Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (63-52)
12 19 2
Cincinnati Reds (54-59)
5 11 0
W: Chatwood (5-1, 3.92 ERA) L: Gausman (3-8, 6.26 ERA) 
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Cincinnati Reds (54-59) got embarrassed by the Chicago Cubs (63-52) 12-5 on Thursday night. The most important series to come to Great American Ballpark didn’t exactly get off to a great start.

The game was billed as a probable pitcher’s duel. That’s the funny thing about baseball, though, as the game does not care about what’s on paper. Both Alex Wood and Cole Hamels lasted just three innings, apiece. Both pitchers combined to give up 10 runs on 15 hits.

After those three innings, the score was tied at five and it appeared that we were going to get a very good game. The Reds would not score from then on, however, while the Cubs put a touchdown on the board.

Two things stood out as a Reds fan watching the Cubs. 

The addition of Nick Castellanos is big stuff for them. Two of his three hits were homers, which gave him more RBI (two) than runners left stranded (one). They slotted him in the second spot in the lineup and he is now hitting .284. An outfield bat they got at the deadline must be nice.

The other thing was Ian Happ. Dude cannot hit against any other team (.235 average) but run him up there against the Reds and he goes off (.309). He had two hits, a homer, and four RBI Thursday night. One of the many points he beat into the ground, Thom liked to remind those of us watching at home that Happ tees off on the Reds to the tune of a 1.152 OPS. Ain’t that just peachy?

One last piece of negativity before a few positive notes: it is time for David Hernandez and the Reds to part ways. His service has been commendable, in the last year plus, but he has been a consistent train wreck out of the bullpen this year. He allowed five earned runs on six hits and two walks in 1.2 innings on Thursday. He was soundly out-pitched by none other than Kyle Farmer. 

Speaking of good notes, Farmer replaced Hernandez in the top of the eighth, with two outs and runners on first and second. Farmer was able to get Jason Heyward to ground out on a pitch that didn’t register on the radar gun. He then pitched a scoreless ninth inning to allow the rest of the bullpen a breather. Dude is a jack of all trades.

Aristides Aquino continued his torrid start in the majors. He had a pair of hits, including a dinger that will probably make it around the world in less that 80 days. He wasn’t just a bat, though. He gunned down Anthony Rizzo trying to stretch a single into a double, in the first inning. The throw was clocked at 101 MPH. Maybe he’s the next position player to get a crack on the mound?

Last, but certainly not least, is Phillip Ervin. Dude had the weirdest stat line I’ve seen in a baseball game. He went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, yet didn’t score a run. He’s absolutely mashing right now. It doesn’t matter if the pitcher is a southpaw, a righty, or Pat Venditte, Ervin is hitting every baseball that comes plate-ward and it’s been fun to witness.

If the Reds are going to #SneakOnIn, they pretty much have to win Friday’s game. Trevor Bauer will be on the mound to ensure that happens. The lineup will be tasked with hitting Yu Darvish, though. You may remember the last time Darvish faced the Reds as he shut them out for six innings. Hopefully Friday brings a different set of fortunes.

45 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    Every Cubs position starter, except Heyward, had 2 or more hits. If the pitching is that bad, which it was tonight, few teams are going to overcome it.

    Get’em tomorrow.

    So… here is the brightest spot of all tonight, IMO.

    Brian O’Grady made his MLB debut.

    In addition to the memory of a lifetime, he gets (I believe) ….

    -free healthcare for life via MLB’s healthcare program (priceless)
    -pro-rated MLB league minimum salary
    -small cut of MLBPA licensing revenues (based on service time)
    -and…. 6 more weeks and he is eligible for a pension

    We may think one guy is overpaid compared to another …. but, IMO, good on the union and past players for making sure everyone gets something from being in The Show. Even if it turns out to be just for a cup of coffee.

    • Curt

      Congrats to Brian O’Grady and his family!

  2. Great Redlegs Fan

    Well, I think it just didn’t go as planned. Wood’s poor outing, coupled with Senzel, Votto and Peraza lousy at bats, killed any chances after the game was tied in the 3rd inning. Hernandez’s last appearance as a Red was just a bonus.

    • burtgummer

      I’m not holding my breath on Hernandez

  3. Curt

    Looking at the box score, did Senzel actually play at 2B at some point, it’s listed as CF-2B, if so, isn’t that a first?

    • Big Ed

      I think he moved to second when they moved Farmer from 2B to pitcher, and put O’Grady in CF.

      I don’t think you can read much into it, under those circumstances.

  4. Mason Red

    Another missed opportunity. It’s August so those opportunities are becoming fewer and fewer. Cubs flexed their muscles last night.

  5. Big Ed

    Votto is now 1-for-his-last-18, with 6 BBs. The league has adjusted back to his adjustment.

    Senzel is 4-22, with no walks and no XBHs. He looks tired to me, and isn’t hitting the ball hard at all. His average exit velocity is below MLB average.

    Peraza has an OPS over his last 15 games of .431. His early error last night led to 3 unearned runs, and then he whiffed on an unwise attempt at a barehand play at SS that scored 2 runs. Remind me again why he is in the major leagues.

    • Great Redlegs Fan

      Time to make tough decisions if they want to continue in the race: Votto and Senzel must sit for a while, no more Peraza and Hernandez.

      • Stoney

        At the very least move Votto out of the second hole. Batting him 6 or 7 may help everybody. Enough of Peraza. More than enough with Hernandez. Please make some adjustments Mr Bell.

    • MFG

      Big Ed, you are right. Tonight we should sit Senzel and Peraza. Ervin must be in the line up and I think Winker should start. Farmer at 2B.

  6. Mike Adams

    Two failures led to this debacle.

    Reds’ pitching and 3 for 16 batting with runners in scoring position.

    Teams and pitchers just back from injury will have bad games every once and a while.

    The Reds can still take the series but it will require a seven inning, 1 or 2 run(s) allowed effort by the starter.

    Also no relief pitching by the gas hose gang.

    Come on Reds and Bauer, show some fight and heart.

    • RojoBenjy

      Fielding errors by Jose9 are in the running for a top contributor to the debacle.


    Stupid Cubs

    Time for a 3-game sweep

    • Matt WI

      Excellent reframe. I’m on board.

  8. Hotto4Votto

    Hernandez needs to go, no business being on a ML mound at this point.

  9. Pete

    Peraza completely wilted under the spotlight last night or experienced a case of very unhappy coincidence at the wrong place at the wrong time. He kicked away two playable ground balls. He shouldn’t see the field as a starter unless the Reds are eliminated. If he does, we will be going from a puzzling move to downright dumb.

    For all the great play of AA, his last three AB’s were abysmal. Looked like his opening night. He now has a reputation of a big-time power hitter and he isn’t going to see strikes like he has in the previous 20 AB’s. I saw the same when I watched him play in Louisville, he can get swing happy – I think he knows the strike zone and has shown this but sometimes you got to take the walk and keep the line moving. Suarez should probably bat behind him as Jose Iglesias will only make the situation worse.

    Looks like we may still face, or are facing, a dilemma with Joey Votto. Not a great place to be for Votto or the organization but short term they should probably move Winker/Ervin up to the two spot and move Votto down. The two hole was a sinkhole last night. At least for tonight, the Reds would probably have a better chance to score runs if Ervin plays CF so the Reds can have Ervin and Winker both play. Senzel looks tired.

    Last night was a nightmare and I expect Hernandez to be dispatched today. Since June 28th:

    Games: 12
    Innings: 8
    Hits: 23
    ER: 22
    HR: 5
    BB: 9
    ERA: 24.75
    xFIP: 7.80*

    *Note: How he carries this low of an xFIP is inexplicable with those peripherals. Maybe Jeff Carr can explain it to us but it looks like there must be a hole in the formula. Same with Jose Peraza’s DRS of 5.

  10. Pete

    Bell last night:

    “Again, he continues to hit the ball hard, and he’s got a really nice approach,” Bell said. “He’s still in the early stages of his Major League career. We’ll continue to look for opportunities for him, not to play every single day, just to make sure we’re mindful of that.”

    This is insanity.

    • Reddawg12

      A nice approach? Are you kidding me? Peraza hasn’t taken a walk in over two months. I’ve been a DB fan so far but that quote is nonsense.

      • Pete

        Oh no, Bell was talking about Aquino! AA will probably not start tonight but have no fear Bell will be “looking for opportunities to use him”. Bell is a very smart guy bit I wonder if he is going to be too slow to recognize changing dynamics especially with his own personnel.

  11. docproc

    “Phillip Ervin. Dude had the weirdest stat line I’ve seen in a baseball game. He went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, yet didn’t score a run.”

    Gee, I wonder who was slotted in the lineup behind him?

    • jim t

      Peraza hit behind him and lined out to Right field once and had a hit another time. His night at the plate was much better then are 25 mil dollar man. Who by the way took two more called third strikes one with the bases loaded. He must lead the league in called third strikes.

      • PhP

        Votto having a poor night has nothing to do with Peraza being terrible. They don’t play the same position in case you were wondering. And no one is defending Votto, multiple posters have suggested he move down in the lineup and or have his playing time reduced.

        What are people’s obsession with Peraza – can’t get on base, can’t hit for power, and doesn’t isn’t a great (good) fielder. He contributes nothing.

      • docproc

        Won’t dispute that Votto has looked awful.
        But Peraza is batting .217/.217 for August. And fielding like a butcher.

      • Reaganspad

        That pitch he took for strike 3 was sad.

        I would consider platooning Votto

      • Jim t

        @Php yes I’m aware they don’t play the same position. I’m also not defending Peraza but he is far from what is wrong with team. He is at best a platoon player who plays multiple positions and that is how he is being used.

        Votto has been in a over 1 1/2 year funk. He used to regularly hit 30 bombs, drive in a 100 runs and now he’ ll be lucky to produce half that amount. His lack of production is a huge detriment to our offense.

        Peraza had a very nice year last year and a dynamite spring. It has not carried over. Playing him less is probably in the cards especially against Righthanders.

  12. docproc

    Here’s the lineup I would run out there tonight, going with the “play the hot hand” approach:
    Winker LF
    VanMeter 2B
    Suarez 3B
    Ervin CF
    Aquino RF
    Dietrich 1B
    Iglesias SS
    Barnhart C

    Senzel and Votto need a day off. Aquino and VanMeter should play every day. Ervin should stay in the lineup while he’s hot. Peraza should ride pine.

    • Pete

      Doc, your lineup is certainly superior to the one Bell will run out there tonight but Aquino is our best hitter – so you don’t move him down, you move him up. Dietrich is on the IL. Otherwise, I’m on board.

      • docproc

        Oops–forgot about Dietrich on IL–good catch. How about O’Grady at 1B.

      • Pete

        I would. Give JV some down time and see if he can recover, they won’t do it because in many ways Votto is bigger than the team – it’s a shame. . Ultimately against RHP, I’d like to see Winker get a look at 1B. He and Ervin both need to start against righthanders. Phil looks very much like an every day ballplayer. If their use of him in this manner continues, I’d trade him – he would be worth more to the Reds in another uniform – crazy.

      • Matt WI

        Yeah, they most certainly won’t sit Votto on a Friday night in GABP. Unless he has some “soreness” to attend to.

    • Curt

      O’Grady was doing all his mashing in AAA while primarily playing 1B. So he would make sense as a fill in to spell Votto while maintaining the youth momentum.

  13. Klugo

    A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. The moment seemed to be too big for Jose Peraza.
    I can’t believe what I’m seeing from Hernandez. ERA now north of 8. There must be something ailing him.
    Aquino had me out of my seat early in the game. What a talent. But he did strike out three times after the 3rd inning. Pitchers will make adjustments. They’re going to start pitching him soft stuff away. Can he adjust?

  14. Tom

    Discouraging, and you might also add deflating loss for the Reds. The numbers do not lie for David Hernandez – ugh! Right now with the suspension of Hughes and impending time out for Garrett, it seems Hernandez is getting more mound time than he should. If it were not for the short-handed pen, I would only hand the ball to Hernandez in a blowout. I don’t openly root for guys to lose their jobs, but it is a business and players make lots of money. The Reds need to find another bullpen arm. As for Votto, lousy time to go into a slump. The next 3 games will be the last of consequence this year for the Reds if they continue to lose. Now or never guys.


    Peraza looking more like BHam without the stellar glove. I’d mention the sperd but that’s irrelevant if you aren’t on base.


    • wizeman

      unless we run table rest of weekend… i hope he mo vces senzel to 2nd base… where i think he should be and install ervin in center

  16. Scott C

    I knew the game was over once Hernandez came into the game. We were down by only 2 at that point and certainly in the game. Hernandez just threw cold water on anything the Reds had at that point. I think he needs to either go back on the IL or be DFA. As far as Peraza goes he needs to be sent back to AAA and Blandino brought up, his first AB of the game all he had to do was put the ball in play on the right side of the infield, instead he wasted his AB with a lazy fly ball to left, then his two errors in the game. were totally pathetic. The one thing I don’t like about Bell, and I do think he does a pretty good job, is all the double switching, that cost us Iglesias last night who has a better bat and glove than Peraza. In other games he has pulled another good bat to save a pitcher who sometimes doesn’t make it out of the inning. We have a short bench so we carry one more arm. And one more gripe since I’m going, (last night just brings out the worse) Votto needs to adjust to the fact that he is not getting those borderline calls any longer. But the good news is, its just one game, doesn’t matter if you get beat by one or 7, it only counts as one.

  17. FRANK Howard

    Dont need analytics to tell me Hernandez’s arm is shot….or Senzel is hurting….as is Votto. But……lets talk about Aquino’s exit velocity and arm strength. Just watched game 2 of 76 WS on youtube. So refreshing without all the statcast crap.

    • Bill J

      I don’t care how fast was or how far it went if it’s a homerun just that it went over the fence.

  18. Frank Howard

    Its amost like they want to lose. Bells decisions reflect that. So forget wild card. Not like it used to be.. front office cslling every pitch

  19. Scott C

    Just saw tonight’s lineup. Why is Peraza starting tonight? Is Iglesias hurt?

  20. Pete

    Line up posted:

    Winker – lf
    Votto – 1B
    Suarez – 3b
    VanMeter – 2B
    Aquino – rf
    Senzel – cf
    Barnhart – c
    Peraza – ss
    Bauer – p

    Peraza has an angel looking out for him. Like Tucker batting 7th.

  21. Don

    Votto and Senzel did both look they are not seeing the ball at all in the last week + of games. Suarez has looked tired at times as well recently.

    Starting last night, Reds play 30 games in the 31 days with one off day and one double-header.

    Bell has to figure out how to give the players days off and keep them fresh while still winning games.

    Cannot run those three out there every night and expect them to perform.

    Senzel played games since being drafted
    2016 = 68
    2017 = 119
    2018 = 44
    2019 = 85
    Could be hitting a rookie wall.

    Suarez OPS by month over his career
    April 982
    May 983
    June 926
    July 979
    August 844
    September 695
    He needs a day off as his stats show he will fall off the next 7 weeks as he gets worn out.

    Votto needs to swing the bat and stop hoping the ump will give him the call on 3-2 when the pitch is on the corner like he used to always get by reputation. Umps are graded to hard now compared to years ago on reputation pitch calling.