For the final time in 2015, the St. Louis Cardinals (88-51) will visit the Cincinnati Reds (57-81). The Cardinals are enjoying the best record in baseball in 2015, and come in with a magic number of 20 to clinch the NL Central. The Reds would love nothing more than to crash the Cardinals party, and allow the Pittsburgh Pirates (who are 4.5 games back) to gain ground on them.

Starting Pitchers

GarciaLamb

John Lamb has had just one bad inning in all of his bad starts so far with the Reds. Overall though, Lamb’s effort through his first five starts should be applauded. It would be wise to disregard his 0-3 record and 6.11 ERA. Lamb’s 33 strikeouts to just 7 walks is very encouraging. Lamb has only made five starts, but a K/9 of 10+ is very good. Just how good is it? This season only five qualifying pitchers have K/9 of 10+: Sale, Kershaw, Archer, Scherzer, and Salazar.

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Jaime Garcia, when healthy, is one of the best pitchers in baseball. Since the start of 2010, Garcia’s 3.21 ERA ranks 25th best in the MLB, and his 3.26 FIP ranks 21st best. The problem for Garcia is that he has only pitched 678.2 IP, while most pitchers on that leaderboard have pitched over 1,000 innings.

This season has been the best of Garcia’s career. He didn’t make his first start in 2015 until late May, but he has made up for lost time. His 1.89 ERA is the second best in the MLB of any pitcher with 100+ IP, only trailing Zack Greinke’s 1.68 ERA. His 2.92 FIP is also 15th best. Garcia hasn’t struck out a lot batters, but he does a great job limiting walks, and an incredible job limiting homers. Garcia’s 1.89 BB/9 is 20th in the MLB, and his 0.36 HR/9 is 2nd.

Starting Lineups

Cardinals Reds
1. Matt Carpenter (2B)
2. Stephen Piscotty (LF)
3. Jhonny Peralta (SS)
4. Jason Heyward (RF)
5. Yadier Molina (C)
6. Mark Reynolds (3B)
7. Brandon Moss (1B)
8. Peter Bourjos (CF)
9. Jaime Garcia (P)
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jason Bourgeois (LF)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Todd Frazier (3B)
6. Jay Bruce (RF)
7. Eugenio Suarez (SS)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. John Lamb (P)

Joey Votto goes off on Bill Welke last night

https://twitter.com/DHuddy41/status/641856228583411712

ICYMI, Joey Votto went absolute nuts on home plate umpire Bill Welke, and the crazy thing is–it came in the middle of the at-bat, not after a strikeout. Welke had an absolutely horrendous strikezone last night, and I guess Votto had just had enough. C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer did a great job explaining the situation:

Votto had watched strike two – a ball all replays and tracking systems showed was outside – and then turned to discuss it with Welke. Votto then pointed toward the Reds’ dugout and appeared to say, “I had asked for time.” As soon as Votto said something to the bench, Welke signaled that Votto had been ejected.

“When Joey looked over, that, to me, was my sign to get out there and make sure I had an understanding of what was going on in that situation. By the time I got there, Joey had been ejected,” manager Bryan Price said. “At that point in time, I did not know, but by the time I got isolated with Bill at home plate, we did both come to the conclusion that Joey had asked for time out, and Bill didn’t feel like he was going to give him time out for whatever – due to whatever history had happened. So our argument is, of course, a guy asks for time out, you give him time out, and then you give him a certain period of time out of the box, and then you insist he gets back in the box or you put the ball in play. Those are some of the options.”

Votto then slammed his helmet and went nose to nose with Welke. At one point, Welke pointed to his cheek and seemed to mouth, “you spit on me.”

At that point, Price came out of the Reds’ dugout and third-base coach Jim Riggleman and first-base umpire Laz Diaz, a former Marine, tried to hold Votto back.

As Price argued, he, too, was ejected.

“I wasn’t at home plate, but I do know that Joey has a good rapport with the umpires. I think when he talks, he talks respectfully, and obviously something got sideways there between the two of them, and it went into a direction we had hoped it wouldn’t,” Price said. “I think Joey handled himself professionally up until the ejection and then was rightfully upset. How do you qualify what’s the right way to be upset? He was upset. Bill was upset. I was upset. There was a lot of upset people today. You know, and that’s – we felt it was warranted.”

You can see below (thanks to @ShutUpYosief), the strike call that set Votto off was fairly ridiculous. People have complained about Votto not playing with enough “fire.” Well, I think that is a silly think to argue now.

Votto strikezone

A good friend of Redleg Nation, Paul Daugherty, never misses a chance to rip on Votto. Today, he called Votto’s behavior “unacceptable.” Daugherty must have been thinking to himself recently that he can’t take a cheap shot on Votto’s performance on the field anymore, so he must attack his character.

This is the same Paul Daugherty that said in 2013 “Votto doesn’t pass the eyeball test this summer. There have been times when he simply looks disengaged.” Hey Paul, you can’t have both ways. You can’t rip the guy for being disengaged, and then rip him again when he shows too much fire and passion. Paul is clearly past his prime and is no longer elite (although one could argue that he never was). He is now just a shock jock. He knows he can’t get page views with his writing, so he has to use click-bait headlines.

Happy Birthday, Joey

Well, after all the festivities last night, today is actually Joey Votto’s 32nd birthday. So happy birthday Joey.

Daytona Tortugas advance to the finals

The Reds single-A class affiliate Daytona Tortugas advanced to the Florida State League Championship with a 2-1 win last night. The Tortugas swept the Clearwater Threshers in a best of 3 series for the North Division Title. Reds #6 prospect Nick Travieso (according to MLB Pipeline) pitched seven innings of 1-run baseball, while striking out 6, and walking just 1. Milb.com said that Travieso was still hitting 95 MPH in the 7th inning. Reds #27 Chad Wallach (acquired for Mat Latos) hit a solo home run for the Tortugas.

Reds #3 prospect Amir Garrett pitched brilliantly in the Game 1 of the North Division series on Tuesday: 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 12 K, 0 BB. The Tortugas will play Game 1 of the FSL Championship tonight at 7:05.

The future is bright for the Reds. Two other affiliates are playing postseason baseball too.

The AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos begin a best of 5 series for the South Division title in the Southern League tonight with the Biloxi Schuckers. Reds #9 prospect Cody Reed will take the hill tomorrow in Game 2 of that series. The Blue Wahoos also feature some top hitting prospects: #1 prospect Jesse Winker, #7 prospect Alex Blandino, and #11 prospect Phil Ervin.

The Reds advance rookie league affiliate, Billings Mustangs also began their first game of the playoffs last night. The Mustangs beat Missoula 5-2 in the first of the 3-game series for the North Division Pioneer League series. The Mustangs feature the Reds top draft pick of 2015, and #4 prospect, catcher Tyler Stephenson.

Conclusion

The Reds will have to wait a while before all this great talent in the minor leagues can reach the big league club. Until then, the Reds will have to settle for the spoiler role. The next loss for the Reds means they finish the season with another losing record. The Reds would like to avoid that as long as possible, and in the mean time spoil the Cardinals party. Go Reds!

56 Responses

  1. ohiojimw

    Just posted on the tail end of the old thread but will repeat since this went up that only the Reds could bat the likes of Hamilton and Bourgeois in front of Votto and have Suarez hidden away down in the 7th spot.

    • jdx19

      Yeah. My biggest gripe with both Baker and Price has been that they bat terrible, terrible, inept, ridiculous hitters in the 1-2 spot on a regular basis.

      I mean… Skip Schumaker has batter leadoff for this team several times this year. If that doesn’t scream “I don’t know what I’m doing” then I don’t know what does.

      Skip Schumaker, if you’ll recall, is the WORST player in all of major league baseball on a per-plate appearance basis, which I admit is a weird way to slice it since his batting isn’t technically the worst, but when you throw in the fact that he has to run the bases and field, at times, he’s the worst.

  2. Shchi Cossack

    If I thought there was a real purpose to hitting Hamilton in the #1 hole, like giving him the opportunity to correct his hitting stroke at the expense of trying to win a game, I could accept the reasoning of hitting Hamilton in the leadoff position. Unfortunately, the only reason for Price to hit Hamilton in the leadoff is that he believes it gives the team the best chance to win the game. There is no reason to hit Bourgeois in the #2 hole or to play him in the starting lineup for that matter and unfortunately, Price also believes it gives the team the best chance to win the game.

    So we simply play out the string until the end of the season and see how things shake out in the off season. I really don’t expect much in the way of any positive adjustments to the Reds organization (players or management) dueing the off season. Sometimes being a fan just sucks.

    • ohiojimw

      Another leftie starter facing the Reds is probably the justification for Bourgeois over Boesch. Even though rosters are expanded, Duvall is probably sorer than they want to admit in public. As for DeJesus?????

  3. james garrett

    I really do get tired of myself sometimes and all my comments directed at Price but WHY is Bourgeois playing?

  4. kmartin

    I was always a Votto fan. I am even more so after last night’s episode. I love the fact that Votto still cares so much with the team 24 games below 500. I am not a Price fan, but I also liked the fact the Price challenged the third strike on Votto Tuesday night with the Reds down by four in the ninth. I do not think this team has quit. The team is offensively challenged and we have five rookie starting pitchers, but quit, no.

    • ohiojimw

      My only complaint about last night is that I thought the coaching staff was really slow to move in and get Votto entirely away from the mess. Diaz (the other ump danced around with Votto for 10-15 seconds at least it seemed pretty much on his own.
      Price did do better than in Pittsburgh but where the rest of the guys. It is no secret that when Joey really flies off he goes berserk. Accordingly, I thought they should have been quicker to support Price and Votto.

  5. james garrett

    SHCHI COSSACK is right about being a Reds fan.We have fallen so far from being relevant its hard to believe yet as a fan I will remain.Lamb has his best game tonight if he avoid that one bad inning that Nick alluded too.Go Reds.

  6. Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

    No better way to say it other than to say this lineup is stupid. It makes no sense. As others have already noted it is ridiculous for both Hamilton and Bourgeois to be hitting in front of Votto while Suarez is stuck all the way hitting 7th. Why not let Suarez hit leadoff? I don’t think he’s a leadoff hitter but what do you have to lose? Either way he shouldn’t be hitting behind Hamilton or Jason Bourgeois.

    • Tyler Burdett

      Agree. I was a bit puzzled at that too.

    • Morgan Mayham

      Give him a few starts this month. Possible back up catcher next year assuming meso is not ready for opening day, and pena is not resigned?

    • msanmoore

      He’ll appeal for a while and then take a couple days at the end after withdrawing his appeal. I was thinking about that today as well.

  7. james garrett

    What is more surprising,Bourgeois taking 3 strikes or Votto taking 4 balls?

  8. james garrett

    Neither is the correct answer.

  9. RedAlert

    I think Lamb is part of the rotation next year period – his stuff is good and he appears to be much further along than Lorenzen – as he sholuld be due to pitching in minors for several years now

    • msanmoore

      Another strong #4 or maybe a #3. A little more control would equal fewer walks. It will be good to see him get his first W tonight.

  10. RedAlert

    Joey V – best hitter in the game bar none 🔥🔥🔥

  11. RedAlert

    This kid mixes pitches well , nice easy repeatable delivery – a nice piece from the Cueto trade ! And Cody Reed might end up being better – Finnegan struggling but has plus stuff. Reds have really assembled themselves some nice arms going forward > Stephenson also in the wings

  12. Gaffer

    Sorry for late post on the original story, but thanks for calling out Daughtery. He has been a grumpy, ill informed mud slinger from Pittsburgh for 25 years. From calling Kevin Mitchell fat in 1993 to now he is not worth any space in a Cincy paper. What the [email protected]@& is he still doing around?

    • jessecuster44

      I’ve always liked Daugherty but have no earthy idea why in the world he doesn’t like Votto. He lost a great deal of respect from me today.

      • Tom Reed

        I stopped reading Daugherty who seems to be a good sports writer, but his stuff always carries a bit of sarcasm regarding the Reds and Bengals since he’s apparently a Pirate and Redskin fan.

    • RedAlert

      J🔥ey 🚨 V🔥tt🔥

    • Chuck Schick

      When Garcia is pitching in the playoffs I’m sure this one poor outing against a last place team will be top of mind.

      • jdx19

        What a killjoy! If you can’t enjoy beating the Cardinals, are you really a Reds’ fan?

      • RedAlert

        Agree JDX19 ! – go play somewhere else Chuck

      • Chuck Schick

        I am a Reds fan…..they are in last place and the Cardinals are in first, thats what matters….not beating up a rookie pitcher in a game no one will remember 3 days from now.

      • RedAlert

        Chuck , Garcia IS NOT a rookie pitcher – where you getting that from

      • Chuck Schick

        auto correct…I typed in re-born and it changed to rookie.

        I’m not hugging my life sized Don Werner card board cut out or kissing my Champ Summers autographed Frisch’s napkin because the Reds are winning A Game in a lost season and I’m a bad fan? Makes sense.

        Perhaps if I added more insightful comments around Bryan Price causing cancer in lab rats or who should bat second on a last place team and I would be of greater interest to you. I will work on my writing skills.

      • RedAlert

        Dude , nobody called you a bad fan – and I ‘m with you on the autocorrect – just enjoying a win – As far as Price is concerned , no need for me to knock him anymore on strategy, lineups or anything else. I feel pretty confident at this point that he has cemented his ticket out of town at the end of his year. There ain’t no way they bring his act back to Cincinnati next year.

  13. jdx19

    I’ll take 6-0. This is a good night, so far. I had tacos and Reds are beating the WLBs.

  14. jdx19

    This just in: Brennan Boesch is bad.

  15. RedAlert

    BP with a long one ! – gonna enjoy this whitewash , last place or not –

  16. Redgoggles

    I didn’t realize the Cardinals had pitchers that stunk. Good to see.

  17. msanmoore

    OK, say whatever we might about Grit … but the man does have a knack for the PH role. I’m thinking I can safely turn this off and head for bed now. Feels good to trash the WLB’s!

    • jessecuster44

      He has lots of PHs because he gets lots of chances to PH. Nice double, though.

  18. Pooter

    Good work tonight, fellas. Good to see the 11 on our side!

  19. Chuck Schick

    This game reminds me of that infamous night 40 years and 1 day ago when a 71 win Padres team knocked off The BRM 11-4. Though I was only 5, you just don’t forget things like that…….the margin for error between winning 108 games and 109 is razor thin. I was shocked that the Padres had no commemorative patches or a pre-game ceremony last night.