The Short Version: Reds lose. Again. Fifth in a row.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (56-75) 0 3 1
Chicago Cubs (76-53) 9 13 0
W: Hendricks (10-10) L: Bailey (1-12)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Tucker Barnhart had two hits. Dilson Herrera had a double. Those are the only Reds hits.

–Cody Reed struck out the side in the eighth inning.

The Bad
–Homer Bailey: 5 innings, six runs allowed — only three earned — on eight hits. He actually wasn’t awful today and was victimized by some terrible luck (cheap hits and Billy Hamilton slipping while chasing a liner) and terrible defense (Jose Peraza error) in the first inning.

But it is what it is. Bailey is now 1-12 with a 6.17 ERA.

–As Robert Stephenson attempts to work his way back into the Reds’ good graces, he vomited all over the mound in the seventh inning. Working in relief, he allowed a double to lead off the inning then, one out later, surrendered a single.

With runners on the corners, Stephenson balked, faking a pickoff throw to first base. That allowed Chicago’s seventh run to score. Two pitches later, Kyle Schwarber deposited a ball in the seats for a two-run homer.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’s five losses in a row for the Cincinnati Reds. Six of their last seven. Positive momentum, I guess.

–Last time the Cubs swept the Reds in a four-game series at Wrigley Field? All the way back in 1945.

–The Reds are now 1-17 in games started by Homer Bailey. They are 55-57 in games started by any other pitcher.

–Only 31 games to go, mercifully.

68 Responses

  1. DEN

    Can we now move on from both Bsiley and Stephenson and ink Harvey to say 3 years for between $36-40 million with a fourth year option buyout of a million.
    Can we come to grips we can neither draft nor develop pitching and go out this off season and trade for quality starters even it means giving up Senzel and or Green.

    • Ted

      Agree, Den. How many more chances do Bailey and Stephenson get? Sign Harvey and bring in another proven starter. Fill out the rotation with Disco and Castillo. The 5th spot decided between Reed, Romano, or a prospect be determined. Enough is enough with Bailey and Stephenson.

    • greenmtred

      Greene and Senzel are injured and not playing. They may have some value to somebody, but you have to consider what, besides them, the Reds would have to give up to get a quality starter. It probably would not be the spare parts that nobody wants. Gotta get some pitching, though. The Reds do pretty well when they get a good start.

    • lwblogger2

      Please no 3-year deal for Matt Harvey.

  2. WVRedlegs

    Reds outscored 29 to 9 in this 4 game series.
    Only 3 hits today.
    Stephenson earned a ticket back to Louisville. Bring up Wisler.
    Reds are 8-17 since July 31. That’s the day positive momentum was installed.
    I’ve warned since May that August was going to be a tough month, but jeez.

    • Jack

      Stephenson cant go back to Louisville without being put on waivers. Which is a good idea but who in their right mind would take him?

      • Shchi Cossack

        Not true. Stephenson can be optioned any time and as many times this season as desired. After this season, he has no options left.

        There’s really no point in optioning him back to AAA. The Bats have only 7 games remaining on the season and MLB rosters expend in 6 days.

  3. RedDawg2012

    I have officially reached the point in the season where I can’t watch them anymore.

    • sezwhom

      Same thought crossed my “tired of losing” mind today too. Unwatchable now. Make a commitment to proven starters next year. J. A. Happ is available. Sign Harvey. Make a trade or two. Have to do something.

      • Jim Walker

        As Bob Howsam used to say “take and make and trade” (or several).

    • Sasha09

      I totally agree.This was the last straw for me this year.How long are the 90+ loss seasons going to go on?
      The players should be embarrased on how they play most of the time.I understand the Cubs are “God” but can’t the Reds even try to be competitive? That’s what burns me up the most.It’s like there is no effort on their part.So now I will not give any effort going forward to keep up with this total mess every day.As the judge on The People’s Court says “I’m Done.Put A Fork In Me I’m Done”

    • greenmtred

      It’s getting hard to watch, for sure. Yesterday was almost worth it to see Reed’s inning. Joey will be back. Take heart.

  4. Jeff Morris

    Stephenson is going to be a life long minor league pitcher, or should be. He has had enough chances at the MLB level with the Reds. Unless, another team wants to try to developement him, and the Reds can get another player, they can try to develop and hope for the best. Harvey has been overall good, so yes…let’s keep him around for a while. That way, when Castillo, Mahle, and Romano struggle like young pitchers do, you have the option of sending one of them down to the minors.

    Bailey has not been good, or been okay, but did not have any run support from the offense. Other teams, especially in the Reds division, have pretty much their pitching and offense, and every day players established. Reds still figuring that out…

    • Jim Walker

      Stephenson’s time with the Reds organization is probably about to end; and, that is pretty certainly best for all concerned starting with Stephenson himself.

      However, I do not agree that it necessarily so that he will never be any more than a minor league pitcher or ineffectual at the MLB level. The onus is on RS to go out and prove he can be an effective MLB pitcher. If and when he does for another organization, then hopefully the Reds will take an honest look at why that didn’t happen for him with them.

      Maybe the player simply needed to “grow up”. Maybe culturally the player and the org just were not a fit which in part might be the blame of the draft evaluation personnel. Or maybe the Reds simply lacked the human resources and techniques to develop this player, which is obviously on the organization.

      Only time will tell. However it is worth noting the blown 1st round draft choices the org has had when attempting to draft starting pitchers at that level during the Castellini ownership. Stephenson in 20111. Nick Howard in 2014. Also Michael Lorenzen in 2013 would have to fall into this category if his MLB achievement level remains that of a somewhat mediocre reliever.

      • WVRedlegs

        Nick Travieso was 1st rounder in 2012. May never hear of him again. 2011-2014 drafts at the top were not good. Luckily the Reds did get some players in later rounds. But those first round whiffs have really hurt this rebuild and have made coming out of the rebuild a much longer process. Granted, Winker and Ervin and Blandino are also 1st rounders in that same time frame. You have to hit on your first round draft picks.

      • Jim Walker

        I left Travieso off on the theory that injury is unpredictable. However not everyone would agree that high injury risks can’t be detected during the draft evaluation process.

      • greenmtred

        When drafting pitchers,the Reds seem to get their heads turned too far by velocity (Mike Leake being an exception). Very hard throwers may well be at increased risk for injury, and are likely to have relied exclusively on heat in their young careers. It works in high school, college and the minors. It doesn’t work in MLB, since hitters can square up a straight 98mph fastball unless it’s located well. A well-located 90mph fastball is also hard to square up. Some of the young hard-throwers will eventually learn to pitch (Johnny Cueto), but some will struggle and fail. I wonder if the Reds emphasize pitching–as opposed to throwing–in their scouting and minor league instruction. It doesn’t appear that they do.

      • CP

        I kind of agree that those years set the rebuild back, but you absolutely cannot hit on every first round draft pick. I think its true that a bust is particularly devastating if you are picking in the top 5, but once you are in the middle to later parts of the draft, it is impossible, particularly if you plan on taking any high school pitchers or catchers. You take a mix of high floor/high ceiling guys and hope they balance out with your other picks. I mean, the Reds went on an amazing run from 2004-2010 with their first round picks, so it is really difficult to say they have done poorly in that aspect of the game.

        You expect some slow developing high school pitchers, but it was the failure of the “safe” college guys during that period that were most devastating. Nick Howard? Ugh. Jeff Gelalich? Pretty sure he’s out of baseball. Heck, even the guys like Michael Lorenzen and Phil Ervin have been pretty underwhelming so far.

    • greenmtred

      Bailey was hamstrung by the defense, too. Peraza turned a likely double play ball into no outs, more pitches and Cubs runs.

  5. Jack

    “Vomited all over the mound” . Perfect Chad. There is no way else to write it. Have the Stephenson fans had enough yet or do you still want to see more?

  6. KHG

    And Harvey is accused of taking innings away from BobSteve…

  7. Aaron Bradley

    I really haven’t watched Harvey pitch so my opinion is uninformed… but nontheless I can’t believe it is being suggested we give him a multi year mega buck deal.. that is the type of mentality that got us stuck with Homer these past few seasons. Harvey was a major headcase for the Mets and with his back to the wall he has managed to look good. How does anyone know if he will immediately regress once he gets paid? In fact I see it as a strong likelihood. Maybe he has charmed Bob and some of the fanbase but this looks like Fool’s gold to me, guys. I know we are desperate for quality pitching, but this is riverboat gambling when you are talking about signing a guy in his 30s for millions based on a handful of starts.

    • Dave Bell

      Thank you, Aaron. I, too, am dumbfounded at the momentum behind the idea of investing in Harvey long-term. And to those who ask, “Have you seen enough of Robert Stephenson yet?” I emphatically say no, I haven’t. Three starts, with an incredibly short hook in each one? Not even close to enough of a chance. Harvey will probably cost $12M per year. Stephenson makes $535K. If the new manager sticks him in the rotation to start the season in ’19, I’d probably put it at even odds between him and Harvey as to who would have the better season. At 1/20th the cost, to boot. If we’re going to lay out money for a pitcher, let’s at least aim a little higher than Harvey. If we’re not, stick with the youngsters. A couple of them are bound to pop.

      • CaliforniaRed

        I agree Dave Bell. We haven’t seen nearly enough of BobSteve and way too much of Homer. Another wasted season and it is so frustrating for us lifelong fans.

      • roger garrett

        I still believe Bob will become a good major league pitcher but it won’t be for the Reds.

    • greenmtred

      Watching Harvey pitch helps. I haven’t given up on Stephenson, but he’s looking like a long shot. He can’t locate his fastball and appears to get overwhelmed easily. I doubt that Harvey or many other MLB players don’t try to play well once they get a big contract. They have to be highly competitive people to have gotten as far as they have. There’s no guarantee that he won’t get hurt, just as there’s no guarantee that he’ll sign for a reasonable amount of money and number of years, He’s 29, not yet in his 30’s, and looks impressive. Still building stamina, but his pitches are good and so is his command. He could easily prove to be as good or better than the FA the Reds could sign.

  8. Greatredlegsfan

    “Once upon a time there was a baseball team that dreamed of having a starting rotation but all efforts were useless until a genie in the form of a GM showed up and was able to assemble one by developing young pitchers and trading for others.”

  9. Cary

    I live in Chicago and attended all of the last 3 games.

    Friday was so boring but at least we had hope. Wind was blowing out but the walk off was 50 feet out of the ballpark.

    Saturday was a joke. We made more mistakes and let the cubs off the hook. Ughh

    Today we were lifeless and pathetic. Never ever contended. It was over after one inning.

    I moved here 38 years ago. Attended almost 90% of the Reds games at Wrigley. Even my wife pointed out ..”Where are all the Reds fans ? A four day weekend series ? “

    I guess the Trip to Chicago on a summer weekend is not worth it when you have to pay to watch this.

    My neighbor is a Cubs radio announcer. He kindly did not kick us on the radio here. But we deserved it. Awful.

  10. Jeff Reed

    Harvey is at best a five to six inning pitcher and investing multimillions in him for 2 to 3 years is not money well spent with his injury history. We’ve seen what’s happened with Bailey. Better to put that money into a proven injury-free starting pitcher in the off-season and go with Disco, Castillo, Mahle and the fifth spot taken by either Sims, Reed or Romano. It’s time the FO cuts loose the rebuild and either by spending money or by trades takes action in the off-season to make the Reds competitive.

    • DEN

      How many even good non injured SP do you believe will a FA option in the offseoff-s?

    • greenmtred

      A whole lot of starting pitchers, including every other one on the Reds, are, at best, 5 or 6 inning pitchrs. It’s the new rage, since everybody is terrified of the 3rd time through the order. Harvey is still building stamina, so the case is not closed. All pitchers are injury risks, though that legion of old knuckleballers manages to answer the call pretty regularly.

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, I’ve pointed out before that only a handful of starting pitchers in the NL averaged better than 6 IP/GS last season. It’s fewer this year.

  11. docproctor

    The Bengals led at the half, 24-0. First team offense and defense looked great. It was a pleasant relief to turn away from the Reds game today.

  12. Charles Black

    reds should dfa bailey andstepenson.its a loss every time thy pitch

  13. kmartin

    For me the most depressing thing about this season is that there are so many unanswered questions going into 2019.

    • RedDawg2012

      Agreed. It doesn’t feel like we are any closer than we were at this time last year.

    • roger garrett

      I said this on the game thread but anybody not named Suarez is tradeable starting today.This team quit today and except Ervin and Casali have been starters all year long.Terms like lifeless and pathetic have been used but its much worse then that.I said this team quit today but what I saw was a bunch of individuals claiming to be a team.If the Cubs are the best and their record says they are not to mention they have that banner that proves it then who are we.Maybe we should look our players and ask who do we have that could start in the field or be on the mound for them.That tells us how far we are away from competing.I am not saying blow this thing up but what I am saying to the front office is stop falling in love with players that nobody wants or playing others that can’t play.Make a decision and move on from that player or sign him.Its called sorting.

      • kmartin

        What is amazing is that after the game Riggleman talked about how is was pleased with team effort today.

      • greenmtred

        He’s not watching it on tv–he might be in a better position to judge the effort than we are. The Reds had a lot of trouble hitting a pitcher who knows how to pitch, particularly without Votto. There are still unanswered questions, certainly, but we actually are seeing the young pitchers pretty regularly, and Ervin in particular, but Casali also, are showing value going forward. We’re also getting an extended look at Peraza as a shortstop–mixed results, but hitting better than we anticipated. Pitching, pitching, pitching.

    • Jim Walker

      Yes. arguably they have created more questions than have been answered.

  14. James

    Has Harvey really pitched well enough that anyone wants to pay him to be a front end guy? He may be rotation filler on a contending team. just cause he has been the reds best pitcher doesnt mean they should pay him like a top of the rotation guy. Expecting him to be one of your 2 best starters so that you can be a contending team is an oxymoron.

    • Ghettotrout1

      He won’t get paid what ppl think he will if no one was willing to offer any value for him at the deadline that means the only team tricked into thinking he is a top end starter is the Reds. I definitely wouldn’t pay to have him pitch for this team next year.

  15. Sabr Chris

    You circle back on Harvey on a cheap base with incentives if you strike out on the top guys. They have the money to be competitive on the free agent market if they choose to be.

  16. concepcion13

    I would dearly love for one of the Reds beat writers to drill Riggleman with any and all of these questions and demand answers. We know they won’t, because the reasons, but here goes:
    1) You stated, before he was injured and DLed, that Bailey was going to the bullpen. Since he’s come back, he has started and has been just as bad as before. Other than his salary an/or orders from the front office, why is he in the starting rotation now and going forward?

    2) You stated after Stephenson’s 2nd start that he was going to stay in the rotation. That lasted just one start. True, he hasn’t been good, but since we are still rebuilding, WHY would you taker him out of the rotation??

    3) You stated days ago that Scooter would get reps at first base. That has never happened. Why?

    4) Back in the days of the 4-man OF rotation. you stated Winker was the odd man out, despite being the first or second best hitter of the four. That decision lasted exactly one game. Why? Why would you make that decision to bump Winker despite the historically bad numbers of Duvall and Hamilton?

    5) Hamilton is one of the worst hitters in all of baseball, and has been every day of his career. He’s not going to get better.. Yet you play him nearly every day, and for some ungodly reason have decided he’s now the leadoff hitter again. Other than orders from the front office – WHY?

    Based on the above, why in the name of Sparky Anderson, Lou Piniella, Davey Johnson and Dave Bristol, do you think you deserve to be the full-time manager of this franchise?? How have you advanced the “rebuild”? Why should the fan base and the press believe anything you say?

    • RedInIND

      Excellent questions. Too bad there is no accountability in the organization to publicly answer any of them.

    • Jim Walker

      Pretty clearly somewhere between the manager’s office, the GM’s office and the PoBO office (and possibly owner’s suite too) there are people not on the same pages.

      Who’s really in charge? Are the things which Riggleman says that are shortly countermanded Riggleman’s ideas in the first place?. Are they positions he has run by (or been told by) somebody above him only for both of them to be overridden? Is the owner expressing displeasure and directly or indirectly overriding consensus decisions reached by the baseball ops department?

      • BigRedMike

        It is confusing. One can only hope that an interim manager has very little say in decisions.

    • BigRedMike

      It is pretty amazing regarding Hamilton and lead off. What rationale could come into play to look at the worst hitter in baseball and somehow decide that player should be the lead off hitter?

      Very little makes sense at this point. Reds need 2-3 above average starters for the next few years. It is time to start trading the prospects, they have little chance of playing anyway.

      Your potential questions highlight the lack of a plan by the organization

  17. Klugo

    Hey,but he didn’t walk anybody. File that under FIP.

  18. Klugo

    And BobSteve, I love you, and your stuff; but you need to go see a sports psychologist.

    • lwblogger2

      We don’t know he’s not seeing one… I don’t ever use the term “head-case” because we, as fans really can’t know. That said, I think seeing a sports psychologist could serve him (or any struggling player) well.

  19. Bill j

    Sabr Chris, I don’t think they will spend on GAs because if you remember I think it was DW that said “if the fans come out to support the team we will add to the budget”. I am withh you on Harvey, the incentives should be on ERA and innings because with this defense you can’t do it on wins.

  20. Jreis

    Ok, 2018 has been a completely wasted year. I say let’s start the true “ rebuild” next year. If you are over 30 you ain’t starting.

    Opening day lineup

    1b – Suarez
    2b – Senzel
    ss- Peraza
    3b- India
    Of- Winker, Trammel, Siri,
    C- CLementina

    With Votto, SChebler, Scooter, Barnhart, Ervin off the bench

    Let’s just see what we have

  21. DavidTurner49

    I was at the game today. I’ve seen very little of the Reds this year but have followed RLN regularly. I think the Cubs smelled blood in the water today and the Reds did their best impression of shark bait. They seemed sluggish overall. The left side of the infield did Homer no favors. Suarez seems a bit out of shape to make the tough plays coming in on slow grounders. Billy’s fall looked very strange, like his knee buckled. I thought he was injured. Stephenson was brutal. but I still think they should start him every fifth day the rest of the season.

    The two most encouraging things were Joey looking good in bp, smoking liners all over the field, and Reed’s inning, striking out the side.

    Overall the Reds looked lackadaisical, like a team hopelessly mired in last place with no discernible spark or plan or hope for the future. At this point that is what they are.

    • Scotly50

      They are in Positive Momentum Mode.

  22. Old-school

    Consider the sorting that has occurred in the Reds 2018 starting pitching rotation.

    1.) Brandon Finnegan. He is 2-10 in AAA with an ERA of 7+. His Reds career is over.

    2.) Robert Stephenson- 7 years after he was drafted, he still can’t throw strikes, has lost his fastball command completely and has an ERA of 9. Thete also seems to be persting tension betweeh HIS way abd the Reds way His Reds career as a starter is over.

    3. Homer Bailey- a shell of the former power pitcher and innings machine that he was in 2012-13. His Reds career as a productive starting pitcher is over. When the Reds pull the plug is another story.

    Nonetheless, the sad but true tale is these 3 pitchers were all once considered key pitchers on TNGRT and its apparent now they won’t be. That’s some bad tasting medicine.

    • CI3J

      The bright side is they still have Disco, Catillo, Mahle, Romano, and Reed. I still have high hopes for Castillo and Mahle, and still think Romano could yet develop into a useful bottom of the order starter. Reed, the jury is out. He does look better now, but until we see him make some starts, we won’t know for sure.

      The Reds still probably need to sign 2 starting pitchers to really compete. The offense is certainly good enough to compete when healthy.

      • jveith1991

        A 2019 offense of Barnhart/Casali, Votto, Gennett, Senzel, Suarez, Winker, Ervin, and Schebler would be wonderful to see. That would require the Reds to put Senzel at SS and non tender Hamilton this winter.

        If the Reds could sign a FA pitcher (Corbin?) and trade for a second, they could very well be contenders in 2019. Corbin, DeSclafani, traded pitcher, Castillo, and one of Romano/Mahle/Reed/Sims would be a greatly improved rotation.

  23. JerseyRedsFan

    I am a longtime reader and this is my first time commenting. I’ve been a fan of this team through good times and bad for 40 plus years. I am used to rocky periods here and there for rebuilds but this feels different. It seems like we have been talking about sorting/developing a pitching staff around Homer, Disco, Reed, BobSteve, Finnegan and Iglesias for 4 or 5 years now. If you ask me, the only thing they’ve figured out is that other than Disco the rest of them aren’t going to form any part of a decent starting rotation. Between that and the obsession with loading up on fast/defense first/light hitting centerfielders a la Drew Stubbs, Corey Patterson, Willy Taveras and Billy Hamilton it seems like this team just can’t learn from their mistakes. If GABP is a homer park why is this team ranked 23rd in hitting homeruns?
    I am just a casual fan but it seems like the team needs to back up and go down the other fork in the road. With this stadium they built top of the order pitchers don’t want to come here and the team certainly isn’t going to pay for one, let alone two or three. CUT HOMER NOW to save the fan base. The FO can call it positive momentum. Get two no. 3 type pitchers by trade and/or free agency. Maybe Harvey is one maybe not. But they need two similar guys. Basically, build the staff around starters that can go six innings well. Use the guys that failed at being starters the last few years a great bullpen. Then since the team isn’t spending money on a big time pitching staff load up on heavy hitting outfielders.
    Use whatever they have to from Winker, Hamilton, BobSteve, Lorenzen, Herera, Hernandez and Hughes to help get the pitchers and another legitimately good centerfielder or right fielder that can hit 25 to 30 home runs a year and play decent defense. Someone like Pederson or Bellinger from the Dodgers along with Scooter in left and Schebler in right seems fine, with Senzel at second.

  24. Scott C

    Best news from this past week is that the Reds have moved down to the #7 pick in next years draft. Another 6 years and our rebuild will be finished.

  25. CP

    I have to admit that the although I was doubtful that Robert Stephenson would be successful in his return to the MLB due to his inability to consistently throw strikes, the speed at which people turned on him here is a little jarring.

    I mean, read through this thread from August 1st here: https://redlegnation.com/2018/08/01/recap-reds-lose-game-forget-how-to-play-sport/ , and then read through the most recent posts. He’s started 3 games during that time period. If you thought Robert Stephenson was going to be successful, you opinion of him shouldn’t have changed based on 3 miserable appearances.

      • Old-school

        The opposing views on Stephenson would be : it’s not 3 miserable performances, it’s a 7 year pattern of stubbornness and failure and arrogance.Its Stephenson’s way, not the Reds way. Stephenson knows what’s best.

        1. He was drafted at 18 because he threw 97 mph with a power arm. He has zero confidence or command of his fastball at age 26. He’s doesn’t throw 97 mph either. He walked a pitcher with the bases loaded and didn’t throw one fastball. That’s beyond absurd and very telling. He can’t succeed without fastball command.

        2.) Walks- he famously stated walks are a part of my game . Thats beyond absurd and also embarasses the Reds organization.
        He’s going to say things like that and not make it out of third inning??? That’s like a point guard in basketball saying turnovers are a part of my game or a left tackle saying holding penalties are what I do. Repeated mistakes create opportunities for the opponent and contribute to losing. No pitcher has the margin for error to walk batters at high rates and help his team win. It’s one thing to say I need to cut my walk rate. It’s another to say it’s not important. The Reds can’t allow that.

        3.)It’s a 25 man roster . I won’t defend 2017 with Adleman et al or even this year not getting 15 starts the second half instead of Bailey and Harvey.But, he’s out of options for 2019 and if the Reds gave him things to improve upon as a condition to make the SP rotation and he refuses, others earn the opportunity over him.

  26. Brudd23

    Wait, like more than half the team is injured. Or coming back from injury.our best minor-leaguers are injured.. Yeah, it’s depressing, but given the attrition, what were we expecting? Get healthy for 2019 and start thinking about playing like they did around the All-Star break