The Cincinnati Reds (54-58) homered their way to a win over the Los Angeles Angels (56-59) by a score of 8-4 on Tuesday night at Great American Ballpark. Cincinnati has now won four out of their last five series.

The Reds knocked five dingers off the Angels on the night, finishing off the two-game sweep and scoring 15 runs in those games. What’s crazy was the Reds trailed 3-0 after the top of the first.

Staring down an early deficit and the Angels starter Jose Suarez appearing to move through the first with ease, Eugenio Suarez smacked a two-out solo homer. That started a little rally as Aristides Aquino followed with a single, and Jose Iglesias smashed his eighth homer of the year to tie the game up.

Fast-forward to the fourth inning when the Reds took the lead for good. Aquino continued his hot night and led off the frame with a solo shot off the batter’s eye in center field. A few batters and base runners later Anthony DeSclafani helped his own cause with an RBI-single. That was followed quickly by an RBI-single from Nick Senzel. The Reds would not relinquish the lead from there.

DeSclafani wasn’t as sharp as he would like, but he was plenty fine on a night when the lineup worked as well as it did. He tossed 5.1 innings, allowing four earned runs on five hits and three walks. He helped keep the strikeout streak alive by fanning five Angels. The bullpen then added some more to get the fans free pizza. The Reds have struck out five-plus in 86-straight games.

One of those strikeouts came from Michael Lorenzen when he struck out Mike Trout, again, on a 98 MPH fastball, again. You could say Mikey Biceps has had a few good nights.

Tucker Barnhart was one of the stars of tonight’s game. He continued his hot streak since returning from the IL, and he helped the Reds play add on by smacking two dingers.

The other star of the night for the Reds was the aforementioned Aristides Aquino. He had three hits on the night – two singles and the one long homer.

Guys and gals we have a win streak. In to test that streak is the Chicago Cubs after an off-day tomorrow. The pitching matchups are going to be spicy.

Thursday: Alex Wood vs Cole Hamels

Friday: Trevor Bauer vs Yu Darvish

Saturday: Sonny Gray vs Kyle Hendricks

Sunday: Luis Castillo vs Jon Lester

Going to be a playoff-like atmosphere at the ballpark, this weekend.

40 Responses

  1. The_next_janish

    I haven’t been this excited for a series in years. Go Reds!

    • asinghoff99

      Reminds me of the Reds series where Freel made the diving catch in CF against the Cardinals.

  2. Lee

    Ive been eyeing Aquino since his year in AA where he killed it both in the field and at bat. I know he has the skills, can he make the adjustments that needs? If any young Reds hitter is NOT hanging with Joey V every day trying to gleen a bit of knowledge to hit better, their missing it. With the people around him, can he improve from this point, only time will tell. Go beat up on the Cubbies

    • da bear

      Joey V was a great hitter, a great student of the game. The evidence is not there he is a great teacher. Cozart struggled offensively for a long time. Billy Hamilton tried to learn from JV but didn’t have the hand eye coordination to pull it off.

      It’s the new batting coach that worked with AA (see previous RLN post) this spring. That’s the guy AA will hopefully continue to partner with in adjusting to whatever adjustments MLB pitchers make

      • greenmtred

        Cozart did struggle, but when he turned it around, he gave Joey credit for helping him with his approach. Joey’s genius seems to this non-hitter to be more about analysis and mental conditioning than mechanics, and I would suppose that those are hard to teach.

      • Pete

        I posted the link. This closed the sale for me. Donnie Ecker saw Aquino’s potential years ago and always wanted to work with AA because of his natural talent. I hate to go to posted links myself but I would recommend everyone check it out. Your confidence in AA will grow as well as how the Reds are improving the development of hitting production. Only 2 minutes long, here it is again:

      • Doc

        The fact that Cozart and Hamilton did not benefit from Votto does not say that Votto Is not a great teacher. If Hamilton doesn’t have the hand eye coordination, then no teacher can help. Cozart might also have maxed out his offensive skill set, and no one, even Votto, could give him something he doesn’t have.

      • Hotto4Votto

        To add on to what others have noted, I’m pretty sure Suarez has credited Votto with helping him improve to this point as well.

      • ToBeDetermined

        “The evidence is not there [that] he is a great teacher.”
        OK, I’ll go ahead and pile on.
        Couldn’t disagree more with that statement.

        Problem is he has also helped out guys on other teams. Josh Bell credits Votto with helping him out to see his potential on casual discussions when he was on 1st base.

        So here’s the issue with Hamilton and Cozart don’t have the potential that a Josh Bell has. Joey can’t put in what God left out.

  3. Indy Red Man

    The Punisher!! I don’t miss Puig that much now. Looks like AA has a legit RF arm as well. Not as good as Puig’s, but more then strong enough. Lets see how AA looks against stronger RH pitching now. Darvish will be a good test! Keuchel and the lefty last night are soft tossers, but righties with 95+ will try to jam him and then throw sliders away.

    Nice to see Tucker come back and produce! I’m not sure if the Reds really need to upgrade C or just play him less? He’s not a big guy and they play him to death! They play him vs LPH all the time? Alot of teams are playing their catchers almost 50/50 now. He had 370 at-bats in 2017 with a .750 ops. Thats acceptable if they were strong enough in other areas. Its just hard to go on the road in bigger parks with Iggy, Peraza, and TB. The first two don’t walk and Iggy/TB are huge double play victims. Speaking of which TB hit a dp ball last night, but they hit-n-ran to stay out of it. Bell doesn’t do that nearly enough.

    • Jim Walker

      For sure the track history is that TB gets run down when he catches too much. Hopefully the Reds have somebody figuring out if the right amount is 4 or 5 times a week. It was a lot easier to sit Barnhart when they had Casali as the #1b/2 and Farmer as an emergency guy.

      After Farmer’s initial appearances off of the concussion list (4 in a week), we haven’t seen much of him. Some of that no doubt b/c of RH pitchers and TB being hotter than hot. However sometimes concussion symptoms reoccur after seeming to have cleared. Let’s hope that is not the case for KF.

  4. Don

    Happy to see youth is resulting in wins. Team is playing better than most of the first half. Everyone is contributing and they look to be playing with confidence.

    Huge series vs Cubs. Time for starting pitchers to show up strong all weekend.
    Reds must win this series to close the gap in division.

  5. Big Ed

    Aristides Aquino is on pace, even with aging curves, to winning 8 straight unanimous MVP awards.

  6. TR

    That starting pitching scheduled for the weekend and playing the young guys indicates to me the Reds have turned the corner.

  7. Klugo

    I was not expecting this from Aquino. Color me impressed. Very.
    Love the energy that he and the other young’ns have infused.

    • greenmtred

      I pay attention when he comes to the plate, for sure. But I’m trying to avoid irrational exuberance, mostly unsuccessfully. More time will tell, but we’ve all seen young hitters have great starts and then settle back to earth as the league figures them out. He does have a lot going for him, though.

      • Klugo

        This is nitpicking, but I hope he stays committed to his defense as much as his ABs. Hes looked a little like Jose Martinez our there to me.

      • Jim Walker

        @Klugo Doug has written about AA’s defense on Reds Minor Leagues that he once had 28 OF assists in one season. I forget whether it was last season at AA or the previous at A+.

  8. docproc

    Time for your regularly schedule Peraza assessment:
    He went 1 for 4 last night.
    No runs scored, no RBI, no walks, one strikeout.
    In the slot behind him, Barnhart hit two solo home runs.
    Peraza’s .280 OBP is costing us runs.
    There’s a rookie on this team whose OBP is more than 100 pts higher.

    • RojoBenjy

      When said rookie starts every game at 2B, then I’ll believe that all the Reds’ bosses know what they’re doing. Until then, I still hold my breath from time to time.

  9. Mason Red

    This series against the Cubs is a must win for the Reds especially since they are at home. They must sweep or win 3. A split at this stage is a huge opportunity missed.

    • CFD3000

      Agree Mason. Not only is this a big series in the standings, but it could be big for the Reds confidence moving forward. Take 3 of 4 and pick up 2 games on the first place Cubs, cut the deficit to something much more manageable, and almost certainly gain on the team’s ahead of them in the wildcard too. A split wouldn’t be fatal, but lose the series and drop to 8 games back? That could be the end of their playoff dreams. But the pitching is lined up to go toe to toe with the front runners, at home. Bring it on. Go Reds!

  10. Richard

    Is this team hot?!

    Playoff potential hot? Plenty of games remain. Nobody ahead of us seem interested in taking over the division. Perhaps the new blood on the roster is what this team needs. At this point there really isn’t any pressure on the Reds. A game at a time.

    One thing I wish we’d see happen. Tell the starters that the 6th and 7th innings are theirs to own. This rotation is good enough to go deeper in games. They are considered the strength of the team, it would allow the bull pen to breathe.

    • greenmtred

      It would help the pen if the starters could go deeper, but there have certainly been signs that, beyond 6 innings, they’re gassed or have become too predictable to the opposition. I wonder if they pitch at closer to max effort than starters used to and can’t sustain that for 8 or 9 innings.

  11. Roger Garrett

    Its exciting to watch the younger guys play and we need to see more of JVM.For the first time since I guess Winker and for sure Bruce we have seen guys hitting in AAA.Never know how that works out on the big stage but Ervin,JVM and AA just look like they belong.All 3 will take a walk,have some pop and get on base.I know guys have to have talent but I am really impressed with whats happened at Louisville.Just hope they get at as many at bats as possible the rest of the way.Always felt it was a mistake to get caught up in the we think we can we think we can battle cry but only because it kept us from giving the young guys a chance.Now after clearing the way of the vets that just weren’t performing and going young I can’t help but think maybe we can.Worse case we are finding out who can fill a spot next year which enables us to fill the holes going in to 2020.Regardless of how this year turns out,I wouldn’t want to face out staff and these young guys at the plate right now cause they have nothing to lose and everything to gain going forward.Reds know they need help in the pen and the signing of Gausman was just really really smart.Get Reed and another guy or two up here to match up late and it could be over most nights really early for the other team.

  12. Matt WI

    Marty was commenting during an Aquino at-bat last night about “how lost he looked in his first 6 AB’s” but is now confident. Gee, thanks for giving a guy time to blink, Marty.

    • KDJ

      Go back to AA’s second game and read the comments on this site. It was mostly about how lost he looked and how he should not be at the MLB level. The comments have completely changed. Now we are excited about what we are seeing.

  13. Shchi Cossack

    As an off-day exercise, let’s rank the top Reds hitters based on at least 15 PA (sorry Micheal) for various periods of the season.

    2019 Season thru 08/06/19

    AQUINO (age 25) => 1.283 OPS; 228 wRC+
    ERVIN (age 26) => 0.954 OPS; 146 wRC+
    VANMETER (age 24) => 0.853 OPS; 124 wRC+
    DIETRICH (age 29) => 0.863 OPS; 120 wRC+
    SUAREZ (age 27) => 0.862 OPS; 117 wRC+
    WINKER (age 25) => 0.823 OPS; 112 wRC+
    SENZEL (age 24) => 0.793 OPS; 104 wRC+

    2019 Season 05/31/19 thru 08/06/19

    AQUINO (age 25) => 0.977 OPS; 228 wRC+
    ERVIN (age 26) => 0.977 OPS; 152 wRC+
    VANMETER (age 24) => 0.917 OPS; 138 wRC+
    WINKER (age 25) => 0.890 OPS; 133 wRC+
    VOTTO (age 35) => 0.791 OPS; 107 wRC+
    SUAREZ (age 27) => 0.813 OPS; 105 wRC+
    SENZEL (age 24) => 0.788 OPS; 102 wRC+
    CASALI (age 30) => 0.794 OPS; 102 wRC+
    BARNHART (age 28) => 0.822 OPS; 98 wRC+

    2019 Season 08/01/19 thru 08/06/19

    AQUINO (age 25) => 0.977 OPS; 228 wRC+
    IGLESIAS (age 29) => 1.211 OPS; 215 wRC+
    BARNHART (age 28) => 1.296 OPS; 202 wRC+
    SUAREZ (age 27) => 0.788 OPS; 118 wRC+
    VOTTO (age 35) => 0.770 OPS; 104 wRC+

    • Shchi Cossack

      A few quick observations from the data:

      17 PA is NOT enough of a sample to develop a definitive performance expectation for Aristides Aquino at the MLB level, his early performance mirrors his 2019 AAA performance.

      Phillip Ervin’s .400+ BAbip is not sustainable. His BB rate and SO rate have remained consistent. His statistical performance has been significantly enhanced by the LF platoon arrangement. The LF platoon between winker and Ervin could prove effective for all parties.

      Neither Iglesias nor Peraza have even approached a league average offensive performance for any significant time period, yet both continue to garner significant paying time beyond the time necessary to cover SS defensively. The Reds will need two SS on the 40-man roster capable of playing SS defensively for an extended time period in 2020 in case of injury to the starting SS. That was the intent when the Reds signed Iglesias for the 2019 season. Peraza is under team control thru arbitration next season. Iglesias is a FA after this season.

      The young prospects (Aquino, Ervin, VanMeter, Winker & Senzel) have fueled the 2nd half surge for the Reds. They MUST start as many games as possible and play as many innings as possible for remainder of the 2019 season. Just in case that point isn’t clear, either Perza or Iglesias MUST sit every game while Peraza and Iglesias share the defensive SS position. Winker and Ervin platoon in LF. Senzel starts in CF. Aquino starts in RF. VanMeter starts at 2B.

      • Pete

        The great news is it’s not for developmental purposes but rather to compete with our best players. The development is icing.

        I wonder if at some point Votto might get more rest so O’Grady and Winker can get a look 1B? A side benefit, more evaluation time for Ervin against RHP. Probably not but I’d like to see it.

      • Shchi Cossack

        It does appear that the infusion of younger prospects served two important but unrelated goals…winning now and evaluating prospects under a competitive playoff environment against the best teams best talent. This weekend will be so much fun, especially if the good guys wearing the Wishbone C step up to the task and throw down the gauntlet.

      • Roger Garrett

        Words of wisdom from Cossack.Are you listening in the front office.Its right there in your face.May attention and make it happen.If it was my money I would sure want to know where I have to spend it next year and with 50 games left if I saw a player that won’t be here next year pitching or playing in place of somebody who may I would start firing people.With this pitching staff and these young players the Reda are creating a window that may get them back to the playoffs and become relevant again.They know all about the vets and who is under contract for next year and who they want to be and who they don’t want to be.Most of us know that already so lets get this thing right the rest of this year.

  14. Streamer88

    Any enthusiasm for AA should be on pause until teams get scouting report on him before the series. Another 20-30 ABs will generate that. Once they find his weaknesses it’ll be on him and Turner Ward to tighten them up. Let’s see.

    I’ll reemphasize my enthusiasm for the Bauer trade here. Our matchups this weekend against the Cubs look strong. Bauer gives us the chance of 7 innings shutout baseball against elite hitting talent. If he comes to form over next 8 starts it’s going to get tight in the central and WC. Not saying we’ll do anything, but elite arms down the stretch give you that chance!

  15. Pete

    Dodgers get a walk off 2-1 win in the bottom of the ninth over the Cards!

  16. Pete

    I have pennant fever. Reds, Cubs & Cards schedules through August 18. Reds are 7 GB of the Cubs and 3-1/2 behind the Cards:

    Cubs – 4
    Nationals – 3
    Cards – 4

    Reds – 4
    Phillies – 3
    Pirates – 3

    Pirates – 3
    Royals – 2
    Reds – 4

    Reds need to keep on winning over this spread and we will be close enough not to have to worry about playing .650-.750-.800 ball. Close enough to be masters of our own destiny. Heck if the Mets can do it so can the Reds. This team is good enough, now. By mid-August the Reds can be in the thick of it and with enough luck be leading the division.