Not a surprise the Reds offense would be held in check without Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez, Scott Schebler, Jesse Winker and Nick Senzel out of the lineup. Votto and Suarez are in the top 12 in the NL in run production.

The Reds head down to Chicago for a 4-game series against the Cubs.

Cincinnati Reds 0 (56-71) • Milwaukee Brewers 4 (71-58)

Box Score || Win % || Statcast Hitters Report || Statcast Pitchers Report

Robert Stephenson made his third start since his call-up from the minor leagues. Christian Yelich welcomed a Stephenson slider with a 414-foot blast to center field. Stephenson faced two batters in the sixth inning, both who singled, before he was relieved after throwing 94 pitches. The score was 2-0 with runners at first and second. Stephenson struck out four Brewers.

About those walks. Stephenson gave up three. One was ordered by the dugout to get to the pitcher’s spot in the lineup. The second was a pitch-around in the fourth inning of Christian Yelich who had homered and doubled off Stephenson. That loaded the bases for Lorenzo Cain who Stephenson struck out. The third walk was with 2 outs in the fifth inning.

Wandy Peralta took over for Stephenson and gave up two really, really bad luck singles, scoring two runs. They were both charged to Stephenson. Peralta walked a batter before getting out of the sixth.

Amir Garrett pitched the 8th and loaded the bases with no out before escaping with a strikeout and double play.

The Reds loaded the bases in the 8th inning with one out. Dilson Herrera and Billy Hamilton sandwiched bloop singles around a Preston Tucker pinch-hit walk. (Herrera and Hamilton’s hits had exit velocities of 64 and 67 mph respectively.) Jose Peraza popped out and Scooter Gennett flew out.

Votto Aiming for Sunday Return The Reds are slowly getting a bit healthier. Scott Schebler is expected to join the club Thursday in Chicago. New reporting suggests Joey Votto will be ready on Sunday. Jesse Winker and Nick Senzel remain out for the season. Still haven’t seen the thing where Gennett plays 1B and Herrera plays his natural 2B while Votto is out.

End of the 6-Man Rotation? Not sure if this got mentioned here yet, but on Monday, manager Jim Riggleman told the press that the Reds were about to end the 6-man rotation. “We’ll get out of this as soon as possible. At most one more time and it might not even be that much.” The Reds have used the 6-man rotation for about a month. It began when Homer Bailey returned from the disabled list and locked in when the Reds failed to move Matt Harvey at the trade deadline. We’ll see if this really comes to pass. Remember that Riggleman was also the guy who said Jesse Winker was the odd man out of the outfield rotation and Bailey would be moving to the bullpen. 

2019 Schedule Released The Reds released their 2019 schedule. Opening Day is Thursday, March 28 against the Pirates. The Findlay Market parade will take place on Opening Day, breaking tradition of it always being on Monday when the market is otherwise closed. The Reds schedule includes a 2-game series against the Cardinals in Monterrey, Mexico. The Reds inter-league match-ups are against the AL West next year. GABP will receive visits by the Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Mike Trout. The Reds travel to Oakland, Seattle and Anaheim. 

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 27 Comments

  1. Fast write-up, Steve. Does this mean that you have second sight and knew what would happen before it did? They do miss Votto, Winker and Schebler, and I thought that the very nervous Mr. Stephenson made some steps in the right direction.

  2. Completely frustrating game to watch. Squandered opportunities … no the least of which was our Reds taking a shot at getting Yelich over the Winter.

    Pack ’em up and head to Wrigley. Bring on the Stupid Cubs and see what we can do.

    • How do you know the Reds didn’t ask about Yelich? The probably didn’t like the asking price of Senzel and Trammell. Not to mention Yelich has little experience pitching, which is what the Reds really need. The obsession with a corner OF, who while very good, would have still resulted in the Reds losing a lot of games makes no sense to me.

      • You are likely right, but you can never have too much offense. Also, I’m not counting on Votto to keep providing the same production. This season may be a sign of a gradual decline. Yelich is a real good, proven offensive player which is yet to be seen at MLB level of Senzel & Trammell. Be that as it may, at this moment, I agree that SP is a higher priority.

  3. C’mon Steve, I respect your writing greatly, but Senzel “out of the lineup?”

    He has never appeared in MLB.
    Made less than 200 plate appearances in AAA, and is recovering from a season-ending injury and has suffered from vertigo.

    Between the above, where he is playing and control time issues, Senzel’s impact in 2019 feels a little murky right now, too.

    • Can we stop the vertigo hysteria? Yes, 30 years ago Nick Esasky had an issue. I’d worry a lot more about Hunter Greene’s elbow.

      • Here.

        https://www.mlb.com/news/reds-prospect-nick-senzel-vertigo-improving/c-276980480

        He suffered a dizzy spell on May 3. Of this year.

        If he plays an entire season without it going forward, it will probably never be brought up again.

        As of now, if he was on the trading block, would a team be considered “hysterical” for taking his vertigo bout into consideration? Highly doubtful.

        • I had influenza last December and 15 years ago. I don’t lie awake every night wondering if influenza ruins my life tomorrow. Yes, vertigo and influenza and kidney stones happen.

          Yes- Every single MLB team would take Nick Senzel in a heartbeat.

          Again- ask yourself. What’s a bigger reality- pitchers arms or Senzel’s temporary balance twice in 24 years?
          Ill take Senzel’s “issues” over Homer’s issues or Hamilton’s issues or Scooter’s age and 8 figure extension issues over age 30 any day of the week and twice on Sunday. There’s risk in everything. At least with Senzel, there’s India insurance

          • Except your counting on a “prospect” with no defensive position, andthas as many hits in the league as you and I do.

          • The problem is he has had it twice.
            So now it is on the Radar.
            Also the Flu is a few days, not closer to a month.
            I hope it does not happen again

          • He does have a defensive position and many more professional hits and a top prospect resume to go with it. The question is how do the Reds get him in the lineup at 2B, 3B, or OF which can be accomplished in a variety of ways. If Senzel was a Cub he would be playing and not “blocked” in one position. Mike Trout also had zero hits in the majors before he got called up. Not having a hit before getting an at bat would seem to be the norm

          • What? Nick senzel is the best hitter on the planet not on a 25 man roster. He’s also voted the best defensive 3b in AAA

          • Vertigo twice in TWO years. And it was the most recent 2 years. It’s an issue. He should have been a centerpiece in a Latos-like trade. We already have an all star 2nd baseman.

          • Don’t generally disagree, Old-School, but vertigo, as I understand it, is seldom a one-off and is not entirely understood. It might prove to be nothing going forward, but it is a matter for concern.

      • That vertigo has also destroyed LeBron James career. Maybe that wasn’t a good example, maybe the world isn’t ending

  4. Thanks Steve for mentioning the offense missed Nick Senzel. I am concerned he will be in AAA in 2019. This team needs to finish the rebuild. Winker, Schebler, Senzel, Peraza,Votto,Suarez,Barnhart are the core offense . Love Scooter the All star – but paying him 8 figures a year for multiple years and paying Hamilton 7-8 million makes no sense. Pay the pitchers .

    • There are two actual real problems: 1) paying BillyH 7-8 million; 2) the team not paying for both Scooter and for pitchers. The team can do both. Ownership chooses not to.

  5. Entering today….

    Reds at Home
    12th in HRs
    7th in Runs Scored

    Reds Away
    28th in HRs
    19th in Runs Scored

    If feels Suarez has bailed the team out several times away (HRs at Mets and this series, off the top of my head) from making the team performance look better than it is.

    Maybe it’s as simple as the GABP HR effect being that powerful, inflating guys’ overall numbers.

  6. Does anyone else feel a mandate has been issued by NK or DW for Riggleman to start Herrera and Ervin? With the exception of Hamilton leading off, the lineups have been very non-classic Riggleman lineups, even accounting for the injuries.

    I’m good with the reduced, inconsistent offense if the Reds take advantage of the opportunity to garner valuable information heading into the off season.

    • Doesn’t it seem like starting Ervin more often recently has more to do with the fact that two starting outfielders are on the DL? The good news is that Ervin has a wRC+ of 124 through 133 PA. I would love to see next year’s outfield to start Ervin, Schebler and Winker with Herrera/Dixon in reserve and platoon. That is unless someone in the Ervin/Herrera/Dixon group gets traded for a really good, playoff caliber starting pitcher.

    • Whatever the reasons Cossack I have been pleased to see lots of Ervin and more Herrera. Tucker and Williams and Dixon can play, but only after Ervin and Herrera. I’ve also been pleased to see more Cody Reed, though I’ve complained here before about Riggleman’s quick hook, especially since he’s had a couple of games with multiple runners but no hard hit balls. All three (Ervin, Herrera and Reed) need to play whenever there is room in the lineup. The rest appear to be AAAA filler. Free Phillip, Dilson and Cody!

  7. Disappointed with Stephenson again. Yes, he was better, but the bar was really low. And yes, I was one who wanted to see him starting. But he has barely shown hints of his AAA dominance. I can’t get excited by this latest start simply because it was better than awful. It’s time to step up, or step aside.

    • It was encouraging that he didn’t fall apart with the bases loaded. I think that, by the time the 5th inning rolls around, his hands must be really tired from rubbing the baseball. He looks really nervous, and that might fade with more starts. This is the time to find out, because his stuff is really good.

    • I have always been in the Bob camp because he has never got what I considered to be a fair chance compared to other young guys.You can throw in Reed and Garrett with Bob.The Reds are quick to throw guys under the bus after small sample sizes while other get a long leash which I personally think you have to do to get a true picture of young pitchers.Bob will have to be Cy Young for the rest of the year and in the spring to start for the Reds in 2019 just like he had to be in 2018 and it won’t happen because all pitchers struggle at the big league level.Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 years and 50 or 60 starts.The best example of a guy that is getting it is the guy in Atlanta.Folty was given the ball and said go pitch his first two years.He walked guys,threw lots of pitches(still does on some nights) but his stuff is electric.Charlie Morton is another example of a guy who took along time to get there.Bob has the same kind of stuff but he will end up somewhere else.Would Bob be better then Romano after 40+ starts and I like big Sal?We will never know which is sad.

  8. A low bar to be sure, but I am encouraged by Stephenson limiting the non-tacticle walks and gutting out a decent start.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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