Will the losing streak end today? The Reds have dropped nine in a row to the St. Louis Cardinals this season, and 13 consecutive including last season.

One good sign, at least from the perspective of this correspondent: This is the third consecutive day that both Scott Schebler and Jesse Winker are starting in the outfield, with Billy Hamilton filling the third outfield spot today. (Adam Duvall did yesterday.) As long as Schebler and Winker continue to produce as they have in recent games, that MUST be the strategy of Manager Jim Riggleman.

The Reds hope to avoid the sweep and break the losing streak in today’s 1:10 p.m. start at Great American Ball Park.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Carlos Martinez 54 1.83 4.32 22.8% 11.8%
Anthony DeSclafani 5 7.20 3.33 25.0% 5.0%

Today’s matchup features a couple of pitchers who have missed time this year with muscular injuries. Martinez missed time after injuring a Latissimus dorsi muscle, which connects the upper extremity to the vertebral column. The lats are a very powerful rotator of the trunk. DeSclafani missed the first two months with an oblique injury. Obliques are the muscles of the outer abdomen. They surround the area which we would call a six-pack in individuals who have well-toned mid-sections.

DeSclafani started slow in his first major league start of the year, but finished strong in his five innings. If anyone on this current Reds starting pitching staff can step up and be the leader of this group, it is DeSclafani, based on past performance. The disclaimer, though, is that he has been injured for most of the past two seasons. He has to break that cycle.

Bullpen

David Hernandez pitched two innings Saturday and may not be available today as a result. Everyone else should be available for work.

Starting Lineups

Cardinals Reds
3B Matt Carpenter CF Scott Schebler
CF Tommy Pham C Tucker Barnhart
1B Jose Martinez 1B Joey Votto
LF Marcell Ozuna 2B Scooter Gennett
C Yadier Molina 3B Eugenio Suarez
SS Greg Garcia RF Jesse Winker
RF Harrison Bader SS Jose Peraza
2B Kolten Wong P Anthony DeSclafani
P Carlos Martinez CF Billy Hamilton

News and Notes

Eugenio Suarez continues to blossom before our eyes …

Nick Senzel had a big day at the plate in Louisville’s 9-4 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He batted leadoff and played third base, with Dilson Herrera starting at second base …

Hunter Greene pitched five innings for the Dayton Dragons last night, allowing one run, and …

Ex-Red Mat Latos sparked a benches-clearing brawl in a minor league game …

(That tweet is NOT from the real Joey Votto.)

Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.

Join the conversation! 75 Comments

    • Doofus, I think my perspective on this differs from much of Redleg Nation. I say Senzel has to stay in Louisville and play for AT LEAST a month without any vertigo relapses before being promoted. Once he’s promoted, you start his major league service time clock. Why do that with a guy who has had to be disabled in the minors twice in the past eight months because of vertigo? The last thing they need is to bring him up tomorrow and have another vertigo relapse. He would then go on the major league disabled list and his major league time clock still runs.

      Of course, a relapse could happen tomorrow or 10 years from now. But by waiting, you give it more of a chance to present itself and deal with it before he’s on the roster and the clock is ticking. And with the way this team is playing, his presence isn’t going to make a whole lot of difference this year.

      • Tom, given 2B appears to be the Reds’ deepest position in the minors, (and possibly even more so with the drafting of India, depending on how he looks at SS, assuming that will be pursued first), what are your thoughts on Senzel getting reps in the OF in Louisville?

        • Slash, I wrote in yesterday’s game preview that I believe it’s time to give Senzel some time in the outfield in Louisville to see what, if any, outfield positions he can play. It seems clear that Winker and Schebler should continue to get everyday looks in the outfield this year, and Duvall and Hamilton should not. If Senzel can fit into that outfield somewhere, it would be good to see how Winker, Senzel and Schebler perform as a group, particularly defensively.

          • Now I see it – thanks! (Was at a graduation party yesterday and out of commission on the Reds.)

      • I’m with you Tom, give him a chance to dominate AAA and validate the procedures in place for the vertigo are working. There also is no place for him to play with Gennett and Suarez both hitting like all stars. You can’t bench either one of those guys are tell them to switch positions right now.

        I know may want to move Scooter to LF today, but he won’t be good their either and it would come at the expense of Winker’s playing time, so Gennett to LF is not something I would want to see. Senzel could move to the OF, but unless he can handle CF then he is taking playing time away from Winker or Schebler who are both hitting right now and should be given a chance to prove they belong. I also wouldn’t want to see Senzel displace those two for an experiment in the OF, that should happen at the AAA level if it is part of this future.

        To me the best option is he stays at AAA until Scooter gets traded. The Reds need to see if they can get a CF, SS, or SP who is in AAA for Scooter. If there is interest in extending Scooter then someone needs to move to the OF between Herrera, Long, and Senzel, which isn’t a change that should happen in the majors

        • Yeah right now the only thing more distressing with Senzel having another bout of vertigo than the vertigo itself would be if he were sitting it out on the MLB DL earning MLB service time.

          Williams has already mentioned India as a corner OF possibility; but that still leaves Senzel, D.Herrera, Long and possibly Scooter in that mix. At least 1 more somebody else in that group is headed for the OF or being traded I’d guess. A big point to watch is whether Long comes to AAA after the AA All Star break and if so, how they line’em up.

  1. That’s because Latos is all around trash.

    But hey, last I knew I thought he was pitching in independent ball, not the minors. So good on him, I guess?

    • Hindsight seems to show clearly that Mr. Latos had serious character issues. I’ll remember him as the guy we dealt three prospects to acquire, all of whom went on to become All-Stars, in exchange for a guy, who was productive for a short time and ultimately gave up the most awful home run in recent Reds history. Evil Joey Votto is right.

      • He provided value while he was on the team, and returned Disco in trade. Grandal turned out better than Mes, but you can’t predict injuries. Alonso had no place to play with Votto on the team. Overall it was a good trade and one of the few examples of the team doing what it needed to do to improve.

        • Bill, I understand what you are saying and I, too, agree that the team should make moves to bring in better players in the understanding that not every deal will bear fruit. I only have to say that it appears the Padres were aware that Latos was not the sweetest of clubhouse presences. Teams usually will not let top of the line starters with several years of team control go from trades. Latos had the stuff so I suppose we should have wondered what was the catch. Now we know.

          • I could be wrong, but I thought it was known at the time he had “maturity issues”

  2. DeSclafani would seem to have motivation for a strong comeback. This may be outside conventional wisdom, but to me, it is his last chance to prove himself as a part of this franchise’s future. If he is ineffective this season or if he misses additional time injured, the Reds would be best served by parting ways with him and I think we will see that happen barring a strong turnaround. It feels like a repeat of the Devin Mesoraco Reds career, sadly.

    • This is pretty much the page I’m on with Disco. He is out of team control at the end of the 2020 season. Thus not sure how much of a future there is for him with the Reds given the overall state of things. Just wish him well personally and that he and the Reds both prosper, regardless how and where, from his work.

  3. Winkers diving catch and winning home run made the top plays of the week on MLB Network. Hoping for a big day out of Disco today.

  4. Wow! The baseball go out rule in our favor against the Cards!

  5. nice catch by winker….and turns the DP

  6. Winker is turning into a monster out there defensively! Way to go kid!

  7. Ball hit the wall first….wonder how this will play out? Bases loaded single I guess? Great effort atleast

  8. After umpteen years of being bashed by Molina, they still don’t know he loves the 1st pitch

  9. The throw was good. And if Barnhart keeps hold of the ball it could’ve gone either way

    • I’ve bit my tongue and held this thought before…. Barnhart is a gold glove receiver and handler of pitchers; but, picking throws and making tags is not a forte with him. That was the second play in about as many weeks where a throw was superior to his effort in setting up, picking and tagging.

      • I have noticed the same thing, Jim. I wonder though if the rule about not locking the base paths is too much in his mind….

        • My thought exactly. I don’t claim to know the finer points and nuances of the rule but I thought the catcher was still allowed to block if he had the ball. Also Tucker gives them the whole plate; and, I thought the catcher is not required to do that; he just has to give them a path; and if he has the ball he can then ride (block)them off that path.

      • That ball hit a foot in front of him. He needed to take a step and catch it in the air. No reason to let it bounce that close.

  10. Time will tell the verdict but it seems clear from the naked eye assessment that Mr. Winker has, indeed, been working on his outfield defense. I remember how much I love that Jay Bruce showed his character by slimming down and working on his hitting against lefties. Winker’s response to this challenge speaks well to his character and desire to improve. Intangibles are important to this extent, I think.

  11. Not a bad throw home by Winker. Watching him play left this week shows me he is better in left than right. They need to leave him there and let Duvall play right when he plays.

  12. The Reds scored!

  13. One thing you have to admit, Billy is frickin fast. By the time thst ball hit the ground he was already past first by 4 or 5 steps.

    • I have said it before, but he could be extremely valuable as a pinch runner and defensive replacement and spot starter. If he was willing to take a contract extension at a rate for a fourth OF the Reds could use him how they did when he was called up and make Castellilni happy with Billy as a Red for life.

      On another note cincinnati.com has an article that Billy talks about giving up switch hitting

  14. Cannon of a throw by Billy to nail Martinez at the plate

    • I know Billy isn’t hitting but the 3 out there in the outfield today need to be there every game. Love Duvall but he needs to sit. Winker and Schebler give more offensively and Billy has the Defense to cover CF until somebody comes along. Duvall is the odd man out .

      • It is hard to agree with that when Duvall’s WAR is still 1.0 (seventh on the team) and Hamiltion’s is -0.7 (according to Baseball Reference). It is hard to overstate how terrible Mr. Hamilton is as a hitter. Duvall is good to competent in the outfield and has power. In my opinion, much of the criticism aimed at Mr. Duvall is because of his low batting average when that is only one indicator of his offensive production. I admit that is still wanting BUT I am skeptical to arguments saying that Mr. Hamilton is preferable.

        • I’ll take Hamilton’s defense over Duvall’s home run every week . Who cares honestly. They both suck.

  15. The Reds/toyota are giving away the truck for Winkers homer yesterday

    • Huzzah! I had not heard that! Somebody yesterday said it was “cheesy” to not give the truck away. They were right

  16. Today is a reminder that Billy can wreak havoc.
    But I hope it’s just increasing his (weak) trade value.

  17. Could really use a 3 run bomb by Joey here.

  18. Martinez isn’t getting any strike calls today. It’s about time it went our way. SCOOTER!

  19. Scooter!!! who else?? bases loaded single!

  20. A shutdown inning after the Reds scored 4. Brilliant!

  21. Feeling giddy about beating the Cards!! They won 1 game in both Colorado series but they were both exciting! This is what we’ve reduced to.

    Still feels good to have Disco back! The guy atleast has a plan out there and attempts to change speeds and use both sides of the plate!

  22. terribly unlucky/bad bounce on the throw by schebler…let’s a run in.

    • Agreed that it was an unlucky/bad bounce.
      But it was also nowhere near the plate.
      Schebler was also late setting up to throw.

  23. Welsh said that Schebler’s throw to the plate was fine and that it wasn’t worthy of an error.
    He’s clearly smoking crack in the booth.

  24. I don’t get pinch-hitting .187 Duvall for .333 Lorenzen, especially when Lorenzen could have stayed in the game to pitch another inning.

    Yes, I know Lorenzen’s .333 is a small sample size. But still.

    AND DUVALL JUST SINGLED AND DROVE IN A RUN. I’M TAKING CREDIT. 🙂

  25. The Reds? They look like a bar parking lot at 2am when they run the bases. People just stumbling in every direction….unsure where to go?

  26. That inning was a perfect illustration of what’s wrong with this team. Two guys walk to lead off the inning, Peraza inexplicably swings on a 2-0 count (which would definitely have been ball 3), then Riggleman mysteriously decides to pinch hit Duvall for Lorenzen, then a runner creates an out by not paying attention to the runner ahead of him. Three dumb mistakes. But Duvall got a hit and drove in a run, so I guess that makes everything okay.

  27. Seems like somebody in the pennant race could use Iggy,and/or Hughes, and Hernandez? Colorado has been terrible in the pen for one.

  28. If the Reds had terrific bats in the other seven fielding positions, they could allow a Gold Glover like Hamilton to play every day. Other teams have done that with shortstops and catchers. But you just can’t have an everyday outfielder hitting on the interstate, especially when you have a relatively weak bat like Peraza at shortstop.

    • Exactly! Senzel is 12-38 (.316) his last 10 games with 7 walks (.422 obp), 7 rbis, and 4 steals. They could move Scooter to LF or Suarez to SS? Billy had a great game today and Jose has hit lately, but they are what they are. We can’t play in GABP and have 3 guys in the lineup incapable of even hitting cheapie HRs?

    • The famed Big Red Machine did it that way. CF Cesar Geronimo was a weak hitter but great defensively.
      For a while that BRM looked like like this Reds team because of SS Davey Concepcion. But he was a weak hitter only the first couple years then became better than average.
      It didn’t take him five years or more like Billy.

      • Cesar Geronimo’s career OPS+ was 93. From 1972-82, 4 years greater than 100. In that decade highest was 125 in ’76 followed by 120 in ’72. Lowest in that decade 63 in ’73 and 78 in 1979. BHam and today’s Reds fans can only wish….

        • Jim, we can hope. Chris Welch said things were going to “click” for Billy Hamilton any day now.

          • Don’t hold your breath. 🙂 His graph continues to trend downward instead of upward.

          • And BHam doesn’t have the luxury of every time he bats with less than 2 outs of having Pet Rose in the hole which I’m sure makes some difference ;-).

  29. DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD!!!

  30. And another thing … we all lash out at management from time to time due to our frustration … but you hav to say heck of a job signing Jared Hughes.

    • Even a blind hog turns over an acorn once in a while. (Just kidding, I agree credit should be given when due).

  31. It’s a win over the Cards. Today that’s enough.

Comments are closed.

About Tom Mitsoff

Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.

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2018 Reds, Game Thread

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