This is what the 2015 Reds were supposed to look like. Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey dominating on the mound. Joey Votto and Jay Bruce returning to form and mashing from the left side; Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco from the right. Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart and Billy Hamilton providing valuable defense up the middle.

Remember that team? I loved the thought of that team.

No Jason Marquis or Kevin Gregg, no Brennan Boesch or bullpen blowups.

No Tommy John. No hip impingement. No shredded knees.

Just lots and lots of wins like tonight.

Reds 5, Nationals 0 | FanGraphs data

A strong case can be made that Max Scherzer has been the best pitcher in the National League this season. His dominant first-half resumé includes a 16-strikeout shutout, five other double-digit strikeout starts, leading the NL in innings pitched, being named NL pitcher of the month — twice. In the past 34 innings, Scherzer had struck out 42 batters and walked one. Oh, and he backed up a one-hit complete game with a near perfect no-hitter. Scherzer leads major league pitchers in FIP, fWAR and bWAR.

Cue the first inning.

Joey Votto lined a no-longer-elite double (video) to the right-center gap knocking in Brandon Phillips who had singled. Jay Bruce narrowly missed a 13th home run (video) when his long fly ball hit 9 feet up the right-center field wall, scoring Votto.

If this kind of first inning success against an ace pitcher sounds familiar, it should.

Max Scherzer hadn’t given up two runs in an inning in a month of starts. The Reds accomplished that twice tonight in knocking Scherzer from the game after 4.2 innings. It was the 30-year-old’s shortest start of the season and the first time in more than 12 months he’d failed to make it through 5.

Later, Votto would add a no-longer-elite home run (video), his fifteenth, and another hit. Jay Bruce would add an RBI single. Brandon Phillips would get on base three times. Frazier and Hamilton chipped in, too.

Johnny Cueto was magnificent. Savor the moment. Nine shutout innings. Two hits. Eleven strikeouts and one work-around walk to Bryce Harper. The best part was watching Cueto’s determination the few times Washington threatened. Cueto bowed his back and stoned them. When the Nats got a lead-off triple, apparently using the strategy of hitting the ball to Skip Schumaker, Cueto struck out the side.

Speaking of Schumaker … he had been 3-for-6 against Max Scherzer prior to tonight. Word had reached the radio broadcast that Price started Schumaker for that reason. If that’s actually the case, it would be hard to find a better example of the Reds forfeiting inches with dumb baseball. Schumaker hadn’t faced Scherzer since 2009 – when Scherzer was 24. Two of Schumakers’s three hits came in 2008, Scherzer’s rookie season. In looking at who Skip Schumaker and Max Scherzer are today, those six plate appearances from more than a half decade ago are more misleading than meaningful.

Luckily, this was one of those rare nights the inches didn’t matter.

Tonight’s victory gives the Reds another series win against Washington. Tomorrow they go for a season sweep of the first-place Nationals behind Michael Lorenzen.

97 Responses

  1. wildwestlv

    Swept by the last place Brewers, and now threatening to sweep the first place Nationals. smh. Baseball.

    • pinson343

      That absolutely is baseball. This series isn’t so surprising.

    • lwblogger2

      Not just swept but looked really, really bad in doing so. I mean, they weren’t even really in any of the 3 games. Yep, baseball is a strange game.

  2. old-school

    great win. Is Johnny Cueto the greatest Reds pitcher ever? I think he is.
    Nice to see JV mash.

    • tct

      In my lifetime, it’s Rijo first, then Soto and Cueto. Rijo was amazing from 1988-1994, putting up almost 35 WAR in 7 years, and his highest ERA from 88-93 was 2.84. Plus, Rijo has the ultimate trump card; a World Series MVP.

      Rijo started two games in the 90 series sweep vs the A’s. He pitched 15.1 innings, 9 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 14 k. Got the win in both games against a line up that included Rickey Henderson, Mark McGwire, and Jose Canseco.

      • tct

        Also, much is made of the Reds never having a Cy Young winner. But Rijo might well have won the 93 Cy Young if pitcher wins were not so highly valued. Here are Rijo’s numbers.

        14-9. 2.48 ERA 2.93 FIP. 9.3 ra/9WAR 7.0 fWAR. Was 1st in strikeouts, 2nd in ERA, and 2nd in innings pitched.

        Here is Cy Young winner Greg Maddux.
        20-10 2.36 ERA. 2.85 FIP. 5.8 ra/9 WAR 7.8 fWAR. 1st in ERA and innings, 3rd in strikeouts.

        It was essentially a toss up by any statistical measure. But Maddux had the magical 20 wins, so he won his second straight Cy Young.

      • pinson343

        In terms of peak performance, for me it’s a toss-up between Soto (at his peak in 1982-83 with a terrible team) and Cueto of 2014-2015.

        Jim Maloney was great in the 60’s in a pitcher’s era.

      • Big56dog

        Soto was the most fun to watch because you never knew if he would come out with a bat to break it over the other team’s head. Too bad he got hurt when the Reds got good.
        To me its Rijo hands down based solely on his stepping up in the post-season. It is unfortunate Cueto was limited by injuries during his opportunities.

      • Creigh Deeds

        In my lifetime, among pitchers the Reds developed, its Cueto, Maloney, Gullett, Soto, Nolan, then Browning, Simpson, then a gap.

    • kmartin

      I had the pleasure of watching Jim Maloney, Don Gullett, Gary Nolan, Wayne Simpson, and Mario Soto (all drafted by the Reds I believe). Johnny Cueto is in this elite group and perhaps the most fun to watch. Tonight was magical.

      • pinson343

        Saw all of them too. The most fun to watch were/are Soto and Cueto. Soto in 1983 was just plain filthy one game after another, pitching for arguably the worst team in baseball history.

      • lwblogger2

        Danny Jackson in 1988… If it wasn’t for Hershiser’s streak of scoreless innings, Jackson would have run away with the Cy Young that year. He went 23-8, with a 2.73 ERA. He led the NL w/ 15 complete games. He was 2nd in IP and 2nd in shutouts. He led all NL pitchers in assists. He was 5th in bWAR.

    • tct

      Also relevant, using the average between RA/9 and FIP WAR.

      Jose Rijo age 23-29; 35 WAR
      Jose Rijo age 30+; 2 WAR

      Mario Soto age 23-29; 26 WAR
      Mario Soto age 30+; 0 WAR

      Johnny Cueto age 23-29; 24 WAR
      Johnny Cueto age 30+; ??????

      This is why I feel like I’ve seen this movie before and why the Reds absolutely should not sign Cueto long term. To be sure, just because Rijo and Soto broke down doesn’t mean that Johnny will. But it’s hard not to see some similarities between Cueto and Soto especially.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m generally opposed to signing pitchers to deals of longer than 4 years and especially so when the pitcher is going to be in their 30s for the majority of the deal. Your data just reinforces my belief that the Reds are best served not resigning him. I may be wrong and he may end up putting up another 20 WAR over the next 5-6 years but I don’t think it’s a risk a team like the Reds can afford to take.

      • old-school

        Can you send this to Walt? The Reds have a horrific history of paying people after they’ve been great, not while they’re great.

  3. jessecuster44

    Did anyone listen to what no longer elite Marty said about Joey Votto tonight? I didn’t, and am curious if some crow was eaten. What a great game. Go Reds.

  4. jdx19

    Votto with no extra-base hits in 3-ish weeks and then 2 in 2 at-bats against one of the best 4 pitchers in baseball. Can’t make this stuff up!

    Anyone think Votto might be consciously trying to pull the ball in the air?

    • RedsDownUnderer

      not sure if you saw the game, but on the broadcast they showed how he took extra BP before the game because he “felt” something was wrong with his swing. He had himself taped and reviewed it with Long. On all of his ABs it definitely looked like he was hitting it where and how he wanted to (pull and in the air)–it seemed like more than one of his hits was on a pitch in and uppish, and given that’s where he’s struggled, it felt like he had figured out what he might do with those pitches.

      • VaRedsFan

        In the opener Votto pulled 2 balls hard for hits also, it looked so good.

      • VaRedsFan

        Thanks for reporting that REDSDOWNUNDER. I had no doubts that Votto was doing everything possible to improve.

        I made a comment about this the other day, when there was talk about players quitting. Without being privy to all things that go on, fans jump to the conclusion that full effort is not being given. Are players taking extra batting practice? Are they watching video to find out what is wrong? Are players taking extra fielding practice? (they actually showed Suarez getting extra pregame fielding attention during a broadcast.) To me that showed that he is giving an effort to improve. That is all I want as a fan, to know that someone is trying their hardest. Suarez doesn’t have a big contract yet. Maybe the guys that have contracts don’t have to put forth max effort like the guys that don’t. Is it coincidence that many of the free agents to be have great seasons just before they turn free agent?

        Not knowing what Bruce, Votto, or Hamilton are doing to get better before every game leads a lot of people to 2nd guess their motivation. If we just knew (or if a reporter asked a simple question …”Jay, what steps are you taking to trying to improve? Video? Extra BP?”) that they were using every measure available to get better, it wouldn’t lead to so much doubt.

  5. whereruklu

    i’m either going out on a long limb here or its just wishful thinking- Reds will keep Cueto and offer up Leake, Chapman, and Bruce. Glad I’m not putting any money down on this prediction.

    • pinson343

      I wouldn’t put money on it either, but it’s possible. Bob C. for sure does not want to see Cueto leave. And Cueto has recently implied that negotiations are going on behind the scenes and made it clear that he wants to stay on the Reds.

      • Tom Reed

        I have a feeling that Bob C. wants to keep Cueto as the ace starter and Chapman as the ace closer. Except for Frazier and Votto, everybody else is tradable.

    • Redsfan48

      I think if they can hold on to Cueto they should, but it would definitely take a lot. They absolutely have to trade Bruce, Leake, Byrd, and Chapman in order to first off be able to financially afford it, plus they need the prospects they get back to help them rebuild. If they hold on to Cueto, it definitely means they are going for a quick retool instead of a full blown rebuild that takes a few years to show. If I were in charge, I’d try to sign Cueto to a Rick Porcello-like deal where you overpay per year but sign for less years, because that way we wouldn’t be stuck with him as he’s declining. Sign a 4-6 year deal rather than a 7-8 year deal.

      If the Reds do not trade Cueto at the deadline, they absolutely MUST re sign him. It is a complete and total failure by the front office if they get no return on Cueto except a compensation draft pick and then he signs elsewhere.

  6. George Mirones

    “This what the 2015 Reds were supposed to look like.
    Remember that team? I loved the thought of that team.”
    Steve to many of us those two sentences brought a tear to our eyes and mutter, “Gee what could have been”

  7. sultanofswaff

    Utterly dominant. No matter who Cueto gets traded to, I’ll be a fan of his for life.

    I’ll be astonished if he doesn’t net us a top 30 prospect in all of baseball. The Astros and Red Sox have players on that list who are blocked. They would be my first calls.

    • Tom Gray

      Who would give up a Top 30 overall MiLB prospect to rent Cueto for 3 months?

      • Dr. K

        If Cueto were to take a team like Houston to the WS, or help KC win a WS, wouldn’t that be worth a top 30 prospect?

      • jessecuster44

        The Reds said “No” in 2013 when they needed a bat, and would have had to give up a prospect…

      • D Ray White

        A team with the bankroll to sign him to a long term deal. Or, barring that, a team who sees a Top end #1 as the piece that can win them Playoff series’, and a World Series. Prospects hold a ton of value, but they’re just prospects. Prospects aren’t going to win a World Series this year.

      • Matt WI

        I think this could be very important (the line about a team with the pockets to sign Cueto longer). By giving the Reds a good deal, they put themselves in the front seat to lock down a guy that anybody else could get. That could be worth something.

      • proudpapa75

        Many teams would give up a “prospect” to get the one piece that may win them a World Series Title. Many teams. Now, when I say many, I mean any team that is already a contender and may be missing one dominate starter. KC comes to mind and they have prospects.

      • pinson343

        A team that wants to win a WS or a team that hasn’t made it to the playoffs in umpteen years. The Astros have said they prefer Cueto to Coles because they’d only be paying Cueto for 2 months.

    • Redsfan48

      If they package him with another player, either Leake, or even someone like Byrd, then the return should easily be a top 30 prospect. If they package him with Aroldis Chapman, the return should be someone like Corey Seager. Alone, I’m guessing the Reds go with quantity over quality and maybe get 2 top-100 prospects and maybe a lesser prospect.

  8. Jake

    If only we played this well against the Brewers. Cueto absolutely dominated. I’ve said it before but it’ll be a shame to see Cueto go

  9. pinson343

    Votto lost his wallet again and now he’s found it again. This year so far he’s been as streaky as Bruce used to be, But I don’t think that will continue, it’s just difficult to come back from an injury that ruined a whole season for him.

    Jay Bruce, who has been playing well for a while now, also had a lot of trouble coming back at first. Ken Griffey Jr.’s managing to do as much as he did while with the Reds was amazing, considering his injuries.

    • lwblogger2

      It used to really upset me that everything wrong with the Reds was Ken Griffey Jr’s fault, in the minds of many Reds’ fans. When he was even marginally healthy, he was special. He just couldn’t stay on the field. A lot of luck plays into injuries and also, as we get older, we get injured more easily and take longer to recover.

  10. pinson343

    Cueto’s “shimmy” move is hilarious to watch, and effective. Never saw a pitcher with a dance move as part of his windup. The haters will hate him more for it.

    • Redsfan48

      Cueto himself on the post-game interview called it the “Mecedora” which Tomás Vera translated as “swing chair.” Vera admitted he didn’t have a perfect translation of the word, but after a bit of research I found the perfect translation is the “rocking chair.”

    • vegastypo

      When I saw that, it really hit home that Cueto was just toying with the Nationals hitters.

  11. big5ed

    Price started Schumaker in left because Scherzer yields about a .140 lower OPS against right-handed hitters, and because Schumaker has a higher OBP against RHs than does Byrd. It was worth a chance.

    It also had the added benefit of ensuring that Byrd doesn’t hit his automatic contract extender, without having to stone bench him the last 2 weeks of the season. (After a disastrous start, I don’t mind Byrd now, especially against lefties. Can’t defend.)

    Would it be better to have a 25-year-old Ted Williams available for left-field? Yes.

    • PDunc

      I think the problem most are having with starting Schumaker is that Yorman Rodriguez was just brought up from Louisville. Why isn’t he playing?

      • Redsfan48

        Exactly. If they aren’t going to play Rodriguez, send him back down tomorrow when they need to make a move for Holmberg. I’d much prefer Rodriguez to be up here starting but it will probably have to wait until Byrd is traded.

      • big5ed

        I would guess it’s because they didn’t want Yorman, a right-handed hitter, getting his feet wet against the toughest right-handed pitcher in baseball.

        Otherwise, I generally agree that neither Yorman nor the Reds gain much by his riding the pines.

  12. Steve Checkosky (Syracuse)

    Another great write-up, Steve. Your “Recaps” pretty much always strike the right tone. Last night was a mix of joy and sadness. Johnny was magnificent in possibly his last start as a Red. The window has closed for this group. Not a lot to look forward to for the next 3-4 years. Very little confidence in the management. It may be a long wait.

    Anyhow, we will be at GABP for the upcoming Cub series.

    • VaRedsFan

      I love his recaps as well. In fact, the recaps by all of the writers offer great info and wit.

  13. GeauxReds

    My guess right now is Boston or KC. Boston has a great raw power hitter that could be 3 years away, with a strong arm. Corner infielder or outfielder. KC has a son of a former MLB player in the middle infield who again is 2-3 year away. KC is loaded with top 50 pitching too, but I’m not sure we need that.

    • VaRedsFan

      Boston is waaaayy out of it, I doubt they give up a prospect for no reason, when they can just get him as a free agent at the end of the year.

      • BigRedMike

        Boston is 5 games from first, definitely not out of it

      • lwblogger2

        Good point. I keep forgetting just how shaky that division is this year.

    • tct

      I think the Blue Jays. Their situation is very similar to the 2010 Reds. A team that hasn’t been to the playoffs for a long time, but has a great shot because of a dominant, best in the league offense. Their pitching staff, like those 10 Reds, has a lot of young guys with potential mixed with a couple crafty veterans, but no dominant ace.

      Now, of course, Cueto was actually a member of those Reds, but he wasn’t the same Cueto that he is now. If the Reds could have gotten a guy like Cueto in 2010 by giving up Yonder Alonso and a mid range prospect like Fransisco, I would have supported it. The downside is that the front office was higher on Fransisco than Frazier at that time, so the Toddfather could have been the throw in prospect in that deal.

  14. VaRedsFan

    Speaking of injuries, The Nats currently have Werth, Rondon, and Zimmerman on the DL. Not to mention Strasburg missed a lot of time, and is also on the DL again. Two of their best hitters remaining, Span and Escobar (batting .304 and .315), left early Monday and were out of the lineup last night.

    • lwblogger2

      Yeah, they’ve been clobbered with injuries. The Mets have too.

  15. VaRedsFan

    Me and my boy are heading up to DC (3 hours) for the game tonight. I hope we don’t jinx the 5 game streak vs. the Nats

  16. Steve Schoenbaechler

    My main concern going into next season, if we lose both Cueto and Leake, with Homer probably still on the DL at the start of next season, we will be starting next season with Lorenzen and DeSclafani as our 1-2 guys. Even with a timely return of Homer, that doesn’t make me feel very comfortable for next season. Either we bring back Leake or Cueto, or we may be overpaying for a FA starting pitcher, since we really don’t have any trade pieces high enough to get a solid starting pitcher, unless we go weak in another area. Either those, or starting pitching is going to be a weakness next season. It’s not something that someone like Stephenson is going to be able to solve.

    • sultanofswaff

      We do have the trade pieces to get a solid starting pitching prospect, and yes, Stephenson will definitely be a huge factor in stabilizing the rotation for years. It would be well worth your time to head over to redsminorleagues.com and read up on the kid.

    • Redsfan48

      Iglesias has the stuff to be the ace next year, it’s just whether or not he can find the control and be able to handle 200 innings.

  17. WVRedlegs

    Give Johnny Cueto a couple of 1st inning runs and turn him loose.
    That may have been Johnny Cueto’s most amazing outing of his career. Not his best performance ever, but most amazing. With getting early run support, all the hoopla going against Scherzer, having a start pushed back a few days and having an elbow flare up, and with the distraction of all the trade rumors going on it was a magnificent pitching performance. He was toying with the Nationals batters in the 9th inning.

  18. David

    It was a pleasure to watch Johnny pitch last night. I hope he has many more successful years.

  19. BigRedMike

    Cueto is an excellent pitcher, worried about that injury earlier this year, but, that is obviously not an issue. Scherzer has 7 losses, he cannot be any good : )

    Not a big fan of Jocketty, but, getting Suarez for Simon was a great deal.

  20. sultanofswaff

    We’re really in the catbird’s seat with Cueto/Leake/Chapman. Obviously, no team would want to trade for one of these guys simply to play a risky one-and-done wild card play-in game, but the prospect of having one of these guys helping you to win a division title over the next 2.5 months is very tempting and well worth giving up talent to do so. Looking at the standings, there are a dozen teams with legit chances to win their divisions. Unless they’re like the Reds at the trade deadline, it would be front office malpractice to not make a play for one of our guys.

    IMO, the people talking about not competing until 2017 don’t quite grasp the position we’re in. By trading these guys, we have the potential to land a couple elite prospects and retool the team in short order. That gets me pretty psyched.

    • msanmoore

      Agreed – dealing them is the right thing to do. Pena, Parra and Byrd might make tempting “adders” as well given their performance of late.

      I’m still thinking we see triggers pulled as early as late next week. I’m kind of hoping JC doesn’t make the final vote and that we “choose to sit him” on Sunday for apparently no reason except that there is a trade pending and his new team would prefer he have a nice, long mid-season break.

      Our Reds will still be fun to watch. And, as I said before, I’m pulling for Houston to do something special to nail down the AL West and compete in October. Cueto could to far worse than the chance to lead that bunch to a World Series bid.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Cueto is the piece every playoff contender not only wants but needs. Sure he will help get the team into the plaoffs, but after the team is in the playoffs, Cueto is good for 2 wins in every series and that is a HUGE step toward a WQorld Series championship. Just look what not having Cueto available for the 2012 playoffs did to the Reds. Every contender wants and needs a pitcher like Cueto, a true ace, and no contender wants their competition to wrap up Cueto to use against them in the playoffs or series. Cueto has demonstrated he is not only the best available ace for any pitching staff, but he is hungry and ready to win a World Series…before he signs his FA monster contract after this season.

      • lwblogger2

        I’m not one of the people who would do this but some people would point to his injury and lack of success in the WC game against the Pirates as him not being a “Big game” pitcher. In other words, they may not be thinking of him as money in the bank in those post-season situations.

      • Big56dog

        Exactly also note Kershaw’s performance last year

      • WVRedlegs

        Anthony Anthopoulus was salivating last night at the thought of adding JC with JC being backed up by the Blue Jays offense.
        Cueto + Blue Jays offense = perrenial Cy Young Award favorite.

      • Shchi Cossack

        One of Anthopoulus’ quotes was particularly applicable to the Cueto situation. “In season though, timing is huge. Within two or three days or a week, someone’s value can skyrocket so if you have a chance to close (on a deal), you better do it fast.” Say hello to Cueto heading into the all star break.

      • PDunc

        I’ve been hoping that the Blue Jays would be a trade partner with the Reds. They need pitching help in the starting rotation and the bullpen. With their offense as good as it is, a competent pitching staff could make them a serious world series contender, maybe a favorite.
        The Blue Jays’ top 2 prospects are exactly the kind of players that could help turn the Reds around quickly. Norris is a left-handed starting pitcher, and Pompey is a switch-hitting outfielder with a good approach at the plate and good speed.
        Would love to trade some combination of Cueto, Leake, Chapman and Parra for one or both of those prospects.

      • lwblogger2

        Wouldn’t break my heart if the rival O’s ended up with him though. That would just break my heart 😉

      • WVRedlegs

        Anthopoulus is no stranger to the blockbuster trade. I can see him rolling the dice and getting Cueto, Chapman, and BP in one quick swoop. I think Anthopuolous’s contract as Jays GM expires after this season. If that is the case, and he has been on the hot seat for a couple of years, Anthopoulus will almost certainly double down in doubling his efforts to win now. It may be a perfect storm that falls into Jocketty’s lap with the Blue Jays.
        Marcus Stroman has to be the centerpiece of any return from the Jays. Five years left on team control and could be the rotation’s leader next season until Bailey returns.
        The Jays could actually, and quite possibly, get an extension from Cueto. They would get exclusive bargaining rights until the season ended, they have a great selling point in giving Cueto some big run support, another great selling point is Cueto would be pitching to Russell Martin for 4 more years, and the Jays have the $$$$ to do so.
        For all that, Stroman has to be the centerpiece.

  21. Redsfan48

    Anyone that’s going to watch the Home Run Derby should #VoteYo (Yoenis Céspedes) because he said he will only participate in the Derby if he makes the All Star team. The 2-time defending Derby champion deserves it.

    • vared

      Speaking of, I see that Pujols is participating this year. I’ll take him in an upset. By far the most impressive home run display I’ve seen at GABP was from him several years ago. It was unbelievable.

      • Redsfan48

        Yeah this year should be interesting with Pujols. Still, Céspedes is capable of hitting some moon shot homers, and has the best chance of hitting the scoreboard without Stanton. I’d love to see someone hit the left field scoreboard.

  22. tct

    The Reds missed a great opportunity to get some valuable info about Yorman last night. This is his last option year, so they have to either put him on the opening day roster or trade him next April. Plus, there will most likely be at least one starting outfield spot open. The Reds need to know as much as possible about how Yorman is going to handle the majors. Is he a starter? A bench piece? Trade bait?

    Seeing how he handles a front line starting pitcher would have been very informative. It’s not really about the results, but more the process. Does he battle and hang in there? Is he overwhelmed? Does he hang his head after striking out or does he come back more determined?

    Skip is a below replacement level player who has no future with the Reds. Starting him doesn’t help in the short or long term. I really can’t believe we had folks on RLN saying that it was good to sit Yorman because the opposing pitcher was just too good.

    • Steve Mancuso

      But Skip had two hits off of Scherzer seven years ago.

      • lwblogger2

        Snarknado! You crack me up Steve 🙂

    • CP

      I just don’t agree. I don’t vehemently think Skip should have started over him, but It’s a single game. Yorman is pretty darn likely to play out the last several months in a Reds uniform. One game, against Max Scherzer of all people, doesn’t matter. There aren’t many more stats-oriented guys on the site than me, but even I see the human factor here.

      • big5ed

        Right. What is the point in putting Rodriguez in against the best right-hander in baseball–one who throws a bit lower than 3/4 and who is particularly tough against RH hitters? Schumaker’s OBP against RHs is better than Byrd’s, so I can’t believe people would get their panties in a wad about this.

        Schumaker is pretty much replacement level, but he was as good as any other option they had last night. Do they need better options? Yes, but that’s what happens when middle-market teams give out big contracts–they don’t have any coin left for the bench.

        I do want them to give Rodriguez adequate playing time, but last night was not necessarily a good night to do so. He may play in Bruce’s stead tonight against a lefty.

      • Shchi Cossack

        The issue isn’t (wasn’t) that Schumaker played against a very tough RH pitcher who dominates RH hitters, but why bring Y-Rod up at all if they are not going to play him. Oh, BTW, Y-Rod is also not playing today so this is the 3rd game he sits since being called up. This is Lutz all over again. Y-Rod just sits and wastes development opportunities by not playing at AAA or the show.

        The fact that the Reds don’t have a better option than Schumaker is another issue entirely.

      • CP

        It’s not Lutz all over again, because Yorman is an actual prospect. Lutz was just organizational filler.

  23. IndyRedMan

    I wonder if they could afford Cueto if they could move Bruce and Chapman…..along with Byrd and Leake coming off the books as well? I doubt they can move BP? Financially they could save a ton by moving Suarez or Cozart (range?) to 3B and move Frazier to LF and probably be ok offensively. A platoon or someone in RF that they can pickup in these trades? Homer/Cingrani/Stephenson might be your 5th starter in that scenario and that’s not bad!!

    • Redsfan48

      Like I’ve said before, I think they save $3-4 million by non-tendering Cozart.

      • big5ed

        I think Cozart’s arbitration power will be lessened with the injury. I’d rather see them save $10mm or so by trading Phillips to a contender and moving Saurez to second base (for next year).

  24. WVRedlegs

    Is Robert Stephenson pitching tonight for the Louisville Bats? He pitched last Friday night, so that would put him on schedule for tonight, if the Bats have a game.

    • Big56dog

      Do not know the rotation but they have a game scheduled tonight. Saw Cingrani started last night, 3 shut out innings 4 K’s even got a hit if I read the box score correctly

      • big5ed

        Their web site has Stephenson pitching tonight.

        It is interesting that they pitched Cingrani for 3 innings and let him throw 48 pitches. That would not seem to be the program for a guy they figure to pitch in short relief, so maybe they figure him as a starter for the rest of the year. Most likely, they know that Cueto and maybe Leake will be gone, and that the younger guys will be hitting their limits by Labor Day.

      • Shchi Cossack

        The Reds have already stated they intend to stretch out Cingrani to start after his rehab is complete.

  25. WVRedlegs

    A lot of rain around the DC area. Looks like it will be off and on most of evening.
    Price running a pretty good lineup tonight vs. the Nats LH Gio Gonzalez.
    BP, Votto, Frazier, Bruce, Byrd, Suarez, Barnhart, Lorenzen, BHam.
    The Nationsl INF defense from Desmond, Espinosa, Uggla, and Robinson has been about as brutal as MLB defense can get.

    • Tom Reed

      We’re still waiting for Yorman to appear.