Following a sloppy top of the first inning that somehow, someway saw the Reds enter their half of the frame still tied, Eugenio Suarez went yard for the third straight day. There’s really no way to accurately explain how beautiful it has been to watch Suarez blossom into his new role as face of the franchise, but let me try:

  • Have you ever bitten into a grilled cheese sandwich where all the cheese melted and perfectly consistent while the bread has stayed golden brown?
  • Have you ever made eye contact with a deer or a fox or some other wild animal from a distance and the moment lasts for longer than it should and finally the animal nods at you before sauntering away and you’re left believing in magic or at least that nature respects you?
  • Have you ever woken up and been excited by a completely nondescript day?

It’s beautiful I tell you, beautiful.

(Meanwhile, a live look-in at Joey Votto:)

Shhh Joey, it’s okay. The great yellow school bus will come for you and you will gently shepherd Canadian children to first bas…er, school.

Cincinnati Reds 7 | St. Louis Cardinals 3 | Coffee Shop Stream Quality Bad

Fangraphs WPA || Box Score || A good article about old friend Edwin Jackson

THE GOOD

— The aforementioned Eugenio Suarez has had himself a series against these Cardinals. Another two-run homer in the first after having just ended the top half of the frame with a slick-looking barehand play will haunt the Best Fans in Baseball waking moments.

— Coming into today’s game, Scooter Gennett was 0 for 14 following the All Star Break. Well after an ugly strikeout in the first, Scooter put that narrative to rest, going 3 for 4 on the day with a double to boot. I’m still on the trade Scooter train (sorry Nick), but he’s sure as heck fun to watch right now.

— Baseball Reference says Sal Romano’s full name is Salvatore J. Romano, so I can only assume the J. stands for “Just name me the rotation’s No. 4 and let me EAT already.” Or maybe it’s “James” what do I know.

Romano put together another solid start today, going 6.0 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. On that last point, three of those strikeouts came against Harrison Bader and two of those Bader strikeouts came with 1 out and runners in scoring position. Twice — TWICE — Romano bullied the Cardinals eighth hitter into submission, keeping the Cards from scoring by capitalizing on facing the pitcher’s spot with 2 outs instead.

The second time Romano K’d Bader with a runner at third, the Cards pulled their starter Jack Flaherty who was having quite the day himself in favor of a pinch hitter. What did Romano do? Make a barehanded play on a comebacker and end the inning with the lead intact.

— Tucker Barnhart ripped a mammoth homer in the sixth to extend the Reds lead to three and Adam Duvall put an oppo shot out earlier in the game. These Reds sure know how to play long ball.

— Joey “Not Dead” Votto walked thrice and was the man on base for both two-run homers because of it. He may not be hitting well right now, but he’s still pretty dang good.

— Phil Ervin doubled in two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to really put the game out of reach.

THE BAD

— The defense today was atrocious. Suarez dropped a bloop in left on the first batter of the game. Scooter and Jose Peraza collided on a groundball. Peraza whiffed on another grounder and then Duvall threw home instead of second allowing the running to advance. Just bad, bad defense.

— Yadier Molina homered 🙁

NOT SO RANDOM THOUGHTS

— Having spent much of my baseball career floundering at Pitcher Fielding Position drills, something the Reds’ broadcasters harped on in the fifth really bothered me.

Joey fielded a short hop at first with his momentum taking him to the plate and Matt Carpenter only four or five steps from the bag. Sal Romano, maybe four feet in front of Votto WAS EXACTLY WHERE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE. Romano had hustled to cover first just as a pitcher is supposed to do in that situation.

Joey, seeing Romano, flipped the ball out of his glove in one swift motion and hit Romano in the chest with the pitcher two-handing the reception to make the out. According to the broadcast, Joey should’ve taken the ball to the bag himself. Some problems with that:

  1. If Joey had shifted his momentum to take it himself, Carpenter in all likelihood would’ve beat him to the bag.
  2. Based on where he was when he fielded that ball, Votto would risk injury making as drastic of cut as was needed.
  3. The comment was made that pitchers aren’t “athletic.” Yes, but that play is literally the only fielding play that pitchers practice regularly and despite the result looking a bit haphazard, Romano did what he knew he needed to do and made sure he caught that ball.

It didn’t look aesthetically pleasing, but that play was executed to perfection. Romano was where he needed to be, Votto made the right call to make the flip, and the Reds got an out rather than making a fundamental play tough. To say otherwise is to misunderstand the responsiblity of pitchers fielding their position.

— The Reds seem to be playing DL games again, this time with Jesse Winker. :/

— My WiFi died three different times during this baseball game. For most of the 4th to 6th innings, everybody looked like a potato. Thought you all would be interested.

 

32 Responses

  1. msanmoore

    +5000 for the Ferris Bueller image …

    Great game. Fun to take another series from those faltering Dirty Birds

  2. Scott Gennett

    Good pitching and long ball performances. Bad defense and Peraza went 0 for 5 hitting first, can’t wait to see Schebler back from DL, very likely Winker will hit it upon his return.

  3. docproctor

    That’s three good SP performances in a row. Funny that it came from our #4-6 pitchers. Funny that we even have a #6 pitcher.

  4. Remdog

    Haha, hilarious post, Wes! I cracked up 3 times😆 Of course, it sure helps when our guys take down the dirty birds (who do not deserve capitalization).

  5. schneidly whiplash

    Had to work, missed game but not suprised by broadcasters making dumb comments…. a typical Reds broadcast… Thom consistently ruins games for me… Marty’s “crabby old man” schtick is getting tiresome….

  6. Wayne nabors

    I said it last year and this will be the 3rd time this year on this site,I really do think big sal will be a really good no.3 starter,I just think he keeps learning a little every time out.im perdy sure he’ll be better next year

    • CI3J

      I’ve always been on the Sal Train. I can see the talent there, all he needs is a consistent out pitch. He seemed to have one working today (some kind of change/sinker, maybe?) and I’m hoping he can have a strong 2nd half and build momentum heading into 2019.

      • streamer88

        Hard pass. I do not believe Sal Romano projects as a SP on an NLDS Cincinnati Reds team.

      • vottomatic125

        Patience…pitchers take forever to develop. If the Reds scouts thought he couldn’t be in the rotation long term, he wouldn’t be there. The real questions regarding SPs are Reed and Stephenson. Clearly, they are not comfortable with them, otherwise they would have taken Sal’s or that “sixth spot”. On that note, when is Harvey getting traded? They better now screw this up!

      • The Duke

        The fastball (both 4 seam and 2 seam) both looked pretty good and the changeup was on as well. Still not convinced he has a breaking ball to be more than a back end rotation type or a power reliever using Fastball/Changeup

  7. vegastypo

    On that Votto play at first base, I didn’t trust him to make the glove-shovel toss to the pitcher. I mean, this is the same guy who couldn’t take the ball out of his glove without dropping it a few weeks ago as he got to first base. Whether he had time to get to the base ahead of Carpenter, I dunno. I thought when I saw it happen that he had a better chance of beating the runner than trusting that glove flip. But it worked.

    • Rich H

      Well, I’m sure that Gold-Glove and MVP recipient better listen up. No funny business on the field, VegasTypo is watching ya 19!

      • greenmtred

        That Gold Glove was awhile ago. He isn’t awful, as first-basmen go, but he makes some curious mistakes.

      • da bear

        The gold glove was awarded for his hitting ability, not his fielding. They don’t do those idiotic things anymore most of the time. When McCutcheon won his gold glove same thing – his defensive metrics were horrible the year he won his ‘gold glove’.

  8. roger garrett

    Sal was changing speeds on some kind of pitch that kept the Cards off of his fastball.He threw some good sliders.Three pitches gets it done when you can throw 95.Long ball plays at GABP.When we out homer the visitors its a good day for the offense.

    • vegastypo

      I said it in the game thread as well, but those last two pitches he threw to strike out Bader with the tying run at third and one out were beautiful. Gameday said they were 87 or 88 mph sliders. Granted, Bader struck out four times today, but even after going 0-4 today, he’s still hitting .270, so he’s getting hits against somebody !!!

  9. Jim Walker

    The Reds did what they had to do when they had to in order to win this game. BUT my oh my how far this Cardinal team has fallen relatively quickly. Given 5 outs in the first they couldn’t score. Then a couple of innings later they had 6 outs to work with and failed to score. They again failed to come up with a timely hit in the 8th.

    The NL Central seems particularly volatile. especially in the lower echelon. Depending on who and how much the Reds trade and what comes back, It would not shock and hardly surprise me if the Reds finish above the Cards this year.

    • Wayne nabors

      That’s what I suspect,and I will be shocked if reds dont finish ahead of cards

    • Matt WI

      Please, please let us see the Cards finish in last place.

    • WVRedlegs

      It would be glorious to see the Cardinals in the NL cellar at season’s end. But one thing to note. It won’t take the Cardinals as long with a rebuild. With their starting rotation of very good young pitchers, that is a solid base to build around. The Cards will need a new bullpen, and they will need to revamp their offense/defense. They will need a whole new OF and most of an INF. They have Molina for 2 more years at C and DeJong at SS. They will need to part with Carpenter, Wong, and Gyorko on the INF, and Pham, Ozuna, and Fowler in the OF. They are probably stuck with the Fowler contract. To keep Bader in CF, they will need serious upgrades in LF and RF. They could keep Carpenter for 2B, but he is their best rebuilding trade chip. Ozuna, with 1 year left, might get them something. Gyorko, Wong, and Pham won’t bring back much at all. St. Louis will need corner INF and corner OF in a bad way this winter, whether they call it a rebuild or a reload. They have a lot of heavy lifting to do this off-season.

  10. Jim Walker

    Sal favorably impressed me today in ways he never had before. He had ever opportunity to fold caused by lack of defensive support and each time stepped up to save the day on his own.

  11. Shchi Cossack

    After living with Cozart & Phillips for so many seasons, Peraza & Gennett can be hard to watch sometimes. The collision in front of 2B, with the ball flying loose in 1 direction, a glove flying loose in another direction and both players stumbling around was worthy of the best Keystone Cop follies.

  12. vegastypo

    If I might gush a little about Suarez, people around baseball probably see some of the Reds’ home run numbers and say it’s in large measure due to the smaller ballpark. But Suarez’s shots the last three days were real blasts, nothing cheap about them.

    • roger garrett

      He would hit 20+ regardless of where he played but numbers are inflated at GABP and that’s why I say we haven’t built our team to support the short fences.So far Joey has 6 of his 9 homers at home which really shows how much his power stroke has fallen off.Suarez is our best player right now and will get better.Teams will stop pitching to him or pitch around him even more so he needs to be moved up in the order.He should move to the 3 hole with Scooter behind him and Joey up to #2.

      • Phil

        I would definitely support a 1-5 batting order of Schebler, Votto, Suarez, Scooter, Winker at least against right-handed starters.

  13. Grand Salami

    I just read on MLB rumors that Amir Garrett is one of the best available relievers on the market. Wonder if it was as a typo?

    • vottomatic125

      Remove the word available and you have your answer. Although he’s going through some growing pains right now, who would replace him? Wandy? If Wandy gets his stuff together, Amir needs another shot at starting.

  14. cfd3000

    Nice game for Big Sal. If he is developing a third pitch that could be huge for his future and for the Reds rotation. Nice to see the Reds win a game despite terrible defense – early in the year those games were close losses, not easy wins. Nice to see home runs and RBI’s from throughout the lineup, especially Ervin and Barnhart. Nice to see Votto add on two runs just by walking in front of the long ball. I think he’s about ready for some better hitting. Probably not anything like his historic second halves the last two years, but his eye is fine and he’s had some really hard hit outs lately. Maybe just wishful thinking but I’m expecting his current slump to end soon.

  15. roger garrett

    Joey’s power stroke isn’t there and may never return but he could hit 280 or 290 and walk a bunch up till he reaches 45 years old.He will just inside out the ball and single and double to left all day long.Great hitter and a great eye.Just needs to be moved to the 2 hole.

    • big5ed

      Eventually, though, teams will just pound the strike zone on Votto, because they will no longer worry what he does with his bat. The walk rate will then trend downward.

      Votto has not fared well against the NL Central, the teams that know him best. Here are his splits against the NL Central:

      Milwaukee .265/.419/.324
      Pittsburgh .182/.275/.273
      Chicago .273/.396/432
      St. Louis .208/.441/,271 (Carlos Martinez has walked him 7 times)

      Overall, he is hitting .229 in 170 ABs against the NL Central, versus .328 in 186 ABs against everybody else. He has 1 HR against the NL Central, and 8 against others.

      I agree he would fit better in the 2-hole.