You might recall the Reds sweeping a 4-game series from the Dodgers earlier this season. It kicked off the Era of Good Feels that lasted just long enough to undermine the Reds’ resolve to do what they needed to at the trade deadline. Raisel Iglesais had three saves in that series, the same number he’s had in the last month.

So you can imagine more than just competition for the second Wild Card slot was motivating the Dodgers tonight. But the Reds were the ones who dispensed payback, scoring three runs off arch-villain Ryan Madson. Madson was last seen intentionally hitting Joey Votto with a pitch for the Washington Nationals, costing the Reds first baseman more than a month of full effectiveness.

The Reds are 5-0 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and their $200 million payroll.

Cincinnati Reds 10 (62-83) • Los Angeles Dodgers 6 (78-66)

Box Score || Win % || Statcast Hitters Report || Statcast Pitchers Report

Cody Reed went four innings, allowing three runs. Reed gave up three walks and struck out five. He threw 83 pitches. While Reed wasn’t great, he’d have made it through at least one more inning if the defense had been better behind him. More on that in a minute. Jim Riggleman’s quick hook likely cost Reed a win tonight as the Reds scored two runs in the fourth inning for a 7-3 lead. That only matters because the likes of Thom Brennaman will continue to prattle on about Reed and pitcher wins.

Michael Lorenzen took over for Reed and pitched 2.1 innings. Lorenzen struck out three and walked one, pumping 97-mph fastballs. But he gave up a solo homer and got in trouble in the 7th. Riggleman then called on Wandy Peralta who allowed all three batters he faced to reach base. The Reds still use Peralta like he’s good, when he hasn’t been good since April 2017.

Peralta’s departure with the bases loaded set up a dramatic 11-pitch at bat by Yasiel Puig vs. Jared Hughes with one out in the 7th. Puig quickly got Hughes’ favorite sinker ball pitch timed up and continued to foul it down the third baseline, several times on hard hit balls that were just foul. Finally, Puig hit a rocket fair down the third baseline that luckily for the Reds was a leather-seeking missile tracking Eugenio Suarez’s glove. It resulted in a line-out double play.

Hughes retired the Dodgers in order in the 8th. Raisel Iglesias pitched a shutout 9th.

Joey Votto turned 35 today and his bat got the Reds on the board in the first inning. After a walk by Billy Hamilton and a single by Jose Peraza, Votto doubled off the literal top of the right-field wall, missing a third consecutive game with a home run by an inch or maybe two. Scooter Gennett followed with a single off the right field wall scoring Votto. After a single by Phillip Ervin, an error by Manny Machado plated Gennett, making the score 4-0.

Eugenio Suarez led off the bottom of the 3rd inning with his 32nd home run of the season. Suarez had 26 last year. His ISO (isolated power) is way up.

The Reds added a lucky run in the 4th. After Hamilton softly doubled down the left field line, Jose Peraza lined a single to left. With just one out, Reds third base coach Billy Hatcher waved Hamilton home where he would have been out by 15 feet with an average throw and catch. It took a throw way up the third baseline PLUS a dropped ball to avoid the out at the plate. Bad base coaching, there. Scooter Gennett later drove in the Reds seventh run with a single.

Scooter Gennett had a big night with four hits. Phil Ervin had a single, double and just missed a home run. Jose Peraza had two hits and couple stolen bases.

Joey Votto walked on his birthday. Of course he did.

Jose Peraza’s offense has been one of the bright spots for the organization. He had another two hits tonight, raising his batting line to .292/.332/.410. He still doesn’t walk enough, but Peraza’s hit tool has been excellent and power decent. But Peraza has surely flunked his test at defense this year. He committed another error tonight — he leads the NL in that category by quite a bit. This one was a routine double play ball that went between his legs in the first inning. Cody Reed miraculously worked out of the inning, but he had to throw 31 pitches to do it. Peraza makes too many fundamental mistakes in the field and it hurts the Reds. You can point to Peraza’s age and Eugenio Suarez as reasons to hope for improvement. Keep in mind the Reds had to move Suarez out of SS. 

Michael Lorenzen doubled in his only at bat. I hope the Reds are open-minded enough to give Lorenzen a serious look as a possible bridge in CF between this year and the next wave of minor leaguers due to arrive in a year or two. I’m encouraged about this because the Reds have always been good about not wasting great athletes in the bullpen. 

The Reds were facing a LH starting pitcher tonight. If you stack up all the team’s hitters this year based on run creation against left handed pitchers, the second best is Scott Schebler (wRC+ 136). The worst has been Billy Hamilton (wRC+ 63). So guess who led off and guess who sat the bench.

9 Responses

  1. I-71_Exile

    Scooter has raised hit hit total to 170. Still has a shot at 200!

    “…the Reds have always been good about not wasting great athletes in the bullpen.”

    That was some grade-A snark there. Well done. 🙂

    I was hoping one of the Reds hitters—particularly Votto—would send a screamer back up the middle when Madsen was pitching. Maybe cause a little incontinence.

  2. Indy Red Man

    Scooter 4-5!! Now hitting .329 in Aug-Sept. He smells that batting title!!!

    Pitching? If we EVER have anyone that looks good…just wait on their next few appearances. They will get shelled. Its automatic. Disco. Castillo. Harvey. Lorenzen. Sims. Reed. Whoever.

    Lorenzen tonite….1-2-3 with 2 Ks….throwing 98. Hits a double and sprints into 2nd base then you knew he would struggle the next inning. I think he just gets too jacked up?

    Castillo. Have him in my fantasy playoffs but no way I start him against LA and their 15 power hitting lefties. Someone suggested lefties Heaney or Skaggs from the Angels. They’re wasting Mike Trout’s greatness! They may make a deal if you throw enough young talent in their direction. They need to do something because continuing to count on the pitching in this organization to suddenly “blossom” is not going to cut it?

  3. Indy Red Man

    Crazy thing was I looked up the 2012 (or 2013?) Reds and they were like 6th in team ERA in this same park? Like you said…its crazy. No lead is safe…it seems worse then Coors now? 13-12 vs Milwaukee not long ago? I think pitchers would come here though…if the $ was right.

  4. Austin

    Hope Scooter can win the batting title. However, it’s interesting how emphasis on particular batting categories can impact narratives. If the “batting title” was the label given for the player with the best OBP, certainly considered a more important batting category than AVG by now, Votto would be on the way to his 3rd batting title in a row and 6th overall (not to mention one percentage point in 2015 and a one-month knee injury in 2012 away from 8 overall!). It would be nice to “officially” say that Votto is a 6x batting champion at the end of the year.

  5. Indy Red Man

    Rays have won 8 of 9 (15 games over .500) by starting relievers for an inning and trading anyone that makes more then a McDonalds manager. They’re doing something right and the Reds need to pay attention. The one guy they start in Stanek and he throws about 98-99. He just comes out like a closer and starts firing heat. I don’t know how the Reds could do it, but maybe start Hughes? If you’re facing a team like Atlanta with Freeman and Markakis then start Garrett? I feel like it does cover some holes and keeps the hitter from zeroing in a on pitcher in their 2nd-3rd atbat.

    • Corey

      I really like the idea of using an opener pitcher. On a similar note, I think baseball would benefit from losing some stats. If you remove the stat of ‘save’ I think managers would make different decisions. Or take out the stat of ‘sacrifice hit’ and maybe we wont bunt so much. I bet Robert Stevenson would benefit from removing ‘walks’.

  6. Jeff Reed

    Reds/Dodgers was a real rivalry in the BRM days but a lot of water has gone under the bridge. Cards/Cubs, yes, but my favorite to beat are the Nats.

  7. cfd3000

    Steve I will say you were young and just developing and needed some big league experience, but your sarcasm tool has really come along nicely this season and with your wSC+ at 164 this year (weighted sarcasm created) you’re a lock for a starting slot next year.

    Things I’m tired of:
    1. Peraza to CF talk. BHam is so bad at the plate that I know this would be an upgrade, but the Reds have no one else at SS and Peraza would still not be a good offensive CF.
    2. BHam leading off. BHam playing in favor of Schebler or Ervin. Enough.
    3. The quick hook. Reed made one real mistake – the home run ball – but showed a lot in the scoreless, five out first, and yet he gets yanked early as if wins matter right now. Let him pitch, and LEARN.
    4. Umpires still calling balls and strikes. It’s just too arbitrary. Last night it was Votto called out on ball four, but the list of bad calls is long and affecting all teams almost every night. The technology is plenty mature. Can we please resolve this once and for all?

  8. Jeff Reed

    Maybe the DH is coming soon to the NL.