The Cincinnati Reds (43-56) are off to a nightmare start to the second half. The Reds got swept at home over the weekend to the Pirates, while being outscored 27-5. The Reds will look to get back on track as they continue their homestand at 7:10 tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals (50-49). The Reds are 7-19 against both the Pirates and Cardinals, but are 36-36 against everyone else.

The Cardinals have already played five games in the second half. They had a five-game series (including a double-header on Saturday) at the Cubs. The Cardinals will be having two starting pitchers make their MLB debuts tonight and tomorrow. The Reds lost their first 9 games against the Cardinals in 2018, but have won 3 of 4 since. This is as good of a time as ever to beat up the Cardinals. The Reds will however want to pitch carefully to Matt Carpenter. He has hit 8 home runs in the last 7 games.

Starting Pitchers

Luis Castillo finished the second half strong, as he has a 3.45 ERA with 11 K and 2 BB in three starts in July. Castillo’s last start came in St. Louis on Saturday before the all-star break: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. He has actually been pretty good this year outside of giving up the home run ball. He has only allowed 1 home run in his last 4 starts, which is hopefully a sign of good things to come in the second half.

Daneil Poncedeleon will be making his MLB debut tonight. He was a 9th round pick of the Cardinals in 2014, and has flown through the farm system, dominating at every level. He has good strikeout and home run numbers, but has given up some walks. It would be wise of the Reds to be patient this evening. Poncedeleon thew a complete game, 1-hit shutout in his last start in AAA. In fact, he hasn’t given up an earned run over his last 3 starts (20.0 IP). This will surely be an emotional night for Daniel and his family. He had to have emergency brain surgery just 14 months ago after taking a liner to the head. It is remarkable that he will be pitching in the big leagues tonight.

Starting Lineups

1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Brandon Dixon (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Eugenio Suarez(3B)
5. Jesse Winker (RF)
6. Tucker Barnhart (C)
7. Adam Duvall (LF)
8. Luis Castillo (P)
9. Billy Hamilton (CF)

Brandon Dixon starting over Dilson Herrera? Oh boy….

110 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    Milwaukee lost another starting pitcher today. Suter will have TJ surgery. I mentioned Harvey to the Brewers last week. They also need a 2B. Harvey and Herrera. The Brewers have 2 good pitching prospects, starters called up to fill in in their bullpen. Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. Burnes would be an especially nice return for Harvey and Herrera.
    It would be nice to continue the trend and thump the Cardinals. Bats need to wake up. Castillo also. I hope he doesn’t sleep walk through another start.
    The trade deadline a week from tomorrow at 4 or 5 PM. Next week’s schedule works to the reds advantage at the deadline. They play at 1 PM on Sunday. They have Monday the 30th off. And then don’t play again until Tuesday the 31st at 7 PM. So the Reds front office will have about 48 free hours to work some magic before the deadline. Or 48 hours to stand pat.

    • Jack

      Or have about 3 deals going at the same time with time running out and only get 1 done.

    • Jim Walker

      Seems to me it would behoove all of the Reds “young” starters to not be sleepwalking. The only way BobSteve doesn’t get a call up soon is if he totally regresses, is injured, or is involved in a trade. Keury Mella, the original main guy in the Mike Leake trade is also at AAA and looks to be on a fast rise. Both these guys are on the 40 man; and, all the young starters are optionable. All it takes is a phone call to make a switch.

      • Joel

        I don’t get the fascination with Robert Stephenson. He hasn’t played better or worse than what seems to be his mean all season. And his mean has a lot of walks in it. Meanwhile, he’s been in the minors since 2012 with pretty bad walk figures the whole time. I just don’t know why we’d call him up. We have plenty of guys who can put runners on base.

      • Jim Walker

        IN 2018 at AAA: K rate 31%;; BB rate 10%; HR/9 1 (0.026%); WHIP 1.2

      • Jim Walker

        The big thing that has happened for RS in 2018 is that he strikes out so many, walks some fewer (yes it would be better if that came down some more) BUT he hasn’t been bitten as much by HRs and has cut down on hits overall too.

        That K rate is so elite, it has to get a longer look at MLB

  2. seat101

    When I saw the lineup, I was hoping they had misspelled Dilson Herrera.

    What do you think the red should do for a back up shortstop?

    Go Redlegs!

    • Jim Walker

      Suarez in the short term, for in an in game emergency or situation. Probably looking around longer term. Maybe BHam is taking some grounders at SS as the backup emergency plan? That’s where he played before he got converted to CF.

  3. Jeff Reed

    I cannot recall, certainly in the last ten years or so, the Reds doing well against debuting starting pitchers. This is a game they need to change course.

    • George

      The Cards using two rookie starters back to back against the Reds is a real slap at the Reds. You are right that the Reds generally just don’t do well against “new” pitchers but the real concern is just how well Castillo does for 6 or 7 innings. The Reds offence will usually score 2 or 3 runs. The starters need to hold the line, if not, another 3 losses in a row.

  4. Sliotar


    I like reading your takes on where guys could land and why.
    (The Mikolas call last winter was an all-timer.)

    I heard this morning on MLB Radio while working that the Orioles are really ready to tear it down, and could move SPs Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. And, 2B Jonathan Schoop could maybe be had as well.

    Yesterday, Chris Archer and J.A. Happ tore it up in their starts. Both are SP trade deadline targets, although Happ would be easier to figure out value because he is FA at year’s end.

    I mention this because there are a lot of moving parts to finalizing deadline trades, including that teams may simply like other guys better than say….Harvey.

    What if Harvey isn’t moved and the narrative changes to trying to get him to re-sign?

    Interesting times for a team projecting to lose 90 games (again).

    Go Redlegs.

    • WVRedlegs

      I think Happ ends up with the Yankees. For the Brewers to get Archer, it would cost them Hiura, whom they do not want to trade. The Brewers could match up with the Rays on Nathan Eovaldi without giving up Hiura. That is more in line with Harvey. There are 11 teams in the NL vying for 5 playoff spots. There are 6 teams in the AL vying for 5 spots. One surely could use Harvey. But I have this feeling the Reds will wait too long and not even get Harvey dealt. The 2 Baltimore pitchers add to the market and the supply. Teams want to avoid the wild card game and want to win their divisions. They will invest to do so. They want that post season home field advantage and some will spend for that chance. Hopefully they shop with the Reds.

  5. Shchi Cossack

    Herrera sits while Dixon starts at 2B. That’s utter lunacy and absolute managerial malfeasance, interim or not.

    Dixon is NOT a potential long-term or short-term solution for 2B. He is a role player and a good utility option. His defense is bad at every position, but his versatility and bat plays at the MLB level as a role player.

    Herrera is a possible short term and long term option for 2B and he needs to play NOW!. He is out of options and needs every minute of playing time available to prove his bat plays at the MLB level.

    • seat101

      I am racking my brains to come up with a contrarian view. The only possible excuse is that Herrera is hurt, and they’re going to wait a couple of days to see if they should put them on the DL.

      But even for the Reds…that seems far-fetched.

      Go Redlegs

      • Klugo

        Or in a trade package.
        Or has shown his butt in the clubhouse.

    • Scott C

      My thoughts exactly. I like Dixon and am glad he got back up but he should not be in the long term plans for the Reds. Herrera at least should be given the opportunity if for nothing else than to build trade value down the road.

      • vegastypo

        From the Enquirer reporter Nightengale on Twitter:

        Riggleman said he chose Dixon because he’s seen more pitching recently.

      • vegastypo

        Which, I believe, translates into, I’m trying to win now to show them I’m a major league manager, the heck with the future.

  6. roger garrett

    The boat has no driver and is just going around in circles as we approach a very very important trade deadline.My head hurts as I try to come up with a reason why Herrrera is not playing.Should we not be trying to find out what he can do not only for us but for others to see as well?Why would anybody want to play for the Reds?

  7. CI3J

    8 days until the trade deadline.

    And the Reds have done nothing.

    I’m starting to get (an all too familiar) sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach…

  8. Luckeydad

    Beat these stinking Cardinals……let’s hope that the weekend series was not a hint of things to come

  9. seat101

    I’ll make a donation if they stop these inane interviews so I can watch the game

    • VaRedsFan

      Bob C. will be in the booth to talk about the Reds Community fund in the 3rd inning. I’m with you on this one. While it is a worthy cause, but I don’t want to hear it during the game.

  10. Steelerfan

    I recognize this is not a novel opinion, but I just do not get why you bring Herrera up, given his option status, if you are not going to play him.

    I idiotically thought they had blown it once with another Herrera (hanging head in shame) but I will need to recycle the rant if this goes the wrong way.

  11. seat101

    I’m switching over to the radio. I want to watch a baseball game not listen to a telethon.

  12. msanmoore

    The BLAST commercials are preferable to the telethon pitches. And the clock doesn’t sound like Marty.

  13. VaRedsFan

    How much of a donation would it take for THOM! to silent for 1 inning.

    • msanmoore

      I don’t believe he’s physically capable of doing it, but I’d pitch in.

  14. CI3J

    This homeplate ump is seriously blind. His strikezone is all over the place. Castillo threw a pitch low in the zone and had it called a ball, and the very next pitch threw one IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT and had it called a strike.

    But at least he’s inconsistent for both sides.

    • msanmoore

      Yep … consistently horrible. Benefit to us on a Votto walk (though nothing came of it).

      It’s why I’m increasingly in favor of the robot strike zone.

      • CI3J

        I really don’t see why they don’t already have it in place. If I’m not mistaken, all MLB parks have the Pitchf/x system in place, and we can see it on our television screens. It would be easy to have someone in the booth relaying the calls to the homeplate ump almost instantly in a earpiece, “ding” for strike, “buzz” for ball. All the ump has to do is go through the motions to relay the info to the crowd since, again, we can already see it at home.

      • CI3J

        Oh, and of course, the ump needs to relay the info to the players as well.

  15. docproctor

    Castillo looking good.
    Reds bats looking silent. Again.
    Time to bust this one open.

    • CI3J

      Tough to do when two important cogs of your offense are missing and are replaced with guys like Dixon and Duvall.

      Although, fair play, Dixon was flat out robbed TWICE already in this game.

      • da bear

        Dixon hit the ball HARD in this game. Suarez also smacked one before the HR that was caught. No hitters often come with a lotta luck….certainly in the case with the fountain of youth.

  16. Joel

    I don’t get the controversy over starting Dixon instead of Herrera. If the upset is over the fact that we should be “showcasing” Herrera for a potential trade, then I’d say that makes sense only to a small degree. He’s been a pro ball player since 2011 and has had roughly 184 plate appearances since 2014. I’d be surprised if there is a scout or GM in the league that doesn’t know what they’re getting if they take a trade that includes him. And if showcasing is really so important, then wouldn’t it also make sense to start him over Scooter?

    Alternatively, if he is a potential medium/long term option, then why is Dixon not or how is he a superior option to Dixon? After 203 PA in AAA, Herrera is .297/.367/.465 with a 9.1% BB%. Dixon has a similar number of PA in AAA (193) and slashes .346/.389/.570 with 6.2 BB%. I know Dilson had some nice at bats during some key moments over the last few weeks, but in a blind taste test, which player would you choose? Dilson has been rising somewhat steadily through the minor league ranks since 2013, while Herrera has bounced around from major to minors quite a bit over the last few years and has yet to put up any numbers that really make him seem like a long or short term option. Or at least, there isn’t much in his figures that show he’s more that guy than Dixon is.

    • seat101

      Why bring a guy up just to have him sit on the bench? They let his bat go cold and playing one game against an ace..

      It’s bad management

    • Cartel

      Dilson has been injured a bunch and much greater success in the majors. Also why was Castillo pulled? It would have been nice to see him pitch out of a jam. Of course it seems like Captain Hook thinks he is in the WS as he tries to avoid losing 90

    • CI3J

      Herrera is 24. Dixon is 26. Based on projections, Herrera will be a much better player than Dixon when Herrera hits his Age 26 season. This is why you have scouts. Dixon is an ok player, but he doesn’t have the “tools” Herrera has.

      I’d take Herrera all day, every day.

  17. Indy Red Man

    It didn’t cost them anything this time, but more poor fundamentals. Duvall had to come a long way to get that single and had very little chance to get Carpenter at the plate. He allowed Molina to get to 2nd with nobody out in a 1-0 game? They can’t have that! Duvall knows better!

  18. msanmoore

    Way to go Geno! Kept that tag on him as he popped up from the slide.

  19. roger garrett

    We are really bad aren’t we.

  20. Jeff Reed

    What a frustrating game to watch. A minor league throw home by Duvall and zero offense after seven innings.

  21. Indy Red Man

    Tucker .247 and .675 ops. He hit .270 with a .750 ops last year. I feel better when Casili is in the lineup. He’s big enough to run into a mistake and hit it out.

    • roger garrett

      Power plays in GABP but there is a reason he is a back up.

    • roger garrett

      I thought so to because he could have got 6 more outs easily.Of course a combined no hitter ain’t bad.

  22. roger garrett

    This will make 5 in a row and counting.Pathetic offense.

    • Indy Red Man

      Well Joey is down to 15-20 HR power. Billy, Tucker, and Jose aren’t taking you deep. They really need to work Schebler and Senzel in there. It would be nice if they could scratch out 2 runs tonite, but I don’t see it?

      • roger garrett

        Yep and that won’t work in GABP.No power means you lose.

      • Broseph

        Votto’s power is baffling. His exit velocity I believe is higher or close to last season’s numbers. Yet, he’s down 18 dingers from this point last season. He should finish with 20+ hopefully.

      • CI3J

        I think it’s because of his approach. He’s choking up a lot more and not extending his arms like he used to. I think it’s a self-acknowledgement that his bat speed and reflexes have slowed just enough that he doesn’t trust himself to catch up to fastballs any more.

        Hopefully, they bat him 2nd starting next season. It’s where he should have been hitting for his career, but they wanted his power in the 3 hole. Now that his power is waning, he needs to hit higher so he can get on base for guys like Geno, Senzel, and Schebler.

      • Bill

        He is still hitting the ball hard, but for some reason he doesn’t have the results. I did read his fly ball % is down and line drives up so that probably accounts for a lot of it

      • Broseph

        Good point. Will have to check out the stats

      • da bear

        Not too baffling. Angular momentum. He’s swinging a shorter bat as much as he chokes up because he’s losing quickness. The ball travels shorter. Imagine if he were hitting in San Diego, he’d have even fewer homers.

  23. Broseph

    Billy vs a fastball over 93 mph….fastball always wins.

  24. Indy Red Man

    Billy 3 for his last 30. The Who lyrics come to mind…”I won’t be fooled again”. We were scoring a ton and he was hitting. I got off his back for the first time in 3 years and you guys told me that it was a mirage. You were right!

    • Old-school

      This is a guy who 3x this year went public to the enquirer saying he wants his leadoff spot back….what athlete anywhere does that? Only on a 90 loss last place team 4 years in a row who knows his owner has his back. Hamilton BA is 20 points below his career avg…. Obp is .300. OPs is again heading back to .600…. wRC + isn’t fit for children. power is nothing… SB is 40% below career avg. Hes good in CF for 3 TWIB highlights a month.

      Sad part is he’s better than Adam Duvall- his numbers are awful.

  25. CI3J

    Well, at least they’re no longer getting no hit…..


  26. Indy Red Man

    The Pirates may not lose again? Up 7-0 against Cory Kluber. They were only 4.5 behind Milw coming into tonite. Of course they won’t spend a dime or do anything at all.

  27. roger garrett

    Sad that lost in all of this is we pitched better and that makes 2 in a row for Castillo in which he was pretty good.

    • Indy Red Man

      Good point! He had a 3.48 era in May, 6.75 in June, but a 3.00 era so far in July! He needs a splitter or something vs lefties. They’re killiing him, but atleast he competed tonite and no crooked numbers for them!

  28. CI3J


    And if Ozuna let Joey’s ball drop, that would have been a walkoff winner!

    Still, I’ll take it!

  29. seat101

    I think I have never seen a runner have to duck to avoid being hit. I’ve seen plenty jump or turn sideways but never a duck

  30. Old-school

    I’ve been as critical as Riggleman as anyone….but he Castillo pitched great and he pulled him quick in the 6 th after a nice start . Good move.
    Coin flip now

    • Indy Red Man

      Personally I like the quick hook…especially when the pen has been much better then the starters. As long as the pen is rested enough. Its just the bunts with Riggleman! That and the lack of hit-n-runs. I’m big on that. The Cubs do it constantly. It makes mediocre runners pretty fast!

  31. CI3J

    NOW we get to see Herrera.

    Riggleman’s brilliant plan is finally revealed!


  32. TyGuy85

    Dilson needs to be playing a lot more.

  33. Indy Red Man

    Dilson has 5x more talent then Dixon…or Blandino. That kid is going to hit and he’ll take a walk which is huge with his short/compact frame!

  34. Old-school

    Herrera can hit….the young guys can hit.

    • Jeff Reed

      He’s also an interim. The Cardinal GM has had some good words for Riggleman.

  35. VaRedsFan

    1st pitch fastball right down the middle….why let it go by…well done young man

  36. msanmoore

    Team effort in the 9th. Love a walk off against the Dirty Birds.

  37. Indy Red Man

    Don’t kill me Seat, but I want Geno at SS, Senzel at 3B, and Dilson in LF! Or some combination of the 3 with Scooter. If Scooter (or his salary) can bring a #2 or #3 starter then so be it! I just don’t see it? When have we ever signed a good pitcher?

    • seat101

      I understand where you’re coming from. And if if if Suarez could come back to play shortstop as well as Peraza does I’d rather have Suarez’s bat.

      Then I would move Peraza to second base and Senzel to third.

      Definitely want Dilson and Scott in the outfield. I’ll let you pick the catcher and the centerfielder.

    • CI3J

      How about this:

      RF Schebler
      3B Senzel
      1B Votto
      SS Geno
      LF Winker
      2B Herrera
      C Barnhart
      CF Peraza

    • vegastypo

      The corollary to that question is what MLB pitcher would want to sign with the Reds. If the Reds can afford him, every other MLB team can, too.

  38. msanmoore

    Kind of a nice night for Geno all around.

  39. WVRedlegs

    Thom needs new shorts.
    All with 2 outs. Great hit by Herrera.

  40. Old-school

    The Reds got matheny fired…now they steal victory from the jaws of defeat on a no hitter night for the cards. Great W .

  41. vegastypo

    I thought it wasn’t in my DNA to feel any pity for anybody in a Cardinals uniform, but that’s cruel for their rookie pitcher. ……..

    Gee, Cardinals, maybe you could use one or two members of our bullpen ?????????

  42. Indy Red Man

    Reading the Cards blog a little bit just for laughs. Say what you want about them, but they know their baseball. I think this might be the best comment on Billy Hamilton that I’ve ever read:

    Billy Hamilton is one of those players I wouldn’t want on my team
    but I don’t want him on the other team either.

    by Lynnelot on Jul 23, 2018 | 7:49 PM reply

    • WVRedlegs

      That was a sweet non-catch he made to rob that HR. Good back up by Duvall and a quick throw. Suarez keeps the tag on the runner as he steps off of the 3rd base bag. Great all round team play.

  43. Scott C

    Nothing is sweeter than walking off against the dirty birds.

    • Indy Red Man

      I hate the Cubs much more then St. Louis. Their fans know the game. 75% of Cubs fan couldn’t tell you 5 players from 7 years ago. A bunch of posers

      • Scott C

        You living in Indianapolis, I can certainly understand that.

  44. earmbrister

    Who does that bring up?