The Short Version: Despite homers from Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez — and a triple from Joey Votto — the Reds drop two out of three to San Diego and limp home after losing three consecutive series on the road.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (21-39) 3 12 0
San Diego Padres (27-34) 6 9 0
W: Ross (5-3) L: Castillo (4-6) S: Yates (1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–San Diego is a really great city.

–Joey Votto was 3-5 with a triple (!). On the 9-game road trip, Votto had 15 hits in 35 at-bats, raising his batting average from .274 to .299 (though it was briefly over .300).

–That Scooter Gennett guy — you may have heard of him — continues to mash the baseball: he was 2 for 4 with his 12th home run of the season, plus 2 RBI. Eugenio Suarez hit his 11th homer in the second inning, a solo shot in the second inning that gave the Reds an early lead.

–Jesse Winker — who was maybe not benched? — had two hits out of the leadoff spot.

–Jared Hughes pitched a perfect inning and a third, striking out two.

–Starter Luis Castillo was flat-out unhittable through the first four innings, with pinpoint control, and he was just cruising…

The Bad
–…and then the fifth inning happened. With the Reds leading 2-0, Castillo gave up a single — “the very definition of a seeing-eye single,” according to radio broadcaster Jeff Brantley — and a bunt single. Then the wheels completely fell off, and it happened in the blink of an eye. A walk followed and, all of a sudden, the Padres had the bases loaded with no outs.

Castillo then made a nice play, flipping a ball underhanded to Tucker Barnhart to get the force at home for the first out of the inning. He quickly got ahead of pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe 0-2, and it looked like Castillo had nearly weathered the storm.

Ummm…maybe not. Grand slam, game over (essentially). Castillo never escaped the fifth inning. His final line: 4.2 IP, 4 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 88 pitches.

–Wandy Peralta gave up a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning. Raisel Iglesias gave up a homer in his inning of work.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’s a 3-6 road trip for the ol’ Redlegs. They lost 2 of 3 against the Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Padres. Fun.

–Scooter Gennett is now hitting .342/.378/.571 with 41 runs batted in, and if you aren’t just sitting back and marveling at the season he’s having, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Whatever his future is with this club, Scooter is a joy to watch right now.

–Every Reds starter had at least one hit, except Castillo.

–Day off tomorrow and the Reds will return to action at home against Colorado on Tuesday. Anthony DeSclafani will make his season debut.

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! 59 Comments

  1. Winker’s second hit missed being a home run by about a foot.

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  2. The fateful fifth strikes again.

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  3. Nine singles,two solo homers and a triple.Had a game on this trio where we has 16 hits with 13 of them being singles and we were never in the game losing 12-5.Point is we are turning into a singles hitting club.Winker,Peraza,Billy,Tucker and even Votto who is slugging at 436 aren’t hitting with any power.Four of these guys play almost every game.Won’t work in GABP.

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  4. Why is Castillo throwing anything but his fastball and change? I have never ever bought into the idea that a starter needs three pitches. Didn’t Mario Soto basically just throw fastballs and changes. Didn’t Randy Johnson just throw sliders and fastballs. I remember Greg Maddux had a 76 pitch complete game against the Cubs. I think he threw 68 fastballs. Castillo has such an outstanding fastball and change I do not understand why he just doesn’t focus on those.

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    • Soto also threw a “slider” which to the best of my recollection was more of a cut fastball which gave it a different speed and movement than his main #1. Should also note that even more than Cueto’s change, Soto’s change at times had a back up action to it which gave it a screwball look. So, you figure Mario was probably using varying finger locations and pressures along with velocity to make his “2” pitches look like a lot more.

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  5. Billy Hamilton got thrown out stealing and hit into a double play. I bet that’s never happened. Just a freak day. Castillo was 95% overwhelmingly good . Joey Votto hit a triple .

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    • Billy Hamilton is tied for 12th place in stolen bases with 10. Among the top 25 basestealers only M. Taylor(67) has struck out more than Billy who has achieved 62K- in 20 less AB than Taylor. The jig is up. Hamilton is no longer a premier basestealer. He is not a ML every day player. He can still cover a lot of ground in centerfield. His throws to home are often offline & he misses the cutoff man occasionally. At most, he’s a 4th outfielder.

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      • I agree with everything you said except his arm. He lead MLB in CF assists last year with 13, and has 3 this year. People stop running on you when you keep throwing guys out

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    • But Castillo is consistently hitting speed bumps he can’t get over and is out of gas NLT the end of the 6th. It is a pattern which isn’t improving.

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      • Cueto (and Volquez) had the same difficulties. You can go back to 2008 and 2009 and check out some of Cueto’s games. Dusty made some interesting decisions back then. LIke letting Cueto throw 119 pitches in 5+ innings on May 27, etc, that wouldn’t fly today.

        Cueto looked like he figured things out his second year with a sub-3.00 ERA in the first half of the season, and then completely ran out of gas the second half and ended up with a 4.41 ERA. Cueto didn’t go 6 innings in 9 of his last 14 starts.

        The point being is that development of pitchers isn’t a straight line.

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        • I agree about development not being straight line. However age is a significant difference between Cueto and Castillo. This is Castillo’s age 25 season. Cueto by the end of his age 25 season had pitched 687 MLB innings. Castillo is going to have to hustle to be at 250. So, time is not on his side in terms of development. Looking forward one more season, in his age 26 season, Cueto topped 200 innings. It is hard to see Castillo doing that.

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  6. Scooter will not be part of the next good reds team in the 23rd century.
    Trade him and Iggy to Houston for a haul.

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  7. Hate to burst your Votto bubble. He did have 4 hits in 11 AB vs San Diego He also walked 3 times. He scored 0 runs. He had 0 RBI. Your #3 hitter has to contribute more than not making outs.

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    • Joey did much better in Arizona. He hit 6 for 15 plus 1 BB. He actually scored 2 runs in the series, but RBI ? Nada.

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      • Colorado? Joey did hit 5 for 11 with 3 more BB. He scored 3 runs in the series. Zero RBI for the series & the NINE game west coast series. But his average is up there almost to .300. What more do you want for $25MM?

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        • Yes, clearly on the losing is on Joey Votto… Look, he needs to drive in more runs but really the only guys driving in runs regularly are Gennet and Suarez.

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    • So he got on base half of the times he went to the plate, but since he didn’t score any runs, he’s a bum? Criticism of Votto by Reds fans makes me think that the fan base is as forward thinking as the front office.

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      • I don’t believe I mentioned anything about Joey Votto being a bum. Nevertheless, when your #3 hitter cannot be found in the top 100 players in HR, RBI, or XBH- it is not good.

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        • I’ve noticed the same thing and am concluding, as others have, that he has become mis-cast as a #3 hitter. Leadoff or #2 would be more appropriate. This is not me knocking him, but will probably be perceived as such and will elicit some knee-jerk reactions.

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      • He has had opportunities to drive runs in but hasn’t. E.g. Yesterday with two runners on base he didn’t get a hit.

        I’d rather Votto hit .250 overall but drive in 120 than hit .320 but drive in 85 for the season (unless the difference b/w the two meant scoring 40 more runs…..but Votto is a poor base runner making that scenario more unlikely)

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        • Last season (pre-ASB) in 314 AB Joey scored 65 runs, drove in 68 runs with 26 HR (46XBH). So far this year Votto has scored 28 runs in 211 AB. He has 6HR, 24 RBI, with 16 XBH. To match his 2017 pre-ASB stats, he’ll have to score 37 more runs, hit 20 more HR, drive in 44 runs with 30 more XBH in his next 103 AB- a little over a month of baseball. I’m not knocking Votto, but he’s underproducing on a large scale. His .299 BA & over .400 OBP are nice. But where’s the beef??

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      • Unfortunately I think many in the organization feel the same way, which is how the Reds got to this point. Fast guys score more runs so we should trade for Peraza, We need RBI guys in the outfield, who cares if their OBP is .260 as long as they get RBIs. We all know that Votto’s power will eventually go and he may be reduced to a singles and BB guy. We can all argue about if a small market team should have signed a high dollar 10 year contract for a guy that age, but many will always hold Votto to an unattainable standard because he makes $20 million a year no matter the results. He will go down in history as one of the greatest hitters to ever wear the Reds uniform, but people will still be angry about his age 40 season when he only gets 20 RBI

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        • To add to what you said Bill. Vote can only drive in runs if there are runners if there are runners on base ahead of him. Will there be times when there are runners on base and he does not deliver? Certainly no one hits a 1.000 with runners on base. And for all the home runs that Gennett and Duvall have hit – how many have been solo home runs? Home runs are nice but they are much better with runners on base. Case in point the Padres 5’th inning last night. That is not to disparage Gennett and or Duvall for hitting home runs, Gennett in particularly has done well in every category this year. It is simply to say that singles are important, the issue for the Reds all season has been that the 7,8 and 9 spots are all black holes. 33% of your batting order is getting on base around 2 or less times per games. That puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the other 6.

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    • So we’re suggesting now that Votto is responsible for the guys in front of and behind him getting on base now, as well?

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  8. Fun fact…. besides the 6-game winning streak, the Reds have won consecutive games only one other time this season, 2 versus the Braves in April.

    Jim Walker (and others) have posted here about how bad baseball teams just don’t put things together and/or find a way to lose.

    Different things every day but same pattern with the Reds. Yesterday, it’s (another) Votto pick off from 1B. Today, Barnhart (I assume) calling for a slider on 1-2, leading to a grand slam.

    Some big, some little but most days, this team does things that contending teams just don’t do. Or, do as much.

    This team is very much only one key injury or slump from 100 losses, sadly.

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  9. Bat votto 2nd followed by gennett and Suarez.

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    • Yeah why not? Have the best batters and on-base guys at the top and getting the most ABs in the game

      1. Winker
      2. Votto
      3. Gennett
      4. Suarez…

      Should provide offense earlier in the game…provide better support for the SP. But in the end the hitting needs to be more consistent game to game. The team needs to trade for or sign a FA stud hitter.

      Can the team find a SP that can pitch through the 6th inning at least?

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  10. As I said, Reds current roster is no threat for any NL team. There’s still a lot of work to do, and not only related with trades or FA signings, but advance scouting, drafts selection, both domestic & international, player development and coaching. The current A+ roster is promising, most of them should hit the majors in 2020/21. Matched with Suarez, Long, Sensel, Mahle & Castillo, a very competitive roster could be assembled then. But FO should focus on hiring the Manager of the future now.

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  11. A major issue for FO now is that many players in the active roster have almost no trade value or cannot be traded at all. Bailey, Votto, Duvall, Hamilton, Peraza, Harvey, Peralta, Schebler, to name some, are just dead weight in a rebuild process. Only Iglesias and Gennett could be tradeable assets. Add the number of unsuccesful starting pitching projects (Finnegan, Reed, Stephenson, Davis, etc.) and there’s no room for improvement. Tough times are here for long.

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    • Yes but this is a “typical rebuild” right? Eventually it will work out just like the Astros right?

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    • It’s true in my eyes as well. Bought the MLB package.

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    • I agree to some extent because other then the pitchers the rest have been given chance after chance after chance.Problem for me is the Reds continue to run them all out there to play every day and don’t commit to giving younger guys their chance.We are letting for the most part the young starters continue although we know Garrett and Bob need some starts but for now its ok.My concern and this goes back to last year for me is the offense.We knew we had Billy and Peraza that can’t hit for average or get on base,we know Tucker has yet to exhibit any power along with Winker and Joey has yet to get it going slugging(its June already) and sets at 436.Duval is an all or nothing hitter and Scott is very streaky which leaves Scooter and Suarez and thank goodness they are hitting for average and power.Its time to move on because as Scott said if nobody has much trade value then why oh why are we not giving others a chance.Winker needs to play every day,Dixon needs more starts as does Blandino and we may want to try out Senzel just for fun.Herrera who was playing some in center got exposed to waivers so the Reds could protect Cruz a back up catcher.Herrera was 25 years old and could play multiple positions and we felt Cruz was more important.Just had to throw that on in just because its another dumb move.We can’t ever win with this offense playing our games at GABP period.

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    • I’m not optimistic anymore, certainly, but it really is much too early to draw conclusions about the pitchers. Plenty of great and good pitchers have endured rough beginnings to their careers.

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  12. Living up in the northern Michigan woods, I’ve seen a marked contrast between what’s happening in Cincinnati and what’s happening in Detroit through the first 1/3 of the season. (I follow the Tigers as my A.L. team of choice, even though I’m not a fan of A.L. style baseball.) The Tigers are playing with what’s essentially a 4A roster. With few exceptions, not even young prospects for the “next good team.” Lots of never-was’s and projects picked up from the AAA discard piles of other franchises. And star Miggy Cabrera, the only box office draw, has missed about half the season to date. Yet there they sit, 3 games below .500 and actually still alive in the A.L. Central, where Cleveland has been mortal in the first 55 games. I credit Manager Gardenhire with a lot of this. They play hard. They know how to bunt and use it in appropriate situations. They go first to third on singles (even the non-speed guys). A bunch of nobodies on the pitching staff, with young potential star Fulmer being the exception, keep them in games and often go 7 innings. P coach Chris Bosio gets props there. Last year, with far, far more talent on the roster (that they traded away for prospects who may or not become meaningful), with a Price-like Brad Ausmus managing, they racked up the worst record in the majors. Marked improvement this year, with a FAR lesser talent pool. The right manager CAN make a difference. I give you Exhibit A.

    Then I watch the train wreck that is the Reds. Even still raw in places, the talent level is far higher. But they find ways to lose, seem to stop playing at critical moments, and are sitting with a roughly .333 winning percentage. Bad fundamentals, be it bunting technique (and overuse of giving away outs to kill innings), TOOTBLAN’s, and just unfocused mindset toward the game in general. I find it truly hard to access what kind of future this team could have with the right decision making and management style. A good manager, not just in baseball but anywhere, teaches and motivates and makes the whole better than the sum of its parts. Not happening in the QC. Riggleman is just another concession to a year of marking time and not growing/advancing. Moderately better than Price, but…it stops there. Our new pitching coach Darwin gets an incomplete so far, but deserves some wiggle room because of his historical good results with prospects in AA. But the short-term future isn’t a pretty one. Baseball on Summer nights is one of life’s joys for me. But it’s one that is going to be hard to stick with this Summer. I’ll spend more evenings with my fishing rod. For those ardent fans living in the Greater Cincinnati area, it’s going to take something special away from those muggy nights in the Ohio Valley that cry out for competitive baseball as one of the city’s benchmarks.

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    • Good post….Detroit is another team will less talent & more results. San Diego has also missed WIl Myers this year and has found a way to be competitive. Tampa blew up their roster and have to deal with the Yankees/Red Sox and they’re still decent as well! Whats the common denominator besides all the faults with the Reds that you’ve listed? Those teams all play in pitchers parks that are more forgiving. I think the young guys come up with the Reds and give up some cheap HRs and start a pattern of nibbling. Overall though…its exactly what you said. Poor fundamentals….mentally checking out for periods of time and not playing hard. Castillo blows a 2-0 lead and gives up a grand slam. That’s only 4-2, but they were absolutely 100% going to lose at that point. When the going gets tough…they check out.

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  13. Arrieta called out his teammates for their poor play this weekend.Said it was time for an accountability check.Man we need somebody like that on our side don’t we?

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    • Ownership will create a “Drill Instructor” bobblehead for that.

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    • Votto stepped out just a few weeks ago and was critical of the team, acknowledging he’d have to walk it back because it would upset management. “I would get worried if collectively, we all didn’t take a really good hard long look in the mirror — and also if some people weren’t allowed to look in that mirror anymore,” he said.

      It makes for a nice narrative when winning teams have guys that “care” and “get after it.” Somehow, when a team has a losing record, that just isn’t “leadership” there anymore. It’s all a mirage of the standings. I’m willing to bet these guys are acutely aware that they aren’t playing well… and more than likely embarrassed, not just happy to “take the checks.”

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      • I remember he also said he should just play ball when he backpeddled.To me if he was going to backpeddle it made things worse.Indy mentioned about the Tigers,Pads and Rays.Their roster is AAA+ and they don’t have close to the talent we have and yet they fight scratch claw and play ball.The guy we got from the Rays in his first game homered and got on base 3 times and he is a back up catcher for goodness sake.He is fighting to keep a job and is thankful he gets another chance I am sure.I hope our guys are embarrassed and are not just happy to take the checks but our starters on offense have 2 years or more in the circus so I doubt they are too embarrassed.This team needs a gut check from the owner all the way down to the ball boy period.

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        • Citing the one game success of Casali in one game kind of goes with my point about narrative: It feels good to say “he’s grateful, look how hard he played!”…. but really, he had a good day. Good for him, but big deal. Odds are very good that will be few and far between. What do we say the majority of the days when he fails to contribute? He suddenly doesn’t care and isn’t grateful anymore? He didn’t want a job anywhere else bad enough? It makes little sense to conflate results with “passion and drive.”

          Baseball isn’t really a game where someone can be like LeBron and just decide to make stuff happen.

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        • And I think that Joey’s comment was a gut check to everyone from the top down. It was said, it was heard. But funny when the team isn’t above .500 it doesn’t seem to count.

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  14. As NORMICH RED points out the Reds are as much fun to watch as watching paint dry. You wonder how the Reds with the bases loaded with no outs will go without scoring and when the last 3 batters in the opposition’s line up will homer.

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  15. Only 4 of the Reds 1st round draft choices since 2008 are in the majors, and 3 of them are playing for other teams. Only Blandino is with the big club, albeit on the bench. I know the recent choices are still developing, but when will the Red’s actually develop front line talent? The excuse, but “we’ve encountered injuries” doesn’t work, all teams have injuries.

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    • Don’t forget about Lorenzen. But your point is very valid. The 1st round draft picks from 2011 thru 2014 are a reason for the Rebuild, and a reason the Rebuild has stalled and is such a mess. Not much help at the AA and AAA levels to count on. Plenty of 2B in the pipeline, but nothing else.

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  16. Not sure why anyone is talking about the offense…it’s not perfect but it’s above average. There is enough firepower there to be relevant. This all comes down to pitching. When the Reds looked like they might be turning it around a few weeks back, it was because the SPs were either good or serviceable, keeping them in games. On that road trip, the SP reverted back to what it was for the first month of the season…a bunch of 5 inning, 4-5 ER outings. The problem is not the offense, it’s the same issue this team has had for 2 years now…starting pitching. Hopefully Desclafani’s return can serve as a starting point to give the rotation some sort of stability. All we need are quality starts and this team would be somewhat competitive. They showed that during that short stretch a couple weeks back

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    • It does start and ends with pitching but our offense is terrible especially since we play half our games at GABP.We have been shut out 6 times and held to 3 runs or less 18 more times in 60 games.We have also lost a bunch of one run games and lost a bunch of high scoring games.Our lineup scares nobody because eventually their pitcher will find the 3 or 4 guys that can’t hit and the game is over.

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      • The offense might make some games fun to watch. I have a theory that players get down psychologically and don’t produce when game are “lost” in a pattern that indicates continued losing. This team is going through the motions. They all know it is a lost season, and nothing is going to make it any better.
        No pitching, poor defense, and lackluster hitting. They don’t even bunt well. The clubhouse and the dugout must be pretty dull and lifeless places to be now. How will we lose tonight?
        Is Winker in or out? What are we doing? Going through the motions? How long will we be doing this? The rest of the season.

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    • People like to watch hitting, so it’s easier to focus on that than it is on pitching which, I agree, is more to blame for the current record than the hitting is.

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  17. our team speed was really on display in that 9th inning. Winker beats out a single off the right field wall then Joey Votto is actually on the tv screen when he gets thrown out at first on a slow roller to second. amazing!

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  18. THE RACE TO 100+ Losses
    The only question that really remains is will the Reds will be at 100 losses before the September call ups or the week after. I have mentioned a 40-win season in previous post’s but now it is starting to look like a reality.
    The current wining % of .350 gets the Reds to 52 Wins. Trade Scooter (2.9 War) would cause a decrease in that %. I am not suggesting that the Reds extend his contract past 2018. Once the Giants get their rotation together Scooter would be a good fit for them.
    If the Reds current “5 and dive” rotation is the best the Reds can offer in the next 3 months. Oh Well!!!
    Hey, “BIG BOB”, when does the winning start??

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    • I don’t think Big Bob knows or Big Bob really cares. His investment (the Reds) is worth more now than when he bought it. This is what Bob cares about.

      The rest is eyewash. They hire mediocrities to run their team, and are surprised (!) at the results. After all this time, should any of us expect more?

      Dis is a berry, berry bad beiseboll team. Berry bad.

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      • The last paragraph reminds me of one of my all-time favorite players: Tony Perez, Mr. RBI, himself. Yes, I’m sure Big Bob is doing just fine financially. So let’s not upset the apple cart by bringing in from the outside a young, knowledgeable GM who would rework the FO and get the Reds on the road to competitiveness.

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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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