WEST CHESTER, OH. – The Cincinnati Reds have lost four games in a row, being swept in the two-game series in Anaheim. Just when they had put together a good run of games with an impressive six-game win streak, they remind us who they are. Something we shouldn’t forget.

That’s not meant as a negative comment so much as a reality check. It’s easy and fun to get carried away with winning. That’s why we’re called fans, short for fanatics. Irrational optimism is part of the job description.

The Reds are no longer the terrible team they were for the past few years. That’s undeniable. But they also aren’t a particularly good team yet, either. It’s a hard truth, but this is what improvement usually looks like. It’s gradual. And not in a straight line.

The Cubs come to town this weekend. Then the Brewers and Cleveland before the All-Star break. All games at home. Plenty of good and important games coming up.

Someone from the pitchers’ union must have scheduled this game for 5 p.m. local time. The batters struggled with shadows until the middle innings. At times, it appeared the hitters couldn’t even see the ball.

Reds 1 – Angels 5 | Game 78 of 162

Box Score | Win Probability | Exit Velocity | Pitch Velocity

Run Prevention

Tanner Roark made it through 5.1 innings. He’d thrown 95 pitches, allowed four hits and two walks. He struck out six. The only run he gave up, thanks to some spiffy relief pitching, was a homer to Justin Bour. He was lifted in the 6th inning after walking back-to-back batters. Roark lowered his ERA to 3.36.

I suppose Reds fans can hope there’s still someone in a position of power in a front office who cares about ERA. But there are so many other better metrics to use, including composites like ERA that are superior to ERA, it’s hard to imagine. ERA is what Roark’s got going for him, at least for now. He’s an extreme fly ball pitcher. And he’s given up a higher-than-average amount of 95-mph EV balls. But Roark has only given up home runs on 7.5% of his fly balls this year. League average is around 15%. That’s going to catch up with Roark and so will his ERA. 

David Bell brought the high leverage relievers in right away, as he should. Amir Garrett came on to get two outs in the 6th and pitched the 7th. Bell had Raisel Iglesias warming up during the 7th just in case Mike Trout came to the plate, which he didn’t.

Trout did lead off the 8th and Bell brought Iglesias in then. It’s a perfect case of bringing in your best (or second-best) reliever in the tough situations. Trout, Ohtani and Upton in a 1-1 tie would fit that description. Iglesias pitched around Trout and walked him. He then threw wildly to first base on a pickoff attempt, with Trout moving to second. Ohtani singled to LF, but Trout stayed at third. Iglesias got an infield out and a strikeout. But then Angels third baseman David Fletcher hit a soft ground ball (82 mph EV) between third and short that went for a hit, scoring Trout.

But that was just the start, as Iglesias then grooved a pitch to Justin Bour, who smashed it 392-feet for a 3-run homer. Another spectacular failure for Iglesias in relief.

The narrative forming around Iglesias pitching in non-save situations misses the point. The vast majority of relief pitchers are inconsistent. Iglesias has been in the category of more consistent than usual for a couple years. But this year, he’s up and down. It isn’t about saves and non-saves. That’s a distraction.

Run Production

Not much for the bats other than a 405-foot homer by Yasiel Puig in the 5th. It was his 17th of the year.  The Reds had only five other hits, including a Jesse Winker double. They drew just one walk. The media’s “runners in scoring position” narrative is pretty ridiculous when the Reds only had six base runners. 

What’s Next?

The Reds (36-42) come home for a huge nine-game home stand, starting Friday with a three-game weekend series against the Chicago Cubs (43-36). The game Friday starts at 7:10 p.m. The starting pitching matchup features Sonny Gray and Cole Hamels (LH). 

91 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    “but this is what improvement usually looks like. It’s gradual. And not in a straight line.”

    For the Reds front office, in Year 5 of this “rebuild”….perhaps.

    Other teams that went the severe tank/re-build showed vast one-year improvement in Year 5 of the same process (Astros, Cubs)….

    Still others are doing it in Year 3 (White Sox, near .500 and a youthful core in place already after only 2 years of sell/tank/95+ losses).

    The irrational optimism in Reds Country is, IMO, showing up in this recap describing what we are watching as meaningful “progress.”

    The warts of previous seasons….
    -no offense on the road
    -Iglesias can’t produce in non-save situations
    -non-youthful guys playing who won’t be part of the team 2/3 years from now and aren’t diffference makers
    ….all of those showed tonight.

    Avoiding 90 losses was “The Mission”, IMO, and it’s still achievable.
    As a reality check, that is really nothing to cheer about.

    • Steve Mancuso

      There are a few examples of quick improvements. That’s why I said usually. Your two examples don’t make it the norm.

      I’m not defending the rebuild. You must be new around here if you think I haven’t been severely critical of that. The White Sox were willing to dump Chris Sale and the Reds weren’t willing to do that with their somewhat comparable players.

      The pitching has progressed massively. Both starting and relieving. Even with Iglesias’ struggles.

      • Sliotar

        Braves made the jump in Year 5, as well.

        That’s 10% of the entire league that succeeded where the Reds have failed and far from all 30 have gone the tank route.

        It’s not just trading Sale, though the White Sox were good sellers and the Reds weren’t.

        It’s about getting a critical mass of young/cheap/above average in place for a window…. a must for a low-budget team like the Reds.

        Trading for guys on 1-year deals and picking up guys off the scrap heap isn’t that. At all.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yes, 10% certainly makes a norm. Although it does stand in contrast to, oh, 90%.

        I didn’t say it was just trading Sale. They were willing to sell deeper and sooner than the Reds. Most of the Reds rebuild was terrible. As I’ve said here for years.

        Are you saying the Reds aren’t improved from last year? That’s all I was saying. Improved. Unless you’re willing to say the Reds haven’t improved, then you’re just trolling.

      • Mason Red

        So when the “rebuild” be dubbed a success? If they finish .500? That seems to be a goal. The Astros and Cubs rebuilt the team for the sole purpose of winning a World Series. I hear very little here from writers about if the Reds are on track to win a WS. You don’t hear it from the Reds either. The magical year for “success” is now 2020. It was 2019. It was 2018. This team has made progress but it has nothing to do with “the plan”. It’s accidental at best. The Reds don’t scout well or draft well or develop players well or trade well and they don’t sign big name free agents at all. You’re right that it’s wrong to compare this “rebuild” to the Astros or the Cubs. That’s because those franchises had a plan and a clue. This franchise doesn’t.

      • Scott C

        I agree the Reds are vastly improved this year over last year, particularly in the pitching area. The only reason the record is not any better is the regression of the offense. Is Suarez hurt or has he just regressed in in plate discipline?? I think Tucker’s good year was just and outlier and he is what he is. Puig is what he is. Great when he makes contact but a really free swinger. Dietrich is regressing backwards. At least Winker, Senzel and Votto seem to be hitting.
        In my opinion the rebuild is as slow as it is because 1) the Reds seem to be reluctant to trade their best trade pieces, Cueto, Chapman, Bruce, Cozart, Frazier to name a few that were held onto too long. R. Iglesias an example still here. The previous regime also had a fascination with Peraza and for some reason this regime still does. I do however have much more confidence in the leadership now than I have for years and believe any progress is good.

    • George

      I guess the real question is what happens if this Reds team losses 92-95 games!!!

      Who gets the rope?

      • Colorado Red

        No one. Big Bob will not hold anyone accountable for the team that still stinks to high heaven.
        The rebuild has been a abysmal failure.
        No for chapman (good have gotten a kings ransome, but walk messed up).
        Cueto looked good, but now zippo.
        Some nice trades but not enough.
        They did it half way, and are no closer to competing then 4 years ago.

    • Sliotar

      Now who is trolling or just being obtuse?

      I stated that not all 30 teams have gone the tank/rebuild route. But, of those that have, several made vast single-year improvement in Year 5.

      If you feel this is a good place for Year 5 of this “rebuild”, great. To each their own.

      The Reds window-dressed last winter to show marginal improvement and avoid 90 losses in an anniversary season. That strategy isn’t any kind of real progress towards development of a critical, youthful mass, IMO.

      • scotly50

        I actually believe the Reds are worse not better as a team than previous years. The Reds “improved” by trading for one-year players as a band-aid to keep from losing 90 games again. After this year, the Reds will be worse off than in previous years. This is their window guys.

      • daytonnati

        Sli – two NL All-stars, Aroldis Chapman and Jay Bruce yielded Rookie Davis and Dilson Herrara. I still can’t get over those two deals.

      • Pete

        scotly – this year is not a window. It is a year for opportunity by starting a proper rebuild with parts that can be traded for young talent. I would put Roark on the market today, as Steve mentions, Roark is likely to regress and his numbers may not get any better. He is too old and a free agent next year, the Reds would be fools to offer a new contract.

        I would hold off a little while for Puig as I think his numbers will continue to improve and the aim is trade these guys at their max value. I would start asking around about Votto as well. He is hitting very well in recent weeks and may be at the top of his game. With any dollars saved, it would be good if the Reds invested in player development and scouting. Steve mentioned in the past the Reds are lacking in recruiting Latin players, this is not acceptable in 2019.

        I would be working on a contract extension with Senzel’s agent, he is worth the risk and will be only 24 in a couple of days. Nick plays multiple positions so this gives the Reds flexibility with their rebuild in the coming seasons and he seems to be a hard-nosed serious young fellow – just as I like them.

        Could Garrett, Lorenzen, Stephenson be converted to starting pitchers? None of this trio are spring chickens considering the team is 3+ years from being serious contenders but if the cupboard is currently bare in the minors, they may have to do short term.

        The most important question the Reds face: are Williams & Crew the right guys to guide the ship forward? I really don’t know but it’s critical the question is answered. Reds are in a quandary: the team is not good enough to contend and fairly old, the talent in the minors isn’t impressing. They have to rebuild or wither away as you say. Unfortunately, there is currently no window. Bob C. is up against the wall, time to fish or cut bait. To believe we are anyway along the road to a rebuild, is probably unrealistic. Failure can provide opportunity….

      • Colorado Red

        Pete,
        They will hold on to all the players and get nothing, it is the Reds way.
        Bob, Dick will say we are only 6 or so games out, and the tiger will change they strips.
        With the overuse of the bull pen, I expect 95 loses again.
        They stink.
        (Reds fan for close to 50 years here)

      • Pete

        CR, if the Reds believe they are a couple of tweaks away from winning a championship, I think they are delusional. It’s like a ship going down with too many holes to plug. A rebuild of the haul is in order. We also need to find out what we have in VanMeter, Winker & Ervin and several others in the high minors; the time should be put to good use, not thumb twiddling and wasting it on guys who will not be part of the next great team.

    • Grand Salami

      Reds had a great offensive showing at Miller Park the series before, hence the thinking that they turned it around and weren’t afraid to hit away from home.

      Anyone with eyes can see this team is markedly better. They have a positive run differential close to half way through the season. That’s unheard of the past few years.

      The reds are distinguishing themselves as sellers though. Even a decent home stand putting them back in the .500ish club shouldn’t change that.

      Iglesias (x2)
      Hernandez
      Hughes
      Roark
      And Puig should be shopped aggressively. This team is close and filling in the gaps with controllable pieces should be the name of the game.

    • Alex

      The underfunded Twins and Rays are winning and there’s no talk about how they can’t win because of lack of dollars, waiting for minor league talent to arrive, or simply that winning takes time. Next year Dick Williams will tell us that he “expects improvement.” Again.

  2. matt hendley

    Puig hitting Dingers 4 in the last 7.

    Guess there isn’t a metric for mental blocks. Cause its obvious to high heaven that RI has one. And until he deals with it, he should only be put in the situations that he does excel in. Save situations and Get some work in duty.

    Good news is everyone else lost as well. except for the pirates, who will be in 4th temporarily.

    Scooter will come back tomorrow/ Friday. This better be the end of JP. It also better be the end of some Cincinnati Press if they are not asking the question why it isnt when its not. Cause you know its not. You just know it.

  3. jessecuster44

    Iggy STINKS. Is this just an anomaly or has the guy lost it? That pitch to Bour was flat out grooved.

  4. Hanawi

    Going to have to disagree with you Steve on Iglesias. Every metric is much worse for him in non-save situations versus save situations.

    • Steve Mancuso

      The samples sizes (13 non-save games) are too small to be a meaningful.

      • Hanawi

        Of course over the course of the season it will never be statistically meaningful bc of sample size. But, his numbers are starkly worse across the board. And it’s clearly a problem and most importantly, Iglesias thinks it’s an issue. To pretend these guys aren’t human and it’s random statistical noise is being disingenuous.

      • RedAlert

        Respectfully disagree Steve – he stinks – eyeball test is meaningful enough , don’t care what the sample size says at this particular point in time . It’s not like this issue has just started either.

      • Indy Red Man

        RI said it himself? How is that up for debate? If you want a debate then let’s look at “improved”! Their record will most likely be better, but it’s based around rental players. The farm system has to be bottom 10. No potential stars anywhere close except Senzel. Too many key guys are 27-30 years old. They need them to win 75 games, but they’re 3-4 years away…if the Reds FO suddenly starts getting it right.

  5. Davy13

    A very lucid and cold reality check! I needed that.

    Here are more reality-checks from coaches that would agree with yours:
    > “You are what your record says you are” – Bill Parcells
    > “They are who we thought they were” – Dennis Green
    > “If lessons are learned in defeat, our team is getting a great education.” — Murray Warmath, Univ of Minnesota (1954-71)

  6. Jim Walker

    Reds opportunities were limited but twice they had a man on 2B with zero outs. The run expectancy is >1 for that situation per occurrence. On another occasion they had a runner on 2nd with 1 out which has an RE of 0.70. Either the Reds offense failed or the Angels pitching really stepped up.

    • george

      Jim;
      Much respect to your comments and Reds loyalty.
      I guess my approach is if those same runners were on third with one out, would they have scored?
      If the Reds can not get them in from 3rd the season is already over.

      • Jim Walker

        The RE for a man on 3B with 1 out is 0.95. What this means is that in MLB this season when there has been a man on 3B with 1 out teams have on the average scored 0.95 runs in the inning.
        The full RE for man on 2B with 0 outs is 1.15. So the RE is slightly greater for man on 2B with 0 outs than 3B with 1 out. Thus the reasoning against bunting a man to 3B.

  7. Cyrus

    While I appreciate Steve’s reminding all of us about what some of us need to be reminded of, the gradual improvement is debatable as some have already countered.

    I want to emphasize what I said yesterday: I enjoy rooting for and watching a team that exhibits sound fundamentals both physically and mentally, great hustle and effort, and passes the eye test in the “trying to win” department. I see that in some of our players but certainly not all.

    This losing streak is eerily familiar to one of the last Reds teams that featured both Griffey and Dunn. Remember all those winning and losing streaks that just cancelled each other out?

    My gut is that, as Steve pointed out, the starting pitching is going to regress to the mean for Roark and Co. The pen as well since they seem to come on in the 6th inning of almost every game.

    I kind of wish they’d sell now when they can get better value. I’d actually try to move Castillo. There’s something about him that really concerns me and I think it may be his mental toughness. I’m not sure he’s trending in a good direction right now and I’d like to see him traded by the AS break. But what do I know?

    • RojoBenjy

      “I enjoy rooting for and watching a team that exhibits sound fundamentals both physically and mentally, great hustle and effort, and passes the eye test in the “trying to win” department.”

      +1

    • Mason Red

      Do you have any confidence at all with this franchise making good trades? If they become sellers you will be looking at another 5 years of losing. The Reds like hovering around .500 to keep fans interested but they do not have the ability to actually build a winner. If they were to somehow build a playoff team…like a few years ago….it will be by accident. And it will be fleeting by lasting 2-3 seasons with the players making the success possible being deemed too expensive to keep so off they go and another 5-10 year “rebuild” begins. It’s been this way for 40 years.

      • Lwblogger2

        According to you they are going to lose the next 5 seasons no matter what they do. Look, the ownership group and front-office probably aren’t changing anytime soon. I mean unless you’re going to buy the team I don’t really know what you want them to do.

        Honestly, I’d love to see some of the armchair GMs and managers actually get either job. Now that would be entertaining.

    • Bill J

      Seen a story that the Yankees are interested in Castillo. Maybe they can interest someone else and get a big haul for him.

      • Pete

        Hopefully there are discussions underway…

  8. Indy Red Man

    If this losing streak surprises you in any way then here’s your sign.
    If the fact that they scored 1 run in their last 53 outs surprises you then here’s your sign.
    If the fact that Peraza is in LA preparing for Game 3 surprises you, then here’s your sign to go along with his sign.
    I watch almost every game so my sign is custom made!
    It’s too bad. No help on the farm either? Better chance they go full Baltimore in 2021 then to miraculously turn it around somehow.

    • Jim Walker

      I’m hoping we get an honest answer about whose idea the Peraza bunt was.

      • RojoBenjy

        I would love that too, Jim. But when was the last time you think we really got an honest answer from anyone connected with this team that isn’t named Mahle?

    • RojoBenjy

      It would not surprise me if Jose9 is still in LA preparing for game 3. He’s so out of it that he doesn’t realize that the team left for Cincinnati last night. It was only a two game series.

  9. Jack

    Thankfully the mirage of competing is over and they can get back to the business of trying to improve the talent at the minor and major league level.

    • RojoBenjy

      I don’t think the Reds FO realizes that it was a mirage.

  10. BlacklickRay

    These minor league scorers on a regular basis is ugly. This organization needs a complete overhaul from top to bottom. Living up here in Columbus seeing the Indians and the Pirates being able to tap into their minors for young players is just amazing . The Reds just keep doing the same things every year expecting different results. They have 1 or 2 players having a good year call them a cornerstone and then the player struggles and spend 3 or More years trying to fix them. Meanwhile they lose 95+ games a year.

    • Jack

      True, I keep hearing that winning in the minors is not important. While that may be true I think it is definitely a reflection of your overall talent.

    • Curt

      @blacklickray: agree, living here in Los Angeles makes it so much easier to see the bigger picture and what’s wrong with the Reds organization.

  11. burtgummer

    The Reds will not have a contending team until they get new ownership.unfortunately the Reds just signed a new massive deal so expect the same for a long time

    • RojoBenjy

      Wonder if Mark Cuban wants to buy a baseball team?

    • Curt

      Burtgummer: Unfortunately, I think you may be correct. What new deal are you referring to?

      • RojoBenjy

        I think it refers to TV deal. So lots of money for ownership whether tickets are sold or not. Which means no incentive to sell the team to someone that can build a perennial winner.

  12. jreis

    when you lay 2 eggs in a row on the road like this, (after an off day no less), there has to be a lack of leadership on the team. IMO this is still Brandon Phillips team with Suarez and Votto as the top executives. yes they are having fun, yes there is good team chemistry, yes they believe in themselves. But my gosh this is going to be another 90 loss season likely in the cellar. At some point the leadership qualities of these 2 guys have to be questioned.

    but have no fear reds fans I really think Senzel is going to be a good leader for this team and I have watched enough of the farm system in Chattanooga this year that I think Siri, Trammel and those guys have the same attitude and approach to the game as Nick. Less emphasis on fun and more emphasis on the fundamentals and playing hard nosed baseball. Not sure if there has been a change in the approach to our minor league system and leadership there our what but the attitudes of our farmhands have certainly changed over the past 2 years and I really like it.

    I Really think we have to hold our nose one more year and the true rebuild will begin next year in 2020 with some exciting players coming up.

    • RojoBenjy

      I made a similar observation about lack of leadership yesterday.

      I think you’re right on point there.

      Spend more time working on your fundamentals and less working on your choreography.

    • greenmtred

      When you lose two (or four) in a row, it might just mean that you got out-played by teams that were better. I’m not so much discouraged as I am resigned, but–admit it–if they win six in row, we’ll all become optimists again, calculating their path to the WC.

      • RojoBenjy

        @greenmtred

        The Reds did get outplayed the last two games. Whether or not the team was better than they are is debatable.

        My lamentation is over the lack of sound fundamentals and poor concentration, inattention to detail, some lack of hustle on the part of some players.

        That is the feature of the last two games that is discouraging. That’s where I see the lack of hard work and the lack of leadership.

      • greenmtred

        Can’t disagree, RojoBenjy. I didn’t see the first game, and only part of the second, but I could feel the lack of energy coming through the tv screen from a thousand miles away. They aren’t always like this, though, just as they hit sometimes and don’t other times. I have to remind myself that they’re playing another team and that the other team has serious input into how the game goes.

  13. Blacklickray

    I like what you are saying but the problem is the FO is to scared to play too many young players at the same time fearing a 100 loss season. They believe they’re closer to winning than they really are. They have no confidence in their ability to develop or replace players so they hang to what little talent they have for too long. If you look around the majors you are seeing players drafted from 2015 and 2016 reaching the big leagues but where are the draft picks from the reds. Look at the Dodgers 2016 draft for example . The tigers and Marlins will be good before the reds ever will be with managment.

    • RojoBenjy

      Unfortunately I think you’re right. But it’s a false belief by the FO. Somehow they think they’ve done this rebuild right because the calendar says year 5. But they didn’t do anything correctly for the last 5 years so they are at about the same place that they were at the end of 2013.

      “None so blind as those who will not see.”

  14. Reddawg12

    I’m in agreement that the Reds are clearly improved, and a playoff season was probably not realistic this year. My concern is that next season (and beyond) does not look any better. There is no one in the minor leagues who is going to come up and fill one of the gaping holes on the roster. Even Trammell has struggled, and India is still playing A ball. That leaves free agency. When is the last time the Reds signed a high impact free agent? I guess they could make a trade or two, but then they’re giving up something major, creating another hole that they don’t have the depth to fill.

    I’m not feeling great about the future of the team. I’m actually a big fan of David Bell and most of the coaching staff and I’m not blind to the progress that’s been made. But I don’t see how things are going to improve dramatically in the future beyond what we’ve seen this season.

    • Scott in Texas

      You have captured my thoughts exactly.

      • Reddawg12

        With all of that said, I would love nothing more than for the Reds to prove me completely wrong and go on an offensive tear in the second half and win 90 games.

    • Old-school

      I would not give up on Trammell or India. Doug is far more qualified to comment, but I’ve seen some high A parks in Florida and they are huge. Similarly, the AAA home run numbers this year with the new juiced MLB ball are embarrassing. Aquino is exhibit A. Let Trammell and India hit with that baseball in GABP and see what happens.

      • Reddawg12

        I’m not giving up on either of them, I just can’t see them being ready by next year (but if Doug sees this and disagrees, I would probably change my opinion.) I just don’t know who’s out there that will upgrade the team and make them better next year than they are now.

  15. Klugo

    You’ve been calling for trading Iglesias for a while. If he can’t ever be a starter, I agree. His value must still be high.

    • RojoBenjy

      I fear that value is dropping by the day.

  16. Klugo

    We have lots of relievers and potential relievers. Like, LOTS.

  17. TR

    The on again off again 2019 Reds. An offense where runners in scoring position usually stay there for the half inning.

    • Jim Walker

      An offense where runners in scoring position usually stay there for the half inning.

      Kudos! This sounds like some focus group inspired verbal logo. Maybe to let fans know it is OK to head to the concession stands when the Reds get men on base? 🙂

  18. Still a Red

    If Jose Inglesias doesn’t think and look home on that ground ball and throws to first, Raphael Inglesias gets out of the inning. Not saying Jose was wrong in that situation (even though who’s going to throw Trout out at home w/ him running on two outs?), or maybe he was a little gun shy on would have been a tough throw to first after his costly error the other night. That said, Raphael cannot seem to control his fastball (many of them are not even close) and he only got first-pitch strikes on 2 of the 7 batters he faced.

    • Jim Walker

      I’m buying in that the error in Milwaukee was on J.Iggy’s mind when he pulled the ball in and did not make the throw. The ball wasn’t hit very hard. I don’t like his chances of getting Fletcher.

      I thought the crucial mental miscue of the inning was made by Suarez. He appeared to have still have a clear shot at getting a force on Ohtani at 2B after he checked Trout at 3B on the Upton ground ball. If he gets that force instead of taking the out at 1B, they still have a force at 2B in order on the Fletcher ground ball.

      Alternately Bell might have walked Fletcher to put the force in order at any base once they got the K for the 2nd out. That would have been an out of the box sort of move more likely in a true walk off situation; but then it was essentially a de facto walk off situation the Reds were in. Fletcher’s OBP is 350; Bour’s .272. I suspect Bell was concerned about R.Iggy facing a lefty and/or that he would then walk in the winning run.

      • Big Ed

        I didn’t think Jose really had a shot at Trout. Trout is fast and has the baseball sense to run on the fair side of the baseline, to block the angle of the throw. I specifically watched for that on the replay immediately after the throw, and believed Trout would have scored pretty easily. Plus, throwing home would have required a bit of hop on Jose’s part, else his feet would be set incorrectly for a strong, accurate throw. The Angels got lucky on cheap hit.

        I can’t fault Suarez, either. He HAD to get one out, and he HAD to keep Trout at third. Maybe he played it safe, but playing it safe was in my opinion the correct play.

        My general opinion of Rafael Iglesias is that he gets himself into too many bad counts, and has done so his whole time here. It exposes him to the pitfalls of one bad pitch, this one to Bour. And if you walk leadoff hittters, you lose.

        I could see the Reds packaging Puig with Iglesias or Roark at the deadline for Rays’ prospects.

      • Jim Walker

        I don’t think J.Iggy had a play anywhere on the Fletcher grounder.

        The Reds were in a desperate situation once Trout reached 3B with 0 outs (RE=1.4). Sometimes in those conditions safe is death and risk offers the better alternative for survival.

  19. Old-school

    The Reds aren’t scoring enough runs to win. They are 25th in runs scored, 27 th in BA , 25th in wRC+ and 25th in OBP.

    They are average at 17 in HR – but solo HR don’t help as the reds can’t get on base enough.

    Bell needs to play guys with on base skills – regardless of handedness.

    • jim walker

      I’ve not checked the handedness splits but I’d guess dollars against donuts that with the platooning Bell is trying to play the guys he thinks are most likely to get on base versus the pitcher they are facing on a given night. Problem with platooning is it only takes one good reliever of the opposite handedness to turn it on its ear or force the manager to spend his bench and then if the opponent switches handedness of the pitcher again…..

      • Big Ed

        Correct. Especially with a 4-man bench.

    • Roger Garrett

      Yep but they don’t think its real because if they did they would be willing to give some of their minor leaguers a shot.Ervin is riding the bench after tearing it up in the spring and when he was sent down and so is/was Van Meter.Why not others such as Siri or Aquino getting a shot.Surely we aren’t going to HOPE for a few more wins over last year and still not find out about other players?Look at the players that could make up our infield next year.See any young guys that may get better?Scooter,Iggy Suarez and Votto.See anybody on the upside?How about the catching?Tucker going to take off offensively?Come on this team is better because they have pitched better period.Need to shop any and all position players and bullpen guys in order to get younger in the starting eight.Put Winker,Senzel and Ervin in the outfield until help arrives.Play em everyday and move on.

      • RojoBenjy

        “Surely we aren’t going to HOPE for a few more wins over last year and still not find out about other players?”

        Sadly, given the track record of the franchise, I think this is exactly what will play out.

      • Curt

        Yep, and it’s quite likely the pitching starts to fizzle out in the dog days.

  20. RojoBenjy

    Steve- good recap. This one was a job i’m sure no one wanted. You took one for the team.

    They reminded us who they are: The Big Meh Machine.

  21. Big Ed

    That was an idiotic time (5:10 PDT) to start a game yesterday. Travel/getaway day did not require an oddball starting time. The Reds are off today, and the Angels play a home game tonight. The start time made travel much worse. The Reds played last night until about 11p EDT, and would have been lucky to get on a plane by 1a EDT for a 5-hour flight. At best, they would get into CVG at 6a.

    Nobody could see the ball for the first 4 innings. Twilight games in dry air on one of the longest days of the year? Who knew that glare could possibly affect such a game?

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. Several years ago I made the mistake of deciding to drive across the LA basin this time of year from east to west at about the same time of day as Wednesday’s game. In terms of recognizable names, from around Pamona to Venice Beach.

      Until I got west of downtown, much of the time even with good sunglasses, there were stretches where about all I could see was the lane lines and the bumpers of the cars ahead around me.

  22. Don

    With watching last nights game and thinking about what could be occurring. 2019 is trying to avoid 90 losses and learn something for the future.
    I can see Bell and the coaches putting players in uncomfortable positions and asking them to do different things to push the players limits to see whom can succeed when outside their comfort zone.

    Everyone sees that Bell and the new coaches/team are all in on the latest numbers/metrics. Part of being successful with this is having that one pitcher whom is a stopper (does not give up runs 95+%, not a closer) of the time regardless of the situation. Examples of this type and how they were used Andrew Miller for Indians a few years ago, Hader for Brewers.

    This can be the 9th to close but most of the time it is in 7th or 8th. The 8th innning pitcher always seems to face the heart of the order and the 9th usually gets the bottom of the order.
    The team is seeing if Igelsias can be this type of pitcher, a stopper not a closer.
    A closer comes in to start a 9th inning with a lead and get 3 outs easily or create their own mess and get out of their own mess it a very high percentage of the time.

    A stopper can close out a game but the closer does not do the stopper role with success.

    A stopper is someone whom cleans up a mess made by the previous pitcher and closes out the inning and then get 3 outs in the next inning (like Garrett did in the 6th and 7th) or someone that pitches when needed to get outs regardless of the inning or the score.

    Igelsias to me had proven to be a closer not a stopper and he has said he does not want to be a stopper. He wants to close. Team either needs to use him that way or trade him as the team is using him like a square peg in a round hole. Just not fitting.

    Hernandez, Garrett and Lorenzen are showing that they can be stoppers. Garrett is the only one whom has not closed yet.

    For the offense, Suarez has been successful in 2017 and most of 2018 as a #5 hitter. He has been in the #3 spot all of 2019 and has not been as successful. He is proving himself to not be a #3 hitter for the future.

    Sometimes when trying to build for success, knowing what someone cannot do well is just as important as knowing what they can do well.

  23. C Holbert

    I am just a little confused when they are pointing, now, towards 2020, and there is no one coming from the minors to help. They only have three of the top 100 MLB prospects, and the highest is no.27 and he is still toiling at AA. Where will the competitive talent come from?

  24. matt hendley

    I swear, Jose Peraza out here dodging Bullets like the Matrix.

    Scooter is back, In the lineup. Tucker Barnhart moved to 10 day IL something with an Obleque if I remember it correctly.

    2 Birds one stone for most of the RLN here. Just not the right bird for others

  25. Lwblogger2

    All the talk about starting a new rebuild has made my head hurt. The Astros and Cubs. Yes, they did it right but they also had to get lucky. All this talk about “year 5” but the Reds haven’t been rebuilding for 5 years. The narrative is false. A lot of teams try to rebuild and it doesn’t work. Then there are teams that almost always seem to be rebuilding. What do you want? Do you want a perpetual building cycle?

    The Reds are not 3+ years away. The Reds have cash coming off the books and a fairly rich free-agent class upcoming. The team with the best regular season record rarely wins the rings. That rebuild cycle and competitive window crap isn’t going to really work anymore. Everyone is doing it and only one team will win a WS this yea, next year, and the following.

    • Pete

      I don’t know, it looks like the Dodgers, Cubs, Astros, Royals were all rebuild jobs to me. Yes, they all added some pieces at the right time but most guys came up through their systems as a group. Call it what you want but I prefer rebuild. Maybe the guys in the Reds farm system are enough to realize the dream, only time will tell. I’ll be shocked if the Reds are in a WS with in 3 years, I hope you are right but highly doubt you are.

      • Lwblogger2

        But they aren’t the only teams that were/are rebuilding and the Dodgers have very, very deep pockets so did a lot of supplementing theirs. Have all the other teams failed their rebuilds? I mean the Indians, Twins, Braves, Nats, Mets and others have engaged in rebuilding efforts to some extent and they haven’t won the WS. They are closer than the Reds perhaps but perhaps not as much as you seem to think.

        I’ve been very critical of the Reds rebuild. I think they started too late, traded Chapman at his absolute lowest value and targeted the wrong type of players (though I loved the Cueto trade at the time). That wasn’t this front-office though. It seems Walt’s power has dwindled. Better late then never. That said, I feel that it has gotten them some useful parts and along with a few shrewd moves have the Reds closer to contention than you think. This team has also focused some money and have done a lot of restructuring in their scouting, draft and development systems. That’s going to pay off over the next few years.

        Lastly, on this anyway, I think the key is to try to get to the dance. Get there and you have a chance. Some team has to win it all and it’s quite often not the team that was the favorite going in. Follow the Cards’ model of being sustainable and always in the hunt. You may not win a lot of titles but there’s a good chance you’ll win one as you’re almost always in the hunt. Leave the boom/bust cycle behind because too many teams are doing it and the rules after the next CBA may make it less beneficial to tank.

    • Pete

      Listening to some analysis in baseball circles the free agency class is very weak. Can you offer some names you think would be a good fit for the Reds to get them over the top in 2020? Not a bad place to be. You mention teams that are constantly rebuilding: the Cardinals are one. Of course, the Orioles are always in rebuild mode but I don’t think it’s the mode that’s the problem but rather the execution. In fact, the Reds recent rebuilds look a lot like the O’s version. The Giants have been trying to plug holes the last couple of season and….

      • Lwblogger2

        It isn’t deep but a couple good options if you want to pay. I haven’t looked in a while so don’t know who’s already signed extensions. I also know that a couple people the Reds might have interest in have mutual options and one had a team option that could likely take him off the table. That said, here are a few:

        Gerrit Cole (go all-in on him)
        If they can’t land him:
        Zack Wheeler
        Madison Bumgarner
        Alex Wood (if he comes back healthy)
        Could be options

        Position players I’d go hard after Yasmani Grandal, Marcel Ozuna, and Didi Gregorius. Land any of those 3 along with that #1 or #2 type SP and you have made the team a team that can fight for a playoff spot.

        If I had more cycles I’d go back and scrub through the list.