Sigh. The first 9 games haven’t gone like anyone in Redleg Nation hoped. There are 153 left. Bring on the Marlins.

9/162 | Reds 5 – Pirates 7 | Box Score | Win Probability

Statcast: Reds Batters | Reds Pitchers | Exit Velocity | Pitch Velocity

Run Prevention

Anthony DeSclafani’s day started off poorly and didn’t improve. Pirate leadoff hitter Adam Frazier crushed DeSclafani’s first pitch 423 feet to right field.  In the bottom of the 4th, Josh Bell smashed a DeSclafani fastball 474 feet over the center field batter’s eye. The Reds starter gave up 6 earned runs on 8 hits and a walk. He struck out 7 in 4.1 innings. He left with two runners on base, both scored.

David Hernandez entered the game for DeSclafani with the score 5-3, runners at second and third and one out. He gave up a double, single and double, allowing the Pirates to expand their lead to 7-3. (More on the bullpen in a minute.)

Robert Stephenson added to his strong start to the 2019 season with a clean 1.1 IP, including 2 strikeout.

Run Production

The Reds hit a few long balls themselves. The Shot Heard Round the ‘Burgh, was Derek Dietrich blasting a Chris Archer 2-seam fastball 436 feet to right center field and into the Allegheny River behind the stadium. At the present speed of the river’s current, the ball should arrive in Cincinnati courtesy of the Ohio River sometime during the evening of Sunday, April 28, when the Reds are playing the Cardinals in St. Louis.

Dietrich’s homer knocked in Eugenio Suarez, who had walked. The Reds led 2-1.

Scott Schebler followed with a 403-feet homer off an Archer slider to straightaway right field in the top of the 3rd. His long ball tied the score 3-3.

Dietrich hit a 418-foot homer in the 8th. Matt Kemp, who had singled, scored on it.

The Fight

It’s a plain fact that Derek Dietrich stood and admired his long home run in the 2nd inning. As you can see in the photo, this did not escape the attention of Pirates pitcher Chris Archer.

Dietrich was not the only Reds player to call attention to Dietrich’s round-tripper.

When Dietrich return to the batter’s box in the 4th, Chris Archer threw a 93-mph fastball behind Dietrich. A split-second after home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg warned Archer and both benches, Reds manager David Bell was on the infield in Kellogg’s face. Yasiel Puig was not far behind. After ten minutes of pushing and shoving, Bell, Puig and Amir Garrett had been tossed, along with two Pirates relievers.

Yasiel Puig did not go quietly.

About the Bullpen

Last year, the Reds signed Jared Hughes and David Hernandez, two 32-year-old relievers, to 2-year contracts. The vast majority of relief pitchers — let alone ones who have been released by their previous teams — are highly erratic from year-to-year. The Reds hit the jackpot in Year One with both Hughes (1.94 ERA, 3.39 xFIP) and Hernandez (2.53 ERA, 4.12 xFIP). Planning for the same results this year was always a fool’s errand. The Reds reinforced that gamble by signing 35-year-old Zach Duke this offseason.

Those three are off to a lousy start in 2019. Duke (11.57 ERA, 6.92 xFIP), Hernandez (7.36 ERA, 8.20 xFIP) and Hughes (4.91 ERA, 4.99 xFIP) have provided anything but relief. The sample size is too tiny to draw any conclusions, especially from those rate stats. But the three have faced a combined 50 batters and recorded just two strikeouts. They’ve walked seven batters. Not good.

And we haven’t even mentioned Wandy Peralta – 14 batters faced, one strikeout, two walks.


The Reds front office was busy during the game. Doug Gray wrote a little bit about Rob Refsnyder at earlier today.

Nick is the One on the Left

Redleg Nation writer Nick Kirby got his picture snapped today with Reds reliever/center fielder/pinch runner/pinch hitter Michael Lorenzen.

What’s Next

The Reds (1-8) mercifully have tomorrow off. They return home for a 3-game series with the Miami Marlins (3-7). Luis Castillo, who the Reds received in a trade from the Marlins, will face his former team tomorrow. Jose Urena will start for Miami.

21 Responses

  1. Kevin

    What is the timetable on Senzel’s return. He is still in a boot, correct?

    How about Wood?

  2. I-71_Exile

    Agree on Winker. It looks like he needs time to regain his stroke after shoulder surgery. Spring training didn’t do it and these first nine games have been about as bad.

    The brawl has me pumped for the Marlins—hopefully the Reds are as well.

  3. CincyBorn23

    I can’t believe it’s only April 7th and a competitive season is already looking to be in jeopardy. I was dumb for thinking anything would be different. So disappointing to yet again watch loss after loss after loss.

  4. Roger Garrett

    I like the idea about the set line up with Dietrich playing second base but I would put Winker in left and leave him along with Scott in center.Kemp sets except against lefties and the bull pen swap is a great idea.I never and nobody else expected H@H to repeat their 2018 performance and the Duke signing was baffling to me.Last the Reds need a leader on the field so I say lets lock the doors and let them fight until somebody walks out.We can not recover from 1-8 in this division with this roster so lets shake it up but for reasons of finding out who belongs next year.

  5. PhP

    Peralta pitched a scoreless inning. He might end up being same as last year but so far so good.

  6. George

    ” likely to avoid a 5th-straight 90-loss season in the 150th anniversary.”

    You got that right.
    All of the activity over the winter was done because Bob wants to celebrate the “birthday”. Some of us remember the “All-Star” year where Bob held onto everybody so the Reds wouldn’t look really bad in the National spotlight. It is all about “Bob” looking good.

  7. seadog

    I really (also) like the idea of Winker/Senzel/Ervin in AAA til trade deadline.

    Play Dietrich in left Schebler in CF and Puig in right. When Scooter is back move Peraza to CF.

    At the deadline make some trades–move 3/4 pieces…Maybe bring all three AAA outfielders back up if they are produceing. Bob loves produce!!! lol

  8. Mason Red

    All about 2020 huh? Wasn’t 2017 about 2018? 2018 about 2019? So on and so forth?

  9. JayTheRed

    Just have to say that maybe this bench brawl is just what this team needed. I was happy to see bell have a little fire for once, though I did hear he blew the post game interview. The Rookie has finally did something at least not feel his hiring was a mistake perhaps.

    I do feel like the bats are starting to crawl out of the cellar too. The next 3 games should tell us a lot and if its the same business as we have seen thus far I think there will be some changes on the team.

    Not writing anything off yet way to early but being 6.5 games out after just 9 games is definitely not where I was hoping we would be after 1 week.

  10. JayTheRed

    I’m a little shocked Milton didn’t arrive today. Must have been the brawl that scared him off.

  11. Choo choo

    Archer is a starting pitcher, right? For the Pirates, who still have a ton of games with the Reds, right… next time he drags his butt to the plate… take care of business… that’s how you settle the score. Long season. Sleep tight before your next start in Cincy!

    • JayTheRed

      I actually laughed out loud when Jeff Brantley said that people should go get tickets for the next home game because of the brawl.

  12. Cyrus

    There are probably more than a couple of us who have been watching baseball, and the Reds in particular, for decades. As the Farmers commercial says, “We know a thing or two cause we’ve seen a thing or two”.

    There are lots of problems with the entire Reds organization. It really shouldn’t be hard for anyone to reach that conclusion. Pick almost any area and you find issues.

    When things get to this point, you really can’t begin to reverse your trajectory until you change leadership at the top. Remodeling a home over and over when the internal foundations are decayed is a complete waste. You need to raze the home, lay a new foundation and rebuild.

    There are just too many people in key positions who are aligned with the vision/core values of current leadership. Take a look at history. Nothing is going to change until the key leaders are replaced…and I’m not talking about Bell.

    I did have a weird, what I’ll call, epiphany today. Does anyone remember the first time (may be the only time) Votto hit 3 HRs in a game? It was either his first year when he platooned with Hatteberg or the following year. Dunn and maybe Griffey were still on the roster. During Votto’s postgame interview, Dunn was apparently having a little fun off camera and Votto was annoyed so much that he called him out right in front of the national audience. At the time, I was 100% in Votto’s corner because I attributed his reaction as that of a serious, focused player and Dunn was trending down and was a known cut-up.

    But today it struck me that Votto was the new kid on the block back then and should have been able to let whatever Dunn was doing roll off his back. If you are going to be a true leader, you can’t be easily offended when someone gives you the shaving cream pie in the face or tries to make you laugh during a postgame interview focused on YOUR accomplishments.

    I’ve been a HUGE Votto fan…and still am. I was hoping the Reds would trade him a few years back because I wanted him to have a chance at a ring and I knew it wouldn’t happen while he was in Cincy. But now I’m thinking moving him to another team, while certainly a wise fiscal move (he’s not putting people in the seats, is he?), is one of those key things that needs to happen in order for new and better clubhouse leaders to emerge. And don’t overlook the importance of this. These guys spend A LOT of time together. It is critical that the team captains or leaders are the right people. I am now thinking that Votto, who is the defacto team captain, is hurting the team because he’s not a good leader. Am I crazy and offbase?

    • Big Ed

      Yes, you are crazy and offbase.

      Winker and Kemp are not hitting below .100 because of Votto’s leadership. Puig Schebler and Suarez are not “on the interstate” because of Votto’s leadership. Peraza is not sitting on the Mendoza Line because of Votto’s leadership. The team is not painstakingly slow because of Votto’s leadership. Scooter Gennett and Nick Senzel are not hurt because of Votto’s leadership. Having below average fielders at every position except catcher is not because of Votto’s leadership. David Bell does not make bad game-management decisions (e.g., not walking Josh Bell) because of Votto’s leadership.

      The Reds’ inability to sign and develop an top-shelf Latin American hitter since Tony Perez in the mid-1960s is not because of Votto’s leadership. The decision to make GABP a bandbox was not because of Votto’s leadership, nor was the decision to move to Arizona for spring training, leaving them the only high-humidity team to train in dry Arizona, was not because of Votto’s leadership. Having several ineffectual drafts since 2000 was not because of Votto’s leadership. Adapting far too slowly to the analytics revolution was not because of Votto’s leadership.

      Votto is not as good as he was, because he is older. The aging curve gets them all.

      • lost11found

        Cleveland is not High Humidity?

        Forget it… he’s rolling (sort of)

  13. Scott Gennett

    After all offseason buzz and trades, expectations were higher at the outset of the season, that’s why it’s maybe harder to swallow the awful start again. On the other hand, if the low performance goes on into June, I think it just doesn’t make sense to maintain players like Gennett, Wood, Roark, Hughes, Hernandez, Kemp and Puig in the roster. Just ship all of them away by deadline and give the opportunity to the young core.

    • Big Ed

      It may happen before June. If they end April something like 5-23, which looks entirely possible, then they will turn over the roster and get much younger. Gennett can’t be traded until he is off the DL and has played 3-4 weeks, which may not be until after the trade deadline. The rest of them

      I think we may have been deceived by the cold weather into thinking the Reds pitching has turned the corner, when in reality it was just too cold to hit any pitching.

      • BigRedMike

        Gennett is the last player that should be extended.

        Guessing the Dodgers would not take Kemp and Puig back even if the Reds paid the salary and MLB allowed 2 additional roster spots for the Dodgers.

        The Reds likely needed to make the trade, but, it is pretty clear that the Dodgers were willing to do anything to get rid of the 3 players they did.

        1-8 start with 6 at home to division teams is a tough spot to put a team in. Going to need to play some great baseball to get to .500 for the season at this point.

  14. lost11found

    I think you can add Lorenzen and Iglesias to the Bullpen cast who have not been good either..

    The best out there have been Garrett (not surprising), and Bob Steve (surprising, plesently so).

    All in all its the players as a whole not getting it done. Front-office isn’t out there trying to turn double plays.

    The coaching staff might be tinkering too much (PH for winker late still bugs me), but its understandable to try and find some combination that’s working right now. Analytically minded or not, they are not out there either. The team as a whole just needs to start playing better. Is it within their ability? History says yes, but this has been no fun to follow.