When a team allows six home runs in game, its chances of winning are incredibly low. That’s exactly what happened to the Reds last night, and the result went exactly the way one would imagine. The club is now 0-4 against the Phillies this season and could use a strong performance from their pitching staff this evening. Not only did the team have to squeeze eight innings out of the bullpen last night, but the starting rotation also has a 6.89 ERA since the all-star break. They’ll turn to a veteran to right the ship tonight at 7:10 p.m. ET in Great American Ball Park.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Nick Pivetta 101.2 4.69 3.36 27.9% 6.9%
Anthony DeSclafani 48.1 5.40 4.45 20.0% 7.3%

Although he’s been plagued by inconsistency in his second major-league season, Pivetta is one of several promising young Phillies hurlers. The right-hander has become one of the most prolific strikeout pitchers in the game, ranking 13th in baseball in K% this season. He’s also shown much better control this season, reducing his walk rate from 9.8% to 6.9%, which has played a significant role in bringing down his ugly 6.02 ERA from a year ago. The biggest issue for Pivetta has come against left-handed batters, who are hitting .308/.374/.475 against him this season, good for a .365 wOBA that ranks 13th-worst in baseball (note: four Reds starting pitchers are ahead of him on that list — yikes).

Scouting report: Pivetta throws two fastballs, a four-seamer and a sinker, both of which sit in the mid-90s and have touched 98 on the radar gun. The curveball and slider are his off-speed pitches of choice, and both have been strong swing-and-miss and groundball offerings this year. He holds a 16.0 SwStr% on the curve and a 17.6% mark on the slider, and both pitches have registered grounders over 55% of the time they’re put in play. Pivetta also has a changeup, but he rarely uses it.


DeSclafani hasn’t quite shaken off the rust of nearly two years away from a big-league pitching rubber. The right-hander owns a 6.49 ERA over his last five starts, and that includes a one-run, seven-inning outing on July 9 in Cleveland. Home runs have been the primary problem for Disco, who has allowed a stunning nine in that same timeframe. Fortunately, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll continue to sport a 27.3% HR/FB. Unfortunately, he has a 50.0% hard-contact rate during that time, which is going to lead to a fair share of long balls. Disco’s velocity is fine (93.2 mph) and his slider has been sharp, but he’s leaving a lot of fastballs over the heart of the plate and paying for it in his last handful of starts. Command is often one of the last components to return after a long layoff, though, so patience is key with DeSclafani.

Lineups

Phillies

1. Cesar Hernandez (2B)
2. Rhys Hoskins (LF)
3. Odubel Herrera (CF)
4. Carlos Santana (1B)
5. Maikel Franco (3B)
6. Nick Williams (RF)
7. Scott Kingery (SS)
8. Jorge Alfaro (C)
9. Nick Pivetta (P)

Reds

1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Scooter Gennett (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
5. Tucker Barnhart (C)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Mason Williams (RF)
8. Anthony DeSclafani (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

  • Mason Williams, a former top prospect of the Yankees, is making his first start in a Reds uniform tonight. He has 69 total plate appearances in his big-league career and has slashed .277/.309/.385.
  • Reminder: Dilson Herrera, who has hit at all stops of the minor leagues and was crushing the ball before his call-up on July 6, has just 16 plate appearances and one start (as a DH) since he was promoted from Louisville. I’m not calling for Scooter Gennett to be benched, but it’s baffling that Jim Riggleman struggles so much to give his bench players any time on the field.

News, Notes, & Pre-Game Reading

More roster moves were made today. It’s a bit strange that the Reds decided to designated Kyle Crockett for assignment instead of moving Jesse Winker to the 60-day DL.

Some potential action on the Matt Harvey trade front:

Harvey may be the only player moved, however:

MLB Pipeline released their midseason top-100 and team top-30 lists today. Four Reds prospects are in the top 100, including three in the top 20 (Nick Senzel, Hunter Greene, Taylor Trammell).

Could the Reds potentially add a piece at the trade deadline?

The Phillies made a notable trade today, acquiring Asdrubal Cabrera from the Mets.

Stat of the Day

Only the Mariners (17) have scored fewer runs than the Reds (20) since the all-star break. Although Jesse Winker is done for the year, the team figures to turn it around at some point after ranking seventh in baseball in runs (461) in the first half.

90 Responses

  1. Hanawi

    Pretty sad when you can’t find an outfielder that can hit in the top 5 spots in the lineup

  2. Jack

    Surprised William’s gets the start. I thought sitting the bench forever after a call up was mandatory.

  3. Scott Gennett

    I still don’t understand why Herrera is not playing more often. Also, Ervin should start every game to find out what is he capable of.

  4. Tom Mitsoff

    If Herrera had the ability to play the outfield at the major league level, he probably would get starts there, particularly now. But there was an interview given by Riggleman earlier this week in which he hinted that Herrera doesn’t have the speed to play an adequate outfield. That was good to know, because Herrera is apparently locked at second and third base, position-wise, with no other options — at least in the minds of Reds management.

    Supposedly the Reds were among the teams scouting the Brewers’ Double-A team in Biloxi this week, and there are reports that Matt Harvey might end up in Milwaukee. The Brewers have some stud prospects at AA, but I wouldn’t expect any of them in a deal for Harvey, unfortunately.

    It’s not likely the Brewers would trade one of their stud prospects within the division. They wouldn’t want to have to watch him perhaps shine against them for 18 games per year.

    It looks like it will go down to the final hour or minute with Harvey, with Dick Williams taking the best deal he can get. The best trade chip they have right now is Billy Hamilton, but I don’t think the offers they get will be good enough for them.

    • Old-school

      Yeah… Billy isn’t a playoff CF. When do smart people say that.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Who cares if Herrera can play a corner OF spot effectively!? He’s out of options and no one knows what he can do with a bat at the MLB level. I don’t care if he’s worse than Dunn in LF. GET HIS BAT IN THE LINEUP!!!

      Duvall can’t hit and Hamilton can’t hit, but they both start virtually every game. If the Reds can handicap the offense by starting players who can’t hit, then what’s the difference in playing a corner OF who can’t field?

      • Indy Red Man

        Don’t worry….he’ll hang around on the bench for a few years so he can get 80 atbats a year during his prime years! Thats how they roll!

    • Shchi Cossack

      “It looks like it will go down to the final hour or minute with Harvey, with Dick Williams taking the best deal he can get.”

      …or not!

      The memories of the deal for Cozart just sitting there, because the Reds couldn’t get the deal done before time expired, are still fresh wounds.

    • Jack

      Doesnt have the speed? Winker and Duvall are faster? Wow.

  5. Nathan

    In the Latest episode of the reds beat podcast, John fay confidently says that he believes riggleman will get the job. Man I really don’t like that amount of confidence.

    I have faith that Williams is smarter than that, and is willing to look at multiple options. Hope I’m right.

    • CI3J

      In the Latest episode of the reds beat podcast, John fay confidently says that he believes riggleman will get the job

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

      • Jim Walker

        Scary part of this is that back when Dusty was hired, Fay had him tagged as the almost certain hire way ahead of anyone else even seriously thinking he might be under consideration let alone THE inside candidate.

        So that’s going on a decade ago; and, faces/ potential sources inside an org change but if he had it straight then, he could well have it now.

    • Shchi Cossack

      After supporting the Reds through Baker & Jocketty & Price, hiring Riggleman might be the last straw for the BC regime. I really don’t know if my support could survive that decision but I hope I never have to find out. That would feel like more than 60 years of dedicated support out the door and into the dump.

  6. Sliotar

    Whether it’s from Mr Winning Baseball (lead owner), Jocketty or Riggleman, this team is acting like it’s scrambling for a playoff spot while it’s window is closing.

    -Mahle pulled in 2nd inning last night in 1-run game
    -Herrera (out of options…hello?) can’t get ABs. Scooter has made the all-star game and is cost controlled next season, he should be sitting sometimes.
    -Crockett DFA’d. Sure hope it wasn’t because he looked meh throwing 46 pitches last night, when his season high was 30 pitches.

    As of today…the Reds are projected to finish 72-90, right where they were projected in March.

    “Sorting” of which youngsters might be part of the 2020s Contention Window Reds should be Priority No. 1 (and no. 2 and no. 3) over these last 59 games.

    Willing to bet that is not Riggleman’s priority, and he may not be alone around Nuxhall Way.

  7. Indy Red Man

    Over 3.5 (-145)
    Total Runs O/U – Cincinnati Reds
    Philadelphia Phillies @ Cincinnati Reds
    7/27/18, 7:10 PM

    I have to get my inner Pete Rose on (minus the 3 mil autographs and Asian women) to watch this team! Scooter, Joey, and Mason WIlliams all go yard and Reds hang on 6-5

  8. sezwhom

    It’s baffling that Jim Riggleman struggles so much to give his bench players any time on the field.

    100% agreement. Mind numbing. We’re in last place. Let’s see what others can do now and then. On another topic, since Votto can’t hit for power anymore yet still gets on base, via walks and singles, how about moving him into the 2-slot followed by Suarez or Scooter. Can’t hurt.

  9. docproctor

    Post ASG:
    Billy Hamilton: .095/.136
    Adam Duvall: .185/.241

    WHY ARE THESE GUYS STARTING EVERY GAME? WHY IS ERVIN EVER SITTING?

    • Jim Walker

      Has to be some pre-deadline showcasing going on. From what I’ve seen of Ervin in the field, how many balls are going to be hit in a small outfield like GABP that BHAM would get and Ervin not? If Schebler can play CF at GABP, Ervin can play it on one leg.

      • greenmtred

        Balls in the gap. The fences are short, but the power alleys are the same as they are in every other park. I agree that Ervin should play, though, but with Schebler and Winker out, BH and Duvall are going to have to play a lot, too.

    • Phil

      What are the first ballot hofers #’s since ASG?

  10. Indy Red Man

    Twins got rid of their 2nd best hitter in Escobar. DW needs to call about RSP Kyle Gibson (3.42 era). He just held the Red Sox to 1 run in 8 ip in Fenway last night. He’s been really solid this year although a 4.50 career era. He’ll be 31 in October and is making 4.2 mil this year thru arbitration. They would prob unload him if the price was right to get younger! I wonder if he would take 2 yrs at 16 mil or something? He’s holding hitters to a .224 average this year. Not great stuff but mixes them up well. How many guys hold Boston to 1 run in Fenway?

    • Jack

      Brewers are looking at Schoop and Gausman now. Apparently the Reds wanted to much.

    • VaRedsFan

      Would like them to get Berrios too

  11. docproctor

    What the hell is in the batters box that has Scooter and Joey stomping and scraping and huffing and puffing?

  12. CI3J

    Geno…. Just amazing.

    It’s a shame no one knows about him outside of Cincinnati.

    • Shchi Cossack

      They will! Eu go Eugenio! Eu just keep on going and going and going…

  13. Indy Red Man

    Suarez doing what he does. Duvall doing what he does…unfortunately. He cannot hit righthanded breaking stuff so why wouldn’t they give Ervin another start?

  14. Seat101

    Shchi. I am with you. Hire Riggleman and I start rooting for Cardinals.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Maybe we’ll form a band of Reds’ defectors or conscientious objectors. Gosh I really hope we don’t have to cross that bridge. I can deal with losing. We’ve certainly had a lot of practice to become experts in that regard. I can not deal with FO incompetence.

  15. Ron Payne

    I will wait until the trade deadline expires before I blast the Reds front office again, but I’m certainly not holding much hope that they’re going to come out of it looking like geniuses.
    Agree with all of you that they are treating this like they are in the playoff mix.
    Trades aside, I would go with this starting eight the rest of the season.
    C Barnhart
    1B Votto
    2B Herrera
    3B Suarez
    SS Peraza
    LF Ervin
    CF Williams
    RF Friedl (until Schebler is back)

  16. Indy Red Man

    Why??????????? Why are you throwing 1-2 fastballs on the inner half to a lefty power hitter w/the short deck in RF? Disco was looking really good but can’t have those kind of mistakes that cost crooked numbers? Pitch him away or drop the slider in the dirt on the inside? Herrera is a hacker! Cmon? Gift runs!

    • Jack

      That’s where tucker set up. Ball drifted back over the plate.

      • Indy Red Man

        Tucker set up inside above the belt and he came in just slightly lower. No fastballs inner half….no. Not happening. This ump is calling everyone out away on the corner! Stupid to do anything else there.

      • Jack

        That’s what I meant. Tucker set up inside and usually if you miss it’s over the plate. Sometimes I wonder if common sense is lacking in a lot of these guys.

  17. Indy Red Man

    So sick of this bs with our pitchers? 1-2 cookie to a guy with 27 walks and 89 Ks? The ump has been giving the corners and you have a good slider tonite! No reason whatsover for that pitch!

  18. Ron Payne

    Suarez will be player of the week. Easily!

  19. docproctor

    If the Reds are trying to showcase Duvall and Hamilton, it sure ain’t working.

  20. Indy Red Man

    Scooter! He ain’t going nowhere fellas (and gals).

  21. Bill j

    Hamilton another strikeout, another big smile. Where’s Dave Bristol when you want him?

    • Indy Red Man

      Typical Reds with Billy. Some big budget team could use him for defense/pinch-running in the playoffs but they won’t get much back….maybe a single A lottery ticket. Instead he walks in the offseason for nothing. Or worse….big Bob loves the Barnum-N-Bailey fastest man (come see the bearded lady too) aspect and keeps him.

  22. CI3J

    Wow…. Suarez has really rattled this kid. He wants no part of him.

  23. CI3J

    Runners on 2nd and 3rd, 0 outs….

    They HAVE to score at least 1 here.

  24. Indy Red Man

    Duvall with a double off a righty. Stop.the.presses:)

  25. VaRedsFan

    Williams needs to do it, with Disco and Billy next

    • VaRedsFan

      I think that qualifies!!! Riggleman genius!!!

  26. Indy Red Man

    Both runs will score and I will win my bet in the 4th inning!!!

  27. CI3J

    MASON FREAKIN’ WILLIAMS!

    I don’t know anything about this kid, but that was awesome!

    • VaRedsFan

      I really like his swing. Reds are hitting some bad pitches by Pivetta. Duvall and Mason

      • CI3J

        I really like his swing.

        I agree. And I like that he looks like he has a clue what he’s doing at the plate. Compare to BHam/Peraza when they first came up. Although granted, Williams is older than they were at the time, and is still older than Peraza

    • Jazzmanbbfan

      Apparently his dad played football for New England in the 80’s. Was in the Super Bowl vs.da Bears in ‘85. That according to the TV crew.

  28. Indy Red Man

    Yes….I called a dude to hit his 2nd career HR! Thats how I roll:)

    • Wayne nabors

      Think you had 2 predictions recently that came thru,keep it up

      • Indy Red Man

        Thanks! I’ve hit 14 out of 17 baseball bets. Good summer despite the Reds record.

  29. VaRedsFan

    Geno still struggling defensively…another routine play bobbled

    • VaRedsFan

      Unearned run comes home to roost

  30. VaRedsFan

    Nice play by Peraza to save the run…for now

  31. VaRedsFan

    Disco gone….error, jam shot infield single, and a solid single. Flabbergasted.

  32. Luckeydad

    Good lord, to have a starting pitcher go more than 4 would be a godsend right now

  33. Indy Red Man

    Really weird? Riggleman is playing it like he’s up 1 game with 3 to go? Maybe his plan is to stretch out Amir like he did with Lorenzen last night? Seems crazy though?

  34. seat101

    I’m usually one not to borrow trouble, but I really am worried that they’re going to remove the “interim” tag

  35. VaRedsFan

    Amir out…awkward lunge towards first. some kind of ankle tweak.

  36. Cartel

    Because I am a reds fan, I hope we lose ten straight. I am sick of Riggleman. He is managing like we are in a playoff hunt instead of trying to develop players. He needs to go and I am very afraid he will stay.

    • VaRedsFan

      I don’t blame Riggelman, the call has to come from upstairs on who to play. If you are managing for possibly a future job, wouldn’t you try to win every game?

      • Cartel

        Yes I would. I don’t blAme him but I don’t want him hired

  37. Indy Red Man

    Disco had really good stuff I thought. The 2 run hr was a gabp first seat job and that was on a stupid 1-2 pitch. Hopefully he’ll be fine? Screwing up the rundown between 1st and 2nd cost him the W tonite by pushing up his pitch count.

  38. Bill j

    I think the Reds will do a large search for the next manager and name Riggleman the best man for the job.

  39. Indy Red Man

    One teams guy gives up 5 er and he’s still in the game with 85 pitches. The other team gives up 2 er and he’s out with 85? Which team is in the playoff hunt again?

    • Cartel

      Riggleman is absolutely going to burn this bullpen out in his race to win 70 games

      • roger garrett

        Yep.Kind of shows what the mindset of the organization is right now doesn’t it.Riggs is trying to win at all costs and unless he is stopped then you would have to say the front office agrees.Bad part is he is showing no confidence at all with starters.If you can’t or don’t let guys work it out they pitch in fear of being pulled all the time.

  40. Seat101

    If you are not a pitcher, being “The best bunter on the team” is akin to being the best ballerina in Austin

    • Cartel

      I would like to know how many times we have actually scored after bunting this season? It is becoming the definition of insanity.

  41. Scott C

    Another attempted sacrifice bunt by a guy who earlier hit a 3 run jack followed by Dixon and Hamilton. Dixon strikes out. At least Billy gets a Sac Fly.

  42. VaRedsFan

    Billy robbed, but at least he got the sac fly

  43. Seat101

    I don’t want to hear about how the TV announcer like to dance. I want to hear what they have to say about a baseball game

  44. CI3J

    Well, the defense didn’t do us any favors, but I’ll still take a 6-4 win against a first-place team.

    Now to win the rubber match tomorrow!

    • CI3J

      Whoops, sorry, just realized it’s a 4 game series.

      Alright, then, get the win tomorrow and guarantee, at worst, a split!

  45. Indy Red Man

    This one belongs to the Reds…..but 2 unearned runs isn’t pretty

    I guess they’re not giving Suarez an error for Disco’s 3rd run, but I don’t know how its a hit?