nothing) in return. Finally, could he possibly pitch better next year then he has this year?

      • ToddAlmighty

        That article only makes sense if you think Cueto will pitch from today until the 2015 deadline without getting hurt once. He gets hurt once in that span and he’s worth significantly less than he is right now in the middle of a potential Cy Young season.

      • greenmtred

        It often seems that those who want to trade Cueto are assuming that Cingrani will be a dominant starter in his place. I’m not sold on that.

      • Jake

        I agree, that’s why I just shake my head at trading Cueto. He’s our pitcher right now. If we HAVE to trade someone, send Leake or Simon

      • Tom Reed

        I agree with you. I don’t care if Cueto is almost thirty years old and has the injury history. A lot of real good pitchers are in that category. He’s our ace, so trade some other pitcher.

  10. Shchi Cossack

    No mention of Santiago standing out out SS kicking dirt around while he was suppose to be covering 2B…twice! On the first lack of
    coverage, Schunmaker tried to flip the ball to Santiago covering 2B for the force out, only to find Santiago still standing 25 feet from 2B. Of course that was the play where Schumaker then uncorked his first errant throw to 1B. On the 2nd lack of coverage, Latos fielded a horrible bunt and turned to throw to 2B, only to find Santiago still standing 25 feet from 2B, so he had to settle for an out at 1B. Then after the throw to 1B Santiago decided to go over and cover 3B since he failed to cover 2B and the runner had complete liberty to go to 3B without fear of a throw behind him.

    • pinson343

      That’s horrible stuff. I didn’t see it but in the mlb.com article they said that Santiago inexplicably covered 3rd on the poor bunt. Your explanation makes sense.

    • Robby20

      Easy those guys are subs and don’t get paid to make plays or so some think.

    • Michael J Hampton

      I noticed that, too, but I wondered if Santiago didn’t still have after effects of banging his head on the field making that lunging catch earlier. He hit his head pretty hard. Seems like he’s normally a heady infielder, but he seemed lost on those two plays.

  11. pinson343

    I only saw it on GameDay, but Latos’ 5th inning reminded me of his meltdown in Game 5, 2012, against the Giants. There too he was dominating until he got upset by the umpire shrinking the strike zone. Next thing you know, bases loaded HR by Posey.

    In this case, after nobody’s covering second on the bunt and he doesn’t like a call or two, bases loaded walk to Werth and bases loaded single by LaRoche.

    Cueto, Homer and Leake are good at putting misfortune behind them. Latos has to develop that to get better.

    • Aaron Bradley

      He is def. hot headed and immature. He was losing his cool, visibly annoyed at the first hit of the ballgame. He was super annoyed at Schumaker’s error, and then when the calls didn’t go his way (and they shouldn’t have, they were the correct calls, and one ball in particular was generously called the 2nd strike to Werth) he completely melted down. I don’t have faith in any of these pitchers except Cueto.

  12. AnnapolisHoosier

    Reds are still being linked to Alex Rios, Marlon Byrd and Ben Zobrist, all who they would control for 2015. I think that would be worth it, because they wouldn’t be rentals.

    • ToddAlmighty

      Ben Zobrist is unlikely to be traded. The Rays are 9-1 in their last 10 games.

      • Tom Reed

        The Rays need pitching help, so trading for Zobrist is not impossible.

    • redmountainH

      I really doubt, unless someone mortgages the farm, that Zobrist will be going anywhere. The other two have pretty bad contracts.

  13. JM

    Hannahan and Skip are horrible signings. DFA BOTH. DFA Ludwick. Call up Felix Perez, Navarro and Soto. Sign Castillo and Tomas from Cuba. WE NEED OFFENSE. TRADE Broxton and Simon now. Dangle Latos and Leake as well.

      • redmountainH

        I doubt there will be anything approaching replacements that would help next year. So trade some pitchers and get rid of two players who will not be with the Reds next year anyway. A guy who can play multiple positions and is a switch hitter is not someone I would get rid of just now.

    • Morgan Mayham

      Call up perez, navarro, and gotay.,not soto again.

    • jdx19

      Amy plan that includes “call up Soto” is bad.

  14. redmountainH

    PS if you DFA guys, you are still responsible for their salaries.

  15. WVRedlegs

    I find it amazing and comical with the talk of trading Cueto. Did yesterday not mean anything? If anyone gets an extension it is him. And talk of an injury re-ocurring. Heck, you have to worry about that with Bailey and Latos now too. Cueto is worth every bit the amount and years that Bailey got. At the very least you build around those two rotation cornerstones.

    • manuel

      YES! People talk about our pitching staff as if they’re interchangeable. They’re not. Cueto is leaps and bounds ahead of the other four, as well as one of the best in baseball. We will not get equal value in a trade. If you have to trade, trade one of the other four. Some team (Yankees/Dodgers/Angels) will take Bailey. I’d rather get less than equal value for Bailey than trade Cueto. Some guys act like they have crystal balls- Cueto is an injury risk (the other’s aren’t?), Cueto will be too expensive (same thing was said about Votto), Cueto has the highest trade value (highest value period- for that reason, you keep him). Trade Bailey and use the savings on extending Cueto + Latos and/or Leake. Bailey may or may not become what many of us think he can but Cueto is already there. As I said before Cueto’s had seasons that Bailey can only dream of.

  16. chrislosolivos

    The questioning of Cozart’s value to the team has reemerged. Zach has a WAR of 1.9, currently tied for 50th in the N.L. Only Frazier, Mesoraco, and Hamilton’s are higher on the Reds. I know Cozart’s strengths and I know his his weaknesses. He’s not the problem–trust me.

    • eric3287

      When an offense struggles as mightily as the Reds have, it’s only natural to look to see where you can upgrade. Cozart’s defense is great, but if SS is the only place you can find to add offense, it makes sense. Cozart would be great on a team that has a good offense. Not saying I’d bench him, but his OPS+ (58) is essentially the same as Donald Lutz (57).

  17. Eric the Red

    On that bunt where he didn’t cover 2nd, I wonder if Santiago was still a little foggy from that great play where he slammed his head into the outfield grass.

  18. Grand Salami

    Reds trade chips:
    1. Broxton – $18M+ sunk into the three headed bullpen monster. Since that monster maybe permanently beheaded by one thanks to Marshall (gosh I hope the Reds have some insurance claim) reducing that cost would be tremendous. Broxton commands the largest chunk of it. Freeing up $7M while landing a solid prospect would be a two-fer
    2. Ludwick – $8.5M, get rid of it, if at all possible. He ranks second on my list because his departure harms this team’s shirking prospects of a post-season birth far less than Simon. He might fetch next to nothing but anything that moves his salary is probably worth it.
    3. Simon – A 12 game winner with a low ERA and another year of control via arbitration that costs peanuts. Scream about peripherals and history all you want, Simon has performed and he is a better pitcher (like so many others) thanks to this knowledgeable staff. He is the ultimate sell high candidate but also the clearest signal that the Reds have thrown in the towel on 2014.
    4. Chapman – if he isn’t going to try to start, then everyone should know why.
    5. Cueto/Latos/Leake – whoever the Reds identify as the odd man out for an extension should be moved now. The dangers of moving SP for prospects notwithstanding, one of these guys will be moving on after another season. What can be had now, with a year of control, should be far more than what they’d fetch as a rental.

  19. vegastypo

    I’m thinking the Reds should move Votto to the 60-day, and if he’s able to return in early September, great. But in the meantime, use that spot on the 40-man for somebody like Gotay or Felix Perez. It ain’t like the bodies we have now are doing very much …

    Also, how do guys like Negron, Lutz and Soto fit into the big picture? If they’re so solidly entrenched on the 40-man roster, why not play them? Schumacher is showing his limits as an everyday infielder, give Negron a longer look. And/or the same thing for Lutz, in left field if not first base.

    I have no clue what the thinking is with Soto; if he’s THAT valued that we are afraid to lose him, wouldn’t a time of massive injuries be the best time to see if he, or some of these other guys, can really play? Soto is not even on the 25-man roster right now. ….. If these guys aren’t in our plans, but we’re sure they have some value, include them in trade scenarios.

  20. renbutler

    “I cannot find it in my heart to blame Schumaker, Hannahan, Lutz or Santiago for not providing the offense this team so desperately needs right now. These guys are here to play selectively, fill in for minor injuries, give some flexibility to the lineup and provide capable late inning gloves. The guys who should be carrying the team offensively right now—Bruce, Frazier and Mesoraco—just are not getting it done.”

    It’s good to hear somebody say this, because it is 100% accurate.

    • concepcion13

      Negron is fee tonight – he’s playing 2B & batting 7th. (And Bruce is moved up to #2.)