The Short Version: I dunno what to tell you. This isn’t fun.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (65-88) 0 2 0
Milwaukee Brewers (87-66) 7 7 0
W: Gonzalez (9-11) L: Harvey (7-9)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Scooter Gennett reached base three times, on a single and two walks. (He still trails Christian Yelich — who does not play for the Cincinnati Reds — in the batting average race.)

–Matt Wisler and Jackson Stephens pitched 2.1 scoreless innings.

The Bad
–Two hits. The Reds collected just two hits. TOS.

–The Reds self-destructed in the bottom of the third. Down 1-0, Matt Harvey walked the leadoff hitter, who just happened to be Milwaukees pitcher Gio Gonzalez. Next, Harvey fielded a ground ball and Joey Votto was about a million miles from first base for some reason; looked like he just spaced out. Then, as tends to happen, Jesus Aguilar destroyed a ball for a three-run homer.

–Similar story in the sixth. With one out, Milwaukee’s Domingo Santana lifted a soft fly ball in the right-center field gap. Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler did not communicate, I guess, because the ball dropped between them and got by them both for a triple. After an intentional walk, Harvey battled Manny Pina for 13 pitches before giving up another three-run homer. Reds 0, Brewers 7. Ugh.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Only nine games to go. Catch Reds Fever while you can!

–If the Reds go 3-6 the rest of the way, it’ll be a third straight season with a final record of 68-94.

–That was the fifth time Cincinnati has been shut out by Milwaukee this season. The last time the Reds were shut out five times by a single team in one season: 1960, when Dick Groat’s Pittsburgh Pirates turned the trick.

–Really hoping Scooter can win the batting title. That’d be a fun little footnote to a miserable season.

–I know it sounds ridiculous, but Harvey actually didn’t pitch terribly (see above for the shenanigans in the fourth and sixth innings). But thanks to two bad pitches, he surrendered 7 runs on 7 hits in five and a third.

Then again, not really sure why Harvey was still in the game to give up that last three-run homer, but whatever. Interim manager Jim Riggleman is a genius, and I will not question his decisions. Tonight.

–In the ninth inning, Votto collected his 1100th career walk. That’s second in Reds history behind Pete Rose, and it’s also second among all active players (behind Albert Pujols).

–President of baseball operations Dick Williams says the Reds will look to free agency and the trade market to improve the starting rotation for 2019. He knows just what to say to make me happy.

–Tonight is the 71st recap that I’ve written this season (yes, the game bored me so I did a little math). But this wasn’t the best game of that 71. But I watched it for you guys!

57 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    If the Reds front office chooses trading future controllable value over getting out the checkbook, they are even more knee-jerk and without a long-term plan than I think they are.

    Blake Snell of Tampa is likely to win the AL Cy Young Award.
    Turns 26 in December
    Controllable through 2023

    The gold standard of what the Reds could trade for.
    WAR in 2018? 4.0….in a pitcher-friendly park.

    How much value would the Rays need? Senzel and Trammell? Greene plus a bunch?

    Sure…mortgage the future for 4 wins. For a team finishing with less than 70 wins.

    Meanwhile, the Reds entered tonight 20th in HRs, 24th in ISO, bottom 5 in pitching, and play sloppy in the field.
    And, are 25 games out in NL Central and 19 games from a wild-card spot (at the moment).

    Big trade gonna fix all that, though. Yikes.

    • Sliotar

      It looks like the Reds did come out good on the Duvall trade, getting Wisler and Sims.

      Maybe give those guys and the other 4 or 5 guys like them in the system a chance to start in 2019, rather than overpay in a trade for someone else’s controllable SP talent.

      Crazy idea, I know. Feels like the kind of thing Tampa would do. Can’t mimic their wacky ways.

      • lwblogger2

        I think the Reds brain-trust (term used loosely), is desperate to avoid another 90-loss season next year. I think they believe that they are closer to competitiveness than they really are. I don’t know. It’s hard to say because if they think they are close, then the time for rebuilding and hoarding prospects is over. Honestly? I have little hope that they’ll be competitive if they do sign or trade for a pitcher and little hope they can avoid a “perpetual rebuilding cycle” if they continue the rebuild. I’d be ok with them “going for it” and at least looking like they are trying to win. There are many who say that there is no difference between 68-94 and 78-84 but I see a lot of difference there. At 78-84, there is at least the illusion that with some breaks, the team can make a playoff run.

    • CI3J

      A big part of that is the Reds insistence in continually starting one of the single worst offensive players in all of MLB.

      And the other part of that was Schebler and Winker got injured, while Votto fell off a cliff power-wise.

      When the Reds are healthy, the only position where they aren’t above average offensively is CF (and possibly C).

    • Hotto4Votto

      Who do you suggest they sign? Last year’s FA class is a mixed bag at best, and demonstrates the inherent risk of signing pitchers to long term market value contracts. Darvish was hurt practically the entire year, which is a very real risk for any pitcher. Arrietta performed reasonably well but was paid $30 million last year. Cobb struggled throughout the year, Lynn largely struggled as well. Sabbathia provides good value for his contract. Even beyond FA guys, Ohtani was hurt a good portion of the season and needs TJ.

      Prospects aren’t guaranteed to do anything at the ML level. Just look at the slew of top 100 prospects that have stalled or struggled significantly for the Reds in Stephenson, Reed, Garrett, and Mahle. Even Sims was a top 100 prospect at one point.

      I would suggest that going the FA route is shortsighted and carries more risk.

    • roger garrett

      Some think this starting 8 is good enough but thanks for the offensive data that says they aren’t which is why trading some of them to acquire pitching is the only way to go.While I can agree some guys right now are on fumes,the last nine games have been against teams that are trying to get in the playoffs and our lack of hitting has been exposed.Not that the numbers lie its just you get pitched to differently.Nine runs in the last 7 games and twelve in the last 8 tell us something.We actually won two 3-1 games and one 2-1 game in that span.You are right Sliotar one pitcher will not fix it especially if you trade you best prospects.Lots of holes to fill.

    • eric3287

      I made this point last night, and it’s worth reiterating again, I can’t find a single team out of the Cubs, the Braves, the Astros, and the Phillies that was trading prospects following a losing season. In fact, during the offseason of their last losing season, they are all still trading away players from the major league roster. The Braves traded Matt Kemp this past offseason. The Cubs traded away Dan Strailey and Luis Valbuena. The Astros traded Dexter Fowler (in that same trade with the Cubs. The Phillies traded Freddie Galvis.

      This roster will likely fail to win 70 games for the 4th consecutive year. They finished 8th in the NL in runs despite career years from Scooter, Suarez, Peraza, Schebler, Casali, Winker while healthy, and with 35 year old Votto still leaading the league in OBP.

      The entire NLC will likely finish the season above .500 except for the Cincinnati Reds. Now would be the absolute worst time to trade prospects for a player or two, run everyone back, and pray everything goes right. They need to be trading players from the 25 man roster to other teams and completely overhaul the make up of the team. If the Reds, before even managing to finish a season 70-92, are forced to trade prospects to try and cross the 70 win threshold, it will be an implicit admission that the rebuild was an abject failure.

      Open the wallet, Bob. Get creative with trading players that were part of 4 consecutive 90 loss seasons. And then, if by some miracle you are in contention, think about trading prospects in July.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I’m all about trading players on the roster. Scooter is a good candidate to be traded as the Reds only control him for one more season and he should have some decent trade value. Hamilton is in the same position as far as control but less value. In the right deal I’d consider trading Schebler, Winker, Iglesias etc. But whoever it is, trading is the best route to gain a top of the rotation pitcher.

        I keep asking without response, who do the Reds sign in FA? Keyshawn isn’t opting out to come to Cincinnati. Corbin wants the Yankees and they have the resources and need. Keuchel? It may cost $25-30 million a year to sign him. Is it worth the risk? Who else is worth considering as a top of the rotation starter?

      • Hotto4Votto

        Autocorrected, should have read Kershaw.

      • eric3287

        For me, it doesn’t just have to be a pitcher. There’s no reason they can’t make a run for Machado/Harper. But even more realistically, AJ Pollack makes them better. Yasmani Grandal makes them better. Maybe Grandal turns Tucker into a valuable trade piece. Maybe they sign a few free agents like that and turn some combination of Tucker and Billy and Schebler and Scooter and Iglesias into two or even just one starting pitcher.

        My larger point is I expect the front office to explore every option possible to add starting pitching without trading legitimate prospects. The only “prospect” I would probably be OK parting with is Shed Long just because the Reds seem to have no interest in promoting him anywhere. The point of a rebuild is to use these new prospects to make an extended run and keep that window open as long as possible. If you can field a team around Senzel, Suarez, Winker, Taylor Trammel, Jonathan India (for instance) you have 5/8 position players locked up really cheap for 6 years and allows you to over pay for help at other positions.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I’d like to see them make a run at Pollock for sure. If a QO though may make me rethink. Which is going to be a consideration on Keuchel as well.

    • Mike V

      I so agree .. Please do not trade the farm away for a short or long term deal on a starting pitcher who throws the ball 95 plus and will probably hurt their arm . GO OUT and buy one on the free agent market .. If you can’t afford one because they are overpriced .. do it anyway . That’s what the big market teams do and now they are all smart enough to also hang on to their prize prospects at the same time. It costs a lot of money to compete .. So just deal with it .. Of course its not my money being spent ..

      • Hotto4Votto

        Big market clubs do so because they can afford it. They can afford the risk of injury or poor performance because they can just spend more later. The Cubs can afford for Darvish to be hurt and Chatwood to fall flat on his face because they can just add more. The Reds are just under $70m in committed salary for 2019. Gennett, Hamilton, and Disco are up for arbitration which could amount to another $20 more in salary, there may be others up for arbitration as well, just not sure without looking it up. None of that covers the rookie wage scale of other players which may account for another 12-15 players, or $6-8m. Adding a front of the rotation starter will cost another $25-30m. That’s already more than their highest ever payroll of around $115m. That doesn’t leave any room for a Harvey-esque type pitcher, nor a CF upgrade.

        The Reds have more issues to upgrade on their roster than money available to spend without trading some salary or prospects to address those needs. They can’t outspend the bigger markets, it’s just not feasible.

      • Matt Hendley

        Disco’s Arb is going to be miniscule at best, maybe a million if he is lucky. It’s his first time though, he is an injury risk, and his numbers have been going south lately. SInce Arbitration still focuses on traditional statistics, rather then advanced statistics it behoves the reds to have him go out there and lose games. Hamilton will be Traded or non tendered. so the only question is Gennett, and if he is willing to take a hometown discount for years. the performance is there. As long as he is kept around 12 million a year that is worth it. I dont know where you got your false information but the reds highest payroll was 134 million dollars, less then 5 years ago. They have signed a new TV deal since then, they can afford a new starter, and can trade for another one with out touching the untouchables. (senzel, Greene, Trammell)

      • lwblogger2

        I don’t think they could get a top-tier starter in trade without including one of Senzel, Green or Trammell. Maybe they could use Winker as the headliner instead. What do you think would get it done? Archer cost the Pirates Meadows, Glasnow, and Baz. I would think a guy like syndergaard would cost at least that much.

      • Matt Hendley

        Glad you asked, first, Archers price was an over pay by the pirates. For of the mets pitchers, Aquino, Long and any two pitchers not named green, and if the mets say no walk away. Aquino is to risky for his upside, (looks like he could be a 200 SO guy just as easily as a Aaron judge guy) long is way back in a long line at 2B, and there are many pitchers, in the reds system that are tradeworthy.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I just looked it up, and I was off a little, I guess. Reds highest opening day payroll was $117 in 2015. I said around $115. Sorry if you consider an estimation false facts. I was trying to recall off memory. But I really don’t know where you’re getting $134 million , I’ve never seen that or heard that number.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I don’t think that’s opening day payroll. It says player expense which I would assume means year end and more than just players on 25 man roster. I don’t know. Again it’s a number I’ve not seen. But year end expenses isn’t what I was talking about to begin with. Everything I’ve seen and just looked up, from Red Reporter to SI, to Steve the Ump has the Reds 2015 Opening Day payroll between 115k -117k. That’s what I originally recalled.

      • Matt Hendley

        You know what you did infact. I apologize. The reds when ready to compete should be able to sustain 150 mil for 3 years before they need to win or rebuild though so the choice is comming sooner then later

  2. Brian Sands

    I had already mentioned this on one of your posts on Facebook, but…Due to a promotion from my satellite provider that started at the beginning of Aug. I am still able to watch Reds baseball for the first time in 5 or 6 yrs.

    Tonight was the first time I seriously thought about turning the channel after Harvey gave up his second 3-run HR of the game. I told myself I would watch all the Reds gms I could bcuz it had been so long since I was able to watch Reds gms. Tonight seriously tested my resolve. But….I am a die hard Reds fan so I stuck it out much like you did Mr. Dotson. Thank you for sticking it out for us.

    • Jim Walker

      Just a heads up about access to the Reds games on TV this year and beyond.

      Whether or not your provider carries the games in your area, if they have the appropriate agreement with Fox, you can stream the games using the FoxSports Go app. If you have a “smart TV” or a Roko or Amazon Fire device to attach to your TV, you can get the FoxSports app on either of them last time I checked. Also it can be downloaded for free for use on a laptop or tablet. I have a full cable package which carries FSOhio but as often as not I stream the Reds onto my laptop for convenience.

      This summer when I was visiting with family in Los Angeles, I actually watched some Reds games poolside via a tablet device. So, it works if you have internet access and a cable/ satellite provider with a general agreement with Fox regardless of whether they are carrying the Reds on their system in the area where you are located.

      • Scott C

        I live in Virginia and do not have access to FSOhio. I watch mine through ($119.00 a season) and can watch it my TV through my Apple Media Device) I can also stream it on my computer if I am away from home, except when I am visiting my son in Cincinnati. Blacked out.

      • Jim Walker

        If you have a cable, satellite, r streaming package like Sling or PSVue you should be able to stream the Reds using the FoxSports Go app for no additional charge. You log in to it with your provider account credentials, they verify them, and you are set to go. When I am out of my home area, the Reds don’t generally come up as one of the choices. I have to use the search function in the Fox app to find the game’ but once I do, it is no different than watching on the cable or streaming from home.

  3. Matt Hendley

    Maybe the rays non tender snell lol…..Actually i dont think the rays are going to trade snell. Not this offseason anyway. And archers non performance, should blare that risk. Maybe one of the second tier pitchers, blandino, and another pitcher (not greene). For him.

  4. Kap

    Means to an end, my friends. Means to an end

  5. Sabr Chris

    Milton is finishing strong, lots of positive momentum, he certainly will get the ball every 5th day next season.

  6. Matt Hendley

    Interesting comment from joe Maddon, Cubs manager. “Dont sleep on reds”

    • Jim Walker

      I saw that and wondered how deeply buried into his cheek his tongue was at the time. Or maybe he was trying to lull the Reds FO in complacency to discourage them from being very active in the off season???

      • greenmtred

        He might have been thinking of the 5 0r 6 weeks of good baseball the Reds played before the ASG. The injuries hadn’t derailed the offense yet, and the Reds were beating postseason-bound teams. It’s horrible now, unquestionably, but I think it would be a different story with good pitching.

      • BigRedMike

        5-6 weeks of decent play overrides 4 years of 90 loss seasons? Teams do not get injuries?

        The only player not out there now is Winker, and Ervin has been providing similar value to WInker. Reds do not appear to be winning games or scoring runs.

      • old-school

        I think he is supporting Riggleman for the job in 2019.

      • greenmtred

        Who, me? I’m not supporting anyone for the job. And, no, that good stretch doesn’t outweigh the 4 years, but it was,perhaps, a long enough stretch to show some possibility.

      • lost11found

        Reds have played the cubs tough this year. Add to that they don’t want to drop into the WC game and have to play LA, Col, Brewers, or StL using their best pitcher (hammels) when the rest of their rotation is not at their best right now. He wants Hammels in Game 1 of the NLDS. So I think its a legit reminder to his team to keep their heads in the game for the final 10 games or so.

      • Matt Hendley

        Comment was intended to be serious

  7. WVRedlegs

    Milton didn’t deserve to be associated with this loss. Two hits. Two lousy hits.
    Dick Williams seems to be whispering sweet nothings into the fans ears. While you are at it Mr. Williams pick up a couple of outfielders who can hit AND field. Hamilton can field but not hit. Schebler can hit but not field. That ball between he and Hamilton should have been his. Hamilton had to go a long way for it.
    Miami awaits. Big battle of the cellar dwellers.
    How many front office personnel will go to Miami with the wives in tow? A working vacation for those hard working front office gurus for a job well done this season. Sheesh.

    • Jim Walker

      Isn’t this one of the more miserable times of year in Miami because the sun is virtually right overhead most the day? But then misery loves company or so the saying goes.

      I’m hoping that since there is no longer any pretense of impacting on any playoff situation the Reds will start to play some the folks who haven’t been playing very much. Understand if Scooter stays in as long as he has a shot at the batting title: and If Eugenio thinks the RBI thing is worth it, maybe him. Otherwise no reason not to have looks at guys all around. And quit the darn double switching which makes the games go on even longer.

      • Jack

        Honestly Jim it’s a little to late to start looking at guys and sit Scooter and Suarez. 10 year rebuild is coming along nicely.maybe instead of predicting the Reds record next year we should predict the final attendance.

  8. David

    Well, overall, what crappy game. I watched it and was just a low level effort game by the Reds. They’ve already quit for the season.
    Riggleman, such a motivator.

    90 plus losses, it’s in the bag. Yeah, Maddon is just putting people on. The Reds are NOT going to climb over a bunch of teams that are working assiduously to actually get better. The Reds are just playing craps with their roster. The only team they could climb over would be whoever gets unlucky with injuries next year. 5th place again, 2019.

    Well done, Castellini. Give yourself and all the family that works for the Reds a raise. Hire Riggleman. Give Jocketty more authority. Watch the fans flock to the stadium.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I had the thought last night as well that the team has given up and are simply going through the motions.

  9. KDJ

    Chad, et al., unless the Reds are playing Atlanta, I do not get to see the games televised.
    So, I appreciate the recaps. Thanks for doing it.

  10. bouwills

    I get the Reds games on TV, but I am usually channel surfing by the 3rd inning. Reds baseball is a difficult product to watch -even for longtime fans.

  11. Klugo

    “…look to free agency…” That can mean SO many things. PR talk.

    • CI3J

      “We looked. We didn’t find a match, so we’re comfortable going into 2019 with our current roster.”

  12. Scotly50

    I stopped watching the Reds shortly after the terrible start. I will watch occasionally when the Reds start a young pitcher, Reed, Stephenson, etc. Otherwise I come here for the recaps.

    Kudos to the team of bloggers who have dutifully endured this mess the entire season.

  13. msanmoore

    I tuned out after the Aguillar bomb. Missed our chance to score before that and I felt a Milton coming on.

    Thanks for the forum to vent. It does help.

  14. Mason Red

    Six games left. Six games left. Six games left. What will we be saying this time next year? Six games left. Six games left. Six games left…

  15. Jeff Reed

    Six months goes by fast. Does the Reds ownership/front office have the will to get the team out of the last place rut? Big changes are needed in starting pitching, center field and management. If the page is not turned by those in charge, indifference will increase and fans will increasingly resort to the writeups and box score. Many thanks to the writers for a job well done in another losing season.

  16. WVRedlegs

    Harvey called his outing last night “dog #$%!”. Yes it was. So was the defense. So was the offense. So was the managing. Riggleman looked utterly defeated in his post-game interview. Three times he answered Piecoro’s question with “I don’t know what happened there.” It was not the look of a manager that had a “winning culture” and “positive momentum” behind him. It was pathetic.

  17. sultanofswaff

    From a pitching draft/development standpoint in the last 4 years, the Reds really couldn’t do any worse if they tried. An abject failure in every way except acquiring pitching via trade. It would be easy to posit that every pitching related person from the front office person to the instructional league should be summarily dismissed. Sounds extreme, but you literally have nothing to lose by wiping the slate clean and doing a force restart.

  18. CI3J

    You know, I’ve witnessed some pretty bad Reds seasons in my lifetime. But the way they played last night was about the most disinterested, uninspired baseball I’ve ever seen from any Reds’ team. There is not even a Ryan Freel type out there who is giving it his all even if the season was lost months ago. The players’ minds are already on the offseason, they are just bodies who are going through the motions at this point.

    Positive momentum, indeed.

  19. jeffery stroupe

    Hunter Greene heading to be next Brien Taylor. You cant pitch that way and expect you body to hold up. Put him in anther position before it is to late. What is going to happen is our pitching is i going to evolve with who we have but our position players are going to regress. That to me is obvious. Our starting 8 sucks. No matter who it is. RISP. Says it all. It is not the pitching. They will be better in time. I think the next good team is in the minors.