You didn’t have to squint a lot while watching the late innings of Thursday’s Reds win over the Padres to see some shadows of the Nasty Boys on the Petco Park mound.

Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett have very quickly established themselves as the most effective and reliable members of Manager David Bell’s bullpen in the early weeks of the season. It appears that they perhaps have impressed Bell enough to now be considered the go-to relievers in the late-inning “setup” situations – when the team is either ahead, tied, or behind in a tight game.

Thursday night, Stephenson put down a Padres threat in the sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh. Garrett blew away the Padres in the eighth, and closer Raisel Iglesias struck out the side in the ninth. Presuming that Iglesias can recapture the form that made him at times a dominant closer in previous years, the Stephenson-Garrett-Iglesias trio has the potential to become a similarly imposing force as the Nasty Boys for opposing teams to deal with in the late innings.

Randy Myers, Rob Dibble and Norm Charlton all threw hard for the 1990 World Champion Reds, and the same can be said for this present-day threesome. In the heyday of the Nasty Boys, opposing teams knew it was essentially a six- or seven-inning game. If opponents didn’t have the lead by that time, chances were slim they were going to mount a comeback. In what has been a very disappointing start to the season for the Reds, the development of a potential late-inning, lights-out bullpen corps is very definitely a highlight.

Game two of the four game series between the Reds and Padres at Petco Park begins at 10:10 p.m. Eastern time, with the Reds hoping to gain some momentum after breaking a four-game losing streak Thursday.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Anthony DeSclafani 13.1 7.43 4.88 25.8% 11.3%
Matt Strahm 12.2 4.26 6.20 13.6% 8.5%

Despite DeSclafani’s high Earned Run Average, he may actually have the advantage over the lefthander Strahm, at least on paper. DeSclafani’s xFIP, which uses a projected home run rate based on the number of fly balls allowed to balance out the effect of differing ballpark dimensions, is considerably lower than Strahm’s through the first few weeks of the season. Strahm was very effective last year in his most extensive stint in the majors, finishing with a 2.05 ERA primarily in relief. This season he has begun the season in the pitching rotation with mixed results.

Starting Lineups

Reds Padres
1B Joey Votto SS Fernando Tatis Jr.
3B Eugenio Suarez 1B Eric Hosmer
RF Jasiel Puig 3B Manny Machado
LF Matt Kemp CF Wil Myers
C Curt Casali RF Franmil Reyes
CF Jesse Winker LF Hunter Renfroe
SS Jose Iglesias 2B Ian Kinsler
P Anthony DeSclafani C Austin Hedges
2B Jose Peraza P Matt Strahm

Scott Schebler and Derek Dietrich are not starting tonight with a lefthander on the mound for San Diego.

Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.

News and Notes

  • Lefthander Brandon Finnegan is in extended spring training in Goodyear, Ariz., our Doug Gray reports. Finnegan cleared waivers after spring training and was outrighted to the minors, but he has not yet been assigned to a team.
  • In the category of “Things could be worse,” it was one year ago today when the Reds fired Manager Bryan Price after losing and falling to a record of 3-15. The 2018 team lost three more consecutive games under interim manager Jim Riggleman to fall to a season-worst 3-18. This year’s team is already three games ahead of the 2018 team’s pace after 18 games.
  • Despite playing six innings over three games in the outfield this season, Michael Lorenzen has not yet had a fielding chance on a fly ball.
  • Joey Votto expanded on his interesting post-Los Angeles interview with C. Trent Rosecrans in this Thursday post-game interview with Jim Day:

Cincinnati selected Turner, a former third-round pick by the Twins, in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft and carried him on the MLB roster for the entire 2017 season. He was heavily shielded from facing big league pitching, however, and hit just .134/.182/.244 with a pair of homers in 89 plate appearances. The Reds outrighted to Triple-A early in 2018, and he struggled to a .200/.265/.213 slash there in just 22 games during an injury-shortened season.

The article did not indicate to which minor league team Turner will report.

56 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    They should have started Lorenzen in CF tonight. With DeSclafani on the mound it’s going to be fly ball city. He would have gotten several chances. At least Dietrich isn’t out in LF. A win tonight gets them a step closer to a decent road trip.

  2. Sliotar

    “Things Could Be Worse”… I respect the attempt at optimism, but let’s keep things real.

    This team is massively underachieving offensively, compared to expectations. Last year’s team was expected to be an overall mess, and was a mess from Day One.

    Matthew Habel had a great piece today on plate discipline, and it inspired me to look up stats by batting order, minus 8/9 because P is in both (Thanks, FanGraphs)

    1st – 88 wRC+, 29.9%K, 9.1%BB
    2nd – 81 wRC+, 22.4%K, 7.9%BB
    3rd – 84 wRC+, 24.0%K, 2.7%BB
    4th – 118 wRC+, 19.7%K, 12.7%BB
    5th – 37 wRC+, 28.6%K, 4.3%BB
    6th – 34 wRC+ 22.7%K, 7.6%BB
    7th – 73wRC+, 18.2%K, 7.6%BB

    You see how bad the production is at virtually every spot, and it seems crazy that the Reds have even won 1/3rd of their 18 games.

    It also explains the shuffling David Bell has done, to try and get something going through what he can control

  3. CFD3000

    With a lefty on the mound Votto and Winker will have extra focus and the righties will feast. I’m not confident in Disco (or Iglesias) but would love to see them both pitch well tonight. I predict a 7-5 Reds win.

  4. matt hendley

    I was a little nervous with DIsco pitching tonight. But then I remembered, Erc Hosmer is in the lineup. It will be fine. Seriously, have a good feeling about tongiht

  5. Roger Garrett

    The bats come alive and Disco does it tonight.Go Reds.

  6. Joey

    Love the interview with Votto, keep that stuff coming.

  7. Sliotar

    Could you imagine the runs if anyone was ever on base when these “Oppo Tacos” occur?

  8. matt hendley

    GOod thing that SUarez is a day late to the Power show.

  9. vegastypo

    Marty asked David Bell on the pregame show whether Votto is going to be the leadoff hitter for the foreseeable future. Bell paused for a second and said, “He is tonight.”

    • Sliotar

      Nice post.

      A K rate of 30% in the leadoff spot isn’t a winning formula, regardless of who the guy’s last name is. Someone needs to get in there and seize that role.

  10. matt hendley

    Manny Machado with a Jose peraza hit

  11. ma

    And there it is, THat should be a peraza error, why is this guy in the field. Im sure his emotions are hurt. Don’t Care

  12. Sliotar

    Thankfully, Peraza’s hitting makes up for things like that. /s

      • Sliotar

        /s denotes sarcasm.

        I feel like it needs to be noted because Peraza has sure divided a lot of folks around here over the last couple of years.

      • matt hendley

        SO thats what that means. then totally agree

  13. VaRedsFan

    2 innings of works for Disco. Looking solid…pinpoint accuracy…and throwing a nice slider so far.

  14. VaRedsFan

    Tatis got a small piece of that one

  15. Preach

    Got the game on radio tonight. Nothing like working third shift!

  16. Indy Red Man

    Reds are hackmasters! Even Joey and Winker aren’t drawing walks? Its not even drawing walks either…its extending atbats and just waiting for a mistake. They just bail the pitcher out.

  17. Tom Mitsoff

    Sometimes you wonder if this team is ever going to start hitting the ball with authority on a consistent basis.

  18. Sliotar

    Let’s review Jose Iglesias last 3 days….

    Wed – picked off 1st
    Thurs – picked off 1st
    Fri – error on easy groundball

    Hard to believe he wasn’t scooped up the first day free agents could be signed last winter.

    Almost like other teams knew he isn’t really any kind of needle-mover.

    • matt hendley

      Lets review Jose Perazza for the last 2 weeks- Never made it to 1st.
      Today- threw the ball into the dugout

      Jose is getting to First. And yes he had a mistake today. But you dont go into a game thinking he will be an auto error

      • Sliotar

        LOL.

        You are quite the disagreeable fellow, aren’t you?

        If you feel the need to compare the performance of 2 replacement-level (at best) guys, this team is in even sadder shape than they are displaying tonight.

      • vegastypo

        In fairness, Sliotar, the Reds didn’t acquire him to be a needle-mover. With Peraza going 0-for-Chris Davis, who are you gonna play???

    • Rich H

      Sliotar, your appraisal of Jose Iglesias’ value to this team is laughable. Laughable.

  19. VaRedsFan

    That Machado drive looked like a goner when it left the bat

  20. Old-school

    Reds playing competitive entertaining baseball. Just minimally short to beat Pittsburgh and Milwaukee and LA. Far better than 2018…. Just not enough to win 85-90 games.
    Offense will change in June in GABP.

  21. Broseph

    Hoping Votto is close like he mentioned in the interview with Jim D. Because this is not pretty to watch. Here’s hoping his opening day t didn’t jinx him.

  22. matt hendley

    I have to admit, i was a little nervous when Tatis got on base. I calmed down, checked the lineup, saw Eric Hosmer was next. It was at that point I knew the Padres wouldn’t score

    • vegastypo

      So, I’m guessing that you had Hosmer on a fantasy league team, and he let you down?

  23. VaRedsFan

    Puig….just missed….a few feet left and it would have been gone.

  24. matt hendley

    Quality Start by Disco, relatively good work. Much better then his last 2 starts

    • ma

      Really do not want a game that starts at 10 PM eastern to go to Extras. Trying to sleep at some point

  25. Preach

    Only struck out the side 2 nights in a row…..big deal…..

  26. VaRedsFan

    Iggy looks totally confident again. Strikes out the side for 2nd straight game.

  27. Preach

    Dietrich once again. Ok, lets shut them down and get this over with

  28. matt hendley

    ANd that is why Deitrich is playing second, and Perazzas playing twidlelythumbs on the bench. Great Job now 3 outs away

    • vegastypo

      If I had seen this comment earlier, I would have asked, is there a certain prayer that can/should be invoked now ???

  29. Chris

    Why isn’t Amir Garrett pitching right now? Like right now?

  30. Chris

    Why didn’t Amir Garrett pitch earlier instead of Wandy Peralta if you weren’t saving him for this situation? He’s the best reliever we have by a WIDE margin. Like it’s not even close. And we are playing a close, extra-inning game during which he will not be used. That is stark-raving idiocy the likes of which I haven’t seen since Bob Boone…..

    • Chris

      Like is he hurt? Did his wife have a baby tonight? His ERA is like 0.5 and he throws 1000 mph… I. Don’t. Understand.

  31. Chris

    Hey! A winning streak! Same old Fathers!

  32. jreis

    we have the arms! FINALLY!! do the reds dare bring up Taylor Trammel soon just to bring some energy and Juice to this lineup?