Final R H E
Washington Nationals (26-33) 4 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (27-32)
1 3 1
W: Scherzer (3-5) L: Gray (2-5) SV: Doolittle (12)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Some days you run into an unstoppable train. Max Scherzer was that train on Sunday and he took care of the Reds like the Cy Young winner that he is.

The Offense

There wasn’t much to write about today from the offense. Back-to-back doubles in the 4th by Joey Votto and Derek Dietrich brought in the Reds only run and also represented 2 of the teams 3 hits. Tucker Barnhart also had a double to lead off the 8th inning. Josh VanMeter would draw a walk and Jesse Winker wore a hit by pitch as the only other Reds to reach base. The team struck out a combined 16 times during the game.

The Pitching

The arms did better than the bats, but it was a mixed bag. Sonny Gray allowed 2 runs in 5.0 innings. The righty struck out 4 batters and walked just one, throwing  88 pitches with 55 strikes and generating 9 ground outs. His ERA now sits at 3.54 on the season.

The bullpen got shutout innings from Amir Garrett and Wandy Peralta. For Garrett, it lowered his ERA to 1.82 on the season. Michael Lorenzen recorded 2 outs before being replaced by David Hernandez. He got the final out of the 7th, but was charged with 2 runs in the 8th inning. He left runners on base when Raisel Iglesias came on with 2 outs trying to hold onto a 2-1 lead. He would not be successful. He walked the first batter to load the bases, then gave up a 2-run single to Brian Dozier on an 0-2 count. Peralta came on for the 9th inning and kept it a 4-1 game.

Notes Worth Noting

The Major League Baseball Draft begins on Monday night and runs through Wednesday. Rounds 1 and 2 will take place Monday, followed up by Rounds 3-10 on Tuesday, and then Rounds 11-40 on Wednesday. For up to the minute coverage on that, I’ll be working non-stop at for that one. The Reds will draft 7th overall. My personal Top 20 draft board can be found here. All of the pre-draft scouting reports can be found here.

Joey Votto’s double in the 4th put him into 4th place on the All-Time doubles list for the franchise. He now has 382, trailing Rose, Larkin, and Concepcion. He’s likely to catch Concepcion this season, who has 389 to Votto’s 382.

Joey Votto’s got some defensive skills left.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at St. Louis Cardinals

Tuesday June 4th, 8:15pm ET

Luis Castillo (5-1, 2.45 ERA) vs Genesis Caberera (0-1, 7.36 ERA)

40 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    Max Scherzer is a future Hall of Famer, and an old school “gamer”, in my book. Someone who would do anything asked by a manager to win a game, including trying to pinch-hit some runs in, if need be.

    Besides a classic from him, one thing stood out for me today:

    Eugenio Suarez is now the lynchpin of this team, if he wasn’t already before 2019.

    In his prime, signed on an under-market deal…when Suarez is not starting, the Reds are missing:

    -Only guy besides Dietrich with WAR over 1.0 this season
    -Only guy besides Dietrich with superior wRC+ (110 or above). Suarez at 130.
    -Only guy besides Dietrch with Slugging Pct. over .500.
    -Only guy besides Dietrich with more than 5 HRs.

    Dietrich turns 30 next month. Maybe he will produce like this for years to come…or maybe not. Suarez is younger and proven.

    The Reds are far less dangerous on the few days Suarez does not start.

    • Vancouver Dave

      I’m a Suarez fan, too. But Winker and Puig each have 10 home runs.

      • Sliotar

        Look down below.

        Puig is producing at less than 2/3rds of a league average offensive.

        Lots of non-production around those 10 HRs.

        Winker is younger, and has been under a platoon threat all this year.
        The Reds have to be more patient with him, given the team’s overall lack of young talent.

        Puig’s excuse? Can’t see one. Dodgers knew what they doing, it seems.

    • matt hendley

      agreed, but everyone needs days off once in a while. I think that his day off was today cause DB was ceeding the game.

    • justlisten2019

      Sliotar, I know that for some reason, you just do not like #JVMVP, it’s clear in most of your posts. But JV is still the best hitter on this team, and has more productive seasons ahead of him. Votto has started slow, but is picking up. Votto is only two seasons removed from an MVP that was stolen from him based upon HR. I think he is still the most talented hitter on this team, and he will be for the next few seasons.

  2. matt hendley

    This week also ends the Draft pick compensation for Craig Kimbril and Dallas K. WHich means both will sign by Friday. The only question is where.

    This game showed why Jesse winkers double plays hurt so much yesterday. Reds will not suffer losses like this many more times this season. need to win the middle ones where you knock the starter out in the 4th and the bullpen is the worst in the NL.
    Facing a deteriorating STL pitching staff without YM for the next three games. Possible to get out to a good start on the road trip.

  3. Sliotar

    Even when Suarez starts, today’s no. 2 and no. 5 hitter….

    Votto – 0.0 WAR for the season (wRC+ 88)
    Puig – minus 0.3 WAR for the season (wRC+ 64)

    The Game Thread has become more testy/less fun in the last couple weeks.

    I get the frustration…but when the Reds are running out below-average offensive players in the top 5 of the lineup, day after day….

    I don’t see any “10-game winning streak” on the horizon to get them into serious playoff contention. More than the bullpen choices need to be shook up, IMO.

    • matt hendley

      agreed that Suarez is the Reds best player. But until scooters return, there is no long term solution to move Puig. DD is the only batter that could arrange for OF Defense and a bat. Peraza is obviously a nogo, JVMR has disappointed. Farmer evidently isn’t being considered an OF on the defensive side. Puig has produced before, And as his current production is underwhelming, making him in effect untradable, he gets rewarded for his lack of success.
      Votto, on the other hand, has taken off recently, despite his (questionable) strikeouts today he also managed a double and scored the only reds run. He has been on a tear since the CUbs series. He keeps up remotely near to the last 10 days, his WAR will jump upwards.

      • Old-school

        Reds need to get younger- period. Senzel may need to come back to the infield to maximize his talents as a foundational player. If the reds lose the series to the cards, time to sell. This team isn’t good enough with the every day 8.

  4. redsfan06

    Following this team is like watching a wreck in slow motion. It has to be time to drop Puig in the batting order.

    • Lwblogger2

      And Votto actually. Although Joey is showing signs of coming around so maybe hold off on that. .342 OBP, while not good for Votto, is good enough to hit 2nd in this lineup.

  5. FreeHouse

    We all know Puig has made more contact with his knee when he breaks the bat after an at bat than he does with the ball. It’s going to be interesting once Gennette is back because the way Dietrech has been playing he looks like he will pick up an outfield spot. Winker might be the odd man out because of his defense.

    • Lwblogger2

      Loving Dietrich but he’s even more abysmal than Winker defensively in the OF. I’m not sure how this will all shake out but it’s actually a good problem for the Reds to have.

  6. WVRedlegs

    With Jose Lopez getting dumped from the 40 man roster with the draft tomorrow is interesting timing. Could they be wrangling to get a Comp. Bal. A pick in the range of the one they traded to NYY??
    They could take in a veteran with salary due and a CBA pick for a prospect or 2.
    The timing is interesting. The intent is unclear.

  7. Old-school

    The reds are better but the NL is good. They are the 4th worst team and just lost 2/3 to the 3rd worst team. It’s naive to say how close they are to to the wildcard, when the majority if NL teams are closer. The NL is good. The NL central is good. It’s getting time to make big decisions for 2020.

    • Jim Walker

      If there is a realistic path for the Reds to get to the playoffs, it is to win the NL Central. The teams all beat up on each other about equally. If the Reds “could” win most of their intra-divisional games while the other 4 beat on each other, they could actually make up ground on all 4.
      Of course the Reds would also have to play better against the league at large than the other 4 NL Central; and, they have not demonstrated that propensity either.

      • Jim Walker

        Part of what made this weekend so disappointing to me is that the other NL Central teams were matched against each other. Every game the Reds won would have guaranteed them to gain on somebody.

      • Old-school

        They get 3 against the Cardinals next. They simply must win 2/3.

    • Pete

      Agree, the whole week was a disappointment: 4 against Pittsburgh and 3 against Washington, we go 3-4. This was a big week and all games were certainly winnable except today. Didn’t really change much in the larger picture but made it a little more difficult.

      A 7-8 game winning streak would be just what the doctor ordered. I think winning on a continuous basis 2 of 3, series after series, might not be realistic. A decent winning streak or something like winning 10 of 13 games would provide a wider berth when they have these stumbles.

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree this team is better then in the past but we still are a last place team until they prove they aren’t.Nobody is coming back the Reds,they must go past them.Team is just so consistently inconsistent on offense.Still struggle to manufacture runs,still struggle to move runners over,still struggle to come up with a big hit.Pounded Corbin on Friday and after he left through Saturday’s loss they were shut out for 8 innings by the worst bull pen in the league.Yesterday was the 12th time this year they have scored 1 run or less in a game.Just won’t get it done if this continues.Lots of guys on one year deals which is ok but need to decide if anybody such as Ervin and others need some time to see what they can do.No need to keep running Puig out there although I personally like him,I see no scenario at all that he is here next year.To me it all comes down to the fact is this ownership looking to win and win a lot or just looking to compete.The moves they make will let us know.Go Reds.

  8. matt hendley

    BAL, KC, SEA, MIA, and SF are the worst teams in their prospective leagues. None are as close to their 1st place teams as the Reds are to theirs. SEA, a team with a strong start that tanked, (figurative not baseball FO sense), 16 GB, just began to shed parts with the trade of Jay Bruce today. Kansas City, (21 GB) ‘opened for business’ yesterday, TOR, (18GB) protected from the bottom of their division only by the presence of BAL has still not made a concerted effort to move assets yet. SF (16.5) has also not tried to move any of their assets, despite having a proverbial whos who of OF go through their stadium this year.
    POint is this. The REALLY BAD TEAMS, like horrible teams, have only just begun to move towards officially selling. The Reds (6.5GB, 5WGB), still have significant time to decide what they are doing as far as the deadline and other actions. They are also not out of the Central Race. They have to beat NLC teams that is for sure, but there is zero reasonable reasons to throw in the towel right now. This team is competitive. Posesses one of the top rotations, that will be augmented in about a month. They have A four WAR bat roughly 3 weeks away. Votto is heating up. Many of the struggling players could make the nessasary adjustments to reach their career norms. THis team should not be thinking about selling right now. Allow the situation to develop for a few more weeks, and see what Blandino, Gennett and Wood get you, and then in July we will have a much better point to make a decision.

    • Pete

      Agree. I wanted to see how the team looked in May before dealing for prospects and they did okay. Now I willing to wait out June to see if they can take another step forward. Losses like today really don’t sting. Losing to a 3-time Cy Young winner is almost mandatory but yesterday… We are close but still not there.

      Puig and Winker have to get it going or we can kiss any realistic chances in 2019 goodbye. Have to give it to Votto, he found a way to remain productive.

      • Jim Walker

        @Pete> Lot’s of guys at AAA hitting the cover off the ball similar to what VanMeter was before he was brought up (to sit). How much rope should Winker and Puig get before some of these guys are given an everyday chance at MLB?

        It is starting to seem like the Reds have traded one generation of entitlement for another one.

    • greenmtred

      I agree with you, Matt. Losing two of three to the Nats is a bucket of cold water in the face, but it’s also the way the cookie crumbles (cliches are good). We collectively get unreasonably optimistic after a couple of dominant wins, and unreasonably pessimistic after a disappointing loss. A loss to the best SP in the league, a future HOF. The pre-season near-consensus here seemed to be that this year was probably a .500 finish, or close to it. That’s very much within reach, and so is a better record than that. Play ball.

  9. C Holbert

    I do not understand why people keep thinking Blandino is going to add. He is another light hitting, middle infielder. We have enough of those already. Farmer has more power, and they both hit RH. When Scooter returns that pushes DD somewhere, not quite sure what Blandion adds that is not already there. Some may say JVMR is where Blandion goes, they are the same kind of player and JVMR is LH. Peraza seems to have staying power and his age and control seems to be the reason.

    • Wayne nabors

      Agree blandino adds nothing,decent off bench,but nothing else

  10. Scott Gennett

    After past two series results against Pirated and Nats, I think it’s safe to say Reds are already out of contention. Unfortunately, despite FO offseason efforts, the combination of an inexperienced manager, Gennett’s injure and poor performances from several players (Puig, Peraza, Votto, Winker and Schebler) makes a long winning streak very unlikely. Even though they’ve received unexpected contributions from Iglesias and Dietrich, yet Puig, Winker and Schebler (before demotion) poor numbers cannot be overcome.

    • Mason Red

      They are 6 1/2 games down in the division and 5 back in the WC. You want to throw in the towel? Sell for more prospects? How many more years of rebuilding do you want? Giving up one possible winning season for hopes of one 2,3,4 or more years down the road makes no sense to me.

      • scotly50

        The issue is the way the Reds went in this year. Half the team is in the final year of a contract. They are not going to sign all of the players whose contracts are up this year. If they do not sell then they will get nothing. It would be better to sell and at least get something in return.

      • TR

        The Reds inability to reach .500 and stay there is frustrating for fans, but I would not give up on the 2019 season just yet. A lot often happens to teams in the second half. The return of Scooter, hopefully Wood, and possible trades could make a positive difference. The Reds are not yet that far back.

  11. VaRedsFan

    Votto did a have a good week. And the Reds scored a ton of runs
    6, 6, 10, 9, 5, (he had 13 hits) before they they scored 2 and 1 over the weekend. (he had 1, check swing bloop double)

  12. BigRedMike

    Puig is now tied for last among qualified OF’s in WAR on Fangraphs. He licks his bat though.

    The Reds have 3 players with a wRC+ over 100, excluding the back up catcher

    The pitching has been great, due to a combination of performance, coaching, a manager decision making. The pitching is likely not good enough to support the awful hitting. There is little to no hitting help coming and Dietrich and Iglesias will return to norms at some point.

    Not sure there is a path for this team to pass 4 teams in the NL Central.

    Schebler has been pretty poor in AAA as well. That was a bad decision to utilize him out of spring training. Ervin is a much better option.

    The decision making of the FO in regards to pitching is encouraging. Getting two starters on minor league contracts is as well.
    The trade with the Dodgers is not working as hoped, but, it needed to be made. Puig is hurting the team right now and no value has been derived from the other players in the deal.

    • Pete

      Actually, I think Farmer has provided value. Didn’t figure he would be the only one.

    • VaRedsFan

      How come Iglesias and Dietrich can go back to “normal”, but Votto, Winker and Puig can’t?

      • matthew hendley

        I believe the term is pessimism

      • BigRedMike

        Hopefully they will improve. Gennett and improvement from others will offset any regression of Iglesias and Dietrich. Also, it is not like Iglesias is some amazing hitter, below 100 wRC+.

        Votto will hit better, not sure the power will return. Who knows what normal is for WInker at this point. Seems that it he will improve. To some, Puig has really been producing, is there really any room for improvement there?

        Hey Matthew

        Puig is really producing as you noted. Impressive wRC+ of 61.
        Any other snide comments?

      • matthew hendley

        Iggy the SS is not a great hitter that is to be sure but he is two things. A better hitter then Peraza and a MUCH better defender then Peraza. With no other SS options on the table retaining him would leave SS as a strength.

        Big Mike go ahead and show me ANYWHERE in this thread that I claimed Puig was producing. (I think I will find hours later that I am still waiting on a response for that)

        And yea, it is a sign of pessimism by a lot at RLN, that every good player is going to regress but no one who is having a bad season is going to return to Career norms. And yea it is a sign of pessimism to give up on the season in early June while only 5 back.

        before you make snide comments yourself try backing them up in Facts. I research my opinions now, not just the 5 second let me find the stat that supports me look. GTFOH

    • RojoBenjy

      Kemp coming out flat (or did he mail it in?) was very instrumental in the 1-8 start.

      I was so glad and shocked that they released him as early as they did. Which they would have done it from the beginning, but you can understand how they hoped that he would give some value.