The Short Version: Cincinnati rides a seven-run third inning and a strong start from Luis Castillo to a sweep of the San Francisco Giants at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
San Francisco Giants (61-64) 4 8 1
Cincinnati Reds (55-69) 11 17 2
W: Castillo (7-10) L: Suarez (4-9)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Luis Castillo was superb today, tossing 6.2 innings and allowing one earned run on six hits. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. Every pitch was working for Castillo today, and he was much more similar to the guy we expected to see all year long. The kid’s future is bright.

–The offense was fantastic, pounding out 17 hits, including 9 hits of the extra-base variety. Let’s run down the outstanding performances, from top of the lineup to the bottom:

Billy Hamilton reached base three times — two triples and a walk — and drove in three runs.

Jose Peraza was 3 for 5, including his 8th home run; he scored two runs and drove in two more.

Scooter Gennett singled and tripled, scored a run and drove in two.

Eugenio Suarez doubled and homered, scoring one and driving in two; that’s a career-high 27 homers for Geno.

Phillip Ervin singled, doubled, and scored a run.

Curt Casali was 3 for 4 with a double, two runs scored, and two RBI. Casali had two hits and two RBI in the third inning alone.

Brandon Dixon doubled and scored in his only at-bat.

–Wandy Peralta pitched a perfect inning.

The Bad
–Tucker Barnhart and Peraza each committed errors. Dilson Herrera wasn’t charged with an error, but he badly misplayed a ball in left field. We’ll forgive them, especially Herrera, since he was playing a position that the Reds had never thought to prepare him for (in the minor leagues).

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Nice sweep for the Reds, after a pretty poor performance against Cleveland in their last series. It’s the second consecutive year that the Reds have swept San Francisco in the Queen City.

–Reds pitching only allowed six runs in the series. Not to be outdone, the offense outscored the Giants 18-5 over the last two days.

–The Reds had three triples, which you don’t see that often. (Though Cincinnati accomplished the trick last year.)

–Nine different Reds scored at least one run today. That’ll do.

–Curt Casali’s numbers this year: .333/.422/.526. That’s just outstanding, and kudos to Reds management for finding this guy and acquiring him when the Reds needed a backup catcher.

–Cincinnati was down 1-0 as they hit in the third. By the time three outs were recorded, the game was essentially over.

Herrera singled to left to open the frame and he scored when Casali doubled. Luis Castillo attempted to lay down a sac bunt and popped it up, but the Giants fumbled the ball and the Reds ended up with runners on the corners with no outs. Casali scored on a sac fly to give the Reds a 2-1 lead.

But that wasn’t all, not by a long shot. Peraza singled and Gennett tripled to the corner, scoring two more runs. Suarez followed with a 419-foot home run to center field to make the game 6-1. Immediately, the Reds began rallying again, with Ervin drawing a walk and Barnhart singling. Casali then singled Ervin home, his second hit and second RBI of the inning.

When the dust settled, it was 7-1.

–Things stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth. Hamilton tripled with one out and scored on Peraza’s blast, a 426-foot homer to left-center.

–The Giants scratched two runs across in the top of the seventh, but the Reds grabbed those runs back in the bottom half. Casali singled with one out and Dixon hit a ground-rule double. Hamilton then tripled again, scoring both runners.

–The Reds will head to Milwaukee next, where Homer Bailey will seek to improve upon his 1-10 record.

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! 54 Comments

  1. Good outing by Castillo. An argument could be made that he should have been tagged with 0 earned runs. If the Reds are going to play Barnhart at 1B they should get him a glove that the ball won’t go through the seams. Definitely kudos the FO for picking up Casali. He’s been a great addition and find. Everyone contributed, it was fun to watch.

  2. 18 more wins to avoid 90 losses again. Reds play the Brewers and Cubs the next 10 games. Both teams are struggling to score. Hope Homer doesn’t unleash their bats.

    • But he probably will.
      Doubt anyone is dumb enough to claim him off waivers.

    • Considering that Homer, Romano and Stephenson are the starters for the series with the Brewers, it could be very tough sledding.

  3. If only the Reds could get this type of pitching more consistently. Great 3 games by the starters!

  4. You can also excuse Tucker Barnhart’s error because his glove literally broke catching the ball.

  5. That would have been the 3rd out and enabled Castillo to continue to pitch the next inning. Too bad!

  6. Castillo’s stats are comparable to Cueto’s in the first full year for both.Cueto had era of 4.81 and Luis sets at 4.86 while his whip is 1.30 compared to 1.40 for Johnny.Luis is getting there it just takes experience to become consistent.Free the young guys and let them pitch.

    • Cueto was 22 when me made his ML debut. And you could see he had a great amount of talent when he appeared. When he was 26, he won 19 games and was contending for a Cy Young.
      Castillo is 25 now, but he still has great potential.
      For a stretch in the game, he was in a great groove. The challenge for young pitchers is not to lose that “groove” of mechanics, release point, etc. It’s a lot harder than it looks.

  7. Can we give an error to the equipment manager?

  8. I said this in the game thread, but it bears repeating:

    Peraza is going to finish this season with about 10 HR and 30 2B. As he’s still just 24 years old, his body still has room to grow and get stronger. Imagine if he can turn about half those doubles into HR as he gets stronger. Suddenly, you have a player that has the potential for 25 HR and 25 SB, which is a pretty solid player.

    I also firmly believe that Peraza will continue to improve his batting eye, and this will be helped as his power develops and pitchers are a bit more hesitant about giving him something to hit.

    The bottom line: I expect Peraza to really break out offensively next season. I think he’ll put up something like: .290 AVG, .350 OBP, 23 HR, 30 SB. He may even challenge for a spot in the All-Star game if he really catches fire in the first half.

    Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I like what we’ve seen from Peraza now that he’s finally gotten a chance to play. Now, if he could also improve on his defense…..

    • If he can jack a 424 foot HR to left center field, then I also believe somewhere in there is a guy who can at least be a doubles machine with 15-20 HR. On a different note, he’s really been working on his English, answered all of the questions post-game in English, just used the interpreter to make sure he understood the question.

    • I will admit I was dead wrong on him.
      I am glad of that. I still think he needs to work on his D, but but be above average by the time all is said and done.

    • I think you’re definitely optimistic but there is good reason for that. Even if you’re a bit high on the projections (I’m not so sure you are – they’re certainly reasonable), you’re looking at a pretty good SS. I think we’re all happy to see it. At this point, we won the Frazier trade (Dixon and Schebler, too) going away!

  9. “We’ll forgive them, especially Herrera, since he was playing a position that the Reds had never thought to prepare him for (in the minor leagues).”

    The Reds are notoriously negligent in preparing minor league players for major league opportunities. This could have been a significant factor in the management in the management reshuffling. In this case, I’m not sure that the Reds can be blamed since Herrera couldn’t even physically throw the ball from 2B, not to mention the OF. Of course, if his shoulder had been healthy, the Reds would not have prepared him for more defensive flexibility anyway.

    • I ask because I don’t know, Cossack, but do many infielders learn to play outfield (and vice-versa) in the minors? My guess would be that it’s unusual in every organization.

      • The Reds did it with Hamilton in the low minors since his D at short was so poor, but Dilson has only been healthy enough this year to even consider it. Better choices of players to use in leveling this critique of the FO. At least they are using the opportunity now with Duval traded and Schebler/Winker on the DL.

        Its also a bit on the players to go into the the managers office in the minors and speak up for PT. The Todfather was famous in the minors for playing anywhere/anytime. It may have hurt him a little but he was prepared when that day came.

        Get the idea into your managers head and see what happens, worse thing they can say is ‘no’.

      • Certainly not common, but when an obvious need arises it’s not so uncommon. An obvious need can be defensive issues with the player (see Hamilton, Billy) or players potentially blocked at the major league level (see Herrera, Blandino, Long, Senzel, & India). The Reds have an obvious surplus of 2B/3B and that surplus has been exacerbated by the last two rule 4 drafts combined with Scooter’s and Suarez’ emergence as all star infielders at those two positions.

        Trading prospects for established MLB players will eat up prospect depth quickly and teams rarely trade prospects for prospects. Creating positional flexibility at the minor league level avoids those 2 situations.

        If a player has years of experience playing a specific position, dedicating some time to evaluating his capability at a position of higher need/availability at the MLB level can only provide benefit to the player and team down the road. The Reds are perfectly willing to make that experiment at the MLB level (Duvall, Suarez, Barnhart, Mesoraco, etc.) but rarely make the effort at the MiLB level.

  10. Castillo’s performance reinforces why I’ve been bullish about him because he has pitched well overall since May 1. He has not been shelled even in his losses. Is there a little method to the FO’s madness? Could they have gambled on resigning Harvey? If he continues to pitch as consistently as he is and the Reds sign him, then the team has a rotation of Disco, Castillo, Harvey, Homer. All then the FO has to do is sign a choice veteran SP (#3 perhaps) to solidify the rotation, or just let Mahle, Romano, Santillan, etc battle it out for #5 in September & spring training.

    Has Peraza’s offensive output cemented his position at SS for the present and future? It seems like. His age (24) tells me that’s he still room to better.

    Biggest offseason needs: CF, SP; what to do with Scooter. My question is, could he be converted to the outfield or is he even worth it as some on RLN have proposed?

    • If there are still too many questions about his defense at SS, he’s certainly fast enough to play CF if he could get enough reps out there to learn to judge the ball coming off the bat.

  11. How about Disco, Castillo, Harvey, Lorenzen and we’ll see who earns the 5th spot between Homer, Mahle, Reed, Stephensen Sims and Santillian

    • Homer is getting a spot regardless of performance, Harvey is a FA, and Lorenzen probably stays in relief. My guess is Bailey, Disco, Castillo, FA, and Sims/Mahle/Stephenson.

  12. It’s amazing how streaky teams can be. The Giants flailed at an outstanding fastball/change-up combo today. And they really struggled at the plate all series! Credit to the Red’s pitching staff.

    The Indians were ready to play this series – and we got their best pitching this time around.

    Let’s see what we can do on the road vs two contenders. With Bailey, Romano & Stephenson starting vs Milly-waukay, we’re gonna need to score some runs. Against the Cubbies, we’ll come back around to Disco, Harvey, Castillo. It’s gonna be fun baseball this week.

    I sure hope we can climb that ladder to .500 ball – just need to go 26-12 from here on out.

    • The Indians are a lot better team than the Giants. The Giants are barely contenders at this point…for the second Wild Card spot. The Indians will win their division going away. They have two of the best starting pitchers in baseball, and the Reds got Kluber on this turn.

      • David I pretty much agree with you, but I feel like it’s fair to point out the Reds probably win the AL Central, lol. The deadline moves have made the Indians legitimate postseason contenders, but the Reds worked ’em pretty well back when they were just good. Food for thought.

      • It’s worth keeping in mind that the Reds are currently playing without three of their five best hitters.

  13. Hey Chad:

    “The Reds will head to Milwaukee next, where Homer Bailey will seek to improve upon his 1-10 record.”

    It is a shame that to DOUBLE his wins for the year all he has to do is win a game.

  14. Peraza hit his ninth home run today. Yesterday he hit his 8th home run.

    Shortstop and catcher are probably the two hardest positions to field on a day to day basis.

    Casili seems to be a good hitter, but really probably a substandard defensive catcher. He had more that a few passed balls the last few days of catching.

    Peraza is still improving and working at Short Stop. Zach Cozart was 25 years old when he made his ML debut with the Reds.
    Concepcion was 21 years old, but struggled off and on for three years. At times brilliant, and then Larry Bowa called him “Elmer” because there were “E’s” by his name in the box score.
    Barry Larkin was 22 when he made his ML debut, and although he was RoY, he did struggle some at the plate the first two years.

    • 1. That was Jose Peraza’s 8th home run today. He hit his 7th yesterday.

      2. Curt Casali’s passed ball today was his first of the season.

      3. Barry Larkin did not win the Rookie of the Year award.

      • Well, I really did my best to muddy the water here 😉

        Seriously, I thought I heard them say on the broadcast on Sunday that this was Peraza’s 9th home run. Bad ears.
        Looking on Barry Larkins stat page, I think I mistook the VOTES for RoY for his winning RoY. My bad, really bad.

        But having watched Casali catch, although he might only have ONE passed ball, he has had a lot of trouble with low pitches in the zone, in the dirt. Just my simple observation.

        And so, off I go, spreading more disinformation whenever possible.

    • That “Elmer” crack by Bowa was the result of his terrible envy of a shortstop with much better range than he (Bowa) had. Most MLB shortstops can field grounders hit right at them, which sums up Bowa. I’d take Davey on my team over Bowa 10 out of 10 times.

      • Bowa was pretty slick. I don’t think he had Concepcion’s range, but he was a pretty good shortstop in his prime. He won the Golden Glove for SS in 1972 and 1978.
        Larry was and is a bit of an a**h*le, and liked to needle everybody, including Concepcion.

        • The way I remember it, too. Gold Gloves seem(ed) to over-value fielding percentage. Never liked Bowa, but there have been worse.

  15. Great win and great series win.

    Why hasn’t there been news of Harvey being placed on waivers after yesterday’s start???

    • My understanding is that waiver status is usually only public knowledge after a player clears waivers, or is traded/signed by a new team.

      • Waiver status is officially “secret” but it seems to leak out whenever a team really wants it to which is really kind of crazy because the teams know who has been waived. If an award isn’t announced a guy has either cleared or been claimed and, pulled back even if they are not officially notified which; and, all they have to do is call and make a preliminary inquiry to find out.

  16. The Reds are at the final furlong with 6 weeks to go and the SP is taking shape.

    Disco is hitting his stride and leads at the rail.
    Harvey is riding gamely and a half length behind .
    Castillo started slowly but is gaining ground on the outside.
    Mahle bid early but faltered .
    Romano has fallen off the pace comfortably.
    Homer failed to menace.
    Stephenson is fighting the bit and ridden out widely, a full 25 lengths off the pace.

  17. I really like Peraza’s durability. He is. The reds shortstop of the future. Ervin looks like a durable guy too. He is making the case for our everyday corner outfielder.

    I still think we should consider a 4 man rotation starting next year with Disco, HOmer, Castillo, HArvey. With Romano, and MAhle coming out of the bullpen. You would like those guys to still be pitching effectively in August and September

    • I’d like to see Mahle and Sims get a long look at the rotation next year in place of Homer with a traditional 5-man rotation. Remember, Disco and Harvey have had significant injury issues and shouldn’t be overworked. Neither has pitched a full year in a while.

      I only want Harvey in the rotation next year if they can sign him for less than $8 million per year. Too many question marks to be spending big money on him

  18. Has anyone seen any kind of comparison between pitcher’s ERA when Casali catches vs. Barnhart? I’ve always believed that’s an immensely underrated part of the game; Casali catches a great game like Hannigan used too, seems like he has the story-arc of the at bat planned well in advance.

    Barnhart’s a fantastic defensive catcher, but I’ve wondered if part of our pitching fiascos the past two years have been due to the catcher’s call strategy as much as pitcher; I’d be curious to see the statistics…Chad?

    Btw, this is my first comment here, but I’ve read this blog after every game for three years. Listen to the podcast too, thanks for what you guys do!!

    • Catcher’s ERA isn’t really a great indicator. In a lot of cases, some catchers by luck of the draw, end up catching a team’s better pitchers. There is also a pretty small sample size, particularly in the case where you have a backup catcher that doesn’t see a lot of playing time behind the dish. The only way to really judge it is to ask pitchers and in most cases that kind of conversation is off the record, as most pitchers don’t want to call guys out. Pretty much every pitcher has a guy they’d rather throw to. Less known is that catchers have guys they’d rather catch and some guys they may hate catching.

      To my eye, Barnhart is a better defensive catcher than Casali and Casali isn’t a bad defensive catcher. Barnhart presents a nicer target, has better footwork, and has the better throwing arm and mechanics.

      As far as game calling, it’s possible that Casali has been a little more in the flow in his starts but it’s really hard to tell. In most cases, a pitcher will throw what he wants to throw. In general you see it when a pitcher is shaking off his catcher or on occasion where a pitcher and catcher just don’t seem to be on the same page. It’s hard to quantify it as I was a catcher and I just sort of spot it when it seems guys aren’t on the same page. That said, even when guys aren’t on the same page sometimes the pitcher’s outing is still good.

  19. I wonder how long it’s been since the Reds only allowed 3 ER in a complete (not rain-shortened) 3 game series. That was fun.

  20. Purely hypothetical, but if the Reds have any plans to play Senzel at SS, I wonder if Peraza has enough trade value on the market to be a centerpiece in a deal for a SP?

    Many have mentioned trading for a stud SP with Senzel as centerpiece (which I wouldn’t do), but has Jose built up enough respect around the league as a SS to start a discussion with another club?

    • Not unless he is packaged with Trammell or India. It also seems the Reds have decided Senzel is not a candidate for SS, so trading a guy with no replacement who is making league minimum is probably not a good idea

  21. Mahle with 6 shutout innings yesterday for Lville. I still like him a lot! Its take a little time to figure out how to deal with the big boys!

    A rotation of Disco, Castillo, Harvey, Lorenzen, and Mahle could be pretty good, but the Reds front office will block themselves? Atleast if Disco holds up?

    Call me crazy…but I will lose the battle to win the war every time. I hope Homer gets knocked out of the box in the 1st inning! There are 7-8 guys in the organization better then him even if we don’t sign anyone. Arizona needs to be Homer free next March!

    • I think Homer could give up 8 runs a game for the rest of the year and still have a good chance of being in the rotation next year. For that reason we should all hope Homer pitches well

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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