The Short Version: Reds get some timely hitting, including four RBI from Eugenio Suarez, but the bullpen is unable to hang on to the lead (with an assist from some shaky umpiring). Cincinnati loses again.

Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (17-13) 6 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (7-22) 5 7 1
W: Woodruff (1-0) L: Peralta (1-2) S: Hader (4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Eugenio Suarez was 2-4 with a double and 4 RBI. His slash line now sits at .327/.411/.571.

–Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker each had a single, a double, and a run scored. Winker was robbed of another double by Christian (should be a Red) Yelich on a ball he absolutely hammered into left center in the sixth inning.

–Austin Brice pitched another good inning. He’s pitched in 13 games, and really only one of those outings was bad. At age 25, he’s looking like a guy that could be a relatively valuable bullpen piece.

–Billy Hamilton had a typical Billy night at the plate (1-4 with a run scored), but sheesh, he was good defensively out there in center field. Is it possible for someone to be worth the price of admission on defense and base running alone?

–The ball boy down the left field line at Great American Ball Park made a sweet play on a foul ball in the eighth inning.

The Bad
–Wandy Peralta was the victim of an error, but he was also a victim of poor performance in an outing that lasted two-thirds of an inning (three runs on a hit and two walks).

–Tucker Barnhart made an error, a bad throw that permitted a run to score in the top of the seventh. You won’t see that every day, and I almost feel guilty mentioning it here. Tucker is pretty good defensively, you see.

–The final eight outs of the game for the Redlegs were via strikeout against Milwaukee reliever Josh Hader.

–Home plate umpire Rob Drake had a really bad day at his job. Probably cost the Reds the game (see below), but it wasn’t just that call. Just terrible at balls and strikes all night long.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Cincinnati Reds are seven and twenty-two. Good grief, this is ridiculous.

–The 2018 Reds may not be very good, but there have been lots of fun moments in this franchise’s history. Ironically, there’s a brand new book that looks at some of those moments. You should go buy it! My mom says it’s really good.

–Brandon Finnegan wasn’t good tonight, but he was good enough. He threw 89 pitches (50 strikes) in five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks.

Finnegan surrendered a solo homer in the top of the fourth, but the Reds grabbed the lead in the bottom half. Votto was hit by a pitch, then advanced to third on a Schebler double. Suarez knocked them both in with a double off the wall and the Reds took a 2-1 lead into the fifth inning.

Two batters into the top of the fifth, Finnegan had coughed up the lead once again after walking the opposing pitcher and giving up a two-run homer to Lorenzo Cain.

In the bottom half, however, the Reds grabbed the lead again. Billy Hamilton led off with a bloop over the third baseman that went for a double. Winker then laid down a gorgeous bunt for a single, moving Hamilton to third; Billy scored when Jose Peraza lifted a fly ball to center field. Votto walked and Schebler singled to load the bases, then Suarez came through again, this time with a two-run single up the middle to give the Reds a 5-3 lead.

–Staked to a 5-3 lead, Peralta gave up three runs (two earned) on a hit and two walks. It must be said that Peralta probably should have been out of the inning, as the umpire missed strike three on a full count pitch that would have bene out number three. See below:

When Peralta left, Cincinnati still clung to a 5-4 lead, but Jared Hughes gave up two-run double on the first pitch he threw, and the lead was gone.

–Scooter Gennett had an MRI on his sore shoulder today, but he still made a pinch-hit appearance (and struck out).

Today’s Tweets

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 57 Comments

  1. Tucker dropping that ball 4 against Braun didnt help but still should have been called

    • Tucker’s framing has regressed again….he’s stabbing at balls pulling them out of the strike zone like Mez.

      Inexplicably Barnhart appeared to have trouble catching Peralta and Hughes pitches.

      His throwing error shoulda been stopped by Eugenio.

      • I think it is a combination of pitchers’ control and our catchers just not quite quick enough (talent issue in both cases).
        For SURE Barnhart and Mesoraco know they need to frame pitches to help their pitcher.
        They make a sign for a pitch and indicate a location with the mitt. If a pitcher can throw close to the mitt a catcher can move the mitt away from the plate just a little bit and bring it back as the pitch gets there, stopping a little more into the strike zone.
        Our pitchers have trouble hitting the mitt location. Hence, our catchers either don’t have time to, or don’t physically have the skill to, frame the pitch when a Reds pitcher misses the target by so much.
        I think this not-quite-quick-enough issue also shows up in some Reds batters. If they are just a little below MLB average in recognizing the pitch and the spin out of the pitcher’s hand, they make up for it by committing to swing before the pitch is thrown. Hence, too many strikeouts on low pitches, away pitches and pitches in the dirt. They are guessing.

        • I think that happens a lot in pitch framing. It isn’t a matter of missing the zone. It’s missing the target badly that can cause issues. You have strikes that your pitcher loses when he misses your mitt by so much and you can’t frame.

          • Guess I was wordy but your last sentence is what I was trying to say. I agree.

          • Yeah, that’s what I figured you were saying. I was agreeing and making sure that I was understanding what you were saying. I think a lot of people and the pitch framing metrics miss that nuance. The metrics take a lot into account, more than I ever thought. I think they fall short in that area however.

          • Exactly. Barnhart is the reining Gold Glove catcher in the NL and not of an age where he lost his skills over the winter. And rightfully or wrongfully, the umpires are subtly influenced by significant differences between where the catcher is set up and where the pitch actually comes in at.

            Over the weekend in Minnesota there was a cross up in signals between Barnhart and Hernandez. Barnhart was sitting low and inside to a LH batter expecting a breaking pitch. Hernandez busted a fastball right down the middle marginally at the bottom of the zone. Barnhart had to scramble just to catch the pitch which was called a ball. The replay showed the pitch may well have been a strike; but, there was no way they were going to get that call.

          • And in the framing metrics, Barnhart will likely be dinged on that strike.

      • Tucker’s poor framing makes many strikes look like they were outside the zone. I have been wondering how much lower the pitchers’ ERAs and WHIPs would be if he were good at framing. There are a lot of things to like about Tucker. If he develops this skill, he will be even more complete. I hope he makes it a priority.

  2. Winker was robbed of another double by Christian (should be a Red) Yelich on a ball he absolutely hammered into left center in the sixth inning.

    Can you imagine this offense if Yelich were on the team?

    LF Winker
    SS Suarez
    1B Votto
    3B Senzel
    CF Yelich
    C Barnhart
    RF Schebler
    P
    2B Blandino/Peraza

    Every single one of the 7 hitters before the pitcher is almost automatic for a .350+ OBP, and some have a good shot at .400+. You could almost arrange them in any order you want, but I went with this order to alternate the lefty/righty matchups.

    Water under the bridge now, but oh, what could have been…..

    • – I am so glad it was mentioned again that Yelich should be a Red. I live in Miami (Marlins are my #2 fave team) and the Marlins was ripe for the taking for a quantity of decent prospects. Some things make way too much sense for some people (Reds GM) and, therefore, can’t buy in. Yes, the Yelich matter is water under the bridge, but is it too mean-spirited to want the FO to choke on that water (figuratively-speaking) for awhile longer.

      – After April W-L: 7-22. To get to .500 at season’s end W-L: 74-59 (dreaming). To just play .500 or slightly better ball to the end of the season would be a good turnaround despite the final W-L record, especially if the prospects are the main contributors.

    • I still think it was just a matter of being a year away. Our Lester/Verlander/Yelich pickup next year is a CF. Hamilton, Duvall, and a young pitcher or two in a trade would be a start.

    • Can we finally be done with the Yelich to the Reds nonsense? Yelich would have cost Senzel and probably more, which the Reds were not going to do. Yes the lineup would be better with Hamilton replaced be Yelich, but Suarez is the 3B, and Peraza would be the SS in that scenario. People act like Yelich was acquired for a bag of balls

      • +1

      • +2

      • I understand that your comment is responding to what sounds like crying over spilled milk. That alone is sufficient to desist in the matter. Now to believe that Yelich would’ve cost Senzel as a basis to not go ahead with a trade is very reasonable opinion if the facts support it, but they don’t necessarily.
        – First, the Reds had greater leverage than the Marlins in trade discussions. Jeter made it crystal clear that they were dismantling their core players for financial profit to their multitude of investors and for high-end prospects. I am aware that the bigger the contract (like Stanton’s) the more desperate to get rid of it resulting in accepting lower-value prospects in proportion to the caliber of player. My point is that the Marlins initially had asked for Senzel and more prospects for Yelich, but there was a very good possibility (based on precedence) that they would’ve settled for something close if the Reds counter-offered it.
        – Second, lets him go to a division rival who are showing early success and have hurts in games
        – Third, Yelich is already a young proven commodity – a 27 yr old, 4-tool – All-Star caliber player. Is is a guarantee that Senzel will be that? Do the Reds have anybody right now in the minors that will be that? That’s the conundrum of high prospects – promise fulfilled or promise failed. Yelich already is promise fulfilled for years to come. Worth trading for!
        – It may be nonsense to keep complaining about it, but sometimes the FO needs to see and hear the frustration of the fans when they don’t act on acquiring a player that check-marks every criteria:
        *young enough to be key cog in the rebuilding success of the team – CHECK
        *cheap enough for the next 4 years – CHECK
        *proven All-Star – CHECK
        *replaces a proven dud in BillyH

        So I agree that the Yelich matter is nonsense. It was nonsense that the Reds did not trade for him!

        • The Brewers gave up their best prospect who was ranked the 13th best prospect in baseball, Senzel was only four positions better, plus another top 100 prospect. There is plenty of evidence to support it would have taken Senzel to get Yelich. You are however correct in that Senzel is not a proven commodity. The Reds had no leverage on the Marlins who were not forced to trade Yelich, and were able to take the best offer available because multiple teams were interested. If the Reds were the only team who wanted Yelich then there would have been leverage.

        • Senzel, Trammell, Moss for Yelich …. Would you have done it? Doug did the analysis and I and others agree that is about the package it would have taken. I could see arguments for pulling that trigger but I myself would not have done it at that price. Now in hindsight, it would have been even worse because even with Yelich the Reds are probably 9-20 or 10-19 now. Yelich may have only been part of the next contending Reds team for 1-2 years tops. The next contending Reds team is looking to be 2021 or 2020 if we are lucky. It’s disgusting but that’s what it looks like.

      • -3

        I agree with Chad. Trade wouldn’t have taken Senzel, just Hunter Greene, who I was and still am willing to part with for an impact player of Yelich’s caliber. The fact that Yelich went in division was the worst part of it because we have to see him time after time after time, year after year after year…

        • Unlikley. The Marlins wanted high-impact guys close to the Majors. Green may have been able to headline but then it may have been more like Green, Trammell, Mahle or Green, Winker, Trammell. Still not sure I do that deal.

    • I imagine the Reds being 22 & 7 but they’re not.

    • Only Doug and a couple others say that it would have taken Senzel to get Yelich.

      • I was a very big proponent of getting Yelich for the Reds.
        I think the Reds could have put forth three different trade scenarios for Yelich. One package headlined by Senzel. One package headlined by Hunter Greene. And one package headlined by Mahle and Winker. The only one I would have gone with would have been Greene, but I am still very hesitant on that one. Back in December I would have considered a Mahle and Winker package, but not by any stretch now. Taylor Trammell would have to have been included with either of those packages too.
        I just don’t think the Reds were willing to give up any of their top-5 prospects to get Yelich. Shed Long may have been a part that Miami would have requested. They way he has started 2018, that would not have been good either for the Reds.
        Greene/Siri/Long/Downs/VGutierrez might have been the most palatable offer the Reds could have given Miami. But the Reds front office wasn’t giving up Greene. It is a package high on potential but mostly at the lower levels of the minors. Miami wasn’t looking for such a package though. They wanted high upside close to ML ready and the Reds were not parting with the 3 they had in Senzel, Mahle and Winker. There is a big gap between these 3 and the rest of the Reds top prospects, ML ready-wise.
        It just wasn’t meant to be. So I have moved on past that trade miss. It would have been a huge cost whatever package the Reds could have put together. One maybe they couldn’t and shouldn’t make. I really don’t like not having Yelich, but I think I would dislike it more to be without some top notch prospects.
        On the surface it seemed the Reds were a perfect trading partner with Miami on Yelich. Turns out they were far from a perfect match.

    • I believe the asking price for Yelich started with Senzel.
      No thanks

  3. That people were upset in the game thread that Mesoraco did not pinch hit for Hamilton tells everything.

    Hamilton

    wRC+
    2016 – 79
    2017 – 66
    2018 – 51

    OBP.
    2016 – .321
    2017 – .299
    2018 – .281

    By all appearances, many people decided tonight it was worth the price of admission to watch Ol’ Havoc! chase down balls, regardless of record or him striking out bunting in the bottom of the 9th in a one-run game. (/s)

    Offense is valued more than defense in MLB of 2018. It would seem even more important in such a HR-friendly park like GABP. When the Reds get a CF that can hit, and a manager that demands league-average offense production from that position, that will be progress.

    • Agree that Mes should’ve hit for Billy in that situation.

    • Worse re the Hamilton 9th inning AB is that he left the batters box lunging at a pitch in a bunt attempt with TWO STRIKES ON HIM!! If he did this on his own, Riggleman should give him an extended sit-down, great defense notwithstanding. Tired of hearing that BH’s batting and bunting “prowess” remains a “work in progress,” per the Reds TV folks. If it isn’t there by now, it’s a combination of inability and/or terrible coaching. I’m in the camp of the former, as much as I wish the guy a breakout and success. Seems like a nice kid..but you can’t put that poor an offensive contributor in a major league outfield.

      • And after the bunt attempt with two strikes and the tying run on first with the game on the line, Hamilton returns to the dugout and has a grin on his face. Not what I want to see if the Reds want to win the game. That was a letdown on a game the Reds should have won.

        • He was probably grinning about how ridiculously difficult it is to hit Hader. An opinion shared by the rest of the team, any one of whom could have gotten a key hit at some point in the game and changed the outcome.

          • It looks to me like the Brewers have the successor to Aroldis Chapman in the NL.

    • The Reds have recently been both the beneficiaries and victims of poor fielding. The 3- outcome at-bat is fiction, even at GABP. I also thought that Mez should have pinch-hit for BH, but I’ll guarantee you that Mez would not have gotten to 2nd on BH’s double and that he likely would not have scored on the short sac fly that followed. It’s obvious that BH is not a good hitter and that he has hit worse this year than previously, and it’s obvious that a good defensive center fielder who could hit well would be an improvement, but that 9th inning strikeout was one of 8 Reds’ strikeouts in a little over 2 innings pitched by Hader. We don’t need a scapegoat. The entire team was a scapegoat until recently.

  4. Haven’t checked but how many bad outings has Peralta had as of late? I recollect more bad than good since the Reds began to show a pulse.

  5. This community has made a good point all year long… we should have found a way to deal for Yelich.. he was on the open market… if we had been pro active early a deal could be made… these guys just sit back and wait for an over the top offer… frustrating to be a fan these days. Always frustrating, but this current stuff takes the cake as far as inpetirude goes, in my opnion, and based on other comments I see I am not alone in my assessment.

    • Would you have been happy giving up Senzel and other prospects to get Yelich? That was the asking price.

    • To what Bill was saying, Doug Gray had an article on his site looking at the deal for Yelich and putting together what he thought would have been an equivalent package of Reds’ prospects. He basically landed on Senzel, Trammell, and Moss. That’s steep! The whole article is here:

      http://redsminorleagues.com/2018/01/25/reds-pay-yelich/

      If you don’t already, I strongly recommend supporting Doug’s site through Patreon. Doug puts out great work.

      • And as you pointed out above, Yelich, at 27, could certainly be in his decline years during the next Reds’ window.

  6. Attendance less than 10k again. It was probably a good thing though. The sun was shining soooo bright early.This can cause squinting which can in turn lead to wrinkles.

    So probably a good idea nobody went to the game.

    • I am enjoying the low attendance and hope it continues through the summer. This is the Front Office’s mess and they should not be rewarded with a full house.

    • It is going to be very confusing next Monday night on Bark in the Park night. We won’t be able to tell apart the dogs from the dawgs.

  7. This loss bothered me, because it rehashed what seems like a 25-year problem–pitchers who either miss the plate entirely, or throw fatties in the heart of the strike zone. Too many walks, too many homers; wash, rinse, repeat. Then we hear that Cody Reed threw only 40 of 72 pitches for strikes last night, and BobSteve walked 8 in his last start.

    I agree that MLB cannot incorporate a computerized strike zone fast enough. Not that Hamilton was going to hit Hader, but he got a bad, bad early strike, as did Winker. I have a theory that umps subconsciously give better calls to the better team, much like college basketball referees tend to give the home team better calls. When you are the Reds starting at 3-18, you don’t get much. Even Votto is getting some bad calls. The umps miss them both ways, though; Foltynewicz on the Braves got squeezed against the Reds.

    Enough with the Christian Yelich laments. We might as well complain that the Reds took Mike Leake in 2009 instead of Mike Trout. Didn’t happen. Move on. Enjoy Senzel and Taylor Trammell.

    • Why enough? 9 years have not passed like the Leake-Trout draft. The non-Yelich trade is still fresh and fans do not fully trust in the FO because of a decision like that. Besides the Leake-Trout scenario is not an equivalent comparison because that was a decision about prospects, not about a proven All-Star in his prime and a potential one (in Yelich vs Senzel, et al). I hope I will enjoy Senzel and Trammell when they become part of the big lineup but that remains to be seen.

  8. Blandino struck out looking for the 7th time in ~50 ABs in a big spot last night. He really needs to change his 2 strike approach.

  9. I disagree that Finnegan was good enough. He wasn’t. 3 runs in 5 innings is an ERA of 5.40. That’s not good. And to walk the pitcher ahead of Cain’s home run is simply unacceptable. On top of that Finnegan was in and out of trouble all night. This loss is not on Brandon alone, but he didn’t help the cause. I’m actually hoping he’s bad in his next start and the Reds then swap him for Garrett. Finnegan has been mediocre at best and with so many young arms still needing a proper audition it’s time to try other options. On that note – DeSclafanis update?

    • True, not sure how 50 strikes and 39 balls and 3 walks in 5 innings is considered good enough.

      Then again, the Reds are dead last by a large margin in pitching WAR in 2018. Maybe this was a good start in this season of awful pitching.

    • Finnegan has nothing right now? Fastball is 90-91 and breaking stuff isn’t crisp. He’s always had spotty command so you need Robbie Ray stuff to make it work and he doesn’t. I’m close to putting him into Nevermakeitland with Reed and BobSteve.

    • I thought I read where Disco is on track to return by the end of May…which of course, means August.

  10. “Staked to a 5-3 lead, Peralta gave up three runs (two earned)…”

    All three runs were earned. The error by Barnhart had no impact on the runs being scored, just how they scored.

    • True dat. And to make matters worse Cossack, they all came after he had two outs and no one on. Fail.

  11. I know it takes a rocket to hit a ball over Billy’s head, but he should’ve been deeper in a “no doubles” defensive setup on the game losing 2 run double. Men on 1st/3rd and only a extra basehit scores the winning run. If he was a little deeper then that’s an easy catch for him. Losing is one thing, but giving games away is another.

  12. Enough blame to go around last night.Finny was so so and won’t be the same until his velocity increases.Peralta gave it up but he has been goodTucker walked 3 times but with a rookie,the pitcher and Billy behind him well what would you do if you were on the mound.Some times we can overcome the holes we have offensively but most of the time the pitcher will find them and say ok here it is hit it.History says Billy won’t hit it,Tucker may hit it but not for power,Peraza hasn’t shown he can in a little over a year and then there is the pitcher’s spot.Sure defense is very important but we play in GABP and will get out homered this year if the guys I mentioned continue to play on a regular basis.The platoon in the outfield is well just dumb to me.Schebler,Winker and Duvall because of the offense they have or have shown should play every day.I am not anti Billy but you can’t set Tucker and Peraza deserves a shot in year 2 to see if he can handle short.Billy after 4+ years of the same offensively is well just bad.

  13. Not having Yelich is not the only issue here. Is it possible the Reds could have signed Cain? Then you are not talking about giving up prospects but dollars and he still could have been around for the Reds when they were contending. With another ba in the lineup we probably wouldn’t be 7 and 22 at this point.

  14. To the comment on BH smiling after striking out, I have seen him do that a few times, like I don’t care I take hits away from them.

  15. It was awful listening to Finnegan pitch.Your team goes out and gets the lead, and the first thing you do is walk the pitcher to lead off the next inning? That’s what bad pitchers do.

    It’s one thing if you give up 10 hits and get knocked around. What is completely unacceptable for a major league pitcher is walking more than 1-2 batters. The Reds can grab some shmuck from the stands to walk people.

  16. Oh, there is sooooooooo much wrong with today’s lineup…

    1. Jose Peraza (R) SS
    2. Adam Duvall (R) LF
    3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    4. Scott Schebler (L) RF
    5. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
    6. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
    7. Rosell Herrera (S) 2B
    8. Homer Bailey (R) P
    9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF

    • If peraza gets hot in front of votto…..well….put Duvall there.

      Cossack…you could hit .200 in front of Votto. Not sure about the ISO though.

      • Hey,hey,hey!!!

        What are you implying? Mrs. Cossack thinks I’m a manly man, or at least she used to…maybe you have a point.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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