The Cincinnati Reds are 7-3 in the month of June. Read that again.

They have won three of the last four series and head Monday to play four games in Atlanta (17-43).

Bring your broom tomorrow.

Cincinnati 2 • Oakland 1  |  FanGraphs  | Forever Getting Even

Dan Strong Start Another excellent start for Dan Straily, who was facing the club that drafted him in 2009. Straily pitched for the A’s from 2012-14. Today, he worked seven innings, with three walks and five strikeouts. Eventually, his walk-rate, among other things, will catch up with him a bit. But hopefully that’ll be after the Reds move Straily for a good prospect or two at the trade deadline.

Just Enough Batting The Reds were facing the A’s 23-year-old Daniel Mengden (who I think is still in the middle of his wind up), making his major league debut. In 5.2 innings, the Reds managed 10 base runners but only two runs. Speaking of the trade deadline, both Reds runs came on an enormous (439 ft.) blast by Jay Bruce in the third inning. His homer almost cleared the right field stands. Joey Votto, who had walked, was on base.

Bullpen Artists Give Bryan Price credit for not being locked into a single pitcher with the closer role. You wonder if he’d be doing that if any of his relievers were consistent. Tony Cingrani pitched a clean eighth inning. Ross Ohlendorf came in to pitch the ninth. He gave up a couple hits. Jay Bruce made an outstanding play at full sprint in the right field corner, preventing the tying run from scoring. Ohlendorf struck out Billy Butler to close out the game.

Questionable Strategy In the bottom of the sixth, with runners at first and second and two outs, Bryan Price kept pitcher Dan Straily in the game and had him sacrifice bunt. Straily had already thrown 94 pitches and was scheduled to face the 7-8-9 hitters in the A’s lineup. Successfully getting the bunt down (which Straily had failed to do earlier in the game) lowered the Reds run expectancy for the inning from 0.90 to 0.57. They got 0.00.

About The Author

Steve grew up in Cincinnati 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. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce's 2010 homer and Homer Bailey's 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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37 Responses

  1. Mike Adams

    Maybe Mary Beth Ellis should keep doing the Game Thread until the Reds lose again? Not a complaint or criticism of any RLN Game Thread writers but this is baseball, one can’t go against a good luck charm!

    • msanmoore

      +50 on that .. I second the motion.

    • lwblogger2

      What? Baseball players are superstitious? What? *Wink*

  2. ohiojimw

    I thought the situation in the bottom of the 6th was a tough one for Price. Given the Reds pen situation, he wanted Straily to pitch the 7th; and, a double play would have been even worse than a sac bunt. Or, maybe given the Reds pen situation it was fools’ gold to think he could win the game from there with two runs; and, he should have PH for Straily 🙂

    Just more or less a rock and a hard place choice that worked out for the Reds today.

    • vegastypo

      One thing that used to drive me crazy about Dusty, and I think Price has done it too, is letting the pitcher bat in that situation, then removing the pitcher very early in the next half-inning. If the pitcher is on such a short leash, use the pinch hitter.

      Unlike Dusty, Price does have a crappy bullpen, so when it’s a matter of getting a full extra inning out of the starter, maybe it was a good idea. Or a not-so-bad idea. But geez, I wanted to try for the extra runs. (Especially in the ninth when Bruce was chasing that fly ball down the right-field line. Thank God he caught it.)

      • ohiojimw

        Yeah but if they went for more runs and even got a couple, who knows what the pen would have given up in the 7th before Price got around to getting Cingrani or Ohlendorf into the game? Wood likely wasn’t available; ditto with Wright on ice for Monday. It would have been a walk on the wild and unpredictable side.

      • lwblogger2

        I think I’m ok with the bunt there. Even in hindsight. The Reds pen is awful and one more effective inning from a SP is a big deal.

  3. ohiojimw

    Iggy is pitching for the Blue Wahoos (AA) tonite. He started just to get his work in spring training style. It will be interesting to see if the follow the same path with Lorenzen or throw him straight into bullpen roles since he ahead of Iggy in the process.

    • ohiojimw

      Iggy goes 2.0IP, 2H, 2K everything else nada. 30P/22S

      Like they say, see how he feels tomorrow and go from there; but looks like a good beginning.

    • ohiojimw

      Robert Stephenson had another good night. 6IP 1R(earned) 3H/3BB/2K/1HR; 88P/48S.

      Bats win 3-1.

  4. DHud

    I don’t want to hear about your numbers and science concerning baseball strategy!

    • seat101

      We were always done it that way. If it was good enough for Miller Huggins it’s good enough for me!

  5. TR

    What’s going on? Another win with good pitching and timely hitting. Signs of an improving team.

  6. Irishmike

    If the Reds win 7 of every 10 games they will end up with 94 wins !!!!!

  7. james garrett

    Who would have thought we would win back to back 2-1 games.

  8. Josh Mohr

    Keep Straily. We have a solid rotation once Reed gets up to Cincinnati. Add Lorenzen and Iglesias to Cingrani, Wood and Dorf, our bullpen is a strength. I think Jumbo should be recalled as well.

    • JB WV

      Agree except for Dorf. He’s a time bomb and needs to be jettisoned as soon as the cavalry arrives.

  9. Quinn Jordan

    We are seeing improvements with this ball club. Dan Straily has clearly been the biggest surprise this year. I am really excited for the future and I cant wait to see Cody Reed & Robert Stephenson get their shots in the rotation. With Disco back & hopefully Homer coming back soon, our Redlegs could have the makings of a good rotation. Ive read the articles written about possibly extending Cozart & Bruce. Personally I would love to see that. Both guys are home grown Reds and I believe that we beed a core to grow around. That core should be Votto, Bruce, Cozart, & Duvall. Keep the core offensive pieces & build that bullpen. The starting rotation could be set when the previously named pitchers come back. Just some thoughts from a lifelong Reds fan living in Nebraska listening to games on the MLB at Bat app. As I yell around my house HERE WE GO REDLEGS!!!!!

  10. preacherj

    Dont forget the defensive play Tucker made to keep Ole from throwing a wild pitch. Tonight was another exceptionally close game to being blown by the bullpen. Cant get pitchers healthy fast enough.

    • Hotto4Votto

      He made more than one impressive grabs on head high fast balls. I was sitting on the left side behind the Reds dugout, I couldn’t believe the quick reflexes he demonstrated on those catches.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Yes, there was at least one from Cingrani as well.

  11. Wizeman

    Wright instead of reed or Stephenson? Why?

      • David

        What? Bring up one of the two top pitching prospect (Reed or Stephenson) to pitch for the big club? Unpossible!

      • ohiojimw

        Louisville is short starting arms as is. Pensacola is in tight race for division title and play off qualification as 1st half split season draws to close (June 19). With MLB team going nowhere fast, the FO may figure why not wait a week until the situation with Pensacola is settled then reset the starting pitching across the whole org.

      • mikemartz

        referring to the Wright choice comment

      • ohiojimw

        Just an old line that anyone who ever attended Wright State U has tucked away in their mind for such occasions as it fits 🙂

        BTW, the Raiders recently eliminated tOSU from the NCAA baseball tourney before being sent home by regional host Louisville and had three players, I believe was it, drafted in the MLB draft.

      • mikemartz

        I watched the tourney, I must admit I was rooting for the Buckeyes. I wanted to see the battle axe go to work on the deer head in the Wright State dugout. LOL

      • ohiojimw

        I being a big Buckeye football person, I felt pangs of mixed loyalties; but, in the end I wanted the Raiders to pull through. I figured there would be other years and better teams for the Bucks while this was a real shot for the Raiders to make deeper Cinderella run

    • Redsfan48

      Wright will (hopefully) only get one start.

    • ohiojimw

      I don’t believe Reed is on the 40 man, not that it should matter given all the dead weight relievers the Reds still have. He would have been right on turn to take the start this Monday.

      After tonight, Stephenson’s 2nd next turn naturally falls on June 21 a Tuesday following a Reds off day on Monday. So the Reds would have the option of dropping him in there and buying an extra day of rest for Disco before his 3rd start and getting a couple of days extra for everybody else.

  12. Scotly50

    Don’t understand why Reed and/or Stevenson are not up here pitching yet. I would like to see this team become competitive in our division. See what how the players perform with some pressure.
    On a side note, My wife and I sported our Redleg Nation shirts proudly on Reds Live tv show yesterday.

    • David

      Cody Reed is indeed, not on the 40 man roster. Waive Simon, and just accept it was a bad contract.
      Of course, that is not the Jocketty-Castelini way. They paid good money for this guy, and dad-gummit! He’s going to pitch for the Reds.
      As was often said this Spring, winning for this club is NOT THAT IMPORTANT. Well, until you start looking at the bottom line, Bob, and look as lower attendance and TV viewing numbers. The Reds may realize soon they have a financial problem with all the losing. Reds fans are not Cubs fans, and will not keep coming out and watching for the sheer masochism of rooting for the team.

    • Chuck Schick

      They have the 3rd worst record in baseball. Assuming the Cubs are about a 100 win team, they would need win 75-80% of their remaining games to become “competitive” in the division. Perhaps that is a bit of a stretch.

  13. sezwhom

    Straily and Duvall have been, by far, the two biggest surprises. Not sure how you can tell Straily he’s not a starter even when the cavalry arrives. He’s earned it. Now as for our pitchers bunting and Price being bunt happy….drives me nuts. Hardy ever works yet Price is so bunt happy.

  14. old-school

    Realistically, what could Dan Straily bring at the trade deadline.
    I’m all for selling high(see Alfredo Simon) but I cant see Straily bringing anything. If its a #27 organizational prospect at AA for the Indians , why? If its to the Nationals for their #8 organizational prospect and they take BP….Ok.