In a game filled with TOOTBLANs and umpiring that made you yearn for robots calling balls and strikes, the Reds dropped their fourth straight game on Friday night, falling 7-5 to the Cardinals. Once again, the team’s starting pitcher was unable to get deep into the game, and while the offense mounted a late-inning comeback, it was too little too late.

Saturday’s game was rained out, but — weather permitting — the Reds will try to right the ship today to conclude what turned out to be a brief series. (Note: The teams have not announced a makeup date for yesterday’s contest.)

Starting Pitchers

Pitchers IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Bronson Arroyo
21.0
6.86
4.54
18.0%
5.6%
Mike Leake
27.1
1.32
3.18
19.2%
3.9%

If you were told five years ago that either Bronson Arroyo or Mike Leake would be on the 2017 Reds — but not both — how many of you would’ve guessed the former? (Put your hand down, you liar!) Arroyo, at 40 years old, is coming off his best start of the comeback tour with the Redlegs. Against the defending World Series champs, he fired six innings of two-run, three-hit baseball, striking out seven and walking nobody. Not many people expected to see a performance like that from Arroyo after his first three outings, and you have to applaud him for pitching such an excellent game with a mid-80s fastball against a potent offense. His overall numbers still aren’t great — and who knows if he’ll continue to pitch like that — but it was fun to see him turn back the clock, even if it was only for one day.


Mike Leake signed a five-year, $80 million contract with the Reds’ archrivals after the 2015 season. His first year in St. Louis didn’t go well in terms of results (4.69 ERA), but his peripheral stats indicated he still pitched fairly well (3.76 xFIP). This season, Leake is really showing Cardinals fans why the team made such a big investment in him. He’s been the team’s best pitcher through the first month, as you can probably tell from the numbers above.

The right-hander still won’t get confused for a strikeout pitcher, but he is fanning hitters at a rate higher than his career mark of 16.2 percent. His excellent control is still there, as well; in fact, it’s only gotten better since he arrived to his new team. He walked a career-low four percent of hitters last season and is on his way to an even lower number this season. Through his first three starts, he allowed a mere one base on balls. Leake is also inducing ground balls at a career-best clip (58.2 GB% — tied for seventh among qualified starters).

Although Leake has only been in St. Louis for a little over a year, the Reds have faced him five times. One of the two players the Reds traded Leake for, Adam Duvall, has hit well against him, going 5-for-16 with two homers and eight runs batted in. Billy Hamilton (7-for-11, 1 HR) and Zack Cozart (5-for-10, 2 2B) have also found success against their former teammate.

Lineups

Reds Cardinals
1. Billy Hamilton (CF) 1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS) 2. Aledmys Diaz (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B) 3. Matt Carpenter (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF) 4. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B) 5. Stephen Piscotty (RF)
6. Scott Schebler (RF) 6. Yadier Molina (C)
7. Jose Peraza (2B) 7. Randal Grichuk (LF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C) 8. Kolten Wong (2B)
9. Bronson Arroyo (P) 9. Mike Leake (P)

As expected, Devin Mesoraco is getting a day off after appearing in his first MLB game in over a year on Friday evening. According to the Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans, the plan is to split the catching duties right down the middle between Mesoraco and Tucker Barnhart. Bryan Price also indicated that Jose Peraza would move down in the order, and he followed through on that by batting him seventh today — the first time all season he hasn’t hit in the one or two hole. Peraza has excellent contact skills, but until he shows better plate discipline, this is a good spot for him in the lineup.

News and Notes

Update: Looks like the game will start on time.

Stat of the Day

On Friday, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hit a home run at the highest exit velocity recorded in the Statcast era (119.4 mph). That left me wondering which Reds player has the hardest hit dinger.

The current mark to beat in 2017 is 108.1 mph, set by Eugenio Suarez on April 22 against the Cubs. It was an opposite-field bomb, too.

 

Michael Lorenzen (!) currently sits in second place at 107.8 mph, while Adam Duvall is third at 107.6 mph.

Duvall holds the Reds’ record in the Statcast era with a 110.7 mph shot on July 9, 2016.

Final Thoughts

Today might be another rain-filled day for the Reds. Should they play, the team could desperately use another six-inning start, or longer, from Arroyo (it seems like I’ve written some iteration of this in every game thread, doesn’t it?). Cincinnati’s starters haven’t given the team any chance to win this week. Since Arroyo’s start last Sunday, the other members of the rotation have pitched only 16.2 innings, allowing 25 earned runs, 32 hits, 11 walks, and six home runs. Let’s see if he can defy age once more and toss another gem.

Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

Join the conversation! 97 Comments

  1. Would any team other than the Cincinnati Reds be giving Billy Hamilton (.211/.258/.244) the most at bats? Hamilton and Peraza are two of the ten worst hitters (based on wRC+) in the major leagues.

    • If he’s moving Peraza down in the lineup, surely he has to be looking at the stats and seeing that Hamilton is similarly worthy of a demotion in the order.

      • INSANITY – look in the dictionary and you will see a pic of Bryan Price by the definition –

        Simply unbelievable

      • I posted on another thread…But nationals lost their CF for the season…Adam eaton. Dusty would be the perfect fit for Hamilton and the Reds could grab a top A/AA player in return.

        • I thought about that when I read the news of Eaton going down.

        • I was wondering the same thing, Old School. Either trade for Hamilton, or perhaps the Nationals would move Trea Turner to the outfield, and gee, who do we know who might have a shortstop available?? I don’t know if Peraza’s struggles and/or Herrera’s issues have prompted the Reds to consider keeping Cozart, but I’ll bet Dusty would love to have him.

          • They moved Turner last year to and fro….I gotta think they want him to stay at SS…But Cozart would be the perfect 6 month fit. Nats have some solid young position prospects including shortstop.

    • But then no one fast would be at the top of the lineup!!!!1!!

      • Hamilton’s .258 OBP is bench- worthy. His 19 strikeouts is 3rd behind Duvall (22) & Schebler(21). Finally his 9 runs scored is less than every other Reds starting position player that’s not named Tucker. If Price is going to bat Hamilton & Peraza 1,2; he should trade spots between Votto & the pitcher. Batting 9th, Joey gets more opportunities to drive in runs.

  2. Pretty much EVERY game I watch makes me yearn for the robot strike zone. It’s past time for it to happen. Zero added value with the “human element” for strike and ball calling.

  3. Has there been any indication that the game will be delayed?

  4. IMO, spending power mostly trumps managerial ability. But, for small budget teams, a manager can be a difference maker (Francona, Yost…love or loathe his strategy, KC has a title).

    Regarding Hamilton/Peraza at the top of the order….

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2017/03/23/likely-billy-hamilton-jose-peraza-joey-votto-hitting-1-2-3/99544142/

    “Starting 85 games in the leadoff spot was slugger Carlos Santana, a guy not known for his speed on the bases or athleticism. But he did get on base, posting a .385 on-base percentage hitting atop the order in 2016.

    It got Price thinking. Should Reds on-base machine Joey Votto bat first?

    “The more that I saw Santana doing it last year, it gave me pause to think about it,” Price said. “But no, I think the value is where (Votto) is.”

    Votto may not be hitting leadoff in 2017, but Price more or less has his top three spots settled. Billy Hamilton will hit first, followed by Jose Peraza. Votto will slot in at third, like he has most of his career. It’s not the perfect configuration, but it’s one Price is content to start the season with.”

    Whether Price is the right manager for the contention window, IMO, is still to be, “sorted.”

    But, it is still the first month of 6, less than 15% of the games played. Lots of innings to be grinded through before trends about virtually everyone in a Reds uniform except Votto can be drawn.

    • I think batting Suarez leadoff wouldn’t be bad either. He is getting on base well too.

  5. A good outing by Arroyo certainly would help, but unless Hamilton figures out how to get on base and Duvall starts hitting again it’s going to be quite hard to win a game again.

  6. Billy has no power and so far hasn’t got on base so you end up with no runs scored and no runs driven in by your lead off guy.Biggest issue as Steve said is do you want him to be one of the guys that gets the most at-bats each game?

  7. Cripes, Marty wanted that pitch to be a passed ball? It was, to quote Ueker, “just a little bit outside.”

  8. Today’s Lineup, if the Reds cared about winning:

    3B – Suarez
    SS – Cozart
    1B – Votto
    RF – Schebler
    LF – Duvall**
    CA – Mesoraco
    2B – Peraza
    CF – Hamilton
    P –

    *Gennett plays three out of four games in left, 2nd, or right.
    **Until Winker is ready, then platoon until Winker is ready full time.
    Why not?

  9. Change the lineup, and the duo of Peraza and Hamilton still kill the inning, along with having Arroyo try to bunt. Frustrating.

  10. I mean I’m sorry but Price needs to go. If the current trajectory continues, we should be hiring a new manager by the ASG. #FirePrice

  11. Price is still a relatively inexperienced major league manager, and he’s a former pitcher, so we can’t really expect him to know that offensive statistics mean anything. He’ll need at least another three or four seasons before he can master complex baseball topics like “don’t assume your worst hitter will probably get a hit.” We need to be patient.

  12. Its who we are on offense.Four hits in two innings and don’t come through with RISP.No situational hitting,no moving the runners over its like we aren’t even aware of what’s going on in the game.Holding Scott at third for the pitcher?Trying to bunt with the pitcher so Billy can drive them in?Come on lets get real or better yet think a little.

    • I think Schebler would have been a dead duck at home. Other stuff, I agree with.

    • Arroyo would have been an automatic double play if he was allowed to hit there. Continuing to play a Hamilton is a mistake.

      • There’s no such thing as an automatic double play. That’s why they pitched to Tucker. arroyo has some hits and fly balls in his career.

  13. Peraza may not be baseball smart. He swings like he is Giancarlo Stanton. Very disappointing. Dusty will not want Hamilton. Nobody will want Hamilton. He is an automatic out. Marty Brennaman is all mouth..he knows nothing about baseball. Calling that a passed ball is an insult to Barnhart and all catchers. Thankfully the official scorer is intelligent and fair minded which Brennaman is neither.

  14. How about Schebler to CF and call up Winker or give Ervin a chance in CF. Use Hamilton as pinch runner and late inning defense. Gennett to 2B. Peraza to back up duty.

  15. Gonna pitch around Schebler too to get to Peraza?

  16. Schebler could have been thrown out at home and Arroyo could have hit into a double play but giving away an out trying to bunt and expecting Billy to get a hit is just bad bad decision making.

    • The mistake is having Hamilton in the game.

    • Apparently his belief is that Hamilton had a better chance of getting on base than Arroyo reaching base, hitting a medium deep fly ball, or hitting any kind of grounder that couldn’t be turned into a double play. I don’t believe there’s any statistic anywhere that can support this theory. But worst case scenario is theeadoff hitter starts the next inning, which is normally supposed to be a good thing.

  17. not even worth a challenge. Schebler was out. So close, as always, but no.

  18. In the 2013 draft the Reds took Phillip Ervin with the 27th pick in the 1st round. The Yankees took Aaron Judge with the 32nd pick in the 1st round.

    • Judge has struck out 22 times in 73 ABs. In 2016, he struck out 42 times in 84 ABs.

  19. We need to continue to put the pressure on Leake this inning.He is about to break.Its time for a crooked number to go on the board for the good guys.

  20. OOPS an eight pitch inning for Leake.Now that’s more like us.Thought for a minute after he had threw 62 pitches in the first 3 innings that we might be learning something but glad I was wrong.

    • The only thing the Reds had going for them against Leake was that they had run his pitch count up, but that inning helped him catch up. Sad. But with Peraza and the pitcher’s spot there, hard to be surprised.

  21. Hamilton, Cozart, Votto went 1,2,3 and out fast in the next inning.

  22. Bases loaded for them and nobody out.This could be the ball game right here.

  23. And, that was fun while it lasted ….

  24. Ball game but it is what it is for now.It will get better from a pitching stand point once we get guys back but our offense is so inconsistent.We had 5 hits and a walk through 3 innings and the next 6 guys go out in order on 16 pitches.

  25. 100+ losses and if they don’t make it wasn’t because of any degree of execution or preparedness. Reds fans can take losing but this makes 12 out of 15 with no hope in sight. See if you can deal Votto and let me know when next year starts?

    • Votto isn’t going anywhere. He’s not waiving that no-trade clause. Any trade would put a lot of expectations on him in the new market. He doesn’t seem the type to welcome that pressure or attention.

      There isn’t a better situation for him to grind out enough numbers to possibly get in the Hall of Fame…. small market with compliant media, hitter’s park and less travel than many teams, especially those in the West divisions.

  26. It’s all my fault, friends. I got an e-mail telling me I could buy MLB.tv for 1/2 price and, since it ended up only $6 more than what I normally spend on it for Fathers’ Day, I jumped at the chance. Had I waited like I should have done and have done in past years, I’m sure our Reds would have won against the Dirty Birds.

    Sorry for the trouble I’ve caused.

  27. Schebler and Duvall showed up today with 5 of our 7 hits so far.

  28. How does Peraza not score on that double with 2 outs? Unbelievable?

  29. Peraza and Billy need to set for a few games.You can’t hide them in the lineup right now.They are contributing nothing on offense.

  30. They’ll come out in the next one though and lose 8-6 with 11 hits and 3 HRs

  31. If we don’t homer we can’t win.We have eight hits and a walk with one run.We don’t seem to have any baseball IQ as to how to run the bases or move guys over or work the count or bunt or anything.I can’t believe I even said bunt.I must be losing it.I have no clue why Peraza doesn’t score on Tucker’s double with two outs.I am not watching so I don’t know.

    • The other day the Reds had 4 HRs, double, and 3 singles with 3 walks and 3 Brewer errors and scored 4 total runs! How is that possible?

  32. Bronson Arroyo’s ERA is 7.20, worst in the NL. His FIP is 5.76, one of the 5 worst in the NL.

    • He does suck…don’t get me wrong but you could see the 3 run double today from a mile away! Of course why put Storen or Lorenzen into the game when its still in reach? Storen has been a ground ball machine but who needs doubleplays anyway?

  33. Nice to see Duvall hitting the ball hard. Goes opp for an RBI double, and scores on a Suarez flare to right!

  34. (Note to Suarez. Let’s not get picked off third today.)

  35. And Bad Bronson is off the hook today

  36. LOL. Either facing Arroyo put the Cardinals to sleep or they just aren’t that good.

    More likely both.

  37. Hate the Cards but you have to like Gyrko … very workman-like approach no matter where he’s playing on the field.

  38. Love seeing Schebler get a big hit against a lefty.

  39. Of course you could see the 3 run double coming because Bronson can go bad really quickly.He did that when he was good so it will not go away now that he is 40 years old.Unless it is to save innings for the younger guys by having him start he doesn’t need to start.Personally I would much rather see young guys pitch to begin with but Bronson was done even before Fowler had the 11 or 12 pitch at bat.He just doesn’t have it.Lets face it Bronson and Feldman are just here until guys get healthier or they give their spot to one of the young guys.Price and the Reds are looking down the road.

    • Well he might be able to trick guys for an atbat or 2 and we really don’t have 5 better starters right now. At the same time he’s blocking a younger arm and we have kids getting crushed right now anyway so why not give Bob Steve or Romano or even Tyler Mahle a shot?

  40. Nice inning by Wandy, wow.

  41. Works for me INDY RED MAN.We just have to be patient with young pitchers because they will have a stinker every now and then and may have more of them then we like but you have to let them prove they can or can’t.Let the young guy play.

  42. Love the TV commentary about Rosenthall while he walks Tucker on 4 straight balls.

  43. Maybe we give Winker or Ervin a call but I think for now Duvall/Schebler stay.Yeah I know its just one game but it does show how guys can turn it around.Scott Schebler hits it hard and does work the count and does take walks.We need more like him.

  44. Trevor didn’t fool Mes one bit

  45. Does that pitcher have a right to think he’s getting squeezed a bit? Some of those pitches looked pretty close …

  46. Walkie-Walkie … can we squeak at least 1 run out of this here?

  47. Saw that coming … bottom of the zone. It’s up to Joey.

  48. And now for the Adam Duval show … nice work, Joey!

  49. 23 more runs for the Nats today? Dusty will screw it up in the end but they’re strong!

    • It’s also a beautiful ballpark. I had the chance to see 2 games there last season.

  50. Nice work, Iggy … with a little help from The Neck Tattoo and Matheny

  51. If the Reds hold on to this one, they will have 11 wins in first month of the season….4 of them in Saint Louis.

    That isn’t going to sit well with the self-proclaimed “Baseball Fans in Baseball.”

  52. Man, Schebler could have 5 hits today but for Cardinals actually playing some defense.

  53. Looked safe to me …….

  54. So worried about Mes hitting into a DP that they tried THAT instead? Ouch.

  55. Not watching so I don’t know about trying to steal home?

    • With Mes at the plate, they sent Alcantara to second. The second baseman fielded the throw in front of second base and threw Peraza out at the plate EASILY. Never touched the plate, just grazed the waiting mitt of Molina.

  56. I’ll take the result every day.

  57. What an encouraging win! I turned the TV off at 4-0. Looks like the back end of the bullpen is turning into Peralta and Iglesias.

  58. April is in the books. Duvall .247 AVG, .292 OBP, 49 TB, 16 runs &17 RBI. Schebler .244 AVG, .319 OBP, 49 total bases, 12 R & 18 RBI. Winker ( AAA ball) .268 AVG, .349 OBP, 23 TB, 5 runs, 9 RBI plus 1 for2 , a 2 RBI double in ML. There’s just no case for a Winker promotion or a Schebler/ Duvall demotion from starting lineup.

    • Bou, you should mention the # of games each has played. It will tell you way more about these numbers than just putting them out there.

      • Winker =73AB (71 in Louisville), Schebler =82, & Duvall =89. There still is no case.

        • So in other words, there isn’t much data to support a case either way at this point. Which is why we shouldn’t expect Winker to be brought up now or one of the other guys being demoted (no matter how well/poorly anyone is playing). Perhaps as we approach June, we then have enough information.

  59. Well put MRRED.The data is what it is and with guys that have very little playing time in the big leagues you must be patient.However when they are going bad as position players always do from time to time as a manager you can do some things to help them.Things such as a day off against a tough pitcher or dropping them down in the order come to mind.Its also on them to take extra hitting look at film talk to vets such as Votto on hitting.Duvall has his first full year last year and exceeded a lot of people’s expectations.Schebler had a really good second half and has turned it around the last few games and had a big hit off a lefty to tie the game.I am all for bringing up Winker because of his OBP skills and letting him play the second half but not at the expense of the two guys I mentioned.I am a big Billy fan but unless he turns it around by mid season I would think Scott moves to center and Billy sets.I know Billy brings elite defense but he never walks and does not hit for any power so do we go forward with him or not?He does have value as a pinch runner and a late inning defensive replacement if we can carry him on an already short bench.Not ready to give up on him but this is his fourth year I believe.

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About Matt Wilkes

Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

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