The Short Version: Jose Peraza breaks an all-time franchise record, but the Reds fall short in the final game of the first game. Despite the loss, the Reds will go into the All-Star break feeling pretty good about taking two of three in both St. Louis and Cleveland.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (43-53) 4 8 1
St. Louis Cardinals (48-46) 6 7 0
W: Gant (3-3) L: DeSclafani (4-2) S: Hicks (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Jose Peraza had three hits and an RBI. He had eleven hits in this series, the most by a Red in a three-game series — over the entire history of the Cincinnati Reds. That’s crazy.

Peraza finishes the first half with a .293 average and a .339 on-base percentage. Most of us will take that out of our shortstop.

–Joey Votto doubled, walked, and scored a run. Adam Duvall singled, walked, and had a couple of RBI.

–Sal Romano — pitching out of the bullpen for the first time, with the All-Star break ahead of us — Dylan Hernandez, Jared Hughes, and Raisel Iglesias combined for 3.2 innings of shutout relief.

The Bad
–Billy Hamilton was credited with an error in the bottom of the fourth that contributed to the Cardinals comeback, but the error just as easily could have been charged to Tucker Barnhart, who let the throw from center get past him.

–Anthony DeSclafani gave up six runs on five hits and a walk in 3.1 innings.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’ll do it for the first half of the season, and what a rollercoaster ride it was. The Reds started 3-18, but went 40-35 after that. Which team is the real Reds?

–It’s always great to go into St. Louis and win a series. There will never be a time that it isn’t fun.

–If not for the two games that the Reds just handed to the Cubs last weekend, this could very easily have been a 7-2 road trip for Cincinnati heading into the All-Star break. As it turned out, it was 5-4, but I’ll take it.

–Down 2-0 in the top of the fourth, the Reds offense demonstrated why they’ve been so effective lately. Lots of batter were patient, got deep into counts, and Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas was forced to work hard in the Sunday sunshine.

Joey Votto led off with a double. Eugenio Suarez quickly got behind in the count 0-2, but was able to work a walk. Jesse Winker singled to center to load the bases. After Tucker Barnhart struck out, Adam Duvall drove a liner to left field that missed being a grand slam by a matter of inches. Oh well, foul ball…Duvall ultimately singled to left to tie the score.

Anthony DeSclafani then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt down the third base line…so perfect, in fact, that Disco beat out the throw for an infield single. One out later, Jose Peraza grounded one sharply to the pitcher, Mikolas, who was unable to field it; probably should have been an error, but the official scorer called it a single and an RBI. Reds led 3-2.

About ten minutes later, they were losing 6-3, but we’ll always have the top of the fourth.

–Some guy had a really sweet hairdo behind the St. Louis home plate.

–Oh well. Plenty to discuss over the All-Star break. I think it’s safe to say we’re all having a lot more fun watching the Reds right now, despite today’s loss.

Today’s Tweets

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.

Join the conversation! 66 Comments

  1. 3-18 … and 8-27!!!

  2. How about Peraza? His OBP in the last 30 days is .414! He seems to be developing into the kind of hitter I thought he could be, which is basically Juan Pierre/Dee Gordon type clone, although I still think Peraza has it in him to be a 15-20 HR guy. Remember, he’s still just 24 years old, 4 years away from his theoretical “peak”.

    But if he keeps developing and keeps getting on base at a .350+ clip, I would absolutely be ok with him being the leadoff hitter for the forseeable future.

    My question is: Can Peraza play CF? Billy made the switch from SS to CF, and that worked out pretty well.

    • I don’t know about shifting him to the OF. I feel like learning a new position might detract from his hitting, which is really all the kid has.

    • It did work out pretty well, so why do you want Peraza to play center? If Peraza could be a good starting pitcher, a switch would be in order, but the offense is not the problem.

    • He played there once for LA, 13 games for the Reds in 2016, and 2 last year, for a total of 118 innings. I am not sure how well he handled it, but there seems to be no interest in playing Senzel at SS and no other SS in the system that is ready.

      • From what I saw of him in CF, it was not very pretty. He could perhaps turn into a good CF but I agree that I’m not sure why you’d want to try it. His work at SS has definitely improved and there aren’t other SS in the system kicking down the door.

  3. Congrats to young Peraza

  4. Anyone else think Duval’s ball very clearly glanced off of the foul pole and should have been a Grand Slam?

    • I was surprised by Riggleman’s silence. I thought at least requesting a review or something was worthwhile in that situatiion. i mean it would have been a grandslam & put the Reds up by 2.

    • Yes! I saw the same thing. Unbelievable that no one even asked for a crew review.

    • Cardinal feed had a close up view of that play, it missed the pole. The Reds dugout probably saw the same thing

  5. Peraza is smoking hot.
    Here we are at the all star break and Joey Votto has the lowest batting average in the infield, not including the C. Who saw that coming? But not a bad thing, Votto at .289, Peraza at .293, Suarez at .312 and Scooter leading the NL at .327. And Votto’s notorious 2nd half is coming.
    Out of the break the rotation will be Mahle, DeSclafani, and Harvey. That will take up the first 3 game series vs. PIT. They didn’t list any others for #4 and #5. Interesting.

  6. In the last several weeks the Reds have been consistently playing no worse than .500 ball. Winning 2/3 of your games for the season gets 108 wins. We should all be ecstatic about how they’ve been playing lately.

  7. I still say you should insert between “The Bad” and “Not-So-Random Thoughts” a new heading of “The Ugly” when the Reds play the Cardinals.
    It should always state under the heading “The Cardinals”.

  8. I’m still trying to figure out why the Reds would EVER walk somebody intentionally to get to Molina. The guy kills the Reds, has done so for years. …. What’s next? Against the Brewers, will we walk a guy to get to Thames?

    • Yes, it’s a pick your poison deal. Carpenter kills us too (and had already homered), so they just went with the platoon match up.

  9. DeSclafani last 6 starts – Home runs allowed….

    2 (today)
    1
    3
    1
    2
    2

    He has 2 years of arbitration left, so certainly will get every chance the rest of this season and next to clean things up.

    But, 2015, when he pitched 184 innings and put up 3 WAR seems like a lifetime ago. He was – .2 entering today.

    The Reds have a Top 5 offense this season and are still climbing a hill to finish near .500.

    Disco taking a big step forward in 2019 feels like one of those “Top 5 things that need to happen” for the team to think it can contend.

    • If we trade Harvey and rely on Disco and Bailey, we might as well re-hire Bryan Price. Not really – but iwe don’t have a lot to look forward to if we don’t trade for pitching during the break.

      Does anyone have the knowledge of whose record Jose broke?

      • Eddie Taubensee from 2002 if my memory serves me right ( from tv graphic)

      • I chuckle when I read trade Harvey cause we need pitching.Has he not been our best pitcher for his last 10 starts or so?
        He just looks so much more professional than anyone else we put on the hill.His pitch count is always low and you can just see him digging in with RISP.He is just reluctant to give in to the batter.
        I really think its a no brainer to sign him,unless Boras just makes his price ridiculous,which is hard to fathom given his previous couple of years.Its going to cost Bob less to sign Harvey than to sign a legit #1 or #2 F.A starter in the off season .Also remember that Homers 20 mil comes off the books after next year.He would be extending his payroll for one season.Didnt Williams say that they would be adding to payroll this off season?
        Am I alone on this?

        • You’re right Harvey has been solid and is improving although until his last outing I’d say Mahle has been the best starter on the staff.

          However, Boras is synonymous with ‘ridiculous demands’. They’ll get a large market team to cough up more money than the Reds can afford.

          If other teams aren’t offering decent prospects for Harvey, keep him the rest of the year to establish a winning culture as opposed to accepting little in return for the positive outcome from his next 14 starts. Replacing Harvey with Homer is hopeless and tells us management is more concerned with their pride than with making good decisions.

        • I was saying to some buddies the other day that I would not be upset if the Reds signed Harvey (depending on the price tag, that is). I say 4 yrs/between $40M and 48M

          • I’d do that in a heartbeat.I think Harvey would take that as well.It appears he likes it in ‘Nati other than in his last start when he and the rest of the sane world thought he was pulled way prematurely.5+ innings 1 run 4 hits 2 bb 94 pitches.

        • He is a free agent. If the Reds want him then they are free to sign him like every other team during the off season. Keeping him makes no sense in a lost year

          • I agree Bill. For the rest of this season Harvey is a rental & right now a trade chip. Trading him makes all the sense in the world. If it’s true that Bailey is returning to the rotation, then the Reds actually need those Harvey starts to be used by Stephenson, possibly Reed or Lorenzen. Maybe a few months in a big market (like the Yankees) might convince Harvey to re-sign with a smaller market team like the Reds.It’s just essential that the Reds acquire a good to very good prospect/young player for Harvey now. I don’t think they’ll get a Senzel, Greene, Trammel (or even India) level prospect in return,but maybe a Santillan, T. Stephenson, Siri level guy.

          • The year hasn’t seemed so lost for the past month or more. Finishing strong(ly), even though it’s unlikely to get them to the playoffs this year, makes lots of sense. If Boras makes signing Harvey too crazy, then see if a good return in a trade is possible, but he absolutely could be a signiicant part of the next good Reds team, since that mythical beast has announced an earlier than expected arrival date.

          • I don’t see finishing strong as providing any benefit unless the Reds make the playoffs, which is at less than .2% chance now. Finishing strong will boost the expectations and predictions for next year, but similar to the Ricky Bobby qoute “If you ain’t first, you’re last”, finishing third place in the division means nothing, and does nothing but give them a lower draft pick, though I would love to finish in front of the Cardinals. If they were four games out of the Wild Card then keep Harvey and try for the playoffs, at 10 games out and 8 teams in front of them the playoffs aren’t happening

          • Watch the Reds now and compare what you see to what we (and they) endured earlier in the season. Playing like the current version for the rest of the year provides no benefit for 2019 only if you entirely discount the importance of intangibles which, some nascent research (which may result in them becoming tangibles) indicate are important indeed. A demoralized team is rarely if ever a winning team.

        • Signing any pitcher is an injury risk. Signing Harvey is a HUGE injury risk. I’m sorry, unless he could be had on a “make good” kind of deal for 1-2years, I wouldn’t sign him.

    • I wonder if Carpenter can hit a home run if you pipe him a fastball in the 1st AB?

    • Most of Disco’s home runs allowed have been solo shots. So 1 or 2 per game isn’t a killer.

  10. Taylor Trammell, a homerun in the Futures Game.

  11. Reds have 3 players with at least 60 RBI prior to the ASB. Suarez has 71, Gennett has 63, & Duvall has 60. Votto has 50. The total for those 4 guys @ 244 is tops for Reds teams this century. 2nd best was 2010 when Votto (60), Gomes (60), Rolen (57) & Stubbs (43) combined for 220. In 2003 Kearns (58), Boone (56), Guillen (49), & Casey (48) combined for 211 rbi preASB. Dunn also had 48, for a 5 man total of 259 rbi. Throw in Winker (42) for 5th man in this years total & the 2018 group has 286. It’s hard to pitch around that many run producers in any lineup.

    • That is exactly why I would like to keep Gennett and add Senzel and later India to this lineup. It would be dynamic beyond belief. Of course, the Reds need to find a place for all these players, but that is a good problem to have.
      What the Reds need is starting pitchers. If the 2012 staff was joined with this lineup the Reds would be chasing a World Series.

    • Cool stats Bo. Aren’t there more games played before the ASB now, than there used to be?

  12. Dylan Hernadez & David Floro – both solid relievers!

  13. GREAT!…I have constantly said how much I don’t respect Peraza’s game and how I don’t believe in his ability to get better and here he is setting new club records.😒

    I am not gonna let his first half change my mind about him though. If he does this or better for a full season for several yrs of his career, THEN….MAAAYBE I MIGHT!… Think about things regarding him.

    I know some of you might be saying to me, “how much more does he got to do to prove himself to me…(.290+ BA/.330+ OBP). To that I would say…I don’t know. But I’m not gonna give anyone the satisfaction of admitting I was wrong about him. 😉 Yes, those are decent numbers and it does sting my ego a little bit to see him doing what he’s doing.

    But, I wanna be clear about this one more time, I never hated Peraza…I just didn’t respect his game. Yes…it’s kinda hard not to respect his game when he’s doing what he’s doing. But…I’m stubborn…deal with it.

    So, sit there with your silent “I told you so’s”. I’m still not willing to admit anything and I might never admit anything.

    Venting over.

    • I am hesitant to accept him as the SS and leadoff hitter for the future. I have always thought he was going to hit like Hamilton, but he is proving me wrong right now. We have seen Hamilton go on streaks that make us think he has finally figured it out only to go back to his norm and disappoint us. Even if Peraza cools off a little the Reds have enough hitting that he doesn’t need to bat .300, and he will be acceptable until someone else better comes along. If he does continue hitting like his current hot streak then the Reds will have a really scary offense and can improve even more by getting Senzel into the lineup. I just hope they find some pitching so the team can compete. Good pitching and a lineup of Peraza(if the current hitting is not a fluke), Votto, Suarez, Gennett, Senzel, Winker, Schebler, Barnhart would win a lot of games. Add a bench of Herrera, Duvall, Blandino, and a catcher. The failure to develop pitching is so frustrating because the team has the offense to compete with anyone

      • That’s a good lineup, certainly. Give some thought to defense, though, because good pitching doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

        • The defense wouldn’t be great, which is why I was for trading Gennett and getting a CF. However it appears Gennett is staying so with both him and Winker in the lineup and Votto at 1B, there isn’t anywhere to hide their defense

    • As a card carrying member of the dump Peraza club, I’m surprised to see real improvement this year. Walk rate is up, o-zone swing % is down, and hard hit % is up. I take my crow smoked, just like my Cardinals.

    • An increase in average exit velocity might be enough for me. I like him, though. So really I don’t see many issues with his hitting.

    • Okay, Sandman. I take no satisfaction from being right about Peraza because I was wrong. It is, as you say, a small sample size, but the trend is good.

  14. Rough game for Disco. Its going to take time for him to get a feel for everything again, but 1 er in 7ip in Cleveland made me think that he would be better today! It seems like Lorenzen has went with alot more breaking pitches lately which makes 95-97 look faster. Disco should try that approach rather then pumping in so many 92 mph fastballs. Set the hitter up more! He’ll get it. I think he’ll be a solid 3.70 era innings eater again, but probably not much more then that.

    Peraza….dude is the Jamie Moyer of hitters. Everyone else tries to hit screaming liners, but he hits change-ups and its working fine! Thank you very much! I would like to see him run more though? Their pitcher threw a bunch of slow curves to Scooter and Votto, but he never came off 1st base. Neck tat isn’t what he used to be defensively. Go for it! Hit-n-run more for that matter….everyone can make pretty good contact except Duvall and Schebler.

    Seattle swept by Colorado. The Rockies are within 2 of the division and 2nd wildcard. They should be buyers. Sea is only 3 ahead of Oakland now. They could both be buyers. Arizona and Atlanta. Boston supposedly has interest in Iggy. If we could get lefty Max Fried from Atlanta then sign me up (11 Ks vs the Cards). Our offense is rolling…we just need to get a starting prospect(s) that isn’t far away. Maybe he’s tearing up AA now and could come up next June?

    Its been fun since Suarez, Lorenzen, and Hernandez all came back plus picking up Matt Harvey.

  15. I am not an ITYS kind of guy. From the start it’s been obvious to me fromthat Jose Peraza has a spectscular hit tool and defensively he’ll be (at least) a top half major league shortstop.

    What I don’t get is why other people didn’t see what I and the scouting department of the Cincinnati Reds saw.

    • I think spectacular hitter and I think lasers to the seats. Don’t get carried away. India is practicing at shortstop and he could hit the ball harder then Peraza batting left-handed. My reverse defensive shift versus Peraza (pitch him away every pitch and put 6 defenders in shallow center and right. He would hit about 25 triples, 12 inside the park hrs, and about .160. They talk about a guy’s babip being unsustainable….well a 65 mph exit velocity is pretty unsustainable too. He’s going well and I root for him as a Red, but he’s a seat warmer for the big boys! I’m pretty sure they didn’t draft India for 3rd base!

      • As I have said before, at the end of the season we all will settle accounts.

      • I don’t mind a player using an opposite field approach, as long as that’s where he is being pitched. Peraza does pull the ball with authority when he decides to turn on it, which is what I’d like to see more of.

    • Two to three good months is encouraging, but it is not a career trend. I’ll wait to see if he can keep this up for 1.5 years or so before I am convinced.

  16. Peraza has talent. There isn’t 15 shortstops I’d take over him, but Senzel has to play somewhere? India will have to play somewhere? The truth probably lies somewhere in between like most hardcore opinions.

    • If they extend Gennett, then he will be in LF. Senzel is going to be the 2nd baseman. We have 3 years before we should expect India to arrive. By then, I’d say Gennett will be just about ready to be replaced. There is an issue with SS depth in the system for sure. The reports that India was working at SS are premature. Larkin was working with him, however, it was extra reps after everyone was gone and was reported that it could have been just that they were standing there working on glove work.

      • Why do people think Scooter can move to LF? He can hardly throw the ball from 2nd to home.
        That’s why his position is 2B for now and as long as he is a Red. Try Senzel in the OF.

        • I think that’s a pretty astute observation and a good idea. I think someone will land in the OF and I don’t think it’s going to be Scooter (if he remains a Red).

          Also, people need to keep in mind that Scooter may only be here next year or part of next year. The Reds are probably going to try to extend him (not that I necessarily agree they should) but if they can’t, they may just let him go to arbitration this off-season.

  17. Great to see Peraza’s success, but I suspect it’s completely unsustainable. Five hits yesterday included two infield hits and three soft bloopers over the infield. Not exactly hammering the ball. I wonder what statcast says the odds of him being 5 for 6 given the batted ball profiles…

  18. I know its hind sight but if Riggleman wanted to remove Disco when he did wouldnt bringing in Iggy in that game changing spot have been the right move?He like so many other old school managers are stuck on the 9th inning only mentality for his closers.I think its time to bring in your best bullpen guy when the game is on the line.Then to bring in Romano,to pitch from the pen for the first time ever,”he needed to get some work” was beyond belief.This is the mentality during spring training games,not the game before the ASG.That move is grounds enough to remove him from any consideration to be resigned as manager for next season,though I doubt he is even being considered.

    • Romano did fine, though, and I bet Riggleman is being considered. They’ve played better under him than they have in years.

  19. I think that the 40-35 Reds are the truer ones when certain contingencies were met, like:
    – Winker placed in the everyday lineup
    – Schebler returning back
    – Disco’s return
    – Votto’s coming out of his early-season funk
    – For that matter, the whole offense returning to normal numbers
    – Scoring earlier more often in the game
    – Harvey’s production in the rotation in the place of what Homer should have been producing

    Anything else missing?

    I believe Scooter should be signed instead of being traded, unless a team makes an offer the Reds could not refuse. If these are the real Reds and they stay above .500 the rest of the way, then it is time to look at 2019 as the season to stop rebuilding and start stacking to contend. I believe that Dick Williams thinks so as he stated recently that the team’s payroll will increase significantly. Trammell, Senzel, Santillian, Hunter G(force) are exciting futures in the pipeline to contribute on the field or as chips to bring in proven veterans.

    At minimum, CF and starting (either a #1 or #2 starter) pitching are holes that need to be addressed. At most, Machado is signed to be SS, JT Realmuto is traded for, and the above. Too much? A little ambition to reach for the sky is better than to never reach out at all.

  20. Peraza is incredible with his hits but I just hope he sustains it in the long run.

  21. I believe Riggleman will be considered and be hired. If you noticed in announcing the starting pitchers after the all-star game the front office was in on the decision and Homer was also listed as the possible 5th starter.

  22. Have no problem with Riggleman. Also have no problem keeping Harvey. Getting rid of Scooter and Harvey would be dumb. Why go with unknowns over knowns? Prospects? Ok lets keep the rebuild going through 2022.

  23. I have been negative about Peraza since the Reds traded for him. The only positive things I’ve generally said about him is that by all accounts he has an outstanding work ethic and at his young age there is a fair chance he can improve. I still don’t like his walk rate but it has improved and still may improve. All other facets of his game also seem to be improving as his contact skills and defense seem better. I think he’s gotten a bit lucky on hits finding holes and falling in (bloops and bleeders) so I’m still not sold on him maintaining that OBP. I do like what I’m seeing out of him though and along with being a hard-worker, his teammates seem to express real joy when he does something well. That’s an indication that he’s well liked.

  24. Brandon Dixon seems miffed about being sent back to AAA. Just finished the game 4-5 w/ 1-2B, 1-3B & 1-HR. That’s hitting for the cycle if you’re counting. Stephenson goes 7.0 IP w/ 2-ER, 6-H, 2-BB & 5-SO. That should be his last start in AAA.

Comments are closed.

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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