The Reds were swept by the Phillies on April 9-11. Since then, they are now 14-7 against first place teams (6-5 vs the Cubs, 2-1 vs the Indians, 4-0 vs the Dodgers, and 2-1 vs the Phillies). The Reds are not there yet, but they certainly have the feel of a team that could be competitive with a couple more pieces in 2019.

Matt Harvey made what will in all likelihood will be his final start in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. Harvey pitched five solid innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter in a bases loaded situation. Joey Votto reached base four times leading the Reds offense. The Reds bullpen continued to pitch well, covering four scoreless innings. The Reds also got big double plays in the both the 7th and 8th innings.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (47-58)
Philadelphia Phillies (58-46)
W: Peralta (2-2)  L: Hunter (2-1) S: Hughes (7)
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 Joey Votto’s RBI single with 1 out in the 6th inning, giving the Reds a 3-2 lead (moving Gennett to third base) That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 12.7% (from 67.5% to 80.2%).

Positives

Matt Harvey did nothing on Saturday evening to hurt his trade value. Harvey got lifted for pinch hitter after 5 innings of work: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K. It has been fun to watch Harvey pitch for the Reds. He certainly brought some excitement to a team that was absolutely dead when he arrived. The tweet below just might have some team overpay for Harvey thinking he could be the lottery ticket that wins them a World Series.

Joey Votto had 3 hits and a walk. He drove in the go-ahead run in the 6th inning, and an insurance run in the 8th.

Wandy Peralta had a terrific return to the Reds bullpen: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. It was nice to see Peralta not walk anyone. He was terrible when he was with the Reds through June, walking 25 batters in 29.1 innings. Peralta didn’t start out better in Louisville when he was sent down, but he didn’t walk anyone in his last 4 appearances (5.0 IP).

Sal Romano made his second relief appearance of the season, and he retired both batters he faced. Amir Garrett also pitched tonight, so him being pulled last night after covering the bag was purely cautionary.

Jose Peraza had a 2-hit night. Peraza now has a 97 wRC+. The average for an NL SS is 88.

Tucker Barhart reached base 3 times (1 hit, 2 walks).

Negatives

Jim Riggleman‘s bunt obsession reached a new low tonight. He had the #5 hitter lay down a sacrifice bunt in a tie game in the 5th inning. The result of course was 0 runs were scored. I actually like Riggleman much more than I ever thought I would. I like his very professional but calm demeanor, and I especially like his quick hook to the bullpen and not pushing starters (all data shows starters are worse the 3rd and 4th times through the order). That said, I’ll never be able to support a manager who goes against proven data. It’s like a political hot button.

Eugenio Suarez streak of five consecutive games with a home run came to end. He stinks.

Not so random thoughts……..

There is a report that the Indians have “Billy Hamilton on their radar.” That could be an interesting trade partner for the Reds. The Indians just placed Tyler Naquin on the DL. Naquin is a player with great minor league numbers who finished 3rd in the AL ROY vote in 2016. Naquin is not in good graces with the Indians from what I have heard living up here in Cleveland. It sounds like they don’t like his work ethic, personality, etc. He can really hit though, and can play CF. He is not a great defensive CF, but you only need an adequate CF at GABP (see Shin-Soo Choo’s 6-win season in 2013).

Scoreboard watching: the Diamondbacks are currently in a 4-4 tie. If they lose, the Reds would be single digits back for the second wild-card spot. We can dream.

Up Next:

Phillies at Reds
Sunday, 1:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Luis Castillo (5.30 ERA) vs Zach Eflin (3.41 ERA)

 

Photos are used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Sam Greene, and are used by permission. All statistics are used courtesy of Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, and ESPN Stats & Info.

56 Responses

  1. Scott C

    The big thing is to get a trade for Harvey before Monday’s deadline. Hate to see him go but it needs to be done. If we could trade Billy, that would be a bonus.

    • jay johnson

      “but it needs to be done”
      Y

      • Scott C

        Because we are supposed to be in a rebuild. And he is blocking Stephenson right now. If the rebuild is to be successful we need to see if Stephenson can cut it in the majors. Next year he has to be on the 25 man roster and we risk losing him without ever seeing if he can do pitch up in the bigs.

      • jay johnson

        Why is it Harvey thats blocking BobSteve?
        Why isnt it Bailey?The team is 1-17 when bailey and Finnegan start.They are well over 500 when Harvey goes.I dont see how keeping a former ace/cy young candidate is blocking anything.He is quickly returning to his earlier career form.
        I say sign Harvey to a 2 year contract with an option for a 3rd.
        To trade him for a future nobody makes no sense at all and I’m not buying that he is the reason that BobSteve is still in AAA.

  2. cfd3000

    Nick – Weren’t the Braves in 1st place when the Reds were in Atlanta? Add a 2-1 record against the first place Braves to that list. A nice team win for the Reds. Duvall struggled, but everyone else contributed. Good pitching, good hitting, good defense. I hate all the bunting but a) it hasn’t mattered the last two nights and b) the next Reds manager won’t be so bunt happy. Right? Please?

    And a big thank you to Matt Harvey for pitching well for the Reds AND for bringing in some nice prospects for the future. Right? Please? Im looking at you Dick Williams.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree Duvall had 2 ugly looking K’s later in the game but in his first 2 PAs he had a hit, a walk, and a run scored. .400 OBP for the game.

      Suarez had a walk, stranded the same number of runners as Duvall (4) and had an in game OBP of .200

      All things are relative.

      • Jim Walker

        Make that an in game OBP of .500 for Duvall

      • cfd3000

        You’re right Jim of course. I went back and looked at the box score and Duvall was on base early. But his two late, runners on, not even close to contact strike outs clouded my memory of his efforts as a whole. I know he’s a healthy body but right now I’d rather see Ervin getting some starts in left.

      • Jim Walker

        And we agree on this too. Ervin just might be part of the future and not just as a bench player either. I’m hoping both he and Williams somehow stay up when Schebler returns and both get good long looks.

        They are younger and cheaper than Duvall and for that matter Schebler too and could well be as good or better all around players.

    • Nick Kirby

      I was only including teams currently in first place. If we went when they were in first place, the Dodgers wouldn’t count.

      • cfd3000

        Fair enough. Though it’s still true that the Reds have played well against a number of teams who are either in first place now or were in first when they played the Reds. Both types of results are very encouraging.

  3. CI3J

    At this point, I would almost trade Billy for a bag of balls if it meant we could see Ervin/Williams in CF. If Cleveland is willing to give up anything for him, you make that trade and don’t look back.

    • Jim Walker

      I somewhat share your feeling. I think they will have to get a good return to let him go however if for no other reason than their OF depth really projects as thin for the rest of the season.

      Schebler apparently did not play on rehab tonight, whatever that may or may not indicate; and even with him available, they would be down to 4 OF with Hamilton gone. Ervin and Williams were the AAA depth guys. Not much left to choose from if somebody else goes down.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I understand the lack of depth this year if Billy is gone but at some point Ervin and Williams were reasonably highly regarded prospects. If Billy is gone, this would be the two-month opportunity for them to show whether they are candidates to contribute in the future or if the Reds need to hope their AA and A+ outfielders progress rapidly.

    • Sabr Chris

      Too bad he’s an Uncle Bob favorite…

    • Scooter Rolen

      It would be nice to see Ervin & Williams get a chance to show if they can play. Both have been top prospects in their past. Also, the Naquin idea seems like an intriguing option for a Billy Hamilton trade.

      • jeffintn

        Seems like we ‘took’ Cleveland on another player they had soured on. Some second baseman. What was his name…???

      • Jim Walker

        Here is the tale of the tape age wise on outfielders

        Duvall 29yr; ~10m
        Hamilton 27yr; ~11M
        Schebler 27yr; ~10m
        Mason 26yr; ~10m
        Ervin 26yr; 0m
        Winker 24yr ~11m

        If Williams or Ervin look like comparable to better all around players than any of the 3 older incumbents, they are the guys to hang onto as at the minimum cheaper bridge options to the heavy OF talent in AA, A+ and A.

        Of course the Reds can’t find this out if they aren’t open giving them the opportunity to show how good they are. At the least, I’d think they make a better 3/4 OF duo than the 2 oldest guys.

  4. Seattle77

    Great night for a ballgame. Big crowd – I know, it was for the concert – but everyone was into it. Fun atmosphere. The bats came through and the pitching was solid. Too many bunts? Definitely. But if you can’t enjoy a night like tonight (especially in July), what’s the point??

  5. CI3J

    If the Reds win tomorrow, they’ll be back to 10 games under .500. After that, they have a stretch of 9 games in a row against teams at .500 or worse (Detroit, Washington, NYM). 7-2 would be fantastic but also very achievable. Could be a good time to make up some ground and inch ever closer to that elusive .500 record.

    • greenmtred

      I’m not superstitious, not in the least, but I’m afraid that you just jinxed them.

  6. Seat101

    Mason Williams is a steely eyed missle man!

    • Jeff Reed

      It’s a good time now to see what Mason can do.

    • REDLEGS64

      He hit the wall hard in RF – excellent effort and he was able to stay in the game. Almost a spectacular grab!

  7. DEN

    Gee can’t wait to never see the mid level A or AA player(s) we get for Matt Harvey…oh the excitement…

    • Sest101

      It will be a picture and catcher… In other words, it will be a AA battery

    • sezwhom

      I agree. Unless we get an incredible offer, I say keep him. Did you read Tucker’s comments after the game? Speaks volumes. He doesn’t want Harvey traded and the man himself wants to stay.

      • greenmtred

        I agree, too, but my fear is that he really wouldn’t sign an extention–and signing him is the only way that not trading him makes sense. I also don’t read his comments as saying he doesn’t want to leave, so much as indicating that he’s appreciated being in Cincy.

      • Hotto4Votto

        You can always trade him for the best offer, and then try to sign him in the winter. The Yankees did that with Chapman a couple seasons ago. It’s not like the Reds wouldn’t have the same amount of competition for signing Harvey if they kept him or not. Literally no good reason not to try and trade him now, this has always been the plan since he was acquired. No reason to abandon the plan now.

      • lwblogger2

        Exactly. There is only slightly more leverage in keeping him if the plan is to sign him. Honestly, with his injury history, I think signing him would be a big mistake. Maybe, just maybe, if he’d do a 2yr deal at $10-$12-million AAV with a 3rd year option, I’d do it but even that would be a measure of risk that borders on the uncomfortable for me. I also don’t think that gets it done.

  8. roger garrett

    Harvey has brought a professional approach to pitching along with a bulldog mentality.By that I mean he is saying I am in charge on the mound and pitches smart and goes right after the hitter.Very strong mentally.Hope our young guys noticed it.Whatever it takes to see more of Ervin or Williams in center I am all for it.Now I don’t want Billy to get hurt but you know what I mean.Great team win especially after so many missed opportunities early in the game.The offense kept applying pressure and broke through.The pen was excellent and Hughes is just something with that sinker that moves all over the place.

    • docproctor

      I’ll admit that when Billy came up limping after a dive back to the first base bag last night, I thought “Good–give Williams and Ervin some time in the outfield together.” I never want to root for an injury, but I don’t know any other way for Rig to give the youngsters a chance.

    • Jeff Reed

      Hughes bedeviled the Reds for years as a Pirate. He and Hernandez give the Reds a mid-level bullpen duo they haven’t had in quite a while.

    • jay johnson

      Harvey is BY FAR the most professional looking pitcher we have had for quite a while
      Keep him.

      • lwblogger2

        Ok… What do you think it would take as far as a deal to get that done?

  9. Indy Red Man

    Alot of playoff teams struggling a little bit now! Altuve, Judge, and Kris Bryant on the DL. Cleveland has no bats beyond the top 4. Seattle is fading. Oakland has no starting pitching. Yankees starters are struggling as well. Atlanta has dropped 4 in a row. The Reds might get someone to pay a little more then expected if they play their cards right? Harvey, Iggy, Scooter, Billy, Dilson, Schebler, H& H, and BobSteve? It might get interesting but they probably won’t do much. I have no problem with Schebler/Ervin in CF next year. The offense is pretty well set imo although a RH hitting outfielder with power is ok too! We just need starting pitching….as usual! A live arm that can make it by 2020….preferably lefty.

  10. bouwills

    I see nothing outstanding about this Phillies bullpen. Even if they won’t pony up for Iglesias, they should offer up one of the several lefty sp prospects they have for Hughes or D. Hernandez. The Reds have a lot to offer, & don’t have to trade anything at a discount.

  11. sezwhom

    Nick, spot on about Riggleman. He’s calm, professional, handles bullpen well and while his hook on starters is quick, I’m okay with it. However, his obsession to bunt drives me nuts. A pitcher, okay but except for Homer, most of our SP can’t get the bunt down. Harvey failed on his first attempt then actually got one down the 2nd time. Very rare. However, never ask a position a player. Remember, this is the guy who asked Scooter to bunt earlier this year. Leading the league in Average and asked to bunt. Really?

  12. Scooter Rolen

    It is widely thought that the Reds need starting pitching going into 2019 and beyond. It might be a good idea to trade Harvey now and resign him in the offseason (much like the Yankees did with Chapman when traded to Cubs). It does sound like he might be willing to and likes Cincinnati. Of course, I want the Reds to look at all of the available options for SP, but an interesting option for the Reds.

    • cfd3000

      That wouldn’t be a bad outcome. But there’s no need to keep him for the rest of this year if he’ll bring back a couple of solid prospects. He (and Boras) know the drill. Spell it out for him, trade him now, then look hard at an offseason deal.

  13. big5ed

    Riggleman’s worst bunt call was in the 6th, when he bunted Peraza after Hamilton had led off with a double. The run probabilities for the average runner are bad enough, but why would you sacrifice an out to get Billy Hamilton of all people to 3rd base?? And especially with a hitter with a good contact rate.

    He did score, but it wasn’t the right play call.

    • greenmtred

      Riggleman probably reads RLN and will bunt more and more as long as we keep complaining about it. I also was scratching my head about that 6th inning bunt, but I forgive it because we won and the Reds are actually fun to watch and (mostly) good. About Riggleman’s quick hooks: It occurs to me that he is almost, in effect, using the staff the way many of us proposed early in the season. Multiple pitchers pitching fewer innings.

      • REDLEGS64

        This is true – I’m a little surprised more people haven’t commented on that.

        Plus, our young staff needs to “judisciously” log innings – the season is a marathon and their endurance/development takes time. We are not going to return to 2014 staff so quickly.

        As with every manager, there are some hits/misses – but I’d concur, Riggelman/Darwin/Power have done a nice job.

    • AC

      Riggleman said Peraza bunted on his own, according to Chris Welch on the broadcast today.

  14. WVRedlegs

    A 4 year $65M deal is on the table for Harvey and Boras. Better than what Cobb and Lynn got and just under what Arrieta got in free agency last year. Probably more than fair enough, but is it what Boras thinks they can get this winter?

    • Sabr Chris

      Reported by whom?
      Boras will want to maximize their leverage. Signing an extension now, even if is good value, is not what he advises his clients to do.

      • George

        Harvey update;

        “While teams have expressed interest in Harvey in advance of the July 31 trade deadline, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Sunday that most are “not terribly excited about him” and view the right-hander as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter.”

        “Harvey had basically been left for dead by a lot of people, so it’s impressive that he has enjoyed success in Cincinnati. While we know at least one team is interested in acquiring him, it makes sense that the price tag will have to be reasonable. Given his injury history, Harvey can’t really be depended on at this point in his career”

    • Jim Walker

      Interesting report. I was thinking several weeks ago they might be willing to kick the can down the road a year on his recovery by signing a 2 year deal with similar average annual value, with the 2nd year a player option against a buyout that would that would get him to the AAV for 1 year.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I would also be very interested in the source of that report. I would think if that offer was truly on the table (from the Reds), Harvey and Boras would jump at it. In a Cincinnati.com article earlier in the week, Dick Williams was quoted as saying he had discussed contract with Boras, and that the response was that they were going to test free agency. Not surprising.

    • lwblogger2

      Do you have a source on that 4yr offer for Harvey? There is no way in HE-double-hockey-sticks I’d give him that big of a deal. Huge injury risk.

  15. Jeffery Stroupe

    I have about as much confidence in Duval and Hamilton at the plate as i do Sal Romano. Romano’s pitching has turned around since going to long sweat absorbing sleaves. Im sure his grip is better and it is showing.

    • REDLEGS64

      While there’s no defending their low average, OPS, etc. – the two actually had good nights last night. Duvy had a good AB resulted in a walk and a hit. Billy had single & double and was all over the basepaths.

      So maybe your comment is in general – not necessarily last evening’s win.

    • REDLEGS64

      Agree on Big Sal – he’s been very effective in last several outings. Fun to watch the young guys figure it out.

  16. jeffintn

    I was driving back from the Pensacola game to Mobile and listening to the Reds game on the big one and I nearly drove off of the road when Marty announced that Garrett was coming into the game. Knowing the Reds luck, I was sure he was ALSO lost for the season. Glad it was nothing too serious.
    As for the kids in Pensacola, it was a rather dismal game. And dear Lord it was hot. I was always told how nice the stadium is, right on the bay with a nice breeze blowing in. Well, not last night.
    I still am of the opinion that Shed Long is not the answer for the future. He’s been frittering away the past few seasons and not showing enough (to me at least) to warrant a bump up in levels. They have a glut of second basemen and he’s not impressed me in the least.
    I was excited to see Siri in CF and TJ Freidl playing also.
    Two plays of note. First (admittedly I was busy watching the base runners and could not tell who threw the ball), there was an ‘errant’ throw to third base in the first inning that I can’t swear DIDN’T come from Siri but if that throw came from a cutoff man, they should be shipped to Billings or Greeneville immediately. On that throw to third, it drew the third baseman, full extension, into the outfield and STILL missed the ball. Crazy bounce off of the netting in front of the third base dugout flung it right back onto the field and the Hoos nearly got the runner at home.
    The second play from Siri (and this one I KNOW was from him) was a bullet from CF to throw a runner out at the plate. The thing I kept saying to myself was “Billy would have caught that, Billy would have caught that”. I’m not a HUGE BHam fan but he fields pretty decent (except for two poor plays this week).
    Aquino and LaValley went yard in the second inning to get everyone in attendance free coupons to Dennys.
    I also got to see Keston Hiura the second baseman that the parent Brewers are pretty high on to the point that they weren’t willing to use him in a trade earlier this week. He hits the ball very hard. A loud single in the first was impressive.
    I’m still not super impressed with the Pensacola team. Just not really anyone to be too excited about. I’ll have a few more opportunities to see them this year, just not sure that I’ll make the effort. One series here in Mobile and one in Biloxi (this is the one I’ll be more likely to make since I’ve driven past their stadium many times but never been inside.)

    I think it’s time to cut bait on a few of these players. Aquino has been wallowing at AA for too long. It’s time to get Trammell to Pensacola. Surprised he was the player left in Daytona during the moves up the ladder. I’m sure there was a reason, maybe age??

    Go Reds.

  17. WVRedlegs

    Nice to get Castillo going good again. Another series win. They are 8-3-1 in their last 12 series. That will get it done.
    With Romano starting one of the Detroit games, is the 6 man rotation back on? Not sure what is going on there.
    Trade deadline sure is going to be quiet.