photo courtesy @Reds

Robert Stephenson was sent down to AAA-Louisville to throw strikes. He did that mostly tonight, walking just two batters in 5.1 innings. Stephenson however made two mistake pitches, both to Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, and he capitalized with a pair of 2-run home runs.

The Reds had a lot of base-runners tonight, collecting 8 hits and 8 walks, but they could only cash in for 4 runs. They had some brutal luck in the 8th inning. Scooter Gennett hit an RBI single to cut the Marlins lead to 5-4, and put runners on 1st & 3rd with 0 outs. Mesoraco struck out, and then Patrick Kivlehan absolutely drilled a ball, but it was right at the Marlins first-baseman Bour. He caught it, and tagged first base for an inning ending double play.

The Reds brought Joey Votto to the plate representing the winning run in the 9th, but he struck out on three pitches . The Reds are now 1-8 since the all-star break.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (40-57) 4 8 0
Miami Marlins (44-51) 5 10 1
W: Wittgren (3-1) L: Stephenson (0-3) S: Ramos (19)
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 Patrick Kivlehan lining into an inning ending double play in the 8th inning. Reds trail 5-4. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 32.7% (from 43.9% to 16.6%).


Patrick Kivlehan got a rare start tonight, and rewarded Bryan Price by hitting a home run.

Adam Duvall walked with the bases loaded in the first inning.

Zack Cozart not only finally got his donkey tonight, but reached base four times (3 walks and a triple).

Billy Hamilton had two hits, and stole a base.

Joey Votto had a pair of walks, including be intentionally walked by a LHP.

Asher Wojciechowski pitched two perfect innings innings in relief, striking out three. I like Woj in the bullpen for the Reds. He really knows how to throw strikes, as he has only walked 7 batters in 31.1 innings with the Reds  (he also has a 2.35 BB/9 at AAA too).

Michael Lorenzen only threw 7 pitches tonight, but he got both batters out that he faced.


The good news for Robert Stephenson was that he only walked two batters tonight. The bad news is that he gave up a pair of 2-run bombs to J.T. Realmuto. Outside of those two pitches, he was good tonight. It looks like his trip back to the minors with an ultimatum to throw strikes has payed off. He still has a way to go, and also needs to learn better how to hold runners on base, but all in all, I was mostly encouraged tonight. His final line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 HR, 2 BB, 5 K.

Not so random thoughts………..

I have no problem with Scooter Gennett starting everyday at 2B against RHP. He has certainly earned that right, and with several years of team control, I think there is certainly a possibility of him getting regular playing time on a contending team in the future. However, Gennett has a career .517 OPS vs LHP, and even during his breakout 2017 season, he only has a .635 OPS vs LHP.

Zack got his donkey tonight, and is going name him Donald! If you missed the interview of Zack by Joey…well, please watch below.

Up Next:

Marlins at Reds
Sunday, 1:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Sal Romano (7.50 ERA) vs Tom Koehler (7.92 ERA)


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

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 43 Comments

  1. BobSteve’s off speed stuff looked good tonight. Now if he could only throw his fastball for strikes instead of extra bases.

  2. Needed to really bust out in the first inning with bases loaded and zero outs, but could only get two runs. That double play ball by Saurez really hurt. Also, not sure what the heck Votto is waiting for in the 9th inning on three straight strikes?? Got to swing the bat.

    • The first two pitches to Votto were perfectly placed. But with 2 strikes, especially in that situation, you’ve got to fight off tough pitches in the strike zone, not check your swing. It was uncharacteristic of him.

      Speaking of which, what was even more uncharacteristic was on Friday night, when the Reds had Gordon Dee doubled off of first base after the fly ball to Duvall (following Scooter’s error) but Dee was not out because Votto didn’t have his foot on the base. Cost the Reds and insurance run by the Marlins. What a brain fart, unacceptable.

      I don’t mean to bash my favorite player. I think he’s mentally and physically tired. The mental fatigue is more obvious, with the two examples above.

      I prefer he get a rest over the All Star break, which helped him enormously in 2015 and 2016.

      • Agree on it being uncharacteristic of Votto not to fight off pitches, and agree on the mental fatigue. He’s played in every game and a day off Sunday might not be a bad idea. Give Kivlehan a start at first base.

      • I think Patrick k should get a few starts at first and give joey a day off once week

  3. That interview almost made me cry. Maybe Donald can be there next manager for the Reds?

    • I think that the inevitable bashing he’d get from all of us would depress him.

  4. Really pleased with Stephenson’s start tonight. He has taken big strides forward with his command. I would like to see him continue to try and locate his fastball better, but I loved watching his breaking pitches fool the fish! At this point with Rob, i’d rather see home runs, than walks. Great start, let’s build on it.

  5. Under the circumstances, a cheerful recap by Nick, good idea to make the outcome of the game sort of a footnote. I too was mostly encouraged by Stephenson’s outing. He threw strikes, and if he continues to do that, he’ll be starting every 5th game, which is what he and the Reds need.

    He was basically pitching this way with the Bats, getting Ks, not walking people, but giving up HRs. What happened to the mid to high 90’s fastball ? I assume he’s throwing slower to control it better ? In any case, after Realmuto destroys 93 and 92 mph fastballs, a 91 mph fastball on the first pitch to him in the 6th doesn’t seem like such a good call, and it cost the game.

    • I saw him hit 95 several times, but I didn’t follow his pitch speed often

  6. I’m with Nick on another point. Even if one agrees with starting Scooter and benching Peraza, why start Gennett against LHed pitchers ? He can’t hit them, so in those games he hurts the Reds on both offense and defense.

    • I’ll double down on the agreements that he shouldn’t start against lefties

      • Yep. Enough of a sample there to know he doesn’t hit them well and he has done nothing so far this year to suggest that all of a sudden he can hit LHP. I am a big fan of Scooter’s since his time w/ the Brewers but always felt he should be platooned for a RHH against LHP.

    • I’ve seen a couple of times Barnhart starting against lhp

      • And he shouldn’t, except when Mesoraco is not active, the option is Turner. Turner hitting against LHP and Barnhart hitting against LHP is pretty much a wash and defensively, I thinkg Barnhart and Turner are also pretty much a wash. Barnhart is not being overworked this season, but I would still like to see Mesoraco or Turner starting against every LHP.

  7. Really pleased with stephenson tonight. Clearly his work with control has been helpful. Next up, work on controlling the longball. Great start by Rob!

  8. With Votto, Duvall, and Schebler all slumping, this is a very weak offense that can’t even do much against the Marlins. Bring up Winker and play him. Bench Hamilton against LHed pitching, he is batting .224/.224/.308 against them – that’s right, not a single walk in 107 ABs. Against RHed pitching, bench Duvall some days and Schebler other days (Schebler doesn’t hit RHed pitching as well as LHed).

  9. This streak reminds me of the recent stretch of losing 13 out of 14 games, But it’s even worse, it’s all been at home so far. Can’t remember losing 8 out of 9 on a home stand, might be looking at 9 of 10 tomorrow. Sad.

  10. Peraza should start at 2nd against lefties and get starts once a week at SS and CF to get regular ABs. Stevenson gave up 2 walks, but one was intentional. Fastball command is his biggest obstacle at the moment and should be the main focus in bullpen sessions between starts.

    • Agree except for CF. He showed us last year he really can’t play in the OF.

      • Yea, I don’t get the infatuation of playing Peraza in CF. It’s like the infatuation of speed hitting leadoff, speed plays CF. Speed helps playing CF just like speed helps leading off, but there’s simply much more involved in both situations than just speed.

        • I think Price and the front office figured out quickly last year that Peraza can’t play center. He did a couple of times and was just not good at all. He hasn’t been back there since.

          • If the Reds front office could just figure out quickly that the inability to get on base is also a disqualifying factor in leading off…

        • Billy adjusted extraordinarily well from the IF to CF … it’s like that was always his position. I don’t think Peraza has that particular talent in him. I just don’t.

        • The added versatility would make Peraza more valuable. That’s about it.

  11. It just wasn’t the Reds night to win.
    They hit some balls hard but they were right at the defense. Four DP’s will seriously mess up your offense.

  12. Donald Donkey Night is great!

    As for the Reds overall play and the result … BLARGH!!!!

  13. Only 1 of his 2 walks was unintentional. Entirely acceptable. With repetition, hopefully he’ll get better command of the fastball.

  14. With his 2 hits tonight, Billy is now batting .395 on the 1st pitch.

  15. Stephenson did what Price sent him down to do.Just give him a chance and let him pitch every 5th day along with Castillo,Romano,Homer and pick another one so they can find out a little something about these young guys.Wasting away the first half was not a good idea but that is done so don’t do it for the next 70 games.When rosters expand give some of the calls up some chances.Move Winker into rotation with the other guys and see what he can do.Use the data we have regarding how futile we are against lefties and sort through that to put the best lineup on the field.Wojo looks really good so put him in higher leverage situations and see what happens.Lots of others things they can do in this time of sorting just need to do it.I agree with Joey having mental fatigue and he’s just not with it.No worries about him but getting your can kicked every night and then losing games you really should win just wear on even the best.

    • Wojo was eye-opening to me last night. Pounded the zone with low strikes with fast balls and other pitches. He looked close to dominant. I checked his stats this year with the Reds as a reliever, and he has a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings with 16 strikeouts and four walks. I hope that as we sort through pitchers, Price gives him some opportunities in high-leverage situations, as James mentioned above. He looks very much like a guy who has “figured it out” at a more advanced career stage. And this is why you cycle through a lot of bodies in a process like this, because occasionally you find someone further long in the age and career cycle for whom things start to click. (Jake Arrieta, for example.)

      When I look at any of these pitchers, I’m looking for ones that make your eyes pop, and Wojo did that last night. Stephenson did show some progress, keeping the walks down. But for me, Wojo was the big pitching story for the Reds last night.

  16. Does anyone think that what the Bengals fans done a few years back, stop buying season tickets & coming to the games, would wake management & owners up?

    • Playing to 80% capacity isn’t a massive boycott of a team. It’s the NFL, so The Bengals still made a boat load of money and I doubt they cared what the fans thought.

      its much easier to improve in the NFL. Your high draft picks play right away and the New York Giants can’t spend more than the Green Bay Packers.

      Obviously, baseball draft picks take longer to develop and the Dodgers spend 3x’s what the Reds spend.

      I’m not sure what you expect the Reds to do. Should they waste money on overpriced free agents so the fans feel better?

      • Make sensible baseball decisions. Such as: when you call a prospect up, PLAY HIM.

    • Boycotts are stupid. By the way after several playoff years the Bengals are still not selling out.

  17. How many homers have the murderer’s row of Schebler, Duvall and Votto hit since the all-star break?

    • Sounds kind of like a “trolling question” but I’ll answer…

      Votto has zero HR and is slashing .128/.320/.128 since the break.
      Schebler has zero HR and is slashing .088/.225/.118 since the break
      Duvall has zero HR and is slashing .195/.313/.220 since the break

      I’m not sure what that tells us other than all three are really slumping since the break.

  18. Young teams are going to streak. Young teams without starting pitching are going to streak… really badly. We all realized this was gonna happen. Sorting isn’t much fun on the bad side of a streak.

    Our bats carried us in much of the first half, but AD, SS, ES JP are young guys too – they’re bound to cool off (and they’ll heat up again).

    Let’s find the silver linings, pray for improvement, make trades that return some talent and enjoy the next hot streak (it was only two weeks ago we played some solid ball ball vs. the Rockies/Dbacks)! When/if we let the young starters learn how to pitch, maybe at this time next year we are looking at some guys that give us a chance every night for years to come.

  19. Votto is 4 for 29 with 0 RBI since the All Star break. Votto did not make the All-Star team in 2015 and 2016 and he put up great numbers in the 2nd half. The 4 day rest may have been helpful to him. . I would give him today and tomorrow off to see if a couple of days will revive his bat. Hopefully we will not remember July 14, 2017 as the start of his decline. Slumps happen but he has not hit a ball hard all home stand.

  20. The handling of Stephenson has been messed up from the start of the season. The decision to have him pitch out of the bullpen was not the worse thing but they stuck with Kevin Gregg longer a couple of seasons go then they did Stephenson after a bad outing. Stephenson and reed should have been pitching somewhere earlier in the season

  21. RLN has a goat I’m sure we wouldn’t mind donating.

Comments are closed.

About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.


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