Tonight the Reds and Indians square off in middle game of the Cleveland portion of this year’s Ohio Cup. Things got a bit edgy for the Reds in the ninth inning last night but they held on for the win and will be looking to lock down  a series win and the opportunity to break out the brooms on Wednesday. Game time is 7:10pm on Fox Sports Ohio.

Starting Pitchers

Reds righty Sal Romano will square off against Indians right hander Trevor Bauer.

What should we make of Sal Romano 18 starts into his first (hopefully) full season in the Reds rotation? His numbers and results have been very mixed. However in his last 5 starts, Romano has compiled an ERA/FIP of 3.60/4.52. That ERA is 1.80 runs per game better than his seasonal figure; the FIP  more than half run a run better.  The Reds have won 4 of the 5 games. This looks like progress; but, skeptics would point out that the 5 game run started with a couple real softies, KC and Detroit, the Reds have averaged over 6 runs per game and in the 3 most recent games, Romano has failed to get beyond the 5th inning.  Just step up tonight and show us your best against some really big boys Big Sal.

Trevor Bauer was the #3 overall pick (Arizona D-Backs) in the 2011 June draft and has a Reds connection of sorts. He was sent to Cleveland by Arizona in the three team deal in which the Reds acquired Shin-Soo Choo from the Indians. Just over a year later, in 2014, Bauer was inserted into the Indians rotation and has been there since. In 150 Mlb career appearances of which 141 have been as a starter, Bauer has compiled an ERA/FIP of 4.09/3.87. This season through 18 starts, he has pitched considerably better with an ERA/FIP of 2.45/2.17.  Most notably, he has not allowed a home run since June 2 (6 games; 42.1 IP). Bauer is basically a fastball (4 seamer, cutter, sinker)/ curveball pitcher. Expect differing looks at varying speeds punctuated by the big slow hook.

2018 Comparative Starter Stats:

Sal Romano 5.40 5.1 1.61 9.0% 17.3%
Trevor Bauer 2.45 6.2 0.37 7.4% 31.3%

Yes, I checked (twice) and you read correctly. Bauer is striking out nearly a third of the hitters he faces this season.


The Reds ended up using Raisel Iglesias last night in a game they shouldn’t have needed him but ultimately did. At least he threw only 7 pitches and should be good to go, maybe even beyond 3 outs if needed. Amir Garrett pitched into a second inning (20 pitches) Monday and is probably very limited tonight. Tanner Rainey threw 4 pitches and should be available. Michael Lorenzen presumably will be unavailable again tonight on the heels of his 40+ pitch effort Sunday.

The Indians used  3 pitchers to cover 3 innings, 1 each per pitcher. Josh Tomlin was pitching for the third consecutive day (3.0 IP total) and would be questionable for tonight. Otherwise the Indians seem seem set.


            REDS            INDIANS
1. Scott Schebler (RF)
2. Dilson Herrera (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (DH)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Jesse Winker (LF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Alex Blandino (SS)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)
1. Francisco Lindor (SS)
2. Michael Brantley (LF)
3. Jose Ramirez (3B)
4. Edwin Encarnacion (DH)
5. Yonder Alonso (1B)
6. Jason Kipnis (2B)
7. Tyler Naquin (RF)
8. Roberto Perez (C)
9. Greg Allen (CF)

Free Dilson Herrera day has arrived just in time for him to face a really tough RH pitcher. Similar condolences to Alex Blandino. Hope they both have huge games!

News and Notes

The latest in Reds minor league news from Doug Gray…


Three pretty good hitters talk about why it isn’t easy to hit’em where they ain’t

Just in case you missed this last night, one more time please Scooter….

Final Thoughts

Last night took on the air of a desperate goal line stand for the Reds in the ninth inning; but, fortunately, they held on. Hopefully, this demonstrated growth from the weekend debacles in Chicago. Tonight could provide the Reds another chance to show what else they have learned. If Indians starter Trevor Bauer is on his recent game this will be a stern test for the Reds. They likely can’t afford to give away runs in the field or leave them on the table at bat and still harbor hopes of winning. Cross your fingers. GO REDS!

Data and Stats courtesy of Fangraphs,  Baseball Reference and

102 Responses

  1. Bryan E

    This is hardly a hot take but with the deadline as close as it is, Scooter needs to be moved (either to OF or traded) and Dilson should be parked at 2B for the remainder of the season. Despite the Reds recent hot streak, this is still a rebuilding season. We need to see what we have regardless of record. The Reds aren’t making the postseason in ’18 no matter what.

    Herrera needs a good long look to see if he is a viable infielder, a valuable trade chip, a bench guy, or something else. Especially since he is out of options, there is no reason not to run him out there.

    • WVRedlegs

      Has Dilson Herrera ever proved he could hit Major League pitching? He hit a little with the Mets, but not even close to replacing the league leader in batting average. Herrera is not an answer for 2B. He is better served by going to a team that doesn’t have depth at 2B. Wrong place at wrong time for Herrera. His time was spent on the DL and has passed him by in Cincinnati.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Those games with the Mets were in 2014 and 2015 at age 20 and 21. I don’t think we have any idea what Herrera can or can’t bring to the table and that sample with the Mets tells us nothing. Why is he not a potential answer at 2B? Maybe he is THE answer, maybe not. But right now, we don’t know and if he never plays, we’ll continue to not know.

    • VaRedsFan

      So what if they trade Scooter. Dilson flops, and Senzel can’t overcome vertigo.
      Scooter should stay. Stop giving away known production for a bunch of what if’s

      • Gonzo Reds

        Agreed, sign Scooter to a team friendly deal to stay, desl Herrera. But knowing our front office… hope Votto didn’t promise Scooter a donkey if he made the All Star team….

      • Bryan E

        The Cardinals “gave away” the known production of Albert Pujols, one of the greatest hitters of this generation, for a bunch of what ifs. I think they have done alright since.

        This is the same familiarity bias that has hurt the Reds in the past. Just because a guy has produced or is nice or is local doesn’t mean that he has to stay around. If Scooter can be turned into surplus value on the trade market, the Reds should by all means do that. Senzel being injured makes the Dilson Herrera as an every day 2B even more logical.

        As JazzManBBFan said, we’ll continue to not know if Herrera can produce if he’s not out there starting and facing MLB pitching every day.

    • Den

      We have a productive second nasebas who is what only 28. Move the unknown Herrera and stop this nonsense with scooter.

  2. Seat101

    Great preview, Jim! That article about trying to back to beat the shift was fascinating.


  3. Gerardo Helguera

    Have a feeling Sal is going to get lit up tonight.

    • Jim Walker

      Let’s hope not. Like I said, fingers crossed.

    • Jeff Reed

      Lit up? Yes, I have that feeling frequently about Big Sal as a starting pitcher. I see him as an important part of the bullpen.

  4. Joe Atkinson

    It probably says something about the current starters up the middle that I can’t decide whether today’s bench combo at SS/2B is the organization saying, “Romano’s pitching, so we might as well let the be changed guys get a game,” or “Romano’s pitching … We’d better shore up the middle!”

    • Jim Walker

      I think Scooter needs a break and that Peraza had a tough game Monday and also gets to sit rather than face Bauer. Among other things that saves Riggie from having to choose between Blandino and Herrera at 2B. Of course Riggleman would never admit that but a person can’t help but wonder if it is in the mix somewhere.

      • Seat101

        I think you are correct. Now that we have won a game, the interim manager will play the young ‘uns

      • Jim Walker

        I’m wondering if Blandino and Herrera have ever operated together previously as a 2B/SS combo in the minors or winter ball maybe??? Just from memory, I believe Herrera didn’t come to AAA this year until Blandino was called up but that could be off.

  5. Streamer88

    I love the Dilson-Bauer match up. He’ll see a major league curveball or three, guaranteed. I think he’ll do well. We’re all rooting for him.

    If Riggles gets a sense that Dilson can help him frantically claw his way to a 77 win season, instead of a 71 win season, perhaps he’ll play him more.

    Not to be excessively diminutive to Riggleman, but he is a career expert at clawing to 77 wins.

    • Sliotar

      This +1000.

      “The Quest To Reach 75 Wins” should already be the title of this year’s season-in-review video, with the manager as a Captain Ahab type, desperately seeking the White Whale of 4th place in the NL Central.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        The Quest to Reach 75 Wins doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it that the Search for Reds October does 🤣😉

  6. Sliotar


    Great preview.

    Let us hope Herrera shines, even if for trade purposes down the road…but that he does not get the “Price treatment” like Ervin did last season. Ervin finally got a start, went 3 for 4, HR, 4 RBIs in a win at Chicago on August 17…..did not get another start until August 30.

    You literally can’t make this stuff up. Very #Reds Way.

    Go Red Legs.

  7. Jim t

    The problem with playing Herrera is the two spots he plays are 3rd and 2nd. Two all stars reside there for the reds. Gennett is having a career year and is a year from his big chance for financial security. No way should he sit to see what Herrera brings to the table. He also isn’t playing in place of Suarez either. A rest now and then or some pinch hitting is it at this point. If Gennett is traded then he gets regular at bats.

    • Seat101

      You sound a little bit like Dusty Baker.

      If scooter can refrain from being injured between now and the end of the All-Star game, he’s wearing somebody else’s uniform within 48 hours from the game’s end.

      • Jim t

        If scooter is traded then Herrera gets more playing time.

      • Jim t

        You want to lose credibility with the guys on your team, you sit down a all star player for a guy who hasn’t had a cup of coffee in the bigs since 2015. Especially one who gives his all every time he steps on the field and is trying to get paid.

        You sound like a guy I would really love to play for.

      • Seat101

        I believe you put the team ahead of the individual player. It looks like you disagree.

      • Jim t

        If that is the case you play your best players. It looks like you have issues with simple concepts.

    • Old-school

      If Gennett is traded, that means Nick Senzel is the 2b moving forward. If Gennett isn’t traded, then Gennett is the 2b moving forward . Either way, Dilson Herrera has no future with the Reds. The Reds can’t have 6 2b on their protected 40 man rule 5 roster. Herrera is getting a cup of coffee as secondary player in a trade.

      • Bill

        They can have 40 2B on the 40 man if they really wanted to, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

  8. Derriz

    I think it is more of a stop gap to allow the Reds to market Gennett out and get some value out of the services he has provided this team. Senzel is the assumed answer to 2b next year.

  9. Phil

    Check out the Ranger’s starting pitcher.

  10. Bill

    It’s time for Romano to take a trip to Louisville

    • Bill

      I guess he decided to prove me wrong. I’ll take 3 ER in 7 IP

    • Gonzo Reds

      Indians have 2, only 2 MLB hitters. 49 HRs between them. Pitch around them, this isn’t batting practice! Sal he gone! RobSteve RobBob RoboBobo I don’t care… get Sal out of Cincy and get us another body to try. Also, Yahoo Sports listed their top 10 first half disappointments and Castillo made the list. 😡

  11. Jeff Reed

    The lit up of Big Sal is starting early.

  12. docproctor

    Worst fears realized: Bauer strikes out the side; Romano gives up two long balls.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Indians Over 2.5 thru 5 tonite….free money. I said Romano would get lit up. I hope nobody was fooled by how he pitched vs KC and Detroit. Everyone shuts down KC. There is zero accountability with the Reds? Sad thing….they could be competing in the future and playing inferior players when you have someone like BobSteve will cost you. Romano doesn’t have it and he was mediocre in the minors.

    • Indy Red Man

      To be fair….BobSteve vs Bauer might mean they lose 6-1 rather then 8-1. Not a big difference, but isn’t it supposed to be important to field the best team possible?

    • Den

      What has BobSteve done to prove he is any better then Sal? Instead of hoping let’s trade say Senzel, Green and any other prospects at the deadline for actual major league quality starting pitchers.

      • BigRedMike

        What actual major league quality starting pitchers are available via trade?

      • Bill

        He has done a lot to prove he has a higher ceiling, he may or may not be more successful. Trading two of the top prospects in baseball for a year or two of a SP when the Reds may not be competitive seems like more hoping than letting Stephenson pitch in a lost year. When that doesn’t work out and Scooter is gone then you lose your 2B and possibly your future ace.

  14. docproctor

    I’ve seen way too many errors from Suarez this season.

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s becoming an epidemic.
      Winker took bad route on what should have been a flyout. I believe Duvall makes that catch.

  15. Indy Red Man

    So does Scooter pitch tonite? They’ll give Rainey 1 inning and maybe 2 for Stephens. 12-1 written all over it.

  16. VaRedsFan

    Reds having trouble with the curve.

  17. Indy Red Man

    Philly rookie pitcher De Los Santos going tonite vs the Mets. I think I’d target him and try to put together something involving Inglesias.

    • TyGuy85

      Heard we had some scouts at Yankees AAA game the other day. I hope that means we have a chance at Justus Sheffield.

      • bouwills

        That’s the guy I want for Harvey + maybe Lorenzen.

  18. Roger garrett

    We have put 3 balls in play. I don’t think it’s going to matter how many we give up

  19. Seat101

    Steely eyed missile man ruins the perfect game then ruins the no-hitter.

  20. Roger garrett

    Shame on him. I can’t believe he walks then has the nerve to get a hit.

  21. VaRedsFan

    Big chance for Votto to get the team back in the game here.

  22. VaRedsFan

    Credit to Sal for buckling down and at least saving the bullpen. 15 in a row.

  23. VaRedsFan

    Phil noted above about the Rangers pitcher….YOVANNI.
    4 IP, 5 ER.

  24. VaRedsFan

    Sometimes you just run into a pitcher who is downright nasty.

    • Seat101

      Hey, at least we’re not hearing that old refrain that the Reds make a batting practice pitcher look like Trevor Bauer

  25. Old-school

    Trevor Bauer is why Robert Stephenson needs to come up yesterday. Castillo has gone backwards. It was assumed he was that guy with elite stuff to headline the rotation. 2018 a disappointing year.Mahle has been soild and Disco is coming back. But where in the Reds farm system at A+ or above is that guy with Trevor Bauer stuff? It’s Bob Stephenson or no one. Cleveland has (2) #1 starters. Wow .

    Reds need to get younger and clear payroll for trades and FA SP. Finnegan Homer and Romano aren’t it. Cody Reed is a 50-1 longshot.

    It’s starting pitching. It’s also time for Dick Williams to declare the long term roles of Michael Lorenzen and Nick Senzel. Enough is enough. What’s the plan?

    • Bill

      The long term role of Lorenzen is relief pitcher. Senzel’s role may not be 100%determined, but it looks to be 2B

  26. VaRedsFan

    Suarez with another muff, they gave Blandino an undeserved error.

  27. Old-school

    Maybe Nick Senzel needs to play 3b and Eugenio plays 2b .

  28. VaRedsFan

    Spoiled the shutout….maybe Duvall can run into one.

    • VaRedsFan

      2 run double!!!. Dilson has a chance to make an impression.

    • VaRedsFan

      Worked a nice walk. Hero-time for Votto

      • VaRedsFan

        THATS what I’m talking about!!!!! You can’t tell me that an AB in the 4th inning is more important than that one.

      • BigRedMike

        I thought you stated that Votto never comes through when it matters

      • BigRedMike

        Ignorance is bliss

        Amazing how little you apparently know about baseball

      • da bear

        I lost too much $$$ on the Reds in April when Votto did not come thru.

        Prior to Votto earning his keep in this game, in 2018 Votto was 0-3 with the bases loaded and two out, and hitting .220 with RISP with two outs.

        So yes, until today, Votto often did not perform in clutch situations, once or twice hitting hard liners into bad luck WHEN IT MATTERS MOST.

        Today he came thru….with help from miscommunication from the Indians because Terry Francona called for O-P (lefty Oliver Perez) but the bullpen coach heard O-T and thus right handed Oteri came in to face Votto.

        Way to go Joey! More please.

        Hitting with RISP or runners on base in general will ALWAYS matter more than hitting or walking while the bases are empty. You weight those ABs by how many total bases are available to do a proper assessment on PERFORMANCE and how valuable one’s contributions were toward the TEAM winning.

        Bases loaded? its a x for 10 situation. Man on 1st? x for 7. No one on base? x for 4.
        that’s how you weight ABs properly. Why don’t the statisticians do it? Because the data is being kept to allow for the calcuation….(or probably only being done by the analytical teams like Boston, Houston, Chicago, etc.etc.). xwOBA is derived from stats commonly tracked (walks, singles, doubles, etc.). It is far from the best gauge toward win contribution.

        xwOBA doesn’t take into account performance with runners on base and thus is only good for measuring an individual’s performance for individuality’s sake…..

      • Steve Mancuso

        The “statisticians” do keep clutch statistics. They keep track of every one of those things. How batters hit in every situation. Open to the public at Baseball Reference, among other sites.

        But the point it, a **massive** amount of research shows that hitters don’t sustain an ability to hit above their normal performance in the clutch – other than what you would expect through normal random variation. Researchers have been looking to identify clutch hitters for years, and haven’t found it.

        But even if you think there’s value in measuring clutchiness, RISP is, without question, one of the dumbest ways to measure it. It ignores runners on first, or even hitting solo home runs. It ignores plays that add to scoring runs – like walks and singling runners from first to third, to second to third, but don’t produce a run. It ignores sacrifice flies or ground balls that score runs but aren’t hits. It ignores game situations – like is the team way ahead, or way behind. It ignores the inning. And on.

  29. Gerardo Helguera

    Will Joey finally come through in the clutch? Let’s do this!

  30. Seat101

    Dilson Herrera, we still don’t know if he can hit, but we do know he can walk.

    • Sliotar

      3 outs away from Reds Twitter blowing up with “Undefeated since Herrera was #Freed. Should have happened much sooner.”

      Nice comeback.

  31. Jazzmanbbfan

    Joey Votto: never ever when it counts.. Really?? Sweet.

    • TyGuy85

      Agreed. Never understood the hate. He’s not the problem on this team.

      • Jazzmanbbfan

        t this point it’s just fun to mock the troll who originally made that comment a couple of months ago.

  32. Gerardo Helguera

    Votto delivers the goods! This team has been something else!

  33. Old-school

    So Votto has a .1000 batting average in Cleveland with 2 outs and the bases loaded against right handers with beards on Tuesdays in July in the 9th inning.
    Thom can file that one away for next time.

  34. VaRedsFan

    I love it when a manager takes out a dominating SP, to bring in someone (anyone) else.

    • BigRedMike

      Another stellar observation. Amazing insight

  35. Jack

    Lol I had company over and missed the first 8 innings . I turned it on for the start of the ninth. Brantley saying this team could score 6 in an inning. He was close.

    • VaRedsFan

      Out with the company earlier next time….you have work to do

  36. Jeff Reed

    That was great baseball, and a great play by Suarez to make sure Joey scored.

  37. Bill

    Williams should be on the phone with Cleveland right now to see if they would be interested in a reliever

    • Joe Atkinson

      I have a hard time believing he’d have to instigate the call after that train wreck.

      “Hello, Mr. Williams? I understand that you guys are leaving town tomorrow. What would it take to keep Raisel off the plane?”

  38. Tom Mitsoff

    It would be hard to overstate how big that win could be for the team’s belief in itself, which has already been growing noticeably.

      • bouwills

        Just ecstatic after this win over the Indians. Romano is not part of the problem. Whether or not he is part of the solution is yet to be determined. The outfield rotation is great. Just as it is,. I wonder how many 9th inning RBI Duvall has? The asking price for Iglesias just went up in Cleveland. Do they play 7 inning post season ball games in the AL?

      • da bear

        Think the stat they (Reds broadcast) posted was Duvall was hitting around .300 with RISP (may or may not have been isolated to the 9th inning). He has a bucket load.

        Winker is hitting .350, 3 HRs and over 30RBIs with RISP….when it counts more.

  39. Indy Red Man

    Wow? I gave up when I saw Bauer’s curveball. Thats the best curve I’ve seen in 5 or 10 years. I noticed Cody Allen was in though and that we got the leadoff man on so I sped up the dvr and watched it live. Duvall and Herrera both hung in there when they were down to their last strike. Do they not have a loogy on their team? Joey took advantage! What an inning! I’ve also been pretty critical of Romano and I looked correct early, but give him credit! I still think BobSteve is better but thats a gutsy job! 5th time to score 6 or more in 20 games….incredible! Iggy was the best I’ve seen him all year as well. Great change-up and heater up to 97! Cleveland needs him and so does Atlanta. Their pen got destroyed tonite and they have a ton of pitching thats close. The thing is if this team is going to score like that then we need a closer too! We can compete next year!

    • bouwills

      If we get the starting pitching for Iglesias that we need, we leave the closer role to be determined from among Hughes, Garrett, Bailey, Finnegan, Lorenzen, possibly Rainey & Romano.

    • da bear

      If Reds can compete next year (and by now most of us think they can) they should keep Iglesias unless the offering is too good to refuse. The likelihood of such an offer is low, but they should keep their ears open just in case one appears.