Final R H E
Washington Nationals (2-0) 13 14 1
Cincinnati Reds (0-2) 7 12 0
W: Stephen Strasburg (1-0)  L: Luis Castillo (0-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

Remember how nice it was to open the season against the Phillies two years in a row? The Reds didn’t get that luxury for a third consecutive season, instead drawing the Washington Nationals and the best hitter in baseball right now. No, not Bryce Harper. Nope, not Ryan Zimmerman either. Anthony Rendon? Negative.

Adam Eaton. The Washington leadoff hitter went 5-for-5 on the afternoon, including two doubles, four runs scored, and a home run, to lead the onslaught against Reds pitching.

Here’s how it all went down:

The Hitters

The 2017 offense showed up today.

Scott Schebler was responsible for the first run of the year when he took Stephen Strasburg deep in the bottom of the fourth inning. That was the first time Strasburg had allowed a home run since August 19 of last season. Schebler also doubled in the eighth inning.

Adam Duvall (solo) and Eugenio Suarez (two-run) also homered. Jesse Winker went 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Scooter Gennett picked up two more hits and an RBI; he’s now hitting .667 after two games, and we can safely say the batting title will come down to him and Eaton.

But the Cincinnati offense also missed some rather large opportunities. The Reds loaded the bases with no outs twice against Strasburg and managed just two runs.

The Hurlers

After a nice outing by Homer Bailey on Opening Day, Luis Castillo couldn’t follow suit. Castillo flashed his electric stuff today, but he left a few balls out over the plate and paid for it. In five innings, the right-hander struck out six but allowed six runs (including two homers) on six hits and a walk. Castillo also had some shaky defense to blame. In the third inning, Schebler took a poor route on a fly ball over his head that resulted in a double for Eaton (more on that later), who would come around to score later.

On the bright side, Castillo’s velocity was fine (95.9 mph average fastball velocity and a maximum of 98.3 mph) and he got a ton of swings and misses. His changeup, per usual, was really working. He threw it 28 times and got 15 whiffs, and five of his six strikeouts came on the pitch.

That’s where the positives end, though, as the bullpen was also knocked around.

Austin Brice made his season debut in the sixth. He pitched two innings and gave up one run on three hits. The run came on a round-tripper by Barry Bonds Eaton, who the Reds should probably just intentionally walk four times tomorrow.

Jackson Stephens threw an inning and allowed two runs on two hits. Kevin Quackenbush was lit up in in the ninth, giving up a grand slam to Brian Goodwin after a single and two walks. Jared Hughes had to clean up the mess and got the final out on one pitch.

Raisel Iglesias, Michael Lorenzen, and David Hernandez can’t come back soon enough.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

  • It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of Castillo, but he’s going to have days like this. He’s only 25 and has just 16 big-league starts under his belt, after all.
  • Billy Hamilton was out of the lineup today, and it became quickly apparent how much the Reds need his defense. The center fielder was Schebler, and his first opportunity to make a play did not go well. Eaton hit a deep fly ball over his head that got Schebler turned around and dropped just out of his reach for a ground-rule double. The play would’ve been a routine one for Hamilton, and it demonstrated why he’ll still get plenty of playing time this season despite his offensive shortcomings.
  • It’s been a rough couple of days for Jose Peraza. He struck out two more times today, giving him five in eight plate appearances. Through two games, he’s faced 26 pitches and swung at 17 of them. He’s obviously gone against two top-quality starting pitchers, but the way he’s chased pitches out of the strike zone is concerning. Plate discipline has been a problem for him and it has to improve if he’s going to be a productive big-league player.
  • Phil Gosselin and Cliff Pennington, who both made the roster for some reason, each made their Reds debuts as pinch hitters. Gosselin struck out on three pitches and Pennington singled.

Up Next

Sal Romano (4.45 ERA, 4.47 xFIP in 2017) will make his season debut on Sunday in the series finale against the Nationals. He’ll duel against left-hander Gio Gonzalez (2.96 ERA, 4.24 xFIP), yet another Washington pitcher who finished in the top-six in NL Cy Young voting last year. First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. ET.

Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

Join the conversation! 74 Comments

  1. 25 strike outs in 2 games isn’t………..good.

    Reply
    • Look on the bright side. The Whiny Little Birds have 27 Ks in 2 G.

      Like Matt said, two really tough pitchers and another tomorrow. Rough opponent to start the season, but it’s a verrrry long season.

      Reply
  2. This is the false narrative in Redsland. The 2017 outfield was very flawed. Who plays CF defensively better than Billy? Well. No one. I’m not sure Billy catches that ball. It was a 3 iron and Billy plays shallow. But that did not determine the outcome of the game.

    I am certain the Reds would have still lost with him in CF. Last year’s outfield was very flawed. This year’s bullpen is very flawed and CF and SS is still very flawed too. Starting pitching needs more sorting abd is very flawed. This team is very flawed

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    • Other than that, no problems, right?

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    • I remember when the Reds were the best team in baseball. That is about all I can hold onto these days.
      The Reds are going to have do more than buildthis team through the farm system while trading away every good player for more minor leaguers. I do not see a team that is going to challenge fur anything but last place in the next 3-4 years.
      Thank you, Walt. You destroyed this franchise.

      Reply
    • Ah, but they lost without him in the lineup. I was pretty sure that couldn’t happen. Schebler’s mis-play didn’t determine the outcome of the game, to be sure, but that runner did score, so it could have on a different day. I’d be happy if Schebler were a good centerfielder, and it’s early days, but for now, yesterday’s outfield has one good fielder.

      Reply
  3. The old surgically repaired some say barely 5th starter looked like a veteran front line starter yesterday, today the flame trowing front line young ace looked like a triple A starter. Hopefully as the season moves along we get a lot more of the former and a lot less of the latter. Not a good two days for old Jose 0-8, 6 strikeouts. The rest of the offense performed well today, as expected. Go get em tomorrow!

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  4. Wow, the comments and frustration on the game thread were disappointing. I would love for the Reds to be 2-0 right now and humiliating the Nats, but the Nats are good and the Reds are trying to become good.

    How about some good observations…

    We wanted a leadoff hitter. In 2 games Winker is AVERAGING well over 5 pitches per PA. That would be almost 6 except he had a 4-pitch walk. That’s good. Winker’s OBP through 2 games is 0.444. That’s good. Through 2 games, Winker has scored 2 runs. That’s good. Price batted Winker in the #1 hole of both games, with and without Hamilton in the lineup. That’s good.

    We wanted to see at least mediocre to average pitching from Bailey and we got superb pitching from Bailey. That’s good.

    We marveled at Castillo’s 2017 performance and annointed him the next Ace of the staff to replace the departed Cueto. The 25-year-old kid without a full season of MLB gave up 6 runs but pitched pretty good overall. He had one bad inning, the first inning of his first game of the season after hearing all the hype and accolades all off season and ST. After the 1st inning, the kid pitched a solid game against a talented, veteran lineup. That’s good.

    HR today from from Schebler, Duvall and Suarez. That’s good.

    Gennett, Schebler and Duvall with OPS > 0.900. That’s good.

    We need to find out which OF can play most effectively at the MLB level and through 2 games, all 4 OF have started. Duvall and Schebler have hit. Winker has gotten on base. Hamilton has played defense. The only thing needed to to verify with more opportunities to verfy what and how the Reds need to upgrade the OF going forward. Chances are, the Reds will need to add a new starting OF option to two of the existing starting OF options. That’s good.

    The Reds need to identify which relievers can be trusted and which relievers need to be upgraded. During the 1st 2 games, we’ve seen mixed results from the bullpen, but we are seeing the bullpen utilized to identify needs for the future. That’s good.

    We need to find out if Peraza can be the answer at SS. Peraza has played both games and certainly needs to play a lot more, but we may be getting the answer we need, if not the answer we want. That’s good.

    We need to find out if Scooter can play at a level offensively to justify his poor defense as a starter or platoon option. Scooter appears to be picking up where he left off last season. That’s good.

    I’m disappointed in the two losses but I’m not seeing any red flags friom the play on the field, just red flags from the management and front office.

    The Reds faced two of the most dominating starters in the NL during the 1st two games. Let’s not allow that to crush our hopes or cloud our expectations for the entire season afrter just 2 games.

    Reply
    • I agree. The negativity I’ve seen from a lot of fans is bizarre. It’s two games against a really good team.

      Reply
      • It’s just good old fashioned anticipation-based disappointment. Losing two games like this in July, and no one bats an eye. Since we’ve all been waiting 6 months, it’s just harder when the first two shots you get at being excited are sort of ho-hum.

        Reply
      • Just following the writers . You all do nothing but bash the owners right on down to the players.

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        • To be fair, we commentors do more than our share of bashing. Players, manager, GM, owner…We were doing this when the Reds were winning because we didn’t like the way Dusty was managing. We’ll continue when the Reds start winning again. It’s fun. It’s easy. I don’t read fan blogs for other teams, but I’d be surprised if they aren’t similar, albeit less civilized and with distinctly inferior writing.

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    • Its not the 2 games….its the last 3 years and then watching the Reds FO sit this one out while Milw, St. Louis, and the Cubs added quality talent. Milwaukee’s starting pitching may be no better then the Reds but they’ve put together a nice bullpen. Even fellow cheapskate Pittsburgh picked up Corey Dickerson (.829 lifetime ops) shortly after Tampa cut him loose and he threw out the would-be winning run yesterday. He’s making 6 mil/year.

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      • It’s even more than the last three years. It is most of the years since 1990. We have finished above .500 only a handful of times. It is very frustrating to be a Reds fan.

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    • I think every observation you made is correct. The starters will be better this year. The bullpen could still be further away (more moves in offseason) to being good enough. Really every observation you made is correct, however you kinda brushed over the management / front office part where that is a concern. That’s a huge part of it if the Reds are going to make the postseason again, even in 2019.

      There are still a few very key moves that will likely need to be made in order for that to happen and the front office will have to pull those off correctly.

      I see them probably neededing to acquire a starter. At least a solid number 2 type to mix with what we have. I think it’s almost certain the bullpen will need more upgrading. I agree with you on the OF. 2 of the current 4 need to be moved and one new one acquired that can play center and hit because Hamilton should be one of the ones moved.

      Senzel will be at SS or 2B so they may or may not need to do anything with the middle infield assuming the OF has been handled correctly before 2019.

      So while I agree with every point you made, the front office /manager part of the equation is still a big deal and one that I wish I had more faith in than I do.

      Reply
      • But you can see the making of a good team if the front office completes what they need to this summer and next winter.

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      • You are absolutely correct. I deliberately ‘brushed over’ the issues regarding the front office and management. I’ve pounded those issues pretty hard already. I intend to hopefully enjoy this season.

        I just didn’t like all the blatant negativity I was seeing and a lot of it was simply not justified. The Reds still have problems, but they have a real chance to address those problems in a big way, if the front office has the desire and commitment to properly address those issues. If not…well the Reds really blew it and in today’s economic baseball environment, will probably not get another chance during my lifetime.

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    • Jesse Winker can hit lead off and play LF for the next good Reds team. No other outfielders can play every day. They are all deeply flawed. Scott schebler is a great DH and 4 th outfielder in the AL. Hes not an ever day player in the NL for a playoff team- unless Lorenzo Cain or mike trout is in cf. Jose Peraza got his chance to play 2b every day last year and failed miserably. Has any player failed at 2b but then succeded at shortstop later?

      Scooter can hit RH pitching in GABP really well. But he’s not the next great 3.9 WAR 2b on the next good Reds team. He does have value but is a niche player. Adam Eaton is an every day outfielder. Trae turner is a young shortstop with potential. The Nats bullpen is good….vets who are proven. Contrast that with the Reds. That’s not even taking into account the Nats SP or Bryce Harper.

      CF and shortstop are big holes. The bullpen is a big hole. You score 7 runs against the Nats and still lose by 2 field goals. That’s a problem.

      Reply
      • The Reds scored the seven runs while completely out of the game. It looks good on paper but the outcome was not in doubt. At times they were a home run away from getting close but to no avail. The Reds are what they have been the last four years.

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      • Even with his sub par play at 2B – you can see that Gennett can hit (as he’s the Reds most professional hitter outside of Joey) .

        Reply
      • Peraza didn’t fail at 2B last year. He lost his job, at age 23, before half the season had gone by. It’s another example of the Reds prioritizing “winning” in he short term over sorting for the rebuild.

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    • Great comments

      Reply
    • You’re right at the top of the list with your negativity for the front office and Hamilton and Peraza. You can’t have it both ways. You filled up the comments section pretty good the last couple of days. Can’t have it both ways .

      Reply
  5. I see some parallels with the Bengals’ start.

    Game 1: Reds lost 2-0; Bengals lost 20-0 (similarly looking scores)
    Game 2: Reds lost 13-7; Bengals lost 13-9 (similar scores)

    I can see the Reds having a parallel season overall when compared the Bengals: underwhelming and disappointing.

    Reply
  6. Well, sounds like the season is over. Wish I hadn’t bought the mlb.tv package.

    Reply
    • I was just having the same thought. Now that we have two games in the books and know how the rest of the season will go, what’s the point of watching?

      Reply
  7. Got to go to the game today. Pleasant and warm while the sun was out. Nice day at the ballpark. Castillo looked to be up all day with his fb and when he tried to come in at the knees was missing. That’s how it looked from my vantage pt. His changeup was just flat nasty. He will be okay.

    Wrt gennett and schebler, both hot the ball to left field again today. Gennett looks to me like he’s worked on hitting off of southpaws and hitting it to left. Schebler looks great at the plate. Pounding his 2b to left center. Really good to see.

    Also Winker is patient and has a good eye. Looked relaxed all day in the box.

    Reply
    • Also, Eaton is Good.

      Reply
      • Seeing Eaton in the Nats starting lineup really irks me. Not because he plays for the Nats. The Nats paid dearly to obtain his services and contract, but because he does not play for the Reds and could have if WJ and BC had any real, modern baseball sense and awareness.

        In 2012, it was blatantly obvious that the Snakes did not fully appreciate the young OF coming up through their minor league system and nearing major league readiness. He wasn’t a thumper and while he could play CF, he profiled more as a corner OF. When he failed to immediately produce at the major league level in 2013, the Snakes soured and traded him to the White Sox in a 3-way trade involving the LAA with the White Sox giving up Hector Santiago and the dreaded PTBNL. Santiago has a career rWAR of -6.3. The Reds were obviously not interested. Eaton has a career rWAR of +16.3 and a career OBP of 0.358 over just 544 games. That’s an average of 4.8 rWAR per 162 games.

        That was WJ’s and BC’s Reds. Today, Eaton went 5-5 w/ 1-HR & 2-2B from the leadoff position against the Reds. The Old Cossack screamed bloody murder in 2012 and 2013 and was screaming bloody murder today.

        To make matter worse, the same situation evolved with Dexter Fowler when he was traded by the ROX to Houston during the 2013 off season and subsequently traded by Houston to the Stupid Cubbies during the 2015 off season, while the Reds sat on the sidelines.

        That’s what really ticked me off today.

        Reply
        • Just imagine how the Brewers feel when Scooter went 4- for- 4 yesterday!! or hitting 4 hrs in a game last year and the kind of season he had and that same Reds’ front office got him for free?

          pd: Eaton missed last season. how ticked off you’d be after paying so dearly?. BTW, is one game, let’s see how his season ends.

          Reply
          • I wasn’t a proponent of trading for Eaton with the cost that the Nats paid in prospects. I was wanted Eaton (or Fowler) when they were available for a pitance.

            Eaton has an injury history, but played 150+ games in 2015 & 2016. His game does not rely on speed or power and is under contract and team control through 2019 with team options for 2020 & 2021. Yes, at the end of the season, let’s see how Eaton is performaning after averaging 6+ rWAR in 2015 and 2016 and see how the Nats feel about the cost to aquire him last season.

            Milwaukee was certainly penny wise and pound foolish when they waived Scooter and the Reds got extremely lucky by claiming him as a role player. I’m not sure how that situation compares but I’m glad the Reds have Scooter playing in a wishbone C at GABP.

        • In my best Jason Bateman imitation, with Pepper = Cossack.
          “Cossack needs new shorts!!”
          I remember those days about Eaton.

          Reply
  8. So what is it about Jackson Stephens that they saw in Spring that earned him the promotion?
    15.12 ERA, 8IP, 12 hits, 14 earned runs?

    Reply
    • He’s only on the team right now because of injuries to Lorenzen, Hernandez, and Shackelford. There weren’t a lot of options left on the 40-man roster. I imagine he’ll be going back to the minors when Iglesias is activated in a day or two.

      Reply
      • I think that’s exactly right. Stephens is in over his head right now. But he was a body. Somebody has to go down right away when Iglesias is back from his Daddy Leave in the next day or two. Price probably wanted to get an inning or two out of Stephens before he goes back down. Of course it went badly. Heck, the guy didn’t even have much of a spring performance to point to.

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  9. I need to say a few words about Adam Duvall. I was glad to see him in the lineup when I got to the park. He has to be wondering what more he has to do. After coming in a trade as an after-thought, all he had done his hit 30hrs and 100 RBIs while playing excellent LF. I understand the Reds situation, of course. Winker needs to play. But all the same I feel for a guy like Duvall who has contributed so much in the short time he’s been here.

    Oh, and look who’s leading the Reds in RBIs already. Duvall with 3 today.

    Reply
    • Duvall has a wRC+ of 105 and 98 the past two seasons. He is solid on defense.
      The wRC+ for the second half last year was 69 which was the lowest among qualified hitters in the NL. Not sure he should be considered a for certain starter in the OF for the Reds.
      wRC+ of 100 is considered average on offense

      Reply
    • Adam Duvall has two issues he really can’t avoid: (1) Duvall is a 29-year-old corner OF and (2) Duvall’s game is predicated on his power bat. On the upside, Duvall’s 3.7 rWAR and 3.2 rWAR during the past 2 seasons make him VERY cost effective.

      Unfortunately Duvall’s main attribute, power, does not age well and he will be on the wrong side of 30 next season.

      Scott Schebler is 2 years younger than Duvall and profiles with the same skill set. The question hanging over Schebler’s head is his 2017 performance and injury. If Schebler’s drop in performance during the 2nd half was directly attributable to his injury, then Schebler has the same or higher upside than Duvall. If Schebler’s drop in performance during the 2nd half was not substantially injury related he probably has a lower upside than Duvall. The Reds can probably use only one of those two OF as a starting corner OF.

      I don’t know that Duvall or Schebler has much market value now as a corner OF since the corner OF market is pretty stale. I’m completely fine with keeping them both on the roster and platooning them in RF or keeping one as a starter and one as a reserve OF since they are both cost effective for the next few seasons. I do think Winker needs to start and play regularly in LF.

      Reply
      • Thanks, I know about duvall’s age working against him, his relative performance in the second halves of each of the last two years and his so-so advanced stats. I’m just sympathizing with how he must feel at this point in his career. He’s a professional and he knows that this is a business. All the same, I’m just speaking as a fan who appreciates his contributions these past two years (not that others here don’t).

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        • Thank you. I have no problem with Duvall. I remember when LF was a wasteland.
          Duvall was over-used by Price last year. In case you haters forgot, how many OF assists did he have last year? I’ll wait.

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          • Duvall is a better fielder than Schebler and has a better arm. They’re similar as hitters.

      • I agree. We are stuck with Duvall and Schebler for the next 2 years. We just have to wait until Jose Siri and Taylor Trammel arrive to have a really really good outfield.

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  10. 30 hrs and 100 RBIs, two years in a row.

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  11. Ho hum. Wake me when it’s May, and we have – more healthy pitchers and a larger sample size of games to critique.

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  12. I’m still optimistic that this team will be an improvement over the last three years. A bad start but the beauty of baseball is being able to overcome adversity

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  13. If it’s any consolation the 114 win 1998 Yankees began the season 0-3.

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    • Yep. It’s a long 162. I’m not happy with the rebuild and there are a million things making me scratch my head on a daily basis. We still have ZERO idea of how this year is going to go down though. 3 games tells us almost diddly.

      Reply
  14. I’m digging Brian p’s lineup when nick comes up I have a feeling things will get interesting

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  15. So, it’s not Bham (seriously, he didn’t play!). It’s not Price (he has done EVERYTHING you guys wanted). Yeah he put Duvall in, but he did come through right?. So now is Peraza. Or WJ “influence” adding Gallardo or whatever.

    This team is not good, period. Very low baseball IQ and fundamentals. While some people live and die for metrics, the essence of baseball is playing the right way. Running the bases properly, efficient pitching, smart defense, timely hitting (yeah old school for some). They want us to believe that Winker’s obp and leading off is salvation. Sorry, nope.

    You all might blame all of the above guys and then some (please leave Billy out, HE DIDN’T PLAY!!!), but truth is that leaving the bases loaded – the game still close- with your best hitter looking at strike 3 is not only plain stupid but hurtful to any team. I know he can’t be mentioned or else….but this has been the critic over the years. Excellent individual numbers but never when they count (2010,2012, 2013, sigh). The rest of the team just follow the tone. Go for the walk for a few or swing hard at everything for the rest. No middle ground, no situational hitting, no hits and runs or work the counts. On the other side, how many times have they been beaten when a hitter is 0 and 2? Just yesterday, 3 times. Keep track on it. Dumb pitching selection and worst execution. Yesterday and today defense has cost 5 runs already on dumb plays. Oh, and the running tootblants haven’t started….yet. It’s simple: A dumb team.

    Is the Front Office to blame too?. Of course. Some love to blame Jocketty, but HE WON. With the Reds. The best teams over the last 20 years were under his watch. Did He make mistakes? of course. All GMs do. But HE WON. Some blame Castellini. But he invested on The Perfect over 250+mm, BP, the Great Homer Bailey, now Suarez. He chose the wrong players? Probably, but Cincy has never had an owner willing to put so much money on the team or was Marge/LInder better? or the guys that allowed the greatest team ever to dismantle?. Now is DW’s turn. We’ll see how that goes but I’m truly skeptic (and hopeful because it’s the team I root for).

    Good news though, at some point of the year, The Perfect will start hitting like being possessed when the Reds are already 20 games behind in last place and another top 5 draft pick.

    Reply
    • Hmm…a lot of this screed appears to be mischaracterizations (intentionally?) of arguments others have made. I don’t think anybody necessarily disagrees with the essence of your other points. But, if you’re looking to tilt at windmills, then by all means have a blast.

      Reply
      • Mischarecterizations (intentionally?) seems to be the rule around here. Everybody seems to know what Price, DW, Jocketty and others think without blinking when proven wrong. The chorus only rises when somebody dares to made a critic on one player of this team.
        Unfortunately, I am not having a blast, this team is losing….again.

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    • Somebody may post proof that your characterization of Votto as a hitter who never succeeds in the clutch is false, which it is. I’ll just reflect on that called third strike yesterday: It was an unhittable pitch and probably not a strike. Tough break, that’s all.

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      • Another mischaracterization. I never said never. I said when it counts. Please do find the numbers of the 2010, 2012 and 2013 postseasons games. Better yet, find footage of those games for context.

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  16. Cossack that was supposed to be sarcasm but I forget that it doesn’t translate well to written short posts. It seems like so many people have got Bailey buried already and should maybe even be in the bullpen, he will be fine if he can stay healthy, and Castillo is already pegged as an ace, he was wild in the zone today, he will be good it’s just going to take time. The offense is going to be very good but I an very worried for Peraza hopefully he can settle in and perform like he did in the second half. I am still holding out hope that Hamilton can get it together like Dee Gordon did a couple years ago, but if he can’t Irvin and Schebler can replace him. Honestly I pick the Reds to win 85 games this year. If the offense can carry the team until the young pitching can settle in. This team can be a very strong team buy June/July.

    Reply
    • B-Town, my post wasn’t in response to your post. I got the sarcasm from your post just fine. I was simply responding to the plethora of negative comments in the game post and my post just happened to follow your post.

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  17. To Cossack (on Eaton): Sorry, cannot reply above.

    Your own argument is the answer. Eaton did not produce until 2015 (he was traded in 2013). By then, the Reds (rightfully) salivated on the potential BHam might bring. Few concerns raised by then but the potential was there. Why trade for Eaton? Why no other team cared for him for so little?.

    You know enough baseball to acknowledge that some players become superstars from nowhere and lots of “blue chip prospects” are just busts. That’s where the situation compares. Neither Eaton nor Scooter were players projected to become nothing more than average or less and yet they had 2 seasons (Eaton) or 1 (Scooter) for the ages. And the Chisox and the Reds got them for almost nothing. Not only luck, some good scouting too. Who envisioned Justin Turner to become….JUSTIN TURNER?

    Reply
  18. I’m actually (cautiously) optimistic about this team. The Nats are among MLB’s elite. Yesterday the Reds were in that game for the whole nine innings, and Homer Bailey shocked me by actually looking like vintage Homer Bailey. Today was a different story with Castillo, but still there are signs of hope (Winker!).

    Here’s another thing I try to keep in mind: the MLB season is ten times longer than the NFL season, right? (162 games instead of 16.) So, at this point, we’re basically in MLB equivalent of the first quarter of the first game.It’s EARLY.

    The team had the heart to keep fighting today, even after getting behind early. They didn’t just roll over. THAT was a positive sign for me. (And, to be honest, a little different than what I think we’ve seen in the past where the team would get beat up early and seem to quit.)

    I’m going to the game tomorrow with my hubbie. I think what the Reds have been lacking is the good luck mojo I bring to GABP. 🙂

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  19. The first two games of the season have shown the importance of starting pitching. In the opener, Homer Bailey was better than many believed he could still be; and, the Reds were in the game to the last out. Saturday, Luis Castillo fell far short of expectations leaving the Reds chasing the game from the get go.

    Bailey’s performance was a plus. He probably won’t be this good every time out; but, he may contribute far beyond popular expectations if he remains healthy. Castillo will have to be much better most of the time for the Reds to have any hope of avoiding another morass of a season. And, he should be.

    We also saw the importance of the bullpen on these first two games. Friday’s late bullpen allowed run made the Reds path a little steeper at the end. Perhaps that matters. Perhaps not. However there will be many games when it will matter. Saturday’s bullpen meltdown made the Reds chase impossible despite the fact they put across 7 runs of their own. This we’ve seen far too much of in the last several years. What’s the over/ under we see any real progress here? Stay tuned as time will tell

    Reply
  20. These first 2 games were a microcosm of last year. In close games our offense is bad. No clutch hitting.

    We do tend to score some runs when we are already down a lot. I guess it shows we don’t give up which is good but it tends to inflate our offensive numbers. We score most of our runs against the teams weakest relievers

    Reply
    • Schebler does not hit when runners are on base. To maximize his output he should lead off when he plays. Winker has higher OBP but we need a bat in addition to Scooter & a rested Duvall that can drive in runs. Joey took four pitches or did he swing once against Solis? while striking out w/bases loaded. Hit Votto second to take advantage of his walks.

      As u imply not all runs are equal. Scoring 7 is just as good as scoring once if it’s well short of what the Opp score.

      Reply
      • I have been saying that for some time now. I am convinced this team would be better offensively with Votto leading off, if not first then second.

        Then follow with Winker, Suarez, and then Gennett, Duval, etc.

        Reply
      • There is so much truth to this. We see it in so many games. I said it all last year. Schebler is a great hitter if the Reds are up 5-0 or down 5-0. And there it came up in the 2nd game of the year. He hit a solo shot when they were losing big., and foul popped to 3rd with the bases loaded and no outs, when the Reds were close

        Reply
      • Schebler’s OBP is only a little better than BH’s. Votto leading off makes sense.

        Reply
    • The Red’s have the makings of a good offense but it is frustrating when they load the bases with no outs and fail to score which has happened frequently in the past few years. It seems they press and swing at pitches outside the zone instead of waiting to get their pitch, and then when they’re out of the game they score runs. Similar to the other pro franchise in town who often scores after the game is out of hand.

      Reply
    • I inagine most teams hit bad pitching better than they hit good pitching.

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    • Its worth brining up again but when we get soooooooooo far behind the other team’s pitcher just says here it is now hit it.Some guys are good enough that they can hit it and do.The problem is that all changes in close low scoring games.While the guys good enough can still hit we have too many guys that just can’t and the other pitcher will find them.Unless Billy and Peraza can improve their on base skills and Tucker hits for more power they are no threat.Throw in the pitcher and you have 4 guys on a daily basis that nobody fears.Nobody can argue what Billy and Tucker bring to the table defensively but with a young group of starters there will be days like the 13-7 game and more and more low scoring games as the starters gain experience just like the 2-0 game.

      Reply
  21. Not over-reacting to these games, but these are two things I’d really like to/can’t wait to happen:

    1. (likely to happen) I can’t wait to see Taylor Trammell in CF. Obviously BHam doesn’t have the offense, and obviously Schebler doesn’t have the defense for CF. Trammell has both, plays decent CF and gets on base a ton with a little power to boot. The sooner he’s ready, the sooner this team can take one step closer to competing. And outfield of Schebler/Trammell/Winker sounds pretty good to me, with Jose Siri knocking on the door.

    2. (not likely to happen) Put Suarez back at SS and see if his new-found defensive prowess translates back to his old position, which he played for most of his life. Let Senzel have 3rd, and Duvall can keep the position warm until Senzel is called up. Let all the remaining infielders in the system duke it out for the right to play 2B. Of course, if you give Suarez a 20 game trial at SS and he proves he can’t hack it anymore there, this is all moot, carry on, but I think it’s something the Reds need to at least look at. We’re still sorting, right? So what’s the harm in a little experimenting if it makes the team better for the future?

    Reply
    • If the Reds had plans for Taylor Trammell in CF at the ML level, that he would be playing CF in the minors?
      Trammell seems destined for a corner OF spot.

      Reply
      • I was thinking Jose Siri and Trammell split time in CF last year in Dayton and maybe Friedl took some starts in CF too in Dayton before he went to A+.m So either they all may be potential CF or all flawed for CF in some way. I think Trammell’s issue may be his arm

        Reply
        • Just to be clear, when these guys weren’t in CF, they were in a corner OF spot. They weren’t sitting.

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        • Yeah, I’ve heard Trammell has a weak arm as well. But I’ve also heard he has speed to get to balls that are hit near him. Remember, Billy was thought (and still thought) to have a below-average arm as well, but he still saves countless defensive runs because of his speed. Trammell is not Billy when it comes to speed, but he’s doubtless faster than anyone else on the roster right now.

          Essentially, I view Trammell is a slightly slower version of Billy with a much improved offense output. The net should have a positive impact on the team once he’s ready. I’m hoping they begin grooming him exclusively in CF this season and hope that he continues putting up strong offensive numbers and that he may be ready by summer 2019.

          Reply
  22. Moving on to today’s game against Gio and the Nats, Price is stayinh consistent with his OF rotation with Duvall, Hamilton and Schebler in the grass today. After 3 games, Price has Winker, Duvall and Hamilton starting 2 games and Schebler starting 3 games. He can’t get any more balanced than that.

    After starting Barnhart in 2 games against RHP, Mesoraco starts today against a LHP. Scotter starts at 2B again today against the LHP, but there isn’t a good platoon option on the roster to share time at 2B with Scooter.

    Without Winker in the lineup, Hamilton is leading off with Peraza in the #8 hole.

    Through 3 games, I can’t find any fault with the lineup Price has put on the field this season. Price seems to be focused on the goals for 2018 in his lineup construction, that’s good.

    Let’s hope Romano can throw some blanks on the scoreboard and the Reds can do some pounding against Gio today.

    Reply

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About Matt Wilkes

Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.

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2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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