The Short Version: Cody Reed and the bullpen pitch well, but the Reds drop another close extra-innings affair.

Final — 11 innings R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (75-60) 2 6 0
Cincinnati Reds (57-77) 1 6 0
W: Soria (1-0) L: Brice (2-3) S: Hader (11)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Joey Votto is back. That’s good.

–Cody Reed looked pretty good in his start today. He only lasted 4.2 innings, and he walked three (including two in his last inning), but his final line wasn’t bad, with one run allowed on four hits. It was a step forward, anyway.

–Mason Williams was the only Red with two hits. Scott Schebler, Dilson Herrera, and Billy Hamilton each doubled.

–The bullpen was outstanding for the most part (see below). Michael Lorenzen, Sal Romano, Jared Hughes, David Hernandez, and Jackson Stephens pitched six innings of one-hit, shutout baseball. Unfortunately…

The Bad
–Austin Brice returned from Triple-A before the game and gave up the lead on his first pitch in the top of the 11th. Shortly thereafter, he was forced to leave the game. From the ESPN recap:

–Michael Lorenzen didn’t hit a single home run today. #Lame.

–Eugenio Suarez was scratched from the lineup with back spasms. That’s not a good thing.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Cincinnati Reds have lost 7 of their last 8 games, and 8 of 10. This #PositiveMomentum isn’t working so well.

–Milwaukee has homered in 22 consecutive games at GABP. The Reds should really try to stop that streak sometime.

–The Reds will go on the road to face the St. Louis Cardinals next. Homer Bailey (1-12) will get the start tomorrow night. Yahoo.

42 Responses

  1. VADA IS MY MAN

    I am glad I can still remember the good old days of the past while looking forward to what lies ahead. Being positive may not help the Reds win games but at least it keeps me going.

    • Corey

      I like the positivity. Like my coach used to say, “You can’t bunt them all.”

    • roger garrett

      I remember Vada.Smooth dude.

  2. George

    On 4-19-18, when the management change occurred, the Reds record was 3 wins and 18 losses.

    As of 8/30/18 the Reds are 20 games under .500. The pitching staff is still in flux and the rotation for 2019 is still a major unknown.

    Yep, with the win/loss record and the pitching staff the Reds have, the FO just can’t wait to promote “Riggs”. 😊

    • Colorado Red

      I hope you are wrong.
      We do not need Jim, Dick, Walt, etc.
      Bob needs to quit messing with the team.
      We are now on pace for 68 wins for the 3rd year in a row.
      WOW, what momentum.

    • Ron Payne

      I got a bad feeling that Riggleman will be handed the manager’s job without other candidates even being interviewed. My personal choice would be David Ross.

      Despite what has been said by the front office about spending money, I don’t think there’s any chance they’re going after any big name pitchers in free agency such as Corbin or Keuchel. Any additions to the rotation will have to come via trade. We need a #1 and #2.

      Would like to see Lorenzen’s numbers if he were given 150-200 at-bars as a backup corner outfielder.

      • larry

        I’ve tried200 bars. It doesn’t increase your control nor your reflexes.

    • FloridaRedsFan

      Change occurred when Reds were 3-15. They lost the first three under Riggleman before winning

    • greenmtred

      I’m not advocating for Riggleman (or against him,for that matter), but your stats show that the Reds are 5 games under .500 during his tenure, and some of the losses can be attributed to key players being injured. I’m pretty sure that most of us, pre-season, wouldn’t have predicted that the Reds would be only 5 under .500 for the season. It’s easy to forget, during the current losing streak (which includes several very close losses in hard-fought games with good teams), how well the Reds played for several months and how well, particularly, they did against first-place teams.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        It could also be said that for most of his tenure, including this season, that Price was faced with key players being injured. Look at the projected starting rotation last season vs. what the Reds ended up with. This year Desclafani was out until June, Suarez broke his hand, Schebler hurt his elbow, etc. I’m not suggesting the Reds should have kept Price because of that but if everyone had been healthy throughout his tenure, I’m pretty sure Price would have had a better record than he ended up with.

      • greenmtred

        You’re right. Price got a lot of blame that didn’t take that circumstance into account.

  3. Jim Walker

    There for a while today it was feeling like a football game with all the replays. Interesting we had 2 safe calls (1 for each team) turned into outs including a tag play.

  4. TomN

    Really glad that Reed seems to be relaxing and pitching well. I didn’t see the game, but would have liked to have seen Riggleman keep Reed in to try to get out of the 5th. Give the guys a chance to pitch in these situations. C’mon! Anyway, really glad Reed’s finally coming along.

    Now it would be good to get Mahle back on his game.

    • Jeff Reed

      Cody Reed had some rough spots but overall, not bad. If Riggleman was really interested in sorting Reed he would have left him in in the 5th. inning with two outs. Taking him out meant, to me, the important thing was to win the game to further his chance of getting the regular job.

  5. Matthew Habel

    Hamilton was a few feet away from homers in back to back games. Wonder if he’s ever done that

  6. Jim Walker

    Reed had the good sense not to give in to Yelich but got pulled at just ~75 pitches after he did it. It brought to mind Sparky Anderson dancing around the question in 1977 of whether he would walk George Foster with the bases loaded in a close game. My best recollection was that Sparky said he was glad that was a decision he didn’t have to make; but, it would be hard to take fault with a manager that did so.

  7. vared

    Surprisingly, for some odd reason, I wasn’t paying attention. But I’m curious – was anyone else available to pitch other than the guy that found out at 1:00 a.m. he was being called up and then had to drive from Columbus – for a day game? But really, doesn’t matter.

  8. Jim Walker

    They had used Lorenzen, Hughes, Hernandez and Romano. So in addition to Brice, Iggy, Peralta and Stephens had not pitched. Not sure of the availability of Iggy or Peralta. Stephens, as noted came on when Brice left.

  9. sezwhom

    Almost to September so it’s time to say goodbye for another year. We stink again yet this is the best blog/site for Reds info bar none. Yes, I’m negative but my frustration boils over because I’m tired of losing. Don’t take it personal Chad, Steve, et al, you’re the best. Seriously, you guys/gals deserved a round of applause. It’s not easy writing a summary when your team comes in last all the time. Please don’t hire Riggleman for next year. My blood pressure can’t take it.

  10. cfd3000

    I was pretty encouraged by Reed’s start today. One of his walks was a nervous, first batter pass, and two or three of the hits were a bit fluky. Cain’s squib in the fifth was just bad luck, and the blooper to left was another of those “anyone with a bat is dangerous”. I was disappointed that Riggleman didn’t give Reed the chance to finish the 5th, but on the flip side great to see Lorenzen bounce back with a great outing today. I’ll be eagerly awaiting Reed’s next start in Pittsburgh.

  11. CI3J

    Reed looked good. It’s just a shame he only gets, at most, 5 more chances to show what he can do this season.

    But hopefully if he does well enough, he’ll have a leg up on making the rotation out of spring training. Who knows, maybe one of our young(ish) pitchers will actually pan out!

  12. Hotto4Votto

    I’m just going to throw this out there (probably against my better judgment). It’s funny how perception works.

    Reed: 4 2/3 innings, 4 Hits 3 BBs 3 Ks, 1 R, 58% strikes thrown. Walked in a run with bases loaded.
    Stephenson: 4 innings, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks, 3 R, 54% strikes thrown. Walked in a run with bases loaded.
    (I took out the two IBB because those are on Riggs, not Stephenson).

    The thought is Reed threw a pretty good game in his first start back. The thought with Stephenson is that he struggled and was the “same old Stephenson” who walks too many guys. I’m not going to say Stephenson’s start was good. I’m not going to say Reed’s start was bad. I am going to point out how similar the results were and say there’s not much difference between the two starts objectively.

    Reed got two more outs and threw 4% more strikes. More importantly to Joe-fan who believes the pitcher largely controls the runs he gives up, he gave up two less runs. Reed ended up walking the same number of guys Stephenson did, though Stephenson’s walks were credited with his downfall. Stephenson gave up 1 less hit and had one more K.

    All of this to say, I think Stephenson for one reason or another wore on the Reds fans. Prospect fatigue is a thing, and I think it plays a factor here. The walks wore on people, but I think it was overly focused on when Stephenson was on the mound and skewed whatever else he did well. People liked to take a comment out of context and run with it, and actually believe Stephenson thought walking guys was a good thing.

    I’m happy that Reed was able to go out there and find some success. I’m bummed that Stephenson’s opportunities were cut short, prematurely in my opinion. Both have the stuff to find success, and both needed patience. Hopefully the Reds will continue to show patience with Reed.

    • Scott C

      Perhaps the reason Stephenson’s opportunities were cut short is due to an injury? One never knows with the Reds. But the fact that he complained he couldn’t feel the ball in his fingers and was later moved to DL may be something. If it is then it is still a bummer and the fault still is on the FO for not bringing him up sooner.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I don’t know when the pain started. I know he was moved to the bullpen, pitched from the bullpen, and then went on the DL with tendonitis. Sometimes these injuries take a while to get revealed, just as Garrett is now on DL for a foot issue that may go all the way back to when he took a line drive off it. Or how Bailey apparently pitched with a bum knee for a while.

        I believe the Reds moved on from Stephenson. And if he had an injury prior to going to the bullpen he didn’t reveal it because he was fighting to save his SP future.

      • Jim Walker

        Since we are talking about it, also worth noting that in RS’s start versus the Brewers in Milwaukee on Aug 22, he ended up charged with 4 ER in 5+ innings when 2 inherited runners he allowed to reach in the top of the 6th (on 1B and 2B when he left) scored with Wandy Peralta on the mound. He had finished the 5th a with 2 runs allowed on 4Ks, 3BB, 7H and 90 pitches. If he has not been sent back to the mound to start the 6th, which was something of an atypical move by Riggleman, , folks would have clucked a bit about the 3BBs but generally hailed that start as a possible breakthrough.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Also a good point. One of the reasons I believe the Reds weren’t patient enough with Stephenson was due to the progress he made in that start. His first start was a mixed bag, and I think you do have to concede some nerves there. The second start was pretty bad, and the third pretty decent. In general I think we (fans) are quick to forget how solid Stephenson was at the end of last season, and that stretch of 2+ months was his longest and best as a starter in the Majors. If a guy’s longest stretch is also his best, it seems to reason that he would likely improve given opportunity. I don’t think he was given ample opportunity by the Reds, and now we’ll likely never know.

      • Scott C

        Excellent point Jim. Some have pointed to the way Riggleman has handled the pitchers as a plus for him. The issue though is that he is very inconsistent in the way he handles pitches. With 90 pitches RS should never have been back out in the 6’th. He had handled some very stressful situations through 5 innings.

      • roger garrett

        Bob started all season in the minors and after 3 starts in a lost season he is put in the pen.That makes no sense at all.Its just a circus and for us to try to make any sense out of anything is just a waste of our time.The Reds don’t show any consistency in how they handle players period.Some get soooooooooo many chances and still are baaaaaaad while others get hardly any at all.The ship has sailed on Bob,Garrett,Lorenzen,Reed and others as starters regardless of how they perform the rest of this year or even in the spring.They want these guys to perform like Cy Young which they won’t while at the same time watch Homer all the time and Harvey at times perform like Loretta Young.

    • Jim Walker

      A big difference in the bottom line of those 2 starts was the work of Lorenzen as first reliver in both times. In the Stephenson start versus the Mets, he allowed an inherited runner to score. In the Reed start versus the Brewers, he allowed zero inherited runners to score.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Good point Jim. If Lorenzen gives up a hit to the first batter faced Reed is likely tacked with two more runs, or the same amount as Stephenson gave up. This is why I commented that runs aren’t always in the pitcher’s control. Some of it has to do with sequencing, some with inherited runners scoring or being stranded, some with the confines of a ball park, even in some cases with the umpire’s strike zone.

      • Jim Walker

        Yep. As I just detailed, RS also got burned by inherited runners allowed to score against the Brewers in his 3rd start, 2 that time in the top of the 6th after he had allowed just 2 runs through 5 innings versus them which isn’t bad considering their offense,..

    • Hotto4Votto

      Some more food for thought:

      Here are Bailey’s first two seasons with Reds and Stephenson’s first two seasons:
      Bailey: 17 GS, 81.2 IP, 102 H, 45 BB, 46 K, 1.8 WHIP
      Stephenson: 17 GS, 95 IP, 89 H, 54 BB, 87 K, 1.5 WHIP
      *Bailey was 2 years younger*

      Bailey was shown patience and became a very good SP by his fourth season with the Reds (2010) and continued to be good through 2014. Unfortunately we’ll likely never know how the 2019 will perform as a starter for the Reds.

      • reaganspad

        great stuff Hotto.

        I hate that they have given up on Stephenson. In fact, Bailey is the guy who should be in the pen. Even with RS’s struggles this year, I would rather watch him right now than Homer.

        It is not time to give up on anyone who can turn a corner. Phil Ervin was given up for dead last year prospect wise.

  13. lost11found

    Despite the short outing, I am starting to have a more positive outlook for Reed’s future, especially compared with Stephenson. Beginning of the year, that was turned 180 degrees.

  14. Indy Red Man

    I apologize for beating this dead horse nonstop, but Zack Wheeler has a 2.53 era since June with 103.1 ip (97 Ks and 31 walks). They might need to trade him to afford to pay DeGrom? He wouldn’t be cheap with numbers like that and throwing 99 mph!

    It might cost something like Trammell (or Senzel?) and Mahle (or Lorenzen) for starters. If not Wheeler then they need somebody with ace potential. I’m not buying that with Luis “3 run HR on 0-2” Castillo?

    A rotation of Wheeler, Disco, Castillo, Lorenzen, and Reed. Harvey? Who knows? I like him much better then RLN but he’s a 3-4 at best and would need to be paid accordingly.

    They would then need a shutdown guy or 2 for the pen. I’m also not buying in on H&H. They’ve been great, but they’ll be 34 and getting beat up lately? They can’t count on Garrett or Peralta either.

    • Jim Walker

      I didn’t have any specific starters in mind; but, I was thinking this morning along the same lines in terms of talent cost to trade for them. The Reds paid three first round picks (Alonso, Grandal, Boxberger) plus Volquez for Mat Latos who came with 4 years of guaranteed control. That’s a steep price, especially for a team that looks to need at least 2 middle of the rotation or better guys to be competitive.

      BTW, The Reds basically burned out Latos in 2 years, 2012-13 (65 starts, 420 innings in his age 24 and 25 seasons). Given what those three first rounders have gone on to do, a person has to wonder if the Latos trade was really worth it even though it did eventually bring Disco in return. Or night there have been a better way?

      • Indy Red Man

        Well if Latos wins that Game 5 vs SF instead of melting down (thanks Dusty) then it would’ve been worth it. If his career didn’t mysteriously meltdown quickly after 2013? That was weird how fast he fizzled out…guys used to throw 210 innings/year all the time? You probably saw where he was the closer for some independent team somewhere and throwing 97 I think? I liked him….he was very steady but definitely couldn’t handle the Game5 pressure.

      • Jim Walker

        Latos made 127 starts completing 799 innings over 4 consecutive seasons (2 with SD; 2 with Reds), his age 22 through 25 seasons. After that his most starts and inning were in his age 27 season, with 24 appearances (21 starts) and 116.1 innings) spread among 3 teams, Marlins, LAD and LAA. After that he was basically done in MLB (to date) even though he got some looks the next 2 seasons, The long short is he was rode hard and put away wet early in his career.

  15. jreis

    I think RIGGLEMAN is doing a good job. the players are playing a lot harder for him then Price, (best example is Phillip Ervin) and I like the way he is using his bullpen. I say give him one more year.

    as far as the rotation for next year the 3 locks are Castillo, Disco and Bailey.

    the 4th will Either be Harvey or another old veteran they will pick up in the off season.

    then I think we can go either 4 man rotation to begin the year or ,1 of 3 pitchers as your fifth guy- Reed, Mahle,or Romano.

    this puts your bullpen in a pretty good position with Iglesias, Garret, Lorenzen, Peralta, Hernandez, Hughes and a combination of Reed, Mahle or ROmano.

  16. Jeff Reed

    The Reds need a change from the Baker, Price, Riggleman era. A young manager familiar with analytics who could be basically unknown like Sparky Anderson was is needed. The Reds have the makings of a good, competitive team if starting pitching is upgraded, but change is needed in the leadership.