Last night, the Reds won a series at Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2011. This afternoon, this juggernaut of a team will go for a four game series sweep. First pitch is at 4:10 ET.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Luis Castillo 40.1 6.87 3.85 21.2% 8.4%
Rich Hill 19.0 7.11 4.52 24.1% 10.3%

It’s not a stretch to say Luis Castillo has struggled early this season. But what fans should remember is that while he had an incredible rookie year, he’s still pitched only 130 innings in the big leagues. And he is starting to turn it around. In his last two starts, Castillo has given up just two earned runs each while striking out seven. He’s also walked only one batter in each of his last two starts, an improvement from a couple of starts in April where he walked three or four batters.

After two very good seasons in 2016 and 2017, Rich Hill’s numbers look like he hasn’t started 2018 on a good note. But in reality, the Arizona Diamondbacks just own him this year. In a weird anomaly, he has faced two teams twice. Hill faced the Giants in back-to-back appearances and the Diamondbacks at the beginning of April. He came off the DL earlier this week to face the Diamondbacks again and gave up five runs in four innings. He has given up 15 runs and six home runs in 19 innings, but 12 runs and five homers came against Arizona.

The Reds haven’t quite been able to figure out Hill, albeit in limited at-bats.

reds vs rich hill


The lineups can be found here.

News and Notes

-After skipping a start to keep his innings down, top pitching prospect Hunter Greene started last night in Dayton and pitched very well.

-It’s fun when both the offense and the pitching are good at the same time. This trend should continue.

Final Thoughts

Everything is always better when the Reds are winning. As I’m sure most fans who read Redleg Nation are, I’m the type of person who will watch Reds baseball even when the team is losing. But I think we can all agree it’s much more enjoyable to watch wins than losses.

Finally, , Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!



105 Responses

  1. seat101

    Off on a tangent here, a slight you might say.

    Yesterday Rosencrantz and Brenneman were nothing but fanboys during the game. Rather than talk about the game or the Reds players or even players on other teams, they talked about famous people they knew. /rant

  2. docproctor

    Looks like Winker, Scooter, and Barnhart are all out of the lineup today. Hope we can mount enough offense to back Castillo to a win.

    • Shchi Cossack

      If Scooter can’t hit a HR in his 5th straight game, he should sit. Accountability rules!

  3. Shchi Cossack

    Ashley, you have authored all four game threads against the Dodgers this weekend. If the Reds win again today (and I think they have an excellet opportunity), I am hold you personally accountable since I staunchly believe in personal accountability! Either way, I really enjoyed the quality of your game thread posts against the Dodgers.

  4. Shchi Cossack

    Starting lineup…

    1. Jose Peraza (R) SS
    2. Alex Blandino (R) 2B
    3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
    4. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
    5. Adam Duvall (R) LF
    6. Scott Schebler (L) RF
    7. Tony Cruz (R) C
    8. Luis Castillo (R) P
    9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF

    Looks like Riggleman is loading up against the LHP Hill.

  5. Shchi Cossack

    I like Blandino getting a shot at the top of the lineup, but I do not like Peraza hitting directly behind Hamilton. Their strengths do not complement each other well.

    That’s probably the best defensive lineup the Reds can field right now and what a bench at Riggleman’s disposal today!

    • Shchi Cossack

      With the obvious exception of catcher…

    • Jack

      Actually don’t mind it. Peraza puts the ball in play and doesn’t strikeout much. Of course Billy has to get on first or it’s just a mute point.

  6. Preach

    Definitely in the “lost opportunity” column

  7. Old-school

    I can’t remember the last time the Reds had a legitimate 25 man roster with a deep credible bench and bullpen. When Lorenzen returns and Stephens goes back to AAA, the pitching staff will be there with the unique issues of Bailey and Harvey.

    The next step is a solid 5 man rotation and a CF outfield anchor.

    Blandino is a nice infield addition .

  8. Indy Red Man

    Pathetic atbat by Duvall….you just can’t get smoked by a 90 mph straight fastball?

    Bigger question….the pen looks amazing right now. Do they now play for next year and keep the older guys (Hughes and Hernandez) and the potentially expensive guy in Iggy? Scooter is a tough one too. Hometown guy and clubhouse favorite…hard to move him but is next year the year? If not then he probably needs to go!

    • james garrett

      The pen does look good and will get better with Lorenzen returning.Don’t know if next year is the year but these guys will be sought after at the deadline by somebody especially Iggy.Guess we wait till the deadline and see what teams will give up.

  9. J

    Watching Duvall strike out with the bases loaded — it really makes me question that whole “lineups don’t really matter very much” argument. I’m wiling to accept they don’t matter very much as a general rule, but when you’ve got Duvall hitting behind Votto and Suarez, it’s almost certainly going to matter at some point. That “small” decision to move him from 8th to 5th could ultimately cost the Reds a game because of that one at-bat.

    • Preach

      It’s more painful with Scooter and Winker on the bench. Hill is tougher historically on right handers.

      • J

        Yeah, I find it pretty hard to believe either of those guys would have struck out in that situation. It’s possible, but I’d certainly bet on either of them putting the ball in play. With Duvall I’d never make the bet.

  10. Preach

    That’s 2 innings with legitimate scoring opportunities go to the wayside.

  11. james garrett

    Have to be really patient against Hill as Joey and Eugenio did in the first.He will pitch himself into trouble and then you must be even more patient and not chase that curve out of the zone.If you chase he will expand the zone until you stop.He also pitches backwards in that he throws lots of curves.I believe we will get him though.

  12. Preach

    This is a very encouraging start by Castillo.

    • Preach

      Thought for sure Utley was going to nail him

    • Jack

      I thought he was dead. If the 3rd baseman kept the tag on him he would be out.

  13. Joey Barrett

    There goes the big inning…..

  14. Preach

    Yes, they scored, but a team has to take advantage of that kind of situation. That’s another inning they let Hill off the hook

  15. msanmoore

    No additional runs but still men to third every inning so far. That’s way more action than we’ve been seeing.

  16. Preach

    Yep, really coulda used a couple more runs

  17. james garrett

    Your right Preach but Cruz is now the back up and well he is the back up.

  18. docproctor

    Castillo looks good and his changeup is top drawer. But let the record show that his fastball is not in the high 90s like it was last year.

  19. Preach

    As much as I dislike Thom calling games, I dislike it even more when he attempts to be deep and sensitive.

    • msanmoore

      Was thinking the same sort of thing … I’m just so far “over” Thom being Thom and loving Thom’s voice.

  20. Preach

    That’s how you execute a squeeze! Fantastic speed on base, good bunter, just excellent fundamentals and strategy.

    • msanmoore

      +500 …they look like they are enjoying the game. It’s certainly way more fun for us to watch as fans.

  21. msanmoore

    8 ways to score from 3rd, or so I’m told.

  22. Old-school

    This is fun baseball. Riggleman plays aggressive and plays to win now. Momentum is real.

  23. Preach

    Castillo looking very sharp. Lots of movement on the FB. Being aggressive in the zone

  24. msanmoore

    Joey got robbed a bit. Seems to me Angel Hernandez has one of the most inconsistent zones. For me, another clear case for the auto-bot called zone.

  25. Indy Red Man

    Danger Alert!! The Indians 22 game winning streak is in serious danger! Harvey’s New Wallbangers are unbeatable:)

  26. seat101

    Suarez likes those multi hit games

    So do I!

  27. Preach

    Thom: “maybe I’m wrong on that.” Most. Unnecessary. Phrase. Ever.

  28. Jim t

    That at bat Cruz may have been the worst AB I have seen all year.

  29. Indy Red Man

    Cruz cannot and will not every hit. Call up the next guy please! I thought Stuart Turner looked a little like Scott Rolen at the plate…..didn’t hit like him but looked like him and maybe had a chance to be decent w/the bat?

    • seat101

      If the backup catcher situation is our biggest problem offensively we’re in good shape

      • Indy Red Man

        Thats true….no real glaring holes right now. Billy is hitting some in the 9 hole. Duvall has been bad but Riggleman can platoon him vs lefties and they’ll be alright. He looks pretty good batting 8th! Blandino looks good off the bench. Its amazing how things can suddenly improve. This Harvey trade brought them some energy…plus LA is horrible right now!

        I think the Reds just picked up a catcher named Tony Sanchez. 29 yrs old with a .257 career avg in the bigs. 144 atbats with 5 doubles and 4 HRs. Give him a shot!

      • Seat101

        Indeed there is a gap between Tucker and somebody in the minors that we could count on

  30. Preach

    Castillo has been getting some ropes hit in him this inning

  31. Preach

    The gun said 96 on that last FB. And then followed by 83 change.

  32. earmbrister

    Castillo is dealing. 8 Ks in 5 IP. He’s looking more and more like he did last year during these last few starts.

    Otherwise, we really need to stop stranding baserunners. This 3-1 lead makes me nervous, with how Schebler changed the LAD 3-1 lead last night to a 4-3 deficit.

  33. Seat101

    Well well this picture warms up I’m watching Die Hard. It’s my oldest sons favorite Christmas movie

    My favorite is Goonies.

      • Seat101

        15&3/4. I have a 13&1/2 and 41/2 as well.

        When I saw Gremlins in the theater I was the only one who left at the Phoebe Cates chimney Scene.

        I don’t know why I said Goonies in the other post – I don’t like that movie

      • Indy Red Man

        Phoebe Cates was in another movie besides Fast Times At Ridgemont High? Thats all I remember:)

      • earmbrister

        That’s great to mix it up on the Xmas traditions, though I’m more of a It’s a Wonderful Life fan.

        In general though, all time favs:

        1. Wizard of Oz
        2. Dances with Wolves
        3. Pulp Fiction

        And baseball wise, Bull Durham. Least fav, Field of Dreams – it’s like watching paint dry, or corn stalks grow …

      • earmbrister

        Never saw “it happens every spring”

        I assume I should be on the look out for it?

  34. Michael Howes

    The last time the Reds won 6 games in a row was this time of year in 2013!! May 10-16 the Reds took 3 from the Brew Crew and 3 on the road in Miami. Arroyo, Bailey, and Leake put together 3 very good starts in a row. Let’s shoot for the 2012 streak of 10 wins in a row.

  35. VaRedsFan

    I dont mean to tell Votto how to hit, but when he commits to pulling that inside pitch, he crushes baseballs

  36. james garrett

    He smoked that one for sure.

    • earmbrister

      I walked away during the pitching change, and missed it.

      I feel a bit better with a 4 run lead, with Castillo still on the mound (though I could’ve done without the Suarez error …)

  37. Joey Barrett

    Kinda pulling for that Dodgers pitcher. Sounds like an underdog story. He pitched well the other day but Votto remembers and repays with vengeance! Better luck next time Vinditte.

  38. earl99

    Blandino has done a nice job in the utility position. He’s got a nice easy swing at the plate.

  39. james garrett

    Last 3 starts Castillo is back being Castillo.He threw a few sliders today and well that may be just for show but it doesn’t hurt.

  40. james garrett

    Cruz gets a hit.Baseball is just baseball.Hard to figure.

  41. JR

    If the Reds can sweep a 4-game series in LA, you can bet that somewhere, Sparky will have a big grin on his face

  42. Indy Red Man

    You can tell Castillo has some confidence at the plate. Thats an rbi hit if its a little left or right of Puig. If a pitcher can hit a little bit and bunt it can make a big difference!

  43. JR

    BTW, Ashley keep up the good work. You have to keep doing the pre game as long as the Reds are winning– it’s mandated!

  44. earmbrister

    That ball to Grandal should have been inside, and it ended up tailing all the way across the plate before being crushed.

    Don’t mind the solo HRs. Good pitchers work around those.

  45. Tom Mitsoff

    It’s no news flash to anyone here how important good pitching is. The pitching in this five-game winning streak has given up 2, 1, 1, 2 and 3 runs. Today so far, only 2. The Dodgers are in a big funk, but they are still the defending NL champions.

    The bullpen appears to be fixed after several poor years. Now consistency from the starting pitching is the missing piece from this being a decent if not good team.

    • Indy Red Man

      Problem is they need Garrett in the rotation (badly)…just to have a lefty that the manager can matchup with lefty leaning teams. More days off gives the manager a chance to do that as well. Hernandez is 33 today (Happy Bday) and Hughes will be 33 in July. Iggy will bring back the most in a trade. Decisions decisions!!

  46. Indy Red Man

    Oh boy….ok lets nip this rally in the bud!

  47. VaRedsFan

    I like giving Castillo a chance in the 7th. I also agree it was time for him to come out

    • Indy Red Man

      +1. Riggleman has been impressive! Fairly quick hook but he gives the young guys a shot as well.

      • Jeff Reed

        Riggleman seems to have a good feel for the flow of the game.

    • Jazzmanbbfan

      Yup. Give him a shot at going deeper but then call in the reinforcements before it gets out of hand. Castillo certainly looked good today regardless.

  48. earmbrister

    Amir puts out the fire! Nicely done.

  49. Jack

    Garrett not fooling around. Pumping fastballs up there.

  50. Jack

    Billy having a nice month of May so far.

  51. VaRedsFan

    3 stolen bags for Billy today…on base 3 times also

  52. docproctor

    Peraza needs to sit out a game for that lamebrain move.

  53. Jazzmanbbfan

    Just when I am beginning to feel better about Peraza, he has an at bat like that!! What was he thinking?

  54. earmbrister

    As much as Votto is a student of the game, he just doesn’t ever look like he knows what he’s doing on the basepaths …

    • J

      I think he was trying to draw a throw to let BH steal home.

      • earmbrister

        Perhaps, but the throw to second was made and Billy didn’t go?

      • VaRedsFan

        the throw wasn’t made …faked the throw

      • earmbrister

        My bad, must be thinking of another throw.

  55. J

    As I said a couple weeks ago, what the Reds need more than anything is a seminar on fundamental baseball strategy.

  56. Jazzmanbbfan

    After getting behind 3-0 on Farmer, Amir comes back at 95, 96, and 97 to strike him out!! I like that guy!

  57. seat101

    Peraza Needs to know when not to throw. Power outage around my area. They said the power will be back by 930. Thank goodness for game day

  58. TyGuy85

    Amir simply needs to be in the rotation. Guy has the size, stuff and competitive edge to be a solid starting pitcher.

  59. Indy Red Man

    My inner Pete Rose appreciates the nice +143 winner today:)

  60. msanmoore

    Lord it’s a miracle! Sweep the Trolley Dodgers in La … 1st time in decades!!

  61. seat101

    Don’t get too excited… Milwaukee won too – so we won’t pick up a game on them

    • Jeff Reed

      But the Reds do pick up another game toward .500 baseball.

  62. J

    In the last six games, the Reds have twice as many wins as they had under Price. They had one more win in LA alone than they had under Price. Riggleman has made some dumb moves (mostly having to do with Duvall), but I think he’s making a difference.

    • earmbrister

      Yeah, I don’t know if it’s Riggleman, or just that the pitching is starting to come around. Improved pitching is taking the pressure off the Reds’ hitters as well.