|San Francisco Giants (27-16)||4||9||0|
|Cincinnati Reds (19-22)
|W: Gausman (4-0) L: Miley (4-4)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Every pitcher who goes through the early years of his major league career on an average to below-average effectiveness path wants to have a story like Kevin Gausman can tell after he beat the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0, for the San Francisco Giants Wednesday evening.
In late 2019, Gausman came to the Reds from Atlanta as a pitcher with a below-.500 career record and a career ERA around the 4.50 mark. We typically expect pitchers like that to drift from team to team, showing enough glimmers of effectiveness to keep other teams’ eyes on them. But after a few weeks under the watchful eye of Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson, he finished his Cincinnati portion of the season with 29 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. He opened a lot of eyes in Redleg Nation with his season-ending relief work, before the season ended with his contract expiring.
He signed with the Giants, who told him he would be considered as a starter. Since then, he’s added a splitter that just might be the toughest pitch to hit in baseball, has gone 7-3, and has become arguably the best starting pitcher in the National League West, a division full of star hurlers.
He had the benefit of facing a Cincinnati lineup tonight without Joey Votto, Mike Moustakas and Nick Senzel, but he still looked like a big one that got away.
In the bottom of the fifth, Tucker Barnhart led off with the Reds’ first hit, a double to left-center. After Kyle Farmer struck out (was literally robbed when the home plate umpire called two clear balls as strikes), Shogo Akiyama walked to put runners at first and second with one out. Jonathan India battled Kevin Gausman through an eight-pitch at-bat but ended up grounding into a 5-3 double play.
In the ninth, Jesse Winker walked and Nick Castellanos singled, but nothing materialized. Winker, Castellanos and maybe Tyler Stephenson are the only consistent offensive threats for Cincinnati at the moment.
Fantastic until the ninth inning. Newcomer Michael Feliz was electric, striking out three of the four batters he faced. Why David Bell went with Carson Fulmer in the ninth instead of Heath Hembree or Tejay Antone is a great question that hopefully the manager will address.
I’m really warming up to a core bullpen of Amir Garrett, Lucas Sims, Antone, Hembree and Feliz for close-game situations. That being said, I still would like Antone in the rotation. Even without him, it looks at the moment that David Bell has four bullpen arms he can call upon with some degree of confidence. The next pitcher they need to find is a replacement for Fulmer, who has shown no signs that he will overcome the control problems that have plagued him so far in his career. He’s the non-Gausman version of a pitcher with a good arm who keeps attracting other teams’ interest but can’t find a way to reverse his fortunes.
Notes Worth Noting
The Reds failed in their quest to avoid falling three games below .500 for the first time since they were 9-12 on April 25.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds
Thursday, May 20, 12:35 p.m. ET
Johnny Cueto (2-1, 3.62 ERA) vs Tyler Mahle (2-1, 2.93 ERA)
Reds offense is fine
Dude, check the score again. You might be fine with no runs, but I personally expect more.
I know you mean the offense is fine in the sense they are trying hard. But that is just not enough for me. I expect at least a single run (regardless how hard the team is trying)
*Insert ‘Everything is fine’ meme here*
Cy Cahill got 3 outs tonight against the Cards.Gave up 5 and was pulled with no outs in the second.Yes our offense is fine and we will get em tomorrow.Yeah right.
Fulmer and C. Perez both have good arms but they cant find the plate. Warren did not fair well in Louisville tonight either. Reds are 6-5 now in series wins and 3 series they have split. They swept the Bucs and the Reds were swept by Arizona , St. Louis and possibly San Fran tomorrow. Those sweeps are showing up in the won – loss column. Brewers coming up and they cant score either. Something has to give. Let’s hope the Reds find their offense.
Kluber has a no no going on tonight against Texas. 9th inning.
Tough game tonight. Gaus pitched lights out.
It’s feels like Bell is mailing in some aspects due to the injuries. Trying Shogo at lead off and bumping Winker to 3rd might shake things up. Tonight was the first seeing TSteph out there with Barnhart. There are still hitters on the team but he doesn’t seem interested in maximizing them.
Giants happen to be a good example of the team with a couple of good hitters and well maintained lineup. They are productive.
Great recap, still wondering myself why Fulmer in the 9th. The offense in free fall without Votto, Senzel and Moustakas, cannot overcome with Suarez struggles and Farmer/Akiyama as starters. India also looks lost at the plate, something gotta give!
How does an 8 pitch at bat against the best pitcher in the NL right now mean he’s lost?
Agree, the full frontal attack on Suarez 24/7 is more than a little old! This is the same team that couldn’t score a run in the playoffs last year; Suarez is not the only guy striking out and leaving runners on base. In contrast, he’s at least available to play and has outproduced R/HR/RBIs quite a few who R making much more than he is. I agree his approach needs work and his K% is alarming, but he has produced a fair amount of R/HR/RBIs too. In fact, he’s produced more than most! Having said all that, I would have no problem benching him more. IMO, until he can show me an inside out approach and start hitting the ball the other way more so he’s K ing much less, I wouldn’t have a problem playing someone else. Before and after the game – on a tee and w/ soft toss, he needs to be working on hitting the ball the other way. It’s exactly how most guys get out of slumps
The Reds simply cannot hit consistently. It seems they have about one game a week where they score eight-plus runs, then struggle mightily to score the remainder of the week. It’s becoming more and more apparent the Moustakas signing was a bust, or at the very least a massive overpay. Senzel cannot stay on the field for any extended stretch of time without getting injured. Akiyama has no place in the lineup with Winker, Castellanos, Senzel, and Naquin outperforming him. Suarez continues to struggle at the plate. The defense as a whole is abysmal. And what’s the plan with Antone?
Same team as last year which is why I keep saying play the young guys.I am tired of losing with the old guys so lets lose with the young guys.Give Senzel,India,Ty Steve,Wink and even Naquin 500 at bats and lets see what happens.Naquin is 30 but he may be a late bloomer.All of our other players are 30 or older and we know what their ceiling is or was.Moose,Joey,Tucker and even Eugenio will not get any better but can still help but should not consistently take at bats away from these young guys.Lets get through till Sept,bring up Garcia or the other short stop,show case some of these power arms in the minors and go from there.We might get lucky and somebody may want one or two of our vets at the trade deadline.
Agree. They should be shopping Suarez aggressively now, looking for a shortstop or first baseman. I liked the Moustakas acquisition last year but he just doesn’t seem able to stay in the lineup, anymore than Senzel can. I’m not sure letting fans back at full capacity it’s is going to matter.
Like Moustakous for $14MM now? You’ll love him at $18MM in 2023!
Regarding Moustakas, I see Bell’s comments from earlier are already shown to be false. Moose to the IL and called up Schrock, who is yet to hit particularly well and only has 13 ABs so far this year at Louisville. He doesn’t have any significant SS experience, primarily a 2nd baseman. Rodriguez has 3 times that many and is still hitting well. And he’s a real SS. With Suarez, India, and Senzel, along with Blandino and Farmer, it would seem the Reds have 2nd/3rd adequately covered. Add Rodriguez to the 40 man and drop Schrock (or someone else) and let’s see if Rodriguez is real. What the Reds are doing now certainly isn’t working.
Game was already lost as soon as Bell put Suarez third again
It doesn’t make a lick of sense. Shogo at lead off and getting Wink to 3 would be more natural.
Suarez had no business above 7. He is hurting the team with his slump and D and Bell seems intent on magnifying it.
Suarez could be the guy to put them over the top when everyone is healthy but top/middle of the order hasn’t helped him.
This Reds team is what it is. Maybe if they get and keep everybody on the position side healthy, they can put together a run at some point and stay in divisional contention. Ironic that I am not worried about the pitching because barring a lot of injuries there, they could be absolutely flush with the likes of Santillan, Gutierrez, Greene and Lodolo coming on by mid season to join the current group.
I was surprised that Bell did not go on and use Antone in the 9th tonight down just 1 run. Thursday is a matinee turnaround. Perhaps Bell felt that even for 1 inning he had to choose between having Antone Wednesday night OR Thursday and decided to hold him back for a possible save situation Thursday.
But I have no venom or anger to vent on these guys tonight. They are trying but they are shorthanded and perhaps not good enough to hang with the Giants even when healthy. Blame the folks who set the player salary budget if you must blame anyone.
For some reason, Reds managers have typically stick with underperforming players for long periods, I can remember the Taveras and Hamilton examples. Same goes now with Suarez, whatever his problem is it doesn’t look it’ll go away by hitting everyday in the 3rd or 4th spot. He shall just sit from time to time and hit lower in the line-up until he turns things around, after all he was a productive player until 2019.
One benefit is seeing a future infield, Senzel, 3B, India, 2B, and Stephenson, 1B. Throw in Jose Garcia, then Winker, Naquin, Castellanos, Shogo, and Tucker\Kozolovsjy. Look out!
With Hendricks and Cerda in the OF, and Hinds coming in the infield, brace yourselves. Thar’s offense.
Except. Castellanos will not be here. Winker will probably be gone as soon as he is a free agent. Senzel can’t stay on the field. India and the rest are yet to be determined. I don’t know. I try to be positive but it is hard.
We started out 6-1 and since have gone 13-21. it seems like we are closer to 13-21 than “somewhere in the middle”. the nickel and dime injuries and suspensions have not helped but even at full strength this is probably a below .500 team.
the foundation of Winker, Senzel, India, Stephenson is solid but is it strong enough from an offensive standpoint To lead us to better years in the future?
Lol, it might be if the tin man can stay on the field for more than 2 weeks without getting hurt!
I said this before the season started, and nothing I’ve seen has changed my perception:
This team, as currently constructed, is about a .500 team. With a few good breaks, they might be able to win about 85 games. But they are not a playoff team, and certainly not a World Series contender. Therefore, the best thing to do is to blow it up and trade away what pieces they have that still have value while retaining the young core.
Castellanos, Moose, Suarez, and even Akiyama have no place on this team. I’d also try to trade Gray and maybe even Castillo, who is already 28. Package them to a contender at the deadline and try to get better at a position of need. Move Winker to 1B, now. He’s always going to be a liability in the outfield, put him at the position he’s built to play. Stop with Senzel in the outfield, it’s painful to watch him dive for balls. Put him back at his natural position of 3B. Let India play at 2B. Trade for/promote the outfield players.
It’s going to be painful for a season or two, but there’s simply no point continuing with this team as it is. Heck, there was no point starting the season with this team as it is. Make the tough choices now, before it’s too late. The Reds have some moderately valuable players, trade them and offer to eat some of their contracts if that’s what it takes to get some decent prospects in return.
Rip the bandage off. No one is going to get excited about an aging, mediocre team.
I like a lot of these ideas. Who could they target for CF, assuming they use some of the more valuable trade pieces like Gray and Castillo? Same question for SS (unless Garcia could be ready in 2022, or AlfRod surprises as there is a hint of this season).
Some of the theoretical success of an approach like you outline depends on the upcoming pitchers being really good as well, and assumes that Senzel, India, and Winker produce.
At some point this season, unless they get Castellanos to opt-in for next season early, they may as well try to get something for him, too. Or at least plan for his absence in the future. Don’t know if they’ll find any takers for Moustakas, but perhaps a team like Mets would take Shogo? At this point just ridding his salary is a win, right?
IIRC, the Reds had an option on Gausman that they declined, his contract did not merely expire. Of course, at the time he was looked at as a reliever for the Reds and the contract would have been “closer” money, and the Reds had a pretty stacked rotation. What essentially ended up happening (though not exactly in this order of events) is the Reds chose to sign Miley for their rotation and passed on Gausman.
Someone said it above, and it is correct that this is the same Reds team as last year, on offense at least. The same team that was boom or bust with the home runs, generally scoring well at home and struggling on the road. The same team that was historically inept at (not) scoring in the playoffs. The rotation and bullpen are downgraded from last year and the offense is largely the same. It’s why many of us saw a team that would have to scrape and catch a few breaks to get to .500, and likely would fall short of that. They probably should have blown it up and started rebuilding if they weren’t going to try and improve.
the glimmer of hope early on was that many of the runs were being scored without the homer. Not so much lately, and they’re back to looking like 2020. Injuries playing some role, no doubt. But plate approach has to count for some of it also
Third base this year is the epitome of the Reds organization. They never trade their players when they are losing and are at peak value. They never make the hard decisions to bench guys or change them into role players. They never force struggling players to make adjustments.
Look at the difference at 3B between the Reds and Cards over the last decade. This epitomizes the teams’ differences
Cards mainstays at 3B:
David Freese: Won a world series MVP and the Cards traded him at peak value and got Grichuck and Bourjous. Grichuck had a 2.7 WAR season 2 years later.
Matt Carpenter: From 2012-2018, Carpenter was an All Star 4 times and finished in MVP voting top 15 3 times. In 2019, at age 33 he hit .226 and was benched. Cards started benching him that year. They didn’t talk about how he was a nice guy or a great teammate. He couldn’t perform, so he was benched.
Nolan Arenado: The rest of baseball tried to shed payroll. The reds followed the trend and gave up Iglesias and Bradley for nothing. Reds cried poor. Cards saw this as an opportunity and traded for one of the best players in NL and got an absolute steal.
Reds mainstays at 3B:
Rolen: He had a great year in 2010, but he was below average in 2011 and 2012. Instead of playing the superior player in Todd Frazier, Reds kept rolling Rolen out there as if they owed him some debt due to his veteran-ness prowess. Think the Cards would have done this? No way, they traded their WS MVP and benched one of their star players for years. Rolen played 1 year in a Reds uniform.
Todd Frazier: Frazier was awesome with the Reds. Buuuuut…Reds held on to him so he could play in the HR derby when the All Star game was in Cincy? Think the Cards would have done this? No way, see above. When the finally traded Frazier, the Reds got Peraza, Schebler, and Brandon Dixon. Schebler was solid and was slightly above average for a few years. But remember reading how high the Reds were on Peraza? Sheeeesh. The Reds later platooned MVP candidate Jesse Winker with Jose Peraza in LF.
Suarez: Reds had one of their best trades in the last 2 decades to get Suarez. At age 26 and 27 Suarez put together OPS+ seasons of 136 and 129 respectively. He was at peak value. Remember, Cards traded their WS MVP at peak value. Reds decided to hold on. Then the Reds let Suarez sell out for HRs. Think the Cards would allow one of their players to adopt a new approach that is not working and hasn’t for over a year? Think the Cards would insert a guy hitting .150 into the 3-hole? No way, the second Carpenter started declining, Cards benched him. Reds, meanwhile, are talking about how he’s such a great guy.
This a solid comparison.
The Reds have an undue sense of loyalty, perhaps because the team’s best years are oriented toward the past. Because of that, they are more inclined to play/pay players for past performance.
The old Reds, for the most part, were of the more aggressive mentality. The moves made in the 60’s and 70’s (yes, pre-FA) were of the same ilk as those cited above.
The 60’s and 70’s is why I keep saying “take and make a trade” because Bob Howsam’s trademark quotes usually included that phrase. Such as, “We saw it was time to take and make a trade” or “We needed to take and make a trade”.
And of course as the world recalls in retrospect, Howsam was not shy about taking and making trades which involved good and popular players if the net result was to improve his team.
Schebler was not a solid player. He was another guy the Reds picked up in a trade and played the guy to save face.
But hey did you see that Scheb hit 3 homeruns in AAA in one game this week? LOL
RojoBenjy- AAA lifetime player. The Reds like to hold onto these players and give them alot of playing time in Majors. See Blandino…..
A 4A power guy like Schebler would actually look pretty good at 1B while Votto and Moose are both out. That’s why most teams have such a guy on ice at AAA similar to keeping their de facto “3rd catcher” on ice at AAA. I guess it was too much money for the Reds to do this year because no way 2 30 somethings would ever be hurt at the same time.
“They never trade their players when they are losing and are at peak value. They never make the hard decisions to bench guys or change them into role players. They never force struggling players to make adjustments.”
Very nice encapsulation of what has taken place over the years, and coupled with Grand Salami’s point of extreme loyalty, and JB’s point about saving face, really resonate with my opinions. It’s the source of extreme frustration.
Reality says the team is just not anything other than average. The starters have been, average, maybe, the bullpen has been below average overall, better recently, the offense has a big game here or there, but for the most part is below average, as a whole. The organization refuses to consistently play the players unless they have 9+ digits on their contracts, regardless of performance, and the majority of those guys are underperforming, with highly visible diminished skills. They do have some, allegedly, good young players in the minor leagues, but seem to move them at a snail’s pace, when, let’s face it, can they be worse than what they are currently fielding/pitching daily. The field leadership is below average, and whomever makes those personnel, player and coach/manager, decisions refuses to make hard decisions, with the exception of cutting the payroll. It really is about the organization’s failure which is exemplified with the on field product. If the same senior leadership people continue to make the same decisions, the future will look the same. The Reds really need to flush it from the top down, and try something different.
5/20 lineup boast TSteph at 3rd (and catcher) in the lineup – is that legal?!
Suarez bumped all the way down to 5th. Is there also a secret rule that contract players cannot bat 7/8 unless the play catcher?
I’m offering a new nickname due to Bell keeping him in featured spots of lineup:
Wilson, because he only accompanies stranded/marooned players.
They have to leave Suarez in the middle of the lineup, “in case” he hits one out, with Winker and Castellanos on base…
Moustakas got hurt on 14th? They could have IL’d him and brought Schrock up. The guy is batting 385.
yeah that one is mystery
I agree with most all of the comments here. The Reds seem to always be too afraid to trade a player at their peak or be too loyal to underperforming players. The TB Rays are a great example of a team that trades players at their peak to stay competitive with a low payroll. The division and playoffs this year are basically gone at this point. I’d bet that Castellanos will be gone after this year also. I’d rather they bring up young talent and lose than continue to watch Suarez’ play.
Concerning the future, I don’t see the Reds in a “blow it up” situation.
The starting pitching looks incredibly strong as early as 2022. Gray, Castillo, and Mahle are all under team control through the 2023 season. That’s 2 more seasons after this year. Santillan, Guitierrez, Greene, and Lodolo appear to be on the cusp. Antone could be added to this mix or be the foundation for the bullpen. Even given there are always injuries and that some guys never make that last step, this group of 8 should be a top drawer rotation with possibly a couple of arms to help out in the pen.
Bullpens are very fluid with short shelf lives. There are always guys around with solid to outstanding fastballs and a decent second pitch that never develop a quality 3rd pitch who play well in a pen. It is just matter of identifying such guys internally in the minor league system and across baseball then going out and getting them.
The heavy lifting for the Reds is on the position side. The top item needs to be settling Nick Castellanos long term status. He has an opt out option after this season then but is locked in for 2 more years if he doesn’t exercise it. Now, not later, is the time to start negotiations with NC. Show him the plan for the future and ask him what it will take to sign him on at least through the full term of the current contact. And don’t plead poor throughout the process.
If Castellanos will not commit past the end of 2021, unless by a turn of luck the Reds are serious contenders at as the deadline approaches, he has to be moved. Perhaps the Reds could bundle a pitcher NOT named Gray, Mahle, Greene or Lodolo with him for a really big deal which returns a young but established position guy.
Otherwise, view Winker, India, Stephenson and Senzel as long term core pieces and start building around them. I can hear the groaning over Senzel; but, he’s not going to bring anything on the market at this point; so, they might as well keep him as cheap multi position guy until he is arb eligible. Anybody else can go for fair value.
Castellanos is 29. If he is signed long term, will he be the next whipping boy for criticizing long contracts for aging players?
I’m not intending to snark at you, Jim. I really have that concern and wondering how his case could be different. He’s a great hitter, but not Votto great.
I guess one difference is whether or not you’re talking 3-5 years v. 10 years
I’m thinking 5 years max from this season on Castellanos. Counting on the DH and 1B to create spots for both he and Winker (if extended) when Votto is gone.
I agree NC is not in the Votto class as a hitter but he is also a take no prisoners leader which the Reds need on the position guy to go with the likes of Gray on the pitching side. The Reds haven’t had such a guy since Rolen whipped that 2010-12 crew into shape.
But Votto isn’t “Votto great” any longer either. So you take Castellanos for 3-5 years. Find a way to get rid of Votto, buy him out. Trade Suarez (still think the Rockies for Story is doable. They can afford Suarez, they won’t pay Story in all likelihood). Though I suspect he won’t stick around. Fundamentally, look at the FA players over the last couple of years that the Reds made higher offers to but signed elsewhere. I infer that many players don’t want to play for the Reds whether it’s a question of market exposure, lousy team management (i.e., everyone is fungible), playoff chances, etc. or all of the above.
Miley too may bring decent value to a playoff contender in need of a solid rotational piece.
Unfortunately the Cards probably fit that bill best but AL teams may also be looking.
If the Reds slide continues then I really hope to see more of shogo. He’s got basically zero value and that won’t change until his playing time does.
Yes, the rotation doesn’t lend itself to the ‘blow up’ rebuild type of approach. But the Reds could tremendously enhance their farm system by moving a guy with a bit more control. Castillo’s profile fits that bill. They tried a little with Gray in the off-season but it didn’t seem to be fruitful.
Castillo was intentionally missing from my “guys NOT named.” list 🙂
What is perhaps most scary – all of this discussion are only a few weeks of .400 ball from being the absolute forefront of discussion for Lance, and all our podcasts.
I agree with the SP looking strong, but we have not seen any of the minors guys get MLB guys out. When are they going to be gutsy enough to move them along and possibly bring them up. We only hear Reds execs talk about their prospects, and how “great” they are doing. We/they need to see what they really can do The heavy lifting is definitely on the position side. One issue, Moose, Votto, and Suarez, all declining and making big $$$, with the current trend, they will get the playing time. Where is the “big bat” replacement for Votto, where will Senzel get to play everyday and prosper, and hopefully settle in and stay on the field. When Votto returns Moose goes back to 2nd, where does that leave India? The younger players need to be the present and the future, at this pace, by the time they are the future they will be 30, and the cycle continues. I also really question on field motivation and leadership. Emotions, a big topic recently, and feel for the flow of the game, play into “managing”. It just seems to me that DB does not have the feel, example, down 1 to the Giants and he uses Fulmer, instead of TA. Any regular fan, like us, knew who should have been in the game, why does he not know that. He is not helping this team be successful, IMO.
I agree Jim. Reds have good young pieces in place. The Akiyama and Moose signings were terrible and this team needs to find a buyer at the deadline. Neither of them should be taking time away from younger guys that are producing more or equal to them. They dont need anything back for them. Just get those contracts of the books. Castellanos signing was terrible. Why they gave him an opt out after the first and second year was idiotic. It puts the Reds in a spot because they cant trade anybody (Aquino) because they dont know if Nick is opting out. The starting staff is strong with Santillan and Greene and Lodolo coming. There are quality pieces in bullpen. I just think the front office needs to fine tune it a little bit.
The player option after each of the 1st two seasons (2020/21) was to get Castellanos to sign for essentially qualifying offer money.
Others were probably offering the same or lower annual value but longer term deals with the same or slightly greater total value as the Reds full term offer value.
Castellanos incentive to take the deal was that it guaranteed he would make no less or only slightly less over the 4 years than with the other offers on the table if he stayed with the Reds but would have 2 chances to go for a much bigger payday based on his production and market projections in 2021/22.
All good stuff and others saying the same thing as well but until the ownership gets serious about building a contender it just won’t happen.Casty wants to win because as he said he is tired of losing but he sees what we see and will run for the hills just as soon as the season ends.Reds will not trade anybody at the trade deadline that could possibly bring back younger players with some upside because to them it clears the smoke out designed to hide we really don’t care about winning.Its all smoke and mirrors with ownership and their manager.Lets pretend we can compete and when we don’t lets blame it on injuries.Injuries to older players that are on the decline that will continue to get hurt and decline while young guys watch all of this nonsense.I will keep tabs on the young core as the season goes along and hope they bring up a young starter or two from the minors later in the year.Reds aren’t going anywhere until they decide they want to go somewhere.
Should the Reds keep players and keep playing them until their wheels fall off, because they are “good guys”? That is not a successful business model, and it is a business.
Reds finally placed Moustakes on the IL. I guess playing with one hand tied behind the back was a bad idea.
Just smoke and mirrors with this team.Just set him down until he is ready to go the rest of the way but even then the odds are he won’t be able to.False hope to the fans. How on earth can the ones that make these kind of decisions be so clueless?