A Joey Votto banger to leadoff the game put the Reds ahead and they never looked back, riding three funkblasts, a strong game from Tanner Roark and solid bullpen work to end a four-game losing streak and take game one of the four game series in San Diego.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (6-12) 4 5 0
San Diego Padres (11-9) 1 6 0
W: Roark (1-0) L: Paddack (0-1) S: Iglesias (3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Statcast

Key Plays

Pitching

Tanner Roark did exactly what the Reds expected him to do when they traded for him. He was hit hard when the Padres made contact but he was able to keep the hits to a minimum. He did not put himself in any jams until the 6th inning when he gave up a walk and a second single of the night to Fernando Tatis Jr.

Roark’s final line was 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 K, 2 BB. His swinging strike rate was below average but right where has been so far this year (6.9%). He improved his FIP/xFIP to 3.10/4.30 which is definitely serviceable for a 4/5 starter. Good night of pitching from Tanner.

Defensively, he was helped by some nice diving catches by Matt Kemp and Jesse Winker in the spacious PETCO outfield. The infield turned two double plays tonight as well to get in on the action and Winker had a double play on a fly out when the Padres pulled a hit and run.

Zach Duke somehow still plays for this team and came on in the 6th and stuck out Eric Hosmer. Robert Stephenson followed to face Manny Machado and gave up a ground-rule double that was almost caught by a sliding Derek Dietrich, but just snuck by his glove and got the Padres on the board. Stephenson bounced back nicely and struck out Franmil Reyes on three pitches to end the 6th.

Bob Steve gave up a leadoff double to Hunter Renfroe in the 7th but would buckle down and retire the next three batters in order. Of Stephenson’s 23 pitches on the night, 16 were sliders, which at 69% is even higher than the 55% usage coming into tonight. Despite the two doubles, his stuff was nasty to the tune of a 35% whiff rate. The Reds are continuing to get great stuff from Stephenson this year.

Amir Garrett came on in the 8th and retired the side. Raisel Iglesias got the save and looked like his old, dominant self. He struck out all three batters.

Hitting

The Reds only collected five hits but three of them were home runs, which is a good way win baseball games.

In Joey Votto’s third consecutive game batting leadoff, he crushed a home run to right-center field in the first at-bat of the game. This comes one day after a C. Trent Rosecrans article on The Athletic in which Joey asked Jesse Winker, “can I still bang?”

Winker’s response: “Yes, bro. That’s a terrible question.” Winker was right.

Tucker Barnhart, batting in the 9-spot, drilled a 2-run homer with Scott Schebler on base to extend the Reds lead to 3-0 in the 5th inning. It would prove to be the winning hit.

Jesse Winker mashed another opposite field dinger in the 9th inning to give the Reds some insurance. For the season, 5 of Winker’s 10 hits are home runs, and all 5 have come in his last 9 plate appearances. After a dreadful start to the year, his wRC+ is up to 78. If he can regain his elite on-base ability and maintain this power, this guy will be dangerous.

Game Notes:

  • Doug Gray predicted the Reds would score 22 runs tonight. Not quite, but I think we will all take 4 and a win.
  • Fernando Tatis Jr.’s first career at-bat against Cincinnati was a 105mph single. That guy might be good at baseball
  • Machado’s double off Stephenson had a 3% hit expectancy according to Statcast. The large outfield and sub-par defense played a huge factor in that hit/run.
  • I had the TV on mute with Thom being back in the booth, but according to C. Trent, Matt Kemp was booed by the fans at PETCO Park
  • Roark got three outs on 3 pitches in the 4th inning, one of which was a hit. You don’t see that everyday.

Random Thoughts:

Oh yeah, Votto’s celebration was pretty #banging as well

Good night for former Red Homer Bailey. Wishing him all the best in Kansas City.

Up Next:

The Reds look for their second road win of the year in Game 2 against the Padres. 10:10 EST. Probable pitchers are Anthony Desclafani and Matt Strahm.

12 Responses

  1. Scott Gennett

    Tonight’s game result is proof that the Padres are not the Dodgers…

  2. Scott Gennett

    Kudos for our old friend Homer Bailey, I wish he’ll endure a full healthy and excellent season, at last.

  3. Tom Mitsoff

    Stephenson and Garrett have been lights-out so far. Methinks they have moved into the roles of seventh- and eighth-inning setup relievers in tight games or when the Reds have a lead. If their performance level continues, and if Iglesias returns to his peak form, you don’t have to squint too hard to see a 2019 version of the Nasty Boys (in terms of bullpen effectiveness).

    • daytonnati

      If Bob Steve really and truly has turned the corner, wouldn’t the smart move be to start stretching him out and getting him in the rotation? Disco seems wobbly to me.

    • Reaganspad

      I would have liked to see Stephenson in the game longer last night. The first 2 guys that Amir faced were right handed. And nobody was really catching up with Robert’s stuff. Through 6 batters, he still had a low pitch count. He easily could have pitched to 2 more hitters in the 8th, or the whole inning.

      It was great to see all 3 at the end dealing, but I really hate bringing in another reliever when your current one is going so well. Now Stephenson probably will not be used until Saturday

  4. Big Ed

    Any win is a good win, but . . .

    The Reds went 5-for-31 last night, with one walk, against a rookie who had thrown 14 innings in MLB before the game. The HRs are good, but Puig, Winker, Dietrich, Schebler and Peraza are all well below the Mendoza Line. They have to be able to scratch some runs without hitting homers. The pitching was excellent last night.

    The ump’s strike zone last night was awful, although I will concede that it was at least semi-consistently awful. He gave (sometimes) about 2 inches on the outside corner, and some that were low. He was equally bad for both teams.

    • Scott C

      I was thinking the same thing. Umpire inconsistency, when he is calling low pitches and outside pitches that aren’t even borderline strikes, does not contribute to helping batting averages.

  5. CFD3000

    If Votto starts to rake, will Puig, Schebler, Winker, Suarez and Peraza follow? Here’s hoping. He got rung up on ball 4 (low) in his second at bat but may be turning a corner. Perhaps more importantly he seems to think he’s turning that corner. That would be a huge boost for the offense. Nice win, despite the FIELDBLAN. Two in a row would be the start of a new streak. Go Reds!

  6. Matthew Habel

    Ha I was watching without the sound on and tending to a sick dog so I did not see that play very well. It was not until I saw the Statcast numbers that I realized it was a bad play by Dietrich. Just forgot the change the wording up top.

  7. Reaganspad

    Well, if Billy was on this team, his batting average and obp would be the norm instead of standing out. 205 would have put him in the middle last night. Lorenzen had the second highest average on the PETCO board when he was in CF

  8. Matthew Habel

    It is a great chance to catch up on some good music. Highly recommend.