Entering this game, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t think the Reds had a good shot at winning.  After all, they just outscored San Francisco 31-5 in a three-game tilt at Great American Ball Park. Although starter Bronson Arroyo’s ERA stood at a robust 6.53 entering the game, you sort of had the feeling the Reds could score what they needed…that turned out to be true.  The Reds are now 4-0 against the Giants in 2017.

Also, I’m sure by now you’ve heard that Bronson Arroyo and Christian Arroyo are from the same town, yet have no relation.  I find this to be quite bizarre.  Recall, of course, that Arroyo got the better of Arroyo in Arroyo v. Arroyo I, yet tonight, Arroyo got the better of Arroyo in Arroyo v. Arroyo II. (Sorry.  I wrote this and couldn’t bring myself to delete it.)




-Eugenio Suarez started a fantastic double play in the 2nd inning off the bat of Nick Hundley.  Suarez’s defense is looking to be legit; not a flash in the pan.  Coming into this game, Suarez ranked 1st among third baseman in Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) with 7, 1st in Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) at 3.9, and 1st in UZR per 150 games (UZR/150) at 19.5.  His DRS of 7 is 2nd in MLB for players at all positions.

-Billy Hamilton had two base hits and scored two runs.  The narrative lately has been ‘When Billy goes, the Reds go.’  Tonight was not an exception.

-Zack Cozart blistered two doubles, one of which scored Scooter Gennett from 3rd as the go-ahead run in the 8th.  We are more than 20% of the way through the season and Cozart is hitting .356/.444/.596.  Pretty amazing stuff from Zack.

-Joey Votto knocked in the first two runs of the game with a ground out and a broken bat single.  He was intentionally walked in the 8th.

-Wandy Peralta is the man.  He inherited two runners from Drew Storen and one runner from Scooter Gennett.  None of them scored.  If he can be even 85% of his current self, along with Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias, he makes up 1/3 of a New Age Nasty Boys.

-More on Bronson below.


-The Reds lineup allowed Ty Blach to get through the first 3 innings of the game tossing only 30 pitches. That’s usually a recipe for nothing good.  They reached Blach for a run in the 4th, but the average outcome in that situation would have been 2 runs.  (Yeah, this is a stretch for “THE BAD” section, but I dislike all this free swinging tomfoolery!)

-Jose Peraza continues to look terrible at the plate.  His 1.5% walk rate is worst in baseball, narrowly taking that distinction from Brandon Phillips.

-After Votto was intentionally walked in the 8th, Adam Duvall struck out and Suarez flied out.  I hate when the ‘ol IBB on Votto works.


-Bronson Arroyo tossed 6 innings, giving up 2 runs while striking out 3 and walking only 1 batter.  He continues to be aesthetically pleasing to watch pitch, but he gave up many hard-hit balls tonight and you have to think pitching in San Francisco might have saved him a little on the stat line.  Still, we’ll take many more games like tonight from Bronson, please!

-The fact that Arroyo only walked one batter should be a lesson to all the Reds young pitchers.  Giving up two solo shots isn’t the end of the world.


After a Joey Votto RBI single…

Thom: “Sounds like he broke his bat.”
Chris: “He’s got more of those.”


-Jose Peraza — of whom I had been an advocate — drives me endlessly crazy now.  His approach at the plate is to take a swing with no stride (see Power, No) in all counts.  This might be OK as a high-contact, 2-strike approach, but why guarantee yourself of hitting something weakly in early counts?  If the Reds coaching staff has informed him that his approach is “fine,” then they should all receive a “fine.”

-Billy Hamilton has scored in 11 straight games. That’ll do.

-Billy Hamilton is still without a bunt hit in 2017.  I think this is a shame.  If bunting could be part of Billy’s game, he’d be oh-so-more awesome.

-Joey Votto has 33 RBI, which is one off the MLB lead of 34 RBI by Babe Zimmerman.

-I hate watching Denard Span hit.  The way he wrenches his front foot backwards creeps me out!



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Join the conversation! 69 Comments

  1. I really liked the double switch to bring Scooter into the game. I kinda jinxed him on that error but Peralta saved the day.

    The double play started by Suarez was awesome. I thought he had two good at-bats today as well, one led to a walk.

    • Agreed. Suarez has had very few poor ABs this year. He seems to be swinging at good pitches, and working the count when he can.

    • I tend to find some bone headed issue with a lot of Price’s double switches, but this was pretty obvious, wonder why you do not do it with Storen to begin with? I suppose you want Peraza in the game, but with the great match ups for Peralta in the 8th it was good to leave him in. How bad of a fielder is Scooter? he looked like a little leaguer on that play

      • I didn’t see it, only heard it on radio. Very high pop…was San Fran wind involved maybe?

        • It was, but if the announcers are to be believed, the wind wasn’t that bad. Gennett took his eye off the ball momentarily when he was giving the signal for everyone to get away.

      • When he was a regular player his defense was near the bottom of the NL for 2nd basemen. He was definitely not going in there as a defensive replacement, but at least he got that one out of the way and Peralta was able to get out of it

        • Scooter’s played pretty well defensively with the Reds till now. I was pissed when he missed that pop-up, but watching the replays I couldn’t help but laugh.

  2. I know a lot of it is just opportunity and also a tribute to a great bullpen, but Arroyo last 5 starts have resulted in Reds wins. I think he could have gone 7 or at least done as good as Storen.

  3. This team is so fun!!!! Peralta is so nasty right now! They get the clutch hits when needed and are playing awesome defensively!

  4. off game topic, but is there any one who thinks Bonilla is better than Rookie Davis? Why put your self at a disadvantage if not? I do not agree with Amir being demoted in the short term but can find several positives in the long run, where I cannot find one for this move, unless there is some crazy plan to run Stephenson out there after a few innings to get him stretched out, but it has been 5 days since he last pitched kind of missing their window for that.

    • They said during the reporter’s visit to the radio broadcast that Rookie Davis was expecting to get sent down. He knew what Price was gonna say even before he said it, knew what he needs to work on. They must think he can’t work on this stuff at this level, I don’t know why Stephenson isn’t getting more looks, but if he is not an option, Bonilla is about all that’s left, I suspect.

  5. I would definitely like some comment on that graph. Like, what does it mean?

    Thank you in advance

    • It means as the season has gone along he is taking more pitches and swinging at less.

    • I like that graph. It’s showing that once Joey got done with his science experiment he had going at first, he has gradually become more and more selective, resulting in him swinging at better pitches and getting better results

    • Yep, as MDHABEL mentiioned, it’s all about selectivity. Votto got all his X’ and O’s worked out then got all his T’s crossed and I’s dottedduring the 1st 10 games then became the Votto we know and love.

      For the season Votto has 25 BB and 17 SO. After the 1st 10 games, Votto had 8 BB and 8 SO during the remainder of April and has 15 BB and 4 SO during May. Votto is making the pitcher come to him. He decides what pitches are hittable and he passes or spoils the pitches he does not want to hit.

  6. I’d think it again to trade Cozart, in fact, I’d try to work a contract extension. The guy is really on all cylinders hitting with top class defense. A two-year contract plus a third year option looks very logical.

    • As others on the website have said, this will likely be Cozart’s last chance to get a long-term contract. Not sure he would settle for two years, especially if he keeps some consistency with his offense and raises his value further. Would the Reds go for three years, with Alfredo Rodriguez in the minors and Peraza already in the bigs? And when Senzel arrives, either he or Suarez will need a new spot with the other staying at third.

      • You risk not being able to trade the contract in 1-2 years I’d the others become major league SS’s

        You risk not having a ML SS for your 18-20 teams without him

        I like the guy. Spend the money. BP’s contract comes off next year. Easier to juggle 2nd base than SS

    • Remember Cozart’s rookie year and the great start he had before injuring his elbow in that freaky play. Looks like he’s finally achieving that early hope…especially if he can finish the season respectfully. It’d be nice if he could stick around. Not much mention of Herrera these days (Juan Perez putting up some good stats in Louisville). Cozart will finish the year at age 32…not sure what kind of long term contract he could expect to get anywhere.

  7. When did the Reds last have this good a bench ? Maybe one of the good 1990’s teams, I haven’t checked. Barnhart, Gennett, Kivlehan, Alcantara – legit catcher, LHed bat, RHed bat, young utility guy with speed/defense who can hit.

    And the 3rd string catcher allows Barnhart/Mes to PH and be pinch run for, that’s a key.

    • It might be nitpicking, but one concern about the bench is, when does Turner ever get at-bats? If Barnhart starts, then Mes is the offensive threat off the bench, and vice versa. Turner had better be really special to sit most of the season and get so little use, for fear of losing him.

      • Turner’s the emergency catcher, and I’m all for it. He ought to get an inning or two here and there, but he’s just a warm body who can catch. You can say it’s a wasted bench spot but without him Mes/Barnhart are wasted on the bench.

        From previous seasons, we know that Price won’t bring the 2nd catcher into a game without a 3rd catcher.

        • Other thing about the bench. I love the offensive capability, but their defense has left something to be desired. Alcantara with two errors to badly hurt Romano’s one start. I hope he’s better than that in the bigger picture, but he wasn’t too solid in spring training either. Kivlehan has had a few adventures in the outfield; and Gennett looked really bad tonight on a pop-up, albeit in windy weather. … But it sure is nice to have some guys who can hit.

          • Pinson (nice to see you posting again!) has it spot on correct. Turner allows Mesoraco and Barnhart to become pinch hitters when they don’t start and they are better than any other pinch hitter who might replace Turner on the 25-man roster. Turner will get playing time during those one-sided blowouts when the backup catcher is not needed for pinch hitting duties. This is the sacrifice Turner makes for major league service time. If anyone bothers to ask him, I’d wager that he’s perfectly fine with the arrangement. Turner’s ceiling as a prospect is a backup or platoon catcher at the major league level. Sitting in the same dugout as Votto can’t hurt either.

          • The three you mentioned all do have negative Defensive WAR but positive overall WAR. So yeah, like you said I will take it

    • Gennett seems like a real gamer to me…altho I missed his pop-up error last night.

    • I actually just looked into this last night. In terms of WAR per player, the bench is projected to be right there with the 2010/2011 teams, which were actually very deep. They included guys like Ryan Hanigan, Laynce Nix, Paul Janish, Johnny Gomes, Edgar Renteria and Miguel Cairo.

      This year’s bench is really playing well right now offensively though it and is refreshing after four really bad years with no depth.

  8. It’s got to make opposing starting pitchers pause when they see the Reds’ lineup: Billy can be quite the disruptor, Cozart has been hitting .350 all year, Votto is no longer giving the pitcher a freebie first-pitch called strike and is raking, Duvall-Suarez-Schebler with power. And the catching spot is no pushover at the plate. If Peraza ever got it together, it would take out the one obvious weakness.

    • And imagine if Mes regained his power stroke. The power in the lineup would equal the 1956 Reds, who tied the team major league record for HRs in a season (221 in 154).

      Peraza can hit at the major league level but they’ve got to settle him down.

  9. A few other thoughts:

    — Why would anyone EVER throw Peraza a strike? He’s gonna swing at so much garbage, so let him get himself out.

    — I don’t get why Billy was trying to steal third with Votto at the plate in the sixth inning and one out. It worked out because Votto singled on the pitch, but Billy is already in scoring position, and I’d just as soon not have him distracting Votto at the plate. As it happened, if Votto had hit that ball just a little harder, the outfielder would have caught it and Billy would have been doubled off.

    — It looked for all the world like Duvall lost track of the count when he batted in the fourth inning. He had a golden opportunity to drive Cozart in from third with one out, and with the count 0-2, Duvall took a good-looking pitch for strike three. But he reacted like it was strike 2, and stepped one foot out of the batter’s box as if regrouping for the next pitch. You could see the umpire telling Duvall that, no, that was strike 3.

    • Good comments. Billy tries to still 3rd too often. It’s good to dance around on 2nd base and bother the pitcher but it doesn’t mean you need to steal 3rd. Billy’s judgment on the bases has gotten better but he still needs to learn when the risk isn’t worth the reward.

    • Billy, fast as he is, wouldn’t tag and score from second on a sac fly. Tight game. One run mattered.

      • Or, as Sir Edmund Hillary said, speaking of Mt. Everest instead of third base, “because it’s there.”

    • The Old Cossack is going to take a different track than Pinson on this situation. Hamilton has a success rate > 90% in stolen base attempts. There was already 1 out when Votto came to the plate with Hamilton on 2B. With Hamilton on 2B, a base hit from Votto or Duvall would be required to score the run (exceptions for errors, wild pitches, etc.) I believe the chance to score a run from 3B with 1 out is significantly higher than the chance to score a run from 2B with 1 out, even taking into consideration the 90% success (10% failure) rate on the stolen base attempt.

      Yes, Hamilton could have been doubled off on a hard-hit line drive, but that’s true with virtually every stolen base attempt. Hamilton could have also scored on a ground out during the stolen base attempt or on an error at 3B during the stolen base attempt. This was not a sac bunt situation where the team is giving up an out to advance a base. This is playing the percentages for run creation in the 6th inning with the Reds down by 1 run. This is Hamilton’s game and the reason he can manufacture runs at a much higher rate than anyone else when he gets on base.

      • Agreed Cossack. The number of outs makes all the difference there (along with the fact that it’s Hamilton on 2nd, of course). I think it’s worth the risk in that scenario. The wisdom is that there are so many more ways to score from third. For Billy thoughts possibilities are not just more numerous, but also more likely. The passed ball doesn’t have to squirt so far away, the bobble doesn’t have to be quite so bobbly, the hesitation can be oh so brief – and he still scores. With no one out, stay at 2nd. With one out, head to third.

    • Agree with GREENMTRED. At 2nd Votto needed a base hit to drive in Billy. If billy steals 3rd then Votto can drive him in with a ground out to 1st (like he did in the 4th).

  10. OK, one more: I get irked when Reds pitchers make too good of a pitch on an 0-2 count and get burned. but it was the Giants’ turn tonight. Strickland gave up the leadoff triple to Gennett (which Span should have caught), Hamilton grounds out without getting the run in, and Cozart is down in the count 0-2. And just after Chris Welsh says there’s no way he would consider throwing Cozart a fastball, the pitcher does, and Cozart rifles it into left-center to bring in the run.

  11. Strickland is the master of fat fastballs on 0-2 counts. The Reds pitchers do that too, I assume it’s a matter of missing the target, such as trying to go up the ladder but missing.

  12. The pitching matchups for the next 2 games are scary. The Reds face Cueto tonight, he rarely loses at home. And then Bonilla starts for the Reds on Saturday – why on earth him, he’s been getting lit up at Louisville.

    • PS Vegastypo already answered the Bonilla question above, but Stephenson IS an option.

      • It surely seems like he should be an option. Somebody elsewhere commented that maybe they are working with Stephenson on certain things and don’t feel he is ready to start yet. I dunno.

    • He didn’t exactly distinguish himself in his earlier appearance with the Reds either, in a mop-up role. I wondered above if there just isn’t any other alternative. Romano hurt, Reed couldn’t come back up yet, I don’t think — and pitched badly earlier this week anyway. Doesn’t sound like they’re interesting in starting Stephenson …

      • Look for Stephenson to continue to work as the long man. I think he’s in the big leagues to be under Ted Power’s supervision. Maybe he gets some spot starts later in the season as he get more comfortable with MLB strike zone. Of course unless, Disco, Bailey, and Finny are healthy. BUT if Feldman stays hot, he could be flipped at the deadline.

  13. As standings looks so far, the only teams doing better than Reds are Cardinals, Nationals, Rockies & Dodgers. After Giants serie, comes a hard stretch of ten games against Cubs, Rockies & Indians, getting easier afterwards. If they can play .500 or better during that 10-games stretch things can get interesting since rotation should improve by then with Bailey and Finnegan joining it.

  14. Also, great write up, Patrick. Full and cogent coverage, and I loved the two BA centric features – The Good, The Bad and the Bronson, and the double Arroyo vs. Arroyo updates. Reminds me of the old Spy vs. Spy feature from Mad magazine, except delightfully more confusing. Nice job. I nominate you for game wrap duty on all remaining Arroyo starts whether they be few (fingers crossed) or many.

    • +50 for Patrick and the obligatory +500 for Lil’ Jeter to keep him way ahead of his old man.

    • Thanks, CFD and MSAN! I think Lil Jeter has quite the lead built up on me.

  15. It’s such a treat to wake up and check the final score after a meaningful West Coast night game involving the Reds and discovering a win! It’s been awhile. 🙂

    • Wait, what? You wen to bed while the Reds were playing baseball?! Say it ain’t so!! 😉

      • I didn’t WANT to … but I have to be at work by 8 a.m. 🙂 When I was much younger, I would go the distance, no matter what wee hour it was.

  16. Almost blew coffee out my nose on the Arroyo vs. Arroyo portion of the recap. Well done.

  17. Woke up, checked the score, dealt with the dogs, walked upstairs to my office and watched the MLB.tv condensed game. Happy Reds fan am I (fueled by good coffee and oatmeal with pure maple syrup)!

    Very workman like outing for our boys. We did what had to be done when it had to be done and, Span aside, nobody torched us for the entire night. Much closer than the last outing against Blach, but that’s what you get.

    On to Mr Johnny Cueto tonight … let’s see if any of our guys can find that massive right-center gap and the 421′ mark. Seems that’s a great chance for the Billy Hamilton inside-the-park HR.

    • Vermont maple syrup?

      • This happens to be a blended from Vermont and Quebec … it’s the top rated by America’s Test Kitchen and actually available in NC at Walmart and Publix.

        I’ve gone so far as to have my Michigan producer buddy ship me a supply. His stuff is fantastic. My preference is medium to light which rules out a lot of the “road tar” out there.

        Yes – I can be a bit of a syrup snob. Kind of like I am with coffee.

  18. Any update on Sal Romano? Its been over 2 weeks for him now. Why is it that the Reds only go for the 60+ day dl (700 day dl in Bailey’s case). Is it against team policy to actually get a guy back in 2 weeks once in a while?

    As for Saturday…why Bonilla? He’s been pretty bad at Lville but maybe he’ll step up for his first start? Also…actually agreed with Tom B’s comment on Peralta. He does have starters stuff with 3 premium pitches!

  19. Our pen continues to do the job.Young power arms this year vs.well you know what we had last year makes all the difference.If you look at who is down there you could argue that we have potentially 4 good starters in Iggy,Lorensen,Stephensen and Peralta.Rarely do you see a major league team that has the starters lasting only 4 or 5 innings and the pen taking it the rest of the way and still winning.Don’t know how long this will last but I will ride the train until it stops.

    • This bullpen really has “Nasty Boys” potential, with Lorenzen, Iglesias and Peralta all showing flashes of the ability to dominate. It is becoming clear that the KC Royals model is being closely followed, with outstanding defense and a lights-out bullpen leading the way.

      • For playoffs this model has the potential to be lights. Anyone can start for 3 or 4 innings then go to the bullpen. Game Over.

    • At some point, the train will have to stop to avoid hitting the pile of bullpen pitching arms that fell off and landed on the tracks.

      • Yep….during a rain delay the other day they had an old interview with 80s lefty reliever Rob Murphy. He threw like 190 innings in 85 games between 1988-89! That’s a black mark on Pete Rose as far as I’m concerned….that’s insane! Murphy actually lasted another 6-7 years which was remarkable! I haven’t looked but they had a righty (Robinson?) that Pete overworked as well!

  20. Patrick, what a tease.
    I went to bed after Peralta cleaned up Storen’s mess, about 12:15 am. I check in this morning to see what the final score was and I see “Melee by the Bay.” I thought, uh-oohh, we had a benches clearing brawl last night, what happened?
    Fortunately, no skirmishes, and a nice win. B and JV led the way again.

    • Was going for something like “Ali-Frazier II: Thrilla in Manilla.”

      That was the best thing that rhymed I could come up with! 😉

  21. The Graph Without Comment is very revealing. Someone should share it with Peraza.

  22. I wonder what the story is on a couple of 28 yr olds that are rolling in the minors? Asher Wojciechowski (0.92 at Lvillle) and Austin Ross (0.87 at AA). I’m guessing they’re Adleman types?

  23. Is Votto now considered a good/productive hitter with all these RBI?

    The Reds top 3 in wRC+ all have BB% >10, hmm

    • And the opposing pitchers are left with a choice…

      pitch around them and keep putting runners on base or pitch to them and make it quick and painless. The willingness to force that decision on the pitcher was (is) what some don’t get about Votto’s approach and his unwillingness to give up one of the precious 27 outs…ever.

    • Somewhere, Marty is smiling and saying “He finally gets it.”

  24. Billy is closing in on the 320/330 OBP that gets him an extension and the Reds a true lead off guy for a long time.He just has to get there and stay there.Last nights IBB to Votto was with 1 out which is rare.They got Duvall and Suarez but its playing with fire to have to get both of them out.

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Titanic Struggle Recap