The Short Version: Well, that game was ridiculous. In a back and forth affair, the Brew Crew edged out the Redlegs in a slugfest that resembled a beer league softball game.

Final — 10 innings R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (74-60) 13 22 0
Cincinnati Reds (57-76) 12 14 1
W: Jeffress (7-1) L: Iglesias (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Michael Lorenzen hit a three-run homer. This will never get old.

–Billy Hamilton had four hits — including a home run that went over the outfield fence! He also scored three runs and had two brilliant defensive plays. These are the nights that caused me to name Hamilton as my favorite player.

–Tucker Barnhart reached base four times — a double, a homer, two walks — with three runs scored and an RBI. Curt Casali had three hits, scored a run and drove in another. Scooter Gennett singled and doubled, scored one and drove in two. Eugenio Suarez hit his 30th homer of this magical season.

–Brandon Dixon absolutely crushed a homer off the batter’s eye in center field in the bottom of the 10th.

–Sal Romano looked awfully effective in an inning of relief, and you have to wonder whether his stuff will play better out of the bullpen.

–Jared Hughes pitched a scoreless inning.

The Bad
INTERIM MANAGER JIM RIGGLEMAN MUST STOP BUNTING

–Reds pitching gave up 13 runs and 22 hits tonight.

–Matt Harvey, who was definitely not traded, allowed five runs on 11 hits in four innings. He did strike out six without walking a batter, I guess.

–Lorenzen’s bat made it into the “Good” section above, but his arm…well, not so much. Lorenzen allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits and recorded only three outs.

–David Hernandez gave up three runs on four hits in one inning.

–Hamilton was injured on a slide — spiked by the catcher, perhaps — when scoring the tying run in the bottom of the eighth. He was forced to leave the game.

–Christian Yelich, who the Reds did not acquire in the off-season despite the fact that I was screaming for that trade, had six hits and hit for the cycle tonight. For the Milwaukee Brewers. Definitely not for the Cincinnati Reds.

–Raisel Iglesias pitched a scoreless ninth, but gave up a leadoff homer in the top of the tenth to surrender the lead. Then Jackson Stephens gave up another run on two hits in his inning of work.

–Joey Votto didn’t play. Again.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Frustrating? Sure. But that was a really fun baseball game.

–If you had told me before the season that Curt Casali would hit .323/.398/.515 as the Reds’ backup catcher, I’d have said “Who is Curt Casali?”

–Interim manager Jim Riggleman is an awful manager, and those of you who want him to get the full-time job next season…well, I love you, but you are completely insane. Not to put too fine a point on it.

–Harvey gave up two runs in the top of the first, but Billy Hamilton hit a leadoff homer in the bottom half (if you can believe it) to get one run back. The Reds tied it up in the second when Barnhart doubled and Casali drove him home.

Two innings later, Barnhart homered (his ninth of the season) to give the Reds a short-lived lead.

–By the bottom of the fifth, Milwaukee led 5-3. The inning began with a Dilson Herrera walk and a Hamilton single. One out later, Scooter doubled them home to tie the game. Then Suarez promptly hit a two-run bomb to put the Redlegs ahead 7-5.

–But the game was far from over. The Brewers scored one in the top of the sixth, then Barnhart led off the bottom half with a walk, followed by a Casali single. Then interim manager Jim Riggleman did what interim manager Jim Riggleman LOVES to do: he ordered Michael Lorenzen to bunt. Then ordered him to bunt again. Then, with an 0-2 count, Riggleman…yep, you guessed it. He squared, but the pitch was high and tight and Lorenzen dove out of the way, with the pitch fouling off his bat.

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell argued that it should be strike three, since Lorenzen squared to bunt. That’s not actually the rule — Lorenzen would have had to offer at the pitch — so the umps correctly ruled that it was just a foul ball. Counsell was upset, but Lorenzen was still alive.

And he drilled a three-run homer on the very next pitch. Reds 10, Brewers 6.

–Next thing you know, the Reds were down 11-10. But in the bottom of the eighth, Cincinnati tied it up. With one out, Hamilton reached on an infield single. He moved to second when Jose Peraza was hit by a pitch and advanced to third when Gennett grounded into a fielder’s choice. Billy scored on a wild pitch, after first being called out. Replay confirmed that his hand touched the plate, and the game was tied. For a little while.

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30 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    Reds Pitching Staff – 2017

    Worst in WAR (3.7)
    Worst in HRs allowed per 9 IP (1.56)
    16th in Ks per 9 (8.18)

    Reds Pitching Staff – 2018

    28th in WAR (3.8)
    Worst in HRs allowed per 9 IP (1.45)
    25th in Ks per 9 (7.68)

    All of the 2018 stats were entering tonight.
    Based on tonight and 29 more to go, anyone expect major improvement by season’s end?

    Forget adding Yelich…you could put the Cubs offense (top 1 or 2 in MLB) with this pitching and they would miss the playoffs.

    But, sure…have the Reds give multi-year contracts this winter to DeSclafani and Harvey. And, remember, Bailey will get his turn in the rotation next year, as well.

    • lost11found

      I believe that while Chad D supported obtaining Yelich (echoed by myself and others), he wasn’t sure if he would have parted with similar talent from the Reds’ system to get him (also echoed by me and others). Correct me if I’m in error Chad (going off memory, a dangerous thing).

      The O wasn’t the problem last night or tonight. Two of the better bullpen arms gave up six runs in 2 innings to lose this one. Simple as that.

      • Chad Dotson

        You’re right. But I really wanted that guy.

  2. Sliotar

    When Lorenzen hit his HR, the Brewers had a 5% chance of winning.

    Memorable game.

  3. davy13

    Boy, I’m so glad that the Reds that did not pick up Yelich’s bat for its CF, especially his 6 for 6 incl. the cycle & +900 OPS, because it would have detracted from the team’s winning culture and bogged down their positive momentum. The team dodged a major one. He’s Milwaukee problem.

    Yes, I am still crying over spilled milk and playing in the my head, Streisand’s “The Way We Were.”

    Memories may be beautiful and yet
    What’s too painful to remember
    We simply choose to forget
    So it’s the laughter we will remember
    Whenever we remember
    The way we were
    The way we were

    • BigRedMike

      The Yelich cannot pitch is a strange argument. If the Reds could make a move to improve the team with a cost controlled player, seems to be a smart idea.

      Reds fans want the Reds to spend almost $20 million on Hamilton and Gennett next season, last I checked, they do not pitch. Cheap replacements exist for both which would free up funds to get pitching.

  4. Corey

    Is there a way to see how many bunts a team does in a season? There might be a record Jim is going for.

  5. sezwhom

    100% agreement on everything you said about Riggleman. Mr. Bunt Happy. Drives me NUTS! He’ll never learn. Don’t want him back.

  6. Jeff Reed

    The Reds once young pitching prospects have now had years of seasoning and have fallen into baseball middle age.

  7. Jeff Reed

    Loved the Recap, Chad. Best of the year so far.

    • Scott Benhase

      We would’ve won 15-13 if the Brewers hadn’t blocked our late 4th quarter field goal!

  8. Jack

    If only Billy could hit the flairs like Peraza. Maybe Peraza can show him how to hit softly. If Billy could do that the offense would be something else and would win 13-12 every night behind this crap rotation.

  9. Bmblue

    Good thing the reds didn’t trade Hernandez and Hughes when they pitching at their career peaks right at the trade deadline. You have to give them credit for the Geno and disco and Casali deals but they can’t make the ones that seems so simple and that’s what holds them back. It’s a lack of fortitude.

    • bouwills

      You do remember they did trade Dylan Floro (who’s having as good a year as Hernandez/Hughes this season) to the Dodgers in early July,right? Reds sent Floro & Dean for James Marinan & A. Zabala. I had also hoped the Reds could get a good prospect or 2 for one of Hughes /Hernandez but it appears no worthy return was offered for either of them. It’s more a lack of equitable trading partner.

  10. bouwills

    No mention of it on the game thread or on this posting either, but Cain’s 7th inning double was catchable by Ervin. Yellich followed with a triple to right centerfield that should have been a double. Without Hamilton, the Reds will just have lousy outfield defense.

    • bouwills

      Hey Steve, Hamilton was injured last night. The Reds probably won’t trade for a cf today. So if Billy goes on the DL & unless they bring up Siri (who’s on the 40 man); this team will finish this season with lousy outfield defense.

      • lost11found

        I’d give Siri a look in September. The service time impact would be minimal, the only thing is would it burn an option year?

      • bouwills

        No, I don’t think September callups use an option. Unless of course they bring Siri up, & then option him back to Pensacola for the possible playoffs. The, I’m not sure.

    • Scott C

      If Ervin had caught Cain’s double it would have been a great catch. And yes Yelich’s triple should have been a double but that is due as much to Yelich’s hustle out of the box as it was to poor OF defense. (Schebler doesn’t have much of an arm)

  11. big5ed

    That was actually a pretty fun game to watch last night, which is hard to pull off for a team way out of contention.

    You knew it was going to be an odd duck of a game when Hamilton led off with a homer.

    I’m rooting for the Brewers to miss the playoffs, so the good news is that their staff has given up 21 runs in 2 games to a Reds lineup that is missing 2 of its best 3 hitters. It’s going to be hard for the Brewers to hold on with a southbound pitching staff. Gotta like seeing Hader the Hater roughed up (at last), too.

  12. big5ed

    Well, the Brewers’s staff wasn’t doing any better. I saw a 17-12 game in Fenway Park (George Brett’s KC Royals) like that once. Beer league softball. I wouldn’t want to see it every night, but it was entertaining.

    We needed Rick Camp to hit a game-tying home run, if you remember that game from about 30 years ago.

  13. Scott C

    Last night’s game was a great example of the failings of the Reds front office and management. From the failure to obtain Yelich, for all the reasons already given. To the inability to trade Harvey (How’s that looking?) To not sorting out starting pitching, to the love of the bunt. Let’s thank the Brewer’s pitcher for not being able to throw a strike to Lorenzen. The only failing that didn’t show up last night was Castellini’s love of Billy Hamilton. Billy had a great game and is exciting when he plays well. The problem is he is not that enough. He has struck out 112 times this year, that is over 25% of his AB’s. Even after last night his OBP is just above 300 (305 I think) And as much as I like Schebler, I don’t think that he needs to be considered as a permanent solution for RF, however as much as the Reds FO overvalues its assets I do not see him going anywhere.

  14. big5ed

    Assuming the Reds don’t sign Sidd Finch this off-season, I hope that they experiment with the “opener” concept. Lorenzen would seem to be ideally suited for it, especially on the road. If he could pitch 2 innings in road games, and sometimes just one, he would always get an AB even if he was hitting 9th. (This would work even better if they can find him 100 ABs in winter ball somehow.)

    And if they are not going to DFA Bailey, then they could try him as an opener, which would eliminate his argument that he needs a long time to warm up. Then yank him at the first sign of trouble, which I grant you could be 2-on & no-out in the 1st.

    They ought to start doing it now, not wait for next year. I will concede that it doesn’t seem like Riggleman’s style.

    • BigRedMike

      I believe on Quick Pitch they noted that Tampa has the best ERA in the AL since they changed their approach. Snell has been amazing as well.

      Not sure the Reds would try new things, they have a manager that wants to bunt whenever possible.

  15. RedInIND

    Fun? Absolutely not from the Reds pitching aspect.

  16. another bob from nc

    Was the video a subliminal message that Mr. Burns should buy the team?

  17. KDJ

    Agree. Hasn’t it been 3-5 years we have been talking about the young pitchers figuring it out, developing, growing, maturing, adding another pitch, working out their control issues, getting accustomed to MLB, settling in, adjusting mechanics, and working on arm angles?