The Reds jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third inning. But the Cubs came roaring back. The Cubs hit four home runs off Brandon Finnegan, and quickly cut the Reds lead to 6-5.

Here we go again. The Reds entered play just 1-10 against the Cubs this season.

The Reds however got big time relief from Raisel Iglesias. He pitched three scoreless innings. Jay Bruce hit a two run bomb in the top of the 9th for some extra insurance. Tony Cingrani finished off a 9-5 win with a perfect inning in the 9th on his birthday.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (31-54) 9 10 0
Chicago Cubs (52-31) 5 7 2
W: Finnegan (4-7) L: Lackey (7-5)
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 Brandon Finnegan allowing a 2-run home run to Addison Russell in the 3rd inning with 2 outs, cutting the Reds lead to 5-4. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 18.7% (from 80.5% to 61.8%).

Other important plays (+/- indicates how much a play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):

  • +15.0% – 2nd inning – Cozart hits a 2-run HR with 2 outs. Reds lead 2-0.
  • +10.7% – 1st inning – Hamilton scores on passed ball/error by Ross. Votto to 3rd, 1 out. Reds lead 1-0.
  • +9.3% – 6th inning – Iglesias gets Baez out on a bunt attempt. Runners on 1st & 2nd, 1 out. Reds lead 6-5.
  • -12.5% – 5th inning – Finnegan allows solo HR to Russell with 2 outs. Reds lead 6-5.
  • -9.7% – 6th inning – Iglesias hits Candelario. Runners on 1st & 2nd, 0 outs. Reds lead 6-5.

Player of the Game


Billy Hamilton: 2 for 3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 3 SB, .249 WPA

Hamilton had two hits and a walk on the afternoon. He really showed off his speed today too. He scored from second base on a wild-pitch, and stretched a single into a double that few could. He stole 3 total bases today, and has 22 on the season.



Zack Cozart homered for a second consecutive day. Cozart also singled later in the game. He now has an .807 OPS on the year, which despite his recent struggles is still good for 8th best among MLB SS. You combined that with his elite defense (second among MLB SS with 9 DRS), and you have a very good player.

Joey Votto reached base four times, and also had a RBI sac fly. Votto’s OBP now sits at a cool .392. It was at .330 on May 31st.

Raisel Iglesias pitched three scoreless innings in relief. If the Reds must pitch Iglesias in the bullpen, this is certainly the best way to use him.

Jay Bruce hit his 18th home run of the season. Bruce is now hitting .268/.315/.546 on the season.

Tony Cingrani pitched a perfect 9th on his 27th birthday. Cingrani has now only allowed 1 ER in his last 11 appearances (12.2 IP). The Reds just might have found a good closer.



Brandon Finnegan: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 14.37 FIP

Finnegan got hit hard for a second straight start. He gave up four home runs today. Finnegan’s 4.71 BB/9 ranks 3rd worst in the MLB out of 98 qualifiers, and his 1.60 HR/9 ranks 10th worst. He has had some really good starts this year, but overall the numbers aren’t good. It’s important to remember however that he is younger than Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett, and just one day older than Cody Reed.

Not so random thoughts………………

I love day baseball games. The MLB really needs to have at least one day baseball game every day of the week. That sure would be better than seeing Chris Russo scream at the camera.

Up Next:

Reds at Cubs
Wednesday, 2:20 PM
TV: None; Radio: 700 WLW
Anthony DeSclafani (1.78 ERA) vs Adam Warren (4.56 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.

57 Responses

  1. Patrick Jeter

    Tomorrow’s game isn’t televised? Or you just mean it isn’t televised by the Reds?

      • greenmtred

        Agree about the day games, Nick. I refuse to watch Russo, screaming or not.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Makes sense! Not like I could watch regardless… pesky job.

  2. TR

    Disco and the Reds go for the series win.

  3. ohiojimw

    Raisel Iglesias kept this one from being yet another early lead morphed into a shutdown loss. Agree if hen can’t start then make him into a multi inning finisher and not a traditional 3 out closer.

  4. sezwhom

    Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Brandon Finnegan allowing a 2-run home run to Addison Russell in the 3rd inning with 2 outs, cutting the Reds lead to 5-4. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 18.7% (from 80.5% to 61.8%).

    That was the most important play of the game? Okay but we won. Wasn’t there a more important play?

    • Nick Kirby

      I think that is the most interesting thing about WPA. Most important play isn’t always what you think.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Really, though, you’re right. Me saying that as a mathematician.

      “Important” is a relative term. Most would assign the phrase “most important” to the play that swung to WP by the most, but it doesn’t necessary have to be. “Importance” is whatever you say it is.

      “Most impactful,” might be a better way to state it.

  5. DHud

    If it weren’t for Votto clogging the bases with all his confounded walks, the Reds probably would’ve scored 12

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Yeah what’s wrong with that guy? Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to swing at pitches out of the strike zone rather than take them? Oh, wrong web site, lol. After his rough start I was hoping he would get to .275-.280 by the end of the season. I’m raising my expectations based on what I’ve seen the last several weeks.

  6. Big56dog

    IS Cingrani doing something different? He had a pretty nice ERA in June but he is not striking anyone out any more, besides Chapman he probably was the best on the staff the past 3 or 4 seasons at the K’s

    • greenmtred

      I think that the hitters take a little while to realize that Cingrani will, sooner than later, throw them a fastball up in the zone. He rarely uses secondary pitches.

  7. ArtWayne

    Finnegan doesn’t have the stuff of Iglesias but he also doesn’t have his control. Finnegan threw waist high, middle-of-the-plate pitches for his 4 homers(Yes, he worked for them) while Iglesias kept his pitches at the knees with “stuff” on them. Who remembers the little, Italian, left-hand reliever from Brooklyn some 25 years ago that pitched at the knees. If he got in hot water he would successfully pitch below the knees. Forget his name but he was a shining example of the merit of pitching low. The SPs need to throw more off speed stuff. Lamb is doing it altho his record doesn’t show his success. Go Reds, we have a one game winning streak.

    • lwblogger2

      Man that guy cold pitch. Reds moved him as part of the Randy Myers deal if I recall.

  8. Shchi Cossack

    Cozart doubled leading off the 4th. Hamilton followed with a successful(?) sac bunt, moving Cozart to 3B. Votto followed with successful(?) sac fly on a drive to the warning track in CF, allowing Cozart to casually jog home.

    When Votto returned to the dugout after Hamilton’s successful(?) sac bunt and his successful(?) sac fly, the scowl on his face did not reflect a happy/jovial mood. Giving up 2 outs to get a single run can’t sit well with Votto.

    • ohiojimw

      I do not disagree with your feelings about trading two outs for a run. However, my thought was that Votto was displeased that the ball stayed in the park. I couldn’t decide if he was agitated that it died on the track when he felt he had struck it well enough; or, whether he felt like he had “missed” a on pitch he should have hit clear over the bleachers with the way the ball seemed to be carrying.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Jim, I think we may both be on a fool’s errand by trying to figure out what Votto’s thinking, especially when he’s on one of his patented treks to perfection like he is now.

      • Scotly50

        I wish he would take “his patented trek” pointed in the direction of his defensive effort !!!!

      • Patrick Jeter

        He isn’t a super-skilled defender. He never will be. He’s almost 33. Defense peaks in your early 20s. He’s never going to get better. Might as well deal with what he is… an average to below-average 1B defender (depending on the day).

        No amount of “effort” will increase his skill at this point.

  9. msanmoore

    Bottom line today … we beat the Stupid Cubs and that’s enough.

  10. Shchi Cossack

    Not only did Price have Iggy pitch for 3 high-leverage innings, but when Finnegan was faltering in the 3rd inning, Lorenzen was rushed to get loose in the bullpen in another high-leverage situation. If this is indicative of a change in the way Price will utilize his bullpen, it’s a dramatic positive change.

    • Patrick Jeter

      My hope is that Iggy is pitching 2-3 innings at a time to keep him somewhat stretched out in case they decide to let him start a few times in September to see how the shoulder reacts.

  11. Shchi Cossack

    Once again, the Reds have 4 players producing with an .800+ OPS:

    .861 => Bruce 26th in NL)
    .855 => Votto (27th in NL)
    .849 => Duvall (28th in NL)
    .807 => Cozart (38th in NL)

    Votto has now moved among the league’s elite in OBP:
    .892 => Votto (11th in the NL)

    • cfd3000

      Dr. Cossack – pretty sure you meant .392. His average, OBP, slugging (and of course OPS) have all been on a steady climb for more than a month. He looks much more comfortable and confident. If this continues he may end the year at .290 / .430 / .500 / .930. Given his April and May numbers that would be officially ridiculous. I must say I love watching him hit. I never know if he’s in “walk” mode, “serve a double into left” mode, “rip a single through the shift” mode, or “homer twice” mode but it’s never boring. And Billy Hamilton is so much fun. If he can get on base three times every two days he’ll be a monster. Scored from second on a passed ball. Easily. Dang.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Gosh Darn those Old Fingers!!! Yes, that’s a .392 OBP, not .892 OBP. Even for Votto, an .892 OBP is beyond reach…maybe…

      • Shchi Cossack

        Yes, Votto is once again looking like Votto at the plate, confident, comfortable and calculating.

      • Patrick Jeter

        After the abysmal start to the season, I’d certainly take any OPS around .900 for Joey.

  12. Brian JOHNSON

    It seems the longer Price manages the farther away he is getting from the ways of Dusty…I like it and I think, with what he has to work with, he is doing a good job

    • Redgoggles

      Imagine what he could do with a full roster of major league players.

  13. TomatoTovotto

    Just saw the play where Hamilton scored from second on a passed ball because Ross sauntered to the ball and Lackey was too busy expressing his frustration to cover home. I know the Reds player make a ton of preventable mistakes and occasionally have lapses, but I’ve been pretty impressed with how most of them have remained focused (mostly) in this lost seaon (the issue of fundamentals with Suarez, Votto, etc. is different issue). It was a nice reminder that even the best-coached teams are prone to switching into robot-mode.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Without Hamilton on 2B, the actions (or inactions) by both Ross and Lackey have no impact after the passed ball. Of course both players should have been on heightened awareness knowing Hamilton WAS on 2B, but I can underswtand the momentary lapse by both players. That was a classic Hamilrun, with Hamilton recognizing the opportunity and siezing that opportunity. I’d give Hamilton more credit on the play than blame to Ross and Lackey. The error credited on the play was for allowing Votto to get to 3B, rather than Hamilton to score.

  14. CI3J

    Nice to see Cingrani pitching well, but I would still rather Lorenzen become the closer. Cingrani, being a lefty, could have other uses in the bullpen.

    • Indy RedMan

      Lorenzen is their future #1 starter imo. I’ve said that from the beginning. To breeze thru the minors with really no experience last year is pretty impressive. He was very good in Lville too! I know he got roughed up last year with the Reds but I feel like Price could make him a 5-6 ip guy and he could be throwing 96-98 with the improving offspeed stuff and do well! He could always close if he fails as a starter but we need to try? Reed and these other guys aren’t ready?

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I would like to see both Lorenzen and Iglesias tried as starters first and if they can’t do that for whatever reasons (hopefully not elbow or shoulder issues) then look at the bullpen.

      • redsfan2016

        That will not happen, because Lorenzen has only two pitches. Even getting through 5-6 innings can be a stretch when having only two to rely upon. Even if he does not become the official “closer” he will still be our best bullpen pitcher with Iglesias.

      • Patrick Jeter

        I really hope you’re right, but the fastball looks like it has little movement to me. If that’s the case, he’ll need top-end command to be a decent starter.

    • vegastypo

      I’d like for them to get rid of the idea of a ‘closer’ altogether and identify who can pitch the most effectively in ‘high-leverage’ situations. Heck, the Cubs’ announcers were talking about the ‘win’ statistic and how, yes, Finnegan gets the win, but from watching the game, Iglesias was the difference maker. …. Bullpen ‘roles’ BAH

      • CI3J

        I agree with this, and actually wrote something to this effect in my original post, but thought it was getting too wordy so just deleted it. But a back of the bullpen with some combination of Lorenzen/Iggy/Cingrani looks pretty promising.

      • lwblogger2

        The first team to do away with the innings based roles (including the closer role) and get their pitchers on board with the idea, will be at a huge competitive advantage.

  15. Indy RedMan

    I’m happy for Duvall! It seems like he’s slowed down a little bit but its to be expected as the pitchers are aware of him now! I saw where Curtis Partch pitched an inning against Lville tonite. The guy has a great arm but can’t control it! He has 30 career ip in the big leagues and hitters are only hitting .198! The slight drawback might be the 25 walks and 8 HRs!! Its not easy in the big leagues. I’m going to the Lville game vs Indy tomorrow afternoon. I think Bob Steve is pitching? It doesn’t say much for Stephenson or Reed when Sampson easily outpitched both of them because Sampson always gets hammered! What does a guy have to do at Lville to be able to do well w/the Reds? A 1.60 era for 50 ip or something? Sampson has messed up the evaluating process. I wonder if he swapped out w/Finnegan for a while if he could show some of that promise? He has pretty good stuff!

    • ohiojimw

      The thing that is getting missed about Sampson is that as a reliever he was about as bad in Louisville as with the Reds. But in his last spell at AAA he put together a run of 5-6 starts that were as good as Stephenson and Reed over the same period.

      In late May, Louisville was in the lurch for a starter and started Sampson in what was to be a “bullpen” game. He pitched 5 shutout innings allowing 3 hits, 0 walks and getting 5Ks. They brought him back on 4 days rest and he pitched 7 shutout innings with 2BB, 2H. and 12Ks.

      He made 4 more starts in that sequence before they called him back to the Reds; and, came back to earth just a bit was still out pitching RS over that period and pretty much matching Reed start by start.

      So of course instead of leaving him a AAA to continue developing (he is only 25 after all) or bringing him to Cincy to use as a starter, they bring up him and stick him in the pen with similar results to what he had done before out of the pen in both AAA and MLB.

  16. hallaudermilsmithsteen

    As his current pace both impresses and lengthens, do the Reds start getting calls about Votto’s availability via trade? Do they listen to decent offers?

    • Scotly50

      I hope so. His contract will be a hinderance in the future.

      • Patrick Jeter

        As average salaries/payrolls/revenues rise, his contract will be less and less of a hindrance. It’s capacity for hindrance is probably maxed out right now.

        By the time Votto is 40, his $25M (or whatever it is) a year will be an average salary for a decent player. Not even a star… a decent player.

      • RiverCity Redleg

        A hindrance implies that the Reds could replace his value at a cheaper price. What makes you think this will be the case?

    • jazzmanbbfan

      They might listen but Votto’s full no-trade clause prevents it from happening unless he changes his mind about staying here. Last time he spoke about it, which wasn’t long ago, he reiterated that he isn’t going anywhere.

  17. WVRedlegs

    Finnegan has pretty much pitched his way to the bullpen. I hope Iglesias returns to the rotation for next season. But they said on the radio yesterday that Iglesias wants to be the closer, if he is in the bullpen. As a closer he could take the 8th and 9th inning roles. That would help to take away the 8th inning as the bullpen’s Achilles Heel, though.

    • IndyRedMan

      I agree we need Iglesias (and Lorenzen imo) in the rotation if at all possible with the way our KC lefties are struggling! As far as closing for multiple innings….currently we’re leading after 7 so rarely that your closer could get 4-5-6 outs because we won’t prob won’t have the lead again the next day. Of course a good team leads all the time late so that’s a problem we obv want to have. I agreed with everyone else though w/Chapman and his usage. They should’ve been using him in the 8th all the time?

  18. Shchi Cossack

    Since the Milwaukee series at the end of May (35 games), Votto has slashed .328/.459/.600 for a 1.059 OPS. Obviously Votto struggled mightily for almost 2 months (47 games), to the tune of a .689 OPS, but a

    .328 AVG would rank 3rd in the NL
    .459 OBP would rank 1st in the NL
    .600 SLG would rank 2nd in the NL
    1.059 OPS would rank 1st in the NL

    Over the last 35 games, Votto has raised his…

    AVG by .055
    OBP by .055
    SLG by .110
    OPS by .166

    Votto’s offensive recovery and resurgence has been astounding.

    Votto is giving no indication of easing off his torrid offensive pace. Last season after the all star break Votto slashed .362/.535/.617 for a 1.152 OPS. The only difference between the last 35 games of this season and his 2nd half last season is a .034 higher AVG during the 2nd half of last season. The really encouraging aspect of his recent performance is a .379 BAbip during the last 35 games compared to his non-injury BAbip from 2009-2013 was .366, so Votto could very realistically continue with his current pace through the end of the season.

    Now, about that supporting cast…

    • Shchi Cossack

      Oh, and I forgot (that happens a lot!) the cherry on top. During the last 35 games, Votto’s SO%=19.8% and his BB%=19.1%. That looks more like the plate approach I would expect by Votto.

    • WVRedlegs

      That supporting cast. That is where it gets ugly.
      Take Bruce, Cozart, and Phillips out of the equation as future Reds. We have Barnhart (.264/.332), Suarez (.233/.302), Hamilton (.244/.294) and Duvall (.252/.290).
      Barnhart is better utilized in a platoon situation vs. RH pitching.
      Suarez, will the real Eugenio Suarez please stand up? April Eugenio or May/June Eugenio?
      BHam and Duvall are entrenched as starting position players. But both have OBP issues that need some help.
      Assuming Peraza takes one spot and Duvall moves in to 3B, the infield could be more or less set with C-Mesoraco/Barnhart, 1B-Votto, 2B-Suarez, SS-Peraza, and 3B-Duvall. CF-BHam. That makes the all important positions of LF and RF wide open.
      It wasn’t Mesoraco’s throwing shoulder he had operated on, so is it time to get his LF mitt out again??
      Maybe trade Barnhart in a package (it’ll have to be a great package) to get C-Jonathon Lucroy?
      Keep Duvall in LF and go get a good OBP 3B for 2 years until Senzil is ready?
      Schebler could be a wild card in this. He could platoon a little in LF with Duvall and in RF with a RH hitting RF. Don’t rush Winker if his wrist injury lingers in the 2nd half.
      Decisions, decisions. I just wish it were a new front office making those decisions.