At one point during this four-hour game, George Grande, without the slightest bit of irony, uttered the cliché “never a dull moment in a baseball game.” Turns out that clichés, in addition to being dull, are also usually wrong.

The Reds are 15-22. They head to Cleveland to start a four game series, two away then two at home.

Reds 9  Phillies 4  |  FanGraphs  |  Reds look for playing time for Peraza

Solid Start Dan Straily worked around ten base runners in five innings. Throwing 109 pitches, he recorded a season-high six strikeouts and walked three. He also drew a bases-loaded walk. Straily won’t be one of the Reds five best starters by the trade deadline. His FIP is 4.58. But if Straily keeps this up, he could provide value in the bullpen as a classic swingman or in a trade.

Offense Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce hit back-to-back doubles producing the Reds first run. Tucker Barnhart singled, driving in Duvall. Eugenio Suarez had two singles and a three-run blast to deep centerfield. Bruce had three hits and two walks. Duvall was 7-11 in this series. The Phillies resorted to catcher’s interference. Zack Cozart (Vote Zack) came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit, two-run single in the ninth.

That’ll Duvall Duvall has 30 hits, 18 for extra bases. Coming into today’s game, Duvall’s isolated power (.287) was the same as Giancarlo Stanton’s and better than Todd Frazier’s. He has 12 doubles, on pace for 52. That would be an all-time Cincinnati Reds record. Frank Robinson (1962) and Pete Rose (1978) had 51.

Bullpen Artists Steve Delabar pitched the sixth. He struck out one but walked two. Both runners eventually scored. Control has been Delabar’s downfall with other clubs. If he’s is going to help the Reds, he has to do better. Blake Wood produced an easy 1-2-3 seventh, with a fastball hitting 97-98 and topping out at 99 mph. Ross Ohlendorf gave up two hits, a walk and a run in the eighth. Drew Hayes gave up three hits and walked in a run while retiring just one Philly. Tony Cingrani retired the two batters he faced to close out the game.

E-ugenio Suarez committed his seventh error of the season at third base. Last year, he had 19 at shortstop in 97 games. He’s on pace for 30 in 2016. Worth remembering that Suarez had never played 3B in professional baseball. Have to wonder where the Reds see Suarez long term.

Jose, We Can’t See Bryan Price decided to start Tyler Holt and Ivan DeJesus ahead of Jose Peraza. Peraza was called up from Louisville for three games and mostly sat on the bench for two of them. Peraza did get to pinch hit today, grounding out to third base. Maybe Price needs a copy of the Rebuild Binder or see the power point presentation again.

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! 51 Comments

  1. As a fan it appears the Reds want to sell us the rebuild idea but we can all see its just words.I mentioned on the game thread that Duval,Suarez and Tucker have stepped up and would love to other younger players be given a shot but this weekend with Peraza just shows us what really is going on.Maybe one of these days things will change.

  2. Its not often people are smiling as they are on their way to Cleveland.

  3. “mostly sat on the bench for two of them” This seems to be a pattern. Do other teams this often bring up young players only to have them spend most of their time on the bench?

    • Maybe they’re afraid that they’ll get hurt and accrue more service time on the DL? It’s a conspiracy theory I know, but I can’t offer a reasonable explanation for those decisions given that this team is going nowhere.

      • THis is as good of a reason as any to call him up then not let him see much action. That said, if you were worried about that, then just keep him in the minors and play shorthanded for three games.

  4. Nice, Sunday afternoon win. But, what, exactly, is the magic number of runs the Reds must score, to make a game bullpen-proof, this season?

  5. I’m happy for Duvall and pleased that we can quiet the “LF is a black hole!” drumbeat for a bit. Small victories.

  6. I will give the usual caveat about a small sample size but if Duvall keeps producing do the Reds get serious about moving Bruce at the deadline? I would think probably the best overall tract to take is just not start Winkers service clock but if he continues to be consistent at AAA and Bruce has value at the deadline? We will see, as teams see him the 3rd or 4th series but the way he is hitting right now that is not a bench bat. The injury bug to the pitching staff has not gave the team any chance to improve the pen, if the bullpen was not such a disaster there would be some serious questions to answer. I know if bullfrogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their a……….butt. The starting pitching hasn’t been great but with a solid bullpen this club would be 4 or 5 games over .500. Ok 2 or 3 but I like seeing production from young cost controlled players. The fact that Dejesus was at SS today instead of Peraza says it all about how inept Price is. The criticism of Price is not going to stop until he is gone. He mismanages what he has and when he gets a chance to see what may be he still goes back to “by the book”. We have seen what the book has done why not try something smart I mean different.

    • Price seems to be similar to Dusty in a lot of the wrong ways. Bring a guy up, let him sit and enjoy the major league per diem. If a rebuild isn’t the time to play a guy, when is?

      I remain confident that the Reds are serious about trading Bruce, regardless of whoever else is producing. But I fear they aren’t going to get much for him.

      • The progress of Yorman Rodriguez is important concerning trading Bruce. He has to be on the major league roster when he get done rehabbing from the d.l. Doug Grey ( guessed he had 3 weeks on the shelf before at least a 2 week rehab. If Doug’s time table is correct he’d be on the ML roster about 2 weeks before the trade deadline. Post Bruce he could take over RF or if Winker is called up; have him start in CF 3 days a week and when Winker doesn’t play.

  7. I am glad for the guys who did well this afternoon. I’m not happy that I find myself almost feeling that 1 (win) out 3 isn’t really that bad. Even with the current state of the Reds team, from the positions they were in, they should have found a way to win (at least) one of those first two games.

    I just checked the MLB standings. Right now there are 3 teams that have more losses than the Reds, 4 with the same number of losses and an additional 2 with just one more loss than the Reds. Basically even with all their injuries and declared intent to rebuild, the Reds are smack in the middle of the bottom third.

    Even if they trade Bruce and Cozart by the deadline, with Winker and Peraza to take their places and the returning pitchers back online, the Reds are probably more likely to rise to the top of that bottom third than to end up with another top 5 draft position in 2017.

    So, I say as soon as the troops in Louisville clear Super2 eligibility the future needs to be now, If not now, then really blow things up by making everyone on the 40 man north of AA available at the deadline because if the future isn’t now, all those guys are going to be past control or deep into arbitration by the time the future starts to pay off.

    • Read an article yesterday that predicts the Reds will have to do just that. They say they are still way too thin. The “competitive by” date given for the Reds was 2020. 2020!??!! That makes me sad.

      • LW, I’m no big fan of slash and burn cookie cutter start from scratch rebuilds. My opinion is that such extreme is only required after years of benign (or sometimes not so benign) neglect and letting situations slide out of control. To me right now that is exactly what the Reds are still doing.

        It probably dates me a bit but a line from the Pink Floyd song Time comes to mind in describing the Reds situation. “No one told me when to run; I missed the starting gun”.

        With a few starts and fits to the contrary, that describes the Reds org since at least the end of the 2013 season. And time ticks on as they still wait to get started forward.

  8. I know the Reds weren’t “supposed” to compete this year, but…

    Where would they be with an even league-average bullpen right now? Did management completely underestimate what the team could accomplish?

    • I dont know how many times i have thought the same thing.

    • The “smart” reply is they’d end up somewhere around 80 wins but still out of the playoff picture, with a much less favorable draft position in 2017, and with however many $$$M they spent to fix the bullpen now less to spend on the team “when it mattered”.
      I’m actually going to give the org a little bit of a pass on this. Leave Bailey out of the mix; having him ready by May was always a flyer. They’ve still had Disco, Iggy, Lorenzen, and Moscot go down. If even two of those 4 were working now, I’d wager the rotation, which has been stable but short an inning or so for several weeks, and the bullpen would both be better off than they are now. And I do think it is a poor choice to spend money on the pen until they see what they’ve got in hand.

      If they leave Stephenson and Reed down until September and pack the AAA rotation with guys coming back from injury or guys displaced by returnees versus using the last 2/3 of the season to get both sides of the MLB staff worked out for 2017, then I will start howling…..

    • Did management actually say that the team did not intend to compete this year? I don’t think that anybody said that the Reds were likely to be a .500 team, and the bullpen may be the reason–for now–that they aren’t. But nobody predicted that Cozart, Duvall and, probably, Barnhart would be as good as they have been, either, nor that Mesoraco and most of the starting pitchers would not be playing. The only conclusion that I can draw is that baseball remains unpredictable.

      • You point out the reasons why I think putting nearly all of one’s eggs in single basket, the hope of creating a very specific window of optimized opportunity, is a deeply flawed philosophy.

  9. Another frustrating game for Votto. Is it possible that not trying to make outs is too defensive an approach for him right now, and perhaps a trying to hit the ball hard approach would be more effective? I haven’t worried about Joey until this series, but after three days of rest and against a midling staff he did not look good. I am for the first time ever, a little worried about Votto.

    • I think there is a lot to worry about Votto. He has ALWAYS hit when he was healthy. He is not even hitting the ball hard, or making consistent contact. It’s like he is not seeing the ball, or his reflexes have slowed down to mere mortal hand-eye coordination.

      • Ive said this before, but I have never seen Joey bail out of the box so often on pitches that really arent that far off the plate. Its like me when i forget my glasses.

      • Votto needs to find an adjustment to that inside pitch.

      • I think I’ve seen reports that although he is striking out more than he used to, when he hits the ball he is hitting it very hard. He is looking bad on more at bats than any of us are used to though. Maybe some of the stat geeks and tell me if I’m wrong about the hitting the ball hard part.

        • You’re right.

          Currently, 43.5% of his batted balls are classified as “hard hit.” His career average is 36.8%.

          Currently, 8.2% of his batted balls are classified as “soft hit.” His career average is 11.3%.

      • Evidently Joey is hitting the ball harder than usual, though, unless that has changed recently (Patrick: can you elucidate?). What does seem to be happening is that pitchers have changed their approach and are busting him inside. Swinging harder probably wouldn’t help.

      • This series notwithstanding, your statement isn’t true.

        Before this series he had career best Hard% numbers and career low Soft% numbers. He’s had career average contact numbers. He has been striking the ball fine… he’s just hitting more grounders and fewer line drives, which leads to less production.

        Also, his BABIP on ground balls this year is .167, while his career BABIP on grounders is .226. That 59 points, given that he’s hit 49.4% grounders this year, represents a 29 point swing in his batting average due to, most likely, the shift and some bad luck.

        Now, with that said, I have always been in the “don’t worry about Joey camp” because I know what Votto can do… however, now that pitchers have changed what they are doing (pitching him inside way more often) the historic data is much less useful than before for predicting Votto.

        He’s basically got to mechanically change his swing to hit inside pitching with authority. He has said as much in interviews. His plan going into this season was to either shoot inside pitches over the SS’s head into LF, or take the pitch. So far that approach hasn’t worked. I think he knows that and has been tinkering trying to find something that will work.

        Odds are he will find something that works, but it might take awhile. With so much of the season already in the bag and Votto carrying an 88 wRC+, odds are very good this will be his worst season even, even if he turns things around.

  10. “never a dull moment in a baseball game…George Grande.

    That’s true because every moment is “great” according to George. Great to be with you, great stop, great guy, everything’s great. Man, that was great…right Chris.

    If Price had half a brain, he’d bat Duvall Cleanup. That’s a BIG if.

    • Not a huge George Grande fan but in this season of suckage, he’s exactly what we fans need. The guy is one of the happiest guys in the world and his attitude is infectious.

  11. Watching the game with the other team’s announcers (including Mike Schmidt) is interesting. Their comments could essentially be summarized as follows:

    Votto was a douche for not throwing the ball into the stands. In addition, his swing mechanics are completely out of wack.

    Brandon Phillips picks his spots with hustle and, at times, appears to be going through the moves. Trotted down to first yesterday on his hit to center that could’ve been a possible double.

    Suarez is a marginal – at best- defensive third baseman. Communication between Suarez and Tucker cost us the winning run in the first game on that safety squeeze.

    Jay Bruce has never lived up to his potential.

    Strailey (sp?) was horrible/amazing. Only the 13th time in baseball history where a pitcher has pitched so many pitches (109) and gave up no runs. Luck ? He did a much better job than our other starters by pitching first-pitch strikes.

    Notably – this Philly team is supposedly going through the same “rebuilding” we are going through…just look a lot better doing it. They are fundamentally sound….batters work much deeper in the counts….sacrifice and do all the little things we don’t. Simply put….we SUCK and it is very difficult to watch.

    • Sometimes the glass is half full.

    • Brandon has always picked his moments to hustle, although it’s been less noticeable to me recently vs. when Dusty was here. Suarez was not a good shortstop and I’m not seeing anything so far that leads me to believe he will be even an average third baseman. Straily will be in the bullpen soon, which is where he was slotted when the Reds signed him. The Phillies also have someone who has stepped up to be the closer, something the Reds don’t have.

      • He’s outperforming Finnegan in the rotation. Finnegan started out well, but the walk totals are really piling up and starting to hurt his starts. Straily is walking too many as well, but he’s been better at mitigating the damage.

      • Its more than that….the Reds pen has failed at every level which is made worse by the ragtag rotation not being able to go more than 5 on most occasions! Even if they still had Chapman it wouldn’t matter because the game has been blown by then? Maybe 1-2 games?

        • Duke :& IndyRedman, correct although over 100 pitches in 5 innings (Straily) won’t keep you in the rotation for long. I expect Finnegan to also eventually be in the bullpen but both of them need to issue fewer walks. The starting rotation hasn’t helped the bullpen one iota. I continue to hope that DeSclafani, Homer, Lorenzen and Iglesais will return at some point and allow some decent arms to shore up the bullpen.

  12. Duvall OPS .902
    Cozart .845
    Bruce .818
    BP .785

    If you told me going in that Votto and Suarez would be the weak links then I wouldn’t believe you? I would try to get Votto going by changing it up and moving him to the 2 hole and Duvall 3rd or 4th. I think Suarez is starting to get it going again. Cleveland is 0-6 in Anderson’s outings so the Reds might actually start a road winning streak!

    • Votto needs to be batting 2nd all the time. He excelled there last year, no reason to move him off that. Yes he has struggled but he is still getting on base and that’s what you need at the top of the lineup.

      • I’d even advocate for Votto batting leadoff until he works his swing out. He’s still walking at a 15.3% clip and leads the team in OBP.

        The argument against Votto bating leadoff is you waste too many of his extra-base hits with no one on base. Well… he’s not getting any extra-base hits.

  13. Going in to the year I feel and still do feel that the front office thinks we could/would compete.I would have to go back and look and see who said what and when but I remember them going on record and saying we would.To me that is/was the problem.Even with everybody healthy does anybody think we could compete for a playoff spot?No way it happens with the same group of players regardless of how much our young starters improve.Suarez replaced Frazier,Duvall is now in left and that’s the only difference on offense and they have stepped up big time by the way.The rest of the offense is the same and it won’t be any better until more young players are plugged in.I am not saying we would be get better right away but we have to move forward.The Phils have some good young starters and some young talented position players.Outside of Ryan Howard they have moved the rest of their aging and expensive players and so far they look pretty good.I would say for the first time in awhile their fans have something to be excited about.I will wait until the middle of the year to see what we do but right now we are not in rebuild mode.We are in the wait until everybody gets healthy mode which like I said won’t gets us a playoff spot.The rest of our division and other teams in the league are just wayyyyyyy better then us.

  14. Is it time for the Jordan Pacheco experiment to end?? I say yes. Since Mesoraco went onto the DL and had his surgery, there is simply no need for Pacheco now on the 25-man roster. His slash of .200/.200/.319, an OPS of .519, a BB% of 0.0 and a K% of 25.7% is overdue for the waiver wire.
    To take his place? Sign Robbie Grossman. Grossman just elected to opt out of his minor league deal with Cleveland. Have Grossman on hand to help beat Cleveland this week. He is 26 years old, a switch hitter who can take a walk. At AAA this year, his 15.1% BB%, 18% K%, and slash of .256/.370/.453 would be a welcome addition.
    Duval can back up 1B and 3B instead of Pacheco and Grossman can play LF and RF to spell both Duvall and Bruce. Grossman had a fine history of OBP in the Pirates and Astros organizations before 2016. He has had ML AB’s with Houston in 2013, 2014 and 2015. No need to rush Winker up with Grossman, until after his Super 2 time passes.

    • A couple of things I forgot to mention on Grossman. He has decent power, 11 of his 19 hits are XBH (5 2B, 6 HR), a .197 ISO, and pretty good speed. He is also a fairly good defensive OF.

  15. Just saw on Twitter that the Reds have reactivated BHam from bereavement and sent down drumroll Drew Hayes…..

    I guess Peraza gets to sit and watch and accrue MLB service days a little while longer……

    • oops I misspoke on a couple of counts. Peraza gets to play CF tonight while Hamilton sits and watches Pacheco DH and Cabrera catch.

      Does this team ever do anything that makes sense?

      • Hey hey hey? Its right there in the Dusty/BPrice handbook….put your best hitter 6th and put your guy thats most likely to hit into double plays directly behind your best obp guy! That’s Dusty 101!!

        • Though unlike with Price, we actually won games when Dusty made nonsensical moves. 🙂

        • It occurs to me that anybody hitting directly behind Joey enhances his potential to hit into a lot of DP’s. Joey is on base often, and often on first, because he walks frequently.

      • Just goes to show how talent can win out during the season in sports but the playoffs is a different story. My Indy Colts…good example. Jim Caldwell to the SB with Peyton Manning but universally outcoached by Sean Peyton and lost. Then no Peyton Manning and immediately the worst team in the NFL.

  16. Activating a guy and not playing him is kind of goofy but Peraza is playing so I am happy about that.Pacheco getting 4 at bats serves no purpose at all of course but hey this is what we do.

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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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