Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (63-52)
12 19 2
Cincinnati Reds (54-59)
5 11 0
W: Chatwood (5-1, 3.92 ERA) L: Gausman (3-8, 6.26 ERA) 
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Cincinnati Reds (54-59) got embarrassed by the Chicago Cubs (63-52) 12-5 on Thursday night. The most important series to come to Great American Ballpark didn’t exactly get off to a great start.

The game was billed as a probable pitcher’s duel. That’s the funny thing about baseball, though, as the game does not care about what’s on paper. Both Alex Wood and Cole Hamels lasted just three innings, apiece. Both pitchers combined to give up 10 runs on 15 hits.

After those three innings, the score was tied at five and it appeared that we were going to get a very good game. The Reds would not score from then on, however, while the Cubs put a touchdown on the board.

Two things stood out as a Reds fan watching the Cubs. 

The addition of Nick Castellanos is big stuff for them. Two of his three hits were homers, which gave him more RBI (two) than runners left stranded (one). They slotted him in the second spot in the lineup and he is now hitting .284. An outfield bat they got at the deadline must be nice.

The other thing was Ian Happ. Dude cannot hit against any other team (.235 average) but run him up there against the Reds and he goes off (.309). He had two hits, a homer, and four RBI Thursday night. One of the many points he beat into the ground, Thom liked to remind those of us watching at home that Happ tees off on the Reds to the tune of a 1.152 OPS. Ain’t that just peachy?

One last piece of negativity before a few positive notes: it is time for David Hernandez and the Reds to part ways. His service has been commendable, in the last year plus, but he has been a consistent train wreck out of the bullpen this year. He allowed five earned runs on six hits and two walks in 1.2 innings on Thursday. He was soundly out-pitched by none other than Kyle Farmer. 

Speaking of good notes, Farmer replaced Hernandez in the top of the eighth, with two outs and runners on first and second. Farmer was able to get Jason Heyward to ground out on a pitch that didn’t register on the radar gun. He then pitched a scoreless ninth inning to allow the rest of the bullpen a breather. Dude is a jack of all trades.

Aristides Aquino continued his torrid start in the majors. He had a pair of hits, including a dinger that will probably make it around the world in less that 80 days. He wasn’t just a bat, though. He gunned down Anthony Rizzo trying to stretch a single into a double, in the first inning. The throw was clocked at 101 MPH. Maybe he’s the next position player to get a crack on the mound?

Last, but certainly not least, is Phillip Ervin. Dude had the weirdest stat line I’ve seen in a baseball game. He went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, yet didn’t score a run. He’s absolutely mashing right now. It doesn’t matter if the pitcher is a southpaw, a righty, or Pat Venditte, Ervin is hitting every baseball that comes plate-ward and it’s been fun to witness.

If the Reds are going to #SneakOnIn, they pretty much have to win Friday’s game. Trevor Bauer will be on the mound to ensure that happens. The lineup will be tasked with hitting Yu Darvish, though. You may remember the last time Darvish faced the Reds as he shut them out for six innings. Hopefully Friday brings a different set of fortunes.

23 Responses

  1. Great Redlegs Fan

    Well, I think it just didn’t go as planned. Wood’s poor outing, coupled with Senzel, Votto and Peraza lousy at bats, killed any chances after the game was tied in the 3rd inning. Hernandez’s last appearance as a Red was just a bonus.

    • burtgummer

      I’m not holding my breath on Hernandez

  2. Big Ed

    I think he moved to second when they moved Farmer from 2B to pitcher, and put O’Grady in CF.

    I don’t think you can read much into it, under those circumstances.

  3. Mason Red

    Another missed opportunity. It’s August so those opportunities are becoming fewer and fewer. Cubs flexed their muscles last night.

  4. Big Ed

    Votto is now 1-for-his-last-18, with 6 BBs. The league has adjusted back to his adjustment.

    Senzel is 4-22, with no walks and no XBHs. He looks tired to me, and isn’t hitting the ball hard at all. His average exit velocity is below MLB average.

    Peraza has an OPS over his last 15 games of .431. His early error last night led to 3 unearned runs, and then he whiffed on an unwise attempt at a barehand play at SS that scored 2 runs. Remind me again why he is in the major leagues.

    • Great Redlegs Fan

      Time to make tough decisions if they want to continue in the race: Votto and Senzel must sit for a while, no more Peraza and Hernandez.

      • Stoney

        At the very least move Votto out of the second hole. Batting him 6 or 7 may help everybody. Enough of Peraza. More than enough with Hernandez. Please make some adjustments Mr Bell.

    • MFG

      Big Ed, you are right. Tonight we should sit Senzel and Peraza. Ervin must be in the line up and I think Winker should start. Farmer at 2B.

  5. Mike Adams

    Two failures led to this debacle.

    Reds’ pitching and 3 for 16 batting with runners in scoring position.

    Teams and pitchers just back from injury will have bad games every once and a while.

    The Reds can still take the series but it will require a seven inning, 1 or 2 run(s) allowed effort by the starter.

    Also no relief pitching by the gas hose gang.

    Come on Reds and Bauer, show some fight and heart.

  6. PhP

    Votto having a poor night has nothing to do with Peraza being terrible. They don’t play the same position in case you were wondering. And no one is defending Votto, multiple posters have suggested he move down in the lineup and or have his playing time reduced.

    What are people’s obsession with Peraza – can’t get on base, can’t hit for power, and doesn’t isn’t a great (good) fielder. He contributes nothing.

  7. Reddawg12

    A nice approach? Are you kidding me? Peraza hasn’t taken a walk in over two months. I’ve been a DB fan so far but that quote is nonsense.

  8. Matt WI

    Excellent reframe. I’m on board.

  9. Matt WI

    Yeah, they most certainly won’t sit Votto on a Friday night in GABP. Unless he has some “soreness” to attend to.

  10. Tom

    Discouraging, and you might also add deflating loss for the Reds. The numbers do not lie for David Hernandez – ugh! Right now with the suspension of Hughes and impending time out for Garrett, it seems Hernandez is getting more mound time than he should. If it were not for the short-handed pen, I would only hand the ball to Hernandez in a blowout. I don’t openly root for guys to lose their jobs, but it is a business and players make lots of money. The Reds need to find another bullpen arm. As for Votto, lousy time to go into a slump. The next 3 games will be the last of consequence this year for the Reds if they continue to lose. Now or never guys.

  11. Reaganspad

    That pitch he took for strike 3 was sad.

    I would consider platooning Votto

  12. Scott C

    I knew the game was over once Hernandez came into the game. We were down by only 2 at that point and certainly in the game. Hernandez just threw cold water on anything the Reds had at that point. I think he needs to either go back on the IL or be DFA. As far as Peraza goes he needs to be sent back to AAA and Blandino brought up, his first AB of the game all he had to do was put the ball in play on the right side of the infield, instead he wasted his AB with a lazy fly ball to left, then his two errors in the game. were totally pathetic. The one thing I don’t like about Bell, and I do think he does a pretty good job, is all the double switching, that cost us Iglesias last night who has a better bat and glove than Peraza. In other games he has pulled another good bat to save a pitcher who sometimes doesn’t make it out of the inning. We have a short bench so we carry one more arm. And one more gripe since I’m going, (last night just brings out the worse) Votto needs to adjust to the fact that he is not getting those borderline calls any longer. But the good news is, its just one game, doesn’t matter if you get beat by one or 7, it only counts as one.

  13. wizeman

    unless we run table rest of weekend… i hope he mo vces senzel to 2nd base… where i think he should be and install ervin in center

  14. FRANK Howard

    Dont need analytics to tell me Hernandez’s arm is shot….or Senzel is hurting….as is Votto. But……lets talk about Aquino’s exit velocity and arm strength. Just watched game 2 of 76 WS on youtube. So refreshing without all the statcast crap.

    • Bill J

      I don’t care how fast was or how far it went if it’s a homerun just that it went over the fence.

  15. Frank Howard

    Its amost like they want to lose. Bells decisions reflect that. So forget wild card. Not like it used to be.. front office cslling every pitch

  16. Scott C

    Just saw tonight’s lineup. Why is Peraza starting tonight? Is Iglesias hurt?

  17. Don

    Votto and Senzel did both look they are not seeing the ball at all in the last week + of games. Suarez has looked tired at times as well recently.

    Starting last night, Reds play 30 games in the 31 days with one off day and one double-header.

    Bell has to figure out how to give the players days off and keep them fresh while still winning games.

    Cannot run those three out there every night and expect them to perform.

    Senzel played games since being drafted
    2016 = 68
    2017 = 119
    2018 = 44
    2019 = 85
    Could be hitting a rookie wall.

    Suarez OPS by month over his career
    April 982
    May 983
    June 926
    July 979
    August 844
    September 695
    He needs a day off as his stats show he will fall off the next 7 weeks as he gets worn out.

    Votto needs to swing the bat and stop hoping the ump will give him the call on 3-2 when the pitch is on the corner like he used to always get by reputation. Umps are graded to hard now compared to years ago on reputation pitch calling.