Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (25-14)
3 11 0
Cincinnati Reds (18-24)
1 3 0
W: Kyle Hendricks (3-4)  L: Tanner Roark (3-2)  SV: Steve Cishek (3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

Another day and another struggle for the Cincinnati Reds at the plate. Cincinnati hitters managed to have as many hits as the opposing starting pitcher, Kyle Hendricks. They had one less RBI.

The Offense

The offense was offensive. As noted above, Kyle Hendricks has as many hits in the game as the Cincinnati Reds did. And he had one more run batted in, too. The Reds got their lone run of the game on a Joey Votto solo home run that was crushed deep into right-center under the power stacks. Jose Iglesias singled, going 1-3. Josh VanMeter had a pinch-hit single, coming in to hit for Tanner Roark in the bottom of the 5th inning. Nick Senzel had the lone walk of the game for the Reds. That’s it. Go get ’em tomorrow.

The Pitching

Tanner Roark had a solid, but unspectacular start. He allowed three runs in 5.0 innings, walked a batter, and he struck out 6. The right-handed took the loss, falling to 3-2 on the season and having his ERA rise to 3.50 on the season. Jared Hughes came out of the bullpen and shut the Cubs down, allowing just one hit while striking out a batter. Wandy Peralta struck out all 3 batters he faced in the 8th inning as he lowered his ERA to 3.14 on the season. Michael Lorenzen worked around two hits in the 9th inning to lower his ERA to 1.64 on the year and give the team a chance in the bottom of the frame. Once again a strong showing by the pitching staff went to waste for the Reds.

Notes Worth Noting

The Reds fell to 18-24 on the season and 8.5 games out of 1st place. That’s not ideal ever, but it’s definitely not ideal on May 14th.

Jesse Winker may have been wearing the best cleats ever worn on a baseball field for this game.

If you’re still feeling down about the Reds loss, it was Bark in the Park day at Great American Ballpark on Tuesday evening. And there were plenty of doggos there that were good boys and good girls who I would definitely pet.

The game was a quick one, coming in at 2:39.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds

Wednesday May 15th, 6:40pm

Yu Darvish (2-3, 5.40 ERA) vs Sonny Gray (0-4, 4.15 ERA)

49 Responses

  1. Keith

    We’re 25% through the season and Votto has 4 home runs and 8 RBI. Woof.

  2. FreeHouse

    This team competes and stays within reach but not good enough to get it done. This team is what they are which is a last place team. Until they show us otherwise they will continue to be the NL Central’s female dog. They might only win one or none this week.

    • RichS

      The hole is getting deeper, like last year…and it will deepen the next two weeks. Time to stop making excuses for a group of “slow starters”.

  3. Sliotar

    A lot of tonight was all about Kyle Hendricks, who literally has become one of the most valuable pitchers over the last month. Has now gone 7 innings or more over 4 of his last 5 starts, allowing only 1 HR.

    But, overall…. the top of the Cubs lineup is flat out younger and better.
    Reds Killer Rizzo wasn’t even playing tonight.

    Look at catcher –

    Contreras hitting 4th, now with .305 Avg, 1.023 OPS
    Barnhart hitting 9th, now with .167 Avg., .573 OPS

    Tomorrow will be a good test for the Reds…

    Darvish giving up 8 BB/9 this season. Can the Reds stay patient at the plate?
    And, will Gray’s stuff play in GABP as it starts to thaw out.

    • ToBeDetermined

      That’s a huge improvement for Hendricks who used to only pitch 5 innings.
      It was typically a very solid 5 but only 5.

  4. CFD3000

    Two comments. As bad as the Reds record is, it still all goes back to the first 9 games of the year. They’ve actually been a .500 team (17-16) since that abysmal 1-8 start. In spite of the terrible hitting and five losses by Iglesias and did I mention the terrible hitting? I’m still optimistic. Not playoffs optimistic, but definitely better than recent years, able to win any given game optimistic. And I know I’m in the minority there, and many of you seem to take pleasure in pointing out how bad the Reds are. I’ll choose a different outlook.

    BUT there is one thing that is really bothering me about recent play. I haven’t commented on the David Bell approach – too early, not enough data. But I hate some of these shifts. The setup for Descalso with four outfielders, three first baseman and two schnauzers in the right field bleachers was ridiculous. Billy Hamilton could have had a bunt single against that setup. You might as well just intentionally walk Descalso. He showed bunt three times until he finally got one down and poor Tanner Roark covering everything from 2nd base to the Montgomery Inn salad bar had no chance. And that inning was the difference in the game.

    Yes, Roark threw Handricks a meatball but it never should have gone to that point. It’s one thing to have faith in a reliever who turns out to be ineffective, or to pinch hit with a guy who turns out to be over matched. But at least there’s a chance those moves work out. Shifting the entire defense to the moon deck is just ludicrous. Descalso > Bell. Reds lose. Make it stop please.

    • coachgates

      “and poor Tanner Roark covering everything from 2nd base to the Montgomery Inn salad bar had no chance.”

      Thank you for the early morning chuckle. That was a good one…and accurate!

    • VaRedsFan

      Great points about the defensive shifts. After last year, players (other teams players) are starting to adjust to them, and taking the free base.

  5. WVRedlegs

    Day 48. Reds offense still held hostage. Film at 11.
    Jobu can’t help.
    The Delta Force couldn’t rescue this Reds offense.

    • George


      Is there an offence being held hostage for a rescue??

    • Mike Adams

      At least there are flashy, artistic cleats and bow-wows to distract us from the baseball stuff. When is the next bobblehead night that I won’t be attending?

  6. matthew hendley

    agree with CFD3000, THe shifts are starting to become a problem. It is one thing to move the SS or 2B right over second on a pull/push happy hitter, but it is another thing entirely to abandon an entire side of the field to the batter. At this rate MLB will see a renaissance of bunting. Its not working, its giving up runs and giving it up will only improve the pitching. This doesn’t excuse the hitting in this game. Asside from Votto coming feet away from someone getting a new truck, not a lot positive was their. Deitrich came close, puig has some solid contact but at some point you have to hit them where they are not.
    Yu Darvish has made the Cubs regret his signing I think, Walks an incredible amount, and allows some hits. If gray can show his better side tomorrow, I think a lot of frowns will be upsidedown, by this time tomorrow. If not, well there is always luis castillo Thursday.

  7. Sliotar


    I only speak (write) for myself, but I think all of Bell’s maneuvers… shifting, jerking pitchers, lineups, etc. …. is because the talent gap is pretty wide vs. good clubs, and he is really trying to avoid 90 losses again.

    Those things are his way to narrow that gap.

    People here write about 1-run losses being proven as luck.

    There is also an old, pretty proven saying that a baseball team is what it is going to be after 40 games.

    • jreis

      I agree particularly with the shifts. I think the reason Bell uses the 4 outfielder approach is because Senzel and Winker don’t know what the heck they are doing out there yet. I guess he would rather give up a bunt single then a tripe or inside the park homerun. if you had a Hamilton and Duvall out there then there is no need for that alignment.
      I don’t know about you but I am ready for Trammel, Siri and those guys to get a chance. at least you would get an upgrade with the defense and more speed on the bases.. you could slide Senzel to 2b and give Winker some time at first base as well.

      • Roger Garrett

        I agree.Just so tired of this same stuff year after year.Now we can pitch but can’t hit.Truth is we never could hit as a team.Get some of these younger guys up here.Siri is hitting at AA and already has the speed and defense to play.Give the kid they just called up some starts at second.Maybe 10 in a row and lets see what he can do.Lost season by June 1 anyway so why try and convince anybody its going to change.This is a team that moved their #1 prospect to the outfield because he was blocked in the infield.Are we kidding?This is a team that has maybe one or two position players that another team may trade for.The others they wouldn’t even take if you just gave them away and paid them to do it.The Yanks lost 5 starters and brought up guys from the minors and haven’t missed a beat.Thats how far away this club is from competing.

  8. jreis

    by the way Billy Hamilton easily gets the Hendricks double in the second inning. I think if we had Billy manning center this year we would have 5 more wins by now.

    • Mark Lang

      He’s just horrible: .228/.310/.289 right now.
      Of course, on this Reds team, that’d put him among the offensive leaders.

    • ToBeDetermined


      I thought the same thing regarding the Hendricks double, that Billy gets that with no problem.

      I’d have to think long and hard about the 5 more wins you propose.

  9. seadog

    David Bell–shifts–UGH, just killin me. Does anyone now understand why they tried to sign JT Reamuto? Catcher is just ugly. Shifts are just ugly.

    Give me this pitching staff/ Iggy at SS/ Hamilton in CF. I guarantee you I would have more wins as a MANAGER…

    David Bell is atrocious–ATRROCIOUS….

  10. Jon

    Now that 2019 is here, the Reds have pitching for the first time in the past five seasons…but the hitting has disappeared! It would be interesting to know what is currently running through Bob Castellini and Dick Williams’ minds at this approximate quarter mark of the season. Obviously the Reds were never completely “all-in” for 2019 (if they were, Realmuto would be the starting catcher and Barnhart would be a Marlin). Yet they certainly had their eyes set on a winning team, setting the table for a 2020 postseason run. Which brings me to my question…

    Is a trade to upgrade the lineup at all likely to come anytime soon, or will the Reds wait until this winter? Gennett should be back in early-to-mid June. That will leave the Reds with the most significant holes at catcher and shortstop (assuming Puig starts to hit and Votto starts getting on base like previous seasons). What are trade possibilities at these positions with multiple years of control remaining? Or are there any free agents this coming winter who would be a good fit in Cincinnati?

  11. Reddawg12

    Just as I feared, the Reds are right on track to be 10+ games out of first place by June 1st. On another note, Jesse Winker once again looked really bad at the plate tonight. Is it possible that he just isn’t as good as we all (or at least me) thought he would be? 25% of the season is over and his numbers are just pitiful. Not even taking walks anymore and his OBP is below .300. Maybe the quad injury is having some kind of impact?

    I really wish I didn’t care about the Reds so much.

    • PhP

      I think Winker will be fine. His prior two seasons equaled about a full season of ABs and his numbers were in the Votto-lite range. I think he’s got what the whole team has right now, I dont know if it’s their approach, Turner Ward, or bad luck, but something has the whole team not looking like themselves.

      • Pete

        If the Red’s offense is healthy and hitting on all cylinder it is formidable:

        Senzel – cf
        Votto -1B
        Suarez – 3B
        Scooter – 2B
        Puig – rf
        Winker -lf
        Casali – C
        Iglesias – SS

        This matches well against the Cubs, Brewers and Cards. So far we have the superior pitching. Scooter is a key to this falling in place. Just need to hang in there until he gets back but 8 games out of first in this division is not good. I’m disheartened but it’s not fatal.

        Note: the Reds really need a starting catcher, stat.

      • BigRedMike

        How is Gennett the key
        Dietrich has a wRC+ of 147. Gennett will not produce that level. The production from 2B has not been the problem.

        Even if the hitting improves, that does not mean the pitching will stay as productive.

    • Pete

      If Votto can get it going, I would suspect the pressure on everyone else will abate and they will get rolling. Like it or not, Votto is the primary mover on this team – they count on him.

      The only concern I have with Winker is if he can hit lefties because if not, this will put a gaping hole in the Reds future plans. They should leave him in the lineup because the team needs to find out.

  12. Steven Ross

    Hendricks reminded me of Maddox a little bit. Efficiency with a limited amount of pitches and hitters walking back mumbling to themselves. As for the ridiculous shift for Descalso, he told them what he was going to do three times. Hello? Next time Descalso came up, Suarez was playing by 3rd. Should have thought of that sooner. I shake my head at Bell nearly every game now.

    • Pete

      Good comp with Maddux. Tonight and tomorrow will be better indicators of what the Reds offense can do or not do. I’m praying this is the start of better times for Joey – at least we had one highlight last night.

    • Big Ed

      And is anybody surprised that a guy with a career like Descalso’s could and would bunt for a free hit? I could see assuming David Ortiz wouldn’t bunt, but Daniel F. Descalso was certainly going to do it.

      It killed Roark’s concentration and karma for a few hitters, although the fat pitch to Hendricks is wholly on him.

      Why don’t Reds take the free hit?

  13. Klugo

    2nd time in less than a month that the entire Reds lineup was out-hit by the opposing pitcher.

  14. TR

    The title of the column says it all. It’s hard to remember a time when the Reds offense was so anemic to go along with good pitching. What a strange season in what looked to be a turnaround year.

  15. Don A

    Here is my 2 cents:

    Votto needs to be moved down in the lineup!
    “Shifts” need to end!
    Quit taking 87 MPH fastballs in the middle of the plate! (Get a hit instead)!

    • Big Ed

      Agreed. Last year, the Red Sox started their season with the premise that they were taking too many pitches in the strike zone, and focused on swinging at good pitches.

      Nothing about hitting ever strays very far from Ted Williams’s first rule: “Get a good pitch to hit.”

    • BigRedMike

      Although, looking at the core hitters, only Votto has a lower swing rate at pitches in the zone than his career rate.

      The Reds do have the lowest BABIP, so, there is hope for some improvement.

  16. Roger Garrett

    Reds hitting started going south last few weeks of last year and has continued this year.Better pitching means no cookies to hit late in a game down by 5 runs.Stat padding in blow out losses is over.Question is what to do about it?Current guys need to make adjustments and it isn’t happening.Truth appears to be that we have been a bad hitting team for years now but it was masked by the fact we always were so far behind and then and only then did we score.Time to look closely at every position player and ask the question would any other team want them as one of their starters or are they young enough to improve.I’ll take Senzel,Winker and Suarez.The rest are what they are at this point in their career.Its not about past performance its about now,age and potential to get better.Puig and Peraza are interesting but Puig is a guy the Dodgers didn’t want and Peraza is doing the Billy thing of is this the year he turns the corner.Not willing to throw in the towel but this offense is so far away from even competing in the division its foolish to think it will with this current group.Time to look elsewhere.Problem is we don’t appear to have any talent that isn’t 2 years away and how many times have we heard that one.The Cubs are much younger and more talented at almost every position.Its like night and day.Done with the rant but it is what it is.

    • CincyBorn23

      Unfortunately, I pretty much agree with all of this. Sad times.

  17. Daytonian

    The normally smooth Iglesias probably had his worst game in the field at SS. A throwing error and a slow, cement-like non-response to a ball that he should’ve easily reached, led to two runs. The misplays seemed to unsettle Roarke a bit and added to his pitch count. Had Iglesias made those plays, it would’ve been a much different game. It felt like someone else was playing shortstop and wearing Igelsias’ uniform. He’s much better than that.

    Almora made a pretty nice play in center–worth noting.

    • VaRedsFan

      That ball hit to Iggy at SS seems to get lost in the results. Yes it was hard hit, but it was in his catch radius. We have become a little spoiled by his great defense. It’s a shame that it became a direct result of the 1st 2 runs scoring.

  18. another bob in nc

    The operative word in the title is “again.” Since the team is going nowhere will Van M ever get consistent AB’s?

  19. WVRedlegs

    The Reds offensive woes are the result of The Curse of The Puig.

  20. VaRedsFan

    Another lost play was the inning after the Votto HR. Kris Bryant lead off with a double to left. (not down the line…not off the wall, but just to the right of where a normal LF’er would be playing). For some reason Winker was playing somewhere close to left-center…and this shift turned a routine single into a double. Bryant scored their 3rd run on a sac fly 1 out later.
    Who the heck had Winker playing so far towards left-center???

  21. BigRedMike

    Puig is definitely pressing
    Teams are throwing more Fastballs to Puig

    His chase rate and swing rate is way up so far. Swinging strike rate is up as well.
    His contact rate on pitches in the zone is down as is his overall contact rate.

    Puig and Votto are similar in that their Fly Ball rate is way up this season. Votto’s line drive rate is way down

  22. Colorado Red

    The Reds FO is asking for money, to take the O back.

  23. Pete

    Phillies fans can’t be pleased with Bryce Harper.

    Since April 21st:
    2 HR’s/11 RBI’s
    83 PA,s, 28 K’s

    Puig is doing great in comparison per dollar. Speaking of dollars Phillies are going to pay 330M of them to Harper over the years. Worst place in the world for this to happen to Bryce is Philadelphia, PA.

  24. matthew hendley

    Lineup for todays game is out, same as yesterdays

  25. Wayne nabors

    Sure wish someone with the know could explain to me why tucker basically plays every day,this dude is pathetic,very few teams would continue to do that when they have better options in house