The value of a top-tier pitcher like Trevor Bauer was on full display Friday night.

First and third, nobody out, his team holding a two-run lead, and Bauer got out of it allowing no runs – while facing Javier Baez, Ian Happ and Kyle Schwarber. That’s a threesome that has wrought much havoc on the Reds over the years.

In his first start as a Red vs. Atlanta, Bauer was all over the place. He looked much more like vintage Bauer last night. You think about what we saw last night and then consider what might happen after pitching coach Derek Johnson has had a chance to work with him for a few weeks.

Truly, the Reds have the equivalent of three All-Star caliber starting pitchers in their rotation for the remainder of this season, and for at least all of 2020. The other two – Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo – start tonight and tomorrow.

Entering today, the Reds trail the Cubs by seven in the NL Central standings. Second-place Milwaukee is 4.5 ahead of Cincinnati, and third-place St. Louis is four in front of the Reds. The Wild Card standings look like this:

Many will say that is far too many teams to have to climb over to have a legitimate shot. They were saying things like that about the New York Mets two weeks ago before they won 14 out of 15 games with a standout starting pitching rotation that got better when they added Marcus Stoman from Toronto before the deadline.

If Alex Wood can find his 2017 form, the Reds have the same sort of rotation that can win your team any series, regular season or post-season.

Game three of the four-game weekend series at Great American Ball Park against the first-place Cubs begins at 7:10 Eastern time.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Kyle Hendricks 126.2 3.06 4.30 21.6% 5.2%
Sonny Gray 121.2 3.25 3.57 27.8% 8.7%

Righthander Hendricks has allowed fewer than three runs in seven consecutive starts, so he is on his game. Gray is on a similar streak, having allowed more than two runs only once over his past seven starts. It shapes up as a close, well-pitched game.

Bullpen

At this point, we all hold our breath when Manager David Bell brings in a reliever. You have to give Amir Garrett credit, though, for a pitching feat similar to Bauer’s earlier in Friday’s game. He came in with the bases loaded in the eighth and hit the first batter he faced to force in a run. But then he retired Baez, Happ and Schwarber again without any more runs scoring. This is Jared Hughes’ final game on suspension, and he will return Sunday.

Starting Lineups

Cubs Reds
CF Albert Almora Jr. LF Jesse Winker
RF Nicholas Castellanos 1B Joey Votto
3B Kris Bryant 3B Eugenio Suarez
1B Anthony Rizzo 2B Josh VanMeter
SS Javier Baez RF Aristides Aquino
C Jonathan Lucroy CF Nick Senzel
LF Kyle Schwarber C Tucker Barnhart
2B David Bote SS Jose Peraza
P Kyle Hendricks P Sonny Gray

Additional insights into the statistical history of the players in today’s game is available all season long at BaseballSavant.com.

News and Notes

Your author was sitting in the upper deck GABP bleachers when this happened, and saw this ball actually leave the stadium and bounce into the river …

97 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    Where’s the statcast on that Dunn blast Tom? Had to be close to 500′. That gets me wondering how many home runs have been hit out of the stadium at GABP? I’m assuming most have been over the moon deck but that blast was straight out the front door. Wow! Dunn was so much fun. Aquino has a little of that same allure. Here’s hoping he can control the strike zone well enough to stick around and hit a lot of long home runs. With AA, Senzel, VanMeter and Ervin (BABIP notwithstanding), plus Winker, Suarez and a more powerful Votto, this could suddenly be a very exciting offensive team. Add that to the new rotation and it’s a lot of fun to be a Reds fan for the first time in many years. Let’s see another win over the Cubs tonight. Go Reds!

    • Earl

      Juan Francisco’s shot was pretty impressive. Hopefully Aquino won’t just end up being the next Wily Mo Pena/Juan Francisco.

  2. Seat101

    I’m going to be “MIA” most of the night as I am celebrating my 65th birthday with my 17-year-old my 14-year-old and my six-year-old. If Jose Pereza makes an error I won’t be here. You’ll have to enjoy without me (you know who you are)

    Otherwise to the rest of you, bring home a winner! Go Reds!

    • rex

      enjoy your night and happy birthday Mr Seat

    • Don

      Enjoy the night Seat101

      Gray going to pitch a winner tonight

    • VaRedsFan

      Happy Birthday…we’ll (the other 98% of RLN) make make you a list of Peraza’s failures. Hopefully it’s a short list for a change.

    • ToBeDetermined

      Seat

      ENJOY !
      And enjoy the highlights when you log back in.

  3. VaRedsFan

    Is SS Iggy hurt?
    Senzel could use a day off.

    • RojoBenjy

      Mark Sheldon tweet says sore bicep, not supposed to be serious.

  4. MARK MOORE

    Peraza over Iglesias … baffling

    Let’s roll these Stupid Cubs into the Ohio River!!

    • Sliotar

      If Iglesias isn’t hurt…maybe the front office sees what’s on FanGraphs, that the Reds have a 6% chance of making playoffs.

      Team plays much better offensively at home, have Gray on mound… maybe trying to slide by and win, and still evaluate Peraza.

      They can’t “roll” into the all-in season without either giving Peraza the SS job full-time, or getting a full-time replacement. Moving Peraza around has made him a shell of his 2018 self, for that or whatever else reason.

      (wRC+ of 97 last year, 61 this season).

      • MARK MOORE

        Not the biggest Peraza fan. I’d rather see the real Jose SS.

  5. RojoBenjy

    Great memory for you, Tom. Too bad the camera work was a little off on that clip. The operator must have lost track and then hoped to catch it on the batter’s eye.

    Must have been a sight to behold.

    • VaRedsFan

      That same bad operator must still be working today.

  6. Klugo

    I think we have remaining games with all of those teams that are ahead of us. So there’s that.

    The FO must either see Peraza as undoubtedly part of the Reds future; or there are using all of this PT as a last call audition. It must be the former because why would you be giving a tryout when you are in the the thick a playoff race and have a guy who is clearly been better sitting on the bench? I don’t get it.

  7. Roger Garrett

    I am good with Peraza at short just as long as he doesn’t take at bats away from guys we need to see play.Peraza has over 1500 at bats in the majors and we know he is somewhere in between where he was last year and where he is at this year.Still young enough to change but he basically is the same guy that swings at everything.More walks would help,more power would be nice and better defense would be good.Hope he can and does improve.Plenty of time to discuss him this year and next cause he will get at least 5 years just like Billy did.Hope he goes 5-5 tonight

  8. MARK MOORE

    Donkey ball launched in Ohio and came to rest in Kentucky. Epic blast.

  9. RojoBenjy

    OK–my goal this game, since I’m watching, is to not let THom under my skin.

    Already I am being challenged, as he has started licking Cubs boots already.

    • RojoBenjy

      AHHHHHH!!!! make him stop!!!!

      THom– you work for the Cincinnati Reds. Not the Chicago Cubs.

    • RojoBenjy

      That’s Mr. Meat Sauce to you, sir. LOL

  10. RojoBenjy

    The Cincinnati TOOTBLANs are at it once more. Sad.

    • RojoBenjy

      Taking the bat out of the hands of El Castigador is not good for your team.

  11. VaRedsFan

    I like pitch efficiency.
    Hitting Rizzo the 1st pitch is full acceptable…instead of waiting for the 6th pitch to do it.

  12. Pete

    Maybe the greatest there ever was… Just kidding but this is too much fun!

  13. VaRedsFan

    Even though THOM tried…he can’t ruin the Aquino HR call.

  14. yorktownred

    Back-to-back. Keep it up boys!

  15. VaRedsFan

    Been a while for Senzel….told you he needed a day off.

    • RojoBenjy

      Apparently hitting against Hendricks is equivalent. LOL

  16. Chris Holbert

    J Iggy has bicep soreness……..that is why Peraza at SS……..JV, what ever happened to anything close with 2 strikes…….cannot waste those opportunities..

    • RojoBenjy

      Agreed. That was perfect pitch to take to left field.

  17. Curt

    Just tuning in…never enough runs against Cubs or anyone. Winker’s swinging for fences instead of contact not good. 25mil K looking, not good. 4-6 youth movement..high fives! Peraza, good. 3-0 great! Go Reds!

    • RojoBenjy

      Agreed Winker not hitting–trying to slug only.

      Hope he gets back on track.

  18. RojoBenjy

    AquinoBomba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • RedsMonk65

      Definitely a keeper, that Aquino.

  19. yorktownred

    UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

    They’re going to have to put up protective netting in front of left field to keep the fans safe.

  20. VaRedsFan

    Stealing it too….Aquino-Bambino!!!

  21. VaRedsFan

    My favorite attribute about Senzel is that he hits the ball where it’s pitched. Outside pitches are taken to right, while inside pitches are yanked.

  22. Jeff Morris

    I think teams are going to have to give Aquino the Bonds treatment, they will have to start intentionally walking Aquino every time he comes up now….

    • Pete

      I don’t know he’s 65 we better ask him.

      • VaRedsFan

        We can pretend it’s groundhog day.

  23. RojoBenjy

    Way to ambush the first pitch strike, Sonny!

  24. yorktownred

    7-0…..it’s football season after all.

    Keep up the onslaught guys!!!

  25. Pete

    GABP is a house of horrors for the Cubs.

  26. Curt

    Jesus wept! What team is this?! Insane!

  27. Pete

    Only thing that could make this game better is for Sonny to get a no-no.

  28. yorktownred

    Eugenio Bambino…..Murder’s Row tonight

    • RojoBenjy

      Cubs giving out HRs like Oprah Winfrey. “YOU get a HR, YOU get a HR, YOU get a HR!”

    • yorktownred

      Perhaps the Reds knew what they were doing in not retiring #44 for Mr. Davis. They knew a greater 44 would emerge….

  29. Centerfield

    after Aquino’s 2nd HR a ball was thrown back onto the field from the same area – Cubs fan? – I want that baseball

  30. Centerfield

    six hitters before AA comes up again

  31. VaRedsFan

    GEEEZ…6 more batters before AA is up again.

    • JB

      I like farmer. He is a great bench player who can play anywhere. Is he signed after this year?

      • Curt

        I always felt he was overlooked in the “big” Dodger trade. He was hardly mentioned. Not sure where his contract is at but still making less than 1mil. Good guy to have.

      • Amarillo

        He only has had 1 year of service time. I’m pretty sure we have him for 5 full years of control. Maybe 4.

      • Don

        Farmer has 1 more year of team control for 2020 then 1st Arbitration in 2021

  32. RojoBenjy

    Boy what a difference when THom acts as if he likes the Reds. I think I’m going to accomplish my goal tonight.

  33. MARK MOORE

    Is it just me, or is this REALLY fun to watch?

    Beef O’Grady gets his first hit.

    • rex

      very fun….even fun for my wife who loosely tolerates my daily REDS games

  34. Aaron B.

    Props to the Cubs for taking a beating with class. They know its not their game, they rest guys, bring in mop up pitchers and just keep smiling. If this were the Pirates I would fear for our player’s health.

    • RojoBenjy

      Instead of walking AA they would have tried to put him in the hospital.

  35. VaRedsFan

    Sal can get another save…
    …in a 10 run game!

    • rex

      big Sal may do much to ease this much used bullpen…I hope

  36. Indy Red Man

    What got into this team? Its too bad they blew 8-0 and some of those other games because they’d be tied or 1 game out maybe? What a boost from Aquino, JVM, and Bauer. Tomorrow is huge…..have to get 1 at a time!

    • Indy Red Man

      And Sonny of course. Reds now 12-3 in Gray’s last 15 starts

  37. yorktownred

    Finally got Peraza “going.” Time for him to go back to the bench, right?

    (just kidding, Seat101)

    • Daytonnati

      Dusty would have called him “Razzy” … 🙂

  38. yorktownred

    Fun night. Hope Castillo throws like an ace tomorrow.

  39. RedsMonk65

    Reds win. Life is good.

    Castillo vs. Lester tomorrow. Need the series!

  40. Roger Garrett

    Great win and tomorrow is a big one.Long time since we have had one of those.Big Sal comes in and gives us 3 innings to close things out.That was very very important for the Reds today.Often we go through several guys in that situation and it makes the second time he has done that for us so hats off to him.He is more then a mop up guy to me so we will see down the road how he gets used.

    • Don

      Sal did give everyone in the bullpen a day off. Was good for him and the team.

      Hopefully Sunday no bullpen is needed again as Castillo goes 8 and Reds offense does to Lester what As (11 runs in 4 innings) did last time or settle for what Cards did (5 runs in 5 innings) the time before that.

      The bullpen rested for Nationals with Disco starting Monday.