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)
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.