With the series win, the Reds have achieved non-contender payback for Atlanta taking two out of three at GABP in early June. The Reds are 5-4 on the road trip and have a three-game winning streak. They go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon on Luis Castillo Day.
Welcome back Scott Schebler! The Reds right fielder made his first start since July 30. He’d been on the disabled list with a sore left shoulder. Schebler walked his first plate appearance, singled to right his second time up, doubled to left-center in the sixth inning and doubled to right-center in the eighth. He scored two runs. Remember that through July 7, Schebler had hit 22 home runs and was batting .258/.332/.537.
Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza began the game with identical on-base percentages of .299. Out of 157 major league hitters who qualify for the batting title, Peraza and Hamilton are #140 and #141 in that category. They are two of the bottom four in the major leagues in power. So naturally, Bryan Price gave them the most at bats, because they’re fast. Meanwhile, Eugenio Suarez (OBP .379) hits 6th, Scooter Gennett (OBP .341) hits 5th and Jesse Winker (OBP .383) rides the bench.
Hamilton (0-5) and Peraza (1-4) combined to go 1 for 9 with a walk and infield single. Batting Hamilton lead-off has become self-parody. If you didn’t know better you might think it was something opponents make the Reds do. A bit of news you weren’t sure whether or not it was from The Onion. If Bryan Price is going to manage the Reds like this the rest of the season, Dick Williams should fire him right now.
Somehow, Robert Stephenson has only made four starts for the Reds this season. Overall, tonight was a successful start. He went 5 innings and gave up 1 earned run (a Brandon Phillips solo homer) on 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4. He was lifted for a pinch hitter in the fifth after throwing just 75 pitches.
Stephenson might have been pulled early because it was his first start in a while. Or because there was a runner on third and two outs and Price thought the value of scoring another run was greater than another inning from Stephenson. In Stephenson’s last start, he gave up 1 run and 2 hits to the Pirates in 5.2 innings. In between, he pitched two shutout, hitless innings of relief against the Brewers.
Asher Wojciechowski relieved Stephenson and pitched the 6th and 7th innings. He had been a candidate to take Scott Feldman’s rotation turn on Wednesday, but Bryan Price had said if he needed to use Wojciechowski in relief, he would and that would make it less likely he’d get the start. Wojciechowski gave up four hits and two runs in two innings. He struck out two.
Wandy Peralta pitched the 8th and worked around two base runners without giving up a run.
Blake Wood won’t be putting this road trip on his resumé. It started with Wood giving up five runs without recording an out in Milwaukee. He gave up a walk-off wild pitch in Chicago. Tonight, Wood came in to pitch the 9th with a seven run lead and gave up two hits, a home run and another hit before being pulled.
Michael Lorenzen gave up a couple hits, but also struck out two in closing out the ninth.
Scooter Gennett hit a grand slam because of course he did. He also had a sacrifice fly, a single and a walk. Joey Votto drove in a run with a double down the left field line and had a single. Adam Duvall had two hits and a walk. Tucker Barnhart had three hits.
Gennett made a fantastic defensive play in the 2nd inning, charging a weak ground ball and shoveling it with his glove hand to Votto. Two runners were on base. Duvall made another superb play in left field, charging a sinking liner and diving for an out in the third inning. Peraza made a nice backhanded grab of a hard-hit ground ball to get a force at second in the 6th.
On the other side of the defense ledger, Peraza made an error in the first inning, missing a line drive hit right to him. Stephenson committed two errors. He dropped the ball covering first base when he looked down to find the base. In the fourth inning, he threw wide to first on a bunt. It wasn’t that bad of a throw, but Gennett was covering the bag. A regular first baseman probably makes the catch.
Amir Garrett pitched for the Louisville Bats tonight. Remember when the Reds interrupted Garrett’s good start to the season by sending him down to the minor leagues for service time reasons? Garrett had made six starts for the Reds, in five of those he pitched at least six innings and gave up two or fewer runs. Garrett’s line tonight: 5.2 innings, 4 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts.
I’d like to see Cody Reed get Scott Feldman‘s spot in the rotation starting Wednesday. Reed has made one start (against the Cubs) with the Reds this year.
From the “Where Are They Now” department: The Yankees have removed Aroldis Chapman from the closer role due to ineffectiveness. Chapman, who is 29, signed a 5-year, $86 million free agent contract with New York this offseason.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.