If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Now that the Reds starting pitching has turned a statistical corner and is producing more quality starts than non-quality starts, the offense has gone south, having been shut out in three of the last eight games. Every team, no matter how good, goes through streaks like this during a 162-game season. The Reds will try to break out of the scoring malaise today in the rubber game of a three-game series at PNC Park against the Pirates.

Just two starts into his major league career, righthander Tyler Mahle is already generating a buzz. In his second start against the same team in six days, Mahle pitched six shutout innings against Pittsburgh Saturday. The second time around – whether it be through the batting order within a game, or the second starting assignment against a team – is typically when major league teams do some damage against young pitchers. They’ve seen his stuff and know what to look for. In Mahle’s case, it wasn’t an advantage for the Bucs.

Much like Luis Castillo, Mahle is eliciting “wow” reactions from long-time Reds watchers:

Mahle has a quiet confidence in his ability, even though he’s a few weeks short of his 23rd birthday. Asked how he felt about facing former National League MVP Andrew McCutchen with the bases loaded, he responded, “I’ve faced him six times now, I think. I’m not saying I’ve figured him out or anything, but I know what I have to do, and if I make quality pitches, the odds are definitely in my favor:”

Today, Sal Romano looks to continue a hot streak and to keep his name top-of-mind for Reds management as they ponder the 2018 pitching rotation.

Starting Pitchers

Sal Romano 58.1 4.91 4.74 18.6% 10.3%
Trevor Williams 127.2 4.37 4.58 17.3% 8.0%

Romano’s last three starts have all been “quality” starts (6 or more innings, 3 runs or fewer). In that stretch, his ERA is 2.70:

Jeff Brantley on Romano’s most recent start:

Trevor Williams is another young righthander who got away from the Marlins (like Luis Castillo), and the Pirates are hoping he will continue to develop.


All Reds relievers should be available, with the possible exception of Wandy Peralta, who exited last night’s game with an apparent right hip injury. I’ve not been able to find any update on the severity of the injury as of this story being posted. (Manager Bryan Price addressed it in his post-game media briefing Saturday, which is posted under News and Notes below.)

Starting Lineups

Reds Pirates
CF Billy Hamilton LF Starling Marte
SS Jose Peraza 2B Max Moroff
1B Joey Votto CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Adam Duvall 1B Josh Bell
2B Scooter Gennett RF Jordan Luplow
3B Eugenio Suarez C Elias Diaz
RF Scott Schebler 3B Sean Rodriguez
C Chad Wallach SS Jordy Mercer
P Sal Romano P Trevor Williams

News and Notes


Jose Siri keeps on keepin’ on …


Bryan Price on the fact he is being retained as Reds manager (beginning at 2:06) …


Tucker Barnhart is back with the team …


Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison is unavailable today and probably for the remainder of the season …

39 Responses

  1. seat101

    How many reds will get plant today? I say at least three…

  2. Michael Smith

    I have a novel idea, let’s bat Suarez in front of Votto instead of Pereza.

    • Steven Ross

      How about in the order we swap Schebler and Gennett? Price never wavers. Locked in stone.

      • TR

        Nothing new in the batting order for another year, and bunt calls for players with little talent in bunting.

  3. vegastypo

    This is wacky. Just turned on the broadcast, use the radio feed overlay, and they used the Bryan’s Price’s Comments segment from Saturday, talking about what we will see from Tyler Mahle in his second start, and Schebler not being in the lineup. … Gee, Romano is pitching today, and Schebler is in the lineup, no?

    • Jack

      Why bunt when the fastest guy in the league Is on first? Let him steal. Then Billy gets picked off and Votto doubles. Like you said i’s it 2019 yet?

    • james garrett

      Followed by Billy getting picked off and a Votto double.How foolish is this team?

  4. james garrett

    No words to describe how silly we can look at times.Little league stuff from professional players.

  5. james garrett

    Got to go for today.Bring home a win nation but honestly this team with its bunts and getting picked off and swinging at everything kind of resembles a team 20 games under on Sept 3rd that has got shut out 3 times in the last 7 games.

  6. Scott Carter

    2 Bunts in 3 innings. Ridiculous even if they were bunting for hits.

    • seat101

      The infield will have to play them differently and later at bats. They didn’t work, but that doesn’t mean they were bad decisions.

  7. bouwills

    Another duh moment in baseball, Duvall safe by a half step, called out by umpire. What has happened to these guys? Or were there always this many bad calls & we just accepted it?

    • vegastypo

      Ya know, that’s what bugs me the most about maybe doing away with replay. We used to hear that umpires would get the call right 90 or 95 or whatever percent of the time, Gee, it’s probably more like 60 or 70 percent. If that’s good enough for people who want to go only by the ‘human element,’ then so be it, I guess. But we have learned what we were missing prior to the use of replay.

  8. vegastypo

    Honestly, I didn’t mind Peraza’s bunt in the first inning SO much, because he was going for a base hit, but hit it too hard and the fielder made a nice play. I missed an inning there, didn’t see the second bunt, unless that was a reference to Scooter. And Scooter can do that all day long as far as I’m concerned, if the defense keeps giving it to him.

    • Jack

      Exactly. If hitters are going to complain about the shift then lay down about 10 in a row for hits and it goes away. It’s not that complicated. Drop your egos at the door and do it for the team.

  9. VaRedsFan

    If you throw eye-high pitches to Schebler, you will get him out EVERY time

  10. VaRedsFan

    Wallach drops a foul pop for an error…next pitch is a double…of course, and of course he scores

    • vegastypo

      You know, this is the third start of Romano’s — that I can remember — where he was badly impacted by poor defense. I know it’s the pitcher’s responsibility to “pick the defense up” and work around it, but enough is enough. This kid deserved better today.

    • TR

      But Bryan seems to think otherwise with Billy a fixture as his leadoff man.

  11. james garrett

    Just checked back to see how Big Sal did and it looks like he did ok today.Looks like we are on our way to being shut out again but hey it happens I guess.Four times in the last 8 games is kind of bad though.

    • CI3J

      4 BB for Big Sal and only 2 K. But still, only 2 ER. Against a better lineup, he probably would have done much worse, so he should be thanking the Pirates for being almost as offensively inept as the Reds have been recently.

      • james garrett

        We are not as good offensively as most think.We have spent most of the year playing from behind and get a lot of cookies to hit down by 5 runs or more.The last 10 games or so our starters have kept it close so less cookies.That’s why we have to get more players with high obp in our line up next year.

  12. Old-school

    Cody Reed threw 3 shutout innings today and was replaced. Castillo makes his final start of the year Wednesday. Assuming Reed was just getting work in as their season winds down…does Reed move into the rotation for Castillo?

    • CI3J

      He should. Whether the Regressive Reds agree is another matter.

    • Jack

      Probably Adleman or Wojo. Sarcasm that I hope doesn’t come true.

  13. redsfan06

    Billy trying his best not to walk.

    • vegastypo

      Yeah, thank God we had such good ‘hitters’ getting the extra plate appearances today. Game over.

      • Jack

        I’m going to say it again . When you need a big hit your weakest hitter (s) will always be up. It always happens.

  14. james garrett

    Took the words right out of my mouth Vegas.Our starters have been good lately but we can’t score.This is just a glimpse of what is coming down the road because we will pitch better barring injuries.Games will be tighter,no more cookie pitches for us to hit because we are down 5 runs.Get ready to discuss our offensive woes next year.Low obp and giving the worse hitters the most at bats will be a big time topic.Anybody actually think Billy or then Peraza was going to hit a ball hard enough to drive in those runners?Of course not.