Coming into today’s game massacre the Washington Nationals led the National League in scoring runs by a wide margin. They were first in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging. They were fourth in raw power, trailing the Dodgers and Brewers, two other first place teams. The Nats are near the top of the league in drawing walks and not swinging at pitches outside the strike zone. In related news, they have one of the lowest rates of soft contact in the league.

The Nationals can also pitch, at least their starters. The Reds had been shut out for more than 16 innings by the Nats rotation before Homer Bailey’s Jedi mind trick and an error produced two runs off Tanner Roark. Thank goodness for the pity runs off their bullpen yesterday and today.

And Dusty Baker’s Washington Mashionals aren’t finished with the Reds just yet. In a cruel wrap-around of fate, the Reds still face Stephen Strasburg tomorrow afternoon. When Washington leaves, Arizona (53-38) arrives for three games. With that record, the D-Backs would be in first place in the NL Central.

The Reds are now 12.5 games out of first place, and it’s well past time to stop worrying about it. More on that later tonight.

Cincinnati Reds 4  Washington Nationals 14 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

Homer Bailey finished four innings, giving up eight runs. Two home runs by Daniel Murphy did most of the damage. Bailey struck out five and walked two. Bailey has two good starts – both on the last road trip – out of five since his return. Of his three bad starts, two have been against the Nationals.

Ariel Hernandez and Drew Storen took their turns giving up home runs. Storen’s limited value in the trade market may have vanished before our eyes. Same with Tony Cingrani, who gave up two runs in his inning of work

Scooter’s Amazing Adventure continued, with the infielder knocking a couple hits, driving in three more runs.

Jesse Winker, making his first major league start in the field, lined a single to right field in his initial plate appearance. In his next two at bats, he worked walks. The Reds drew five walks today. Three by Winker and two by … wait for it … Joey Votto.

Winker’s promising plate approach is exactly what the Reds need at the top of the lineup. His on-base skills stand in stark contrast to Jose Peraza, who has now gone to the plate 178 times without a walk. Yet Peraza’s hopeless approach is tolerated by the Reds while Winker languishes in AAA. By all means, let’s hurry up and send Jesse Winker back down to Louisville. Or at least get him on the bench.

(Seriously, if drawing three walks, singling and lining out doesn’t earn Winker another start tomorrow someone ought to be fired on the spot.)

Even Milton can’t smile today.

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! 52 Comments

  1. And, as I said in the other thread:

    Nats just got Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle from the Oakland Athletics for right-hander Blake Treinen, left-hander Jesus Luzardo, and third baseman Sheldon Neuse. Our fever dreams of them over-paying for Iggy seem to have been dashed.

    Nats really wrecked our day today.

    • Probably got the initial “ask” from the Reds and said “No thank you”, moving on to plan B.

  2. I totally agree that Price should be fired immediately if Winker does not get another start tomorrow. Even so, that would still be past due. I don’t remember an uglier, more frustrating start to the second half of a season for the fans who keep believing that better days are ahead than this one, rebuilding season or not.

  3. I agree about Winker and sang his praises during the game.He is 23 and playing the game just like it should be played regardless of the score.How many big leaguers can you name that are down by 7 in the 5th inning are still working the count and fighting like crazy to get on base?Votto for us and just a few more.How refreshing to see a young guy with such plate discipline that doesn’t swing at everything and in a 7 run game that turns in to a 10 run game.Kind of throws a fly in the ointment that all pitchers throw strikes to us because we are always behind or that we have hitters that always swing at strikes.Sorry just couldn’t help myself.

  4. Nats or not, the way Bailey pitched today won’t get it done against any MLB team with a semblence of competent hitting skills. Hoping for better days in 2018 with Homer.

  5. Ok. If Winker starts tomorrow, then who do you sit?

    • Great question!

      • How about Peraza? Seriously, I could live with Winker trying to man 2B. His offense will make up for his defense. In all seriousness though, any of the corner outfielders can give up a day or two to get Winker some time.

        • Why not have Winker pitch when he’s not playing second?

          This isn’t little league.

        • Winker’s offense? The guy hasn’t proved anything at the ML level. Not to say he wont but if you take proven guys out of the lineup to start a young guy and it backfires then you got fans ,like on here,saying Price should be fired. Besides,offense is not the Reds problem,starting pitching is,and if Winker cant pitch then he is no help at all.

    • The manager can make that decision. If it’s too difficult then the Reds need another manager.

      • Yes.

      • Not the manger’s call.

        • See, I disagree here. DW may set a guideline on playing time but I doubt he’s mandated to Price not to start Winker and I doubt he hands him the starting lineup every day. That said, I proposed what I thought was a logical reason for why Price isn’t starting Winker more. I put it in the “Second Half Plan for the Reds” thread and another one. Mostly comes down to issues sitting Duvall or Schebler and reasons for not sitting Hamilton.

    • Adam Duvall. No statement. Its 162 games. He is a type 1 diabetic. Just an off day in a busy month. Schebler sat today.
      Winker has nothing left to prove at AAA. He is not Bryce Harper- but neither was Pete Rose or Shin Soo Choo. But both could hit and get on base. You need 4 quality outfielders.

      Its the second half of the season. Playing time is earned from here on out. That means Scooter Gennett and Jesse Winker play a lot. The Reds aren’t winning this year.

      The other sorted issue is Jose Peraza. He has played virtually an entire season now every day. He is the same player he has been. Its not as if he is slumping and regressed. He is who he is. Two organizations traded him because he cant get on base or hit for power. He is hardwired for that. He is a solid utility player.

      The left handedness of Scooter Gennett and Jesse Winker and Joey Votto and Scott Schebler plus Devon Mesoraco’ s injury history have created a problem for the Reds……..a lack of quality right handed bats.. Mesoraco is still not an every day player by any stretch and while Billy Hamilton does stand in the batters box right handed…. not sure he is a right handed hitter. Peraza is right handed….but I wouldn’t label him as a hitter.

      That means Duvall and Suarez are really important and part of the future. It also means Cozart is more important to the Reds than he is to other teams as a shortstop and RH bat. Other than Phil Ervin as an extra outfielder, Nick Senzel is the only RH bat even remotely close to starting for the Reds in the medium to high minors. The failure of Jose Peraza as a hitter and the need for a shortstop and right handed bat in the next 3 years make a Cozart deal more and more likely. Peraza is a nice utility player to rest everyone.

    • You can start Winker ahead of Duvall or Hamilton (Schebler to CF).

    • Not a hard decision or solution, just a commitment to a positive course of action.

    • Duvall tomorrow. Get one more lefty bat in the lineup against Strasburg. I doubt it will happen but that’s what I would do tomorrow. Beyond that, I’m guessing Winker will be back at AAA sooner rather than later.

    • Doesn’t matter. Any of the present 3 starting outfielders have no knowledge of the strike zone.

    • Anyone… it’s one day. It’s about showing Winker that if he delivers, he’ll be rewarded. With this franchise, that may be a lie, though.

  6. Scooter needs to be starting! I don’t care about Peraza for now. He needs to be on the bench.

    • I agree,Scooter would not get a day off unless he begged for it and Peraza should be riding the pine everyday,the guy cant hit.

      • Brian, I’ve not liked Peraza from day 1. Same goes for Herrera. I just don’t think offense is eithers strong suit (at least not right now). So, yes I could be wrong about one or even both of them. But I just don’t see it in Peraza. Haven’t seen anything from Herrera at the major league level yet to get a read on him but from some of the scouting reports I’ve heard he really ain’t that great with the bat either.

        • Disagree on Dilson Hererra. The guy can hit and I don’t think there is any way he could be lumped in with Peraza. Don’t judge him by his overall numbers this season only. Look at what he’s done his whole MiLB career and what he’s done since a slow start.

  7. Call all 4 guys in and tell them the plan going forward.There have been several examples of how to rotate the 4 and give everybody equal time going forward and may the best 3 win.Competition is good.

  8. Today was the perfect example of why playing Winker was a mistake.

    He had a very nice game and there were already utterly absurd Joey Votto comparisons being made. Unless the Reds are willing to have him play every day for the rest of the year then he needs to be sent back to Louisville until an outfield spot opens via trade/injury or the Reds commit to playing him.

    • >Today was the perfect example of why (not) playing Winker (more often) was is a mistake.

      (fixed typos for you)

    • Plate discipline comparisons. Yes. No one compared Jesse Winker -the rookie hitter – to the greatest Reds hitter of all time. Nice try from the weeds with the guerilla warfare.

      Do you disagree that Jesse Winker’s plate discipline at 23 years old is superior and better than the majority of the Reds. What hitter on the Reds currently has better plate discipline than Winker. I think it is similar to Joey Votto’s plate discipline.

      Minor league stats

      Joey Votto .289/.385/.476/.862
      Jesse Winker .297/.397/.447/.844

      So you would take the position that Winker is best served going back to Louisville?
      Your position is Billy Hamilton should continue leading off and play CF every day?

      I believe Winker can be inj the conversation as a future batting champion and a top OBP in the league over .400.
      So you are disagreeing with that?

  9. Well at least Winker got a start. Now we won’t see him for another few weeks, he’s gotta learn from the bench

    • Kinda like learning from the bullpen without getting to pitch in games.

  10. I don’t believe that the Nationals trading for Madson and Doolittle will end their search for a closer. Neither of those guys comes anywhere close to Dusty Baker’s idea of a shutdown ninth inning guy. They weren’t even the closer on the team they were playing for. The Nationals have one weakness left on an otherwise super team. They aren’t going to settle for those two guys. It may not be Iglesias, but the Nationals aren’t done fixing their bullpen, especially the 9th inning.

    • Agree, the Nats may dtill hold an interest. I still think that other teams also may be in on R. Iggy. The Braves, Rockies, Yanks, R Sox and others come to mind.

    • Bingo. Dusty needs his guy at Closer. Best arm on the team pitches in the 9th.

      (Grabs toothpick, makes illogical analogies using other sports, talks about jazz…..hey, did I ever tell you I played with Hank Aaron?)

      • Did I ever tell you my team is in first place and headed for the playoffs?

    • Agree, the Nats may still hold an interest. I still think that other teams also may be in on R. Iggy. The Braves, Rockies, Yanks, R Sox and others come to mind.

      • Huh? Rockies,yanks snd Redsox already have elite closers. They are not giving up top prospects for something they have.

  11. I agree.
    The Dodgers are a super team. Elite starting pitching at the top of the rotation with incredible hitting and the best closer in the game. The Cubs aren’t going to lay down an will assert themselves as the defending World Champions. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are FA’s in 2019 and Scherzer and Strasburg will cost 70 million alone in 2019. Rendon will be a $150 million dollar player by then as well. The moves today don’t dent the Nationals farm system.
    The Nationals need an elite bullpen piece to beat the Dodgers and potentially the Cubs before their window of winning ends after 2018.

  12. It says a lot about this FO/Price, if Winker does not start tomorrow.

  13. Gotta get Peraza going.

    • Peraza needs to go to AAA until he learns the strike zone. I would not waste an option this year as we are almost to August.

  14. Dodgers, Royals, Cardinals and others are looking for RH power in LF and the Red’s, ostensibly do nothing. Duvall is a nice guy/player, but he’s not George Foster.

  15. Wow! All of Western Civilization depends on whether Winker starts tomorrow. Or am I exaggerating? (By the way, I would really like to see him start tomorrow).

  16. What is everyone obsession with Winker? I dont care if he’s Babe Ruth,if he cant pitch then he is not helping this team at all,on the other hand,Babe Ruth could pitch. Offense is not the problem and arguing about the lineup is pointless when you are giving up double digit runs every game.

    • How about a nearly .400 career OBP in the minors. That’s hard to do. And it shows that he’s extremely likely to be AT LEAST an average major leaguer. He does still have upside if his power shows back up.

      It’s not about winning now. It’s about getting Winker (or any prospect) the experience in a lost season (when winning doesn’t matter) so he can be a contributing playing in a season where winning DOES matter, perhaps as early as next season.

      Once the young pitchers come around, do you want a rookie Winker manning RF? Or would you rather have a guy with 1/2 a season of AB under his belt manning RF?

  17. Today was one game and one game only and it doesn’t matter to me if Winker starts tomorrow or not.His plate discipline today in a blow out game tells me all I need to know.He is criticized for his lack of power,so the pitcher can’t be afraid of him besides its a blow out game in the fifth and he walks for the second time.He also hits ahead of Votto and no pitcher likes to put men on base for him.Beside its a 7 run game and the pitcher is pumping in strikes for all the reasons I mentioned.But wait he walks again.Now how can that be that he and Joey are the only ones on the team that the pitcher can’t throw strikes to.I am just having some fun of course but Winker has done it at all stops along the way.He gets on base and while it may not be valued at all by the team you can bet Votto is smiling especially if this kid hits in front of him.Duvall is probably grinning some also with Cozy,Winker and Votto batting ahead of him.It was so obvious today what this kid brings that we need so badly.Its really almost on cue that he would showcase his talents in such a lopsided game when it would have been so easy just to hack away at anything close to the plate.

  18. Just for we older folks who also happen to have been fans of boxing at one time in our lives, here is this metaphor.

    Bryan Price finding positive post game takeaways right now is Floyd Patterson talking about having a plan for his second Sonny Liston bout.

  19. Today’s Lineup….let the crying begin

    2B Jose Peraza (R)
    SS Zack Cozart (R)
    1B Joey Votto (L)
    LF Adam Duvall (R)
    RF Scooter Gennett (L)
    3B Eugenio Suarez (R)
    CF Scott Schebler (L)
    C Tucker Barnhart (S)
    P Scott Feldman (R)

  20. Somebody should be fired! I agree!

  21. Remember when we traded away Chapman for absolutely nobody? The Yankees received a #1 prospect trading Chapman to the Cubs and we received a few mediocre prospects..that are underperforming. Peraza shouldn’t be anything more than a bench/utility player and Scooter needs to play every day. Hamilton is exciting on the bases and is excellent of the defensive end, but he is never on base. Winker is ready.
    I don’t think Stephenson, Reed, and Davis are going to eventually solves the Reds SP issues either. I’m really excited about Castillo and I think Mahle has a bright future. They possess something that none of our current pitchers possess. Control.
    We all knew that we were not going to be competitive this year. We just wanted to see some sort of improvement. Our starting pitching puts us at a big disadvantage when we are down by 5 runs and we haven’t even had an at-bat. Disco will be back soon and at least we will have a few reliable arms.

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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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