The Short Version: The Reds led 4-1 after three innings — thanks largely to good ol’ Eugenio Suarez — but Sal Romano can’t hang on. Reds lose.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (18-34) 4 8 0
Colorado Rockies (27-24) 5 8 0
W: Gray (5-6) L: Romano (2-6) S: Davis (18)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Eugenio Suarez seems to be getting back into a groove; tonight he went 2-3 with a homer, a run scored, and two runs batted in (plus an HBP). On the season, Suarez is now hitting .289/.367/.594, and he leads the National League in RBI, despite missing 16 games. That ain’t bad, friends and neighbors.

–Joey Votto was 2-4 with a double and two runs scored. Tucker Barnhart batted second again and had two more hits, plus a run scored.

–Wandy Peralta, Tanner Rainey, and Michael Lorenzen didn’t permit a single Colorado run in 2.2 innings of relief.

The Bad
–Once again, Sal Romano was not sharp. Handed a 4-1 lead, Romano surrendered it all. His final line: 5.1 innings, five runs allowed on eight hits and four walks, with five strikeouts.

–Jose Peraza has been (thankfully) dropped to seventh in the lineup, and he was 0-4 tonight. Despite one hot stretch, Peraza is hitting .243/.279/.317 in 2018.

–I love Suarez, but he made a bone-headed play defensively in the third. It wasn’t charged as an error, but it was a mental error, at least. Essentially, he took a cutoff throw from the outfield and, with Colorado runners stuck between both 1st/2nd and 2nd/3rd, Suarez inexplicably didn’t try to get the lead runner. As a result, all hands were safe.

Aaaah, whatever. Suarez has cool hair.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Reds could have won this one, but they didn’t, because they are the Reds, I guess. Cincinnati is now 13.5 games out of first place.

–The Reds got things started early. In the top of the first, Tucker Barnhart, Joey Votto, and Scooter Gennett singled with one away, with Scooter collecting an RBI. After Suarez was hit by a pitch, Scott Schebler hit into the ever-popular RBI fielder’s choice, giving the Reds a quick 2-0 lead.

–The score was 2-1 when Votto doubled to lead off the third. One out later, Suarez homered to center, his 9th of the season. Reds 4, Rockies 1. Unfortunately, the Redlegs did not score again.

–Barnhart is hitting .271/.352/.417 this season, and I’ll take that, thank you very much.

–I’m really glad to see that Rainey has hit the ground running in his second shot at the big leagues. The kid has a chance to be a good reliever.

–My daughter’s softball team lost in their district tournament tonight, ending a disappointing season.

–Eight more games on this road trip after tonight. Tyler Mahle will return to the hill tomorrow night in another late-night affair. We’ll be following it with you, same bat time, same bat channel.

Tonight’s Tweets

36 Responses

  1. Hanawi

    Peraza might be too young to give up on, but sending him down to AAA to find some plate discipline probably wouldn’t be the worst idea.

    Romano might also be in line for a trip to AAA to find a better change. Disco didn’t pitch very well tonight but should be back soon. Homer isn’t going anywhere, so that probably leaves either Romano or Mahle to be the odd man out.

    • Scott Gennett

      Not too much too choose from now but, yes, when time is right, a Disco/Stephenson switch for Romano/Mahle should make it. However, I hope Mahle will have a strong outing tomorrow. I don’t think Peraza will improve his hitting in AAA at all, he’s just another lost cause, time to give Blandino more playing time. The offensive is good and the bullpen is even better, it’s the starting rotation what’s killing the Reds.

      • Walt S.

        Stephenson should never replace none, especially Mahle. Stephenson had his chance and he failed.

      • Jazzmanbbfan

        Thank you H4V. Stephenson may or may not end up being a decent ML pitcher but at this point the jury is still out. I hope he gets another consistent shot at starting for the Reds this year.

      • Walt S.

        Mahle and Romano have demonstrated more in the MLB than Stephenson. I am fine letting another team give Stephenson a shot. Not trolling, just do not want him on the team.

      • Walt S.

        For Stephen this would be like his 3rd or 4th chance. It is a waste of time and money to keep trying with him. He does not have what it takes to be a successful pitcher. His control is poor.

      • Jim Walker

        Here, Here! You just saved me from going to Fangraphs and dredging out the numbers.

        But just for fun I did go look up Romano’s numbers from 2017. He made 16 starts, 87IP, 4.45 ERA. Stephenson’s and Romano’s inning per start were virtually identical.

        If we use FIP instead of ERA the comp is Romano 4.45/ Stephenson 4.22. Only is we extend out to xFIP does Romano come out better at 4.47/ 4.98. This is because xFIP which mitigates home runs against league average “punishes” RS whose HR/9 rate was actually lower than Romano’s.

        As I see it. If one of them failed in 2017, they both did.

      • Jim Walker

        I believe the org’s issue with RS is two fold. First of all his BB rate/% is legitimately troubling. As his 2017 MLB xFIP as a starter versus his FIP (4.98/4.22) indicates he dodged some bullets. The other side of that coin, did he dodge them strictly from luck or perhaps because of his stuff did he come up with some big K’s when they made a difference? We could argue forever about that if we chose to.

        I believe the Reds org actually believes it wasn’t just all luck RS dodged a lot of the bullets in 2017; and, he’s getting the 2nd class citizen treatment because they are trying to push him beyond just skating along and barely/ mostly getting by and hope to find his true ceiling.

        Personally, if it were my call I’d have let events at the MLB level do the work because the luck side of things would have eventually caught up with him anyway and that I suspect in the long run would be greater motivation than being banished to AAA.

      • Jim Walker

        Taking a look at Romano, the relatively tight spread between his ERA/FIP/xFIP at the MLB level (5.89.5.40/5.08) would seem to indicate what we are seeing may well be the limit of his current skills. He needs to have that third effective pitch to be an MLB starter long run.

      • Jim Walker

        Oops. Blipped the numbers on Sal here. The numbers are above are 2018 ONLY. Here are the correct numbers for his entire MLB career:
        ERA/FIP/xFIP 5.01/4.71/.470.

        This actually reinforces what I said. The spread on him is tight pretty much regardless of where it is split chronologically. What he is; he is.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Good thoughts Jim. For whatever their reasoning, I do believe that the organization was trying to send a message to Stephenson by starting him in AAA. There’s really no other explanation why, coming off a solid stretch of starting at the end of 2017, he wasn’t one of the best 5 options to start the season (especially as Finnegan and Disco were injured). His BB% is an issue that he needs to work out. I do think you hit on something when talking about his stuff being able to get him out of bad situations. That’s an advantage Stephenson has over Mahle and Romano, his stuff can and has been able to compensate for his lack of control and command. At the same time he’s probably developed some bad habits, and possibly some bad philosophy when it comes to pitching.

        I agree I’d let him work it out at the ML level against the best hitters.

      • Jim Walker

        Aren’t we all at least a little envious at times of someone who does well in life (read “well” as better than us) but seems to just be skating by and not fully engaged to the limits of their skills? It is not until we get comfortable inside our own skin that it is easy to day that as long as they aren’t endangering someone’s safety, more power to them.

      • Streamer88

        Agreed. The Big Unit was prohibitively wild at the start of his career. But the mariners were patient and he turned out a little better than replacement I’d say.

        Nolan Ryan walked 4 guys per start. Also turned out half way decent.

        Growing aces is the hardest thing to do in any professional sport. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it (and alas, they’d no longer be considered Aces).

        There is hope for Bob Steve. Romano is a place holder.

      • Jim Walker

        I believe the option for the year (his last) was used when he was sent to Louisville. He can be sent up and down any number of times sub to the 10 day rule etc. However, next year he has to make the team out spring or be exposed to waivers, all the more reason he is a guy they need to be seeing at MLB level.

    • Ethan L

      He’s had over 1000 PAs at the Major League level. Over that span, he’s merely produced 0.2 war and an anemic 72 wRC+. Furthermore, his 3.6 BB% has indicated that he has horrible plate discipline and will never get on base at even a sub-par clip. In fact, according to Fangraphs, his walk rate is worse than awful. I have seen a large enough sample to be willing to give up on him. It’s time to move on from this guy imo. All of this despite being better than Juan Castro!

      At least he’s fast and creates chaos! Once again, we see the folly in choosing speed over actually being a good hitter.

  2. Jeff Reed

    Letting Romano hit in the 6th. inning with the score tied was puzzling. Does he have a reputation as a hitting pitcher?

  3. Scott Carter

    I ti amazing to me how easily so many fans give up on young players, Peraza just turned 24. I do believe that he needs to go back to AAA with specific instructions to work on plate discipline and hopefully get some confidence in his swing and learn that MLB positions are earned not handed. Roman is still 24 (turns 25 in October) and Robert Stephenson, though he seems to have been a prospect forever is just 25. Playing MLB baseball is hard and for most players it takes a while. All of them have several years till they reach their prime years. That does not mean they should be on a MLB roster, except perhaps Stephenson. It does mean we should not give up on any of them at this point. Personally I think it would be best for Peraza and especially Romano to be sent to AAA to learn.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yes they’re 23-24 years old but Billy was once 24 yrs old as well! Sometimes you just are what you are. Letting them “bloom” in AAA would be fine…just remove them as a starting shortstop and starting pitcher. The Reds will take guys that actually flash some talent like Winker (.904 ops in 121 atbats last year) and give him the fewest atbats of the 4 outfielders. Or Alex Blandino and Brandon Dixon getting held up by Pennington and Goose despite outplaying them in spring training. They’ll hold them up and then take random guys like Peraza and Romano and stick with them come hell or high water?

      Just reward production with playing time. Punish lack of production with demotions or being benched. Its really not a difficult concept?

  4. Walt S.

    I do not believe Blandino can adequately field the position.

    • Satchmo

      If we were willing to watch Cozart play for 3/4 of a season on 1 1/2 legs to get his bat in the lineup, then we should be willing to play Blandio, who is much more accomplished as a hitter (at this age) than Cozart was.

  5. cfd3000

    I wrote something similar in the game thread but this team will be good or bad based primarily on how the 4th and 5th best starters perform. Right now that’s Bailey and Romano, and Sal has shown that he’s not ready to succeed in the rotation. I know BobSteve and Cody Reed have both struggled with walks at AAA, with signs of improvement lately. I know Amir Garrett has settled into a bullpen role. I know Keury Mella is still young at AA. But not one of those, or a handful of other options, could do worse than lose every game for the Reds. It’s time to rotate Sal down to Louisville – to work on command of the fastball and slider, and consistency with the changeup – and rotate Robert or Cody or Amir or Keury into the rotation for an extended audition.

  6. Indy Red Man

    I’ve been a big Lorenzen fan on here since day 1 and its good to have him back, but he’s too big! He’s went crazy on the weightlifting? Pitching is such an abnormal activity for the human body and you need flexibility….not a ton of bulk and huge biceps? They start Billy for 4-5 years now and never manage to get him any bigger or stronger? Then they let a guy with one of their most promising arms in the organization gain 30+ lbs of muscle? I don’t any other pitchers that look like that? He’s a hard worker and competitor which we all appreciate but more injuries would not be unexpected.

    • Jim Walker

      I also noticed his size this season. Promise I won’t go on one of my rants about how he has been used/ misused/ developed; but, imagine how hard and far he can probably hit a baseball now!
      I’m wondering if he is getting his body ready for the next chapter as an attempt to be position player if for health or performance reasons the pitching doesn’t work out beyond this year or next?

      • Jim Walker

        I agree, Until and unless he is facing MLB pitching on a regular basis we don’t know if he can hit it. But people who have seen him taking BP swings seem to be impressed; and Brantley along with some other former pitchers now commentators have gone out of their way to comment that Lorenzen at the plate looks like a hitter and not a pitcher with a bat in his hands. And finally there is the fact that virtually every other MLB org projected him as a mid 2nd round choices as an OF, not a pitcher which us why the Reds spent the supplemental 1st round pick on him.

    • Jack

      Thor and look what happened to him last year.

    • Streamer88

      Also keep in mind that muscle cell hypertrophy from strength training does not alter ligamental or tendinous composition in any way.

      You may have heard this before— ligaments and tendons are somewhat important in the overhand throwing motion known as pitching.

      Lorenzen will be hurt again soon I’m afraid.

  7. sezwhom

    I like Blandino a lot but it’s way to early to give up on just turned 24 year old Peraza. As for the SP, Romano is probably the odd man out IF Disco can come back and pitch consistently. Love to see a healthy Disco with Harvey continuing to improve as well. That would be fun to watch.

    • Jack

      I don’t think people are giving up on these 2. Send them to AAA to work on their game. Sal has potential . He just needs a 3rd pitch. AAA is the place to work on that. Peraza needs to work on his patience at the plate. Todd Hollandsworth said last week that he isn’t comfortable at the plate. He swings at the first pitch and he needs to take some pitches. The more pitches Peraza sees the more comfortable he will be and then he will drive the ball. Interesting that the announcer for Colorado? can see this but Peraza and the Reds can’t. Or maybe Peraza doesn’t care. I wonder what Perazas numbers are when he gets to see a few pitches.

      • Jack

        Cossack do you have any numbers on what his average is or OBP on how many pitches he sees every at bat? I don’t know where you guys get thst stuff but always find it interesting. Wonder how many times he has swung at the first pitch? I see a lot more potential for him offensively than I ever did in Hamilton.

      • Jack

        3.24! Wow that has to lead the league. I’m not really sure what to say here. Pretty dumbfounded. Maybe he is trying to do his part in making the game faster.

      • Jeff Reed

        Peraza sees a lot of pitches but as a hacker he swings at too many that are outside the strike zone. He’s relatively young but I doubt that time in AAA is going to much improve his plate approach.

  8. Bill

    Louisville may not be the place for Romano, Disco pitched there last nite, 5 innings-6 runs – 3 him runs.

  9. Al

    Reds record in 1 run games total this years is unbelievable (of course to the negative side). If they were close to .500 there, it would be a huge difference for the season.

  10. Jack

    At 24 ,what point do you move on? Let’s hope it’s not Billy Hamilton 2.0. That hurt s the team right now offensively. They have 2 guys in the lineup that are the same player. No matter what happens they always come up at critical times. Maybe they get away with having one guy in the lineup but not two. They are not sending Billy down to AAA. Only being 24 I think there is still time for Peraza to figure it out. But I think AAA is the best place for him. I wouldn’t even call it a demotion. I think he needs to work on things down there and get comfortable. Play Blandino at short for now.

  11. james garrett

    Untill we move on from Peraza and Billy as every day major leaguers we will continue to be just what we are offensively.The stats don’t lie.Move Peraza down to the minors and play the Bob game in reverse.Tell him unless he gets his walk rate up he doesn’t sniff the majors.Let him set and room and hang out with Bob.For Billy trade him or release him and move on.

  12. CP

    True Steve, although the difference between Winker, Peraza, and Hamilton power wise is basically negligible, isn’t it? Except Winker occupies a corner OF spot and plays terrible defense to boot, whereas Peraza and Hamilton play solid and above average defense, respectively. Winker fails both the stat tests and the eyeball test on that end.

    I hope Winker gets a ton of rope but let’s not pretend that he isn’t a big problem. I mean, you bring up Torreyes’ WAR, but Winker, who is also 24, has -1.1 bWAR and -.3 fWAR.