Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (63-54)
1 7 1
Cincinnati Reds (56-59)
10 18 5
W: Gray (7-6) L: Hendricks (8-9) S: Romano (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

I’ve just got two words for this section: THE PUNISHER.

The Offense

This is Aristides Aquino’s world and we’re all just living in it. He had already been setting Reds records since being called up this year. What’s a few more? The Cincinnati Reds starting right fielder hit not one, not two, but THREE home runs in the game. And they came in back-to-back-to-back innings. In the 2nd inning he homered against Kyle Hendricks, just getting the ball over the wall at 344 feet. It was only 88 MPH off of the bat. The next inning he went a little bit deeper, hitting another home run off of Kyle Hendricks. This one went 385 feet. And then in the 4th inning he got to face a new pitcher. The Cubs brought in Dillon Maples. He tried to get a 97 MPH fastball by Aquino. It didn’t work and he deposited it 452 feet away in center field just over the bullpen.

It wasn’t just Aristides Aquino playing long ball for the Reds, though. Nick Senzel homered for the 9th time of the year. Eugenio Suarez homered for the 32nd time of the year. And Kyle Farmer got in on the action with his 7th home run of the year in the 6th inning, giving the Reds a 10-0 lead.

Josh VanMeter went 2-5 with two doubles and I’m going to just beat this drum until my hands bleed: Play Josh VanMeter every day. Play him against lefties. And play him against righties. Every. Single. Day.

Jose Peraza added three hits in four at-bats. Sonny Gray even got in on the action, going 1-2 with two runs batted in.

And not to be lost in the blowout win, rookie Brian O’Grady picked up his first Major League hit. Shout Out Brian O’Grady!

The Pitching

Lost in a night of “Aristides Aquino did WHAT?!”, Sonny Gray was rather dominant on the mound. He tossed 6.0 shutout innings and allowed just two hits. The right-hander was a tad wild, as he walked four batters in the game. He was effectively wild, too, though, racking up seven strikeouts in the game. He left holding a 10-0 lead and handed the ball over to Sal Romano. In only his second appearance of the year for Cincinnati, Romano picked up his second save as he pitched the final three innings of the game. He allowed a solo home run in the 9th inning, but that was it.

Notes Worth Noting

Where do we even start with the Aristides Aquino stats worth noting from this game?

From Elias, Aquino is the first player in Reds history to homer in three straight innings of a single game. He’s also the first rookie in Major League Baseball history to accomplish that feat according to Stats by STATS. Aquino is only the 2nd player in history to have a 3-homer game within his first 10 career games, joining the legendary Bobby Estalella who did it in 1997. His 7 home runs in his first 10 games with the club is the franchise record. Those 7 home runs in the first 10 games ties Trevor Story for the Major League record.

Aristides Aquino’s line through 10 games: .464/.500/1.250 – that’s a 1.750 OPS. SEVENTEEN FIFTY.

Sonny Gray lowered his ERA to 3.10 on the season. How fun is it to know that every single day the Reds starting pitcher gives you a legitimate chance to win?

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday August 11th, 1:10pm ET

Jon Lester (9-8, 4.39 ERA) vs Luis Castillo (11-4, 2.63 ERA)

33 Responses

  1. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I felt I saw a kink in Aquino, if there is one. He needs to learn how to lay off those low, outside balls. That’s difficult for anyone. But, if he doesn’t learn that, he’s going to be fed a steady diet of them.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love to see what the kid is doing right now, at the exact time we need it. I just want to see him keep it up and not fall behind. I mean, 7 HR’s in 10 games? He’s not going to keep that up. Will he?

    Good job tonight, Reds. I said in this series and the next 2 series, we need 7 wins. 2 down, 5 to go.

    • Nicholas Clutter

      Did you watch his 4th at bat where he walked. He let all those low and away pitches go. He is learning and still killing the ball.

  2. Davy13

    Dang! Aquino – AquiYES! I know AA will be scouted and figured out (not too badly I hope), but it is fun at the moment to see what may lay ahead in the club’s future with his bat (and arm) in the lineup. If he’s the real deal, then the club will just need to sign a top-tier bat (high avg, + power) to complement the pitching staff to contend next season. The nice thing about Senzel’s aptitude at CF is that FA bat does not have to be for one position – could be CF (move Senzel to 2B), could be 2B (keep Senz in CF), etc. Looking for a series win tomorrow and see a glimpse of WC dreams.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      The thing is, we also have VanMeter who could play 2nd as well.

      It’s definitely good problems to have. I honestly don’t believe the Reds have to “rebuild” necessarily. I believe they have to commit to how are they going to go. For instance, with the OF’s we have in Winker, Senzel, AA, and Ervin, are they going to commit to them? Or, are they going to try to bring in an experienced OF with a consistent OBP of 350? Only as an example.

      I could see all kinds of combinations. Which way will they decide? We all have opinions on that.

      • Pete

        The emergence of the kids: Senzel, VanMeter, Winker, Ervin and AA along with the Bauer acquisition has effectively ended the rebuild.

        The team still can be improved: BP, SS and 1B but can win right now. You’ll notice I didn’t mention c, I want to see more of the new, improved bat of Tucker Barnhart before going there. For my money, TB is everything you want in a catcher outside of hitting and now it may play. He went 2 for 4 with a walk.

        Through June 22: 191/290/315, wRC+ = 54
        Post injury: 351/442/622. wRC+ = 166

        He’s changed his everything about his approach at the plate. The team has 6 more weeks to evaluate.

  3. CFD3000

    That was fun. Every Reds starter had a hit, including Sonny Gray. And after all that talk about what a roll Hendricks has been on, it was nice to see him leave early. Nice job by Gray and Romano to set up the bullpen for tomorrow. And this Aquino kid did okay too. A win tomorrow would be huge. Can’t wait – Go Reds!

  4. Klugo

    Yasiel Who??
    Aquino is going to save the Reds a lot of money that they can, instead, put into…more pitching.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I honestly wouldn’t have a problem if they put that money into a regular player(s) who had a consistent 350+ OBP. We only have one player above that right now. We are still about 10 points below the NL average OBP.

      Either way, it doesn’t make a difference to me. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see what direction the FO goes with over the off season.

      • Colorado Red

        But it is still nice, to see what we need to put over the top and into the post season, vs a top 5 or 7 pick.
        Still take a miracle this year to make the post season (10% chance give or take), but I am optimistic for next year, for the first time in a while.

    • CP

      If Aquino and VanMeter are both the real deal, and man what a development that would be, then the Reds may have found a way to keep more of their core players for a longer period of time. It allows them to lock down Castillo long term, lock down/replace Bauer long term, buy a couple FA arms for the BP, and perhaps go after an upgrade at SS or C. I’m hopeful in the development of Tucker’s new swing too, and the prospect Stephenson at C, but as we have been told, “hope is not a strategy”.

  5. Daytonian

    Doug, you say “Romano picked up his second save…” Can you be awarded a save if you enter the game with a 10-run lead? I don’t know. And who really cares. This is one heckuva night for a Reds fan.

    • vegastypo

      I’ll save Doug the trouble … A pitcher can get a save if he pitches the final three innings, no matter how big the lead is.

      • Daytonian

        Thanks @Vegastypo. Learn something new every day! (Okay, most days).

    • B-town fan

      He came in with an inherited lead and pitched 3 innings to end the game, that counts as a save.

    • Matt WI

      And I’m almost certain that was the same way he got his 1st save this year too.

  6. Great Redlegs Fan

    One think I still don’t get is the LF platoon between Winker and Ervin. Winker has a .443 OPS against LH but in just 43 AB. On the other hand, Ervin carries a .701 OPS in 59 AB against RH (more than the 44 AB against LH). Unless they’re given a long look against both RH & LH you’ll never the real potential, and Ervin has better running & defensive skills.

    • Indy Red Man

      Numbers say Bell has it right then. Winker has a .876 ops vs RHP and Ervin’s is a Million vs LHP. They could give Ervin a little time in CF to keep Senzel fresh. I don’t get Winker in CF? I’m as fast as he is:)

      The platoon I don’t get is JVM at 2B. He’s got extra base power. He draws walks. He can run. He smashed LHP at AAA. They didn’t sit Scooter vs lefties? Turn him loose already! Peraza has hit .300 for the last month plus atleast. Embarrassment of riches with AA, but the runs dry up fast on the road at times.

      • CP

        Agreed, JVM should be playing everyday through the end of the year so we can see what we really have in him. The league will adjust to him and Aquino both and we need them to get “exposed” a bit later this year so we can see how they can learn to make adjustments and fill in the holes in their swings, if there even are many.

  7. Don

    Great team win. Gray started game right with dominant 1st inning to set the tone.
    JVM got key 2 out out in 1st for lead then Aquino and the rest of the team showed what should be done with 88 mph fastballs and 75 mph curve balls.

    Time for Luis to continue sting pitching and win series.

  8. Pete

    WAR:
    Aquino: 0.9 in 30 PA
    Puig: 1.1 in 445 PA

  9. Satchmo

    On this fine morning I’m watching the replay of the game on MLB.TV with the WGN (Cubs) broadcasting crew. I highly suggest it to everyone.

    1) No Thom screaming random gibberish in search for a catchphrase to brand himself with.
    2) You get a fresh, independent perspective on Reds’ players.
    3) You get to hear the utter, complete shock in the Cubs voices when the Aquino hits his second (and then third) HR.

    It’s a beautiful thing.

    • Matt WI

      Does anyone have any thoughts on what in the WORLD Thom was doing by making a sound like he was bubbling his finger between his lips while pronouncing “Aristides”? I believe it was on the first homer, maybe the 2nd. I heard it in a highlight package. But I mean it, seriously, what was that man doing?

      • TR

        I just hope Thom does not succeed his father as the Voice of the Reds.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Mrs. Cossack and the Old Cossack were watching the game when that happened. We just looked at each other, shook our heads in unison, started laughing uncontrollably and officially proclaimed him a bumbling idiot. That was just absurdly weird.

  10. Roger Garrett

    Makes you wonder why it took so long to let the younger guys play.Guess we had to wait until the trade deadline but I am good with it.Would be nice if we could start the year with these starters,stay with our young position players,tweek the pen.add a bat and see what we could do.Wait we can actually do that next year barring injury.Good to know each game we do have a chance to win isn’t it and we are doing it with younger players.Reds need to jump out early today and make it 3 out of 4.Lets see what happens.

    • CP

      Roger, like the rest of us, I think the FO hoped these kids would produce, but they had now way of ever hoping they would look this good I don’t think. I think just about everyone is surprised at not only the development of JVM but also AA (the kid was DFA’d just last year and resigned as a minor league FA).

      I give the FO credit for the trades of Puig and Scooter to open up playing time for these two kids and playing them immediately after the trades. It proves that they had these two kids in mind when making those trades.

  11. CP

    If Aquino, JVM, Winker, Senzel, and Ervin all end up starting or new starting caliber players going forward, I can’t help be reminded of the Cubs rebuild. Their developed their own hitters from within the franchise, and mostly traded and signed FA for their pitchers. The key advantage the Reds have that the Cubs do not, is Castillo. They never developed, or stole in a trade, their own young, controllable, ACE.

    With Castillo under control for 3 more years (at least), and Gray the same, and all the freed up cash the Reds have, they really have a shot to take a run at this thing for an extended window!!

    • Pete

      Who is Donnie Ecker? He may be my MVP for 2019. Are the Reds now able to develop and churn out elite MLB hitters? Senzel also changed his approach yesterday.

  12. Steven Ross

    I not really sold on our Outfield of Kemp, Schebler and Puig. Oh wait? Never mind.

  13. Hotto4Votto

    Man what a fun game, fun players to follow. I text “It’s Aquino’s world and we’re just living in it” more than once last night when talking Reds. Glad to see Doug and I are on the same page in reaction to Aquino’s impressive start. Was also saying how having a good rotation and young position players is a fun combination. This is what we were all asking for when we wanted the Reds to play the young guys. Glad to see them get their chance. Last night we saw Winker, Aquino, and Peraza (25), along with Senzel and VanMeter (24) all get in on the action. Let’s keep the good time rolling and beat the stupid Cubs once more.

  14. Matt WI

    Thanks to Gray and Romano, the Reds have a loaded bullpen and their best pitcher going today. I like it. Just take advantage of the opportunities Lester gives… he has an uncanny ability to get out of trouble.