In the middle of swirling trade rumors about Jay Bruce, Mike Leake, and Aroldis Chapman, the Reds delivered a 15-5 beat down of the likely playoff bound Pittsburgh Pirates. It had the feeling of one last farewell concert from the fading hit band.

The Reds got off to a quick start in the first of a four game series at GABP against the Pirates. After back-to-back singles to De Jesus and Votto, Marlon Byrd hit a three-run home run to straight-away center off A.J. Burnett. The Pirates starter entered today having only allowed a total of five earned runs in the first inning all season.

Brandon Phillips added a three-run home run in the 5th inning, and the route was on. Phillips then really put an exclamation point on the evening, hitting another three-run home run in the 6th inning. Joey Votto also continued his hot streak, reaching base five times.


Things got so bad for the Pirates that they had to bring their backup outfielder Jaff Decker to pitch in the 9th inning. Decker did however get out of the inning without allowing a run.

David Holmberg pitched well in his first start of the season for the Reds. Holmberg allowed just two runs in six innings, and also got his first MLB hit.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (46-54) 15 19 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (59-42) 5 11 1
W: Holmberg (1-0) L: Burnett (8-5)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Marlon Byrd’s three run home run in the first inning off A.J. Burnett, giving the Reds a 3-0 lead. That home run increased the Reds chances of winning by 23.7% (from 58.5% to 82.2%).


Brandon Phillips had himself a night tonight. Phillips hit a pair of 3-run bombs, and had a career high 7 RBI. Phillips hit 29% of his season total in HR (7) tonight. It was good to see him have a good night, as he entered today with just a .537 OPS in the second half.

How about that “non-elite” Joey Votto guy? Votto extended his on-base streak to 20 games tonight. Votto reached base four times (2 walks, a double, a single). Votto is now hitting .313/.432/.539 with a 169 wRC+. Yes, he is still the Reds best player.

Marlon Byrd hit his 17th home run of the year for the Redlegs tonight. Byrd does have a sub .300 OBP, which no one likes, but he has been a slightly above average hitter (107 wRC+). It will be interesting to see if Byrd has any trade value. If Byrd is traded it will most likely be through waivers.

David Holmberg pitched pretty well in his season debut with the big league club. Holmberg’s final line on the evening was 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. Holmberg was just as recent as 2013 a top prospect in the Diamondbacks organization. He was also a second round pick. So maybe, just maybe the Reds could develop Holmberg into an MLB starter. Or maybe even a nice left-handed specialist with the all the starters they have.

Keyvius Sampson made his Reds debut tonight. He pitched a perfect 8th inning, striking out one for the good guys. Sampson does have some nice upside, as he was the Padres #9 prospect back in 2013.

Zack Cozart was in the Reds dugout for the first time since he was hurt. That was certainly a good sign to see.


This could have been the last night we ever see Jay Bruce, Mike Leake, and/or Aroldis Chapman in a Reds uniform. If that is the case, best of the luck to those guys. They were all big parts of the Reds success in 2010, 2012, and 2013. Those were some fun regular seasons.

Ryan Mattheus also wasn’t very good tonight.

Not so random thoughts……………….

Brandon Finnegan made his debut in the Reds system tonight with the Louisville Bats.  He allowed two runs over three innings (3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR. 41 pitches, 27 strikes.). Finnegan was only scheduled to pitch 3.0 innings or 45 pitches. The Reds are beginning to stretch him out to be a SP. He hasn’t pitched more than 4.0 innings in a game this year.

Up Next:

Pirates at Reds
Friday, 7:10 PM
TV: FSN-Ohio
Michael Lorenzen (14 GS, 4.58 ERA, 5.83 FIP) vs Jeff Locke (19 GS, 4.15 ERA, 3.66 FIP)

MLB Trade Deadline

It has been an absolutely insane week leading up to tomorrow’s 4PM trade deadline. Here are some of the highlights from today ICYMI:

  • Cardinals get Brandon Moss from the Indians.
  • Blue Jays get David Price from the Tigers.
  • Dodgers got Alex Wood, Bronson Arroyo, Jim Johnson, and Luis Avilan from the Braves.
  • Dodgers got Mat Latos, and Michael Morse (who they DFA’d) from the Marlins.
  • Braves got Paco Rodriguez from the Dodgers.
  • Dodgers DFA’d former Red Chris Heisey to make room for their new additions.
  • Yankees got Dustin Ackley from the Mariners.
  • Astros got Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers from the Brewers.
  • Pirates got Joakim Soria from the Pirates.

Here is the full list of the trades that have occurred.

Reds rumors:

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