The Cincinnati Reds (31-43) finish their seven game road trip with one game in St. Louis (34-40) as a make-up game from April 26th. The Reds were living high two weeks ago with a four game series sweep over the Redbirds, which put them within one game of the .500 mark. Unfortunately, the Reds have only gone 2-13 since beating up on the Cardinals and are obviously hoping to continue their good play against St. Louis again tonight.

Since that four games series in Cincinnati, the Cardinals haven’t fared much better winning just three of ten against the Brewers, Orioles, and Pirates. They did have the benefit of playing the Phillies, taking 5 of those six games.



Brandon Finnegan 2.70 3.04 0.0 20.5% 31.8%
Michael Wacha 4.76 4.06 1.1 9.2% 21.4%

Brandon Finnegan is with the Reds again after a 3-game rehab stint split between AA and AAA. This will be just his 4th start of the year after missing most of the past two months with his shoulder injury.

Michael Wacha may be pitching to stay in the Cardinals rotation tonight. Wacha has only made it through five innings once in his last six starts.


1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Scooter Gennett (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Devin Mesoraco (C)
8. Patrick Kivlehan (CF)
9. Brandon Finnegan (P)
1. Tommy Pham (CF)
2. Randal Grichuk (LF)
3. Stephen Piscotty (RF)
4. Jedd Gyorko (3B)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Luke Voit (1B)
7. Paul DeJong (2B)
8. Aledmys Diaz (SS)
9. Michael Wacha (P)



The Reds are seeking to do something this season that they haven’t done since 2006…outscore the St. Louis Cardinals in their season series. In 2006, the Reds took 9 of 15 from the Cardinals but only outscored St. Louis 70-69. So far this season, the Reds are 7-2 while outscoring the Cardinals 52-30. After today, these two teams won’t see each other until a pair of three game series in September.


Join the conversation! 98 Comments

  1. VERY interesting to see Kivlehan starting in CF. He may have played it before, but I don’t remember it, even in spring training.

    • I was surprised to see that too. Thought he would go to RF and move Schebler to CF.

    • My impression that he was a horrible RF, would make more sense to play Schebler there, would actually make the most sense to start Winker in RF but its not at the halfway point and Reds still are alive for the playoffs.

      • Exactly. Which is why the Reds should play Winker over Kivlehan. Given the rest of the season to start, I bet Winker is the better player right now.

  2. Well the cements the concept in the Old Cossack’s mind. If Kivlehan can play CF effectively, then there is absolutely no reason for Schebler to not play CF. Let’s finally move past ‘Hamilton must start and must leadoff’ to ‘put the best players on the field’ or ‘let’s finally find out what Winker can do as a starter at the major league level’.

    • Interesting that Kivlehan got the call over Alcantara. It’s about as out of the blue as seeing Peraza starting at catcher. Previously the move has been moving Schebler to center and starting Kivlehan in right.

      I think both Price and the front office like Kivlehan, and he has given them a lot to like so far. He’s hit for power and for a decent average for a bench player/pinch hitter.

      • Probably trying to give him a couple of games in a row to help him with his timing. Not a bad idea if you want your bench players to be productive in a pinch.

        • Kivlehan has been stellar this season, but he is not a good OF, even in the corner. Kivlehan has a total of 18 games in CF, all in the minor leagues and none since 2015, with a .976 fpct. That’s not good. I like Kivlehan a lot, but this move stinks of trying to create a situation where Price can justify not playing Schebler in CF and having to bench Hamilton.

          • Or maybe its a protest by Price of not having the option of using Winker in RF to be able to slide Schebler over to CF?

            And who is on the bubble Wednesday when Cozart comes back? Bet is not Turner, which means it is Kivlehan or Alcantara which means it is probably Kivlehan..

          • That would be sad indeed if the Reds (DW) opted to keep Alcantara on the 40-man roster rather than Kivlehan. Sad and disappointing, putting a real crimp in my faith of DW to lead the Reds baseball ops.

          • Turner has no use on this team. Tell the twins they can have him back. Alcantara is not good enough to be on the roster either.

    • Always bittersweet with the Reds though. Kivlehan gets the start but Peraza has to be the lead off guy. Peraza’s OBP is .282. The next 3 guys behind him are at .346, .412 and .324 Maybe just lead off with them and insert Kivlehan (.326 OBP) at 6th? Or for that matter just lead off Kivlehan and don’t mess with the rest of the order?

      • Yes, yes, yes. Let’s keep a lesser hitter at leadoff. Please. By all means. Because he can run.

        • Especially if he can run but can’t score from 3B. Now it’s all becoming clear. Price is an absolute genius!

  3. Another Cardinals sweep!
    That Cardinals lineup isn’t anything like we’ve seen come out of St. Louis in a long time. Who are those guys?

  4. Kivlehan in CF seems weird since Schebler has played there a little bit but oh well? I think we all enjoy beating the Cards so lets do it again!!

    • Schebler has played 100 games in CF during the minor leagues with a .989 fpct compared to 18 games in the minor leagues for Kivlehan with a .976 fpct. The decision to play Kivlehan in CF over Schebler is not based on what’s best for the team or what gives the team the best opportunity to win. It’s based on what’s best for Price so he doesn’t have to make a decision that would invole benching Hamilton or even moving Hamilton out of the leadoff spot.

  5. Two things …

    1 – Kivelhan in CF like the rest of y’all are saying

    2 – I always hear the Muppet Show and Fozzy Bear when I see or hear Wacha’s name

    Let’s sweep them out of Busch today, please!

  6. I think that both, Alcantara and Turner, should be out of the active roster, it just does not make sense. Bring Winker and Irribarren up instead.

  7. Does Cozart have to name his new donkey Votto?

  8. I just did some math:

    The Reds have played 41 game against teams that currently have a losing record. They are 23-18 (56.1% winning percentage). They score 4.95 runs in those games and give up 4.10.

    The Reds have played 33 games against teams that currently have a winning record. They are 8-25 ( 24.2%). They score 4.85 runs against good teams and give up 7.

  9. Arroyo to the 60-day DL, huh?

    Any more to that story?

    • Nope. The Reds had to pay him no matter what, so I think that was the game plan since his last start. The Reds moved him to the 10-day DL until they needed the 40-man roster spot then moved him to the 60-day DL. I think everyone wanted to avoid a DFA and end the grand experiment gracefully.

    • Sending him to the 60 day accomplishes everything that a DFA does while allowing him to retire at year end as opposed to being released.

      If he retires now, he gives up what he’s owed. Also, if he’s actually hurt and they DFA him, I believe the MLBPA has to approve since they want to ensure he’s given the oppprtnuity and resources to rehab his injury.

    • Mesoraco with only 96 at bats on the season? It seems like we need to deal him to a rich AL team to be a DH/backup catcher. Barnhart is a good player but not the force Meso can be but wayyyyy too much money for a part-time catcher.

      • I imagine they are still being cautious with him after basically taking two years off. I am sure he will take the starter role back next year as the team decides what his future will be.

  10. With some calls to move on from Hamilton, I thought I’d look to see which teams need a centerfielder or an upgrade. (Looking at Fangraphs WAR leaderboard, it was hard to find centerfielders with a good amount of PA and lower than Billy’s .5 WAR.)

    Billy Hamilton (CIN) 0.5 WAR 318 PA
    Adam Jones (BAL) 0.2 WAR 298 PA
    Bryon Buxton (MIN) 0.3 WAR 237 PA
    Rajai Davis (OAK) -0.3 WAR 216 PA

    Selling teams like Oakland, San Diego and Minnesota all have worse CF but the Orioles are only competing team with CF w/ sub .5 WAR – Adam Jones. Did not realize Jones was worst starting CF but maybe Reds could add Billy to a Cozart deal with BAL.

    Not many places where Billy would fit, but maybe I missed some. I only picked out CF with large # of PA and below Hamilton’s WAR. Baltimore supposedly has weak farm so even if they need Billy it may not be worth it.

    • Colorado….he’s a .396 career hitter there so just slide Blackmon to a corner OF. Perfect fit

      • Extremely small sample size and almost everyone is a .396 hitter in Colorado.

    • Thete is no way Baltimore benches or trades Jones. He is their leader.

      • Yeah, I agree. There just really aren’t any great fits for Hamilton and at this point has little trade value. Even if you could trade him, it’d be selling low.

        Is there anywhere that their CF is hurt for rest of year or something? I know Trout is hurt but should come back. Again, hard to find any fits.

  11. Very poor attempt to block that pitch, which wasn’t good to begin with.

  12. Walks and homers…Finnegan will fit right in this rotation.

  13. Peraza leading off = good luck to us. Near the bottom of NL OBP. Does Price even look at stats? Why not bat Scooter leadoff?

    • That’s precisely why you keep Hamilton there until he gets 400-450 at bats…let this play out once and for all.
      Stay the course.

  14. Finnegan’s first start back but I’m so tired of 2-0 counts on fastballs? If you can’t locate the fb then how are you going to use offspeed properly? Guys didn’t used to throw 95 regularly but they could atleast not walk half the park every game?

  15. I’ll stop watching the game, when that interview from the dugout starts. Maybe I’ll come back in an hour

    • And Welsh and Thom tslk him up like his career isn’t over. My God are you blind!

      • who was being interviewed?

      • Context, context.

        The discussion was more about him having a ceremonial inning or two at the end of the season as a send-off. Based on Arroyo’s statements in the interview, it appears that the shoulder wouldn’t even be up for that. It is, indeed, -over-.

        The question now is: who gets called back up and for how long if Finnegan goes back on DL.

  16. Cards announcers said that Mez dropped/botched 2 more pitches during warm ups that inning, then slammed his glove to the ground.
    He not only has trouble framing pitches, but just catching the ball. It’s actually been like that ever since he’s been here.

    • The metrics do not say that he is that bad. He is pretty athletic and can make some nice plays. Almost turned a great double play off a bunt

  17. Scooter lines it off of Wacha

  18. Suarez? .230s since April and dropping? Joey also should’ve made 2nd on that throw? Horrible decision by Piscotty and ball was way off line.

    • That was my first thought about Votto, but with him and his luck on the bases, the overthrow might have gone right to the catcher, who would have thrown him out.

  19. This umpire is terrible, too.

    • I’m less and less impressed by strike zone calling. I’m tired of each ump having an “interpretation” they end up expressing. That’s a clear area for change in my book. The technology is past ready to do the job.

  20. And there goes Finnegan …

  21. Shut finnegan down for the year.

  22. Well k-r-a-p!!! Looked like he landed “funny” on that last pitch. Hate to see a comeback end that way.

  23. HOmer Flanadisco hurt again…big shocker

  24. I’d be interested in hearing if any other major league team has this many issues with starting pitcher injuries. Goodness gracious

  25. Welp, that didn’t go well.

  26. Mez played that bunt backwards….Cost the Reds a run

  27. Is anybody up in the pen or is Price waiting for it to be way out of hand here?

  28. It might have been the same result, but I would have liked to have seen Billy have a shot at that wall scraping HR

  29. This is the game that finally took the wind out of my sails. I can’t believe Finnegan went down.

  30. Just tuned in to see Finny out with an injury,Brice givng up 3 in his place, we go down on 12 pitches in the fifth and Peraza will end up getting 5 at bats because Billy isn’t playing.Just a normal day for our Reds.

  31. I’m really surprised that Hunter Greene didn’t pull a John Elway (I’m not coming there) on the Reds. I would’ve advised him to if I was in his camp! Absolutely everyone this organization comes in contact with either gets hurt, walks the stadium, and/or gets Arroyo’d back down to the minors. GABP is a horrible pitchers park to boot….he’s a California kid and Pads had the next pick. No way!!

    • Hell, the Pads would be a worse destination. And who know if they’ll still be in SD for much longer?

      But to your point regarding the Reds, are we counting Chapman, Leake, Cueto? I think we ought to be able to the injuries (even though it’s been unreal recently) because they happen no matter what team. I still think they have good people in the organization that have proven they can develop good pitchers.

  32. Wacha’s spot in the rotation is safe.

  33. I agree with Old School on Billy.Price will not move him out of leading off so lets play this out the rest of the year.That way somebody may say in 2018 that he just isn’t good at leading off and we can move on.Heck even if he does move him then Peraza moves to lead off any way so lets just forget it because we will still have the lowest OBP hitter leading off.

  34. Tyler Mahle tonite. They should bring up Reed for Finnegan. Whens football? They’re generally not even competitive on the road anymore.

    • This is not a surprise. Every respected baseball person predicted the Reds would be last in the Central Division and would surely lose 95 games and that was before all the pitching injuries and the failure of Hamilton and Mesoraco to make any contribution. You act like this is news to you.

      • Thats bs….maybe with Disco & Finnegan sidelined but we shouldn’t go 0-6 vs Kershaw-less Dodgers and 0-3 vs San Diego….etc etc. 5-12 in one run games thanks to Price. Its not even the losing…its the walks and mental mistakes. Price safety squeezing so Billy can come up with 2 outs? Idiotic?

  35. I agree with letting Hamilton finish out the year in CF. After 4 years we will have a good sampling of Billy’s talent. Long term I see him as a reserve outfielder, pinch runner, and defensive replacement. He could be useful on a very good team that will not need him to bat often. He will be expensive for a so-so team which will not want to pay $3 million for spot duty with no chance to win a championship. The Reds will need to find a player who can give them good defense and gets on base or drives in runs.Doing both would be great. Rebuilding remains painful but it has to be done.

    • Billy will get 5 million next year in arbitration and 8-9 million in 2019.

  36. Triceps strain is the word on Finnegan

  37. That ought to do it for him this year.Reed is available.

  38. It will be interesting to see if the Reds pay Billy 5 million.My guess is they will.

  39. Was wondering why Peralta and Lorenzen in a blow out loss?Wood,Storen and Hernandez were available I assume.

    • Made no sense whatsoever. Isn’t the first time he’s wasted their usefulness.

  40. Time to get ready for the Brew Crew and Cub series with plenty of blue in the Park on the weekend.

  41. Two runs on nine hits and one walk by Votto.We go down on six pitches in the ninth.The plane is loaded so lets go.Its just who we are but its ok if we can continue to sort through these young pitchers the rest of the year.

  42. Adam Duvall, after hitting .247 for April, followed that up with a .291 BA for May & now at .289 for June. His OBP vs lhp is .393. he continues to amaze his detractors- were they to actually study his stats.

  43. The bright side of this June swoon is that there should be NO question about the Reds being sellers in July (not much left to sell, but whatever is here that isn’t part of the plan needs gone for whatever they can get). Also, we’re inching towards at top 5 draft pick again in 2018 and I am all about that.

    If you can’t make the playoffs with at least a mildly promising team, then you might as well be picking in the top 5 of the draft. Being between 5 and 15 is crap.

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