Following an exciting 11 inning win last night, the Reds face the Diamondbacks in a matinee today with a chance to win the series. For those who dare to dream big, a win today and a sweep of the Miami Marlins over the weekend would net the Reds a .500 homestand. This would be quite an accomplishment arising from the four game butt kicking administered to the Reds by the Nationals to open the homestand. But then this 2017 Reds team has been nothing if not mercurial.

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo makes his sixth start for the Reds today.  The performance to date of the nascent righthander  has created excitement in Reds fans every fifth day and  lit flames of hope for the future success of the team. Some have even dared to hope that Castillo could become a contemporary version of Mario Soto, the dominant Reds starter in the 1980’s  who came from the same area of the Dominican Republic as Castillo.  I  was around to enjoy Soto’s work; and, to me there does seem to be a resemblance between Soto and Castillo in stature, bearing and most importantly pitching stuff, from the blazing live fastball to the drop dead change up.

UPDATE: The Diamondbacks just scratched Taijuan Walker’s start. He’s on paternity leave. Patrick Corbin will fill in. He last pitched on Saturday in Atlanta, so he’s on regular rest. The Reds faced Corbin on July 9. He pitched six innings, gave up two walks, seven hits and two earned runs. Corbin struck out nine. The Reds won that game 2-1 when Homer Bailey, Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias combined to hold Arizona to one run. (spm)

Taijuan Walker, also a righthander, starts today for DBacks. Walker was a late first round draft pick (#43 overall) of the Seattle Mariners in 2010. He was traded from the Mariners to the DBacks last November. He is making his 78th career MLB start today at not quite 25 years of age, only several months older than Luis Castillo. Walker’s career numbers indicate he seems destined to be a middle of the rotation journeyman.

Today’s game is a pitching rematch of the July 8 game between the Reds and DBacks in Arizona. Castillo got the best of that game pitching 6.2 scoreless innings while Walker allowed 5 runs in as many innings in a game won by the Reds 7-0.

Taijuan Walker 4.40 0.82 3.30 7.83
Luis Castillo 3.76 1.86 4.34 11.17


Out of necessity, Bryan Price leaned hard on his bullpen “A Team” last night in pursuit of the win.  Wandy Peralta, Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen all worked more than an inning. With two full innings worked, Lorenzen is likely limited to non-pitching duties today. Peralta may be good for an inning. My guess is that if the Reds get to the 9th inning in a saving situation, Iglesias will get the call despite the Wednesday’s long outing and the short turnaround.  Otherwise expect to see Tony Cingrani, Ariel Hernandez, Blake Wood and Drew Storen.

The DBacks spread their Wednesday bullpen innings slightly more efficiently using 5 pitchers to cover 5.1 bullpen innings. Nobody from their pen went longer than 1.1 innings. For what is it worth or not, DBacks closer Fernando Rodney was not used Wednesday.



1. Daniel Descalso (LF)
2. Chris Iannetta (C)
3. Jake Lamb (3B)
4. Paul Goldschmidt (1B)
5. Chris Herrmann (RF)
6. Chris Owings (2B)
7. Ketel Marte (SS)
8. Gregor Blanco (CF)
9. Patrick Corbin (P)


1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Scooter Gennett (2B)
6. Devin Mesoraco (C)
7. Scott Schebler (RF)
8. Jose Peraza (SS)
9. Luis Castillo (P)

I like the move of putting Eugenio Suarez up to the #2 spot. It is good to see Devin Mesoraco back in the MLB saddle. Zack Cozart gets a well earned rest on the quick turnaround.

News and Notes

For those who haven’t quite caught up on Wednesday’s late finish:

Adam Duvall ended the game Wednesday; but, Zack Cozart did the heavy lifting all night long

If you are wondering who might start for the Reds on Saturday in Scott Feldman’s spot, the field seems to have narrowed

The “major league” option for Saturday is Asher Wojciechowski. If Wojo works out the bullpen today, pencil Robert Stephenson in as Saturday’s starter.

How about some just for fun fake sports news

Finally here is a very late breaking tweet from John Fay that’s sure to get some tongues wagging

Final Thoughts

What a difference a day and a win makes, right? Last night demonstrated what this Reds team is capable of when it plays on a foundation of solid starting pitching versus one of quicksand. Numbers 1, 2, and 3 on the front office’s off season to do list need to be assuring the Reds starting pitching is based on more than a wing and prayer in 2018 and to do that in a way that makes the team immediately better without dimming the longer term prospects. No doubt this is easier said than done; but, they have the resources in both dollars and talent to do it. If they want to swim in the deep end of the pool this is the task which must be tackled.

Data and Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.comBaseball-Reference, and
Twitter: @jn_walkerjr

Join the conversation! 74 Comments

  1. We struggle against lefties but I do like the change in who plays and where they hit.Devin helps and so does moving Suarez to the two hole.Cozy at short would be better but I understand why he sets.Go Reds.

    • Suarez with a sweet 119 career wRC+ against LHP. I wonder if that influenced Price’s decision, or if it’s more that he finally realized Peraza is an offensive black hole that needs to not be anywhere near the top of the lineup.

      Unfortunately, we still see Price’s 3 main stupid views on lineup hold true.

      1) Speed first
      2) Best hitter third
      3) As much L/R/L/R/L/R as possible

  2. Its just hard to hide two guys and the pitcher that can’t hit.Personally I would hit Peraza,pitcher and Billy at the bottom of the lineup.Speed first that can’t hit is throwing away at bats late in the game.

  3. Lorenzen as a starter next year. That’s encouraging.

    • Seems short-sighted unless you start him now to stretch him out, they will be shutting him down for the next 2 seasons in Sept otherwise

  4. I’ve been calling for Lorenzen in the rotation and Suarez in the 2 hole all season pretty much:) Lets see what happens?

    • Price said in April that Lorenzen would get a shot at starting again, just not this year. Next year is better than not at all although I certainly would prefer they stretch him out now.

  5. Nick Senzel doubled and homered last night. He’s now slashing higher at AA than high A and has 32 doubles already. It is conceivable he plays for the reds this time next.

    We’re the reds to sign a FA starter,move lorenzen to the rotation and call up Senzel by early June…..that would be an interesting base ball team.

  6. And just like that, it’s 3-0 with no outs.

  7. Lamb hit that homer just seconds after Kelch on radio said the Reds were catching Lamb at a good time.

  8. Billy with the leadoff double!

    Let’s get some runs!

  9. The anatomy of the 1st inning:

    One of the best baserunners hits a leadoff double! (HOORAY!)
    The next hitter strikes out on 3 pitches! (BOOOOO!)
    One of the best hitters in the game is up next! (HOORAY!)
    One of the best baserunners gets himself thrown out trying to steal 3rd! (BOOOOO!)
    One of the best hitters in the game grounds out, inning over! (*throws things at TV*)

  10. Really good to see Castillo pitch superbly after the three-run homer in the first. It’s like he was able to shake it off and say, well, that’s over and done, let’s move on. We’re continuing to see more and more reasons why he is probably the cream of the pitching crop.

  11. This game has turned into a pretty low-intensity affair.

    But boy is it fun watching Castillo pitch. We really can’t take for granted how he seems to have so effortlessly slid into pitching at the MLB level.

    • Yep. I would like to see Romano slip into that mode as,well. Hopefully it will kick in for him in the next starts.

      • Big Sal actually hasn’t pitched too poorly, he just has the problem we’ve seen lots of young pitchers have: pitch conservation and efficiency (aka “throwing too many pitches”)

        In his last start, it was obvious he had nothing left when the 5th inning started, but Price left him in to get beat around before pulling him. If it weren’t for that, he would have pretty decent stats, aside from not being able to go deep into games. That will come.

  12. 4th inning. Let’s not make Corbin look like Kershaw.

  13. Nice launch by Suarez. He’s getting comfortable again.
    Votto not liking the strike zone and letting the ump know it. Tracker had second strike as in inside corner but it looked like it wrapped around the corner by an inch. He gets the hit anyway. Good to see him coming out of slump

  14. Back to back singles by Votto and Duvall. Need some Scooter magic here.

  15. Gennett should be safe, not sure they’ll reverse the call because it’s soooooo close.

  16. Bases loaded for Mes…. make it happen, big man.

  17. Suarez went to right center against strasburg Monday with a real nice swing. He’s made an adjustment and back in his zone.

  18. Oh boy, bases juiced, none out, Mez up.

    I want to believe, but the cynic in me is already wondering: “How are they gonna screw THIS up?”

  19. Well, um, bases loaded for Schebler…. make it happen, big man. (In Mesoraco’s defense, “strike 1” should have been ball 4).

  20. What’s the run expectancy of bases loaded and no out? The Reds just brought it down.

  21. Bases loaded … nobody out … and no runs. 🙁

  22. Face palm.

  23. Typical Reds….bases loaded and nothing.

  24. Suarez has always hit lefties well! It shouldn’t take 60% of the season for Price to figure that out and get him in the right spot in the lineup!

  25. The East German judge gives Schebler a 6 for that floundering move in the outfield. It goes as a leadoff triple.

  26. Gee, the D-backs actually get the runner in from third. What a novel idea.

  27. This will be another typical Reds starting pitcher performance, unfortunately … 5 innings, 4 earned runs. He pitched pretty well after the first three batters, though.

    • It’s pretty common for young pitchers. In my anecdotal memory, I recall Homer Bailey, Aaron Harang, Johnny Cueto, and Edinson Volquez all had trouble getting past the 5th or 6th inning. They all turned out to be not so bad.

      • The Homer and triple killed him. On our side Billy getting caught at 3rd and not plating a run with the bases loaded and nobody out killed us. Difference between good teams and bad teams. They will get there.

      • I’m not being critical of Castillo … just commenting on the statistical tendency that has played out this year. If there was a game the Reds had to win … and that is not a factor this year … of the current roster, I’d want Castillo to pitch it.

  28. If that was Castillo’s last inning (and it should be), what a way to finish!

    Struck out the side, including Goldschmidt, and got his final strikeout on his 100th pitch.

    Outside the 1st inning, fantastic start.

    • Wish they would’ve kept him in for one more. His count was a little high but 15 pitches wouldn’t ruin him

  29. And yet another potential trade chip — Cingrani — tarnishes his value. Another home run allowed. Pathetic.

  30. Cingrani just can’t be shown the door fast enough. Him and Wood are just left overy trash from last year’s bullpen.

  31. Another HR given up by Cingrani.

    Someday, he will learn that you’re 93 mph fastball down the middle of the plate isn’t going to beat MLB hitting. My guess is that’s in 2020 and hopefully he’s another team’s problem.

  32. And another ones gone…another ones gone….another one bites the dust!

    Cingrani and Wood need their walking papers tonite! Its amazing that a guy that can throw only 1 pitch and be in the majors for this long?

  33. Cingrani needs to improve!

  34. Since the game itself seems to have gone south… Did anyone else have a weird experience trying to watch it on MLBNetwork? It was blocked on my TV as not authorized in my area (my “cable” provider is PlaystationVue).

    However I was able to stream it on my tablet. I opened the Gameday app and chose MLBNetwork from the “More” tab. It ask me who my provider was. I chose PlaystationVue, it authenticated me then said I was in an area authorized to view the Reds game. 180 degrees opposite from my TV experience….

  35. Welcome back to Cincinnati, JJ.

  36. Hernandez really having a rough go of it.

  37. Second stolen base this season followed by second home run this season. Score now 2-8.

  38. Henandez can’t locate any of his offspeed stuff, so they are just sitting on his fastball.

    Doesn’t matter if you can throw 100mph+, if people know it’s coming, they’ll hit it.

  39. Good God, 12-2? The Marlins probably can’t wait to get to town.

  40. It’s instructive that Hernandez’s two strikeouts came on offspeed pitches, and the 2 HR he gave up were on 100mph+ fastballs.

  41. Welp. That was a game that could have been competitive but quickly got away as soon as the bullpen got involved.

  42. Jim Walker. I have fioptics and somehow made myself watch the whole thing.It had the Az announcers and they were really enjoyable.

    • Better than me 😉 I was out and about on errands. I got home and futzed around to get the game streaming just in time to catch the Cingrani two run HR. Shut the stream off and looked for other less maddening diversions.

  43. Hernandez not looking good at all….today. Couldn’t locate his pitches, and got behind in the count. For ALL the Reds relief pitchers, Reds Management is going to have to decide which ones are Throwers vs Pitchers for the future. Starting to get embarrassing out there for the Reds…

  44. Just got back and see we made another lefty look like Cy Young.Castillo got us down early but held his own the rest of the way.He was still competing when he threw his last pitch it appears so lets hope they don’t send him back down.

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About Jim Walker Twitter: @jn_walkerjr


2017 Reds


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