The Short Version: Cincinnati rides a seven-run third inning and a strong start from Luis Castillo to a sweep of the San Francisco Giants at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
San Francisco Giants (61-64) 4 8 1
Cincinnati Reds (55-69) 11 17 2
W: Castillo (7-10) L: Suarez (4-9)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Luis Castillo was superb today, tossing 6.2 innings and allowing one earned run on six hits. He struck out nine and didn’t walk a batter. Every pitch was working for Castillo today, and he was much more similar to the guy we expected to see all year long. The kid’s future is bright.

–The offense was fantastic, pounding out 17 hits, including 9 hits of the extra-base variety. Let’s run down the outstanding performances, from top of the lineup to the bottom:

Billy Hamilton reached base three times — two triples and a walk — and drove in three runs.

Jose Peraza was 3 for 5, including his 8th home run; he scored two runs and drove in two more.

Scooter Gennett singled and tripled, scored a run and drove in two.

Eugenio Suarez doubled and homered, scoring one and driving in two; that’s a career-high 27 homers for Geno.

Phillip Ervin singled, doubled, and scored a run.

Curt Casali was 3 for 4 with a double, two runs scored, and two RBI. Casali had two hits and two RBI in the third inning alone.

Brandon Dixon doubled and scored in his only at-bat.

–Wandy Peralta pitched a perfect inning.

The Bad
–Tucker Barnhart and Peraza each committed errors. Dilson Herrera wasn’t charged with an error, but he badly misplayed a ball in left field. We’ll forgive them, especially Herrera, since he was playing a position that the Reds had never thought to prepare him for (in the minor leagues).

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Nice sweep for the Reds, after a pretty poor performance against Cleveland in their last series. It’s the second consecutive year that the Reds have swept San Francisco in the Queen City.

–Reds pitching only allowed six runs in the series. Not to be outdone, the offense outscored the Giants 18-5 over the last two days.

–The Reds had three triples, which you don’t see that often. (Though Cincinnati accomplished the trick last year.)

–Nine different Reds scored at least one run today. That’ll do.

–Curt Casali’s numbers this year: .333/.422/.526. That’s just outstanding, and kudos to Reds management for finding this guy and acquiring him when the Reds needed a backup catcher.

–Cincinnati was down 1-0 as they hit in the third. By the time three outs were recorded, the game was essentially over.

Herrera singled to left to open the frame and he scored when Casali doubled. Luis Castillo attempted to lay down a sac bunt and popped it up, but the Giants fumbled the ball and the Reds ended up with runners on the corners with no outs. Casali scored on a sac fly to give the Reds a 2-1 lead.

But that wasn’t all, not by a long shot. Peraza singled and Gennett tripled to the corner, scoring two more runs. Suarez followed with a 419-foot home run to center field to make the game 6-1. Immediately, the Reds began rallying again, with Ervin drawing a walk and Barnhart singling. Casali then singled Ervin home, his second hit and second RBI of the inning.

When the dust settled, it was 7-1.

–Things stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth. Hamilton tripled with one out and scored on Peraza’s blast, a 426-foot homer to left-center.

–The Giants scratched two runs across in the top of the seventh, but the Reds grabbed those runs back in the bottom half. Casali singled with one out and Dixon hit a ground-rule double. Hamilton then tripled again, scoring both runners.

–The Reds will head to Milwaukee next, where Homer Bailey will seek to improve upon his 1-10 record.

27 Responses

  1. Redsfan48

    You can also excuse Tucker Barnhart’s error because his glove literally broke catching the ball.

  2. roger garrett

    Castillo’s stats are comparable to Cueto’s in the first full year for both.Cueto had era of 4.81 and Luis sets at 4.86 while his whip is 1.30 compared to 1.40 for Johnny.Luis is getting there it just takes experience to become consistent.Free the young guys and let them pitch.

    • David

      Cueto was 22 when me made his ML debut. And you could see he had a great amount of talent when he appeared. When he was 26, he won 19 games and was contending for a Cy Young.
      Castillo is 25 now, but he still has great potential.
      For a stretch in the game, he was in a great groove. The challenge for young pitchers is not to lose that “groove” of mechanics, release point, etc. It’s a lot harder than it looks.

  3. Davy13

    Castillo’s performance reinforces why I’ve been bullish about him because he has pitched well overall since May 1. He has not been shelled even in his losses. Is there a little method to the FO’s madness? Could they have gambled on resigning Harvey? If he continues to pitch as consistently as he is and the Reds sign him, then the team has a rotation of Disco, Castillo, Harvey, Homer. All then the FO has to do is sign a choice veteran SP (#3 perhaps) to solidify the rotation, or just let Mahle, Romano, Santillan, etc battle it out for #5 in September & spring training.

    Has Peraza’s offensive output cemented his position at SS for the present and future? It seems like. His age (24) tells me that’s he still room to better.

    Biggest offseason needs: CF, SP; what to do with Scooter. My question is, could he be converted to the outfield or is he even worth it as some on RLN have proposed?

    • jazzmanbbfan

      If there are still too many questions about his defense at SS, he’s certainly fast enough to play CF if he could get enough reps out there to learn to judge the ball coming off the bat.

      • Davy13

        True. That’s what the FO is being paid to figure out.

  4. Philip L Brody

    How about Disco, Castillo, Harvey, Lorenzen and we’ll see who earns the 5th spot between Homer, Mahle, Reed, Stephensen Sims and Santillian

  5. jazzmanbbfan

    If he can jack a 424 foot HR to left center field, then I also believe somewhere in there is a guy who can at least be a doubles machine with 15-20 HR. On a different note, he’s really been working on his English, answered all of the questions post-game in English, just used the interpreter to make sure he understood the question.

  6. REDLEGS64

    It’s amazing how streaky teams can be. The Giants flailed at an outstanding fastball/change-up combo today. And they really struggled at the plate all series! Credit to the Red’s pitching staff.

    The Indians were ready to play this series – and we got their best pitching this time around.

    Let’s see what we can do on the road vs two contenders. With Bailey, Romano & Stephenson starting vs Milly-waukay, we’re gonna need to score some runs. Against the Cubbies, we’ll come back around to Disco, Harvey, Castillo. It’s gonna be fun baseball this week.

    I sure hope we can climb that ladder to .500 ball – just need to go 26-12 from here on out.

    • David

      The Indians are a lot better team than the Giants. The Giants are barely contenders at this point…for the second Wild Card spot. The Indians will win their division going away. They have two of the best starting pitchers in baseball, and the Reds got Kluber on this turn.

      • Rich H

        David I pretty much agree with you, but I feel like it’s fair to point out the Reds probably win the AL Central, lol. The deadline moves have made the Indians legitimate postseason contenders, but the Reds worked ’em pretty well back when they were just good. Food for thought.

  7. Mike Adams

    Hey Chad:

    “The Reds will head to Milwaukee next, where Homer Bailey will seek to improve upon his 1-10 record.”

    It is a shame that to DOUBLE his wins for the year all he has to do is win a game.

    • Chad Dotson

      Yes, that’s a shame, no doubt. Ugly.

  8. David

    Peraza hit his ninth home run today. Yesterday he hit his 8th home run.

    Shortstop and catcher are probably the two hardest positions to field on a day to day basis.

    Casili seems to be a good hitter, but really probably a substandard defensive catcher. He had more that a few passed balls the last few days of catching.

    Peraza is still improving and working at Short Stop. Zach Cozart was 25 years old when he made his ML debut with the Reds.
    Concepcion was 21 years old, but struggled off and on for three years. At times brilliant, and then Larry Bowa called him “Elmer” because there were “E’s” by his name in the box score.
    Barry Larkin was 22 when he made his ML debut, and although he was RoY, he did struggle some at the plate the first two years.

    • Chad Dotson

      1. That was Jose Peraza’s 8th home run today. He hit his 7th yesterday.

      2. Curt Casali’s passed ball today was his first of the season.

      3. Barry Larkin did not win the Rookie of the Year award.

      • David

        Well, I really did my best to muddy the water here 😉

        Seriously, I thought I heard them say on the broadcast on Sunday that this was Peraza’s 9th home run. Bad ears.
        Looking on Barry Larkins stat page, I think I mistook the VOTES for RoY for his winning RoY. My bad, really bad.

        But having watched Casali catch, although he might only have ONE passed ball, he has had a lot of trouble with low pitches in the zone, in the dirt. Just my simple observation.

        And so, off I go, spreading more disinformation whenever possible.

    • David

      Bowa was pretty slick. I don’t think he had Concepcion’s range, but he was a pretty good shortstop in his prime. He won the Golden Glove for SS in 1972 and 1978.
      Larry was and is a bit of an a**h*le, and liked to needle everybody, including Concepcion.

  9. Rich H

    My understanding is that waiver status is usually only public knowledge after a player clears waivers, or is traded/signed by a new team.

  10. Dave Roemerman

    I think you’re definitely optimistic but there is good reason for that. Even if you’re a bit high on the projections (I’m not so sure you are – they’re certainly reasonable), you’re looking at a pretty good SS. I think we’re all happy to see it. At this point, we won the Frazier trade (Dixon and Schebler, too) going away!

  11. Brandon R

    Has anyone seen any kind of comparison between pitcher’s ERA when Casali catches vs. Barnhart? I’ve always believed that’s an immensely underrated part of the game; Casali catches a great game like Hannigan used too, seems like he has the story-arc of the at bat planned well in advance.

    Barnhart’s a fantastic defensive catcher, but I’ve wondered if part of our pitching fiascos the past two years have been due to the catcher’s call strategy as much as pitcher; I’d be curious to see the statistics…Chad?

    Btw, this is my first comment here, but I’ve read this blog after every game for three years. Listen to the podcast too, thanks for what you guys do!!

  12. bouwills

    I wonder how long it’s been since the Reds only allowed 3 ER in a complete (not rain-shortened) 3 game series. That was fun.

  13. Jbrat22

    Purely hypothetical, but if the Reds have any plans to play Senzel at SS, I wonder if Peraza has enough trade value on the market to be a centerpiece in a deal for a SP?

    Many have mentioned trading for a stud SP with Senzel as centerpiece (which I wouldn’t do), but has Jose built up enough respect around the league as a SS to start a discussion with another club?

  14. Jbrat22

    I’d like to see Mahle and Sims get a long look at the rotation next year in place of Homer with a traditional 5-man rotation. Remember, Disco and Harvey have had significant injury issues and shouldn’t be overworked. Neither has pitched a full year in a while.

    I only want Harvey in the rotation next year if they can sign him for less than $8 million per year. Too many question marks to be spending big money on him

  15. lost11found

    The Reds did it with Hamilton in the low minors since his D at short was so poor, but Dilson has only been healthy enough this year to even consider it. Better choices of players to use in leveling this critique of the FO. At least they are using the opportunity now with Duval traded and Schebler/Winker on the DL.

    Its also a bit on the players to go into the the managers office in the minors and speak up for PT. The Todfather was famous in the minors for playing anywhere/anytime. It may have hurt him a little but he was prepared when that day came.

    Get the idea into your managers head and see what happens, worse thing they can say is ‘no’.