Joey Votto and Yasiel Puig have both been off to slow starts to 2019. Their slow starts have been a major reason why the Reds are in last place despite having the best pitching staff in the National League to date. Votto and Puig both got the Reds off to a big start in the first inning. Votto smoked a rocket for an RBI triple. Votto was temporarily stranded on first base after Suarez and Winker struck out, but Yasiel Puig picked those guys up with a big blast to give the Reds a 3-0 early lead.

Anthony DeSclafani could not hold the early lead and struggled through four innings. The National League’s best bullpen picked up Disco. David Herandez lead the way with two perfect innings with five strikeouts. Eugenio Suarez hit a game tying home run in the fifth inning, and Derek Dietrich had a bloop RBI single in the seventh inning to give the Reds the lead for good.

The Reds are now just 4.0 games out of a wild card spot with tonight’s win.

Final R H E
San Francisco Giants (16-23) 4 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (18-22) 5 10 1
W: Garrett (2-1) L: Moronta (1-3) S: Iglesias (8)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Derek Dietrich’s RBI single with 2 outs in the 7th inning, giving the Reds a 5-4 lead. That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 19.5% (from 48.7% to 68.2%).


Joey Votto said that he is hitting the ball harder of late (something that the Reds radio broadcaster disagreed with but the numbers back up). Votto clearly proved that tonight when he ripped a ball with a 105.2 MPH EV for a RBI triple. Votto also had three flyouts, but all three of those were hit with an above average exit velocity.

Yasiel Puig went 2 for 4 with a home run. He also stole his team leading 7th base of the season. Puig’s first inning home run had an EV of 106.1 MPH, and his third inning single had an EV of 111.1 MPH (his hardest hit ball of the season).

Eugenio Suarez had two extra base hits on the evening, including his 12th home run of the year (108.5 EV).

David Hernandez pitched two perfect innings, and he struck out 5 of the 6 batters he faced. Hernandez now has a 2.89 ERA, 2.21 FIP and 10.61 K/9.

Raisel Iglesias pitched a perfect 9th inning, striking out 2 batters.

Nick Senzel and Derek Dietrich both reached base twice.


Anthony DeSclafani did not have a good night: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K. He gave up a lot of hard contact on the night (average exit velocity was 93.1 MPH). Credit to David Bell for recognizing that he didn’t have it and giving it over to the bullpen tonight.

Nick Senzel had his first big league error. He dropped a routine flyball hit right at him. It luckily only cost Robert Stephenson a few extra pitches and nothing more.

Tucker Barnhart was 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts. He is now hitting just .172/.294/.290 on the season. Curt Casali is pretty clearly deserving of more playing time at this point. Casali has a 94 wRC+ on the season, coming off a 114 wRC+ with the Reds last season.

Not so random thoughts………..

Yasiel Puig missed an opportunity after his first inning bomb. The Giants fans really give it to Puig every time he steps to the plate, catches a fly ball, breathes, etc. Puig absolutely should have had the slowest trot in big league history after his home run, but Puig had a normal trot. Disappointing.

There was a scary moment in the 6th inning. Nick Senzel and Jesse Winker collided going after a bloop single. Both players were down for a while, but both guys were OK and stayed in the game.

The Reds are now +70 runs better than the Pittsburgh Pirates this season.

Up Next:

Reds at Giants
Sunday, 4:05 PM
TV: FOX Sport Ohio
Tyler Mahle (3.69 ERA) vs Jeff Madison Bumgarner (3.99 ERA)

22 Responses

  1. Reddawg12

    Eugenio Suarez has become my favorite player. He’s starting to see the ball really well and it’s very apparent that he’s been working hard on his defense. The Reds are really lucky to have him on such a team friendly deal.

    Great win tonight!

    • PedroBourbon

      If the season ends today – Suarez is our MVP!!!

  2. CincyBorn23

    Do you ever post anything that isn’t negative? You made some good points, but if you can’t enjoy a win then why even watch?

    • Mason Red

      He’s spot on in his criticism of this team. I admire any fan who can enjoy wins in the midst of another losing season but not every fan is like that. Some are tired of 90 loss seasons and the continued promise of success right around the corner. If this is truly a Reds fan site then opinions of all Reds fans should be appreciated even if it’s different than others including yours. I’ll gladly eat crow if this team turns it around although I don’t see it happening. Or next year either. If you can find enjoyment with wins in another mess of a season,again I commend you. But don’t expect everyone to feel that way.

  3. Jonrox

    A look at BABIP continues to show that Barnhart is likely to improve and Casali is likely to tumble. This year in particular, Barnhart’s BABIP is 82 points lower than his career mark. While his strikeout rate is up 6.1 percentage points, his walk rate is up 4.4, so it’s not like he’s lost out there. With just his luck returning to normal levels, he’d be back to something like .250/.325/375, which is decent for a catcher.

    Casali, on the other hand, had a BABIP of .352 last year, and has a .395 clip this season. That’s not sustainable.

    The ZIPS projection for the two, which pegs them close to career norm BABIP, has Barnhart projected to be .243/.326/.370, and Casali at .243/.311/.384. I’d argue, going forward, we should pretty much expect the two catchers to hit pretty evenly. Casali has a strong platoon split, so should get basically all of at bats against LHP, but there’s not really any reason to expect him to continue to at his current production level (keep in mind, despite his monstrous luck, he still is at 94 in wRC+). Tucker’s defense is still superior to Casali’s, so it’s justified to still give Tucker primacy at catcher.

    • Reddawg12

      Tyler Stephenson! He’s off to a great start in AA.

  4. RedsDownUnderer

    Despite the awful start on offense and the difficult schedule, the team is only 4 games under, and 6-6 on the west coast with one game left tomorrow. They still have 2 games versus the Angels in LA, 3 at COL, and a tough 9 game trip out west in Sept (Seattle to Arizona to Chicago). But things could be a lot worse.

  5. Scott Gennett

    Seems like offensive is finally picking-up, it’s in desperately need of better numbers by Votto and Puig. Among the daily regulars, only Barnhart is still way under performing, maybe Casali shall play more often.

  6. TR

    Wins over last place teams count the same way as those over better teams. As fans, we’re entitled to our opinions whether positive or negative. A six or seven month season produces a lot of ups and downs. The pitching, this year, is a big positive and I think the Reds are slowing getting it together to vacate last place.

  7. JB WV

    I don’t care If they’re playing the Bad News Bears. A win today would give them 4 straight on a west coast road trip. How often does that happen for the Reds, even in the Machine days? Good time to heat up with 7 home games in hand. Go Reds!

  8. CP

    Yes, I’m sure the NYC and Boston media would have lots of questions after David Hernandez came in and struck out 5 of 6.

    The Giants 3-4-5 isn’t exactly the Murderers’ Row. Longoria, Panda, Mac Williamson with the bases empty…there isn’t a manager in the MLB that brings in his best reliever in that situation.

    The schtick gets old after a while.

    Go Reds.

  9. Amarillo

    Alright, I counted because I was curious. Raisel has had 18 appearances this season, and has given up a run in 7 of those. 11 of those 18 were appearances where he came in at the beginning of of the ninth and pitched 1 inning or finished the game. He has given up a run in 2 of those 11 appearances. In the 7 times Raisel came in at a different time than the start of the ninth he has given up a run in 5 of those 7 appearances. He has a 1.66 Whip in those 7 “non-traditional closer” appearances. He has a 1.00 Whip in “traditional closer” appearances.

    The manager’s job is to put all the players in a position to succeed, and Raisel has clearly been better when he has come in at the start of the 9th. He still shouldn’t be complaining to the media about it, but he is noticeably worse when used whenever.

    • Roger Garrett

      Never liked closer rules.Always thought and still do that they prevent getting the best out of you best reliever if he is only to be used under a couple of circumstances,If he game is on the line in the 7th or 8th and he is your best then he should pitch.If the other team is threatening to tie or take the lead he should be in there.If the middle of their lineup is due up then he should be in there but there is a feel for the game thought that always factors in for me.Like yesterday Hernandez was dominate in the 7th so why not start the 8th?One could argue Hernandez faced the tougher hitters and he faced 6 of them and K’d 5 of them.Saves stats and closer stats are just silly to begin with but I understand why Iggy said what he said and so does everybody else.Saves got him the money and will next contract time.Pitching him in non save situations could help his team win but of course it could hurt in the pocket book.To me its about the team winning but closers area different breed so we shall see.For me and the team he should be ready from the 7th inning on and when called upon go out and do his job.

  10. Steven Ross

    Ummm….I watched the entire game and a win, over last place team or anybody else, is still a win. Hernandez was dealin’, Puig looks like he’s turning it around but please, Votto went 1 for 5! That’s .200. What’s his average? .206. Three of his outs went directly to LF Williamson. He barely moved. Not trying to be negative but come on.

  11. Scott C

    I think the thing that is hurting Votto the most and Winker as well are the called strikes that are not strikes, especially those that are clearly outside. There was one case with Votto in Oakland where the first two pitches are clearly outside and are called strikes that puts a good batter in an 0-2 hole. And yes in the past Votto has been able to foul off pitches and work the count, but when a batter doesn’t know what the strike zone is then he has to swing at more pitches that may not be strikes. That is a definite disadvantage. The same issue last night at least at the beginning of the game, I think the umpire tightened his strike zone as the game went on.

    • Reddawg12

      This is a very good point. I know it’s easy to critique umpires with the strike zone box continuously shown on the screen, but it feels like both those guys have at least 1 called strike every at-bat that really doesn’t look like a strike. It’s been more noticeable with those 2 (IMO) because they both are known for having such a good eye.

  12. Richard

    Heads-up: Votto was temporarily stranded on third, not first.

  13. Chris Holbert

    It seems to me that the lineup is looking good with the exception of C. This season Casali seems to be on base a lot when he is in there. History may say something different, but at this point, looking for offensive effectiveness, he should get more PT. The pitching seems to be doing a great job no matter who is in there. How far can a Gold Glove a couple years back take you? When will the Reds realize they need a starting catcher. How does the potential Realmuto trade look now? Seriously people were asking, how can yo include TB in that trade, come on…

    • lwblogger2

      Saw the correction but .260 in that league isn’t bad. You can’t just look at batting average and be done. I would have happily moved Tucker in the deal for Realmuto but Trammel and Senzel were both a hard “no”. I’ll stick with that. 6 years of either of those guys is going to be more valuable than 2 of Realmuto.

  14. Hanawi

    Think there was a good point made on that twitter stream about Votto’s stats. Not sure if it is Ward’s influence or the lack of power from last, but I agree with Matt Wilkes that Votto has changed his launch angle. Lots of fly balls this year, including the infield pop-ups, which you never saw previously.

    Maybe it’ll pay off when they get to better hitting parks and warmer weather. Or maybe he should just accept being Tony Gwynn in his late 30s and try to just hit line drives.