The Cincinnati Reds will look to avoid a sweep this afternoon. Graham Ashcraft will be making his Major League debut when he takes the mound today, filling in for Connor Overton who is dealing with a sore back. The Toronto Blue Jays will counter by sending lefty Yusei Kikuchi to toe the rubber and spoil the Reds trip to Canada.

Starting Lineups

Here are the lineups for this international match up:

Cincinnati Reds

Toronto Blue Jays

Matt Reynolds – 2B George Springer – CF
Tyler Stephenson – DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – 1B
Tommy Pham – LF Bo Bichette – SS
Joey Votto – 1B Teoscar Hernandez – RF
Kyle Farmer – SS Santiago Espinal – 2B
Aristides Aquino – CF Matt Chapman – 3B
Tyler Naquin – RF Danny Jansen – C
Taylor Motter – 3B Zack Collins – DH
Aramis Garcia – C Raimel Tapia – LF
Graham Ashcraft – SP Yusei Kikuchi – SP

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP BB K
Graham Ashcraft (AAA) 32.2 1.65 1.47 17 30
Yusei Kikuchi 32.0 3.38 1.28 20 33
Links: Graham Ashcraft’s Stats | Yusei Kikuchi’s Stats

Graham Ashcraft

The big right-hander is making his big league debut today. In the minor leagues this season he’s posted a 1.65 ERA through seven starts in Triple-A with Louisville. Ashcraft leads all of Minor League Baseball with a 71.2% ground ball rate.

This season he’s allowed just one extra-base hit. He’s pitched better against righties than lefties, but neither group has been able to do much against him.

Splits (In AAA in 2022)

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 74 14 1 0 0 9 19 .219 .311 .234
LHH 76 17 0 0 0 8 11 .262 .355 .262

Pitch Usage

Since he’s been in the minor leagues we don’t have a pitch breakdown like normal. That said, he’s mostly fastball and slider, while occasionally throwing a cutter, change up, and a curveball. Fastball sits in the upper 90’s and has reached 101 this season.

Yusei Kikuchi

Left-handed hitters don’t see much playing time against Yusei Kikuchi, and the ones that do don’t get on base much, but they have hit for power when they’ve put the ball in play against him. Righties haven’t hit much, either. What they have been able to do is draw a whole bunch of walks, with a walk rate of 18% so far this year.

Splits

Split PA H 2B 3B HR BB K AVG OBP SLG
RHH 105 15 8 0 2 19 28 .174 .324 .337
LHH 31 6 2 0 2 1 5 .214 .233 .500

Pitch Usage

4-Seam Cutter Slider Change
Velo 94.9 91.2 86.7 87.4
Usage 51.0% 10.8% 26.8% 11.5%

When and Where

  • Game time: 1:37pm ET
  • Where: Rogers Centre
  • Watch: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB.tv
  • Listen: 700 WLW AM (Cincinnati area)
  • Forecast: They play in a dome

News and Notes

Jake Fraley is on a rehab assignment

It seems that everyone forgot to tell anyone that Jake Fraley was going to begin a rehab assignment last night in Dayton. The Reds didn’t announce it. The Dayton Dragons didn’t announce it. But when the lineups went out Fraley was starting in center and batting leadoff. Unfortunately there were storms in the area and the game was postponed. He’ll make another attempt at playing today.

228 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    The regulars here know I’m not a big fan of Bell and his approach/methods. But I will say this line-up makes sense given the roster he’s forced to work with in Toronto. I like that TySteve gets his AB’s and that others who have, to the degree they can, produced RBI’s are in the mix.

    I would have bet against AA getting a shot. We’ve seen the defense needed at the Rogers Centre and, while he’s capable, I’d prefer to see Friedl patrolling that area. Still, if he catches one it will fly.

    Here’s to a stellar debut for Ashcraft!!

    • Mark Moore

      Minor correction – Lopez over Motter would have been better. Switch-hitting contact guy always wins for me.

    • JB

      Because Bell loves scrubs and Lopez had 2 hits yesterday and needs to rest for a week.

      • LarkinPhillips

        We joked about this yesterday that no matter what Lopez did, he wouldn’t see the field Sunday.

      • LarkinPhillips

        @greenmtred does Bob C. and Bell pay you to defend them? I’ve never seen someone defend someone so consistently and blindly.

      • jeffversion1

        Deep down I know. I just have a hard time admitting that something so insane can be true.

        So frustrating.

      • greenmtred

        LarkinPhillips: Don’t I wish, though ownership’s money would be better spent acquiring players good enough to give the team a chance to be competitive. I don’t know whether Bell is a good manager or not. Most of the criticism of him is related to the players he uses, and the criticism often has the benefit of hindsight and never is founded in the information available to a manager when he makes decisions, so I take it for what it’s worth: Justifiably frustrated fans doing what frustrated fans do. It’s the players. Far above everything else, it’s the players. Teams with good players win. Teams with bad players lose. They lose when Sparky and Lou manage them, and they lose when David Bell manages them.

      • LarkinPhillips

        @greenmtrd Fair enough. Glad you were able to answer that without taming offense. I meant it it more jokingly than anything else. And you’re right about the crap hand Bell has been dealt this year. I do view the game differently than him pretty much everyday, but there is a reason he is a professional manager and me a high school coach.

      • 2020ball

        Yeah, using logic and common sense to explain lineup choices must mean you’re his PR rep. Jeez…this blog sometimes. If Bell doesn’t start Lopez 5 nights a week y-all go bananas. Nevermind his inconsistent performance when he’s been given his chances.

      • JB

        It’s really not about Lopez. It’s starting some guy who was a never was journeyman at 31 . He will never see a big league field again after this weekend. But someway Bell wants to give him a nice going away present of a participation trophy. Motter has no business seeing the field at all. Lopez isn’t India but is at least a young prospect that might show something that Motter had never shown. It’s clown moves that Bell makes like this that’s head scratching. As Motter strikes out.

      • 2020ball

        sigh… dude, starting one Util guy over another is really not that big of a deal. Its the roster he’s been given, so spreading playing time to your role players seems prudent to me.

      • LDS

        Yep, we knew that Lopez wouldn’t start today. And criticisms of Bell extend well beyond lineup selection. There’s bullpen usage. There’s are the inane, meaningless comments he makes in press conferences. There is his preference for 30+ year old has beens and never weres over younger guys with more potential. There’s his propensity to favor utility players over stars and potential stars. The use and abuse of analytics and handedness unless the player is named Votto or Suarez.
        The list is endless. To suggest that the roster is bad is a cop out. No, it’s not the Dodgers and it’s certainly not the BRM. But it is a team of professional athletes, all of whom are experienced, and from whom mediocrity is unacceptable. Further, the team isn’t as bad as their record. Finally, Bell and his management team suffer the usual affliction of bad and/or inexperienced managers – the drive to do something to show how smart they are. Hence, the tinkering with hitters like Senzel and AA and the endless tweaking of pitching mechanics, the ultimate outcome of which is lousy hitting and more frequent injuries. Even mentioning Bell in the same paragraph as Sparky or Lou is disrespectful.

      • 2020ball

        lol, k yeah, this makes my point so much better than I could. Why you’d even waste the energy to make that post is crazy to me, but you generally dont go a post without mentioning either Bell or Lopez so I shouldnt be surprised. So fine, post all your tears over a fringy utility player not getting enough playing time and lament over a manager with a terrible roster not winning because of a bullpen decision or what have you. You do you.

      • LDS

        Sorry, I’m old school. I believe in results, not excuses. And if a team isn’t performing, it’s the manager that bears the responsibility. Simple as that. The issue with Lopez is twofold. Don’t call him up if he’s going to ride the pine. And secondly, it’s a routine Bell-ism that one’s performance in a game has no bearing on their next appearance. Lopez was merely the most recent incarnation. That Lopez is more likely to get on base than Moller is a no-brainer.

    • Oldtimer

      To the poster above who asserted that bad players lose for good managers, too.

      The 1991 Reds were probably the worst Reds team managed by Sparky or Lou (Piniella).

      https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CIN/1991.shtml

      That team had MLB caliber starting lineup and reserves. It had a decent SP rotation and The Nasty Boys in the bullpen. Not bad players yet they were 74-88.

      Joey Votto is the only current Red who would start on the 1991 Reds. Maybe Tyler Stephenson also. But the 1991 Reds were better than the 2022 Reds.

      Likewise Sparky and Lou are clearly better managers than David Bell (so far).

      • greenmtred

        Thank you for the input, Oldtimer. Sparky’s Tigers lost 103 games one year, and Lou’s Tampa team lost 99 one year. I have no idea how a fan can accurately rate a manager, Record? You’ve demonstrated that winning pct. of a team is really a function of how good its players are. Does it actually boil down to whether the fan disagrees with the manager’s decisions? I expect so.

  2. Eddie

    I’m not looking forward to see Aquino hitting they should brought up someelese and what happened to almora Jr

    • Mark Moore

      Mr. Almora chose to make himself ineligible for the trip to Toronto.

      • Bet on Red

        this is absolutely right. +500 for calling out selfish players for theri selfishness

    • PTBNL

      As AA doubles to give the Reds the lead.

    • Jimbo44cn

      Yeah ok
      Without Aquino they lose today

  3. Bet on Red

    Unbelievable that Lopez once again sits the pine. Man in an On-base guarantee

    • Mark Moore

      The one change I made from my original post. 2x the angst after we watched Motter’s fielding prowess.

  4. Mark Moore

    Only managed to catch the tiniest segment of the pre-game with Annie and Danny again today. I may be in love … 😮

    Switched audio feed to WLW to avoid he-who-shall-not-be-named even though I know I’d have enjoyed Sam LeCure.

    OK, folks, it’s time to Kick This Pig!!

  5. Mark Moore

    54 degrees … just a little chilly there, eh?

  6. LarkinPhillips

    Two patient Abs to start the game. Hopefully that is the game plan today for a guy who struggles to throw strikes.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Also, this is the reason it was important for the Reds not to be overly aggressive the last two games as they were. The Jay’s bullpen is completely rested. Against Manoah, the argument can be made he pounded the zone. We chased a lot against Ryu.

  7. Mark Moore

    3 straight walks … 2 on, 1 out because TySteve committed to where he thought it would be.

    C’mon, Joey!!

  8. Mark Moore

    My wife says the Jays are in their “Smurf suits”

  9. Bet on Red

    This is going to turn great for the Reds quickly. might sap that bullpen for the Jays as well

  10. Bet on Red

    There you go Aquino…. never doubted… ok I did….but wrongly so q

    • Mark Moore

      +500 and I’m right there with you

  11. Mark Moore

    Well THAT worked out. Tiniest bit of redemption for AA and for DTB for choosing to play him.

    • 2020ball

      Redemption for starting a RH against a LH? Doesn’t sound like it was even a gamble in the first place. This place loves griping over the tiniest insignificant roster decisions.

      • JB

        Why didn’t Bell start Aquino against Ryu then? He is a lefthander.

      • 2020ball

        Maybe should have over Friedl, but the defense suffers. This just makes my point even more that its just small fish.

      • JB

        2020Ball just ignore me. I’m grumpy today and am tired of watching this team try to win with crap.

      • 2020ball

        All good my friend. Unfortunately thats all the FO gave us this year.

  12. LarkinPhillips

    Glad to see that for AA. Really root for the guy and hope he turns it around. Still skeptical though.

  13. Mark Moore

    OK, we staked Graham to a 2-run lead (should have been 3). Let’s see what he can do.

  14. Bet on Red

    for the record. Lopez…seeing eye bloop single would have scored 2… but no let’s get Motter out there. going to be in the bullpen early. Let’s see how Ashcroft is.

    • 2020ball

      Welcome to RR, where starting one Util bat over another is somehow blasphemous.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I’m a Lopez guy and still +1000 for you.

      • MBS

        LOL, but we have a bad team, what else are we going to talk about.

      • 2020ball

        @MBS Lmao, touche. Thats the answer I was looking for.

    • greenmtred

      There’s far less than a 50/50 chance that Lopez would get a hit in any at bat. I don’t get playing Motter, either, but–short of Barry Bonds–it’s always a crap shoot.

  15. Dennis Westrick

    Only one AB for AA but a positive start in his return to the lineup!

  16. Mark Moore

    And Springe starts with a shifty single.

  17. Bet on Red

    reportedly by MLBTR the Mets have had scouts at Mahles starts. If Ashcroft sticks I say deal Mahle.

    • Votto4life

      If the Reds are going to keep one, trade one, then Keep Castillo and trade Mahle.

  18. LarkinPhillips

    Ashcraft has to stop taking that deep breathe and then going to plate. Easy to steal on. He needs to mix it up.

  19. MBS

    Living up to the ground ball pitcher billing

    • LarkinPhillips

      This reputation of a hard throwing groundswell guy is what has excited me the most as Ashcraft has came up.

      • MBS

        Yep, it’s hare to hit home runs from an infield grounder. That will play in GABP

  20. LarkinPhillips

    That swing and consecutive grimaces by Stephenson is very alarming.

    • PTBNL

      It was a stinger off the end of the bat. Happens a lot. Nothing to be concerned about.

      • LarkinPhillips

        With the Reds injury luck this year, a hang nail is something to be concerned about.

      • VaRedsFan

        He actually rolled it over awkwardly in the follow thru.

  21. MBS

    We’re in Canada now Sam, it’s a game of cm’s.

  22. Mark Moore

    OK, minimal damage there. Good thing we staked him to 2 runs. Time to add on some more.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Two well positioned ground balls. Part of baseball.

  23. DataDumpster

    Seems like The Cowboy is absent on this road trip as well. I miss his commentary and pitching knowledge. Ashcraft has some wicked movement on most of his pitches, very impressed thus far.

  24. Bet on Red

    That bases loaded strikeout by the back up to the backup to the backup only playing because he is RIght handed and some people did not want to get their shots, looming now that Kiruchi has finally found his pace.

    but I am alarmist for not wanting Lopez to have the start

    • Bet on Red

      correction, for wanting lopez to have the start

    • 2020ball

      I’d rather see Lopez too, but I dont think it really matters. Lopez having a sudden unforeseen and highly unlikely breakout is not saving this team.

      • Mark Moore

        +100

        He had a good game yesterday. He is who he is no matter what. And he’s not our “savior” by any stretch.

        We’re more than “one piece away”, even if that piece had been Nick C. The injuries have really gutted what was already a thin roster.

      • JB

        Trout and Ohtani couldn’t save this team at this point.

  25. Mark Moore

    OK, fresh ballgame here. Time to Kick This Pig (again).

  26. VaRedsFan

    Wild pitch was costly…even though Garcia would probably say he should have caught it.

    • Mark Moore

      Yep. Passed ball or wild pitch. Cost us a run.

  27. JB

    Sadak seems alot more tolerable with Sam in the booth. Sam is a chatterbox and Sadak doesn’t have to fill the silence so much.

    • Mark Moore

      I’ll take your word for it and keep with Thrall

  28. Bet on Red

    backup of the backup of the backup of the backup

      • Bet on Red

        you start with moose, then Drury, Reynolds, then lopez there was a better option.

  29. Mark Moore

    And the latest “second coming” of Edwin Scissor Hands … SMH!!

    I’m thinking Lopez makes that play, but that’s just me.

  30. DataDumpster

    Our old buddy, Josh Van Meter, saw some action today as a pitcher with the Cards blowing out the Pirates 18-4. JVM gave up 5 runs in one inning. Give credit to David Bell for not using him as a position pitcher. However, I cannot understand how a guy who keeps his average around the .200 mark could possibly be used as the DH. Bell did this 7 times and no other manager has done that since.

  31. MBS

    Ok DFA Mottor? What’s the point of him, I thought he was a good defender, but he’s clearly not even that.

  32. Mark

    Do we really have no one better than
    Matter to play 3B? He is just awful!

      • Daytonnati

        Are you trying to say Motter doesn’t Matter? 🙂

    • MBS

      We do, literally everyone else who has played 3B this year is a better option.

    • J

      I don’t see how you could go wrong with a guy who’s never hit .200 in any season. He’s due!

  33. Bet on Red

    Do not like this move. DO not like the selection of Tony here either

  34. DataDumpster

    On the pregame, a good question was asked of Bell referring to the ability of the Jay’s pitcher yesterday getting out of trouble several times with Red’s doubles and so forth. How do some guys seem to rise to the occasion in clutch situations? Bell hesitated and then just said because “they compete.” A manager has to have some insight into these kinds of things. Apparently, our team doesn’t “compete” and the record in 1 run games goes to 1-6.

    • greenmtred

      Here I go again, but what a manager says when talking to the press and what he actually knows are not necessarily one and the same. The question itself is either so simple that it’s stupid (answer: “He has great stuff and bears down.”) or it requires plumbing the depths of the human soul to answer.

  35. Old Big Ed

    Motter is a beer league player.

    But not necessarily a worse defender than Moustakas.

    • JB

      Oh yes he is. Nobody tries to catch a grounder like that. Not even in little league

      • Old Big Ed

        Moustakas is better with the glove, albeit with the range of a domino. But Moose has the arm strength of Katie Couric.

        You can’t tell on Motter’s arm, because he never collects the ball in time to throw it.

    • doofus

      I saw Motter the other day and thought he was Moose. Same body-type. Why do we play nose tackles at 3B?

  36. J

    Someday I hope to look back at this season and wonder who on earth this “Motter” character was who played in a couple games and then was never heard from again.

  37. Kevin H

    One day your the closer, next time out you pitch in 5inning. Yet Solomon and Gutteriz have not pitched in a week.

  38. Mark Moore

    I haven’t played in years and even I know you don’t field it with your glove held that way. They score here and I do believe a Clete is in order.

  39. Bet on Red

    and Motter again…. thank you aquinos arm but that catch should have been the inning

  40. Mark Moore

    Got a little lucky there. AA would have nailed him had he run.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Yep, his defense has never been lacking.

  41. JB

    Some of us have said Moose should never play the field over anybody. We’ll I think we have found the guy he can play over.

    • Bet on Red

      the barrel however deep, does eventually have a bottom

      • Mark Moore

        Yeah … maybe … then again that one magic locker in the Harry Potter movies comes to mind

    • Mark Moore

      +500

      And you know I’m President of the No-Glove for Moose Fan Club

      They could have brought along ANYBODY in the organization with 2 shots. And they chose Motter. SMH extra hard.

  42. Mark Moore

    The feels like a HUGE weight off. And Ashcraft doesn’t chalk up a loss either.

    Something about pig kicking comes to my mind …

  43. Bet on Red

    Alright still disagree with the pull but I was wrong about tony here, only gave up one hit and we all know that should be an error

    • Mark Moore

      Just realized it ended our streak of QS games

  44. Hanawi

    Just because you bring guys in off the scrap heap to fill out the roster due to injuries doesn’t mean you have to run them out there to start. Why don’t they just bring up Christian Santana or if they are emergency players that don’t need to be added to the 40 man then bring up McClain for a series? Though really they should just play Lopez. Can’t believe people still defend Bell after watching him try to manage the last few years.

    • Mark Moore

      +1,000

      The guys are temporarily on the 26/40 with no penalties or other transactions required. This isn’t an extended road trip where you are keeping them from daily play for a long time (like with Lopez). It’s a special situation that you can leverage.

      I have no idea if DTBell requests the players on the Taxi Squad or not. I can’t believe he has zero input, though.

  45. VaRedsFan

    No infielders on the left side and 4 OFers for Votto. For a guy that prides himself on getting on base, why not take the bunt single/double?

    • J

      Like most major league players, he’s just never had a chance to learn how to bunt. Too busy trying to figure out how to hit it so that it falls between two or three closely-bunched fielders.

  46. Bet on Red

    two hit day for Aquino… I know its an accidental hit but talk about taking advantage of oppertunities

    • JB

      Hey I’ll take it. Reds are desperate for an outfielder. As much as I complain about him , I would love to see him figure it out.

  47. Mark Moore

    Excuse me swing and AA ends up with a base hit. Go figure.

  48. Bet on Red

    AND NOW THE MATRIX SLIDE FOR THE STEAL

  49. LDS

    Wow, you know the team is having a bad day when AA accounts for 2/3 of the team’s hits and both runs.

  50. Mark Moore

    Sometimes you are better off lucky than good

  51. Kevin H

    Miley pitching well for cubs today
    I was hoping he would face the reds this up coming series.

  52. Bet on Red

    Renyolds also validating his presence in the line up… from a defensive standpoint at least

  53. VaRedsFan

    Kudos to Reynolds on the tough backhanded pick and tag out

  54. J

    Bell really showed off his intellect in that inning. Allowed Moran to remain in the game for the first two outs, then subbed in a runner with two outs and Moran on second — and of course the runner is a guy who could be (or could have been) a useful pinch hitter, but now probably won’t get a chance to hit in this game. Anyone who thinks Bell isn’t a horrible manager is just not paying attention.

    • Mark Moore

      I won’t go all the way to horrible … but he’s marginal at best. I believe he gets caught up in his over-thinking stuff while he’s in the middle of the game. Or, in the case of Greene’s no-hitter, he watches more like a fan than THE manager on whose shoulders it all rests.

      At least Lopez is in the game. This one isn’t ending soon unless something happens. let’s hope that something comes in a Reds uniform, not a Smurf-blue one.

      • J

        I just don’t see how you can send Moran to the plate at the beginning of inning and not be prepared for him to reach base. How many minutes does he need to think this stuff through? Before he even got on base I was assuming they’d pinch run for him, but apparently Bell was too busy thinking about… what, exactly?

    • J

      I take it back. Lopez will have a chance to hit in this game. Still doesn’t excuse waiting for two outs before subbing him in. He should probably have been used as the pinch hitter in the first place. But if you weren’t going to use him to pinch run as soon as Moran reached, then you shouldn’t have used him to pinch run with two outs.

      • 2020ball

        Yall complain about the tiniest of things, jeez.

    • J

      It sure is. But it could be at least a little better if the manager had a clue how to get the most out of his roster.

  55. VaRedsFan

    White Sox picked up Cueto for 4.2 million.
    10 innings of shutout ball so far.

    Maybe Minor does better for more than twice the money?

    • Mark Moore

      Don’t make me dig into my negative points pocket. I’ll do it. I will turn this car around … 🙂

    • Daytonnati

      Cueto would have been an inspired signing. I can’t help but think about the positive impact he could have had on the Latin pitchers: Castillo, Diaz, Santillan, and Gutierrez.

  56. Bet on Red

    FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUT BUT BUT MULTI COUNTRY HOMERUN HITTER

  57. Mark Moore

    A hometown bang!!! First one of the season couldn’t have come at a better time. Another monkey off our backs.

  58. Melvin

    I just checked in. TS is hitting second at the DH. Is David Bell sick today? 🙂

    • wkuchad

      Sigh, I love this site but the lazy, constant Bell bashing is so annoying

      • Melvin

        Hahaha TS hitting 5th on the worst team in baseball who struggles to score runs most every game is indefensible.

      • wkuchad

        Incorrect, TS hitting 2nd vs 5th is almost negligible

      • Melvin

        I guess we got different ways of thinking about baseball and how to win don’t we? 🙂

      • greenmtred

        No it isn’t, Melvin. It doesn’t make a lot of difference where a guy bats in the lineup.

      • Melvin

        I have to disagree with you on that one “greenmtred”. Unless you’re being sarcastic. 🙂

      • greenmtred

        No sarcasm. The impact of batting order has been analysed and, as I understand it, found to be minimal at best, Think about it: Almost any significance it might have falls apart after the first time through the order. The message is that if you have a team loaded with good hitters, they’re going to hit. Bad hitters you can put anywhere in the order you want, and they’re still bad hitters.

      • Melvin

        @ greenmtred
        Tyler Stephenson is hitting .303/.357/.506/.863. No one else on the Reds is even close to that. Those are, by the way, MVP type numbers. Are you saying that he should be hitting 5th or that it doesn’t matter that he hits fifth? Are you saying that it would not benefit the team to bat him higher up in the order to, at the very least, get more ABs? As far as the batting order itself are you saying that the the team would not benefit from it’s top hitters at the top of the lineup bunched together, back to back, getting more ABs than the weak hitters? Are you saying in that scenario that the team would not have better chances of scoring runs when the lineup is turned over? You’re a smart guy. Probably smarter than I am. I’ve read your posts and I respect you. I don’t think you mean those things.

      • greenmtred

        Melvin: It makes a difference sometimes, probably. A bit. My recollection is that the analysis suggested that there’s some benefit from what you suggest. But not a great deal. I, too, was raised believing in the importance of batting order, but logically, after the first time through the order, the importance wanes, usually. The guy batting third, who is supposed to protect the guy batting second and assure that he gets better pitches to hit, leads off an inning after the guy batting second makes the last out of the prior inning, and so on. Yes, the guy batting leadoff gets more at-bats sometimes, and that matters a bit. But the difference between a hitter with an OBP of .380 and a hitter with an OBP of .300 isn’t really that great in isolation, if we’re judging it by impact on a given game. What does make a big difference is having a bunch of guys with .380 OBP’s. Then you win some games, even if they aren’t hitting where they “should” in the order. Good conversation.

      • Melvin

        @greenmtred

        Yeah. Good discussion. I’m all for advanced analytics as long as they balance out with common sense. However, when a team doesn’t have good hitters with good OBP throughout their lineup, then space the poor hitters with one or two in-between the good ones, that’s a recipe for scoring less runs. After all, getting on base, then getting hits, is the name of the game and is the hardest thing to do in baseball (IMO). That’s the biggest reason by the way I believe Joey Votto is a Hall Of Famer already. Good OBP guys along with good hitting, back to back, is the most likely way of scoring runs consistently. If a team has real good hitters at the top and but very weak at the bottom, it’s not wise to space them out. You keep the good ones together and try to improve the bottom. So in short, my advice in this case, when it comes to the “smart” people in baseball trying to shove/push this new idea about lineups……throw it in the trash buddy. :)…and yes I firmly still believe that Tyler Stephenson should be hitting no lower than 4th probably 2nd or 3rd without a doubt, no question about it. You can take it to the bank. 🙂

  59. VaRedsFan

    Now who pitches the 8th and 9th?
    I’d go Diaz for the 8th, and Hoffman the 9th.

    We know it’s going to be Warren though right?

      • Mark Moore

        OK, that at least makes me chuckle

    • Mark Moore

      Didn’t I already warn you about negative points? I do believe Art Warren in high-leverage comments are an automatic thing on that front.

      I hope we see Diaz as well. Santillan pitched more than just one, so maybe DTB is snoozing today?

      • VaRedsFan

        I’ll eat the negative points for the team if we can get a W

  60. Kevin H

    One last comment on Motter, 3 errors in 2 games. I hope we never see him again this season.

    • DataDumpster

      His last dump at 3rd reminded me of an old pony league coach who said: ” You can’t catch the ball if your glove is closed.”

  61. DataDumpster

    Is there an unwritten rule not to stick with Diaz to start the 9th? His pitch count is low, he is not familiar to the league yet and very good.

    • Kevin H

      He may not be able to pitch next two games. My only thought, and or concern. In saying that what do you have to lose.

    • Mark Moore

      We can hope, but I think that hope is misplaced. After all, NOBODY does the 3-inning save anymore. Wait … that would be a 3-inning win.

      Let’s see if Lopez can play some add on.

    • wkuchad

      I don’t send him out. Let him build on this extremely positive experience in future outings.

      I don’t want this to turn into a negative for him.

    • VaRedsFan

      I’m with you….let Diaz finish it.

  62. Kevin H

    Senzel is back in the lead off spot. He got tossed the last game they played. in 3rd inning. I hope he is back tomorrow with Big league club

    • Mark Moore

      Tossed? Arguing balls and strikes?

      • Kevin H

        Not sure, the box score said he was tossed in 3rd inning by 1st plate umpire. Maybe a check swing? I am guessing though.

  63. J

    Warren is apparently pitching the 9th. You can’t make this stuff up.

      • Kevin H

        Honestly, Hoffman as he has basically been your 3rd best bullpen pitcher. Besides Diaz, and well, uh, um lol

      • J

        At this point, pretty much anyone. Hoffman has been surprisingly effective lately. And he’d have no inherited runners to let score.

      • wkuchad

        I guess, but that seems like a coin flop between those two options

      • J

        Hoffman’s ERA is 1.74. Warren’s is 6+. It’s not a balanced coin.

      • wkuchad

        Sample size. It’s a long season. Also, ERA is not a good way to evaluate bullpen pitchers.

        If it were up to most posters on this site, no way would Hoffman still be on this team.

        Bullpen pitchers performance will go up and down. Coaches know their stuff.

      • J

        Based on my recollection (and I believe the stats will back this up), Hoffman’s biggest problem over the past couple seasons has been allowing inherited runners to score, which is why his ERA can be deceptive. But Warren’s problems have been largely of his own making, and they’ve been more recent. Hoffman has been pitching well of late. These things ought to matter even with a small sample size.

    • Mark Moore

      Please no … in the name of all that is holy …

      Is it the bottom half of the Jay’s order at least?

    • Daytonnati

      If he walks the first batter, we know how this ends

  64. Bet on Red

    ALL due respect to Vottos homer today, but the real hero of the day is Aquino

    • Mark Moore

      I’ll give AA his props for that 2-run GR2B. He laced it to the corner.

    • Kevin H

      I agree, and hopefully this will help AA continue on a upward swing. I am sure he will be back soon

      I do hope with Votto this is the start of a hot streak, he now has a 3 game hitting streak.

      • Hanawi

        Not only a 3 game hitting streak but three straight games with an extra base hit after having 1 XBH all year coming into the series.

  65. Mark Moore

    That’s one. #8 and #9 hitters coming. With a pinch hitter.

  66. Mark Moore

    A bit generous on that call … but we’ll take it

  67. VaRedsFan

    I can’t believe y’all doubted Art Warren…..lol

    Good game fellas

  68. Jim t

    Bull pen pitched well today. Votto with a big hit.

  69. Hanawi

    Thought the Blue Jays had a ferocious offense, but they have a lot of holes in their lineup. Reds’ pitching has kept them in check pretty well.

    • Kevin H

      They do, and I say this is more about Reds Pitching!!! I been critical of the bullpen and Bell, and the owners. This series and the Cleveland series shows what they have if they are clicking. Trying to find optimism in this season. lol

  70. Mark Moore

    This feels HUGE. 3-2 road trip with that weather interruption. Back home to GABP to play the Stupid Cubs.

    Have a great rest of your afternoon and evening, friends. I’m cooking burgers on the flat-top griddle tonight. Given the temp outside, they may just cook themselves.

    • Bet on Red

      yea this 90s in May is not making summer look inviting

  71. Bet on Red

    This was a good solid win and a winning series. if it wasnt for April

  72. J

    I’m happy for the win but sad to think the Motter Era might be coming to an end despite a .500 record (on the road!) with him in the starting lineup.

  73. Doc

    Looks like a successful and encouraging trip to Toronto. Despite the 1-2 record, the Reds played the Jays even up pretty much all the way. Two timely hits away from sweeping. The pitching was superb and there is plenty to be optimistic about. Reds came really close while playing with a restricted lineup. AA showed up. JV showed up. Onward. Build on it.

  74. Votto4life

    I am going to see our hometown nine tomorrow. Go Reds!

  75. Jim t

    Really like how Bell handled the bull pen today. Santillan came in and got the out with bases loaded, Diaz with a good efficient outing and the game ended with warren facing the bottom of the Kays order.

    • Mark Moore

      I’ll admit I’m a little shocked at Tony and Diaz going more than just 1. Happy … but a little shocked.

      • J

        It’s taken a few years, and he’s still not quite there yet, but Bell is slowly starting to realize what we’ve all known all along.

      • Jim t

        @Mark with Bell getting a bit more length from his starters lately you may see a bit more multiple innings from the pen

  76. DataDumpster

    Nice win, tight series. Now, the lowly Cubs. Time for some momentum. As for 3B, we used to have 5 of them on the team. Where are they?

  77. Roger Garrett

    The youngsters on the mound get it done and we get 1 and could have had all 3.Lets get India and the rest back healthy and play ball.Have to love It today