With the final game of the first half of the season upon us, the Cincinnati Reds (39-46) will look to split the series with the Marlins and nab their 40th win before heading home to revel in the All Star festivities. After yesterday’s thrashing sponsored by the Reds’ bullpen, ace and final vote runner-up Johnny Cueto takes the mound looking for redemption. Every start from here on out could be Cueto’s last in a Reds’ uniform, so savor it and pray that he pitches at least 8.0 innings.

ALL-STAR GAME TICKETS AND TRAVEL
Buy last-minute tickets to all the All-Star events, including the Home Run Derby, the Futures Game and the All-Star game itself at TiqIQ. If you use the link here, it supports Redleg Nation as well. Tickets for future Reds games are also on sale. TiqIQ does not add on a separate fee, and neither do we. Our cuts come from the seller. Also if you’re interested in flights and hotels for this weekend or future games in Cincinnati, you can use Hipmonk.com.

STARTING PITCHERS
All stats are 2015 actuals:

PITCHER ERA  FIP HR/9 BB% K%
Dan Haren 3.34 4.14 1.29 4.5% 18.1%
Johnny Cueto 2.61 3.06 0.87 4.7% 25.1%

In his last start against the Nationals in Cincinnati, Johnny Cueto threw a complete game shutout, a perfect curtain call for his Reds’ career. This afternoon will be his encore–an encore that follows a two-start finale of 17.0 innings, 0.53 ERA, 19 Ks, 6 hits, and 2 walks. Cueto isn’t a two song band either; he’s been going strong all year, averaging 7.1 innings per start.

Reports have surfaced of late that the Marlins are shopping former Red Mat Latos and today’s starter Dan Haren, thus making today’s pitching matchup the fruition of two birds with one stone for contending teams’ scouts everywhere. After bouncing from team to team the last three years and being a below average pitcher according to ERA-, Haren seems to have returned to some semblance of his old self. A 88 ERA- is his best mark since 2011, and in his last time out, he threw a solid 6.0 innings one run, six hit ball.

STARTING LINEUPS
Jason Bourgeois will spell Billy Hamilton in centerfield the day before a four day break:

1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
6. Brayan Pena (S) C
7. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
8. Jason Bourgeois (R) CF
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P
WESLEY

With Dee Gordon out for a couple weeks, Ichiro will bat leadoff and play right field for the Marlins:

1. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
2. Christian Yelich (L) LF
3. Adeiny Hechavarria (R) SS
4. Justin Bour (L) 1B
5. Casey McGehee (R) 3B
6. Cole Gillespie (R) CF
7. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
8. Miguel Rojas (R) 2B
9. Dan Haren (R) P
WESLEY

FUTURE’S GAME
https://twitter.com/futuresgame/status/619971353714757632

After the Reds’ game today (0r in its waning innings), check out one of the most exciting but underrated features of All Star weekend: the Futures game. Three Reds’ Minor Leaguers are in the game: Yorman Rodriguez OF, Amir Garrett LHP, and Kyle Waldrop OF.

Yorman Rodriguez (AAA) .272/.310/.432, 9 HR, 13 26, 113 wRC+

Kyle Waldrop (AA/AAA) .264/.301/.395, 6 HR, 15 2B, 108 wRC+ (@ AA) 32 wRC+ (@AAA)

Amir Garrett (A+) 84.0 IP, 2.79 ERA, 2.66 FIP, 89 K, 37 BB, 25.3 K%, 10.5 BB%,

Waldrop will be starting in RF and batting fifth for the US team while Garrett will be pitching second for the US after Giants’ prospect Lucas Giolito. Yorman Rodriguez is also starting in RF for the World team and batting third. Full lineups and pitching orders can be found here.

THE NAMES BRUCE

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
Happy Johnny Beisbol day everybody! There probably won’t be too many more, but then again, the Reds’ front office. Despite the bleak outlook on the rest of the Reds’ season, today could actually be an exciting turning point for the organization. Three young players are getting their shot on a national stage, the All Star festivities will light up the Queen City for the next few days (weather permitting), and after the break, Reds’ fans might actually have a future to look forwards to (Walt permitting). It may not be good to be a Reds’ fan, but on this Johnny Beisbol day, it certainly isn’t bad.

51 Responses

  1. Evan armstrong

    Heading to cincy now to watch Futures game. Does anyone know how the players are picked?

  2. VaRedsFan

    Leadoff double by BP…good start

  3. renbutler

    Man, Votto definitely leaned into that pitch. I hate that. They should enforce the rule.

  4. VaRedsFan

    That’s the 1st time this year that I’ve seen a Red lean into a pitch for a HBP. (Votto)

  5. renbutler

    Reds scored, and I just now found out that the Pirates came back in extra innings (again) to beat the Cardinals.

    Woo-hoo!

  6. VaRedsFan

    Good read by Phillips to score on the Frazier hit. Many players go half way to make sure the hit falls.

    • VaRedsFan

      Good thing too, as Bruce and Byrd whiff

    • pinson343

      BP is a very good baserunner when he puts his mind to it.

  7. tct

    What’s up with Frazier though. His approach over the last 6 weeks has been completely different than the first two months. He’s only walked 3 times since the start of June.(150+PA). He’s making a lot more contact, but a lot of it is weak contact and he’s not getting on base. If it was just a slump, then fine. But the complete lack of walks, mixed with decreasing strikeouts and a lower BABIP speaks to a change in approach.

    • VaRedsFan

      seems like a lot of infield popups. You’re right, a lot of weak contact. he’s been fishing out of the zone lately.

  8. ColoradoRedsFan

    God, put a muzzle Thom Brennaman. He makes Reds broadcasts unbearable. We get it! The All-Star Game is in Cincinnati! His loud bombastic announcing comes off as fake. Tip of the cap to Chris Welsh, he tries to correct Thom’s inane comments without being a jerk.

    • vegastypo

      Didn’t you hear? Thom has a payment-by-the-word clause in his contract. No such thing as dead air with him around.

  9. VaRedsFan

    gameday sample size:
    Bruce 1st AB: 2 men on, strikeout
    2nd AB: bases empty, ringing double
    3rd AB: 2nd, 3rd, 1 out: infield popup

    • Steve Mancuso

      Averaged over 100 RBI for three years. Top 5 in NL RF in RBI this year.

      • George Mirones

        My opinion is that VA was trying to point out that Bruce doesn’t hit in the CLUTCH.

        The 3 years you cite 2011-2013 Bruce clutch rating was -.54, +1.53, +.18.
        The last two years have been 2014, –.67, 2015, –.62
        Rating Clutch
        Excellent 2.0
        Great 1.0
        Above Average 0.5
        Average 0.0
        Below Average -0.5
        Poor -1.0
        Awful -2.0

        positive scores being “clutch”, and negative scores being “choke”.

        Just an opinion.

  10. pinson343

    Byrd has been just awful today, flailing away at pitches out of the strike zone. Came in with great stats against Haren, shows how little that means.

      • vegastypo

        which isn’t really a reply to your comment, Pinson, sorry. ……..The reply was gonna be, what’s the disclaimer given on commercials for brokerages, “Past performance is no guarantee of future success.” ??

    • pinson343

      No. Cueto’s been on a roll and is having a strong season, every pitcher has games like this.

      • rhayex

        Yes, but it’s not a good thing to have when there are TONS of scouts watching and it might be the last start Cueto has before being traded.

      • rhayex

        He’s been on a roll, but he also threw a tantrum when he was taken out. I’m worried teams are going to question his mental makeup now and try to drive the price down.

        Personally, I think it would be crap if his frustration at the game made his value drop, but Rosenthal had an article saying that teams were wary of it.

  11. pinson343

    What an awful game by the Reds. Frazier gets distracted by the runner and can’t make an easy play. Pena not looking too good behind the plate,

    • Steve Mancuso

      Pena isn’t good behind the plate.

  12. pinson343

    Haren was not sharp today but the Reds would get themselves out with runners in scoring position.

    • pinson343

      7 runners left in scoring position so far, wow.

  13. Tom Reed

    Badenhop should settle things down.

  14. vegastypo

    There was some talk on the Dodgers’ postgame radio show last night about how Carl Crawford coming back from an injury might make Andre Ethier available for trade bait. And the Dodgers could use another quality starter.

      • vegastypo

        From the Dodgers’ point of view, supposedly they’re not getting rid of Puig or Peterson, and the former Tampa Bay brass won’t want to part with Crawford, leaving Ethier as the odd man out, selling high since he’s have a good season… He had been relegated to fourth outfielder, but played so well when others got hurt that they might have a problem benching him again.

        And they still have Van Slyke on the bench as well.

      • jessecuster44

        I don’t want Ethier. He’s not going to get any better.

  15. pinson343

    Good hop by Badenhop, first smile of the day.

  16. james garrett

    Reckon Walt believes we are still in it.

  17. whereruklu

    OMG! Total meltdown. Last few games, too many things wrong to begin to address. This team is at least a couple of years away. They need Zack and Messo back. Even then, hard to tell if this team has it in them. 2017?

    • jessecuster44

      Votto, BP, Cozart, Frazier, Meso, Bruce, Hamilton, FA LF or Winker.

      That’s not a bad everyday 8 (if healthy)

      De Jesus, Rodriguez, Barnhardt might make the beginnings of a good bench.

      The young pitching should develop.

      The bullpen needs to be fixed.

      Bryan Price needs to be fired, and replaced with an experienced skipper.

      No reason that the Reds can’t compete for the 2nd WC next year, if the next three weeks are handled with some skill.

      Big if, given Walt/Bob

  18. pinson343

    Wow, just wow. It took a whole lot of mental errors (plus the physical error) for Hechavarria to reach 3rd base on the ground ball to Suarez.

  19. Tom Reed

    What a play to highlight the Reds season and topped off with no one covering third base. Bring on the ASG.

  20. jessecuster44

    14-3 and now 8-1… Not the way you want to head into the All-Star Break.

    This team has looked very bad a lot more often than they have looked very good. The organization needs a impartial set of eyes to pull Bob aside and give him a come to Jesus moment.

    • Michael E

      R u kidding, it’s great! Now if we can just lose the first four after the break…and get this trade thing moving. We need it, if we don’t do it, this team will stagnate for years waiting for last draft class or two to mature while our vets age and slide.

      • jessecuster44

        Wins and losses are irrelevant. We’re talking about Walt and Bob. I honestly do not think they logically understand the fix the Reds are in, and will just try to resign Cueto in the offseason, give Leake a QO, and cross fingers that everyone gets healthy.

  21. james garrett

    Embarrassing indeed.What bothers me more is that I don’t think Walt has a plan going forward that will make us better.There has to be more then our injured guys coming back and our young starters being better next year

    • George Mirones

      It worked last year and the year before so why not again.

  22. George Mirones

    The ownership has been too busy with AS game and taking care of “ZIP LINE” malfunction to watch the team. Is Walt on the road with team.

    • jessecuster44

      No, because the Nats would cancel 1/3 of their home dates with us. Chickens.

      • wildwestlv

        Any contender that actively AVOIDS playing the Reds should seriously reevaluate their situation.