Happy 4th of July, Nation! The Cincinnati Reds (40-44) will go for a series win against the first place Milwaukee Brewers (46-41) this afternoon at 2:10 PM. The Reds have crept with 4.5 games of first place in the NL Central, and they are just 3.5 back from the second wild-card spot. The Reds are now 11-6 in their last 17 games against the Cubs and Brewers.

Starting Pitchers

Cincinnati Reds All-Star Luis Castillo continues to get good results despite walking way too many batters. Castillo finished the month of June with 20 walks in 28.2 IP. That is a recipe for disaster and something that Castillo must improve on if he wants to avoid a second half regression.

Castillo dominated the Brewers in his first start of the season in April (7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 9 K), but he has got beat around in his two short starts since: 6.1 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 3 HR, 8 BB, 8 K. Overall, he has a 4.08 ERA in 7 career starts against the Brewers (19 BB, 51 K) and a 8.31 ERA in 3 starts at Miller Park.

Brandon Woodruff is having a fantastic season for the Brewers. Woodruff’s 2.8 fWAR is tied for 4th best in the NL. His only start this season against the Reds came last Sunday, and it was a good one: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 12 K. Woodruff has a career 5.93 ERA in 4 appearances against the Reds (2 starts).

Starting Lineups

Cincinnati Reds Starting Lineup

  1. Jesse Winker – Left Field
  2. Joey Votto – First Base
  3. Eugenio Suarez – Third Base
  4. Yasiel Puig – Right Field
  5. Derek Dietrich – Second Base
  6. Nick Senzel – Center Field
  7. Jose Peraza – Shortstop
  8. Luis Castillo – Starting Pitcher
  9. Curt Casali – Catcher

Milwaukee Brewers Starting Lineup

  1. Yasmani Grandal – Catcher
  2. Christian Yelich – Right Field
  3. Mike Moustakas – Third Base
  4. Keston Hiura – Second Base
  5. Eric Thames – First Base
  6. Tyler Saladino – Left Field
  7. Ben Gamel – Center Field
  8. Orlando Arcia – Shortstop
  9. Kyle Woodruff – Starting Pitcher

News and notes

Left-handed pitcher Alex Wood is set to begin a rehab assignment with the Louisville Bats on Saturday in Columbus.

Conclusion 

This is a huge game for the Reds. The difference in a win or loss is being 3.5 back or 5.5 back in the division. The Reds playoff odds have cracked > 10% at Fangraphs, which is a far cry from last year’s 0.0% at this point in the season. The Reds have got me believing they can hang around and make this a special 2019 campaign. Go Reds!

103 Responses

  1. Klugo

    So does that leave us with exactly 0 LH pitchers?

    • ToBeDetermined

      Klugo
      I think your correct.
      With Garrett on the 10 day DL I think it won’t be so since bad since they only play 4 games between now and when he would be eligible to return due to 4 off days and the ASG.

  2. matt hendley

    THis has to be an offensive game for the reds . Castillo must keep the walks down and go at least 6. Perfer 7. Gotta give him that breathing room. Reds could go into the ALS break with 1st place in sight. Cubs blew the game last night. The all mighty Kimbrel is in fact human after all with 3 in a row blown saves.

    Hope this is just precautionary with Scooter, otherwise, he will be a Red the rest of the year.

    Home run derby participants announced. DD did not make it. I beleive it would have been something special for him, but oh well, cant win them all.

  3. RojoBenjy

    Get the W, Reds!

    Happy Fourth of July, RLN.

  4. CFD3000

    I think this is a critical game for the Reds. They’ve played the Brewers and Cubs well. But can’t seem to make any real headway. In Milwaukee they won the first two of four, but couldn’t break through and win the series, settling for a split. And Castillo’s start was the big disappointment in that series. So here’s a second chance. With Castillo on the mound, this is the difference between two splits and treading water, and a series win and real gains on the Brewers. It’s the difference between 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 back. And it’s the difference between 3 under and real momentum to get out of the cellar and into 4th or 3rd place (very soon), or falling back to 5 under, again, with nothing to show for their good play.

    Castillo needs to do more than just post good numbers, he needs to lead the team to a win, the way Sonny Gray did yesterday. And the offense needs to step up against a solid opposing starter. How about a July 4th blowout game of a celebration? Go Reds!

    • Ron Payne

      I agree that this is a critical game. This game and the two games against Cleveland should be approached like playoff games.

      If the Reds are going to be buyers, here’s 3 players I would check into.
      1 LHP Will Smith (SF) 34ip 8bb 53k 2.10era
      2 C Omar Narvaez (SEA) .287/.360/.823 12hr 31rbi
      3 IF/OF Lourdes Gurriel (TOR) .311/.363/1.003 15hr 35rbi

  5. Seat101

    I understand that the Cincinnati Reds have turned Michael Lorenzen into an ambiguous pitcher and he will be able to throw left-handed if he can make up his mind.

  6. Sliotar

    Happy 4th, y’all.

    Today is a reminder to me that, if all countries are shirts in a laundry…none are perfectly clean, but the USA is the cleanest shirt of them all, by far.

    I lived in several countries earlier in my life, including South Africa. I can’t imagine living there, and going and enjoying a sporting event, with all the under-reported crime and horrors going on every day.

    Baseball is as American as it gets. We have a lot to be thankful for.

    Go Redlegs.

    • Seat101

      Whenever I hear the Pittsburgh Howl I remind myself that at least we don’t have to listen to vuvuzelas!

      And even better, the game will not end in a nil-nil tie.

      God bless America and the home of the Reds!

    • ToBeDetermined

      Sliotar
      Thanks for you insight about living in other countries relative to living in the USA.

      I’ve got several clients that have lived in many countries and they appreciate the USA so much, warts and all.

  7. Old-school

    4 under .500 with 3 to go before the All star break. Tough sledding to get to 1 under but 3 under would be ok all things considered.

    C Trent has a great Q&A with Votto about his warm up swings and then Votto gives a hitting clinic.

    Go reds.

    • RojoBenjy

      Thanks, Old-school.

      Where can I find the C Trent-Votto piece?

      Thanks.

    • Indy Red Man

      Castillo looks like nails today!!
      Bad atbat by Senzel in the 1st. Ahead 2-0 and got too aggressive! Hard to gauge a guys stuff when he’s throwing 97, but hopefully he’ll mature in those situations

  8. Curt

    Nice to see The VanMeter back. Now, what the Dodgers would do is put him into the line-up straightaway at 2nd (where he’s been playing in LOU) to maximize confidence, show belief, say “hey, we know you went right back to crushing it in Louisville and we KNOW you can do it here, now go get ‘em kid, you’re in!”
    Works for the Dodgers…a lot.
    Next time maybe
    Go Reds

  9. Seat101

    So Dietrichplays second base on the steal just like Peraza does and muffs the throw.

    Crickets

    • VaRedsFan

      DD was on the bag waiting for the ball, not 3 feet in front, where he had to reach back and tag., nor was he 8 feet in front THE VERY NEXT day when he would have had Bryant out at 2nd on a double. Stop making stuff up

      • Seat101

        You must be watching this game on the radio

      • matt hendley

        IM watching the game, Watching, the throw hit Yeilich. DD was there to make the play. Ball was just poorly thrown.

      • VaRedsFan

        If we could only post pictures in here.

      • RojoBenjy

        Not to mention DD contributes to the team in many other ways other than mental mistakes and TOOTBLANs.

  10. VaRedsFan

    I get that resting guys is part of today’s game, but with an off day tomorrow and the All Star break only 2 games after that, I’m not crazy about giving Iggy a day off at SS. Give a guy an off day in the midst of 10 in a row or more.

    • Amarillo

      I think it’s more about keeping the bench guys fresh.

  11. VaRedsFan

    Puig!!! swinging bunt RBI. Good read by Winker.

  12. Old-school

    Wasn’t it just a short time ago the reds couldn’t get Thames out.
    Thames is now 0-8 lifetime with 7 K’s.

    • RojoBenjy

      Reds’ pitching so much better. Plus the data is in on Thames.

  13. matt hendley

    They must love the pizza in cincinnati, cause MIL seems to be rushing to get some for free

  14. RojoBenjy

    Chris Welch just broke down every apologetic for Jose Peraza.

    My takeaway? “He took over second base from Brandon Phillips and lost that job. He took over SS from Zack Cozart and lost that job.”

    • matt hendley

      I heard that. About as close as a same team announcer can get to ‘trade this guy’ as one can get.

      • RojoBenjy

        “Is he an everyday player on a championship baseball team?”

        He kind of sort of answered himself, “No.”

  15. Roger Garrett

    Come on offense.Need a couple more runs.Just do it and lets wrap this game up.Yeah its early but 3 may do it today.

  16. Seat101

    Just got back from the store. I see that Peraza bashing has really taken off.

    Some people just aren’t happy unless they’re unhappy.

    I’m happy to be watching a great baseball game. Go Rede!

    • VaRedsFan

      Obviously you weren’t if you were at the store….but yeah great game….however, I’d like to see more Reds runs.

    • RojoBenjy

      For the record, Chris Welsh brought it up and I was commenting on the broadcast and I only quoted him.

  17. Indy Red Man

    Well of course Peraza is 0-2 on 2 weakly hit balls, but he has ran back to the right dugout. Baby steps people:)

  18. Indy Red Man

    I’m going to say it. Castillo has a shot at it today! His pitch count is great! 12 to go

  19. VaRedsFan

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen an inning like that.
    Nubber to catcher.
    Comebacker to pitcher
    Comebacker to pitcher

    6 pitches…3 outs

    • Seat101

      I do believe Freddy Norman was capable of that feat.

  20. Seat101

    Hey! six pitch inning!

    God I love it!

  21. Roger Garrett

    Peraza needs to play every day to see if he can duplicate what he did last year.Problem for me is when he plays in place of others who need to play every day as well.He isn’t good enough to be a regular outfielder nor does he appear to be able to replace anybody in the infield on a regular basis so what do you do with him.Right now he is the Reds version of a super sub but that all depends on how he hits and well so far it hasn’t been good enough to hide his not so good defense at times or his lack of focus sometimes.He is 24 and trying to make him into a guy that doesn’t have a position yet gets in almost all of the games and has just as many at bats at the rest is well tough on him and on the team and on the fans.

    • Hanawi

      He’s not good enough defensively to be an everyday SS. He should never play the outfield, much less be an every day guy out there. That basically leaves 2B, but MLB is loaded with good hitting second basemen that provide much more offense than Peraza for cheap. He has a ceiling of a 25th man utility player, which is why both Atlanta and the Dodgers quickly gave up on him.

  22. Tom Mitsoff

    No way to subjectively measure this … but when was the last time we have seen 13 consecutive innings by Reds starting pitchers (Gray and Castillo) in which they were so dominant?

    • Old-school

      Both of these guys are credible major Leaguers who I would feel confident starting a playoff game. I’d like to see the Reds get a top lefty and then the SP would have 3 really good pitchers with some secondary guys capable of winning 10-12 games.

  23. Roger Garrett

    Great point Tom and against a very very good offense.

  24. Indy Red Man

    Scary thing is the pen is pretty shaky without Garrett. Dick Williams better get busy!!!
    9 to go!!!!!

  25. Seat101

    @Indyredman. Do you enjoy making fun of reds players?

    • Indy Red Man

      I criticize anyone that hurts the team. Its not just me either. Baseball is a statistical game so look at Peraza’s stats! One of the absolute WORST in mlb in exit velocity…..and he’s not a good defender either. If he was a coworker would you make excuses for poor performance? If you were his boss….would you allow it to continue year after year? JVM is putting up AAA #s that JP never came close to. He just put up a .347 obp with the Reds. Whats JP’s obp? .265 or something?

      Its really not a complex idea that I have. I want the Reds to field the best team possible and JP is not part of that.

  26. matt hendley

    Good effort by Castillo, needs to continue on good (was that thunder) track to finish this game and not feel down about losing the NHTER

  27. DHud

    Winker is 3-3 and getting pinch hit for because lefty

    Please stop the insanity.

    • VaRedsFan

      Better defense and better numbers vs. leftys…I agree with the move.
      Didn’t work at the plate, maybe it will in the field.

      • DHud

        Better numbers over roughly 100 ABs for each of them. Not a huge sample size

        Winker’s numbers vs lefties will never be any different unless he’s allowed to actually face lefties. I don’t know what else he has left to do at this point to earn that opportunity

    • greenmtred

      It’s a one-run game and Winker hits under .200 against lefties. Ervin takes them apart. Doesn’t seem like insanity.

  28. VaRedsFan

    Castillo has big movement with the 4 seamer today. He is very nasty when throwing like this.

  29. VaRedsFan

    Sky has opened up.
    Have to figure Luis’s day is over.

  30. vegastypo

    Dagnabbit. Rain couldn’t have waited maybe another half-hour. … So that’s likely the end of the day for Castillo ???

  31. matt hendley

    Safe to assume that this is it for castillo, 4 outs remaining. Excillent start for Castillo. How long is this Delay supposed to be.

  32. docmike

    Radar shows a very small cell. Maybe 30 minutes?

  33. Seat101

    Wouldn’t it be great if Puig’s scoring from first play turned out to be like the third best play of the season?

  34. Mark Moore

    Somehow, I thought this was a 4:10 start … I was busy smoking some butts and didn’t have the game on. When I did turn it on … rain delay … but at least we’re ahead.

    Four.More.Outs.Please.

    • lost11found

      Well you have a one-run lead and smoked meat. sounds like a win-win.

      • Mark Moore

        Add to that I just watched the top of the 1st and saw Puig’s MASSIVE RBI … so that’s 3 wins at least.

      • greenmtred

        I thought he meant already-smoked cigarettes. Stores are closed and he’s desperate.

    • VaRedsFan

      What time should I be there for the BBQ?

  35. lost11found

    Any local updates on the rain?

    Also, to follow up on yesterday. The acquisition of Grey is looking more like thievery.

  36. Don

    great pitching by Castillo, this is what the team needed today. Hitting is what it is. Sometime OK, usually makes opposing pitchers look like Cy Young contenders.

    Shame Castillo could not get the third out of the 8th before rain.

    Today is the type of start which shows Castillo can be an ace.

    Team needs to close the door any finish the game.

    I am guessing that Lorenzen is the pitcher whom will take over the 2-0 count and will need to finish off the game after Iglesias pitched the last two days.

    • RojoBenjy

      The Brewers’ pitcher today is not chopped liver. A few guys getting to him just not enough. Better at bats overall than most of their non-offense showings.

      • Don

        today’s brewers pitcher is good. the last 2 days were not top pitchers.

        Happy team won the games. Hold on today and at least split with indians and the reds will be relevant at the All star break.

        With schedule the rest after the break the Reds control their own destiny, 6 vs Rockies, 13 in the division before end of July, for staying relevant into August.

        Reds playing well into July and are fun to watch.

    • docmike

      Stinks that we got 4 hits in the first but only 1 run. That DP by Senzel was a backbreaker. Other than that he scattered the rest of the hits around.

      Like Rojo said, Woodruff is a good pitcher. Has 10 wins with a 3.67 ERA. Comparable to how Gray has pitched for us.

    • RedsMonk65

      DH to pitch. Cross your fingers.

      • Wayne nabors

        I’m thinking legs also and a few rabbit feets

  37. Seat101

    @indyredma
    You were not criticizing. I specifically said “making fun of”. For a reason. You were making fun of him. Now tell me, Do you honestly think that was criticizing? Because by any normal definition you were making fun of him.

    Really classy

    • Mark Lang

      It was a funny line – get over it.

  38. RedsMonk65

    Whew. OK. Iglesias in the 9th, I assume. Another run or two would make me feel better.

  39. matt hendley

    that ball did all the wrong things for Puig.

  40. RedsMonk65

    C’mon wrap this up — I have grilled meat to consume!

  41. VaRedsFan

    PHIL ERVIN!!!!
    DEFENSE MATTERS!!!

    • VaRedsFan

      luckily the kid in the stands misjudged it

  42. RedsMonk65

    Thank you Phil Ervin. C’mon guys. 2 more.

  43. Mark Lang

    Good thing that fan down the left field line was COMPLETELY inept.

  44. matt hendley

    The Pinch hit is validated on that play. Great Job Ervin, that was out of play. That reds fan has that look on his face on what he almost messed up

  45. VaRedsFan

    Wow…Huge win!!!
    Happy 4th everybody!!

  46. Mark Lang

    1 to nothing…. on a hot day… in GABP…. that can’t have happened too many times.

  47. Mark Moore

    Oh yeah!!! Hard to hate Yelich, but happy he was stranded on 3rd to end it all.

  48. TR

    Another big win for the Reds. They’re closing in.

  49. Don

    big win, beating the teams in front of them in the division.

    3.5 back, yea, great going.

    Enjoy the July 4th evening and day off on Friday, team deserves it.

    Happy 4th of July

  50. Old-school

    The definition of team is the sum is greater than the individual parts alone. The reds outfield is good. I would sign Puig. He’s going hit 30 home runs, play hard and be a decent RF. Senzel is a solid ball player in CF. Winker is an elite lefty hitter and Ervin gives you a 3 position OF and righty bat. Over 162 games, you need 4 guys and I like this OF construction. Great job Gray and Castillo. Those 2 are post season pitchers and top of the rotation guys.

  51. RojoBenjy

    Cubs-Pirates getting hot.

    Maddon had enough Pirate bean ball ways and went ballistic on the Pirates dugout. He had to be escorted off the field.

    Later the Pirates hit Bote in the helmet…

    Of course, the pitcher was NOT ejected.

    • Old-school

      Can’t stand the pirates… But Go pirates. Theo Epstein is threatening to trade/ cut guys.

  52. matt hendley

    Reds win, No Commie pizza on the 4th of July. Reds are 3.5 out of first. CUbs have destroyed the Pirates today so should be 1.0 out fo 4th? not sure. GOod to see Castillo pitch like he did.