The Reds (57-78) couldn’t hang on for the sweep of the Cardinals yesterday, but instead they move on to today’s Labor Day matchup against the New York Mets. The Reds look to play spoiler once again, hoping to prevent the Mets from sneaking into the playoffs and defending their National League pennant from last year. Also, Jay Bruce will be in attendance once more.

Starting Pitchers

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Robert Stephenson will make his third start this season for the Reds after having started the year in the rotation due to Homer Bailey’s injury. Now with September callups and Bailey injured again, Bob Steve will get his due process at the Major League level. A couple weeks ago, Stephenson was read the riot act by Louisville Bats manager Delino DeShields. Since then, Stephenson has put together some solid starts in AAA, hopefully figuring out the control issues that DeShields harped on.

On the other side of this matchup of nicknames, Bartolo Colon, aka Big Sexy, takes the hill for the 28th time this season. Colon has pitched well each of his last three times out, going 2-0 and lasting 7.0 innings in two of the starts. The 42-year-old pitcher by no means looks like he’s running out of gas in 2016, instead he’s reaching new heights by becoming a three-true outcome player.

Starting Lineups

Mets Reds
1. Alejandro De Aza (CF)
2. Michael Conforto (LF)
3. Wilmer Flores (2B)
4. Jay Bruce (RF)
5. Kelly Johnson (3B)
6. Travis d’Arnaud (C)
7. James Loney (1B)
8. Matt Reynolds (SS)
9. Bartolo Colon (P)
1. Jose Peraza (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Brandon Phillips (2B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Robert Stephenson (P)

The Mets have yet to release their lineup, so instead please enjoy this picture of Jay Bruce.

Bruce 12

While You Were Away…

Let me tell you about my day yesterday. You see, in some strange twist of fate, I was talked into frequenting the St. Louis Garlic Festival. Yes, this was a festival dedicated solely to garlic. Four people made the 20-minute drive with me down to south city to see what beheld us at the garlic festival.

Before the five us had even gotten off of campus property, we got a speeding ticket. This was a good sign because it meant we were excited for garlic. This was a bad sign because it meant the world was trying to stop us from being excited for garlic. We trudged on.

On arrival, the smell of garlic permeates our locked car. We see the extent of the festival–eight tents spread across half a block–and begin to question our live choices. But still, we trudge on.

The first order of business is to buy a garlic ice cream sandwich. You could see sprigs of rosemary protruding from the cookie and bits of garlic in the ice cream. The sandwich itself tasted like uncertainty.

The second, and most important, task was to participate in the garlic eating contest. Three of us joined, were given a cup full of garlic cloves, and five minutes to eat as many as we could. I ate three. The winner ate around 30.

To describe the sensation of a biting into a garlic clove would be a disservice to all of the contestants at that festival. Because on one hand it feels like a colony of fire ants have decided to use your mouth for target practice, but on the other, it feels like Shaq himself is coating your mouth with Icy Hot. Moral of the story: Please don’t eat raw garlic.

We finished the day with some garlic bread and an interview of Garlic Mike, the organizer, before stumbling back off into the city, played out to the tunes of angsty punk rock performed by three high schoolers we had named Taylor, Taylor, and Leon. There’s just nothing quite like a Labor Day weekend garlic party.

Concluding Thoughts

Bob Steve versus Big Sexy is probably the best pitching matchup I could ever dream up (in terms of names only), but my mouth still tastes like garlic so everything in life has lost a bit of its luster.

And then I saw this tweet:

Go Reds and stay petty everyone

Join the conversation! 56 Comments

  1. Wes, were the two Taylors brothers? When you learn to cook, you’ll appreciate the difference between raw and roasted/sautéed garlic even more. Great story.

    Anyone else going to the game today?

    • Went yesterday, and Saturday with the RLN group. FC Cincinnati Soccer today but will watch as much as I can on TV before I have to head to the match. BTW, Great meeting you Saturday.

      • I really enjoyed meeting you and the other loyal Nation members.

        I wouldn’t miss the opportunity today to go cheer and cheer for Jay Bruce’s return.

    • Brother and a sister it seemed. We named them both Taylor for comedic effect.

  2. Homer Bailey injured again, worst contract ever…

  3. I love that Cozart quote.

    • The Cozart quote sounds like he’s putting a 100% effort to obtaining a contract and playing in Cincinnati next season. That would certainly give me pause to consider the option.

      • Or he’s one of the millions who doesn’t like Matt Latos. Not sure how that even remotely indicates he’s looking for anything from the Reds.

  4. Bruce is hitting cleanup for the Metropolitens…

    1.De Aza, CF
    2.Conforto, LF
    3.Flores, 2B
    4.Bruce, RF
    5.Johnson, 3B
    6.d’Arnaud, C
    7.Loney, 1B
    8.Reynolds, SS
    9.Colon, P

  5. For those who might have missed the quote by Hal McCoy from Saturday…

    “I [Hal McCoy] was told when he knew he would be traded he went to the Reds and asked them to trade him anywhere but to New York.”

  6. The St. Louis Garlic Festival doesn’t seem to compare with the way Cincinnati celebrates Labor Day. The Cozart quote indicates to me how much regard the Reds hold Jay Bruce.

  7. BobSteve finding the strike zone early

  8. Bob Steve looking good through 2

    Thrown a couple really nice pitches, including that change up down and away to strike out bruce

    • Velocity is good at 94-95 and I like the 83 mph curve…keep throwing strikes young man.

    • Pitch count is kinda high

      Needs to stop striking everyone out and get some grounders!

  9. Coazarts thoughts mirror my own. Good to see Peraza in the lineup again.

  10. Wonder how foul the drive home was….

  11. Second and third with no outs against Colon and don’t score.Terrible but lets continue to put the pressure on.

  12. Adam duvall has played a really nice left field this year and Bob Steve competing.

  13. I would rather pour molten lead into my ears than listen to Thom and Chris whine and moan about “how soft the people are these days” and “boohoo DeShields hurt his feelings” and “I can’t believe people thought he was wrong”

  14. Kind of hard to believe that Colon can still get hitters out with nothing but a fastball.He doesn’t walk anybody and hitters know what’s coming yet he still gets em..I tip my hat to him.

  15. Lets get 3 0r 4 runs and get Bob Steve a win.Outside of the two home runs he pitched well in 5 innings with no walks and 8K’s.No need for him to go any farther.

  16. Might as well call it a day.Colon mowing us down with ease.

  17. Stephenson looking really good…nice velicity…nice movement on his 2 seam fastball…great curve and now throwing a good change…this kid has the stuff…he needs Mack Jenkins and Price to coach him….granted…Mets B team .

  18. Like I said there was no need to send him back out in the 6th.He pitched well and was at 80+ pitches.

  19. TOOTBLAN avoided by 25k people all screaming “JUST TOUCH THE BAG!” at Votto

    Idk where his head has been this season…

  20. Great to see Stephenson had a good game.

  21. This time of year players can check out mentally.Another reason to let the younger guys play that want a job next year.

  22. Mets got in at 330 this morning and we are the ones sleep walking.Lead off triple and nothing again.

  23. What is Simon doing on the mound

  24. I know he doesn’t fit with a youth movement, but what about Iribarren as a possible extra man next season? Has played every position except catcher. Might well win the AAA batting title. Reds have had far worse hitters off the bench. Thoughts?

  25. It was a winnable ballgame until Simon appeared.

  26. So glad we got Simon back! Its great to have Cozart batting 2nd and going 0-4 and stranding 5 guys every day too! Atleast Bob Steve looked pretty good but I have to be honest…..hope the Mets sweep and they catch the Cards

  27. Hello! I could have told Price, by putting in Simon, that he would give up more runs. Are the Reds ever going to learn, Russ Ohlendorf, Jumbo Diaz, and Alfredo Simon are pretty much going to cause trouble on the mound for the Reds, and odds are going to walk people and give up runs.

    • I get the Reds were desperately trying to find Simon’s inner Bartolo Colon and ohlenhooverdorf’s inner Joe Nathan….but that was obviously not happening by april 20th…I applaud Price for exposing Jocketty.

  28. I am really tired of reading that managers dont matter.Our genius 2 games in a row brings in pitchers that should be driving trucks for fedex,not pitching in mlb.This is with a fully stocked pen.Jumbo and Dumbo proceed to each give up 3 runs and there goes any chance to win again for the 2nd day in a row.HE MUST GO

  29. IS THERE ANY REASON IN THE WORLD to be pitching Simon? It’s September, and rosters have expanded. We have other relievers. HELLOOOO!!!

  30. Mets are playing for a playoff spot and we are just playing.We aren’t going to score today anyway.That’s why when you have no chance to make the playoffs you play young guys.We all know who isn’t going to be here next year but we need to find out who is going to be here and we have done a poor job in finding out.We learned a lot by having so many injuries to our staff earlier in the year but we still run out guys that we know won’t be here next year.Its pointless and it keeps us from auditioning players that may be here.The pitchers JEFF listed along with the ailing Cosart and Phillips are just a few that don’t need to see the field from here on out.

  31. Nice game by Stephenson but 100 pitches in 5 1/3 innings is too many. There is potential there. Glad he will have several more starts.. Thom B. does talk more than is necessary leading to goofy comments
    like questioning Peraza’s numbers.

  32. Peraza 2-4 raising his avg to .340. Need to sit him tomorrow.

    • Thom would agree.

      • I personally like Peraza and think he could be a full time super sub. I understand those that look at some of his numbers and lean toward them being unsubstainable. What I am at a complete loss about is why he is not being played consistently so we could have a decent sample size to know for sure. Inexcusable management.

  33. I agree with you PLAYTOWN that Stephenson threw too many pitches.Learning at he big league level these next 4 or 5 starts will help going into next year.I did like the only one walk and the 9K’s are great but still too many pitches.

  34. Sad thing is Peraza will not probably not play tomorrow.Not sure what this kid needs to do to see the field.I get it that he doesn’t walk at all but that fits what the Reds have been teaching for years.Go ask Cosart and Phillips and they will tell you the same thing.What is he 22 or 23 years old?Maybe he will draw more walks.Maybe his line drives will start carrying like the bomb he hit in San Diego or the homer to left center at GABP.Let him play.Heck I didn’t even mention how fast he is.

  35. Peraza should be playing every day.

  36. We will continue to get angry when we witness irrational moves happening on the diamond and question them with a rational mind. I am at a loss that a club owner like Castellini can look at this org. compared to others and think we’re okay. Yes, we have had a good couple trades and a decent draft, but how will we know who is going to be good, great, or bust, if they’re called up to sit on a bench? There has to be a form of tanking going on because it makes zero sense to put Simon in a game period. Now, I’m trying to rationalize the irrational and I too am growing frustrated and angry…

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2016 Reds, Game Thread