No four-game sweep for the Reds this series. The back part of the Brewers bullpen is tough and the Reds didn’t even face Josh Hader. Eric Thames hits a lot of home runs against the Reds. The Reds are 1-6 against Milwaukee this year. 

Worth noting: The Reds have played 81 games. They’ve reached the half-way point of the season. If you double their record, it would be 68-94, identical to the last two seasons. The front office must not lose its nerve at the trade deadline. They have to stay focused on next year(s), not this one. 

Cincinnati Reds 4 (34-47) • Milwaukee Brewers 6 (47-33)

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

Anthony DeSclafani made his fifth start of the season tonight. He pitched pretty well overall. Jim Riggleman left DeSclafani in to pitch the seventh inning, which was a mistake. Entering the 7th, the Reds were ahead 4-2. After recording an out, DeSclafani gave up his only walk of the game and a line drive single to center before being pulled by Riggleman. Amir Garrett, making his first appearance since getting hit on the leg by a line drive, retired the first batter but then surrendered a long home run to Reds Killer Eric Thames. It was the third home run in four at bats Thames has against Garrett. 

The score was 5-4 and DeSclafani was charged with the two runs that scored with Garrett pitching. DeSclafani struck out six in 6.1 innings.

Dylan Floro was called to pitch the 8th and 9th. Floro has been surprisingly good. You have to wonder about Riggleman using him in such a close game against the first-place Brewers for two innings. In the 9th, Floro gave up a double, balked the runner to third, and allowed a sacrifice fly scoring a big insurance run for the  Brewers. I can’t understand why old-school managers use the bottom of the bullpen in games where the club is behind by just one run and the best part of the bullpen in games the team is ahead by three runs. 

Jose Peraza greeted Brewers starter Junior Guerra with a 419-foot home run on the third pitch of the first inning. Peraza had another hit and a walk. Eugenio Suarez had two doubles. Jesse Winker had an opposite field home run, single and walk. Pretty good for the odd-man out, no-power rookie. Billy Hamilton had two singles. 

The outfield rotation produced a game where Scott Schebler, who has been ultra hot since batting leadoff, sat the bench in the first game of a big series. Winker and Schebler should play every game. Schebler pinch hit to lead off the 9th and struck out on an 8-pitch at bat. 

It’s like Riggleman gets paid by the stupid sacrifice bunt. 

Early in the game, Joey Votto was showing his displeasure with a called strike by the home plate umpire. For some reason, Brewers catcher Erik Kratz decided to get in Votto’s face over it. Benches and bullpens cleared. It was much ado about nothing. The dust up did provoke a little Redleg Nation author commentary. 

Matt Harvey Trade Market At least one person with a keyboard thinks Matt Harvey has done enough with the Reds to become a viable trade chip. I hope that’s right. Harvey’s two most recent starts have been good. They follow several that were not. His FIP with the Reds is still 4.58. My feeling is he still has work to do before the deadline to be an attractive target. 

Nick Senzel Surgery Result Nick Senzel had surgery on his fractured finger today in New York. The non-injury to the tendon sounds like good news.

Homer Bailey Rehab Start Bailey pitched for AAA Louisville against the Mud Hens of Toledo. He completed 7 innings and threw 100 pitches, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and no walks. Bailey struck out 3. 

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

Join the conversation! 62 Comments

  1. Only a dimwit would pitch to Eric Thames with any one on base,if I know Thames own reds Riggleman should,no excuse

  2. Several people at Redleg Nation have compared Winker to Will Clark. Actually, Winker reminds me more of the Cub first baseman Mark Grace. I used to love watching Grace hit. A very tough out. I can see Winker, if given the opportunity, having a similar career.

    • Very apt comparison. I know what you mean

    • Don’t really see many lefties with smooth sweet swings like Clark, Carew, Griffey Jr & Grace in today’s game. Winkler, Yelich, Cano, Brantley in CLE, and the Soto kid in WAS are the few that I can think of. Seems like most hitters have hitches or too many timing mechanisms in their swings.

    • Winker reminds me of Mike Greenwell, Red Sox, LF.

  3. Listen, I live all the way out in Wyoming. Yeah, Wyoming. So I can’t do anything about Thames. But, SOMEBODY who actually attends Reds games needs to get in this guy’s head. Find something out about him and start riding him while he’s on deck, for God’s sake. What kind of fans are you local guys?

    • It looked to me on the replay like Thames was flat out sitting on that pitch. Very poor choice or very poor execution. I’d guess some of both. Poor choice to try and go back to the spot they had just missed twice and poor execution for the pitch to end up where it did.

  4. Two things that relate to the Reds that the Brewers do/did tonight:

    1) This game was proof of the benefit of putting a truly dangerous hitter in the leadoff spot. Never know when the #1 spot is going to get one more at-bat, in an inning or a game.

    Garrett certainly has a better chance of getting out of the inning if that’s a speedster hitting leadoff, like Broxton or Arcia.

    2) Not mentioned in recap….the awful misplay Thames had in RF early in the game.

    Anything worse than -15 is considered awful in UZR defensive rating
    Thames last year in OF (hasn’t played OF much this year) …. -21.9
    Yelich UZR/150 games in OF this season … 3.8 (just slightly above average)

    The point? The Brewers play in a HR-friendly park and are on pace to win the division and 95 games. They seem to value 3-run HRs much more than whether an OF plays great defense.

    Dead right, Steve. This team desperately needs to move some guys before season’s end.

  5. Jose Peraza has really turned around his season, and it’s starting to look like he is more than just a placeholder at SS. He still shouldn’t be batting leadoff, but he has made some incremental changes at the plate and it’s exactly what you want to see from a 24 old who was rushed to the majors.

    • I think he’s a great number seven hitter, particularly if the pitcher is batting eighth. If he continues to improve, maybe next year he can moveup in the order.

      I am impressed With his improvement this year.

      Also, I have yet to see this “problem” with line drives. On the other hand Some of these defensive shifts seem to show a communication problem between him and the third baseman.

      • I like how Peraza seems to be turning the corner. You were mostly the only one showing support for him, and deserve the credit if he continues to improve. *high five*

        I have seen him drop 3 line drives this year and 3 last year (some while he was playing 2nd base). He may never drop another one, which is OK by me. but it doesn’t change the fact the he’s dropped 6 (that I have witnessed) in less than two years. It shouldn’t be a “problem” because well I don’t recall ever seeing another infielder ever drop one, let alone six. Just because you didn’t see it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

  6. I feel frustrated by the outcome; I’m trying to tell myself that is a step in the right direction from “well, they’ve done it again” which is where I was at until several weeks ago.

  7. No, seen enough of Riggleman, definitely he isn’t the manager of the future, too many poor decisions in such a few games. This one had to be won and he gave it away.

    • So letting your best LH pitcher (anywhere in the organization, starter or reliever) pitch to Thames in a season of sorting, on a team going nowhere fast, was a bad call?

      Maybe Amir was told to stay off that side of the plate and misfired, a learning experience for him, and now his manager knows he’s not ready to pitch around a guy.

      Or maybe now we know nothing new. But Amir learned something about himself.

      Riggleman had his best match up against that guy in the highest leverage situation of the game. And you want him to IBB him?

  8. We need to get to a point where Homer Bailey is no longer a topic of conversation.

    • Unfortunately I don’t think this is going to happen any time soon because even if they DFAed Homer today, he’s still due the remaining balance on $21M for this year, $23M for 2019 and $5M buyout for 2020. That’s going to keep tongues wagging for quite a while.

      He’s actually making the same annual salary as Cueto this year and more than JC next; and I don’t believe JC is pitching at all right now (elbow). BTW JC is on the Giants books for full salary ($22M) in 2021 and has the same $5M buyout as Bailey against 2022. And Cueto isn’t pitching now either because of elbow issues…….

      It’s just how the game works.

      • JC pitched 3 2/3 rehab start gave up one hit. After another rehab start if all is well JC joins MadBum in leading SF to the promised land.

        JC in his five starts this year prior to injury an ERA sub 1.00 and a WHIP below 1.

        JC has always been a superior pitcher to Homer and that will continue for the next three years. If the Reds had made a serious play to keep Cueto for the remainder of his career perhaps JC would be remembered as the best Reds pitcher ever.

        • I know it has been brought up before, but at the time Bailey had been pitching well, including two no hitters and Cueto, while better, had injury concerns. Cueto has also missed significant time to injuries with the Giants. With the luxury of looking back we can say it was a bad decision. At the time it didn’t look that bad. Many questioned the AAV, but not many were predicting Bailey would be sitting on the DL and in the minors for the entire time. Leake was a guy I thought could have been extended for a reasonable price. He wouldn’t have been a Cy Young winner and didn’t seem to carry the injury risk of the others. Really the Reds needed to extend all three of them, but could only choose one. Unfortunately they chose wrong

          • A big step on the Reds road to perdition was not manning up that retaining Cueto was a pipe dream and instead going on and extending Mike Leake in the fall of 2014 when he was virtually begging for an offer to sign.

      • I’m tired of tongues wagging. It is what it is, let the man work on coming back. Wishing HB the very best.

    • Bailey should no longer be a part of the final phase of the rebuild. Inserting him in the mix just takes time from young pitchers who should be vetted as possible starters. Just pay him what he’s owed and let him go.

  9. Stop pitching to Thames. There. I’m instantly a better mgr than Price or Riggleman.

    • Or, at the very least, make him chase. Don’t give him anything in the heart of the plate to hit.

      • Or, at the very least, put it in his rib cage. At least 3 runs don’t score and you make someone else beat you for a change

  10. Outside Corner with offspeed stuff and only offer the heat shoulder high!

    The guy is a sub .250 hitter and the only situation where he is truly dangerous is the one where Riggleman made him so last night.

  11. On the bench clearing non-incident, Votto may have said something to the umpire about Kratz framing pitches, to which Kratz may have objected.

    • Votto explained it

      “We were discussing the Canadian dollar and flawed systems in our two governments. He was coming from a different side of it, and we were just discussing those kinds of things.”

  12. The GIF of Thames’s HR shows that Barnhart was set up well outside the strike zone. I’m pretty sure Tucker (and Darwin and Rig) wanted nothing to do with Thames. So either Garrett executed extremely poorly or he thought he could muscle up the big guy.

    Either way, that loss is on Garrett.

    • And AG manned up to it post game in no uncertain terms. Disco also put blame on himself for the cheap walk that started the entire sequence. Refreshing and encouraging on both parts.

  13. Amire threw him 95 in his sweet spot and he didn’t miss it.Slider may have been better but hindsight you know.Bunting Tucker in the 7th was just dumb which most bunts are just that.Giving away outs to play for one run in the 7th inning after just giving up the lead makes no sense with your number 2 hitter up.Yeah I know he may hit in to a double play but the answer is not to bunt the answer is Tucker should hit 7th on this team.Scott should play every day period.His stats say so.Lots of blame to go round.Votto and Scooter didn’t help offensively but all in all Garrett has been dominate in just that same situation so we take the loss and swallow hard and move on.By all means we should not lose sight of who we are as a team right now and do what’s needed at the deadline to prepare for next year.One last thing Peraza should hit in the 2 hole right now and he homered for the second straight game and drew a walk but he did swing at the first pitch after Billy got on.Don’t know about him but his homer was a bomb so I guess he has became Billy and lets see if he can turn the corner.I hate what I just said but well we know what the Reds will do with him.

  14. Begrudgingly Peraza gets a “Thatta Boy”. He could have a Scooter night and only draw an average review similar for a Votto or Winker.

    I like Peraza, always have. It is my feeling Senzel will be learning outfield in the off season, assuming he can hit MLB pitching.

    • You’re right. It’s that old “give a dog a bad name… “ trope.

      He can hit all right. He’s just 24 years old.

      He was playing For a poor manager until Price was fired. It’s taking him and Suarez some time to figure out how best to play with each other. He’s got a second baseman who throws unconventionally because of a sore shoulder.

      He’s a fine fielder and will get better.

      I’m not fond of her spit swinging in general but I still tell people to “use two hands!” When they’re catching pop ups. It takes a while to teach this old dog new tricks. My biggest problem with the first pick swinging is it didn’t give Billy a chance to steal second

      • “Her spit swinging” = First pitch swinging

        “First pick swinging” = first pitch swinging

        • “Her spit swinging” sounds like something for a very different kind of blog! 🙂

          • I just thought he was talking about a family members rec/little league habit. ala David Ortiz.

      • He can hit, really needs to be quantified. His game is to make contact and use his speed. He is probably never going to hit a lot of HRs, but he might hit for a decent average. His weakness is his plate discipline which could still be improved on. As stated before the Reds can live with his performance if the OF performance is improved. You have four guys over .800 OPS (3 in the IF), Winker getting close to .800 OPS, Barnhart in the low low .700s, Then you have three guys below .700 Peraza, Duvall, and Hamilton (.608). Right now there is no better option at SS so he plays until someone better comes along. If there is only one improvement I would suggest starting with CF. Either Schebler takes CF and someone moves to RF or acquire a CF. However Peraza is the next place to look for improvement. If management changes its mind about Senzel at SS or one is acquired through trade Peraza should probably start learning to play CF.

        Peraza’s fate along with Senzel and Herrera is all tied to the Gennett decision at this point

        • Absolutely! Setting contract considerations aside, I am very much a Darwinist when it comes to whom should play when.

          And if his plate discipline continues to improve, then the good news is it will take a very good player to displace him

  15. I was scoreboard watching during my daughter’s softball game. Seeing that three spot in the 7th and learning it was Thames, AGAIN, was hurtful. I know that in the end, I’d rather see Milwaukee win the division over the Cubs or Cards, but dang, I really wanted the Reds take that one. On to the next three!

  16. We talk all the time on here about incremental improvements and trying to gain every competitive edge possible.

    Despite Peraza’s 2nd hot streak of the year, his .684 OPS ranks just 20th out of 26 qualifying shortstops. I think we can agree if you take even the lowest estimation for Senzel he will easily get into the mid .700s. Dylan Floro’s 1.50 WHIP is simply not good. Like Peralta last year, he simply had a few good weeks. Quackenbush has been utterly dominant at Louisville all season. I’d like to see the two switch places. BobSteve for Big Sal is another opportunity.

    Bumping Finnegan and Bailey were the keys to turning around the season imo. I don’t get the reluctance to play it safe in these other areas in a lost season.

    • They’re not going to put Quackenbush on the 40-man roster at the expense of someone who is already there, based on what they (and we) saw from him in the first month.

  17. Garrett threw the pitch, but it was Riggleman that lost this game. Sitting Schebler, letting DeSclafani pitch to start the 7th inning, letting Garrett pitch to a guy that has a career 3-4 with 3 HR’s against Garrett. Where were the statisticians on this one? Somebody should have whispered Thames history vs. Garrett into Riggleman’s ear. Looked like a good spot for Hughes, not Garrett.
    Riggleman has gotten way, way too much credit for the Reds turnaround from far too many in the Cincinnati media. Just more Reds media schmoozing up and being cheerleaders instead of reporters, again. This Milwaukee series is going to expose Riggleman for who and what he is. Another manager stuck in the 1980’s and that he is a perfect example of what NOT to hire for the next Reds team (2019).

  18. Also Joey… after two games in a row, maybe let Riggleman or someone else do the talking to the umpires. Your services are required on the field.

  19. Thames has 13 home runs against the Reds in a season and a half. That is beyond ridiculous for anyone who is not Barry Bonds. He has 41 total homers over that span, so 31 percent of his total homers are against one team.

    And, Thames is now 3-for-3 career against Garrett, with all three hits being home runs.

    Apparently they are never going to learn how to pitch to this .234 hitter. I would not be upset if they walked him intentionally in key situations. The whole situation is beyond stupid, but you can only watch so many balls go over the wall before you need to rethink the situation.

    • Amen. Where in the heck are the scouts on this one that the other teams in the league don’t have this happen to them? But until they have a plan, yeah, walk him.

    • Yes. It doesn’t, matter if the book says get Thames out by working him away if your pitchers can’t navigate an AB with leaving a pitch (or 2) in his sweet spot while trying to hit his weak spot. Even worse, Thames knew that at 2-0 they were going to try and throw a strike to the same spot they had just missed twice by being outside; and guess what, might be likely to overcompensate. Error in thought process and error in execution both.

  20. Thames is proof that you can take a decent pitch recognition skill, find some way to spuriously add 40 lbs of muscle in a phase of your life that many would consider to be biologically impossible, and keep a job as MLB player. I loathe his presence on the Brewers roster.

  21. 2 stupid decisions by the Reds….game over. Aguilar has been killing the ball and Shaw’s been cold so don’t let Aguilar beat you. Cost 2 runs. Thames OWNS the Reds and you have a backup hitting .200 on deck. Walk the guy already? Cost 3 runs. Game Over

    Billy/Jose both get on to lead off innings and don’t attempt a steal? On the bright side..Disco looked great and velocity was up to 95. Lets see if they can rebound and get 2 of 3 to remain “hot”? They came back strong vs Atlanta after blowing the game.

  22. Scooter .304 at home and .354 on the road. I think GABP is going to eliminate any Red from winning a batting title. The outfield is just too small. The Mets and many other teams have brought the fences in, but is it possible to take out seats and make the outfield bigger?

    • You would have to remove the tunnels and everything else under those seats. It is not really feasible

  23. Disco was good last night and at 95 he will be really good.Just one of those games I guess but in every lineup there are hot guys,cold guys and guys you can’t let beat you.It can’t be any secret about the two guys that went deep or to how the Brewers play ball.They are a team that beats you with the home run and stack their line up with those type of guys.We could play the lineup we had last night and play those guys at home or away and they will out homer us just by accident.In fact didn’t they just send down a guy who hit 30 last year.They have guys that get them to the 6th or 7th,guys that hit it out of the park and a good back end of the pen.

    • When the Reds play Schebler over Hamilton, every one of their hitters except Peraza can take the ball deep with reasonable regularity if they see mistake pitches. Maybe not quite in the Brewers class at it but far from bad.

      • Billy has hit 20 in 2200+ at bats,Peraza 12 in 1000+ at bats and Tucker 23 in 1300 at bats for their careers of five,two,and four years respectively and all will play 130 games or more this year barring injury.Just saying we are at a disadvantage power wise especially at home every time these guys play and well that’s most of the time.

  24. Great news on Senzel’s surgery. Let’s hope for a speedy recovery and an active off season for Senzel. The reds really need to finalize at least a temporary decision for a defensive position for Senzel to play at the MLB level.

  25. I’m not sure what to make of Peraza, except let him play out the season and see where his offense and defense plays after a full season at SS. During April, Peraza produced a .330 OBP and .116 ISO but he had absolutely no plate discipline. During May, Peraza increased his plate discipline with a 6.0% BB rate, but his .276 OBP and .048 ISO. That plain sucked. During June, Peraza seemed to put things together with a .378 OBP, .157 ISO and 8.05 BB rate. Will the real Jose Peraza please step forward!?

  26. Ah, the 4-man OF rotation…

    Duvall=> 80 games & 277 PA
    Hamilton => 77 games & 277 PA
    Winker => 71 games & 266 PA
    Schebler => 62 games & 246 PA

    Riggleman makes out the lineup card every game, but the way the Reds organization operates, every decision seems to have to have the approval of BC & WJ, so who knows where the decisions are actually made. The Reds are doing their absolute best to justify keeping players in the lineup to appease BC’s whims and WJ’s old school principles.

    Scott Schebler:
    YTD (.282/.354/.482/.835)
    June (.341/.398/.588/.986)

    Jesse Winker:
    YTD (.270/.385/.396/.781)
    June (.324/.448/.549/.998)

    Duvall:
    YTD (.202/.282/.399/.681)
    June (.254/.312/.394/.706)

    Hamilton:
    YTD (.215/.300/.304/.603)
    June (.230/.321/.311/.632)

    I keep hearing the promotion from the Reds and the Reds media regarding the tremendous improvement by Duval and Hamilton as justification for more playing time for the two players the Reds most want to succeed. Both Hamilton and Duvall made spectacular improvements during June, but those improvements were from abysmal pre-June to below average during June. During the same time period, Schebler and Winker were putting forward actual spectacular performances during June and creating well above average performances for the season. Yet the 4-man OF rotation continues with Duvall and Hamilton getting the bulk of the playing time in the unbalanced rotation.

    Duvall will be 1st year arbitration eligible and has 3 arbitration seasons of team control remaining. Hamilton will be 3rd year arbitration eligible and has 1 arbitration season of team control remaining. Schebler is pre-arbitration eligible and has 4 seasons of team control remaining.

    While the OF rotation remains partially unsettled, two of the OF positions have been resolved on the playing field, except the Reds management refuses to acknowledge that fact since it doesn’t fit their preconceived determination of the proper resolution of the OF rotation. Neither Hamilton nor Duvall have earned a starting OF position, yet they continue to get the bulk of the playing time because Hamilton is fast and Duvall has the reputation of a HR hitter.

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About Steve Mancuso

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

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