Washington Nationals pitcher Josiah Gray showed the Cincinnati Reds why they may regret trading him away by beating the Reds 8-5 before 19,032 at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
Washington Nationals (19-35) 8 12 1
Cincinnati Reds (18-33)
5 6 2
W: Gray (6-4) L: Minor (0-1)  SV: Rainey (6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Gray was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in December 2018 along with Homer Bailey and Jeter Downs for Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood, Matt Kemp, Kyle Farmer and cash reported to be around $7 million. Righthander Gray, considered a top prospect, then went to the Nationals last year in a trade that sent Max Scherzer and Trey Turner to LA.

Gray entered tonight’s game with a 5.08 ERA. But after a first-inning blast by Tommy Pham, Reds batters touched him for only one other hit over six innings. Washington outfielder Lane Thomas backed Gray with his best Scooter Gennett impression, blasting three homers. But In his final at-bat in the eighth, and a shot at the four-homers-in-one-game club, Thomas flied out to Nick Senzel in center.

Despite the loss, Cincinnati remained slightly ahead of Washington in the titanic struggle to avoid the worst record in the National League. Cincinnati’s 18-33 record equates to a .3529 winning percentage, while Washington’s 19-35 record calculates to .3518.

The Offense

It didn’t take the home team long to take the early lead. With one out in the bottom of the first, Brandon Drury reached on a throwing error by Nationals shortstop Luis Garcia, followed by this:

But Cincinnati’s only other hit against Gray was a third-inning single by Matt Reynolds.

Cincinnati snapped out of the offensive slumber in the eighth against Nationals righty Victor Arano. After inning-opening singles by Senzel and Brandon Drury, Joey Votto did some damage:

Nationals reliever Kyle Finnegan then surrendered a two-out hit to Mike Moustakas, but that was the extent of the rally.

And speaking of ones that got away, former Red Tanner Rainey entered the game in the ninth inning to earn his sixth save. The Reds sent Rainey to Washington in the same month as the Gray deal in exchange for Tanner Roark.

The Pitching

Mike Minor had a quick and efficient first inning, retiring Washington on eight pitches. But it was bumpy the rest of the way. The lefty making his first Cincinnati start surrendered five runs, including three homers, in four innings. The beat rolled on against Vladimir Gutierrez and Jeff Hoffman, who surrendered six hits and one Thomas homer each in a combined 2 1/3 innings.

Joel Kuhnel, Ross Detwiler and Luis Cessa blanked Washington over the final 2 2/3 innings.

Reds pitchers only walked two batters, but they consistently fell behind Washington batters early in the count. That contributed to Cincinnati hurlers surrendering five round-trippers.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Washington Nationals at Cincinnati Reds

Saturday, June 4, 4:10 p.m. ET

Eric Fedde (3-4, 4.60 ERA) vs. Tyler Mahle (2-5, 5.53 ERA)

66 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Votto tied with Bench in Reds hits. Pretty cool.

    • Oldtimer

      Bench played 16 full seasons (1968 through 1983) plus September 1967 call-up.

      Votto has played 14 full seasons (2008 through 2021), part of 2022 season, and September 2007 call-up.

    • Oldtimer

      Pretty decent list (Top 10 Most Hits as a Red). Five HOF-ers. Another is HOF caliber. Votto should be #2 on this list before he retires.

      1. Pete Rose 3358 (HOF caliber)
      2. Barry Larkin 2340 HOF
      3. Dave Concepcion 2326
      4. Bid McPhee 2258 HOF
      5. Johnny Bench 2048
      6. Joey Votto 2048
      7. Tony Perez 1934 HOF
      8. Vada Pinson 1881
      9. Edd Roush 1784 HOF
      10. Brandon Phillips 1774

      • Mike Kelsch

        man, that would be great if Joey gets to #3, but I’m doubting he gets there before the Reds’ option on his contract.

      • Votto4life

        I’ve been fortunate enough to see them all play except Bid Mcfee and Edd Roush. I am so glad I grew up during the golden era of Red’s baseball.

        My dream is to write a book about the 1940 Reds. Such an underrated team with so many great story lines, such as the tragic life of Willard Herschberger.

      • Jim Walker

        @V4L> Now that you mention it, me too.

        Also, Frank Robinson in only 10 seasons as a Reds player just missed slipping into the bottom of the list by 101 hits.

        On down the page, someone suggested Concepcion as a legit HoF worthy guy (I agree). I’d place Vada Pinson in the same class. Like Davey, Vada was just never quite the guy even for a single season as his prime years were spent playing alongside the likes of Rose and Robinson for a decade. From 1959 through 1965 his OPS+ was 124 and he was one of, if not THE, premier CF in the NL if not all of MLB.

  2. RedsFan11

    Suarez with his 10th bomb tonight to win one for the Mariners. Would lead this team in HRs and top 5 ops. Interesting how he was the salary dump in that trade as Winker has struggled mightily this year so far. Everyday looks more and more like a pointless trade that hurt this team. At the very least they traded the wrong 3b (ofcourse very likely no teams had any interest for Moose even with Winker thrown in)

    • RcSodak

      Yes but he also is the same player that strikes out more than he gets on base by hit/walk combined.

    • Doug Gray

      On the flip side, the two prospect pitchers the Reds got in the deal are, uh, dealing right now in the minors.

      Brandon Williamson struggled in April, but since May began he’s made 6 starts with Chattanooga with a 2.25 ERA and 36 strikeouts in 35.0 innings.

      Connor Phillips, the PTBNL in that deal, has made 9 starts this season and has a 2.57 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 49.0 innings for Dayton.

      • jon

        missed your spot on comment before I posted.

    • jon

      The 2 pitchers the reds got both won last night and have been really good all year. oh and the reds own them about 40+million less than geno and winker.

  3. JB WV

    Sentimental and arguable inclusion for Concepcion as HOF caliber. Thanks for the list Oldtimer.

    • Rednat

      you stole my thought JB. Davey is a no doubt HOFer in my book

      • Joey Red

        It’s my feeling that Davey was every bit as good defensively as Ozzie Smith and a much better hitter. He defined the shortstop position during the early astroturf days. Definitely deserves to be in the HOF.

      • Joe P.

        When Ozzie Smith burst on the scene, he usurped all of the publicity that Davey Concepcion had been getting. Ozzie Smith bursting on the scene in the way that he did, backflips and all, hurt Concepcion’s chances of making the HOF. Concepcion became an afterthought.

  4. Redsvol

    went to the game tonight. First – GABP is a great place to watch a game. Next – very small crowd for a friday night game with good weather. Last – team played with absolutely no energy. From Minor’s inability to locate his pitches to 5 position players having no business starting on a major league club. I will say Matt Reynolds is a decent player and worth hanging onto after this year.

    • VaRedsFan

      Agree…enjoyed the park….the food….the weather…the fireworks. The home team didn’t get the W in the long run, but did get to see Votto go deep.

      Win or lose, nothing beats a day at the ballpark.

    • TR

      It’s nice to see a positive comment about GABP. I’ve found it to be an intimate park with good sightlines.

    • Jeffversion1

      Matt Reynolds is fine, but he’s 31 1/2. Is he really that much better than Lopez (5 1/2 years younger) that he should be playing full-time over him? Is there any way Matt Reynolds is any part of the next decent Reds team?

      I don’t care if the horse is dead, I’ll keep beating it.

  5. Rednat

    ownership is shooting themselves in the foot with these 6:40 starts. we fans have jobs. we fans are not taking the 43 metro bus down reading road to get to the game. we are driving from indiana, kentucky, central ohio. push the start times back and i think the crowds will pick up more. what is the rush to get the game over with anyway?

    • Doug Gray

      It’s a double-edged sword. Earlier start means earlier finish, which means some people are more likely to come with their children. Earlier start means that some people aren’t going to come because they may not get there in time for first pitch because of work/the drive.

      I’m certain that the Reds have studied this and have found that the 6:40 start means more people are going to show up.

      • Jim Walker

        More of the demographically correct people would be my guess of who the early starts are aimed at. Demographically correct meaning the folks who are going to spend more on food and side items like caps and jerseys and whatever else they have on hand to sell.

      • Joey Red

        I wouldn’t put much faith in any “studies” by this franchise…lol.

    • Melvin

      I’m told that the Big Red Machine era started at 8:00 P.M for whatever that’s worth.

      • Jim Walker

        In the decade prior to Riverfront, 8:05 pm was the starting time at Crosley Field.

        My uncle liked to joke that the “extra” 5 minutes was to allow the Ol’ Lefthander time to grab a quick shower and still catch the 8 pm bus from downtown Cincy to Hamilton (Joe’s hometown) as it went by Crosley on nights Joe had a very rough start. 😉

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Games were a lot shorter back in previous eras. I pulled up the 1975 season to get a glimpse of the length of games then. Taking out extra inning games, there were six that lasted over 3 hours that season and five of those were under 3:10. There were twelve games completed in under 2 hours.

      • Old Big Ed

        Very good work there, Jazzman. An extra minute of commercials between innings (and it may be less than that) would equate to 16 or 17 minutes/game.

        The big difference is all player-generated delay. Hitters need walk-up music, rather than just get up there and hit. Then they need to readjust their gloves, cup and grip after every pitch. Some pitchers still work fast (Hunter Greene, for example), but almost every reliever takes 30 seconds or more between pitches. It is ridiculous.

        Casablanca is great at 1 hour, 42 minutes. It would be tedious to have the exact same Casablanca content last 2 hours, 30 minutes. “Here’s ……… looking ……… at ……….. you ………. kid” doesn’t cut it.

        Baseball players and umpires are making a bad marketing/branding mistake in taking 2:20 worth of content and extending it to 3:10.

      • Joe P.

        @Old Big Ed
        Another change is with the strike zone. The strike zone is smaller than it used to be. Fewer strikes at the top of the zone. The result is less swings and more pitches, more high counts.

    • DataDumpster

      I recall that during the 1970s at least, the starting time was typically 8:05. There were a lot more kids then, of course the team was better and people came out to the tune of over 2.1 million average in the decade. Lots of other things have changed; shorter game times, very little if any televised home games, and $4-5 field (blue) seats. But, I find it hard to explain how a city can draw less people now to a baseball game than 50 years ago with population growth and so on. The last time attendance reached 2 million was 2015.

      • Joey Red

        I grew up on a dairy farm during the 70s and my dad was a huge Reds fan. Because of the late starts you mentioned we were able to go to around 10 games a year. The days work was done and it was off to Riverfront. At least the Reds should try later starts on Friday and Saturday night games.

      • Jim Walker

        I believe that for whatever the reasons, the Reds simply aren’t the regional draw they were back in the days of the 1960s-1990s.

        I’ve lived and worked in the Dayton area a few miles south of I70 going on 35 years. If I was still working, I could not make a weeknight game starting at 6:40 without taking off early; and, it would be only an hour’s drive.

        Just over 20 years ago, I worked for a year in the Mason area. With the workday hours folks kept at my place of employment and afternoon traffic, I doubt folks can gather their family and make it from there to GABP for a 640 start without revision to their work schedule.

      • Still a Red

        Hard to compare attendance during the 70s. Big Red Machine was exciting to watch and successful and probably one of the best teams in baseball history.

    • TR

      Games do start too early. Years ago it was a later start and fans used local roads until the interstate highways came in in the 1960’s. It’s similar to elementary school where classes start at 7a.m. and rob kids of an hours needed sleep.

    • SteveO

      I should say in the Reds organization. Think he’s a Bat.

      • SteveO

        I got 1 out of 3. Thought we’d try for Keuchel and Tucker too.

    • Votto4life

      Former number 1 pick and he is still young. Not a bad pick up.

  6. Votto4life

    Hard to figure out who the Red’s representative will be in this years all-star game. I suppose it will be Tyler Stephenson. He is their best player, but I don’t view his stats as all-star worthy.

    • Jim Walker

      TS has not been the same player since he came back from the concussion and then subsequently took a hard foul flush to the mask,

      • DataDumpster

        Yes, my observation also. There was a lot of talk about him catching less games and sliding over to 1B more often but looks like little has come of it. He is struggling now, some really bad strikeouts. Saving a spot for Votto at cleanup everyday seems ridiculous even if Garcia seems to have forgotten how to swing a bat. With Tyler, we are talking one of only two sure 2024 “core” fielders, thinking long term.

      • Jim Walker

        DD> As a hockey fan who watches goalies take shots off their helmet masks almost routinely, I wonder why more of the catchers aren’t using them. There was some talk on the Reds broadcast this week about them. Apparently, they have some sort of spring loaded full frame which sits on the wearer’s head and dissipates the collision forces more effectively without as much transfer to the head as the baseball mask.

        As for the Reds situation, Garcia is looking like what he has been in his career to date, a “3rd catcher” to be brought up from AAA when injuries happen. Would they dare give Farmer reps behind the plate when Barrero comes up?

  7. AMDG

    For a guy whose had an ERA north of 5.00 the past 2 seasons, Minor pitched as well as could be expected.

    It was interesting to see their former #5 starter come in for relief of the current #5 starter. Maybe every 5 days use the 2 of them in a ‘throw away’ game to save the bullpen?

  8. Alex

    Mike Minor is like the face of this offseason…. If Joel Embiid is the Process, should Mike Minor be, The Resources?

  9. DataDumpster

    A bit off topic but as I like to watch a game sometimes of players I rarely get to see, I have kept the LA Angels on my radar. Tonight on FOX might be the night to see Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout and Michael Lorenzen (who is 5-2 in 8 starts with uniformly excellent stats now). We should have found a place for ML but fooled around with him playing various roles but none that seemed permanent and interrupted by injuries that should have been avoided. Didn’t realize that he only started consistently in his rookie year with only a handful of chances later on. Now that he is doing starting pitching ONLY, he is flourishing for $7 million. Looks like another one that got away. At least David Bell was pleased with Mike Minor’s outing just noting that his location was a little off and that will be easily rectified.

    • MBS

      I always wanted Lorenzen and Iglesias as starters. I didn’t buy their arms couldn’t hack it. We wasted our opportunity with both of them if you ask me.

  10. Doc

    It took four years after the Gray for Farmer trade for Gray to be instrumental in one Reds loss. How many games in the last four years has Farmer been instrumental in Reds wins? Plenty more than one, that’s for sure.

    • JohnnyTV

      This is a curious way to make a comparison between the two…as if it is necessary or even useful.
      Comping how many times Farmer has been the factor in beating the Dodgers or Nats might make some sense in comparison if you need to go that way.
      But comping–all of Farmer’s plus evenings–against one evening of JG against the Reds is an off balance way of mining data.
      Given all the ventilating about trading Castillo or Mahle or Votto or Farmer, even, for “prospects” it is interesting to comp what has happened when the Reds where on the other side of such trades.
      The Latos trade haunted for a long time.
      The Bailey salary dump was a very dramatic deal.
      A pity that Farmer sat out last night against Gray.

      • MBS

        I take it as Farmer has been very useful to us over the last 4 years, and Gray has done very little for a MLB team in that time. His 5.48 ERA last year or his 4.71 ERA this year isn’t a huge loss. He is still talented, but all of the angst of losing Gray, and Downs seems to be much a do about nothing.

    • Luke J

      Specifically Farmer has been worth 2.6 wins above a replacement player in 319 games. Gray has been worth 1 win total (not above replacement though) in 1 game. Hmmm.

      • Old Big Ed

        Gray is 24; Farmer is closing in on 32. The Nats have control over Gray for 5 more seasons. The Dodgers, who are not stupid, had to give Gray up last year to get Max Scherzer.

        If I were a player agent, getting a percentage of their future salaries, I would a LOT rather represent Gray than Farmer.

    • Jim Walker

      Somewhere in this Farmer narrative, it should be recalled that technically Farmer is with the Reds now as a signed free agent, not as a sweetener player received in trade return.

      Following the 2020 season, Farmer was nontendered and then re-signed literally minutes later as a free agent. What was this dance all about? We don’t officially know; but, the FA contract Farmer signed was a split 2 way contract that paid him $604K at MLB and would have paid him $175K if and while in the minor leagues (per Cot’s Contracts). https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/national-league-central/cincinnati-reds/

      These contract terms seem to indicate the Reds saw Farmer as little more than a valuable organizational depth piece as the 3rd catcher and utility IF/ corner OF guy to be held “on ice” at AAA pending injuries and the like.

      Kudos to Farmer for grabbing the opportunity when the Reds came up empty in their dumpster diving for a SS prior to the 2021 season; but, it is not like there was any great insight on the part of the Reds front office in the matter.

    • Hanawi

      This would be a good point if the Dodgers hadn’t used him as a key piece to get Scherzer and Turner while using Downs as a piece to get Betts. Comparing those guys to Farmer is more relevant.

      • MBS

        Except we could not afford either one of those guys. The real point is would the Reds be better off with them or with the year of Puig, which helped us get Bauer the organizations only Cy Young winner. Also the 4 years of Farmer. So far those 2 we gave up have no cy youngs, or game winning hits for a mlb team.

      • Hanawi

        Give me Betts, Scherzer and Turner over Puig and Bauer (who they also couldn’t afford). The love for gritty utility players with minimal value by Reds’ fans knows no bounds.

      • MBS

        Obviously they are better, I don’t think anyone with a brain would argue that. I think you are overestimating how much Bob would spend

    • BK

      I agree Doc:

      Tanner Rainey is productive this season for the first time, in his 5th ML season with a a career bWAR of -0.3. Tanner Roark produced +2.6 bWAR in 2019 alone with the Reds and A’s.

      Josiah Gray was the most promising prospect we sent to the Dodgers in the Bailey plus prospects for Puig, Wood, Kemp and Farmer. Gray is the best starter for the Nats and is sporting an ERA+ of 84 (or 16 percent below league average), a career FIP of 5.68 and exactly 0.0 bWAR. That said, Gray is at the point where he’s starting to figure things out and I’m sure will do well moving forward. Farmer, is posting his best year thus far with an OPS+ of 100 (exactly league average) and has produced 2.9 bWAR as a Red–did I mention he’s having his best year? I’m betting that Farmer will best Gray for this year as well.

      I’ll take trades that produce winning results over full seasons in exchange for being “haunted” in one game every time.

  11. Scott C

    Sounds to me like we need to be dumping some pitchers either sent to minors or DFA. What a great swap of lefty starters. Letting Miley walk to Chicago and trading a lefty reliever for Minor.

    • Old Big Ed

      Wade Miley in his first start back for the Cubs in early May gave up 5 hits and 5 walks in 3 innings. He pitched 3 games, the last on May 22, and went back on the IL with a shoulder problem, and likely won’t be back before the end of June.

      Minor likely isn’t going to be produce much, but Miley isn’t likely to produce much, either. I tend to agree that the trade for Minor was an odd one, but I also don’t think it will matter in the long run. Garrett has been so-so (who knew?) in 13.2 IP for the Royals, but hasn’t pitched since May 24 due to Covid. He will almost certainly be traded at the deadline if healthy, and probably for a B prospect at best.

  12. burtgummer01

    Things will get worse before they get better,moneybags Bob is a bigger liar than Amber Heard