Well how about that. After two tough losses, the Reds fought back to win the final two games of the series, splitting the four games against the Brewers. They outscored Milwaukee 20-5 the past two days. A week ago Wednesday, after success against teams like the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers, the Reds strapped in to face what turned out to be three consecutive first-place teams. They swept the Chicago Cubs, starting with Jesse Winker’s dramatic grand slam, and took two out of three from Atlanta. With this series split, the Reds compiled a record of 8-3 after moving up in class. That’s pretty, pretty good.
It doesn’t get much easier before the All-Star break. The last-place Chicago White Sox arrive tomorrow for three games. Then the Reds go on the road for nine games against the Cubs, Cleveland and St. Louis.
They stand just 12.5 games out of first place with three months to go.
Cincinnati Reds 8 (36-48) • Milwaukee Brewers 2 (48-35)
The 54-minute rain delay cut Matt Harvey’s start short at 5.2 innings. Harvey was sharp, striking out six and walking none. His fastball velocity remains high. This was Harvey’s tenth start for the Reds. The last three have been excellent. The four before that were pretty poor, so his record isn’t unmixed. But Harvey is now a candidate to trade, which was the club’s goal when they swapped him for Devin Mesoraco almost two months ago. Harvey won’t net a big return, but it’ll be something. He’ll still take the ball every fifth game for the Reds up until he’s moved before the July 31 deadline.
Raisel Iglesias and Jared Hughes pitched for the first time in this series, with an 8-0 lead. Would like to have seen at least one of them get into those close games at the start of the series.
The Reds jumped the Brewers 22-year-old starter Freddy Peralta. Jose Peraza doubled, Tucker Barnhart singled, Joey Votto doubled in Peraza, Eugenio Suarez singled in Barnhart, Scott Schebler singled in Votto, making the score 3-0. The score stayed that way until the sixth inning when Jesse Winker pinch hit and drove in a run. A couple batters later, Jose Peraza smashed a 362-foot grand slam.
Joey Votto celebrated Canada Day with a single, double and a walk. That’s sort of a Canadian cycle, eh.
A Grand Record Peraza’s slam was the Reds ninth this season and sixth in the last 17 days. Meanwhile, the team’s Hall of Fame radio broadcaster prattles on about how the club “time and again” can’t hit with bases loaded. Nine ties an all-time Reds record for a season and the 2010 Yankees for the most before the All-Star break. The most grand slams hit in one year by a team is 14. The NL record is 12. A bunch of those records were set during the PED Era.
Report: Reds Sign Top Draft Pick Per unconfirmed reports, the Reds have reached a deal with top draft pick Jonathan India. India was the #5 pick overall and played for the University of Florida. Jon Heyman reports the agreement is for slot value ($5.9 million) and an unknown bonus. Another positive report from C. Trent Rosecrans:
I'm told #Reds 1st rounder Jonathan India, 4th rounder Mike Siani & 14th rounder Mike Byrne (India's UF teammate) are coming in for physicals this week. That means things are close to becoming official
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) July 1, 2018
Raisel Iglesias Trade Rumors The Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros are reported to be interested in Reds closer Raisel Iglesias. That article understate’s Iglesias’ team control. It extends through the 2021 season. An Astros deal could center around RHP Forrest Whitley, who is blocked for now by the excellent Astros rotation. OF Kyle Tucker would also be a terrific acquisition. Cleveland isn’t mentioned specifically in this report, but they appear to be a great fit as a trade partner. I wrote about the benefit of trading Iglesias in early May. My conclusion:
“We’ll be able to judge the shrewdness of the organization by how they handle Raisel Iglesias. Odds are the front office will have the opportunity to trade him for the long-term solution at shortstop, centerfield or the rotation. Not more rebuilding. The Iglesias trade has to make the Reds better this year, next year and beyond.
But the entire organization must be ready. It can’t allow outdated thinking about closers, the gauzy promise of pipeline prospects or sentimentality for hometown players to weaken its motivation. If recent demand for top-tier relievers can be our guide, Dick Williams will be able to ask for and receive the sun, moon and a few habitable planets for Iglesias. It is imperative he does that.”
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.