The Short Version: The Cardinals jump out to a 5-0 lead, but home run heroics from Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker can’t bring the Reds all the way back. Cincinnati drops to 0-9 this season against St. Louis.

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (35-27) 6 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (22-43) 4 10 0
W: Wacha (8-1) L: Castillo (4-7) S: Hicks (1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Jose Peraza was 2-4 with a double and a run scored. Peraza has now hit in 12 consecutive games.

–Jesse Winker absolutely crushed an eighth inning home run to center field that came within inches of hitting that Toyota sign that has been so elusive over the years. This kid has some power, despite reports.

–Eugenio Suarez hit his 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth that gave Suarez the NL lead in RBI. Joey Votto was 2-4 with a double.

–David Hernandez pitched two shutout innings, allowing just one walk.

The Bad
–I guess I have to put this in the “bad” category, since he gave up five runs, but Luis Castillo looked simply brilliant for much of this outing. He pitched six innings, giving up those five runs in the first and the third, but he only allowed four hits and struck out ten Cardinals. I don’t know what else to say, but this:

–Austin Brice gave up a run on three hits and a walk in his one-plus inning of work.

–The Reds stranded ten runners.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–This game wasn’t the best ever. The Reds are now 0-9 vs. the Cardinals this season.

–Down 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Reds finally struck. Scooter Gennett led off with a single, and Eugenio Suarez went all the way up into the second deck for his 12th homer. Suarez now leads the National League in RBI. Because he’s good.

–The Cardinals scored again in the top of the seventh, but the Reds got that run back immediately. Jose Peraza led off the inning with a double and, one out later, Scott Schebler traded places with him, an RBI double that made the score 6-3.

After Tucker Barnhart flew out, Joey Votto walked and a wild pitch moved the runners into scoring position. Scooter was unable to get them home, however.

–The Reds are 6-21 against NL Central division opponents. That’s the worst record of any team in baseball against their division.

–Cincinnati is 21 games under .500 and 17.5 games out of first place. Why do we bother?

–I guess I’ve discovered that three 90-loss seasons is my breaking point. When the team is still getting worse in the fourth year of a rebuild…well, no thanks.

Today’s Tweets

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! 55 Comments

  1. I feel all the sentiment here. I have no motivation to be a Reds fan anymore. The team is hopeless and I’m tired of losing to the other teams that were rebuilding when we were. The Cards are always competitive. Our organization is embarrassing.

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  2. Reds Killers within their Division: (Have specifically Hurt the Reds for a While Now, more than most players)

    Cardinals=Yadier Molina
    Cubs=Anthony Rizo
    Brewers=Eric Thames
    Pirates=Josh Harrison and used to be Andrew McCutheon.

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  3. Castillo, overall is pitching well…last two outings, he has been done in by one pitch. Grand Slam vs Padres and Three Run Double/Triple to Reds Killer Molina. Walk to the Pitcher and another Walk the same inning, hurt big time. He has to figure out how to get that one big out to limit to 2 or 3 runs in his 6 innings.

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  4. I do not recall which RLN fan compared Winker to Will Clark, but I think he is looking pretty smart right now.

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  5. Chad I’m with you on this,been die hard reds fan since 1971,but this is really trying my patience and to stop it off,I live smack dab in the middle of cardinal country, that’s all I work with is cards and cubs fan,live in illinois outside st.louis

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  6. Castillo will be fine, but don’t pretend he pitched well. Two home runs, a leadoff walk to the opposing pitcher, and a bases loaded triple are not good. He showed some impressive “stuff” and hopefully he learned something about focus and pitching at the highest level. And that will pay dividends. But he did not pitch well today. Disappointing because I thought there was a good chance the Reds would break this Cardinals streak today, and I’d have been happy to see Wacha take the loss. Sigh.

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    • This is one of the major frustrations I have about the current Reds situation. A starting pitcher gives up five runs and yet people look past it because he had a couple of good innings. Understandably, there’s not much else to do if you want to continue following the team. All of these guys — Romano, Castillo and Mahle — have had enough starts now where the good-try trophy should no longer be handed out. Somebody has to start demonstrating that they can pitch six or more innings and give up three runs or less on a consistent basis. Hopefully DeSclafani can begin doing that tomorrow.

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      • Preach.

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      • Amen Tom. I was logging on to comment essentially the very same sentiment. Here is a comparison I find a bit disheartening.

        After BobSteve was put into the rotation last season, he made 11 starts. Over those starts he had a ERA/FIP/xFIP of 3.30/4.42/4.98. Those numbers were good (bad) enough to get him the bum’s rush this spring and not totally without cause..

        Now compare those numbers to Castillo, Mahle, and Romano this season (13 starts each prior to Saturday) then tell me again with a straight face everything is going to be all right.

        Stephenson’s 2017 starting ERA was more than 2 runs a game better than the current 2018 ERA of any of the three

        RS’s 2017 starting FIP was more than half a run a game better than Castillo’s and Mahle’s current 2018 FIP and more than a run per game better than Romano’s

        Castillo’s and Mahle’s current xFIP is about 1 run per game than Stephenson’s 2018 starting xFIP, ironically because they have given up HR’s at a greater rate while Stephenson allowed HR at lower rate; and since xFIP normalizes HRs against league averages, Stephenson is higher because fewer than the league average % of his fly balls left the park. Meanwhile Romano’s xFIP is about the same as Stephenson’s from last year.

        Let me be clear, Stephenson has his issues and needs to get them right if he is going to be a successful MLB starter. BUT what he did in 11 starts last year was as good and in many ways better as what the trio of Castillo, Mahle and Romano have done this year. So, to steal a phrase, how we lookin’?

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        • I see what you’re trying to say, Jim. I just don’t see it.

          Stephenson is walking AAA batters 14% of the time. I hope he has given up fewer homeruns per flyball in AAA than the others have in the Majors. The hitters are just so much better in MLB. Stephenson has been really bad.

          The others have issues too, especially Romano. But their struggles don’t make Stephenson’s awful season look much better.

          Also, Stephenson walked 14.1% of batters in those 11 starts at the end of last season. His homerun rate was uncharacteristically low (higher in AAA this year with inferior hitters). I would take Castillo since May began or Mahle all season over Stephenson’s 11 starts last year. ERA over a short term is deceiving.

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          • Nick, I fear that we have fallen into a mindset because of the absolute dearth of quality starting pitching we have seen from this team for years that we look at Mahle and think a 4.33 ERA performance is acceptable. It is if we strive for mediocrity (which frankly, right now wouldn’t be so bad, but it can’t be the ultimate goal). We have to see progress, a performance trend chart that is slanted in a positive direction. None of the young starting pitchers have exhibited that this year except for an isolated game here or there.

            I’ve never been a big supporter of Stephenson, but I’d just as soon give him another shot than run Romano out there again.

          • Castillo’s ERA/FIP/xFIP line since since May 1 is 4.47/4.57/3.58.
            Mahle’s line for the same period is 4.33/5.02/4.52

            For Castillo those are approaching good enough only if a person believes the xFIP is an accurate prediction of what he will do in the future. Mahle comes out somewhat better; but, his FIP is troubling, indicating he has been pitching with some luck. However since he is nearly a full two years younger, I have less concern about him growing into the role.

            Here is my issue with xFIP where Reds pitchers are involved. Since xFIP skews by using the league average % of flyballs which end up as home runs versus the pitcher’s actual %, should we trust it to accurately predict for Reds pitchers when their home park is a launching pad?

            Seems to me almost a given the Reds pitchers are nearly always going to get a break by having their xFIP lowered by league average. For example Castillo’s current HR/9 rate is 1.83 which is 86th of 92 listed starting pitchers. Mahle’s HR/9 is 1.70 which is 82nd. Surprise, surprise Romano has the best of the three, faint praise it be, of 1.66 which is 79th on the list. The list median is 1.1.

            https://www.teamrankings.com/mlb/player-stat/home-runs-allowed-per-9?season_id=638

            The bottom line is putting together the HR and BB rates (all three above 3 per 9; Romano 4+) yields a toxic mix for these guys that needs to be put right; or, the Reds should be looking for other alternatives.

    • To me it’s a little of both. There’s no denying that walking the pitcher, giving up the HRs isn’t good pitching. At the same time it’s hard to say striking out 10 while only allowing 4 hits is bad. Some of it is sequencing, some of it is he needs to figure out how to limit the home runs and cut the walks a bit. But overall what he was throwing out there was some pretty impressive pitching. He allowed 7 batters to reach base in 6 innings, most people would take that sort of WHIP, especially with the amount of K’s.

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  7. By the way, bush league move to claim that Winker’s home run didn’t hit the Toyota sign. That’s the kind of deal where you have to err on the side of generosity.

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    • Somebody probably didn’t pay the insurance premium because all these years no one has come really close. Maybe if there is enough of a fracas Toyota will step up and do something.

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    • I completely agree with this, when no one’s done it since it’s been a thing, you gotta give it to him on that.

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  8. Time to move Barnhart back down the line.

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  9. All these games are just starting to run together for me. The starting pitching puts them into a hole. The pen generally does fair but sometimes makes things worse. The offense makes noise but not enough to get them out of the hole. Maybe the hole was really too deep or maybe the offense frittered away too many chances or the pen allowed cheap runs too. Afterwards, we try to be positive by saying the starters are young and learning or alternately old/ over the hill and not part of the future.

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    • Agreed. We’re becoming too tolerant of mediocrity because it’s a welcome change from horrendous. Not that the Reds have ever had someone like this, but I’m looking for someone to be so dominant in the minors that there is no question they belong in the bigs, someone like Dwight Gooden was. The National League AVERAGE for team ERA is 3.99. The Reds don’t have ONE starter at or below that number. They are miles away from being just AVERAGE. I’ll start getting excited about a pitcher when he has success like Castillo did last year. I sure wish he had continued it this year. I sure hope Danny Darwin wasn’t giving him high-fives for the 10 strikeouts yesterday while he was giving up five runs. If you give up five runs, I don’t care if you throw 110 mph. That’s not acceptable.

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  10. Jim it looks like the Reds as an organization are in a rut, someone once told me a rut is a grave with both ends kicked ouy.

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    • The hockey silliness season hits high gear now that the Stanley Cup is settled.

      The next several weeks will be crazy because of the draft (more like NFL than MLB; lots of trades and jockeying) then July 1 is the tender date for RFAs and also the 1st day UFAs can sign with new teams.

      Can’t believe it; but, I’m more spun up for this than the Reds right now.

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      • Go out and get another center Jackets

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        • Or 2 centers even and if the money and term works look at bringing back Nasher to snipe on wing opposite Bread and on the PP.

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          • Lol Nash is so past his prime. As a Ranger fan he had nothing left that would describe him as “Sniper”.

          • People would have said the same about Vanek this time last year and in fact at the time CBJ got him; but, likely CBJ don’t make the playoffs without what he did in the last 6 weeks.

          • Every blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile. Sign both of them and good luck.

  11. Just bought a new home so I’ve been completely out of the loop. No TV for a week is beyond brutal but thank gawd for cell phones. However, every time I look, the Reds lose so I really haven’t missed anything. When you’re 21 games until .500 before the middle of June, it pretty much tells you everything one needs to know.

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  12. If Billy Hamilton started center today the reds win the game. He catches Molina’s 3 rbi triple easily. He needs to be out there every game

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    • You’re living in a fever dream if you think Hamilton would have caught that ball, let alone “easily.” Here’s the video, everyone judge for themselves:

      https://www.mlb.com/gameday/cardinals-vs-reds/2018/06/09/530372#game_state=final,lock_state=final,game_tab=videos,game=530372

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      • Was just about to respond similarly. Even crediting BH with his fastest sprint speed per Statcast and getting a jump on the ball before it was hit, he wasn’t getting to that one.

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        • Schebler turned the wrong way and BH probably wouldn’t have, but I agree that it would have been an unlikely catch: It was more of a liner than a fly and got there too fast. Also, BH would probably have been playing a bit shallower than Schebler.

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        • And don’t overlook that Friday nite, the current edition of BHam failed to catch a ball he appeared to have run down and was virtually standing under.

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    • I guess you can believe what you want, but I still wouldn’t play Billy until he learns to choke up on the bat, take shorter swings and bunt. No matter how fast a guy is, you can’t play someone as bad at the plate as Billy. The bottom of the order has been a rally killer for Reds

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  13. I’m so sick of hearing about “stuff” and “kids”. That means nothing. The only thing that counts are OUTS. Either you can get them or you can’t. This crop can’t. They should not be wearing a major league uniform.
    The Reds starting pitching, going on four years, are major failures. And the Reds organization is fully to blame.

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    • Yeah, I’ll believe a 3.30 ERA over 11 games as opposed to an xFIP that says in the future the guy is going to allow 5 earned runs a game based how he pitched his way to the 3.30n ERA. I would work on the indicators which caused the xFIP inflation but only if and when the boogeyman caught up with him over time would I bench/ demote him.

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  14. Milton padding his appearance totals, ASG looking more likely for the veteran.

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    • If we’re lucky, Jack. Unless of course you mean that’s the year the Reds will hit rock bottom. In which case, I can see that.

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  15. Cards vs Reds = Men vs Boys. No comparison.

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    • An organization that keeps rolling along and a organization that keeps having one flat after another.

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  16. A frustrating part of the Reds situation right now is the organization and some of the fans.

    The Reds cannot get rid of this player, that player, or that player. This player is so good at X and it will just click at some point and all come together. The current collection of players has produced a 21 game under .500 record in early June. This is coming off 3 straight 90 loss seasons. There is little to zero help in the minors.

    Continuing to play the same players and expect a different result is not an answer. There needs to be a complete purge of the roster.

    Remember in the offseason when the plan for starting pitching was that DeSclafani, Finnegan, and Bailey were going to be the guaranteed starting 3. Those were good times. Hoping for the best is not a plan.

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    • I agree with some of your logic but I will say that every team does a certain amount of wishing and hoping. You are reasonable in saying that the Reds organization (and many fans) do it too much. Also, “zero to little help in the minors”? I think it is more than that. We have the eighth ranked system per mlb. com: https://www.mlb.com/news/top-10-farm-systems-ranking-by-mlb-pipeline/c-267360666

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      • I think the Reds have decent talent in the minors, yet, the Reds have decided to slowly promote levels. The Yankees are winning games with Andujar, Torres, Judge, Bird, etc. Braves have brought up all their young players who are well under the age of the Reds prospects. Yet, the Reds and their fans keep talking about how Duvall, Hamilton, Peraza, Gennett, Schebler, etc. need to keep playing. It is a broken team that does not fit together.

        Do the Reds have the talent to replace players that have produced 3 straight 90 loss seasons and are currently 21 games under .500 or not? What exactly is the plan and what is going on? The current state is not working and to continue on the same path makes no sense.

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      • It’s probably more accurate to say that most of the help is two-three years away from getting here and contributing. Only Senzel, Long, and Gutierrez of the Reds top 10 prospects are in AA at the moment. And Gutierrez, while demonstrating some solid peripherals, currently has an ERA of 6.23.

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  17. Luis Castillo has moved into my top spot of Most Disappointing Red this year. Not even close, actually.

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  18. Growing high quality starters from scratch is very painful.

    The Reds have had some bad luck. Disco was a great acquisition and should’ve be a two time ASG alternate by now. Homers bad luck too.

    All teams have pitching injury bad luck, but when your vets get hurt when you’re trying to grow starters from scratch instead of sign established free agents, all of it just detonating at the same time —- ugly.

    This is a trying time for the Reds. Let’s see if their leadership can steady the ship.

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  19. This organization is a dumpster fire.

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  20. It was the umpteenth straight game with double digit LOB’s. The sign of a very, very mediocre offense. Four did players, 2 average hitters, and 3 of the worst in baseball.
    No starting pitcher had taken a step forward this year when it was expected from at least 4 of them. All 5 starters have regressed if you include Bailey.
    Who is acvountable? Well it is the roster that our brilliant, brilliant GM/ POBO so proudly put together proclaiming all winter how significant improvement was coming. Again, where is the accountability??
    It is way past time to ask about accountability and as Reds fans time to start demanding accountability.

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    • Reds fans do not demand accountability. They see average players and want to keep them because they like them. It will just click for each player and everything will be great, just wait.

      The starting pitching is a huge problem with little help on the way. Free agent acquisitions will be needed.

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  21. This needs to be stopped immediately about referring to it as the Rebuild. A rebuild envisions progress. Call it what it really is.
    The more appropriate word would be the Collapse. #TheCollapse.

    Reply

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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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