It only took two hours and seventeen minutes for the first place Cincinnati Reds to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals. Reds top prospect Amir Garrett went into Busch Stadium, and pitched six brilliant, shutout innings in his MLB debut. The Reds bullpen was outstanding again, and the Reds got just enough offense to complete a 2-0 win.

It might not last forever, but the Cincinnati Reds have been a lot of fun to watch the last couple days.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (3-1) 2 7 0
St. Louis Cardinals (1-3) 0 2 0
W: Garrett (1-0) L: Leake (0-1) S: Iglesias (2)
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 Joey Votto’s RBI double with 1 out in the 6th inning, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 15.8% (from 53.0% to 68.8%).

Player of the Game

Amir Garrett: 6.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 2.45 FIP

What can you say about Amir Garrett? In his MLB debut, he went to Busch Stadium and pitched six scoreless innings. He walked the very first batter he faced, Dexter Fowler. He was able to get through the first inning without allowing a run, and you could see he let out a deep breath on the way to the dugout. Garrett then settled in and dominated a deep Cardinals lineup.


Scott Schebler hit a big insurance home run in the 9th inning. He also already has 3 walks in this young season. There is a lot to like from Schebler. He might end up pushing Jesse Winker at AAA.

Zack Cozart is off to a terrific start to 2017. Cozart had a two hit night tonight, and now has a hit in all four games to start the season. Cozart also had a walk and stole a base in the 9th.

Billy Hamilton had a two hit night, and stole another base on the greatest catcher of all-time (that was clearly sarcasm before you burn me at the stake).

Michael Lorenzen pitched another scoreless inning in relief. So far in 2017: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. How do you not love Lorenzen? This guy is just a joy to watch play baseball.

Two out saves are fun, right? Raisel Iglesias continues to shine in two-inning relief appearances. So far in 2017 for Iglesias: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

RBI machine Joey Votto drove in the Reds first run with a double. Votto has been very aggressive to start the season, and has yet to walk.


TOOTBLAN #1: The Reds blew a golden chance at a run in the 5th inning. The Reds had 1st & 3rd with 1 out, and Amir Garrett up. The Reds tried a safety squeeze, but Garrett missed the bunt. Molina threw out Cozart who was off the bag at third.

TOOTBLAN #2: Joey Votto tried to steal third base with two outs, and was unsuccessful.

Not so random thoughts……….

How much fun is it to have a decent bullpen? If the Lorenzen, Iglesias, and Storen turn out to be as good as the Reds are hoping, watch out. I love the way Price is using them too. Just about any inning, multiple innings. Price isn’t worried about burning his best reliever for multiple innings, because he’ll still have a solid pitcher available the next day.


Up Next:

Reds at Cardinals
Saturday, 2:15 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Bronson Arroyo vs Michael Wacha


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

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 51 Comments

  1. Time to start resting players for the playoffs? We’ll know where Brian Price’s head is if he pulls some washed up veteran from off the roster to start a game this weekend…..

  2. Oh, and neither of Lorenzen’s hits given up have left the infield grass.

  3. Let’s see how Price shares bullpen duties down the run, cannot use Lorenzen and Iglesias everyday.

    • Lorenzen had played in every game so far. He only threw 10 pitches last night, would like to see him go back to back nights.

  4. 2018 Starting Rotation:
    Reed (or Romano, or Castillo, or Davis)

    2018 Bullpen:
    RP Iggy
    RP Lorenzen
    RP Stephenson
    RP (some FA signing)
    LP Peralta
    LP Cingrani

    Looking prrrrreeeeettty interesting, all the sudden.

    • I will wager the beverage of your choice that either Homer or Disco (or both) aren’t in the Opening Day rotation next year. However, looks like the Reds may have some other options!

      • Nah, I won’t take that bet. Odds are too much in your favor.

        But you’re right, they are filling their coffers with plenty of options now. If Rookie works out and Reed remembers how to pitch, they’ll be doing pretty good with Romano another possibility. They may also be able to package Cozart with a pitcher (or two) to bring back a more sure-thing, MLB ready starter.

        Bright days ahead.

    • For 2018, give me Homer, Disco, Lorenzen, Finnegan, and Garrett in the rotation as of right now unless Reed and Stephenson can figure out how to throw strikes and get MLB hitters out (I think they can). Until they show that, let them pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen. Similar to what the Cardinals did with Carlos Martinez. With Disco and Homer’s injuries problems, we will need the depth we currently have.

      • I and many on here would love Lorenzen as a starter, but so far Reds management hasn’t shown any interest in it. I think the best we can hope for is for Lorenzen/Iggy to become a modern day Dibble/Myers (still desperately in search of a Charlton…..) while some of the kids figure out how to become starters at the MLB level.

        Finnegan may have put it all together in the second half last year (this season will tell the tale), Disco has already shown he can do it, Garrett had an encouraging start…. But the Reds still need at least 2 more of the kids to pan out, since I really don’t feel they can count on Homer for much going forward. His last completely healthy season was 2013, I believe, and he’s already in his age 31 season. I like your idea of Reed and Stephenson pitching out of the ‘pen, but I wonder if they wouldn’t benefit from more consistent reps by starting full time in AAA, since command is something both need to work on.

        Lorenzen seems like the obvious choice to fill out the rotation, but I’ve pretty much already resigned to him being Chapman 2.0. Although with Williams, who knows….

        • You’re right about Lorenzen and Reds management. I hold out hope that he displays strong command of his breaking pitches early this season, and the Reds become convinced he’s worth a shot in the rotation. I’d be shocked if that happened, but like you said, we don’t know what Williams will be like.

          Thank heavens the Reds didn’t put Cueto into the bullpen when he struggled early in his career. He would have dominated and become the closer without the Reds looking back.

  5. Great recap of a great game

  6. I was at the game, and it was glorious! I didn’t really have a great vantage point to see pitches but it seemed like the strike zone was awfully tight tonight. I was very impressed with Garrett’s ability to get through a tough lineup multiple times.

    Also, I saw (and heard) more Reds fans at this game than any of the the other 8 or so Cards/Reds games I have been to in St. Louis. It was really nice that the Reds actually had a presence at an away game in a “hostile” city for once!

  7. Has to be change in the air when the Reds win a 2-0 game in StL despite two TOOTBLANs at 3B.
    Another sign of change… Carpenter loses a couple of hits to the Reds infield shift.
    I was mildly disappointed that Price burned one of his scant bench bats rather than let Lorenzen bat in the 8th, regardless of whom he intended to have pitch in the bottom of the inning.
    But a good win nonetheless

    • This is about the only complaint I have too. I was worried that Price was going to send Cingrani out to close, but was happy to see him let Iggy go 2 innings.

      But in the future, yeah, let Lorenzen hit.

    • Looks like Price pulled the ol’ double switch with that PH. May have wanted Suarez’s defense in the game at 3B (imagine that). Suarez stayed after PH for Lorenzen and Gennett moved to 2B and Iglesias took Peraza’s spot. That helped ensure Iglesias’ spot was less likely to come up the next inning, meaning he could pitch two innings.

      I’ve not been the biggest Price fan, and I too was worried we were going to see Storen come in the 9th. But, as much as I like Lorenzen as an occasional PH, I’m not going to pick at the decision to get Suarez a chance in a 1 run game, especially considering he was entering the game to play 3B.

    • insisting to go with an 9 man bullpen really hampers your bench and not using Lorenzen in that situation will hurt eventually. Someone might actually give up a run and a game will go extra innings and Reds will be out of bench players quick. As a fan I would have liked to see him bat and then replaced by Iglesias. If Lorenzen is not available today then it is indefensible move.

    • Totally agree OldJim

      And to that point he had only thrown 10 pitches, 8 for strikes. I would have let him hit and start the 8th

  8. How many pitchers in the history of baseball have hit more home runs and score more runs than they’ve given up after 3 appearances? Well, Lorenzan has a 0.00 ERA and had 1 HR and 1 R. I can’t image that’s happened very often or maybe ever.

    • The answer is that Tony Cloninger hit two grand slams on opening day for the Braves back in the 60’s and was the winning pitcher. So he was definitely one pitcher who fit your criteria.

  9. In addition to what I wrote above about the pitching for 2018, consider this lineup:

    RF Winker
    3B Senzel (assuming he keeps up his OBP in the minors and can do the same in MLB)
    1B Votto
    LF Duvall/Schebler
    SS Suarez (until Peraza shows us something)
    C Mesoraco (if healthy)
    2B Herrera/Peraza
    CF Hamilton

    OF Schebler/Duvall
    IF Herrera/Peraza
    C Barnhart
    OF (whoever)
    IF (whoever)

    When you have hitters like Mesoraco hitting toward the bottom of your lineup and have a bench with players like Duvall/Schebler and Peraza/Herrera, you know something is going right. If Peraza and Herrera work out into being at least average hitters, this lineup could be scary good very soon.

  10. Jose Peraza reminds of Ralph Garr. He is very fast, swings at anything, and has very little power.

  11. Work has me moved to a different time zone this year, so unfortunately I’m not going to get to see many games live and partake in the in game threads. I try to watch the game replays and catch up on all the discussions when I can though!

    Couple thoughts on the game:

    Thought Garrett looked great. Was disappointed to see him pulled after 6, but understandable with a rookie making a debut.

    Let’s not take anything away from Mike Leake, either. He pitched 8 stand out innings, even if he did go to the dark side…

    Are we ever going to learn how to run bases?

    Reds on pace to win

  12. Quick reactions:

    !) -Another- great game. Maybe it’s not 2010 yet, but we’re getting there.

    2) Note how -fast- the pitch tempo has been with Finnegan, Davis, Garrett, Lorenzen, Iglesias.

    3) Garrett’s pickoff move is -extremely- fast.

    4) Gennett seems to have been a good acquisition for the bench. Good glove at an unfamiliar position, aggressive approach to hitting, good attitude (every time I see him, his face is lit up like a 100w bulb).

    5) I’m assuming tomorrow we have BobSteve, Wood, Cingrani, Storen lined up in the pen. This will be a good indication of how deep the pen really is and who is going to be the first guy on the outside looking in.

    • Yes. Especially with Bronson throwing BP tomorrow. I envision he’ll have the jar of Vaseline and the sand paper out.

      Can we set up a screen in front of him so he doesn’t get hurt?

      • Cynic.

        Keep in mind that Bronson isn’t the only aging guy out there. The Cards are showing -their- age as well.

        Now if he were starting against, say, the Cubs………

        • “The Cards are showing -their- age …. ”

          This is one of my takeaways from last night also. Last season the lowly Reds went 9-10 versus the Cards; and what have the Cards done to be better in 2017?

          I thought a lot of the adjectives and descriptive terms we’ve heard (and said) about the Reds over the last 2-3 years fit the Cards Friday night. Words like “listless”, “not really engaged”, “waiting for somebody else to step up”.

          The usual come back is that good pitching can make any team look like that. However, Mike Leake also pitched a very good game. He had them positioned to make one of their patented late game moves to steal a win; and, the push just didn’t seem to be there. Instead it was Schebler who slammed the door by tacking on the insurance run with a two out HR in the Reds 9th.

          • Dexter Fowler for starters. That’s a pretty big upgrade. Grichuck and Piscotty are good young players. I think the Cards lineup is better than last year’s lineup. Now., their defense on the other hand is pretty brutal.

  13. –Mike Leake vs. the Reds: 5 starts, 0-2, 5.60-ish ERA in 30.1 innings if my math is close. And the ERA was over 7.00 before Friday’s night’s game. Loved you as a Red, Mike. Now, not so much.

    –Maybe Molina could have thrown out Billy on that stolen base if he wasn’t using pine tar or whatever made that baseball stick to his chest protector the other day. Maybe a little of that got on his hand. Just sayin’.

    –How does a player get picked off third on a safety squeeze? By definition, the runner doesn’t break for the plate until the ball is safely bunted into play.

    –It doesn’t seem possible that Votto saw a combined 9 pitches in four plate appearances, the lowest number of any of the Reds’ starting eight.

    –I really didn’t need any more reasons to like Garrett, but hearing the story about him and his pit bull gave me one more reason.

    –Kelch and Welch make a good pairing on the TV broadcast.

    –Gonna enjoy saying this while I can: “First place Cincinnati Reds”

    –I was amazed that Molina threw out Billy after that swinging bunt that looked very well placed up the first base line.

    –It crossed my mind as Garrett was pitching that the Reds really need to hold him back for a week or two to get that extra year of team control. They should have done that with Mike Leake, we can see now.

    –The Cardinals did not get a runner to second base until Matt Carpenter walked with two outs in the ninth inning and went to second on fielder’s indifference.

  14. Votto must be reading my posts.:) He is very aggressive early in the count. He’s actually becoming fun to watch.

  15. Couple of things. Understand why he pulled Garrett after 6. 144 innings last year. Not going to overwork a building block when you have built a bullpen that you feel is upper echelon.
    Two inning save a breakthrough for the ball club after paying it lip service. I thought he would hold these guys a couple of weeks for year of service but think a couple of things at work here…
    Hold your young guys back… start 4-10… No competitor wants to throw in the towel before you even get started.
    Price managing for his job every day now. Williams finally gives him some bullets in his gun and now gets to see how Price handles a team with some players. No one can win without players.
    Really like the young pitchers. Loved Bronson Arroyo… but wish Stephenson was going today.

  16. Exciting to see the Reds playing good baseball!

  17. I like seeing “Ryan” Gennett in the lineup. He has pop in that bat. One item still to solve from last year are the base running gaffs. Was Votto really trying to steal on his own or did someone miss a sign? Mr. Garrett: welcome! Now let’s see if Bronson can find magic in that old bottle.

    • Is it me or is Votto a very poor base runner. It seems that Scott Rolen had the reputation of being one of the best, not sure what Votto’s reputation is but my impression he does some questionable things enough throughout the season on the base paths enough to qualify him as at least below average.

  18. The 2016 Reds were 3-1 with a run differential of +8.

    The 2017 Reds are 3-1 with a run differential of

    • Yeah. As fun as they’ve been to watch–and they have been–and as fun as it is to read the upbeat and optimistic comments from traditionally contrarian and pessimistic people here at RLN, the season is four games old. That said, it’s fun anyway.

      • With a bullpen, your #1 and #2 starters adding to the team in 60-90 days and your starting catcher 45 days away

        Add to that a GM who churns the roster and who has trinkets to deal before the deadline

        I know that there are posters here who really want another year of rebuild, but I am ready to throw down with the Cubs now.

        Also, I think the stupid Cubs title really needs to change to the stupid cardinals. They have the best uniforms in baseball but it stops there. They make me ill

  19. Very happy with Garrett’s three pitch mix, he looks like he is here to stay! However, I was feeling the same way about Reed after his spring training dominating start against the angels featuring a 94 mph fastball, very good slider and changeup. Next game he gave up 10. So I’m pushing the pause button on my excitement about Garrett, for now! Love beating the Cards.

    The future is looking brighter. The bullpen is really good and only going to improve, depending on trades we will likely make over the next year or so.

    Iglesias is unbelievable!!

    Future playoff team??
    1. ???
    2. Finnegan
    3. Desclafani
    4. Garrett
    5. ??? (Davis, Reed, Stephenson, Stephens, Guitierez, Castillo) – WOW!!!!!

  20. Was a fun game to watch. Garret was awesome, and how about the bullpen, the difference with last season could not be bigger. Iglesias makes hitter look silly, and Lorenzen is just blowing them away. Very impressive, hope we can keep this up.

  21. I was all doom and gloom on Opening Day, but I have to confess that even I feel significantly more optimistic after the last few games. I just didn’t expect Lorenzen and Iglesias to be as strong coming out of the bullpen as they have been. Both of them looked promising in the past, but this season they just seem a little more polished and mature.

    And Garrett…wow! Very exciting.

    I think it helped that the Reds are getting the Cardinals after a demoralizing couple of losses at home to the Cubs.

    I’m still very worried about Feldman, Arroyo, and Rookie Davis. Feldman and Arroyo, in particular, seem like duct tape solutions to the rotation.

    • Play 500 until the return of Disco and Homertime

      Speaking of homers, we will add 20 at catcher soon.

      Can Schebler hit 30 hrs and keep Winker at AAA until September? I think so

      Will Billy hit 300? I do not think so but he is closer. The bleeder over SS the other night that would have been a hit except for the fielders choice would have been easily caught 2 years ago.

      Will Duvall hit 40 hrs this year? The more these guys walk, the better the hit

      Hats off to a hitting instructor and staff who are improving our bats

      I hope Feldman is one of those trade trinkets or ends up in the pen. Arroyo can stay on my bench this year and player coach our kids

  22. Garrett has a lot of poise on the mound and he doesn’t seem to get upset when things don’t go his way. Garrett doesn’t take much time and he seems to know exactly what he wants to do. There will be ups and downs in a long season, but the Reds future looks good.

  23. Did anyone else notice the squats and stretching by Lorenzen behind the mound? It looked disturbing to the Old Cossack at the time and when Price pulled him after just one inning and only 10 pitches, I was actually waiting for the hammer to come crashing down during the post game interview with Price. Then…nothing…no questions…no concerns.

    I loved the 2 inning save for Iggy, but not with with Lorenzen pitching just one inning before bring Iggy in to get the save. Price pulled the same stunt in the opening night game. The excuses I heard after the opening night game was the high (24) pitch count by Lorenzen after his one inning of work. I agree that 24 [pitches in one inning is a lot, but if Lorenzen and Iggy and anyone else in the bullpen is not capable of pitching 30-40+ pitches in a multiple inning outing, then they should not be pitching multiple innings.

    In yesterday’s game, Lorenzen had only thrown 10 pitches and was in total, dominant command during his one inning of work. There was no reason to warm up Iggy and replace Lorenzen. In fact, with Lorenzen scheduled to lead off the 8th inning, there was every reason to leave Lorenzen in to hit and then come back out for the bottom of the 8th inning.

    Lorenzen and Iggy are certainly the cream of what may shape up as a dominant bullpen this season, but they should not be used in the same game, not to mention warmed up, in the same game unless the plan for multiple inning relievers is nothing but lip service and the intent is for price to utilize Iggy as the designated closer and Lorenzen as the designated setup man. If Iggy was good to go multiple innings yesterday, then why not bring him in for the 7th and let him try to finish the game. Since Lorenzen was brought in for the 7th inning, why not let him try to finish the game? There are also 6 other relievers sitting in the bullpen and the Reds still need to determine which, if any, of those relievers are reliable and dependable in addition to Lorenzen and Iggy. I was actually encouraged by Cingrani warming up had Price not limited Lorenzen to just one inning of work and then brought Iggy in to pitch the 8th inning. Someone needs to be ready if Lorenzen or Iggy falter quickly.

    • I did notice the stretching you old Cossack you.

      I did wonder if that had something to do with the 8th inning

      Your comments are spot on

  24. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by the Reds start. I was expecting a goose egg for the first week. Now it is starting to look like the Reds pitching is going to dominate.

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About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.


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