|Milwaukee Brewers (38-50)
|Cincinnati Reds (33-57)
|W: DeSclafani (4-0) L: Garza (1-3) S: Ohlendorf (2)
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score
—The Cincinnati Reds are undefeated in the second half.
–Billy Hamilton was 2-4 with two runs scored. The way the Reds scored in the fourth inning was classic Hamilton. Billy reached on an infield single, then advanced to second on a groundout. After a Jay Bruce walk, Adam Duvall grounded to third. The Brewers tried to turn a double play, but couldn’t get Duvall at first.
Before anyone realized what was happening, Hamilton was almost to home plate. Yes, Billy Hamilton scored from second on a ground ball to third base. (And Adam Duvall got his 62nd RBI of the season on a fielder’s choice that probably should have been a double play. Baseball!)
Then, in the seventh inning, Billy dropped down a nice bunt, and forced Milwaukee’s catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, to hurry his throw. Next thing you know, it’s an E2 and Hamilton is standing on second base. A couple of pitches later, he stole third and later scored on a hit by Bruce.
I’m telling you, friends and neighbors: Billy Hamilton does things that no one else on earth can do.
–Bruce robbed a home run, despite advanced defensive metrics that told him he couldn’t do it. He also reached base three times, including a run-scoring double.
–In the sixth, Tucker Barnhart doubled in two runs to give the Reds the lead. You know, I wish Devin Mesoraco was still with us, but I have no complaints about Barnhart’s performance this season.
–I’m putting Anthony DeSclafani’s performance in the “Good” section. Six innings pitched, three runs allowed on six hits. Eight strikeouts, no walks. As you’ll see in the section below, it could easily have been two runs allowed by Disco.
–Raisel Iglesias pitches two scoreless innings. That’s five straight appearances in which Iglesias hasn’t allowed a run, and he pitched at least two innings in each of those games.
Did you know that, on the latest podcast, Joel Luckhaupt and I talked about how using Iglesias in a non-traditional manner could really benefit the Reds?
–A couple of mental blunders in the fifth gave the Brewers a run (and a 2-1 lead). DeSclafani gave up a one-out single. Brewers pitcher Matt Garza then laid down a bunt that Disco fielded quickly and inexplicably tossed over to first. There’s no question that he could have gotten the lead runner, and may even have been able to start a double play.
Then, with a runner in scoring position, a slow roller came down the first base line at Joey Votto. Instead of fielding the ball in front of the bag — and it seemed to me like it wouldn’t have taken much effort to do that — Votto let it hit the bag, whereupon the ball caromed away and a run scored.
I love Votto, but that appeared to me to be a mental error.
–Awkward swing by Brandon Phillips in the sixth looked like it hurt his hamstring (turned out to be a “strained right calf”), and he was forced to leave the game. At his age, injuries tend to be more common. I wonder if the Reds have anyone else on the roster that can play second base?
–Eugenio Suarez made his 15th error of the season. That’s not good, is it?
–With the Reds leading 5-3 in the ninth inning, Tony Cingrani entered the game.
I guess you know what happened next: single, walk, single, single, sac bunt (thank you, Brewers), walk, pop out. Then Ross Ohlendorf entered and finished things off.
Cingrani’s been pretty good for a while, but tonight was a rough one.
–You can’t win every game of the second half unless you win the first one.
–DeSclafani has a beard and Cingrani doesn’t. I don’t know what to believe anymore.
–The more I look at DeSclafani’s numbers and watch him pitch, the more I think he can be a #1 starter. Not likely, perhaps, but I really do think it’s possible. He certainly has the stuff to be a good #2 starter, anyway.
To me, the only question is injuries. If Tony Disco can stay healthy, there’s no question in my mind that he has demonstrated the ability to be a good number two pitcher at this point. The stuff is there.
So yeah, I like this kid.
–Duvall was inches from another home run. As it turned out, it was a run-scoring double.
–Have I mentioned that Billy Hamilton is my favorite player? I really like a lot of the players on the Reds (not all, but a lot of them), but one of the biggest surprises of this season is the fact that Hamilton and Iglesias may have turned out to be my two favorite players. I love those guys.
–Longtime RN editor Chris Garber had a good point tonight:
Glad they won, but bringing Ohlendorf in to save the game was directly contrary to every stated goal of the 2016 Reds. Every single one.
— Chris Garber (@cgarber8) July 16, 2016
It’s true. Either let Cingrani try to work through it, or bring in Lorenzen. Ohlendorf is not going to be a member of the next good Reds team.
Either way, good win. I’ll take it.