Get this. After tonight’s win, our Cincinnati Reds have a 31-30 record at Great American Ball Park. That’s a winning record, folks. The winning streak of five games is the longest of the season – all against teams with winning records. The Reds have outscored the $250-million-Dodgers 20-3.

Most important, with the victory tonight, the Reds are just FIVE games out from being listed on the Baseball-Reference standings for the Wild Card slots.

Cincinnati 11 • Los Angeles 1 |  FanGraphs  | Favorite movie is set in L.A.

Strong Start Brandon Finnegan pitched seven strong innings giving up just one hit – a line drive single to Adrian Gonzalez in the seventh. He walked two and struck out eight. That’s a good K/BB but Finnegan does have the second-highest number of walks in the major leagues.

Innings Limit? Finnegan has thrown 141.2 innings this year, an increase of 36 over 1o5.1 last season. He’s mentioned a tired arm. Kind of hard to believe the Reds would let him throw more than 150. You want to get him up high enough so he can get to 180 next year. But that’s a huge jump for a 23-year-old. They could give him one more starts then shut him down. Or provide a soft landing in the bullpen. Timing either of those moves with September call-ups makes sense. But it’s still a hefty one-year jump.

Big First Like last night, the Reds jumped on LA in the 1st inning. After Billy Hamilton singled to center, Jose Peraza singled to left and Joey Votto followed with an infield hit. Then Adam Duvall drilled a 3-run homer to left center capping off a 4-run inning. It was the first pitch Duvall had seen since Monday and his 28th homer of the season. Duvall had fouled a ball off his foot, leading to missing a few games.

More Offense Hamilton later walked with bases loaded. Eugenio Suarez had three hits and a walk. Brandon Finnegan contributed his second double of the season and a walk. Duvall had another hit in the 8th. Scott Schebler nailed his old mates with a 2-run homer to center in the 8th.

Peraza Freed Speaking of successful returns, Peraza, who had been called up earlier in the day, lined singles in each of his first two at bats. He then hit a home run to deep (406 ft.) left center in the fourth inning. Peraza hit a homer in his previous game with the Reds, 21 days ago. Not sitting the bench suits him.

Negative A nit pick – two bad base running outs – Jose Peraza picked off first and Scott Schebler out by 10 feet stretching a short single into a double.

Fair Fight The Dodgers had the largest 2016 Opening Day payroll in the major leagues, at $250 million. Their starting 8 position players tonight earn only $43.5 million. In contrast, the Reds had an Opening Day payroll of $89 million (which included Jay Bruce). Their starting 8 tonight earn $36 million.

Cool Outcome C. Trent Rosecrans has the story of how Michael Lorenzen was presented with the baseball he hit for a home run yesterday. Lorenzen had thought about hitting it out before the at bat.

“When they told me I’d come up fifth in that inning, I knew I was hitting a home run,” Lorenzen said the day after his home run. “It was 100 percent in my heart, no doubt in my mind.”

Down and Out on the Farm Robert Stephenson did not have one of his better games for Louisville tonight. He gave up 6 earned runs in 2 innings, with four walks and two strikeouts. He thew 71 pitches.

41 Responses

  1. cfd3000

    This was game two of our GABP weekend up from Atlanta. Another nice night against the first place Dodgers. Finnegan, Peraza and Duvall all looked really good when we didn’t necessarily know what to expect. Votto, Hamilton and Suarez looked good as we were hoping. The first inning was terrific again. In two pitches Hamilton had singled and stolen second, and in four batters it was 4-0 Reds. Finnegan got a nice ovation after Gonzalez’ single in the seventh. Only the thunderstorm was noteworthy on the Negatives side of this game. Go Reds!

  2. TR

    Finnegan and the Reds get it done again against the big-bad Dodgers.

  3. Ohioindiaspora

    We´re also out of last place in the division if the Mariners can hold on to beat the Brew Crew

    • Vicferrari

      Look out Pirates, 10 games out of 3rd, Reds are closer to the catching the cards than the cards are to the Cubs, magic number down to 53

  4. Hanawi

    Remember when everyone was saying that the Reds got the worst of the Frazier deal? I’m sure the Dodgers would have enjoyed having Peraza and Schebler hitting for their side tonight.

    • Vicferrari

      good point, how are the players they got doing?

      • Gaffer

        One is a fourth outfielder. They traded the best one for spare parts at the deadline.

  5. Chad Dotson

    Good point about Finnegan and the innings limit. Will be very interesting to see how the Reds play this one.

    • Vicferrari

      I wonder if they have a plan for him, I still do not get their use of Sampson, they let him start last season, he did great at AAA, (I know he gave up 2 walks in Friday’s game) he had a decent spot start this season, & pitched 5 innings Sunday. Adleman’s been fine but would have made more sense to let him take Finnegan’s spot and move Finnegan to the bullpen

  6. Shchi Cossack

    Tony Renda substitutes for Phillips at 2B in the top of the 8th and hits for Votto in the lineup. Renda entered the game hitting .174, so of course when he comes up for Votto in the bottom of the 8th, he smacks a double to LF and scores on Duvall’s 2nd hit of the night…go figure!

    • DHud

      Didn’t get to see the end of the game. I’m a bit confused how this substitution actually worked, with Renda coming in for Phillips and batting for votto? Would appreciate some enlightenment, thanks!

      • Shchi Cossack

        Yeah, in the top of the 8th inning, after the rain delay, Price substituted Renda for Votto and played Renda at 2B. He substituted Diaz for Phillips and played Diaz at pitcher. He substituted De Jesus for Finnegan and played De Jesus at 1B. It really was like a kid in a candy store and about as effective.

        The moves ensured that the pitcher would hit 4th in the bottom of the 8th rather than hitting 8th in the bottom of th 8th inning. Maybe Price intended to replace the pitcher no mater what happened and wanted to get Holt the PA rather than De Jesus…maybe.

    • Grand Salami

      Up by 9 or so and price is swapping out dudes as if he were the greatest manager in the steroid era *** , Mr. TLR himself.

      • lwblogger2

        Come on… Not unusual to do late in a game when up by a bunch. This is especially true after a rain delay. It’s likely BP and Votto were out of uniform, showered and sitting in the clubhouse after the delay. You’d have to check to see if there were shots of the dugout or if they came out for post-game celebration.

  7. Earl Nash

    Holt pinch hit for Phillips. It was a double switch with DeJesus moving to first after hitting for the pitcher. Pitcher slot moved into Holts place in order.

  8. christiancuriosities

    I could be wrong but it seems like a lot of our young pitching arms have been taking their lumps this season…Some at the big league level Reed & Lamb and some at the AAA level Bob Steve and Rookie Davis. Straily and Adleman might not have huge upside but having them to share 5th man in the rotation/spot starter next year with some of our young pitchers and potential innings limits will be huge. Just my opinion but I;m sure glad we have these guys on our roster.

  9. ohiojimw

    Just another quiet 3/4 plus a BB night for Eugenio Suarez was good to see. I think the guy sticks somewhere as an everyday player. Maybe 2B?

    • Grand Salami

      He still has ground to make up to be replacement level. At least T Fraz is about as bad.
      In other quasi-statistical analysis news: David Ortiz is still juicing or my name is Tyrion Lannister.

      • Vicferrari

        This comment does not make any sense unless you mean Suarez needs to make a bunch of outs to be replacement level. He has got solid numbers especially for a 24 year old in his 1st full season in the majors. Frazier is having a decent year despite the low obp, probably finishes near 3.0 WAR and what does Ortiz have to do with this or GoT.

      • Gaffer

        Agree, Suarez is well above replacement level. He has just about 2 WAR, Frazier is only 3.

      • Gaffer

        Actually Suarez has a higher WAR than Ortiz.

      • lwblogger2

        Wow, whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

      • Patrick Jeter

        Suarez has been worth 1.3 fWAR so far this year. He’s on pace to be just about an “average starter” with 2.0 WAR.

        Much better than replacement level.

    • big5ed

      Right field, eventually, for Saurez. Senzel at 3B; Peraza at SS; Herrera at 2B; Winker in LF.

      • Playtowin

        Duvall will play somewhere. Why not leave him in LF until someone proves to be better?

  10. David G.

    “You want to get him up high enough so he can get to 180 next year. ” Do you really think he can only get to 180 if he gets to 150 this year? Is there any evidence at all to this ridiculous Verducci 30 inning rule? There are a lot of crazy pitch count/inning limits imposed on pitchers with very little evidence. This one is the most absurd though.

    • Streamer88

      Agree man but just because there isn’t any evidence to support it doesn’t mean most teams aren’t abiding by it as we speak.

      Innings counts are such a rough and inaccurate way to measure arm work load. They should be limiting high leverage, late inning pitches after the starter has already thrown 90+ pitches and so many starts etc. When fatigue sets in and you need to get a guy out, thats when pitchers rear back and load up on that arm.

      Shut him down soon I say. But we need a better metric as you say.

      • Gaffer

        I think Matt Harvey is a good example of why. Throw in Reyes of the Cards. The comment on the tired arm is highly relevant too.

      • Playtowin

        Based on this Homer after surgery may never get to 180 innings. He will be lucky to get to 80 Innings this year. Does that mean 130 innings next year? How many in 2018? The guy is paid $20 million a year. Who will be the next Reds pitcher to reach 200 innings?

      • lwblogger2

        Generally the guidelines are for young arms. However, I loved the article that Steve referenced below.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Agreed that skepticism about formulaic innings limits (like Verducci) is warranted. I wrote a long post about it a few weeks ago.

      Outsiders, like all of us, are in no position to make informed recommendations about how specific pitchers should be handled. The medical, training and coaching staffs have the information, we don’t. So I wasn’t prescribing “one more start, then 180 next year” as much as indicating how the Reds – and other major league teams – look at the situation. And consequently what we as fans can expect to see.

      It does seem to me that an organization so rich in pitching should in any way jeopardize one of their promising young arms when they don’t need to. (And again, I’m not saying they ARE jeopardizing his arm.)

      • Old-school

        Overuse and fatigue are prime contributors to pitching-related injuries. Pitching every fifth day from early March to early October is not natural and so building up innings over the course of a few years is a way to responsibly try and prevent arm injuries in young pitchers. Other than total innings and total pitches contributing to overuse, the biggest danger for Finnegan at this point would be pitching when he is fatigued…That 36 pitch second inning in which he labors in Late august after compiling 145 innings every 5th day is a legitimate risk. Throwing lots of pitches in one inning is to be avoided . He’s competing his tail off for a starting spot so he will never tell Price his arm is tired. Iglesias and Lorenzen are on structured pitching regimens, its time to put Finnegan on one. The Reds have a 6 game road trip out west prior to the Sept 1 roster expansion. I think Finnegan will have 2 more starts- Friday in Arizona and then August 31 at the Angels, then head to the bullpen for the last month.

      • Playtowin

        I guess I need to agree with the current belief that pitching fewer innings and being alert to stressful innings and fatigue are important. That said how did Spahn, Roberts, Palmer, Marichal, Jenkins, Maddux, Carlton, Gibson, Drysdale, Sutton, Bunning, Feller, Lemon, Randy Johnson, Ryan, Seaver, Martinez , Morris, Kaat, and many more do it?

    • big5ed

      I want to see them go to a 6-man rotation for the balance of the season. It doesn’t matter to me much who, among Bailey, Straily, Desclafani, Adleman, Garrett, Sampson, Reed and Finnegan, and even a few short starts to guys like Lorenzen or Josh Smith. There is no need to burn arms now.

  11. Indy RedMan

    I had to leave after the Reds were up 5-0 but that unofficially ended the game anyway!! It looked like Finnegan had by far his best changeup of the season! I really think I could be wrong on him but of course his last outing was bad. Price is patient with these guys….guess he has to be! Love to see Duvall get 100 rbis too! I know that stat is debatable and by itself doesn’t mean that much but it does mean that you were available for the majority of the season and doing some damage when you got the chance! Joey is the only guy that has been consistently on base in front of him and Joey isn’t exactly racing around the bases like Billy!

  12. Dayton Ducks

    This season may be lost but I’m really enjoying this! Question: How does the Reds 21-12 post All-Star record stack up against the rest of MLB?

    • Shchi Cossack

      The Reds are still losing ground to the Cubbies, but not much.

  13. Shchi Cossack

    DeJesus had an absolutely outstanding pick at 1B on an errant throw by Cabrera last night in the 9th inning after the rain delay. Votto could not have done it better.

  14. Shchi Cossack

    Dilson Herera has 4 pinch hit appearances in the last 5 games for the Bats, going 2-4 with 2-RBI. At least the kid is getting in some game action, even if he can’t play defensively.