The Cincinnati Reds (60-68) will try to avoid being swept by the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates (54-75). The Pirates have not won three straight games since July 1-3, and they have not swept a series since late June.

Starting Pitchers

Trevor Bauer is coming off a very good start against the Padres: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 K. It was a great rebound from the disaster start in DC. The Pirates are a team that Bauer should be able to dominate as they have the second worst BB% in the NL at 7.0%. Bauer should be able to exploit their lack of plate discipline and rack up some strikeouts. Bauer has a 1.35 ERA in 2 career starts against the Pirates with 13 K and 3 BB in 13.1 IP.

Dario Agrazal was born in Panama and was signed as an international free agent in 2012. He was DFA’d before the season began, but cleared waivers. He throws a ton of strikes and has a career 1.3 BB/9 throughout his minor league career. The Reds faced him once this season (on the day of the trade deadline following the crazy theatrics of the night before) and hit him well: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 HR, 0 BB, 5 K).

Starting Lineups 

Reds Pirates
1. Josh VanMeter (LF)
2. Freddy Galvis (2B)
3. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
4. Aristides Aquino (RF)
5. Jose Iglesias (SS)
6. Derek Dietrich (1B)
7. Curt Casali (C)
8. Phillip Ervin (CF)
9. Trevor Bauer (P)
1. Kevin Newman (SS)
2. Bryan Reynolds (LF)
3. Starling Marte (CF)
4. Josh Bell (1B)
5. Colin Moran (3B)
6. Jose Osuna (RF)
7. Adam Frazier (2B)
8. Elias Diaz (C)
9. Dario Agrazal (P)

Conclusion 

When the Reds finally do put it together for a full season again, dark days like yesterday will make it all the sweeter. Go Reds.

101 Responses

  1. matthew hendley

    A Oakland A’s 20 game run streak is needed now, realistically to get back into real contention. Reds gotta win today, and sweep the marlins. None of the Relitive ‘scrub’ (remember I said relative) pitchers on the mound today.
    Reds gotta hit. Really need a new option then Turner Ward.

    • Pete

      I’m looking at the guy who made this hideous lineup.

      • RichS

        What lineup? It changes every game. These young pups need to learn how to lead off or bat fifth…whatever. We have a bunch of utility players manipulated by Bell’s better judgement…like sit a .340 hitter in favor of a .230 hitter. Am I a second baseman or a left fielder? Leadership starts in the dugout and it is seriously lacking.

    • jbonireland

      Turner Ward isn’t the problem, anybody who has Dietrich in the lineup on a daily basis is the problem……………

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Fans have been complaining about every Reds’ hitting coach since at least Chris Chambliss. It usually isn’t the coach, it’s the guys walking up to the plate.

      • JB

        Exactly. The guy hasn’t done anything in 3 months and makes Jay Bruce slumps look minor. The people backing him up cant get out of his April and May stats. Let in him go. We are the only team who cant figure out how to rebuild. Stop picking up all the retreads.

    • Sliotar

      The optimism is admirable …. but not realistic, IMO.

      This lineup isn’t winning 5 games in a row on the road, let alone 20 overall.

      David Bell overmanages, but, to be fair, it is his rookie season and look at the offensive “weapons” he has.

      This lineup looks like the Astros that were getting 0.0 local TV ratings, waiting for Springer, Correa, etc. to make it to The Show.

      Dick Williams pushing this bunch as competing with the Cubs offense in 2020 will be quite the sell job. Offense needs several upgrades this winter.

      • FreeHouse

        Nick Castellanos would be a great addition for this team if they open up the check book.

      • Jim Walker

        Unlike FA pitchers who supposedly shy from the prospect of GABP as their home park, I’d think Nick Castellanos would savor the prospect given his results at GABP plus that it would get him 9 games every year in two or three other very hitter friendly venues.

      • Doc

        He has pretty much the same arry of offensive weapons as last year’s team, minus that offensive powerhouse we had in CF the last few years.

  2. AirborneJayJay

    If the Reds get swept by this lowly Pirates team, the hope here is that David Bell gets fired on the spot. What a miserable job as manager he has done. David Bell and the Reds are dead in the water. This team is adrift and has no leadership. None. And the front office is an absolute disaster.
    How many still agree with Mancuso that “David Bell is doing a wonderful job as manager”??? Not I.

    • Pete

      In fairness to Steve, I haven’t seen him say this in several months. I, like Mancuso, thought Bell would bring an analytics driven angle but he’s batting Iglesias fifth behind the best hitter the Reds have. I really don’t see any analysis when it comes to David Bell. I was hoping we’d see AA break many more records this year if he can manage this with JI hitting behind him Aquino may be the greatest of all times.

      David Bell is getting worse is the problem. The FO must have told him to knock off playing Peraza, it’s the only possibility in this case. It is difficult to believe VanMeter is seen as the Reds future second baseman.

      If the FO is not on board with these shenanigans, they must corral Bell or fire him. The guy is breaking my spirit, can’t imagine how those young ballplayers feel.

      • Don

        agree Pete, Bel and FO do not look to be on same page

    • Doc

      Looks like you’ll get the chance to find out if that happens. They are well on their way to being swept.

  3. Klugo

    Countdown to a Bauer meltdown…
    This losing makes him ticking time bomb. I’m getting my popcorn ready.

    • Sliotar

      Today’s Reds leadoff hitter…

      Home wRC+ 151, 18% K rate, wOBA .411
      Road wRC+ 58, 27% K rate, wOBA .263

      Small but growing sample size and let the kids play the rest of the way, but JVM looks to have certainly benefitted from playing early on by the river at GABP.

      That misplay last night….woof. Can’t have too many more of those at any position.

      • Pete

        JVM might flop big time but to be in limbo is even worse for the fan. VanMeter is right where he should be in the lineup. On the field, he needs to be at second base if the team believes he might start there next season. Obviously, they do not.

        You are 100% correct, play the kids and let them sink or swim. If they sink, the team is officially a disaster area, there is no immediate help on the farm and the veteran players are mediocre at best with Suarez the exception. Anyone who believes the Reds will sign a bunch of high-priced free agents hasn’t been a Reds fan long. None of those guys want to play for a lousy team going nowhere. You better pray these kids work out.

      • RedsMonk65

        Pray for me — starting not to care either way ….

      • Jim Walker

        Here are some scary Suarez numbers too

        August 2018:
        .844/OPS/126 wRC+/5HR/24.8%KRate
        August 2019 (to date)
        .798/OPS/104wRC+/5HR/33.3%KRate

        And recall Sept 2018 when he looked dead on his feet like recently?
        .695OPS/85wRC+/4HR/29.0%KRate
        If the Reds are looking to move up in the world, this guy has to be more than a 4-5 month player.

        Urban Meyer, now a CFB analyst, was talking yesterday about the need for coaches to find ways to save their key players’ bodies for late in the season. This may be good advice for the Reds too where Suarez is concerned.

      • Jim Walker

        On JVM,
        Let’s suppose that over time he could replicate those home numbers at GABP and approach them in a couple of other hitters’ parks the Reds play 9 games a year in (that’s approaching 2/3 of all games). And put up road numbers similar to what he has in other parks. What would it take to have a better all around offensive player? Haven’t tried to crunch them. Just saying…..

  4. FreeHouse

    If the Reds score 4 or more they win today.

  5. Great Redlegs Fan

    FO must start to look for pieces to tie up with Aquino, Suarez, Ervin and Vanmeter. If Senzel is able to figure it out, excellent, otherwise send him back to Louisville. SS, 1B, C and CF are positions that must be improved. No more Peraza or Dietrich. Votto’s contract is sunk cost from now on.

    • BigRedMike

      Are we really sure about Aquino and Vanmeter? Ervin is a 4th OF at best. I am all for young position players, but, these 3 are not exactly proven. Let’s hope they continue to improve

      Galvis and Iglesias in the top 5 of the order along with Dietrich. Just not enough talent on this roster.

      • Shchi Cossack

        We’re not sure about JVM, Aquino, Ervin, Winker or Senzel (not to mention Barnhart and O’Grady), but the potential is there and we need to find out. We do know about Iglesias, Galvis, Dietrich, Votto and Suarez. I really don’t understand why Bell can’t grasp such an obvious concept and act on it.

      • Sliotar

        Starling Marte waiving the white flag as early as possible with that “effort” in CF.

        Put up a big number and let Bauer coast through a few innings.
        Reds desperately need a laugher on the road.

    • Chris Holbert

      The FO will prove they really don’t what they are doing by sending Senzel back to AAA..

      • Roger Garrett

        Old Cossack is right and I don’t understand it either about Bell not going strictly with the younger players.The only thing I have ever came up with his loyalty to vets and/or he has been told he has to win x number of games.If you play young guys you just have to allow them to fail and in doing so you will lose some games.You may want to let JVM hit against a lefty with the game on the line just to see how he handles it or let him work out of a slump that he is in.These are just a couple of examples but it has to be done.The flip side of that is of course the vets have to set and that can become a problem but it shouldn’t be.Suarez right now today isn’t helping the team cause he is tired and DD is the Wandy Peralta of our offense.He had an awesome 2 months but since June rolled around he well has been just terrible.It can only be about the wins cause these lineups and O Grady being sent down so DD can get going as Bell said is well just silly.

  6. Shchi Cossack

    Aquino’s doing it all. RBI single, stolen base, scoring on a sac fly…
    If only he could hit a few HR’s…

    • Sliotar

      @Jim Walker

      Top 5 in wOBA

      Yelich .440
      Trout .436
      Bellinger .426
      Rendon .410
      Bregman .404

      Expecting JVM to keep a pace season-long like he has so far in home games is a big ask.

      If he can even stay on the field with his defense.

      He is an unknown all the way around.

    • Pete

      I’d like to see him move up to the third spot. Suarez is a sink hole at the moment. HR or bust, mainly bust.

  7. Chris Holbert

    I guess we are seeing why Ervin is a 4th OF at best….

    • Pete

      Keep putting him out there, he is slumping. Is it a slump or is he a bad hitter? Let’s find out. Too early to say but he has played very well part time over four months. Reds really have no options. Perhaps in only David Bell’s mind, maybe he sees Jose Peraza as one…

      • Chris Holbert

        I would agree, I would probably rather see Aquino in CF if that is the only option. Manning a position is a far cry from playing the position.

      • Pete

        As long as Ervin is playing everyday, I don’t care where they put him. Obviously I’d like to see stability in positioning but with Senzel on the bench it’s a free for all. Unless Nick is hurt, he should be out there and let him work his way out of it. Playing DD is only losing the team opportunity. If there is a purpose, someone needs to point it out.

  8. Chris Holbert

    MLB is all about adjustments. Pitchers and pitching coaches will definitely make adjustments as they see the young guys more and more. Can they young players make the adjustments they need to?

  9. FreeHouse

    The Reds have loss 16 of the last 18 at Pittsburgh, that’s embarrassing! The defense has also been close to pathetic the past few weeks.

    • Chris Holbert

      Well, that could be expected. The have a 2B playing LF, a LF playing CF, 2 SS, and a guy who played very little 1B in his career at 1B.

      • Broseph

        I think the Reds are the only team right now getting really wacky with fielders. I know Winker and Votto are hurt, but there are so many people out of their norm positions , it’s scary.

        Surprised Peraza isn’t catching

  10. Broseph

    To those who said Bauer is the dominant pitcher answer for this team next year. Might want to reconsider.

  11. Sliotar

    @Klugo…

    Excellent pre-game call on a Bauer meltdown.

    Feels like it is close now.

  12. Chris Holbert

    Every good team has at least 6 guys in the same position, day in and day out. The only consistent guys , for the Reds. J Iggy, who is having maybe an average year, but one of his best, is that because of his league switch, Suarez, wearing down and seems disinterested, and Votto, had a decent second half to raise his average to .265., and hurt now. That is not the makings of a playoff team.

  13. DocProc

    Phillip Ervin stinkin’ up the joint today.

  14. Pete

    This game is making yesterday look like a clinic. 3rd inning!

  15. Sidney

    I think the front office has made some nice waiver pick-ups and decent FA pick-ups on the cheap, but I would love to see a scorecard on the trades over the past 3 years or so. My memory stinks, but sure feels like trades worth celebrating as at least break even are few and far between.

  16. Ed

    Bauer seems intent on setting new career lows.

    • TR

      Bauer said he’s not excited about hitting. He’ll be traded back to the AL in the offseason.

  17. Curt

    Why on earth does David Bell insist on making Josh Van Meter’s path to success as hard as possible? 2nd base, 1st base, left field, pinch hit, 3rd base, platoon, lead off, clean up, second, sixth, double switch, Why not pitch? Is he doing the team’s laundry too. Is it some kind of test? A rookie challenge just because. Can anyone be surprised that he might eventually look up into the sky at a fly ball and think “wait, where am I?”

    Meanwhile, Galvis just waltzes in off the waiver wire and gets handed the keys to second base. Suarez has kicked up the foot rest on his corner recliner and turned on Netflix. Senzel’s in centerfield thinking, god, I hate it out here, can I go back to the infield? Aquino’s imagining himself in pinstripes and Dietrich’s sweating like an imposter on the verge of being exposed.

    Tell me, in what world is this course of action helping a guy like VanMeter succeed? And the Reds desperately need their call-ups to succeed, as many as possible, every team does. Cast-offs over call-ups is a dead-end plan. The Reds are living proof.

    Finally, why should JVM be treated any differently than Senzel or Aquino? Consider this years call ups, when the FO makes the call (Aquino, Senzel) they get steady jobs. (or trust) When they let Bell decide (JVM, Ervin, O’Grady) you get the “treatment”. (no confidence) Does the FO need to micro-manage Bell’s toys? Is there even a cohesive plan here? It’s bordering on chaos.

    • Chris Holbert

      I would agree, the last three games have been nothing but chaos, both offensively and defensively, and both aspects of the pitching staff, bullpen and starters, hav not been able to compete.

    • Roger Garrett

      Well put and to the point.Nobody is driving the bus.As Cossack said the other day if the Reds don’t know who their short stop is next year then they must be loco.They let Scooter go for a bag of balls which I was good with then claim Galvis and hand him the job at second.Its just silly.O Grady at first,JVM at second,Galvis at short,Suarez at third,Ervin/Winker in left,Senzel in center and AA in right.If you want some of these other guys to play then set Suarez,he has mailed it in and cares less about what goes on right now maybe because he is just worn out which everybody except I guess Bell can see.This is a circus right now and it should be a great time for the Reds youngsters and their fans for the rest of the year.Just tired of seeing DD getting hit as his only highlight over the last 3 months.Goodness I can live with Peraza right now at least he is only 24.

    • RedsMonk65

      @Curt

      Good points — and excellent imagery!

    • RojoBenjy

      Thanks, Curt.

      Saved a lot of us the time Steinbeck to write just this very thing.

      +1 for all your commenters, too!

      • RojoBenjy

        “Steinbeck”

        Thanks autocorrect.

        Should say “the time and effort”

    • Curt

      @Chris, @Roger, @Doc, @RedsMonk and @Rojo Thanks guys! Great minds…
      And since I was indeed working my creative writing muscle, Rojo’s “Steinbeck” auto correct couldn’t have been more perfect. Though John I will never be. Ha! You guys all leave great comments. I look forward to them.

  18. Chris Holbert

    Farmer seems to be the only “versatile” Reds player who has been consistent when given playing time, regardless of where he plays, including pitching.

  19. Ed

    Woah- Dietrich hit the ball! I’m really happy to see that

    • Chris Holbertp

      DD highlight of the season, HBP more times than singles..Put Farmer at first, he at least fits the youth bill, and should be a Red going forward, and never seems out of place no matter where he plays..

  20. Burtgummer

    the Reds are on their way to catching Pittsburgh for last place

  21. Pete

    Blew three fastballs right by Aquino. Ugh.

  22. Eric B

    Aquino is missing bean balls he was previously plastering. What ever disease this team has is contagious.

  23. Pete

    No diplomatic way to put it: the team is in shambles: hitting, pitching and fielding. The Pirates are handing us our behinds.

    When one of their relievers throws nothing but fastballs to your best hitter, all 3 center cut, and our guy can’t touch any of them; a statement is made. I really have no idea what the problem is but it looks like total chaos. Man, talk about the hitting an iceberg…

  24. TR

    Is that LOB# for real? The FO has to do something about the offense. Too many runners stranded on base. How about making contact instead of swinging for the fences.

    • Pete

      Phil has caught whatever Suarez has, every swing going for a homer. I got news for Phil Ervin: you will not make it as a power hitter in MLB. To make it you will have to hit line drives. Could Bell or Votto tell him this? So frustrating. He looks awful at the plate.

      • RedsMonk65

        Frustrating because we know he can do it. Earlier in the year, he was shooting line drives all over the place.

  25. Old-school

    Phil Ervin’s career as a credible everyday outfielder ended today. He can’t throw to a human target. He can’t hit right handed pitching. He’s great hitting in Coors field against lefty pitchers with home ERA’s of 9.

      • Old-school

        Are you actually watching the game? Phil Ervin overthrew 2nd base by 40 feet??… Lobbing the ball into the infield with no play at 2b… And throwing into the dugout. A 10 year old does better. The next play…on an easy fly ball to cf… missed the catcher 10 feet over his head and 20 feet up the line into the backstop? Did u not see Trevor Bauer reaction ? Phil Ervin missed 3 cutoff men last year and threw a ball 40 feet off into dugout?

        His lefty right splits are out there. David bell protects him… He never hits against power righties- deGrom, Scherzer, Thor, no hitter Fiers, Pivetta, buehler etc etc.

      • Pete

        He had a bad game and is in a slump. You’re over reacting.

        The season through August 14th: 349/408/578, wRC+ = 152, DRS = 3

        Since Winker has been out August 15th to today: 185/241/222. wRC+ = 21

        Two thoughts: maybe Phil is pressing since Winker went down and is pressing.

        Phil isn’t a CF, a +3 DRS isn’t too bad for a LF

        You sound like the kind of fan that strictly goes by your eyes. Well your eyes are probably like mine, they fail you.

        As far as hitting RHP, you maybe be correct but he doesn’t have a history of not hitting them and the small sample size this year doesn’t sway me. Winker, on the other hand has never hit LHP at any level of professional baseball. You offer a couple of episodes were Ervin failed; every player alive or dead, failed at some point.

        You are way off base.

      • Old-school

        Phil Ervin is a 27 yo rookie who can’t throw to a human target, nor can he hit good right handed pitching. No hot takes..6 years of facts… He’s a grandpa by MLB standards for a first round pick.

        David bell has protected him. He’s never had to hit against good right handed pitching. Go back to March – June. Add 150 at bats against guys he didn’t face- Scherzer and deGrom and Thor no hit Fiers and Philly and St Louis and opening week against healthy Milwaukee and Pittsburgh or dominant bullpen arms.

        That said… Play him everyday now against righties.

    • RojoBenjy

      So the first crummy game a guy had disqualifies him?

      Brutal take.

      • Kevin Davis

        I did not see the throws – as I was listening on the radio. But this is not the first time Ervin has had this issue. Did this several times last year – and I thought that he had gotten over this. I think this is part of the reason why he had been in the minos so long.

  26. RedsMonk65

    Meat Sauce!

    Is a comeback possible for once?

  27. Pete

    Nice job JVM. Heck we could win this.

  28. VaRedsFan

    JVM Homers.
    ‘How could that possibly happen, since so many said he is playing out of position and batting in so many spots in the order?

  29. Curt

    ….and into the river it goes. Dazed and confused but not a quitter.

  30. Aaron B.

    JVM can only get stronger playing multiple positions. Let’s look at the Big Red Machine so many great players changed positions to maximize the potential including: Rose, Bench, Perez, and I know there are others. And same thing with the bullpen there were not defined roles, guys would be asked to go in and get the job done. Saves were scattered among 4 different guys. We have recipes for success if we study our own past.

    • VaRedsFan

      Some sanity arrives in the game thread…thanks.

      • Sliotar

        Vazquez is a tough customer.. if only Suarez had been moved down in the lineup sooner.

      • RedAlert

        And Bell leaves Garrett in to completely ice the game – fire Bell before the plane gets off the tarmac in Pittsburgh. J believable how bad he is with bullpen management over and over and over again

    • Roger Garrett

      The guys you mentioned changed positions because they either couldn’t catch any more(Bench) or in Tony’s case May was traded when the Reds acquired Morgan and others.Pete actually went from second to left then to third to make room for Foster.JVM could in fact be mentally tough and so tough it doesn’t matter where he plays.Curt’s point of when the front office says AA plays right and Senzel plays center that’s what happened and with Bell and everybody else its whatever position I decide then that’s what they do.The guys we both mentioned were veterans and did what was necessary to help the team.In my opinion JVM is a starter going in to 2020 at second base and that’s where he should be right now.If the Reds have a starter on their roster at short right now then he should play every game with JVM the rest of the year just because it make sense.As far as the pen is concerned I certainly am with you all the way but nobody else that counts will agree with us.Pen guys like their rolls defined especially the closers.As a reminder and those days are long gone Sparky used the same 8 guys almost every day in 75/76 and we all can name them.

    • RojoBenjy

      Well—those players changed positions for the year and then stayed there. Perez and Rose didn’t trade infield spots every other game. And Bench didn’t move off catcher until the 80’s when he was aging.

    • RedsMonk65

      @ Aaron B

      You make a valid point, and I appreciate it. If memory serves me correctly, however (not always a given!), while members of the BRM did shift positions from time to time, the difference was not day-to-day as it seems to be with so many of the current Reds. Guys like Bench changed positions late in their careers to keep playing (because his knees and back were almost shot). Perez shifted from 3rd to 1st. Rose was unique, I will grant you that. He could play just about anywhere on the field– and did. But rarely were members of that team playing all over the field on a day-to-day basis. Morgan wasn’t in the outfield a couple days of the week. Foster was not at 2B half the time, Concepcion was not in CF. Aside from occasional position changes, players were rarely shifted around the field at whim (for the Big Cogs of the BRM, anyway).

      Another key difference: for most of those players, changes occurred late in their careers. Here, today, we are talking about very young players new to the Show who often do not have much, if any experience, at other positions. One may argue that they should, and that is a valid point. But they don’t. That’s the reality. And asking them to shift around so often so early in their MLB careers — essentially asking them to be utility/role players — is not maximizing potential, in my view.

      Then again, one could also argue that the potential for members of the BRM was incomparably superior to today’s squad!

  31. Aaron B.

    Right now I have no problem with jockeying for draft position. Rest as many guys that need to be rested and take a look at as much as you can of people still on the cusp. The season is toast they made progress, but it is what it is. Trying JVM in multiple positions makes sense, a trade could be on the horizon opening up a position or they just might like his flexibility and utilize him that way. I think it is a miracle he is in the show to begin with I highly doubt JVM is complaining about his day-to-day position.

    And there goes Suarez!

    • Eric B

      They have got to improve draft position. At least in the top 6. The draft is loaded this year and they need to get higher on the board.

  32. RedsMonk65

    Too little. Too late. Same outcome.

  33. RedAlert

    Embarrassing is too kind ….. swept by the Pirates . Didn’t think this go go further south than when Price was managing , but it is heading that way . Front office needs a complete redo along with most of coaching staff , including so-called manager.
    Absolutely pitiful and inexcusable .

    • RojoBenjy

      He should have hit it to right field instead.

  34. Roger Garrett

    Including today in Suarez’s last 10 games,7 of which we lost he is 8/38 with 2 homers and 4 RBI’S with 15 strikeouts.I love the guy and will enjoy seeing him play for a few more years but he ain’t helping right now.I feel he is tired and if he isn’t after playing in almost every game then he is slumping big time