Final R H E
Houston Astros (48-27)
2 7 1
Cincinnati Reds (34-38)
3 11 0
W: Bowman (1-0) L: Roberto Osuna (3-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

It’s the Jesse Winker show and we’re all just sitting here and enjoying it. It was a big day for Winker, who led the Reds to a win with a walk-off single to give the Reds the game and series sweep.

The Offense

Yasiel Puig got the Reds on the board in the 2nd inning with a 428-foot solo home run off of Gerrit Cole. In a pitchers duel, that would be all of the damage that the Reds offense would do for quite a while. In fact, they entered the 9th inning, trailing 2-1.

But facing off against the Houston Astros closer they got things going with a Jose Peraza ground-rule double to lead off the bottom of the 9th. Back-to-back pinch hitters came up, but Tucker Barnhart and Joey Votto both struck out. The lineup turned over and that brought Nick Senzel to the plate. The rookie took the first pitch he saw and hit a laser at 105.3 MPH for a line drive single into left field to tie the game up. He moved up to second base on the throw by Michael Brantley. With the winning run standing at second base and plenty of speed to get home, Jesse Winker stepped up, already having two hits on the day. Like Senzel, he took the first pitch he saw and he put it into the outfield, just by a diving second baseman as Nick Senzel raced around third and scored – beating the throw home by a decent margin.

Yasiel Puig had two hits in the game, including his home run. Jose Peraza also had two hits in the game. Nick Senzel walked, as well as his game-tying hit. The team had 11 hits in total on the day.

The Pitching

After his last start, Tyler Mahle was upset that he was pulled early. Today that wasn’t the case. The right-hander threw one more pitch today than he did the last time out, but instead of being pulled in the 5th, he finished the 7th inning. He allowed two runs, both in the 6th inning on a Michael Brantley homer, while walking just one batter and striking out seven. Matt Bowman came out for the 8th inning and kept the Astros off of the board. But it wasn’t without controversy. Jesse Winker threw out Tony Kemp at the plate and the Astros challenged the play. They lost their challenge and the inning was over. Bowman returned for the top of the 9th and he worked around a single to keep the score at 2-1 and give the Reds a chance.

Notes Worth Noting

Matt Bowman has allowed one earned run in 11.2 innings this season for the Reds since his call up. That’s a 0.77 ERA for those keeping track at home.

Jesse Winker is heating up. He’s hitting .308/.386/.513 in June.

Welcome back Jose Iglesias, who continues to be a magician.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Milwaukee Brewers

Thursday June 20th, 8:10pm

Tanner Roark (4-6, 3.63 ERA) vs Jimmy Nelson (0-1, 10.29 ERA)

81 Responses

  1. Scott C

    I have noticed that Thom has jumped on the Jesse Winker bandwagon with his “Da Wink” calls. It doesn’t seem that long ago that he was bashing him for not having any power and taking too many walks and being just a terrible fielder.
    Winker still my favorite player but have to say, there are quite a few I like on this team outside of Winker and Votto. Senzel and Castillo, Lorenzen, Garrett and now I think Bowman. Go Reds.

    • RojoBenjy

      Very good win. Good performance by a lot of players.

      Very good rebound game by Mahle—I think he challenged himself to do better after his last game. Also like his moxie in buckling down again in the 7th after he had given up the lead in the 6th.

  2. matt hendley

    Reds need to do the same to the Brewers, Then we can start really talking about third place.

    I remember when the Cubs ended their continued placement in the Cellar during the middle of the decade. One day they were there and a week later they were in 2nd place, or so it seemed. Could this be the reds on the way up.

    • RojoBenjy

      Matthew- I believe what happens in the Brewers series will tell if the team is maturing.

      If they come out flat and uninspired—we know that they have further to go.

      The pattern has been glimpses of very good baseball between longer periods of ho-hum. It would be so much fun if this series win becomes the catalyst for them to believe.

      • vegastypo

        Well, it’s easy to look “flat and uninspired” if you’re just beaten by a better team, so don’t read too much into that if it happens. But the Astros are a better team too, but sometimes things happen.

  3. SFRedsFan

    “Worked from home” today here on the West Coast so that I could watch this game. Such a great game to watch live. Pretty sure my neighbors heard my yelling at the screen as Da Wink knocked in Nick. This team is so much fun when they are actually hitting. Tyler M had one heck of a game. The pitching this year blows me away. I can’t help but believe that the bats are going to continue to heat up….and with Scooter and Wood on the way, this could be a very fun run-up to the trade deadline. GO REDS!

  4. wizeman

    This is getting fun. Like so many of us hoped it would. I know that Winker was jumping around along with Senzel, Puig, and pretty much everybody else…. but the smile David Bell had on his face as he came out of the dugout was pretty good.
    Guy is doing a great job.

  5. jreis

    Winker and Peraza are really starting to look comfortable at the plate! Exciting times to be a reds fan! Bell is going to have a ton of options when Scooter returns!

  6. Wayne nabors

    Great comeback win,glad the kids got to win the game after the wasted at bats by Barnhart and votto,well pitched game by mahle,hopefully this sweep jumpstart this team

    • RojoBenjy

      Having Senzel and Winker come through after the vets failed feels very different.

      Hoping it is a catalyst, springboard, or what have you for a step toward maturity.

      Good times today.

      • Joey

        Loved seeing them 1 and 2 in the lineup and doing what we thought they would all year.

  7. vegastypo

    I remember Jeff Brantley saying earlier in the year that if Bowman hadn’t been limited in spring training, he likely would have made the Opening Day roster. He only pitched six innings in the spring.

    • David

      His two innings today, gave Raisel, Lorenzen and Amir Garrett a day off.

      Hopefully, Bob Stephenson is healthy again.

      Garrett may be going through one of those wobbly periods that pitchers have, when the just get hit hard for a while.
      He will probably shake it off in a week or so.

      The Manager should always go with the hottest hand for relief, until they are not hot anymore.

  8. Old-school

    Opening day great win.
    Puig walk off against Cubs great win
    Suarez Homer off Cishek at Cubs great win
    Iglesias Homer to beat Mets great win.

    Today may be the best win. Reds beat Verlander and Cole back to back. Puig hits a Homer. Young guns rally in the 9th to reset the season at 4 under. Go Reds.

  9. Redgoggles

    We may have caught HOU looking ahead to a big series against the Yanks (and a bit shorthanded), but I’ll take it. Meanwhile, let’s keep it rolling against the Brew Crew…..a nice opportunity to make a move.

    • RojoBenjy

      They also caught them without Springer, Correa, and mostly Altuve. And to their credit, they took advantage of it.

    • Pete

      Speaking of rolling..the Astros have been rolling very well since May 1st. Haven’t lost a series since, until this week. I’m not going to downplay the significance of this series, this is big step for the Reds. Whether they continue to build on it is the question. Doesn’t seem like the Astros “look ahead” much. I think they destroy all in their path.

      The Astros aren’t making excuses and I would hesitate to make any for them.

    • greenmtred

      They might have been looking ahead, but I bet that stopped after the first loss and, if not then, certainly after the second.

  10. indydoug

    For all the talk of how Winker is a disappointment, here’s :
    Player A .251/.326/.465/.791
    Player B .250/.329/.470/.799

    and just to make it interesting, here’s:

    Player C- .261/.320/.461/.781

    He’s been pretty similar to both.

    • RojoBenjy

      Where is the mostly disappointment narrative coming from?

  11. CI3J

    It’s a lot to ask, but if the Reds can take 3 of 4 against the Brew Crew, that would put them at 37-39 before facing a struggling Angels team for two games, then finish up the first half with a 9-game homestand against the Cubbies, Brew Crew, and Tribe.

    The Reds should absolutely push for as close to a .500 record as possible heading into the All-Star Break. 15 games left. I think 9-6 is a fair shout, given the competition. That would put the Reds at 43-44, which should also put them within realistic striking distance of the Wild Card.

    It’s doable, but the Reds have to perform.

    • greenmtred

      Speaking of looking ahead…the greater the expectations, the greater the rage and anguish when they aren’t met. Proof of this maxim is available at RLN on a regular basis. Great series win, though, and yesterday’s walk-off (I only caught the last two innings) was about as exciting as it gets. I yelled so loudly that my dog is still nervous this morning.

  12. Old-school

    Verlander is 19th on the All time strike out list. He should get #3000 early next year. Gerrit Cole is leading MLB in K’s with 149.

    • RojoBenjy

      The high cheddar at 99-101 mph is no joke!

  13. Sliotar

    It’s time for Marty to retire. Great run, but Father Time is undefeated and I repeatedly was told about Alex “Bergman”.

    That said, while driving for work, listening to the raw emotion in Marty’s voice when he realized Winker’s contact had made it through the infield, and the Reds were going win, was pretty cool.

    Especially when he had said moments earlier than the Reds “could not spell the word bunt” after Barnhart’s strike out and failure to move the runner over. LOL.

    • vegastypo

      Marty’s funniest moment was when he kept teasing Brantley for not getting the answer to the Scoreboard Stumper … even though he did.

      The question was to name the four NL first basemen to have won an MVP since 2000. … Brantley says Votto right away, and Marty acknowledges it. Later in the inning, as Brantley gets Bagwell, Ryan Howard and Pujols, Marty begins to have a good ol’ time teasing Brantley that he can’t believe Brantley couldn’t get the last one. …. Marty gave the “missing” answer of Votto as the commercial break began, and then the next inning, he gave a “shame on me” for forgetting that Brantley had said Votto right away.

      The guy’s voice really is a ‘soundtrack of summer’ for me, but he is 76 years old.

      I kinda wonder if this stuff is why he was tempted to walk away after last season.

      • RojoBenjy

        I’ll give Marty a pass since this is his swan song. He probably knows all of the above.

        What’s impressed me most about him is his involvement in the Dragonfly Foundation since the day he had his hair buzzed off. That has changed my overall impression of him being selfish.

      • Mason Red

        He’s a Hall of Famer and been the soundtrack of summer for me since he came on board. I for one will miss him.

      • Pete

        Me too Mason. He is the background music of many a summer. He can do play-by-play with anyone. I think the man has a heart of gold.

  14. DHud

    Can Winker be an everyday player yet? Or is he still not proving that he wants to be?

    • Pete

      Can he hit lefthanders? If they are seriously competing to win a playoff spot, no? If this is strictly a rebuilding year, yes. I don’t know what it is but JW has never shown he can hit LHP. I can support Bell either way but I certainly can understand if he doesn’t – I don’t see the argument here.

      • DHud

        116 career ABs vs LHP

        That’s about 2 months worth of ABs for 25 yr old who frankly is raking right now

        If you want to label him as “can’t hit LHP” based on that sample size, fine. But he’s done more than enough to earn chances to break that label at this point

      • Pete

        Look at the minor league numbers. They should count in any evaluation… Maybe he struggled against lefties in high school, I’m assuming the Reds have the numbers they need to decide one way or the other. I’m not pushing hard either way, in this case I trust Reds management to make the right call. For now, and until they believe the post season isn’t in the 2019 plan, Bell should put the best lineup on the field each night. Jesse needs the earn the privilege to play against lefties, as the Reds see it.

      • PhP

        But this is a catch 22. How can he earn it if he never gets consistent ABs?

      • DHud

        There that is again: “he has to earn the privilege”

        What more does he have to do to “earn” it? When he’s in the lineup, he hits.

        He can’t “earn the privilege” of facing LHP to prove he can hit LHP unless he’s allowed to face LHP.

        The whole argument is backwards. It’s like needing more experience for a job that you need to get experience

    • Pete

      If the guy has shown he has never hit LHP effectively and we are competing for an entry into the playoffs, and if someone else has a better track record of hitting LHP to play the same position, I don’t see how we can argue with Bell’s strategy. The Reds do not place baseball to further Winker’s personal interest, they play baseball to put themselves in the best position to win games. I’m okay with this. If and when the Reds fall out of contention, I would guess Jesse gets the opportunity you want to have.

      Given his history, I would guess there is a very good chance he never hits LHP well enough to start against them on a regular bass – he’s been at this for awhile.

    • greenmtred

      If nothing else, he could be the designated runner every time Suarez hits an infield grounder.

  15. Sliotar

    It has arrived. The WInker-Senzel foundation that we all discussed here during the dog (really dog) days of Brennan Boesch, Patrick Kivlehan, etc, running around in the outfield over the last 4 seasons.

    (Good job, Bell/Johnson/Whoever, getting Mahle 7 innings).

    Play The Kids.

  16. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Not just a win, but a huge win, especially for this team.

  17. Curt

    Asking because I honestly don’t know, how much longer do we have Votto under contract?

  18. Tom Mitsoff

    Don’t forget Winker’s throw from left to cut down an Astros run at the plate in the ninth and keep the deficit at one run.

    • vegastypo

      Good point, because when the Astros made the poor throw from the outfield to try to get Peraza, they ended up giving Senzel second base. What a finish !

    • Steve Mancuso

      Crucial play. Winker Star of the Game. Casali’s tag on that play also great.

      • vegastypo

        So, what exactly were the Astros challenging on the play? That Casali blocked the plate too soon, or that maybe Casali somehow missed the tag? He looked pretty clearly out to me.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yes, that Casali moved across home plate and blocked it. Chris Welsh was on it. Pointed out that the throw took Casali across the plate and that’s an exception to the rule. He thought it was an easy “call stands” situation. Thom, who doesn’t know the rule, said he thought the call would get reversed. Result: quick “call stands.”

  19. Klugo

    As hot as Puig and Votto are right now, they are still hitting in the .23oish and .250ish respectively. Gives you an idea of just how bad they were early on.

    Leaving Mahle in there today put the onus on the offense and they answered the bell. I like it. If a pitcher allows just two runs in 7 innings, it’s not his or his manager’s fault if they lose. Even if those two runs are scored inside of his final three outs, or over his hundredth pitch, or his third (or fourth) time through the order.. The bats can’t expect their starter to shutout the opponent. They have to expect to score at least three to win. Everyone has to do their job. THAT’s teamwork. Now, 3+ runs is usually a different story.

    • matt hendley

      its almost like they called it a quality start for a reason.

  20. Jreis

    I love the mad dashes for home by both Senzel and Peraza in the ninth. The desperation and determination in their eyes showed me something today about this team. For the first time in 5 years the players are starting to believe.

    • greenmtred

      Well, it was only a few games ago that the Reds looked listless and moribund, so I’ll wait, fun as this series was, to anoint this the dawning of a new day. Also, it was just about a year ao that the Reds were playing some good and spirited ball. It didn’t last, alas: talent will out. Senzel and Peraza were both safe, clearly, but neither run was a gimme. Sometimes speed does matter.

      • Old-school

        I’ll wait as well. Great series but this team has yet to even get to .500.

        Jon Morosi tweeted one NL central observer told him the Reds have what it takes to make a second half run- and are open to adding a controllable hitter at the deadline.

        Not sure where he would hit once scooter is back.

  21. VaRedsFan

    Both Winker and Senzel hit the 1st pitch they saw, which proves you don’t have to take pitch after pitch to work the count. If you get a good pitch to hit, swing….the count doesn’t matter.

    • RojoBenjy

      They ambushed the closer who was probably counting on them running up the count, so he tried to sneak a first pitch strike. Good job by the hitters.

  22. Mark Moore

    Just watched the bottom of the 9th. Those 3 guys The post-game was fun to watch and even hearing Thom was a blast today.

    Broomed a very good team … that doesn’t happen all the time by any stretch. Fun to be a fan today.

    Oh, and wasn’t this a set of game threads by MBE? What’s her record this year?

    • vegastypo

      I was asking the same thing about Mary Beth. There are stats for EVERYTHING, right? The answer is out there somewhere !!!!!

      • yorktownred

        MB has 2.3 WAR (Baseball Reference) and 1.9 WAR (Fangraphs)

      • vegastypo

        Nice ……. If she keeps this up, she’ll be an MVP candidate by the end of the season !

  23. John Ring

    Impressive sweep of a good team. Winker needs to play, period. Find out if he can hit lefties. Play him. Let’s find out who he is. The Reds need to build off this. If they come out flat in Milwaukee, something is seriously wrong and I will be seriously upset.

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree John but so far who knows what’s going to happen with this team.Nelson goes tonight and he is making his way back after Tommy John.I would think we could hit the first 3 pitches we see out of the park.I could also see 3 roll over grounders to the infield on the first 3 pitches.Reds until they aren’t are consistently inconsistent with the bats and are 12th in a 15 team league in runs scored.Throw in 15 games with scoring 1 run or less and you have a team that is what it is.Will it change?Why not I can remember Hal King just like every other older guy so we shall see.

  24. matt hendley

    The Red that got away, Brandon Dixon, blasts a 2 run Monster nearly out of Comerica (about as opposite to GABP as you can get) en route to the Tigers destroying the Pirates. Looks like he will be a tiger for a while

  25. Reddawg12

    No matter what happens against the Brewers, the Reds were really impressive in this series agains the Astros and they beat some really good pitching. Despite all the injuries, the Astros were 10-4 in June before Monday, and had won 15 of their last 21 games overall. They are one of the best teams in baseball and were rolling heading into this series and the Reds swept them. The last few days have been really fun.

  26. Grand Salami

    Wesley (and others) have noted this stretch was sink or swim territory for this team. About 5 days ago, sink looked to be all this team knew how to do. My how things change. They still have quite a ways to go but this team is now winning close and without yet ‘breaking out’ offensively. And that is preferable over Votto, Puig, and others simultaneously en fuego for 30 days and then the lull. This team is so much fun to watch and these recent pieces (DD, Farmer, Puig and Iglesias) only add to it. Hear’s hoping they can compete enough to keep this group together because it’s the most entertaining since those days of Baby Bruce, Homer and Cueto with Arroyo and Leake

      • Seat101

        We knew what you meant!!

        @JimWalker. Did you wonder, as I did whether Tucker would’ve made that same play that Kurt did?

  27. CI3J

    In the last 2 weeks:

    Winker: .276/.344/.552

    Puig: .302/.333/.581

    Votto: .302/.400/.535

    Those 3 guys are carrying the offense as early heroes Dietrich and Suarez have absolutely cratered. Even Senzel has fallen off a bit, but he’s still finding ways to get on base and contribute.

    If everyone could start hitting at the same time, this team could be really, really good.

  28. Jreis

    I feel the Brandon Phillips era is finally coming to an end. The players are no longer just out there ” playing loose and having fun”. The goal is no longer just to entertain but to win now.

    I always felt BP took over the leadership of the team after Rollen left after 2012. He was a showman for sure and I always felt Votto and Suarez followed his lead and tried to become showman as well.

    It will be interesting to see who takes over the leadership role in the days to come. Votto doesn’t seem to want that role and Suarez just seems too laid back for me. I actually think Senzel could eventually take on that role as he gains more experience

    • Mason Red

      The Reds wouldn’t have had the success they had without BP. This team could use someone like him today because of his talent offensively and defensively plus his leadership. I really don’t understand the criticism. BP is the second best second basemen in Reds history only behind Joe Morgan.

    • VaRedsFan

      Suarez clowns around on the field as much as BP ever did. Things like that don’t concern me. It’s their way way of staying loose, and having fun. All teams have a mix of personalities, clowns, happy go lucky, quiet, serious, grumpy, ect. When they overlap and are cohesive, the team grows tighter, and plays better…then Enthusiasm Breeds Enthusiasm.

  29. matt hendley

    Tonight starts the 4 game series against MIL. Obviously, another sweep would be nice. However, a series victory 3-1 will still show positive momentum for the Reds in making up the ground in the central. It will be an interesting 4 games.

  30. Old-school

    There are calls in Pirate land to blow it up and start over. The Archer for Meadows/ glasnow trade may be the worst trade in pirate history. Gerrit Cole for 4 Astros didn’t land near the prospects it should. Now it looks like Opening day starter Jameson Taillon may need a second elbow surgery after Tommy John several years ago.

    The reds will end the string of last place in the NL central.

    • greenmtred

      They might still find a way, Old-School. Not counting chickens for a good while yet.