The day leading up to this late night game was rife with Jay Bruce trade rumors.  As of the publishing of this recap, Bruce is still patrolling RF for your Cincinnati Reds.

As for the game, the Reds scored 4 in the first.  They would never relinquish that lead, winning 6 to 0.

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BOX SCORE | FANGRAPHS WIN PERCENTAGE

THE GOOD
-The Reds scored  4 runs in the first inning.  Before San Diego came to bat, their odds of winning had fallen to 16.3%.

-Eugenio Suarez went 2-4 with a double, single, walk (!) and 4 RBI. He also caught a vicious liner in the 1st to bail Brandon Finnegan out of a bases loaded jam.  He almost had another RBI double in the 9th if not for a good play in CF by Travis Jankowski.

-Zack Cozart went 2-5 with a triple.

-Adam Duvall went 2-5 with a triple.

-Brandon Phillips extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a first inning RBI single.  He later had a hustle double where he picked Matt Kemp’s pocket, followed by a 9th inning ground rule double.  He’s hit well lately. More on this later.

-Joey Votto extended his hitting streak to 13 games.  During that time, he’s been on base at least twice in every game.  Since the All-Star Break, Votto is hitting .467/.610/.795.  Where I come from, we call that “obscene.”

-Billy Hamilton singled, walked, and stole a base.  That’s exactly what I want from my leadoff hitters. (Disclaimer: I still don’t want Billy leading off until he maintains a .310+ OBP for a full season. But who else ya got?!)

-Michael (I originally typed “Jared”) Lorenzen struck out the side in the 7th and added another K in the 8th.  He has a 2.95 ERA / 3.08 xFIP.

THE BAD
-Nothing was really bad for the Redlegs, so I’ll say that the home plate umpire called an inconsistent zone.  Nothing bothers me more when watching a game closely.

THE GOOD, BUT ALSO SORT OF MEDIOCRE FEELING
-Brandon Finnegan pitched an effective game from a run prevention standpoint, but didn’t really seem sharp to me the whole game.  He went deep in many counts and walked 3 batters in 6 innings.  He also was fortunate that the infield turned 3 double plays behind him.

He ended the game with a line that looks really good, 6 IP, 5 K, 3 BB, 0 R, but didn’t feel good.  I don’t know, maybe I’m just being silly.  Yeah, I think I’m being silly.

THE GOOD OR BAD DEPENDING ON YOUR POINT-OF-VIEW
-Jay Bruce is still a Red.  In the game, he had a 1st inning sac fly.

SOMEWHAT RANDOM-ISH THOUGHTS
-I have no idea how professional athletes can still play and produce when they know their team is aggressively (Can Walt be aggressive?) shopping them.

-I’ve realized I have a soft spot for prospects that get traded a lot early in their career.  I like both Wil Myers and Jose Peraza.  The aforementioned fact is the only thing they seem to have in common.

-San Diego’s TV announcers mispronounced “DeSclafani” three times.  It’s phonetic, so I don’t understand what is so difficult about it.

-Brandon Phillips hasn’t homered since May 7th. Since that point, he’s hitting .249/.292/.296 with a 54 wRC+ in 275 PA (not counting tonight).  Really, Peraza isn’t a downgrade at this point.  I’m confident Peraza could match that line with regular playing time, while also being an elite base runner.

-Since his 3-hit game on June 6th, Tyler Holt is hitting .100/.151/.100.  Maybe he should be in AAA and, oh I don’t know, Scott Schebler should be in the bigs.

-Robert Stephenson got shelled tonight by the Durham Bulls.  As time goes on, I continue to lose confidence that he can be a decent big league starter.

-Dick Enberg destroyed whoever the other guy is in the booth in the 9th inning.  The other guy confused BABIP with AVG and said hitters hit .300 with no shift and .311 with a shift this year so far.  Enberg said “that can’t be the case” and then made his point.  How about that.  Was interesting to listen to Dick jump all over the guy.

-Brandon Finnegan, who has given up a metric boat-load of homers this year, ended San Diego’s streak of 25-straight games with a home run, with assists from Lorenzen and Blake Wood.

-Tony Cingrani started warming up in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs and a 6-0 lead because saves.  Sigh…

ADVENTURES IN MANAGEMENT
-I’m not sure if it is Bryan Price or the front office, but the Peraza situation is getting ridiculous.  I have a thought that BP’s hitting streak is what is keeping Peraza from getting a start.  If that’s the case, it might be the first time I rooted for a Red to go 0-4 in a game.  Peraza has lost 2 months of development time because of the inept way he has been handled by Reds management.  That’s 2 months further away Peraza is from reaching his peak, whatever that is.  If he needs 1.5 seasons of experience to be “decent,” that’ll fall in 2019 instead of 2018 because of his wasted time.

-Jesse Winker batted SEVENTH again tonight in Louisville.  Delino DeShields is a series of words that I can’t type here.  The fact that the Reds FO hasn’t talked to DeShields about taking ABs away from the club’s best (closest?) hitting prospect is baffling.  It’s little things like this, compounded by terrible lineups, bullpen roles, etc that add up to create a bad franchise.  No single thing is egregious, but they are all EASILY FIXED ERRORS THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN.  I don’t know why this makes me so mad, but it does.  DeShields should be fired.  He’s a detriment to the Reds future success.

TWEET OF THE GAME

totg

I never listen to the radio, but I was glad Dick Enberg was my only option tonight.

TOMORROW’S GAME
Mercifully, the game tomorrow (tonight?) starts at 8:40 Eastern, rather than 10:40 Eastern.  We get to watch Anthony DEE-SKULL-FEE-KNEE pitch.  I’m not sure where he came from, but Chad Dotson and I agree that he sounds made up.