Coming into today’s game massacre the Washington Nationals led the National League in scoring runs by a wide margin. They were first in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging. They were fourth in raw power, trailing the Dodgers and Brewers, two other first place teams. The Nats are near the top of the league in drawing walks and not swinging at pitches outside the strike zone. In related news, they have one of the lowest rates of soft contact in the league.

The Nationals can also pitch, at least their starters. The Reds had been shut out for more than 16 innings by the Nats rotation before Homer Bailey’s Jedi mind trick and an error produced two runs off Tanner Roark. Thank goodness for the pity runs off their bullpen yesterday and today.

And Dusty Baker’s Washington Mashionals aren’t finished with the Reds just yet. In a cruel wrap-around of fate, the Reds still face Stephen Strasburg tomorrow afternoon. When Washington leaves, Arizona (53-38) arrives for three games. With that record, the D-Backs would be in first place in the NL Central.

The Reds are now 12.5 games out of first place, and it’s well past time to stop worrying about it. More on that later tonight.

Cincinnati Reds 4 • Washington Nationals 14 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

Homer Bailey finished four innings, giving up eight runs. Two home runs by Daniel Murphy did most of the damage. Bailey struck out five and walked two. Bailey has two good starts – both on the last road trip – out of five since his return. Of his three bad starts, two have been against the Nationals.

Ariel Hernandez and Drew Storen took their turns giving up home runs. Storen’s limited value in the trade market may have vanished before our eyes. Same with Tony Cingrani, who gave up two runs in his inning of work

Scooter’s Amazing Adventure continued, with the infielder knocking a couple hits, driving in three more runs.

Jesse Winker, making his first major league start in the field, lined a single to right field in his initial plate appearance. In his next two at bats, he worked walks. The Reds drew five walks today. Three by Winker and two by … wait for it … Joey Votto.

Winker’s promising plate approach is exactly what the Reds need at the top of the lineup. His on-base skills stand in stark contrast to Jose Peraza, who has now gone to the plate 178 times without a walk. Yet Peraza’s hopeless approach is tolerated by the Reds while Winker languishes in AAA. By all means, let’s hurry up and send Jesse Winker back down to Louisville. Or at least get him on the bench.

(Seriously, if drawing three walks, singling and lining out doesn’t earn Winker another start tomorrow someone ought to be fired on the spot.)

Even Milton can’t smile today.

22 Responses

  1. kywhi

    I totally agree that Price should be fired immediately if Winker does not get another start tomorrow. Even so, that would still be past due. I don’t remember an uglier, more frustrating start to the second half of a season for the fans who keep believing that better days are ahead than this one, rebuilding season or not.

  2. james garrett

    I agree about Winker and sang his praises during the game.He is 23 and playing the game just like it should be played regardless of the score.How many big leaguers can you name that are down by 7 in the 5th inning are still working the count and fighting like crazy to get on base?Votto for us and just a few more.How refreshing to see a young guy with such plate discipline that doesn’t swing at everything and in a 7 run game that turns in to a 10 run game.Kind of throws a fly in the ointment that all pitchers throw strikes to us because we are always behind or that we have hitters that always swing at strikes.Sorry just couldn’t help myself.

  3. Broseph

    Nats or not, the way Bailey pitched today won’t get it done against any MLB team with a semblence of competent hitting skills. Hoping for better days in 2018 with Homer.

    • TR

      The manager can make that decision. If it’s too difficult then the Reds need another manager.

    • Chuck Schick

      Why not have Winker pitch when he’s not playing second?

      This isn’t little league.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      Duvall tomorrow. Get one more lefty bat in the lineup against Strasburg. I doubt it will happen but that’s what I would do tomorrow. Beyond that, I’m guessing Winker will be back at AAA sooner rather than later.

    • Brian Davis

      Winker’s offense? The guy hasn’t proved anything at the ML level. Not to say he wont but if you take proven guys out of the lineup to start a young guy and it backfires then you got fans ,like on here,saying Price should be fired. Besides,offense is not the Reds problem,starting pitching is,and if Winker cant pitch then he is no help at all.

  4. sandman

    Scooter needs to be starting! I don’t care about Peraza for now. He needs to be on the bench.

    • Brian Davis

      I agree,Scooter would not get a day off unless he begged for it and Peraza should be riding the pine everyday,the guy cant hit.

      • sandman

        Brian, I’ve not liked Peraza from day 1. Same goes for Herrera. I just don’t think offense is eithers strong suit (at least not right now). So, yes I could be wrong about one or even both of them. But I just don’t see it in Peraza. Haven’t seen anything from Herrera at the major league level yet to get a read on him but from some of the scouting reports I’ve heard he really ain’t that great with the bat either.

  5. james garrett

    Call all 4 guys in and tell them the plan going forward.There have been several examples of how to rotate the 4 and give everybody equal time going forward and may the best 3 win.Competition is good.

  6. Chuck Schick

    Today was the perfect example of why playing Winker was a mistake.

    He had a very nice game and there were already utterly absurd Joey Votto comparisons being made. Unless the Reds are willing to have him play every day for the rest of the year then he needs to be sent back to Louisville until an outfield spot opens via trade/injury or the Reds commit to playing him.

  7. Cincity80

    Well at least Winker got a start. Now we won’t see him for another few weeks, he’s gotta learn from the bench

  8. Mike Adams

    Wow! All of Western Civilization depends on whether Winker starts tomorrow. Or am I exaggerating? (By the way, I would really like to see him start tomorrow).

  9. Jack

    Huh? Rockies,yanks snd Redsox already have elite closers. They are not giving up top prospects for something they have.

  10. Brian Davis

    What is everyone obsession with Winker? I dont care if he’s Babe Ruth,if he cant pitch then he is not helping this team at all,on the other hand,Babe Ruth could pitch. Offense is not the problem and arguing about the lineup is pointless when you are giving up double digit runs every game.

  11. james garrett

    Today was one game and one game only and it doesn’t matter to me if Winker starts tomorrow or not.His plate discipline today in a blow out game tells me all I need to know.He is criticized for his lack of power,so the pitcher can’t be afraid of him besides its a blow out game in the fifth and he walks for the second time.He also hits ahead of Votto and no pitcher likes to put men on base for him.Beside its a 7 run game and the pitcher is pumping in strikes for all the reasons I mentioned.But wait he walks again.Now how can that be that he and Joey are the only ones on the team that the pitcher can’t throw strikes to.I am just having some fun of course but Winker has done it at all stops along the way.He gets on base and while it may not be valued at all by the team you can bet Votto is smiling especially if this kid hits in front of him.Duvall is probably grinning some also with Cozy,Winker and Votto batting ahead of him.It was so obvious today what this kid brings that we need so badly.Its really almost on cue that he would showcase his talents in such a lopsided game when it would have been so easy just to hack away at anything close to the plate.

  12. Scott Carter

    Somebody should be fired! I agree!

  13. Andrew Joseph

    Remember when we traded away Chapman for absolutely nobody? The Yankees received a #1 prospect trading Chapman to the Cubs and we received a few mediocre prospects..that are underperforming. Peraza shouldn’t be anything more than a bench/utility player and Scooter needs to play every day. Hamilton is exciting on the bases and is excellent of the defensive end, but he is never on base. Winker is ready.
    I don’t think Stephenson, Reed, and Davis are going to eventually solves the Reds SP issues either. I’m really excited about Castillo and I think Mahle has a bright future. They possess something that none of our current pitchers possess. Control.
    We all knew that we were not going to be competitive this year. We just wanted to see some sort of improvement. Our starting pitching puts us at a big disadvantage when we are down by 5 runs and we haven’t even had an at-bat. Disco will be back soon and at least we will have a few reliable arms.

  14. sixpacktwo

    Peraza needs to go to AAA until he learns the strike zone. I would not waste an option this year as we are almost to August.