Final R H E
New York Mets (58-75) 2 7 1
Cincinnati Reds (57-77) 7 9 0
W: Stephenson (3-4) L: deGrom (14-8)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Another strong outing for Bob Stephenson: six innings, two runs allowed on five hits. He struck out 7 and walked 3, and picked up the win over Jacob deGrom. Still some issues with command, but he’s making progress.

–Scooter Gennett had a double, a home run (his 23rd) and 3 RBI. Eugenio Suarez had two more hits (his OBP is up to .386) and scored a run.

–Joey Votto (34) and Stuart Turner (2) each homered. Turner’s was a two-run blast in the eighth inning that provided the final margin of victory.

–Classic BillyBall run in the 3rd inning. Hamilton singled to lead off the frame, and promptly stole second. Votto grounded to Mets shortstop Amed Rosario, who rushed the throw, trying to get Hamilton at third. The throw got away, and Hamilton scored on the error.

–Really strong outing for Michael Lorenzen, throwing two shutout innings.

The Bad
–Nothing bad.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Reds win the series, taking two of three from the Metropolitans. The good ol’ Redlegs finished August with a winning record (15-14). Baby steps?

As Joel Luckhaupt noted, that broke a string of six consecutive losing months for this franchise. It was only their third winning month since Bryan Price was hired.

–Good timing by Bob Steve, given the fact that I talked about the progress from the young pitchers just this morning. I’m getting kinda excited about Stephenson, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and Sal Romano.

–Loved seeing Turner hit a home run. I guess fatherhood is working for him, and young Easton Michael Turner was the good luck charm today. (Congrats, Stuart!)

–I presume we’ll hear the entire story at some point, but there was a poignant moment during today’s game. There was an adorable young fan behind home plate today — I don’t want to make any assumptions, but he appeared to be six or seven years old and didn’t have any hair. Early in the game, Votto handed him a baseball.

Well, after Votto’s 7th inning home run, he stepped on home plate, then went over and gave the kid a high-five. A moment later, Votto reached his home run bat over the net and gave it to the kid. A few minutes later, Votto returned with his jersey and gave it to the kid. It was a really sweet moment.

Joey Votto is the bestest.

UPDATE
Apparently, the young man is 6 year-old Walter Herbert — Superbubz! — and he’s bravely fighting stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. You can check out his Facebook page here.

–Reds will now head to Pittsburgh for a weekend series. Luis Castillo will start tomorrow night. (And if the raindrops cancel my kids’ baseball/softball tournaments, I’m going to try to head up to Pittsburgh myself.)

Today’s Tweets

32 Responses

  1. TR

    A series win and another nice outing for Stephenson. But the real stars of this game were 6 year old Walter Herbert, a.k.a. Superbubz and Joey Votto.

  2. jazzmanbbfan

    I wonder if they have approached him about it. If not, they should.

    • jazzmanbbfan

      I didn’t see Larkin as an in your face type either but maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. If they approached him and he declined, I’m more than fine with that. I just hope they would (or have) give him the opportunity to accept or decline.

  3. sultanofswaff

    BobSteve keeps going out and showing longer and longer glimpses of elite stuff. Yes, as good as Castillo (plus fastball/change), just in a different way (plus slider/change). If he can limit the home runs, the poor-not-horrible walk rate won’t kill him because he has the ability to pitch his way out of trouble via the strikeout. Pretty normal stuff for a young pitcher. I see similar traits in Lorenzen—poor fastball command, but a plus changeup (threw a couple today that were filthy) and slider.

    With the calender turning to September and with the rotation spots seemingly closed off for the time being, you have to wonder what the future of starting holds for Garrett and Reed. Personally, I’ve always thought they were better suited to relieving and would like to see them called up to work out of the bullpen the rest of the season.

  4. kmartin

    Not to beat a dead horse — but — there were only two guys in the lineup that got five at bats today. Neither are named Votto or Suarez. Both have an OBP below 300.

    I would not have guessed we had a winning record in August. May September be even better than August.

  5. sultanofswaff

    We should squelch the narrative that the light has gone on for Peraza in the bud. His OPS for August didn’t even crack .700. He’s back to his usual ways at the plate, and the over the shoulder catch he didn’t make today was a head scratcher. If the Reds are adamant about not moving Suarez and my only choice is Peraza or the QO for Cozy, I’m signing Cozy without blinking. The pitching staff will be manned by league minimum/cost controlled players, so there’s zero reason to hold your nose and hand Peraza 500 at-bats in 2018.

  6. cfd3000

    All in all a pretty good game. Stephenson still has some control issues but definitely looks better. Price still has lineup issues and has been looking worse lately. Hamilton – Peraza 1-2 is ridiculous. I applaud the day off for Duvall, but, hello? Ervin please not Kivlehan. And finally, Joey Votto is the Captain of this team, with or without the C on his jersey. Even the Mets announcers were gushing about Votto’s approach at the plate (leadership on the field) and with the young fans (off the field). It’s way past time to make that official.

  7. Steven Ross

    Yes, we finished August 15 & 14 but I’d hardly call that a signature winning month! Six consecutive losing months for this franchise. It was only their third winning month since Bryan Price was hired. Sure, let’s bring him back.

    • Tampa Red

      I’ll stipulate right up front that I’m not the biggest Price fan around, and I “think” the Reds can do better. Having said that, if “nurturing young players” was Price’s only job — and it most certainly was not — what didn’t he do?? Here’s just an off the top of my head list of the relatively young, still developing players who have improved and become legitimate big leaguers since April 2016, along with the number of years of team control after this season:

      Duvall (4)
      Schebler (5)
      Suarez (3)
      Barnhart (3)
      Iglesias (3)
      Stephenson (5)
      Romano (5-6?)
      Castillo (5-6?)
      Lorenzen (4)
      Mahle (5-5?)
      Peralta (5)

      Veterans who have maintained and/or stepped up their games:

      Votto
      Cozart
      Gennett

      Guys who were making big strides before injury:

      DeSclafini
      Finnegan

      Veterans, youngster who have stagnated or regressed:

      Hamilton
      Peraza
      Reed
      Garrett
      Davis

      Still unknown, but promising:

      Winker
      Ervin

      Man, that looks like pretty successful developmental baseball to me. Mostly hits, a few misses and a few unknowns. Players don’t develop on a schedule, even for their employers. And they surely don’t develop on a fans schedule. As far as developing talent, I think Price has done a pretty darn good job. I’ve been a Reds fan since the Big Red Machine, and I don’t recall such a talented collection of youngsters having success at the big league level in a long time, if ever.

      Now having said all that, I don’t really care much for Price’s lineups. I think Hamilton is totally miscast as a lead off hitter. I think Votto should bat 2nd. I would like to see more match-up based lineups. And so on. Also, I’m not a huge fan of the way he uses the bullpen, although he has improved in that area, especially given what he’s had to work with. And after 4 years, I just think a new voice is going to be needed for the Reds to take the next step. It’s for those reasons I’d like to see a change, not a lack of developing young talent.

      • Tom

        I think this spot on. Plus, this team plays hard, has good chemistry, supports each other, and there doesn’t seem to be drama. For a team that’s lost as much as the Reds, it’s amazing the fingers haven’t pointed in every direction. He’s kept this team focused while playing rookie pitcher after rookie pitcher. And now, the rookie pitchers are turning a corner (small sample size caveat).

        This team hits well, defends well, and has a decent, if not exhausted bullpen. Price needed to develop young pitchers and, even though it took a while, these guys are starting to look good.

        My guess is that Price is an effective starting line-up away from looking like a genius.

      • Tom

        I agree on the line up. At this point, I’d want Winker leading off, Suarez 2nd, Votto 3rd, and Cozart 4. Then I bat them in OPS order and then bat Hamilton 9th (or play Ervin and use Hamilton as a pinch runner or defensive sub).

        Also, I’d make Peraza earn his playing time. It’s just like a young pitcher and strike throwing – learn to get on base and you’ll play. Gennett is great for competition.

      • Da bear

        You neglected to add Mesoraco for regression, I’d put Stephenson and Winker and Ervin in the category of ‘developed slower than normal expectations’, Hoover and Woods for regression and poorly used in high leverage situations, Cingrani for woefully developed. Arroyo in the ‘starting opportunities wasted on a veteran’ category.

        Price doesn’t get credit yet for developing Castillo, Luis came up from AA pitching great. Mahle the same – one start in MLB, Price didn’t develop him.

      • cfd3000

        Presented this way there will be many who agree that Price has done well. And yet there are so many issues with Price that I still have two big questions: However well you think he did at player development, would other managers have done better still? Is he a good choice to run a winning roster and team? The answers I have for these questions suggest Price is not the best option in 2018 and beyond.

      • james garrett

        We could list all day the pros and cons of Price going or staying.Some say you can’t blame him for what he has to manage and therefore his record doesn’t reflect anything about him.Some say well look at what he has done and cite the improvements players have made.I say we blame him too much when things go wrong and give him too much credit when they go well.Problem for me is he is a Dusty disciple in old school mentality and being old school myself one would say what’s wrong with that?What’s wrong with it is we will get lucky with our pitchers next year and instantly dive in the mix for a play off spot.Do you want Price to manage that team with his Dustyisms of vets play and speed at the top etc etc already anchored in his mind to the point that doing something different never enters into his thoughts?.I don’t but I am afraid he wlll be back because he does have the backing of somebody that matters and of course none of do matter.

      • jmussa2015

        I’m thinking I like Price. Not as much as I want to, but I see growth (in general) in wisdom, balance and–most importantly, methinks–stability.
        I really liked (still do) Pete Mackanin, but his long commitment to the Reds was evaporated when Dusty came in. Ownership and the times called for a “brand name,” so Pete was toast.

        I’m not a Dusty basher–he’d be at the very top of my list of MLB folks I’d like to hang out with to drink wine, whisky and listen to blues and R&B with (Joe Morgan close second)–but I’ve always hated the notion that the fastest guys are at the top of the lineup and the slowest (usually the catcher) at the end. Still, he brought a winning notion to a moribund, once-proud franchise, and I’m grateful for that.

        I’m still astonished how the 2012 playoffs with the Giants disintegrated. We SO had it. But those times are gone.

        I like how Price has expanded use of the top relievers…especially that he is open to utilizing top ‘pen talent (often Lorenzen) if a game-threatening crisis occurs in the middle innings. Dusty did that at the outset with Chapman, but then caved to cripple him as the locked-in “closer”. I liked Chappy best as a Swiss Army knife (or “Hammer of God”)..

        And we all know that Dusty too often left champion horses in the barn when the hay was already in flames.

        Price needs a company-funded getaway weekend with hypnotists who will try to break him of putting such pathetic (albeit speedy) on-base-averse folk as Hamilton and Peraza DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF (“Domo Arigato”) Mister Joe Votto.

        Then, give him a 3-year deal with strict-ish results required, and let him get back to work rehabbing the rotation. I think he’s A LOT closer to than I’m picking up here…

  8. RedWard

    A month ago, a week ago or even yesterday, who thought Bob Steve would beat deGrom? Wins against bad teams, I’m okay with that. You have to beat the teams you’re supposed to beat before you can start beating everybody.

    Joey Votto makes me smile, whether doing what he did today, hitting every day, stomping a paper airplane, throwing a ball out of the stadium or buying someone a donkey! How awesome to see that boy smiling. God bless him!

  9. Bill

    Seems like when teams are out of contention they play better. Just wonder what the 3 winning months were.

  10. jazzmanbbfan

    Yeah when my biggest concern is whether Ervin or Duvall should have pinch hit today, my life is pretty darn good.

  11. citizen54

    Just to clarify there is a positional adjustment in WAR so Hamilton isn’t being evaluated against just center fielders. He is being evaluated with all players. And the reason his WAR is down this year is that his defense is down as well as his offense. Since there has been an increase in runs this year, the runs per WAR has gone up so the runs he has produced/saved this year are not worth as much as they would be in years where runs are at a premium.

    • citizen54

      Everything for Hamilton, including his defense, is down slightly this year. A run saved is just as good as a run created. But since there are more runs this year, he would have to save more runs than he would in a year where total runs were lower to maintain that same WAR and he hasn’t done that so far, if that makes sense.

  12. Wizeman

    With the pitching this has b n the best ten days of the season

  13. Daytonian

    Chad: The word you were looking for is “Superbestest.”

  14. Wizeman

    Typing on a phone always a challenge for old guys. Have really enjoyed watching Stephenson start to figure it out. Think Bailey starting to look good.
    Desclafini the key for next year.

  15. immaculateconcepcion

    As to all the accolades in Robby’s 82nd b-day mention, don’t forget the 1966 Triple Crown for the O’s after being traded for Milt Pappas as an “old 31-year-old”. I’d love–just once–to be old like that…

    What a class act, and perhaps the most underrated, do-it-all human bean in MLB history. A very happy birthday, Frank!

  16. Bill

    Thanks for the winning months CI3J, 2014 they were only 7 games back but the last 2 they were out of it.

  17. Carl Sayre

    I am glad.too SEE progress from Stephenson I was getting frustrated! The good as I see it him and some others on the pitching staff making progress they are still making to many pitches! The fact that young pitchers are not effecient is no big deal, as a fan of course I want it to be better!!!!! This team is going to be better quicker in spite of the FO not because of it!!!! The fact that the Reds paid Brandon Phillips to play well enough to get the Braves some prospects!!! The fact that the FO couldn’t get something for Cozarts just hilights the horrible lack of the IDIOTS that passes for managment!!!!!!!