We got caught short tonight. No one was available to watch the game and do the recap. So it’s up to our brilliant commenters to fill in the gaps. 

Cincinnati Reds 0 (63-86)  Chicago Cubs 1 (87-61)

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

Cody Reed started and pitched five shutout innings giving up two hits and two walks. He recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts. Sounds encouraging. Sal Romano gave up a run in the 6th inning on a ground ball single and a hit described as a “soft ground ball” to right field. Wandy Peralta and Jared Hughes each pitched a clean inning. 

The Reds couldn’t manage a run off lefty John Lester and four Cubs’ relievers. The Reds had four singles and two walks. Jose Peraza had two hits, raising his batting average to .294. Joey Votto had a single and walk, raising his league leading on-base percentage to .421. Second place is Lorenzo Cain at .403. Votto is on course to lead the NL in that category for the 7th time. He missed an 8th season in 2015 when Bryce Harper’s .460 edged Votto’s .459. 

Again, I didn’t see this: 

Billy Hamilton was thrown out stealing third, bringing his CS total to 10. With his 30 stolen bases, Hamilton’s success rate is now 75%, which is the breakeven point for net value. In other words, Billy Hamilton’s stolen base efforts this year add up to zero runs created. 

The Reds announced that Michael Lorenzen would start Tuesday’s game in Milwaukee. If it was a home game, I’d go to GABP to cheer for him. 

What did I miss that was important?

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 29 Comments

  1. It seems weird to get excited about a 1-0 loss, but that is a very encouraging start for Reed.

  2. Who led off in this shutout loss? Oh yeah, BillyHam.

  3. Like anyone else hit clutch either.

  4. I watched the final two innings. Marty was peeved that Riggleman didn’t use Gennett as a PH over Casali in the bottom of the 8th after Herrera got a bunt single. Scooter did PH for Hamilton in the top of the 9th, though, and flew out to the warning track. Votto did indeed seem upset about not quite going yard. Hughes’ sinker was deadly today. Stinks that two games in a row saw the first reliever undo a great start, but it’s hard to get too worked up over losing a game in which you don’t score any runs, or even get a hit that leaves the infield until the 9th inning.

  5. There have been plenty of away games in 2018 where I never felt a big inning was coming and today was one of them.

    Lester was Prime Lester…getting the black and maybe a little more, from my very unscientific eye test.

    Reed- thumbs up. Did not mind him leaving on a high note. Other than Big Bob’s ego, does it matter if the Reds finish with 92 or 93 losses?

    Good memory…dominating in front of a packed Wrigley. He will likely be there in the same situation down the road.

  6. Last night it was Hernandez, today Romano. Bullpen is running on fumes now, after such a long season. If they’re not able to fix the rotation during the off-season I foresee same results in 2019.

  7. Two consecutive one run losses, but the pitching of Harvey and Reed is encouraging. If the Reds can acquire a proven starting pitcher to go along with Harvey, DeSclafani, Castillo and Mahle or Reed, they could have an average, at least, starting rotation in 2019. Then if Senzel is eventually in centerfield and Hamilton, if he’s still on the roster, is used to take advantage of his defense and speed in late innings, then I see the Reds improving in 2019 and perhaps making a run for a wild card.

    • They will have to acquire Harvey before they can acquire a pitcher to go along with him

      • The Reds will have to do what other teams do, trade prospects to acquire proven pitching. Often prospects remain prospects. As the season comes to an end, it’s time to say goodbye to the four year rebuild and move on or the empty seats in GABP will increase.

        • Not necessarily, they could sign FA SP, which was the point of my Harvey comment. Harvey is a FA so in order to acquire someone to go with Harvey Disco, Castillo, they first need to sign Harvey. I do agree a trade could be beneficial, it just isn’t required if the Reds decide to spend enough on free agent pitching.

        • I believe this is true. The FA pitching market comes with a lot of inherent risk. The Reds with their small market budget can’t afford a misstep in free agency. There are a couple of top of the rotation candidate on the FA market in Kershaw, Kuechel, and Corbin. What would the Reds have to pay to outbid the competition? How much would the Reds have to overpay to convince a pitcher of that caliber to pitch their home games in GABP for a team that hasn’t sniffed competitiveness over the past five season? How many guaranteed years for guys who will primarily be pitching in their 30’s? Is the price worth the risk?

          We’ve seen how injuries and non-performance can really drag down a team’s resources and take a hit on their depth with the Bailey (see also Mes, Phillips) contract. We’ve also seen how many top “prospects” stall out before reaching their ceiling.

          • Kershaw or Kuechel aren’t coming here plus we can’t afford the latter but Corbin is a possibility plus he’s only 29 I do believe. Make an offer to Harvey & Corbin. If neither signs, then it’s time for some trades.

          • All valid points, which is why the Reds inability to develop pitching is so frustrating. Signing guys as free agents is expensive and risky. Trading for proven cost controlled pitching requires trading away your top prospects, which takes away potential cost controlled stars in the future. If only two of Reed, Finnegan, Stephenson, Garret, Lorenzen, etc had developed into dependable starters the Reds are a significantly better team. They also would have had more time to develop for guys like Castillo and Mahle who basically came straight from AA to the majors.

  8. Reed’s breaking ball was working very well today. He was mowing them down with it. Hamilton has 3 caught stealings or pick offs in last 2 games. Terrible. The one today at 3B was costly.
    Happy to see Lorenzen get that start. He could get a second one in the ladt week if it goes well.

  9. I din’t see the game either. So I can create my own commentary!

    Avid Reds fan here. But I am actually pulling for the Cubs in this series, as I want to see them in the playoffs, and not as a wild card. Glad Harvey and Reeds pitched well. Also glad to see the Cubs win both games. I’mm not a Cubs hater, although I may be a Dirty Birds hater. Milwaukee? Love the city, but not the team.

    Another loss this year does not matter at all for the Reds. But it does matter for the Cubs.

    So, as a Reds fan it feels strange but actually rather good to finally sing with Steve Goodman’s words: “Go Cubs, go! Go Cubs, go! Hey Chicago whatya say? Cubs are going to win today.”

  10. Joey’s drop in homerun power concerns me. I thought for sure that 9th inning hit was outta there when he hit it. Not sure if the wind was blowing in or Votto is dropping into the WTP category.

    • Earlier in the game the wind was blowing in. Don’t know about later.

    • His power hasn’t been an issue in the last couple of weeks

    • See if you can find a video of his HR from Friday night’s game. When it went out, I couldn’t believe it. That swing was nearly a ‘check swing’ like he does when he’s warming up outside the batter’s box.
      His power is still there. I honestly believe he’s ‘working on things’. He has said as much.
      What better season to do that than this one?
      If it makes him an even more ‘complete’ player in the future, I don’t mind him ‘working on things’. He knows more about hitting than anyone else in MLB and will come out next year even better. I’ll take that.
      (Plus, I think it’s funny that he can’t let Jose Peraza get ahead of him in the HR dept.)

  11. I only watched the first inning, but none of Votto’s three home runs in the last week or so was a cheapie. If he wants to hit 25 – 30 next year I’m sure he will.

    Very pleased to see a great start from Reed, and against a strong lineup. Disappointed he was pulled after 5 innings. Thanks Interim Jim.

    Hamilton has to be smarter on the base paths. He has so little value if he keeps making outs after reaching base. He seems intent on not improving where he struggles (bunting, keeping the ball on the ground, switch hitting) and lately getting worse at the things he’s actually good at. I love BHam but he’s got to go – to the west coast or at least to the bench.

    • I’m fine with him being pulled there. He’s not worked much as a starter lately and there is no real need to extend him in meaningless September games.

  12. Glad to see Reed find some success. Build on that moving forward, work on keeping the pitch count down so the manager is more likely to leave you in the game longer. Also glad to see Lorenzen get another opportunity to start.

  13. Reed pitched Lester to a deadlock. Both teams struggled offensively against solid pitching…

    4-H (all singles), 2-BB.

    The difference came down to a managerial decision. After Baez singled to open the 6th inning, Romano got ahead ahead 0-2 to Bote. Romano’s 3rd pitch was well below the strike zone, but Bote hit a solid ground ball to 3B for a tailor-made 5-4-3 double play…except Maddon started Baez on the 0-2 pitch so Suarez had no play at 2B and had to settle for the out at 1B. The pitch was probably taken for a ball if the hit and run had not been called. Romano struck out Russel on 3 swinging strikes for 2 outs, but on a full count and Baez again running on the pitch, Contreras singled on a ground ball through the right side, scoring Baez with the only run of the game.

  14. RIggleman started Hamilton in CF and Dixon in RF, then proceeded to pinch hit for Dixon in the 8th inning and pinch hit for Hamilton in the 9th inning. I have no issue with starting Dixon for experience and evaluation during a season that has long since passed by the Reds, but Riggleman makes no lineup decisions based on development or evaluation. His lineup decisions are based singularly on his perceived best option for winning, and that’s scary in it’s own right, but then pinch hitting for starting hitters because he has no confidence in their ability to hit just demonstrates a complete lack managerial competence.

    • Schebler hits lefties better than Hamilton does, and has power. Starting him at leadoff leaves Hamilton available to pinch run, and score, late in the game. Except Hamilton isn’t even doing that well lately. Long past time for BHam to play from the bench (or better, for another team). Time for Interim Jim to become Couch Manager Jim.

  15. Yeah. Pinch hitting for your lead off hitter is so illogical that one wonders how the irony washes off him like water off a duck’s back.

    He’s not the worst but he’s no where near the best. The team seems to be better because he represented a change and they couldn’t possibly become worse.

    Looking forward to some more cheap Reds gear this offseason.

  16. with 2 weeks and 13 games remaining in a lost season, the Reds finally decide to start Lorenzen on Tuesday, without being properly extended, after ample opportunities to properly extend him during the season and give him a proper starting opportunity during the season. At the most, Lorenzen will get a short start (really just a relief appearance at the beginning of the game) in a meaningful game against the Brewers, then 1 or 2 meaningless starts against eliminated teams playing prospects and AAAA players.

    Then we have DW’s brilliant explanation of how the ‘organization’ has decided to utilize Senzel during the Fall Instructional League.

    “I think we’ll focus on left field first,” Williams said. “In many ways, that’s the most difficult to play.”

    “Obviously, in today’s game and with our constraints, the more roster flexibility we have, the more positional flexibility we have, the more dangerous of a club we can be. We just want to give him the opportunity to get some instruction out there and get some innings out there.”

    “This isn’t driven by who is and isn’t performing at the Major League level. This is about Nick, seeing what he can do out there.”

    DW was not promoted to GM or PoBO because of his brilliant baseball mind or extensive baseball experience or his ability and willingness to create new, positive ways to utilize the extensive data now available to every baseball organization. He was hired simply based on his familial relationship with the owners.

    I’m so completely tired of BC’s incompetent baseball organization.

    • The performance at the Major League Level is so amazing for the Reds, obviously finding a spot for one of the top hitting prospects is a challenge.

      As others have noted, if getting Senzel position flexibility is such a brilliant idea, why is it just now occurring?

      One of these seasons, Hamilton will show that he is a lead off hitter.

      If the Reds have constraints as noted by Williams, it is a great idea to pay close to $20 million next season for Hamilton and Gennett

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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