The Short Version: Sal Romano’s strong start, along with solid work from the Reds bullpen, is paired with another miserable night from the Reds “offense.” Reds drop their ninth game in the last ten. The “rebuild” is stalled.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (3-14) 0 3 1
Milwaukee Brewers (9-9) 2 8 0
W: Jennings (2-0) L: Romano (0-2) S: Hader (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Tucker Barnhart had two doubles in two plate appearances after entering the game in the sixth inning. Joey Votto had a hit and a walk. Jesse Winker walked twice in his return to the Cincinnati lineup.

–Sal Romano was cruising into the sixth inning before things kinda fell apart. But I’m still going to put this in the “good” section, because I saw a lot of good things from Big Sal tonight. He had allowed no runs on two hits before the sixth, but gave up a walk (then tossed a pickoff throw into right field), and surrendered a two-run homer to Eric Thames. When the next hitter reached on an infield single, manager Bryan Price came out to get him.

Final line: five innings, two runs allowed on four hits and two walks; four strikeouts.

–Amir Garrett relieved Romano and gave up a quick single, but induced a double play and got a strikeout to end the inning. Of course he was removed in favor of this Dylan Floro character (aka: Not Ariel Hernandez). That might be understandable, except that Phil Gosselin pinch-hit for Garrett. I think I would have rather seen Garrett hit and then pitch another inning.

–Cody Reed pitched on consecutive nights for the first time in his career, and he was brilliant. Entering with no outs and a runner on second in the bottom of the eight, Reed issued a steady diet of sliders and got three straight outs. That might’ve been the best he’s ever looked on the big league level. Small victories…

The Bad
–Cliff Pennington started at third base again. Pennington and Phil Gosselin have started six of the nine games for the Reds at 3B since the Eugenio Suarez injury. #FreeBlandino

In the seventh inning, with the Reds down 2-0, Tucker Barnhart led off with a double. With one away, Cliff Pennington batted. After he inevitably made an out, your intrepid manager Bryan Price sent Phil Gosselin up to pinch-hit. Yeah, you won’t be surprised to learn that the Reds didn’t score.

Why in the world those guys are playing in crucial situations while Alex Blandino can’t even get into the stupid game makes no sense whatsoever. It’s the reason why I’m losing faith in this organization’s management on a daily basis. Is this a rebuild or isn’t it?

–Devin Mesoraco left the game in the sixth inning after being hit by a pitch in his last at-bat. Bruised right wrist. Ugh. With Mesoraco’s luck, he’ll probably be out for the season.

–Leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton was 0-4 with three strikeouts.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’s nine losses in their last ten games for the ol’ Redlegs. This is getting pretty old, eh?

–The Reds have lost every single game for which I have written the recap. I don’t think I’m alone there, however.

–One night after collecting his 1600th career hit, Joey Votto worked the 1000th walk of his career. Raise your hand if you are surprised that he has more hits than walks.

Related: Joey Votto is really good.

–In seventeen games, the Reds have had three different players injured on HBPs.

Today’s Tweets

26 Responses

  1. Jack

    When Suarez comes off the disabled list he is going to have to beat out Pennington.

  2. J

    Although it was hardly Price’s dumbest decision today, he also let Peraza make the last out with a runner on base and Ervin on the bench. While Ervin hasn’t exactly been knocking the cover off the ball, he’s a legit home run threat and has a higher OBP. So if you’re actually trying to maximize your chances of winning, why is Peraza hitting there?

  3. ChrisInVenice

    I’m glad we’re using these games to see what this Pennington kid brings to the table.

  4. kmartin

    In the recap from the Monday night game Steve Mancuso said: “Let’s hope the Reds haven’t adopted a strategy of scoring all their April runs in one game. I would have to question that tactic if they did. ” He was unfortunately insightful.

  5. Dave Roemerman

    Did we at least get the Dodgers to add the classic “bucket of balls” with the two whatever prospects we got? Another perplexing move…

  6. Aaron Bradley

    It’s marketing pure and simple that’s what drives me nuts. Lets ignore reality and sell this havoc idea thru marketing. They are trying to manipulate perception like we don’t know how to read box scores and stat lines.

  7. sezwhom

    Blandino hasn’t exactly been knocking the cover off the ball either. 1 for 15 with 5 K’s doesn’t scream start me.

    • Jeff Reed

      But Rebuild, if that’s really the policy of the front office, does scream start Blandino, not a veteran.

  8. big5ed

    Hamilton did see 22 pitches in his 4 ABs.

    The Reds gotta stop getting shut out by 33-year-old guys with 11 career wins. Makes their offense look bad.

  9. JoshG

    I understand the frustration, but no.. Garrett especially has not been used as a LOOGY

  10. scotly50

    Looking at those figures; the Reds are fortunate to have won three !!!!

  11. lost11found

    Very True Eric. hindsight only gets better as the years get longer. Good for DiDi. Especially in light of who he replaced. He could be getting the stanton treatment right now otherwise.

  12. lost11found

    Ehh. That’s just baseball sometimes. Just glad that the XRays were negative on Mes’s wrist. Romano lost the strike zone and walked Cain, which would contribute to the pitch sequencing in the sense that Fastballs are easier to contol than breaking pitches.

    • big5ed

      The tipping point after the walk was the throwing error. I’ve noticed through the years, supported by data or not, that pitchers tend to throw up a fatty after their own defensive flub, by error, balk, etc. I smelled it coming.

      The tendency will be to place too much emphasis/blame on third-time-through-the-order, when it was more likely bad pitch selection to Cain, followed by a youthful collapse of concentration.

      I like the young arms, but we will all like them a lot more with another year under their belts.

  13. lost11found

    I think Tucker was in the game at that point. but with the new rule on mound visits, catchers and other players don’t have the kind of flexibility they once had.

  14. Bill

    Does anyone know who calls the pitches? Sometimes I hear the catcher, manager or pitching coach.

  15. Scott Carter

    Just one word about last night “BLECCHHHHHH!!!”

  16. big5ed

    They can’t implement electronic strike-zone umpiring fast enough.

  17. LL Cool

    Sal’s problem is between the ears. He walks Cain and then gets frustrated and try’s picking off Cain while he is standing on first base catching Joey Votto completely off guard and the runner advances to 2nd base. Now he is really frustrated and he tries striking out Thames with a fastball right down Broadway. Come on is anyone reading the scouting report? Thames feast on Reds pitchers including you Sal. Price should had walked Thames but once he hit the home run the wheels fell off and Sal was done. Garrett came in and stopped the bleeding with a double play and a strike out.

  18. eric3287

    I disagree with not blaming Price for not having Garrett ready to go sooner. Guerra was also pitching a hell of game, maybe even better than Romano. 2 outs in the top of the 6th, Winker on 1st, Scooter coming to bat. Scooter, who should in no way be compared in any breath with Thames, prompted Craig Counsell to pull his starter and bring in the lefty reliever who promptly got a weak fly ball from Scooter. Counsell did leave in Guerra to pitch to lefty Joey Votto, true. But that makes sense.

    Votto: .991 OPS vs. RHP / .903 OPS vs. LHP
    Duvall: .757 OPS vs. RHP / .810 OPS vs. LHP
    Scooter: .806 OPS vs. RHP / .557 OPS vs. LHP

    So if you’re a manger, Joey Votto’s Joey Votto. He’s elite no matter who you go with, and the best of the next 3 hitters due up. Plus, if you go with a left handed pitcher for Votto, you’re either going to make Duvall more dangerous, or use 3 pitchers for 3 batters. Counsell went with the smart play, took his chances with Votto, kept the RHP to pitch to Duvall, then went to the lefty to turn Scooter into basically Billy Hamilton. I’ll pause here to note that Bryan Price had at his disposal a right handed batting infielder who has hit left handed pitching pretty well in his career in the minors in Mr. Alex Blandino. He posted a .926 OPS vs. LHP last year. Bryan Price did not elect to pinch hit.

    Fast forward to the bottom of the 6th. The walk brings up Eric Thames. In his career, his OPS vs. RHP is .830 and vs. LHP it is .654. Just including his breakout year last year, it is even more dramatic; .918 OPS vs RHP and .658 vs. LHP. Price elects to leave in the RHP to promptly give up a 2 run home run in a game that ended 2-0.

    Three decisions, Counsell makes the smart call and Price makes the dumb calls. And that’s the ball game right there.

  19. G Guy

    You get paid , you pitch to whoever the catcher is!! The pitchers battle is against the batter and Sal had seen him 3 times. Handle it!!

  20. Redlegs64

    I agree here – I’d like to know more about the history of that trade. Does anyone know what happened? I know he struggled with substance abuse in his early career and Jerry Narron was instrumental in helping him get back to ML.

    It wasn’t difficult to see that JH could play baseball at a very high level. I saw him in L-ville (I believe he was re-habbing). He was the best player on the field – by a long shot.