Good pitching and opportunistic hitting added up to an enjoyable businessman special. The Reds fell behind early but did not stay down long and hung on to a two run lead for the 4-2 win and series victory.

Pitching

Luis Castillo was coming off the worst start of his career in his last time out against the Cardinals. As Chris Welsh pointed out at the beginning of the broadcast, all four of Castillo’s subpar games this season (4 or more ER) have been followed by strong outings in his next start. And while we did not get three straight Reds starters with 10+ strikeouts (it would have been the first time in Reds history), Castillo paired an above average groundball rate with another zero walk performance, adding up to six solid innings of work. He allowed five hits and one run while striking out four.

Speaking of the no walks allowed, Castillo has only allowed two walks in his last five starts, a very encouraging trend considering his walk rate has really been his only weak spot this year. His recent improvement has helped bring his xFIP back down a bit after a recent spike. He still has some room to improve even further, but he is certainly heading in the right direction.

Lucas Sims got off to a rough start in the 7th, allowing a leadoff homerun to Francisco Meija to bring the score to 4-2. He retired the next three batters after that and remains a promising young arm that can hopefully provide some stability to the bullpen for a few years. Michael Lorenzen picked up a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th with two strikeouts. Raisel Iglesias came on in the 9th and struck out two more, never putting the game in question.

Hitting

The Padres let the Reds right back into the game in the bottom of the 3rd inning with Eric Yardley relieving Matt Strahm and making his major league debut. Nick Senzel’s easy fly out was dropped by the left fielder, which set up a sacrifice bunt by Jose Iglesias and a game-tying, RBI single by Eugenio Suarez. After an Aquino walk and Phillip Ervin single loaded the bases, Yardley gave way to reliever Trey Wingenter.

Wingenter came into the game with very high strikeout (33%) and walk (12%) rates, and that is exactly what he did today. He walked in the Reds second run with Freddy Galvis collecting the RBI. After striking out Tucker Barnhart, Josh VanMeter took a four-pitch walk to make the score 3-1 Reds. Luis Castillo struck out to end the inning.

Jose Iglesias played add-on in the 4th inning with a solo shot to extend the Reds lead to 4-1. The Reds threatened in the 6th, 7th and 8th but came up empty. Fortunately, the bullpen was on today and a two-run lead was enough to seal the deal.

Other Game Notes

Freddy Galvis collected two more hits today and continues to play really good baseball. Based on his first 8 games with the Reds, he has produced WAR at the rate of 1 per 16 games, which would give him 10 WAR over the course of 162 games. His career high WAR was 2.3 in 2016 with the Phillies. Fun with small sample sizes.

Jesse Winker was apparently unavailable today but Jim Day reported that the Reds are hoping he is available by Friday and has therefore not been put on the IL. Jim also reported that Votto could come off the IL at some point during the upcoming series against the Pirates if there are no more set backs.

70 combined strikeouts in this series is the most ever in Cincinnati over the course of a 3-game series. That accounts for 45% of all outs that were made. Even I have to agree with tHom (who gawked at that number on air) and admit that is a lot of strikeouts.

Up Next:

The Reds get a day off tomorrow before heading to Pittsburgh to start a 10-game road trip that includes Miami and St. Louis.

 

 

37 Responses

  1. matthew hendley

    A good series win, and they never hurt. Good from what I saw. GOod from what I saw statistically.

  2. Mark Moore

    La Piedra seemed to battle a bit, but the end result is what we wanted. Good contribution all around, especially from our glove-first middle infielders.

  3. Davy13

    Can the team extend Iglesias for another couple of years? Other team needs to continue the build:
    – another elite batter
    – another shutdown LHP reliever to complement Garrett

    • CI3J

      What position will the elite batter play?

      • Mason Red

        Shouldn’t be hard to find a spot. These ain’t the 1975 Reds.

      • earmbrister

        C, I agree. It’s a little harder when you have to target a position.

      • CI3J

        I know the team needs offense, but the devil is in the details. The outfield is set with Aquino\Senzel\Winker\Ervin, all are young and have room to grow. 2B should be JVM. 3B is Suarez. SS looks like either Galvis or Iglesias. That leaves 1B and catcher. I doubt the Reds will move on from Votto. So that leaves just catcher. Who is available there? Grandal?

      • Mason Red

        So you wouldn’t replace one of those players with an elite,veteran who mashes the ball if the Reds had the opportunity? Sorry but unless the Reds increases the talent level on this team they won’t make the playoffs with what they have.

      • Klugo

        CF,LF,2B,SS,C. Senzel can play 2B, if need be. Winker is a platoon guy evidently. 2B and SS are pretty open. I mean VanMeter is nice and all, but… And C, well, Barnhart is nice and all, but…

      • Pete

        Klugo, I love this. Here’s a clue: VanMeter>Votto. You want a difference maker? Find a first baseman who bats left-handed with elite power. Relatively speaking, they’re a dime a dozen. Someone who can bat between Aquino and Suarez. It’s not rocket science.

        The Reds don’t owe Joey Votto anything but money. You don’t owe Votto anything no one owes him anything. You put his uniform number in the ring of honor and retire it. If Votto returns to some semblance of his former self, guess what, you found your missing piece. People searching around for an answer that happens to be right under their noses.

      • Mason Red

        You would choose VM over Votto after only 135 ABs?

      • Pete

        Gun to my head? Yes. I’d play JVM at first base, it makes the team stronger. VanMeter is not the solution at 1B because of a lack of power, he’s not a corner guy but either is Votto. Now, I’m good with Votto playing out the string the rest of season but if his wRC+ is below 100, we better have a contingency plan because if he is human, things aren’t going to improve next year. Hope and pray but it’s the aging curve. There are only 10 everyday players with enough qualified PA’s over 35 years of age in MLB, two of them are in the same dilemma as Votto: Cabrera and Pujols. All were once great players who are not even good players at this point in their careers.

        For those that say, “I don’t know about VanMeter”, there is truth here but we know far more about Joey Votto. He is a well below average hitter at 1B and he is 36 years old – we know this. Can VanMeter keep up the pace ? Who knows but I like his odds a lot better than Votto’s.

      • Indy Red Man

        Well there is one FA that can play RF. He’s from Cuba and has a .938 ops in August (.397 obp). He’s definitely more dangerous then Winkervin although their combined #s aren’t bad at all.

        Since they’re going young, their payroll is going to be very small compared to this year. They’ll probably throw a bunch of money at relievers, but I’d rather have a stick! I’m guessing Puig might get $50 for 3 years or something?

      • Pete

        Puig is still at a wRC+ of only 99. The average starting RF is at 119. Puig isn’t mediocre but he is bad. He’s production is 20% lower than the average player in RF. Why do we want ti bring him back? Every outfielder the Reds have is better with the exception of the 24 year old, dirt cheap Nick Senzel and he is the only CF on the roster.

        In essence, we can’t touch Votto and we should bring back Puig when they are some of the very worse producers at their positions? Difficult way to run a railroad. If this is what we want, we better find studs at SS and C to make up the difference. These are the two positions where it’s going to be the hardest to make it happen but such is life.

        Before recommending a player check his statistics. Baseball keeps exhaustive data on players for a reason – so we can evaluate their value. Other considerations in assigning value: primarily age but defense and base running as well. Puig and Votto are on the wrong side in each of these categorizes, Objectively, there isn’t much to like. These two create deficits they are not assets.

      • Klugo

        wRC+ isnt the end-all, but I’d take Sterling Marte or Corey Dickerson as OF FA upgrades. Castellanos would work, too. Senzel can play 2B.

      • Doug

        The elephant in the room is and will continue to be is Joey Votto at 1st. Sometimes teams that truly want to win championships have to make hard choices. Also as far as Puig, please also consider all (and there are so many) extra bases runners did not attempt to advance on because of his superior arm. It seemed at least once a game or so, someone held up. We are talking about an “Elite” bat. Both corner outfielders don’t currently fit that description. I like Ervin/Winker/Aquino… but If your talking elite. It ain’t them……. Yet.

  4. RedNat

    I went to the game last night and I am so far impressed with Galvis. I liked how he protected Van Meter in the first inning by swinging at a pitch clearly out of the strike zone to distract the catcher. that was a third strike so it shows that he is a team player. he also seems like a guy that really hustles.

    • RedNat

      on Van Meter’s stolen base attempt.

    • Pete

      Attaboy to the FO. They picked up Galvis and Gausman off the scrap heap and both have been very impressive.

      • Indy Red Man

        Gausman is interesting to me. I saw him hit 99 mph about 3-4 years ago and I about fell out of my chair. He’ll be 29 in January, so he’s right in his prime. He had a 3.61 era in 2016 in 179 innings. Thats not bad at all. His career era is only 4.29. I thought it was much worse then that. It seems like he’s an underachiever, but 4.29 in Camden….and in Yankee Stadium & Fenway? Thats not bad. Disco’s career era would be 5.25 if he was an Oriole that long. Look how Sonny pitched in the AL East. No reason he couldn’t become a decent 4th/5th starter next year. His ball has some natural movement/sink to it and you can’t teach that!

  5. Pete

    It’s great to win these low scoring tight games. Seems like they’ve been the Reds Achilles’s heel. No base running or fielding blunders; however, SD misplaced three outfield fly balls, two of them cost the Padres. Reds left 10 runners on base and only had 5 hard hit balls (>99 mph). Reds pitchers offered no walks to the Pads. These are great games to win because a misplaced walk here or a blunder there and you lose 5-4. It’s how winning teams become winning teams – they find a way and don’t make it a habit beating themselves.

    I’m starting to really like this team rolling into 2020.

    Every player in the starting line up is a good base runner not the same as fast but great to have.

    • Pete

      By the way, the outfield of Ervin-Senzel-Aquino is looking rock solid defensively.

  6. enfueago

    Nice win. Lorenzen did a nice job but I dislike seeing him go three games in a row. There has to be someone else in the bullpen who can be trusted with a two run lead for an inning.

    • Pete

      Agree with you but it was only back-to-back games for ML. At least Bell’s not using 2 or 3 pitchers in an inning…. I don’t know if the bullpen wore down from overuse but I wouldn’t be surprised. Sims probably could have gave the team another inning but I’m not going to argue with winning.

  7. CI3J

    I’ll be really disappointed if Sims is only ever used as a bullpen arm from here on out. This year, yes, because the Reds have a dearth of options, but next year I hope he is given another chance at starting. He did well in limited action as a starter, and good starting pitchers are always more valuable than good relievers.

    • Reaganspad

      Well, if they used him and Stephenson for 2-3 innings every 3 days, you might have something
      Both are young. The manager may need a cranium adjustment

      • Sliotar

        A series win against a flat-out bad team. Next year, this needs to become expected to rack up 90 or so wins.

        $50 million for 3 WAR total between Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado, with Machado posting 2.5 of that. 15 more seasons between them still to go on their deals.

        And, in the same division as the Dodgers.

        Yikes.

        Let’s hope the Reds front office avoids the temptation to overpay in contract years this winter, while trying to upgrade.

  8. Doc

    That “flat out bad team” has the same record as the Reds.

    • Mason Red

      Lol that’s what I was thinking!

  9. matthew hendley

    Everybody wants to talk stats, but lets be honest. The reds have not lost since the RLN facebook page made me a top fan. That’s the real reason for the winning streak we are about to embark on.

    • RojoBenjy

      Give credit where credit is due, I say.

  10. TR

    At least eight wins out of ten games on the upcoming road trip will get the Reds to the coveted .500 mark.

    • Doc

      i thought it was an 11 game road trip.

  11. Don

    Great to see the Reds win a day game. Solid pitching, defense and just enough offense.

    I think the team is on solid footing and are making the moves to improve.

    Reds are 5-4-3 in series in All-Star break with an 0-3 series start.
    Which means that the Reds are now 5-1-3 in last 9 series (July 22 to today) (28 games) 15-13 record .

    Looking back at what has occurred/happened over the last 28 games (since July 22nd)

    2 Backup catcher on IL after starting catcher already on IL. (occurred July 18 but impacted games until 26th)
    Staring Pitcher on IL – Mahle
    Bring Barnhart back from IL early due to injuries to 4th catcher (July 26)
    pitcher making 1st starts of year – Wood
    Traded 3 likeable veterans for 1 MLB ready player (Puig, Roark, Gennnet) for Bauer
    Brought up a prospect with hope. (Aquino)
    Brought in a waiver wire pitcher – Gausman
    Put DD on IL
    Option Peralta
    DFA Hernandez
    Brought up Kuhnel
    DFA Hughes
    Brought up Alaniz
    Claimed Galvis from waiver wire.

    Those are massive changes to the roster and the upheaval with the suspensions during one of the most difficult parts of the schedule and the team came out above 500.

    All the new pieces have contributed positively in some way. During those 28 games many distraction which could destroy a team occurred.

    The team and fans should be very positive after all these changes.

    Reds now play 18 games in 17 days. The first 11 on a 10 day road trip.
    If they can somehow got 12-6 in these next 18 games they will be 72-72, 500 for the year.
    This will be very difficult since 3 of the 5 series are against teams with better records and 11 of the 18 games are on the road.

    To have any chance for this I think they need to go 6-1 vs pirates and marlins and then 6-5 vs Cards, Phillies and Dbacks.

    This is what I am hoping for in the next 5 series before the next off day.

  12. Doc

    Looking forward to the D’backs series. My only chance to see them since spring training.

    • Ethan L

      Are you in Phoenix? I’m up the road in Flagstaff. Should be a good series.

  13. Pete

    Do you really want to trade T2rvor Bauer? xFIP+ out qualified starting pitchers in the 15-team AL:

    2019: 4.30, ranked 10th
    2018: 3.14, 6th
    2017: 3.60, 8th

    Innings pitched:
    2019: 156.2, 11th
    2018: 175, 19th
    2017: 176.1, 18th

    Worst case, he is a middling #1 or a very high #2. Reds are going to replace this with whom? This site use to incorporate statistical analysis in assigning value and suggesting player moves. What happened?