2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Reds win behind strong pitching (Wojo and bullpen), longballs from Eugenio Suarez and Stuart Turner

Final R H E
San Diego Padres (50-63) 3 7 1
Cincinnati Reds (47-67) 8 11 0
W: Wojciechowski (3-1) L: Wood (1-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Asher Wojciechowski pitched five very strong — and scoreless — innings before he ran out of gas. He allowed two homers and three runs in the sixth, but his final line is more than adequate: 5.2 innings, 3 runs allowed on 7 hits; he struck out a career-high 6, while walking none. I’ll take that from Wojo every single time.

Fortunately, after Wojo’s exit, the Reds bullpen –in the form of Michael Lorenzen, Wandy Peralta, and Blake Wood — entered to shut down the game with 3.1 perfect innings.

–In the first inning, Joey Votto collected a two-out double; Adam Duvall and Eugenio Suarez followed with walks to load the bases. Jose Peraza got himself into a 1-2 hole, but had a really nice at-bat after that, working the count to full before delivering a line drive single to left-center, giving the Reds a 2-0 lead. On the night, Peraza was 2-3 with a walk and 3 RBI.

–Votto extended his hitting streak to 14 games, going 2-5 with a double, two runs scored, and an RBI. Duvall was 2-4 with a double, a walk, and two runs scored.

–Stuart Turner — third-string catcher, rule 5 draftee — hit a LONG home run, his first big league longball. It was a bomb. Kudos to young Mr. Turner.

–Eugenio Suarez hit his 19th homer in the third inning, a two-run shot (which was followed by an outstanding little dugout dance). He also walked and scored twice.

The Bad
–Asher Wojciechowski’s name is really hard to spell.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’s two out of three over San Diego; Cincinnati can go for a series win tomorrow afternoon. The Reds have won six of their last ten. That’s almost a .600 winning percentage!

–In his last outing, Asher Wojciechowski out-dueled former Red Mike Leake. Tonight, he outdueled another former Red, Travis Wood. Let’s make sure he faces Johnny Cueto next time the Giants come to town, okay?

–Peraza looks like a different player in the second half. He’s probably not a different player, and this may just be small sample size nonsense. But I’m enjoying it for now, fingers firmly crossed.

–I’m still not sure when Wandy Peralta became so good. That guy has filthy stuff when he’s on.

–The Cleveland Indians traded for Jay Bruce tonight. Bruce joins yet another hard-hitting ex-Red, Edwin Encarnacion. Good luck to those guys.

–Wojciechowski probably (certainly?) has no place on this club long-term, but he was a big factor in tonight’s Reds win. Wojo also has a 4.23 ERA, which is just fine indeed. I love to see guys like this having some success in the big leagues, even if only for a short while. Good for him.

–I’ve mentioned five different ex-Reds in this recap. Why stop there? Adam Dunn, Bruce Berenyi, Alex Trevino, Bill Plummer, Mike Frank, Felipe Lopez, Corey Patterson, Reggie Sanders, Danny Jackson, Dan Driessen, Ron Gant, Curtis Goodwin, Curtis Partch, Jon Coutlangus.

–After tomorrow afternoon’s titanic struggle, the Reds will head out on a ten-game swing through Milwaukee, Chicago, and Atlanta. I expect no fewer than seven wins on that trip.

Today’s Tweets

45 thoughts on “Recap: Reds win behind strong pitching (Wojo and bullpen), longballs from Eugenio Suarez and Stuart Turner

  1. For some reason a 4.15 era jumped in my head as a goal for a competitive Reds team. Currently Wash, Pitt, and Miami are tied for 5th in the NL at 4.13. Wojo is really close at 4.23 so far. You get the 4th-5th starter in that range and find 2 guys that can beat it by a little bit and maybe 1 guy at 3.25 (Castillo?) or something. Then they could compete if the offense improves and the pen isn’t a disaster. Wojo keeps the ball out of the middle of the plate….even that last 2 run HR by Myers was a decent pitch on the outside corner.

  2. I personally wouldn’t mind seeing Wojo long term here. It’s all about results for me and so far he’s done that.

    • Yeah don’t understand why he wouldn’t be wanted for long term. He is what 29? If he keeps pitching like this the rest of the season other teams will be wanting him. He has good command and hits his spots. Nice velocity and great curve. It would be dumb of the Reds to take him out of the rotation now. You know the Cardinals luke to start their young guys out of the bullpen. Maybe the Reds should too. Romano could learn at least how to relax and learn to pitch instead of using maximum energy on every pitch.

  3. Since Dan Driessen is mentioned in this recap….

    (Allegedly, I can’t find the quote) Dan Driessen was asked during a losing streak how the team was doing and he said,

    “It ain’t no fun no more.”

    That phrase has stuck throughout my extended family, across several states, as a general complaint, usable as a response to many questons.

    “Are you still doing good with your diet?”
    “It ain’t no fun no more.”

    “You leaving the party? So soon?”
    “It ain’t no fun no more.”

    Go Redlegs.

    • Dan Driessen – ahh the memories. I asked my Dad why we traded Tony Perez and he said because we have Dan Driessen. He was a solid ballplayer, but I never remember him being excited, or clutch, or Tony.

  4. Random recap post #2 of the night….

    Less than 48 hours to the start of the Premier League, y’all.

    Arsenal v Leicester…on a Friday…to kick off the whole schedule.

    If that isn’t a totally random matchup to start a sports league season, I don’t know what is.

    Roger Goodell is probably looking at that, and re-thinking the idea of putting a NFL team in Tottenham’s new stadium. That’s how bad of a curtain opener it is.

    Whatever. Glad it’s back.

  5. Curious as to what made Woj a supplemental 1st round pick back then? Was it he had more projection with velocity and his movement and control were already good? Reason I ask is, is if it wasn’t about his velocity, then has the light flipped for this guy and he’s focused on and improved his command and now going to be a major league fixture?

    • I haven’t heard much about this guy at all. I was under the impression that he was just a placeholder until someone comes back from injury or one of the other young pitchers figures out how to pitch

  6. Peraza is really going good right now. I don’t know if something clicked or if he’s having a “Scooter Gennett” type run, but he’s definitely going deeper into counts, which can only help. I like to think patience at the plate isn’t something that comes and go due to small sample sizes (correct me if I’m wrong) and the kid is actually turning a corner.

    If he’s hitting something like .275/.325 on September 1st, we might have something here.

    • Joe Morgan was on the broadcast and they were talking about how all of the hitters have started to choke up a la Votto. Maybe just being in the dugout with him over the course of the year has helped Peraza?

      • I’m excited for the kid. Nice solid 2-out rip up the middle. Good to see him playing well and Chad’s right, it was a good at-bat.

  7. Five Reds may finish the season with +20 HRs, it’d be six if Cozart plays more often from now until season’s end, I guess it’s quite an achievement.

  8. Two quick points….1) there’s an article on the Enquirer site today about a change they’ve made to Peraza’s hitting/stance, etc. Small sample size, but early reports are good. 2) Decent dance, but not as good as the one that ex-RLN Spotlight Player, Logan Parker, used to do in the dugout for the Dragons…it was kind of an “MC Hammer, “Can’t touch that” thing.

    • Let’s hope that this tweak for Peraza is the reason for his improved play recently. If he could improve and show that he is capable of solving the SS problem, it would give the Reds a ton of flexibility and depth moving forward and would really help the rebuild from failing.

      As for Asher Wojo, he should definitely stay in rotation when next guy comes back and Adleman is the weakest link in the rotation now. I’ve heard Wojo was actually a pretty high draft pick, maybe he is living up to earlier expectations and could sneak into the Reds’ 2018 pitching plans?

  9. Peraza certainly is a work in progress but why after 400 + at bats are we now hearing about changes being made.He was terrible and hacked at everything game after game and now he is drawing walks and battling to work the count.I just struggle with any major leaguer doing the same thing over and over for 100+ games and then he gets benched then presto he gets it.Maybe the article will provide some clarity and I am not looking to find fault but rather to understand what happened.In reality either he couldn’t apply what he was being taught or nobody bothered to try.Regardless I am glad he is playing better and now if he would just swing and come out of his shoes we may see some of that power.

    • Remember, he was hitting pretty well, though not walking, last year when he got playing time, so the futility wasn’t really pronounced until this year, when he immobilized his lower body and swung the bat with his arms only.

    • He’s young, learning and baseball is really hard. He got all the way to the majors with his swing and had some success last year with it. I think you might not be giving enough credit to how hard it actually is to change the way you swing a 3″ thick bat to hit a 4″ thick ball going 95 mph when you’ve done it one way your entire life.

      • Agree Liptonian. Hitting is hard. Throwing the ball where you want, when you want, is hard. Joey just happens to make hitting look easy.

    • The article discusses how he (and hitting coach Don Long) has worked to change for much of the season, and the new adjustments didn’t all come together until July.

    • Go read the Enquirer piece. Peraza has been working hard all year long to fix things. Baseball is hard, and Peraza is young. It’s not an overnight process.

      I’m cautiously optimistic, as usual, but I’m in “wait and see” mode on Peraza.

  10. Peraza looks much better but I still don’t see how he ends up as a regular on this team? He’s hitting .370 in August but only .841 ops because he has no power. He hit .300 in May w/a .753 ops. Scooter could hit .250 and manage a .750 ops because he hits the ball out of the park (vs righties). If they keep Cozart then Senzel prob slides over to 2B and Scooter is the floating Ben Zobrist guy. If the let Cozart walk then you’re going to play Peraza over Suarez or Scooter? Its hurting them now to play Billy, Peraza, and Tucker together because there is no power there.

    • Not to mention Peraza has 1 steal since May. If he isn’t good enough to bat at the top of the lineup then his chances to contribute w/steals is pretty much taken away!

    • Power or getting on base in front of guys that do have power is what we need.Just can’t play 3 or 4 guys every night that don’t do either one.As Indy said those 3 guys and add in the pitcher puts us at a disadvantage in our own ball park.

    • Scooter is 11 for his last 56. Let’s wait a little bit before we grant him anything. I think by the end of the,season they will know who is the real deal. Now that Peraza is,hitting he seems more relaxed in the field. If Peraza can hit for good average and over 320 OBP I’ll take it.

      • Scooter is proven commodity vs righties though. If they platooned him like they’re supposed to then he puts up more offense then Peraza easily!

        • I understand . If you want to go by OPS Peraza was better than him last year. All I’m saying is let’s wait until the end of the season . Scooter has had a nice 3 months to start the season. Let’s see how he ends it. Right now he blows. Like steve M. Had mentioned yesterday. Let’s hope the Reds didn’t pass up a good trade for Scooter.

        • You make a good argument for not playing Scooter much in these final two months of this ‘sorting’ season; let others, primarily Peraza, play a lot to develop and to determine their future. If no one is better than Scooter versus righties when the Reds are contending, he can be the platoon guy.

  11. Yes I do remember and you are right.I guess its the 400 + at bats that concern me and all of us could see just what you said about him swinging with his arms.I did go back and read some about the changes on the Reds site and all were sayng he was kind of back to where he was last year.I was looking for something definitive that had been done that you could see at the plate and was also looking for that the hitting coaches had been working all year on this change or that change.Peraza did say he had been watching tape of Arrenado of the Rockies and trying to apply some of what he does to his swing.A player shouldn’t have to be benched to work at his craft but rather should work at his craft to keep from being benched.Maybe it is just a coincidence but his plate discipline is impressive right now.Go Jose Peraza.We need you.

    • I think it is a coincidence that the threat of being bench (or being benched and coming back only due to injury) changed his hitting. I’m guessing he’s been working on this for awhile and changes take time. He’s likely never going to be a guy who produces much power (like Billy H) but he’s a middle infielder and I can live with that if he can get on base at a reasonable pace and play either 2B or SS well enough. He’s already a better 2Bman than Scooter historically has been.

  12. In other good news, Votto continues his MVP campaign (will never happen with current system) and is now in sole possession as leader in MLB in OPS.

    At nearly 34 years young, that will do Joey, that will do.

    • Lets not get carried away. Joey is great, but he is no Arenado, nor a Goldschmidt. Arenado is all universe with his glove in addition to his importance to Colorado’s offense, and Goldschmidt is excellent on the base paths in addition to being their key run producer. We’ll see Joey get a number of MVP votes, he might reside just outside the top 5.

  13. Winker leading off today.

    Kivlehan starting in CF, batting seventh.

    Cozart at SS batting second.

    Gennett at 2B.

    • I think it’s good that Billy is getting a day off. I still like Kivlehan as a guy off the bench and spot starter.

  14. Wojo should continue to get a shot. His numbers look like a #4-5 starter so far. I hope we can still flip Feldman. Keep the rotation as: 1. Castillo 2. Bailey 3. Wojo 4. Romano 5. Stephenson (10day dl)/Adleman. Quite a poor rotation, but the club should still be all about sorting. It is too bad they won’t go ahead and give Lorenzen some starter innings to figure out how good he is at starting.

    Things to me are headed in the right direction because of the development of Castillo, Wojo?, Suarez, Barnhart, Iggy, Peralta, etc. and minor leaguers on the doorstep; Mahle, Senzel, Blandino, Hopefully a healthy Herrera, to go with a load of strong bullpen candidates.

    • Wojo’s ERA as a starter is 6.11 with an FIP of 5.74. He’s had two pretty good starts against the Cardinals C+ lineup and a really bad Padres lineup. Let’s wait and see if he can keep it up, but it is overwhelmingly likely he has no future in the Reds’ rotation.

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