Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (56-62)
1 9 0
Washington Nationals (64-55)
3 6 0
W: J. Ross (3-3) L: A. Wood (1-1) S: D. Hudson (3)
Statcast | Gamecast | Game Thread

Twitter doesn’t love Alex Wood anymore. A couple of solo home runs in the 4th made Wood the villain, but I’m not sure that in this Year of the Aerodynamic Ball, where baseballs leave the yard like they’re on the Kessel Run, it was anything particularly egregious. Wood is still working his way back from a long layoff and mistake pitches are all the more deadly as batters right now are selling out for the long ball. I’m not giving up on Alex Wood yet. It’s the other side of the Punisher coin.

The story of the game was Ross, who painted happy little groundouts across the infield landscape. From the 2nd inning through the 5th, Joe Ross set down 12 of 13 Reds batters, only interrupted by a Jesse Winker double in the 4th. Command has been Ross’s Achilles heel, but tonight he didn’t walk a batter until the 6th. Tonight he was a ground ball machine. He finished 6 2/3 innings, giving up only 1 run and 2 walks.

The narrative is that the Reds make average pitchers look like Max Scherzer, but the truth is that Ross had two scoreless outings before tonight. He’s clearly finding himself after Tommy John surgery.

But you can’t talk about TJ surgery without talking about Daniel Hudson, who came in to pitch the 8th inning. A survivor of not one, but two TJ’s, Hudson was a key character in Jeff Passan’s The Arm. Having once turned down a sizable contract—only to blow out his elbow shortly after—Hudson has spent years hanging on, rehabbing and rehabbing, giving up on his dream of being a starter, embracing the role of reliever to protect an elbow, knowing that it might give way at any moment.

To begin the 9th, Josh VanMeter got to Hudson for a leadoff double. Senzel flew out to centerfield. Jose Iglesias struck out. Freddy Galvis singled in his Reds’ debut. But, Tucker Barnhart fanned to end the game.


The Good

Lucas Sims came on in the 6th inning and went 1-2-3 on ten pitchers, then returned in the 7th and worked out of a jam to give the Reds a chance. Robert Stephenson came on in the 8th and acquitted himself well. Joey Votto was on base 3 times, with 2 hits and a walk. Jesse Winker went 2-4.

The Bad

The rest of the offense. The Punisher went 0-4. That’s not supposed to happen, people.

The Ugly

In the 6th inning, Jose Peraza walked. It was his first base-on-balls in 145 plate appearances. If you’re not going to walk, you’d better make contact like Tony Gwynn. Jeebus.

16 Responses

  1. Aaron B.

    Peraza is fine for depth or as a bench player but he gets too many starts when their are better options available. Send him down to triple A and only bring him up if there is an injury or he goes on a crazy tear. I doubt he has much trade value so save him for a rainy day.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Picking up Galvis is a sign that the front office does not believe Peraza is the answer moving forward. There’s a good chance that they are with Peraza where they were last year at this time with Hamilton — realizing that he is what he is, with not a great chance of improvement. Peraza does have an option left, so there are “options” on how to utilize him in 2020.

    • Matt WI

      Scarier thought: What if picking up Galvis is a sign that they are getting messages they can’t resign Jose Iglesias?

  2. Aaron B.

    Most likely they are enamored with Peraza for the same reason as Hamilton, that is has speed (not nearly as fast as BHAM but still the fastest guy on the team right now). They over value speed which is a failing of this management. If a guy can’t hit who cares if he can steal a base, you can’t steal first. Also, some reputations are on the line because they traded Frazier for Peraza and no one likes to admit they were wrong. Anyhow, he isn’t an awful player but he isn’t a starter and he gets way too much playing time, I think we all agree on that. If they would just keep him on the bench, just like they should have kept Hamilton on the bench, it would be ok. It’s good to have speed on the bench. But they never do the prudent thing, they always try to force these guys into the lineup and they don’t hit well enough to justify it. The truth is our management is bad. They make some good deals, but they are very bad at assessing their own talent. They have guys on the bullpen in high leverage situations that probably belong in the minor leagues. Lorenzen should have been converted to a position player ages ago. I know we all think we are smarter than management, but how many people here begged for them to sign Yelich while our management didn’t even make a respectable offer, now he is going to be a perennial MVP candidate in our own division. We are smarter than management. These guys are usually hired because its a good old boys club (Walt Jocketty) and really they are just grasping at straws half the time. Sometimes they hit, sometimes they miss, but the fact is this has been a very bad team for a very long time, and Peraza is par for the course.

    • george

      Aaron B.;
      Your thoughts are pretty much on target. I have backed away from this team because I just don’t believe in the current regime to make good baseball decisions. Yes, they stumbled into a fair starting staff, but they totally ignored the bullpen. This team loses the tight games and many on this site believe that it is a sign that they are improving. When you look at the 25-man roster are there any wining play-off or World Series players. Are there any field leaders (enforcers) on this team? If there were, this team would be wining many of those tight games instead of being just close. There a few good players who need to be taught how to win. They can’t just “club” their way to wins, they need to know how to win by being smart and taking advantage of the other team’s little mistakes and short comings.
      Those winning players are out there (FA’s) but they cost serious dollars. When current management (ownership) decides to go get those type of winning players and stop trying to pass off other teams leftovers or non-performers then we will see playoff and series teams with players who know how to play to win and not just survive.
      Oh well time to get to bed.

      • Mason Res

        George I totally agree with you and much of what you said I have said all year. I don’t think the improvements this season is because of great planning or execution by the FO. As you said they stumbled across some pitching which has helped. But the complete failure of finding bullpen help doomed any chance of a real playoff this season. They traded players at the deadline that any team would have traded and should of traded…it wasn’t rocket science….but they basically got one player in return. They picked up a couple of castoffs from the waiver wire and some here proclaimed how this FO is making bold moves. Bold moves are signing big name free agents and not a one year rental like Puig. I’m not criticizing those here who believe in this franchise and there will be those who will post “data” as to how much better this team is. To me the best data is the standings and while they won’t finish in last place and just a few games under 500 I’m not going to use that as a reason to proclaim this franchise is on the right track and the FO knows what it’s doing.

    • James H.

      And why is Galvis going to play second, usurping Vanmeter? Galvis is a natural SS. Sit Peraza; FREE Vanmeter!

  3. KYPodman

    on Peraza’s play at third, the throw was “decent” from the CF, but, my gosh, the slide was horrible – straight into the bag. He did not read the fielder and the 3rd base coach did not direct him to slide to the inside of the bag, the 3rd base coach can read the throw from the outfield and Peraza should read the player and what side of the bag the 3rd basemen is catching the ball. A head first slide and he is safe, a feet first slide to the inside portion of the bag and he is safe. I teach my kids this part of baseball and it dumbfounds me that major league players (Peraza or 3rd base coach) do not perform it. It is these “little things” that drives me nuts about the Reds. Also, OMG, “tuck your back pocket in (Peraza and Winker)!!! Look like a ballplayer” I’m done, sorry for the rant! LOL

  4. Roger Garrett

    Nine hits and 1 run will obviously not get it done but for the most part this team because of the pitching will stay close in games.Its the little things or the inability to move runners or take an extra base that is holding this team back.Would have to look at the data but unless we homer we rarely win and that is kind of the way the league has gone and the Nats have won both games so far because they homered.The 4th inning last night is classic,Winker leads with a double and never moves.The 7th last night,guy on third infield back giving a run and it doesn’t happen.As a team and individually the approach of our hitters is the same.See ball and swing hard.I am happy we are playing younger guys and for that reason I am good with whatever happens because they have to learn to hit at the big league level and part of that is about making productive outs and taking at the plate what the pitcher gives you.Part of that could be improved if we indeed had a leader on the field who takes younger guys aside and tells them and then goes out and shows them about situational hitting and maybe we do but until it shows on the field well it must not be there.

  5. Tom Mitsoff

    Don’t forget that Bell is essentially a member of the front office. Moves like Galvis are not made in a vacuum. When they are made, Bell understands what the rationale behind them is, and understands what his role is in making that rationale happen.

  6. SultanofSwaff

    +1………………….or Wood. If he’s not coming back, Sims and Mahle should be in the rotation.

  7. Chris

    Well I went to Fangraphs hoping to make a case that Peraza is worth keeping around… and there just isn’t one. His BB rate is somehow DOWN from the whopping 4.2% he put up last year. K rate is up. ISO power is non-existent. BABiP is .269 – which is low, but not staggeringly so for a player who makes a ton of weak contact. Seems like every other MI on the team does something – Galvis and Dietrich hit with power – Van Meter gets on base – Iglesias fields SS at a high level. Peraza does none of these things. At this point, he has 1800 plate appearances with a .299 wOBP and 81 wRC+. He has speed and defensive versatility, suggesting that he may have a role as a utility player, but a .690 OPS isn’t going to play in 2019.

    When Dietrich comes back, Peraza should be optioned. Maybe he can work on some things (like strike – zone discipline) away from the pressure of MLB. Maybe he has some trade value? Probably not. At this point, if we non-tender him, I’m not sure he’d get a Major League deal. Other than youth, he has no real advantages over Dietrich and Iglesias.

    • Big Ed

      It could be that they want to save Peraza’s last option for next year and not use it now, so they are just going to suck it up for 3 more weeks with Peraza.

  8. Chris

    As for Wood… he’s running it up there in the high 80’s. He’s gonna give up HRs. Last night wasn’t a train wreck. If he wasn’t coming off of an injury, he might have been able to go 6+. His pitch count wasn’t bad. I’ll withhold judgement for now.

    And we aren’t resigning him, unless it’s for dirt cheap and I’m not sure what incentive AW has to do that. Can’t justify spending big FA money on the rotation – it’s already gonna be expensive, and our in-house options for the league minimum probably aren’t way worse that AW at this point in his career.

  9. Big Ed

    I think that Bell’s statement that Aquino wouldn’t play every day was just manager-speak, trying to take some pressure off Aquino. He didn’t want to make it sound like AA had definitively won the RF spot for the rest of the year.

    I don’t understand the Galvis acquisition, although I suppose they may think his added power is worth more than Iggy’s better glove. And I think Blandino is a better fit for the backup shortstop / general utility guy than Peraza is.