After a rough month of August that saw the Cincinnati Reds (57-78) go 9-19 and fall to a season low 21 games under .500, the team will look to continue that positive momentum tonight in the second game of a three game series with the St. Louis Cardinals (76-59) at Busch Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 ET.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Luis Castillo 136.2 5.07 3.88 22.5% 7.0%
Daniel Poncedeleon 21.2 2.08 5.00 21.2% 11.8%

Luis Castillo’s roller coaster season has continued through August. He gave up five runs in 5.2 innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks on August 12th, but turned around and pitched 6.2 innings of one-run baseball while striking out nine against the San Francisco Giants on August 19th. In his last start in Chicago, Castillo surrendered five runs on five hits, including two home runs, in 3.1 innings.

Castillo’s problems still lie with the home run ball. He’s given up 24 home runs this season, by far the most in his entire professional career. And he’s given up five home runs in his last four starts. It doesn’t bode well for tonight’s game. He’s surrendered six home runs to St. Louis batters in his career, including one to Matt Carpenter. Of all the Cardinals, Carpenter hits Castillo the best.

castillo vs cards

The last time Daniel Poncedeleon faced the Reds, he was pitching seven no-hit innings in his major league debut at Great American Ballpark. Since that late July evening, Poncedeleon has only started one other game, August 21, at the LA Dodgers. He pitched almost as well, giving up five hits and one run with eight strikeouts, but only in 4.0 innings. The Cardinals then sent him back to the minors, as they had no need for a fifth starter until the rosters expanded today.

Poncedeleon has only thrown 21.2 innings, and his BABIP is .204. With a high walk rate of 11.8% and a high flyball rate of 46.4%, it will be interesting to see how he fares over the month of September once teams learn to adjust to him.

Lineups

REDS CARDINALS
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Scooter Gennett (2B)
5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Phillip Ervin (LF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Luis Castillo (P)
1. Matt Carpenter (3B)
2. Yadier Molina (C)
3. Jose Martinez (RF)
4. Matt Adams (1B)
5. Tyler O’Neill (LF)
6. Paul DeJong (SS)
7. Harrison Bader (CF)
8. Yairo Munoz (2B)
9. Daniel Poncedeleon (P)

-I know people don’t care much about batting average anymore, but if you do care about such things, Scooter Gennett is currently tied for the National League lead with a .317 average. Let’s hope his success over the last two weeks carries through the rest of the year because it would be cool to see a Red win the batting title.

News and Notes

The first round of September call-ups happened today (plus one release of a player). I’m sure more call-ups will follow once the minor league season ends.

Interesting stat on now former Red Zack Weiss.

Eugenio Suarez has become a star. I’d call him the best third baseman in the NL, but there’s guy who plays for the Rockies who might be a little better. (Although if you compare Nolan Arenado and Suarez’s numbers this season, they are very comparable).

Final Thoughts

Today marks the first day of September, which also means the last month of regular season baseball. In April, I always look forward to the long season ahead and then September rolls around and I wonder where it all went.

The Reds won’t be in the playoffs, which means we only have four weeks left of the 2018 season. Even though the Reds have played horribly of late, I encourage you to enjoy what little baseball is left because you’ll be aching for it come December and January. I know I do.

39 Responses

  1. docproctor

    Would love to see Scooter win a batting title. Rooting for him.
    Would love to see Castillo right the ship with a strong final month.

  2. Nick Kirby

    Those were some wise words in that last paragraph, Ashley.

    • Sliotar

      Agree, Nick.

      Well put, Ashley.

      I watch and listen to every inning of post-season baseball I can in October, but it’s a little hollow with the Reds not in it.

    • Shchi Cossack

      The Old Cossack is usually pretty stable thru December, but once the calendar turn to January, I start aching for pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training.

  3. Sliotar

    Jackson Stephens has appeared each of the last 3 days.

    Total for that stretch…

    2.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER

    Am guessing (actually, hoping) he is not available tonight.

    He’s only 24, so maybe there is another level still for him to grow, but I could understand if he was feeling a little baseball shell-shocked right now. This ain’t AAA, for sure.

    Go Redlegs.

  4. msanmoore

    Would love to see Scooter, Geno and Billy win individual awards this year. they’ve all earned it in my book.

  5. Klugo

    I think MOST people still care about batting avg.

    The more BH hits #1, the more I feel the Reds are warming up to the idea of potentially moving him this offseaon.

    • Shchi Cossack

      From your keyboard to hopeful reality…

  6. Sliotar

    Based on this article, published today, I would not get my hopes up, Shchi…..

    https://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2018/09/01/cardinal-way-may-riggelmans-path-permanent-status-reds/1176688002/

    ” (Castellini) will come and express what he happy about with players and what he’s disappointed in. I can give my opinions on why we did what we did in the game and my thoughts on the players. I enjoy it.”

    This is Riggleman’s fifth stint as a big-league manager, but the owner back-and-forth is entirely new.

    “Maybe this would be odd to people who read your paper, but I had never spoken to an owner,” Riggleman said. “Any place I managed there’s either been corporate ownership or there (have) been owners that just didn’t come in and talk to me.”

    Fay is literally off his rocker, pushing Riggleman as the “Cardinal Way.” Feels like Fay is on the Reds payroll, really or implicity, just like “Doc”, Broo and many others in the market.

      • Sliotar

        Same, Klugo.

        This should put to bed a narrative I have seen pushed by a few around here…

        “We don’t know if Castellini meddles”…yeah, we do. Proof straight from the manager.

        Having worked in a prominent family-owned business back in the day, I am guessing Dick Williams has to pick and choose his battles of when to impletment modern-day MLB practices.

        Gruesome or not, he is probably playing the long game, waiting until BC/WJ are so old and doddering they step away from the day-to-day.

      • Matt Hendley

        yea, i just read it too, i want to hear more about the cardinal way, the .444 winning percentage, no post seasons. I mean i thought john Fay used to stand for something. Now he just writes from his knees

  7. Matt Hendley

    Piazza’s defensive Struggles rear their ugly head early. However unlike earlier this season Castillo shows an ability to knuckle down and work around the Stolen base

    • Bill

      Well Piazza has been retired for awhile, he is probably not in playing shape anymore and a little rusty

    • Seat101

      You know, I talked to Jose the other day, and he is really sorry that he kicked your dog.

      • Matt Hendley

        i’m slowly coming around to the CF option

  8. Sabo 17

    I’ve been a LONG time reader but never posted, but I’m wondering if RLN would consider something drastic to get ownership’s attention? Something LOUD to show that we will not support a Riggleman-led team or the current owner meddling with baseball decisions. It is a little telling that Riggleman has never talked to an owner before now, which plays into the meddling owner narrative that is circulating. We need to be heard and as the best fan site out here for Reds talk, RLN is primed to be the catalyst for change!

  9. Seat101

    I think half the pitches this guy has thrown have been this inning!

  10. Shchi Cossack

    The Reds break out the bats for a big 4th inning, begun by a infield pop up out by Hamilton to lead off the inning after he struck out to lead off the game.

    The dirty birds starter is knocked out with 1 out in the 4th with 4 runs scored and the bases loaded.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Whoops…the 4th inning with 3 runs scored and the bases loaded.

    • Jeff Reed

      The Cardinals didn’t. Will BC and WJ follow their friends in St. Louis and make Riggs the manager?

  11. Matt Hendley

    I love Jose Peraza, Lets talk about how we need a new catcher.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Give me a gold glove catcher with an .700+ OPS and I’ll take that to the bank every day, especially since the Reds ‘hit’ the mother load when the Reds grabbed Casali as a backup catcher.

      • Matt Hendley

        No, all the comments sections over the last week have established that Gold Glove defense does not help you retain your spot on the Reds. He should of taken that and let Ross continue to throw around the zone.

  12. Matt Hendley

    Bases Juiced and you clip the ball. not even a pop up. On a count your not supposed to swing on, when is tyler stevenson ETA

  13. Jeff Morris

    Don’t tell me…did Barnhardt try to bunt? I wouldn’t put it past Riggleman to have Barnhardt bunt there.

    • Matt Hendley

      No riggleman this time, a legit full effort swing on a 3-0 count with basis loaded. Ball was in zone, slightly low, would have undoubtedly been called a strike. TB clips it, causing it to roll back to the pitcher who goes to the plate who goes to first ending the inning.

  14. Seat101

    Nice defensive play by the shortstop.

    • Shchi Cossack

      I thought sure that Peraza was going to beat that throw.

  15. Shchi Cossack

    Castillo with his ‘A’ game tonight. Manageable pitch count with 8 SO, 1 BB & 1 single in 4 IP.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Make that 9 SO, 1 BB and 1 single in 5 IP!

      • Seat101

        Dr. Castillo tonight.

        Mr. Hyde next time?

  16. roger garrett

    Maybe Mr.Hyde the next time but that would be in start 42 in the big leagues.Experience leads to being consistent.Just wish we did that with some of the other guys but the ship has sailed.

  17. Mark Lang

    Yeaaa Reds – anytime we beat the Cardinals is a good day!