[My first recap since May 3 when the Reds blew that 8-0 lead against the Giants on Nick Senzel’s debut. Seriously, Doug, it wasn’t my fault.]

Reds 2 – Nationals 5 | Game 58 of 162

Box Score | Win Probability | Exit Velocity | Pitch Velocity

Run Prevention

Tanner Roark threw six innings allowing four runs by his former team. All four runs scored on two homers. Roark struck out 6 and walked only one. His ERA is 3.47 and xFIP is 4.48. In most cases, a pitcher’s ERA heads toward his xFIP faster than the reverse. 

Michael Lorenzen, who hit 99 mph on the radar gun a couple times, and Amir Garrett covered the seventh and eighth innings. Matt Bowman gave up his first run of the year in the ninth. 

Jose Iglesias made an outstanding defensive play on a grounder against Yan Gomes in the seventh inning. 

Run Production

Tanner Roark (kind of unusual to start this section with a pitcher’s name) drilled the first home run of his career 380 feet to left-center to score the Reds second run. His safety squeeze bunt two innings earlier had scored the team’s first one. 

Here’s the safety squeeze. Perfect bunt by Roark, great execution by the runner, Jose Iglesias.

The Reds had 8 hits and 4 walks but couldn’t get them sequenced. Eugenio Suarez and Derek Dietrich each had a couple hits. Tucker Barnhart had a hit and walk. 

The Nationals bullpen is on pace to be one of the worst in the history of baseball, yet they managed five shutout innings today. 

Josh VanMeter pinch hit and once again looked overmatched at the plate. I understand the temptation to call him up given how hot he was at AAA, but it seems past time to get Phillip Ervin up to the majors. He could play LF against LHP instead of Jose Peraza. He’s a better hitter and fielder in that position than Peraza. 

Playing Time

John Fay had an interesting idea for how the Reds could find playing time for both Derek Dietrich and Scooter Gennett when the latter returns to the lineup in a few weeks. 

The Reds have nothing at stake in Puig. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season. It wouldn’t be a stunner to see the Reds shop him at the trade deadline. In fact, it would be surprising if they don’t. 

What’s Next?

The Reds (27-31) and Nationals (25-30) take the field again tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 PM ET. The starting pitching matchup features Sonny Gray and Max Scherzer (26, RHP). Between them, Gray and Scherzer have won three Cy Young Awards. 

24 Responses

  1. matt hendley

    Oh, someone opens up their own for-pay site and then doesn’t have time for us peasants, lol.

    Not only would Ervin be a superior option against LHP in LF, but he may also be a better 2B as well. lol.
    Philles are about to lose (or just lost) ostrubel Herrera (SP?) to a DV suspension. Puig could serve as an option for the Phillies who have gone all in at this point. it’s a thought. Mariners (who we will play) just declared they will be sellers. Jay Bruce, on the move supposedly, could there be someone there that could fit into the confines on GABP.
    Its a loss. Series on the line tommorow, Reds gotta win it obviously,

    • Mason Red

      So with the Reds in contention you would trade Puig? For more prospects I presume? Yes the Phillies are all in to win. Why can’t the Reds be all in too without always looking for that pot of gold at the end of the endless rebuild rainbow?

      • Pete

        I’m with you. Let’s see where this thing goes. Over the last several seasons the Reds have been horrible and maybe we aren’t use to being a good ball club. Who knows, this may be the great year – not next year or two, three, etc, years from now. No way in the world I’d trade Puig right now. Most here are happy to win series, it’s okay but let’s try to sweep a couple?

        Steve didn’t mention it but Jesse is back to rolling over on the ball and rolled right into two more rally killers.

      • MFG

        Agree, I am tired of the Reds always being “sellers”. Ride this season out and if some players walk after this season, they walk. It is almost like a probationary period for some players. If you like what you see , pay up to keep them in Cincy. Peraza is not very good and should only see the field as a pinch runner. Ervin should be called up, VanMeter sent down because he needs at bats. I like Farmer from the right side more than I like Peraza. GO REDS!

      • greenmtred

        The Reds are still theoretically in contention, but Puig probably won’t be here next year, anyway. I like him–he plays hard, fields well–but he was really brought to Cincy to hit. He might turn it around, but he looks over-matched right now.

  2. Wayne nabors

    wasnt aware gray won cy young, he was 3rd in voting 1 year i think,but never won

    • Brian

      Scherzer has won three. That’s the joke

    • Rick in Va

      I think Max has 3 Cy Youngs, so if Sonny has none that equals a joint total of 3.

      • Wayne nabors

        Shonuff went over my head haha

    • ToBeDetermined

      I know that was a sneaky one. I thought. Wait a second hasn’t scherzer won 3

  3. jreis

    Another game that proves the reds have not quite arrived. But, as the write up suggests, things are starting to sort themselves out. This Dietrich guy can really hit and has to be in the lineup everyday.

    Puig is fun to watch and entertaining but lets trade him

    I think Winker is starting to skate on thin ice here as well. these double plays are killing the team right now. while his defense has improved there are guys in the minors chomping at the bit to take that corner outfield position with better defensive skills and baserunning skills. So if he doesn’t start to hit we have to think about packaging him as well.

  4. Curt

    “Josh VanMeter pinch hit and once again looked overmatched at the plate.”

    I disagree, he didn’t look overmatched, he looked like he was aggressively trying to make something happen with a pitcher that wasn’t throwing strikes. There’s a difference. Nick Senzel did the exact same thing following Van Meter and surprise, also struck out. Did he look overmatched?
    As Matt Hendley pointed out, what it looked like was that they failed to get the scouting report on Tanner Raney and had they both just stood there and not swung at all they most likely would have walked. Even Thom said something to this effect in the booth.

    Additionally, I don’t see the “once again” element of being overmatched either. Having watched every one of VanMeter’s at bats as a Red, I’ve yet to see one that I would say he looked overmatched, regardless of the outcome.

    What confuses me is why you would bring up a young kid who’s been hot in the minors only to let him sit and gather dust on the bench? And when you do put him in, it’s the difficult task of pinch hitting in a high stress situation. Huh?
    The only way to find out what these kids can do is to play them.

    A team like the Dodgers are calling guys (plural) up and putting them in and they’re producing. Just tonight, first time call-up Will Smith is catching Clayton Kershaw and then wins the game with his first HR, a walk-off, in the show. Bam! If you’re gonna call them up, you gotta play them. If you need a pinch hitter, use a veteran.
    Just my two cents.

    • MFG

      Totally agree with you, VanMeter has yet to look over-matched and the Reds should not have called him up just to ride the bench. He and Farmer off the bench never look over-matched.

  5. Reddawg12

    Honestly, this has been a pretty disappointing home stand. In order to finish with a winning record, the Reds will need to beat Scherzer today which is a pretty tall order. I thought two series against the Pirates and Nationals at home might be a chance to really gain some ground after the 6-5 stretch against the Cubs, Dodgers, and Brewers (and Cubs again). The Reds have shown tremendous improvement this season, they just don’t have the consistency yet.

    If they can ever make a real run and put together a winning streak of 7 or 8 games, things are going to get very interesting. But it remains to be seen if they can.

  6. scotly50

    The Reds as a team continue to not do the little things a winning organization demands of its players. To day, it cost the Reds two runs. The first Votto knocked in a single to center and did not hustle to first and was not able to take second on the throw to the plate. Then. Barnhardt was not running on contact, with two outs on a ground ball to first and was unable to take home when he realized the ball had gotten by the first baseman.

  7. Matt WI

    Winker is unfortunately trending into Brandon Phillips territory in the GIDP category. Some rally killers.

  8. Sam

    Inconsistent hitting hitting on this team is been the story all year long. The team batting average is UNACCEPTABLE

  9. old-school

    Very tough 9 game stretch upcoming.
    The Reds are 10-16 against the NL Central this year. Winning starts there.
    They get 10 games in June against NLC foes starting with a 3 game road series in St Louis Tuesday. They made progress against the Cubs but then gave back opportunities against the Brewers and Pirates. If the Reds want a winning season and to get out of last place, it starts by winning 2/3 against the Cards.

  10. Steven Ross

    According to my Fangraphs, the Reds chances of winning decreased in the first inning when Jessie Winker into yet another double play thereby ending a huge opportunity to put up a crooked number.

  11. old-school

    Its good to see Votto getting hits and providing quality at bats again. That said, over the last year, in 577 PA, he has 10 home runs. His ISO was .099 the second half of last year and is .119 this year. He can be a good #2 hitter, but it looks like his days of 25 HR seasons are definitely over. He will need to cut down on his 22%K rate and improve his 11.6% BB rate if he is to succeed as a #2 hole hitter.

    • Shchi Cossack

      @old-school, I believe you are probably (and unfortunately) correct about Votto’s diminished power. Votto’s days of a even a consistent .180 ISO appear to be behind him, but Votto’s ability to produce positive results may still be around for a while as he adapts to his capabilities.

      In the 14 games since returning from the Bay area west coast trip, Votto has slashed .345/.391/.431/.822 with a 17.2% SO rate and a 7.8% BB rate. His SO rate and BB rate continue to appear negatively impacted by an inconsistent and inaccurate strike zone called by the umpires, but his ability to deliberately spoil borderline and pitcher’s pitches has improved dramatically. He also has a current 18-game on base streak with just 1 GIDP in 85 PA.

      • Old-school

        Yup. Votto can adapt and be a good 2 hole hitter. I’ll take .290/.380/.420/.800.

  12. Steve Mancuso

    First of all, the premise of the suggestion to shop Puig is that he’s not hitting and that getting Gennett and Dietrich’s bat in the lineup against RHP would make the offense better, not worse.

    Beyond that, people who are “tired of selling” must not have a memory back past 2016. It was precisely the paralysis of never cycling the roster in 2013-2015 that got the Reds into such deep hole. Smart organizations look for the right time to let players go to create space for new ones. The only exception to that would be if the team is obviously in a pennant run and the Reds aren’t there yet.

    Trading a couple months of Yasiel Puig is hardly wholesale “selling.” If the Reds can find value for him, they should do it.

    • matt hendley

      Indeed, my suggestion of YP to the Philles reinforces that assumption. As an all in team, and now with multiple players on either long term (mccutchin) or forever contracts (harper), the Phillies would be more than likely to part with near MLB ready talent, which should be the goal of any trade made this season. Furthermore, the trading of upcoming FA should not be wholesale in nature. There are players that the Reds should maintain should they want to compete both in this year and the next few. Puig, unfortunately, is not one of them. For him, the BEST case scenario is a performance over the remainder of the season that validates a Qualifying offer that he would then turn down and then become an extra draft pick. Should a team offer a superior package to that outcome, then the reds should take the opportunity. I chose the philles as a target due to the long term nature of Domestic Violence suspensions, which OH seems to be heading toward.