2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Luis Castillo pitches eight strong innings, Reds break losing streak. It’s a good day!

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (42-63) 6 9 0
Miami Marlins (49-54) 4 5 1
W: Castillo (2-4) L: Straily (7-7)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Over the off-season, young Luis Castillo was acquired from the Marlins in exchange for Dan Straily. Today, the two pitchers faced off against each other in Miami.

Castillo won today’s battle with a brilliant start: eight innings, one run allowed on three hits. He walked one and struck out six. Castillo was nothing short of dominant all day. To wit, his final — and 106th — pitch of the day was a 97-mph fastball.

This kid is good.

–Tucker Barnhart was the offensive star today, with a couple of run-scoring singles and a walk. In the second, Barnhart drove in Eugenio Suarez with a single to center. In the seventh, he drove in two more, giving the Reds a 6-1 lead.

–Jose Peraza reached base four times, on two hits and — get this — two walks, including one that came with bases loaded. Suarez and Billy Hamilton each had a single and walked twice.

The Bad
–Peraza didn’t have an official error, but he was shaky at shortstop today. The first hit surrendered by Castillo was actually booted by Peraza, and probably should have been scored an error. Castillo’s second hit allowed was on a ball up the middle that likely would have been corralled by a healthy Zack Cozart.

–Raisel Iglesias came on to pitch the ninth with a five-run lead. After a single, a walk, a strikeout, and a three-run home run (off the bat of Miami’s Marcell Ozuna), the score was 6-4. Fortunately, he quickly collected two more outs, securing the victory.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The losing streak of six games is over. The Reds’ winning streak now stands at one game.

–How about that Luis Castillo, eh? Castillo is the first Reds starter to pitch into the eighth inning since May.

–Are there two more electric arms in the big leagues than Castillo and Iglesias, Cincinnati’s two pitchers today? Those guys are fun to watch.

–Peraza has five walks in his last 14 games. He also had five walks in his first 90 games. Is this just noise, or is Peraza trying to be more selective at the plate? Too soon to say. But we can hope, right?

–This has been a miserable second half, and one win today doesn’t change that. But at least Castillo and Peraza gave us something to smile about this afternoon. Now go out there and try to enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

RIP Lee May, the Big Bopper.

Today’s Tweets

50 thoughts on “Recap: Luis Castillo pitches eight strong innings, Reds break losing streak. It’s a good day!

  1. The Booth said Mattingly is in favor of the robot K zone … today shows why that’s the case. Either way, the win feels good.

    • Yes, but if there’s no umpire, who hands the catcher a new ball? Do you make it like tennis where the ball boys or girls run in and out with them? Won’t that add 30 seconds more to the total game time? Unacceptable! And the manager kicking dirt on the robot won’t quite feel the same… does the robot extend his robot arm and hand the manager a yellow or red card like that boring soccer sport?

      • there would still be a role for an umpire there, calling plays at the plate, balks, probably operating the robot thing, e.g., reset for the next batter, ruling on catcher interference with the batter, etc.

      • Nobody said there isn’t an umpire … but the zone is called instantly and precisely. They are supposed to review the results and learn/adjust now … but they don’t. That much is obvious.

  2. I think that the Reds rebuilding players, the ones they got in the trades, when Walt J was the general manager…I am wondering what will become of them. Will they be bad, just okay or so-so, or good baseball players. Schebler, Duvall, Peraza, Suarez, and the Pitchers too…Disco, Finnegan, among others. How will they work out? If they don’t work out, and the Reds continue to be a poor team, with no improvement in the next year and the year after that….I am put the blame squarely on Walt J, for failing in recruiting the talent. Some blame goes to Price, but most goes to Walt J. for failing!

    • They got Suarez for Simon. If Suarez never plays another inning that was a win. Frazier had already peeked and is on the downside of his career now…they got 2 controllable MLB starters for him. Duvall is a better than avg player with pop, for Leake. They got 3 LH’d starters with potential for 3 months of Cueto. You can’t expect every prospect you acquire to become a HOFer. I think they have done OK on the players you talked about. Bruce and Chapman were the only fumbles

      • And it’s early to judge the Bruce trade, though it doesn’t look great right now.

    • Law of averages says some will work out, some won’t. Duvall wasn’t even the centerpiece of the Leake trade so he has certainly worked out vs. what was expected. I think Suarez will end up being above average. His fielding at 3B is already there. If Disco can get/stay healthy he will be good (not great but in exchange for Latos that was a great trade).

    • I think there was/is an owner component to this. The gm has a boss and the boss thought the reds could compete when they clearly couldn’t and instead of starting the rebuild when guys like cueto and Chapman had real value and cost control they traded for Marlon Byrd instead. Then the focus of the rebuild wasn’t talent, it was close to major league ready players. Also an ownership thing in my opinion. I think we as reds fans need to except that there is an ownership part of this that extends beyond what we see everyday from the gm or price. Deciding on the course so late was ownership, as was the players they sought to target.

      • Alex, great points

        At the All Star Break in 2014 they likely could’ve traded Chapman and Ceuto for an appreciable sum….but this is where business reality mixes with baseball reality

        In 2015 they sold a bunch of season ticket packages as a result of the ASG….would that still have occurred if they had started the rebuild in 2014? Probably ….did the Reds want to deal with the negative PR associated with a rebuild while trying to sell those season tickets? No

        So they extended the window a year….acquired Bird, rolled the dice on Marquis and Gregg and hoped that they could compete.

        Obviously it didn’t work

        • I actually was fine with the Reds going for it for one more year in 2015. What wasn’t so good was that they didn’t move Frazier or Chapman at that year’s deadline, when it was looking very, very unlikely that the team was going to earn a playoff spot.

  3. Sorry to see lee may passed today. I saw him hit a one armed homer against the twins. When I was a kid I thought we gave up too much to Houston. Great hitter

    • Condolences to the family of Lee May. He was a fine hitter and a popular player with the Reds.

    • Reds traded Lee May, Tommy Helms and Jimmy Stewart to the Houston Astros in November of 1971 for Joe Morgan, Cesar Geronimo, Jack Billingham, Denis Menke and Ed Armbrister. That turned out OK for the Reds. Plus, Lee May’s departure opened the first base position for some guy named Tony Perez. I too loved and admired Lee May as a Red and got to meet him in 1970 offseason. Rest in peace “Big Bopper”!

      • My first MLB game was in the Astrodome when I was just 4, Stros beat the Cubs 6-3, It just happened to be Denis Menke day and I still have the oversized card of him that was given out. Would have rather had a bobble head but those weren’t invented yet. Of course, the other 4 players in that trade played on the Reds championship team in ’75, no sign of Menke!

    • I agree, I was so upset when the trade when down.
      But Joe was a major reason we where back to back world champ.
      RIP Lee.

  4. Not much to add except some real good pitching from Luis Castillo. It looks like the Reds have a winner with this young man. And the Reds get nine walks with Peraza getting two of them with one coming with the bases loaded.

  5. I took a look at the box score and was going to comment on the nine walks but TR said it all.Again Castillo’s stuff plays anywhere.Sorry to hear about the Big Bopper.Guy could hit some shots that were down right scary

  6. Loved Lee May. He was the main piece that brought Joe Morgan and company to Cincy. Sad to hear the news. Was excited to see Castillo pitch again and obviously not disappointed. I had some work to do but couldnt leave the tv while he was rolling.

  7. Castillo is electric! He might be our ace going forward. Really looking forward to seeing what he can do next year when given a full year

    On a side note, Schebler is hitting in the .220s. I think it’s time to bench him and call up Winker

    • It would be nice to get Winker some at bats, but his OPS at AAA isn’t much better than Schebler in the majors. I think people are setting expectations a little too high at this point. I think the on base skills are something this team could use, but his lack of power and defense are concerning

      • The lack of power is a bit concerning, I agree, but I think GABP will help out the numbers a bit. From all accounts, Louisville doesn’t help the power much.

        And if you’re going to have a .790 OPS, probably better to have a .390/.400 split rather than a .290/.500 split… but that’s really just a guess.

        • Agreed. I saw several balls hit in the 4 game series in Miami that would have been out of GABP, including Votto’s blast that went to the track and runners on 1B/2B both moved up on.

        • I agree, a higherOBP, it is pretty simple, a higher means you are walking back to the dugout less often with nothing to show for it but a BA. Power is nice but solo homers only account for 1 run, string a group of high OBP guys together and you get rallies.

          • Stringing the high OBP huys is the issue, the Reds only have one of those. Putting Votto and Winker back to back in the lineup might result in two guys on base multiple times in the game, giving Duvall and others opportunity to collect RBIs. As of late I have been more a fan of making Hamilton the 4th OF/pinch runner/defensive replacent guy with Schebler giving CF a try. Defense will suffer, but offensively you get another OBP guy and keep the power of Duvall and Schebler in the lineup.

  8. I think a little shout out to Barnhart’s defense this weekend is called for as well. I’m sure more comfortable with him behind the plate than Meso.

    • Yeah when I read that I was pretty shocked. I knew the starting pitchers had been bad but I didn’t realize it was that bad.

  9. I feel like out of all the young pitchers we needed to gather information on, Castillo is the one we can sort into the rotation moving forward. I know Romano’s walked a bunch of guys in the majors, but I like the flashes of what I’ve seen from him as well. I’m hoping by the end of the year we’ll have a solid read on him and his future role as well.

    As far as the other guys, about all I know from this year that I didn’t know before the year is that Reed and Stephenson shouldn’t pitch from the bullpen if they’re going to be used infrequently. Both were pretty awful in that role. Beyond that, I don’t know that we’ve learned a lot else to this point.

    • I agree big mistake not pitching reed and Stephenson whether it be from the pen the rotation or Louisville

  10. Castillo is the first Reds starter to pitch into the eighth inning since May.

    That’s speaks volumes. Ouch. So maybe next year: Bailey, Disco, Castillo, Finnegan and “insert name here”.

  11. Great win. Great job by Castillo. Hopefully the other starters noticed.

  12. I fast forwarded and watched Castillo closely and it seemed like he was throwing more sliders and less changeups. I love the way he was pitching to weak contact instead of running up 7-8 pitches per batter trying to K everyone! Thats why I like Lorenzen as a good potential starter as well. Keep the ball on the ground and eat some innings.

    Peraza got 2 hits and 2 walks but I still see issues. Both hits were just little floaters that were just dumped in front of outfielders that have to lay back a little bit because of the huge outfield. GABP doesn’t play that way! Peraza is hitting .203 Home .300 on the Road. Now he hit .350 in GABP last year so maybe its just the sample size but outfielders don’t have to play deep in GABP so little flares get caught quite often. The walks are obv a good sign but they can’t sit Senzel, Suarez, or Scooter to play Peraza. We struggle to score as it is!

    An interesting guy I’m following because of fbb is Whit Merrifield on the Royals. He’s 28 and a 9th rd pick by KC in 2010. A late late bloomer but he’s leading off and hitting .299 (.339 obp) with 23 doubles, 11 HRs, and 17 (2 cs) stolen bases. The Reds need 4-5 guys like that atleast! They just can’t find enough guys thru trades and free agency to turn this mess around?

  13. Castillo may turn out to be the real deal? I’m guessing Castellini might want to trade him

  14. Castillo may turn out to be the real deal? I’m guessing Castellini might want to trade him

  15. Aside from Castillo, who was brilliant, and of course, a rare Reds win, I think we’re seeing Tucker as our starting catcher going forward. He’s been nails and stays healthy.

    • Hard to disagree…..at least on defense. The pitch calling has been suspect IMO, especially with our rookies…..seems like he too often goes by the book rather than adjusting to what is working that day.

      That said, thanks to his power, Mez has a higher OPS, so I don’t see any reason why a platoon (Tucker can’t hit lefties to save his life) shouldn’t be utilized to limit Barnhart’s exposure to LHP and to keep Mez healthy.

      • Yep… Mes should play against all LHP unless there are like 3 or 4 in a row. He also should get spot starts against RHP. I like them getting about a 50/50 split. I think the Reds probably see it this way as well but are trying to keep both catchers on a schedule rather than based on who’s pitching for the opposing team. Not sure why. Doesn’t seem like they are trying to get specific batteries where a particular catcher works with particular pitchers. Looks very much like a set schedule.

  16. Peraza was given 400+ at bats before Scooter was moved to second base.Hard to imagine he got it once he was benched but it happens.If that’s all it takes with him then bench him again and tell him to quit just slapping at the ball.He hits almost entirely with his hands and that’s how you get these little bloops here and there.He has shown some pop and when he has homered they haven’t been fence scrapers.Teach him to use his lower body and when he swings to come out of his shoes.I still thing he can improve a lot at only 23 years old.

  17. Given how often we’ve gotten burned counting on pitchers to stay healthy over the last few years it feels like I’m jinxing them just saying it, but you have to be cautiously optimistic about the pitching next year.

    The rotation:
    Castillo
    Disco
    Bailey
    Stephenson/Lorenzen/Mahle for 2 spots (the others stay stretched out at AAA)

    Bullpen
    Iglesias
    Peralta
    Herget
    Reed and Garrett (I like both as relievers)
    Ariel Hernandez

    Depending on how he does the rest of this year, Romano either starts or goes to the bullpen.

    I’d absolutely trade Iglesias in the offseason if we could acquire a young starting pitcher or SS for him.

    • Bailey
      Disco
      Castillo
      Romano
      Stephenson/Reed/Garrett/Stephens (We won’t see Mahle before May)

      Adleman/Davis
      Herget/Weiss/Brice
      Cingrani
      Hernandez
      Peralta
      Lorenzen
      Iglesias

  18. The Cubs have DFA’d RHP Dylan Floro. He doesn’t throw as hard as Wood or Cingrani or have as many K’s, but he does not walk many batters, has a good sinker, and a very good GB%. He is 26. He would be a better option than Wood, Cingrani. or Storen.

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