The Cincinnati Reds (41-60) have been in a tailspin since the all-star break, dropping 11 of 13 games and three straight. For a second consecutive weekend, they’ll take on the Miami Marlins (46-53), this time on the road. The Fish stayed hot after taking two of three in Great American Ball Park, again winning two of three games against the Texas Rangers. Last night, their offense exploded for 22 runs — against Yu Darvish, no less — smashing 14 extra-base hits and scoring against every pitcher they faced. Even Dee Gordon homered.

Reds pitchers will look to slow the Marlins down this evening at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Starting Pitchers

Robert Stephenson 30.0 8.10 5.01 21.9% 12.3%
Chris O’Grady 15.0 5.40 5.39 24.2% 15.2%

Stephenson did what he was asked to do in his two-month stint at Triple-A Louisville: throw strikes. Now, the Reds finally seem willing to give him his first extended shot at staying the big-league rotation. The right-hander’s first start was encouraging. Although he gave up five runs in 5.1 innings, he limited the walks (two walks, one of them intentional) and struck out five. He really only made two big mistakes, allowing a pair of two-run home runs against J.T. Realmuto. If he can continue throwing strikes with his fastball, limiting home runs will be the next big step in Stephenson’s development. He’ll get a second crack at the Marlins tonight in a more pitcher-friendly ballpark.

(Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference)

The Reds will see O’Grady — a former Rule 5 pick by the team in 2015 — for the second time in less than a week. Called up to replace another former Red, Edinson Volquez, the left-hander is making his fourth big-league start after transitioning from the relief role he held in previous seasons. The 27-year-old has showed some promise, striking out hitters at an above-average rate, but walks have gotten him into trouble. Against the Reds last Saturday, he issued six free passes in 4.2 innings and is carrying an ugly walk percentage overall. However, O’Grady still got the best of Stephenson and the Reds in their first meeting, as the Cincinnati offense couldn’t capitalize on numerous opportunities to put a crooked number on the scoreboard.




CF Billy Hamilton (66 wRC+) 2B Dee Gordon (84 wRC+)
3B Eugenio Suárez (112 wRC+) RF Giancarlo Stanton (144 wRC+)
1B Joey Votto (151 wRC+) CF Christian Yelich (113 wRC+)
LF Adam Duvall (112 wRC+) LF Marcell Ozuna (139 wRC+)
2B Scooter Gennett (139 wRC+) C J.T. Realmuto (121 wRC+)
RF Scott Schebler (100 wRC+) 3B Derek Dietrich (74 wRC+)
SS José Peraza (50 wRC+) 1B Tyler Moore (88 wRC+)
C Tucker Barnhart (76 wRC+) SS Miguel Rojas (93 wRC+)
P Robert Stephenson (5.01 xFIP) P Chris O’Grady (5.39 xFIP)

— Zack Cozart is once again out of the Reds lineup as he struggles with a quad injury. With the condition of his leg, it’s hard to imagine the team getting anything substantial out of him in a trade at this point.

— The Marlins won’t have Justin Bour available in this series, as the first baseman was placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain earlier in the week.

News and Notes

Final Thoughts

There’s not much left to say about the way the Reds have played in the second half that hasn’t already been written here at Redleg Nation. It’s been ugly at best and nearly unwatchable at worst. The team could desperately use a win tonight to start this weekend’s series.

81 Responses

  1. Old-school

    They are working you hard today matt.. nice effort.
    Schebler needs a hot streak. He’s now flirting with replacement level and reverting to a super 4th outfielder with left handed pop off the bench. His next 10 games are important.

    • Keith

      Organization hasn’t shown much willingness to give Winker extended ABs, so I don’t think Schebler has anything to worry about.

      • Ben

        Keith the September callup will be the latest that Winker sees playing time, IMO. Schebler does need to perform like he did earlier in the year.

      • Keith

        I’ll believe it when I see it. Winker has been ready all year. Reds seem to be in no hurry with him.

  2. jame garrett

    We have 5 guys in the lineup that are statistically terrible against lefties so that means we score at least 6 runs tonight.Just really going to watch Stephenson and I expect him to give us a good outing.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I”m listening on radio but sounds like Duvall just helped him out in the field.

  3. Sliotar


    Nice setup for tonight’s game.

    It would be nice if this new narrative creeping in of late around RLN quietly goes away –

    “Pitcher X only made 2/3/4 big mistakes in his last start.” I see it used by multiple writers about multiple pitchers.

    Giving up 5 runs in 5 innings, in Treasure Island’s case, isn’t “one pitch away from a good start” stuff. It’s “this is why the Reds have -0.5 WAR as a starting staff” stuff.

    Real hope comes once these pitchers have turned a corner, not from hoping they have turned a corner.

    • Matt Wilkes

      I think it’s important to note the little steps, too, rather than simply looking at only the ER category in the box score. It’s obviously not ideal to give up five runs in five innings, but seeing Stephenson throw strikes is a huge step in the right direction. If he can continue to do that with his raw stuff, there’s reason to be encouraged he’s figuring it out.

      • Big56dog

        And 4 through 2, hopefully 2nd time through the line up is better for him


      If he aimed at the hitter he might throw it for a strike after watching that at bat.. Bob Steve is wild.


    Barnhart is the Reds best catcher

  5. CI3J

    Stephenson walked 2 in the 1st inning, and Barnhart and Duvall bailed him out.

    Not a great start. Hoping he settles down and delivers a decent game.

  6. Old-school

    Schebler is 3-39 since the all star break…he’s hitting .150 in July. He’s earned some leeway….but that’s more than a bad road trip.

  7. Preach

    Good comeback for Bob Steve. But he was helped out there at the end by a guy that forgot how to swing a bat.

  8. CI3J

    Stephenson has 4 walks in 2 innings, and has thrown 37 pitches.

    Yet, he also has a no-hitter.


  9. jame garrett

    No he won’t because the Marlins will wait him out.Only team he could by with that is well his own.

  10. CI3J

    I don’t know if I can watch this game much longer. It’s simply not pleasing baseball. I get that part of the sorting is watching young players struggle, but I’d almost rather Bob Steve be getting lit up for 6 runs as long as he was throwing strikes.

    Watching him throw the ball and have no idea where it’s going is just maddening.

    • RedAlert

      Yep – dude can’t pitch at this level and get away with it. He just doesn’t get it. Try to send him a message at AAA and it goes in one ear and out the other. pitiful

    • Big56dog

      sometimes a pitcher does not have it at the beginning an dthey get comfortable and start mowing them down, curious to see if that is the case. 1-2-3 4th with pitcher leading off 5th would get some momentum. But 5 walks through is not a good recipe for a solid start

  11. Preach

    Thought Bob Steve had one there. Nice play at 2nd.

  12. jame garrett

    One more inning and I will call it a night.Just a very non interesting game.Not impressed with Stephenson tonight with all the walk.He took a big step backwards in my opinion.

    • Old-school

      Just goes to show how important not giving up home runs are….no command….purposeless pitching. Lots of walks ….yet only 1 run….why?

      Only 1 solo HR.

    • Big56dog

      hey give him a chance, 10 pitch inning despite the HR, see how he does third time through, might be able to go 6, hopefully Reds can give him some runs

  13. Old-school

    Siri 32 in a row
    An Amir Garrett sighting.

  14. Indy Red Man

    I see the offense is still lighting it up. Literally..the only time they put up a crooked number is when they’re down 8-1 in the 7th.


    When was the last time Chris Welsh rounded 3rd and slid into home? Did he ever do it as a pro athlete? And he is criticizing Votto for not being on the baseline as he was sliding to the plate. We are reaching new lows of ridiculous criticism.

    • Indy Red Man

      It wasn’t criticism per se….trying to say if you’re turtle slow then maybe get in the path of the throw legally


        You may have a point but Welsh still never slid into home.😀

    • RedAlert

      Wow , unbelievable ! Can’t get out of his own way .

  16. Indy Red Man

    What happened to Lorenzen in the 3rd inning so long ago vs Pittsburgh? Price is going to let Bsteve make it 3 or 4-0 and game over. I guess they’re keeping that momentum towards another 2nd pick

  17. Indy Red Man

    If Suarez is thinking and goes to 3rd then they get an out. The Reds are just never quite alert as they need to be.

  18. CI3J

    Finally, mercifully, Bob Steve is done.

    It was a disgusting performance to watch.

    • Indy Red Man

      Hard kid to figure out? He had really good breaking stuff tonite but can’t throw the fb over the plate? Now Storen walks a guy in? I give up


      As many of us have said the Reds need to pitch these guys every 5 days until the end of season to find out if they have it. Bob Steve is in the mix.

  19. jame garrett

    Yeah but the walks keep coming.Good night all.


      It is a leaning experience. Who would you pitch instead?

      • Jack

        I thought it was a great point. Why not do it if it’s legal.

      • Jack

        That commention was for Votto running inside the line. Not sure why it showed up here.

  20. citizen54

    Looks like Price still doesn’t understand what to do in high leverage situations.

  21. Indy Red Man

    2 guys that I would be interested in getting cheap from the Reds would be Stephenson and Bonilla. They both have good stuff but can’t seem to get it together. Bob Steve will never make it with the Reds….walks & a flyball pitcher w/a straight arrow fastball = disaster in gabp. He might develop in a park like Miami or Arizona?

    Bonillla…believe it or not just 1 earned run in last 24 ip at AAA.

    • msanmoore

      Bob Steve continues to unimpress me … I think you are right, Indy. He needs a complete change of scenery.

  22. msanmoore

    Stupid decisions and bad luck … looks like somebody is warming up another dumpster fire tonight. Time to turn it off and check the carnage results tomorrow morning. At first I thought maybe they were “showcasing” Storen for the deadline. Now I’m convinced it’s just an overall bad situation.

  23. Indy Red Man

    Suarez cost them 1 run by not breaking for the bag. It was never his ball and he only took 1 step but he didn’t break for 3rd to get the force from Peraza. Oh well. Senzel, Hunter Greene, and now another kid that should be one of the best talents in the country!

    • Jim Walker

      True, but if Peraza is a true MLB SS, he knows the catcher is running and is able to come up throwing and get his out at 1B. Or alternately if he doesn’t take that look at 3B, he probably gets his out at 2B. Not a heads up play for Suarez but a worse play for Peraza.

      • Old-school

        I don’t know…at the end of the day….the third baseman….especially with runners at first and second….must cover 3b….that’s your first job. He was out of position playing 20 feet off and 20 feet back….. That’s no different than joey Votto being too far off 1b and runner is safe because he couldn’t cover his primary position.

      • Jim Walker

        Suere Suarez should have hightailed it 3B. However, Peraza couldn’t control what Suarez did or didn’t do. He did have control of his own action and the play was right in front of him to make.

  24. Old-school

    Yes…Winker went 2-4 with a double and hbp …obp 3x and of course stole another base.

  25. Jack

    Maybe we should trade for O’grady. Guy is a 20 game winner if he pitched against the Reds all the time.

  26. Indy Red Man

    10th in the NL in scoring and dropping a spot or 2 every series now. We looked so good offensively in the beginning.

    Aug 31 Ohio State at Indiana and late October my Colts come to Cincinnati!!!

    Goodnight all

    • CI3J

      The offense has given up, since they know no matter how many they score, the pitching will give up that many and more most nights.

    • TR

      I’m an eternal IU football fan and they are making some progress. But instead of two or three non Big Ten opponents, they lead off with OSU? Not good.

  27. Darrin

    So peraza who is struggling to hit this year, hits the ball hard in all three at bats with two hits and he is double switched out to put AA in the 9 hole? Did I get that right?

    • Jim Walker

      I keep hoping someone will come up with some numbers about double switching. I’m not too sure it is all it is cracked up to be when practiced on autopilot like Price (among many others does it). Especially with the Reds bench, maybe you just take your out when the pitcher is due up unless there is a legitimate scoring opportunity.

      • Darrin

        Not much of a confidence booster for JP either

  28. Jim Walker

    I would have preferred that Stephenson had been left in the game until the fish scored. If we are sorting let’s see how he limits the damage. With good infield play, for all his trouble he should have had 2 outs and 2 on with none in. Even with what happened give him a chance to get a K or a GIDP. That way maybe the Reds and RS both learn something they didn’t by allowing Storen to come in and give up the 2 runs.

    • Jack

      I would have too Jim. How is he going to figure out how to get out of the jams he gets in? Apparently Price thinks we still have a chance at the playoffs.


    This is what rebuilding looks like. It is it not fun. The Cubs, Piates, Astros have endured it.. The last time the Dodgers were in the WS was 1988. The question is will the Reds famine end in 2019 or 2020? If not we will fire another manager? I say yes. He will be another baseball lifer who does know how to manage.

    • Jack

      I think it will be 2020 and I think Suarez, Votto and probably Barnhart will be the only position players left. Everybody else will come from the minors. Senzel, trammel, siri, blandino, Winker etc.

  30. RedAlert

    Biggest sorting I hope that occurs this year is (almost etched in stone) Price . HE HAS TO GO FOR THIS TO MOVE FORWARD !!! I don’t care how many wins a year a manager means. He’s got to be out the door.

  31. earmbrister

    One swing away from a tie game …

  32. Old-school

    Arismendy Alcantara is playing shortstop and hitting .188. He surprisingly has struck out twice. Jose Peraza git 2 hits to raise his obp to .275. Zack cozart is over 30 and a FA and 3 consecutive years broke down.

    The Reds have a shortstop problem…a really really big shortstop problem and winning teams don’t have that as a problem.
    They also have a hitting problem and a starting pitching problem. Billy Hamilton is back under .300 obp…Scott schebler is 3-42 and flirting with the .220’s….the catchers aren’t hitters either. Zack cozart is hurt and replaced by the worst hitter in the league.
    Thus could be a 100 loss team.

    • CI3J

      Fun fact: The Reds have 60 games left this season, and their record currently stands at 41-61, 20 games under .500.

      In 2016, with 60 games to play, the Reds’ record was……. 41-61.

      That’s…… Progress?

      • earmbrister

        I’d object to your choice of f an adjective. Let’s just go with fact.