Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (2-1) 7 12 0
Philadelphia Phillies (1-2) 4 6 1
W: Reed (1-0) L: Morgan (0-1) S: Storen (1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Reds played baseball in the afternoon today. It was rainy and cold, but they won anyway and will probably win the World Series since they are now on pace to win 108 games and even the Cubs aren’t beating that.

Things that Were Good

Michael Lorenzen can hit and stuff, it seems. He had a pinch-hit homer to put the Reds in the lead.

Adam Duvall had his first homer of the year to give the Reds a bit of breathing room.

Everyone in the lineup except Turner reached base at least once. I always like when things like that happen. On most good teams, everyone contributes over the course of the season. So things like this make me hopeful.

The bullpen managed six innings of shutout relief work. That’s not bad at all, folks.

Things that Were Not Good

Rookie Davis had a rough debut. I mean, I can’t get too worked up about this because it was his first major league game and if he could have avoided pitching to Nava, he might have been okay. Still, rough time today.

Cody Reed walked four in two innings. He somehow avoided allowing a run, but that was luck. He needs to have better control if he’s really going to contribute.

Thoughts about Other Things with Varying Degrees of Randomness

The Reds have won two of their first three games, so they’re probably going to be fabulous all year long. Seriously, it’s not as though half of all major league teams win two of their first three or anything.

If the Reds pitchers have one issue this year, it’s going to be walks. I feel like someone needs to post a picture of the old walks will haunt graphic in the bullpen or something.

The Reds got six quality innings of relief pitching and didn’t use Iglesias, Lorenzen, or Robert Stephenson. You know, if you were wondering if the bullpen was going to be any better this year.

This is very much the kind of game the Reds lost badly last year. I realize there is a sentiment out there right now that this team is going to be terrible. I don’t think they will be. I think they’ll be okay. Not great or world champions or anything, but certainly okay.

31 Responses

  1. Chris Shaw (@TheyCallMeBeebz)

    Very refreshing to see the bullpen put together those shut out innings.

    Any thoughts on why Stephenson was not used? I would have expected him to pitch today given than Rookie only made it through 3 innings and Stephenson might be considered the long relief man.

    • Andy

      I wondered that too, and then thought of something… maybe they are pairing Davis/Reed (R/L) as 3rd starter and Garrett/Stephenson (L/R) as 4th, give everyone a chance to pitch 3-4 innings, and see who ends up as the cream of the crop? It may explain why we need the extra bullpen arm. It will also help prevent rookies from hitting innings limits later.

  2. Chris Shaw (@TheyCallMeBeebz)

    That makes sense. I guess by pegging him as a “long relief” man, you end up defining roles, which is what we are trying to get away from. Baseball is fun.

  3. Tseramid

    Maybe they are saving Stephenson up to pair up with Garrett, just in case he has a rough debut too.

  4. Joe Schmoe

    How do we score so many runs when Zach Cozart and Adam Duval are the only hitters hitting over .231

  5. Andy

    I’m rooting for a successful trial of Lorenzen as 2 way player. If it works maybe Reds can evaluate Brendan McKay or Hunter Greene as 2-way prospects possible draft choices.

  6. Ethan L

    In first place as I type! Half game over Chicago! I took a screen shot.

  7. Scotly50

    With Garrett and Arroyo in the next two starts against a very good Cards team, we very well likely to see the full pen in St Louis.

    • Kurt Frost

      Guess who has two thumbs and will be in Saint Louis this weekend for the games. This guy. 🙂

    • JB WV

      Garret might surprise us. He’s champing to get out there. I can see 6 innings if it isn’t 40 degrees.

  8. Big56dog

    So who gets sent down when Arroyo comes on, Price is going to hampered if Lorenzen and Iglesias cannot pitch on back to back days and they drop from a 9 man bullpen to 8. Really great Reds did not waste a roster spot on Jennning now they have Stephenson fresh for tomorrow

    • JB WV

      Probably Rookie. Needs a little AAA time. Still a little raw for the bigs.

  9. Big56dog

    Is there a specific rule that Lorenzen and Iglesias cannot pitch on back to back days, I am pretty sure Chapman pitched on 4 consecutive days multiple times, or is Price specifically easing them into their relief roles

    • Redsfan48

      Early in the season, no reason to overuse them. They both pitched in both of the first 2 games, and both had a fairly high pitch count yesterday. I fully expect them to pitch 2 and even 3 days in a row at certain points in the season. Price did say that for the first couple weeks he wanted to ease Iglesias back in because of his spring training injuries as well.

  10. Redsfan48

    I have also said that when Winker is ready, it will be Duvall, not Schebler, that loses a starting spot in the outfield. I don’t think 3 games will change my mind on that yet. Check back in on those two at the end of May, or at the All-Star break.

    • Joe McManus

      Nice problem to have. Duvall’s power is certainly real and his defense last year was obviously above average to very good, and really, close to excellent. That alone makes him a 1st division player to me. If he can maintain his increased BB rate over the 2nd half, then we have a very good, cost-effective left fielder for the next 3-4 years.

  11. Joel Herzig

    Why even bother with a starting rotation when we don’t really even have one anyway. Just assume all pitchers are in the ‘pen then use them situationally. The only one you want to save for late or key innings is Iglesias, all others donwe really care if they pitch the first inning or another one? Eventually, someone will have a good enough outing to go 7-9 innings. On a long enough timeline, many pitchers would do it. This is only partly facetious (assuming one can actually be partly facetious).

    • Streamer88

      I’m constantly intrigued at this idea. Developing it further: doing it long term would presumably suppress perceived market value for your starter types, and increase value of your bullpen types, making starters and their agents mad, and relievers and their agents happy. Whether or not it would permit you to ever re-sign your home grown starter types is interesting to ponder. I suspect not (so long as you’re the only team doing it).

      The ramifications are enormous.

      • Streamer88

        Well said! If one goal of moving to such a plan would be to preserve the health of your arm talent, and then they go out and throw 100% instead of 95% because of the reduction work load, do you actually change their injury risk at all? I’m not sure.

  12. Nick Carrington

    Lorenzen, Stephenson, and Reed all in the bullpen is interesting. If you had to choose only one to be a starter and had to leave the other two in the bullpen, who do you choose?

    Give me Lorenzen who has shown signs in his first two appearances that he worked on breaking pitches in the off season. He threw four curveballs on Opening Day and five sliders yesterday, and they looked much better than in the past. Cutter is nasty. Plus, dude can hit a little.

    • Joel Herzig

      Agree that in this “bullpen only” scenario, you’d have Lorenzen get the ball in the first inning often. If DiSclafani comes back, I’d say the same about him. Aroyo, maybe, but given his age, probably just have him come in during later innings. But without being able to run out Cueto, Latos, Homer, (younger) Arroyo, Leake in succession, it’s hard to make sense of just assuming all pitchers are available assuming their arms can handle it. (How that group didn’t win at least one playoff series, I’ll never really know).

      • Joel Herzig

        And yes, I recognize I didn’t really answer your question. Then again, I guess my point is that I’m just not sure it’s worth taking any pitcher we have right now and saying, this select group is going to pitch every 5 days with the purpose of going past the 5th inning and the others will come in either when the first group tanks or just begins to fade.

      • JB WV

        True. And I’m having a good time watching the rotation sort out. Great thing is, the Reds would probably be 0-3 right now with last years pen. Blake Wood annoyed me more often than not last year with his inconsistency in the strike zone. But my God, he was awesome today. The first two batters he faced had some ugly swings. Welch was analyzing Wood’s delivery and opined that hitters don’t seem to see the ball well against him. Hell, it’s hard enough when it’s 98.

      • Chuck Schick

        They were 3-0 at this point last year with last year’s bullpen.

    • Jim Walker

      It is water under the bridge now; but, if Lorenzen is not a starting pitcher, he should have been a position guy just like the entire world except the Reds had him tagged coming out of college.

      It is interesting to me that he was totally compliant with the pitching plan as long as he was on line to be a starter; but, now he is obviously itching to get back on the field as a position player. He said again today that if he could be a “two way player” in college there was no reason he couldn’t also do it now.

      From what I’ve read of Lorenzen’s college days, he is probably the 2nd best CF on the Reds right now even with the several years of rust. Williams likes to talk about thinking out the box. He should discuss giving Lorenzen an occasional OF start with Price.

  13. JB WV

    Interesting stat on Duvall if I saw it correctly: Hit more HRs on non-fastballs than any other last year. Had to reach down today to golf that slurve out. Strong.

  14. docmike

    Wasn’t Reed’s outing today kind of the opposite of how last year went for him? Seemed like last year he had mostly bad luck, with his peripheral numbers all much better than the actual results. Meanwhile, you can’t pitch much worse then 4 walks in 2 innings, yet no runs given up.

  15. IndyRedMan

    I’ve been calling for Hamilton to bat 9th since the 2015 season but they’re bound and determined to have him at leadoff. He did have a big second getting on base but Peraza can do a lot of the same things and is a much better hitter. How much could Schebler or Suarez improve by hitting 2nd before Votto?

    • Joel Herzig

      My opinion is that Hamilton shouldn’t be a starter at all. He’s fast and that’s about it. I get that his speed sells a lot of tickets, but not as many as the broadway Hamilton. Another thing that sells tickets is a winning team, and having a CF that does more to help the team win (even if his name is Aaron Burr), would do that. If I were the batting coach, I’d tell him to swing at only hanging stuff in the middle of the plate, otherwise put on as much body armor as he can and try to either walk or get himself plunked each time up. When he’s on base he’s a lethal weapon.

      Sorry for the awful 18th century references.