Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (41-38) 6 12 1
  San Francisco Giants  (46-34) 2 3 0 
 W: Cueto (8-5)      L: Bumgarner (9-5)     S: Chapman (16)
 Fangraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Positives

Johnny Cueto handily won the Cy Young candidate showdown against Madison Bumgarner. It was Cueto’s first start at AT&T since Game One of the 2012 NLDS, when he left the game with an injury after throwing just eight pitches. Tonight, he gave up two runs in 8.1 innings, allowing only three hits and two walks. It was the third time in the in the past eight starts where Cueto has gone at least seven innings.

The Reds broke the game open in the fifth inning, sending ten batters to the plate and scoring five runs against Madison Bumgarner. Hits by Devin Mesoraco, Chris Heisey, Zack Cozart, Billy Hamilton, Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce all contributed. For the second night in a row, Cozart knocked in the first run. One other key to the inning was the jump that Chris Heisey got on Johnny Cueto’s sacrifice bunt, beating the throw to third base on a so-so bunt. By the end of the fifth inning, the Reds win probability was 96.6 percent.

Jay Bruce drove in another run in the seventh inning with two outs. Before tonight’s two hits in four at bats, he was hitting .308/.358/.588 in June. He’s driven in 17 runs in 24 games this month, a pace that would mean 115 for the year. His stolen base provides further evidence that his knee is fine.

Todd Frazier had three hits and a walk. Billy Hamilton had three hits.

Zack Cozart made a great defensive play in the ninth inning on Pablo Sandoval, ranging far to his right and throwing off-balance to force Hunter Pence out at third base.

Negatives

Nada.

Not so random thoughts

The win was the Reds’ third in a row and sixth in their last seven. Their record is 16-8 in June. It’s a good thing they held off breaking up the team.

The Brewers won again. They have the best record in baseball. The Cardinals won and remain one game ahead of the Reds in the loss column.

The fifth inning was the first time that Madison Bumgarner had given up five earned runs in an inning since July 30, 2011, a span of 91 starts. The team that nicked Bumgarner back then? Your Cincinnati Reds. That night, the runs were driven in by Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Chris Heisey. The runs were scored by Edgar Renteria, Joey Votto, Phillips, Miguel Cairo (who was batting fifth!) and Bruce. MIke Leake, Bill Bray, Logan Ondrusek and Nick Masset pitched for the Reds.

Brandon Phillips was charged with an error in the second inning on a ground ball by Sandoval. While it was a play that Phillips has made countless times in his career, it was a tough, tough chance and a brutal scoring decision.

Brayan Peña is hitting .128/.171/.154 in the month of June. He’s scored one run in 45 plate appearances.

73 Responses

  1. Boneill1621

    Tough that the Reds are playing in easily the best division in baseball. Love what I am seeing though.

    • ohiojimw

      Yeah, with the Astro’s out of the division and the Cubs pushing their win rate toward the .440 level, it does not hold water any more to claim that the division is weak with the top dogs fattening up on the weak sisters of the poor at the bottom of the divisional table.

    • Vicferrari

      It was like he played out of his mind when he was needed most, now he can be that role player who helps the team off the bench. Hopefully he can turn it around but from what I understand he brings more to the team than just his AB’s

    • greenmtred

      I like him, too. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t get some more key hits this season and, as VicFerrari says, he appears to add important positive chemistry, which can’t be quantified but is real.

  2. Dale Pearl

    Great game. Slightly bummed Cueto wasn’t able to finish up. BUt a win is a win. Cueto didnt dominate with the k but he had the giants guessing all night. Let’s go get em tomorrow!

    • PXShaman

      Your right he didn’t K much, but that was probably his best Non K heavy game. He through 10 pitch average per inning for first 5 innings, while carrying a no hitter.

      Obviously he wanted contact with a big ball park, but the way he changes his style in different ball parks are amazing.

      • Matt WI

        Yes… 15 groundballs to 7 fly balls according to the box… seems like he really did pitch to the park and let them try and get it.

      • David B

        What’s crazy is that Leake had 11-12 K’s the Day before is this a reversal of Pitchers or what ?

      • Slicc50

        That is why I love to watch Johnny pitch. He is always using his head out there.

  3. 666wolverine

    I love Pena’s energy and attitude. He’s an asset for any club. Big win and performance by all parties wearing the wish bone c.

  4. preacherj

    Another positive: Every Red who stood in the batters box got on base tonight. Sharing the wealth is a good thing.

  5. sergeant2

    Something else worth mentioning is that Mesoraco was the catcher behind the plate for Cueto, and they appeared to be on the same page throughout the game. And that is a big plus for the team.

    • 666wolverine

      The best C should be catching Cueto period!!!!! I love Pena don’t get me wrong but Mez’s bat needs in the lineup at all costs. Price needs to put the best players in place in order to get the W!! Do you think if Cueto was in SF that Posey would not be catching him on his turn in the rotation every 5th day?

      • Kyle Farmer

        I am not in favor of personal catchers. However, Mes can’t catch every game and if Johnny Beisbol is more comfortable throwing to Guy Smiley and the situation overall allows it, then I’ve got no problem. It was great to see Mes and Cy working so well together!

      • Vicferrari

        Exactly, maybe Mes gets the night off so Pena can get in back to back starts

      • Dale Pearl

        It doesn’t matter to me I like both of our catchers. I wouldn’t mind seeing Mes learn to backup playing another position though such as first. He can rest his knees somewhat and let Votto take more days off.

      • Kyle Farmer

        Absolutely. If he continues to hit like this, we need him in the line up almost daily. Also, it looks like for at least the time being and probably for the rest of his career, Joey is going to need some days off to stay healthy.

      • George Mirones

        The Giants have Buster play 1st to reduce the aches and pains of catching and his hitting has improved

  6. doctor

    thought maybe all the caught stealing and pickoffs would be a negative. things like that happen when trying to be aggressive running the bases but 4 outs given back to the pitcher of quality like Bumgarner, you usually regret it.

    As mentioned by others, I am glad to see Meso catch Cueto as well. It needs to happen a few times just so each have a familiarity with the other.

    Frazier and Hamilton with 3 hits each very nice.

    • VaRedsFan

      There were two Pickoffs which are considered caught stealing.. So your number is 2, not 4. Most of Todd’s steals have been tricky, but teams are catching on now, and paying attention now. As Billy learns all the moves that each pitcher has there will be occasional pickoffs. I don’t like the outs as much as the next guy, but Billy keeps proving that he can learn from his miscues. I have faith that he will get picked off less as the season goes on. Just look at his success rate for the 1st month vs the next two months.

      • redmountain

        Baumgardner’s pick off move looks like a balk. You could hear Frazier complaining after the previous attempt.to pick him off. Then he got picked off so I guess he should learned his lesson, Its still a balk.

  7. Dale Pearl

    Hamilton does need some more mentoring when it comes to base running. I am not sure if Billy is the right guy for the job. I love Billy Hatcher and who could ever forget his consecutive hit streak but I am thinking and still hoping we can persuade Brett Butler to take on such a task for us. Certainly we make a bride to Mr. Butler to pull him away from the Marlins? We could offer him our third base coach job for one and also a secondary job as base running, bunting instructor? Just a thought that if I keep thinking about just might come true. I can’t imagine a better tutor for Hamilton than Brett Butler.

    • Slicc50

      Man I remember that guy. He was with the best of them at doing the little things that lead-off type guys have to do

  8. doublenohitter

    Anyone else notice that the Reds have an extra bullpen arm and the starting pitching has been so good that the bullpen is getting virtually no work? Not that that is a bad thing. You have to wonder how much longer the Reds will go with 13 pitchers when they don’t need 11 at the moment.

    • Dale Pearl

      I think we need it. If we have a few pitchers we are assentially going to be 6 inning guys then we will need to counter that with extra help. Right now Simon, Bailey, and Latos are big nailbiters once they get to the middle innings.

  9. zaglamir

    The ugly: two outs by pickoff in the same inning.

    Otherwise though, this was a highlight reel of what the Reds can do when they’re firing on all cylinders. Fun game.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Thought about once again incurring the wrath of the Hamilton Choir by mentioning those as negatives, but decided they were more “Bumgarner has an amazing pick-off move” than they were “stupid getting picked-off” things. Close call.

      • George Mirones

        If These 2 clubs met in the play offs The Reds will at least have a good “read” on Bums move to 1st.

      • Dale Pearl

        I guess we all have our favorites but a flub is a flub. Hamilton needs to chill out a bit sometimes. I like what price had to say about Billys game though.

  10. eric nyc

    I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me until just now but wasn’t this the first time Mesoraco has caught Cueto this season? That’s a HUGE relief, especially with Pena crashing back to earth. Ironic that it happened to be in a game where Votto had a scheduled day off so Pena was in the lineup anyway, but it’s good to know that Price isn’t going to keep sticking Pena in the lineup every 5th day just because him and Cueto are buddies. Hopefully Votto doesn’t need many more days off down the stretch.

    • Eric the Red

      It’s the 2nd time. Tucker caught him once, too.

      • eric nyc

        I knew Tucker had but I wasn’t sure about Mes.

      • eric nyc

        And if I recall didn’t Tucker only catch him because Pena was dinged up that day?

  11. cfd3000

    A fun game to watch, and a good game for the Reds. Brutal division right now but there’s nothing to be done about that but keep winning. Glad to see Votto get a rest. And I’m intrigued by the idea of some reps in the field for Mesoraco. First, left, or maybe even third? He had a rough night Thursday with two HBP and foul ball abuse behind the plate. That will wear a guy down fast. And on a winning night, no harm no foul on the pick offs. Hopefully those moments are lessons for the future, and even though it was a Reds setback, I love that in baseball you keep seeing things you’ve never seen before. Loved Jim Day’s nugget the other day that Mesoraco was the first player in MLB history to homer once in four straight games and hit for the “homer cycle” in order. Great stuff.

  12. sezwhom

    16 of Cueto’s 25 outs were on three pitches or less. That is spectacular. That’s also why he didn’t “K” much….as in only three. However, since the G-men scored twice, his ERA did go up a bit to 1.88. Moral victory for SF.

  13. ohiojimw

    Cueto’s shot at a CG was severely damaged by the Pence single which it looked like Cozart had a play on and simply whiffed with the ball going between his glove and leg. Cueto appeared to cast a long look in Cozart’s direction afterward then promptly ceased to be a pitcher and became instead a thrower versus Posey necessitating his removal. However, Cozart more than made up for any indiscretion by running down the slow roller by the Panda and turning it into a force out at 3rd on the next play.

  14. David B

    Crazy how Leake had 12 K’s the game before, an Cueto has 3 K’s in his Game …Bizzaro World…Like how the Pitching staff, is starting to find a groove… Go REDS !!!

    • Steve Mancuso

      The Giants had decided to swing early in the count against Cueto, which reduces the opportunities for strikeouts. Perhaps they were trying to work the count more against Leake.

  15. G-Man

    Should have mentioned a negative on base running. Picked off twice and caught stealing twice isn’t good. I love the aggressiveness and they did steal 3 bases, but the rest wasn’t good.

    • ohiojimw

      Also a perhaps a borderline TOOTBLAN for Frazier on the Reds final offensive play in the 9th when he was doubled off on the Phillips line drive to 1B. It was a bang/ bang out that probably could not have been avoided but on the replay Fraizer was no where to be seen. Perhaps he was running on the play; but if so it wasn’t noted by the commentators.

  16. ohiojimw

    One of my more favorite parts of a Cueto start is his post game interview. It is apparent that Cueto understands much of the English; and, I find it enjoyable to watch him getting spun up as the question is asked in English and often needing to fight off the urge to respond directly to the interviewer. Even better, there are times when Cueto seems to roll his eyes at Veras as Veras is translating Cueto’s response as if Cueto isn’t quite sure the translation is conveying the central point he intended to make.

    I very much understand and support Cueto’s decision to only speak on the record in his natural tongue. However I hope at some point he becomes comfortable speaking a bit in English to the media because his body language and eyes indicate he might be quite a “character” to get to know better.

  17. Shchi Cossack

    The Old Cossack will simply reiterate other’s point with his pleasure in seeing Cueto pitch to Mesoraco. For my purely unprofessional observation, it looked like Mesoraco was working VERY hard to focus on Cueto and stay on the same page as Cueto. I also observed (again inprofessionally) that Cueto was working VERY hard to give Mesoraco the benefit of the doubt behind the plate and, except on one occasion, they worked together well. The results were certainly spectacular. On just one occasion did Cueto look frustrated and walk off the rubber to gather his composure.

    • Steve Mancuso

      With Peña’s cratering at the plate (basically, returning to his career levels, go figure), it’s good news for Cueto and Mesoraco to work together.

      • Eric the Red

        And another sign of Price growing as a manager that he was willing to have Mesoraco catch Cueto.

  18. Shchi Cossack

    Without trying to antagonize anyone or spark a pointless debate, the top 5 hitters on the Reds roster are Hamilton, Frazier, Votto, Mesoraco & Bruce. Last night, the top 4 hitters in the lineup were Hamilton, Frazier, Mesoraco & Bruce. I just do not understand why Bryan insists on not hitting his best hitters together at the top of the lineup and no one will ask the question and push for a legitimate answer. When Dusty insisted on shoehorning Cozart into the #2 hole, the outrage was loud and clear. I think Cozart is a valuable member of the starting lineup, but he obviously has his limitations so utilizing him to emphasize his strengths and limit his weaknesses is critical. Why is Phillips any different? Phillips is a valuable member of the starting lineup, but utilizing him to emphasize his strengths and limit his weaknesses seems equally logical.

    The only place in the lineup for Cozart is the #8 hole. The top 5 in the lineup should be set with Bruce and Mesoraco possibly sharing the #4 & #5 holes depending on the pitching matchup. That really leaves the only decision regarding the lineup reduced to Phillips and Ludwick hitting in the #6 & #7 holes and that looks like a tossup decision. I really do not understand why Bryan has such a hard time with that decision and insists on placing Phillips in the top half of the lineup.

    • Kurt Frost

      I firmly believe Phillips would take that as a “slap in the face”.

      • Groujo

        At some point in his decline it will become a necessity. I wonder how bad his numbers will have to be before he can accept that he isn’t in the top half of the offense and not take batting 7th as an insult.

      • Dale Pearl

        Not sure what the citation is for Brandon complaining about where he bats. Has he ever publicly criticized Price for that? How about Baker?

      • yoitsscholzy

        It is honestly shocking to me that some of you guys are so adament that Phillips would not cause a problem because he hasn’t complained about where he bats before. He’s never been “demoted” in the lineup. That’s the difference. Every time Phillips has been moved around it’s because he they needed him fill an important hole that “nobody” else could. It was a vote of confidence in his ability as a hitter. Moving him to 6 or 7 is not that. It’s the opposite. He is NOT an unselfish player. Not now, not ever. Point is, it’s definitely not unreasonable to think he would cause a stir over it. It’s realistic.

    • Eric the Red

      Cossack–may I call you Cossack?–I agree with you. But I don’t think having Phillips bat in the top 5 is comparable to having Cozart bat 2nd. And while the managing of ego/motivation is a legitimate reason for what Price is doing–and there may be other reasons, too–there really wasn’t any strong reason to put Cozart’s awful OBP in the 2 hole.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Comparable only in the sense that neither was justifiably appropriate. Certainly, the issue regarding Cozart was much more aggregious and unjustifiable. The issue with Phillips is completely undefined. That’s the problem I have with the Phillips’ situation. I hear lots of supposition that may or may not be warranted or justified, but nothing of substance from Bryan regarding the situation. Phillips doesn’t make out the lineup card, so he is certainly not responsible for where anyone hits in the lineup. As the manager, Bryan should be accountable for for results. If the results are there, then all is well in Reds Land. If the results are not there, then Bryan should be asked the tough questions and expected to answer the tough questions. He may well have a good reason for his decision regarding Phillips in the batting order. As a fan, I would like to hear it.

  19. Reed Tom

    Another big win. Great to see Cueto get it done in S.F. Frazier batting second is a big boost to the chemistry and momentum.

  20. Shchi Cossack

    Hamilton really needs to learn and understand that his speed on the bases does not require him to steal against a very tough LH pitcher. Last night was not the 1st time Hamilton struggled with that situation and giving up a baserunner, after having accomplished the most difficult task of earning a baserunner, is an absolutely travesty. I don’t know what Ham,ilton’s thought process is or was in those situations, but it certainly looked like an ego decision rather than a ‘what’s best for the team’, decision.

    • CTRedsFan

      Hamilton is a 23 year old rookie, he is going to make mistakes. Veteran base stealers with 10 years experience get picked off from time to time.

      I remember watching the BRM once and the announcer said “the Reds have this pitchers move timed” the very next play he picked Concepcion off first, it happens, cut the kid some slack!

      • Shchi Cossack

        Sorry to disturb you by mentioning anything critical regarding Hamilton’s performance. Hamilton IS a 23 year old rookie, but base stealing is not a new concept to Hamilton. Technique and good decision making will make the difference between a Hamilton who is supremely fast and a Hamilton who is an elite base stealer. Hamilton is and will always be a threat to steal a base and he obviously has a green light to steal at will. More stolen base attempts will not make Hamilton an elite base stealer. Nor will more stolen base attempts benefit the team. More successful stolen bases will make Hamilton an elite base stealer and benefit the team. Selectivity is a big factor in successful stolen base attempts and as long as Hamilton has a green light, he must learn the negative value of giving up a baserunner. BTW, as good as Concepcion was (and I firmly believe he should be in the HOF), he was not an elite base stealer (although he did have couple elite base stealing seasons simply because he was selective) and stealing bases was not a major contributing factor to Concepcion’s success or the team’s success.

        Frazier made the same error in judgement and needs to control those errors for the same reason, but his success and the teams success is not so dependent on Frazier’s speed or stolen bases, so I didn’t mention the issue as it relates to Frazier’s caught stealing.

      • CTRedsFan

        Actually stealing bases is a relatively new skill for Hamilton, by his own admission, he was never a base stealer until he got into professional baseball. And no, Concepcion was not an elite base stealer but he was a terrific base runner. My point is young players make mistakes, Hamilton’s mistakes are from inexperience and perhaps over aggressiveness at times. As a coach you can live with those mistakes. The mistakes you can’t live with are ones born of apathy, lack of concentration or lack of hustle, and I have yet to see that type of error from Hamilton, so to suggest Hamilton’s mistake was one of ego is ridiculous.

        And I am not disturbed by criticisms of Hamilton but I am disturbed by your condescension.

      • eric nyc

        What CTREDSFAN said about base stealing being a newer skill for Hamilton. I’d also say from watching the game that if they had the same officiating crew on the field that Cingrani had last week for whichever game that was then Bumgardner would have probably racked up a couple balks. Those was some really borderline moves. Hamilton getting caught by it – don’t know what you can do about that. Don’t know why in the same inning right after seeing that Frazier decided to give it a try.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Obviously Billy is still feeling his way around the game. This guy is going to be so good it will blow people out of the water. I want him to stay aggressive in base running, hitting and fielding. It’s his game and he needs to play it that way. His stolen base percentage will continue to get better, zero doubt in this fan’s mind.

      • Dale Pearl

        Look at choos season and look at bham this season who would you rather have at lead off considering a fantasy world where salaries are equal? Even if they were the same age i would take billys season over choo. Add in the fact that billy is eight years you ger and it becomes a no brainer.

  21. preacherj

    Since Pena’s been mentioned a great deal this thread, I’m dragging this dead horse out again: Who in the heck constructs a team without a qualified backup at first freakin’ base? Thankfully Pena, who played it what, twice in his life before being forced into duty, has handled it quite well. I, too, am grateful for him. I’m glad he’s here for a variety of reasons. But, seriously, how much press should we be giving a backup catcher? It’s amazing to me with all the corner outfield ‘options’ on this team, and mind you we were carrying 3 catchers for a while as well, that adequate thought wasn’t given to first base. It’s not like an injury wasn’t a possibility for Joey. I guess the plan was to move our starting third baseman over to first, put a defensive replacement over at third, and weaken both our offense and defense at the same time….or we’ll just use our backup catcher who played there once in high school. Great plan. Add a keg and a grill and it sounds like the last softball league I played in.

    • Eric the Red

      Hannahan is supposed to be the first option, and Soto the second. Not having a third option is one of the differences between the super rich clubs and clubs like the Reds.

      • George Mirones

        The other option at 1st is Lutz who in 76 PA’s at AAA is hitting .197 with an OPS of .585. Since his return to AAA Soto is hitting .300.
        Oh by the way there two 3B in Louisville Gotay and Nelson. Gotay is 32 years old who in 297 PA’s is hitting .279 with a .817 OPS and Nelson who is 28 years old and in 237 PA’s is hitting .274 with an OPS of .692.
        One more thought T. Barnhart in 136 PA’s is hitting .229 with an OPS of .644

      • ohiojimw

        For around 90 PA’s at AAA, Neftali Soto is actually as good as or better than any of these other possibilities at .317/.371/.451 (.822 OPS). I will grant that there is a case to be made that he doesn’t thrive off the bench versus playing every day but then do we know if any of the other guys can play effectively off the bench either ???

      • Shchi Cossack

        I am a big Lutz fan, but at this point, Lutz needs to prove he can hit AAA pitching before another promotion to the 25-man roster is even contemplated. The point of Soto not being effective as a utility player is also a serious consideration. I really like that Soto started pounding the ball once he was optioned back to AAA. I hope he continues, but his contribution to the Reds organization will probably be as a trade asset rather than a contributor at the major league level. Maybe WJ should check in with the BoSox and see if they might be interested. I can see Soto really liking the green monster in Fenway.

      • ohiojimw

        Soto has never played as well offensively at AAA (2 seasons prior) as he has since he went down this year. If he continues at or near his current level for the rest of the season and isn’t involved in a trade, the Reds should have him shagging fly balls somewhere this off season with an eye toward giving him a look in LF.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Agreed. I had the exact same thought as I was typing the prior comment.

      • ohiojimw

        Soto could end up being an MLB bust or journeyman but then again I wouldn’t bet a lot against him being the next guy in the EE mold. By comparison, EE was a 9th round draft choice (yes he is Dominican; but, he attended HS in Puerto Rico and was subject to the draft) while Soto (natural born Puerto Rican) was a 3rd round choice.

      • Michael J Hampton

        Yeah, I’m a big Lutz fan, too, and I don’t want to see him “promoted” to sit on the bench again. I think the 3 weeks he sat on the bench when Votto was out has really set him back again. Lutz is 25 years old and has been in the minors for 7 years but has only played in 443 games in the minors due to injuries, early call-ups, etc.

        He put together a really good season in 2011 at A ball when he finally got to play a full season (123 games – .301/.358/.492 with 20 HR and 75 RBI) and followed that up with a pretty good season split between A and AA in 2012 (107 games – .269/.336/.517 22 HR and 71 RBI). In 2013 he was called up to the big club for almost two months, but only played sparingly and then when he went back to AA he was injured twice, pretty much finishing his season.

        He played winter ball in Mexico during this last off season to work on some things. This year, he began the season at Pensacola and was tearing up AA pitching (23 games .360/.412/.685 6 HR and 16 RBI). He was then promoted to AAA for a few games and then “promoted” to the big club to sit on the bench. No more than they played him, they should have just kept Soto. Since going back to AAA, he has gotten off to a slow start, but seems to be starting to hit a little better over the last 8 or 9 games, but the power isn’t there yet.

        Lutz needs to play somewhere (AAA right now). He got a late start in baseball because of growing up in Germany. I don’t think he knew what a baseball was until he was 14 or 15.

      • Dale Pearl

        I really like Lutz as well. I am wondering if he suffered from some sort of injury that he is trying to battle through his numbers are waaay down.

    • ohiojimw

      The radio and TV guys have all been talking about the need for a move here. I suspect that indicates they have heard talk the team is actively looking outside the org.

      No doubt they want somebody who can play both 1st and 3rd and with some offensive pop. Peña gives them (at least) a short term fill in at 1B; so they could settle on a 3B guy; but it is hard to imagine that any one who could play a passable 3B couldn’t do the same on the opposite corner.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Actually Pena carries both a 1B, 3B & OF gloves with him routinely. He has very limited playing time beyond catcher in either minor league or major league experience, but that didn’t seem to bother Bryan in playing him at 1B.