The Short Version: Well, that game was ridiculous. In a back and forth affair, the Brew Crew edged out the Redlegs in a slugfest that resembled a beer league softball game.

Final — 10 innings R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (74-60) 13 22 0
Cincinnati Reds (57-76) 12 14 1
W: Jeffress (7-1) L: Iglesias (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Michael Lorenzen hit a three-run homer. This will never get old.

–Billy Hamilton had four hits — including a home run that went over the outfield fence! He also scored three runs and had two brilliant defensive plays. These are the nights that caused me to name Hamilton as my favorite player.

–Tucker Barnhart reached base four times — a double, a homer, two walks — with three runs scored and an RBI. Curt Casali had three hits, scored a run and drove in another. Scooter Gennett singled and doubled, scored one and drove in two. Eugenio Suarez hit his 30th homer of this magical season.

–Brandon Dixon absolutely crushed a homer off the batter’s eye in center field in the bottom of the 10th.

–Sal Romano looked awfully effective in an inning of relief, and you have to wonder whether his stuff will play better out of the bullpen.

–Jared Hughes pitched a scoreless inning.

The Bad
INTERIM MANAGER JIM RIGGLEMAN MUST STOP BUNTING

–Reds pitching gave up 13 runs and 22 hits tonight.

–Matt Harvey, who was definitely not traded, allowed five runs on 11 hits in four innings. He did strike out six without walking a batter, I guess.

–Lorenzen’s bat made it into the “Good” section above, but his arm…well, not so much. Lorenzen allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits and recorded only three outs.

–David Hernandez gave up three runs on four hits in one inning.

–Hamilton was injured on a slide — spiked by the catcher, perhaps — when scoring the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. He was forced to leave the game.

–Christian Yelich, who the Reds did not acquire in the off-season despite the fact that I was screaming for that trade, had six hits and hit for the cycle tonight. For the Milwaukee Brewers. Definitely not for the Cincinnati Reds.

–Raisel Iglesias pitched a scoreless ninth, but gave up a leadoff homer in the top of the tenth to surrender the lead. Then Jackson Stephens gave up another run on two hits in his inning of work.

–Joey Votto didn’t play. Again.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Frustrating? Sure. But that was a really fun baseball game.

–If you had told me before the season that Curt Casali would hit .323/.398/.515 as the Reds’ backup catcher, I’d have said “Who is Curt Casali?”

–Interim manager Jim Riggleman is an awful manager, and those of you who want him to get the full-time job next season…well, I love you, but you are completely insane. Not to put too fine a point on it.

–Harvey gave up two runs in the top of the first, but Billy Hamilton hit a leadoff homer in the bottom half (if you can believe it) to get one run back. The Reds tied it up in the second when Barnhart doubled and Casali drove him home.

Two innings later, Barnhart homered (his ninth of the season) to give the Reds a short-lived lead.

–By the bottom of the fifth, Milwaukee led 5-3. The inning began with a Dilson Herrera walk and a Hamilton single. One out later, Scooter doubled them home to tie the game. Then Suarez promptly hit a two-run bomb to put the Redlegs ahead 7-5.

–But the game was far from over. The Brewers scored one in the top of the sixth, then Barnhart led off the bottom half with a walk, followed by a Casali single. Then interim manager Jim Riggleman did what interim manager Jim Riggleman LOVES to do: he ordered Michael Lorenzen to bunt. Then ordered him to bunt again. Then, with an 0-2 count, Riggleman…yep, you guessed it. He squared, but the pitch was high and tight and Lorenzen dove out of the way, with the pitch fouling off his bat.

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell argued that it should be strike three, since Lorenzen squared to bunt. That’s not actually the rule — Lorenzen would have had to offer at the pitch — so the umps correctly ruled that it was just a foul ball. Counsell was upset, but Lorenzen was still alive.

And he drilled a three-run homer on the very next pitch. Reds 10, Brewers 6.

–Next thing you know, the Reds were down 11-10. But in the bottom of the eighth, Cincinnati tied it up. With one out, Hamilton reached on an infield single. He moved to second when Jose Peraza was hit by a pitch and advanced to third when Gennett grounded into a fielder’s choice. Billy scored on a wild pitch, after first being called out. Replay confirmed that his hand touched the plate, and the game was tied. For a little while.

Today’s Tweets

64 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    Reds Pitching Staff – 2017

    Worst in WAR (3.7)
    Worst in HRs allowed per 9 IP (1.56)
    16th in Ks per 9 (8.18)

    Reds Pitching Staff – 2018

    28th in WAR (3.8)
    Worst in HRs allowed per 9 IP (1.45)
    25th in Ks per 9 (7.68)

    All of the 2018 stats were entering tonight.
    Based on tonight and 29 more to go, anyone expect major improvement by season’s end?

    Forget adding Yelich…you could put the Cubs offense (top 1 or 2 in MLB) with this pitching and they would miss the playoffs.

    But, sure…have the Reds give multi-year contracts this winter to DeSclafani and Harvey. And, remember, Bailey will get his turn in the rotation next year, as well.

    • Bill

      Am 100% agree the pitching has been a dumpster fire. Adding Yelich would have won a few more games and still resulted in last place. Would I like him in a Reds uniform, yes. Would that trade have helped the team, no. As you stated Bailey will be back, at least for the beginning of the year and the money owed to him isn’t getting written off. I don’t have a problem with a Disco extension for a low AAV or even a Harvey contract for a low AAV. I would have a problem with paying them like Homer Bailey or if that was the only move. In my opinion the Reds can make the playoffs with a bunch of 3-5 starters with their offense. I don’t think they can be a serious threat in the playoffs without an ace, which is either going to cost a lot in either money or prospects. Maybe Harvey or similar guy for 2019, but when Bailey comes off the books that money needs to go towards a clone of 2014 Madison Bumgarner

      • lost11found

        I believe that while Chad D supported obtaining Yelich (echoed by myself and others), he wasn’t sure if he would have parted with similar talent from the Reds’ system to get him (also echoed by me and others). Correct me if I’m in error Chad (going off memory, a dangerous thing).

        The O wasn’t the problem last night or tonight. Two of the better bullpen arms gave up six runs in 2 innings to lose this one. Simple as that.

      • Chad Dotson

        You’re right. But I really wanted that guy.

  2. Sliotar

    When Lorenzen hit his HR, the Brewers had a 5% chance of winning.

    Memorable game.

  3. davy13

    Boy, I’m so glad that the Reds that did not pick up Yelich’s bat for its CF, especially his 6 for 6 incl. the cycle & +900 OPS, because it would have detracted from the team’s winning culture and bogged down their positive momentum. The team dodged a major one. He’s Milwaukee problem.

    Yes, I am still crying over spilled milk and playing in the my head, Streisand’s “The Way We Were.”

    Memories may be beautiful and yet
    What’s too painful to remember
    We simply choose to forget
    So it’s the laughter we will remember
    Whenever we remember
    The way we were
    The way we were

    • Bill

      When is the last time you say Yelich pitch nine shut out innings? I don’t think that works well from the corner outfiled spot which is where he propbably would play with Hamilton still on the team Befoire Winker, Schebler, Votto were injured scoring runs was not a concern for the team. Defense and pitching have been the problem all year. Yelich would be an improvement over Winker and Schebler in the corners both defensively and offensively, but both those guys were over .800 OPS before injury

    • greenmtred

      And where would they be in the standings with Yelich in center? Maybe he could be a good starting pitcher, instead.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Davy, I wish we had traded for him as well. Even if it wouldn’t have helped in the standings this season, he’s still signed at a team friendly deal through 2022. Plus we could have stopped an elite talent from going to a division rival. Obviously starting pitching is still the biggest issue, no one denies that. Yet CF has still largely been an offensive black hole and he would be the answer there for a while. No one asks if Suarez can pitch after the Reds focused on extending him to a team friendly deal. It’s because we’re a better team with Suarez than without him. Same would have been true of Yelich.

      • Bill

        The difference is Suarez makes less money than Yelich and didn’t require trading top prospects. Retaining talent is different than acquiring talent. It is also not wise to assume Yelich would be the CF. The majority of his games have not been in CF, and from what I can see the defensive metrics don’t like him there. It is very likely he would be in a corner position which while would be an upgrade it is not the same as replacing Hamilton

      • Hotto4Votto

        Yelich’s contract is for 7 years $49.57 million with a $15m option. Suarez’s contract is for 6 years and $66 million with a $15 million option. Yelich doesn’t play CF as much with the Brewers because they also signed Cain who is a CF. Yelich can play CF and would naturally slot in there with the Reds.

        The reason I brought up Suarez was to demonstrate how stupid the original question of “can Yelich pitch” was. There’s no point in asking that question except to set up a straw man argument.

      • BigRedMike

        The Yelich cannot pitch is a strange argument. If the Reds could make a move to improve the team with a cost controlled player, seems to be a smart idea.

        Reds fans want the Reds to spend almost $20 million on Hamilton and Gennett next season, last I checked, they do not pitch. Cheap replacements exist for both which would free up funds to get pitching.

      • Bill

        Yelich 2019 $9.75 million Suarez 2019 $7.286 million
        Yelich 2020 $12.5 million Suarez 2020 $9.536 million
        Yelich 2021 $14 million Suarez 2021 $10.786 million
        Yelich 2022 $15 million Suarez 2022 $11.286 million

        Yelich career totals:
        6584.1 innings played
        2121.2 innings of CF

        Less than 1/3 of his carrer CF with poor ratings.

        How many wins does Yelich give you over Winker or Schebler in the lineup. How many wins does Yelich give you over Winker on the bench and Senzel with the Marlins? How many wins would $10-15 million invested in a starting pitcher give you?

        My guess is a good starting pitcher + Senzel equals more wins than Yelich in LF or CF. So no it was not a stupid question, you just don’t like the answer. Yelich is not the savior of the Reds. He and Cain combined are barely enough to put the Brewers into a wild card race. The Reds need pitching and cheap controllable players in the pipeline. Yelich is neither a pitcher or cheap moving forward. I would rather run Schebler or Senzel out there for $10 million less and invest in pitching

      • Hotto4Votto

        Haha c’mon man. It’s a stupid question because it’s irrelevant to the conversation of having Yelich’s bat in the Reds lineup. Just as it would be if I said, man I wish the Reds would add Mike Trout to their lineup and someone asked how he pitched. It has no bearing on his value to a team.

        Yelich would make the Reds better. Period.
        Yelich would be an upgrade over our weakest spot in our offense.
        He’s on a team friendly contract especially for his production and for enough years to warrant a high trade price.

        There’s no doubt in my mind he could and would play CF for the Reds. How many CF innings did Choo play before Cincinnati? Or Schebler? Yelich is more capable than either. You can disagree, but that’s how I see it.

        You, I, nor anyone else around here knows what it would have taken in prospect currency to get Yelich. So it may not have taken Senzel. It could have been headlined by Greene. Or Mahle/ Trammell when Mahle had more value than he currently does. So any prospect cost is speculation at best.

      • Bill

        It’s no more a stupid question than your opinion is stupid. The Reds need pitching not another OF. Hamilton can be easily upgraded with internal options for league minimum or a free agent. Yelich makes the team marginally better and takes away resources needed to fix the pitching and trades away potential future stars. Defensive metrics show Yelich is below average in CF, Schebler can play it just as well or better. You can choose not to believe the reports or the facts in front you. It was reported Senzel was the starting price for Yelich and the Brewers gave up the #13 prospect in baseball. They weren’t going to take a significantly lower rated prospect. Senzel was #9.

        If your argument is the Reds should trade for Trout a valid question would still be how is he fixing the pitching problem.

      • Hotto4Votto

        When your main defense is “your opinion is stupid” you should probably stop. It’s a bad look.

      • greenmtred

        You’re absolutely right that Yelich would be an offensive upgrade. The point was what they’d have to have given up to get him and that, since pitching is the Reds’ main weakness, those trade chips would be better used for pitchers.

      • Hotto4Votto

        GreenMt –

        That may have been your point. And if you want to have that discussion I think it’s fair. My personal belief is that both SP and CF need upgraded. Yelich is an affordable way to do that. It allows the Reds to spend money on other areas instead of spending an increasing amount of money to watch Billy OPS int he low 600’s. Even if it were Senzel traded, which no one knows, I still think it would have been fine. We would have other pieces to trade, and money to spend as Yelich’s contract is not breaking the bank and provides great value to the team. The Reds are actually set at Senzel’s best positions on the field, so in a way you could argue trading Senzel would be trading from surplus to address a weakness.

        But even so, Davy13’s original point was only that Yelich would have been an upgrade with his 900 OPS. I agreed and said it would have upgraded the Reds weakest position on the field. Asking the question if Yelich can pitch has nothing to do with the original point, which is all I have tried to say. The question is irrelevant to the conversation.

        Setting up a straw man argument and then responding with “your opinion is stupid” is a really immature way to go about trying to have a conversation.

      • Hotto4Votto

        And while I’m here…

        Even the biggest stat-guys don’t put a ton of stock into defensive metrics. So I don’t really understand siting them as gospel. Defensive metrics show Peraza has been a below level SS, by both UZR or DRS. Should the Reds not play him there? If you have to pick between Winker, Yelich, and Schebler who do you put in CF? I know it’s an easy answer for me.

        Again, you can disagree, it’s your right. We are discussing hypothetical situations after ll. At least stay on topic and use appropriate discussion tools is all I’m asking.

  4. Corey

    Is there a way to see how many bunts a team does in a season? There might be a record Jim is going for.

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s not just bunt attempts, how about successful bunts?

  5. CI3J

    You know what shocked me when I looked it up? The Reds’ pitching staff isn’t really “young” when you look at it objectively. Disco will be 29 next season. Castillo will be 26. Mahle will be 24. Romano will be 25.

    That is not a young staff. That’s a staff that should be showing some consistency and putting things together by this point.

    Disco, ok, he’s probably good enough, but not as the #1. He’s, at best, a #4 starter on a contending team, but he’s also in his “prime”, meaning he probably has, at most, 3 good seasons left. What then?

    Castillo shocked me the most. The dude is 26? That’s not a kid, he should be firing on all cylinders by this point. It’s worrying that he’s still pitching like he’s 22 when in fact he’s about to enter his prime years.

    Mahle, the jury is still out. He seemed to run out of gas. He’s also the youngest, but again, 24 isn’t THAT young.

    Romano…. Don’t know what to make of that dude. He just seems to lack a certain “flair” for pitching. Attitude isn’t there? Don’t know. But I don’t have much confidence in him going forward.

    And what’s waiting in the minors? Bob Steve seems to have finally, once and for all, shown he can’t hack it. Finnegan has flamed out. Rookie Davis is hurt. Reed might have a chance to show something starting tomorrow, and he’d be a rare success story if he actually does well.

    But overall…. Things look very, very bleak for Reds’ pitching. They have basically no hope outside the Castillo/Mahle/Romano/possibly Reed group, and as I said, those guys aren’t exactly young any more (Reed will also be 26 next year).

    Anyone have anything positive to add?

    • Jeff Reed

      The Reds once young pitching prospects have now had years of seasoning and have fallen into baseball middle age.

    • VaRedsFan

      Romano has shown some emotion out of the bullpen. Looks like a good fit for now.

    • KDJ

      Agree. Hasn’t it been 3-5 years we have been talking about the young pitchers figuring it out, developing, growing, maturing, adding another pitch, working out their control issues, getting accustomed to MLB, settling in, adjusting mechanics, and working on arm angles?

  6. sezwhom

    100% agreement on everything you said about Riggleman. Mr. Bunt Happy. Drives me NUTS! He’ll never learn. Don’t want him back.

  7. BK

    I love watching Billy Hamilton, but he is a true enigma. Truly gifted in the outfield and with amazing speed, but in 5 years in the majors hasn’t learned to bunt and hasn’t adjusted to replay that doesn’t allow players to over slide a base on a steal attempt.

    • VaRedsFan

      That’s the first time I’ve seen him overslide a base. Replay showed he made it back to the bag, but wasn’t 100000% conclusive, so they didn’t overturn the call

  8. Mason Red

    Reds pitching is absolutely horrid. But yet the rebuild was/is supposed to be built around young pitchers. Unfortunately,as already mentioned above,most aren’t that young and in some cases they also have a history of injuries. The hope I had just before the ASG break is gone. I thought this team could compete next season. But I have zero faith in the ownership/FO of this franchise to bring in established pitchers. If they do make trades or sign free agents it will be those who are trying to restart their careers because of injuries or whatever just like Harvey. Again it’s the Reds “culture”.

    • greenmtred

      Pitchers often don’t reach their peaks until “middle (in baseball terms)” age. They’re all at risk for injury. But the Reds do seem to need to add several good starters from trade or FA. That may be hard, though, because good starters are a relatively rare and in-demand commodity. If any are available, they will have many suitors and will fetch high prices. And, again, they will be middle-agedor older and be injury risks. There’s no hope. Time to eat worms.

  9. Klugo

    Hey, but our pitchers only walked one batter.

  10. msanmoore

    Best title of the year, Chad.

    I turned it off when the Bernie’s went ahead for the NEXT to last time, so I didn’t see the Hamilrun scored. I hope he’s not injured badly. I also love the guy (especially on nights like tonight). I’d like to see him flourish, probably in a bigger outfield.

    Walks kill. We’ve all heard that. But on this forum we also believe bunts kill. Another fine example tonight – except Scooter’s little surprise. Had to love that one.

    How many more games?

    • Hotto4Votto

      29 games left. Of which the Reds would have to go 16-13 to avoid losing 90 games for the 4th straight season.

      Currently are in line for the #7 pick in next June’s draft. 1/2 up (behind?) Texas and 4 back from the Tigers and White Sox for #5 pick. It would be nice to move up to a top 5 pick again, but I’m note sure we’ll be able to lose enough to catch either the Sox or Tigers.

  11. Jeff Reed

    Loved the Recap, Chad. Best of the year so far.

    • Scott Benhase

      We would’ve won 15-13 if the Brewers hadn’t blocked our late 4th quarter field goal!

  12. Jack

    If only Billy could hit the flairs like Peraza. Maybe Peraza can show him how to hit softly. If Billy could do that the offense would be something else and would win 13-12 every night behind this crap rotation.

  13. greenmtred

    For it to truly be a beer league game, they would have needed to wear the uniforms from this past weekend.

  14. Bmblue

    Good thing the reds didn’t trade Hernandez and Hughes when they pitching at their career peaks right at the trade deadline. You have to give them credit for the Geno and disco and Casali deals but they can’t make the ones that seems so simple and that’s what holds them back. It’s a lack of fortitude.

    • bouwills

      You do remember they did trade Dylan Floro (who’s having as good a year as Hernandez/Hughes this season) to the Dodgers in early July,right? Reds sent Floro & Dean for James Marinan & A. Zabala. I had also hoped the Reds could get a good prospect or 2 for one of Hughes /Hernandez but it appears no worthy return was offered for either of them. It’s more a lack of equitable trading partner.

  15. bouwills

    No mention of it on the game thread or on this posting either, but Cain’s 7th inning double was catchable by Ervin. Yellich followed with a triple to right centerfield that should have been a double. Without Hamilton, the Reds will just have lousy outfield defense.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The Reds could go get another CF, you know, like the Brewers did with Lorenzo Cain. Teams don’t have to replace players with someone already on the roster. There are many other terrific center fielders in the league, and they can hit well, too.

      • bouwills

        Hey Steve, Hamilton was injured last night. The Reds probably won’t trade for a cf today. So if Billy goes on the DL & unless they bring up Siri (who’s on the 40 man); this team will finish this season with lousy outfield defense.

      • lost11found

        I’d give Siri a look in September. The service time impact would be minimal, the only thing is would it burn an option year?

      • bouwills

        No, I don’t think September callups use an option. Unless of course they bring Siri up, & then option him back to Pensacola for the possible playoffs. The, I’m not sure.

      • Hotto4Votto

        When the Reds optioned him from ST to the minors he used an option. It’s usable for the entire year. If they call him up it would start his service time clock but the option has already been used and a call up doesn’t effect that.

    • Scott C

      If Ervin had caught Cain’s double it would have been a great catch. And yes Yelich’s triple should have been a double but that is due as much to Yelich’s hustle out of the box as it was to poor OF defense. (Schebler doesn’t have much of an arm)

      • Hotto4Votto

        I agree, I thought Ervin was there, jumped, and the ball was just over his glove based on my viewing. The ball hit off the top of the wall, I’m guessing that goes for a hit more than it goes for an out.

  16. doofus

    Chad, what Pearls of Wisdom did Williams and Grossman impart on the RLN Crew during your invasion of the GABP last week?

  17. big5ed

    That was actually a pretty fun game to watch last night, which is hard to pull off for a team way out of contention.

    You knew it was going to be an odd duck of a game when Hamilton led off with a homer.

    I’m rooting for the Brewers to miss the playoffs, so the good news is that their staff has given up 21 runs in 2 games to a Reds lineup that is missing 2 of its best 3 hitters. It’s going to be hard for the Brewers to hold on with a southbound pitching staff. Gotta like seeing Hader the Hater roughed up (at last), too.

  18. Indy Red Man

    Fun? I can’t say I wasn’t entertained, but absolutely knowing that they’re going to score no matter who you put out there is not a good feeling? This pitching staff is horrendous? Its just amazing that NOBODY can get people out consistently?

    I love Lorenzen but he just chucks it up there with little plan pitch to pitch. If he went 5 as a starter and gave up 2-3 runs but drove in 2-3 runs….does that count as a shutout? Harvey Ks the side then gets bombed out of the game in the next inning before I can get ice for my drink?

    Reminds of coach McKay with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Press “What do you think of your teams execution?”

    McKay “I’m in favor of it”

    • big5ed

      Well, the Brewers’s staff wasn’t doing any better. I saw a 17-12 game in Fenway Park (George Brett’s KC Royals) like that once. Beer league softball. I wouldn’t want to see it every night, but it was entertaining.

      We needed Rick Camp to hit a game-tying home run, if you remember that game from about 30 years ago.

    • RedInIND

      Fun? Absolutely not from the Reds pitching aspect.

  19. Scott C

    Last night’s game was a great example of the failings of the Reds front office and management. From the failure to obtain Yelich, for all the reasons already given. To the inability to trade Harvey (How’s that looking?) To not sorting out starting pitching, to the love of the bunt. Let’s thank the Brewer’s pitcher for not being able to throw a strike to Lorenzen. The only failing that didn’t show up last night was Castellini’s love of Billy Hamilton. Billy had a great game and is exciting when he plays well. The problem is he is not that enough. He has struck out 112 times this year, that is over 25% of his AB’s. Even after last night his OBP is just above 300 (305 I think) And as much as I like Schebler, I don’t think that he needs to be considered as a permanent solution for RF, however as much as the Reds FO overvalues its assets I do not see him going anywhere.

    • greenmtred

      How’s what looking? Seriously, Votto was 0 for 5 last night. How’s that looking? SSS.

  20. big5ed

    Assuming the Reds don’t sign Sidd Finch this off-season, I hope that they experiment with the “opener” concept. Lorenzen would seem to be ideally suited for it, especially on the road. If he could pitch 2 innings in road games, and sometimes just one, he would always get an AB even if he was hitting 9th. (This would work even better if they can find him 100 ABs in winter ball somehow.)

    And if they are not going to DFA Bailey, then they could try him as an opener, which would eliminate his argument that he needs a long time to warm up. Then yank him at the first sign of trouble, which I grant you could be 2-on & no-out in the 1st.

    They ought to start doing it now, not wait for next year. I will concede that it doesn’t seem like Riggleman’s style.

    • BigRedMike

      I believe on Quick Pitch they noted that Tampa has the best ERA in the AL since they changed their approach. Snell has been amazing as well.

      Not sure the Reds would try new things, they have a manager that wants to bunt whenever possible.

  21. another bob from nc

    Was the video a subliminal message that Mr. Burns should buy the team?

  22. redsfan06

    I live in fear that Lorenzen goes to another team who realizes he is only a mediocre reliever and puts him in the OF where he proves to be an athletic fielder with a cannon arm and a powerful bat. The Reds then becoming subject to the modern version of the curse of the Bambino.

    • greenmtred

      Somebody needs to locate a goat, first. Maybe a free-range egg would do instead, though I’ve always wondered what those little devils do with their freedom.