For the first time ever, the Reds beat Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. He entered tonight 9-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 13 career starts against the Reds. The Phillies had won all 14 times Hamels faced the Reds (including when Hamels shut out the Reds 2-0 in the clinching game of the Phillies 3-game sweep of the Reds in the 2010 NLDS).

Frazier and Cozart each had three hits, and Billy Hamilton scored on a Brandon Phillips walk (more on that below). In his first start of his career as a Red, Ivan De Jesus Jr. hit a 2-run home run in the 6th inning off Hamels to break a 3-3 tie. Mike Leake allowed just two earned runs over six innings. Parra and Hoover each pitched perfect innings in the 7th and 8th, and Aroldis Chapman was able to close the door despite a couple of walks and a couple of wild pitches.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (25-31) 4 10 0
Philadelphia Phillies (22-37) 6 11 0
W: Leake (3-4) L: Hamels (5-5) S: Chapman (11)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread
 WPA Phillies

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Ivan De Jesus Jr.’s 2-run home run in the 6th inning off Cole Hamels, giving the Reds a 5-3 lead. That home run increased the Reds chances of winning by 24.7% (from 62.1% to 86.8%).

Other important plays (+/- indicates how much each play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):

  • +11.7% – 3rd inning: Cozart RBI double with 1 out. Reds lead 3-1.
  • +11.3% – 6th inning: Leake struck out Hamels with the bases loaded. 2 outs. 3-3.
  • +11.2% – 3rd inning: Franco out at home on a fielder’s choice. Runners on 1st & 3rd, 1 out. Reds lead 3-1.
  • +11.0% – 2nd inning: Hamilton scores on a fielder choice after a Phillips walk with 2 outs. Reds lead 2-1.
  • +10.7% – 1st inning: Frazier RBI single with 0 outs. Runners on 1st & 2nd. 1-1.
  • -16.5% – 6th inning: Leake allows a double to Asche. Runners on 2nd & 3rd with 0 outs. 3-3.
  • -15.1% – 4th inning: Leake allows a 2-RBI single to Ruiz with 1 out. 3-3.
  • -11.4% – 1st inning: Leake allows a RBI double to Howard with 2 outs. Phillies lead 1-0.

Player of the Game

Ivan De Jesus Jr.: 2 for 4, 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 0.19 WPA

Welcome to the Reds, Ivan De Jesus Jr. He hit a 2-run home run off Cole Hamels (yes Cole Hamels) in the 6th inning to break a 3-3 tie. It was his first home run in the big leagues (81 career PA entering tonight). De Jesus Jr. only had 38 career HR in 4177 PA in the minor leagues, so it had to feel pretty cool to hit a homer off Cole Hamels. De Jesus Jr. also hit a double in the 8th inning.


In the second inning, Billy Hamilton stole 2nd base, 3rd base, and home. Well, stealing home didn’t actually count as a SB, because the Reds official scorer decided to call it a fielders choice for some silly reason. It was heads up baserunning by Hamilton though, as he scored after a Brandon Phillips walk, which Ruiz thought was a check swing strikeout and threw the ball to first base.


Todd Frazier had a 3-hit night. Frazier is hitting a cool .282/.356/.587 with 155 wRC+ on the season.

Zack Cozart went 3 for 4, and hit a home run in the 8th inning. Cozart continues to be one of the Reds most interesting players as we get closer to the trade deadline.

Joey Votto extended his on-base streak to 17 games tonight with a walk.

Mike Leake only allowed 2 ER in 6 innings, but he did allow 10 hits. That might work against the Phillies, but allowing 10 hits probably isn’t going to bring you much success elsewhere.

Manny Parra and J.J. Hoover were perfect in the 7th and 8th innings for the Reds. These two guys seem like the only trustworthy guys in the Reds bullpen other than Chapman. Parra’s ERA is at 1.17, while Hoover is at 1.93.


I got nothing.

Not so random thoughts………………..

Devin Mesoraco began his “rehab” assignment with the Louisville Bats tonight in LF. Steve covered the Reds decision to move their catcher into the outfield a few days ago. Mesoraco went 0 for 3 with a strikeout, and was removed from the game in the 6th inning (he wasn’t hurt or anything, this a normal thing to do during a rehab stint). Mesoraco didn’t have a ball hit at him in LF.

2015 MLB Draft


The Reds drafted right-handed catcher Tyler Stephenson with the #11 overall pick in the first round. Stephenson is 18 years old, 6-4, 215 lbs. out of Kennesaw Mountain (Ga.) High School. Stephenson was actually even considered by the Arizona Diamondbacks to go #1 overall.

Stephenson hit .403/.516/.662 with 3 HR, and 22 RBI in 26 games in his junior season in high school. He was also a pitcher, who had a fastball that reached 90+ MPH. It was certainly interesting that the Reds drafted a catcher with the #11 overall pick on the same day that their All-Star catcher began a rehab stint playing in LF (more in terms of a weird coincidence than anything else). Draft Report (VIDEO) Rosecrans on Stephenson @Tyler_Step22

Around the NL Central

Brewers: Lead the Pirates 1-0 after 7 innings (currently in a rain delay). They drafted a high school left-handed OF Trent Clark from Texas with the 15th overall pick.

Cubs: Off tonight. They begin a 2-game series in Detroit against the Tigers tomorrow. The Cubs also drafted switch-hitting OF Ian Happ from UC with the 9th overall pick.

Pirates: Trail the Brewers 1-0 in the 7th inning. They drafted right-handed SS Kevin Newman from Arizona University with the 19th overall pick.

Cardinals: Trail the Rockies 5-1 in the 5th inning. They drafted high school left-handed OF Nick Plummer from Michigan with the 23rd overall pick.

St. Louis Cardinals 38-19 –
Pittsburgh Pirates 31-25 6.5 GB
Chicago Cubs 30-25 7.0 GB
Cincinnati Reds 25-31 12.5 GB
Milwaukee Brewers 20-37 18.0 GB

Up Next:

Phillies at Reds
Tuesday, 7:10PM
TV: FSN-Ohio
Aaron Harang (12 GS, 2.45 ERA, 3.24 FIP) vs Anthony DeSclafani (11 GS, 3.60 ERA, 3.94 FIP)


All statistics are used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats and Info, and Baseball-Reference (including Baseball-Reference Play Index). All photos are used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and are used by permission.

66 Responses

  1. whereruklu

    Could this be a Stephenson and Stephenson battery in a few years? Who knew?

    • Vicferrari

      Exactly what I was thinking…but the cynical part realizes The pitcher will be traded away for prospects when the catcher is ready in 2020

  2. vared

    I’m very happy for Mr. Cozart – always thought he was considerably better than what we saw last year offensively. Though I’m in favor of wholesale changes, I can’t see moving him

    • mtkal

      Agree with this, especially regarding last season. I just thought it was a bit of an aberration the way he batted last season. He’s a very solid ML shortstop batting .250 the way he plays defense.

    • Vicferrari

      Coming in the BA was heading toward his career numbers but a good game gets it headed in a preferable direction. Hopefully he gets on another hot streak, the power he is providing from the SS position is a plus, what is most impressive is that he has significantly increased his OBP on top of his stellar D

    • ManuelT

      Agreed. Seems like some want to trade everyone of value, except their pets, Bailey and Votto. Votto is my favorite Red, by the way.

      • lwblogger2

        Exactly. We all love Todd Frazier and we all feel that if management doesn’t think the Reds will be competitive with a minor rebuild by 2017 (Frazier’s last season), then the Reds should trade him too. Nobody is untradeable but the Bailey and Votto contracts as well as Bailey’s injury situation make them about as close as guys can get. I love Jay Bruce but if the Reds can get a B prospect for him and don’t have to cover any salary, they should move him too. We all have our favorite players but “pets”? Come on now.

      • ManuelT

        If history has shown us anything in sports, it’s that no player is untradeable. The return is what would be in question.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Manuel, smart fans have no “pets”. I trade any guy in the organization if it upgraded the “team”.

  3. mtkal

    Well as little meaning as the pitcher W/L stat has, Mike Leake deserved to get a win in one of his last two starts so. . . sometimes things sorta work out.

    • Vicferrari

      Ironically he allows the same amount of ER in both appearances…I know wins are not regarded much on here, but I think they tell you something if a pitchers has a winning % over 50 year end year out constantly getting over 15…Leake just has not been one to be able to do this and his record reflects the type of pitcher he mostly like will peak as

  4. jessecuster44

    Billy Hamilton being Billy Hamilton underscores the urgency for him to increase his OBP. He made Chooch look incredibly foolish for making a throw that usually is a knee jerk reaction. Fun to watch!

  5. seat101

    Great recap, Nick!

    I’d love to see the rule or hear the explanation on why that is not a stolen base by BH.

    Two out of three men from our bullpen did really nice job. The third one gets the save.

    Go figure.

    • Kurt Frost

      They said he left after he threw the ball so it’s not a stolen base.

      • Hoodlum

        if I owned the reds, the official scorer would no longer have a job with the reds. i do everything within my power to make sure he never entered GABP again. anyone who asked me why he was fired would also be fired, unless their question suggested that I should have fired him before the game tonight. in that case, I would give that person a promotion to official scorer of the reds.

      • Vanessa Galagnara

        It is one SB. who cares? We scored a run!

      • lwblogger2

        Glad I don’t work for you. Fired for asking questions?

      • RedInInd

        Ok, so how does the fielders choice ruling apply here? I thought there was an out somewhere on a fielders choice play.

      • greenmtred

        I heard that they called it a fielder’s choice, but as Chris Welch said, choice of what? The play at the plate was the only out available, and the catcher’s throw was a mistake. If BH pulled off a straight steal of home after the catcher had thrown the ball back to the pitcher, would they call that a fielder’s choice? Not arguing with you, Kurt, but wondering about the scorer’s reasoning.

      • Kurt Frost

        I just repeated what I heard on the broadcast. I’ve never seen that happen before so I have no clue how it should have been scored.

      • Vanessa Galagnara

        I’m hoping for Will Ferrell He plays a mean Left Field.

  6. Hoodlum

    the reds official score keeper needs to take a long walk off of a short pier.

    • lwblogger2

      Over 1 SB? You do know there is an appeal process, right? The Reds and/or Hamilton can petition MLB and/or the Reds’ official scorer to consider a scoring change. This feels like a giant over reaction and I don’t understand it at all. It was a simple scoring decision and it should cost the guy his job or worse?

      • greenmtred

        You are right, of course, LWBLOGGER2. I think our reactions show that we’ve reached the point in this disappointing season where the trees are more interesting than the forest.

      • hoodlum

        how many times is home stolen in a season? and our scorer doesnt give Billy the benefit of the doubt on that? i’d have the same reaction if the scorer ruled a hit on a questionable play when our pitcher had a no hitter going late in a ballgame. how many players have the speed and awareness to make it home on that play – and you want to rule it a FC? it is a clown decision – whether Billy can appeal or not.

      • David Eberly

        Plus, he would have stolen second, third, and home on the same time on base. . .
        It just seemed that the obivous call was to call it a SB, but they went out of their way to NOT call that.

    • jdx19

      I’d make it an error on the catcher before a steal of home. Billy left after the catcher threw the ball on ball 4. If it were strike 3 and the catcher tosses it down, I think i’d put it as a SB. The umpire didn’t ring the batter up, so the catcher essentially “threw it away” which is closer to an error.

  7. pinson343

    I’ve complained a lot about Price’s bullpen decisions, I liked his decisions tonight. Taking Leake out after 6 (too bad he didn’t take him out after 8 in his previous start). Parra against the lefties. Hoover has earned being the 8th inning guy for now.

    Parra/LeCure in the 7th and Hoover in the 8th worked pretty well in 2013. Maybe for now it’s going to be Parra/Cingrani in the 7th and Hoover in the 8th. Cingrani has to be in the mix, he’s got the best arm in the bullpen next to Chapman.

  8. pinson343

    I don’t know an easy way to look this up, but it seems like Chapman pitches better when Pena is catching. When he starts to fart around and Pena is catching, Brayan goes out and has some choice words for him and that settles him down.

    • Vanessa Galagnara

      one of those parts of the game that stats cannot quantify. Stats can’t capture everything. If they could baseball would be a math class and utterly boring.

      • wkuchad

        though I agree with your comment in general, I’m pretty sure stats can quantify Pinson’s observation

      • hof13

        one of those parts of the game that stats cannot quantify. Stats can’t capture everything. If they could baseball would be a math class …. and be even better than it is (Creative editing from the perspective of someone with a PhD in Math)

      • Steve Mancuso

        Career OPS allowed by Chapman by catcher:

        Hanigan (111 games) .459 OPS
        Mesoraco (99 games) .465 OPS
        Peña (27 games) .526 OPS

      • CP

        It’s amazing how far people will go to give credit/blame to someone else.

        Hey, remember when Billy Hamilton started the season hot, and we heard all about how he spent extra time working with Delino DeShields? I guess the lessons wore off. They’ve already moved on to Zack Cozart and Barry Larkin’s narrative.

      • jdx19

        Darnit, Steve! I hate it when facts get in the way of someone’s opinion!

      • jdx19

        I don’t think it’s a “credit/blame” thing. It’s a “stoping the spread of incorrect information” thing.

      • Jeremy Conley

        Vanessa, this is starting to feel a lot like trolling. Pinson343’s post doesn’t have anything to do with stats, and you took it upon yourself to make the conversation about how you don’t like numbers, again.

        You have made it abundantly clear that you don’t like numbers and think stats take away from the game. These kinds of posts really don’t add anything to the discussion, when the original point was about Chapman and his catchers.

        If someone writes a post that says “stats are making baseball better than ever!” then I think your comment here would make sense. Until then, why not discuss the actual topic of a post if you are responding to it?

        It also hurts your case that you were obviously wrong, in this case a pitcher’s success with different catcher’s is very easily measured in any number of ways.

    • big5ed

      I think you might be right on that. Barnhart, who isn’t a big guy, squats unusually low, and Chapman likes to throw letter-high fastballs, where he gets a lot of swing-and-misses. Chapman threw 2 pitches over Barnhart last night.

      Chapman got Utley to swing and miss at a filthy slider last night, but he otherwise is having a hard time throwing the slider or change for a strike. Hitters are laying off, creating deeper counts, in which they have a better chance to (a) draw a walk, or (b) time his fastball, having seen about 6 of them when the count gets deep.

    • Tom Reed

      That’s a good point. Pena and Chapman share the same native language.

  9. brickemo

    Excellent blog! Good win for the Reds. Cincy now 12-0 when hitting at least two home runs and pitcher throws a quality start (source:

  10. lwblogger2

    What I want to know is what is going on with Chapman’s control? Right now, I wouldn’t be willing to give up too much for him if I’m an opposing GM because I’m wondering if my pitching coach can sort him out or if the guy can sort himself out or if even something is physically wrong with him. Seems mechanical to me as he isn’t being consistent in his delivery and sometimes isn’t finishing his pitches. That said, injury can also cause both those symptoms.

    I do know that I’d want to make him throw strikes if I was up there and I’d be wanting to wear a full suit of armor because he has no idea where the ball is going.

    • greenmtred

      I didn’t see the end of last night’s game, but I’ve wondered a bit at what seems like a decrease in Chapman’s velocity. It seems strange to question 99mph, but it has been a few games since he touched 100 or more, as I recall. ;;

      • brmreturns

        I believe his 1st pitch (early in the count anyway) to Ruiz last night was at 101

      • greenmtred

        Thanks, BRM and Varedsfan. If I hadn’t gone to bed early, I’d have known and would have kept my mouth shut (figuratively).

      • VaRedsFan

        he had several at 102 last night

      • jdx19

        Velo is still down this year. Last year he was 1st by a full MPH, i think. This year he’s 4th (last I saw) in avg. fastball velocity.

    • Tom Reed

      I think control is the basic reason Chapman has not been made a starting pitcher. Opposing hitters should take at least one strike before swinging at that 100 mph pitch.

    • CP

      I think it falls under 10.04(c), although I think you could also argue that Phillips fails to qualify for the RBI under 10.04(a)(1) or (a)(2) because he did not begin the play with a “safe hit…etc”, nor did he walk with the bases full.

      The official rulebook of Major League Baseball states in Rule 10.04:

      (a) The official scorer shall credit the batter with a run batted in for every run that scores:

      (1) unaided by an error and as part of a play begun by the batter’s safe hit (including the batter’s home run), sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly, infield out or fielder’s choice, unless Rule 10.04(b) applies;
      (2) by reason of the batter becoming a runner with the bases full (because of a base on balls, an award of first base for being touched by a pitched ball or for interference or obstruction); or
      (3) when, before two are out, an error is made on a play on which a runner from third base ordinarily would score.

      (b) The official scorer shall not credit a run batted in
      (1) when the batter grounds into a force double play or a reverse-force double play; or
      (2) when a fielder is charged with an error because the fielder muffs a throw at first base that would have completed a force double play.

      (c) The official scorer’s judgment must determine whether a run batted in shall be credited for a run that scores when a fielder holds the ball or throws to a wrong base. Ordinarily, if the runner keeps going, the official scorer should credit a run batted in; if the runner stops and takes off again when the runner notices the misplay, the official scorer should credit the run as scored on a fielder’s choice.

      • hoodlum

        our clown scorer chose the option that was to the detriment of all of our players statistically. and no error was charged to the Sillies, either?

      • hoodlum

        my bad – I get it now. “Fun” is when our players get jobbed. Cool. Go official scorers!

      • jdx19

        Should have been an error on the catcher for throwing the ball to 1st base when the batter did not, in fact, strike out. That’s an “error” by anyone’s definition. It’d be like throwing the ball to 2nd instead of 1st on a batted ball to the IF. Throwing the ball to the wrong place is an error.

  11. sultanofswaff

    Not saying the Reds have any hope of contending, but how awesome/entertaining would it be if the Reds offense turned into a juggernaut for the 2 months Mez will be on the team?!?


    At least the team wouldn’t be boring anymore!

  12. Andrewpky

    Good game to watch. It is also a reminder that this season could be worse. Reds only 6 under .500. The Phillies are 15 under, Woof!

    • brmreturns

      yet if the pen hadn’t blown 3 leads this past week, they would be .500 and only a couple games out of the WC.

  13. Tom Reed

    All is not lost yet. The recent bit of improvement in the bullpen could make a difference with a lot of the season still to play. And DeJesus, Jr. looks like a positive for the bench.

    • Grand Salami

      Boesch has no place on the bench. Besides DeJesus there are other, better options in AAA to back up the OF. Last night was awful. Easy chance to make it a non-save situation with a sac fly and he Ks. He doesn’t look like a major league hitter at all this season.