Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (64-57)
1 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (58-64)
6 11 1
W: DeSclafani (8-7) L: Mikolas (7-13)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Home runs and good pitching usually lead to wins, and that’s just what happened on Saturday night for the Cincinnati Reds. Aristides Aquino and Nick Senzel homered, and the pitching staff worked together to give up just one run of their own as they beat up on the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Offense

Nick Senzel led off the bottom of the 1st inning with a 384 foot home run to put the Reds on top. After the Cardinals tied the game up with a solo home run of their own in the top of the second, the game remained tied until the bottom of the 4th. Phillip Ervin led off with a single and moved to third on a Tucker Barnhart single. That’s when Jose Iglesias put the Reds up for good with a sac fly.

The big blow of the game came the next inning, though. With two outs Josh VanMeter singled into center field, and Freddy Galvis followed up with one of his own. That set the stage for Aristides Aquino who took the first pitch he saw and hit it 408 feet into center field for a 3-run homer that made it 5-1. In the 7th inning another sac fly, this one by Freddy Galvis made it 6-1 and that’s where the Reds finished things out for the win.

Josh VanMeter reached base all four times he came to the plate – singling twice and drawing two walks. Freddy Galvis also added two hits. Oh, and so did Michael Lorenzen. He had exit velocities of 107.8 and 106.4 MPH in the game.

The Pitching

Anthony DeSclafani gave up just one run, a solo homer to Matt Carpenter in the 2nd inning. He threw 5.0 innings and allowed five hits. Control wasn’t great, but he worked around three walks and he struck out four batters before handing the game off to the bullpen. His ERA dropped to 4.40 on the season.

Lucas Sims fired a shutout inning with two walks and two strikeouts. He gave the game over to Michael Lorenzen for the 7th and 8th innings and he struck out three batters in the process of keeping the Cardinals off of the board. Just added to the roster today, R.J. Alaniz came in for the 9th inning and made easy work of St. Louis, going 1-2-3 to seal the game.

Notes Worth Noting

This is Aristides Aquino’s world and we’re all just living in it. He set yet another Major League record tonight by homering, giving him the record of fewest games to reach 11 career home runs – 17 games. The Punisher is taking no prisoners.

From Elias:

With 11 HR in 17 games, Aristides Aquino will share, at least, with Rhys Hoskins the modern Major League record for HR in a player’s first 18, 19 or 20 career games. Hoskins hit his 11th HR in his 18th career game.

Aristides Aquino’s now hitting .345/.390/.964. This seems good.

Michael Lorenzen’s two hits pushed his average up to .357 on the year. Sure, small sample size, but whatever, we’re trying to be positive right now!

Josh VanMeter’s line is .293/.383/.472 on the season for the Reds. As I keep saying: Play him every single day.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

St. Louis Cardinals vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday August 18th, 1:10pm ET

Jack Flaherty (6-6, 3.52 ERA) vs. Alex Wood (1-1, 5.59 ERA)

24 Responses

  1. Klugo

    No one wants to run away with this division. 6.5 back. 1st place Cards again tmrw.

  2. Ed

    This was a fun one! Great defense and no base running errors, plus another Aquino homer? Yes please.

  3. Ed

    Galvis, Iglesias, Ervin, Van Meter, Lorenzen- all really impressive.

  4. Indy Red Man

    AA is overshadowing everyone at this point, but JVM is on a nice little streak! He’s 11 for his last 32 (.344) with 5 doubles. He’s not a very big guy and I don’t see his crazy HR numbers at Lville ever happening for the Reds, but he’s got power and he draws walks. If the Reds had any courage they’d leave him in the #2 hole and move Joey down. Dusty and his base clogging comment generally made no sense, but maybe its true when the Reds have Winker/Joey batting 1-2.

    Lorenzen? What do they do with this guy? They finally expanded his role this year, but its hard to figure out where he fits the best. He’s a monster when he comes into a 5-1 game, but what Reds fan feels good when the Reds are +1 in the 8th and he comes in? Just too many walks. He’s not a traditional rock solid set-up man in my book. I think I’d use him as an opener on 5th starter days like Tampa does. He can throw his 98 for 2-3 innings. Give Joey a rest at 1B occasionally vs tough lefties.
    Or he plays CF and Senzel to 2B and JVM to 1st. Mikey Biceps can hit. He can run. Plus his discipline and pitch recognition can only improve by getting at-bats.

    Finally….hard to find a better bench then Ervin, Galvis, and Farmer. Just one current Red needs to find himself without a Seat (get it?) at the table next year. Guess who that is? Thats 300+ at-bats that are among the worst in the NL. Addition by subtraction. Its all about the numbers.

    • Seat101

      Peraza has not won a starting role for the 2020 Cincinnati Reds. Nor has he lost it. The Reds have a lot of choices and decisions to make. If JP can’t hit for some power and can’t raise his BB rate he still qualifies as a “Super Sub”, and cheap at the price.

      • David

        I think the Reds keep Galvis. I don’t think they picked him up for no reason. And I think J. Iglesias gets signed to a new contract, and remains at shortstop.
        Jose Peraza is the one the Reds will move. Come off season, he will be part of a trade.
        Yes, Peraza has been a disappointment for the Reds, after acquired from the Dodgers (he came to the Dodgers from Atlanta). I think that he will get moved and even Matt Hendley will be happy , then.

    • Jim Walker

      Phil Ervin is starting to make a good case that he shouldn’t be considered the bench side of that platoon even if 70-80% of the pitchers are RH. It is going to be interesting to see how the Reds handle that situation the rest of the year and in the of season.

    • Reaganspad

      Lorenzen needs to start to get his bat in the lineup.

      I would flop Lorenzen and Disco next year. Disco is a 2 pitch pitcher. Win/win

      • NatiinMI

        Unfortunately/fortunately, I believe the Lorenzen as a starter train left the station a long time ago.

        Hopefully, 90+ loss seasons jumped on the same train.

  5. Don

    Aquino is hitting the HRs but JVM and Galvis both getting on twice in front of him with 2 outs in both the 3rd and 5th was huge. JVM being on in the 1st was big as well.

    Mikolas faced Aquino with one or two on the 3 times they faced either other. This did not allow Mikolas to pitch around him with bases empty. HE had to come after him each time.

    Aquino saw 6 pitches the 1st time and 8 pitches the 2nd time.

    Mikolas did not have a new pitch for Aquino on the 3rd AB.

    Mikolas pitched to Aquinos 3 times in high pressure, game changing situations, Mikolas won the 1st two ABs but Aquino won the third.

    Great overall team effort win and bullpen really came through to keep Cards off the board.

    • Arch

      This was a well thought out comment. Well done!

    • Jim Walker

      I’m not sure how the question can be dodged whether JVM at 24-25 y.o. is a better choice at 1B than JV at 36-37 y.o. Could come down to who besides JVM can play 2B everyday.

      • Big Ed

        Votto is exactly 11.5 years older than VanMeter. Votto will be 36 on September 10, and VanMeter will be 25 on March 10.

        We still need a larger sample size, but VanMeter Is impressive.

      • Jim Walker

        Votto had a an OPS+ of 127 in 89 career MLB career plate appearances in 2007 (age 23 season) while the regular at 1B Scott Hattenberg had a 120 OPS+ (age 37 season). In 2008 Hattenberg was gone by the end of the 1st week of June.

        JVM currently has an OPS+ of 118 in 141 career MLB PA’s (age 24 season), Votto’s current 2019 OPS+ is 95 (age 35 season).

        Votto’s role in 2020 to my mind is one of the major decisions facing the Reds in the off season. If not JVM possibly replacing him at 1B, maybe its Jesse Winker to open LF for Phil Ervin everyday or a FA acquisition. It comes down to whether the org believes Votto can recover to an OPS+ level of 110 or greater, I’d think.

  6. Still a Red

    Looked at AA’s heat map. Pitchers are trying to pitch him low and away. All but one of his HR’s have middle to low and away (southeast quadrant). Interesting to see how pitchers adjust…and then what AA does in return.

    • Klugo

      He’s using the whole field, which is super encouraging; especially from a guy with his power.

    • Jim Walker

      It looked like AA’s HR which hit the foul screen was an inside pitch he muscled off the trademark. Let’s hope that’s a sign of what he can do regularly with an inside pitch.

  7. Great Redlegs Fan

    Aquino, in that ‘76 uniform, reminds of great George Foster.

  8. TR

    With six weeks to go the Reds goal should be to finish .500 or above.

  9. Indy Red Man

    They won’t do anything with Votto. Not in 2020 anyway. I’d be happy if they just dropped him to 6th and started giving him more days off vs LHP.

    • Pete

      I wouldn’t count on this. This FO is different. I could see Votto get spot starts against favorable match ups and become a ph deluxe. In fact, I’m starting to see this clearer everyday. Some folks may be in for a shock.

  10. Indy Red Man

    Hate to keep beating a dead horse, but the Reds really need to look into the Tampa “opener” system. The Yankees do it now at times. Texas had LeClerc open some games as well. He’s now back to being their closer. Disco has had so many bad 1st innings. Roll out an opener for him so he can come in and warm up. If he got in trouble w/men on, then the pitcher comes up. Then for the 5th starter they could roll out Lorenzen as an opener. I would try to get Lorenzen more at-bats and less time as a traditional set-up man.

    • Pete

      If I’m in charge, ML gets some serious PT as a position player in ST. He smoked two balls yesterday, one to right and one to left – 107.8 and 106.4 mph. You can probably count of 2 or 3 fingers guys who can hit that hard and are not playing everyday. One step better: have him play some in winter ball exclusively as an OF.