The Short Version: Another strong start for Matt Harvey and continued outstanding play by Scooter Gennett lead the Reds to a 5-3 victory in Hot-lanta.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (33-46) 5 10 0
Atlanta Braves (45-33) 3 10 0
W: Harvey (3-5) L: Sanchez (3-2) S: Iglesias (14)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Reds win!

–Scooter Gennett singled twice, walked twice, and scored three runs.

–Another good start by Matt Harvey: 6.2 innings, 1 run allowed on 6 hits and 1 walk. 84 pitches. Can’t complain about that.

–Jesse Winker was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI tonight. Jose Peraza had a single, a triple, and scored a run. Scott Schebler had an RBI double and should be the starting center fielder.

The Bad
–Michael Lorenzen gave up a run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning. For some reason, Lorenzen was pitching tonight, rather than hitting.

–In the bottom of the eighth, Amir Garrett was hit by a batted ball on the left leg and was forced to leave the game. It was diagnosed as a left lower leg contusion. We’ll keep you posted.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Another winning streak!

–The Reds have won 7 of their last 8 games, and 11 of 14. They are 24-19 in the last six weeks. This is all good.

–The Redlegs have now compiled 83 consecutive wins when leading a game entering the ninth inning. That’s the longest streak in MLB. Thank you, (best closer in baseball) Raisel Iglesias.

–The Reds opened the scoring in the top of the fourth. Scooter drew a one-out walk, stole second, and advanced to third on Eugenio Suarez’ fly out. Winker’s single to center drove in the game’s first run.

–Hot-lanta tied it up in the bottom half, but the Reds grabbed the lead again in the fifth. Peraza led off with a triple and, one out later, scored on Schebler’s double.

The Reds extended the lead in the following inning on a Scooter double and an Adam Duvall RBI single.

–In the eighth, Cincinnati extended the lead to 4-1 by nearly repeating the sequence from the fourth inning. Scooter walked, advanced to second on a groundout, and scored on a Winker single.

–The Braves climbed to within a run in the eighth, but the Reds extended the lead in the top of the ninth thanks to — who else? — Scooter. With two outs, Tucker Barnhart and Joey Votto walked before Scooter singled to increase the lead to 5-3.

–Tomorrow, it’ll be Luis Castillo as the Reds attempt to take a series on the road against the NL East leaders.

–Winning is more fun than losing.

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! 51 Comments

  1. Count me in with trying to make an effort to keep Harvey. He might be having the time of his life…who knows? He’s atleast as good as Disco if he could hang onto the slider he had tonite! If he does go….then maybe Oakland might be a surprise contender? They rallied back from 6-0 tonite. They’re the closest to Seattle for the 2nd wild card.

    Good game tonite though….smart baserunning from Scooter and key hitting from Winker and Peraza. I think I’m buying into Peraza a little bit. We wouldn’t have much athleticism if they deal Billy except for Peraza, Schebler, and Senzel. Station to station HR derby doesn’t work. Just bat Peraza 9th and he could fly under the radar until India is ready to go.

    Reply
  2. Joey Votto is at it again in his age 34 season (all stats prior to the 06/26/18 game)…

    14 games (03/30-04/15): .236/.283/.236 & .519 OPS
    64 games (04/16-06/25): .324/.471/.525 & .996 OPS

    This season Votto is joined by:

    .308/.395/.586 & .981 OPS by Eugenio Suarez
    .331/.367/.528 & .895 OPS by Scooter Gennett
    .284/.356/.488 & .844 OPS by Scott Schebler

    The leading OBP for Reds starters:

    .438 Votto
    .395 Suarez
    .373 Winker
    .367 Gennett
    .356 Schebler
    .345 Barnhart

    The leading OPS for Reds srtarters:

    .981 Suarez
    .905 Votto
    .895 Gennett
    .844 Schebler
    .746 Winker
    .728 Barnhart

    Then in today’s game…

    Gennett goes 2-3 w/ 1-2B & 2-BB
    Winker goes 3-4

    Reply
  3. Hope we don’t start seeing the Bad Lorenzen, that we saw last year…from the second part of the year on….I know some folks want to trade Iglesis, but who comes into the 8 inning to hold the lead, and to get the Reds the 4 to 5 outs, when the reliever that the Reds put in the 8th inning, struggles like tonight, for example…

    Reply
    • One thing about Lorenzen and his low era is that he doesn’t hold inherited runners so it doesn’t effect his era , but when he leaves inherited runners like he did agsinst the Cubs bases loaded Amir Garrett gets him out a jam. Garrett could have gave up those runs and would have blew up Lorenzens era. Last night the batter gets on a fluke single off Garrett’s leg and Lorenzen comes in a gives up two runs and one is credited to Garrett thus raising Garrett’s era to 2.60 and raising his to 1.77. Garrett has 15 non scoring inherited runners. Just think what those runs could do to someone’s era. Take pride in your pitching that’s how you win games

      Reply
  4. There were a couple flukes and miscues that hurt Lorenzen tonight. He wasn’t lights out but not worried.

    Reply
  5. While the Reds are in Atlanta, Williams or WJ or Krall or Grossman or Julio Morillo or Rick Stowe or Tim O’Connell or Whoever is making decisions in the Reds Baseball Ops Organization should be on the phone or knocking on the door to Anthopoulis with an immediate offer:

    Raisel Iglesias and David Hernandez for Kyle Wright, Joey Wentz, Tucker Davidson and William Contreras.

    Reply
  6. How good was Lorenzen as a center fielder?

    Reply
  7. Good game. These are the types of games that this team needs to win. Not very flashy or dramatic just a workman like innings. Good pitching, major league fielding and defense, and hits when they count.
    These are the games that build a wining team. 🙂

    Reply
    • I agree 100% because when you grind out wins well it shows you that you can indeed grind out wins.

      Reply
  8. Winker is third among MLB rookies in OBP. The two guys ahead of him have fewer than half his at bats.

    Reply
    • Winker is 10th in OBP among ALL qualified NL hitters and has raised his ISO to .115. That’s still not sufficient power for a corner OF without speed and defense as an additional asset, but it’s moving in the right direction.

      Reply
  9. Nick, after thinking about it, it is not a bad idea to make a modest offer to Harvey. If he stays solid, then the team can use the savings to sign a “whale” (Pat Riley term for an elite FA) SS like Manny Machado. However, Harvey has not had a good season in 3 years so it may be better to trade him while his value is as high it can get to a contending team desperate for more veteran pitching help. I think I’d rather resign Scooter.

    I’m all for what the team can get with an Iglesias trade…

    Reply
  10. If we “fixed” his mechanics, then it might worth a go.

    Reply
  11. Yea I am not buying this Harvey hype… he wants to get paid in the off season, that is his motivation… once he gets a contract I expect a regression… when players are hungry they play better. The same could be said for Scooter except I think he really enjoys being in Cincinnati… Harvey is just making the most of the situation in all likelihood. I think the money is better spent elsewhere, just not enough evidence that he can sustain this longterm.

    Reply
    • I don’t know that Scooter improves to this level last season and now this season simply because of a contract. Something has changed. It might he his approach. He might be relaxed in cincy. But, whatever it is, I think he’s part of the core. If he’ll take a 4 year deal, I’d do it.

      Harvey is tempting but I think it comes down to this – will he yield more value on the trade block or more in a modest 2 year deal.

      Reply
    • Using your logic that he’s only pitching well because he is in a contract year, can you please explain why he pitched the way he did to start the season?

      Reply
      • Change of scenery, less media scrutiny, positive vibes.. no real expectations, low pressure with a team buried in the standings…

        Reply
  12. The Reds really have some hard decisions to make. It seems the only move everyone is in agreement on is trading Iggy. (And of course, Billy and Duvall if they can find takers).

    Scooter: Extend or trade?

    Harvey: Extend or trade?

    It really depends on what kind of return each could bring, and how much they are asking for the be extended.

    Scooter has said he’s happy in Cincinnati, which makes sense since he’s a hometown boy, so he would probably be willing to take a little less than market value to stay, but then the question becomes, where does he play?

    Harvey, I have no idea if he’d be interested in staying. But it doesn’t hurt to at least kick the tires and get an idea.

    But if either one of them can be traded/packaged to bring in a good, young MLB-ready CF, SS or SP, you have to make that trade. And of course, this also depends on what Iggy can bring in a trade too.

    So many dominoes to fall.

    Reply
    • Also wanted to add: My preference would be for Suarez to slide back over to SS and open 3B up for Senzel. Scooter can stay at 2B, and Peraza can become a utility player since he can play both 2B and SS.

      Schebler has said he likes CF, and he seems like he’d be adequate at the position, but the problem is Winker doesn’t have the arm to play RF. So if Schebler wants to stay in CF, the Reds still need a RF. I say they trade Iggy for whichever position they can get a better deal for (CF or RF) and Schebler plays the other position with Winker staying in LF.

      Harvey… I don’t know. He’s 28, so I guess he’s still got some good years left, but I can’t help thinking Boras won’t agree to anything less than 5 years, which the Reds would be stupid to take. But I also think the Reds wouldn’t get much by flipping him, either.

      The bottom line is: The Reds are close. They’re very close. If Castillo/Mahle/Romano keep improving and Disco stays healthy, the rotation is one pitcher away from being pretty good (Amir Garrett, anyone?). The bullpen can be easily fixed once Iggy is gone. If Suarez can handle SS, an infield of Senzel/Suarez/Scooter/Votto should be about as good as any in the game. They definitely need an OF, and trading Iggy should be able to get that for them.

      It’s not hard to see a competitive run in 2019 and true contention in 2020 taking shape.

      Reply
      • Position changes shall be underway, I think it’s the best option to clear this out: move Scooter to LF, Winker to RF and Schebler to CF. Then Senzel can take over 2B next season while keeping Suarez at 3B and Peraza at SS. Scooter and Winker should be allowed this season to work it out. No need to trade Iglesias just yet, but Hamilton. Duvall shall be kept as 4th OF & PH.

        Reply
        • I really think Winker in RF is a big mistake. Expect to see every runner go from 1st to 3rd on a single to right, since they don’t have to worry about Winker throwing them out. He simply does not have the arm to play there. Nor does Scooter, most likely.

          The only member of the team currently who can play RF is Schebler, but if he is happy in CF and can play it well enough, then the Reds should trade Iggy for a bonafide RF with the arm to match. But as I said, if they can get a better CF than RF for Iggy (based on availability), then they have to take that deal and put Schebler back in RF.

          The bottom line is they need an OF. An OF that has Winker in RF is a disaster waiting to happen. He can play the position, but it’s not optimal. For a team like the Reds, they need as much optimization as they can muster if they plan to compete.

          Reply
      • That’s a lot of ifs, which sounds very similar to last year

        Reply
      • Leave Suarez at 3rd. He has that big wind up to throw now. A SS need a quick release because so many of their plays are on the run.

        Senzel should have continued to learn SS, (as he did in Spring). Or move to the OF

        Reply
  13. the reds have been much more aggressive on the bases under ringleman than price. I like that.
    Each time I Watch peraza I like him more and more. just love his attitude and aggressiveness. can we officially label him as our shortstop of the future?

    I love the fact that the reds are becoming less and less dependent on the home run to generate scoring. and I think this will become more of a prominent factor as our young players develop.

    Reply
    • It has been said many times before, but you can live with Peraza if there are upgrades at other positions. It’s when the Reds try to put a combination of Hamilton, Peraza, Duvall in the lineup with their low .600s OPS. Peraza could still improve so having him at SS is not out of the question, but right now he is a weak link. If the OF is improved then he is not a huge concern, however he will probably never be a threat with the bat and should be upgraded if there is an opportunity

      Reply
      • Well said Bill and 100% correct.The opposing pitcher will find the guys that aren’t hitting because guys slump and they look for match ups they can win but when you start guys that just can’t hit or never get on base or have no power well its a built in advantage every day for the other team.The pitcher has to bat as well.I haven’t given up on Peraza but two years worth of data and he still won’t take a walk and slaps at the ball says a lot.

        Reply
  14. Won’t get any flak from me. My thoughts exactly. Harvey’s been a joy to watch plus anchors the staff now that Bailey is gone. Find a way to keep him. He’s getting better with each start. You can see the ace in him.

    Reply
  15. Keep Harvey,Scooter and Iggy. I’m not saying Harvey will be a 20 game winner but I do think he can be an reliable starter to this young staff plus adding some veteran leadership. Scooter is simply a great hitter and Iggy is one of the best relievers in the game. Every successful team has reliable starting pitchers,great hitters and lock down closers. Why trade them especially for prospects that you hope will turn out to be reliable starters,great hitters or a shut down closer?

    Reply
    • Harvey is a FA in 2018, and Gennett is only under control one more year. The options are list them for nothing, trade, or extend. With Gennett there is also the qualifying offer opportunity. The option chosen should be the one that most improves the team. Option 1 does nothing and neither has been extended.

      Reply
      • In that case the Reds will always be in a rebuild. I don’t want this franchise to always use small market thinking. Pay players to stay if they fit the long term and that includes free agents. This franchise should want to be like the Cardinals and so should the fans. I don’t expect to be like the Yankees,Red Sox or Cubs when it comes to payroll but doing things like the Cards is possible.

        Reply
  16. For a team that’s 99% out of the race, they are damn fun to watch. The players are coming together. The offense has just come alive.

    I worry that the young pitchers can hold up all season. Castillo has been shaky all year, same for romano. Mahle has been a beast but he’s young. Need to try to keep their innings down some. Maybe bring up Stephenson/Reed to give em a rest for a couple starts each, controversial tho it may be.

    The all Star break is coming none too soon for these kids, the young starters especially.

    Go Reds!

    Reply
    • Why limit them? All three of them should be in line for 190 innings or so.

      Castillo 169 IP
      Romano 136 last year 156 in 2016
      Mahle 164

      Reply
      • These are all young guys (Castillo, not as much). I’m just afraid they will wear down. I think it would be something to consider to give them a break for two/three starts each. The big 162 is a grind and this is the first time for Mahle and Romano.

        Reply
  17. The team will get better with internal improvements.
    I am not sold on keeping Harvey, even if he pitches well from now until the end of July. Stephenson is “ready” and Keury Mella is not that far away.
    I think the Reds should keep Scooter and move him to LF. Bring up Dilson Herrera and let him play 2nd the rest of the year, and see if he can develop any trade value; he has to be on the 25 man roster for 2019. Senzel plays 2nd next year. Jonathon India is, I think, the SS of the future.
    Trammel will emerge as the CF of the future. I am not so sold on Siri and Friedl as future outfileders in the ML.
    In the meantime, I would like to see Gabriel Guerrero play in the bigs as a CF.

    Reply
  18. Amed Rosario: Former #1 overall prospect in baseball, 72 WRC+
    Jose Peraza: Not former #1 overall prospect in baseball, 75 WRC+

    Peraza is a few months older and probably a little bit worse with the glove. If moving forward, they manage to get Senzel and Scooter in the lineup together and get Schebler some regular ABs in center and maybe replace Billy with a more serviceable hitting CF…then it’s OK to have Peraza batting 8th with a 70-90 WRC+. Remember, he just turned 24.

    He’s got a lot of time before he gets to his prime, and by the time he does, we’ll have Jeter Downs waiting in the wings.

    Reply
  19. After the turmoil in New York, Harvey is being stabilized in Cincinnati with the help of pitching coach Danny Darwin. If Harvey wants to stay and his agent agrees, then a 2-3 year extension would be good for the Reds and give the starting pitching staff an anchor it has not had since Cueto left.

    Reply
  20. Nick Senzel’s OPS in 231 minor league games: .904
    Jose Peraza’s OPS in 298 major league games: .661

    Quit trying to move Senzel into spots occupied by 2 of our 3 best hitters.
    Quit trying to send Senzel to the outfield, where his vertigo doesn’t need him diving after gappers and banging into walls.

    Have him fill our most glaring infield need.

    Reply
    • That would be my first choice, but evidently, Pat Kelley said he couldn’t play SS, so that is the final decision until the end of time (rolls eyes).

      There are vertigo-jarring plays at every position.

      Reply
      • Well Senzel is a done deal for this year. They need to focus on guys like Dilson and Stephenson. Tanner Rainey too. He’s holding AAA hitters to .140! If he shows any improvement at all with control then bring him up and groom him to a high leverage guy. Age is going to catch up with Hernandez and Hughes sooner then later. They’re both 33.

        Bottom line….the Reds have been winning lately and its fun, but does it really accomplish anything if they run out the same guys and win 76 instead of planning for the future and winning 72? Dilson and Stephenson can’t sit in the minors year after year after year?

        Reply
        • Listen to the man.We can discuss it to death but the same guys will produce the same results.Changes have to be made by concentrating on positions of need and do you have strengths you can deal from.

          Reply
  21. The Reds tok a flier on Harvey. The situation evolved and fell into their laps, but grabbed an opportunity, even if the chance of coming out of that opportunity with anything but a handfull of sand was remotely small. Devin Mesoraco was not going to start in Cincinnati and was not going to improve without regular playing time. Both Harvey and Mesoraco are FA after the 2018 season.

    I was not particularly fond of the transaction due to the financial aspects. The Mets got a possible starting C, something they needed badly and the Reds got a veteran starting pitcher with a 2+ season track record of ineffectiveness. If the swap had been straight up, it would have been a solid move by shifting Mesoraco’s $13MM salary for Harvey’s $5MM salary and giving Mesoraco a chance to play in his final season before FA, while the Reds obtained an $8MM cost benefit. That didn’t happen. The Reds agreed to the transaction chipping in in the cash to pay the difference in any cost savings. Both players had an injury history that had eneded many promising careers. There was simply no indication that Harvey would or could turn around his performance and the Reds were now paying $13MM for Harvey and the Mets were paying $5MM for Mesoraco. In addition, Mesoraco had a solid reputation as a player and teammate while Harvey brought a lot of baggage with his reputation. No, I was not a fan of the trade.

    Did the Reds see something other teams didn’t see in Harvey? Did the Reds simply take a flyer in an blind attempt to salvage something in the transaction? The $13MM was a sunk cost this season and with no regular playing time available for Mesoraco, there was zero chance of recovering anything at the trade deadline by retaining Mesoraco on the reds roster. The bottom line right now is the transaction was consumated and Harvey is now a starting pitcher for the Reds and the Reds are paying $13MM for Harvery’s services this season. The issue now becomes what can possibly be salvaged from that $13MM commitment.

    As recently as 2015, 3 seasons ago, Harvey was a star in MLB, but a star coming back from TJ surgery. Then after a very successful post-TJ surgery season in 2015, Harvey went down with Thoracic outlet syndrome to his pitching shoulder during the 2016 season and had an additional problem with his pitching shoulder during 2017. The 2016 season showed some promise, but the 2017 season was an unmitigated disaster. The early 2018 season was eqmarginally better, but a long way from being successful

    Reply
    • Dang clumsy fingers!!!

      The early 2018 season was equally disasterous. The Mets threw in the towel and the Reds bailed them out with a short term reclamation project more to their liking and needs.

      Then a funny thing happened after Danny Darwin got hold of Harvey and began working with him. After 6 starts unimpressive results, Harvey showed real improvement against real competition (Pirates, Cubs & Braves). Over those 3 games, he threw 17.2 IP giving up 15 H, 0 HR, 4 BB & 10 SO with 2.5 SO/BB, 2.0 BB/9 & 1.08 WHIP. He extended his innings per game, decreased his pitches and increased his strike % in each of those 3 games.

      At the trade deadline, Harvey will be a pure rental, but if he continues his current trend, he will become a valued rental as a starting pitcher and with command a good return value in trade.

      Reply
    • Welsh said last night that the Reds pitching coaches found a flaw in Harvey’s delivery and had been working on it with Harvey. The results are early but promising. Welsh said something to the effect that Harvey was opening up too much towards the first base dugout, I believe he said with his shoulder. Whatever it was, the fix has taken root and Harvey is locating his pitches much better.
      Harvey’s next 3 starts are going to be very crucial in seeing how he has progressed. Those 3 starts are before the all-star break on Sunday July 1 vs. MIL, Saturday July 7 at CHC, and Friday July 13 at STL. Three quality divisional opponents in the next 2 weeks will be a huge measuring stick of Harvey’s future worth to the Reds vs. his future worth on the trade market. Throw in last night’s game vs. ATL and that will be a 4 game stretch for Harvey against very good, quality opponents. The first test went well last night. The schedule looks like Harvey will have 2 starts after the all-star game and before the trade deadline. Reds are off on July 30 and have a game the night of the 31st. Looks like July 30 could be a busy day for the Reds front office.
      What will be interesting is what the rotation order will be coming out of the all-star break. If Harvey is #1, he will be pitching the night of July 31, if still with the Reds. I think the deadline hour is 4:00PM or 5:00PM and not midnight on the 31st. I don’t see Harvey as an August trade, as a team will surely pick him up off of the required waiver wire trip.

      Reply
  22. CJ posed the question above about trade or extend on Harvey and Scooter.

    On Scooter, I lean trade simply because we have depth at that position with Herrea now and Senzel later. If you can move him to fill or shore up a weaker area of the team, it could be helpful.

    On Harvey, I am more at 50-50 since, since who takes his place. Bailey may be done (sadly), Finnigan has been moved to the pen in AAA, Reed is still having issues. Stephenson or Garrett might be good options is the former can show control and the second health. That all being said, if the reds get good offers for Harvey from a desparate team, then trade him. No one bites, a short term extention (2 yrs) would not be detrimental in the long run even if he regresses. He woudl only be 30 at the end of it and could still take home a big free agent deal if the next couple were pretty good.

    Reply
    • Harvey is 29 now. A 2 year contract would cover his age 30 and 31 seasons. He would be 32 when he signed his next FA contract. That’s a big difference when seeking a FA starting pitcher contract.

      Reply
      • Yes, definitely. I think Boras will be seeking a minimum of 4 years for Harvey. The length is what the Reds won’t find compatible, and probably the total $$$ too.

        Reply
      • If he is pitching well this is his chance for a big pay day. I don’t see Boras and Harvey taking a two year deal unless it is for a high AAV. He would probably be more open to a contract with opt out options every couple of years.

        Reply
  23. No team is going to give him anything more than a 2 year deal, and at that most likely incentive laden. He may decide to take a one year extension to build value for a bigger, long term deal after another whole season (2019.) I would like to see the Reds approach him for that time-frame, even at a higher cost. With dependable, effective starting pitching this is a playoff team next year. And, there is no quality SP depth to speak of. Just potential, and with many of them it is aging out from potential to bust.

    I wish I didn’t like Scooter as much as I do, but they probably need to trade either he or Winker (LF), Duvall or Hamilton for SP’s. Scooter makes the most sense to trade – D, cost, position – but it has to net quality, or no deal! Stock up on quality SP’s…..I think the O and bullpen is good enough for playoffs right now.

    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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