It only took two hours and seventeen minutes for the first place Cincinnati Reds to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals. Reds top prospect Amir Garrett went into Busch Stadium, and pitched six brilliant, shutout innings in his MLB debut. The Reds bullpen was outstanding again, and the Reds got just enough offense to complete a 2-0 win.

It might not last forever, but the Cincinnati Reds have been a lot of fun to watch the last couple days.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (3-1) 2 7 0
St. Louis Cardinals (1-3) 0 2 0
W: Garrett (1-0) L: Leake (0-1) S: Iglesias (2)
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 Joey Votto’s RBI double with 1 out in the 6th inning, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 15.8% (from 53.0% to 68.8%).

Player of the Game

Amir Garrett: 6.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 2.45 FIP

What can you say about Amir Garrett? In his MLB debut, he went to Busch Stadium and pitched six scoreless innings. He walked the very first batter he faced, Dexter Fowler. He was able to get through the first inning without allowing a run, and you could see he let out a deep breath on the way to the dugout. Garrett then settled in and dominated a deep Cardinals lineup.

Positives

Scott Schebler hit a big insurance home run in the 9th inning. He also already has 3 walks in this young season. There is a lot to like from Schebler. He might end up pushing Jesse Winker at AAA.

Zack Cozart is off to a terrific start to 2017. Cozart had a two hit night tonight, and now has a hit in all four games to start the season. Cozart also had a walk and stole a base in the 9th.

Billy Hamilton had a two hit night, and stole another base on the greatest catcher of all-time (that was clearly sarcasm before you burn me at the stake).

Michael Lorenzen pitched another scoreless inning in relief. So far in 2017: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. How do you not love Lorenzen? This guy is just a joy to watch play baseball.

Two out saves are fun, right? Raisel Iglesias continues to shine in two-inning relief appearances. So far in 2017 for Iglesias: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K.

RBI machine Joey Votto drove in the Reds first run with a double. Votto has been very aggressive to start the season, and has yet to walk.

Negatives

TOOTBLAN #1: The Reds blew a golden chance at a run in the 5th inning. The Reds had 1st & 3rd with 1 out, and Amir Garrett up. The Reds tried a safety squeeze, but Garrett missed the bunt. Molina threw out Cozart who was off the bag at third.

TOOTBLAN #2: Joey Votto tried to steal third base with two outs, and was unsuccessful.

Not so random thoughts……….

How much fun is it to have a decent bullpen? If the Lorenzen, Iglesias, and Storen turn out to be as good as the Reds are hoping, watch out. I love the way Price is using them too. Just about any inning, multiple innings. Price isn’t worried about burning his best reliever for multiple innings, because he’ll still have a solid pitcher available the next day.

Also…..

Up Next:

Reds at Cardinals
Saturday, 2:15 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Bronson Arroyo vs Michael Wacha

 

All photos are used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and are used by permission. All statistics are used courtesy of Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, and ESPN Stats & Info.

34 Responses

  1. Steve Hanshaw

    Time to start resting players for the playoffs? We’ll know where Brian Price’s head is if he pulls some washed up veteran from off the roster to start a game this weekend…..

  2. Steve Hanshaw

    Oh, and neither of Lorenzen’s hits given up have left the infield grass.

  3. GreatRedLegsFan

    Let’s see how Price shares bullpen duties down the run, cannot use Lorenzen and Iglesias everyday.

    • Vicferrari

      Lorenzen had played in every game so far. He only threw 10 pitches last night, would like to see him go back to back nights.

  4. Hammer

    I was at the game, and it was glorious! I didn’t really have a great vantage point to see pitches but it seemed like the strike zone was awfully tight tonight. I was very impressed with Garrett’s ability to get through a tough lineup multiple times.

    Also, I saw (and heard) more Reds fans at this game than any of the the other 8 or so Cards/Reds games I have been to in St. Louis. It was really nice that the Reds actually had a presence at an away game in a “hostile” city for once!

  5. Jim Walker

    Has to be change in the air when the Reds win a 2-0 game in StL despite two TOOTBLANs at 3B.
    Another sign of change… Carpenter loses a couple of hits to the Reds infield shift.
    I was mildly disappointed that Price burned one of his scant bench bats rather than let Lorenzen bat in the 8th, regardless of whom he intended to have pitch in the bottom of the inning.
    But a good win nonetheless

    • Vicferrari

      insisting to go with an 9 man bullpen really hampers your bench and not using Lorenzen in that situation will hurt eventually. Someone might actually give up a run and a game will go extra innings and Reds will be out of bench players quick. As a fan I would have liked to see him bat and then replaced by Iglesias. If Lorenzen is not available today then it is indefensible move.

    • Reaganspad

      Totally agree OldJim

      And to that point he had only thrown 10 pitches, 8 for strikes. I would have let him hit and start the 8th

  6. Tom R

    How many pitchers in the history of baseball have hit more home runs and score more runs than they’ve given up after 3 appearances? Well, Lorenzan has a 0.00 ERA and had 1 HR and 1 R. I can’t image that’s happened very often or maybe ever.

    • Dewey Roberts

      The answer is that Tony Cloninger hit two grand slams on opening day for the Braves back in the 60’s and was the winning pitcher. So he was definitely one pitcher who fit your criteria.

  7. kmartin

    Jose Peraza reminds of Ralph Garr. He is very fast, swings at anything, and has very little power.

    • Reaganspad

      Except he is 10 years too young and has not left his best season in another uniform

  8. DHud

    Work has me moved to a different time zone this year, so unfortunately I’m not going to get to see many games live and partake in the in game threads. I try to watch the game replays and catch up on all the discussions when I can though!

    Couple thoughts on the game:

    Thought Garrett looked great. Was disappointed to see him pulled after 6, but understandable with a rookie making a debut.

    Let’s not take anything away from Mike Leake, either. He pitched 8 stand out innings, even if he did go to the dark side…

    Are we ever going to learn how to run bases?

    Reds on pace to win

    • DHud

      *121 games. There was never a doubt this team was this good

  9. KetteringRedsFan

    Quick reactions:

    !) -Another- great game. Maybe it’s not 2010 yet, but we’re getting there.

    2) Note how -fast- the pitch tempo has been with Finnegan, Davis, Garrett, Lorenzen, Iglesias.

    3) Garrett’s pickoff move is -extremely- fast.

    4) Gennett seems to have been a good acquisition for the bench. Good glove at an unfamiliar position, aggressive approach to hitting, good attitude (every time I see him, his face is lit up like a 100w bulb).

    5) I’m assuming tomorrow we have BobSteve, Wood, Cingrani, Storen lined up in the pen. This will be a good indication of how deep the pen really is and who is going to be the first guy on the outside looking in.

    • Streamer88

      Yes. Especially with Bronson throwing BP tomorrow. I envision he’ll have the jar of Vaseline and the sand paper out.

      Can we set up a screen in front of him so he doesn’t get hurt?

      • KetteringRedsFan

        Cynic.

        Keep in mind that Bronson isn’t the only aging guy out there. The Cards are showing -their- age as well.

        Now if he were starting against, say, the Cubs………

      • Jim Walker

        “The Cards are showing -their- age …. ”

        This is one of my takeaways from last night also. Last season the lowly Reds went 9-10 versus the Cards; and what have the Cards done to be better in 2017?

        I thought a lot of the adjectives and descriptive terms we’ve heard (and said) about the Reds over the last 2-3 years fit the Cards Friday night. Words like “listless”, “not really engaged”, “waiting for somebody else to step up”.

        The usual come back is that good pitching can make any team look like that. However, Mike Leake also pitched a very good game. He had them positioned to make one of their patented late game moves to steal a win; and, the push just didn’t seem to be there. Instead it was Schebler who slammed the door by tacking on the insurance run with a two out HR in the Reds 9th.

  10. Scotly50

    Votto must be reading my posts.:) He is very aggressive early in the count. He’s actually becoming fun to watch.

  11. wizeman

    Couple of things. Understand why he pulled Garrett after 6. 144 innings last year. Not going to overwork a building block when you have built a bullpen that you feel is upper echelon.
    Two inning save a breakthrough for the ball club after paying it lip service. I thought he would hold these guys a couple of weeks for year of service but think a couple of things at work here…
    Hold your young guys back… start 4-10… No competitor wants to throw in the towel before you even get started.
    Price managing for his job every day now. Williams finally gives him some bullets in his gun and now gets to see how Price handles a team with some players. No one can win without players.
    Really like the young pitchers. Loved Bronson Arroyo… but wish Stephenson was going today.

  12. [email protected]

    I like seeing “Ryan” Gennett in the lineup. He has pop in that bat. One item still to solve from last year are the base running gaffs. Was Votto really trying to steal on his own or did someone miss a sign? Mr. Garrett: welcome! Now let’s see if Bronson can find magic in that old bottle.

    • Vicferrari

      Is it me or is Votto a very poor base runner. It seems that Scott Rolen had the reputation of being one of the best, not sure what Votto’s reputation is but my impression he does some questionable things enough throughout the season on the base paths enough to qualify him as at least below average.

  13. Chuck Schick

    The 2016 Reds were 3-1 with a run differential of +8.

    The 2017 Reds are 3-1 with a run differential of
    +8.

    • Reaganspad

      With a bullpen, your #1 and #2 starters adding to the team in 60-90 days and your starting catcher 45 days away

      Add to that a GM who churns the roster and who has trinkets to deal before the deadline

      I know that there are posters here who really want another year of rebuild, but I am ready to throw down with the Cubs now.

      Also, I think the stupid Cubs title really needs to change to the stupid cardinals. They have the best uniforms in baseball but it stops there. They make me ill

  14. Nick Carrington

    For 2018, give me Homer, Disco, Lorenzen, Finnegan, and Garrett in the rotation as of right now unless Reed and Stephenson can figure out how to throw strikes and get MLB hitters out (I think they can). Until they show that, let them pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen. Similar to what the Cardinals did with Carlos Martinez. With Disco and Homer’s injuries problems, we will need the depth we currently have.

    • Nick Carrington

      You’re right about Lorenzen and Reds management. I hold out hope that he displays strong command of his breaking pitches early this season, and the Reds become convinced he’s worth a shot in the rotation. I’d be shocked if that happened, but like you said, we don’t know what Williams will be like.

      Thank heavens the Reds didn’t put Cueto into the bullpen when he struggled early in his career. He would have dominated and become the closer without the Reds looking back.

  15. ScottyA

    Very happy with Garrett’s three pitch mix, he looks like he is here to stay! However, I was feeling the same way about Reed after his spring training dominating start against the angels featuring a 94 mph fastball, very good slider and changeup. Next game he gave up 10. So I’m pushing the pause button on my excitement about Garrett, for now! Love beating the Cards.

    The future is looking brighter. The bullpen is really good and only going to improve, depending on trades we will likely make over the next year or so.

    Iglesias is unbelievable!!

    Future playoff team??
    1. ???
    2. Finnegan
    3. Desclafani
    4. Garrett
    5. ??? (Davis, Reed, Stephenson, Stephens, Guitierez, Castillo) – WOW!!!!!

  16. Frank Huiges

    Was a fun game to watch. Garret was awesome, and how about the bullpen, the difference with last season could not be bigger. Iglesias makes hitter look silly, and Lorenzen is just blowing them away. Very impressive, hope we can keep this up.

  17. nicolecushing

    I was all doom and gloom on Opening Day, but I have to confess that even I feel significantly more optimistic after the last few games. I just didn’t expect Lorenzen and Iglesias to be as strong coming out of the bullpen as they have been. Both of them looked promising in the past, but this season they just seem a little more polished and mature.

    And Garrett…wow! Very exciting.

    I think it helped that the Reds are getting the Cardinals after a demoralizing couple of losses at home to the Cubs.

    I’m still very worried about Feldman, Arroyo, and Rookie Davis. Feldman and Arroyo, in particular, seem like duct tape solutions to the rotation.

    • Reaganspad

      Play 500 until the return of Disco and Homertime

      Speaking of homers, we will add 20 at catcher soon.

      Can Schebler hit 30 hrs and keep Winker at AAA until September? I think so

      Will Billy hit 300? I do not think so but he is closer. The bleeder over SS the other night that would have been a hit except for the fielders choice would have been easily caught 2 years ago.

      Will Duvall hit 40 hrs this year? The more these guys walk, the better the hit

      Hats off to a hitting instructor and staff who are improving our bats

      I hope Feldman is one of those trade trinkets or ends up in the pen. Arroyo can stay on my bench this year and player coach our kids

  18. TR

    Garrett has a lot of poise on the mound and he doesn’t seem to get upset when things don’t go his way. Garrett doesn’t take much time and he seems to know exactly what he wants to do. There will be ups and downs in a long season, but the Reds future looks good.

  19. Reaganspad

    I did notice the stretching you old Cossack you.

    I did wonder if that had something to do with the 8th inning

    Your comments are spot on

  20. Simon Cowell

    I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by the Reds start. I was expecting a goose egg for the first week. Now it is starting to look like the Reds pitching is going to dominate.