Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (46-41)
0 4 0
Cincinnati Reds (40-44)
3 8 1
W: Gray (5-5) L: Chacin (3-9) S: Iglesias (15)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Wednesday night was The Sonny Gray Show and we all watched with joy as he led the Reds to a win.

The Offense

The Reds got things started in the 2nd inning when Yasiel Puig connected on a solo home run, his 19th of the season. That’s where the score remained until the 7th inning when Jose Iglesias continued to work his runners in scoring position magic and singled in Puig. To round things out it was once again Puig in on the action, as he had a sacrifice fly that plated Joey Votto to make it 3-0.

Yasiel Puig and Jose Iglesias both had two hits in the game. Both Joey Votto and Derek Dietrich went 1-3 with a walk. Sonny Gray did a little bit of everything in the game as he also had a hit.

The Pitching

Sonny Gray was flat out dominant on Wednesday night. The Reds starter didn’t allow a run over 8.0 innings. In the 8th inning David Bell made his way to the mound with 2 outs and a runner on, but Gray said “I’ve got this” to his manager, who put his faith in the right-hander. Bell was rewarded as Gray got the out to complete the inning. He only allowed five base runners, giving up four hits and walking just one batter. But that wasn’t the most impressive thing. What was the most impressive thing was that he racked up 12 strikeouts. That ties his career high. The 8.0 innings and the 12 strikeouts are both Reds bests this season.

Raisel Iglesias came on for the 9th inning with a 3-0 lead to try and save the game. He induced a ground ball to Eugenio Suarez for the first out of the inning. But he followed that up by hitting Ryan Braun with a pitch in the arm on a fastball that seemed to get away from him. Iglesias came back to strike out Eric Thames on five pitches. He finished the game by getting Keston Hiura to ground out to Jose Iglesias.

Notes Worth Noting

Scooter Gennett left the game with tightness in his left groin. This is not the same injury that he missed most of the first half with, which was an injury to his right groin.

The Reds are 40-44, which puts them just 4.5 games back of first place. The entire division is only separated by that same amount.

Fireworks can be dangerous. Don’t hurt yourselves. Be aware of neighbors with PTSD before setting off fireworks in your area.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers vs Cincinnati Reds

Thursday July 4th, 2:10pm

Brandon Woodruff (10-2, 3.79 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (7-3, 2.47 ERA)

48 Responses

  1. Lockersocks79

    Top priority: signs YP to an extension!

  2. Jason Franklin

    Great job covering the game as usual, Doug. Thank you for it and the site.

    Also, don’t forget to watch your animals as they can be frightened easily by fireworks.

  3. D

    Pirates beat Cubs and Kimble in bottom of 9th.

    4th of July game can move to 3.5 out.

    Sign Puig.

  4. Roger Garrett

    Bucs score 2 off of Kimbrell in the ninth and beat the Cubs again.Division right now is something you don’t see very often.Each team can beat the other team.All have issues and it will interesting to see who does what at the deadline.Can’t pitch any better then Sonny did tonight

    • ToBeDetermined

      Roger

      Spot on in regards to this division. A lot of fun baseball to be played in the Midwest.

  5. matt hendley

    A cubs loss also places the Reds 4 back in the WC i think. The entire division may be tied with each other at teh ASB. Home RUn Derby players being announced. I know who i want in it.

    Reds absolutely dominated. Castillo tommorow. Would want the series win rather then the split but the Reds have answered when the going is tough before.

  6. Sliotar

    There may be only one playoff team from this division after all. The Nationals and Phillies are going to benefit from being in a division with sliding Mets and the Marlins.

    Currently, the NL Central is the only division where every team is .500 or better at home, and everyone has a losing record on the road.

    Keep racking up home wins.

    • ToBeDetermined

      Yes interesting division. Before the start of the game the reds who are in last place are as close as any team to the division leader in any other division. 4.5 games out.

      Now improved to 3.5 I think

    • RedAlert

      S I G N P U I G T O A N
      E X T E N S I O N N O W ! ! ! ! !

    • Jim Walker

      I guess the question becomes is the NL Central 5 reasonably good teams that are beating up on each other or 5 not so good teams one of which is going to be in the playoffs regardless. The second half of the season may answer that question.

      Recall the 2006 season when the Cardinals won the Central Division with just 83 W’s then went on to be World Champions. To win the Central, they outlasted the ‘Stros by 1.5 and the Reds 3.5 (the Cards played only 161 games; a rainout was not made up because it ultimately made no difference in the standings order).

      An interesting Reds centric note about that season is in finishing 3.5 back (80-82), the Reds lost their final 2 games after standing .500, 80-80 (-2.5 to Cards) with 2 games to play. They were eliminated on next to the last day of the season with a loss against a Cardinals win.

      • RedsFan11

        I was actually thinking the other day that this team reminded me of the 2006 team. There are a couple young guns, a couple veterans who are having career years. The difference would be I remember the offense carrying that team while the pitching is certainly carrying it to this year. But to me it lookin like both teams have/had the character and (the word is escaping me) jive or connection with each other that can maybe push them to the palyoffs

      • ToBeDetermined

        Jim

        “I guess the question becomes is the NL Central 5 reasonably good teams that are beating up on each other or 5 not so good teams one of which is going to be in the playoffs regardless.”

        I was thinking similarly. Also, when the teams need to learn how to win game after game to make the playoffs oftentimes those teams will do well in the playoffs rather a team that wins it big and isn’t pressed at the end of the year.

  7. VaRedsFan

    Can’t stress enough how important it was for Gray to not waste pitches. He only walked 1, coming in his last inning of work, but rarely even had a 3 ball count. Hopefully it becomes contagious throughout the staff.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. Specifically, pitch efficiency is the key to Castillo graduating into the Ace class.

    • Big Ed

      Agree. The ump had a big strike zone, but Gray was very consistent.

  8. Hotto4Votto

    Fantastic start by Gray. Just dominated. Puig coming on a lot lately. I do enjoy his personality and play. It’s certainly worth seeing what he’s thinking about money and years and if it makes sense. He’s been good in the grass and on the bases as well this year, so not just a big bat.

  9. Reddawg12

    I think the really encouraging thing about Puig is that his overall numbers are still not good compared to his career norms. This increased production from him should continue down the stretch.

  10. RedsFan11

    Was fortunate enough to be in attendance tonight. It’s rare thing these days to see starts like that. There was only two hard hit balls against Gray. In the 2nd after two of the weak ground balls for hits, there was a sharp line drive that went just foul in left field (which would of changed the game) but fortunately went foul. The other was the shot that Puig made a great catch on in the 8th. All four of the Brewers hits were weak ground balls.

    I have a new respect for David Bell tonight. I have said all year he is way to short on the leash. I thought Gray was going to get pinch hit for in the 7th, but no. Then I thought for sure he was going to be pulled after the walk, but no. I was so pumped

    • VaRedsFan

      Nice report….nothing like seeing an exciting win in person.

  11. Jim Walker

    So, the Reds have 2 of 3. Now just think of it as a 1 game series and go out and grab the win on the 4th then enjoy the off day on Friday and go after 2 more versus Cleveland.

  12. Jim Walker

    I still think the Central Division title is still a more realistic playoff possibility for the Reds than a wild card because they still have 7 teams to get past for the 2nd WC spot. 3 of those 7 are from their own division. If the Reds would happen to get past those 3 Central Division teams then the division title is just 1 more game to gain against a single team as things stand now.

    • Jim Walker

      Sorry for all the “still”s above. Must be past my bedtime!

      • Sliotar

        Nice analysis, Jim. I think you are spot on.

        At the moment, if feels like the Reds are one of those 5-7 NFL teams, “In The Hunt for a Wild Card” as the networks like to hype in December … yet, it may only take 9-7 to win the division outright.

        Everything feeling good at the moment, but this team is still bottom 5 on the road in several offensive categories. Has to be figured out.

      • RojoBenjy

        Still waters run deep, Jim. We got you. Hope you slept well and Happy Fourth!

  13. JB WV

    Tomorrow is a key game for Castillo and the team. Not just for the standings, but to gain momentum heading into the AS break and breaking through the sub .500 malaise. I feel like they’re real close to becoming a legitimate contender. This is the best pitching staff we’ve had in 6 years. The bats are waking up. The division doesn’t have a dominant team. Bell seems to be getting a better feel for his players. Time to make it happen.

  14. Davy13

    Puig’s stat line the last 30 days: .321/.380/.690/1.070
    Hopefully, he’s just getting warmed up.

  15. Jreis

    At beginning of this season the face of this franchise (from a position standpoint) were Votto,Suarez, Scooter. I think now Puig, Senzel and Dietrich may be taking over the reigns a little bit. These 3 are a little more dynamic players and can beat you in different ways.

    • Indy Red Man

      I agree! The old saying is that speed doesn’t slump! Todays game seems like HR derby, but the champions have had some speed in the last few years. Boston has Mookie, Boegarts (sp?), and Jackie Bradley. Houston has good speed on their roster. Senzel, Puig, and Ervin can run! A few true slugs in Joey, Winker, and Suarez, but everyone else is average.

      To me its just playing the game with a high baseball IQ! I hate the Cubs, but they led NL (maybe MLB?) in 1st to 3rd on singles last year….and they don’t have much speed at all. I remember Contreras tagging up from 1st on a deep flyball to CF last year vs the Reds in Wrigley. You don’t see many catchers doing that. Making life miserable with the pitcher by working the count. Joey and Suarez get it! Puig has been a hacker most of the year, but he drew 64 walks 2 years ago with a .346 obp.
      He knows how to play the game! DD will work the count. Don’t know if they’ll ever stick with the Winker/Ervin platoon in LF, but they will both work the count! I like JVM and Blandino down on the farm….they both take pitches! Thats the only way they’ll ever become a top scoring team again!

      • RojoBenjy

        It’s all in the details, like you say.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I seem to recall Hamilton being in a perpetual slump, and he was as speedy as they come.

  16. Mike Adams

    This is not a make-or-break game for the team or for Castillo, but I do think it will be an indicator of how much progress both have made.
    Various comments in this recap talk about a player or a group of players and how well they are playing. These are reasons for cautious optimism.
    I think this game will be an indicator of progress (and continued optimism) for Castillo because his opponent on the mound, Woodruff, has been pitching well. So if this turns out to be a pitchers’ duel, Castillo has to come through when the team needs it.
    For the team, can the offense and defense do their part so that if Castillo doesn’t pitch a shutout the Reds win anyway.
    Here is hoping for a blow out win instead of a 1-0 or 2-1 type game.

  17. Roger Garrett

    I agree its not a game the Reds have to have because they all count.Reds problem all year has been their consistently inconsistent offense.Chacin is not a good pitcher at all but if not for Gray’s masterpiece he gets them to Hader and its usually over when that happens.Reds hitters probably realize their pitching is really good and I would love to see them play some small ball more often.No not bunting but rather be hitters such as Joey and Iggy.Hit the ball the other way,give yourselves up to move a runner to third or just try to hit a sac fly which is all Puig was trying to do in the 8th last night.Little things like this win ball games just as often as swinging from the heels every pitch do and maybe more often.Reds hitters roll over a ton trying to jerk one out.I know with the launch angle theory and the barrage of homers that are being hit and teams paying for homers its still about get em on get em over and get em in that wins games.

    • Mike Adams

      I agree with you, RG.
      What you describe with small ball is what I meant when I said “…can the offense and defense do their part…”.
      If Castillo can hold the Brewers to one or two runs, can the Reds’ offense scratch together at least three one-run innings and the defense not give away any runs?
      Whether it is a 1-0 pitching gem, 3-2 game or 8-1 blowout a Reds win to take the series after losing the first game would be a good sign.
      Come on, Reds, set off some fireworks of your own making on the Fourth of July!

  18. Scott C

    It amazes me how a couple of good weeks can change the perspective of so many on the value of a player. Back when the trade with LA was made it seemed to me that the majority of the posters on this site were hoping that Puig would have a good enough first half that the Reds could get a decent return for him on the trade market. At least a month ago I read many posts that were moaning that the trade was a miserable failure. Now that Puig has started hitting the ball and hitting it hard a lot of posters are calling for an extension. The fickleness of fame, I guess. Personally I think Puig has given the Reds good value all year with his play in the field. It is nice to know we have aright fielder with an arm opposing runners respect. I would not oppose an extension, besides being of value on the field but is also a pleasure to watch play the game. With that said, I would also not oppose a trade if he brought back good value. I hope the front office doesn’t listen to the changing opinions of fandom. A good front office needs to always be looking to improve the team, even if it a future move.

    • RojoBenjy

      ” I hope the front office doesn’t listen to the changing opinions of fandom.”

      Part of the problem the last 6 or 7 years is that the Big owner has his own changing opinions of fandom.

  19. Hotto4Votto

    Puig turns 29 in December, so all next season he will be 29. Meaning a four year extension would take him through his age 32 season. What is everyone thinking on years/dollars? I think a 4 year deal with an option/buyout on the 5th season probably makes sense and keeps Puig here with the rest of the core through 2024 if the option is picked up. (Votto has 24 option, Suarez has 25 option, Castillo and Winker FA in 24, Senzel controlled through 25).
    That’s the window with the current group, hopefully complemented by the additions of Trammell, Siri, T. Stephenson, India, Lodolo, Santillan, and Greene if things work out well. If it doesn’t work out well then decline Votto/Puig options, and see if you can trade Suarez with one year left to jumpstart the next window.

    • Indy Red Man

      I’d add Josh VanMeter to that group! I know he didn’t hit much in his stint with the Reds, but a .347 obp and he looked comfortable at the plate!

      They’ll have Homer/Kemp’s $ off the books. Looks like they’ll have to cut Scooter loose too so they’d have that $ available. Roark has been rock solid, but he’ll be 33 this year. I’d deal him! Thats $10 mil freed up as well! They should be able to pay Puig!

      So if you’re basically rolling with this core group for a few years then no reason they can’t add another key piece that they need. SF lefty closer Will Smith!! Turns 30 next week. He’s 22 for 22 in saves with 34 ip, 19 hits, and 53-8 K/BB ratio! He would give Bell alot of flexibility and also block Milw & the Cubs from getting him! He’s on a 1 yr deal (4.2 mil) and SF is talent poor, so he’ll be going somewhere you would think.

    • Roger Garrett

      I am guessing he will want 12-15 mil per year for 4 years or more.I expected the Reds would attempt to sign either Scooter or Puig even before the year started but not both.Right now it looks like Puig.For me I don’t sign him because I feel Winker,Ervin,Senzel and help that is coming will be good enough for several years and the money saved could be used elsewhere.Personally I love the guy and his energy is inspiring but I feel he will end up going to the team that makes the best offer.His agent knows all of the data that the teams do including what happens around age 30 and somebody else will out bid the Reds anyway.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I think you’re right on the range of dollars. Personally, I like Puig’s arm in RF better than the others and his power seems to be a bit more than the other options as well. I hope the Reds figure out a way to keep in RF.

        The good thing about Senzel is that he can move back to the dirt where he was an excellent defender. If all of our OF’ers pan out that’s good flexibility to have, when 2B will be open once Dietrich leaves. After 2020 we should know a lot more about whether Ervin can be an everyday guy, if Winker is going to be restricted to mainly platooning, if Siri can hit/get on base enough to allow his other (excellent) tools to play, and if Trammell is going to be the next big prospect to hit the Reds. India’s development plays into this equation as well.

  20. Justin

    Dear Yankees,

    It was you.

    Sincerely,

    Sonny Gray

    • Lwblogger2

      Some guys you just can’t mold into your ideas of how pitching should work, especially when it comes to actual pitch mix. If a guy doesn’t like throwing the slider and you keep making him throw it anyway, your results are likely to be poor.

      It would certainly appear that was the case with Gray and shows a disturbing (in my opinion) trend of pitch selection coming from the dugout. Trust your pitcher and catcher to know the scouting report and get results.

  21. matt hendley

    Garrett to IL, JVMR recalled.

    NWA singing Straight outta Leftys

  22. Klugo

    Hats off to the fans.
    Reds fans are amongst the best in the game. Given something to cheer about, we pull our weight and then some. Nothing like seeing (and hearing) thousands of fans backing a team, a player. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again: Reds fans are proud and passionate.We deserve a winning team.