The Short Version: Jose Peraza and Scooter Gennett were the big bats, and the Reds bullpen turned in a magnificent performance to give the Cincinnati Reds their ninth win in ten games.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (34-46) 6 11 1
Atlanta Braves (45-34) 5 7 1
W: Stephens (2-0) L: Freeman (2-4) S: Iglesias (15)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Jose Peraza homered and tripled, scoring two runs in the process. Scooter Gennett doubled, singled, scored a run and drove in another. Scott Schebler singled, walked, and scored a run in the leadoff spot. Curt Casali was 2 for 4, and is now hitting .407/.448/.630 as a Red.

–The Reds bullpen did a magnificent job, tossing five innings of one-hit, shutout baseball, giving the Reds a shot at coming back from a 5-3 deficit. Kyle Crockett, Jackson Stevens, David Hernandez, Jared Hughes, and Raisel Iglesias were all pretty good today.

–Michael Lorenzen pinch hit and drew a walk.

The Bad
–Luis Castillo retired the first 14 11 batters he faced — that’s the good part. He then issued an 11-pitch walk to Freddie Freeman in the fourth inning, and the wheels fell off. Shortly thereafter, I received this text:

Castillo gave up four runs in the fourth and one in the fifth before he was sent to the showers. Another promising start that blew up in his face. Castillo’s final line: 4 innings, five runs allowed (four earned) on six hits and one walk, with four strikeouts.

–Peraza misplayed a fifth inning ground ball with the bases loaded that permitted a run to score (rather than ending the inning).

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’s nine wins in ten games for the ol’ Redlegs, and 12 wins out of their last 15. This team is on a roll, and it’s kinda fun, eh?

–Home plate umpire Carlos Torres ejected Joey Votto in the top of the first, after Torres made a very questionable strike three call and Votto expressed his displeasure. It’s the eighth time Votto has been ejected in his career.

–The Reds got on the board first, in the top of the second inning. Adam Duvall walked with one out and Curt Casali singled him to third. One out later, Billy Hamilton singled Duvall home with the game’s first run. The next inning, Peraza doubled the lead with a leadoff home run to left.

–After Castillo’s meltdown, the Reds were behind 4-2. They grabbed one of those runs back in the fifth when Peraza tripled and was brought home by Brandon Dixon’s single to center field.

–Cincinnati was down 5-3 in the seventh when the bats started rolling again. Schebler led off the inning with a walk, but Peraza and pinch-hitter Alex Blandino struck out. With two outs, the Reds collected four straight singles — from Eugenio Suarez, Scooter, Duvall, and Casali — and grabbed a 6-5 lead that they would not surrender.

–Kyle Crockett — a former University of Virginia Cavalier, by the way — has been nearly perfect since joining the Reds. Even though he still looks like he’s twelve years old.

–Let it be known that the Reds are only the third-worst team in the National League at this point.

–The Reds are only 13 games out of first place. With first place Milwaukee coming into town for a four-game series beginning on Thursday, the Reds have a chance to climb right back into this division race. (If you’re wanting to look at this thing optimistically.)

Playoffs here we come!

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! 68 Comments

  1. You mean Suarez misplayed a ball that he shouldn’t have been anywhere near in the first place.

  2. Strike1 to Joey was also very “questionable”.

    If this team is within 9 games by the ASG, I’ll be flabbergasted.

    It’s great to see our lineup grinding nearly every AB. It takes such a toll on the opposing pitchers. I’m used to our pitchers getting that treatment. It’s nice being on the other side.

    I think it might be time to start practicing our throw ins from the OF. They’ve been very bad.

    • One of the Braves TV guys made the same observation about the throws from the outfield. Said nobody practices throws any more, kind of interesting.

  3. I mentioned the other day, if the Reds can get with 10 games or less of 1st place by the AS break, anything can happen. Now others are on the train. Big series with the Brew-crew will determine a lot.

  4. Castillo retired the first 11 batters, not 14

  5. At this time, you have to hand it to the players, who kept trying even when things were pretty bad.

    The biggest change has been the starting pitching has gotten better. Other things have helped, but the starting pitching has given them a chance to win games. Regardless of who plays where, if the Reds get quality starts from their rotation, they have a chance to win.

    I hope they have a great showing this weekend, and a lot of fans watching them play the 1st place Brewers.

  6. I’m just happy that for now at least the games are interesting and fun to follow again.

    Scooter is playing them into a real conundrum. If he keeps this up, it will have to be a legitimate blockbuster of deal to trade him with a season and a third of remaining team control or even just a full season if they wait until the off season.

    They really need to find out if Scooter or Senzel can play corner OF and also get an idea of what it would take to extend Scooter. And what about Dilson Herrera in this same mix? Nice to think the Reds may be looking at a surplus of talent at even 1 position. Question is does the front office know how to handle the situation to maximize the Reds position?

  7. The Reds are only 9 games out of the Wild Card, just saying. Though realistically we’ll have to wait and see where they are at the all star break, there are a lot of tough games between now and then. But hey it’s baseball anything can happen.

  8. Don’t exactly understand how a 2 out ,2 run , opposite field single that puts the Reds ahead to stay in this ballgame doesn’t qualify under the good category. I guess it was just overlooked.

  9. This team was a Joey Got to error away from a sweep and a 10 game winning streak

    • Votto…..dang spell check

      • Good teams occasionally lose extra-inning ballgames on the road. Really good teams come back the next day & come from behind to win the game/series. Baseball is a 2 out of 3 ain’t bad proposition.

  10. Put Amir Garrett on the DL. The Reds need Rainey now…This train needs to keep rolling. Garrett has a bone bruise. That’s not gonna get better tomorrow and the Reds need bullpen reinforcements tomorrow. Act now DW. This team needs 25 guys ready to go.

    • Rainey is an All Star at the AAA level , but in the MLB he is a meatball pitcher. Bat meets the ball and goes over the fence. Bring in Robert Stevenson or Cody Reed to pitch out the bullpen.

      • You may be correct. I just don’t see how Garrett can pitch effectively the next few days and Brice and Finnegan and Peralta aren’t ready to get outs against the Brewers and Cards. The Reds need a new arm in the bullpen now. Giving Rainey a 10 day tryout seems a reasonable option with a bullpen that is suddenly being stretched thin.

        • Yes on needing the additional arm. But why not Finnegan. He’s done relief on the world’s biggest baseball stage and besides should be full of vinegar over what’s gone down. Perfect spot for a 10 day tryout for him.

          • He can be that guy, just not sure now is the right timing. He gave up 7+ runs a few days ago. I am hoping Finnegan is Norm Charlton part 2 very soon!!!!

        • Fair enough

        • I believe he’s had a couple “10 day tryouts”. Which explains his present location.

  11. Mr Votto has a better eye than every umpire in the League. I suggest that when he bats, umpires politely ask him after each pitch whether it was a ball or strike. He’d be honest and the game would be called better.

  12. From the game thread today by Old-school…

    No one is untouchable.
    But Scooter Gennett and Raisel Iglesias have very very very high price tags. Both are All stars.

    That sums up the situation succinctly. The Reds have a surplus of what virtually every contending team wants, superior relief pitching and a middle of the order run producer. They may also have another prime commodity, a front line starting pitcher. The Yankees created a top minor league system from virtually nothing by selling high on unnecessary and replaceable assets. The Reds should take the same approach to the approaching trade deadline and the coming off season. Under no circumstances should the Reds feel obligated to trade for less than full value, but they should be open to trading for value.

    • I agree, but then people can’t complain and say they waited too long to trade their players, because there’s a good chance teams won’t be willing to pay that premium and the truth is that we will never know what they got offered if they hold on to them.

    • i agree

  13. It’s amazing that after the first two months of his season the Reds are 12 games under .500. What a great five inning scoreless performance by the bullpen. The Reds, at the near halfway point of the season, are like a company in the wings ready to go on stage to strut their stuff. A big series coming up against the Reds nemesis, the Brew Crew.

  14. Without Senzel or Dilson up in the lineup I cannot overstate Perazas importance as an offensive performer. I believe a buzz saw for this offense is the LH starter with a slider, and Eugenio and Duvall are not quite enough. Peraza really provides balance to the lineup and keeps managers honest with LOOGYs and rearranging LH starters on off days to kill us.

  15. Castillo ran into trouble when he had to pitch from the stretch. His fastballs seem to lay flat and not drop from the stretch. Schebler has turned into a fine lead off hitter. Is Peraza turning the corner? He is having a nice month and looks more relaxed at the plate. Time will tell.

  16. I heard Jim Bowden on XM radio today. He said that he talked with John Farrell and said that he was told that there was no way they were dealing Scooter Gennett.

    It’s Jim Bowden, so take that for what it’s worth….but what reason would he have to make something like that up?

    Don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger.

    • It could be true, the Reds should know exactly what his price is and if they are willing to pay it . It could also be what they want other teams to think to drive up the price. It probably puts them at a disadvantage if they look like they are trying to get rid of Gennett.

    • Now is the time for the Reds to find out what it would take to keep Gennett both in $$ and term. I’m not up to speed on money; but, I wouldn’t go past 4 years and a team option on a 5th counting next season.

      Given how Gennett is playing, the Reds can’t really get burned on a contract of that length unless they go stupid crazy on the $$$ side because there will be somebody that would take the contract if the Reds decided to move it since Gennett would be only 32 when base contract finished.

      So, go on and sign him and then if they don’t have a place to play him later on; move him. The more control they have left, the more he would bring in return so long as he is performing offensively which should not be that big of risk by age 32 unless hen gets hurt.

      If Gennett isn’t interested in that kind of term or they can’t get together on money then move him at the deadline or the off season at then latest.

    • If that is so, then either he or Senzel has to move to the OF.

      • I agree assuming Senzel isn’t at SS.

        Reds shouldn’t even close their minds to the possibility that 2-3 years from now their best 8 man team could feature Senzel and Scooter on the OFcorners and Trammell in CF with Shed Long or Dilson Herrera at 2B. Or, shuffle the chairs a little differently and bring Senzel or Gennett in to 2B and put somebody else from within or outside of the group I’ve mentioned at a corner spot. Where things could really get dicey is if Trammell needs to be a corner guy.

        Alternately Winker or Schebler could stick and somebody else go, The thing the Reds need to get away from is the pervasive sense of entitlement that a guy who happens to get there first and performs decently holds his spot until he leaves team control even if the team might be better served by displacing the guy. For lack of a better term, I call this the “we’ve got jack for that” syndrome. We talk about the Cardinal way; movable and removable pieces are a cornerstone of it.

        • I agree. I am in favor of trading Scooter if the return is a legit starting pitcher. No team in contention is going to trade a member of their rotation, so it is likely going to be someone trying to break through in Class AAA. Trading him just to trade him to make room for someone in the minors is a poor idea. I remember when the Reds traded Tony Perez away because they felt it was time for Dan Driessen to take over at first base. They got a lefthanded starter, Woody Fryman, and a righthanded reliever, Dale Murray, Both were big disappointments.

          Not to say that Gennett compares to Perez, but Gennett is currently one of the top hitters in the bigs. He is 26th in WAR at 3.05, ahead of Nolan Arenado, Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez. Think any of those guys is getting traded?

          • Not for a wish and prayer to open a spot for somebody who hasn’t seen a day of MLB play (and in Senzel’s case has a legitimate long term health question with the vertigo episodes).

            Key to understand that the correct extension could actually enhance Scooter’s value while giving the Reds time to get the ducks in the right order because it would be movable down the line, not a potential future millstone like Votto’s or Phillips’ last contract.

          • Also Tom interesting you would mention Tony Perez. Because he fits the underlying discussion. Not sure how much younger than I you are or whether you know the “whole story” but in case you don’t…

            The Reds lived with Perez’s shaky D at 3B to keep both he and Lee May on the field at the same time for 5 years or so. Perez was actually a 4 time All Star and had his highest MVP finish (#3) as a 3B. Perez moved to 1B in 1972 after May was part of the trade that brought Joe Morgan to the Reds.

            Then when Driessen came up, they tried the same strategy with him at 3B and RF in 1973-74 but he couldn’t cut it plus there were guys like Foster and Griffey Sr. pushing for spots. DD was #3 in ROY in ’73 operating in this setup and was the primary 3B in ’74.

            Imagine if DD had been a decent 3B and it would have come down to an aging Pete Rose or him to play 3B in order to open LF for Foster. Wonder what decision Howsam would have made and whether history would have been different.

          • Jim, I started following the Reds on a daily basis in ’73 — pretty good time to start. 🙂

          • Yes! The saying is one in hand is worth two in the bush, but what about hitters who crush RH MLB pitching? Prolly like 1 in hand is worth 6 in the bush.

            Would those advocating for a trade accept a top 25 prospect the likes of Brandon Larson or Austin Kearns or Drew Stubbs in a trade? Odds are that’s what we would get. Eugenio Suarez is the ultra rare exception.

  17. It’s good to be able to read “surging Reds” without a hint of irony. Could the Reds really be going?

  18. Duvall on pace for 93 rbis as a 4th outfielder. Not bad! He’s a good ballplayer. I’m watching the replay now and enjoyed his 1st to 3rd on Casali’s single. He drew a walk and ended up scoring. He’s a good hitter vs lefties! They really need to keep him unless someone offers something big. They’re slanted so heavily with lefty hitters! Jackson Stephens even pitching in….a 4.08 era isn’t that bad. I would’ve guessed it was much higher! Overall….I don’t see where this team is missing alot? Tradeable guys in my world would be Billy, Dilson, or Hernandez or Hughes. They’re all running pretty well right now. Pickup a right-handed outfielder or a guy that might be a decent 4th starter or something? Maybe a solid arm in the pen?

    When you have the batting average leader, rbi leader, and obp leader and they’re 3 different guys then you have a solid nucleus to build around offensively. They’re not getting a lights out free agent pitcher, but try to copy off the Royals formula of decent starting pitching and a solid pen. They won’t quite have the KC pen matched but they should have better offense! 2019 could be interesting?

    • Indy, this next series against the Brewers is going to be very interesting. If they take three of four, that would be three straight series against first-place teams they would have won. It would be hard to dismiss that as a fluke. This is not to say they’re going to win anything this year, but they sure look like a team that could next year.

      This kind of goes into the DUH! category, but they’re making big plays and pitches at big moments when they weren’t in April. How about Jackson Stephens today? He should have been out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam with no damage, if not for an error by Suarez. They look like a good team that gets hits and whose pitchers get hitters out at important points in the game.

      What they’re missing now is starting pitching depth, and you might see them deal from the surplus in the bullpen or second base to get it. I don’t think there will be a flurry of trades — maybe one or two.

      Another possible swap would be for a starting outfielder to send weak-hitting defensive wizards Hamilton and Duvall to the bench.

      • I wonder if Duvall is going to have his reverse season this year? Start off bad and get hot rather then the other way around. He’s hitting the ball well the other way and thats a key for him.

        Hamilton is the one guy that needs to go. Tucker can reach 10 HRs, but you just can’t have 3-4 spots in the lineup that can’t reach the seats in a bandbox! Its not the right fit to get the most out of him. Harvey is a tough one? The better he pitches….the more likely he’s getting traded. If he’s a 6 ip- 3 er guy then do the Reds want him and how much?

        I agree with you….don’t see them doing much. You’re going to trade the NL batting leader…who’s a clubhouse favorite and local boy? You’re going to trade Iggy and count on two 34 yr old relievers next year? Both of those guys are not this good. Just look at their career numbers.

        I’d deal Iggy for a decent starter but thats about it. Harvey, Billy, Dilson, and the H&H twins out of the pen are my trade bait.

    • Agree that at least until Senzel is playing everyday at MLB, the Reds are short RH power and too LH without Duvall in the lineup; and, I don’t see it coming from anybody else in the current group or immediate future except Senzel.

  19. Scouts from LAD, CLE, ARZ, BOS, and MIL in to watch the Louisville Bats game to see Dilson Herrera hit 2 HR’s tonight. Ervin also had 2 HR’s. They weren’t there to see pitching.
    The plot thickens.

    • I certainly hope any scouts in to watch the game were only interested in hitting and not pitching.

      Lopez 3.2 IP w/ 6-ER, 5-H, 3-BB, 2-HR & 6-SO
      Finnegan 1.0 IP w/ 2-ER, 2-H & 1-HR
      Peralta 0.2 IP w/ 1-ER, 1-H & 3-BB

    • I wish the best for the player whatever and wherever that may be; but it verges on unjustifiable neglect if Herrera is moved for a bag of balls without the Reds ever seeing fit to take a look at him at the MLB level.

      I guess we got Scooter for that or Nick or Shed but then Scooter could be gone by the end of next season. We don’t know for sure about Nick’s vertigo and Shed has never played above AA; but of course if Herrera is that would open a spot for Shed to be promoted to AAA. End of rant.

      • Above should be> If Herrera is moved…….

        • Jim, I’m with you. It’s my belief that Dick Williams won’t just trade to trade. If someone wants Dilson Herrera, they’ll have to give up something of value to the big league club either immediately or in the very short term.

  20. The Brew Crew series will mark the midpoint of the season.

    2017 Jesse Winker:
    137 PA => .298/.375/.529/.904

    June 2018 Jesse Winker:
    82 PA => .313/.432/.507/.940

    Not trying to cherry pick, but during April when Winker was getting on base at a .414 clip, no one was hitting effectively behind him so he wasn’t scoring. During May, everyone was hitting effectively behind him but Winker tanked so he wasn’t scoring. In June Winker is again getting on base but he’s hitting down in the lineup so he’s not scoring. Maybe it’s time to try this again.

    Schebler has excelled at the top of the lineup. Despite hitting LH, he has no platoon split and even provides a reverse platoon split over the past two seasons. This can be a significant positive factor in the Reds decidedly LH-hitting lineup. The Brew Crew series will mark the midpoint of the season.

    The top 5 in the lineup:

    OBP/OPS
    .379/.758 Jesse Winker
    .355/.839 Scott Schebler
    .434/.892 Joey Votto
    .388/.955 Eugenio Suarez
    .375/.909 Scooter Gennett

    The bottom 4 in the lineup:

    OBP/OPS
    .346/.727 Tucker Barnhart
    .313/.668 Jose Peraza
    Pitcher
    .297/.597 Billy Hamilton

    or

    OBP/OPS
    .346/.727 Tucker Barnhart
    .286/.691 Adam Duvall
    .313/.668 Jose Peraza
    Pitcher

  21. Finnegan had 1 inning out of the bullpen for Louisville. Gave up a 2 run HR.
    Bailey has a rehab start Thursday night.
    Rainey got the win and Quack got a 4 out save. Both are pitching well.

  22. Only 9 GB from the 2nd wild card spot…

    “Do you believe in miracles?!” (Al Michaels)

  23. Wonder what’s the issue with Castillo as he suddenly looses command on the pitches just like that. A key series ahead against the Brew Crew this weekend, won’t miss it, I hope they’ll make a couple of roster moves to tank the bullpen as it’s been highly dependendent on Hernandez, Hughes and Iglesias with Garrett sidelined.

  24. And Blandino looked at another called strike three for what it’s worth

    • Maybe Blandino is the guy who should be swapped down to get a look at Dilson Herrera? Suarez could cover SS in an emergency till Blandino was recalled or to give Peraza a day off. Herrera has played some 3B s well as 2B at AAA. It should work out just fine in terms of coverage.

    • I like Blandino a lot, but he does seem to be struggling with the MLB strike zone the umpires are using against him. Some positive PA at AAA might be a good thing to rejuvenate his confidence for another run at MLB later this season. Regular playing time at SS wouldn’t hurt either.

  25. In relation to the trade Scooter replace Peraza arguments. Brandon Phillips signed with the Red Sox on a minor league deal and Zach Cozart is out for the season to have shoulder surgery for a torn labrum.

  26. Harvey and Dilson to the Yankees for OF-Clint Frazier and whatever. Frazier is blocked and Neil Walker is hitting .185. Bird is hitting .191. Something like that makes sense.

    • Harvey back to New York City… I love it.

    • I am with you on the Clint Frazier bandwagon. Full steam ahead.
      You know, Duvall could play a respectful 1B for the Yankees. I don’t think the Yankees would be interested in Dilson though with Torres and Andujar. But a resurgent Harvey going back to NY and with the Yankees would be something to see. The groaning and moaning that would be coming out of Queens would be epic. Mets fans are already in crybaby mode.
      Now, we just have to get Dilson and Hernandez traded to Cleveland. Herrera added to Jose Ramirez for the Indians might end up a godsend for Cleveland. But they have to pay up with McKenzie or The Beebs.
      And Iglesias + 1 to Houston. Absolutely have to target CF Kyle Tucker and LHP Cionel Perez.
      And the rebuild will be rejuvenated with sights squarely set on 2019.
      Frazier, Tucker, McKenzie and Perez. I hope this is what Dick Williams has in mind by stating he wants to start building up and adding.
      Addition through subtraction.

      • If you think the Yankees are trading Frazier for Harvey and Duvall then you don’t have a clue. As soon as Gardner is gone Frazier takes his spot. And just because Harvey has had 2 good games in 2 years warrants nothing. Yankees would trade for Happ before him.

    • Who is blocking Frazier?

  27. Agree completely with that text about someone needing to have gone out to talk to Castillo as the meltdown was unfolding. I sure hope it wasn’t based on being precious with mound visits. As we well know, sometimes the most pivotal moments in the game occur early, it makes no sense to “save in case of emergency.”

    Tucker might have done something differently, we don’t know. From the dugout perspective, maybe they were just thinking “he’s been so good, he’ll stop it on his own and learn.” I can understand that thinking, but not agree with it… they have to be aware of the tendency Castillo and Romano have had of just blowing up. Ohio Jim warned against this very thing in the game thread just before it happened.

  28. Find myself worried a bit about the Brewers series…. there’s just something about how these teams match up. Aguilar is hitting like a monster, Braun kills in GABP, and we all know what Thames has done. And their pitching has been surprisingly good…. first place in the NL in fewest runs allowed.

    Getting a win from Disco’s start is a must.

    • Its been fun, but I’m not getting carried away. They followed up the 6 game winning streak earlier by dropping 16 of 24. Milwaukee is tough and then they end the first “half” with 9 at the Cubs, Indians, and Cards.

      If they didn’t feel forced to throw out Homer and Finnegan out there (1-16 in their starts) then it would be a much different story? As it is…they need to experiment and give guys like Dilson and BobSteve an extended look! Or they could get 12 hits from Scooter and 5 HRs from Duvall and Lorenzen and sweep the Brewers:)

      • Yeah, I don’t mean to think about them as being uber competitive. I’d be pretty happy with a 2-2 split this weekend. Just want to see the good times keep rolling, but the Brewers are a tough team to do that against for them. Mostly I don’t want to see what you just pointed out– a stretch of fun followed by a horrible slide again.

Comments are closed.

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.

Category

2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

Tags

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