The Reds are 4-1 this home stand and have a 23-19 record at GABP this year.

The stupid Cubs are 40-41. We’re glad to pile on their self-doubt and nagging feeling that it’s all falling apart. Worried that people will come to the conclusion last year was a fluke? Sure hope this weekend hasn’t contribute to that. Can someone who was at the game today tell me what song their fans sing after a loss?

The Reds go for the series sweep tomorrow. Take your brooms.

Cincinnati Reds 5  Chicago Cubs 3 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

Jackson Stephens struck out two batters in the first inning, hitting 95-96 mph on the radar gun. He finished his five innings with 8 Ks and 1 BB. Out of many improbable things that occurred in this game, the most improbable was Stephens singling with bases loaded and two outs with ground ball up the middle, drove in two runs for 4-3 lead. All-in-all, a good day for a guy who was called up to send a signal to Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed.

Drew Storen pitched the 6th, working a round a lead-off double. The Reds turned a tight double play, started off by Eugenio Suarez, to end the inning. Toe Time Cingrani pitched the 7th, retiring the Cubs in order. Michael Lorenzen worked the 8th, pumping 96-99 mph, got two outs before Bryan Price replaced him. Lorenzen gave up a routine ground ball that should have been an out, and a walk. Raisel Iglesias, throwing 100 mph fastballs, got the final out of the 8th and retired the Cubs in order in the 9th.

Clearly exhausted bullpen has pitched six shutout innings in this series.

Billy Hamilton singled in the first inning, but was picked off. Second game in a row Hamilton was thrown out on the base paths. Hamilton also walked and scored in the 7th. Scooter Gennett got a hit and drew a walk. He’s batting .301 now. Joey Votto had two hits and a walk. Votto’s OBP is now .428, third best in baseball. Eugenio Suarez had a hit and two walks. His OBP is up to an excellent .363. Lead off hitter?

Tucker Barnhart threw out Addison Russell attempting to steal for the third out of the 2nd inning. Barnhart has thrown out 16 of 28 attempted base stealers.

The Reds had bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 4th. Jose Peraza weakly popped up to shortstop. He was 0-4 today and now batting .250/.026/.078.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 50 Comments

  1. Steve, you are so mean to the Cubs and their fans.

    Well done. 🙂

    What I saw from Stevens was control. Not only throwing strikes, but hardly ever in the good hitting zone, except the home run that Contreras hit.
    I think he gets at least another turn in the rotation. Next Thursday in Denver, where his curve might not be very effective.

    • A bit surprising because Stevens can get out of sorts and really miss his spots. At least that was the case in the minors.

  2. Just goes to show- check the box score- we walked two batters and they walked 7. This team could’ve been competitive with another starter or two. Instead we kept putting out a bunch of inexperienced kids with poor control… And… Worse… Bronson. If Strailey had been on this team … Having 3 similar starters sine Feldman and Adelman are clones… We could’ve been competitive. Since 2015 we have started 195 games with Rookie pitchers!!!! The Cubs, in contrast, only 5. Is it any wonder we’ve sucked ? I put this on management!

    • Strailey would have certainly helped this years team and I am very happy that he is having a good year for the Marlins. However I am ecstatic with the trade on every level whether or not Brice ever contributes anything to this team.

    • Comparing the Cubs since 2015 to the Reds is nothing less than absurd. The Cubs had tanked the previous 3 years and were ready to compete….the Reds were just beginning the rebuilding process. How could you possibly equate the 2 over that time frame?

    • I would prefer Luis Castillo’s and his stuff pitching for the Red’s the next few years than Straily.

    • I agree Irish. Just a couple of good, not great, starters and we can be right there. Division is wide open for the taking. Hang around long enough until the ASB and anything can happen.

  3. I love beating the Cubs!!! Can’t stay the overhype they get. They had an once in a lifetime type season last year. This team is not as good. Another well pitched game against them today. What are the Reds now when their starter goes at least 5?

  4. Would like to see Peraza sent to AAA where he belongs and Hamilton down in the batting order. Good outing by Stephens, 8 Ks & 1 BB, I think nobody expected that.

    • Stephens will get at least another start. Anyone who can do an 8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and keep the team in the game fits in this current rotation.

  5. Tough 7-game trip ahead to Colorado and Arizona. I can’t imagine what those line-up’s will do against the current pitching staff, better off make some roster moves and shake-up own line-up. Go Reds!

  6. As usual, Steve, poetic. Although “Stupid Cubs” has no rhyme or alliteration, it’s music to my ears. Managing/leading other human beings is more art than science, so I can’t know what Bryan Price is facing with the particular personalities in the clubhouse. He seems to be practicing “tough love” with his young pitchers in AAA, basically saying “you’re down there until you can throw strikes.” But with Billy Hamilton, he’s a pushover. He certainly has a better vantage point than any of us, but he might well say to Billy: “you’re batting 9th until you can get on base somewhere about 1/3 of the time.” I also don’t get his unwillingness to say Scooter is his starting 2nd baseman with Pedraza subbing around to give folk a breather. At a .347 OBP, he should be leading off, with Cozart 2nd (until traded or resigned – I’m agnostic on that one). The rest of the order is producing plenty of WAR. Again, none of us knows the delicacies of the personalities/egos involved, yet this is a mystery to me. You play the people who are producing even in the season of sorting.

    • Are these decisions all up to Price? Or does he play with the checkers the GM gives him?

    • A manager with 3 months left on his contract doesn’t make unilateral decisions on almost anything. Do you actually think Price controls which pitcher stay in AAA or whether the focus should be on Peraza or Genett?It doesn’t work that way.

  7. A nice debut by Jackson Stephens. The rotation is slowly taking shape…Now if Stephenson and Reed could find the groove for the strike zone.

  8. Recorded the game & watched it & Stephens surprised me a little bit! He was throwing strikes and hitting 95-96 with the fastball and a big curve! I don’t think he’s ever even been on the Reds prospect list? He just turned 23 so hopefully he can mature & improve.
    Stuff wise…seems like he’s better then Rookie. I didn’t see Romano’s 1 start. Tyler Mahle gave up 6 er tonite at AAA but he’s only 22 and has came a long way. Castillo gets the Rockies in Colorado on Monday & Stephens will get the Dback in Arizona. Thats rough!!! It’ll be a good test for them.

  9. Regardless of what happens Sunday, the Reds have won consecutive series against the top two teams in their division after getting manhandled by the Dodgers and losing 2 of 3 to the Nats. The NL Central seems to have fallen off its pedestal from the days of three 90 win teams not that long ago (except in the minds of Reds fans).

    The Cubbies are legit defending World Champs; they won the games to earn that right fair and square last year. However, let’s put the dynasty talk on hold for now.

  10. I don’t comment much but read most of the posts on redleg nation. It seems that mr. mancuso’s recaps and the majority of his posts are negative in nature and contain complaints about the most minute of details pertaining to a game. One would think we could enjoy a reds win, but whenever mr. mancuso writes a recap, it feels like my mother in law complaining because a blade of grass it out of place on her lawn

  11. I know I am singing to the choir here, but Billy Hamilton is useless once he loses any sense of logic on the basepaths. His OBP is low as it is, if he gets picked off on semi-regular basis he belongs in the dust bin, get what you can for him now while he is still youthful. Someone else mentioned the risk to reward ratio and so many of these athletes have no basic clue how that works or what it is. I am done with this guy and at the very least as manager you send him a message by batting him 9th and resting him regularly.

    • Oh? I hadn’t realized that he was getting picked off on a “semi-regular basis.” And as long as he is one of the best defensive centerfielders in the game he isn’t useless. I’m not in the choir.

      • I guess Hamilton hits HR’s on a semi regular basis as well since it’s happened more than once

      • Looks like that was the 1st time he was picked off this season. He’s been caught stealing 5 times. That’s not bad at all really.

  12. Fangraphs ranked MLB players. Only 167 (both leagues combined) qualified. The reds players rankings: Votto 4th, Cozart 13th,Duvall 35th, Suarez 44th, Scheber 53rd, Hamilton 121st and Paraza 144th. Apparently our catching tandum and Ganett didn’t plat enough to qualify for the list. What a batting order! Votto, cozart (genet), Duvall, Suarez, Scheber, catcher, Hamilton, pitcher and Paraza. I only batted Billy 7th and Paraza 9th because I don’t think that you can pitch around Paraza to get to the pitcher.

  13. Love beating the Cubs.

    Steve still giving his obligatory dig at Peraza. He is where he belongs. On the field, remember sorting out? He will stop swinging at every pitch. Patience

    I, also, would like to see Suarez leading off a series and see what happens.

    • Suarez leading off? You sure about that?

      • Suarez’s OBP is .363, or as Steve likes to put it 104. There are far worst options in the Reds line up to bat lead off, namely Hamilton and Peraza.

  14. Its very hard to hide two guys in you lineup that only bring speed as their offense.Neither Peraza or Billy can drive in runs because they don’t hit the ball hard enough or far enough.Billy is second on the team in strikeouts so he doesn’t even put it in play.When you throw in the pitcher then you have one third of your offense that is terrible.Amazing that we score the runs we do.Yesterday Scott was walked to get to Peraza with the base loaded and he pops up.Two batters later after a walk and a single by the pitcher that plates 3 runs Billy pops up with two on.Regardless both will play the rest of the year while Scooter watches and Winker stays in the minors.In this year of sorting it doesn’t matter but we aren’t rewarding those who have performed instead we reward those who don’t.As mentioned we have done the opposite with some young pitchers so go figure that one out.Better yet ask the players how they feel.

    • Now that Cozart is back, some changes need to be made. Billy Hamilton (.195BA & .195 OBP) should not start vs lhp. Peraza (.263 & .282 vs lefties) is a much better option. Peraza should rest Zart at ss 1-2 games a week & get a start or 2 at 2nd each week. Hamilton & Peraza should both be in the lineup only about half the time at most. Long term, I’m not sure Peraza is the answer at ss or 2nd, but he could be a nifty supersub in a year or 2.

    • There are already in too deep with Hamilton to send him down or just sit him since he is already in his first arb year and making $2.6M+. While I would not be surprised to see him traded as early as the deadline coming at the end of this month, I suspect it is more likely they will let the situation play out through the end of the season.

      I doubt they want to pay him the going arbitration influenced salary for years 2 and 3 of his arbitration eligibility. That leaves 3 choices. They can trade him for what he will bring; sign him for a multi year deal that flattens their cost for him; or nontender him.

      He still has legs enough to be a game changer on both sides of the ball. Thus the decision will probably be to trade him or sign to a deal that includes at least one year of free agency (3 year minimum deal). 3 years for $10M is probably too cheap on the player’s side. 3 years for $15M ought to get his attention since he is a one dimensional player (speed) whose asset will fade quickly with age. That’s a nice life considering he will have already made $4M and a little more by the end of this season.

      • Only sitting him vs lefties is a 4th option. His splits vs rhp aren’t great, (.259 BA, .327 OBP) but acceptable. Plus you have this 23 year old Peraza who can hit lefties some, can play a little cf, & needs some AB (since Cozart & Gennett are better options at ss & 2nd). Why not put the players you have now in the best positions for them to succeed?

      • I don’t think that gets it done. Even as a miserable hitter, his defense holds value. I think if you want a free-agent year included, the Reds are probably looking at 3yrs/$21-million or so. A non-tender would be a mistake in my opinion. His skills (defense and baserunning) tend to be undervalued in arbitration and if it comes to that, he will provide more value than his arb $$ amount. He is more valuable playing or as a trade commodity.

        • Yep. After I hit SEND I was having the same sort of thoughts. Needs to be $18-20M IMO. Going over $20 is too favorable for the player in this case for me.

          • I agree with this. He is a great 4th outfielder. super sub situational player and potential fill in for the inevitable injury for a 3 week stretch. I actually believe he would play better if his role was diminished. He is a 1.5 WAR player so 3 years at 20 mil is fair as long as Winker get 500 at bats.

          • You’d probably want to move him then… The only issue I see with that is they don’t really have another CF. You’d need to get one back in trade. That begs the question of why another team would trade a CF for a CF unless they felt it was an upgrade. Hamilton has value but moving him is tricky until the Reds get a CF in house that looks like an MLB starter and is ready. I don’t think Schebler is that guy. Maybe they can move someone else for that player and then move Hamilton? Not sure. Gonna need to get creative. If I were GM, I’d let arb take it’s course and maybe try to move on a potential CF if there are any out there.

  15. Great throw by Barnhart to end what looked like a scoring inning for the Cubs, 1st and 3rd with no outs. He actually threw through the batter, a near perfect strike to Peraza. Tuck’s thrown out nearly 60% of would-be base stealers this year.

  16. It took 9 games, but Long and Senzel finally showed up offensively for the Blue Wahoos. Senzel was 2-4 w/ 2-BB and Long was 0-2 w/ 3-BB. Hopefully this represents the beginning of an adjustment to AA.

    • Stephenson and Trammell both with multi-hit games in A. Friedl doing well at high A
      This next wave of position players are marching forward. How are the reds going to stay safe in the rule 5 draft? They are getting bloated at AAA with AAAA players.

  17. From @zachENQ on Twitter:
    Reds call up Asher Wojciechowski. Jackson Stephens down, Brandon Finnegan to the 60-day DL

    Never forget MLB is a business. Having a long relief arm the next 4 days outweighed the job done by Stephens yesterday. And so much for Finnegan’s “new” issue being a minor thing.

    • Stephens should be back after the road trip. His stuff doesn’t play well, I think in Colorado or Arizona.

      • True
        I think Stephen’s curve, which he relies on, would not break much in the thin air in Denver. Which makes me wonder who starts that game? Game four in Denver next Thursday.
        Place your bets now.

      • Are we sure whose stuff will play well in Denver and Phoenix?

  18. Loved your opening remarks Steve! In a season such as this I’ll take my joys where I can get them…well done!

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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