The Reds head to Houston for three games against the Astros, who just swept a 2-game series in St. Louis. After a slow start in April, the ‘stros are 25-18 in May and June. The Reds are 9-6 in April.

Cincinnati 2 • Atlanta 7  |  FanGraphs  | #WeAreOrlando

Regression is Mean Not the best day for Dan Straily but also not a huge surprise. He’s been due for a couple starts like this. That’s based on Straily’s career. It’s also based on inevitable payment due the BABIP demon. Straily walked three and struck out five in 4.1 innings.

That’ll Du-vall (Again) Adam Duvall launched a long (407 ft.) home run into the left field seats in the third inning. The SF Giants fans who tut-tut that Duvall’s homers wouldn’t be out at AT&T Park can stick that one in their garlic fries. Duvall’s 19th puts him one long ball behind league leader Nolan Arenado and ties him with the third baseman of the Chicago White Sox. #VoteDuvAllstar

Pulling Duvall Bryan Price double-switched Duvall out of the game after the Reds fell behind and Straily was yanked. Duvall, who has Type I Diabetes, has mentioned that the heat and humidity in Atlanta had been bothering him. If you haven’t read about how Duvall copes with that challenge, I recommend this by C. Trent Rosecrans.

Last Call It’s closing time for the Joey Votto haters. Time to look around the bar and figure out which criticism of his hitting might snuggle with you because it’s likely the last time you’ll have the chance for a while. Votto was on base four times today, raising his hitting to .248/.377 with isolated power of .197. He’s producing runs (wRC+) at 18 percent above league average – 40 percent above MLB average the last 30 days.

Friendly Suggestion The Reds should pitch around Freddie Freeman tomorrow. Thought this was obvious. Here’s why I say that:

Freeman had ten hits in the series.

31 Responses

  1. lwblogger2

    My goodness Steve! That’s a fast recap!

  2. i71_Exile

    As a decided non-fan of Brandon Phillips, I appreciate any and every dig at old BP. Do people really compare his “hitting” with Votto’s and think that he’s somehow better?

    Offensively, BP is to Votto what a Trabant is to a Ferrari.

    • Patrick Jeter

      I think a lot of it stems from 2013 when, despite a great season from Votto, a certain announcer and a bunch of fans decided that Phillips was actually the Reds “MVP” because he had a bunch of RBI.

      Recall that Votto and Choo were #1 and #2 in the league on OBP in 2013.

      • I-71_Exile

        Ah, yes. The legend of Brandon Phillips, the RBI Man. They were “telling it like it is” no doubt.

      • SabrChris

        Ah yes his career year of 103 RBI’s when his OBP/SLG/OPS were his worst as a Red to that point. The question really is with Votto and Choo ahead of him only was RBI count only 103?

      • Dan

        I actually think people hate BP due to non baseball stuff. I just don’t get though why actual Reds fans never embrace him. He was great and fun to watch regardless of what the stat lines suggest. He is no Votto, then again nobody is.

      • docmike

        I agree, Dan. I think a lot of old school baseball fans don’t like Phillips because of some of his “showboat” antics. Personally, I couldn’t care less whether he shows off or not, as long as the on-field production is there. And for most of his time in Cincinnati, it has been. That’s why I have always liked Phillips as a player, even though he is clearly not on the same elite level as a player like Joey Votto. Then again, like you said, few others are.

      • lwblogger2

        Funny thing is, Bruce had 109 that season.

    • greenmtred

      BP, in his prime, was as much better a fielder than Votto as Votto is a hitter compared to BP.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Votto is one of the 30 best hitters to ever walk the planet.

        Do you put BP in that high of company in regards to fielding? Maybe. I don’t really know. Hard to compare defense to hitting.

      • greenmtred

        It is a difficult comparison, probably impossible, and my comment was based on eye test and also, curiously, not meant to be negative about Votto, because I agree that he is not a bad first baseman. But Phillips (eye test again) is the best second baseman I’ve ever seen, starting with Mazerowski and including Robbie Alomar. I’m talking about Phillips in his prime. Might be hard to place him in the top 30 defenders of all time, due to his playing second and not short or centerfield, but he was both dazzling and reliable, a true pleasure to watch.

      • docmike

        Disagree. The difference is hitting skill between Votto and Phillips is much greater than their skill on defense.

        Again, that’s not really an insult to Phillips, is more of a compliment toward Votto. Phillips has cornerstone player on my favorite team for a long time, and I will always like him for that reason.

  3. Wizeman

    As I said. Spent last 2 days at turner. 2 days of my life I will never get back
    Couple of things from last night
    Sloppy catching and throwing. However Persia arm is strong
    Still hoping for an extension for Bruce. Holt nothing special
    My daughter I n law was really surprised we had a player named Dr.jesus playing third. Going to let that stand
    Today they ready to get on the bus

  4. Scott E. Disney

    Cody Reed gets the start on Saturday! CODY REED!

    Definitely something to look forward to, could he stay with team or only spot start?


  5. ArtWayne

    I wish Votto would stop his daydreaming in the field. He cost us the lead today when he fielded the ball hit to his right instead of heading for first base. It was not a hard hit ball, Brandon could have fielded it and tossed the speedy batter out.

    • big5ed

      I only saw a few innings, so I’m not sure what play you are talking about. If it is the Mallex Smith chopper, I don’t think Phillips could have got him, but maybe. Either way, though, Votto has long had an issue with doing that, and his throws are erratic.

      Votto is just not a good or even average fielder anymore. The whole Atlanta series, he was pretty much Michael Jackson–wearing a glove on one hand for no apparent reason.

      • Patrick Jeter

        He’s been above average this season before these few games in ATL.

        Overall, Votto is easily an average 1Bman. That says more about 1Bman in general than Votto.

        If you think differently, you simply don’t watch enough non-Reds baseball. There are lots of bad 1Bman out there.

  6. big5ed

    Meanwhile, 36-year-old Colby Lewis of the Rangers has a perfect game through 7 innings against the Athletics. The Reds may catch his next start.

  7. citizen54

    Votto sucks because he doesn’t get paid to walk and he is only hitting .250 and where are his RBIs or something like that.

  8. VaRedsFan

    There certainly is a lot of bashing on BP lately. Is it because of where he’s batting in the order? He doesn’t make the order. If he does, then he’s at fault. Price makes the order.

    I’ll be the 1st to admit that he shouldn’t be batting ahead of Bruce and Duvall. I know batting AVG isn’t the be all end all of stats, but he did bat .325 in April and is batting .293 in June. He got really banged up in May (HBP in the hand, and foul balls off the leg) and it really affected him, and may still be.

    In recent years BP seemed to respond well getting a day off every 2 weeks or so, but for some reason, Price isn’t sitting him, AT ALL, unless he has been injured.

    To me, this is on Brian Price for the batting order, and not giving the player some rest.

    Some think BP will get upset and cause a ruckus if moved down in the order. I find that hard to believe. If Price isn’t moving/resting BP because BP might pout, then Price has no business managing.

    IMO this is on Price.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I think most of the criticism is of the batting order. I can’t imagine why anyone would complain about Phillips himself as a player. He works hard (other than running out a few ground balls). I think that’s an important point you made about giving him days off. I had forgotten how much that seemed to help him last year.

      • docmike

        I think some of the complaints about Phillips are due to his showboat antics. Personally, it doesn’t bother me one bit as long as the production is still there. But some folks may feel he “doesn’t play the game the right way” or something along those lines. Same nonsense that gets directed at Bryce Harper.

        If Phillips was hitting in the 6 or 7 hole, his deficiencies on offense would be minimized.

      • vegastypo

        Yes, because he’s so good, he actually has cost the team a few times by trying to make a more dazzling play and failing, when he could have succeeded with a little less showboating.

        I think my biggest “complaint” about Phillips is that he could have been traded to a surefire contender in Washington, or to a team that thought it would contend in Arizona, and he said no. Which is a choice he has earned, obviously. But now, he’s in the way of the Reds’ attempt to rebuild.

        Funny, in February he said he “didn’t believe in the word rebuild” and not to buy into the hype that the Reds would be bad for a third straight year. Well guess what, Brandon, it wasn’t hype. The Reds are bad, and if you want to win, there are better places where that might happen. And nobody wants you bad enough to pay you extra to leave. So admit that you’re OK playing on a crappy team, or else move along.

        Although the Reds should never have let him get the 10-5 rights in the first place.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yeah. His hot dogging rubs me the wrong way sometimes, especially when it jeopardizes making an out. I’m not offended, it’s just a practical thing for me. Separately, I don’t like his off the field stuff – what he said about the owner, what he said to CTR, I’ve heard him be vulgar on AM radio. I’m sure plenty of athletes are like that in private. No problem.

        All that said, “hate” is obviously too strong of a word. I’ve stood up and cheered for him at GABP more than for any other player.

  9. Dan

    Both are fun to watch and I’m glad both play for our Reds. Both are aging and certainly BP is showing the long tooth more at this point. Depending on what happens to Cozart at the trade deadline we just might see BP playing time reduced.

    • Chuck Schick

      Hate? Despised? Very over the top language more commonly used the describe feelings towards Hitler, Stalin and Bin Laden rather than a second baseman. Reasonable people can disagree over BP’s present-future role on the Reds without “hate” being a factor. There’s a huge difference between wanting someone on the bench or released and wanting him to actually die.

  10. ArtWayne

    If BP doesn’t get a day or two off, he finds a way via an injury.

    • greenmtred

      Conspiracy theorist, are you? He has played hurt for extended periods of time. I don’t know him personally, but it sounds as though some of you guys must, since such strong opinions must be based upon actual information. Mustn’t they?

  11. james garrett

    BP was part of the group that competed and won a title and for that he gets a thumbs up.i also believe he would have left in an instant if he could have got more money but he didn’t and had every right to do so.It was/is about the money and it should be.The reality is he in the way of the rebuild as VEGAS said and that shows how much clout he still has.The front office could set him down and say your playing time will be reduced and make it happen but they haven’t so far.I can imagine if it were me and a team tried to trade me,Bruce also,that I may not be the same guy going forward.BP playing every day or not playing at all won’t mean much in regards to wins/losses but the fact that we continue to talk about him points to the real problem in that is the front office.I can’t imagine any re build plan that includes playing a player who’s skills are declining rapidly over any player that maybe part of the future.That;s the part that irks me.