The Cincinnati Reds have now won five consecutive games. The Reds fell behind early tonight, but Scott Schebler delivered a huge three run home run against his former team to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Every Reds starting position player collected a hit tonight.

Homer Bailey wasn’t great, but he battled through five innings. The Reds bullpen slammed the door again, even without Igelsias available tonight. The Reds have their first five game win streak since May 3-7, 2017.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (13-27) 5 13 0
Los Angeles Dodgers (16-23) 3 12 1
W: Bailey (1-5) L: Chargois (1-1) S: Hughes (1)
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 Scott Schebler’s 3-run home run with 1 out in the 6th inning off J.T. Chargois, giving the Reds a 4-3 lead. That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 37.7% (from 26.9% to 64.5%).

Positives

Scooter Gennett just keeps raking. Gennett had 3 hits tonight, and now has 13 hits over the last 5 games. He is now hitting .329/.368/.521 on the season. We will soon be talking about Scooter’s all-star campaign.

Adam Duvall got the start tonight batting 9th, and collected 2 hits. Joey Votto also had a 2-hit night.

David Hernandez pitched a brilliant 2.1 shutout innings in relief, and the Reds needed it with a thin bullpen. Hernandez only allowed 1 hit, didn’t allow a walk, and had 3 strikeouts.

Jared Hughes pitched a perfect 9th inning, earning his first save of the season.

Jose Peraza had a really nice play on a slow roller hit to him in the 9th. If he hadn’t made that play, Cody Bellinger would have hit representing the tying run.

Negatives

There is nothing to see here. THE REDS HAVE WON 5 STRAIGHT GAMES, GUYS.

Blah

It was another mediocre start for Homer Bailey. He certainly battled through the start, and in the end only allowed 3 runs. However, Bailey allowed 10 hits and 2 walks in just 5.0 innings. Bailey also allowed his MLB worst 12th home run of the season.

Not so random thoughts……….

Scott Schebler‘s post game comments were interesting. Jim Day asked Schebler if the manager change had anything to do with the teams recent success. Schebler said something about Jim Riggleman demanding that they run out ground balls, always hustle, etc. That certainly doesn’t mean that Bryan Price didn’t demand hustle, but it has certainly been a focal point for Riggleman.

The ambidextrous Pat Venditte got 4 outs tonight for the Dodgers. That was fun to see.

Yes, I had the title of this recap up by the 7th inning. I believed.

Up Next:

Reds at Dodgers
Sunday, 4:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Luis Castillo (6.47 ERA/4.97 FIP) vs Rich Hill (7.11 ERA/6.47 FIP)

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! 91 Comments

  1. And I heard Thom B. refer to Run Expectancy in a nondismissive tone!

  2. Can we please start the season over? I think the team is ready now.

  3. I think nobody expected this outcome from the LA-LA Land visit, Go Reds! Next item in to-do list is figure it out what to do with Homer: Disco and Lorenzen are nearing their respective returns from DL, so either Lorenzen joins the corps and Garrett is slotted into the rotation or Disco goes for it, let’s see…

  4. Bellinger’s bunt attempt in the 9th inning is a good example of why the Reds’ broadcasters stink. On the radio, all they really had to say about it is that it was absolutely crazy. On and on they went about how stupid it was. That was basically the sum total of what a person would “learn” from listening to Reds radio on that play. On TV, Thom(!) said something like “that’s the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” There was a little discussion about what why a person might try to bunt in that situation, but mostly they talked about how insane it was to bunt on 3-0. On the LA side, both TV and radio, they expressed some surprise, but the focus of their commentary was that he executed the bunt wrong. They fully understood the logic of a power hitter bunting at a 3-0 pitch because he expected it to be a fastball right down the middle, the defense obviously wasn’t expecting him to do anything at all, and he wasn’t the potential tying run. From them I heard something like “that ball either has to go down the line or be foul, so you either get a hit or it’s 3-1 and you’re still alive. It can’t go anywhere near the pitcher.” Compare that to “that’s the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen” or “brain cramp.” I find it almost impossible to listen to any of these guys for more than about 5 minutes.

    • I’d never seen that before. If it’s 3-0, why bother to bunt? Should have done that earlier in the count. You’re one pitch away from a walk which is as good as a bunt with no chance of failure. Thank goodness Bellinger gave us the out. I’m with Thom and Chris on this one.

  5. What in the word was bellinger doing in the 9th? Bunting with a 3-0 count? Umm thanks lol

    • You’re only thanking him because it was a terrible bunt. A halfway decent bunt and he’d have been standing on first with the potential tying run coming to the plate. It probably wasn’t such a bad gamble.

      • Maybe, but the reality is he has a better chance at hitting an HR or double or single than successfully laying down a bunt…that’s why it doesn’t make sense. This is a player that likely has bunted successfully all of a handful of times in his entire professional career. Success probability is VERY low, even 3-0 and even if defense is surprised.

        Would you want Votto bunting in that situation? Sean Casey? Adam Dunn? No, no and no.

        • Trying to get on base.
          One run does not help.
          Nobody expected it, so it was a good try

        • With no runners on base, what is the difference between a single to CF and a bunt single?

  6. Tough decision with Homer: He’s still owed $67MM from now until the end of 2020, including a $5MM buyout. Nobody else will take on his salary, so everyday it’s more likely a sunk cost scenario.

    • I think you’re including $25 million from 2020, which, as I understand it, the Reds aren’t obligated to pay if they give him the $5 million buyout. I believe he’s owed something closer to $45 million at this point. But I’m sure it’s still more than enough to make the Reds think they HAVE to keep pitching him no matter how high his ERA is.

      • That’s correct, it’s now roughly $42MM if they go for the buyout in 2020. Nevertheless, I find it very unlikely he’ll stick in the rotation for long with such performance, moreover if other arms become available.

        • I have been a huge Homer fan ever since they drafted him. I graduated high school the same year he did and have followed him his entire career. Anyway, I feel bad for even saying this but watching him out there is like watching Paul Wilson go take the mound post injuries. A first round pick, tons of promise, a couple good seasons but no longer effective. I was so sad when Wilson came back and posted an ERA of like 7.5 or something terrible before the team finally pulled the plug on him. Maybe Homer can pull it together but my fan eyes tell me things might be coming to an end.

        • I was thinking about this last night after watching him give up hit after hit. The stuff’s just not there and he’s too hittable. He’s likely owed too much money to be DFA’d, but at the same time the Reds can’t just keep sending him out there to get beat around once they have better options. That time may be coming very soon once Disco is back. In fact, one could probably make an argument that Bailey’s not amongst their top 5 starting options right now if we added Garrett to the mix.

          There’s no way that any of the trio of Castillo, Mahle, or Romano should sit in favor of Bailey. Good, bad, or indifferent these guys are part of the future and need to continue to get starts to develop. They’re also all starting to make strides this season and there’s no reason to interrupt that just to keep getting Bailey starts. I don’t see a scenario in which the Reds bench Harvey after trading for him if he’s pitching relatively (in comparison to Homer) well. The Reds need Harvey to pitch well so they can have a chance to flip him, otherwise what was the point?

          Will Homer accept a move to the bullpen? Will he even be effective there? Are the Reds going to pay that much money for a reliever, especially a guy who doesn’t profile as a closer? Lots of questions abound. I honestly don’t know what the Reds can do other than hope his stuff comes back to him or bit the bullet on the sunk cost. But even hoping his stuff returns seems like a fool’s gambit, because he finished last year healthy and went through ST without any issues this year. He’s pretty far removed from any major injuries. He may just be what he is.

          • They’re paying him whether he starts, relieves or sits.

          • You have to wonder if the Reds would consider trading him for another poor-performing position player with a similar bad contract. One example that could work would be Bailey for Hunter Pence. Pence (currently on the DL) is owed $18.5 million this year and becomes a free agent after that, while Bailey has one more year of control. The Giants certainly need pitching. Perhaps the Reds could even throw Duvall into the trade.

  7. Scott Schebler‘s post game comments were interesting. Jim Day asked Schebler if the manager change had anything to do with the teams recent success. Schebler said something about Jim Riggleman demanding that they run out ground balls, always hustle, etc. That certainly doesn’t mean that Bryan Price didn’t demand hustle, but it has certainly been a focal point for Riggleman.

    I caught those comments from Schebler too, and it jibes with the general trend I’ve noticed: Not one single player has had anything nice to say about Price. They don’t trash him, because that would be bad form, but if you read between the lines in comments like what Schebler said above, or compare it to the response when Dusty left, I think it’s pretty blatantly obvious that Price wasn’t very well liked or respected by the players. Is it any wonder that they played with a lackadaisical attitude when Price was here?

    This team is not as bad as their record, they were simply being mismanaged. While it may be too late to save this season, I’m hoping Riggleman can at least begin putting players in position to succeed and start emphasizing playing the game the right way. From what Schebler said, it sounds like he’s already begun scrubbing the stench of the Price attitude from the team.

    • Also want to add: If Riggleman can be described as a manager who has a net neutral effect or even possibly a net slightly negative, just imagine what this team could do with an actual GOOD manager at the helm.

      • I find it odd that so many write off Riggleman, mostly due to that Washington quitting PR fiasco. The intent may have been wise and full of integrity, but the PR side got botched bad.

        All that said, what in Riggleman’s past makes so many so sure he isn’t the answer? We know Price and Dusty weren’t, but they got to prove it over several years.

        • Agree. I like the way he is making everybody accountable . I like that he takes them out and teaches them the basic fundamentals during the season. The rest of the,season should be interesting.

  8. What a weird season. Pereza has a higher average than Winker (despite almost never walking, which leaves Winker as the better hitter) plus more homer(s) (1-0) and Scooter Gennet, fodder for Senzel, cannot be directly viewed without risking retina damage. Let’s hope and pray Garrett cracks the rotation and Harvey keeps it up so we can flip him for something decent in a bidding war! Okay, well, five in a row is nice, at least…

  9. Schebler needed that tonight. In a 5 -32 slump this month. I’m not ready to hand him an outfield spot yet. I think Tucker looks more at ease now that Meseraco is gone. He should be playing 3 out of every 4 games in my opinion. What a great series for the Redlegs. Sweep tomorrow? Go figure

    • Interesting comment on Tucker. He’s a gold glove winner and was told he was the starter from the beginning of spring training. Mesoraco did absolutely nothing to convince anyone that he deserved much playing time. I’m finding it hard to reconcile that with the idea that Tucker seems more at ease now. The team is undefeated since the trade so I’m guessing everyone feels a little more at ease. I doubt that it has anything directly to do with Mesoraco leaving.

      • I’d guess that it has to do with improved pitching and, possibly, Riggleman’s proactive managing.

      • Just an observation but thanks for setting me straight.

        • Not a matter of setting anyone straight. Just an opinion. Yours is as legitimate as mine.

        • Not setting you straight at all, just adding an observation.

  10. Schebler hitting that game winner to opposite field makes me feel warm and fuzzy. #VottoEffect

    I really like how Rigglemamns using the pen.

    • I think he needs to play everyday along with Winker. They aren’t going to know if he Is the guy with him platooning. It’s hard to get into a groove when you’re not out there everyday. Why he sits against lefties is confusing. He hits lefties well. I like what Riggleman has done so far.

      • This just one reason I do not want Riggleman as the next permanent manager. He’s already stated the the OF rotation should and would be over and he was going to end the OF rotation by now, yet the OF rotation continues to hang on.

        I do not believe that Hamilton has turned the corner offesively any more than his previous short-term improvements, but his speed on the bases and his defense justifies giving him the opportunity to prove otherwise this season since there is no obvious immediate answer for CF.

        Winker (lf) and Schebler (rf) need to start every day with just an occasional rest day, leaving Duvall as the odd man out. This is not a bad situation for the Reds or Duvall. Duvall is a perfect 4th OF and pinch hitter. He provides excellent power and defense in both those roles, which makes him a valuable player and a valuable asset to the team. The bench (Cruz, Blandino, Herrera, Duvall) looks solid until the starting pitching begins to go deeper into games regularly.

        The bullpen (Iggy, Hughes, Garrett, Floro, Hernandez, Brice, Peralta & Stephens) looks solid for right now, but changes and upgrades are coming. Lorenzen will join the bullpen after completing his rehab assignment, sending Stephens back on the AAA shuttle. Should the starters begin going deeper in games, the 8-man bullpen becomes a luxury rather than a necessity, allowing a reliever moved to AAA and Dixon to join the bench.

  11. 5 wins in a row is HUGE. And the manager change was also huge. Price was a nice guy but a terrible game manager.

    • Price was a nice guy but a terrible game manager.

      Shades of Dave Miley. And honestly, I’m not so sure Price was a “nice guy”. I could never see Miley going on an F-Bomb rant like what Price did, for example. But of course, this is all speculation, and we’re left to look for clues while trying to avoid confirmation biases.

      But in the end, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is Price is gone and the team can finally move on.

  12. Anyone else starting to think we can play ourselves back into this? Long shot I know but we’re playing like a completely different team and playing really good

    • Back into what? If you mean making the playoffs I don’t see that happening. The pitching just isn’t there, no one is making it past the fifth inning. Bailey hasn’t been good, Harvey at this point hasn’t proven anything, and the young guys haven’t been consistent. Disco will also be coming back which is another unknown. I think they can play themselves back to somewhere around 80 wins, which would be a huge step forward. The season will be a success if the pitching sorts itself out and a few trades can be made at the deadline that either better the team or save some money

      • Your last sentence says it all and we will have some chips to trade.Iggy is the golden goose with his salary and his stuff.He lengthens a team’s pen that thinks they can win it all.He goes to the highest bidder and there will be some.One thing about Riggleman that I really like and its when he has a chance to win one he goes for it.Hernandez and Hughes covered 4 innings for him even though Peralta came and that speaks volumes to me.He used Iggy last night for the third day in a row as well.Could be the pen won’t last past July at this rate but the bus still runs to Louisville and we can worry about July when it gets here.By the way Hernandez and especially Hughes have great movement on their pitches.With Disco and Lorenzen coming back we may have enough depth to get by with short outings by our young guys.Gas up the bus.

        • Sorry he used Iggy Friday night for the third straight day.Late games are tough on a old guy.

          • I’m starting to think maybe we need to give DW a little bit of credit for signing Hughes and Hernandez. Not exactly headline grabbing signings but they have certainly helped make the bullpen a lot more reliable.

          • I recall a lot of support for signing Hughes and Hernandez. The only questions regarding the signings were related to the length of the contracts. I would have preferred 1-year v. 2-year contracts, but signing them both was a good move at the time and has turned out to be a good move for the first year anyway.

          • The only appropriate off season signings were one or two short term bullpen additions on reasonably inexpensive contracts. The young relievers coming through the organization were still a year away from being MLB ready and the 2nd half collapse by Lorenzen and Peralta left questions in the bullpen beyond Iggy. The addition of 2 established relievers to the bullpen did not take away development for the young relievers and established a stopgap for the bullpen.

    • I hope so. I wish so.
      But to get back into it, I think we would have to play again in historically record fashion.
      The Reds were on pace to set a record for losing but to play back into it they would have to set a record for winning percentage the rest of the year, or close to it.

      • Isn’t the old formula that a team can reasonably make up a game per week? I don’t know that the formula is accurate, but if it is, they could be at .500 by August.

    • We will certainly play ourselves back into what we actually are — which is nearly .500 team with too much unpolished youth and small market budgeting to be a factor.

      That’s the beauty of 162 (and eventually 154 it sounds like). Regression to the true mean is inevitable if the sample size is big enough!

      • Regression or progression.

        • Well played. Statistically it is regress no matter what direction you’re approaching the true mean from, but in reality it’ll certainly feel like progress as they make their way back to their ‘true’ record this summer.

      • Yeah, consider that all but the very, very best teams and very, very worst teams end the season within the margins of .500, i.e. one game in 10 turned the other way makes a .600 team a .500 team and a .400 team a .500 team. In practice, for most teams we are talking about less than the difference between .555 and .450 which is the turning of 2 games in 20.

        • Excuse my faulty Sunday morning math. Turning 2 games in 20 makes a a .450 team and a .555 team both .500 teams.

  13. Today three NL Central teams have a five game win streak running. It makes hard to gain ground.

    Now if we win 15 in a row……

    • I want the Reds to gain ground in 2018 one way in particular and that is moving toward a .500 percentage, which is done by winning and splitting more series than losing. Smart solid baseball is the key.

  14. I really like how JR has managed the rotation, bullpen and lineup. He’s trying to find the right combo seemingly every night, even if he isn’t always successful. He’s played Schebler in CF on a regular basis, batted Duvall everywhere from 2-8, gave Blandino a start at SS and Peraza sure seems to be hitting better since he was inserted between Winker and Votto. With the pitchers, he always seems to know when to pull the SP and has managed the BP well. Basically he’s done a good job of walking that fine line between managing and over-managing. Darwin’s done a nice job with the pitchers too.

    There’s still what, 120 games to go? Obviously no ones making a decision on the next permanent Reds manager in May. But if the trend of playing actual big league baseball with some heart and hustle continues, JR deserves to be considered for the job.

    • He is walking that fine line Tampa but he is doing it while trying to win the game which is a big difference between what we have seen the last few years.

      • One of our criticisms of Price was that he was focused on winning rather than playing the young guys, but I certainly take your point, particularly with regard to Riggleman’s handling of the pitching.

  15. Any reds historians out there know when was the last time we swept 4 in LA? Not trying to jinx the Reds. But I don’t remember. Would love to keep rolling. Now we get the three studs on our staff next three games (at least I consider them all good young pitchers). Like the way this road trip is shaping up.

    Go Riggleman Reds!

    • You probably did just jinx them, though. Now I’ll have to not watch the game to make up for it, since when they win on the coast, I’m not watching. Must be a cause and effect relationship, right?

    • The last time the Reds swept the Dodgers in 4 games in Dodger Stadium was 1976 (Early August). The Reds won 3-2, 7-4, 4-1, 3-2.

      Game 1: Fred Norman throw a complete game w/ 2 runs and 6 SO. Foster had a 2-out RBI.
      Game 2: Reds break 3-3 tie in 9th with 4-run inning, Joe Morgan hits a 2B and a solo HR late in the game
      Game 3: G Foster hits a 3-run HR off Tommy John in the 5th inning and 1 SB.
      Game 4: Jack Billingham has 2 hits, 1 2B, and 1 RBI while coming 1 out short of complete game. Dusty Baker hits a solo HR for Dodgers.

      Reds were 73-39 at end of series and 13 games in first. The Reds have also swept the Dodgers in 3 games as recently as 2011 – they’ve done this about 2 or 3 times the last 20 or so years.

      Source: B-R.com

      • Wow, thanks for that. Much more than I expected to learn. What a great team, the 76 team.

  16. A couple of things.

    1. We won’t be flipping Harvey at the deadline. Also regardless how he does he will not get a long term deal from us which I am basing off his recent injury history. He may get a short term deal that allows him to distance himself and prove he is healthy going forward but not a long term deal. Also a contender would be looking for a better option then a couple of good months from a often inured pitcher as someone who will put them over the top.

    2. Also find it funny that now the players are now insinuating that the difference is Rigglemen is emphasizing hustle as a key to a topurnaround. Looking back on the slow start they may want to consider how many times they had the bass loaded and came up empty. Many times with less then 2 outs. Also the pitching has improv d quite a bit. Hustling is good but performance is what wins games. Own it players you stunk the first month.

    • We may or may not flip Harvey at the deadline. That will largely be dependent on contending team’s need and performance on Harvey’s part. There seemed to be a decent amount of interest around the league in Harvey, as awful as he’s been, when the Mets announced they were going to DFA him. Back end starters get flipped at the trade deadline for various reasons just about every year. Sometimes a contending team has a current starter dealing with nagging injuries and want to get him rest down the stretch, or they lose someone near the deadline for the remainder of the season. Someone may see him as an upgrade over their #5 guy, which means quite a bit if you’re in a playoff race. Someone may value his postseason experience. Maybe he costs less in prospects than someone slightly more effective. If Harvey is healthy and pitching well enough to be a viable back of the rotation starter there will be some level of interest in him.

      Now the Reds probably won’t get an exciting return, but sometimes the slow burn pays off. Last year the Reds traded Cingrani for unheralded C in rookie ball, Hendrik Clementina. That guy is currently destroying A ball pitching.

      • Agree with this. If Harvey is hot at the deadline and has been consistent in his time with the Reds some contending team will take him if they believe he could be the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs without regard to whether they can sign him.

        Case in point, KC was aggressive in going after Johnny Cueto knowing there wasn’t a ghost’s chance of signing him for the future because to them the future was now. There are always 1 or more teams in similar situations for pitching at the deadline.

    • I agree we won’t be flipping Harvey — but for different reasons. I’m a HUGE fan of the Harvey trade. He has completed both rehabs, is just working on finding his feel/touch, and has Ace level intangibles. He is not a Homer Bailey comp. He is a rehabbed Cueto comp — this guy was not just good, he was absolutely elite on the biggest stage. He is a stone-cold assassin on the mound, when dealing.

      You don’t flip Harvey for this reason. We could’ve gotten more at the deadline for Mesoraco than Harvey. You pull this trade to take a chance at a real stud. Think the Scott Rolen pick up but with way more risk/reward. You hope he excels, and you hope he rewards the organization that believed in him by signing a team-friendly longer term deal. You hope his time away from the bright lights, and his final 2nd chance, gets him to bed earlier each night and he becomes the Justin Verlander type pitcher he was always supposed to become.

      Now maybe none of this happens. But as we’ve seen with Reed, Bob Steve, Amir, and the ups/downs of Castillo now and Homer 10 years ago– aces, TRUE aces, are the rarest form of athlete. Maybe you wouldn’t trade a broken down catcher whose hips and shoulders are being held together with masking tape, for a chance at a rebound like Harvey. But I would.

      Let’s get six!

  17. It was one of those games where I expected the opposition to break it open at any time, but Bailey managed to get out of jams and lasted five innings with only three runs scored. Bailey’s future with the Reds gives the FO another problem to deal with. I mirror the sentiments expressed above about Riggleman. He at least does not stand there most of the game with his arms crossed but seems to be more involved in strategy to win the game. I think there has been a change in that nebulous thing called team chemistry. Overall, I like his lineup construction with a young team. Whether he’s the managerial answer for the next couple of years, we’ll wait and see one game at a time.

  18. A thought to add to the commentary about Homer Bailey’s effort. The Reds won his game in significant measure because mediocre as Bailey was he got them through 5 innings within striking distance. Who else do they have that’s shown they can do that? Not the demoted Finnegan. And Garrett, as well as he has pitched through 2 innings has shown a propensity to lose it and lose it fast as he pitches into his third inning.

    The outstanding money owed Bailey is a sunken cost. We can debate all day whether the contract was a reasonable risk. But right now he seems capable of doing a job that needs to be done and that no one else has stepped up to do. At least they are getting some utility for their money.

    • I don’t know, Jim. In his last 4 starts, Bailey has thrown 19 innings, given up 31 hits, 8 HRs, yielded 18 earned runs, and struck out only 9 guys. That is Jimmy Haynes/Jose Acevedo/Paul Wilson bad. Homer leads the NL in hits allowed, earned runs, and homers. His FIP is 6.17 (that of Jason Marquis in 2015 was 5.27. I don’t see any argument that he is “capable of doing a job that needs to be done.” He is below replacement value.

      He is the logical guy to leave the rotation when Desclafani is ready to come back in a few weeks.

      I agree that they are stuck with the contract, and that they will likely keep running him out there. Chris Welsh said last night that Bailey is throwing a lot of (lousy) four-seamers and maybe hasn’t yet understood that he needs to re-invent himself as less than a pure power pitcher. I think that is probably right, because he’s pretty useless in his current format.

  19. Just like death & taxes, Reds have Homer Bailey for this season & next. I’m ok with it as long as Homer doesn’t hamper the development of the pitching staff. If the miracle of Matt Harvey continues, & DeSclafani is healthy (in about a month), the Reds could have a key decision to make going forward. There’s a slim possibility that Bailey could be the odd man out.

    • Disco should be trade bait too if he is performing at the deadline. He will be 2nd year arb next season and given his health over the last 3 years is a terrible risk for a long term deal.

      • Agree. I just don’t see any value for him in the long term. Bummer really. I like him and thought he could be a mainstay. That’s why you don’t give pitchers long term contracts.

        • I’m not so sure DeSclafani will be very attractive trade bait by late July. I continue to think Anthony could be better utilized for 2018 out of the bullpen than 2-3 starts & then back on the 60 day DL. Reappraise his possibilities as a sp next spring.

      • Agree. This nostalgic feeling BC has for the players can no longer interrupt the timing of the “restructuring” of this ball club. He MUST keep his shadow out of the front office!

      • For the reasons you cite, Jim, I can’t imagine that the Reds would get much of anything for him

        • I don’t seriously disagree; but; based on his 2016 2nd half performance and if he is pitching well at the deadline somebody in a pinch with playoff aspirations might take him on figuring he could make a difference.

          Post season they’d have a couple, of relatively low cost ways to go with him, considering that he isn’t going to have much leverage himself. They could try to sign him on the cheap and failing that simply nontender him. The single season contracts tendered/ negotiated during the arbitration process or awarded as a result of arbitration are not guaranteed beyond the provisions of the CBA. Thus a guy can be let go prior to various points in the spring for pennies and later dimes on the dollar. The full face value doesn’t become guaranteed unless the player makes the opening day roster or starts the season on the MLB DL. So, a team would have a chance to see if Disco was progressing through spring start up before being committed beyond a very limited degree.

          Alternately of course, the Reds could pursue a similar strategy with him looking to 2019. They just shouldn’t bury a lot of money or count on him for a significant contribution going forward. As long as a team isn’t paying too much money, it can’t have too much quality pitching, should he come all the way back, because there is always a market for it.

  20. Winning a series in Dodger stadium is always a welcome thing, no matter the club record. It would be nice to complete the sweep and give some angst to the LA baseball writers to digest.

    • I would say the LA writers have had some angst so far with the Dodgers seven games under .500. At least the LA writers popularized the tag ‘The Big Red Machine’ back in the days when the Reds and Dodgers were big rivals in the NL west division.

  21. I read a lot of positivity in the above posts and that is good. Winning is a whole lot better than winning. Waking up this morning, after watching 4 and a half innings, and finding the Reds had won was a pleasant surprise. But I must caution everyone, that a 5 game winning streak against two teams that are struggling does not make us a good team, just as the horrible start does not make us bad as many of those posting thought. Baseball has a long season and a lot of up and downs.
    What I am hoping for now that the Price era is finished, are reasonable on field managing decisions, improvement in the young starters, and better plate appearances. She of that we are seeing, but we have a long way to go yet.

  22. I think the acquisition of Harvey will help motivate Homer to be better. Give it some time. Harvey and Homer are slated to go back to back in the rotation with Homer following Harvey. I think this helps.
    As for Price and Riggleman, Riggleman has a much different roster to work with than Price did. The bullpen is much different and so is the bench. The under performing veterans also are now producing. It is funny, just before this 5 game win streak many were proclaiming Riggleman as not the answer.
    The Reds promised a national, wide-net search for the next manager. We shall see. The Reds front office is thin on keeping their word though. Riggleman might be the answer, and he may very well not be.

    • Agree. I like what Riggleman has done but let’s not pull a Price deal . Let’s interview as many candidates as we can. Riggs has done a good job and let’s give him a pat on the back. Let’s just not hand over the keys .

  23. Riggleman provides a manager who is in charge and controls the game. I don’t think anyone perceived Price as a manager who was in charge and controlled the game and Price tried to over-manage in order to counter those short comings. The lack of authority and accountability was not anticipated from Price based on the information and statements available before and after Price was hired as a manager. That didn’t pan out and Price was completely out of his element as a manager. If Price has a desire to continue in the game, I hope he gets another opportunity, but that would probably be as a pitching coach or roving pitching coordinator within an organization.

    I do not see Riggleman as the permanent answer as the next manager, irrespective of the current 5-game winning streak. In fact , I think it would be a very bad decision, but that decision is not for the Old Cossack to make.

    • With all due respect, I remember you being one of the followers of the “managers have a little effect on a team” Club. So, it’s a bit confusing seeing your comment “who is in charge and controls the game”.

      In that same line, it’s a bit interesting to see your comment “I do not see Riggleman as the permanent answer as the next manager, irrespective of the current 5-game winning streak. In fact , I think it would be a very bad decision,”. Based on what? That he’s not mentioned some of the ‘sacred formulas’ (OBP. OPS FWAR, WOBA?) and decided instead to make the guys to come early and doing some baserunning drills because, you know, they are such an inept team doing so?.

      Look, I don’t know if he’s the right person either. I’m watching and evaluating the team’s progress far beyond the win-loss column but how they play, what mentality they bring around, the kind of adjustments made. Hopefully, a decision of the next Manager won’t be simply based on how “old school”/”moneyball” a guy is, but how much that guy can get out of the players, stars or rookies. How to teach them to win, used their skilsl the right way and most important of all, lead the Organizational development philosophy of a pretty decent farm system.

      • Your memory fails you. I have always held that managers can and do have more impact on the team (and the team’s success and failure) than they are given credit or blame, significantly more. With that said, I am a firm believer in Woddy’s mantra of “You win with people!” A manager can only have so much impact, just like a single player can only have so much impact. I have always held that the manager’s role is to put the players in the best position to win and minimize decisions that contribute to faliures. Clubhouse management and game management are both important in a manager’s role.

        The terms ‘old school’ and ‘moneyball’ now carry an arbitrary, narrow and polarizing connotation. Emphasis on fundamentals, prctice and repitition, attention to detail, expecting and demanding good decisions and solid effort, respect for players and coaches and respect for management are not ‘Old School’. Those are basic tenents of a good manager. Openess to new ideas and new data, willingness to incorporate new ideas as appropriate and willingness to shed old ideas as appropriate are not ‘Moneyball’. Those are basic tenets of a good manager. Those basic concepts translate into any and all fields of management. Ignoring basic tenets of a good manager makes a bad manager.

        • You are so right Cossack! The characteristics that make a good manager in any endeavor are the same characteristics that make a good manager in baseball. There is no shame in not being able to manage, it just means that is not where your skill set lies. This is one reason ex players often do not make good managers.

  24. Baseball fundamentals, hustle, sense of urgency. Those “old school” premises that many people so called “forward thinkers” miss in those elaborated formulas that make or break their world. I can just imagine some of those gurus laughing their rear while watching charts at fangraphs when Riggleman made the guys practice baserunning and other basic drills, because you know, ” they are bigleaguers and know it all”. Or tell us that Managers have little to no effect (2 wins they say!) in a baseball team.That’s what the formula says, anyway.

    Nope. To your dismay, this game is played by humans and humans are not “Perfect” (don’t get angry, this time is not against anybody). They need to be kept off their “confort zone” and be reminded that you are as good as you did for me today. Could not care less what WAR, OBP, OPS, FIP or WOBA say. If you leave the bases loaded with the tying run being one of those in the 9th, you plain and simple choke, although your stats try to convince you otherwise.

    I don´t know if Riggleman is the answer. But for the last 4 years is the first time that I see a bit of accountability (quick hook with pitchers, sitting some of the slumping starters) encouraging fundamentals and players notice. Nice to see, for a change.

    • Ok, I lean more analytic and less towards the traditional school of thought regarding baseball but, I’ve played a lot of baseball and understand that it is played by humans. There is a lot going on that the metrics can’t/don’t capture. You’re right about that part…

      That said, I take issue with a couple things you said. For one, although some players do better when taken out of their comfort zone, many players thrive on routine and do much better when kept in their comfort zone. Two, I don’t think anyone in the “moneyball” crowd (as you called them) have said that fundamentals don’t matter or that MLB players know it all.

      Lastly, although the manager may have little effect on W-L records over the season, they do matter. The formula said “2 wins” you say? Where did you find that data? I think most will say that a manager can make a difference at the margins. A manager can’t take a team of bad players and have them be playoff contenders but a 5-8 game swing over the course of the season (3 or 4 more wins) may make a difference for a contending team between playoffs and not. I think most believe that a manager can be that difference maker. I also think that most believe that once in the postseason, a manager can make a big difference.

  25. If the Reds: (1) trade Bailey for Choo, (2) call up Senzel now, or soon, (3) lose Hamilton and Finnegan’s Wake, and (4) move Gennett into the one-hole,

    We make the playoffs this year.

    Good riddance Bryan Price and Dick Wiiliams!!!

  26. Some of the “Hunter Greene-is-overrated” guys have to be devastated about Greene last night. 4 innings, 2 cheap hits, no walks, 5 Ks; sat in the high 90s, as the youngest guy in the league.

  27. (1) trade Bailey for Choo
    Choo is about to be 36 years old, and even when he was younger he was a defensive liability.

    (2) call up Senzel now, or soon,
    Senzel is dealing with vertigo and has not fully proven himself in AAA yet. Plus, service clock and all that.

    (3) lose Hamilton and Finnegan’s Wake
    Hamilton is walking more now, so that’s a positive. And I don’t think there are any players who save more runs defensively. I hope you’re not thinking of swapping Hamilton for the soon-to-be 36 Choo.

    There’s nothing wrong with letting Finnegan pitch in AAA. He’s not hurting anyone there.

    (4) move Gennett into the one-hole
    A kind of out-of-the-box idea, but don’t see why he’d be a better choice than Winker. Gennet apparently has become some kind of masher, so it’s better for him to hit in a position where he can hit with more men on base.

    We make the playoffs this year.
    Really? You think this team, as currently built, can go 77-45 the rest of the way, which would get them 90 wins, which might be enough to get to the playoffs? I guess it’s possible, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them have a winning record from here forward, but they’re in a pretty deep hole just to climb back to .500, much less challenge for a playoff spot.

    Good riddance Bryan Price and Dick Wiiliams!!!
    Price, yes, but Williams is still here, and I feel like he hasn’t been given a chance to truly move out of Jocketty’s shadow yet. I’m willing to give him some more time.

    • (1) trade Bailey for Choo
      Also the Rangers are on the hook for more salary to Choo than the Reds are on the hook for slaary to Bailey. No thanks.

      (2) call up Senzel now, or soon
      Also and play Senzel where? Gennett is on pace for a 4-5 WAR season playing 2B. Suarez is on pace for an 6 WAR season playing 3B. Those are the 2 positions Senzel is playing in AAA. No harm in waiting for some of the smoke and static to clear before making the move.

      (3) lose Hamilton
      Also Hamilton’s short term improvement is not proof of a long term trend, but it does justify additional playing time to make a final determination.

      (4) move Gennett into the one-hole
      Also Gennett’s performance last season and this season has given pause to his consideration as a long term asset. There are a lot of options to consider regarding lineup construction, but the LH predominance in the lineup is a concern. The Reds certainly need at least one more solid RH bat in the lineup besides Suarez.

      (5) We make the playoffs this year.
      I previously predicated a 22-44 start in the 1st 66 games. With the Reds sitting at 13-27, they would only have to play 9-17 in the next 26 games to reach that result. I did not expect any wholesale changes or transitions until after 66 games. Those changes have already begun. The big wrench in the works is Senzel’s battle with vertigo and his capability and willingness to change positions if he regains his health and ability to play at all. There are just too many open questions remaining to consider a playoff run from 10 games back in the most competitve division in baseball, but the 2019 season looks more and more promising with an influx of premium talent at the trade deadline and questions regarding CF and SS fully resolved going into the off season. In the next 26 games, some of the pitching questions will be fortified. I expect Castillo and Mahle to lock down starting positions in the rotation for the long term. I think Bailey is toast and Romano will remain a question and the pitcher on the bubble as a 5th starter. I still believe that Garrett is one of the best 5 starters on the roster and should be trasitioned ASAP. Disco and Harvey are unknowns, but both could be viable trade candidates at the 2018 trade deadline with solid performances going into the end of July. Iggy will be a premier trade candidate going into the trade deadline. Hernandez and Hughes could also be solid trade candidates going into the trade deadline as young relievers mature and become ready to steup up. Any holes remaining can be targeted for trades or FA signings, knowing that Bailey’s contract can not be moved but will expire after the 2019 season.

  28. Never seen an amphibious pitcher before! That was cool!

  29. Let’s just climb the mountain to get to .500.
    We’ll have to play great ball against a very strong division.

    It’s a tall mountain and as a fanbase let’s enjoy the climb!
    It is so important because it establishes the tone for years to come.

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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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