The Short Version: Jim Riggleman’s Cincinnati Reds bungle and bunt their way to another come-from-ahead loss and drop a series to the Cubs that they easily could have swept. Baseball is fun!

Final — 10 innings R H E
Cincinnati Reds (39-51) 5 8 2
Chicago Cubs (51-36) 6 11 2
W: Farrell (3-3) L: Stephens (2-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Jose Peraza had two hits, a walk, and an RBI. Eugenio Suarez was 2-4 with a homer. Billy Hamilton walked, doubled, scored two runs, and stole two bases. Adam Duvall homered.

–David Hernandez and Jared Hughes pitched 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, though Hughes had to escape some trouble in the bottom of the ninth.

The Bad
–I can’t catalogue all the terrible defense, dumb plays, and horrible strategy that we witnessed today. But here’s a peek:

–The Reds gave up the lead in the bottom of the seventh in an embarrassing display. The Cubs tied the score on a single up the middle (on a ball that Peraza probably should have been able to knock down). Multiple Reds were caught unawares: Hamilton just lobbed the ball back into Scooter Gennett, who seemed unconcerned that a runner was actually trying to run the bases. His throw home was too late, and the Reds had handed the lead back to the home team. Just awful.

–Jim Riggleman is not a very good in-game tactician.* In the eighth, with the Reds down by one, Jose Peraza led off with a walk. He promptly stole second base. Tying run on second, no outs, heart of the order coming to the plate. Good situation, right?

No, Riggleman has Tucker Barnhart bunting, and as you might expect, the Cubs cut down Peraza at third base, and the Reds failed to score even a single run. By all means, let’s give this genius the full-time managerial job.

*Understatement of the century.

–In the bottom of the tenth, Jackson Stephens walked the first hitter, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. After collecting one out, Stephens issued an intentional walk. Addison Russell then grounded weakly to Joey Votto at first for the second out of the inning…but no! Votto nonchalantly shifted the ball from his glove to his throwing hand, and bobbled it. Before stepping on first base. A very sloppy E-3, which loaded the bases with one away.

At this point, the game was moving way too fast for Riggleman, as Steve noted. He let a pitch go by to the next hitter before deciding to move Adam Duvall into the infield to attempt to prevent the winning run. By all means, let’s give this genius the full-time managerial job.

But it didn’t matter anyway. Stephens walked home the winning run. Meanwhile, Raisel Iglesias never got off the bench. By all means, let’s give this genius the full-time managerial job.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Reds easily could have swept this series. Instead, they lost two out of three. That was some really ugly baseball the last couple of days.

–Luis Castillo gave up three runs on six hits and two walks in four innings of work.

–Dilson Herrera made his Reds debut as a pinch-runner in the top of the eighth inning.

–The Reds were down 2-0 as the game entered the third, but the good guys got one run back when Billy Hamilton doubled, stole third, and scored on Jose Peraza’s RBI single.

–Cincinnati grabbed the lead one inning later. Joey Votto walked with one out and scored on Eugenio Suarez’ 19th home run of the season.

–After Chicago tied the game up, the Reds scored on some Billy Ball. Hamilton walked, stole second base and scored on two errors by the Cubs (one on the throw from the catcher that sailed into center field, and one on the center fielder).

–After the Reds gave up the lead in embarrassing fashion (see above), things were looking grim. But Adam Duvall hit a mammoth home run in the top of the ninth to tie the game.

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Join the conversation! 95 Comments

  1. Just one other thing.Scooter needs to set because he just can’t throw and Joey has lost his power stroke and his value right now is in the two hole walking and hitting singles to left field.Guess that was two things.

    • It doesn’t matter how high your OBP is if you can’t run the bases. It takes 3 singles for him to score from 1st. People are always taking shots at Peraza and Billy, lay some of this at the feet of the “1st ballot hall of famer”

      • I can play this game too. It doesn’t matter how fast you can run the bases if you can’t reach base.

        The stats are a little confusing but I believe the chances of scoring are better for a slow guy on first than a fast guy in the dugout. It also might be a greater chance of scoring on a Suarez or Gennett HR for the slow guy on base, but I could be wrong

        • Well said Bill. It would be nice to have both in one package but prefer someone who can get on base.

      • Most number 3 hitters in their lineups either are in the top 2 of 3 on their team in home runs or rbis. Hitting for average is great, but not when you take 3rd call strikes with runners on base down a run or tied. Star players want to make the play when the game is only the line. Big time players make big time play in big time situations. 8 home runs and one was off a non-pitcher. Garbage home run. Its like hitting .400 after the team is 20 games under .500 and the season has been long over. Dumb defensive decisions, base running, etc. Hall of fame if I ever saw one. Stats do not always tell the story.

        Take another hall of fame, Barry Larkin. No where near the stats of Votto, but so much smarter and willing to groundout to advance a runner. Did what it took to help his team win. Loved Votto in his early years, but the act is wearing thin with me. Getting thrown out of a game in the first at bat for arguing balls and strikes is just plain selfish. I know he has done that at least 3 times in his career.

        • A disappointing game, and a lot of guys made mistakes. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that the Reds didn’t miss sweeping the Cubs by much. It’s easy to snipe at Votto, but he’s certainly part of the reason that the Reds have been playing well recently. For that matter, it’s easy to snipe at Riggleman, who, despite the in-game tactics, almost certainly should get some credit for the turn-around. The fact is, the Cubs are a serious contender and a talented, deep team with a great manager, and they had to dig deep and use every trick in the bag to win those two games. So, yes, disappointing, but the degree of our frustration may be due to our seeing the Reds as a team that can win games. That wasn’t the case a couple of months ago.

        • Lets break down your argument a little more.
          -#3 hitter has 2nd or 3rd HR or RBI in lineup, we all know RBI is a product of having runners on base in front of that individual. which is why Scooter and Suarez have such high RBI totals. Also you ignore the fact that most on here have suggested Suarez bat third and Votto second which would meet your made up rules of lineup construction.
          – Look at Votto’s stats with runners in scoring position. This whole “clutch hitting” is not something that actually exists. It is just hitting, there is no fundamental change because someone is on base other than potentially the defensive alignment.
          -HRs: Home runs are preferred over every other outcome, but getting on base in front of a guy who hits a home run equals the same result.
          – Not hitting when it counts: How is Votto hitting .400 after the All Star break a bad thing. If the Reds were in contention then he would somehow be “clutch” and “hitting when it counts” . Votto has no affect on the pitching being the worst in the league or Suarez and Schebler being injured.
          – Bad defense and base running: He should be held accountable for these things when they occur. However, some things to consider the other two All Stars have not been great on defense. Scooter has been horrible and Suarez has something like 11 errors already. We know Votto is slow, he didn’t win the MVP by stealing bases, he is paid to hit, which he happens to be one of the best in the game at.
          Barry Larkin groundouts to advance the runner: Do you really want your best hitters giving away outs? I thought you wanted RBIs and HRs from your three hitter? Larkin doing what it takes to win – Isn’t Votto getting on base doing what it takes to win?
          – Getting thrown out for arguing: Yes it hurts the team, but according to you he isn’t hitting when it counts so I guess that would be a good thing if we use your logic. I would prefer he let the manager do the arguing, but when he is correct about the horrible call by the umpire I can’t really blame him

          • @SWEENDOG: so Votto has been thrown out 3 times for arguing balls and strikes in a career spanning how many games and at bats? And you’re complaing about it? He knows the strike zone better than most hitters and umpires (my opinion I know) and 3 times over a 10+ year career doesn’t seem like all that many.

      • Sorry that Votto isn’t fast. Why don’t you go root for Mike Trout and the Angels?

  2. Riggleman you’re killing me!

  3. My Lorenzen chant: “Stretch him out! Stretch him out!”
    My Stephens chant: “Send him down! Send him down!”
    My Rigglemen chant: “Kill the bunt! Kill the bunt!”
    My Barnhart chant: “Move him down! Move him down!”

  4. I feel like this is the real version of the Reds. They have the talent to hang with real clubs but lack EXECUTION. There’s nothing more depressing than watching the last 2 games from start to finish. Meanwhile, if Gennett and Suarez don’t both make the All Star team, I’ll officially be fed up with the system. As long as we beat the Cards…

  5. Bottom line is Reds should have won 2/3 and could have swept the stupid Cubs.
    Amir Garrett didn’t do his job yesterday and hasnt for 2 weeks. There was no lefty presence in the bullpen this weekend.

    Joey Votto is in decline . It’s the power. Put him in the #2 hole. Jackson Stephens isn’t a MLB player- back to not having a 25 man roster. Scooter Gennett can’t throw. Nick Senzel is the starting 2b on Opening Day- that’s easy.

    Reds have played some good baseball but once Matt Harvey is traded- it’s tough sledding. Castillo is scuffling and Romano below avg . Need to finish the rebuild and more sorting is needed. Get younger.

    • Scooter is a really bad second baseman

      Was Dilson sent to the DL with a bum shoulder? Scooter should dh in Cleveland and then shut it down to pinch hitting after his all star appearance

      The Reds were on a nice run, but now is the time to sort

      • I am going to have to assume the Reds and Scooter believe he can play through whatever is wrong and still hit above average. It may be the case that it won’t get any worse, but he will not be able to throw effectively. With the last year of arb coming up I assume Scooter would like to have a full season of his current production on his resume to boost his value. Benching Scooter obviously doesn’t lend itself to an extension and the trade appears to be pushed to next year, significantly reducing his trade value compared to this year. Does a player have to agree with the decision to be placed on the DL?

      • If I recall the schedule correctly, the next three games are in Cleveland…………which -may- mean you get your wish… Scooter at DH, Dilson at 2B.

        Maybe.

    • And get a couple good starting pitchers in the expected trades coming by the end of this month.

  6. Watch the Reds lose the next 7 of the 8…….and we’re back where we were at. Two tough losses back to back

  7. I missed this one except for a few stolen glances at the score on my phone while I was at a restaurant being celebrated for living through another year. So, not experiencing the emotions, and alternating endorphin and adrenaline flow of the action may color what I’m about to say but here it is.

    I am oddly both frustrated yet at the same time encouraged. I’m frustrated because the Reds failed to win (at least) 2 of 3 in this series when they clearly should have but encouraged because this team is showing it could be on the cusp of being very good very soon. It wasn’t that long ago we were saying more than tweaks were needed. Now a couple of shrewd moves many make this team a contender in 2019 even with the full opening of the next window probably still a couple of years after that.

    It is imperative the Reds make correct decisions in front office at this point with the biggest being getting the right person to be their leader in the dugout.

    • Jim, you copied my post before I even wrote it. My birthday is not till next month though.

      I feel exactly the same way. I was incredibly bummed by yesterday’s loss. Not so much today. By the way I Brian Price for the lack of execution. Everything I’ve read and heard says the players were not there on the field before the game When Price was manager.

      I really am beginning to hate the bunt.

    • Many happy returns, Jim.

  8. Good teams do not let games like yesterday’s game and today’s game slip away. Just when I thought that they were rounding into shape as a good team they slip back to mediocrity.

    • The difference for me is that they are getting themselves into a position to win virtually every day. It’s been years since that has been the case. Now they have to learn to win them.

      • That’s how I see it. They gave the cubbies all they wanted. Every really bad team has to learn how to win, With Riggleman it’s mostly a “trial & error” process.

      • And if Riggleman will stop giving away outs maybe they would have done the game even giving away all those errors.

    • Good teams do let those games slip away sometimes. Just not often. The Cubs are a good team, and they had their share of gaffes. With better bullpen performance, the Reds could have swept the series, so I don’t think it’s accurate to say they’ve slipped back to mediocrity. The weren’t mediocre before, in any case. They were terrible.

  9. Even good teams have bad stretches. We’ve been blessed with good play, and now this young team is acting very young. I hope games like the last couple are kept on the brain by upper management when Riggleman is being evaluated to lead the ball-club next year. A manager should be someone who stops bad momentum and stays out of the way when good momentum is going. Not the opposite.

  10. Dick Williams claims to be a forward-thinking, open-to-analytics kind of guy. Please tell me he crossed Rig off the managerial candidate list after Rig called for a bunt with a fast runner in scoring position and no one out.

    And if you think highly enough of Barnhart to bat him 2nd, let him swing the damn bat. Better yet, move him to the 7-hole where he belongs.

    It’s painfully clear that Votto should be batting 2nd. And I’ll bet Rig wouldn’t have asked him to bunt in that situation. All the more reason Votto should bat 2nd.

    • It is puzzling why, with Perraza leading off, the remainder of the order is not Votto/Suarez/Gennett/whoever is left/SP I would probably even do the same with Schebler leading off.

  11. Dusty, Price, Riggleman. The beat goes on. Save your best bullpen arm in a tie game on the road because he might be available for a save later.

  12. This game should have been over in the 9th. Only a great pick by Casali on an awful throw by Scooter continued the next inning. Scooter, love your offense but you are a defensive liability.
    I absolutely hate the bunt. Peraza at 2nd, nobody out and as already been mentioned, failed terribly. Stop bunting! Hardly ever works. Votto’s gaffe didn’t help matters either. Gave this game away. I’ve backed Riggleman the past month or so but after today, I don’t want him around next year. Oh look…another bunt.

  13. I think they are getting there, but as we all know, they need starters. I don’t think we can be successful with who we have. They really need to bring someone in—especially given that Harvey is gone.

    I also agree that someone else should be hitting third. Votto has 1 home run in the last how many at bats.

    • I’m nobody to critic a HOF hitter, but what’s with Votto’s half swing? It seems to me that’s only meant to hit a chip shot to left field. For many seasons Votto should have batted second. That goes back to Dusty.

    • Votto cannot always expect to hit off a 2nd string position playet.

  14. “At this point, the game was moving way too fast for Riggleman…” True, but I think we can safely say every game is moving way too fast for Riggleman from the moment he starts filling out the lineup card.

    • I often get the impression Riggleman makes changes for change sake. Why take out Lorenzen when he has pitched two and two-thirds scoreless innings, and then a single is enough to lift him, and then the gate is open for the Cubbies.

      • The pitching change was a little too quick for me, only because Lorenzen had dominated. It took 9 batters for the Cubs to record a hit, and it was a groundball single. I understand the lefty/lefty matchup, but the Cubs were struggling to square Lorenzen up.

        I think Riggleman’s move was defensible; I’d just rather see him ride the hot hand in that situation without someone in scoring position.

  15. Feel like we’ve seen more than enough of Jackson Stephens. Plenty of well documented blame to go around for this game, but he didn’t do anything other than play to expectations, which is just as sad as some of the errors by actual good players

    • It’s puzzling to me to send Floro to the LAD’s and keep Stephens.

      • Could it be possible LA didn’t want Stephens?

        • Could it also be possible that 1 year ago they didn’t want Wandy Peralta?

        • My first thought too. The Reds were obviously very high on the guy who was the 4th rounder last season and probably gave what they had to in order to get him. Reds are clearly selling their international allotment amount. Dodgers probably called to buy some and things went from there.

  16. I’d say roster is set at about 80%. Very poor managerial decisions led to this loss (and some others, too). Scooter’s defense is killing the team, Castillo should be sent down and Votto should no longer bat third.

    • Scooter’s defense did not kill the team today. Casali bailed him out on the throw home, no run scored. Votto’s defense is killing, and his offense is well behind Scooters. Suarez has 11 errors this year after only 8 all of last year. Peraza rarely makes any play other than a routine ground ball (see 7th inning). Winker and Schebler were awful in RF the last 2 games.

    • I thought that poor pitching and defense led to the loss. Maybe managerial decisions did, too, but since outcomes of decisions not made are unpredictable, I’ll go with the observable things. Bobbles, poor throws, bad pitching. Walks. They haunt.

  17. When a media member suggest that Riggleman should have the interim tag removed, they should be shown this game. Laughable decisions.

    2-3-4 hitters coming up with a fast runner at second, lets bunt and give away an out. Shouldn’t the 2-3-4 hitters in the lineup be the best hitters. As noted, this was done with Gennett and Suarez the other game, no reason to ever take the bat out of your best hitters hands.

    Good thing the Reds best relief pitcher was not used until the save situation arose

    Castillo has good aspects, just has to learn to put hitters away. Just is not giving enough innings

    • A lot of the media stuff about Riggleman is coming from regional and national writers which makes me wonder who is floating and driving this “story” because I doubt these writers are thinking it up on their own. There is plenty enough going on in baseball right now that they don’t need to cook up a story about Riggleman’s status.

      After the recent ESPN interview, it seems pretty clear Williams is committed to a full scale managerial search; so, who inside or outside of the Reds org want Riggleman named “permanent” manager and has the connections to keep this talk alive?

      • Pretty easy to discern – Riggleman and his agent. There is no way Riggleman is manager of the 2019 Reds.

        He’s been a huge step up from Price, but the Reds can do far better.

  18. Votto, Gennett, and Suarez are All Stars

    • Votto’s selection is based purely upon OBP. He hasn’t helped the Reds as much as half a dozen other first basemen have done for their teams in the NL alone. Just within the NL Central I’d rather have Aguilar, Rizzo and Martinez ahead of Votto. If my only concern is winning.

      • He was selected by the players. Evidently the people who actually bplaybthe game disagree with you

        • Kobe Bryant was selected for all-Star games beyond his prime…. Derek Jeter when well past his prime.

          Voting is in large part a popularity and brand recognition contest. Who knows whether or not the players in MLB would rather have Aguilar, Rizzo, or Martinez on their teams as opposed to Votto. In 2018.

          • Votto was not selected by the fans as part of a popularity contest. He was selected by the players, so yes we do know the players would rather have Votto

          • well…. in this case we all know that they wanted Votto, since it was the players that put him on the all star team

  19. By all means, let’s give this genius the full-time managerial job.

  20. In the eighth inning when Peraza walked Marty said something to the effect that it was “very unlikely that the Reds would have Peraza steal.” What? Down by a run in the eighth with your second best stealer on base, why wouldn’t you have him steal. I do not understand what Marty was thinking.

    • Love the guy but he is part of the good ole boy network.Game has passed him by.Remember when he told Griffey Jr he would still be here long after he was gone?Probably was the last time he got it right and to think I can remember muting the TV so I could hear him and Joe do the game.Just means I can remember when we were actually good year after year after year.

  21. Jim Riggleman’s career record as a manager is 698-859.

    • A stat every bit as dependent upon others as RBI.

      • True. But you can’t take that position then use his much smaller sample size W-L record with the Reds as evidence of anything positive.

        • Fair enough. I’m really looking at the difference in the Reds since Riggleman took over, which is, of course, a pretty small sample size. Riggleman’a in-game decisions stir us up, certainly, but I think it’s possible/likely that he’s adding something that’s helping the team believe in itself. He shouldn’t be handed the job or even given the inside track, but if the improvement lasts through the rest of the season, he should be considered.

      • But, if you’re going to credit him with wins, why can’t we attribute the losses to him as well?

        • I’m certainly don’t only credit him for the wins. I actually give managers very little credit for either wins or losses. We’ve picked on Reds managers habitually for years, even Dusty when the Reds were winning. Most of us probably harbor the suspicion that we could manage at MLB level, but few of us imagine that we could play, so it’s easy to assign great importance to managers.

  22. The Reds need to trade Matt Harvey at the All star break to find out if they need Matt Harvey as a FA in the off season. Stephenson and Castillo and Romano and Lorenzen and Reed need to pitch.

    The reds SP in 2019 will determine success abd they arebt there. They need to dump salaries so that the Reds could sign 2!!!!!! SP in the off-season if needed.
    Trading Hamiltin and Gennett and Hernandez unloads $20 million in salary- roughly Homer’s final year. I love Scooter but his R shoulder is gone and Nick Senzel is there.

    Keep Iglesias and Hughes….no one is trading fair value for them. Put India at SS in the minors and Peraza plays SS next year.

    • I missed it. Does Scooter need Tommy John surgery, Or just a few days off (at DH)?? Let 5+ WAR player go because he has sore shoulder????

      • Hopefully he is not getting TJ to fix his shoulder issues. I’m not a doctor, but I doubt the success rate of elbow surgery fixing shoulders is very high

  23. I like Riggleman and hope they make him the permanent Manager. They respond to his leadership.

  24. Obviously, if the Reds had a competent manager, they would never lose again.

  25. It was working until Lorenzen was removed from the game.Everybody knew it was on him to get us to the eighth inning ahead or tied for us to have a chance and he gives up a hit with two outs in the 7th and he is pulled.Does anybody think Crockett has a better chance to get Heyward out.I would have road Lorenzen right there because he earned it and if he gives it up then he gives it up.Lorenzen should have been allowed to finish.He was throwing really well and sometimes to heck with it just let em pitch.On the flip side does anybody think Stephens had a chance at all to get through the 10th.Of course not and when you add in the little league play by Joey and I am being kind then you can’t help but think well we are so far from contending.

    • Yes, this disturbed me too. Riggleman does the same thing with the starters. No matter how well they are pitching, if 1 guy gets on, he gets yanked.

  26. It is legitimate to question some of the moves but it appears that we know for sure leaving Lorenzen in or not bunting would have worked out better. We can say that the odds were better at success but no guarantee these other alternatives would have resulted in a win.

    Also, we always look at it from our own perspective and forget about the bad plays and decisions by the opponent. For example the Hamilton steal of 2nd that ended up in a run was buffoonery on the Cubs part. Even with the non-chaulaunt play by the CF, Billy was out by 2 strides we a half decent throw. It happens on both sides.

  27. Doing the small things well and good fundamentals is not a hallmark of this team. That was supposed to be a strong suit of Riggleman’s, but I just have not seen it since he took over. It might be worse now. Relay throws bobbled, inaccurate relay throws, careless fielding, throwing to wrong bases all add up to giving games away. The infield defense in particular is bad. The pendulum has swung the other way on the Reds defense.

    • The poor fielding is more on the players. The Reds front office has to make difficult decisions given:
      (1) Votto is a fielder with limited range, unwillingness to get in front of groundballs, prone to making poor decisions, and average at best arm
      (2) Scooter for a 2nd baseman has limited range, a poor arm, has often dropped relay throws. Played better for a two to three week period but reverting back to (bad) form
      (3) Peraza for a shortstop has average range and does not reach or knock down balls that appear within his grasp. Average arm at best. Blandino appears to have a stronger arm.
      (4) Suarez can make some exceptional plays at third…..but he this season has made numerous routine errors.

      The poor and porous defense has cost the Reds several games this season. And made their young starters look worse than they might otherwise appear.

    • And yet the Reds are winning, and they weren’t before. The decline in defense owes something to the personnel, but it does seem as though the fundamentals are not consistently fundamental to this team yet.

  28. Billy’s play was a bad play on his part even if he did score.Doesn’t change anything we just don’t talk much about the goofs that don’t hurt.The bunt even if Peraza gets to third is a bad play and is supported by data.Last time I looked we lead the league in bunts which is just silly since we are giving away outs especially in our park where you should play for the 3 run homer not a single run.Lorenzen may have or may not have got the job done I just feel he should have stayed in because he was throwing so well.Scooter’s arm is hurting and he bounced a throw home that Casalli made a great back hand on in the ninth.A routine play with no hurry at all and he bounced it 10 feet short.Didn’t hurt just a bad play.Votto’s little league play loads the bases.

    • I hate bunts with a passion too, but getting a runner to 3rd with 1 out, actually increases the odds of scoring exactly 1 run by 5 or 6 percent.

      Scooter’s throw home, while it was truly bad, could have been inhibited a little by Heywood running to 2nd.

  29. Riggleman needs to go. This was a good thing in a way. Lose the battle to win the war because this front office is definitely dumb enough and shortsighted enough to give him the job if they end up 8 over .500 with Riggleman.

    Lefties have a .877 ops off of Castillo. He had good stuff today, but he needs something else vs lefties? A splitter or something. He’s also developing this bad habit of making his worst pitches with risp? I think he was 1-2 on Russell and hung a slider for the 2 run double. I predict Romano will get smacked around in Cleveland. They really need to give BobSteve a shot! What else does he have to do?

    Lorenzen was excellent. I haven’t seen him use the slider/changeup so much as he did today. Above average 3 pitch mix = starter. Anyone else with zero HRs allowed on this team? If Lorenzen flourishes in the rotation then they’re not that far away at all!

    Billy had a great series. Harvey looked pretty decent again. There should be a market for them if they’re ready to trade? Teams can’t count on HRs in mid-October with cool weather and facing the best pitching. Billy coming off the bench to pinch-run in a 2-2 game in the 7th…..thats a weapon!

    Peraza? Who knows? He should’ve got Baez’s hit…or atleast knocked it down. Why was he so far in the hole anyway? 0-2 pitch and they’re obviously pitching him away. Hernandez threw him a hittable fastball for some stupid reason but Peraza should’ve had it. Are they sticking w/Billy and Jose? Does Senzel need to buy a house in Louisville like BobSteve? Quit sitting on the #&#^#$@’g fence already and do something? Trading Scooter now doesn’t make sense….pennies on the dollar. They need to move Billy and make a hole! Senzel can work on LF or possibly Scooter if his arm cooperates?

    Overall…they’re closer and thats encouraging. I think Winker has 24 rbis in June-July. Suarez has stepped up 2-3 notches and not just one. Duvall is warming up and can still be useful if utilized correctly. They need 1 decent starter (preferably a lefty) and 1-2 guys in the pen…especially if they deal Iggy.

  30. The Reds ended up wiggling out of danger in the 9th, but Joey’s play bugged me there. His baserunning and defense is really subpar. The error in the 10th is one thing, but he just threw the ball home in the 9th and never really looked at the runner. You see where the guy is and you run at him when he’s nearing halfway like that. Suarez was close enough and was coming back to 3rd to trap the guy if Joey reads the play correctly. They had him hung out to dry! The Cubs made mistakes too…mental and physical but the Reds were worse.

    • Ehh. I can live with that play. He’s not a short stop with great speed arm or accuracy, he had no play except a tag at first or risk throwing to third.

      His job there was to keep the runner from scoring and he did. The bobble? Now that really got me heated. My favorite Red / player but he is making it difficult to root for lately

  31. I’m wondering who the Reds will use as DH in Cleveland. All three Cleveland probable pitchers are right handers. Sounds like Scooter’s shoulder could use a rest from throwing. Maybe Herrera gets a start or two with Scooter DHing? I suspect BHam is going to play every day; so, that might lead to Duvall being at 1B with Votto DHing to get Winker and Schebler both on the field. And then there is the fact that Michael Lorenzen threw over 40 pitches on Sunday and isn’t likely to see the mound before Wednesday at the very earliest…..

    • I personally hope they give Herrera a shot. I was hoping the FO would make a good trade at the right time with Scooter and give Herrera an extended look at second.

      If Herrera meets his potential at second, then the Reds are suddenly looking really pretty in the infield with Senzel coming up next year and Peraza as a super sub.

    • I think you might just kinda see that, scooter dh one game, votto another, and winker one

    • The rest of the Reds’ position players might mutiny if Riggleman uses Lorenzen at DH. Riggleman already said he once pulled Lorenzen for a pinch hitter because he felt he needed to defer to his regular position players. If Lorenzen is the best choice for DH, fine by me. Would be interesting. But no way it happens. … No matter who DH’s, though, Lorenzen does give them, in effect, an extra bench bat if he’s not available to pitch.

  32. Looking at the box score didn’t give me much joy about Luis Castillo. His pitch count for 4 innings was not too out of line but that’s about the best that can be said. 3ER in 4 innings (6.75 ERA) and a Whip OF 2 simply aren’t good enough.

    Someone suggested above that Castillo needs a pitch use versus LH hitters. Maybe it is time to get Mario Soto to Cincy for a clinic on his changeup because Mario could back up his change like a screwball and also tail his fastball to manage LH hitters.

  33. are baserunning is really bad. we have 3 sloths set in stone with suarez, votto and barnhart. we can live with that but this means we need to find more speed in the outfield and 2nd base. I love scooter but I think senzel needs to replace him when ready. he has decent speed. I think we keep billy and add trammel and either siri or Freidl in the outfield when they are ready. this gives us 5 base stealers that really can put a lot of pressure on the cubs and brewers who are not very good at throwing runners out.

    • The Reds were horrible when the we’re one of the top base stealing teams in the league.

  34. Another frustrating loss, but at least they are competitive. That is a considerable improvement from April/earlly May. It is not the end of the rebuild by any stretch, but I at least feel like we are at the end of the beginning as opposed to April when it felt like we were going to have to go with rebuild 2.0.

  35. Hard to lay the lion’s share of the blame at JR’s feet, the execution has to be better too, especially on D.

    While I do dislike using your best hitters to bunt, the performance of the relief corp was not good the whole series. Perhaps its the short turnaround in the series with the Cubs that got their hitters more acclimated to them or just slumpin’, but they have to be better.

    I was fine with the Lorenzen move either way, it a catch-22 and the only way you win those is for the next guy(s) out of the pen to do their job, which they didn’t.

  36. Already been commented on…why have Barnhart bunt w/ Peraza on 2nd. Maybe before he stole 2nd, but not after, especially with Barnhart batting leftie, he could easily have moved Peraza to third with a ground ball to the right side (if not score him with a single).

    Previous game, Amir comes in and gets Rizzo for the 4th time this season in tough situation (admittedly a wicked line drive to a perfectly placed Schebler) and smokes the next two. But he’s way to pumped coming into the next inning and loses his control…should calm down a bit, or should have been pulled sooner as it was clear he started throwing instead of pitching bouncing pitches he was controlling previous inning.

    Have mentioned Joey’s apparent power lapse before…may be time to move him up to 2nd in the order. Is it age or legs or statistics?

    Gennett not the best fielding 2nd baseman, but I don’t think he’s killing the Reds, quite the opposite.With Senzel out rest of year, may need Scooter again next year. Sorry to say, Suarez lookin’ a little non-chalant [sic] in the field…maybe taking a little breather now he’s made his millions.

  37. When Riggleman assumed the reins as interim manager, his aggressive, ‘win now’ approach was refreshing and welcome after a decade of DB’s and BP’s ‘play-for-tomorrow’ approach. I think the players responded to the manager’s lead also. Unfortunately, Riggleman’s constant bullpen churning is getting stale and is beginning to have a detrimental impact on a previously dominant bullpen. Every time a reliever gets up in the bullpen, additional wear and tear is added to his arm and shoulder, in addition to his overall stamina. This is in addition to any time pitching in-game. The reliever’s bodies are also being trained to pitch in minutely short durations.

    In his last 14 games, Garrett has logged a total of 10.0 IP. That’s 0.2 innings per outing. Riggleman is using Garrett as a LOOGY and forcing Garrett’s body to adapt to this use. It’s no surprise when Garrett is asked to extend himself and pitch a multi-inning game, that he struggles after his first inning of work. Garrett is spending more time in the bullpen warming up than he is pitching in games.

    Last night, Lorenzen faced 9 batters in 2.2 IP with 3 SO, 3 ground balls (1 for a hit), 2 fly outs and 1 BB (eliminated on a GIDP). With 2 outs and a runner on 1B, Riggleman removed Lorenzen from the game, while Lorenzen was dominating the game, in favor of his LOOGY. Any time a reliever enters the game, no one knows if he will bring his ‘A’ game or struggle out of the gate. Two pitchers and two runs later, the Reds finally get the 3rd out of the 7th inning after relinquishing the lead.

    These behaviors by Riggleman are wearing down the bullpen. There must be a happy medium somewhere between the extreme pendulum bullpen management approaches espoused by DB/BP and JR.

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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.

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2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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