The Cincinnati Reds (3-18) are off to their worst start in the 137 years of the franchise. They will kick off a single series homestand tonight at 6:40 PM with four games against the Atlanta Braves (12-8). The Reds are just 1-7 at home this season, but have won 2 of their 3 games this season on Mondays.

The Braves are off to a very good start. Their offense ranks 4th in the MLB in OPS (.771), and pitching ranks 6th in the MLB in ERA (3.23). The young Braves double play combo is off to an unbelievable start. Former #1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson is hitting .342/.381/.544, and 21-year old Ozzie Albies is hitting .302/.348/.640.

Starting Pitchers

Sal Romano is coming off his best start of 2018 against the Brewers (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). Romano has yet to get rocked in a start (most ER allowed in a start is 4), but he has allowed way to many walks and home runs. The strikeout numbers are low, but I would expect that to improve. Romano was brilliant against the Braves in his only career start last year (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K).

Mike Foltynewicz is off to a terrific start for the Braves. He was a first round draft pick of the Astros back in 2010. He was part of a trade for Evan Gattis. He has a career 4.75 ERA in 69 starts, but is taking off in 2018. He has pitched really well against the Reds in 3 career starts: 18.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 9 BB, 19 K.

Starting Lineups

Braves Reds
1. Ender Inciarte (CF)
2. Ozzie Albies (2B)
3. Freddie Freeman (1B)
4. Nick Markakis (RF)
5. Kurt Suzuki (C)
6. Preston Tucker (LF)
7. Dansby Swanson (SS)
8. Ryan Flaherty (3B)
9. Mike Foltynewicz (P)
1. Scott Schebler (RF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Adam Duvall (LF)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Cliff Pennington (3B)
8. Sal Romano (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

Conclusion

It’s getting pretty tough around the Nation. It is really difficult not to be apathetic about the Reds. This team has been awful in a year that we were expecting a step forward. Maybe tonight is the night that things turn around with Sal Romano. It can’t get any worse, right? Go Reds!

About The Author

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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167 Responses

  1. DocProc

    Anyone know why Winker isn’t in the starting lineup? If it’s because he’s injured again, that’s yet another bummer. But if it’s because of some stupid commitment to this stupid four-man outfield rotation…..then I can’t even.

    • Scott Carter

      Price might as well still be manager, the same old idiocy continues. Tough right hander pitching so you take out your best hitter out of the lineup who is also a left handed hitter. It’s not like we need offense.

      • Matt Wilkes

        Yep. Price and Riggleman are almost exactly the same type of manager. Except Riggleman may be even more old school.

  2. Scooter Rolen

    Interesting to see Schebler leading off tonight, not a bad option if Winker’s got the day off.
    I thought I had a defense for why Peraza was hitting 2nd, as he was hitting .300 with a .330 OBP in his last 15 games. But now it appears he is regressing, batting .264/.298. Oh well.

    • TomN

      Hey, at least Peraza can lay down a sacrifice bunt!

  3. Jeff Gangloff

    No Winker and no Blandino. I cant even anymore.

    • james garrett

      I agree both should play every day.

  4. doublenohitter

    Anyone else surprise the Reds didn’t make any moves today? Like DFA Pennington, Gosselin and Quack?

    Mercy.

    • Aaron Bradley

      Everytime they DFA someone it just highlights how incompetent they were when they assembled the roster in the first place. They will do it slowly, spread it out… this is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Fascinating.

  5. Ethan L

    This might sound petulant, but I hope this season burns to the ground in an epically historic way. I want this one to stand out above the rest in order to shine the light on the ineptitude that got us here. There needs to be accountability! I hope Bob, Walt, Dick, et al. go down in infamy for their stuporous mismanagement.

    • JB WV

      Agree with your sentiments, but as miserable as it is it’s only April. I’m still hoping for some kind of tangible progress. Sal’s a gamer, let’s get a win, damn it.

  6. james garrett

    As stated their starter has 69 starts in the big leagues.The Braves gave him the ball every 5th day regardless and now he maybe coming in to his own.If he with us he would have been threw under the bus in year one.Go back and look at his stats and tell me what the Reds would have done.

    • okla red

      Tell me how the reds fans would react. We are to impatient and to optimistic on players that have not produced in the minors and expecting them to produce in MLB

  7. J

    At least once a week I’d like to see the lineup and think “ok, now this makes sense.” But alas, the weekly average so far this year has been less than that.

  8. Mark Lang

    So… hot offensive team rolling into town vs the “can’t do anything right” Reds? Sounds like we’ll sweep ’em. That’s what you gotta love about baseball. Everything on paper says “why play” – and then you play and find out why you play the games.

  9. DocProc

    Explain why your best hitter, who is 24 years old, needs an “off day” in April.

  10. Old-school

    Riggleman was clear that they were sticking with the outfield rotation.

    Hamilton .172/.274/.234 wRC + 48
    Duvall .171/.213/.357
    Peraza .233/.260/.315 wRC+ 56

    Winker is 9th in the NL in OBP. With an OPS above .750 abd climbing……so bench him. Makes perfect sense for a 3-18 team that can’t score runs.

  11. Ernest

    Winker vs RH pitcher wRC+ of 130 this season
    Duvall vs RH pitcher wRC+ of 34 this season

    Oh well, the Reds do not care about this type of information.

  12. Sliotar

    @Aaron Bradley,

    Your comments have been straight fire the last few days. Dick Williams and anyone in management is in CYA mode at the moment. By firing Price and with an interim manager, the focus is solely on them. A quiet DFA a week sounds about right.

    @James Garrett

    Spot on.

    I picked up “Folty” for $1 last year in each of my fantasy leagues. You could see his stuff popped, even when was still learning to pitch or would melt down when the ump would squeeze him on strikes.

    Sticking with young SPs through all the grafting is usually painful. Easier way is to get cornerstone position guys and buy/trade for the SPs when you are ready, like the Cubs and Astros did.

    We are entering a stage where a win tonight would actually be a mild shock. Sad.

    Go Redlegs.

    • james garrett

      Thanks Sliotar.If only this organization had some patience with these guys.Its painful if you lose 90 or 100 games.Problem is we do that and find out nothing about who can or can’t.

  13. Klugo

    A lesson in Rebuilding from the Braves. Their Freeman is our Votto. They’re off to the start we were hoping for.

  14. Jeremy Conley

    Did anyone actually expect the Reds to take a step forward this year? I know that’s what management said was going to happen, but they have to say that. It’s hard for me to believe that anyone believed it.

    As for the lineup, I just can’t understand Peraza hitting 2nd. It seems designed only to troll fans.

  15. Jim Walker

    I’m not sure about things not getting worse. Seems like every time we dare to think that they do……

  16. Jeff Reed

    If Winker and Blandino are not injured, they should both be in the lineup in this supposed last year of the rebuild. The stuff going on with this ball club is getting ridiculous. And Quackenbush is still around?

  17. Jeff

    When Sooter is your cleanup hitter you have a problem.

    • james garrett

      Nope when Tucker is your 6 hitter you have a problem.

  18. DocProc

    Wow, really small turnout at the ballpark tonight. No surprise, but even worse than I guessed.

    • Jack

      Love it. What do you think 1000 people? Watch them say 10,000.

      • vegastypo

        What they’ll say is the total amount of tickets sold. So if 8,000 season ticket holders or others with tickets don’t show up, you could be right.

      • George

        The TV money will continue to roll in with every loss.

  19. vegastypo

    Scooter swings at a pitch on the ground for strike 3. What is it about this team that just cannot hit when guys are on base. Need Duvall to bail us out.

      • George

        jack;
        If the Reds win 1 game a week for the rest of the season (23 weeks) that would be a 26 win season. They would need to win 2 games a week for 14 of the remaining 23 weeks to get to 40. Based on what we have seen so far do you think 40 is bit high 🙂

      • Jack

        I was thinking it was when I was typing it.

      • George

        Chuck;
        Better put the cork back in whatever your sipping!! 🙂

  20. vegastypo

    That umpire really owes Tucker some close calls the Reds’ way after ringing him up on that called third strike.

  21. Jack

    I know the pitchers have regressed this year but you can’t tell me they aren’t trying to make the perfect pitch. They know the offense stinks and they can’t give up much runs. I’m not Making excuses for them but we have all played some type of sport. When you are in that game ,where scoring is going to be difficult , you try to be perfect. The staff has done pretty decent. The offense different story.

  22. Old-school

    I predicted 72-90.

    When I saw disco go down and early schedule and awful spring training preparedness and same commitment to same guys in sane roles…..I called historically awful April.

    I’m calling 95 losses. If Winker continues to rotate with no commitment to getting the best hitters at the top of the lineup every day….and Iglesias and Garrett continue to play cards together in the bullpen watching everyone else pitch…..and Lorenzen and Hernandez and Suarez aren’t back and productive in early May….this is a 100 loss team.

      • Jack

        That’s are all star 3rd baseman. He has such a promising career ahead of him.

  23. Jack

    I think the Braves are good with the 1 run. That’s a lot for this lineup.

  24. Broseph

    When nothing can go right for a team. That happens. Just an ugly play all around.

    Duvall is really making the Reds regret not shopping him mid-season last year

  25. Broseph

    Is time standing still for anyone else this inning? Good grief, no wonder people are leaving baseball by the thousands

  26. mikemartz

    If a Red hits a Home Run and no one is there to see it, does the run still count?

  27. WVRedlegs

    Is it Halloween? Everyone has the same costume on. An empty seat costume.

  28. TomN

    I was about to say Romano was pitching a nice game before that HR and 2B. Still, he’s mostly hitting his spots. I honestly don’t know if the Reds are gonna get more than a couple of more hits this game.

  29. Indy Red Man

    Typical stuff tonite. No offense. Poor fundamentals w/Duvall throwing the ball to 3rd for no reason. Others teams showing power while the Reds have none. Now dead last in runs scored. Sad. Season was over as soon as it started.

  30. Indy Red Man

    Winker .433 opb…..we don’t need none of that. Blandino 4-11 in his last 3 games…..don’t bring that in here? Priceggleman right on top of things just like before.

    • Jack

      Makes you wonder if Price and Riggleman are just clueless or the lineup comes down from the FO. Oh wait they are clueless too. Nevermind

  31. Joel

    I know Votto is signed through the next millennium and has a no trade clause, but wouldn’t a team give up at least one top prospect for him? Don’t want to see him go, but I don’t know how this team gets better go all in on the rebuild.

    • Indy Red Man

      He’s getting old and due 25 mil/year til he’s 39 or 40. Not happening unless he suddenly starts driving the ball and the Reds were willing to eat 5 mil or more per year. Plus I doubt we get much in return either…it would be more of a salary dump

  32. Jack

    Good ol Billy and that fake bunt. We should make a over/under every game on how many times he does that. I would probably throw up in my mouth if he actually did bunt.

    • George

      Atlanta needs to challenge that HR. just to make sure it was a real MLB ball.

  33. George

    Reds ownership has already fired Price and Jenkins so that executive decision has been used. The GM would normally be next but as he is related to ownership that option is out, wouldn’t to hurt the little boys feelings, So when they get to 12 and 55 they can only go back to number one, fire the interim manager.

    • Jack

      And even at 12-55 we all will still be watching. God help us.

      • George

        I feel as if this is purgatory for all my sins, Sister Ann Louis was right.

  34. VaRedsFan

    212 ABs since the last Red HR. Schebler ends it

  35. Phil

    Bob: up the price of your bananas and GET SOME PLAYERS. Put a hamper in Pennington’s and show him the tomato fields.

  36. J

    Can anyone explain why Freeman wasn’t called for a balk on every pitch? His hands and arms are moving all over the place and he never really pauses.

  37. VaRedsFan

    The key now is can the prevent the bounceback inning by the Braves??
    Seen it far too often.

  38. VaRedsFan

    Wonder why the Braves didn’t shift on Votto??? Gave him a free hit.

  39. Jack

    Not bad big Sal. I like that he is throwing inside.

  40. seat101

    The pattern is broken. They did not score after we did

  41. CI3J

    Big Sal really reminds me a lot of Aaron Harang. The only thing he needs to add is Harang’s ability to strike people out, and I think that will come as he learns how to best utilize his stuff.

    But if Sal develops into a guy who will give you 6-8 innings of 2-4 run ball each time out, just like Harang did, the Reds could have a solid, dependable starter on their hands, again, just like Harang.

  42. Indy Red Man

    lol….White Sox with 7 straight hits off Mike Leake in the bottom of the first

  43. VaRedsFan

    Should pinch hit Blandino right here

    • Jack

      And take the bat out of the hands of our two best hitters in Pennington and Goose?

  44. CI3J

    Reds got something cooking here! Runners on the corners, no outs.

    They have to score at least one, right?

    • Chuck

      Gosselin will ground into a triple play.

      • Chuck

        Gameday said it was Gosselin. Thank goodness Winker is in there.

      • Jack

        It was Gosselin. Then they changed pitchers and Winker ca me on.

      • vegastypo

        Gosselin was announced, yes. So he’s out of the game before he ever got into the game.

    • Jack

      Bases loaded and no outs. We have been here what seems a thousand times this year and get nothing. I guess we will see if the bats are waking up.

    • CI3J

      Oh boy, now bases juiced, no outs.

      They HAVE to score………

      Right?

    • Jack

      We dont need that kind of crazy talk in here.

  45. Jack

    Riggleman is a genius!! He didn’t start Winker because he knew he could pinch hit with the bases loaded.

  46. Ernest

    Winker comes through. The Reds lead!!

  47. VaRedsFan

    Winker delivers! That’s just good hitting…knowing that pitcher’s pitches run away from a lefty…his approach was always going the other way

    • VaRedsFan

      Schebler does just the opposite…trying to pull the pitch running away

  48. Indy Red Man

    I really like Winker! Red Sox type of hitter that really has a plan up there and makes himself a tough out! If he can just hit 15 HRs or so?

    • greenmtred

      A little leaguer who scored two runs, one of which he created.

  49. Ernest

    Peraza comes through. Good hitting there

  50. Indy Red Man

    Peraza the hit machine. I keep telling you guys to be patient with him:)

  51. CI3J

    HAHA! Love how Votto was already stepping out of the box during the delivery of ball 4.

    Grade-A trolling right there.

  52. Indy Red Man

    Offensive outburst in front of hundreds of happy fans:)

  53. Jack

    Here’s hoping Steve doesn’t write the recap. The last time we scored this much he wondered if we used up all our runs . We never scored again for what seemed like 3 months.

  54. VaRedsFan

    Can someone sneak down to the bullpen and steal Quacker’s cleats?

  55. J

    This score is confusing me. My world is upside down.

  56. vegastypo

    I’ve seen the whole game, and with this home plate ump, I have no idea what the strike zone is. I don’t blame the players for not knowing it either.

    Nice play by Votto there on the Peraza throw.

    • CI3J

      Peraza is not a great SS. I think he did ok at 2B, though.

      Senzel 3B
      Suarez SS
      Peraza 2B

      That’s what I’d like to see.

  57. George

    Well let’s see, week 4, yep due for 4th win, they are right on schedule. 🙂
    It is good to see the players still know how to smile.

  58. J

    I just hope Gallardo isn’t within 1000 miles of Cincinnati right now. I’m sure they’d like to use him in the 8th.

    • vegastypo

      He signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers about a week ago, I think. Although I guess the Reds could somehow trade for him.

  59. seat101

    I apologize to everyone. You’ve been without my trenchant and pithy commentary tonight because I had entered the wrong email address. So all my comments went into moderation

    Once again my apologies.

    And did you see that Braves pitcher try to bunt?

  60. Indy Red Man

    Peralta has that big curve vs lefties? His command is always iffy but those are first runs he’s given up all year. His stuff is strong!

  61. VaRedsFan

    Nice Schebler…go with the pitch…RBI

  62. Jack

    George- It’s only Monday and we have our victory for the week already! They can coast the rest of the week

  63. Indy Red Man

    I always preferred Duvall to Schebler but it appears I was wrong. Duvall might be able to help someone if he warms up? Somebody like Cleveland thats really struggling to score. He would play in front of bigger crowds and maybe get going again.

  64. VaRedsFan

    Obvious pitch around to Peraza…to get to Votto

  65. muttonlettucetomato

    Safe to say Votto has lost the wallet these first few weeks. I’m sure he’ll find it but he looks pretty lost right now.

  66. VaRedsFan

    Duvall tacks on 2 more with a double

  67. muttonlettucetomato

    Either the Braves have a bullpen problem, or it’s just our night. As I said before, save some for the rest of the week. 🙂

    • vegastypo

      The Reds began the night as the worst team in the majors in runs scored per game at 2.90. Next to last was the Giants at 3.14

      • james d zimmerman

        That would be a great ERA.

  68. renbutler

    The Reds OWN Mondays.

    Should be 3-1 on Garfield’s bane when this game is over.

    • MrRed

      Vegas, is that a typo? 9.463 not 9,463? If so, that looks about right.

  69. renbutler

    Glad the fireworks guy wasn’t laid off…

    • VaRedsFan

      He’s like the Maytag repair man

    • james d zimmerman

      The Reds promotions department was actually considering setting off a firecracker for each base hit.

  70. J

    At 1-3, Riggleman has a better record than Price.

  71. Redlegs64

    Big Sal gets the win – good for that young man!

    • Indy Red Man

      Yes….he was pounding the strike zone and its good to have Schebler back! He hits the ball harder then anyone on the team and I don’t think its close.

      Monday is 10-4 night:)

    • james d zimmerman

      He made a nice fielding play as well – barehanded I might add.

  72. james d zimmerman

    Okay – the Reds just set the franchise record for futility to start a season. Looking at the flip side, have they ever started out 18 – 3?