The #MattHarveyEra has it’s first blemish as the Reds were outplayed by the San Francisco Giants. Sal Romano got hit hard and could not get out of the third inning. The Reds offense showed some life and fought back but the Giants pulled away and snapped Cincinnati’s 6-game win streak. There is potentially salt in the wound as well with Joey Votto leaving in the fourth inning due to injury.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (14-28) 7 13 2
San Francisco Giants (21-21) 10 14 1
W: Stratton (4-3) L: Romano (2-4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

Romano ran into trouble early in this one. After a nice front door fastball to strikeout leadoff hitter Gregor Blanco, he surrendered a double to Andrew McCutcheon and then walked Buster Posey. After a loud Brandon Belt flyout, Evan Longoria knocked a groundball single up the middle for the first run of the game and Brandon Crawford immediately followed with a 2-run double. The Reds trailed 3-0 after the first.

The Reds got on the board in the second inning after back-to-back two out hits. Scott Schebler went opposite field for a bloop double down the line. Tucker Barnhart followed suit with a line drive to left-center field to plate Schebler. The Reds had a chance for more after Romano provided a third consecutive hit with a double down the left field line, but Billy Hamilton ended the inning with a lineout to right.

The hard hits kept coming for the Giants in the second and third innings. McCutcheon collected his second double of the night, this time driving in a run, which gave him 1,500 for his career. Romano was chased from the game after loading the bases and giving up a two-run single to Kelby Tomlinson. His final line was 2.1 IP, 8H, 6ER, 2BB, 2K, 66 pitches (38 strikes). More on him below.

After a Scott Schebler single in the fourth inning, Barnhart collected his second hit of the night by blasting his third home-run of the year to cut the deficit down to three.

The Reds threatened in the top of the fifth with leadoff singles from Peraza and Duvall, but Giants starter Chris Stratton induced back-to-back groundballs, including a double play from the reigning National League Player of the Week, Scooter Gennett, to kill the rally.  Scooter grounded into two double plays on the night.

Schebler closed the gap a bit further in the sixth with a leadoff homerun to right field. Scott went 3-4, was a triple shy of the cycle, and had the two hardest hit balls of the night.

Dylan Floro came on in the sixth and proceeded to come back to Earth a bit after a blazing start to the year. In two innings, he allowed two hits, two walks and three runs, though just two were earned as Jose Peraza committed two errors in the sixth inning. The Giants led 9-4 after seven innings. Austin Brice gave up a solo homerun in the eighth to make the score 10-4.

Adam Duvall picked up some garbage time rib-eye steaks with a 3-run dinger in the top of the ninth with two outs to make the final score 10-7.

Other Game Notes:

  • Joey Votto singled in the third inning and appeared to wince either while he was swinging or coming out of the box. I could not tell and saw multiple different opinions on Twitter. He stayed in the game for the time being but was replaced at first base by Adam Duvall in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was later reported that he had lower back tightness. I am sure there will be more to come tomorrow on his status.
  • Romano threw 66 pitches, 44 of which were fastballs. He managed four swinging strikes against his fastball and only one against slider despite throwing it 16 times. He threw his curveball twice and his changeup four times, generating only one called strike and no swinging strikes. The average exit velocity against Romano was 91.9 mph total and 93.3 mph on his fastballs. League average is 88.3 mph.
  • Jackson Stephens turned in a nice outing of relief, throwing 2.2 innings and allowing one hit while striking out two.
  • Schebler made a nice sliding catch in right field to end the bottom of the fourth inning
  • Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett, key players in the win streak, were both 0-4 and 0-5 tonight, respectively.
  • Billy Hamilton made a really nice play on a fly ball to left center that saved a run in the eight inning. He has plenty of room to run in the AT&T outfield.

The Reds will look to get back on track tomorrow as Tyler Mahle takes on Ty Blach tomorrow at 10:15PM EST. Jim Day reported that Mahle has had a fever and cold-like symptoms but will “not let anything keep him from starting tomorrow”. I am sure we will hear more on that and Votto tomorrow prior to first pitch. Good night from the West Coast and Go Redlegs.



6 Responses

  1. Matt B.

    I know too well about back issues. My lower back knots up 3 or 4 times a year from nothing but normal routine movements. Hopefully it’s nothing serious for Votto and he’s back in a couple days. My guess is they rest him the next 2 games and Thursday is a travel day.

  2. SultanofSwaff

    Romano: More hits allowed than IP…..low strikeout totals w/o the benefit of a low walk rate. Not inspiring nor trending upward. He kinda is who he is as a starter.

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see him get bumped when Disco returns. With his fastball/slider combination, Big Sal might have more K’s and fewer hits allowed from the bullpen in the same way Garrett’s numbers shot up when he focused on these 2 pitches at max effort.

    …and while we’re bumping Big Sal to the bullpen, why do the same with Homer when Disco is healthy and just employ a 4 man rotation??? Each month of the season only has one 10 consecutive game stretch, otherwise there’s an off-day once a week. Use your long man for that one game while keeping your bullpen fully stocked to mix and match at will. The Rays are doing it and are 9th in WHIP.

  3. big5ed

    Romano had a case of Baileyitis last night – leaving fatties over the middle of the plate. He needed a “don’t get clobbered” pitch. I do agree he needs an “out” pitch, probably something off-speed or moving downward.

    Generally, though, I think he is going through the travails of a young pitcher. These types of games should ingrain in him the need to develop that third pitch, and to learn to survive when he’s got nothing. If Romano is the guy who gets sent to AAA when Desclafani comes back, then it may be best for him in the long run.

  4. james garrett

    Sal had a stinker but it was only his 25th start in the big leagues.He does need a third pitch but in those 25 starts his era is 4.6 for those of us that look at those things.That puts him close to league average and although 25 starts isn’t much of a measuring stick I say he will get better.You can bet that Homer nor Harvey will get bumped when Disco returns soooooooooo I think we know who does.Its the wrong thing for him and the team because we know about Homer and Harvey is just going to take starts from guys like wait for it wait for it Romano.This organization just can’t handle it when it comes to fishing or cutting bait.Have to do both because well they just don’t get it.

  5. Jim Walker

    The Frustrating part of Romano’s outing for me was that he had good high heat that guys couldn’t handle and was also getting some called strikes with it but kept giving in and dropping it down into the hitting zone. Very frustrating, particularly when he had a lot of 0-2 counts and frittered away his advantage.

    His FIP versus ERA prior to last night indicated he may have been pitching into some good luck. Last night the clock struck midnight. We don’t know how much his night was physical errors and how much was mental errors but he needs to clean things up.