2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Amir Garrett struggles, but a new star is born

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (10-10) 7 9 1
Milwaukee Brewers (10-11) 11 9 4
W: Torres (1-2) L: Garrett (2-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–With one out in the fourth inning — and the Reds losing 10-4 — Ariel Hernandez entered the game for the Reds to make his major league debut. Hernandez was just called up from Double-A, the eighth player to make his MLB debut so far for the Reds this season.

He was electrifying.

Hernandez pitched 2.2 perfect innings, striking out five Brewers. He threw 30 pitches, and 21 were strikes (and remember, the knock on Hernandez has been his inability to throw strikes with any regularity). He hit 100 mph on the radar gun a number of times, while displaying incredible breaking stuff. A bright light on a mostly dim evening for the ol’ Redlegs.

–The Reds did score seven runs, which should be enough to win on most nights. Not tonight. Scott Schebler was the hitting star, with a homer and 4 RBI. Zack Cozart continued to delight and amaze, reaching base four times: double, triple, two walks, three runs scored. Stuart Turner had two doubles, a walk, and 2 RBI. Joey Votto doubled and walked twice.

–Drew Storen pitched another scoreless inning, dropping his ERA to 0.69.

The Bad
–Let’s not sugarcoat it: Amir Garrett was not good tonight. I think we can forgive the young guy, right?

Over 3.1 innings, Garrett surrendered 10 runs (9 earned) on eight hits and four walks. Unlike his previous starts, Garrett wasn’t hammering the strike zone: he threw 80 pitches, but only 45 were strikes.

–Jose Peraza was 1-5; he’s now “hitting” .215/.253/.253.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–I’m sick of losing to the Brewers.

–After getting down by a boatload of Milwaukee runs early, the Reds actually had a chance to tie the game in the eighth. With the score 10-5, Cozart doubled and Turner walked. After a very nice ovation from the Miller Park fans, former Brewer Scooter Gennett struck out for the second out of the inning. Billy Hamilton walked to load the bases, and Peraza singled up the middle to make the score 10-6.

That brought Joey Votto — representing the tying run — to the plate with bases loaded and two outs. He hit the ball sharply up the middle, but the Brewers had the shift on and it was an easy out. Even the greats make outs occasionally.

–Young pitchers struggle. It happens. They’re up-and-down. No reason not to believe that Garrett will be dominant in his next outing.

–Milwaukee’s Eric “Babe Ruth” Thames hit two more home runs against the Reds tonight. That makes 7 HR in 5 games against Cincinnati this season. This is getting ridiculous.

–Eugenio Suarez went 0-5 but scored two runs. That seems like a rare feat.

–The Reds really seem to have hit the jackpot with Ariel Hernandez. That was a fun debut.

67 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Amir Garrett struggles, but a new star is born

  1. Don’t get Price’s claim that he was short-handed in the bullpen. Only Stephenson pitched on Saturday. Only Wood (10), Peralta (17) and Iglesias (26) pitched on Sunday. So Stephenson, Storen, Lorenzen and Hernandez were fresh. It would have been second night in a row for Wood and Peralta, but neither had thrown many pitches yesterday. If Price had pulled Garrett at 6-4, you wonder what the score would have ended up. Maybe there are health factors we don’t know about. But it seemed Price wasn’t managing aggressively (relievers and using pinch hitters) early in the game when it was still close.

    • The worst of all worlds. If the bullpen wasn’t rested enough to hit for Garrett leading off the 4th down by 2 runs, why was it rested enough to remove Garrett with one out in the 4th down by 4 runs? He’d still only thrown 80 pitches, and it wasn’t like his performance in the 4th could have come as any surprise to anyone, so why not let him at least try to finish the inning? Maybe he can turn it around and last another two innings. Either you try to win this game by using everyone at your disposal, or you save the bullpen for tomorrow and leave your starter out there for 100 pitches regardless of the score. Price managed to do neither. He managed to decrease the chances of winning this game AND the next game.

      • It may have just been a mercy thing. By the 4th, Garrett was all over the place, and whatever he could get over was being clobbered. No way he was going to be able to pitch through it. Hope he can rebound.

    • Yeah, I don’t get that either. Maybe Price forgot that
      he’s supposed to be leading a modern bullpen revolution.

      That aside, we all knew Garrett was going to struggle sometime. Will be watching to see how (if?) he can bounce back the next time out.

      Absolutely floored by the stuff Hernandez was showing. His ball moves like Iggy, but he can throw even harder. If he can keep finding the strikezone the Reds, who thus far have had one of the best bullpens in baseball, suddenly have an even more formidable bullpen. It’s exciting to think about, but I’m waiting to see if he can have a few more good outings.

      Everything else: Good guys scored 7 runs, which keeps them on pace for being one of the most potent offenses in baseball. Nice to see Schebler get a couple of hits. Don’t look now, but Schebler’s OBP (.267) has nearly caught up to Duvall’s (.269) all while having a AVG about 30 points below (.191 vs .222). I think it’s about time for Schebler and Duvall to catch fire and carry this team for a few weeks. Please do that, fellas.

      Cozart just keeps driving up his trade value. I really wonder what the Reds could get if they packaged him with one of their young pitchers (Rookie Davis?).

      Feldman goes against Davies tomorrow. Nothing against Feldman, but I’m not really all that interested when he pitches. He’s not one of the young kids who might be part of the next great Reds team, and he’s not a 40 year old pitcher on the comeback trail throwing in the mid 70’s. He’s just sort of…. There. Either way, hope he pitches well and the Reds can get back in the winning column.

    • I am convinced Price just does not look at maximizing his chances to score runs, it starts with line up construction, then sacrificing runners to third, and goes all the way to in other game strategies. I get sending him out there in the 3rd (hoping he settles down), but bat him in the 3rd. I know Hernandez was throwing good, but down 10-5 in the 6th with a 5 man bench, runner on 2nd and 1 out, unbelievable that you do PH just to get one more inning from Hernandez,

      • I’m convinced he never gave a moment of thought to offense in his entire baseball career until he became a manager. All pitching all the time. In that regard, it makes him a novice with offensive strategy.

    • and another thing, Reed only threw 2 innings Saturday would think you could go to him since he is not scheduled to start any more

      • Reed threw 69 pitches in those 2 innings. They are not going to push him out there after throwing that many pitches.

  2. Are the brewers the Kryptonite to the 2017 reds, or have we played over our heads at the beginning of the season? I still see a lot of talent on this team to be hopeful for the future. I guess the future is not now.

    • I think it’s going to be an up and down team. I truly feel we can play .500 ball.

  3. TRULY RARE FEAT DEPT.- June 30, 1977- Joe Morgan goes 0-2 and scores 5 runs and steals 2 bases. He walked 3 times, reached on an error as well as a fielder’s choice in an 11-5 victory over SF at Riverfront. How about that?

  4. It is a bit of stretch to say that Votto “hit the ball sharply” with the bases loaded. He got it to a full count, having swung and missed at a good fastball for the second strike, then hit a pretty routine ground ball. But for the now ubiquitous shift, it would have been a hit.

    • He also fouled off several of Garza 91 mph fastballs in the 1st when the Reds failed to score Billy from 3rd with no outs.

      • What’s your point? Dotson clearly stated that even the Greats make outs.

    • 81.7mph EV. I’d also agree “sharply” isn’t quite the right word.

      Regardless, in a “normal” defensive configuration, that’s a base hit.

  5. Jose Peraza was 1-5; he’s now “hitting” .215/.253/.253.

    Meanwhile, Cozart is ripping the cover off the ball. Even Chris Welsh said Cozart should be moved up in the lineup. I’m sure it’ll take Price three more weeks to figure it out.

    • Peraza is a rookie will be with the Reds for many years he needs the at bats for experience and so the Reds can see what he can do…. c
      Cozart will be gone before all-star break… That is they are batting in the order that they are. Nothing more.

      • Well that just shows the incompetence of the manager .. refusing to shuffle the lineup that gives the team the best chance to win. That’s his job .

        • Amen to that. shake up the batting order. Move Peraza to 8, Cozart to 1 or 2, swap Duvall and Suarez, shift the rest accordingly

        • The fact that his lineup is generally the same between LHP and RHP shows he legitimately gives zero thought to his lineups.

          If I were Castellini, I’d ask for some of his salary back since he’s not doing his job.

    • Where was Peraza in batting order last season when he performed well? Maybe lessen pressure on him if he moves down lineup.

  6. Eric Thames will join Bill Hall and Scooter Gennet in the Hall of Fame wing dedicated to the Brewer greats who made a living hitting Reds pitching.

    • Duvall and Schebler play regularly for 2-3 months irrespective of the ups and downs. The Reds have to find out if they are long-term solutions and what roles they might fill in the future. After 2-3 months, it’s next man up (Winker/Ervin) if they pull a Heisey.

    • We’re literally 20 games into the season. There are no huge slumps yet. He’s been hitting fine this year.

  7. I really do like Billy. Peraza…to be determined. But I sure do long for a Pete Rose-type lead off hitter….its been so long since the Reds have had one

    • Four years doesn’t seem so long, but time reference for the Old Cossack may be different than others. I know it is certainly different for the Old Cossack than it is for the young Cossacks.

      .285/.423/.462

      That performance from the leadoff position, combined with Votto’s .305/.435/.491, helped make Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips ‘offensive legends’ by producing over 100 RBI’s each.

  8. Despite having MLB.TV premium, I was blacked out from watching last night. I live in Madison, WI, which is in the Brewers’ territory, so I knew the Reds telecast would be blacked out. But Fox Sports Wisconsin showed the Bucks NBA playoff game instead of the Brewers, and MLB didn’t intercede to let me watch Fox Sports Ohio. I say all that because I was disappointed I didn’t get to watch Hernandez pitch. Glad to read that he was very impressive!

    • Hernandez was certainly impressive, but I think we need to temper our enthusiasm a bit until we see consistent performances. The young players will have both stellar and miserable performances at the major league level as they, and the league, adapt and find their level of excellence. or not. It’s always nice to see the players immediately move the needle to the very good side of the meter rather than the very bad side of the meter. Amir had the same kind of push out of the chute too.

      As long as the Reds can differentiate the performers from the pretenders by the end of the season, this rebuild will be moving along properly…you know, that sorting thing…

      • I think the timetable for sorting is going to be much shorter. With Disco/Homer/Finnegan returning, veterans and rookies alike will have about 6 weeks to prove their worth before the opportunities dry up.

      • I completely agree with Cossack. I didn’t fully understand how the “sorting” strategy would be executed, but it is becoming clearer. For starting players like Schebler (and maybe Peraza), they are giving them every chance to play their way out of early hitting slumps. They have to know more than they knew from the small sample sizes from 2016 about these two. The young pitchers are all getting an opportunity, and the ones who deliver consistently are going to be the ones who move to the front of the pitching depth chart at the end of the year.

  9. It appears that Ariel could be the replacement for Aroldis in the Reds relief corps. Could this mean that Lorenzen will go to the starting rotation?

    • Just because he throws 100+ doesn’t mean he will be the replacement. Let’s give it some time before we start making generalizations.

  10. Have to give Doug Gray some credit. He’s been driving the Ariel Hernandez bandwagon for months now. He’s been telling us that this was on the way, and what a great pickup he was.

  11. Peraza’s swing rate on non-strikes is completely maddening. At least Billy has 6 walks to 11 strikeouts, which gives a glimmer of hope for improvement, but batting these guys 1-2 is negligence.

    I get that position players need more rope, but on some level Price has to hold them to the same standard as Stephenson and Reed and Romano. Don’t think the players can’t see that.

    To me it’s as obvious as the nose on my face, but inserting Winker into RF and batting him second (Peraza 8th) would quickly fix the lineup issues.

    • Bench Schebler? He’s going into a heater as we speak! Winker looks like a promising hitter but he needs to show more power and they need another year of Duvall/Schebler to find out what they’re really all about. Winker will get his chance.
      Now I totally agree on Billy/Jose 1&2! Move one of them to 9th and put Cozart or Suarez 2nd! Cozart is locked in like he’s never been before and making a ton of contact and spraying the ball around! He’s also taking walks which is unusual for him. Its only common sense to give Suarez, Cozart, or even Schebler more atbats because they can do more damage!

      • Why does Winker need to show more power? He’s productive as-is. Yes, it’d be nice if he did show more power, but it isn’t a prerequisite for him being a productive member of the Reds lineup. A .300/.375/.400 hitter isn’t a world-beater, but he’s above league average. That seems to be Winker’s 50th percentile right now, and assumes he doesn’t really get his power back.

        • A .300/.375/.400 hitter isn’t a world-beater, but he’s above league average.

          So in other words, Sean Casey?

          • Yeah. I’d take a Casey in RF. Not the optimal outcome for a highly touted prospect, but one that will provide value.

            Anyone who isn’t a bust helps the Reds future, I think.

          • Sean Casey was also a highly regarded prospect when the Reds got him. He was a fine hitter. Not a ton of power but the power isn’t everything. The Reds need guys that can get on base as well as guys who can drive the ball. If Winker doesn’t turn out to be a 20HR guy with an ISO over 150, that isn’t the end of the world if he’s walking and getting hits.

      • I actually think it is OK to bench a player when he is hitting 191, or a pitcher who has a problem with the strike zone like Reed has as a starter. I think it is ok to bring up a kid like Hernandez and give him a shot.

        Not a fan of bring up Phillip Ervin and let him sit with a Left Hander on the hill, especially when you have a LH hitting 190 starting.

        I am in favor of letting a manager try some things with his pitching staff and play his hunches in developing young pitchers.

        I really like Schebler and thought that we would not miss a beat in losing Jay Bruce this year. But that beat cannot be the prolonged slump as we have no indication that he will come out of it like Jay Bruce.

        Play them all and see what you got. We will be dealing soon, pitching and prospects to upgrade our team. I would love Billy, Adam and Scott to be part of our future, but not if the do not figure it out.

        Suarez has, and Price was very patient with him last year when he stunk on ice both at bat and in the field. We need to appreciate that. Peraza has that same stench this year along with our outfielders.

        I hope that they can play there way through it, or that our Manager makes some tough choices to play the hot hand and stay in a pennant chase with a bunch of kids. I like Price and would like him to make good decisions that will make him part of the future.

        If not, I will look forward to our new manager

        • Schebler has a 92 wRC+ and plays above average defense in right field. Quality of hits matter, and Schebler hits are good ones. I’ll take Schebler’s line any day of the week over Hamilton and Peraza. It’s pretty clear that Ervin was not brought up to play, merely have a cup of coffee and get paid well to be better prepared next time. I think it is a pretty good practice actually. Seems like a win-win.

          • I don’t disagree with what you are saying CP. Scott was scuffling last week and ended up going 0-4 with 2 Ks versus Lester. I think that would have been a great night to set him down for a break

            I do like the practice of bringing guys up even for a cup of coffee

  12. Hernandez was incredible!! Righties are never going to hit that guy! Surely they can piece together a decent to good rotation with the arms in the organization and then they have the chance to have a shutdown pen w/Peralta, Hernandez, and Iggy! Rookie Davis goes tomorrow and they’ve got Romano at Lville. Tyler Mahle & Luis Castillo should get a shot w/the Reds this year as well!

    • Don’t forget Tanner Rainey, who has struck out 20 of the 34 batters he’s faced at Daytona, while giving up only two hits and no walks.

  13. Forgive me guys, I’m always late coming to this party given the three hour time difference . . . last night was another exercise in maddening (manager-wise). I simply do not understand BP’s inability to both manage the talent while attempting to play to win. How else does one expect to build a “winner?” Agree w/ the majority here regarding juggling some measure of the lineup, though let’s face it – 7 runs is nothing to sneer at; but you have to capitalize on as many opportunities as possible (like Billy on third with no outs in the first). Getting tired of the inability to throw strikes, getting behind in counts early and making Thames look like the second coming of Reggie. For roughly five years I’ve been fuming (privately) that the Reds lack leadership . . . (DW aside – breath of somewhat fresh air) guess I’m out of the closet now.

    As always, I appreciate the RLN banter/insights/analysis . . . it doesn’t exactly soften last night’s blow (or the last homestand); but it gets me to the next game time. Cheers

      • Leaving Garrett in to give up his 9th & 10th run was pretty stupid too! It was completely obvious that he didn’t have anything last night! We have a 13 man pitching staff after all!

      • And he hit like a god in Korea. Apparently he learned to lay off bad pitches. He looks like a legit MLB hitter to me. He always had big power, even in his first stint in MLB.

      • The reason may have been to learn to hit breaking stuff–Chris Welsh suggested that. In the meantime, since he hits the Reds like Bonds, walk him every time.

  14. A little off topic, but not Reds topics. Someone over at Doug Gray’s site recommended this for reading. What an awesome article by former Red Yonder Alonso. A letter to his younger 8 year old self.
    RLN ought to re-run this article the week of fathers day in June. It is tremendous.

    https://www.theplayerstribune.com/yonder-alonso-athletics-letter-to-my-younger-self/

    I remember when he made his Reds debut and his family was in the stands. Jim Day did his usual good interview with them.
    You won’t be disappointed in reading this one.

  15. Impressive outing but lets not get ahead of ourselves. This guys reputation is like a lot of our other pitching prospects. Struggles with control. Hopefully he has figured it out and others will also.

  16. The same lineup going out again tonight.
    BHam>Peraza>Votto> Duvall>Suarez>Schebler>Cozart>Barnhart>P.

    Against all these RH pitchers the Brewers have, it wouldn’t hurt to throw out a lineup of
    Schebler>Gennett>Votto>Suarez>Barnhart>Cozart>Duvall>P>BHam.

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