2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap / Titanic Sweep Recap

Titanic Sweep Recap: The Amir Garrett Show

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (7-2) 9 15 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (3-5) 2 7 1
W: Garrett (2-0) L: Nova (1-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–In his second big league start, Amir Garrett was brilliant once again. Garrett pitched six scoreless innings before allowing a two-run homer in the seventh. His final line: 6.2 innings, 2 runs allowed on five hits. Garrett struck out five and walked none. Just a beatiful outing, in which he was in total control all night long.

The kid doesn’t look like a rookie out there on the mound.

–The game was tied 0-0 after four innings. Zack Cozart led off the fifth with a double, and Tucker Barnhart followed immediately with another double to get the Reds on the board. After a Pittsburgh error, Billy Hamilton lined a single to right and Jose Peraza doubled down the left field line. In a flash, the Reds were winning 4-0 and were on their way to yet another victory.

–Two innings later, Pirates reliever Antonio Bastardo loaded the bases with a couple of walks and an infield single. Then Eugenio Suarez promptly cleared the bases with a 3-run double. Scott Schebler followed that up with a ball that would have been a home run in many parks — and certainly in Great American. It hit the top of the wall, and he settled for an RBI double.

–Three Reds had three hits apiece. Suarez was 3-4 with a run scored, a double, and 3 RBI. Jose Peraza was 3-5 with a double, a run scored, and 2 RBI. Tucker Barnhart was 3-5 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI.

–Joey Votto had an RBI single and a walk. After the way his season has started, I’ll count that as a positive. (But I’m not worried at all about Joey Votto’s swing. That guy knows more about hitting than I’ll ever know. I’m just going to trust him.)

–Robert Stephenson pitched two scoreless innings. He wasn’t perfect — he allowed two hits — and his command wasn’t great — he walked one — but he struck out four hitters and, at times, his stuff looked absolutely filthy. I’ll count it as a successful outing. I’m rooting for this guy.

The Bad
–Nothing to see here. Move along.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Reds are 7-2. The Reds are in first place in the NL Central. The Reds are tied for the best record in baseball. All is right with the world.

–I know we’re all irrationally excited about the way the Reds have caught fire here at the beginning of the 2017 season. We should probably calm down a bit, right?

No. We don’t know how this season is going to end, but we need to enjoy times like these, when the Reds are playing legitimately exciting baseball. This team is really fun to watch right now. Young guys are contributing, the pitching has been good, the hitting has been good, the managing has been good.

Enjoy it while it lasts. And keep those fingers crossed, hoping that it can last all season long. (Dare to dream.)

–That was a 5-1 road trip (against the Cardinals and Pirates) that we just witnessed. It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything like that.

–Amir Garrett didn’t allow a single run until the 13th inning of his big league career. That’ll do, Amir. That’ll do.

How good is this kid? The last Reds pitcher to begin his career with 12 scoreless innings was Wayne Simpson in 1970.

–Tonight’s stars: Amir Garrett and Eugenio Suarez. Both 25 years old. This is why the 2017 Reds are more interesting than recent teams.

Tonight’s Tweets

78 thoughts on “Titanic Sweep Recap: The Amir Garrett Show

    • If Suarez keeps this up, Senzel may need to learn to play OF or 2B. Peraza has also looked pretty good at SS.

      • There has been chat on here about moving Suarez back to SS to make room for Senzel. Maybe he could eventually learn to play an adequate SS but I’m really liking him at 3B. Moving him to SS feels like promoting him to his level of incompetence.

    • Suarez has looked like a legitimately great fielder so far this season.

      It’s not just that he’s getting balls on dives or charging well or anything…it’s his general fluidity of movement, I think. He looks like a guy who is comfortable physically and mentally doing whatever needs to be done out there.

      I’m gobsmacked, really. He’s been better than Nolan Arenado so far. I watch a lot of Rockies, too, since I live here, and Arenado has missed 2 barehand charges so far. Eugenio hasn’t missed a single play, I think.

      • “Eugenio hasn’t missed a single play, I think.”

        Unless you count that freak left-turn swinging bunt from last night (and you shouldn’t).

  1. Yes. This team is fun to watch and I love it! Don’t underestimate what a young team that starts to expect to win every game can do. Nobody expected the Reds to go wire-to-wire in 1990, either!

  2. mighty fine game. Even a skeptic like me is finding a hard thing to criticize right now. It is just fun baseball to watch!

  3. So much excitement! We know the team will hit a bump in the road at some point, but man, this is fun to watch!

  4. I was critical of how Price handled the bullpen last night but pretty hard to mismanage a bullpen that has not allowed an ER over the last 16 or so innings. Kudos for using the one guy who had a borderline poor outing last night to get you out of a jam. Blake Wood was a bit of a victim of bad luck and was bailed out by Iglesias, but he bailed out Feldman Sunday as well as getting the final out when the Pirates were gaining some momentum. If my math is right the bullpen have made batters go collectively 0-13 when relieving with runners on- stranding nearly that many inherited runners.
    To use Stephenson in that situation was excellent, not only to give him some confidence, but virtually every one is fresh going into a 4 game series with the Brew crew

    • Remember last year when Reds relief pitchers gave up like 24 (the exact number escapes me) home runs to the 1ST BATTER THEY FACED? Talk about a 180 degree turnaround. (so far)

  5. Another positive: the Nation. Great energy here, and why shouldn’t there be. lets keep the positive vibes flowing!

  6. No Disco, no Homer, no Mes, no problem. I cannot believe how little we gave up to get Suarez and Duvall.

      • Wait, we gave up a pitcher for Duvall who got a 5 year 80 million deal in Leake. There was value there but the amazing thing is both Adam and Suarez were NOT the centerpiece prospects in those deals.

    • I noticed that in the box score too. I didn’t get to watch any of the game. I’m not saying that this Reds team in 2017 will be as good, but with me watching a lot of Cardinal baseball living in STL; the way they have scored runs consistently and hitting multiple consecutive RBI doubles/singles (small sample caveat) reminds me of the 2011-2013 Cards. If they can do this even somewhat consistently, this team is going to be a lot of fun to watch!

      • And they have scored in the latter part of games to put them out of reach or take the lead

        • Good point….tack on runs are monumental. Allows Price to maneuver his bullpen the way he wants to.

  7. Can Suarez transition to 2nd, Peraza to SS when Senzel comes up?? Or can Senzel transition to 2nd?? I know…way too early to contemplate this problem.

    • It’ll sort itself out, but Senzel ain’t transitioning anywhere. Don’t forget about Dilson Herrera, that kid can rake. It’s a far cry from the days where the Reds were running out old vets like Wilson Valdez with paper thin depth.

      • Senzel’s college coach recommended that the Reds use Senzel at shortstop in the minor leagues. He thought the kid could handle it.

        So I wouldn’t be so sure that Senzel can’t move to another position. He’s athletic, with good instincts.

        • Senzel’s bat will be his ticket to the show, not his glove. As much as we hope/think that Senzel will be a star at the major league level, we must temper our enthusiasm and expectations with his first exposure at the A+ level this season. The Old Cossack is as big a fan and cheerleader for Senzel as anyone, but if Suarez simply takes over 3B with his glove and bat, there’s no reason to even consider him moving to another position, leaving the adjustment for Senzel as it should be. If Bryant can accept versatility at the major league level as a rookie star, so can Senzel.

          • You are so right on all counts. Suarez looks like an all-star third baseman both offensively and defensively. Maybe it’s just a great first 10 days. Maybe it’s the maturation process hitting a new milestone. If Suarez’s play over the first 10 days continues over time, you sure don’t move him out for an as-yet-unproven minor leaguer.

    • I’m happy with Scooter right now. Let’s keep him at second until he fails

  8. After going through a couple pitching coaches the past few years, has Price finally found a pitching coach he can rely on? Check out the team’s record ever since Jenkins replaced Riggins last summer.

  9. Maybe the Reds are this good?! Let’s stop doubting them and enjoy this! The 2015 Cubs were not suppose to be good either yet went to the NLCS. There is a lot of talent on this team and their confidence is building. Let’s give kudos to the guy Reds fans hate the most: Walt Jocketty. He got Suarez, Duvall, Perazza, Finnegan, Reed, Hamilton and Descanfani.

    • He did some good things. He also did some bad things. Gotta look at the overall picture.

  10. god, I love the way this team is started. Let’s keep it up for another four or five months. Listening to the opposing announcers during the cards and bucs series (Marty frets too much with each walk, and in a couple of games, that’s a lot of fretting) .I want to relax and listen to the game unfold. A few observations. Everybody likes and respects Hamilton. The pirates announcers call him the disruptor, both on offense – where he makes every infielder play in, and his ability to turn a walk or single into a triple, and on defense, where it looks like you have a gapper and he makes a great running catch. Of course, this might be influenced by his .300 lifetime b. a. against the pirates. The pirate guys make Chad seem like a Hamilton detractor. One question the bucs announcers talked about a large “A” that Amir carves into the front slope of the mound…Anyone have an explanation for it?

    • I thought either the TV announcers or the guys back in Cincinnati Jeff Piecoro and Dan Hoard, said he just puts the “A” for Amir. Not sure why–maybe a bit of “Here I am, hit me if you can”, which right now they can’t. Just a guess based on what I heard.

        • And that’s the attitude we want out there on the mound. I think we are going to be regretting not holding Garrett back for 2 weeks in 5 years, but right now Garrett is a central cog in this rebirth of enthusiasm and excitement for the team. Without Garrett on the mound as a starter for the first 2 weeks of the season, we could be looking at a dumpster fire for the start of the 2017 season rather than a juggernaut.

          • In 5 years we will have won a couple WS titles so we will have a little extra revenue to pay Amir as a top 5 pitcher in the game

          • Garrett will struggle at some point this season, and the Reds can send him to AAA for three weeks to get himself right. That’ll take care of the service time issues.

    • He also uses it for alignment purposes. He tries to step right at the crossing line of the “A”.

  11. Chad you are right when you say we are young with an upside.This really says it all doesn’t it.Let the young guys play.With the young talent here and in the minors there will be lots of competition for jobs which is always a good thing.Lets hope we never again keep running out older declining players just because of salary or we have nobody better.I know its a challenge but we must never ever get in that place again.

  12. Two things….1) The Reds are winning and putting runs on the board with little to no help right now from Joey Votto. 2) As one of the elder statesman of RN, I remember Wayne Simpson…that first half of ’70, he was unlike anything I’d ever seen. 14-2 at the All Star break, but would never be anyway close to that good again….the number of innings he’d thrown in the previous couple of years took it’s toll and he was never an effective pitcher again. Sad story.

    • Wayne Simpson – what a half season he had! a Really sad story. Blew out his shoulder I think. When Bench was asked who the best pitcher he ever caught was, he said Wayne Simpson, if you can count a half season. It the time, it seemed like he was going to challenge the 30 win mark as a rookie. Painful memory…anyone know what happened to Wayne after baseball?

      • There’s a nice article on the Society for American Baseball Research website on Simpson. Sounds like as of 2011 he was living back in California where he grew up. His arm problems were serious–at one point life threatening blood clots in his arm and permanent loss of some use of his hand.

  13. All this and JV hasn’t found his wallet yet … imagine when that happens. Sure some of the guys will cool off, but if we can stay consistent then it will all be good. No thoughts of playoffs or anything of the sort for me (yet), but this is just plain fun to watch. 3 series wins to start and the Cervaceros coming to town … let the weekend party begin!

  14. What a sweep of the Pirates. Many pundits had Pittsburgh finishing 2nd to the Cubs this year.
    One thing I keep hearing in interviews is the closeness of the team and “a sense of family” within the clubhouse that wasn’t there before. On one hand that is very good to hear. On the other, I hope these aren’t swipes at Brandon Phillips attitude and presence in the lockerroom, and Jay Bruce too to a lesser extent. I hope it has more to do with a lot of transition in 2015 and 2016 with trades, the revolving door on the bullpen and pitching staff. There was a lot of coming and going by many players in those two years. Not so much now as things have settled in for a bit and it has allowed for the team to start gelling. Hard for a team to get close knit with all that was going on. I said yesterday that this team could be the 2015 Astros and arrive a year earlier than most all believed.
    It is sooooo nice not to see the bullpen giving away late leads this year.
    FWIW, that isn’t me holding the Billy Hatcher fan club sign, although my town is referenced in the sign and I think that is a great screen shot. I do like Hatcher though.

    • I’ll be honest, I thought of you. Not that I thought it WAS you, but still… 😉

  15. Fun with stats:

    The Reds have THREE players in the top 17 in OPS among qualified MLB players — Suarez (#1), Cozart (#12), and Duvall (#17). The Reds are #2 in the league in team OPS, behind only Washington.

    The Reds are tied with the Twins for first place in team ERA.

    The Reds are #2 in the league in fielding percentage.

    All phases, folks.

  16. Eugenio Suarez is now tied for 2nd in MLB in WAR at 0.7 (Murphy @ 0.8).

    Former Red Mike Leake is 2nd in MLB in pitcher WAR at 0.7.

    Former Red Jay Bruce is 1st in MLB in WPA! Good for you, Jay.

    • Glad to see both Leake and Bruce off to good starts, especially with the Dirty Birds struggling as a team, last place in the NLCD.

      • Agree Cossack. I wish them well, along with Cueto. Except when they play the Reds.

        • I’m looking forward to seeing the Reds facing Cueto in the NLCS this season!

  17. The Pirates remind me of the Reds two years ago—-a team that doesn’t realize it can’t compete and needs to reload yet is still clinging to past glory.

    I hate to be a wet blanket, but let’s not forget Eugenio had a blazing hot start last year as well.

    Robert Stephenson needs to talk to Finnegan about dialing the intensity back. He’s just waaay too amped up out there. If pitching more often in 1-2 inning stints will cure him of that, then I’m all for it. Otherwise, he needs to be starting in AAA to get his mechanics straightened out. His fastball is up and away or down and in—clearly he’s antsy….really hyper between pitches.

    • Suarez’s play at 3B didn’t get off to a blazing start last year and he’s playing like a wizard there now so lets hope he’s maturing and improving all the way around! Its pretty easy to tell he’s locked in because the ball is going the other way & up the middle quite a bit!

  18. Next anticipated moves:
    Cody Reed starts Saturday in Rookie Davis’ spot in the rotation.

    If he does well against the Brewers, maybe he keeps that spot, and when Rookie comes back in a week or so, he might take Arroyo’s spot if Bronson gets bombed two more times.

    • I really wish they’d give Davis more time in AAA. He got shelled there in 5 appearances last year. I think the stuff is MLB level, but like Bailey and Lorenzen, I fear the Reds rushed him.

      • Davis might benefit from the bullpen role if they think the MLB pitching coaches are the best to work with him. I like having guys back there who can go 3-5 IP if needed. If Astin struggles at some point, Davis could be a good fit for that role assuming we get Reed and Stephenson back in a rotation in MLB or AAA

        • From Davis’ own mouth, he did say he wasn’t 100% last year, and I would guess his velocity was really down when he got up to AAA towards the end of the season. I think he is going to have to be innings limited to 150 or 160 innings this year, but unless he gets rocked, why send him down? These guys have got to get ML ready. There is another bunch of good arms behind them

          • His velocity was down all of last year because of injuries. That may have contributed to a poor strikeout rate in AA. Short sample but he hasn’t pitched well so far. He’s had trouble putting guys away and has walked way too many. Those two things are marks of a guy who needs a little more development. I understand your point, but with all the other starting options, they don’t need to push a guy (basically) past AAA to the Majors when he had a 15% K% in AA last season (and only 16.7% in AA the year before).

            I really do like the stuff and believe he’s a MLB pitcher. It just seems strange that they would push him like this the year after so many injuries and mediocre results.

            In the bullpen, I fear he wouldn’t get enough opportunities to pitch, but I do like the idea of having guys able to pitch multiple innings.

          • I’m 100% in agreement with your assessment Nick. Neither of Rookie’s games this season have been good. The 2nd effort was better because he avoided serving up 2 gopher balls, but better than terrible does not mean good. Rookie’s just not major league ready…yet. I think he would benefit from time starting at AAA, now that he’s had a taste of what awaits him at GABP.

            Reed and Stephenson are just the opposite. They need time working to major league hitters. More time at AAA will not benefit them at all. Reed may be ready to turn the corner now if he hasn’t already. We’ll find out VERY soon. Stephenson looks like he’s making incremental (small increments) progress and I’m still holding out hope that he masters his fastball command. His ‘stuff’ is just so tantalizing.

  19. If Davis spends time on a rehab assignment after coming off the DL… does that count as time off the roster so we get another year of control?
    Looks like Garrett never going back.

    • Well not to be a party pooper but Garrett has the advantage that nobody has faced him before but that won’t last long. The lack of velocity bothers me a little but his offspeed stuff seems solid and he keeps the ball down! Bottom line….they can come up with several guys that are far better then Arroyo! We’ve won 7 of 8 and coming home versus a losing team and the betting line shifted a ton to make us an underdog….that’s tells you all you need to know about Arroyo!

    • The only way we’re getting that extra year for Amir (assuming he doesn’t scuffle at some point, which may happen, he is a rookie) is if both Homer and Disco come back healthy, and Reed start stringing together good starts. With a rotation of Homer, Finnegan, Disco, Reed, and Feldman, they could justifiably (as in not lose a MLB grievance) send Amir back to AAA to “keep him in a starting role” and after a few weeks demote Feldman if he struggles and bring back Amir with that extra year in hand.

      • I don’t think anyone should over think this. Amir Garrett is almost 25. I don’t know how many years he will actually have as an ML pitcher, but if I were him, I would be pretty PO’d if the Reds sent him back down just over service time.

        The Right Thing To Do would be to offer him a nice multi-year contract that takes him through his option years, if he continues to impress.
        I am not worried about velocity. Velocity alone can be over-rated. Reed threw harder last summer and got rocked because his location was not good. Unless you are standing in against him, you really don’t know how well you can pick up the ball from his hand. Plus, his change-up is already pretty good.

        • I’m not worried about the velocity, either. Cueto could hit 95 or so, but did it pretty infrequently once he got really good. Low 90’s with good movement and location will work. Hitters now are seeing so many pitchers who throw 95 or more that they’re adjusting.

    • Specifically answering your question…no. Any player going on the DL (10-day or 60-day) will still accumulate major league service time for the entire time he is on the DL, rehab or not.

    • They can activate him off the DL and immediately option him back to Louisville. Or they could send him to Louisville on a rehab assignment, in which case he would accrue MLB service time and get MLB money. Or, just activate him and keep him in the majors.

      My guess is that he will be optioned to AAA when he is activated. That would work to the team’s advantage on years-of-control and Super-2 status, if those issues ever even come into play. Remember, Price had said that he expected, and had conveyed to the young pitchers, that many of them would back and forth to Louisville over the course of the year. Davis needs to develop a bit more command, anyway.

Comments are closed.