Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds win second straight game over the first place Brewers

Luis Castillo’s 107th pitch of the evening was a 99 MPH fastball that was perfectly placed for a huge strikeout. It is moments like that you cling to during a rebuilding season.

Castillo was certainly not perfect on this evening, and was aided by some spectacular Cincinnati defense. However, Castillo struck out nine batters over 5.2 innings, and limited the Brewers to just two runs. Any talk of Castillo being sent down to the minors anytime soon seems foolish right now.

The Reds offense was lead by early home runs from Adam Duvall and Scooter Gennett. The game was tied in the bottom of the 8th inning. Billy Hamilton lead off the inning with a walk. He stole both second and third base, and ended up scoring on an infield single to give the Reds a 4-3 lead.

Things got a little hairy in the 9th inning. Iglesias gave up two bloop singles, and the Brewers had runners on the corners. Iglesias struck out Aguilar for the second out of the inning, but Arcia took off for second. Tucker Barhart threw a bullet to second base, but the runner from third base took off for the plate. Arcia retreated back towards first base, but Gennett alertly quickly ran him down and tagged him before the tying run touched home. Reds win! The Reds are now 6.5 games back in the NL Central.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (33-44) 4 4 0
Milwaukee Brewers (41-39) 3 8 0
W: Storen (2-2) L: Knebel (0-1) S: Iglesias (14)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Scooter Gennett’s 2-run home run with 2 outs in the 3rd inning, giving the Reds a 3-2 lead. That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 22.8% (from 45.5% to 63.3%).

Player of the Game

Positives

Luis Castillo turned in a pretty nice night: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 9 K, 1 HR, 3.85 FIP. He is certainly fun to watch, especially that high 90’s fastball. It is pretty amazing that the Reds got Castillo for Dan Straily, and they picked Straily up off waivers last year. That is how a rebuild is supposed to work.

Scooter Gennett hit his 12th home run of the season. Gennett is now hitting .306/.346/.589 on the season. Gennett entered today with a 137 wRC+, which is the 3rd best out of the 30 MLB 2B with 180+ AB, only trailing Jose Altuve and Daniel Murphy (Jose Peraza is dead last).

Adam Duvall hit his 18th home run of the season. Duvall now has 59 career home runs with the Reds in less than 1,000 at-bats.

Billy Hamilton scored the winning run by walking, stealing second, and stealing third. It is amazing what can happen when Billy walks.

Joey Votto walked 3x (once intentional).

Wandy Peralta pitched 1.1 perfect innings with a strikeout.

The Reds defense tonight was spectacular. Schebler robbed a 3-run home run in the first inning that likely would have changed the complexion of this game. Adam Duvall threw out a runner at second base on an absolute laser. Eugenio Suarez also made a nice play.

Negatives

Tony Cingrani has been going really well of late, but he gave up a tying home run tonight.

Not so random thoughts……..

Robert Stephenson had a terrific night in Louisville this evening. Stephenson finally turning the corner?

Joey Votto dressed up in a donkey suit today to support Cozart’s all-star chances while he was being interviewed on the MLB Network. It is pretty cool that Votto, the greatest hitter in Reds history who has been screwed out of the all-star game in four consecutive years, is championing for his teammate so hard.

I tweeted that the Cincinnati ballclub has played some pretty spectacular defense. Someone asked me which Cincinnati team that I was talking about. Please go away forever soccer (sorry Chad).

On a positive note, you have to check out this story about an umpire saving a life today in Pittsburgh. It’s an incredible story.

Up Next:

Brewers at Reds
Thursday, 7:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Homer Bailey (43.20 ERA) vs Jimmy Nelson (3.50 ERA)

 

All statistics are used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats & Info, and Baseball-Reference.

49 thoughts on “Reds win second straight game over the first place Brewers

  1. That was a great game!! I don’t root for injuries but Kris Bryant got hurt tonite and Reds-killer Montero released. If Homer can get it going then it could be a great homestand! Castillo is fun to watch and has a ton of talent and it was also nice to hear that Bob Steve pitched well tonite. If they really want to rebuild and develop these guys then they should call up Reed/Stephenson for Finnegan/Adleman.

  2. Raise your hand if you could get used to Castillo and Raisel taking care of games for awhile!

    I also owe Scott Schebler a huge apology. After seeing him live in Milwaukee, I thought he was an afront to defense- slow, plodding, nothing to offer. That’s what you get for using the old “eye test” in a one game sample. I’ll own it. He’s been so much better out there than I would have ever guessed.

    • He seems a total different player this season, hitting to the opposite side and improved defense. Sure to tell that, barring Billy’s low OBP, Reds OF is near the top in all stats.

      • For a big guy, Schebler has some speed and he has good instincts for the outfield.

  3. Arcia made a grave mistake on the final play. He should have not come anywhere near 2nd base. The play probably works if he just stops half way.

      • Most the time in little league, they don’t throw down. In fact, at most levels, they don’t throw down in that situation. I almost yelled “Don’t throw!” at the TV.

      • It seldom has a player with Villar’s speed on 3B! If Hamilton was on 3B, the Reds would (and have on multiple occasions) attempted that play. The opposing teams just haven’t thrown through in those situations, allowing the trail runner (often Votto) to reach 2B safely.

  4. I’m not saying what Duvall did in the 8th inning was great. Brewers chose to give Votto a free pass to 1st with Hamilton on 2nd & 1 out. Billy stole 3rd & Duvall put the ball in play. Billy scored & the Reds won. Joey has enjoyed great success for a little over a year,. about as long as Duvall has been batting cleanup for the Reds. I’m not suggesting a direct relationship, but I am saying it’d be darned foolish to break up a good thing.

    • Got to had a monster 2015 before Duvall was here or at least most of it was before.

    • I want to see him do it four or five times in a row. My bet is Reed starts on Saturday.

  5. Does anyone else remember a certain young Reds Dominican pitcher who struggled a bit with command early on, had incredible fastball movement, slung the ball in a similar fashion, would rack up high pitch counts in solid starts, and slowly but surely began to figure it out….

    Also a not so random thought. Billy Hamilton coming off the bench in 2018 (or now), being used specifically in close games, late, when we get a runner on board and/or as a defensive substitution. Its a curious idea that I think could be a valuable asset. He really does change the entire mood of a close game, and we would be taking out the weakest part of his game while increasing our teams chances of winning in 1 or 2 run games in the 7th inning or later (granted we can get a man on base in the 7th, 8th or 9th). I don’t know the math behind it, but I wonder if the 6-7 innings of Billy defense we would be losing with a below average Schebler in center would be more valuable than 3-4 at bats for Jesse Winker instead of Billy each night.

    Would love to hear people’s thoughts on that idea.

    Either way, go Reds. Stay optimistic. 6.5 games in an insanely inconsistent division (Kris Bryant went down tonight) is nothing, and I would go out on a limb to predict that our starting pitching is only getting better the rest of the season. Think of it this way: if we had Mike Leake or Mr. Cueto in the rotation right now and you subtracted 15 starts from Bronson, Bonilla or whoever….the Reds would be in first place. No, I don’t think we have a GREAT chance to make the playoffs. Yes, I think we would get absolutely torched even if we somehow made it there. But our next Mike Leake and Johnny Cueto (Mahle? Castillo? Stephenson? Reed? All 4?) could be getting ready to integrate themselves into the rotation in the next few weeks.

    • I agree man this team is not far off. They have one huge glaring weakness and that’s the rotation. However, with Homer back and Castillo pitching well, the rotation might get better. This division is so mediocre. I think the Cubs were a one year wonder.

      • Not sure if they are a one-year wonder or just the post-season hangover, especially given the context.

        It’s possible that they rode some career years out of a few people and went all the way. Happens in baseball. I think they are missing Fowler more than one would think. and the starters for them have been middling without any surprises like Hendricks last year.

  6. +1. Make it or break it throw him in the deep end of the pool and see if he can swim after years of lessons time.

  7. Rotation for the next five days shows Bailey, Feldman, TBA, Adleman & Castillo. Hopefully Bailey’s tonight outing will go better. I’d let Stephenson & Reed longer in AAA to allow for self-confidence and endurance. It’s only two turns for the missing starter until the break, which could be filled-up by a spot starter in the 40-man (Bonilla, Stephens), and then bring them up.

    • Best combination of finding out what you have for the next few years AND giving 2017 a chance is Mahle. After that either Stephenson or Reed. Using a pitcher who lacks even AAA success like a Bonilla or Wojo or fill-in-with-your-choice-of-scrub is not only wasteful for the future but disrespectful toward 2017.

      • Mahle is not in 40-man roster. Your-comment-is-disrespectful-as-well. Everybody is allowed to give his/her opinion in this blog. Please, refrain from disqualify other people comments.

      • “…lacks even AAA success…” Are you describing Castillo? e looked pretty good last night.

  8. Votto in the donkey suit was great, but lets be real – he was not screwed out of the all star game the past two years. He had terrible first halves in 2015 and 2016, each time salvaged by amazing, epic second half hitting.

      • I saw it on QP this morning. Its hard to say which was better, that or the mountie get-up.

    • I guess we could say he got screwed out of two Silver Slugger awards, then! 😉

      He was the best hitting 1B in the NL in 15 and 16, yet 0 Silver Siuggers!

      • Agree there. Arguments against him making AS games in 2015 and 2016 can easily be made when you look at numbers at the time of AS selection. The Silver Sluggers though… Yeah, that’s a different story. 2016 even more so then 2015.

  9. Three out of four, after losing, what,13 of 14? This team is the streakiest I’ve ever seen, but the starting morass has a lot to do with it. I think Bailey gets his era under 30 (afraid to look at his fip, sierra et al) and that the reds win again! Looking forward to the cubs coming to town, but not the seven game road trip to Denver and Phoenix. Duvall, Votto, Shebler and Gannett have been great, can’t wait for Cozart’s return. Go reds!

  10. The best thing the front office can do is to give the ball every 5th day to 3 young guys the rest of the year.Castillo’s 98/99 will play so pick two more and lets go.Even at that its not enough to get a true picture as to who can or who can’t but anything beats what has happened so far.Remember Amir’s first few starts?It happens and will happen again to somebody but you have to let them pitch to find out.Personally I would plug in Reed and Stephensen and move Aldeman to long relief and lets play ball.Its a rebuild/sort year so lets do it.Already wasted tons of starts on guys not in the future plans.Defense and taking walks won this game tonight after a good start by Castillo.Billy actually walked twice which can be like a double or a trIple.Boy if he could only hit just a little with some pop.

  11. Billys last 5 games:

    Saturday: 2 hits
    Sunday: 2 hits
    Monday: 1-1 Pinch hit
    Tuesday: 2 hits (HR)
    Wednesday: 2 Walks, 2 SB’s, 2 Runs Scored

    Trying to get himself out of the hole he dug

    • That’s his pattern though….look terrible for 5 weeks then look like RIcky Henderson’s little brother for a week or 2 and just when you think he’s getting it then he goes on the DL.

    • Interestingly, I think we are seeing Schebler develop into an above-average outfielder in terms of defense and offensive production before our eyes. If the front office (and I believe that is who is making the calls about who plays, not the manager) would have given up on him after his early struggles, he may never have had the chance to develop like this.

      This, I believe, is why the front office wants to see Hamilton leading off — to give him a chance to show improvement as a leadoff hitter like Schebler has shown overall — and nobody can do that from the bench or batting ninth.

      It’s frustrating from a fan standpoint at times, but I believe this is the mission of 2017 in the name of “sorting.”

      • There’s a big difference between giving a player 4 months and giving a player 4 years. At some point the player has to produce or management needs to recognize that and make a decision that the player is not going to produce.

        Have we reached that point with Hamilton? I don’t know, but I do know they are continuing to give Hamilton chance after chance to prove himself and Winker has not been given a single chance. If Winker does not satisfy what management deems necessary as a corner OF, then trade him to a more progressive thinking organization that values his ability to get on base or move him to a utility OF role along with Kivlehan.

        • It can’t go on forever with Winker? Under any normal circumstances they’d be crazy to trade Schebler or Duvall. That leaves them with 2 options. Bat Billy 9th and considering trading Peraza in the offseason or making him a utility guy…..or move Billy and play Schebler in CF! If they were leaning that way then they better start trying out Schebler in CF occasionally? Billy usually goes on the DL once or twice so maybe Winker comes up then and Schebler plays CF? I guess technically they’re still in the NL Central race but once that ends then they should bring up Winker for Alcantara and start him as much as possible while resting regulars.

      • But this suggests an interesting paradox in the FO thinking. Because if they can give Schebler and Hamilton an opportunity to prove themselves (while Winker has been waiting in the wings), then why the opposite approach with Reed and Stephenson?

        Their strategy seems to be a little more nuanced. They like what they see in Hamilton’s speed and defense and probably believe he can get on base just enough to stay valuable. Schebler was probably given the shot this year because Winker was hurt last season and needed to prove that he was healthy.

        I can’t explain their logic with the handling of the rotation though. They are willing to run Adleman, Bonilla, Wojo and, until he was hurt, Arroyo out there through June but not give Reed and Stephenson a chance in a year when winning wasn’t the plan?

        • Who knows? Castillo pitched vs Votto, Duvall, etc in the Reds vs Reds futures game and gave up 1 or 2 runs in 5ip I think? Ask Votto who is better? Arroyo or Castillo? I would’ve given the kid a few games in AAA and then have at it with the Reds! 99 mph vs 84….sometimes its just that simple! They threw Lorenzen to the wolves in 2015 at 23 and Castillo is 24!

  12. Over at MLBTR they have this:

    “Levine: Twins Could Pursue Long-Term Assets At Deadline”

    “We’re probably not going to be inclined to spend lavishly on short-term assets,” he says, “but we would be very open to spending aggressively on assets that we could use to propel our team forward this year and for years to come.”

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying that should be the Reds strategy going into the 2017 trade deadline. Exactly. Be sellers AND buyers.

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/06/levine-twins-could-pursue-long-term-assets-at-deadline.html

    • Agreed. Quite soon you’re going to create enough redundancies at certain positions (2B, relief pitching) that those assets could be used to shore up positions of need (SS, CF).

  13. The Cardinals just demoted Aledmys Diaz. His stat line is nearly identical to Peraza.

    Anyone get the sense the Reds would even entertain the idea of demoting Jose?

    Me neither.

    • Meanwhile, the Cubs demote cult hero Kyle Schwarber and DFA Montero. I know, it’s a privilege of a wealthy team, but I like that they aren’t messing around.

    • Yeah, no way. And Diaz is a very, very good defensive SS. At least he seems to be.

  14. There is no logic to explain the handling of Reed and Stephensen.Both need to take the ball every 5th day for the rest of the year.

    • Over a decent enough time period, both of them have shown they can’t find the strike zone. That’s my guess as to the Reds logic. They are both throwing better in AAA, however.

      My guess is once they put together a solid 5-6 starts of “low walk” ball in AAA, they’ll get another change.

    • Some of us have been saying that since Spring Training. Promoting Davis and Garrett and getting Arroyo from the dustbin over Reed and Stephenson was always a headscratcher to me.

  15. Stephenson walks 5 i his first two innings back at Louisville and then 7 in his next 24 2/3. How much more does he have to do before someone lets him off the mat.
    Almost like some just want to play to the narrative in their own brain.
    We are supposed to be sorting. Bailey… Castillo. Those are the two in the rotation who have any chance of being on next good Reds team. I thought that was what this year was about.
    Reed, Garrett, Stephenson and Romano all should be in equation along with Mahle. Watching Feldman and Adelman take innings is counter productive.
    4 starts minus the first two innings. 2.75 walks per nine.
    Enough. Six more starts? I thought everybody wanted to see what we have?

    • Very interesting! A couple of reactions, without research to back them up:

      1) When you’re behind by a bunch of runs as consistently as the Reds have been this year, that could explain their last-place standing;

      2) As far as the big decline over a couple of decades, in recent years you have teams unequivocally committing to “rebuilding” and as a result not putting the most competitive team they can in the field. You probably have more games like the Astros of 2011 through 2013 playing the Red Sox, etc. One year, I believe the Astros lost 18 of 19 to the Rangers while I lived in Texas.

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