At first I was afraid, I was petrified.

Anthony DeSclafani was making his first start in a Reds uniform since September, 2016. And I’d heard all the pessimism on the radio. It had been so long since AD had pitched. There was the oblique injury. The elbow injury. The oblique again. The Reds have seemed so unlucky with the health of pitchers. When one returned, another one bit the dust. Then another one gone and another one gone.

Given that recent history, whether you’re a brother or whether you’re a mother, you were right to be worried.

But wait, I thought. There’s no need to feel down. Contrary to conventional wisdom, DeSclafani, not Dan Straily, had been the Reds top pitcher in 2016, even though he’d only managed just 120 innings in 20 starts. And as I remembered that season had followed on the heels of a 31-start, 3-WAR 2015 for DeSclafani, I started to get so excited, I just couldn’t hide it.

Besides, the amateur draft is always cause for optimism. It’s raining men. So despite the Reds recent losing ways, my mood began to improve. Satisfaction came in a chain reaction when I saw odd-man-in Jesse Winker atop the lineup.

I thought, that’s the way. Uh-huh, uh-huh.

Cincinnati Reds 6 (21-40) • Colorado Rockies 9 (31-29)

Box Score || Win % || Reds Pitcher Statcast || Reds Hitter Statcast

For his first start back, Anthony DeSclafani was terrific. That’s a fact, ain’t holdin’ nothing back. As Jeff Brantley said, in a situation like that, DeSclafani would be emotional and adrenaline-filled for the first two innings. He was victimized by lousy defense (Winker and Votto) and a 360-foot GABP-special home run. But DeSclafani retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced. That one base runner was a bunt by Rockie clean-up hitter Carlos Gonzalez.

Hey! Hey! Hey, hey, hey!

DeSclafani struck out five and walked one on 91 pitches over 5 innings. He averaged 93 mph on his fastball, a bit higher than the 92.5 mph he averaged in 2015. Overall, his performance was encouraging. Get up everybody and sing.

A chunk of the bullpen was burning out of control awful. Austin Brice struggled in his inning of work. He gave up three hits and two walks (one intentional). Wandy Peralta continued his slide since last April. He’d given up three runs by the time he recorded an out. Carlos Gonzalez smacked a 472-foot homer to centerfield.

Dylan Floro pitched a shutout 8th inning. Amir Garrett pitched a shutout 9th with two strikeouts.

Scott Schebler hit another homer, his 8th of the season. It was a 424-foot bomb off lefty starter Kyle Freeland. That’s how I like it and want more, more, more. Singles by Schebler, Jose Peraza, a walk by Jesse Winker and single by Tucker Barnhart produced two more runs in the 7th.

Joey Votto lined a single to left field, but Billy Hatcher sent Winker who was thrown out at home. Brantley complained that Winker is slow. Thom said Winker was “out by 20 feet.” In reality, the throw beat Winker by 5 feet and the play was close enough that replay was inconclusive. For the record, Winker is faster than Suarez, Votto, Barnhart and Gennett, according to StatCast.

The Reds rallied in the 9th and brought the tying run to the plate. New catcher Curt Casali doubled as a pinch hitter. He scored on a ground out by Winker. Singles by Barnhart, Votto, Gennett and Duvall plated two more runs. Schebler struck out to end the threat.

Barnhart and Votto had three hits. Gennett, Duvall, Suarez and Schebler had two hits. Winker had a hit and walk. The Reds outhit the Rockies 17-12.

For the record, there weren’t any plays in CF tonight that Scott Schebler didn’t get to that Billy Hamilton would have caught.

Look, the season hasn’t begun the way any of us wanted. A bunch of the players have been disappointing or inconsistent. One manager fired, an interim guy who deserves to be. A front office struggling to keep it’s act together. But Reds fans have to party like it’s nineteen ninety-nine, with Barry Larkin, Sean Casey, Aaron Boone and Greg Vaughn, when we can. We need emotional rescue every chance we get, even when the moment is small, but positive. If it’s something we can share, we can steal it.

Tonight was one of those. Celebrate, come on.

Disco is back.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 39 Comments

  1. Disco was awesome except for a couple 0-2 pitches that cost him 3 runs.Offense had 17 hits but 15 were singles which ain’t gonna get it done at GABP.Peralta is terrible and even when he does get people out it is Coco Cordero all over again.

  2. I think the writer of this recap spent too much of his youth listening to Disco. I am having flashbacks to Reflections on Calhoun Street in Clifton.

  3. Good effort Steve, I got to give you that. 🙂

  4. Nice call on Schebler in center. My exact thought as he went back on a deep shot in the third or fourth. He took an awkward angle but corrected and made the catch on the track.

    I much prefer the stick and power over the dozen runs saved on defense. But this front office and broadcasters sure love speedy players.

    • Yes. I was alarmed to see that one of the guys they drafted, Siani, is supposedly fast. The Reds would be so much better off if nobody could run well. It’s true that Schebler didn’t fail, last night, to make any plays that BH would have made, proving what? The Reds lose with BH in the lineup, and they lose without him. If he were actually as much to blame for the Reds wretchedness as one would think based upon comments at RLN, the mess would be very easy to correct.

      • Billy is not to blame for us being the team we are today.He is just part of the problem and we have tons of them to fix before we will ever compete again for a title.Nobody in the league plays a better centerfield then he does and only 2 hitters are worse in the league then he is.Its a team game based on individual stats and offensively he is just terrible.Some would argue that we need his defense so bad and lets fix everything else first then we can address Billy.Hard for me to go along with that after 5 years and now a 5 MIL salary but never fear he will still play 120 games or so and we will still be talking about it.

        • I don’t disagree. There was an argument to be made a few years ago that his defense and base running made him worth it. I recall Chad or somebody writing that his WAR was solidly in the starting player range. But his hitting has gotten worse, and he couldn’t afford to give any up. Still, he seems like an easy target on a team with enough problems that replacing him with, say, Yelich, wouldn’t make competitive. It would be great if Schebler learned to field better and, yes, hit better, because he is, at present, a one-tool outfielder, as are Billy and Winker.

  5. I looked at the replay several times. The only way that vital could have thrown out the runner at home, was if Disco Duck ed.

    • I assume that you meant Votto, and I agree. He’s often in an awkward position on balls hit to first, but in this case, Disco was in the way of the throw, and also blocked him from getting to first or tagging the runner. Why did Disco go over if he wasn’t going to cover?

  6. DeSclafani kept the Reds Staying Alive with his last 3 innings. Brice and Peralta turned it into a Fire, boom boom boom-boom boom boom, Fire. Brice walking the pitcher with bases loaded is inexcusable. Peralta is just brutal and needs to go back to AAA. A lot of Bungle in the Jungle tonight on defense.
    I need a hero, but there is no one in sight. If only Johnny Guitar Watson was still around.

    • Wow, a Johnny Guitar Watson reference. Somewhere in my basement I have an album of his.

    • It’s hard to believe that lousy, good for nothing Toni Cingrani has a lower ERA & more than twice as many “holds” as our beloved Wandy Peralta. Perplexing, ain’t it?

  7. Loved this piece, well done!

  8. This game didn’t deserve this recap. Well-played Mancuso…

  9. Not having looked at the data – which has never stopped me before – it sure seems like the Reds lead the Universe in yielding runs in the next half-inning after having scored. The Reds score in the 5th, but then gave up 2 in the 6th. Seems to happen over and over.

    I did look up sprint speed. Winker is below major league average at 26.5 feet/second. Sprint speed is defined as “feet per second in a player’s fastest one-second window” on competitive plays. That is supposed to measure how fast a guy is running when the play is such that he is hustling, by excluding how fast a guy runs out a routine flyball, etc. https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sprint_speed_leaderboard?year=2018&position=&team=CIN&min=10

    The metric, though, doesn’t measure how fast a guy gets up to speed, nor reaction time. Hamilton, visually, is going pretty fast pretty quickly. Winker (and Suarez, for that matter) appears to start slowly toward running pretty slowly. Winker is just not a fast-twitch guy, and there isn’t much to do about it. If he can hit, he can contribute, but he is a two-tool guy at best, if he develops some power.

    The speed data shows that Scott Schebler is an excellent athlete. They ought to just play him full-time in center from here on. With his speed, and exit velocity, he probably has a much higher ceiling than generally thought.

  10. I think the baseball Gods have now taken us to Funkytown! We have a leadoff hitter that needs 3 hits to score from 2nd. The poor guy couldn’t move fast if he fell off a roof. They might love the nightlife but there is no boogie with Winker, Tucker, and Joey on base? Painfully painfully slow. Then you have CarGo? Guy hits .180 against the rest of the league but goes Roberto Redford on the Reds! Is he eligible to win the Toyota?

    I’m going to stop because I’ve had enough.

  11. Perhaps we need to find some of those remaining museum piece disco records and do an inferno at GABP, Chicago-style, to vex all of the bad karma that the past several years have brought on. (If we can do 5, really 5, Barks-at-the-Park, why not??)

    Or, perhaps, one of our new draftees can channel his Inner Disco Mick and tell us “I will be your knight in shining armor.” Here’s hoping.

    Thank heavens the Disco Era (THAT one, not our pitcher) was a short-lived one. May OUR Disco get a renaissance and some good karma that he deserves.

  12. Wow, someone has been waiting for Disco’s first start! LOL loved the recap.

  13. Thank you, Steve.

  14. Brice is clearly a weakness in the bullpen, they should just let Rainey settle in the big leagues and set him up for next year. As for Peralta he’s having a pretty rough season.

  15. About the announcers, I feel like Dizzy Dean listening to Harry Cary, are they watching the same game I am. It does, at least to me, look like the Reds as team, are slow. How many times has BH been thrown out trying to steal a base this year?

  16. Welcome back, Disco, and well done Mr. Mancuso.

  17. Great review Steve. Let’s hope that we are dancing in the streets after Disco’ next start.

  18. Nice article … Finally something positive . Its been awhile .. I don’t always agree with you but I have always respect your opinions. Thanks Steve !

  19. Austin Brice? Had a decent run in April, but has now been scored on in 6 of his last 9 appearances. The guy basically just throws the same pitch over and over….the relieving equivalent to Romano. He was born in Hong Kong. I say go with the 70s theme and play the theme to Hong Kong Phooey (#1 superguy) when he comes in from the pen:)

  20. Have we now traveled through and exited The Matt Harvey Era and into the Curt Casali Era?

    • I believe the Harvey era is timeless, but there may not be a rule against simultaneous eras.

  21. Steve when you use musical references it is always a good recap. When you use LOTS of musical references from pretty much everywhere, it is a GREAT recap.

    You are dating yourself some though. Of course my getting the references dates me some too.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Category

Titanic Struggle Recap

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,