The Reds were hoping to leave our nationals capital with a series split with the Washington Nationals. They didn’t come close to that. The Reds were crushed 12-1 on Sunday. Stephen Strasburg no-hit the Reds through 6.2 innings, but was mercifully pulled because he was at 109 pitches coming off the DL. Ramon Cabrera saved the Reds from being no-hit for a second time in 2016 with a base hit in the 8th inning off former Red, Matt Belisle.

John Lamb’s terrific month of June didn’t translate into July. Lamb had a 3.09 ERA in six starts in June. Today, he got shelled by the Nationals, giving up 8 ER in 4.1 innings.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (30-53) 1 3 0
Washington Nationals (50-33) 12 15 0
W: Strasburg (11-0) L: Lamb (1-5)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was John Lamb giving up a grand slam to Danny Espinosa with 0 outs in the 5th inning, giving the Nationals a 5-0 lead. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 11.8% (from 26.6% to 4.8%).

Player of the Game


Stephen Strasburg: 6.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 K

You can’t say enough about how good Strasburg was. I wrote in today’s game preview about just how good he has been not only this year, but over the course of his entire career. This guy is going to be good for a loooooooooooooooooooooong time.


Joey Votto had a pair of walks. Strasburg wanted no part of him. Strasburg knows who the Reds best hitter is even if the Reds broadcasters and media members do not.

Ramon Cabrera, Jose Peraza, and Zack Cozart each had hits. So congrats to them, hits weren’t easy to come by today.



Poor John Lamb. He actually looked pretty good through the first three innings of the game (2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Then the big fourth inning happened. Lamb walked the bases loaded, and then gave up a grand slam to Danny Espinosa. It seems like Lamb has had this exact problem throughout his very young career. He can look really good at times, and then just have that one bad inning that ruins what could be a nice start. I still believe in Lamb as a starter for the Reds in the future, today just wasn’t his day. Maybe he was just trying to be too perfect facing a guy who entered today 10-0.

Keyvius Sampson and Jumbo Diaz didn’t want to be left out of the Nationals home run parade. Sampson gave up two bombs, and Diaz gave up one. The Reds are literally just recycling bad pitcher after bad pitcher from AAA. That’s what happens in a rebuild I suppose. Jumbo got hurt and had to leave the game too.

The Reds hitters were pretty terrible today.

Not so random thoughts……………..

baker bruce

There was a report today that the Nationals are interested in Jay Bruce. It seems like Dusty Baker is trying to recreate the 2012 Reds in our nations capital. He already has Chris Heisey on the roster. Bronson Arroyo is close to beginning a minor league rehab assignment with them. And they just signed Mat Latos to a minor league deal. He even has Chris Speier as a bench coach. Rub it in why don’t ya Dusty.

Dusty Baker also pulled Stephen Strasburg with a no-hitter in the 7th inning. Strasburg was at 109 pitches, and just coming off the DL, so it was a pretty easy call. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks….or the GM called down and said you are fired if you don’t pull him now.


Danny Espinosa had 15 (!) RBI’s in this series for the Nationals. 15! I’m certainly not a fan of the RBI stat, but I’ll accept that this one time as pretty good. And good for him, this was guy who had a .581 OPS on May 25th. It’s at .820 now.

Up Next:

Reds at Cubs
Monday, 2:20 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Cody Reed (9.00 ERA) vs Kyle Hendricks (2.76 ERA)


All statistics used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats & Info, and Baseball-Reference (including Baseball-Reference Play Index). All photos used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer and are used by permission.

70 Responses

  1. Bdogg51

    Brutal game. As I said in the game thread, Paraza needs to take over for Phillips at second the rest of the season. With Phillips’ obvious high salary, I understand the apprehension. But, if we’re rebuilding, then let’s freaking rebuild!!! FO needs to find a way to convince Phillips to take a trade to a contender! But, again, his ridiculous salary could be an issue for another club. Phillips needs to show some class in this situation.

    • Gaffer

      Phillips would leave if we benched him or even hit him out of 3 hole. The problem is he has almost no trade value. We would get a couple non prospects no have to pay nearly all of his salary next year.

      • Bdogg51

        That clearly makes Phillips vetoing two possible trades this off-season classless and selfish! Could’ve gone to the Nats in one of them, Now Murphy’s the best hitter in the NL in the first half. I think the Reds might be willing to eat salary for some POSSIBLE good prospects

      • Carl Sayre

        I have disagreed before with this thought and I will disagree again respectfully. He was able to get his 5 and 10 rights something almost unheard of in todays game. His family is here and I do think that is part of it. He did try according to some reports I read try to leverage in any trade to get his deferred money now and the Reds said no. I am a little dubious of those reports, I read them in multiple places but no locals claiming that so I am unsure how true. His agent took advantage of a stupid FO and I don’t see how that makes Phillips selfish or classless, this game we love is a business. BP’s job is to play baseball not try to do what is best for a team that made a bad deal and now want to dump him without any incentive to him. The first base hit by Harper (it may have been someone else I was in the emergency room with my wife) was a ball that he gets to even last year and 2 years ago he would have made it look easy but to blame him for the FO stupid decision doesn’t make sense to me. IMO if the Reds can get any team to take his contract it would be a major win and anything with the Reds paying less than half of his salary would be ok, if the deferred money was the hold up during the off season another stupid move by management.

      • Andy

        Phillips has done nothing wrong. He earned his no trade rights and the Reds must honor them. They should have worked with him first and agreed to acceptable terms (teams, deferment, extra money, etc…), before they contacted other teams and especially before they let any leaks to the press. As far as I’m concerned, if we’re talking “classless and selfish”… The Reds were classless and fans who think Phillips should accept a trade to make us happy are the selfish ones.

      • VaRedsFan

        Well said Carl and Andy. You two aren’t the only ones that view the situation like that.

      • Playtowin

        Phillips should have accepted the trade to the Nats. He would have had a chance for a championship and possibly extend his career. The Reds made a mistake not trading him before his 10-5 rights kicked in. Both parties are at fault here. This will not end well for Brandon or the Reds. He has been a wonderful player but having to end things on a team losing close to 100 games 3 years in a row is not fun. Delaying a rebuild will only sour the fans and prevent the franchise from finding out who are the keepers. Ownership and the front office mismanaged this. Brandon should have been smart and realized he was on a sinking ship and moved on when he had the chance. The Nats deal was fair for Brandon. The Reds would have received semi prospects and unloaded a contract while giving Peraza a place to play. We have 3 losers here…the Reds, Brandon, and the fans.

  2. Old-school

    Trade Jay Bruce now. He looked like a guy about to enter a 3-35 swoon with 17 K’s.
    The Reds waited too long on Frazier and Chapman last year.
    Billy Hamilton is now at .243 for the season with an OBP of .291 heading to Chicago and then at Florida.
    He is not an every day baseball player. He doesn’t have the body for it or the hitting mechanics. He is heading back to who he is- the worst offensive player in baseball.

    • VaRedsFan

      Agree on Jay Bruce. He swung at a lot of bad pitches this series

  3. Gaffer

    John Lamb cannot be kept in the rotation. I know we have no other good options, but please start someone else. He was not just bad today, but is bad nearly all the time. I have hope for him, but this is getting ridiculous.

      • Gaffer

        That is one of those selective stats, like a guy is batting .360 with 2 outs in the 8th inning or later. Small sample size viability more likely is the reason. Like I said, he is not out of the plans, but he needs to figure out how not to groove 92 mph straight fastballs.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Not really.

        In your example, you are conflating that there is some sort of skill to batting in the 8th inning versus other innings.

        Nick is simply saying Lamb has shown he can be decent for a decent stretch of time.

      • Gaffer

        You are not wrong, but I still say ERA is not the best indicator of performance. This is especially true when you only look at a select sample. His FIP is around 6 for the year which is terrible. He also has not given this team much of a chance to win really any game I have (for those of you non stat people). Lamb seems like he does not understand the pinpoint control you need to make it with mediocre stuff against MLB hitters.

      • Nick Kirby

        Lamb had a 4.31 FIP in June, which is nearly identical to the league average mark for SP.

  4. RedAlert

    The Diaz and Sampson experiment should be over going into next year. Neither can pitch at he major league leaves and be effective. Both are AAAA pitchers and can’t cut it in the big show.

  5. deLuxe

    This was just an ugly series for the team and manager – who should get canned. Lifeless. But in other news I picked up Espinosa on Thursday morning for my fantasy team… wow! Might have been the transaction of my life. Now to see which Cubs and Marlins are FAs in my league…

  6. Bdogg51

    Carl Sayre, Reds didn’t try to “dump” Philips. They gave him trades to teams that are contending ball clubs. They offered him an opportunity to get a ring with a contending club. Phillips knew the Reds were they were starting a rebuild mode. He should’ve given respect to a franchise that gave him that 5 and 10 career. He is at a point in his career where he has given security for his family. He should now have the desire to want to win a ring. Apparently, he doesn’t want one.

  7. Scotlykins

    Why is everyone, on here, blaming Phillips for this debacle ?

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I’m going to chalk it up to their being frustrated by all the losing. If they really think he’s at fault for this mess, then they are just clueless. The idea that he is just supposed to give up his 5 and 10 rights to show “respect” for the franchise boggles my mind.

      • vegastypo

        He has earned his no-trade rights. I don’t think anybody begrudges him that. It just boggles my mind that he wanted to stay with the Reds instead of going someplace that offered him a chance of team success. He’s getting paid the same either way, so the only difference is the quality of team he is on. If he’s happy being part of a 100-loss team, so be it. ….

        I see the anguish being over the team’s use of Phillips, not so much the player himself, although his base running antics make me cringe.

      • ohiojimw

        Pretty clearly Phillips decision was made for non-baseball reasons. I think that’s what rankles a lot of the folks that are agitated; but, that was Phillips earned right.

        How many of us would pick up and move our family 500 miles into an area with a much higher cost of living for no increase in pay if we had a contract that said we could keep out job and pay without moving. And just like one of us making such a move, he would have moving expenses; if he received no increase in pay to offset them, it would effectively be a decrease in pay. Also we have no way of knowing what endorsements and the like Phillips might have which would go away if he was not playing with the Reds.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Phillips is contributing to the Reds poor record. So are a lot of other players, including the bullpen. You can’t possibly be implying that anyone is placing all the blame on Phillips.

  8. jveith1991

    With Brandon Phillips, the bottom line is this: The money he will get paid the remainder of 2016 and all of 2017 is already spent. The Reds owe him roughly $6.5 million for the rest of this year and $14 million next year. Unless the Reds can find a trade partner who is willing to eat all of that salary (not going to happen) or even a small chunk of it (doubtful), the Reds will be stuck with him.

    This means the Reds have two options: Keep Phillips and use him as a bench player, or release him. The money is spent regardless, so why do the Reds keep placing Phillips in the lineup when he hasn’t even homered in two months (and five of those six home runs came over a four-day period)? Right now Phillips is doing nothing but taking playing time and experience away from Peraza.

    • Scotlykins

      “Phillips is doing nothing”

      Seriously. He has a better BA than Votto. He has more hits than Votto. He has more doubles than Votto. And has half as many strikeouts than Votto. And will actually get in front of a ground ball.

      • Nick Kirby

        It is absolutely laughable to compare Votto and Phillips offensively this season.

      • Scotlykins

        Those numbers comparing them offensively are accurate. Votto has 39 more walks and eight more homeruns. Votto is better at drawing a walk, and is horrible defensively. That is laughable !!!

      • Nick Kirby

        Votto now has a .837 OPS and climbing. Phillips has a .661 OPS and it is rapidly falling. Phillips also has a grand total of 1 defensive run saved this season, so it is laughable to imply that his defense even comes close to making up 176 points. Phillips defense at this point in his career is still good, but far from elite.

      • Scotlykins

        Nick those numbers, OPS, is not hitting. It values a walk as much as a hit and adds slugging %. We know Votto has 8 more homeruns and walks considerably more than Phillips BUT strikes out TWICE as much. He DOES NOT have more hits than Phillips.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Why should we measure offensive contribution only by hitting? Isn’t a walk an offensive contribution, even if it isn’t worth as much as a single? Why should we assign walks zero value when they have positive value?

        Brandon Phillips swings and misses at a *much* higher rate than Joey Votto. Phillips doesn’t strike out as much because he swings all the time.

        Phillips hasn’t had a home run in 212 plate appearances. Singles hitter. Singles hitter who doesn’t walk much. Hollow batting average.

      • Nick Kirby

        Scotlykins, I am not exactly sure what you are trying to argue here. So you don’t like OPS because it values a single the same as a walk, but you use hits and average which value a single and a home run as the same. Even if you take out walks completely, Votto leads Philips in total bases 126 to 110.

      • Scotly50

        Steve and Nick, I am only implying that Phillips is not the reason our offense is tanking. And that Votto has just as much culpability towards the Reds offensive woes as Phillips. Aside from walks and a few HRs, Votto is worse than Phillips offensively.

        Steve, A walk is only better than an out. Most of the new analytic stats value a walk and hit the same. Not the case on the field.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Scotlykins. You said this:

        “Most of the new analytic stats value a walk and hit the same. Not the case on the field.”

        That isn’t true at all. You might want to do some research before saying stuff like this. Also, OPS isn’t a “new analytic stat.” So don’t use that as an example. wRC+ and wOBA (two “new” stats) both use proper linear weights, where they value a single as being about 21% more valuable than a walk. This is how all sabermetricians view the value of a walk. NO ONE, and I mean no one, thinks a walk is the same as a hit. But all you “hit truthers” seem to think we do.

        Think about this, Scot. If the bases are empty, a walk is EXACTLY THE SAME as a single. That situation occurs for Votto a lot since no one else in this lineup can get on base at a non-embarrassing rate.

      • Scotly50

        Patrick, I am not on a side of the analytic vs, as you say, “hit truthers”. I couldn’t care less actually. They are just stats.

        Think about this Patrick: When our “supposed best hitter”, walks to first base, do you not think that affects our offense negatively. That is the crux of what Marty, and many others, are implying. Votto is simply passing the torch, so to speak, to lesser hitters and then blaming them because they don’t produce.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Scot, I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding.

        Walks require balls. Balls are out of the strike zone, by definition. Every player in history hits worse on balls out of the zone as compared to balls in the zone. If Votto were to swing more often, he’d probably be a lifetime .275 hitter rather than a .300 hitter.

        I think many folks (not you specifically) think that players can maintain their level of production when swinging at bad pitches. It simply isn’t true.

      • greenmtred

        It’s one thing to say that Votto is a much better hitter–of course he is. But a comparison can legitimately be made on the other points, save for BA. Joey doesn’t need our jealous protection.

      • Chuck Schick

        Your points are great. The numbers you cite show that Phillips is having a better year than Votto. He’s way more valuable.


        A person from 1973

      • wildwestlv

        Ha! You forgot to add, “…currently working in the Reds FO”, to, “A person from 1973”.

      • kmartin

        I think .252 (Phillips) < .253 (Votto).

      • Dan

        There is no question that Brandon Phillips consistently makes more contact with a thrown baseball than Joey Votto. That can’t be debated. BP has only had 2 100 K seasons his entire career. I believe that Joey has had 8 100K plus seasons and is on pace this season for 180K. But some seem to think that a strikeout for a batter is all on the pitcher and a walk is all on the batter. Joey draws so many walks because nobody hits good behind him. I would imagine that if Mike Trout was batting directly behind Joey Votto that his walk total would be cut in half, but his strikeout rate wouldn’t be going down…. if anything it would shoot up even more.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Votto’s contact rate is 79.6% and Phillips contact rate is 80.4%. Phillips swings at 44% of the pitches *outside* the strike zone. Votto swings at 18% of those pitches.

        You say that Votto draws so many walks because “nobody hits good behind him.” The player who hits behind him is Brandon Phillips.

        There’s no comparison who is a better hitter.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Something that you may appreciate…. BP has 30 RBI primarily batting 3rd and 4th. That is about as bad as someone can do from that spot.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Also, BP pops up in the infield about 3.5% of the time this year… that’s the same as a strikeout. Virtually no chance to get on base, unless ROE, which happens probably 1 in 1000 on infield pop ups.

      • dan

        I’m not arguing who is the better player or the better hitter or even who has the better strategy but the numbers show that Brandon Phillips is much better at making contact with a thrown baseball than Joey Votto To me, that is the most difficult part of baseball to be able to hit a throw baseball. Brandon is quite good at making solid contact. Unfortunately as you say his bad luck always has a fielder collecting the batted ball before he can get to first.

      • Chuck Schick

        Dan…for every 1,000 plate appearances, Phillips makes contact 8 more times. In essence, Phillips hits the ball 1 more time than Votto about every 30 games. In your mind, that is ” much better?”

      • Old-school

        The hardest thing to do isn’t to make contact…but to make hard contact when you DO swing and know when NOT to swing. Joey Votto does that about as well as anyone over the last 7-8 years when healthy. His exit velocity the second half of 2015 was even higher-correlating with his historic 4 month performance.

        The league average for exit velocity is 89.1 mph.
        Joey Votto is at 92.3
        Brandon Phillips is 87.6
        Billy Hamilton is 81.5 mph( horrific)

        Joey Votto hits the ball 5 mph harder on average than Brandon Phillips and 11 mph harder than Billy Hamilton.
        Exit velocity is not luck.
        If Votto can stay healthy for 3-4 more years, he will be the greatest Reds hitter of all-time.

      • Scotly50

        Wow. Phillips swings at 44% of the pitches outside the strike zone !!!

        I did not realize it was that high. His BA would be much higher if he would swing at strikes. Price needs to set him down and show him that figure. Way too high.

      • Old-school

        Phillips does a lot. Lots of ineffective, unproductive hitting in the twilight of his career. Lots of GDP, infield pop-ups, routine fly balls to the outfield and 2 hoppers to the shortstop.
        He wanted 6 years and 72 mil, called BC a liar for paying JV 200 mil and the Reds caved.
        Now, its another year and a half of placating BP’s ego because the Reds want to avoid conflict with BP…..he’s proven he can and will cause a public firestorm , so the best interests of the team and fans are secondary.
        Phillips is obstructing the Reds from moving forward with their rebuild. Jose Peraza is part of that….we think….but we don’t know. He needs to play every day, the majority of which should be at second base. BP was a great Red and deserves to be in the Reds HOF, but that 6th year of his contract that he yelled and screamed and kicked for….and ultimately got……is his undoing.

    • ohiojimw

      RELJVEITH1991: For the most part, I think you have the situation dialed in. However another side to it is that they are probably going to trade Cozart by the end of July; and, they’d rather have Phillips to play alongside Peraza than DeJesus for appearance and marketing sake, And that’s not to mention that they don’t have any bodies at AAA or even AA to bring in as middle infielders to fill out the roster A) if Cozart is gone and especially B) if Phillips and Cozart both are gone.

      • jveith1991

        “For appearance and marketing sake”: If the Reds are truly concerned about this, it is a major sign of what is wrong with the front office. It is similar to what they did in 2015, not trading Cueto or Frazier before the All Star game because the front office didn’t want to see them playing in another uniform at GABP.

        If the Reds don’t have any middle infielders ready to fill in to replace Phillips AND Cozart, that’s yet another problem with the Reds and their farm system. Blandino has struggled mightily in AA this year, hitting .195/.297/.307.

      • ohiojimw

        Yep, Blandino dropped from #9 on Doug Gray’s preseason Reds prospect list all the way to #19 on his just released updated list (Senzel debuts at #3, Tramell #8, Okey #17). And at that aside from Peraza, he is the highest rated middle IF on the list. Carlton Daal (also a AA), a slick fielding SS is at #20, and Shed Long (Low A) at #25 are the only other middle IFs on the list.

        Blandino was a 1st round draft pick (#29 overall 2014), so he probably gets at least one more year before he is shown the road.

  9. CI3J

    The Reds play the Cubs AGAIN after this? Why does it feel like 50% of all our games this year have been against the stupid Cubs?

    • jveith1991

      On the bright side, the Reds don’t play the Cubs again after this series until 9/19, when they play them six times the final two weeks of the season.

  10. wildwestlv

    Cubs just got pretty roughed up by the Mets. Methinks they’ll take it out on the poor Reds. Happy 4th of July everyone!

  11. StillRed

    Commenting on the struggles of his young pitchers, Price says “The part we’re coming to terms with in large part, we’re [the coaches] preaching a lot of the same stuff you preach to young pitchers in the early stages of player development.” OMG, some of these guys have been around for awhile. I’m afraid if they are still this bad at this stage, they may never make it in the majors, which leave us where??

  12. TR

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Price is let go at the all-star break and Riggleman is made the interim manager.

    • ohiojimw

      Agree that there seems to be a building feeling that Price won’t survive the ASB as Reds mgr. Who knows who they might bring in and whether the person will be an interim or whether they’ve line up their next “permanent” manager.

  13. Roy Stinnett

    How long will Brian Price be the manager? He has lost control of the players. Votto teasing those kids and not giving them the ball is a disgrace to the Reds team. I was ashamed to be a Red’s fan.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Show me where it says a fan has the right to be given a foul ball by a player ever single time. I’ll wait.

      More of this entitlement culture. If they’re going to heckle him, which I guarantee someone in that section was, they reap what they sow. They got to boo him heartily in his next PA. That is their right after what he did. Now its over. Move on.

      • ohiojimw

        To me this was different than the situation in Phillie or wherever because Votto dropped the ball and walked away. He didn’t appear to offer it to a fan only to turn and walk away with it. The ball girl came over, picked it up and eventually handed it to a kid. So, a fan ended up getting the ball in the end.

    • dan

      +1 unsportsmanslike conduct. Votto should be suspended for his actions.

      • Patrick Jeter

        In a league where assaulting someone gets you 8 games? Right. Keep dreaming, Dan.

    • Redsfan48

      Votto said the last time that he was careful to not taunt a kid, but rather to taunt fans that heckle him. The lesson to be learned here is don’t heckle a Major League player and maybe they will give you a ball.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Exactly. Players giving foul balls is our of their good will. It is not something they have to do and they shouldn’t be expected to do it either.

        If someone in your section is heckling a player, you aren’t getting a ball.

        I have NO IDEA why people care about this so much.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Maybe my memory is fuzzy but when Marge owned the team I think she didn’t allow players to throw balls to the fans and if they did, they were charged for the ball.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Interesting thought. Get TP up here and acclimated, then drop the hammer on Price? Perhaps.

      • ohiojimw

        The other thought I just posted on the firing thread is that everyone seems to pitch well at Louisville but all of them including Reed have the wheels fall off when they get to the Reds.

        Reed has pitched one good game as a Red. That was his first, on the road and versus a very hot team…..