With today’s exciting extra-inning victory, the Cincinnati Reds sent 45,000 Cardinals fans home unhappy and as the best fans in baseball, undoubtedly aware the Reds have now won three straight series against their beloved Cardinals. The win also put another tiny dent into St. Louis’ postseason hopes.

The Reds head to Pittsburgh for a 3-game series, starting with a 1:35 p.m. Labor Day special tomorrow. 

Cincinnati Reds 6 (59-78) • St. Louis Cardinals 4 (76-61)

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

Anthony DeSclafani clearly struggled with command throughout his 3.2 innings of work. He had shut out the Cardinals through the first three innings, but manager Jim Riggleman yanked him after giving up two runs in the fourth on a HBP, single, double and bunt single. With two on and two out, Riggleman brought in Wandy Peralta to face Matt Carpenter (lefty on lefty) instead of having DeScafani face Carpenter for a third time. Peralta induced Carpenter to ground out to Joey Votto. It was the only batter Peralta faced.

DeSclafani was making his 16th start of the year. In his 7 previous appearances since the All Star Game, he had struck out 40 batters and walked just 8 in 43 innings. Today, he struck out four and walked two. Over that stretch, DeSclafani’s ERA was 3.35 and xFIP was 3.39.

Lucas Sims (more on him below) made an impressive debut with the Reds, pitching a clean 5th and 6th inning, with three strikeouts. He gave up a lead-off walk in the 7th before being pulled for Jared Hughes. Let’s see plenty more of Mr. Sims, please.

Hughes gave up a line shot down the first base line to Matt Adams, but fortunately it found Joey Votto’s glove for a double play. But Hughes gave up a lead-off walk in the 8th, followed by a single and an intentional walk to load the bases. After recording a pop-up for the second out. The speedy Harrison Bader hit a soft ground ball to SS and beat out Jose Peraza’s throw, scoring a run. Ground ball pitchers are good. Strikeout pitchers are better.

Michael Lorenzen pitched a dramatic bottom of the 9th. The Cardinals loaded the bases on an emergency-swing double, an intentional walk and a bunt that stayed fair, all with no outs. Riggleman brought in Brandon Dixon off the bench for an extra infielder. Lorenzen reared back and struck out Jose Martinez with 98-mph fastballs, induced a ground ball force at the plate and a pop-up to short right field to get out of the inning. That meant free baseball.

Raisel Iglesias gave up a run and two more base runners before locking down the win in the bottom of the 10th.

The Reds jumped on Cardinals starter Luke Weaver for two runs in the first. But it could have been much worse in the 40-pitch inning for Weaver. Billy Hamilton doubled, Joey Votto walked, Scooter Gennett singled and a wild pitch scored Votto making the score 2-0 with one out. Eugenio Suarez and Scott Schebler walked to load the bases. But Mason Williams, who for some reason was batting ahead of Curt Casali, hit into a double play. The Reds also loaded the bases in the second inning against Weaver, before Gennett grounded out.

The Reds took the lead in the 7th on another double by Billy Hamilton, a sacrifice bunt by Jose Peraza and a 380-foot sacrifice fly by Joey Votto. But HOF manager Earl Weaver used to say, when you play for one run, that’s all you get.

Joey Votto led off the 10th inning with his 94th walk of the season. Only Mike Trout and Bryce Harper have more. After Scooter Gennett popped out, Eugenio Suarez followed with his 31st home run of the season, a 405-foot majestic blast into the Reds bullpen. Seconds later, Brandon Dixon followed with his own homer into the bullpen and the Reds had a 6-3 lead. So much for small ball. Both homers came off the deserving Bud Norris. 

Dilson Herrera Waves Hello (from the bench) Lucas (Luke) Sims made his Reds debut. The 24-year-old RHP was the headliner in the 3-player return from the Atlanta Braves for Adam Duvall. It wasn’t Sims’ major league debut, as he made 20 appearances, including 10 starts, for the Braves. “I’m sure the Reds didn’t bring him up here to pitch out of the bullpen,” said Chris Welsh. 

The Cardinals Way (more on TCW in the morning) The Cardinals, who I do believe practice The Cardinals Way, use a leadoff hitter with 35 home runs, the N.L. leader in that, and a 15% walk-rate. He’s sixth in the NL in OBP (.388).

33 Responses

  1. redsfan06

    2 of 3 from the Cards in St. Louis. A good showing by the newly acquired pitcher. I’ll take that.

  2. roger garrett

    One of these days we will be playing important games in Sept but until then playing spoiler is ok.Home runs are better then singles for sure.Suarez and Dixon hammered those balls.No doubters are a cool thing.

  3. docproctor

    Lucas Sims looked good. Threw strikes (except for that pesky walk that got him yanked). Really hope they give him a start.

  4. Sliotar

    I look forward to tomorrow’s piece. Fay’s piece yesterday was a different spin on what “TCW” is, compared to what I thought for years it has been.

    If Castillo, who we all have high hopes for, has DeSclafani’s start today, the game might have gotten away from the Reds in the 4th.

    Disco’s experience showed. He was grinding out there, but never let it all get the best of him and did not make the big mistake ptich.

    Very enjoyable series win.

  5. msanmoore

    A Sunday afternoon win in St. Louis, a brief nap in which I didn’t really miss anything in the game, and warming up my left-over homemade pizza from last night. I’d call that a good day.

  6. Hotto4Votto

    Fun game to watch today. Always fun to beat the Cardinals, especially in St.Louis. I like what I’ve seen from Sims, today, and Wisler the other night. Sims has nice movement on his off-speed stuff and enough of a FB to play off it. The Reds did well in adding these guys to the organization for Duvall.

  7. Old-school

    This game to me was about how Joey Votto and Scooter Gennet and Eugenio Suarez give elite at bats always . All 3 are elite hitters. Keep gennett in 2019. But is Senzel every day

    Lorenzen competes. Disco will be ok. Lucas Sims is an addition.

    • Old-school

      But Senzel IS every day player from May on assuming health.

      • CI3J

        The problem is, as long as Geno/Peraza/Gennet/Votto are here and playing their current positions, Senzel has no place to play. If the Reds wanted to make room for him, they’d have to trade one of the 4, or else move someone to a different position. I’ve advocated Peraza to CF and Suarez back to SS, but it probably won’t happen.

        I’m curious to see how the Reds solve this problem. Maybe they’ll end up trading Senzel to get a pitcher? If Senzel were a centerpiece needed to get someone like Snell from the Rays, I’d make that trade.

      • Matt Hendley

        Only acceptable there is senzel for snell straight up. But i am all on board the suarez to short train

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds are a ~90 loss team. They shouldn’t trade the future, i.e. Senzel. Instead they need to try and fashion a trade based on MLB level talent not named Suarez or Votto (who is unmovable). The best pieces they have to work with are Scooter and the 2 LH hitting corner OF guys. These are the most marketable guys; and, the Reds look to have passable depth to fill behind them. Lead with 1 (or even 2) of them and fill in with some of their minor depth not in the top 3-5 prospects.

      • Matt Hendley

        Winker, no schebler maybe, ervin yes. But really, i think everybody is forgetting that the reds have despite votto and bailey, ditched nearly 50 mil a year in salery. Go out and buy the pitching.

      • Jim Walker

        I agree the alternative to trading is buying with $$$. My guess is they may end up doing one each way depending on what each market takes. Votto, Scooter, Winker and Schebler make them too LH batting.

        Votto’s not going anywhere, so one of the other three is who they need to try and lead with on the trade market. They have Senzel, Ervin, and Herrera to back fill whatever hole they create. Either of the latter 2 of this trio could be an additional piece in the trade package.

        There is a lot of talk right now about the “Cardinal way”. This would be the Cardinal way.

      • Hotto4Votto

        There’s not an especially good track record with pitchers signing long term deals on the FA market working out. I’m also pretty sure the Reds aren’t going to be serious players at the top of the market either (Kershaw, Kuechel, Corbin) as those guys will have many suitors with bigger markets, more competitive teams, and don’t play home games in GABP. I have serious doubts the Reds find a top of the rotation pitcher through free agency.

        Which leaves the trade market. When the Reds traded for Latos, they gave up three of their top 10 prospects, including two in their top 5 prospects plus Volquez who was a capable MLB starter. That was nearly seven years ago, how much has the price changed and in what direction?

        The Reds will have to make some tough decisions. They have four pretty elite level trade chips to work from in Senzel, Greene, Trammell, and India that could headline almost any deal. Will it take two of them to deliver a true, controlled, top of the rotation starter? Beyond that Santillan and T. Stephenson are pretty good prospects in their own right, and the Reds have solid depth through their top 15 or so players. As you mentioned, Jim, they could also trade one of Schebler or Winker as established, but controllable players.

        Someone like the Braves may match up well with the Reds. A guy like Winker could be their replacement to Markakis and they have tons of starting pitching depth to deal from. And trading Winker would save some of our prospects currency to address other areas, and could open a spot to get Senzel into the lineup regularly.

      • Jim Walker

        The Reds are in something of a weakened position re: trading top prospects and talent because of legitimate injury concerns.
        Greene with the elbow, Senzel vertigo and the hand surgery. Trammell has had as star crossed 2nd half; if I count correctly he’s been on concussion protocol twice; and let’s not forget he was star running back in in high school which may figure in to the concussion history. This is Tyler Stephenson’s 1st season in the last three not marked with a major injury.

        And even at the MLB level there is Scooter’s shoulder, Winker’s surgical shoulder (torn labrum), and Schebler missing a third of the season with a variety of ills on the heels of also missing significant time in 2017.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Very true Jim, injuries this season have taken a toll amongst the prospect ranks. Although, I know Trammell left the game the other night after colliding with Beltre, but i hadn’t heard he was in concussion protocol. I hope he puts it all behind him in the AFL. His injuries aren’t necessarily long term concerns, just as Senzel’s thumb shouldn’t be either. The vertigo is just something the Reds will have to deal with on a incident by incident basis. Greene’s elbow is the most concerning of all, and I hope the Reds caught it quick enough and it can be dealt with by just rehab and therapy.

        None of it leaves the Reds in an enviable position though. Likely priced out of the top of the FA market, and most top prospects or tradable players have some sort injury situation that needs sorted out.

  8. Nick Carrington

    Sims’ breaking stuff looked nasty. Glad to have him on the roster.

    In his last two outings, Lorenzen has thrown 31 pitches. 29 strikes.

  9. Shchi Cossack

    I REALLY!!! hate Riggleman small ball. SLIOTAR commented on the game thread how poorly Peraza hits I the #2 hole compared to the #1 or #8 holes this season. I didn’t see much difference in his performance from the #2 and #1 holes and sample size makes any legitimate comparison difficult based on less than 40 PA.

    What I have noticed is the effusion of bunt attempts forced on Peraza by Riggleman, especially when hitting in the #2 hole. It happened again and again today, with Hamilton, the best base runner and best base stealer in MLB, on 2B and no outs. In the 1st inning, Riggleman orders up a bunt and Peraza takes a low fastball for a strike, putting him in a hole. He ultimately grounds the right side of the IF, successfully moving Hamilton to 3B without sacrificing the automatic out and giving him a chance to avoid the out with a ground ball through the right side. In the 7th, same situation and Riggleman again forced Peraza to sac bunt, successfully this time, automtically giving up an out to move Hamilton to 3B.

    Except for a lot of luck and some brilliant pitching by Lorenzen with based loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 9th inning following excellent pitching by Hughes with bases loaded and one out in the 8th inning, we are not seeing a Reds victory and series win over the dirty birds today.

    • Matt Hendley

      Peraza was also given a swing away with bases loaded early in the game. He failed and popped out to catcher. When you cant be relied upon your not relied upon. Peraza is the best position player bunter on the reds, better then most of the pitchers. When your relied upon for something your relied upon for it

      • greenmtred

        Being relied upon and being 100% successful are two different things, though, particularly in baseball.

    • greenmtred

      That bunt with Billy on second made no sense. He was going to score from there on most singles, anyway, and would have tagged and taken third on a fly deep enough to score him from third. And it didn’t eliminate a potential double-play situation.

  10. Shchi Cossack

    I just can not see the Reds advocating a young starting pitcher with an 88-89 MPH fast ball and that’s where Sims sat all day today. It’s just not the Reds way. Don’t get me wrong. I was as enthusiastic as anyone about Sim’s performance today. He’s the type of pitchers that makes the Reds look foolish, but the Reds insist on only sending pitchers to the mound who can throw mid to upper 90’s. I really hated, like throwing pots and pans at the TV, that Riggleman wouldn’t even let Sims face a LH batter after he carved up the dirty bird’s #2 thru #7 hitters like a well-cooked Cardinal on Thanksgiving.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Baseball Savant has Sims fastball at 94-95 for much of his appearance today. It does dip down to 90 at the end, in his third inning. He was at 92-93 mph average with the Braves.

  11. Jreis

    The top of the 7th was fun. I thought we were back in 1985. Hamilton runs hard down the first base line on a single and stretches it out to a double. You hardly ever see that anymore. Are second man in the lineup doesnt try to hit the ball 450ft instead lays down a perfect bunt to move Billy to third. Then the number 3 batter doesnt try to work the count for a walk. Instead swings aggresively at the 2nd pitch and gets a sac fly. Baseball at its best. I then proceeded to go to the fridge for a capri sun and then started to play my atari 3200! Lol

  12. DHud

    Peralta v. Carpenter

    I’m not taking that matchup 1 out of 100 times

  13. Mark

    I feel best to go with Winker in Lf Ervin in cf and senzel in rf. Infield stays the way it is next season. Starting pitching fix is what is needed somehow someway. I look to move on from schebler as a piece in a trade for a starter.

    • Bill

      I wonder of Senzel could play CF. Everything I have read refers to how athletic he is, and he has spent time as a SS. My guess is with some reps he would be as good or better than Schebler and Ervin.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Although I don’t get too wrapped up in player moves, or opinions about them, one of the enduring themes this year has been the lack of power hitters on the Reds, especially with Votto seeming to have rapidly declined in that area. One thing Schebler does better than anyone not named Lorenzen, is hit the ball hard. Thus, I’m not sure I would be looking to move him over Winker. I would actually prefer to keep both of them and move Scooter, opening up 2B for Senzel.

      • Bill

        My preference would also be to keep Schebler, and replace Gennett with Senzel. The only concern is that there seems to be little interest in Gennett and with Bob C running the show any offer will probably be deemed insufficient. If Scooter is extended put Schebler in CF, Senzel in RF and hope Bailey finds the fountain of youth and the rest of the staff take huge steps forward

  14. bouwills

    On Saturday night, Castillo issues a walk with 2 outs in the 7th & is pulled for Hernandez. Then 3 outs later Hernandez walked a batter & is replaced by Iglesias. Yesterday DeSclafani, after giving up 2 runs in the 4th, walked a batter & was replaced. Later in the game after 2 great innings, Sims walked a batter & is replaced. Even in the 9th, with 2 outs, Iglesias walked a guy & Darwin paid him a visit. A visit that Iglesias didn’t appear tooo pleased with. Perhaps all that is just coincidence, but I think maybe Riggleman has drawn a line in the sand & expects his pitchers to throw strikes. If so, I say a big ol’ ATTA BOY Jim. Keep pulling pitchers that don’t challenge the hitters & I don’t care how much you flash the bunt sign.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Riggleman’s post game comments reflected his frustration with 5 inning-opening walks, and a HBP to a leadoff hitter. I think those were the numbers anyway.

    • lwblogger2

      I don’t see a coincidence at all. I think Riggleman is sending a message that walking guys is unacceptable. I don’t necessarily disagree, even if I think he’s a lousy manager and he’s probably playing it too strict to whatever internal rule he’s setup about walks… The part that’s the most frustrating to me though is that he seems very quick to issue IBB to guys, some of which I agree with but many of which I think are mistakes.