The Short Version: Reds lose.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (56-74) 6 12 2
Chicago Cubs (75-53) 10 12 0
W: Quintana (11-9) L: Castillo (7-11)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Curt Casali doubled, homered, and drove in three runs. Preston Tucker hit a pinch-hit homer. Eugenio Suarez had two hits and scored two runs. Phillip Ervin singled, walked twice, and scored two runs.

–Scott Schebler singled on the first pitch of the game, in his return to the lineup.

–David Hernandez pitched a scoreless eighth.

The Bad
–Luis Castillo gave up five runs on five hits and a walk in 3.1 innings. His stuff often looks as electric as ever, but he just hasn’t been able to put it all together yet.

Yet. It’s going to happen.

–The bullpen, with the exception of Hernandez, was pretty much a disaster today. Amir Garrett gave up a run on two hits and a walk, and retired only three hitters. Sal Romano gave up another run on a hit and a walk in an inning and a third. And Wandy Peralta was horrific, surrendering three runs on four hits and two walks in an inning and a third.

–Schebler and Jose Peraza each committed errors.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Only 32 games to go, mercifully.

–The Reds will try to improve to 2-16 in games started by Homer Bailey tomorrow.

Today’s Tweets

40 Responses

  1. DougEfresh

    Really, so much angst over failing to trade Matt Harvey? You all admit he’s not that good. What could they have gotten for a half dozen starts from a #4/5 type who is averaging just over 5 innings per? And don’t give me the opportunity cost of more starts by Reed or Stephenson or Mahle or any of the other AAAA pitchers we’ve accumulated?

    Let it go, redlegnation. Trading Matt Harvey wasn’t going to make us any better. There are many, many other things going on in this organization to get your panties bunched about.

    • Bill

      I don’t think the issue is trading Harvey to make this team better, The issue is trading him to potentially make future teams better, which may or may not have happened with a trade. The real concerning part is the trade was potentially not made because the owner liked Harvey. It’s also reported that the reason Hamilton was not traded last year or this is because the owner likes him. Throw in the potential Gennett extension because the owner likes him. Decisions should be made based on improving the team not on a popularity contest by the owner. In the end Bob is the owner is allowed to do with the team as he pleases, but it isn’t in his or the teams best interest to run the team in that manner

      • Streamer88

        I actually agree with this 100%. I want them to sign Harvey but because it’s a good baseball decision IMHO. To find out that Williams and Karly potentially disagree with me, maybe they do or don’t, but their professional assessment will be overridden is truly depressing. Just because Bob and I have the same opinion isn’t even a consolation prize honestly. It’s not our opinion that matters.

        Very, very bad.

    • Jeff Reed

      Is keeping Matt Harvey and Homer Bailey on the starting staff making the Reds better when young pitchers need to start games as this rebuild, losing season winds down?

  2. roger garrett

    The good thing right now is that Casali,Ervin,Herrera,Williams,Tucker and others right now are getting to play.Even though it was cookie time in the 8th down by 8 runs,Casali and Tucker both went deep and Ervin had a good game as well.Can any of these hold down a job next year while we identify others that are better that could bring us some starting pitching help.Should anybody be untradeable to on this team not named Suarez?You can’t keep acquiring prospects or stock piling players.You must trade from a surplus to fill needs.Get creative.What would a package of say Scooter and Iggy get you?Heck throw in Billy if you want too.We have guys that are younger and cheaper that may do just as well.If it takes losing 100 I am all for it if we let some guys play that may help us get what we need.

  3. davy13

    The owner can meddle in his own team any time and any manner he wants. It is the entitlement of being the owner. However, he also wants people to spend their hard-earned money, time, and energy to support his team. When the people stop paying for game tix, concessions, parking, merchandise, live-streaming the games, and stop watching or listening to games resulting in a drastic decline in ratings, then he’ll realize that meddling with his team’s management is not only detrimental, but actually unprofitable.

    • Klugo

      He’s backing the fanbase into a corner in which the only recourse is a heavy one. Boycott.

    • Hotto4Votto

      He bought the team and he can act as incompetent as he wants. It’s his money. I hear that a lot. And I guess it’s true to an extent. But it’s also the fan’s team. It’s the fans that pay their money at the stadium, at overpriced concessions, for jerseys, for tv viewing, etc. It’s the fans support that will keep this whole thing afloat. Fans have a right to be vocally upset when they see the owner getting in the way of baseball operations or putting winning baseball back on the field.

      For my part I have stopped paying to go to games. I hope others who feel similarly will follow suit. Our money is our vote in what happens to the Reds. If you’re frustrated with the way the owner is running this franchise into the ground then vote with your hard earned money and spend it elsewhere.

  4. bouwills

    “Positive momentum”, “winning culture”- such are lies & promises. The Reds are making solid progress lately though, they’ve slipped beneath the Rangers & Mets. They are currently 7th in the 2019 drafting order. Detroit & Miami are only a couple games worse than the Reds. That #5 pick next year is the most the Reds can accomplish this season. Ask Harvey to either sign a contract now, or take up middle relief in the bullpen for the next 5 weeks. It’s business. Time to swoon.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Agreed, just like the last couple seasons, the best thing the Reds can do now is lose a bunch of games and improve their draft position. Momentum through the offseason is a fallacy. Let the young guys get experience, take your lumps, and improve your chances on drafting a difference maker.

  5. Klugo

    I’m not totally opposed to trying to sign Harvey to a team friendly contract. I just wish it would’ve been after we got something for him in a trade.

  6. jeffery stroupe

    What about the double over Scheblers head? Looked like he was gun shy with the wall. When he turned to play it off the wall he could just as easly turned around and caught it chest high. Does not matter in the least though, just found that kinda odd.

    • lwblogger2

      Wrigley field is one place where I’m totally fine with a guy being wall shy. That’s a brick wall with no real padding.

  7. Jim Walker

    Luis Castillo simply isn’t growing as an MLB pitcher. He busts through on stuff a goodly part of the time; and, this may make him a middle to back of the rotation filler. However, he is not exhibiting any signs of the growth required to become a mainstay top or near top of the rotation guy, The Reds need to figure his lack of development this season into their off season pitching acquisition plans.

    • Jim Walker

      An emerging issue for Reds fans is that the guy(s) who are going to have to be traded to acquire front line starting pitching have name(s) which are familiar, comfortable and seen by many as probable members of the next good Reds team. This has been made even more likely by the injury and health issues of attractive top prospects like Nick Senzel and Hunter Greene.

      So whether it is Schebler, Winker, Scooter or even Barnhart that might end up being traded, be glad that the likes of Ervin, Senzel and Casali appear to be in the wings and (hopefully) capable of stepping up.

    • mikekelsch

      I’ve been hoping for Castillo to turn it around all season . Jim, I am sad to say you are on to something. Maybe he’s a closer type at best.

    • greenmtred

      I agree, Jim, that Castillo’s step-forward-step back season is frustrating. I do believe, however, that it’s too early to give up on him (I realize that you said “may”). He wouldn’t be the first young pitcher with great stuff to take a good while to learn that the stuff alone won’t cut it in MLB, and that he has to learn to pitch.

      • lwblogger2

        To me, it seems it’s just a matter of command and being a little too predictable as far as pitch selection. These are things that I think he can fix. I don’t see a #1 but I see a guy who is likely at #3 and could potentially be a #2.

    • Hotto4Votto

      And even though he’s been up and down, inconsistent in his sophomore season, he still has the best xFIP of the starters by a good margin, and the only xFIP under 4.00 at 3.88 on the season.

  8. DavidTurner49

    I will be at the game tomorrow. i just saw Homer is pitching. Yikes!

      • DavidTurner49

        I was hoping to see Stephenson or Reed.

      • Jim Walker

        Possible future versus ghost of past. Look at this way, you will be seeing a guy who has pitched 2 MLB no hitters. That’s not an everyday accomplishment .

      • DavidTurner49

        Got it. Glass is half full. Who knows, maybe Homer will return to his nono form for a few innings.

  9. Scott Gennett

    So, why the organization is spending money in a Director of Baseball Operations and in a General Manager salaries if the very same owner keeps making roster decision? Sadly, it won’t get any better as long as it goes on.

  10. Jreis

    Ervin didn’t look that comfortable in center. I know people hate Billy but the only other guy I like in center in the whole organization is Siri. I think we are stuck with Billy for another year

    • Jim Walker

      haven’t checked but this was probably Ervin’s first time playing CF Wrigley. It is not a “standard” OF. Hopefully we will see more of him out there.

      • lwblogger2

        Agreed and yes, very tough CF in Wrigley.

    • CI3J

      Unless they try Peraza out there and see if he can make the SS -> CF move like Billy did. I’m not sure I want Peraza as the “SS of the Future”. I’d just as soon put Suarez back there to open up 3B for Senzel, then let Scooter and Herrera platoon at 2B.

      But of course, it all comes back to the original move: Can Peraza handle CF? I wish the Reds would try to find out.

      • Jack

        Peraza does make some bad plays at SS. But he is only 24. Maybe you are right and maybe you are wrong but everybody on here criticized Suarez for his lack of play at Short when he started there. Now they want him back? They loved his defense at 3rd last year and now this year they criticize his lack of defense . One thing with Reds fans is they have no patience. Myself included. I remember when Votto came up and was making error after error at first. People hated him and said stick him in left, he will never make it at first. I know Reds organization makes terrible moves but let’s leave him there for another year and it will sort itself out.

      • greenmtred

        I’ve been thinking about Peraza in center, too. He continues to make head-scratching mistakes at short, despite showing some improvement. Suarez to short is where I get off the bandwagon, though: His defense has slipped badly. He’s too good a hitter to not play every day, but maybe second, outfield and some time at first to rest Joey would work. Who plays short? I’m neither Abbot nor Costello, so I don’t know. I don’t know is the shortstop of the future.

      • lwblogger2

        I Don’t Know is going to be making the move from 3B then.

  11. Jreis

    I don’t know. We have to trust our young minor league talent at some point. People are always saying let’s try scooter, Peraza , Senzel in the outfield when that isn’t their natural position. We have some good outfield talent coming up here in the next couple of years. I say just wait until they arrive and keep Billy in center until then. At least you know you will have good defense out there

    • CI3J

      I guess it all comes down to when you think the team can compete. The way I see it, Peraza’s defense at SS is adequate at best, but he definitely lacks any “flair” for the position. One of Peraza’s biggest tools is his speed, which means he should be able to cover close to the same amount of ground that Billy covers in CF. My only real questions about Peraza in CF is if he can read the ball coming off the bat, and how good his arm is.

      CF is an offensive black hole for this team. Peraza has at least shown he can hit, and he’s not setting the world on fire at SS, so why not see if you can kill two birds with one stone and let Peraza take over in CF? As to when the other OF prospects are ready, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. If nothing else, this team is going nowhere fast, so it doesn’t hurt to try, right?

    • Hotto4Votto

      I agree we need to trust our minor league talent and give them real opportunities to show what they can do. By real opportunities I mean at least 2-3 months of regular starts. That especially includes our young pitching, Stephenson, Reed, Sims, etc.

      What is Peraza’s natural position? When the Reds brought him over he’d been primarily playing 2B and the Reds themselves claimed him to be the 2B of the future. When he was given his first opportunity at claiming a starting job it was at 2B. He’s posted negative DRS at SS in all three years he’s been with the Reds. There certainly have been a lot of miscues between he and Scooter when it comes to covering 2B, and the announcers have made mention in the past about how he sets up unusually as a cut off man. Maybe trying him in CF (where his DRS numbers haven’t been as bad in a smaller sample size) is a worth exploring. I think we can safely say that he has the speed to play out there and will be a better hitter than Hamilton.

      Let’s not forget that CF is not Hamilton’s natural position either. He came up a SS (back when we had a surplus of SS’s in Didi, Cozart, and Billy).

  12. docproctor

    Peraza is not a fundamentally sound shortstop. He routinely messes up routine plays. He slides feet first instead of diving head first at balls up the middle, he throws off the wrong foot at times, he backhands balls he should get in front of, he airmails throws because he doesn’t stop and plant, he doesn’t locate well as a cutoff man, and of course he sometimes forgets to cover second base on stolen bases. I know he’s young and learning, but it looks like he hasn’t been coached well through the years (or maybe SS isn’t his best position).

    I’d like to see him given a shot in CF if we can ever get free from Billy.

    • Jim Walker

      Phillip Ervin has played a fair amount of CF coming up through the minors. For the season counting a dismal April he OPSing .832 (.360+ OBP) with a 122 wRC+. Since he was called back up 5 weeks ago, his OPS is a bit better than .950 (.380+ OBP) with a 150 wRC+. He turned 26 years old just over a month ago. He runs well enough to steal bases, go 1st to 3rd on a lot of singles and doesn’t routinely require 2 hits to score from 2nd base.

      Why try to reinvent the wheel versus just putting him in CF for most of the remaining 30 or so games this year and see what happens.

      • lwblogger2

        I’d like to see that but it won’t happen as Hamilton is the team’s CF.