The Cincinnati Reds have played in six baseball series since the All-Star break and have won all of them. This is not easy to do. In fact, if one is to believe what one reads on the interwebs, the Reds haven’t done it since 1999. Two of these past six series were against the San Francisco Giants and now the St. Louis Cardinals. Their record is 44-63. Since June 1, 27-28.

The new-and-improved Reds head out to Pittsburgh for a 3-game series, looking for seven in a row. Then on to St. Louis where they can do more damage to the Cardinals chances to make the postseason.

The Reds are just 14 games out of the second Wild Card slot. Stay tuned for the announcement about postseason tickets.

Cincinnati 7 β€’ St. Louis 0 |  FanGraphs  | How to roast a cardinal

Brandon Finnegan threw 6 shutout innings, giving up just one hit and ZERO WALKS. He struck out four. Finnegan’s previous start against the Cardinals was one of his best. He gave up 5 hits and a walk, striking out 7 over 7 innings. “Brandon Finnegan isn’t throwing as hard as he did earlier in the year, but he is pitching much better,” opined Jeff Brantley. Finnegan threw 79 pitches. That’s two shutout starts in a row for the 23-year-old lefty.

[Using Raisel Iglesias for two innings in this game was suspect curious (“curious” chosen to keep good feelz going). Seems like that’s a product of braindead inflexible rule adherence rather than adapting to a situation. Will Iglesias be unavailable tomorrow night in Pittsburgh? In contrast, Iglesias wasn’t used in Tuesday night’s back-and-forth nail-biter. Is that because the Reds were tied, not ahead in the 7th inning? And then ahead, but with only one inning to go, not two, in the 8th? Oy. Please tell me that Raisel Iglesias isn’t going to pitch only when the Reds are ahead in the 7th inning, and always for at least two innings.]

The Reds took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning when Ramon Cabrera grounded into right field through a pulled-in infield, driving in Brandon Phillips who had singled and Scott Schebler who had doubled. The third run scored in the 4th inning on a sac fly by Eugenio Suarez, driving in Brandon Phillips, who had doubled.

The 6th inning began with Mike Leake walking Adam Duvall. Leake had gone 35 innings without giving up a walk. Did you know that Mike Leake used to play for the Reds? And that Leake was traded for Duvall? Anyhow, Duvall was driven in by Brandon Phillips, who doubled. Leake then hit Scott Schebler. Eugenio Suarez doubled, driving in Phillips. The score was 5-0. The route was on. Ramon Cabrera greeted Cardinals reliever Seth Maness with a single, driving in Schebler. Suarez scored when Tyler Holt hit into a double play. 7-0.

The Cardinals put up the white flag an inning later with team-wide substitutions. Glorious submission. Pennant waving and other celebration ensued.


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 isΒ Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 71 Comments

  1. Now that’s just freaky fast Steve…

  2. Exact what I was thinking on Iglesias, I know he pitched 3 innings Saturday but not having him available Tuesday because of this was lacking foresight or if he was available & not pitching him Tuesday is inexcusable.
    Finnegan was only at 79 pitches and should have stayed come out for the 7th and to think Iglesias might not be available in a close game tomorrow or limited this weekend is very discouraging.

    • And yet, they’re playing .667 ball since the all-star break, despite the evidently incompetent handling of the pitchers. We have no idea why Finnegan came out–perhaps he told Price that he was gassed. I know, second guessing is what we do and it’s so satisfying…

  3. Ya I don’t get why you don’t use Iglesias with a run 1 run lead but instead choose to use him in a game where you have a 7 run lead. Today is when you should be using your Ohldendorfs and your Woods, not in high leverage situations like last Tuesday. And if Iglesias can only pitch once every three days why the heck are you even using him in a game that is already pretty much decided? Now we can’t use him on Friday and Saturday.

  4. I saw the Iglesias move as a neck to the throat, you are not coming back moment. That’s how the Reds should always approach the Cardinals. Yes, he won’t be available for another few days and the Pirates could knock around the Reds bullpen during that time, but I’ll take it. The Reds took two out of three against a hated rival and there was no drama and no hope (for them) allowed

    Plus he’ll be ready for the Saint Louis leg or the road trip throwing daggers.

    Any word on Schebler’s leg after the HBP?

    • I agree with this. No, I don’t want Wood or Ohlendorf on the mound with a chance to embarrass the Cardinals on the line. No lead is safe with them. No way.

  5. Reds won both games.More and more it appears that a manager has no bearing on the outcome of the game even though using the B team Tuesday was kind of strange.

  6. How sweet it is. After the anticipated washout and the bullpen woes of the first three months, this season is getting interesting.

    • Amazingly they lose 36 out 48 games at one point and follow that up with 18 out of 24 right before All star break, I got to admit that at least Price has got them playing much better, very easily could be 17-1 since the ASB

      • Did Price have them playing that bad earlier and now has them playing better? Or, is it a) the cyclical nature of a long season and b) improved (healthy) pitchers in the bullpen , plus Disco, along with the pleasant surprise that is Dan Straily and most recently the return of Homer Bailey? I’m still of the belief that managers have a minor impact on the overall outcome of games and most of us put too much stock in the decisions they make. Then again, I’m only a fan and probably have no idea what I’m talking about.

        • I think we share the same view on the minimal impact a manager has, but going 6-18 into the break after showing some inspiration in early June, this team looked to be the worst in Reds history. I do not think you are really saying Homer’s mediocre start with a lack of focus in the 6th has more impact on the ASB than Price’s leadership.
          I think they won Tuesday’s game despite of his poor bullpen use- compromised by using Igelsias for 3 innings in a game they lost. Overall the team looks competitive in virtually every game since the ASB and I think this is a main effect that a manager can make. 6 series win in a row is impressive no matter how you look at it and hopefully an indicator of next year and seasons to follow and does not get tarnished by another 12-36 run.
          I think Price is a not the answer but want to praise him for something

  7. I got to admit I thought Finnegan was done as a starter- been clamoring for him to return to the bullpen. I recall some good games at the beginning of April, a no-hitter into the 7th and must have been jaded by 5 of 6 horrible starts before the last one. Plus just made an amalgamation of him Lamb and Reed for my overall impression.
    I lost interest sometime in May and early june and do not recall some pretty good starts. Had mid 3 ERA in June. Does anyone recall him throwing a Complete Game against LA?
    Surprisingly He has won 54 of last 5 starts.(I know, I know Kill the win)

    • see everyone, I told you that Finnegan is good as a starter! He has won 54 of his last 5 starts.

      that will throw the stat nicks on this board for a loop. I have to admit that I did not think that was possible.

      However, I used to cheer for Esasky in a very irrational way, telling my friends in those days that Nick was going to hit a 6 Run home run; that he would hit it so far that he would run around the bases a second time (because we were behind by that much at the time).

      who knows, maybe this is that kind of math, but I LIKE it!

      • If we were having this conversation in the 80’s, I would argued with you that it would have been Gary Redus driving in all those runs while he was stealing home.

    • Sorry 4 of his last 5 starts

  8. The usage of Iggy is pretty baffling.

    Actually, the Reds have been winning I think in spite of Price’s game management, not because of it. I’m not a charter member of the “FYRE PRYCE!” brigade, but he does continue to show poor management decisions even in winning efforts, and I don’t think he’s the right one to lead the team once they are finally ready to compete again.

    No matter if that means just letting his contract play out or firing him, I don’t want Price managing by 2018.

  9. I am encouraged by the lack of walks today! I hope this can become a regularity. I think if Finnegan can keep this up, he will be assured a spot in the rotation next year.

  10. Didn’t get to see the game today but 2 great starts in a row for Finnegan. Must have taken him out after 6 to limit his innings with the game in hand. Iglesias should be available Saturday. Unless I’m wrong, didn’t Price say while these guys were on rehab assignments that they wanted to get them to the point of being able to pitch 2-3 days consecutively? Well then, test the theory. Also glad to see Cingrani get a little work in late. I’m heading to Pittsburgh Saturday for a couple of games. Fun town. Especially if we can bring back a couple wins.

    • Given this was an afternoon game and tomorrow is a night game, I’d guess would be available for an inning Friday. However that likely won’t have the solid bridge he has provided to get them through the 7th to the 9th with a short lead.

  11. I think the health of Iggy is more important than game situational usage, especially this year. I suspect this has more bearing on the stricter usage than anything. Or, at least that’s what I’m hoping.

  12. This may be one of those “by the book” things that gets so much venom in here but maybe Iglesais needed to pitch today maybe the extra time away was not in the game plan for his continued rehab. I hope he does not get locked in to a “book” situational use. There will still be some learning curve lumps these pitchers will get beat up with and we are probably close to a full season away from knowing who the staff will be but some of the staff are putting games together in lumps. Mr. Saurez made an error today and I have been one of those maybe we should trade him to an AL team. I will point out that Tuesday night he went behind the bag and got the runner at 1st that was superstar defense and followed it up on back to back plays last night that were well above average plays. The point I would like to make is for Eugenio maybe needs to quit thinking about it and just play when he is in the field. That arm will make up for a lot of shortcomings if he will just play the ball.

  13. 27-28 since first of June is remarkable considering the team went 3-11 from 16 June through the end of that month. That was the period of “benign neglect” after the team seemed to have found its legs a bit, opening the month at 9-5 on the heels of the 10 games losing streak in the 2nd half of May off a 6-7 start to the month of May.

    Consider that the 10 game losing streak in May plus the 3-11 run in the second half of June represent -18 games to .500 and that on the season, the team is now -19 to .500

    I might feel a little better about this if I could convince myself there was some intentional tanking by the FO; but, how that leaves the 9-5 run at the start of June as an outlier. My deeper concern is that the org is largely just flat out inept at making moves on the fly when these bad spells set in.

    • yeah that stat had me very intrigued as well, especially considering we were 8-8 at one point.

      So from April 21 through May 31, we were 9-27

      Thats not good.

  14. I listened to the game on the Cards broadcast today (driving in Illinois) and the Cards announcers (so much easier to listen w/out Shannon) thought that the error should have been scored a hit. They said so several times thruout the game. They expected the scorer to make the change, and gave Suarez credit for even getting to the ball.

    • And they certainly had no vested interest in the Cardinals being no-hit, now they?

      • I doubt that that was their concern at the time of the play and for at least the 1st couple innings afterward. They continued in this vein even after there was a hit. But I did not see the play and would like to see a comment on this from someone who did.
        They said also that they thought Suarez has a good arm.

  15. I kind of agree with Carl above that the use of Iglesias might be part of a plan to strengthen his shoulder. Certainly those who want to see him a s a starter down the road might agree that this is a mandated throwing program. It migh5t seem out of the box but stranger things have taken place.
    Would not be shocked if all Finnegan appearances from here on out are shortened. Young pitchers are going to have plenty of fits and starts. Hope same is the case for Lamb, Reed and Stephenson.
    We can complain about every little thing he des…. but Price making a case for himself.

    • Concur. Also look at the usage – typically two-three inning stints as a way to keep Iglesias both physically -and- mentally prepared to resume a starting role sometime down the road. Between the fact that, at any given time over the next 18-24 months, probably two of the five rotation slots are likely to be held by young, inexperienced arms with a high percentage of 4-5 inning outings, I wouldn’t be surprised if Iglesias gets used as a secure long reliever with the prospect of spot starts if an arm goes down unexpectedly.

    • I agree Wize. Iggy’s health is the most important thing.

      While it would be nice to have him available for tomorrow’s game with the lead today, have to think that they were thinking that they would need him in this Cards series.

      Just think, had we sent Reed down for yesterday’s start and had the start that Stephenson had, would would have swept the hated cards.

      that does always have to take priority. and beating them down has started very good streaks in the past.

      Man is Votto in a slump or what?

    • With all the questions about the usage of Iglesias (Carl and wizeman seem the closest to have hit on what’s going on with him), Price said earlier in the season that due to concerns about his shoulder they didn’t want Iggy to pitch back-to-back days this season and therefore Price wanted to use him in situations where he pitched multiple innings since he wouldn’t be available on consecutive days. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they are trying to keep him in some kind of shape to be able to be inserted as a starter at the end of the season to take over for someone with an innings limit and see how his shoulder holds up to starting again. That would give them some information about how to prepare him for spring training of next year. I think these limitations lead to pitching him when the opportunity presents itself, and is not all that related to the leverage of the game situation.

  16. bad spelling. iphone. sorry

    • One of the many great thing about this site and the commenters here, is that we don’t pick on each other for grammar or spelling mistakes.

  17. Thanks goodness for that cause I makes some doozies.Great game today by Finnegan and the back up back up catcher knocks in 3 runs.

  18. The Reds are actually only 12.5 games back for the second wild card. πŸ™‚

    • OK, I’m in … even if I can’t get tickets I’ll come party in the street with y’all.

    • Remember all those games the bullpen came in and lost the lead? What were there about 23? Take 13 of those and make them wins and we are talking playoffs! Playoffs? Playoffs?

    • If the Reds make the playin game this season (a statistical possibility), I nominate Chad for hosting a RLN Gala for everyone who can make it to watch the game and cheer this Reds team into the actual playoffs as the winner of the playin game. The Old Cossack will be there, if…

  19. Not sure what effect holding Inglesias out one more day instead of wasting him in a 7-0 blowout, has on his health and development. If this is by the book, get a new book. I think its just a typical lack of imagination as bryan has shown over the years that he can’t walk and chew bubble gum at the same time.

    using Cingrani for the last out was a nice touch too.

  20. If you look at Iglesias usage pattern in July…it’s very similar….never pitch back to back to days..go multiple innings and dont pitch more than twice a week. Lorenzen is fairly similar.. disco is pitching tomorrow and Iggy needed work….so he pitched today…he’ll throw 2 innings again Sunday….lorenzen will throw Saturday….I think they are building them back up in a very structured way and Iggy is going back to starting and this is part of his prep for next year.

    • As good a theory as any.

    • I should have read through all the comment before replying above, but yes this is what Price lined out as the plan for Iglesias this year. To not pitch on consecutive days and to pitch multiple innings when he did pitch. I don’t remember him making a similar statement about Lorenzen, but they could be doing it with both of them.

  21. For the record, I’ve got no complaint about using Iglesias for an inning to keep him sharp. I liked using Cingrani in the ninth for the same reason. And I understand the “foot on the neck” principle, too. That’s appealing, especially against the Cardinals. My real issue is with bringing Iglesias back for the second inning, with the score 7-0 and the Cardinals having emptied their bench. Keyvius Sampson hasn’t pitched in ten days. How about giving him an inning? Feels like strict bullpen roles are back. Bleh.

    • I’m not too worried (just yet) about strict bullpen roles being back, but I think Steve is right about Iglesias’ usage today. Made very little sense to bring him back for that second inning…and that’s strange to say, because we’ve been clamoring for a shutdown reliever that can pitch multiple innings.

      But if Price really does intend to use Iglesias solely as a 7/8 inning guy only when the Reds have a lead, that mitigates almost entirely the biggest impact that a guy like Iglesias can have in the bullpen. It’s Aroldis Chapman all over again, if that makes any sense.

      • Why are we still forced to discuss how Price manages, he has no future here! The only focus should be player development. But instead we risk the future to get a lower draft pick, yeah!

      • Thing is they could have had Finnegan pitch the 7th at 79 pitches, What difference would it make if they are serious looking at innings limit? If he is at 85 after 4 next time are they looking at removing him?

        It would have been best that Finnegan get some work third time through as he has had limited success.

      • There may be a plan in place for Iglesias’ arm that supersedes ensuring he only pitches in the high leverage sitch. If the doc, the pitching coach or Price (former pitching coach) think that a regular trip to the mound every couple days for 2 innings is what’s best for Iglesias health-wise then (this year) I frankly don’t care.

        Also, another counter is utilization efficiency. As a former pitcher, the old up and down warm up routine leads to a lot of inefficiency (wasted pitches).

        “He’s warm, he in the game, he’s in the groove, send back out for the 2nd inning, as planned.” I don’t hate it.

        • That’s a reasonable explanation, streamer88, but I haven’t heard anyone suggest something like that. If that were the case, I would get on board.

          But Steve’s explanation seems more likely.

      • I’m not defending it….it just seems so odd that the only explanation is it was scripted….like spring training. This was Iglesias day to get 2 innings….regardless. the pattern of use the last 6 weeks is similar. I could definitely see the reds front office.trainers.kremcheck and price scripting a program for Iglesias so that he builds to being a starter by spring training…..and part if that is micromanaging work load and innings and off days and shoulder exercise days with trainers and long toss days. etc….or it could be idiocy.

    • Kind of puzzled by use of Sampson, he has been a little more successful than Reed at the ML level. He was having a far superior year at AAA and only a few years older. Would like to know what he has got as it seems clear Reed could use a few starts at AAA to get his mojo back.

  22. We interrupt this game recap for a special announcement:

    Bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuce !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (Old habits die hard.)

  23. ” It’s Aroldis Chapman all over again, if that makes any sense.”
    Don’t recall Baker using Chapman much with a 7-0 lead. At least using by the book in only save situations had a bit of rationality behind it.

  24. Did Leake hit Schebler on purpose? He was on the ropes and maybe setting up a double play and Schebler had set up the scoring damage a couple innings earlier with a double.

    • I think they hit him on purpose, and it was most likely because of Schebler’s emphatic bat toss when he hit the walk off homerun. Go back and look at how Schebler reacted to that ball he crushed, and then ask if the Cards, Pirates, or DBacks would let that kind of behavior–by a rookie!–stand without retaliation.

  25. 8/4/16 Cincinnati Reds sent J.J. Hoover outright to Louisville Bats.

    That doesn’t bode well for Hoover’s contract next season.

    That leaves an open slot on the 40-man roster. Could Y-Rod be ready to come off 60-day DL?

    • I’d tell Hoover to learn a knuckleball, or maybe dip into a side-arm delivery. Like my son-in-law, he’s a very nice young man who can’t get major league hitters out.

  26. Iglesias has pitched 13 times since returning from the DL. 11 of those have been 2+ innings; the exceptions were his second outing, where he went 1 inning, and the 1-pitch 8th-inning appearance against the Giants a week or so ago. They don’t really use anyone else this way, except a little bit with Lorenzen. In fact, I don’t know of any other reliever in MLB being used this way, so I don’t see at all any concern about “formulaic” usage of Iglesias.

    It is pretty clear, then, that the Reds have decided that they would prefer to use Iglesias in longer outings, probably for reasons related to his shoulder. I think they are correct on this decision; two inning stints are better in the long run (for him, right now) than one-inning stints.

    And leaving aside yesterday, I am all in favor of both Lorenzen and Iglesias being used for longer stints, earlier in the game, and not just in the formulaic, one-inning LaRussified manner that all other teams use. If the Reds use them like the Yankees used Rich Gossage (enter in a tough situation in the 7th or even the 6th, and pitch 2+ innings), then I believe the Reds will have a strategic competitive advantage over other teams that remain wed to the idiotic “closer” mentality.

    • I’m glad the Reds are using Iglesias and Lorenzen in multiple inning appearances. Like it a lot. In the long run, they throw more innings than an average reliever that way. They improve the quality of the pitching drastically.

      What I’m against is a rigid role for Iglesias that he only pitches when the team is ahead and that he only pitches multiple innings. If there is a valuable 1-inning role for him, don’t use a different pitcher because it isn’t a 2-inning role.

      We’re not there yet. But the Cardinals series was concerning in that regard.

      • Price needs to get it straight because he tried to blow that game on Tuesday. Inglesias had 2 days rest and Lorenzen had 1 so I can’t understand why he went with the JV team in a tie/1-run game? Then Inglesias for 2 yesterday. I suppose he can’t go again til Sunday now?

      • Anything that reduces the up again, down again, up again, down again bullpen usage without a reliever pitching in a game is a huge plus. If the bullpen usage would actually be targeted to high leverage use and pitching multiple innings when a reliever does enter the game for the best relievers would really allow the bullpen to maximize its contribution to the team. The Reds are going to have the bullpen makeup to implement such a program. Right now, the bullpen usage looks more like a coincidence than a concerted effort to alter the philosophy of bullpen usage, but maybe a light bulb will go off somewhere and a real change might be implemented.

  27. The Reds have promoted SP Rookie Davis to AAA Louisville. Good for Rookie Davis.
    Amir Garrett lasted only 2/3 of an inning yesterday in his start. Hope these two events are not related. Hopefully Garrett just had a bad night.

    • Given the timing they may need Davis to help pick up the slack of basically losing a starter for a full turn. Also they may be looking to manage Stephenson’s innings because if he pitches his typical 6 innings every 5 days through August, he will be approaching 160 innings for the year. Given his previous high innings total is in the middle 130’s, that would seem leave him with little to nothing left for a possible September showcase with the Reds.

      • It looks as though Garrett is OK and Louisville lost starter Chad Rogers to the Braves. Davis must be replacing Rogers.

Comments are closed.

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 isΒ Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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