The Reds got the misfortune of facing the Washington Nationals to start 2018, and three starters who finished in the top six a season ago in the National League Cy Young voting.  It does not make it much easier to swallow getting swept to start the year, but it is important to consider that fact. The Reds have yet to take a lead in 27 innings in 2018, and the small amount of optimism that surrounded this team is starting to fade.

The Reds will face Tyler Chatwood tomorrow. He had a 4.69 ERA a season ago. 159 games still to go.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (0-3) 5 7 0
Washington Nationals (3-0) 6 8 0
W: Gonzalez (1-0) L: Romano (0-1) S: Doolittle (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Adam Duvall grounding into a double play with no outs and the bases loaded in the 8th inning. The Reds scored one run, and still trail 5-3. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 22.4% (from 36.0% to 13.5%).

Player of the Game

Adam Eaton: 2 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI. 

Eaton absolutely destroyed the Reds in this series. He went 8 for 13 with 2 homers. Bryce Harper also had 2 homers today, so you could have put him here if you really want to.

Positives

Sal Romano surrendered a two run bomb to the second batter of the game, and ended up throwing 34 pitches in the first inning. He settled down pretty well after that, and recorded a quality start. After seeing what the Nationals are capable of yesterday, 3 runs over 6.0 innings isn’t all that bad.

Phillip Gosselin hit a 2-run home run off Nationals closer Sean Doolittle. Gosselin had been double-switched with Gennett earlier in the game. He had a grand total of 6 career home runs in 509 at-bats.

When you have as a bad of a weekend as the Reds did, sometimes you just need to marvel at Joey Votto.

Negatives

The Reds loaded the bases with no outs, down 5-2 in the 8th inning. Adam Duvall grounded into a double play, and the Reds got just one run. The Reds also loaded the bases with no outs yesterday, and failed to score at all.

Jose Peraza has started the season 0 for 12 with 5 strikeouts. He made 13 outs in 12 trips to the plate (hat tip to Patrick Jeter). Senzel can not get here soon enough.

Yovani Gallardo gave up a two run bomb in his Reds debut just as they had cut the Nationals lead to 3-1.

Raisel Iglesias gave up a solo home run to Bryce Harper. It didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but it ended up being the difference in the game.

The Reds offense just might be really terrible vs LHP. Votto and Suarez are probably the only good hitters vs LHP, although Votto is a little less powerful against southpaws. This could be something that could really be an issue until Nick Senzel establishes himself in the lineup.

Not so random thoughts……..

I couldn’t be more thrilled that the Reds are finally embracing some platoons. However, Billy Hamilton’s OBP vs LHP over the last two years is .252, and his OBP vs RHP is .330. I don’t exactly get why you bench him yesterday vs RHP and start him today vs LHP. Hamilton made the final out of the game with the Reds down 1 run against…..a left-handed pitcher.

Up Next:

Reds vs Cubs
Monday, 4:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio, MLB Network, MLB.tv free game of the day
Tyler Mahle vs Tyler Chatwood

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 84 Comments

  1. Reds fans frustrations boil over, blame Castellini for this hot mess.
    Castellini to Reds fans, “Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.”

    Reply
    • I remember when Castellini fired his GM and said, “The losing has to stop!” Well, he hired Walt Jocketty who managed the franchise so well that we are now mired in the worst losing stretch in franchise history with no end in sight.

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      • I remember Bob C’s face during the playoff game in 2013 and I though that this was a man who would make sure the Reds were winners for a long time.

        How wrong I was. He’s a nepotistic simpleton.

        Reply
  2. We know they are better than us. But we should be able to steal 1 game on our home turf and there were opportunities. It seems like we are our own worst enemies despite the talent gap. I mean WHY throw Gallardo into a close game? How does that make sense based on his recent track record? Why was Hughes wasted yesterday and not available today? What could Price possibly be thinking to send Hughes into a 13-5 game? I am not sure he sees any difference in his bullpen pitchers other than Iglesias. he just mixes them up maybe does some lefty lefty stuff but other than that they are all equal in his mind until they get exposed. Gallardo should have not been given any important innings being the new guy on the block. It seems like I have seen this before. Management brings a new guy in, he immediately gets exposed. Don’t understand it at all. There’s a reason no one wanted this guy.

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  3. On a positive note, the Goose came thru today, a guy I was rooting for in ST simply because I like calling him the Goose and I thought maybe he could hit a little bit. We need heroes so hat’s off to the Goose, hopefully he can do more of the same and be a difference maker.

    Reply
  4. I was at the game. Sparse crowd.
    Rendon hit his home run off the electronic scoreboard in LF that had” #6 Rendon ” displayed. Harper will win the NL MVP.
    Duvall did not hit a double..Harper misplayed the ball fearing the fence.

    Peraza defensively was solid at SS. He hit a good ball to the warning track….but he is not an everyday SS unless the Reds have a 4 war 2b and a 10 WAR outfield and great pitching.

    Romano throws hard was actually ok.You just can’t throw fastballs down Broadway against All star caliber players. I can live with that.
    Gollardo is batting practice.

    Yes..it’s the Nationals ..but the Cubs are coming. The Nats hit 4 home runs yesterday and 4 home runs today. Power and OBP are necessities in 2018 Bob and Walt. There is a convenient assumption the Reds just need to play the Pirates and Phillies to get well. What happens when that 5-2 road trip goes 3-4 or 2-5 instead and then 10 consecutive against Cards and Brewers .April is not looking good.

    Reply
    • Who knows? That road trip could go 0-7. And 16 games on the west coast (that rarely goes well) between May 10th. and June 3rd. will probably not look too good. That’s baseball when a team is in down mode.

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    • I don’t understand why everyone thinks Peraza wont develop. Cozart didn’t have a season with an OPS above .300 until he was age 29. Give Peraza some time.

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      • I agree with this

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      • Ditto. We all got spoiled with Larkin, Jeter, and the steroid generation of Tejada, Garciaparra, and A-Rod. SSs generally don’t hit much. I like Peraza better as a good utility guy but he wasn’t the problem this series.

        3 top pitchers against us, a Castillo dud, and a poor bullpen beat us. I still see a .500 team. If we figure out the starters for the next few years and put the rest of the young arms in the pen, we’re good from 2019 to probably 2024. I’m not giving up hope after 3 games!

        Reply
    • I’d question the Peraza solid comment. He’s made the routine plays, but hasn’t made one play that wasn’t routine, can remember at least 2X he needed to, at the least, knock a ball down that got through and a flair that looked (on tv anyway) that it might have been catchable that went through. Not a good first series for him either.

      Reply
  5. Price cannot be fired soon enough. And they need to send Peraza down until he figures out what plate discipline looks like.

    Reply
    • Price has been the worst manager in Reds history but somehow manages to keep his job—inexplicable.

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  6. For Chad’s sake, we ought to mention that Phil Gosselin, of clutch 2-run homer fame, graduated from UVA.

    Reply
  7. Poor bullpen management today, Gallardo was the difference in the game. I have to commend Romano for settling in after nerves in the 1st inning against a tough lineup, though hopefully this 1st inning thing doesn’t become a trend.

    Glad we’re not playing the Nats tomorrow.

    Reply
    • Only two runs down and Price sends out the “veteran” in the bullpen, one who hasn’t pitched decently since 2015 and hasn’t pitched at all recently.
      Price is not stupid but there’s something wrong. I don’t know what he focuses on, but he does not focus on winning games (nor on development of young players).

      Reply
  8. O ye of little faith.

    I wish I had the chill pill franchise for this website

    Reply
    • I wish the Reds would start winning again. Oh, for the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80,’s and 90’s again. This losing is hard to take.

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      • Some of the Red’s worst teams were in the 80’s under the leadership of Dick Wagner.

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        • That lasted for 3 seasons, 1982 thru 1984.

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        • Pete Rose turned things around in 1985 and the Reds started their winning ways again. The Reds had the best record in the NL in 1981. I never said there were not losing seasons from the 1950’s through the 1990’s, but there were not many. Now things have turned arobud and winning seasons for the Reds are the exception.
          I hope I am wrong but this Reds team looks capable of being one of the worst ever for this franchise.

          Reply
      • Reds had 7 losing seasons in the 50s.

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    • I am glad we are getting to see the young Reds learn and grow at the major league level. Romano had a nice game today, and we also got a great outing from Homer – who is a pretty big question mark for this season. Hopefully when some key hits fall in and the bullpen gets healthy again, things will look better. To the offense’s credit, when the Nationals didn’t have one of their ace starters or relievers in the game, the Reds hit them well. If they could just turn those hits into some important runs, we’d be in business.

      Reply
    • Huh?
      (3) consecutive 90 loss seasons for the first time since the Great Depression and you start the season getting swept with the Cubs coming to town? That’s not reactionary. That’s realism.

      What happens when the Reds are 1-4 after the first home series…..3-9 after the first road trip? 6-16 after the first run through the NL Central. 9-21 at the end of April?

      That possibilty is staring Reds fans in the face.

      Reply
      • Always a good sign when a team that has lost over 90 games for 3 straight seasons, runs the same team out as the most recent season, excluding their 5 Win SS. Seems like a good great plan.
        Billy Hamilton cannot not hit LHP, yet, there he is leading off and getting the most AB’s for the Reds.
        Some pitcher that is washed up, recently signed, is thrown into a meaningful portion of the game, and surprisingly it does not go well.
        At least they continued to battle when behind.

        Reply
        • And there he is, accounting for 2 of the Reds’ 5 runs. Aside from Scooter, nobody is hitting much.

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    • There is plenty of faith in Castellini is a bad owner, Williams is a bad GM, and the Reds have a bad front office. Faith in those are not lacking.
      The internets will show just how much over next few days. The Reds ownership and front office are going to get brutalized this whole week on the radio and internets.
      Deservingly so, I might add.

      Reply
    • Faith in what? We have to “trust the process” or some other nonsense? This Gallardo nonsense is their process! Not making an effort to improve the team outside the organization and then signing washed scrubs instead of trusting your young guys. So to wrap it up….they don’t get outside talent in their prime and they don’t trust the kids they draft either? The only way they break the string of 3 90 losses seasons in a row is to drop 100 this year. Thats it. Agents aren’t stupid either….they won’t let their clients sign with the Reds….nobody good anyway.

      Reply
      • This is what I meant about why sign Gallardo at all? They’ve spent the entire off season preaching that they had faith in their young pitchers and that some of them that didn’t make the rotation would be in the pen, then they bring in a guy that hasn’t been effective in 2 years and thrust him into a game that was still in doubt?

        I also don’t really understand Reed starting this week rather than Garrett? I’m trying to have faith in, at least, the FO, but they do make it difficult at times.

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    • Even if you did, there are more clinched jaws than in a bad nursing home! You can lead a horse to water. .

      Reply
    • Even if you did, there are more clinched jaws here than in a bad nursing home. You can lead a horse to water…

      Reply
    • Oh man, you changed your avatar pic. I’m bummed. Bummed I say.

      Reply
  9. Starting 0-3 at home is at least disappointing. I would suggest that Price look at the pitching match ups when dealing with our four starting outfielders. To me I think he is benching the guy when it’s his turn like a pitching rotation. I would love to see billy be our fourth outfielder. He can be such a weapon off the bench cut his abs to one a game and put him into run when one of the other outfielders get on after the sixth. Hopefully we will have a lead to make that work most beneficially

    Reply
    • Agree that Hamilton could be valuable off the bench, as a pinch runner and as a late inning defensive replacement when the Reds have a lead.

      Reply
  10. As has been noted above at least twice, why on earth is Hamilton starting against LHed pitching, against whom he has a .250 OBP ?
    He’s worse batting RHed because it’s his natural side and he takes the approach of a free swinging slugger from that side, swinging at everything.
    No need to throw a pitch in the strike zone.

    Reply
    • Did you catch Friday’s 9th inning? Reds down 2 same pitcher or at least another lefty on for the Nats. Price takes down Barnhart for Mesoraco to lead off the inning. Then after Ervin draws a walk to bring the tying run to the plate, Hamilton has to bat and makes the last out. In 2017, Hamilton and Barnhart had virtually identical OBP% facing LH pitchers. Being 2 runs down, why then do you pull Barnhart and use your power bat to open the inning???? Why wouldn’t you save him until he could tie or win the game?

      Reply
    • Yep! He’s okay against righties (.322 OBP last year), hopeless against lefties.

      Reply
  11. It is probably important to remember that if Hernandez and Lorenzen were healthy, Gallardo doesn’t pitch today.

    Reply
    • Is there any idea for when they might return? Hernandez seemed to have a minor injury, but I would think that Finnegan returns before either – just a hunch and since they have a date for him (4/9).

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    • Valid point, yet another poor decision by the Reds baseball operations.

      Reply
    • You could add Shackelford to that as well

      But..its also important to remember that Hughes didn’t need to pitch yesterday with a 13-5 deficit in the 9th? Whats the point of that? They also had Garrett available. Ease Gallardo into a 6 run deficit type of Cubs. Pretty sure the Cubs will give us 1 or 2? Price is a #&$&n moron…period! We need another baserunner in the 9th but Winker sits while Peraza and Billy “hit”. Price’s moves are not even debatable. Dick Williams too for that matter. Its not second-guessing or backseat driving when even a novice fan can make the call before it ever happens?

      Reply
    • You sure about that? Garrett threw one inning the other day…he didn’t come in.

      Reply
  12. The injuries to the pitching staff are just devastating to this team. And it keeps on happening. With the Cubs coming to town, 1-5 or 0-6 looks realistic.

    Of course the Reds started hot the last two years and lost 90 games.

    All this negativity is to be expected, because there’s been so little in Cincy sports to cheer about (soccer doesn’t count).

    Personally, it’s really frustrating to see players like Hamilton and Peraza fail so badly. Clearly the Reds FO banked on these guys to produce, much like the Bengals expected Fisher and Ogbuehi to produce. FO was WRONG on both counts.

    It’s early. That’s the only hope I have.

    Reply
  13. It’s never late to right the ship, I don’t find any sense in Gallardo’s signing while team is on rebuild mode, nor I can’t understand persisting in having Hamilton as regular and Price as manager. Peraza doesn’t look well either, like lost at the plate, perhaps some time in AAA would help him. Sensel should take over before long.

    Reply
    • Peraza is not a good baseball player. Thats just fact. I never heard of Gosselin before but he hit a HR and drew a walk…off the bench! We all have the same chance of hitting the Powerball as we do of seeing Peraza homer/walk in the same game! What has Blandino done wrong? He hit in spring training. He has a .777 lifetime ops in the minors (Peraza .726). He’ll take a walk and he’s got a little power. You want a guy batting 8th that is atleast smart enough to realize he’s being pitched around and take the walk. Peraza will swing at anything! If the front office was halfway smart they’d give Blandino a shot over Pennington. Platoon him with Scooter and see how he does? They’re not winning this year either way?

      Reply
      • I have to agree for the most part. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Nick S to take over at SS and relieve us of the Peraza problem and while I think Scooter showed up this first series and should be playing pretty much every day (should be a fan fav as well as a local kid) I do agree that I’d rather have Blandino up over Pennington and playing at least every other day. Maybe Blandino cant play short but no reason he can’t backup 2B and 3B and when he plays 3B Suarez can play SS. Pennington was only kept to backup SS and he showed in spring training he’s no good there so why is he on this team?

        Reply
  14. I was at the game today. Hubbie and I were originally lured to GABP because the Reds were selling tickets to the obstructed view seats, Sec 509, for only $5 (with various service charges, more like $9.25 a piece).

    After the first half inning or so, we (and the handful of other folks in our section) were invited by a Reds staff person to move down to box seat tickets in section 119. I presume this was because empty box seats (or box seats inhabited by a lot of Washington fans) make a really bad impression on TV.

    It’s been 20 or 30 years since I’ve been in MLB box seats. (The last time would’ve been at either Baltimore’s old Memorial Stadium or at Camden Yards.) So, for personal reasons, I’m glad the Reds were able to extend that offer. Class act!

    But I’m disappointed that attendance was so low (just a hair over 10,000) for the third game of the season. Yes, it’s a holiday. Yes, it was cold. But still, reason for continuing concern.

    Reply
    • Sooner or later, poor performance would take a toll. FO should take a look to Pirates recent history of +20 loosing seasons in a row with attendances below 5,000 threshold, fans just got tired and young generations were not attracted by the organization.

      Reply
  15. With all these Asst. To The GM ‘s the Reds have, like Buddy Bell and Barry Larkin among others, how in the world did this Gallardo episode ever unfold? Surely somebody had to advise against this. They need to get somebody else in there to do some advising.
    Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. 8

    Reply
  16. Positives from the series: Homer Bailey pitched extremely well, if that is any indication of how he performs this season; and I doubt it, the Reds will have a better record than expected.

    Romano overcame poor pitch execution on two pitches, excacerbated by poor pitch calling vs rendon and still looks like a solid mlb pitcher. Hopefully a number 3 starter.

    Scooter can hit right handed pitching!

    Garrett looked really good in his inning of work.

    Schebler is off to a nice start.

    Reply
  17. Next up are the Cubs. Mahle is the starter. In his last start, against Texas, he was grooving pitches up in the zone. I hope he can keep the ball down this time. I just can’t stand losing to the Cubbies.

    Reply
  18. This is what a first place team vs a last place team looks like. It’s not really going to get much better next series.

    Reply
    • How do you explain Cubs vs. Marlins then?

      Reply
      • Starting pitching. The Nats top 3 are way better than the Cubs top 4, which makes it much easier to grab a win. (I say that without actually knowing how that series went, so if it was all bullpen meltdowns, oops!)

        Reply
  19. BHam ends the game making the final out while Ervin who drew a walk to extend Friday’s game and has the power to have tied today’s game sits on the bench and watches. ‘Nuf said.

    Reply
  20. I’m feeling anxious about Scott Schebler’s hand after watching the sequence following him being hit by the pitch.
    It seemed to me the first impulse was to remove him from the game; but, then after more extended conversation between Price and the trainer, Schebler stayed in to run.
    My thought is the extended conversation may have been Price asking if Schebler’s hand could be hurt any worse if he stayed in to run. Then in the shots we saw of Schebler leading of 1st, he was very clearly still shaking and rubbing the hand.
    Hope we don’t bad news about it Monday.

    Reply
  21. The Reds are a hard to team to root for. They should take every guy over 50 in their org and shoot them into the sun. This team has 6 guys at least in terms of bullpen arms to get excited about in the minors and yet this org can’t help itself but rush out and sign crappy Gallardo and immediately put him in to get shelled. Apparently you can’t run the ball up there, but you can veteran grit the ball up there. Embarrassing. How many more guys are the going to stockpile and then not give a chance too? At least we have veteran grit. I’ll take that over actual production cause it’s gritty.

    Reply
  22. Getting swept in a series does not a season make. This season is all about the young pitching. Castillo, Garrett, Romano, Finnegan, Reed, etal are who will determine whether this season is a success. Who is pitching in the last spot in the bullpen is meaningless.

    The sky isn’t falling people.

    Reply
    • except that last guy in the bullpen was used in a 1-3 ballgame and allowed the lead to expand to a point the non-clutch hitters cannot overcome. it’s meaningless if you use the last spot appropriately, like when the scoring difference is more than 4 either way.

      Reply
  23. Why is Gallardo on the squad? He needs to go asap!

    Reply
  24. I don’t so much mind getting swept by a very good team with excellent starting pitching. But decisions like pitching Gallardo in a two run game, or having Hamilton lead off against a LHP…those are hard to understand.

    I have to take issue with your point above about LHP, and point out that Schebler hits LHP pretty well. One key decision for the Reds is whether that’s “real” enough to essentially treat Schebler like a RH batter for roster management purposes.

    Something about batting with the bases loaded is clearly in Duvall’s head. Small samples, of course, but he’s been terrible. I hope he can fix that somehow.

    I hope the Reds don’t panic and start messing with Peraza. He has to be given the space to develop. Hopefully he sticks wherever Senzel doesn’t, and Scooter is traded for something useful. (Scooter, by the way, has left a lot of guys on base. His hits have been pretty empty so far.)

    Reply
    • With the bases loaded Duvall was 15 feet to dead center short of tying the game Castillo started. Last year he hit okay with runners in scoring position until he faltered/tired out at the end of the season.

      Agree on Peraza, he has potential, we’ve seen that 2016 and Aug/Sept of 2017. It starts with taking the BBs, not swinging at pitches a foot off the plate or in the dirt or at his eye level. He’s swinging at too much crap. Once he stops that he can work himself into favorable counts, get pitches within the strike zone to hit, and he can hit those. As long as he swings at crap he hits like crap.

      Reply
      • He was 3 for 25 last year with one walk. Yet you’re right that he was pretty good with RISP more generally. Which is why I think there’s something about having the bases loaded that’s currently in his head–maybe it’s as simple as he started pressing when he started to have bad results, and now it’s a “thing” for him.

        Reply
  25. Cards had this 21 yr old pitcher Jordan Hicks go from Single A last year to making the team out of spring training. He was a starter last year and throws 101 mph. He’s in their pen for now instead of stretching out in the minors. Wainwright was a closer for them early on until he wasn’t.

    The Reds can keep going by their book and ignoring what their opponents are doing, but 15 losing seasons out of 18 tells me its not working.

    Reply

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About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

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