The Reds proved to be very hospitable to the Philadelphia Phillies in the first game of a four game series at Great American Ballpark. Reds pitchers allowed seven home runs to the Phillies on Thursday evening, tying both the Phillies team record, and the Reds record for home runs allowed. Tyler Mahle could not record an out in the second inning, continuing the worst stretch of starts in his big league career. Eugenio Suarez did extend his streak of games with a home run to four, but it was not nearly enough to overcome the power bats of the NL East leading Phillies.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (45-58) 4 8 0
Philadelphia Phillies (58-44) 9 18 0
W: Suarez (1-0)  L: Mahle (7-9)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Tucker Barnhart’s 2-run HR with 2 outs in the 4th inning, tying the game at 4 That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 23.3% (from 28.1% to 51.4%).

Positives

Eugenio Suarez is absolutely en fuego. He hit a home run for a 4th consecutive game. Let’s start really pushing the #Suarez4MVP campaign, nation.

Tucker Barnhart hit his 7th home run of the season, a 2-run shot in the 4th inning. It tied the game at 4 at the time.

Michael Lorenzen was not immune to giving the home run ball tonight, but he did only allow 2 runs in 4.0 innings. His effort surely saved the bullpen.

Negatives

Tyler Mahle threw 45 pitches in the first inning, and got pulled before recording an out in the second inning. It has been a very rough stretch for Mahle over his last 3 starts: 9.0 IP, 14 ER, 20 H, 5 HR, 6 BB, 7 K, 14.00 ERA. Mahle has never thrown more than 150.2 IP in his professional career, and is now at 107.1 this season. You have to wonder if he is starting to get fatigued? The Reds might want to consider skipping him a start, especially with the temporary six man rotation.

Austin Brice allowed 2 bombs in 2 innings. Brice now has a 5.66 ERA/5.53 FIP. Kyle Crocket also allowed 2 ER.

Not so random thoughts……

Up Next:

Phillies at Reds
Friday, 7:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Anthony DeSclafani (5.40 ERA) vs Nick Pivetta (4.69 ERA)

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 63 Comments

  1. Phillies got leadoff guy on in 8th, brought up pinch-hitter, did not even think of trying to bunt the runner over. The pinch hitter struck out, but the next guy got a hit, drove run in.

    Young, sabermetric friendly manager trusting his guys to put ball in play, not wasting outs in a bandbox, the number 3 park for home runs this season.

    As Nick writes above, “I can dream.”

    • Leadoff guy was at 2nd, score was 7-4. #Context.

      • We can’t say for sure what Kapler would have done if it had been a closer game, but I still doubt he would have bunted, especially when the runner is already in scoring position … The bigger point is that with the Reds, it’s automatic.

  2. Reds pitchers doing an Oprah imitation. There’s a home run for you. A home run for you. A home run for you. A home run for you. And two for you.
    Mahle only can get 3 outs. It made me nostalgic for 2016. Those were the days.
    Awful afternoon. Awful evening. Awful game. Reds will have to shower long and hard tonight to get the stink of this game off of them.

  3. Didn’t Scooter have three hits last night

  4. The bullpen is blown despite the work done by Lorenzen et al. They need a long arm for tomorrow night then still have 2 more games versus this Phils offense before the oasis of an off day on Monday.

    Chalk this immediate shortage up to the 6 man rotation taking away a bullpen seat.

    The easy choices for a roster spot would be to rotate Brice back to AAA or alternately to shorten the bench by shipping out Dixon or Williams (keeping in mind that Lorenzen is likely limited to bench duty until at least Sunday anyway).

    The more difficult choice but perhaps best for all concerned including the player would be to option Mahle to AAA. He looks like he could use the opportunity to decompress and think things through a bit. Obviously the league has caught up to him; and, he needs to make adjustments. At age 23 and 2/3 of the way through an MLB season, AAA might be the ideal place to do this. Not to mention that if he spends a little over 2 weeks on option the team gains the “extra year” of control over him down the line when that could be a very valuable commodity to have.

    • Hoskins beat up the Dodgers in the previous series. The Reds seemed oblivious to that fact.

      • For those of us of an age to remember, the Reds had the same sort of plan for facing Hoskins as Floyd Patterson had for his rematch with Sonny Liston.

    • Agree Jim on Mahle,

      Robert Stephenson is pitching better now and this should not be on how well you wear the uni

  5. I’ve always had my doubts about the Win Probability formula and its accuracy. Tonight is a perfect example. How can a game tying HR in early in the game be the biggest play in the game when team which hit that HR ended up losing by 5 runs? There needs to be a human with veto power over what that algorithm says.

    • I agree Jim. Sometimes it makes no sense.

    • Kinda reminds me of the shortlived ‘game-winning RBI’ stat, which said that whenever an RBI gave the team a lead it never relinquished, that was the game-winning RBI. I understood the concept; it’s always good to get the lead, of course, but a third-inning sac fly or groundout doesn’t quite do it. Now, the grand slam that blows the game open two inings later is probably more appropriate.

  6. Phillies showed us up with their “ hops” rounding third on their fingers. I want to see some brush back pitches tomorrow. Lol

  7. Time to bring Robert Stephenson up and put Mahle in the bull pen for a while

    • Put him on the 10 day DL with arm fatigue.
      Might be a bit tired as was said above.

  8. Rumor is the Reds and Brewers are having serious talks re: Matt Harvey. I wonder if it’s just Harvey, or if there’s a bigger package deal being discussed for some more players?

    Either way, nice to hear the Reds mentioned in SOMETHING related to the trade deadline.

    • Making trades just to be doing “something” isn’t what this franchise needs. What it does need (desperately) is starting pitching. And that doesn’t mean prospects who are 2-3 years away.

      • You hit it. The key to our team moving forward is pitching. The four year rebuild has done quite well, all things considered, with the offense and in that area the Reds are in good shape in the minors. Even if a trade or two is completed by the end of the month or in the off-season, I doubt a good starting pitcher will be a part of it. For that to happen, the organization will have to get out the checkbook and compete with teams willing to spend money.

      • @Mason. Harvey isn’t bringing back a near ready SP, so don’t get your hopes up.

        • Exactly right, Va. Harvey is a limited quantity; you take what you can get for him. The Brewers aren’t going to be giving up major league caliber starting pitching if that’s what they’re trading for, even if the Reds sweeten the deal. But if prospects are ALL that the Reds are going to get for Harvey, no matter the trade partner, then take the deal. It wasn’t like the Reds were going to get anything for Mesoraco, who, last time I checked, was hitting about .220 with 7 HRs and 7 doubles in his time with the Mets, about 160 at-bats.

          What we will never know is what, if any, other offers the Reds had for Harvey….. Do I want them to do something just for the sake of doing something? Of course not. But do I want them to get something for Harvey before he leaves as a free agent? Absolutely. Even if he wins us a few extra games In August-September this year that his replacement in the rotation might not win, who in the boy-howdy cares?

          • Absolutely! You cant just let Harvey walk out the door. You have to get something for him. If the Reds want him ,then sign him when he becomes a free agent. Most of the trades that have happened so far aren’t getting mlb ready players. They are getting prospects and not top prospects. If the Front Office isn’t offered squat then keep them and look in the off season in moving them. But Harvey has to be traded because he is gone after the season.

        • I think he’s basically suggesting they keep Harvey and resign him. I don’t like that idea because I don’t think Harvey is the right guy due to HUGE injury concerns. I get what he’s saying though.

  9. Astros have yet to address their bullpen (albeit it’s currently not in bad shape # wise) but still think they’re gonna add someone big. I still think before the gun sounds at the deadline, Iglesias is an Astros.

    Sounds like Harvey may be the Brewers contingency plan if they can’t land a Kyle Gibson/Kevin Gausman..

    Clearly, it would be optimal if Harvey was lights out on Saturday but sure looks like he’s gonna be facing the wrong team for that haha

  10. Tough times ahead for Reds pitching. If Harvey is finally traded, rotation will rely on Bailey, DiSclafani, Castillo, Romano & Mahle for the rest of the season, all coming back from injuries and/or inconsistent. The only change could be Stephenson for Mahle or Romano. This will continue leading bullpen to be heavy workloaded with only four guys showing some level of consistency (Iglesias, Hughes, Hernandez & Lorenzen) with other three being ineffective (Brice, Crockett & Garrett) to say the least. Unless FO is able to upgrade rotation, there’s no a better future.

  11. I am more than a month behind in watching games, so I haven’t been reading RLN in real time or commenting. I just got to the Pirates series in June, and then read about that series at RLN.

    Anyway, I just read John Ring’s piece on Gene Locklear. Thanks John! It was terrific. An interesting subject, presented in an engaging manner. There were only a few comments, which I hope wasn’t representative of how much interest there was in the piece. (RLN readers, if you missed it, i recommend checking it out.)

    Ok, I’m back to watching games from June and trying to forget I know the score of this particular Phillies game….

    • Note to Eric. When you get to this game, duck. Some of those Phillies’ home runs might still be coming out of orbit.

      • I can’t wait to see what the year holds for Winker and Senzel. I bet both of them have a great season!

  12. Just wondering here, the Cubs just traded for Cole Hammels, exactly what does he offer that is better right now then what Matt Harvey offers?

    • Who knows? Maybe not particularly in the Matt Harvey case, but in other possible trades I suspect the key to letting players go in trades is the principal owner.

    • Hamels is a Lefty, which could play down the road vs. the Dodgers. Just a guess.

    • Maybe most teams dont want Harvey. We dont know.

  13. Lorenzen looked a little ragged, but the Phils did a good job extending him to 20+ pitches in his first inning. It would take some stretching out to feel comfortable with 35+ pitches. Bottom line…its grasping with straws with the Reds pitching? They all give up HRs in bunches? For God sakes…give BobSteve a shot already? Explore all possibilities! They obviously need to trade/sign 1-2 guys atleast and then hope some of these guys can pick it up? Go out and get a guy like Kevin Gausman. Arrieta did ok when he got away from Camden and the Yankees/Red Sox.

    • I thought Lorenzen pitched great. He wore down a little that last inning, but he hasn’t thrown that many pitches since 2015, so it was probably just a matter of not being strethed out. He got the 2-4 hitters out the second time through the order when he was still in the 40-52 pitch range.

      The pitch I’m sure he’d most like back is the 1-2 pitch that Williams hit out. Up and over the plate. Poor location but that happens. Lorenzen had just gotten him to swing and miss at a changeup two pitches before. If he had put him away, it would have taken it from a good to a great outing.

  14. Well, after the WInker/Schebler injuries, as people have been saying, bigger trades may have to be put on hold until the Winter. Which is fine I guess. But also just another reason why sometimes it’s ok to act early in the process rather than hold your cards until the wire as they often do. Like, Gennett should have been traded a month ago if there was a doable deal.

    Then some new pieces would be in place, and yes, the injuries would still have happened and they’d just have to patch it together like they are now but with some different guys and live with it.

    As is is, the holding pattern looks likely to continue. With a team that loses 90+ games a season with metronomic predictability. Sigh.

    But, if winter is productive, then it is. No reason it HAS to be now, other than extorting another team at a time of need. I think a combo of the second wild card and teams valuing their controllable assets has made the July deadline much less dynamic anyway. Most of the time.

    • I agree, but also, I note the irony in that the second wildcard, letting more teams stay in contention, was supposed to spur more deadline maneuvering. I think the bottom line is that aggressive teams typically make trades whether to build or contend, stand-pat teams don’t.

  15. Harvey to the Brewers seems to be gaining some steam.
    But this comment by Dick Williams is very interesting. Talking about obtaining a player with a few years of control left here at the deadline.
    “We think our window is opening up and we may not be able to wait until the offseason to acquire a player we like,” said Williams before going on to acknowledge that starting pitching is an area of need.
    Wonder who they have targeted?? Could the Reds front office actually be pro-active and go out get a player that would possibly be in higher demand later this winter?? Naaahh.

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/07/reds-trade-rumors-buyers-starting-pitching-matt-harvey-brewers.html

  16. Very frustrating game from the beginning. I did like your little video about the umpire with no ego, now if we could find one that was consistent with the strike zone. He did get the third strike with Votto right but still really blew two with Tucker. The issue with me is not whether he got the call right or wrong but if the strike zone keeps moving then hitters either need to expand their strike zone or get put in a hole or get called out on strikes. And pitchers continually have to shrink their strike zone, and the game gets longer. No problem with patches called strikes just off the plate, the problem is not knowing when a strike is going to be called.
    The other issue I have about last night is exactly what Brantley mentioned last night, pitchers have to learn to pitch inside, particularly aggressive hitters like the Phillies. You have to get them to move their feet. You don’t have to hit them just move them and keep them thinking.

    • I know where to find the ump with with the best strike zone… they finally make the decision to turn it over to K-zone and let all the drama go.

      • Never happen. Almost every game would be 3:45 or longer and 9-7. Every 4th pitcher would end up needed TJS that season.

        Some of these umps have crazy/tight strike zones and more walks are given then ever, but I think that’s because they’re not giving the benefit of the doubt on the corners like they did. They know its tracked now. They still probably turn 3x more balls into strikes then vice versa. In Tom Glavine and Eric Gregg’s heyday is was probably 7 to 1?

        • I’m not sure I follow… what about more accurately calling balls and strikes makes a game longer and makes people injury prone? Or were you not replying to that part?

        • Oh… I see. Umps call more “balls” as “strikes” than K-zone. Well, I don’t know if that’s true, and another way to think about is if the strike zone is consistent every single night, people will adapt to that in short order. Pitchers won’t pitch were they can’t get satisfaction and hitters won’t have to react to a new zone from game 1 to game 2 in a series.

          I’m firmly in the camp that only good can come from this.

          • Might have been last season, but Brantley was reacting to a player’s call for an automated strike zone system, might have been Zobrist complaining about a called third strike, and Brantley said the players would quickly regret it if the process were automated. All those pitches above the belt that are routinely called balls? Gee, they’re actually strikes, unless they also change the very definition of the strike zone.

            Whether they should go robotic with ball-and-strike calls, I don’t pretend to know. But my, what a can or worms that opens.

    • The sad thing is the ump expanded the strike zone a little bit and we still gave up 7 hrs?
      Not good!

      We have guys that work inside like Mahle, but they can’t finish guys when they’re ahead in the count or induce weak contact! Lorenzen had Nick WIlliams 1-2 on his first HR and grooved one right down broadway. You have to get ahead in the count and not give in and groove one! Disco is great about attacking the zone and getting some quick outs, but has HRitis worse then all of them?

      • And the really sad part is that Lorenzen was one of the few yesterday that did pitch inside. Harvey will but he will not be a Red for much longer.

  17. Votto’s July slump and Winker’s injury have certainly put a damper on the season.

    The greatness of Joey Votto is certainly reflected when a .722 OPS & 105 wRC+ is considered a serious slump. The slump is completely reflected in a significant increase in soft contact % and a significant decrease in hard contact %, resulting in an abysmal .229 AVG. We’ll leave it to Votto to right the ship, but I do believe that Votto should be permanently shifted to the #2 hole to maximize his strengths and other hitter’s strengths.

    Many fans were attributing Winker’s loss of power to his wrist injury. That may have had some impact, but the shoulder issue going back to the same time now looks more culpable. The history of the shoulder problems and the significant impact shoulder problems can have makes Winker’s situation very troublesome.

    • Cossack- I was at the game last night. Votto was right on a pitch early but hit a ball 350 to left at the warning track. He hits that ball out I think last year. His double to RF was great, but a defensive 3/4 swing where he put topspin and rolled over on it, like a back hand tennis player lob. He served it into the RF corner. He is a 2 hole hitter. The Phillies young hitters were hitting bombs. The Reds have a power outage aside from Suarez and DW needs to stick to the plan of young position players. The Reds miss Schebler and Winker and if you can miss someone who never was there…..Senzel.

      I think Gennett stays but is not extended. They wont trade him because he wont get back enough and PR wise it would be a disaster.

  18. With 2 months remaining, could the NL MVP be shaping up to a 2 horse race between competing 3B? Without considering the competitiveness of their respective teams…

    Eugenio Suarez:
    .306/.391/.583/.974; 156 wRC+; 3.4 fWAR
    23HR, 78 RBI

    Nolan Arenado:
    .306/.388/.584/.973; 155 wRC+; 4.1 fWAR
    25 HR, 73 RBI

    Of course, a lot can change in 2 months and several other candidates having very good seasons could surge ahead of the two 3B.

    Matt Carpenter:
    .275/.384/.579/.963; 155 wRC+; 4.2 fWAR
    25 HR, 53 RBI

    Freddie Freeman:
    .319/.404/.538/.942; 150 wRC+; 4.1 fWAR
    17 HR, 66 RBI

    • Looking at those numbers is another reminder that I’ll never take WAR seriously as a stat until they lessen the influence of defense on the overall total. No one should look at those numbers and see that one of the 3 guys has been 75% as valuable as the other two based on defense alone. Especially when 2 of them play first base.

      • Charlie Blackmon has 20 home runs an OPS of .860 and wRC of 117 and a WAR of 1.1. 24th in MLB WAR for CF.

        Billy Hamilton has an OPS of .600 and OBP of .300 and wRC of 60 something….but is 28th in WAR at 1.0 amongst CF.

        Are you suggesting you would rather have Charlie Blackmon in CF?

        • Blackmon is the worst at DRS . I think the Rockies would be a better team with him in right and Hamilton in center. That’s one team that could benefit with only Billy’s defense and not really need his offense. Just my opinion.

          • But that’s exactly the issue. No one ever judges Billy on his own against his peers. There is always creative separate rules for him to exclude hitting. Its always lets creatively find a way to excuse his wRC+ of 65 and not incorporate offense and ask others to make up for his anemic bat and then yeah….. the new math works. At the end of the day, what team wants Billy in CF over their guy. Maybe 3. I’ve been to 4 games this year. The opposing CF were Charlie Blackmon, Odubel Herrera, Gold Glove winner Michael Taylor, and Brandon Nimmo. That doesn’t include Mike Trout or Lorenzo Cain or George Springer or Byron Buxton or Ender Inciarte or Aaron hicks or Andrew Benintendi or Tommy Phan or Starling Marte or Albert Amora Jr

            Lets see how the next 30 games go with BH playing every day. He is forced to hit now.

          • Billy is the owner’s favorite player.Smiles a lot and knows he is not threatened to lose his job.As long as he is on the team then he plays most of the games.Its been that way for 5 years and it isn’t going to change.I wish he could get on base at league average but he doesn’t even run any more when he does get on and neither does Peraza for that matter.Riggs doesn’t run or hit and run at all.

        • Who would hang up first with a proposed trade straight up? That’s why WAR is worthless when defense is valued so high. Not to mention inlcuding baserunning in it, when a guy is being told whether to go or not by the 3rd base coach the majority of the time.

  19. The bullpen moves you ordered have just arrived.
    Keury Mella and Wandy Peralta called up to the Reds.
    Brice optioned to Louisville. Crockett DFA’d.
    Glad to get some eyes on Mella and see what he has.

    • Knowing the Reds he probably wont pitch for a week.

    • Good info WV. Welcome to the bigs Keuey mella.

    • Crockett DFA’d? I’m only up to the first game of the Atlanta series, and Crockett just got a huge out. He’s been in three games (2 against the Cubs, 1 against the Braves) and is perfect so far. I was hoping he’d do well enough that they’d do the smart thing and put Amir in the rotation. I don’t care if we have a solid LH pitcher in the pen this year–I want to know if Garrett (and others) can start. Crockett must really fall off a cliff in the weeks between where I am and where you guys are in the present….

  20. Free Bob.

Comments are closed.

About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

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