Ugh. Why can’t I get a nice, easy, happy recap?

Cubs 8, Reds 7

Box Score | Win Probability

Good Things that Are Good

–Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett, and Eugenio Suarez did exactly what you want them to do every day. the heart of the order was 6-12 with a homer and 3 walks. Too bad they couldn’t get it done at the end.

–Billy Hamilton was 3-4 with 3 steals today. That’ll do.

–Matt Harvey was once again good. he clearly didn’t have his best stuff, but he still handled one of the better teams in the league. The Reds may very well get quite a return for him sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Bad Things that are Bad

–Ugh Bullpen

–Scott Schebler had a rough day today, losing two balls in the sun and failing to reach base at all.

Thoughtful Thinks

–I’ve tweeted this several times, but I haven’t written it here anywhere. Joey Votto has an OBP of .428 he leads the league by .030 over Freeman. It would be his seventh time leading the league. Here’s the complete list of players who have lead the league in OBP seven or more times: Bonds, Williams, Ruth, Cobb, Hornsby. Yes, that is the complete list. Joey Votto is a Hall of Famer.

–Jose Peraza didn’t have the best day today, but he walked and stole a base. He has reached base in every game except one since May 26, during which time he has an OPS over .850 for 152 plate appearances. That’s a long stretch of hitting very well.

–Let’s beat the Cubs tomorrow, sound good?

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 57 Comments

  1. Let’s wipe this one off the books and move for a series win tomorrow. We’re still playing much better overall against everyone. That fact cannot be lost in the misery that is a loss to the Stupid Cubs.

  2. Heartbreaker today. Let’s get ’em tomorrow! GO REDS!

  3. Thats two 7-2 leads blown in a week and Garrett also blew Disco’s best outing vs Milw when he gave up that bomb to Thames. The offense is impressive but I know they want to be more then Colorado East? Its up to DW?

    • Garrett is a one inning pitcher currently.
      Should have taken him out to start the 8th.

    • Exactly two terrible outings by Garrett this week. People want yo start him? He can’t pitch multiple innings.

  4. Cant win them all. Just try to win each series. Astros called up their big prospect Tucker today. Keep an eye on that one since they are dying for relief pitchers.

  5. Christmas in July. Reds got 2 gift runs in the 1st inning. Reds give back two 5 run leads and with gift runs in the 8th inning to lose tje lead.
    The bullpen really misses Dylan Floro. (Wink)

  6. The Reds pen didn’t hold a lead they should have been able to hold. Riggleman could have tried different things; and that might have made a positive difference or no difference or led to an even worse loss.

    The Reds team has shown resilience of late and now they have the challenge to do it again tomorrow and still win this series.

    Meanwhile, DW and the front office staff need to take note they need starters that go deeper with regularity and probably some more reliable BP arms.

    My only other comment is that Lorenzen only threw 11 pitches on Friday. Was he not available today? He might have been a good choice to start a clean 8th after Garrett did leverage work in the 7th.

    • @m_Sheldon says Lorenzen was in fact unavailable

      • Riggleman also said after the game he wasn’t using Lorenzen or Iglesias.

      • Lorenzen’s usage pattern (as a pitcher) may bear watching. On June 29 he threw 44 pitches in a 3 inning outing. Since then:
        JUl1-0 pitches,
        Jul2-0,
        Jul 3-27/1.1 innings;
        Jul4- 20/1.1;
        Jul5-off day;
        Jul6-11/0.2
        Jul7- 0-Not available

        If my math is correct that’s 102 pitches and 6.1 innings in a week. That’s close to a starters work load. Could be nothing going on with him. Could be he’s being stretched out. Could be he was feeling ouchy yesterday. Just something to watch.

        • But whatever is going on (or not) with his ML’s pitching, if the wind is blowing out at Wrigley Sunday, they have to get him an AB with runners on base, right? 😉

  7. garrett cant start so please people stop saying he should. .the numbers dont lie. this blowing lead stuff is awful.

    • You realize that Garrett started last year, and did quite well until the injury, right? Did you watch baseball last year?

      Two bad outings does not a justification make.

      • Exactly. Garrett is young and still learning. He’d probably pitch differently as a starter, since maximum effort and velocity wouldn’t take him deep into games.

  8. Hate to see Garrett going through this rough patch, but he’s been here before. Last time he went south fast. Adversity is inevitable. We’ll see how much he’s grown now.

  9. They give us some runs and we give them back.Garrett walked two guys back to back in the eighth inning which you just can’t do.He knows it as does everybody else but you have to make em hit to beat you.Go get em tomorrow.

  10. Bad day for the bullpen, but that’s going to happen. The vast, vast, vast majority of relief pitchers aren’t reliable. The notion that the Reds have a secret recipe for identifying the good ones and that’s how they got Hughes and Hernandez is belied by the names of every other reliever they’ve signed the past few years. Hughes, Garrett and Hernandez have been better than average so far. There’s not much reason to believe they are better than average. So you end up with days like today.

  11. Little things matter. In the 8th inning the Zobrist single to CF has to be thrown back to 2B, not 3B. That keeps Zobrist at first. If the inning plays out as it did, he doesn’t end up scoring the 8th run. There was no way Billy Hamilton was going to throw the runner out at third. The correct play was to 2B. I’m not sure it was Hamilton’s fault, though. The replay showed what looked like Eugenio Suarez calling for the ball at third. Given the circumstance, with no outs, that throw HAS to go to 2B.

    • Agree.

      And Schebler has to let Scooter know sooner he is totally lost on the ball that fell for the pop fly double because it surely looked like Scooter saw it and could have caught it had he not pulled up to give Schebler room when Schebler seemed to be about to settle under it.

      • I’m starting to wonder whether Schebler has particular trouble with the sun. Nobody can see looking directly into it, but BH seems to adjust his angle of approach to a ball in the sun, and I imagine most good outfielders do the same.

  12. Riggleman balance sheet:

    Iglesias was probably unavailable after throwing 35 pitches yesterday. Riggleman has had his share of games when his bullpen moves, including pulling the starter, were deft. Today, his moves didn’t work out. The Cubs are good. Reds relievers are average.

    Many stupid bunts and attempted bunts today.

    • Agree on Riggleman, though it did seem that some of the stupid bunt attempts were actually intended to be hits against the shift. Doesn’t work if they can’t execute, obviously.

  13. I don’t think Garrett has been the same since he took that ball off the leg. Maybe send him to the DL for 10 days to make sure he’s healthy?

    • I am with you on this one. Garrett probably came back too soon. His leg might be causing him to change his delivery a little bit. But he has been hit hard since that injury.

  14. Eugenio Suarez is having a great season at the plate. Reds broadcasters only talk about his RBI, which is a stat that relies in great part on teammates. The stat wRC+ isolates just the hitter’s contribution to run creation. Suarez is now up to 159, good for 6th in all baseball. Here are the names of the players he’s behind: Mookie Betts, Mike Trout, JD Martinez, Jose Ramirez, Aaron Judge.

    • Guess that Suarez guy is pretty good. Barring serious injury I have to believe that we will look back and thank the Reds FO for the extension they gave him.

    • There is no one stat that is worth using as a be all end all for comparing offensive run production contribution. That’s probably as foolhardy as thinking there is a grand unified theory that sums up existence within one elegant equation.

      There are a number of flaws with wRC+, starting with the following culled from FanGraphs description of wRC or wRC+ :

      * wRC and wRC+ are context neutral, meaning that a hit with men on base and a hit with no one on are weighed equally and the score of the game or inning in which the event occurred does not matter.

      wRC and wRC+ might be good at judging individualized accomplishment, but sorely lacks in considering value added toward TEAM SUCCESS.

  15. To think that a month and a half ago, I was wondering if the Reds should burn it down and start from scratch, including trading Votto. Yet, his contribution to this lineup is invaluable. The young Jedis have done well to learn from Yoda. Long Live Votto.

    • Long, long term I wonder if Joey would be interested in coaching after his playing days are over.

      • Votto is more cerebral, you want him in upper management, not at the field level coaching. His hitting approach is no secret, it’s not a thing that can be taught, a batter simply decides on their approach and experiments with plate discipline, learning pitch recognition, hoping for success.

        If Votto is such a great hitting coach why would Cozart have struggled for so long, why would Billy Hamilton struggle at the plate? Been in the papers the past several years both have tried to absorb Votto’s knowledge, with limited success.

        Perhaps the most important thing Votto learned came from Pete Rose – don’t take any at bats off. What’s the difference between a .250 hitter and a .300 hitter? A little over one more hit per week?

  16. The Bandwagon is losing people left and right again. Last week the bullpen was awesome. Today they are all bums.

  17. Scott Schebler had a rough day today, losing two balls in the sun…

    He always does! Hamilton covers his “lost in the sun” all the time. Hey, bullpen’s been great so an implosion will happen now and then. Get ‘um tomorrow.

    • Add he didn’t get Peraza home from 3B with less than 1 out after Hatcher played it very (maybe too) safe and held Peraza. Just a tough day for a guy who has been doing very well over all.

  18. Well hopefully in the Reds front office they have someone with enough of an analytical background to convince them that bunting all the time is not going in our favor? The way Rizzo charges makes it impossible to bunt. They had 2 men on and Chatwood swinging away in a bunt situation. Why do we go in auto-bunt every time? Perhaps Harvey advances Peraza on a little chopper somewhere? Either way Peraza has to score on Hamilton’s hit!

    It really defeats the purpose of many guys possessing a decent obp if our guys run the bases in a clueless manner. Winker gets an rbi hit and then can’t make it to 2nd when they throw home (off-line) and then to 3rd? What was he doing? He could’ve walked to 2nd base.

    Look what Gabe Kapler is doing with Philly. We need a younger manager that understands the numbers, but can communicate with his guys too. Riggleman is actually doing ok except for all the bunting. He double switches too much, but I usually agree with the quick hook. He pulled Hernandez today after a leadoff HR, but thats because lefties were coming up and Garrett mowed them down 1-2-3.

    They’re not that far away at all! Trade Harvey if you have to…..with Iggy, Billy, Dilson, and maybe Hughes or Hernandez (34 next year). Find a starter somewhere and atleast 1 guy for the pen that can handle high leverage. There are guys out there! Tampa has a lefty Ryne Stanek that they’re mostly using to start for 1 inning. He’s throwing 99 mph and holding hitters to a .139 average.

    This is a critical time for Dick Williams because Votto isn’t getting any younger and everyone is sick and tired of rebuilding. Get some help in here and find some playing time for Stephenson and Dilson or trade them!

    • Agree Winker needs to have better situational awareness and be more aggressive on the bases unless the issue is that he is actually so slow afoot he can’t take advantage of such situations. It certainly looks like he is going to have to be better all around to hold a spot when the wave of OF now at AA/A+ arrive in Cincy.

      For instance, in one of the Milwaukee games last week he missed a chance to move from 2B over to 3B because the 3B had to make a throw clear across the diamond to get the out at 1B on a grounder. The next batter did something which would have scored him from 3B; but, in the end he did not score. The next inning or so, a Milwaukee guy did advance on a similar play without even drawing a throw back from 1B then scored on either a ground out or sac fly. That run scored (and the unscored potential Winker run) as I recall were the difference at the end.

      And in general with the Reds having such an issue scoring men from 2B and going 1B to 3B on singles to the OF, it seems they must not be very good at getting secondary leads and take offs on batted balls. I wonder what if any amount of work, instruction, and emphasis the Reds do with this stuff in the minors.

      • Winker may very well be competing for a job in 3 seasons as the young prospects start pounding on the MLB door…if they start pounding on the MLB door. None of them have proven anything above A+ to this point.

        While Winker certainly needs to improve his base running, I’m not sure yesterdays game was a good example of this issue. Suarez was not committed to go 1B to 3B on the throw to the plate. Only when the throw missed the cutoff and the plate, did Suarez commit to 3B and even then the play was reasonably close. Winker not only had to wait on the throw, but also had to wait on Suarez’ commitment to take 3B. If Suarez changes his mind and decides not to take 3B but Winker commits to take 2B, the Reds end up in another TOOTBLAN. Even with the additional delay, if the throw would go to 2B rather than 3B, Winker was probably a sure out on a good throw. We’ve seen that exact TOOTBLAN multiple times this season and screamed bloody murder when it happened. Hamilton or Peraza almost certainly follow to 2B on the play. Schebler might follow to 2B on the play, but I don’t think anyone else would successfully follow to 2B on that play.

        • The throw was clearly over the head of the cut off man from the get go. Whether or not it was off line that should have been the trigger for them both to be moving up. As I said it is not just one man, as a team they don’t run the bases well. They do stupid stuff and miss opportunities on the flip side.

          As far as specific individuals, if a guy can’t make it on a play like that, it is a serious skills deficiency. With an aging superstar like Votto, it is the price paid for his remaining strengths. In a rookie, the view should be the guy has to be head and shoulders better than a potential replacement in other aspect(s).

  19. The Cubs are a good team and make you throw strikes and when you don’t well today happened.Sometimes they get you and sometimes you get them.I hope we stay the course and look toward the future and can fill some our needs at the deadline.Bull pen arms are valued at the deadline but in reality these guys have their ups and downs during the season and year to year.Only the elite guys.mainly closers,are good all the time and there aren’t many of these.So far our pen has been very good with multiple guys being lights out at times but not today.Lost in all of this is their pen shut us down after the starter left in the 6th

  20. Lets not get caught up in the we think we can idea because the numbers don’t say we can’t so lets get Bob up here and give him some starts and Herrera should play tomorrow and against every lefty we see.If Scooter is still here after the break then we can push the reset button and move on.

    • Would be a tough way to start Dilsons Reds career against Lester one of the leagues premier pitchers.
      Thought Amir pitched lights out to get out of the 7th.Questionable leaving him in to pitch the 8th,but thats hindsight.When he walked 1st batter he should have been replaced.He used up his juice going 1-2-3 in the 7th.
      Harvey should never have been pulled,but it seems riggs doesnt let the starters finish the 7th inning.Very quick hook after the 5th inning,game after game.Harvey had a ton left when pulled ,would have gone 1-2-3 if not for that blown popup double.Probably had an inning more in the tank.
      I usually like Riggleman but today he might have cost us the game.
      Key managerial move was having the runner going from first for the Cubs when they scored the 8th run.Do we ever let runners other than bham and Peraza go on the pitch?That was a game winning subtle move by Maddon.

  21. Look the cubs are not that good this year. It was another cold , windy day in Chicago. Yet the stands were full! .
    Dick Williams said it best in the espn interview. If reds fans show up in the second half of the season then ownership goes after some free agents. If not, scooter is gone, Iglesias is gone and we wind up with more crappy low level prospects.
    Reds fans, show up! All year it has either been too cold, too hot, too cloudy, too sunny , too rainy , too dry to come down to the ballpark. Let’s put our big boy pants on and get to some games.

    • Did Williams really say if fans show up the Reds would sign free agents if not they trade Scooter and Iggy? I find that extremely hard to believe and wouldn’t buy it if he did. Yes the revenue from a full GABP would be helpful, but that isn’t what is holding back the Reds from outspending the Dodgers.

      • This is not how I interpreted what he said.

        I heard DW say over the last several years the Reds had diverted MLB salary money into signing the very high choices they’ve had in the domestic draft and also spent heavily on international free agency even to the degree they have incurred and paid penalties.

        He said this money was targeted to return to the MLB salary pool starting with the upcoming off season. He did go on to add that if attendance was strong the rest of the year, it would help out even more with the MLB salary pool. He strongly inferred implied/ inferred this money would make them more active in pursuing a higher level of MLB free agents than they had in the recent past.

        He also said that the Reds now had a quality and depth of talent system wide to allow them to trade to fill needs.

        I don’t recall him saying anything specific about Scooter or Iggy. If he did it didn’t imprint with me.

      • No, he never said that.

  22. Interesting Doolittle column at ESPN on Harvey:

    “Keeping Harvey and watching him walk for nothing would be a rough outcome for the Reds. Because they acquired him during the season, Cincinnati wouldn’t receive any draft pick compensation if he were to leave. If Harvey is going to play elsewhere next season as a free-agent signee, then if the Reds are going to capitalize on him, he can’t be with them a month from now.”

    For the full article, see:
    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/24031734/mlb-matt-harvey-made-quality-trade-target.

    • That’s certainly true, but I’m not sure how much has Harvey done to capitalize himself as a trade asset during his tenure with the Reds. Same goes for Duvall and Hamilton, a couple of 2nd tier prospects at the very best from them. I’d rather keep Harvey until season’s end to provide some rotation estability while allowing others to strenght themselves, then I’d kick the tires on him.

    • Trade MH for what he brings then make him an offer as a free agent if they are interested in bringing him back. He is a Boras client. History is they will test the market no matter who he is playing for at season’s end.

  23. NL Rankings…

    wRC+:
    159 Suarez (#1)
    140 Votto (#9)
    137 Scooter (#10)
    118 Winker (#33)
    118 Schebler (#34)

    OPS+:
    161 Suarez (#1)
    137 Scooter (#10)
    136 Votto (#11)
    115 Schebler (#39)
    114 Winker (#41)

    OBP:
    .428 Votto (#1)
    .402 Suarez (#2)
    .389 Winker (#7)
    .369 Scooter (#18)
    .344 Schebler (#38)

  24. Reds 4-man OF Rotation…

    wRC+ 2018 Monthly Split (APR-JUL):
    123, 48, 156, 213 => Jesse Winker
    150, 75, 155, 63 => Scott Schebler
    64, 88, 95, 73 => Adam Duvall
    50, 76, 74, 141 => Billy Hamilton

    wRC+ 2018 Platoon Split:
    124 v. RHP, 98 v. LHP => Jesse Winker
    113 v. RHP, 121 v. LHP => Scott Schebler
    67 v. RHP, 114 v. LHP => Adam Duvall
    69 v. RHP, 78 v. LHP => Billy Hamilton

    Seasons of Team Control after 2018:
    5 Jesse winker (arb eligible in 2021)
    4 Scott Schebler (arb eligible in 2020)
    3 Adam Duvall (1st year arb eligible in 2019)
    1 Billy Hamilton (3rd year arb eligible 2019)

  25. Chapman left the game for the Yankees yesterday with lingering knee issues. Sonny Gray has been bad (5.85). The young guy Domingo German goes today & he’s been mostly bad (5.37). Seems like they could use Harvey and/or Iglesias. If they don’t win the division then its Severino in the wildcard game and they’re trying to match up with Cole/Verlander with Sabathia/Tanaka. Thats not good for them!

    I think the Reds could get Clint Frazier and maybe some promising arms from them!

    • I read somewhere yesterday (national writer rumor, forget who) Yanks were trending away from Harvey simply because they felt the media side show of his “return” to NYC would cause too much distraction for him and the club as a whole. Take it or leave it….

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

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