Luis Castillo threw a gem today as the Reds helped out the Braves and Nationals big time this weekend, taking three out of four from the current division leaders and move to 10 games under .500.

Final R H E
Philadelphia Phillies (58-47) 0 8 1
Cincinnati Reds (48-58) 4 10 0
W: Castillo (6-8) L: Eflin (7-3) S: Iglesias (21)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score |  Statcast

The player of the game was undoubtedly Luis Castillo. While he was not perfect early, he pitched very, very well and battled against a really good Phillies lineup.  He faced base runners in all of the first four innings but was able to keep the hitters off balance enough to avoid any damage. He pitched one-two-three innings in the 5th, 6th and 7th, retiring 11 straight batters to finish his day.

His average fastball velocity was 96.1 mph which is a slight drop from his last outing. However, his changeup and slider were both very good and he seemed to gain better command of both as he went later in the game (he had two wild pitches early on). He was attacking hitters early and often and looked every bit of the ace that Reds fans had expected to see this year. His final line was 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.

The Reds struck first in today’s Titanic Struggle with Phillip Ervin and Curt Casali, starting off the third with back-to-back doubles. Two batters later, Reds Legend Scooter GennettTM launched a two-run home run into the right field seats to make the lead 3-0.

Phillip Ervin just missed a three-run home run in the 6th inning but settled for a sacrifice fly, driving in Mason Williams after singles by Williams and Adam Duvall. With a 4-0 lead, the Reds chased Zach Eflin from the game and wrapped up a solid offensive performance against the Phillies starter.

David Hernandez came on in the 8th inning an recorded two strikeouts, clinching free pizza for all those in attendance. Things got interesting in the 9th as Wandy Peralta started the inning but allowed two soft hits and prompted Riggleman to bring in Iglesias. A single by Franco resulted in bases loaded, one out, and brought the tying run to the plate. Scott Kingery worked a full count but Iglesias struck him out on a slider. He then got Andrew Knapp to strike out swinging to end the game.

Other Game Notes:

  • Castillo’s dropped his ERA to 4.98 on the year. His FIP/xFIP are now 4.44/3.93.
  • Curt Casali is having a nice offensive year with the Reds and Statcast metrics back up the results, as he currently has his highest exit velocity since 2015.
  • Mason Williams singled twice to give him hits in three straight games. He is only 26 years old and had a 115 wRC+ at Louisville this year, and while he was a top 100 prospect from 2011-2013, he will most likely be heading back to Louisville once Scott Schebler returns from the DL.
  • Gennett and Votto each had two hits. The Reds 5-9 hitters (excluding Castillo) all had hits as well. Great team effort at the plate.
  • No Dilson Herrera today. Brandon Dixon had a pinch-hit strikeout.
  • Only three walks issued by either team all game. Curt Casali had both for the Reds (one intentional)

Not related to the game, but given the non-waiver trade deadline is approaching (Tuesday @ 4pm EST), I thought this was interesting:

The Reds are off on Monday before heading to Detroit to start a 10-game road trip.


41 Responses

  1. Tom Mitsoff

    I will offer a different thought on whether Mason Williams is headed back to Louisville when Schebler comes off the DL. Williams started the last three games, hit well, and was moved to right field in the late innings today to replace Ervin. So the manager must think he’s better defensively than Ervin. I think Dixon or Ervin will go down, not Williams. They will need a lefthanded bat to replace Winker’s lefty bat.

    • Colorado Red

      I would rather Dixon go down at this time.
      Hope you are correct.

    • Matthew Habel

      Yeah, could be. I still think they need to give Ervin more of a shot. I would guess that since Schebler can play CF they would just go back to the Duvall/Hamilton/Schebler/Ervin combo. But maybe this will give them more incentive to try to trade Billy and see if Williams has any staying power.

    • Scott Gennett

      They’d take a longer look to Williams and Ervin for the rest of the season, playing Schebler in RF, Williams in CF and Ervin in LF. Hamilton and Duvall should continue as bench pieces, with Duvall sharing more time in 1B/3B. I think Williams is more suited to hit lead-off, looks like a well-rounded player so far.

    • Jim Walker

      I agree Williams seems to be getting the nod over Ervin. The point about LH/RH batting is probably the reason. I’m not sure what Ervin needs to do to establish himself. He has ;played outstanding defense and hit well. I thought it was really the bum’s rush today to pull him in the double switch when his spot was coming up 3rd to bat in the 8th and they had a 4 run lead.

      Schebler was back in action today but as a DH only. Getting a feeling that his “few days” of rehab are going to stretch out to at least a week.

      I don’t think Dixon gets sent down because he is a mediocre jack of all positions except SS, C and CF who has the pop to run into a pitch from time to time. That’s a combination often better in the 25th man spot than a solid all around OF, even one who plays CF but no where on the infield.

      Maybe we will get lucky and BHam will be traded resulting in both Williams and Ervin staying up and getting to play.

  2. Indy Red Man

    Well they bounced back from that flat Pittsburgh series. Castillo looked great! It was a good day!

    Milw talking to the Mets about Wheeler. He threw 6 shutout innings today. Get out there and beat out your competitors for once? He’s pretty good and could just now be figuring it out! Cubs, Cards, and Brewers grab everyone they can while we do nothing?

    • Jack

      Do you really want to give up high prospects for a guy that is a free agent after next season?

  3. Sliotar

    Today, Atlanta’s Sean Newcomb went 135 pitches, having a no-hitter broken up with 1 strike to go. 1 walk away from a potential perfect game.

    His previous 4 starts this month: 12Ks, 16BBs, 5 HRs allowed, only got through 6th once.

    With the stuff like Newcomb and Castillo have, they should get every chance to stick in the rotation…and probably an extra chance or two after that, in the case of the small market, not known for developing pitchers Reds.

    When youngsters like Castillo, Mahle, (BobSteve) (??????) figure out how to pitch all their stuff consistently, their careers can really take off.

    9Ks, 1BB. A pitcher can work out of a lot of mistakes with the command Castillo had today. Great to watch.

  4. docproctor

    Would love to see us package Billy in the Harvey trade. We have two young CFs who could man the field competently and run circles around Billy’s offensive performance (especially since he’s no longer stealing bases).

    It was awfully nice to have the pitcher batting 9th for a change. Would like to make that permanent.

    • docproctor

      We’re talking about Billy Hamilton here.

      • greenmtred

        One problem with trading Billy is that it would leave a void in the scapegoat department at RLN.

  5. Indy Red Man

    Give me Scheber/Scooter 1-2 and Jose batting 9th. Billy is adios amigo!

    • Colorado Red

      Send him to Cleveland
      Ask for Luis Oviedo. A ways to go, but good fastball and control

  6. Jeff Reed

    I doubt that Big Bob will say adios to Billy until his speed perceivably declines or his contract becomes untenable.

  7. Old-school

    Great day for Luis Castillo and the Reds future SP. That’s far important than Matt Harvey.

    • REDLEGS64

      Agreed – Luis, Mahle & Big Sal have all had moments. Growing pains are tough but the climb to .500 requires the young arms to keep getting better.

      • Davy13

        Agreed…mostly. Castillo has had more than a few moments dating back to last season. I personally been more optimistic about Castillo than some on the RLN thread. At closer inspection of a a few of his bad outings this season, Castillo was not really shellacked, but was victimized by a few of his own bad pitches that were punished out of the ballpark. In those games, he actually allowed only a small number of hits and walks.

        Castillo now has allowed just three earned runs over 17.1 innings in his last three starts, posting a 16:2 K:BB in the process.

      • Jim Walker

        Castillo and Romano are pitching like they hear Stephenson trying to kick the door door at AAA. Mahle best get and heed the memo.

      • da bear

        Doubt they’re concerned about performance of others. Athletes performing their best are focused on themselves and what they can control.

        Mahle will be fine. Once he works in another plus pitch to go along with his FB command he will be a solid performer. A couple of his recent starts his velocity was low, when he can top out at 96 and vary the speed and location of his FB he pitches well.

        Unfortunately all these young starters are hampered by porous defense. An extra out sometimes leads to only a few extra pitches, other times more than a dozen. Reds will need Suarez to return to last year’s form and reduce the ‘lack of concentration’ errors, hope Peraza’s defense continues to improve, Gennett will be a weak spot unless Senzel is an improvement and eventually takes over, while Joey hopefully continues the steady average defense he’s maintained lately.

  8. msanmoore

    Great game today. Started my nap after we had scored 3. Woke up as we scored our last and was pleasantly surprised to see Castillo still pitching.

    • Colorado Red

      and he had given up 0 runs to boot.

  9. Brian

    Any thoughts on why bh is not stealing?

      • Jim Walker

        About has to be a red light unless they are concerned about an injury; but, he isn’t showing signs of it running the bases otherwise or on defense.

    • cfd3000

      Runners can only advance by luck (a hit) by bad luck (a walk) or on purpose in one way (a sacrifice bunt). Haven’t you read the Reds manager manifesto?

  10. cfd3000

    Nice win. Nice series. Nice bounce back from Pittsburgh. I do hope the next good Reds news is positive return on trades (plural).

    Also, if I’m reading that chart correctly, there is literally no combination of teams that has traded more than the Reds and Cardinals. Amazing. And it also appears that there is no combination of teams that has never made a trade. Every team has at some point made a trade with every other team. Also incredible. Now get it done Dick Williams!

    • Matthew Habel

      Yeah I was very surprised about the CIN-STL connection as well. 1st place by a landslide

      • lost11found

        I wonder how many of those times were before they were in the same division?

  11. jreis

    I really like Mason “The Line” Williams. Big athletic, 5 tool guy. looks like a guy the yankees and cubs put out in the outfield. hope he stays up with the reds.
    also , why trade Harvey if you are only going to get prospects for him? we got too many prospects. just let him finish the year. this puts less stress on the rotation so we don’t have to “shut down” Castillo, mahle and Romano.
    I Kind of like the 6 man rotation and it allows Mahle and Romano to get some bullpen work in between starts.
    Just let Harvey walk at the end of the year. no big loss

    • Matthew Habel

      No reason not to try for a lottery ticket prospect or two. Think about the recent trades the Reds have made where we got way more than we should have. Simon-Suarez, Straily-Castillo, even Cingrani-Clementina is one that could pan out.

    • Darrin

      I must not be seeing four of the five tools you’re referring to.

      • greenmtred

        Which one have you noticed? He’s shown speed and SSS power. He hasn’t messed up a catch or a throw. It’s much too early to know what he’ll turn out to be, for sure, but I think a certain amount of the appreciation for him comes from his not being Billy, who is a mere 3-tool player.

      • lwblogger2

        Darrin is clearly exaggerating but the “power” tool really isn’t there for Williams. Of course he has generally hit for average, gap-power, and will occasionally walk. He has good speed, plays solid defense at all 3 OF positions, and has a pretty good arm. I like him. I don’t know if he’s MLB starter material and I don’t know if I like him more than Ervin though.

    • DHud

      Literally no such thing as too many prospects. See Reds, SP prospects 2016, for reference

  12. Jim Walker

    Robert Stephenson had another strong performance Sunday evening. He soiled it a little by walking a couple of guys in his last inning after a streak where he had retired 12 in a row after giving up a 2 run HR for the only runs he allowed in 7 inning of work.

    His line was 7IP; 1H; 2R (both earned); 5BB; 5K; 1HR 92P/56S

    Just a typical crazy RS line. Walks 4 but ends up with a WHIP less than 1 for the game.

    Louisville won the game 3-2 in 10 innings.

    • lost11found

      Hopefully just some in-game fatigue that caused a bit of sloppiness.

  13. roger garrett

    They can’t hit Bob in the minors and well he has nothing to prove,Go to take your hat off to him because he is in the dog house and its not the walks.He could very easily pack it in and start feeling sorry for himself or just give up but he continues to do what he does.Very inconsistent organization in how they reward performance on the field.Can’t imagine what he must be thinking.

    • lwblogger2

      Agree. Not sure what more he needs to do.