It would be wrong to complain about the Reds offense lately. They’ve scored the third most runs this month in the National League. But tonight, they were stymied by Justin Nicolino who was making his first major league start. Less than three weeks ago, the 23-year-old gave up 7 earned runs in 3 innings to the Tacoma Rainiers. It seemed like a tiny victory in the ninth inning when the Reds (barely) avoided hitting into their fourth double play of the game.

It’s hard to remember back that far, but Reds fans, this is what our offense looks like when Todd Frazier doesn’t hit two home runs in a game.

Reds 0, Marlins 5 | FanGraphs Info | Super Todd’s Super Season

After no-hitting his former team for the first 4 innings, Anthony DeSclafani gave up 3 runs in the fourth. Derek Dietrich blasted a looooong home run (438 feet). Christian Yelich followed with double to deep left center, Giancarlo Stanton singled and both eventually scored. DeSclafani narrowly worked out of a jam in the fifth, with the inning ending as Jay Bruce fielded the third out with his back against the fence. That was it for the young pitcher.

Burke Badenhop, who pitched for the Marlins 2008-11, worked a quick and clean 6th inning and retired the first batter in the 7th. Nate Adcock retired all four of his batters and Carlos Contreras had a 1-2-3 ninth.

The one negative from the bullpen was Manny Parra, who gave up extra-base hits to the first two batters he faced, two left-handers, including a second home run by Dietrich.

Meanwhile, soft-tosser Justin Nicolino gave the Reds just 4 hits in 7 innings, only one or two of which could be described as even moderately hard-hit. Nicolino was in such control of the Reds that the Marlins let him bat in the 7th in a 3-0 game.

Asking Skip Schumaker, Billy Hamilton and Brandon Phillips to bat against Carter Capps in the 8th inning didn’t seem quite fair.

The only good thing to say about the Reds offense tonight: Joey Votto walked in his first plate appearance, extending his streak of consecutive games on base to 28. He also had a hit.

Brandon Phillips severe slump at the plate continued. The Reds leadoff hitter has four singles and no walks in 29 at bats since he took a few days off with a groin pull. That’s less than optimal for a lead-off hitter. Phillips has scored one run and has one RBI since June 12. He hasn’t had an extra-base hit since June 4.

22 Responses

  1. jessecuster44

    IF Walt/Bob decide to trade, they had better get back offense in return. All the pitching in the world doesn’t help when a soft tossing rookie handcuffs you.

      • Tom Reed

        I had hopes in the off-season that the Reds would acquire a masher like Cespedes for left field but that was dashed by financial considerations and not wanting to block Winker from taking over in 2016.

  2. pinson343

    I thought the Reds had a good chance to sweep this series when I saw the pitching match ups. Then I saw before the game that an emergency starter would be making his major league debut for the Marlins and I thought “uh oh”. I don’t know have numbers on how the Reds have fared in 2014-2015 against pitchers making their major league debut, but they’re not good.

    In fairness, the information provided here about Justin Nicolino is a little on the incomplete, unbalanced side. (Not that there’s anything with that.) He’s the 3rd rated prospect in the Marlins organization, and, when he’s on, throws 4 pitches with pinpoint control.

    Location, location, location.

  3. pinson343

    BP does the same thing every year. He hits OK (what exactly that means is not the point), gets hurt, comes back too soon, and slumps miserably. It’s a tired act, and goes back at least until the 2010 season.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I also feel he leads the known world in GIDP. Really killed momentum in the 3rd when we had two on w/ no outs. This is after two failed bunt attempts. SMH.

    • Aaron Bradley

      He also gets the benefit of the doubt as far as managers batting him at or near top of lineup when he comes back from injury. Why not put him in a safe place so he can contribute defensively and not hurt (too much) offensively?

    • lwblogger2

      BP is slumping right now. Could be the groin, toe, or both bothering him. Could also just be a slump. I’m not too worried about it yet.

  4. pinson343

    Mes made some very interesting statements about his condition and how things went in L’ville. I’m relieved he’s having the surgery now. I’ll wait for the RLN post before saying more.

    • ohiojimw

      I was more upset with the circus in KC and nobody having the sense to put off the one more test of catching positions until after the DHing run was finished.

      Also, I am curious about what happened “in Louisville”. The two articles I’ve seen didn’t provide any detail beyond Meso saying after he was hurt in Louisville that pretty much sealed the deal to have the surgery.

    • lwblogger2

      Apparently he drove the whole “trying to play this year” thing and the Reds were just on board with it. It’s apparently why he got the 2nd opinion and such because the Reds wanted to shut him down earlier. I appreciate that he wanted to play but I think the team needed to put their foot down. Also, I’m with OhioJimW about the KC fiasco. Ridiculous.

  5. Kyle

    Bronson just got acquired by the Braves. I’m not even sure if he is planning to pitch this year but certainly would love to see him back on the mound.

    RE: Devin, it is too bad this didn’t work. I actually felt like Devin seemed to be on board with the Reds plans. He tried everything he could to get back on the field, couldn’t do it, and is getting the surgery. I have a lot of respect for the guy. I really hope he can come back and be the offensive force he was last year. Let him learn another position and split him at catcher if possible.

  6. DHud

    On a side note, tonight was the first chance I had to go see a game this year and I was extremely disappointed that Votto changed his walk-up song. Paint It Black was pretty awesome

  7. ohiojimw

    It just seemed like Saturday demonstrated the typical down side of the Reds offense. Every time they started to create an opportunity, there was a lack of patience to see if the guy would pitch his way into more trouble. By lack of patience I primarily mean trying to pull the 1st pitch they saw that looked pullable and rolling over it into a grounder; and there may have also been a popup in there too.

    Parra had been too good for too long. He was due to have an off night I suppose. However it was upsetting that he had Dee Gordon at 0-2 and threw such a fat pitch for the double ahead of the HR by Dietrich.

  8. GreatRedLegsFan

    Among all bad contracts this office has issued so far, I think the worst is one for Brandon Philips. ThatDude is still due tons of money for this and two more seasons, sounds like a sunk cost they’ll have to swallow.

    • User1022

      Really? Of all the problems this team is having, you want to focus on the guy who has already put up 1.1 WAR and the season isn’t even halfway over?


    • Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

      Brandon Phillips contract isn’t the issue this season and isn’t the worst even on the team this season imo. Sure he’s nowhere near the player he was but he’s still been close to average offensively and defensively he’s lost a step or so but he’s still pretty good. He will put up the numbers this year that won’t make this season look so bad in terms of money. Now next year and the year after who knows. He will continue to decline and probably be pretty poor at the plate but somehow still hit in the top half of the lineup.

    • lwblogger2

      I still don’t think BP is overpaid at this point. He is just below league average as a hitter and plays above average defense. We’ll see about the next couple seasons though. The contract has a good chance to be upside down in 2016/2017. I’m hoping he has that late career surge for one season that some star veterans have before they go out.

  9. wizeman

    On a different note… the rainout gave us a chance to dodge a bullet by skipping 5th starter spot. not needed until next saturday. even though stephenson is not the favorite to get that spot… he knew he had to step up and did. 7 innings..3 hits..10 strikeouts and 1 walk. that is either 4 out of 5 or 5 out of 6 dominating starts for him.
    i don’t want to see holmberg or axelrod get that start. i want to see him.
    miami bumped fernandez from single A to the show.

    its all going to be about the young pitchers the next couple of years. let’s take a peek.

    • Marvin

      Agreed. I’ve been in the “don’t start his arbitration clock in a lost year” crowd, but now am reconsidering. He’s going to go through growing pains at the MLB level…why not make those growing pains happen in a lost year?

  10. sultanofswaff

    Disco reached based to lead off the bottom of the 3rd. He was on the basepaths the entire inning and then had to go out and pitch, never getting to sit down to rest.

    I think that had a lot to do with his bad 4th inning.

    • lwblogger2

      Fatigue does play into it sometimes and you may be right.