Well, there went the 1-game winning streak.
23-year-old Sal Romano made his 16th start of the season for the Reds. That’s two more than the club gave to Bronson Arroyo, before his 40-year-old shoulder reached checkmate. Romano pitched 5.2 innings while striking out 7. He walked 2 and gave up 7 hits. Romano’s 2-out walk in the 6th inning proved fateful as a subsequent double drove in the run.
Luke Farrell, Wandy Peralta and Cody Reed checked the Brewers for the next 2.1 innings.
Patrick Kivlehan hit his 9th home run. Over 201 plate appearances, Kivlehan has an ISO of .194, which is really good. He draws walks at a way-above-average rate (10.9%), has played 1B, 3B and all three OF positions. What more could you ask for a bench player making league-minimum salary? He’s on my 2018 Reds roster, unless something unexpected happens.
Billy Hamilton got picked off attempting to steal second base about 30 seconds before Patrick Kivlehan homered. Remember that every time a runner gets caught stealing or picked off stealing, it negates three successful steals in terms of run creation. Given the record number of home runs being hit, stolen bases (or playing for any individual base) has never been worth less.
The Reds strung together a single by Kivlehan, double by Joey Votto, single by Scooter Gennett and a line shot single by Jesse Winker to produce two runs in the 6th inning.
For about 15 minutes this afternoon, I thought Robert Stephenson was starting today’s game, so I did a little stat check on him. What I found argues for a little brake tapping. In his 11 starts for the Reds, Stephenson has put up a shiny 3.44 ERA, but as you look a little deeper, his FIP is 4.21 (normalizing BABIP), his xFIP is 4.81 (normalizing home runs) and SIERA is 4.96 (best of the ERA-estimators).
Here’s the problem. Stephenson is walking the house. 187 major league pitchers have thrown 50 innings as a starter this year. Of those players, Stephenson has the worst walk-rate of all of them, whether your pleasure is BB/9 or BB%.
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.