Following yesterday’s fifth straight win over the Cubs, our Nick Kirby put the words out into the Twitterverse that certainly have crossed my mind in recent weeks:

In recent days, more than one Reds player has been quoted as saying that they now expect to win, which certainly has not been the case for … years? The feeling as a fan and observer is – with the current possible exception of Sal Romano – the Reds are putting a starting pitcher on the mound that gives the team a solid chance of winning that day. It certainly doesn’t feel like the open auditions/development starting rotation of recent years. (And by the way, that particular stage is a necessary evil in a rebuild such as this.)

Dick Williams was on an ESPN podcast with Buster Olney yesterday and shared some interesting thoughts from the perspective of the man who is steering the personnel ship.

Some of the key points:

The increase in on-base percentage among most of the position players is no accident. They have studied Joey Votto’s approach to hitting and have learned to be more selective.

“It feels like a dangerous lineup right now, top to bottom. You just feel as though you have a chance to score most every inning, and it’s because of the way those guys are taking confident at-bats … When they take pitches, they look confident, and that’s something that’s not easy to measure. You just have to see it by watching the guys. Suarez and Peraza are two guys in my mind who look a lot more comfortable waiting for their pitch instead of trying to force something to happen.”

On the question of where Williams thinks the Reds are in the process of rebuilding:

“In April, I didn’t think we were making much progress. Then the calendar turned to May and June and you started to see things falling into place much better, and you feel like you have much better visibility of the light at the end of the tunnel. I really feel good about the young pitchers. Their ERAs probably aren’t as low as they deserve, and we think they’re pitching better than their ERAs, but Romano, Castillo and Mahle have done a nice job. Stephenson and Reed down in Triple A are getting close. They’ve been performing in Triple A, and they’re going to get their opportunities. Disco’s still has a few years of control and has been pitching pretty well. When you get that starting pitching starting to fall into place, the rebuild starts to feel a lot more tangible. We really have most of our team under control, except for a guy like Matt Harvey who we traded for in-season. Most of the team is under control for the next few seasons, and I’m highly confident based on our internal conversations that this off-season we’ll have the money to go out and add to the team. I know we have the farm system to make deals to add to the team. So I think we’ll be in a real good position to plug holes. If the offense keeps doing what it’s doing and the bullpen keeps it up, I think we can jump up into contention in relatively short order.”

You can listen to the full podcast here.

Confidence is beginning to build throughout the organization, top to bottom, and throughout Redleg Nation that we are getting much closer to Nick Kirby’s tweet premise above.

The Reds go for their sixth consecutive win against the Cubs today in a 2:20 p.m. Eastern time start at Wrigley Field.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Matt Harvey 80.2 4.91 4.40 17.6% 6.2%
Tyler Chatwood 73.1 4.54 5.27 20.6% 19.4%

In his last three starts, Harvey is 3-0 with a 1.47 earned run average. He is beginning to look like the pre-Tommy-John-surgery and pre-Thoracic-Outlet-Syndrome-surgery version of Matt Harvey. Currently, if Jim Riggleman had to name a starting pitcher for a sudden-death playoff game, he would likely name either Harvey or Tyler Mahle.

Reds fans hope Harvey continues to look like an ace for two reasons: He gives the team a great chance to win each time he pitches, and he potentially raises his value for opposing teams who might like to acquire him in a trade. Before Harvey is traded, hopefully the Reds front office will give Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, a call and see if he might be interested in a short-term deal. If not, well, we sure appreciate what your client has done for us. It never hurts to ask. At this point in time, he looks like one of the better starting pitchers who will be available in free agency after this season, so why not see if he’s interested in staying in Cincinnati a little longer?

Chatwood has been a disappointment so far for the Cubs after signing as a free agent. Previously with the Rockies, the Cubs liked the fact that his road splits were much better than when he pitched at Coors Field. But so far in his Cubs career, Chatwood has had serious control problems.

Bullpen

Raisel Iglesias pitched a five-out save Friday and threw 35 pitches in the process. He may not be available for a more-than-one-inning opportunity today. Everybody else should be available.

Starting Lineups

Reds Cubs
RF Scott Schebler RF Ben Zobrist
C Tucker Barnhart CF Jason Heyward
1B Joey Votto 2B Javier Baez
2B Scooter Gennett 1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Eugenio Suarez 3B Ian Happ
LF Jesse Winker LF Kyle Schwarber
SS Jose Peraza C Victor Caratini
P Matt Harvey SS Addison Russell
CF Billy Hamilton P Tyler Chatwood

News and Notes

Tom Browning’s walkabout …

Could you please empty your pockets? …

Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.

Join the conversation! 108 Comments

  1. That Votto video is great!

  2. I really don’t mean to kick a man while he’s down, but would this team be where it is now if Price were still in the dugout? We have no way of knowing, and the team was always likely to improve after that disastrous April, but there just seems to be a great weight lifted from the team now that Price is gone.

    Either way, onward and upward!

  3. I think it’s cool that Joey didn’t use the player’s entrance (Assuming Wrigley has one).

    On the other hand the employee created a security risk by not making him go through the metal detector properly.

  4. I dont see a scenario where the Reds get fair value for Scooter or Iglesias . Iglesias is an elite reliever and youngish and cost friendly. Scooter is an All star. I think it will be a slow trade deadline on major trades .I’m not even sure how a trade looks. The reds need proven or elite young SP- walker Buehler, Michael Fulmer or Jacob de Grom or FA lefties …Dallas Kuechkel , Gio Gonzalez , etc…. None of that happens now.

    Scott Schebler deserves a longer look as does winker as does Peraza.

    Harvey has been a good partnership. I would not rule out a reunion at some point.
    Other than the Bailey contract, the Reds are in great shape.

    Tyler Mahle is potentially the best rookie pitcher in the NL. Jesse winker is in the conversation as the best rookie hitter. The Reds dont need to sell assets unless it’s overwhelming.

    • The Reds don’t “have to” trade anyone. (The possible exception is Harvey, who they certainly should try to get a return on since he is almost certainly going to be a free agent.) Dick Williams can ask for high value in trade talks and should say no if he doesn’t get it.

    • we are not the only team feeling the plain.
      Baltimore is feeling it with Manny (sp)
      I am sure things will swing back.
      If we do not get a good return do not trade scooter.
      If we do not get a great return do not trade Iggy.

    • Reds should trade them though. Those pieces are at peak value and the Reds aren’t competing this season. Sure you can keep them but will get less value as their contracts near completion.

  5. As my logo suggest I am on the “trade Scooter” team. I agree that the return will not be equal to the numbers he is posting right now. I believe, though, it will be addition by subtraction.

    • The game today has the feeling of- well not opening day or a play-in game, but a big game nonetheless. Good luck Matt.

  6. Who would we have to send it to New York to get Frazier?

    • I’m not sure they would give him up, but their need is starting pitching which is something the Reds don’t have much available to trade. Harvey is the only starter likely to be traded and he won’t get Frazier from the Yankees

      • I think you’re right. Our only hope would be a three-way trade.

        • Which NY Frazier? Todd or Clint?
          Robert Stephenson and Phil Ervin for Clint. Former 1st rounders for a former 1st rounder.
          Steve Selsky for Todd.

  7. When was the last time we scored on back to back wild pitches?

  8. Who needs RISP hits when you get 2 run scoring wild pitches. We can tack on some RISP hits later.

  9. That pitch did not look like it hit Rizzo. Hope that doesn’t come back to bite the Reds.

  10. Harvey is super impressive! That pitch to Baez was pinpoint. He opened up on the ball and really expected to drive it, but it was about 2 inches off the plate inside and jammed him! They need to do everything they can to keep him if at all possible? Or try to move him for a starting pitcher thats close with some upside!

  11. That was a great at bat by Zobrist and a better finish by Harvey.

  12. Hate Zobrist! He’s not a Thames type of threat, but always extends at-bats or gets a key hit. Alot of talk of interest from the Reds when he was with Tampa 6-7 years ago. He might’ve put us over the top? He’s a winner!

    Harvey looks good but his pitch count is really up there!

  13. Chatwood can not throw the breaking pitch for a strike.
    Lay off all the off speed and sit dead-red should be the approach.

  14. I sure hope Scooter wasn’t trying to do a sacrifice there.

  15. Hate Zobrist on the Cubs, but wish we could have seen him here a few years ago. Consistently above average hitter and such a valuable utility piece, especially in the short bench era.

    Sun comes up in the morning, Votto walks. Hopefully we can make them pay.

  16. Infield hit for Scooter? Thats how you pull off a batting title! Hope it stays a hit?

  17. Super AB by Suarez!!! 3 run tater

  18. A great AB for Suarez as well. Way to manufacture an inning.

  19. GET SOME OF THAT BABY!!!

    5-0 going for 6-0:)

  20. SUAREZ!
    Can’t believe he leads the league in RBI even though he missed 16 games.

  21. Suarez gets it done again… how about this Reds team right now?

  22. I love watching Geno hit. Something about his approach and big, easy swing with no holes in it reminds me a lot of Manny Ramirez. I also love how he’ll appeal to the first base ump to say if he swung or not.

    Really hope he has a long, productive career in Cincinnati.

    • He is on his way to doing so. He’s one of the top players in the National League, and has improved every year he has been in the big leagues.

  23. Suarez is just so confident now. Its beautiful to see! He barely missed a 2 run double in his first atbat. I like when he points down to the 1st base umpire like the catcher.

  24. Eugenio Suarez is becoming a superstar right before our eyes. Wow is he good.

  25. According to the radio, Peraza should’ve gone to third what do you guys say who can see the TV

    • I think he was out if he went. Rizzo charges in like a lunatic and was on the ball before Peraza was 60% of the way there.

    • Rizzo crashed hard and possibly could have got Jose. so he just stayed put. He didn’t get a good secondary lead is what cost him. Same thing on Billy’s hit, not a great secondary lead.

      • Thats a run they have to score there? Peraza can’t score on a groundball to rightfield? Riggleman forcing Harvey to bunt when Rizzo is literally right on top of him? Swing away and maybe he chops one to 2nd base or dribbles one to 3rd and Peraza advances that way. Peraza also could’ve went for 3rd with the backup catcher in the game. Poor execution!

    • He’d have been extremely out at third.

  26. Scooter going and getting one. I thought he’s played pretty decent defense since early May. Of course as soon as I typed that the other night then he made an error late vs the White Sox.

  27. Schebler needs to abandon that 2 strike crouch immediately.

  28. In case you missed the TV interview with Tom Browning, recreating his third inning visit to a rooftop across the street from 25 years ago, first thing he said was “I’m looking for a three-run homer”. Nice call, Tom.

  29. I don’t wish him serious harm, but somebody MUST hit a line drive off Rizzo’s face or body somewhere? The guy is like 40 feet from the hitter and moving forward? 105 mph off the kneecap from 35 feet away might cure that?

  30. It’s annoying watching Hatcher coach 3rd base!

  31. That was not impressive defense right there…

  32. Scooter is always an adventure in the fielding department these days… that second Cubs run was a gift.

  33. It’s time to put Joey at # 2 Suarez at #3 .

    • Make it so. However, they are going so good, they aren’t gonna change anything right now.

  34. He’s been very good since that 1st month of troubles.

  35. Winker bunting ?!?

    • extreme shifting, free single if you can just get it down.

      • Thanks didn’t really the shift on the cubs broadcast, thought it was a sac attempt.

  36. 3 different batters just tried to bunt in one inning. SMH

  37. Peraza not having a great day so far. Winker with a nice hit, but he has to get to 2nd on all those throws to other places? 6-2 though….Harvey still looks strong!

  38. Jesse bailed them out on that. He gets the bunt down, what are the odds Peraza, Harvey, Hamilton get the run in?

  39. Peraza gets a lot of outside balls called strikes.

  40. It was nice of Maddon to leave Chatwood in too. That was dumb….his was day was almost over and you have Votto and Scooter coming up so bring in the lefty thats coming in soon anyway? They’re lucky Scooter missed that 0-2 cookie right down the middle.

  41. Billy has been hot lately! Hopefully we can put him together with Iggy and whatever else and get a arm for the rotation next year!

  42. Billy…Votto… another run!
    121 pitches, Chatwood out.
    More mysterious decisions by Maddon.

  43. 121 pitches….thanks Maddon. They can’t be that short in their pen? Maybe they are after the 11-10 games with the Twins in 95 degree heat.

  44. Enjoyable watching Hamilton and Votto execute there. Competitive baseball is fun!

  45. Joey says thanks guys but I’ll do it myself

  46. 2 of the 3 runs are now gifts for the Cubs.
    The sun can be brutal. Great heads up play by Billy.

  47. Schebler? Love the guy but he can go from looking like an emerging star to a AAAA player in the span of 3 days? Billy came a looooong way to save the day there!

    • Obviously he is having difficulty seeing with the sun at the moment.

    • Pretty sure he would’ve caught both balls during a night game. It’s not like he saw it coming in all the way and dropped it. He clearly couldn’t pick it up in the sun

  48. Great start by Harvey again but that defense hurt his line

  49. Anyone else get really annoyed when Cubs fans cheer borderline ovation style on every positive play? Cubs batter hits a long fly – might as well be a grand slam.

    Sun-aided double and a single to cut the lead by 4 – same as winning game 4 of World Series.

    I get a winning culture gets fans crazed, but these people are a little over the top.

    • It just sounds that way to Reds fans because there aren’t usually enough people in the stands to hear them, but Cubs fans are annoying

  50. Harvey with a total of 5 earned runs allowed in his last 4 starts. 3.79 era with the Reds overall. Winker with 3 rbis in 69 atbats in May. 24 rbis in 91 atbats in June-July!

    This one is starting to scare me.

  51. Reds letting the Cubs hang around. Now 7-4 game. Bullpen needs to shut it down now.

  52. Great job by Garrett. Let’s get that run back.

  53. Phillies are down 2-0…..Reds could climb within 9.5 of the 2nd wildcard:)

  54. Question. Why is Tucker hitting 2nd? Maybe the answer is obvious but i am oblivious to it.

  55. Harvey is good and a huge part of this Reds winning streak . I just don’t see how trades at the deadline add anything
    As the Reds dony need AA prospects…they need 1-2 elite young proven pitchers and no one is trading that guy . Aside from Harvey – and hes big- the players who are winning for the Reds are the same guys who will play next year. I say stay the course unless Iglesias returns the moon.

    • Stay the course! The Reds are 14 games behind and 10 games below .500. Coming off of three straight 90 loss seasons. I think they need to add pieces esp starting pitching where they can.

  56. Amir melting down? He’s been extremely shaky lately. Now you hope you’re still up 1 in the 9th?

  57. Leaving Garrett in too long? Pull him after the walk, and hope for a DP from Hughes.

  58. Disgusting?????? How does Garrett just blow thru them in the 7th 1-2-3 then completely melt down? Another 7-2 lead thrown away? 2nd time in a week

  59. Wow, implosion by the bullpen in progress…

    • Problem was Garrett walking the first two in the inning. He can’t be in the late-inning mix if he’s going to do that.

      • You are exactly right Tom.Just can’t walk guys got to make hit it to beat you.

  60. Lorenzen has that easily……big Bird at 6’7…not so much. Game over….#&#$&$_#$_$*@#*@@N#BH#$B$%RB I ##$&”N HATE THE CUBS

    • you can’t say that. Batter facing a different pitcher is not going to hit it to the exact same spot on the field. This potential loss is is on Garrett, and then Riggleman for not taking Amir out after he walked the leadoff guy, with 2 righties to follow.

      • I like Hughes….but he’s a big dork. A decent athlete has that easily….wasn’t even hit that hard.

  61. Its better to lose 12-1 then to give games away. The good teams don’t blow games with multi-run leads in the 7th or later. Peraza had to score that other run too…that was ridiculous? Oh well

  62. Hate to say it but I think it’s the ballgame with the Cubs up 8-7. What a shame.

  63. Garrett is on a hot streak blowing games

  64. I don’t understand the stupid traditional practices of baseball. It’s bases loaded no outs and you’re up 3 in the 8th inning. This is the game. You bring in your best bullpen pitcher (Iglesias).

    • 36 pitches yesterday. Thats not happening

      • Iglesias did not pitch yesterday at all. I don’t understand the point of having a closer if he can go 2 consecutive days in a row in 1 run games without an appearance and we lose both games. The closer rules are stupid, that is one thing Price seemed to understand and he was willing to pitch Iglesias multiple innings or in an 8th inning on the road… I am also tired of batting Barhart 2nd. Sure he handles the bat well, but Joey is a much better hitter, I want my top 4 hitters in the top 4 spots one way or the other… the way it is now just gives RIggs an excuse to bunt more which is killing us. We had a better chance of stealing 3rd base.. Peraza has been thrown out a few times now on bunts… he doesn’t get a good jump or something or else is super unlucky but regardless Riggs needs to learn his lesson and adapt, the bunting is not working at all. If he fails to adapt he is no better than Baker or Price.

  65. Had a feeling when I left that it wasn’t goin to turn out good.Their pen bests ours today but well these guys have been good for a lot of this year.

  66. Joey swings when it was going to be 3-0…great!

  67. #&*^ that game. Complete giveaway. Garrett and then Peraza not scoring on a basehit by Hamilton.

  68. Wow… I hope this loss doesn’t start them into a tailspin again. What a heartbreaker.

  69. That’s one that a good team shouldn’t lose. Not quite there yet.

    • They needed that one. Somehow Lester wins every game and Romano in Cleveland is guaranteed to be a Homer’esque outing. Now you’re scrambling to go 4-5 on the trip.

  70. For anybody overvaluing Reds players because of a month of success, keep in mind where the Reds sit for the season (including the last couple seasons). We need to improve at the trade deadline esp with starting pitching.

    • Its not overvaluing…..they had (or still have?) the leading hitter in the NL, the leading rbi man, and the leading obp player and its 3 different guys! Winker/Peraza/Schebler have all been hot and Duvall is on pace for 90 rbis. Thats fact. They do need pitching help though…obviously.

      • And how are they going to get help with the pitching? The current rotation is not going to compete. I think that we need to be very active during the trade deadline. Obviously, don’t take any trades but set up for 2019 and probably more like 2020+2021.

  71. You have to keep adding on. (I know they are trying). But it seems like they get leads and seem to relax. Peraza not scoring on Billy’s groundball single. Bases loaded and 1 out, Peraza fouls the squeeze bunt, then strikes out.

Comments are closed.

About Tom Mitsoff

Tom Mitsoff is a lifelong Reds fan who grew up in the Dayton suburb of Beavercreek, Ohio. He lived a teenage life atypical of most his age by prioritizing following the Reds. At one point in the 1970s and early 1980s, Tom kept complete scorecards on more than 1,000 consecutive Reds games. Now that adult life has forced him to move on from his beloved Southwest Ohio, he follows the Reds daily through MLB.TV and other online media sources, including Redleg Nation.

Category

2018 Reds, Game Thread

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