Sitting on a porch with a glass of lemonade during a gentle summer rain. Slipping into a bed after just drying the sheets so you are a warm burrito person. Watching the Reds down the Marlins with the ease and grace of rollerblader on a summer Saturday, dancing through their cones.

Just some simple pleasures of life.

Final R H E
Miami Marlins (3-10) 0 5 0
Cincinnati Reds (4-8) 5 10 0
W: Stephenson (1-0) L: Lopez (1-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

THE GOOD

Sonny Gray continued the Reds pitching revolution today, tossing 4.0 innings of shutout baseball. He left after the fourth presumably as a result of taking a comebacker off the knee in the second.

With those four innings, the Reds starters have allowed a single earned run across 16 innings against the Marlins, with 21 strikeouts. The days of “this pitching stinks” feel long gone.

The bats, especially the top of the order, have finally come alive.

  • Jesse Winker singled and walked twice, scoring twice as well. Nothing quite like the Marlins for some slump-busting.
  • Joey Votto picked up a couple hits, including an RBI single, beating the shift, in the fifth. That single took the Exit Velocity crown of the day, coming off Votto’s bat at 104+ mph.
  • Yasiel Puig took a man-killing hack on a 3-0 count in the fifth, ultimately coming up empty. Two pitches later, with a full count, Puig sticks his bat out for a defensive swing and doubles down the left field line, bringing home two. A master class of swinging for the count and still staying productive.
  • Eugenio Suarez opened the scoring for the Reds, singling home Jesse Winker in the fourth. That run came as a result of the Reds lineup working to maximum efficiency. Winker and Votto both getting on base, Puig or Suarez bringing them around. In the bottom of the eighth, Suarez hit the sneakiest of solo home runs. The ball just barely cleared the wall, right at the base of the foul pole. In the baseball version of HORSE, that’s the halfcourt, over-the-head, eyes-closed game winner.

Lower down in the order, Curt Casali continues to prove he’s a professional hitter. Another couple singles with one of them coming off the bat at 96.2 mph plus a double right down the line in the bottom of the eighth. Casali has a lot of strength in his bat and makes for a great complement to Tucker Barnhart.

Even more so than the Reds rotation this series, the Reds bullpen has been nails. Robert Stephenson pitched a clean fifth after Sonny Gray exited, continuing his completely remade performance from the Bob Steve we’ve come to know.

Zach Duke got out of a rocky sixth with some more defensive wizardry from Jose Iglesias, and David Hernandez got through two scoreless frames.

Wandy Peralta allowed a hit and a walk, but preserved the shut with a scoreless ninth.

THE BAD

Obviously Sonny Gray’s early exit takes the bad news of the day. But the Reds Twitter posted that he left only with a left leg contusion, which is really just a fancy word for bruise. As long as nothing inside the leg is broken or fractured, I don’t think Gray will miss many, if any, starts.

NOT SO RANDOM THOUGHTS

In the top of the first, Yasiel Puig briefly looked to make a circus catch in foul territory at the wall, but upon closer review, it more resembled a juggling act.

By the rules of NFL Street 2, that’s not only a catch, but the Reds get two runs. Don’t blame me, those the rules.

In the fifth, Casali tagged at first on a Jose Iglesias flyball to deep center. It was an incredibly heads up play, and Casali ended up scoring on Votto’s single through the six hole. He would’ve been on second anyway after the Winker walk, but still, the Reds are being aggressive on the basepaths this year and in that instance, it showed some savvy.

Also, some promising and mildly frustrating news:

NEXT UP:

The Reds travel to Monterrey, Mexico to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in an international set. The two-game series starts Saturday at 7:10 EST with live video on Fox Sports Ohio and radio at WLW 700.

Tanner Roark takes on Adam Wainwright in the Saturday game.

20 Responses

  1. Eddiek957

    I’d like to see Robert get a few innings

    • SultanofSwaff

      Yep, my only quibble about the game was pinch hitting for Stephenson in the 5th. He was nails, throwing 3 straight changeups for strikes. I’d rather him bat. At worst Winker bats with a runner in scoring position and 2 outs. In that moment I think run prevention was more important.

      • lost11found

        As I recall, they had a runner on 2nd and one out when stephenson spot came up. The lead was only one run at that point, so its a good time to see if you can add-on to that.

    • Jeff

      Long time reader, but I rarely post. Looking to engage a little more with this community.

      I will have to respectfully disagree, with The Old Cossack and Sultan. Given his history, I love what the Reds are doing with Stephenson. He started at the bottom. He pitched well. Gave him a high leverage inning today. He pitched well. Slowly working him up the ladder seems appropriate.

      There is also the fact that with the starters pitching so effectively, some of the bullpen guys need a little work before going to Mexico and facing a much more talented Cardinals team.

      I agree with the move.

      I also began to dream about a 2020 starting staff headlined by Castillo and Stephenson. When you add Mahle and Sonny Gray, that is a staff that can be strong at the top end and very deep with #2 and #3 quality guys at the 3 & 4 spots. Santillian could be knocking on the door by then as well.

      • Indy Red Man

        Something tells me Stephenson might be better as a reliever. Now Garrett has 3-4 quality pitches so I would prefer that he gets another chance to start. Personally I don’t see a future for Roark or Wood. My 2020 rotation would be:

        Castillo
        Gray
        Mahle
        Garrett
        Stephenson/Lorenzen/Disco with the preference of Disco being dealt away this year.

      • Jeff

        Indy Red – I completely forgot about Disco…. If he is healthy and he’s your #5, that’s pretty good.

        At this point, it looks like Stephenson is the more likely candidate for the rotation. Garrett like the bullpen. Stephenson is too talented to not get a shot.

        It would still be a high quality problem to have!

  2. TR

    Another big win and more good pitching. A big two game series coming up and then off to the Left Coast.

  3. Mason Red

    Only 11,000 and change in attendance on an absolutely perfect day weather wise.

    • Brian K

      I took work off and drove my family down and it was in the running for best game I’ve been to. My daughter is just old enough to understand what was happening, and my wife was grateful for the impromptu family outing. I don’t think I can remember seeing them both as happy as they were at the ballpark. Seeing a W was all the more sweet.

  4. Tom Mitsoff

    Just wondering — when was the last time a Reds pitching staff gave up only one run over the course of 30 consecutive innings (27 vs. Miami, three in series finale in Pittsburgh)?

  5. lost11found

    That’s probably why he was removed to day after 4. If it started to be a problem just pull him and start getting it treated in the clubhouse.

  6. Roger Garrett

    I agree 100%.Winker is an everyday guy and has been in the minors.I understand playing Kemp but the reality is his salary and age will bring little or nothing in a trade at the deadline.

  7. Indy Red Man

    Lost in a nice win for the good guys was a baserunning risk by Winker. He went from 1st to 3rd on a basehit with 2 outs and came within an eyelash of getting thrown out at 3rd base before Casali could score from 2nd. Moving from 2nd to 3rd with 2 outs is an unneccessary risk for a slow guy like Winker. A big part of what made the Scott Rolen era Reds so effective was their smart baserunning. No when to take a calculated risk. Winker’s today was more of a Suarez/Votto adventure that got lucky. Teachable moment though if Bell is on the job?

    • Indy Red Man

      That would be “Know when” of course

    • Still a Red

      With the shift on, the SS was out of position and the 3rd baseman was acting as cut off man down the line, leaving 3rd base unprotected…for a moment. But it was close for sure. Not sure if he was waved into third or went on his own.

      Reds win the battle of last place teams convincingly. Hopefully the momentum continues against the Cards.

    • MK

      Puig being Puig stealing third barely with two outs was worse.

  8. Jay

    Nice sweep to get the Reds back in the swing of things. Couldn’t have asked for better timing than to have Miami come to town after a 1-8 start. Things looking on the up and up but Reds have a tough Redbirds team coming into town Saturday (What?). Much rather be playing them at 4-8 than 2-10. Maybe we can get on a good roll now.

    • joshG

      Not coming into town, going to Mexico

  9. Jeff

    I was shocked at how well he did in CF today. Our outfield defense has been atrocious. It was nice to hear Cowboy talk about how one of the Reds players took him to task about how little time he put into his defense. Even better to hear Wink took the criticism to heart and started putting in the time.

  10. CFD3000

    One cause for optimism with Stephenson: his sample size is small, yes, but his 6 innings are not the same as if he’d had one good day and one good six inning start. He’s pitched in several games and looked good in all of them. That’s not a trivial detail in my book. I’m cautiously optimistic.