The Reds swept the Chicago Cubs in a four games series in Cincinnati in June. Since then, before today, the Reds were 1-8 against the Cubs. Today’s win makes the Reds 8-11 for the season series. That’s the best record for the Reds against any NL Central opponent. The Reds are 24-46 in the division and 40-40 against everyone else. 

The Reds head to Milwaukee for a 3-game series, starting tomorrow. 

Cincinnati Reds 2 (63-86)  Chicago Cubs 1 (87-61)

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

It was a different kind of start for Luis Castillo. He only struck out two batters and walked four. But he didn’t give up a hit until the 4th inning and allowed only a run in 6.2 innings. Jeff Brantley, doing the TV broadcast, commented numerous times about great pitches from the Reds starter. Castillo didn’t give up a home run. In part, that was due to him inducing a ground-ball rate of 55%. Few ground balls go for home runs. Castillo’s GB% was 58.8% last year and 45.1% before today. 

There are plenty of concerns for the Reds next year, but Luis Castillo isn’t one of them. He’s struck out 75 batters in the last 73.2 innings. 

Reds starters threw 15 scoreless innings (Matt Harvey 6, Cody Reed 5) before Castillo gave up a run in the 5th today. 

Amir Garrett appeared with two outs in the 7th inning. His appearance was reminiscent of the game on June 21 (the Jesse Winker grand slam game) when Garrett struck out Rizzo with bases loaded and two outs in the 7th inning of that game. This afternoon, it took the Reds left-hander four pitches instead of three, but the outcome — an inning and threat-ending strikeout — was the same. It was the seventh time Rizzo and Garrett have squared off this season. Rizzo is 1-for-7 with three Ks. 

Jared Hughes pitched the 8th, giving up a hit. Raisel Iglesias came in for the 9th inning and retired the Cubs in order. Iglesias squared off with Javier Baez for the last out. It included a 99-mph fastball. Baez grounded out softly back to the mound. 

Scott Schebler hit Jose Quintana’s first pitch 404-feet to centerfield for a home run, his 17th of the season. Phillip Ervin homered to left center in the 4th inning for the Reds second run, his 7th. Ervin’s isolated power (ISO — measure of extra bases above singles) is .170, which is just a bit lower than Scooter Gennett’s .180 ISO. Eugenio Suarez leads Reds regulars in ISO with .251. Michael Lorenzen’s ISO is .500. 

Ervin also contributed an important defensive play, gunning down Daniel Murphy at 2nd base for the 3rd out of the 8th inning. 

Joey Votto had a double and two singles, raising his NL-leading OBP to .423. 

Cody’s Slider Good report from Bobby Nightengale on Cody Reed’s game yesterday, with in-depth quotes from Reed and Tucker Barnhart about Reed’s slider. 

“I’ve been in a position where I’ve caught a lot of young guys – I’m clearly young myself still – and you see the ups and downs, and you see the failure get the best of them sometimes,” Barnhart said. “You see all the positive stuff also. To see him have an outing like that, hopefully it’s something that springboards into as good as he can be because I think he can be extremely, extremely good.”

Our Matt Wilkes took an in-depth look a few weeks ago into mechanical changes that have contributed to Reed’s 2018 rebound.

Reed will be just 25 years old on Opening Day, 2019. 

Next Manager Buzz The Cincinnati Enquirer published an interview with Dick Williams by John Fay about the upcoming search for the next Reds manager. Williams doesn’t reveal a lot, but that’s understandable. Go read the whole thing, but here’s a hopeful paragraph:

Q: Jim (Riggleman) would fall under the traditional manager category. He has big league experience, minor league experience. Will there be guys that you will look with a different criteria, a different background?

A: I think so. We owe it to ourselves to try to be open-minded to the background of the candidates. I think it will depend on the individual and the qualities that they possess. Certainly, coaching experience and managing experience have value. But those aren’t the criteria that we’ll use to eliminate candidates. In other words, you won’t have to have managed to be a candidate.

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! 31 Comments

  1. Reed throwing strikes?
    Ervin throwing to 2nd?
    FO making sense?
    Where am I?

    Reply
    • And Scooter and Peraza standing around as spectators while Contreras launches a drive into the CF Ivy and strolls to 1B, leaving both defensive players out of position to take the relay and get the out at 2B.

      Reply
      • My read on that play was that the throw from Hamilton missed the cutoff man (Gennett) and was far enough off line that when Peraza fielded it, he was away from 2B. I think what was supposed to happen was the throw go to Gennett who then could have thrown to 2B. Hamilton was way back at the fence, though. So the throw being off line was understandable.

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        • From the review I saw, Peraza never moved from his SS position, other than turning to watch the flight of the ball, and Scooter moved casually out to a cutoff position. They were both surprised when the ball did not clear the wall and bounded back to Hamilton. Whether Hamilton made a bad throw to Scooter and the ball just happened to fly to Peraza or Hamilton visually picked up Peraza as the cutoff man when he turned to throw without seeing Scooter waiting for the cutoff, no one covered 2B.

          Reply
  2. 3-2, 1-0 & 2-1 against the Cubbies…

    Those are numbers that a good manager and a good front office could build on nicely during the off season and going into the 2019 season. Adding Winker and Senzel to the lineup wouldn’t require an elite starting rotation to turn the Reds into a competitive team. All they need is a competent starting rotation.

    Reply
    • Agree 100%.Just guys pitching at league average gets it done if we improve offensively.We can’t get out homered at home and win.

      Reply
    • I am with you on that one. Been saying that for a year and a half.

      Reply
  3. More encouraging pitching. Castillo gets it done, and the relief corps is lights out.

    Reply
  4. -4 solo home runs in 3 games in Chicago. That was the run production. Glad the Reds were able to get at least one win.

    -The NL Central is tough, and likely to be the same next season. Bringing back Hamilton at $8M or $9M for one more year, at the expense of setting your OF for a run in starting in 2020 seems like a bad investment of $ and playing time, but you know….

    -Never managed? “Welcome our new manager…Barry Larkin.”

    Reply
  5. “Will there be guys that you will look with a different criteria, a different background?”

    “I think so.”

    Finally, some bold and decisive leadership. Gives me such great confidence.

    Reply
    • IF Big Bob doesn’t step in and say “Aw, shucks, give the job to Rigs. He did alright, and I like his style!”

      Big Bob could quickly turn into Big Bomb for any positive moves this offseason, just as he has done in the past.

      Reply
  6. I commented after yesterday’s game that Reed’s breaking ball was working well. Glad my eye test confirmed by Barnhart. Reed now in the middle of the rotation battle.
    We’ll see what Lorenzen can do Tuesday. Castillo is in, but no one else is a lead pipe cinch yet.
    Good win with good pitching.

    Reply
    • Clearly Castillo and DeSclafani are in for 2019, as will be Bailey if the owner wants him to continue to start. A couple more starts like yesterday could give Reed a real boost, as well.

      Reply
    • What I saw of Reed in that game was hitters looking uncomfortable in the box and taking uncomfortable swings. I don’t think they were seeing the ball well.

      Reply
  7. Castillo pitched well, even if not his typical style of game. Seemed like the strike zone was inconsistent throughout the game. Ervin with some nice plays in LF. Joey getting on base three times. He’s looking like he’s getting back to normal at the plate.

    Reply
  8. Ervin has proven he belongs on this team on opening day in 2019.I believe Castillo is around 45 starts now in the big leagues and he does have the stuff.

    Reply
  9. Agree about Ervin. He has played himself into an OF position. The Reds need him or Scheb at CF with Billy (if he is here) as the specialist.

    The Lorenzen iso hijacked my train of thought though. When he starts I feel as though the hashtag Realmuscules should trend. He is the biggest guy the Reds have had since Laynce Nix and there has never been less of a question (perhaps since the Big Klu) about how he earned that physique. Maybe, just maybe, real muscles are more reliable than the ‘cream’ and ‘clear’ variety!?

    Reply
    • I remember that Nix guy, strong as a bull, great potential but career derailed for shoulder injury.

      Reply
    • With latest plan to play Senzel in OF, and assuming Gennett remains in Cincy, I’m not sure what’s worth tendering Hamilton after having Winker, Ervin and Schebler in the alredy in OF mix, unless Schebler is traded in the off-season. Hamlton’s added value is very small for the Reds, more likely as a late-inning sub or pinch runner for a big market team.

      Reply
      • I hate to mention this but I think it’s going to be Winker whom the Reds trade for pitching. Very Reds’ front-office thing to do.

        Reply
        • I don’t think so. DW in an August 1 trade deadline interview said JW and SS are the corner outfielders in 2019. He also said the focus would be a deep obp centered dynamic line up 1-8. Winker’s obp was .402. He walked as much as he K’d which is unreal.

          Reply
  10. Thrilled to hear that I’m now qualified for the Reds’ managerial position!

    Reply
    • If you can throw down the bunt sign, the job is yours!

      Reply
      • Can I just holler out BUNT from the dugout.I mean everybody knows its coming.Combined with the 0-25 with RISP in the series I guess we were lucky to win one

        Reply
  11. I hope we’re surprised and Edvardo Perez gets the Red’s manager job. A smart, young baseball guy, and a reminder of one of Reds fans all time favorites, Tony Perez.

    Reply
  12. maybe he’d get more than 44 games….

    Reply
  13. Reed and Castillo are definatly bright spots on the weekend. Especially Reed who K’d 10 against a team trying to stay out front and out of the WC. Same for Castillo, a strong start against a good lineup. Perhaps toomany BB’s there but he managed to pitch around them, which has to be done from time-to-time.

    Reply

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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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