The Cincinnati Reds (44-52) squeaked by the St. Louis Cardinals (50-47) by a score of 3-2 on a hot Saturday evening at Great American Ballpark. The rookie, Josh VanMeter, clubbed his first Major League home run, a two-run homer, to give the Reds all the runs they needed on a night when their ace pitched.

The first five innings saw a pitcher’s duel in which Luis Castillo (ND, 2.36 ERA) and Miles Mikolas (6-10, 4.17) kept the innings moving, quickly. The the third time through the order came.

Matt Wieters smashed a homer to right center on a hanging pitch from Castillo, in the sixth, to put the first run of the game on the board. Right after him, Mikolas doubled off Castillo and the same feeling of dread from Friday started to form. Cardinals lead-off man, Tommy Edman (who put together a three-hit night, anyway) then hit a bloop into left that appeared as though it would drop into no-man’s land. Jose Iglesias, however, has a glove:

That erased that feeling of dread and Castillo buckled down and got out of the sixth.

The Reds came to bat after Amir Garrett (4-1, 1.66) returned to action and pitched a perfect 7th. Suarez led-off with a walk (got on base in all four plate appearances) and was quickly scored on a Yasiel Puig double to deep left center. That brought up VanMeter:

The Cardinals then cut the lead to one, in the eighth, thanks to a walk, double, fielder’s choice combination, because why should the result be anything but a one-run affair? 

Despite allowing the Cardinals second run, David Bell left Michael Lorenzen (6 saves) in to pitch the ninth. He did not disappoint, delivering a perfect final frame and sending Reds fans home happy.

Something worth noting: along with his first homer, VanMeter recorded his second multi-hit game of this, his first year in the Majors.

The Reds will finish off the four-game set, tomorrow, at 1:10 p.m. as Anthony DeSclafani (5-4, 4.29) will try to help earn a series split. Opposing him will be Jack Flaherty (4-6, 4.41) for the Cardinals.

On a side note, what sort of things would you, the reader, like to see in these recaps? We all have our own style, here at the Nation, and I am looking to always be improving. Let me know in the comments section, below!

30 Responses

  1. Chuck in Virginia

    Your write-up was perfect for me, and not just because I enjoyed the outcome so much better tonight. Succinct, without being too cut & dry, with enough story and detail to make it interesting.

    I also appreciate the lack of negativity that sometimes prevades the post-game story.

  2. Cleveland Reds Fan

    I would like to the recaps to have more opinions. I can read recaps from and

    But I want to hear the thoughts from the writing staff. For example, is Van Meter someone who can be a solid major leaguer? Do you think the season is over? I come here for those answers.

  3. Doug Gray

    Actually Jeff bribed me with pancakes every Sunday (this isn’t rue).

  4. Scott Gennett

    Votto’s contract, running at a $25MM/year 2020-2023 + $7MM buyout, will prevent FO from making any bold moves in the future. It’s WJ & Co.’s legacy. That’s $107MM for the next four seasons for a player that’s now a below average hitter (last for all qualified first basemen in NL), that has always been a below average runner and just an average defender. It’s a really tough bone for a small market franchise. I’d say, best case scenario, he’ll remain as a pinch-hitter, part-time 1st baseman for 2020/2021 at most, and Reds are going to eat the remaining $57MM after cut him loose.

    • Doug Gray

      I went and checked, and it turns out that there’s absolutely nothing in the collective bargaining agreement about the Cincinnati Reds not being allowed to make moves or increase the amount of money they spend on their roster because of Joey Votto’s contract.

      The ownership group is made up of 19 men worth well over a billion dollars who operate a franchise worth over a billion dollars. They can spend more money.

      • Scott Gennett

        Well, let’s hope they do so…

    • Bruuuuuccceee

      Joey Votto signed his contract in 2012, which added money to his existing contract.

      2012 – All Star; Top 14 MVP
      2013 – All Star; Top 6 MVP 5.7 WAR
      2014 – Injured; .8 WAR
      2015 – Top 3 MVP finish; 7.3 WAR
      2016 – Top 10 MVP finish; 5.2 WAR
      2017 – All Star; 2nd MVP; 6.5 WAR
      2018 – All Star; 3.5 WAR
      2019 – Halfway done; wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up around 2 WAR

      Joey Votto since 2015 is Top 4 in oWar (behind Yelich, Goldschmidt, & Bryant), and Top 7 overall, accounting for his less than stellar D, and that’s with next to nothing this year. The Reds have gotten tremendous value out of this contract thus far. Don’t count Joey out just yet. He’s proven he’s capable of adjusting.

      • Scott Gennett

        Let’s hope for the best left of him…

      • SteveLV

        Votto has probably earned the entire amount of his contract already. As Doug points out, if the Reds treated it that way, it wouldn’t be a problem, but I doubt they do.
        The Reds need 4 position players to be top 10 at their position/possible All-Stars to really compete. If they count Votto as one of those because $25 million ought to get you one of those, that’s going to be a problem.
        If, as you say, Votto figures it out, he needs to be the 5th guy in that category, which would really propel them. I hope you’re right and he does figure it out, but (inserting tired cliche) hope is not a strategy.

      • Chris

        Those are great statistics and accolades, and nobody that follows baseball would argue that Joey hasn’t been a great player, nor would they argue that he was underpaid when he was 29 or 33. The problem is, as was voiced by so many at the time(including myself and I’m a lifelong Reds fan and always will be) we are a club that couldn’t then nor can now afford to give anyone a 10 year contract. You don’t give ANYONE(pujols, a-rod, Heyward, Harper etc) a contract that runs that long….especially when you are foolishly expecting and hoping(and it’s a definite hope) that they might be alive and producing even decently at 36-40 years of age. It’s dumb for the angels, Yankees, and it’s even more dumb for the reds. Period. It’s not debatable. For those who say he was worth every penny and more, he was underpaid, the lengthy contracts work this way, etc…..I’m aware how they backload them….and even though I’m aware, that doesn’t make it sound business for the franchise. Whether a guy is worth way more than he’s paid when he’s 26(Castillo) is the way the team control and contractual situation is set up. It would be dumb for the reds to sign Castillo to anything more than 5-6 deal as dominant as he’s been and as he’s looked. Joey votto is not worth 25m on our payroll this year, and he won’t be the next FOUR ignorant years of this asinine contract. Should have given him all the money up front if felt he was worth it, rather than tie an albatross to him and your franchise that will end up one way or another being a dead position and dead money in our lineup for almost half of the contract!!!

      • Doug Gray

        Joe Morgan was a better overall hitter than Pete Rose. So was Frank Robinson (though he was before your time – mine too!). In fact, they were both significantly better than Pete Rose was.

  5. Scott Gennett

    That’s OK for another position but not for a first baseman, where major offensive production is expected, I’d say above .900 OPS. As of today: Bell .983, Alonso .963, Freeman .950, Rizzo .933, Hoskins .916, Muncy .907…Votto .748 (last). Reds will have to sacrifice a major chunk of the expected production from a single position.

    • Don A

      Old school thinking. As long as you have production from someone else, it does not matter what position you play in the field.

  6. TR

    The box scores are available at

  7. Don A

    I would like to see Votto moved down, but there is now way he would allow it, so it will not happen.

  8. Mike Adams

    Always like to see the box score tied in with the Recap.

  9. Mike Adams

    Right now the Reds are kittens when they play the Cardinals.

    Need them to grow up into cats and do what cats do to birds!

  10. Doug Gray

    I think he’s just being a “I want the Reds team to produce highlights” kind of Debbie Downer rather than “show the highlights” guy – since there are highlights/game clips in literally every game recap.

  11. TR

    Based on the size of the population, Cincinnati is usually in the top 5 of the best ML baseball towns. And why make rebuild a special occasion? Rebuild should be every year to put the best team possible on the field.

  12. Hot Chili

    Fellow poster Chris summed it up perfectly.
    It’s not about the money he already earned or not. It’s his production, level of play and flaws that hurt the team dearly. Young players look up to him and see constant baserunning mistakes, poor fundamentals, laid back attitude. And that my friend, it’s contagious.
    His contract comes into the conversation when you see he’s untradeable and would take a big monetary commitment to just cut ties and play someone better. In that way he’s a big liability.
    Votto is a nice guy with great work ethics. That explains how much he has accomplished with so little tools to work with. But now, it’s not enough. Period. Hopefully the decent, proud guy he is tells him it’s enough and calls it a career before he deteriorates even further embarrasing him and the team working some kind of agreement with the Reds.

    • Jack

      If they pay him every cent they agreed to then maybe we can talk

      • Hot Chili

        I don’t know. He’s been paid lots of money already and perhaps he doesn’t want to go out booed by the fans and with his numbers/performance in such a steep decline.

    • Jack

      They knew he would decline, that was part of the deal with every player. They got the value up front and essentially spread the cost. Booing says more about the fans than it does about Votto.

      • Hot Chili

        So they commited a huge mistake as many posters have stated. That’s what the Cards understood over a greater player (Pujols) and the results are evident.
        At some point the Votto fans must stop the worship and think what’s best for the Reds. Enough with the name calling and attitute toward the fans that just want to see the team winning again.

  13. Hot Chili

    Now about the future….

    Extension for Castillo and build around him, Gray, Senzel, Suarez (unless a huge offer). Priority to keep the pitching strong.
    Guys like Mahle, Barnhardt/Casali, Vanmeter, Ervin, Desclafani, Peraza, Aquino, Winker are role players until someone better replace them.
    Like I said yesterday, I’m not sure about trying to extend Puig. The team has the money to resign him, Wood, Iglesias and Roark. Not sure it’s worth it.

    • Hot Chili

      Agree. I’d like to see more of Mahle working with Johnson before decision is made. Romano has been picking it up lately in AAA. Reed may contribute out of the bullpen.
      A stud SS (OFF and DEF) is a priority since they don’t have one in the minors.
      The OF situation must be solved. Not sold at all on Winker overall play.