The Short Version: Reds get a strong start from Anthony DeSclafani, and the bullpen shut down the Giants long enough for Phillip Ervin to hit a walkoff home run in the 11th inning.

Final — 11 innings R H E
San Francisco Giants (61-62) 1 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (53-69) 2 11 0
W: Hernandez (5-0) L: Black (2-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–In the bottom of the 11th inning, Phillip Ervin crushed a solo home run of the walkoff variety. Reds win!

–Yet another outstanding start from Anthony DeSclafani: 7.2 innings, one run allowed on six hits and a walk. Disco struck out five, and actually should have made it through eight full innings, but Curt Casali let a third strike get past him to extend the inning. Either way, great start.

In fact, DeSclafani is the first Reds pitcher to throw at least seven innings in three consecutive starts since…well, since DeSclafani did it back in 2016.

–Scooter Gennett had three hits, including a double. Jose Peraza and Casali had two hits each, and Casali drove in a run. Eugenio Suarez had a hit and a walk. Tucker Barnhart doubled, scored a run, and played a passable first base; it was his first career start at the position.

–Raisel Iglesias pitched two shutout innings in relief. I will never not enjoy that. Also, kudos to Jared Hughes and David Hernandez for shutting down the Giants after Disco left the game.

The Bad
–The Reds left nine runners on base, and for a long time it appeared they were going to waste some terrific pitching. But it all worked out in the end, right?

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Rough season, sure, but wins like this are still fun. Baseball, ya know?

–This is the DeSclafani we had hoped to see for so, so long. Gotta think injuries have robbed Disco of a couple of really good seasons, seasons in which he would have been one of the better pitchers in the league.

–I’m skeptical about whether Phillip Ervin can be a starter in the big leagues long-term. But as I said on the most recent podcast, there is literally no reason that he isn’t starting 5 times a week for the rest of the season. Once again tonight, Ervin didn’t start because interim manager Jim Riggleman generally prefers Mason Williams and Preston Tucker in the outfield.

Ervin did enter as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, and he delivered the big blow in the bottom of the 11th. For the season, he’s hitting .287/.353/.455, and he’s been unstoppable since returning to the big leagues.

Seriously, what’s the upside to having Ervin (and Dilson Herrera, for that matter) on the bench every single day? Wouldn’t this be an ideal time to learn some things about these guys?

–Aaaah, who cares. Reds win!

Today’s Tweets

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 64 Comments

  1. Isn’t it fitting that Ervin hits the walk off?Just amazes me in another lost season we can’t give guys a chance to see what they can do.

    • Ervin has to show he can keep his head in the game on the base paths and hit a cutoff man. You can’t start him every day when he continues to make mistakes

      • But he has to get regular playing time to show you that. Why not this season?

      • this x 100 hit cut off if you want to play. Throws worse than school kid when under pressure fix that if you want to play

      • He has made some mistakes for sure but our guys at short and second still can’t figure out who is to cover second base.That’s one of my biggest complaints about this team.Some guys get a pass while others get thrown under the bus for doing the indentical same things.

    • I think this is the same strategy Riggleman used with Winker: keep him on the bench so he can get those valuable end of game AB’s. Happy they won but may not have needed those extra innings if Ervin had been taking Tucker’s earlier AB’s

    • They’re giving Williams and Tucker a chance to see what they can do.

      • Near as I can tell, they are playing the platoon splits with Williams and Tucker going against RHP… That’s why we got Ervin and Hererra on Saturday and Sunday. I don’t agree that that’s what they should be doing but from a logic standpoint and trying to “win games”, it makes sense.

  2. Owner’s seats minutes after the game ends…

    “Walt, I tell ya, Riggleman is the guy to manage this team.”

    “I mean, sure Ol’ Havoc got picked off first, and Disco blew 2 sac bunts, and the middle infielders still get crossed up on coverage 120 games into the season.”

    “But, get Jimmy to the late innings, and he really shines. Love those double switches. And, keeping Ervin in the game after pinch hitting….sheer genius.”

    (The guy starting in place of Ervin, journeyman Preston Tucker… 0-3, 5 left on base.)

    “Call Larkin in the morning and tell him the deal is off.”

  3. Regardless of how crappy many things have been this second half, it is surely refreshing to have a solid consistent pitcher like Disco on the staff. Now if we can find 4 more like him I think we may be on to something.

    • Don’t count out Luis at this point.
      If he can learn not to give up soooo many long balls, he can be a really good pitcher too.

  4. Whoever makes out the lineup prefers Tucker and Williams to Ervin and Herrera. As the season winds down and with Winker and Schebler on the DL, what’s that about? The Reds need to know what these guys can do since they could use at least one of these righthanded hitters in the lineup that is usually dominated by lefty hitters.

  5. We say the same things year after year. Dusty wouldn’t play young guys. Same with Price. Same with Rigs? Its mind boggling? I don’t make my living in the game of baseball, but I thought Tucker’s ceiling is as a decent pinch-hitter after watching 10 atbats. Short arms and just looks like he can crank a good fastball and thats about it. Bieber gave him one the other night and he got it, but thats about all he can do. He’s not a good hitter and isn’t going to hit good pitching. Everyone should be able to see that Ervin is younger and more talented? It never changes with the Reds.

    Nice win though!!

    • As long as Bob listens to Walt it will never change.One would think even Bob would get tired of losing and clean house but I guess he enjoys it.

      • The Reds may be losing, but the franchise has appreciated in value since Castellini and friends bought it. It is now worth 3-4 times what the present ownership group paid for it (allegedly). Now worth somewhere north of …….ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!
        That also makes it much harder for another ownership group to pony up the money to buy it sometime in the future. Unless it is somebody with a whole lot of money that wants to move it into a bigger market that has no baseball team.

  6. Unless something unexpected happens during the off-season, I’d say the OF is set for 2019 with Ervin, Schebler, Winker & Hamilton. What’s yet to be seen is the outcome around the keystone, with Peraza, Gennett, Senzel, Blandino, Herrera & Long competing for two spots plus two bench roles. I’d say 2B is for Senzel for grabs, bench roles are for Blandino & Herrera, Long shall remains in AAA one more season and SS is still with Peraza since there’s nobody else yet. Gennett should be traded.

    • From everything we have read Gennett has a good chance of getting extended so Senzel isn’t playing 2B, at least as a starter for the Reds

  7. I’d kind of like seeing Dilson playing while joey is down

  8. I was at the game, down the first base line four rows from Tucker’s nice catch in the top of the 2nd. He was better than passable at first – made every play that came his way. I actually thought it was an outside the box call by Riggleman to start Barnhart at first and have Casali catch. Is that allowed with both catchers playing at the same time? Everything else was predictably dumb. Hamilton gets picked off, Peraza thrown out, so many futile bunt attempts, and of course Ervin and Herrera (and Aquino) on the bench while Tucker and Mason confirm their inability to excel at MLB. Riggleman did pull the right bullpen strings, otherwise ugh. And he’ll probably get credit for smart managing switching Ervin in to pinch hit when he should have been in the game all along.

    A fun way to win, and the Reds do a really nice fireworks show, but please no more Riggleman next year. Please?

  9. Your friend and mine…. Chad

  10. Ervin will be in the line up today against the lefty. Will be interesting to see if Aquino gets the start in the other corner spot. It will be interesting to see if he sits Gennett.

    • Would like to see Aquino get a start. Would also like to see him throw out a runner on the bases. I’ve watched him in Goodyear and dude has a cannon.

    • Well Riggie has certainly been adamant about starting 2 LH hitters, neither of whom qualify as top prospects, versus RH pitching.

  11. Disco is the real deal. Maybe not an ace but definitely a viable starter.

  12. Maybe on Ervin,Aquino goes for coffee and Scooter plays regardless.

    • Aquino is holding an outfield roster spot for Schebler. Schebler is supposed to be back “any day”. Because he is on the 40 man roster.
      I would like to see Gabriel Guerrero up here, but he is not on the 40 man at this time.

    • Got that one right but at least we get to see Herrera.He turned over the coffee and doughnut order to Aquino for this game only I am sure.

  13. Well, that was timely, AD.

    And maybe those two yrs on the DL will save Disco’s arm down the road. You know, like when we’re really gonna need it. See: Glass half full.

  14. On Tuck playing 1st I thought he made a nice scoop on a one bouncer that Peraza threw. Wonder if you could alternate Tuck and Casali at 1st and save their knees?

    • Or put one of them at short so that the guy at first wouldn’t have to scoop throws out of the dirt.

      • +5000 for that on pure, old-fashioned sarcasm alone (coupled with the truth that our middle-infield arms are just a bit lacking most days).

  15. Glad to see Disco pitching well, again. Really hoping he can put the injuries and string together a couple good seasons for the Redlegs. It would help a ton to have him taking the ball every five (six?) days moving forward.
    Glad Ervin got a chance to play the hero after being relegated to the bench. I agree with the majority around here that Ervin should be playing nearly every game.

    Some random thoughts in response to the game recap.

    It’s infuriating to me that the Reds are allowing and INTERIM manager to make line up decisions based on his preferences at the expense of future Reds teams. Playing time now is where we could get valuable information on guys like Ervin and Herrera that would be helpful in an offseason when they should try to make this roster into a competitive team. The playing time should be made by someone who is invested in the Reds for more than piling up wins and boosting a resume in a lost season.

    Riggleman getting infuriated by Madsen not coming up to the plate is laughable. What a blow hard. If he really felt that strongly he should have instructed Castillo to bury a FB into the back of the first National he saw the next game. It doesn’t have to be Madsen, just as it wasn’t Votto that unintentionally hit Harper. Knocking down Soto or Eaton would have been just as satisfying for Reds fans and would have sent a message that the Reds won’t be pushovers. Instead, just idle threats to the media whining about never getting to throw at a reliever.

    • Yes, why remove Price is the line up issues continue.

    • It would have just led to more retaliation by the Nats. That just evolves into beanball wars and that’s a really, really bad idea. The real issue that should be addressed by the league is that Madson’s HBP on Votto sure seemed intentional. Retaliation for Harper getting hit but although he was shaken up, he was hit by a breaking ball that just spun up there. There was clearly no intent there when Harper was hit.

  16. 2 more hits last night for Curt Casali and an outstanding throw’em out on a steal attempt. Where was this version of Casali hiding all his career till 2018?

    His only drawback going forward is that it looks like he will make super2 for next year in the arb process. He was at 2.029 in service time when he came on board to the Reds MLB and is on line to add ~120 days to that, to push him well beyond the normal minimum cut off (125-130). The other criteria he needs to meet is at least 86 days this season on an active MLB roster. If he can avoid the being optioned (which won’t happen) or getting sent to the DL for literally the next week, he will make that too.

    • Well forgot this the Reds we are talking about. So I’ll say if he gets optioned in the next 4 days or so and not recalled during September, it will be one of the most obvious manipulations ever of the arbitration service time rules.

  17. I’ve been as loud as anyone else here advocating that Phillip Ervin should be playing every day over the likes of Mason Williams and Preston Tucker, both LH hitters.

    However here is a possible business reason at least MW is getting a such long look. Scott Schebler, also a LH batter, appears to be a lock to make Super2 this off season being at 1.132 in service time at the start of this season. Williams is a year younger than Schebler and would not be arb eligible until after 2020 at the earliest and extremely unlikely to be a Super 2 whenever he would become arb eligible.

    • Schebler will have 2.132 years of accumulated MLB service time by the end of the 2018 season, but that really doesn’t make any difference, even from a business perspective if he qualifies as a super 2 player. Based on his injury history and non-spectacular performance (career 107 OPS+), he would not be looking at a huge raise in 2019.

      At the end of the 2018 season, Jesse Winker will have 1.080 years of accumulated MLB service time. I see no scenario where Schebler and Winker are not starting OF for the Reds in 2019. The service time and contract factors will not become factors at all until the 2020 season. By the 2020 season, there will be other factors in play (Trammell, Siani, Fairchild, Friedl, Aquino & Siri not to mention Senzel, India & Long as possibilities), significantly more impactful than service time and contract status for Schebler. By 2020, both Schebler and Winker may be more impactful as trade candidates than starting OF candidates for the Reds.

      • Sounds reasonable but this is the our team and we always have guys that are two or three years away and are two or three years away and are two or three years away.

  18. Disco was very good in 2016.
    He’s thrown 75 innings this year and is pitching well and looks healthy. His numbers are suddenly looking very solid. If he finishes the year strong with ~ 8 more starts and 125 total innings, that would be a huge development for SP progress in 2018.

    He has arbitration years 5/6 in 2019/20.
    Do you offer him a 3 year contract this off-season with a team option for 2022?

    • Maybe, but only with some pretty careful scrutiny of his injuries. His demeanor reminded me a bit of Corey Kluber’s a few days ago. No nonsense, no trying to be more than he is; just very good command.

      • He’s a pro and you can’t have enough of them on your staff if they can pitch.

    • I’d want to see Disco next spring before I spent any serious money on him. Three straight seasons he couldn’t answer the bell at the start due to a couple of different injuries, one of which repeated this season. In 2016, he came back to pitch 2/3 of season and performed well only to end up on the sidelines again in 2017, essentially for the full season and then again this year for half a season or so. The issue as I see it isn’t how he will pitch once he is well and stretched out for a season. The issue is that he has had very real and chronic problems starting back up in the spring following shut down for the season.

      So, I want to see him have a normal spring and first month or 2 then I’d be ready to buy year 6 and a couple of free agent seasons.

      • That way is going to cost more but the team is taking on a lot less risk. Less risk, especially as far as pitchers are concerned, is worth the extra $$ in my opinion. Since simply going through year 6 and then heading to free-agency in this case would be an option for Disco, he may require 3 FA years to get such a deal done. Sometimes extensions get hard when there is only one year of team control left.

  19. If he would, 3 years with incentives for innings pitched and ERA, because you can’t do it on wins unless the Reds get a manager and coaches that instill fundamentals in the players.

  20. I just watched the bottom of the 11th this afternoon. During the post-game interview, I paid a little more attention to the replay angle that showed Black. He knew it was over the instant it came off the bat. A look of utter disgust and despair. I love it when I see that on an opposing pitcher’s face … double-love when it happens with a walk-off …

  21. He hung a slider and that’s what guys with pop do with those pitches.Lift it and it has a chance at GABP although that goes out in every park.That wasn’t a cheap GABP homer by any means.Free Ervin.

    • Ervin is looking like one of those guys that when he hit them, they stay hit. Now if he would just play often enough for us to see how often he hits them.

      • He does have bat speed. He is not a big man. I think he is 5’9 or 5′ 10.
        But.. remember Jimmy Wynn, the Toy Cannon? He wasn’t big, but had a lot of pop. Ervin, after years in the minors, finally appears to be making a lot more good contact. I really would like to see Ervin, Aquino and…….Michael Lorenzen play outfield some evening.
        Watching Michael play everyday might be a lot of fun. He is quite a strong athlete. He may have trouble with breaking balls, but he will hit dead red fastballs hard every time. And he can run like the wind. He could handle CF.

      • I agree and we need some right handed pop.Wonder if he could play in center some the rest of the way just to see if he could handle it.

        • Not with Riggleman managing and BC interfering…

        • And I rest my cased!

          1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
          2. Jose Peraza (R) SS
          3. Scooter Gennett (L) 2B
          4. Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
          5. Phillip Ervin (R) RF
          6. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
          7. Dilson Herrera (R) LF
          8. Brandon Dixon (R) 1B
          9. Matt Harvey (R) P

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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