The Reds are 8-5 in the past 13 games. This was a good win against a contending team. 

Reds 7 – Atlanta 6 | Game 22 of 162

Box Score | Win Probability | Exit Velocity | Pitch Velocity

Run Prevention

Sonny Gray threw five strong innings before being victimized by shoddy defense. He struck out 9 and walked none in 5.1 innings. Atlanta got to Gray the third time through their lineup, although to be fair, they didn’t hit the ball particularly hard against him even then. 

Robert Stephenson was brought in for a super-high leverage situation to relieve Gray — one out in the 6th and a runner on third with the Reds trailing 4-3. Stephenson threw 8 consecutive sliders to strike out the two batters he faced, preventing the run from scoring. In 12 innings, Stephenson has struck out 18 and walked only two.

The Reds defense left a lot to be desired. Eugenio Suarez bobbled a routine ground ball. Scott Schebler dropped an exchange on a fly ball, allowing a run to score. Jesse Winker had a rough night in LF, including playing a high fly ball down the line into a double. Winker had a long way to go because of the OF shift. Gray himself threw a wild pitch that led to a run. 

Joey Votto made a nice play on an errant throw by Suarez in the 8th inning, preventing the leadoff runner from getting on base. Michael Lorenzen came in to play CF in the 9th and made a nice play ranging far into left-center to record a crucial out. 

Wandy Peralta started the 7th inning and gave up two hits, with Atlanta cutting the lead to 7-5. Peralta has pitched 8 innings with 5 strikeouts and 3 walks. He did retire one batter before being lifted for David Hernandez. Hernandez struck out Josh Donaldson and Freddie Freeman to end the Atlanta threat. 

Jared Hughes pitched the 8th. After a career year in 2018, Hughes has struggled in 2019. Relievers. He gave up a walk and a double, making the score 7-6. He then let Dansby Swanson steal third without a throw, representing the tying run. Hughes then struck out Tyler Flowers. Amir Garrett came in with 2 outs in the 8th and a runner on third to face fellow lefty Ender Inciarte. On the first pitch, Inciarte hit a routine ground ball to second for the third out. 

Raisel Iglesais came on for the 9th. Matt Joyce doubled on Iglesias’ first pitch. The Reds then got a gift from Atlanta leadoff hitter Ozzie Albies who popped up a bunt for the first out. Josh Donaldson flew out to deep, deep left-center field. And Freddie Freeman grounded out to Joey Votto to end the game. 

Run Production

Yasiel Puig got the Reds on the board in the first inning, blasting the first pitch he saw from Kevin Gausman 432 feet into the upper deck in left-center. It was Puig’s third homer of the year. Jesse Winker, who had singled, scored on the play. Puig had the hardest-hit ball of the night for the Reds (111 mph EV), a ground ball out in the 5th inning. Puig’s homer EV was 105.7 mph. 

Tucker Barnhart put the Reds ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth with his second homer of the year. 

Sonny Gray contributed two perfect sacrifice bunts to the offense, both on first pitches. 

After the Reds had given up the lead in the top of the sixth, they put together a big bottom of the inning. Jose Iglesias singled, Derek Dietrich bunted for a single down the third baseline against the shift. Jose Peraza got ahead of a slider and pulled the ball down the third baseline for a double, scoring two runs and giving the Reds a 5-4 lead. Joey Votto walked and Eugenio Suarez was intentionally walked to load the bases. Manager David Bell lifted Jesse Winker against a LHP for pinch hitter Phillip Ervin. Ervin, who was called up today to take injured Matt Kemp’s place in the lineup, took a walk that forced in a run. Yasiel Puig followed with a sacrifice fly giving the Reds a 7-4 lead. 

Joey Votto returned to David Bell’s lineup tonight after sitting out the last two games of the road trip with a stiff back. He walked three times and singled. Iglesias had two hits and reached on an error. Winker had a walk and a single. 

The Reds, who were last in MLB in walks coming into the game, drew 8 unintentional free passes. 

Power plus plate discipline is a winning formula.

Rotation Tweak

The Reds announced they were flipping the starting pitchers on Thursday and Friday. Luis Castillo will pitch Thursday and Anthony DeSclafani will handle the first game against the Cardinals. Interesting choice to take Castillo out of the Cardinals series. 

Senzel Debut in Louisville

Nick Senzel returned to regular game action tonight in Louisville after rehabbing his ankle in Goodyear. Senzel sprained his ankle sliding into 2B on March 25. Early estimates were that he would miss 6-8 weeks, but it’s only been four. Doug was at Senzel’s pre-game interview this afternoon. Watch the video of that interview here

Senzel hit leadoff and played CF for the Bats. He singled in his first at bat. 

Senzel struck out three times at the plate and finished 1-for-5. 

What’s Next

The Reds (9-13) play Atlanta (11-11) tomorrow in game two of the three game series at 6:40 p.m. at GABP. The starting pitchers are Tanner Roark and Mike Soroka (21, RH). I’m looking forward to attending my first game of the 2019 season.

48 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    Schebler’s 4 K’s should have made the run prevention section. Cool breeze. The platinum sombrero.
    Reds pitching wasn’t too bad, 14 K’s and only 1 BB. Braves pitchers walked 9 Reds. The score shouldn’t have been so close. Good win getting series off on the right foot.

    • VaRedsFan

      4 K’s is Golden, 5 is Platinum

      • WVRedlegs

        I don’t know why I thought 3 was golden. 4 K’s are bad no matter what color it is. Ole.

  2. Old-school

    Good win. Braves are tough and can score runs.
    Go reds.

  3. ohiojimw

    Michael Lorenzen ran down a fly ball like a CF. He positioned himself to throw then caught the ball like a CF. He threw it like a CF (no real surprise on that one). If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be……..

    • Sliotar

      If it gets him away from the bullpen, great.

      There are enough bums out there as it is, being covered (for now) by a few good ones.

      • ohiojimw

        My fantasy is that somehow Lorenzen gets enough ABs to show the man he has grown into cam slug consistently enough to be an everyday CF for a couple of years until they can get it sorted out whether Siri will hit enough or Trammell’s defense is good enough to be an everyday CF (Trammel will play somewhere everyday but maybe corner instead of CF).

        This would free Nick Senzel to be back on the IF (2B) immediately versus having to play several years in CF.

    • RojoBenjy

      I would love to see Lorenzen as everyday CF. He still makes me nervous when he takes the mound. Love the guy and I think he is the real answer to CF for now as well.

  4. Davy13

    Steve,

    Do you think that the pitching rotation is more about getting Castillo out there on his 5th day and keeping the routine since he’s pitching so well than keeping him out of the Cardinals series?

    Thanks!

    • Steve Mancuso

      Good question. I expected one of the beat writers to ask and get an answer on why. But so far, haven’t seen anything. Yes, keeping Castillo on 5th day AND trying to get him an extra start?

  5. Sliotar

    Tonight’s offense was more like what we all expected to see from Game 1.

    The other side….yikes.
    7 pitchers used.

    Only 3 times so far has a Reds starter recorded at least an out into the 7th (Gray once, 6.1 and Castillo twice at 7.0).

    Chris Welsh, while Jared Hughes labors on mound like an 800-year man, “at some point, you have to figure out who is pitching the 8th inning.”

    Naw, Chris…there was this master plan that Iglesias would pitch high-leverage whenever, the rest would take care of itself. That lasted like 2 weeks.

    This team desperately needs upgrades from Wandy and Hughes. Amir Garrett is on pace currently to appear in about 90 games as it is.

    • D Ray White

      Always be trading relievers. Hughes and Hernandez should’ve been flipped for whatever they could get.

  6. Matt WI

    Great to see the offense pick up the slack for a change. Need some serious work on the leather though. Yikes

  7. Matt WI

    Also… anyone else have the feeling Puig is about to get hot?

    I really like Votto/Suarez at the top. Good things will happen.

  8. James

    Is anyone associated at all with Reds baseball other than David Bell (front office, coaching staff, other players, fans, beer vendors, etc) actually ok with Jesse Winker being a platoon guy? Cause if he isn’t going to be given an opportunity to play against lefties, that’s a big let-down. Even if Kemp had been killing lefties all year, it still wouldn’t make sense to me why Winker wouldn’t be given an opportunity to show how his on base skills would play even if it was down in the order. This guy is supposed to be one of the key players on this team for the next 5 years.

    • ohiojimw

      Part of having a new boss is the need for folks to prove to the boss they deserve opportunities. Winker hasn’t done that this year in terms of OBP in the chances he has been given. When he does pick things up in those chances, he will in all probability get more chances.

      It is good he was upset about being pulled. Maybe he shouldn’t have shown it so openly; but, it is good he has a fire and desire to be in those game deciding situations. Now its up to him to use the frustration from being pulled as motivation to get his all around offensive game going.

      • James

        I didn’t know anything about him being upset, I just know that I have only seen him start against 1 lefty and haven’t seen him face a left-handed reliever all season. And let’s face it-none of the other outfielders have been hitting anyone yet this year either (Puig starting to heat up). But shouldn’t the new guy coming in at the end of a rebuild use the young guys who are supposed to be at the center of said rebuild?

    • Steven Ross

      I feel the bigger question begs to be answered: why is Schebler still penciled in as our starting CF? How bad does one have to get before we give someone else, Ervin, an opportunity?

      • Big Ed

        That will happen the day Senzel is deemed to have enough ABs at AAA to be ready. Probably about Derby Day.

        Schebler had his chance. He blew it.

      • RojoBenjy

        I would love to see Ervin everyday or in platoon and let Schebler patrol the outfield in Louisville.

        If Bell needs a left handed bat, just have Ervin move to the other side of the dish. He couldn’t have performed any worse that Schebler did last night.

      • greenmtred

        Schebler looks really bad, but he’s been better in the past, and he’s not old. Maybe he has the same mysterious virus that the rest of the hitters have to start the season. He’s likely to return to an approximation of his past self which, at least, would increase his trade value.

    • RojoBenjy

      Personally, I think Winker should have been removed from the game after turning Donaldson’s routine fly out into a run-scoring double, especially on the heels of having just granted a LEFT FIELD triple to the Braves. He embarrassed his team and the city, and the skipper should have returned the favor by embarrassing him and instantly replacing him with Ervin.

      As it turned out, Bell was a bit more gracious than that and sat him down under the guise of a pinch hit opportunity. If Winker wants to beef, he needs to beef with himself for playing recreation league defense for a professional baseball club.

      I’m glad Bell did it. Sends a message–“Don’t suck or there will be consequences.” This is the accountability that so many fans have screamed for during the last 5 years.

      Winker should be sending a case of Sonny Gray’s favorite beverage to his house today by way of apology.

      • CP

        “He embarrassed his team and the city, and the skipper should have returned the favor by embarrassing him and instantly replacing him with Ervin.”

        What planet are you from?

      • greenmtred

        I think the benching had to do with the left-handed pitcher. If Bell benched every Red who botched plays, there’d be a very small number of players taking the field. I admit, though, that I’d consider benching Suarez the next time he jogs to first on an infield grounder.

      • ohiojimw

        I missed Winker’s misadventures in the field. But I agree on accountability being needed.

        I believe Winker often gets a pass on his defense and lack of speed on the bases because many look at his offensive skills and see an almost Joey Votto. But for now at least Winker is an OF and not a 1B or DH and has to pull his weight in the outfield.

        And having Ervin available changes the dynamic. He is a 1st round pick himself (1 year sooner and 20 picks or so earlier in the round than Winker). At 27 he’s out to prove he is more than a roster filler. He’s more athletic than Winker and had a strong final third of a season at MLB in 2018. Don’t write him off just yet.

      • SoCalRedsFan

        So, you’re saying Schebler should be benched for his embarrassing night at the plate? That, I can agree on.

  9. Scott Gennett

    The offensive went 2-for-11 with 11 LOB. Special recognition to Schebler with 4 K’s. Two errors on the defensive side. One caught stealing. Very poor performances by Peralta and Hughes on relief. I’d say the took this game by a hair.

    • RojoBenjy

      Agreed. That’s why I’m glad all W’s are worth the same amount! Whew!

  10. Old-school

    Braves are top 3 in most every hitting category in the NL.

    The Reds are just 1 game behind the Brewers in the loss column. Go reds.

  11. Ted

    They need to get rid of Schebler now. He has been absolutely dreadful all year, especially at the plate in high-leverage situations. He’s literally a detriment to the team winning pretty much every game….nothing positive from him. Leave Ervin up here and when Senzel gets here figure it out. This isn’t that hard. Why do they keep running a guy out there who is basically 0-fer on the season in every big situation he’s come up at and is a negative in the field. The record should be 2-3 games better but isn’t because of him. Both he and Kemp need to go away once Senzel is ready

    • TR

      I’ve never been overly impressed by Schebler who has good skills but comes across as an on again, off again type player similar to Bruce in his later Reds years. The outfield, this year, should be Senzel, Winker and Puig backed up by Ervin. Winker is a natural hitter and should be a regular in the lineup.

      • RojoBenjy

        If Winker starts hitting like he is capable of hitting, I would like to see him everyday. Otherwise, the cost in defensive gaffs is not worth it. He was really exposed in this game, especially because he didn’t make up for it with his bat. To the counterpoint that Bell didn’t give him a chance because he pinch hit Ervin, I have given my view on that above. I saw it as a message being sent, not a strategic matchup move.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Schebler is historically about a 1 WAR player, and he’s looking like less than that so far this season. Don’t be surprised if when Senzel is ready, Schebler goes to Louisville — particularly if Ervin takes advantage of opportunities and shows well while he is up.

      • ohiojimw

        I agree Tom. I’ve thought since the day Dietrich was signed that once Senzel was at MLB, the final LH hitting bench spot came down to he or Schebler.

        Dietrich is a career ~110 OPS+ guy, Schebler closer to dead average, 100. Both are negative dWAR guys as OF. Dietrich such as he is can also fill at 2B and the corner IF spots which seems to give him the nod.

        A real key to this situation is whether Ervin stays up since he is at least as viable in CF as Schebler. Aside from his own performance, that largely depends on what happens with Kemp and whether the Reds go to a 5 man bench if/ when Kemp is back.

      • Matt WI

        Shebler is also a case example of allowing Spring stats to speak too loudly. If I’m not mistaken, he killed it two springs in row. Last season he got injured quickly. This season, he just stopped being able to do what he was doing against Spring competition.

    • Matt WI

      Two bunts really, but two distinctly different ones–
      1) Dietrich who was bunting intentionally for a hit against the shift, which worked out.
      2) The Braves attempt at a sacrifice with a runner on second, down by a run which turned into a foul pop-out to Barnhart. Even though it made sense, that was a HUGE free out to the Reds.

  12. Redgoggles

    The (2) run scoring double by Peraza to retake the lead was big, hopefully will get him going. Seems like him and Schebler need a jolt of confidence. Maybe, just maybe the offense can get going and we’ll go streaking.

  13. Seat101

    Reading most of the comments one could get the impression that the Reds lost the game.

    I guess Santa has some stealth protection when flying over your houses.

  14. David Moore

    I’m loving it! It feels like this team is starting to come together. Yeah, there are some holes, but I’ve seen enough to be excited again about the Reds. Dug a little hole to start the season, but I think we’re going to make a little noise this year!

    • Seat101

      I am with you!
      For the first time in years I am paying attention to the National League Central Division standings.

      Go New Red Machine!

  15. Roger Garrett

    Homers and walks get in done in wins or in losses.As long as we hit more of em and walk more then we win more.Hughes is not an 8th inning guy.Guy has a great sinker but he is not a swing and miss guy.Hernandez maybe but Bob and Garrett for sure.Good team win but it could have easily been a bad loss.Its just baseball and we win and that’s all that matters.Didn’t watch but if Winker was upset about being pulled then that’s a good thing cause he should have been but he knows as we all do if he had been performing as he eventually will then he hits.Its on the players because Bell is trying to win games and egos ain’t in the deal.Go Reds.

  16. PhoenixPhil

    I was at the game last night and noticed something that was (I thought) weird. During pitching changes Puig would go into the Reds bullpen. Anybody else see this or know why? My brother said, “I think he has the trots.”

  17. MK

    AwHave to wonder if some of Kemp’s hitting problems could be vision related. Did you see those glasses he had on in the dugoutlooked like the bottoms of pop bottles.

  18. jreis

    I agree with a lot of the comments above. This teams pitching has the ability to be the best staff we have had since the 1930s-40s and we hit a lot of homeruns but without better defense and base running the best this team can be is a .500 club.

    I agree with giving Lorenzen more looks at center. Also maybe we give Peraza some starts in the outfield as well. Ervin is not Roberto Clemente by any means but he can score from second on a single and plays decent defense. Kemp cost us the game on Sunday and WInker nearly cost us the game last night.

  19. Pete Blowers

    I realize patience is difficult and because of this, it is considered a virtue. Schebler and Peraza are off to very bad starts but Scott had a wRC of 109 and Jose a WAR of 2.7 in 2018. It wouldn’t be wise to give up on these guys – hang in there folks. Reds are playing winning baseball and both these fellows will be contributing sooner rather than later – Jose started this last night.

    Also, Bell is showing he might know what he is doing.