Someone forgot to tell the Milwaukee Brewers about the Reds plan to run away with the NL Central title.
As I was leaving the ballpark and walking by the Holy Grail, I think I heard one of the Reds TV broadcasters ask the other about the Reds losing three out of four to the Brewers. The paid TV analyst replied (I think) that this was the problem with young starting pitching, it’s inconsistent. Even as I was trying to remember where I parked my car, this claim made little sense to me.
Two of the Reds three losses were started by 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo and 34-year-old Scott Feldman. The club was 1-for-2 in games with young starting pitching. Also, in the three losses the Reds scored an average of 2.3 runs.
Seems like a sloppy and weird narrative to offer that the “young starting pitching” was to blame. Let’s see if the TV and radio broadcasts lazily run with it nonetheless. Hashtag: Analysis.
The Reds have an off day Monday before facing the Baltimore Orioles in a 3-game series. If you’re concerned about the match-up between the Orioles’ explosive home-run hitting offense and Bronson Arroyo on Tuesday, that’s reasonable. For safety, I recommend sitting somewhere other than the outfield.
Since the Cubs were swept by the Pirates this weekend, our Cincinnati Reds remain in first place in the NL Central. The Milwaukee Brewers are alone in 2nd.
Sal Romano’s major league debut lasted three innings. He gave up four walks and three hits while striking out two. It would have gone a lot better had Arismendy Alcantara played competent defense. Romano started off the first inning throwing 97-mph fastballs. By the third inning, the speed was down to 94-95. The four walks were obviously an issue. Romano threw 82 pitches in three innings, 39 for strikes. He gave up back-to-back homers to Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw. Keep in mind you should never judge a pitcher by his first major league start.
The bullpen – Tim Adleman (4 IP), Blake Wood (1.1 IP) and Wandy Peralta (.2 IP) – was fine, striking out 8 and walking 0 in their 7 innings. Adleman gave up a solo home run to Eric Thames just after I’d turned to Doug Gray and said I wasn’t crazy about Adleman facing the heart of the Brewers lineup a second time. Overall, though, Adleman was great. The lesson, if any, the Reds should take from that is that Adleman could fit the long relief role when Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson move promptly to the starting rotation.
You know the bats were sad when, other than a 2-run homer from Eugenio Suarez, the high points were two lefty sluggers bunting for shift-beater hits against right-handed pitchers. Billy Hamilton did draw a walk, his second of the season. /waves tiny Reds pennant/ Hamilton was then thrown out attempting to steal 2nd.
The crowd that blames Joey Votto and his bags of money for everything bad better hurry up and get their hot takes out there because the Reds first baseman is showing signs that his inevitable numbers are inevitable. As wallet-free as Votto’s been so far, he’s still slugging .458 with ISO of .250.
Meanwhile, the top two spots in the Reds lineup went a combined 2-for-31 in this series, with 2 walks. Both hits were singles. That’s a line of .064/.129/.064. Yikes. Joey Votto was probably confused in the first inning this afternoon when he looked up from the batters box and saw one of his teammates standing on a base. Alcantara had walked. Votto singled sharply down the right field line.
Defensive play of the day was by Billy Hamilton, who (video) raced back to the wall to take a hit away from Nick Franklin in the 6th inning. Statcast ruled the play a lineout and figured Franklin had a 54% chance of a hit. That’s a higher hit probability than Ryan Braun’s 3rd inning home run (33%). Such is the wonder of Great American Small Park. According to the numbers, the catch Billy made on Orlando Arcia’s fly ball in the 2nd inning was even a better play, with a 65% chance of being a hit. Hamilton may struggle at the plate, but he saves runs all the time with his defense.
Defensive misplay(s) of the day go to Arismendy Alcantara, who dropped a routine foul pop-up, extending Romano’s first inning by more than a dozen pitches. In the 3rd inning, the Reds second baseman muffed an easy ground ball, allowing Eric Thames to reach first base where he scored on Ryan Braun’s home run.
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 is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.