Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (18-13) 7 9 1
Cincinnati Reds (7-23) 6 11 0
W: Chase Anderson (3-2)  L: Homer Bailey (0-4)  SV: Jeremy Jeffress (1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

This will probably shock you, but the Reds lost tonight.

Fortunately, the team is at least playing in competitive games recently. Unfortunately, the Reds haven’t turned that into many victories, and they now have more one-run losses (8) than wins (7) this season.

Here’s how tonight’s heartbreaker went down:

The Hitters

The Cincinnati offense is starting to regain its 2017 form after the return of Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler. Eleven base hits were knocked. Six walks were drawn. Unfortunately, that only translated into six runs. The Reds ended an inning with a runner in scoring position four times and had a runner thrown out at second base to end two more frames. Not great.

There were some highlights, though. Suarez smashed his fourth home run of the season to tie the game in the first inning and erase an early three-run deficit. That would’ve seemed insurmountable just a couple of weeks ago. Suarez also had a sacrifice fly later in the game, giving him seven runs knocked in over his last two games.

Alex Blandino added his first career big-league home run, a solo shot in the eighth. Billy Hamilton had two singles and an RBI. Tucker Barnhart walked two more times, giving him 16 for the season and placing him second on the team.

The Hurlers

For a third start in a row, Homer Bailey was not particularly sharp. He again lasted only five innings, forcing Jim Riggleman to go to his bullpen early for a second straight game. Bailey was tagged for five earned runs on six hits (including two more homers allowed) and a walk, and he struck out only one batter — which is perhaps the most alarming part about his night. Since notching seven strikeouts on April 10, Bailey has just 10 over his last four outings and a 13.1 K% on the season. He had just four swings and missed on 86 pitches tonight.

The train went off the rails early for Bailey, when he allowed a two-run homer to Travis Shaw and a solo shot to Jesus Aguilar in the first inning. After the offense tied the game at three in the bottom half of the inning, Bailey righted the ship a bit, retiring 10 of the next 11 hitters.

But he got into more trouble in the fifth. Orlando Arcia reached on an infield single that could’ve easily gone as a throwing error against shortstop Jose Peraza. With two outs, Bailey walked Christian Yelich. Ryan Braun made him pay for the mistake, hitting an opposite field double to give the Brewers the lead again.

David Hernandez was the next man up. He walked a batter and allowed an RBI triple in the sixth. Amir Garrett pitched 1 1/3 innings, striking out one and giving up a solo home run to Hernan Perez in the seventh on what was a pretty good pitch down and in.

Dylan Floro was the pitcher of the game for the Reds. He struck out back-to-back hitters to end the eighth and notched two more strikeouts in the ninth. A harmless single was the only smudge on Floro’s line tonight.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

  • Adam Duvall batted second today, presumably in an attempt by Jim Riggleman to get the slumping left fielder going at the plate between two hot hitters. Predictably, it didn’t work. He went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk. In the third inning, Duvall came to the plate with runners on the corners and two outs. He struck out, leaving Joey Votto in the on-deck circle in a big situation once again. He was later picked off at second base to end the fifth inning with the go-ahead run at the plate.
  • Rosell Herrera got his first major-league start and picked up his first career hit with a single in the second inning.
  • Most of us probably had no clue who Dylan Floro was before this year, but he’s off to a nice start in the Reds’ bullpen. Through 11 2/3 innings, he has a 0.77 ERA (1.82 FIP, 3.02 xFIP) and 11 strikeouts against just two walks.
  • Peraza had two steals today to give him five on the year. Per Statcast, Peraza’s 29.0 feet per second maximum sprint speed ranks 27th among 370 players measured this season. Billy Hamilton (30.0 ft/s) is fourth. Phil Gosselin (29.1 ft/s), weirdly, ranks 20th.

Up Next

Luis Castillo (7.85 ERA, 4.40 xFIP) will look to rebound from his worst career major-league start when he toes the rubber on Wednesday in the series finale against the Brewers. The opposition will send Wade Miley to the mound to make his Brewers debut after missing the first month of the season with a groin injury. First pitch is again set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: Kareem Elgazzar – Cincinnati Enquirer

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! 58 Comments

  1. Even though it doesn’t show in the box score garage and made an error and it cost us at least one in probably two runs. Three steps forward two steps back

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  2. Damn auto correct! Peraza made an error

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  3. Big strike out by Joey in the 8th.
    Nice pitch, he looked perplexed.

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    • Home team, one out in the 8th, tying run at 3rd. His mission needs to be to tie the game whatever he has to do to get that done.

      t looked like he made a conscious effort back off the third strike. It also looked like the pitch was too close all the way to take with 2 strikes. Maybe in that split second he had to decide, he felt he couldn’t get his bat to it; and, his best chance was to hope he could get the call.

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      • The old adage holds true, no matter how good a bear hunter you are, “sometimes the bear gets you.”

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  4. Schebler overran the ball in front of the track and couldn’t even glove it….allowing their catcher to score. That with the Peraza play cost 2-3 runs. Its always the little things that this team fails to do. They’ll slug their way to alot of wins, but the pitching and defense is shoddy more often then not. On the bright side…Peraza is really shining offensively and you can see a real nice nucleus for many years with Winker, Schebler, Suarez, Senzel, and possibly Peraza and Blandino.

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    • During the game the old slogan, “just good enough to lose” popped into my mind as a perfect description of the Reds the last 2 nights. A mediocre to decent team has found a way to win them both. A team striving to reach mediocrity has come up just short.

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      • Jim, my thoughts exactly. Can’t get the big hit hit with RISP either. Play okay but still lose.

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        • Mediocre starting pitching the last two nights. Mediocre, at best. Both Homer and Finnegan need to step it up. Unfortunately, nothing in AAA looks to be much help. Stephenson w a lousy game. Reed? Not much progress. Might have to seriously consider Mella (sp?) Or Lopez? Maybe Garrett should be stretched out soon, though I’m not confident that he can go five.

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    • You’re right Indy, and your comment presents my favorite drum to beat: Defense is still important.

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  5. Reds current roster in no thread to any team in NL. Even if the manage to score some runs, their rotation and defensive liabilities are evident. How long will it take to DFA Duvall?

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    • I don’t think they DFA Duvall in the near future. Tonight was just the worst of the worst for him. On the whole he has been striking out less, walking more, and per the exit velocity stats hitting the ball hard. Still bad luck can’t explain away what’s been going on with him all season in terms of bottom line production.

      It looks like he has an option left; and, with less than 3 years of service time, he cannot refuse it. Send him down. Let him decompress. Have somebody do personal work with him then start playing him every day.

      If he starts hitting, he could become a valuable sweetener in a deal.

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    • He went 4-14 with 3 doubles and a HR in Minnesota. He could swing 1 handed and do more damage then Billy. I wish they’d just leave Schebler in CF and run with it. Use Billy for defense/pinch running and on the road in the bigger parks. If Adam continues to stink then play Scooter in LF some and play Blandino/Herrera at 2b.

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      • Riggleman was quoted as saying he would use Herrera in any of the OF spots. Maybe it is time for him to start doing it.

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      • Right as rain Indy.Don’t understand it.Way too many holes in this lineup and Duvall has hit 30 bombs the last two years.We have Billy in year 5 and he still can’t hit yet he plays.The Reds need to do as you said.If Adam doesn’t come around then play others not named Billy.Good grief its so obvious.

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  6. Wednesday’s start by Castillo has become a really big start for the whole team and organization. If he rolls snake eyes again, it will clearly make the two rotation guys who looked like solid bets assuming good health probably the weakest two.

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    • He is missing location big time.His velocity was 97/98 against the Twins but belt high right down the middle.His change was up and again in the middle of the plate.We anointed him after a few starts last year just like Garrett and now here we go again ready to throw him under the bus.Let him pitch.Granted he needs to make it out of the second inning but for goodness sake this organization has lost 94+ the last two years and found out nothing about who can and who can’t.His pure stuff is electric.

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      • Agree, they need to let him pitch through it. Let the MLB coaches work with him on mechanics. No need for him to go to AAA

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  7. Winning pct is currently sitting at .233 after season’s first month. I predicted .250 for the whole season, perhaps I overestimated it.

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    • Did you really predict 40-120? Yikes! Was that before the season or was that after the first couple weeks? I lowered my preseason prediction of 74 wins to 68 after the horrible start. 74 seems almost unreachable now.

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  8. I mean, seriously… how many HRs our we going to allow this year? It seems like we give up 3 or 4 a night.

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    • I agree… I posted a few weeks ago about how ridiculous the OPS is that the pitching staff gives up. But it’s so frustrating to feel like you can almost count on any rally the offense provides to be circumvented by a deep ball in the next inning or two. Or, that’s how the team is getting behind in the first place. GABP has some blame… but what are they doing to be putting it up on a tee so dang often? MLB leading 48 HR’s given up. 27th place for team WHIP. Yikes.

      Reply
  9. Justin Nicolino has a 3.60 ERA down in Louisville, maybe he could be an option for the rotation if a starter gets sent down. Of course, I’d prefer Garrett get a shot but Nicolino is an option.

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  10. Good thing for us that this rebuild will result in a World Series Championship. Maybe not this century but eventually. Be patient and hold the course.

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  11. This team needs an ace pitcher. They need that guy who goes out every 5th day and dominates. Gives you the belief they have a great chance to win. The Reds have guys that you cross your fingers and hope things go their way.

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    • Very easy to be frustrated because nothing was done to improve this team.The young starters just need to take the ball every 5th day.Bailey,Finny and Disco are returning after not pitching at all last year so that will take time to sort out as well.At the same time they must let some of these young position players play.Blandino,Herrera and others need to play some.Scooter should be in a platoon and Billy should be in late for defense.Winker plays every day as does Scott and Adam until they prove they don’t belong.Peraza needs to show he can or can’t play a major league caliber short stop.Probably a few more things to do as well but the bottom line is if they don’t find out about who is part of the next good team this year then they won’t ever find out.Last year was a waste and it can’t happen again this year.Who cares about losing 100 games or 90 games its still losing.Along the way Suarez will show he is a good player,Winker will be an on base machine,Peraza may surprise because he actually walked last night and 1 or 2 of the young starters may produce at league average or better.

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  12. As 2018 season unfolds, each day it’s more evident that Reds have two major holes to be filled in right away, without clear candidates from the minors: a centerfielder and at least two rotation spots (and that’s assuming Mahle, Romano and Castillo will perform). Other seven positions are set for years to come, so it’s time to start looking at next winter’s FA market.

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  13. Pinch hitters being substituted for Hamilton and Duvall in late inning, high leverage situations portend the inevitable. The Reds must get offensive production from their OF positions, particularly their corner OF positions. Winker and Schebler must play. Hamilton and Duvall are the odd men out, but there are 3 OF positions to staff and only two locks for those OF positions.

    Hamilton’s progressive offense from 2016-2018:

    OBP: .321 -> .299 -> .288
    OPS: .664 -> .634 -> .552
    OPS+: 77 -> 66 -> 54
    wRC+: 79 -> 66 -> 58
    K%: 20.2% -> 21.0% -> .31.7%
    BABIP: .329 -> .313 -> .281

    Duvall’s offensive production:

    2016: 106 OPS+; 105 wRC+; .257 ISO
    2017: 100 OPS+; 98 wRC+; .232 ISO
    2018: 71 OPS+; 65 wRC+; .200 ISO

    A lot of fans (and possibly coaches) attributed Duvall’s 2nd half collapse in 2016 and 2017 to fatigue, possibly related to his diabeties, but maybe that was nothing more than extended hot streaks and extended cold streaks, making his overall production what can be expected.

    Hamilton and Duvall offer good defensive contributions, while Hamilton offers superior speed and Duvall offers superior power. Hamilton and Duvall offer no better than league average overall contributions and both players may already be regressing.

    The OF problem becomes the defense and a 3rd starting OF capable of playing CF. The additional problem is the pitching. The Reds could obtain an OF capable of starting in CF and providing a positive offensive contribution, but without the pitching sorted and established, there’s really no point, so until the pitching becomes sorted and established, the Reds may as well just go with the available in-house players.

    Winker starts in LF every game, period, no exceptions. How the Reds decide to utilize Schebler is an open question, but Schebler must start every game, period, no exceptions. How the Reds decide to fill the 3rd OF position will really dictate how they utilize Schebler.

    I think Peraza has earned himself an extended opportunity to prove he can handle the starting SS position, both offensively and defensively. I think the Reds are locked into playing Senzel at 2B once he is promoted, possibly shifting Scooter to the OF options. Until the pitching situation is resolved, no outside position options should even be considered.

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    • I agree.Last year was wasted to find out about the pitching but it remains the top priority but as you said there are things to do along the way with the offense.I also agree to keep it in house because well we don’t know what some of these guys can or can’t do.

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    • Chris was saying last night that Duvall didn’t seem to be seeing the ball well. I doubt that he was referring to actual vision problems, but it made me wonder.

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      • The fatigue thing never made sense to me for Duval. The vision part as you mentioned absolutely. I am sure his A1C has been where it should be. Having inconsistant vision really is a bummer and cant be helped that much. And it only worsens over time. My vision changes on a daily basis to where wearing glasses is useless.

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    • Please. I like Scooter, but not in the OF. If you have concerns for his defense at 2B, you just haven’t seen in the OF.

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    • I agree totally. With that said, unfortunately the Reds wasted this offseason without coming up with a clear option for centerfield. I don’t believe Schebler is a good option there, although he is much better there than Choo was, but even if he was to move there that still leaves us one OF short. You could possibly play Gennett in right but that will make for a pretty shaky outfield which I’m not sure you want with the young pitchers.

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  14. Cossac k I like what you say. Let’s try an outfield of Wimker, Herrera, Schebler for a week. The big problem is they play a guy 1 game then sit him for a week, no chance to get established. Pitching should have been done last year.

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  15. Hot take: Homer and Castillo are both hurt, and hiding injuries.

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    • Maybe, but the Reds evidently think that Castillo’s mechanics–not keeping his hand on top of the ball–explain his command and hittability issues.

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      • Location,location,location.He was at 97/98 vs the Twins but right down the middle.Every major league hitter who can hit can hit a fastball.

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  16. Predictably, batting Duvall in front of Votto didn’t work? It seemed to work for Peraza, so it was perhaps worth a try. It was also one game, so it seems impatient to draw too many conclusions, though impatient is what we do best.

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  17. Detroit, Tampa, and Miami all gutted their teams and they’re still winning games! Dick Williams needs to get off his recliner and do something to get some pitching in here for next year! They won’t find another Ohtani throwing 101 in Japan, but I’m sure they might be a couple of decent guys that would like to pitch in the major leagues and would settle for the Reds instead? The Cards signed Miles Mikolas from the Japan league. He has a 3.27 era with 2 walks in 33 innings!! He looks like a #3 starter at worst! Or try Korea? Or Cuba? Alos some of these bottom feeder teams will fall by the wayside and might have some guys that are moving along thru arbitration and their teams don’t want to pay them. We supposedly have a decent farm system now? Use it!!

    What do we have now? Finnegan, Reed, and BobSteve are busts. They may get it going at some point, but they can’t produce at GABP where it counts. They need to give Garrett a shot. I think Lorenzen has a higher ceiling then Romano. I’d give him a shot. Mella needs to go to AAA pronto to see what he can do. They can’t count on Disco, but he’ll give it another run at some point.

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  18. Disappointed by Votto’s late, key strikeout. But strike 3 was a terrific pitch – tip your cap there. More disappointed that Winker didn’t start. If he’s healthy how does that ever make sense? Most disappointed by Bailey’s start to the game and his overall line. Castillo’ start today is important. After an awful game how does he bounce back? If Castillo struggles the Reds have exactly one solid starter right now – Mahle – and a lot of question marks. That’s incredibly frustrating.

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  19. I agree with the thrust of the comments today—the starting pitching rebuild isn’t working and the options are dwindling by the day. None of Reed/Finnegan/Stephenson/Romano can be counted on to be anything more than #5 starters. Sure, maybe it clicks with one of them, but each have too many warts that severly limit that probability. They’re all so messed up in their own way……all seem like change of scenery candidates, which really makes you question how the Reds go about the process of developing starters. Sad to say, but it seemingly comes down to Disco getting healthy and the Reds brass showing some guts and transitioning higher ceiling pitchers Lorenzen/Garrett back into starters.

    I attributed the bad start to injuries and players coming out of the gate cold, but this last week has me wondering if the Reds can even manage a decent 2nd half when the ‘real’ Reds team will be playing every day.

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  20. The walk to Yelich was huge….you don’t walk the guy in front of Braun.

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  21. Announced Attendance last night: 12,933.
    Walk up tickets: 51.
    Tumbleweeds: 27,313.

    Big Bob must be so proud.

    Reply
  22. I am of the opinion that if Hamilton is not going to be aggressive once he gets on base, he does this team very little good. I know he is a terrific outfielder. However, no excuse for him not to attempt to take second base down one run in the bottom of the 8th. He scores easily on Winker’s hit to tie the game.

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  23. The Reds have a 1-8 record in 1-run games. This is not surprising when they consistently starts 2 outfielders hitting below the Mendoza line. At least put the best line up (best hitters) out there everyday and see what happens. Platoon Duval and Hamilton. When Duval starts, have him bat in the bottom 1/3 of the order until he shows signs of improvement. Use Hamilton as a PR and defensive substitution in games that he doesn’t start.

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  24. the reds outfield situation has frustrated me really since the turn of the century. we haven’t developed a 5 tool outfielder in some time. Hamilton, Duvall, WInker have glaring weaknesses. Schebler is probably the closest thing we have to a 5 tool guy but his defense is by no means stellar.

    I just want an outfielder who you don’t need to pitch run, pinch hit or substitute defensively. Choo and maybe Bruce and 30 y/o Junior are the only outfielders this century that I could think of that fit this category. pathetic

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  25. As stated by many above, the rebuild pitching is not working out as planned, and it doesn’t seem the Reds have much in the pipeline. Except perhaps for Mahle, no Reds pitcher can get beyond the 4th. or 5th. inning so this puts a strain on the insecure bullpen to save a lead with the exception of Iglesias. Either the Reds will have to cancel the rebuild and start anew like the Rays and Tigers, or the owner/front office is going to need to spend money for a couple proven starting pitchers or else the Reds are going to be non-competitive for the coming years. With this kind of a record after the first month, I doubt the Reds will draw a million this season. The front office sitting back and cancelling a season before it starts does not work.

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    • You may be right but I would rather wait until these guys get 20 or 25 more starts under their belt.Homer and Finny are coming back after missing all or part of last year along with Disco and the others have little or no experience in the big leagues.It will be frustrating at times but we will get through this year.Should have done all of this sorting last year but it didn’t happen so we have to do it this year and it will be painful at times.We have 130 or so games left and then we shall see the ones that have stepped up and will be part of the future.I still believe we will have more conversation about our hitting then we do about our pitching as we go forward.Keep in mind 10 days ago we lost back to back 2-0 games.In this day and time a staff of average major league starting pitching is well a good thing.I think before its over that we will have just that or better.

      Reply
  26. Joey votto is a superstar.
    But, is he the Reds best player still?
    Mr Suarez is making a case that Votto could be …..might be…..#2.
    That’s not a criticism of JV.

    How’d things go when Suarez was hurt????

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  27. I also like what Winker brings and Senzel will be very good for a long time.

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  28. That is some sad news on Johnny Cueto. Sending him out for a second opinion, probably to Dr. Andrews. This does not sound good.
    Cueto missed sevral games last year with a forearm issue and now elbow inflammation this year. Sounds like a similar path that Homer Bailey took. Bailey’s didn’t end well.
    Including this year, Cueto still has 4 years and $84MM on his contract.
    This puts a different spin on that Bailey and Cueto debate amongst some fans, about which should have been extended.
    Cueto is 32 and the arm mileage he has, it doesn’t look very good at this point.

    Reply
  29. Only 6 runs… Fun fact:

    In the NL last year, there were 232 games in which a team scored 6 runs. Teams scoring 6 runs had a 180-52 record for a nice 77.6% win-percentage. The Reds in 2018 are now 0-1 in such games.

    Reply
    • Reds are the only team with a negative team pitching WAR, an impressive -1.0.

      The Royals will pass the Reds in runs allowed, so, the Reds have that going for them

      Reply
  30. Riggleman is still hanging onto the 4-man OF rotation because…well, just because. According to Riggleman himself, the 4-man OF rotation should go bye in a week or so. Hopefully, at that point we will see Winker in LF every game. Schebler in CF against LHP & Hamilton in CF against RHP. Schebler in RF against LHP & Duvall in RF against LHP.

    I’m all for benching Hamilton as simply a 5th OF and role player, entering the game as a 7th inning (or later) pinch runner and defensive replacement with Duvall getting more playing time along with Herrera.

    Glad to see Mesoraco and Blandino starting against the LHP.

    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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