About Me

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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Michael "Babe" Lorenzen Slams Milwaukee

Michael "Babe" Lorenzen capped the Reds eight-run seventh with a long grand slam.

Lorenzen's third home run of the week, his second as a pinch hitter, propelled the Reds to a 12-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

In his last last five at bats, Lorenzen has singled, walked and homered three times.  Lorenzen now has three pinch hit home runs for his career.  Gary Peters pitched from 1959-1972.  Peters hit four pinch hit home runs while making 359 pitching appearances.

The blast helped the Reds over come the daily home run by Eric Thames.

There is talk of renaming the Ohio River, the Thames river.  Milwaukee's Thames hit his 11th home run of the season in the first inning off Reds' starter Tyler Mahle.

It was his fourth home run against the Reds this season after he belted 10 against them in 2017.

The Reds missed a chance to tie the game in the fourth inning.  Joey Votto singled to left.  National League's leading hitter Scooter Gennett shot a ground single to right.  Votto aggressively tried for third but was thrown out by Hernan Perez.  Gennett went to second where he was stranded.

"It had a feeling of some games we've been through where we put runners out there and couldn't get over the hump," Jim Riggleman said.

Mahle escaped a fifth inning jam.

Opposing pitcher Jhoulys Chacin bounced a single through the left side with one out.  Brad Miller doubled off the wall in left center, Chacin stopped at third.  The Reds showed discretion was the better part of valor by walking Thames intentionally.  Mahle then struck out Jesus Aguilar, who has 19 home runs on his resume, swinging and Travis Shaw looking.  Those strikeouts gave him 12 for the first five innings.

The Reds got one back in the bottom of the inning.

Adam Duvall walked.  Curt Casali followed with another walk on a full count pitch.  Mahle was sent up to bunt, which he did.  Chacin gloved the ball with plenty of time but both corner fielders Shaw and Aguilar charged and no on covered first base.  Mahle's bunt single loaded the bases with no outs.
Scott Schebler hit a line fly to center to score Duvall.  Jose Peraza forced Mahle at second base and Votto flied out to left.

A rare error by Suarez opened the gate for Milwaukee in the sixth. Suarez gloved the ball but couldn't get the ball out cleanly and his throw was too late to get Perez.   Brad Miller doubled to score Perez and reached third on the throw home.  Keon Broxton bounced to a drawn in Jose Peraza at short for the first out.  Erik Kratz grounded  ball to Gennett's left.  Gennett dived to pick up the ball and threw Kratz out as Miller scored.  Gennett's error on Chacin's ground ball, signaled the end for Mahle.  Kyle Crockett relieved him and struck out Miller.

"I thought is was the best pitching performance of the year," Riggleman said of Mahle's performance.  "It wasn't a quality start which is ridiculous.  That was impressive.  He was just really good and really pitched.  He is a fine composed young pitcher."

Milwaukee's go-ahead runs were unearned.  Absent Suarez' error, Mahle would have likely finished six innings with just one run scoring but he was disappointed the runs scored and he didn't pick up his defense.

"I made a lot of good pitches throughout the game.  Then we scored one to tie it but when we needed me to go out and have a shutout inning, I made some bad pitches," Mahle said.  "That's going to haunt me the rest of the day.  It is hard to be mad about that because we won and it was such a great game.  When the team really needed me to throw a zero, I didn't."

Mahle pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs but only one earned.  He gave up five hits and three walks with one intentional.

The Reds went to work against Milwaukee reliever Taylor Williams.  Gennett and Suarez singled to greet Williams.  Jesse Winker walked to load the bases.  Adam Duvall flied out to shallow right leaving the bases loaded.  Tucker Barnhart was sent up to bat for Casali.  Barnhart singled to score Gennett with Suarez stopping at third.  Alex Blandino batted for Crockett.  Williams struck out Blandino.  Schebler grounded out to Aguilar to end the inning.

David Hernandez pitched a scoreless seventh inning.

The Reds put the first two batters on base for the fourth straight inning when Peraza singled and Votto walked.  Mike Zagursky, who pitched for Pittsburgh and the Yankees in 2013, walked Votto, in his first big league game since returning from Japan.  Gennett doubled over Thames head in left to tie the game.  Winker bounced a single to left to give the Reds the lead, leaving the bases loaded with no outs.  Jacob Barnes replaced Zagursky.  Duvall kept the line moving with a two-run single off Barnes.  Babe, excuse me, Michael Lorenzen launched the second grand slam by a Reds pitcher in a week.  The Reds went down in order after that, having scored eight runs before the first batter was retired.

 "I thought Tucker's at bat was huge," Riggleman said.  "Votto's walk, Scooter whatever inning that was.  There were a lot of great at bats.  Duvall had a big one but Lorenzen's was pretty special."

Riggleman could have had Billy Hamilton pinch hit because he was going in for defense any way but elected him to run for Winker who was on third base instead, using Lorenzen to pinch hit.

"We were going to put Billy in for defense any way," Riggleman said.  "If I had hit Billy there, where I would have had to put the pitcher in the order wouldn't really work there.  I thought I was going to put Billy in for Wink any way.  So let Billy run for him and instead of using Dixon there. I was saving a position player. I thought go ahead and let Mike hit there with no outs.  There was some luck in the move and Mike made it look good."

Lorenzen takes pride in being a pure baseball player, not just a pitcher.  He had a plan to get at least one more insurance run home.

"They had the infield in so I was looking for something elevated.  As I got comfortable in the box they moved back a little. I was looking for something elevated so I could hit a sac fly.  They threw me a slider down that I was able to take because it wasn't up.  He threw me a fastball that I was able to hit," Lorenzen said.  "It was a surreal feeling for sure.  I've said it before.  I love this game and every thing about it. I'm happy that Jim had faith in me.  That's what I'm trying to do and build trust.  I want to do more and more. When he puts me in, I want him to have confidence that I can do the job. My approach is easy and simple.  Make sure I hit the ball in the zone."

Catcher Erik Kratz mopped up on the mound for the Brewers.  It was his third appearance as a pitcher.  He pitched for Pittsburgh and Houston in 2016.  Kratz gave up two runs, one earned in the ninth.  He was the second catcher to make a pitching appearance against the Reds this month.  Chris Gimenez pitched for the Chicago Cubs against the Reds.

Dylan Floro struck out the side in the ninth, including Thames as the last out to bring the Reds' total to 18.  It is the Reds' record for a nine-inning game.  Reds' pitchers have struck out 17 batters in a nine inning game four times.

He (Mahle) was doing a good job of keeping the ball out of the zone," Kratz said. "He was getting guy to chase a little more than we normally do. To righties, it was pretty much a two-pitch mix of a live heater and breaking ball that was out of the zone. He had it going, but we had him beat. He had a lot of strikeouts, but we had the game 3-1 when he came out. It was a testament that we were ahead there."

Michael Lorenzen Doing His Impression Of Babe Ruth

THE baseball icon, Babe Ruth, was a record setting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox before being traded to the New York Yankees and becoming the most powerful hitter in baseball.

Michael Lorenzen was drafted by the Reds with the 38th pick in the Competitive Lottery phase of the 2013 draft, there was internal debate about whether the 26-year old from Anaheim, California would pitch or play the outfield.

Lorenzen was the center fielder at Cal-State-Fullerton and hit .335 with seven home run, 53 RBI. He stole 12 bases.  He also had 19 saves in 22 appearances, often coming in from center field in save situations.  Lorenzen set a school record with 35 saves.

The Reds made him a much needed pitcher.  He pitched at four different levels in 2013 half-season action.  The next year he was promoted to Double A Pensacola and made 24 starts.  Lorenzen was a Southern League All-Star.  He was 4-6 with a 3.13 earned run average.

Lorenzen made his Major League debut on April 29. 2015 against the Milwaukee Brewers.  He singled off Matt Garza, who had been his first strikeout victim, in his first Major League at bat.

He honored his father, three days after his death, by hitting his first Major League home run off Pedro Baez on August 20.

Lorenzen pinch hit three times last season, hitting a home run in that role off Adam Morgan of Philadelphia on April 6.

On Sunday, Lorenzen pinch hit against the Chicago Cubs and hit a home run off Mike Montgomery.  Lorenzen homered off Chase Anderson on Friday night in his last four plate appearances, Lorenzen has singled, homered twice and walked.

His ability to hit is valuable on a team with 13 pitchers and only four bench players, including a back-up catcher.

With position players being scarce would manager Jim Riggleman consider Lorenzen for the outfield.

"The reason I would do it was if  I wanted Lorenzen to pitch to the next hitter rather than the batter in the batter's box," Riggleman said.  "Whitey Herzog used to do it with Todd Worrell.  Whitey would bring Ken Daley in to pitch to Howard Johnson, who had Worrell's number kind of like (Eric) Thames has ours.  We're not there yet but Mike is the guy you would do it w"ith. You have to be confident that if the ball would be hit out there to him, he could handle it."

Riggleman joked that instead of making Lorenzen a fifth outfielder, he might make him third.

That's funny," was Lorenzen's reaction to the joke.  "I take great pride in the game of baseball.  Whatever that means, whether its base running, shagging fly balls, pitching or hitting. I love all aspects of the game.  I love playing it.  Baseball is so specialized now.  It's kind of a bummer, I'm up for whatever, if they want to move me to a position for a batter, like the Tampa Bay manager did, if that's going to put us in the best situation to win, I'm up for it.  Joe Maddon did it to us a couple years ago. That would be fun to do."

Friday, June 29, 2018

Brewers Continue Mastery Of Reds

Milwaukee Brewers' starter Chase Anderson cooled down a hot hitting Reds team and out dueled Sal Romano to beat the Reds in the second game of the four-game series, 8-2.

Milwaukee scored first.  Ryan Braun led off the second inning with a bunt single.  Manny Pina and Keon Broxton singled in succession against Reds' starter Sal Romano.

Keon Broxton's solo home run leading off the fourth inning extended the Brewers' lead. It was his first of the season.

Anderson held the Reds without a base runner until Tucker Barnhart's checked swing single with one out in the fourth inning.  Barnhart was immediately erased when Joey Votto hit into a double play.

Romaon left after five innings with a five-inning stint, allowing two runs on seven hits and two walks.

"It was 2-0 but it felt like 5-0," Riggleman said.  "Sal's better than that.  He faced 25 batters in five innings.  That isn't good enough. I don't take much positive out of this game."

Romano wasn't as sharp as he would like to be but when he left the game the Reds' were still in it.

"I didn't let it implode," Romano said. "I left the game 2-0 with our offense we have a good chance to come back.  I was a little up in the zone with my pitches.  I gave up six singles and a home run. Milwaukee battles.  There are no easy outs.  You have to bear down every single pitch."

Michael Lorenzen took the mound in the sixth and retired the Brewers in order.  Lorenzen got the Reds on the scoreboard with his second home run this week.  The pitcher who was an every day outfielder at Cal State Fullerton, homered as a pinch hitter on Sunday against the Chicago Cubs.

This time Lorenzen hit a line drive into the left field seats off Anderson.

Milwaukee added an insurance run in the eighth inning without a hit.  Manny Pina was hit by a pitch.  Broxton walked.  Orlando Arcia tried to bunt them up a base but Lorenzen was on it and got the lead runner at third.  Broxton and Arica pulled a double steal.  On a broken squeeze play, Broxton was caught in a rundown.  Barnhart chased Broxton to third but Arcia, standing on the base took off for second.  Barnhart threw Arcia out but Broxton took off for home and scored the Brewers' third run.

"I take full responsibility on the rundown.  I have to make clear to them what they're supposed to do on a rundown.  That's two or three times we didn't execute it," Riggleman said.

Miwaukee added a five insurance runs in the ninth after Kyle Crockett retired the first two batters. Jesus Aguilar and Travis Shaw singled to chase Crockett.  Jackson Stephens gave up a double to Hernan Perez, who entered the game when Ryan Braun left with tightness in his lower back.  The Reds' appeared to throw Shaw out at the plate but Barnhart couldn't hold onto the throw.  Pina delivered his second single of the game and Broxton followed with his second home run of the contest.

Broxton contributed a diving catch in the ninth inning with two on for Cincinnati.  He robbed Scooter Gennett of an extra base hit.

National League RBI leader, Eugenio Suarez followed with a run scoring single.

It was the Brewers' seventh win in eight tries over the Reds this season.

The Reds Take Aim At The Pittsburgh Pirates

The Reds never aspired to a fourth place finish.  Like every other team their goal when they started spring training in February was certainly to make the playoff and compete for the World Series tittle.

The teams worst start since the Great Depression at 3-18 put an anchor on that goal.  They bottomed out on June 9th at  22-43 record, 21 games under .500 and 17.5 games out of first place and 10 1/2 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for fourth place at 32-33.

The put both feet on the bottom of the pull and jumped toward the surface.

After a 12-4 run, the reached the half-way, 81-game point of the season with a record of 34-47 just 4 1/2 games behind the Pirates.

"I told them to concentrate on catching the Pirates," Jim Riggleman said.  "A little scoreboard watching is good.  You're not going to catch up to first place in two weeks, you catch the team in front of you and go from there."

Part of the resurgence has been the offense up and down the lineup has gotten better.  From Eugenio Suarez, who leads the National League in RBI with 59 and Scooter Gennett, who leads the league with a .331 batting average to Adam Duvall and Billy Hamilton.  Duvall and Hamilton have struggled batting under .200 until recently.  Hamilton has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games, improving his average to .215.  Duvall has raised his average to .202 by hitting .274 in his last 21 games.  Duvall has been productive even with a low batting average with 12 home runs and 46 RBI.

Reds' starting pitching has improved at the same time.

The Reds starting rotation of Anthony DeSclafani, Matt Harvey, Luis Castillo, Sal Romano and Tyler Mahle are 10-7 in the month of June with a 4.41 ERA dropping their ERA from a high of 6.05.


In the last 15 games the Reds have turned in seven quality starts with two from Romano, Harvey and  Mahle and one from DeSclafani.

This has allowed Riggleman to use his bullpen which has been very good all season more efficiently.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Reds And Brewers Trade Homers

Eric Thames, the new Reds' menace launched his 10th home run of the season to give the division leading Milwarukee Brewers its first lead in a 6-4 win.

The home run off Amir Garrett was his first off a left-handed pitcher this season and first since he hit on off San Diego's Ryan Buchter on June 6 last year.  It was the third time he's hit one off Garrett.

"I always feel good with Amir out there," Riggleman said.  "Thames has just really done damage against us this year and last year.  You get a point here where you really tip your cap to him. Amir missed his first two pitches.  Amir had to throw a strike and he was ready for it."

"I just made a bad pitch," Garrett said.  "Me and him our past history, I think he's 3-for-3 against me with three home runs.  That's just baseball.  The good thing is I get to go back out there tomorrow.  It was a fastball.  I just missed over the middle. I know I can get him out but when you put it over the middle like that.  All he has to do is touch it.  I supply the speed and he supplies the power."

Jose Peraza attempted to set the tone with a long home run into the Milwaukee bullpen off Junior Guerra to open the game.   It was Peraza's fourth home run of the season and the second in as many games.

The Reds added a second run in the first on doubles by Tucker Barnhart and leading NL RBI man, Eugenio Suarez, the latter was with two outs.

Anthony DeSclafani sought his fourth win in five decisions.

Red hot Jesus Aguilar, who has quietly become a major force in the Brewers' lineup evened the game in the third inning with a fence scraping home run off the trade mark of his bat.  It was his 19th of the season. In the last 11 games coming into the series, Aguilar had a .400 batting average with seven home runs and 15 RBI.  His game-tying home run scored Keon Broxton, who hit a dribbler in front of home plate.  DeSclafani fielded but had to hurry an off balanced throw, sending Broxton to second base.

"I'm happy with DeSclafani's progress," Riggleman said.

The Reds reestablished the lead in the bottom of the frame.  Suarez hit his second double of the game with two outs.  Jesse Winker wrapped his fifth home run around the foul pole in left.

"Both clubs had a two-run homer early in the game, kinda wall scrappers over the left field wall," Riggleman said.  "DeSclafani walked somebody on four pitches (Kratz) and Arcia got the base hit.  He had the ammo to continue but we felt like he did a good job.  He gave us the opportunity to win the ball game and he has every time he's gone out there."

DeSclafani got the first out of the seventh inning.  Then issued his first walk of the game to Erik Kratz.  Orlando Arcia singled sharply to center.  Jim Riggleman went to the bullpen to summon Garrett.  Garret, who was ok after being hit on the leg with a line drive on Wednesday, struck out pinch hitter Jonathan Villar.  Eric Thames hit his 10th home run into the right field stands to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead.  It was the 13th home run Thames has hit off the Reds in the two seasons since he returned from playing in Korea, the third this season.

Eugenio Suarez Flattered By Comparison To Nolan Arenado Hard Work Pays

Eugenio Suarez signed a seven-year extension in March to keep him a Red through the 2024 season.

Suarez didn't take the security and rest. He continued to work hard and is now being compared favorably to the gold standard at third base, Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies.
he gThe player the Reds acquired from the Detroit Tigers for Alfredo Simon as a shortstop, took over for the popular Todd Frazier at third base in 2016 after Frazier was traded.

Considered shaky at the position at the position when he started, has turned himself into a gold glove type third baseman according to his manager Jim Riggleman.

"This guy is a heck of a player," Riggleman said of Suarez.  "He's such a well rounded ballplayer.  His instincts for the game, game awareness, offensively, defensively, great arm.  I've seen some comments that when he first moved over to third. He wasn't real good over there.  I was here. I don't even remember that.  He's been really good from day one but he's been outstanding as we've moved along.  It is gold glove caliber defense over there.  It is like trying to win it from Brooks Robinson back in the day.   You're not going it because Arenado's over there but when the ball gets hit we like it when it goes his way."

Suarez is close to Arenado in defensive ability.

"He is absolutely right there with Arenado.  Suarez has a great arm," Riggleman said.  "He has soft hands, good range.  I think where Arenado sets himself apart from people is he has freakish range. I could be wrong, maybe my eyes are deceiving me but he does have exceptional range.  Suarez with his positioning, his help from Freddie (Benavides), he gets to a lot balls over there."

Offensively, the numbers are even closer. (see below)  Even though Arenado the leader is 1,000,000 votes ahead of Surez in fourth place.

"I think Nolan is one of the best third baseman in the league, in baseball," Suarez said.  "Everybody knows he will be the starter in the All-Star game.  But to be part of the top five guys, the best, in the National League makes me proud of myself.  It's an honor to be a part with those guys.  You have to do what you do and if fans are going to vote for you fine.  The most important thing for me, is the game tonight, is the most important thing for me.  Now I just want to work hard and help my team win.  I want to hit well and play well every day."

This is the offensive breakdown with NL rank as of June 25.

Batting Average  Arenado .328 4th   Suarez .308 7th
Home Runs   Arenado 18 2nd   Suarez 16 tied 5th
Runs Batted In    Arenado 55 3rd   Suarez 58 tied 1st
On Base %    Arenado .403 4th    Suarez .395 tied 5th
Slugging %   Arenado  .595 1st   Suarez ..586 2nd
Runners in scoring position    Arenado .365 7th    Suarez .369 6th

The following categories reflect efficiency.  Arenado has played in 12 more games than Suarez who missed two weeks with a broken hand after he was hit by a pitch.

RBI per at bat    Arenado  5.0 2nd    Suarez 3.9 1st
HR per at bat     Arenado 15.2 4th    Suarez 14.2 2nd

Both players play on home fields that are hitter friendly.

                  avg obp  slug
Arenado  .357/.430/.693 Home
                .276/.325/.493 Away
Suarez     .289/.370/.570 Home
                .330/.419/.604 Away
Arenado has 12 home runs and 31 RBI at Home
                       6 home runs and 24 RBI Away
Suarez has 8 home runs and 35 RBI at Home
                  8 home runs and 23 RBI Away

Milwaukee manager, Craig Counsell pointed to Suarez is the reason the Reds have been winning lately.

"The guy that stands out to me is Suarez," Counsell said.  "He is kind of quietly having a Jesus Aguilar season. Very quietly, he's having a big offensive season."

Jesus Aguilar, the Brewers first baseman has leaped from a bench role to a starring role with the Brewers, hitting .304 with 18 home runs and 52 RBI.

One of the individual statistics Suarez would love to win is RBI.  It is an individual stat with a heavy team element.  The more runs a player drives in the better the chances for a team win.

"I want to win the RBI title.  I want to win anything. It is my goal to be better every day.  It would be awesome for me. It would be nice," Suarez said.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Eugenio Suarez Case Comparison To Nolan Arenado For All-Star

The latest fan voting for the All-Star game in Washington on July 17, revealed that Colorado's Nolan Arenado is running away with the vote for third basemen.

The top five are as of June 26:

Nolan Arenado    1,706,923
Kris Bryant          1,060,467
Johan Camargo       642,241
Eugenio Suarez       376,612
Justin Turner           353,693

Arenado deserves the vote he's earned so far.   Bryant and Camargo, however, are the product of over zealous fans in Chicago and Atlanta.

It is Suarez, who is being slighted by the vote.

Bryant is having an off year hampered by a sore shoulder.  He is hitting .280 with nine home runs and 36 RBI.  Camargo is the wet dream of Braves fans at .243, seven home runs and 31 RBI.

The real battle is between Arenado and Suarez.

The numbers are similar and both players have standing in the top 10 of major offensive categories.  Arenado may have an edge on defense too but Suarez also is above average.  Absent objective measurements.

This is the offensive breakdown with NL rank:

Batting Average  Arenado .328 4th   Suarez .308 7th
Home Runs   Arenado 18 2nd   Suarez 16 tied 5th
Runs Batted In    Arenado 55 3rd   Suarez 58 tied 1st
On Base %    Arenado .403 4th    Suarez .395 tied 5th
Slugging %   Arenado  .595 1st   Suarez ..586 2nd
Runners in scoring position    Arenado .365 7th    Suarez .369 6th

The following categories reflect efficiency.  Arenado has played in 12 more games than Suarez who missed two weeks with a broken hand after he was hit by a pitch.

RBI per at bat    Arenado  5.0 2nd    Suarez 3.9 1st
HR per at bat     Arenado 15.2 4th    Suarez 14.2 2nd

Both players play on home fields that are hitter friendly.

                  avg obp  slug
Arenado  .357/.430/.693 Home
                .276/.325/.493 Away

Suarez     .289/.370/.570 Home
                .330/.419/.604 Away

Arenado has 12 home runs and 31 RBI at Home
                       6 home runs and 24 RBI Away

Suarez has 8 home runs and 35 RBI at Home
                  8 home runs and 23 RBI Away

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Reds Use Lucky 7's To Sweep Cubs

Sevens were the lucky number for the Reds on Sunday.

The Reds exploded for seven runs in the seventh inning to complete the sweep of the Chicago Cubs 8-6 and extended the season-long winning streak to seven games.

The Reds had to dig themselves out of an early five-run hole to earn the comeback win, the 12th in the last 14 games.  It was also the first four-game sweep of the Cubs since April 1983 at Riverfront Stadium.

"We were focused on today's game," manager Jim Riggleman said.  "It wasn't about a sweep. The other games we were up and played pretty flawless.  Today we were down but we kept pushing."

The Cubs solved Sal Romano with five runs in the fifth inning.

Romano worked eight innings in Kansas City, allowing one run on for hits.  He pitched seven scoreless innings against Detroit on Tuesday, allowing four hits.

Romano kept the Cubs in check for three innings although they got three hits.  Albert Almora Jr. singled to lead off the game and with one-out in the third.  Javier Baez hit a double past Eugenio Suarez at third base and down the line.  Adam Duvall, who was at the top of the league in outfield assists, chased the ball in the corner and hit Jose Peraza with the relay in plenty of time to throw Almora out at home.

Since Hunter Dozier hit a solo home run off Romano on June 12 in Kansas City, Romano pitched 14 consecutive scoreless innings.

The Cubs solved Romano in the fifth. Ian Happ and Addison Russel singled to start the inning.  Romano nearly escaped.  He struck out Mike Montgomery the opposing pitcher who failed to bunt the runners up a base.  Almora lined out to left but Heyward lined a double to left-center that Duvall nearly put a glove on.  Javier Baez lined a run scoring single over Joey Votto's glove.  Anthony Rizzo broke an 0-for-12 series slump with a line home run to the right field bleachers, his 12th of the season.

"Sal was so clean for the first four but he threw a lot of bad pitches that inning.  Two ground ball hits, that's baseball.  That's what we want him to do," Riggleman said.  "They tried to bunt the runner over and he got the strikeout. It was really not a good pitch in that situation.  He didn't get away with any bad pitches the rest of the inning."

Romano took delight in the comeback win in spite of his bad inning.

"I'm a pitch away from getting out of it with zero runs," Romano said.  "You have to take the positives. My stuff was pretty good.  The guys came back and got me off the hook.  Swinging the bats like they did in the seventh inning was a lot of fun to watch."

The Reds got a single from Scott Schebler just back from bereavement leave.  Suarez, Scooter Gennett and Duvall hit the ball hard as consecutive batters but Tommy LaStella laid out to catch Suarez bid for an RBI single.  Kyle Schwarber made a diving catch of Gennett's liner.  Almora tracked down Duvall's bid for an extra base hit.

Michael Lorenzen hit a pinch hit home run off Montgomery in the bottom of the fifth.  It was Lorenzen;s third career home run, first of the season and second career pinch hit home run.  Reds pitchers have homered on successive days.  Anthony DeSclafani hit a grand slam on Saturday.,

The Reds didn't want to burn a pinch hitter in the fifth inning with two outs and the bases empty, so Lorenzen, who could have been a Major League position player, was the choice to bat for Romano.

"I was hitting with my main man Tony Jaramillo in the cage.  They told me with two outs I was going  up there so we don't have to burn a pinch hitter.  What Desco did yesterday was unbelievable," Lorenzen said. "In a game like today we feel like we're not meant to lose.,

Almora hit his third home run of the season off Jackson Stephens, who ended up with the win.

The Reds came back strong against Montgomery and Pedro Strop in the seventh inning.

Gennett started the inning with a single.  Adam Duvall doubled down the left field line to set up a second and third situation with no outs.  Jose Peraza dumped a flair into right to plate Gennett.  Jesse Winker pinch hit for Brandon Dixon, who entered as part of a double switch, when Strop entered.  Winker, who hit a grand slam off the Cubs Randy Rosario on Thursday night, hit a three-run home run into the left field stands.  It was his fifth home run of the season.

"When Wink sits he's particularly productive off the bench," Riggleman said. "We've never quit we've always battle.  It's major league baseball.  You better keep playing for nine innings.  We had that stretch where our starters, we were down three or four runs in the early innings.  We were competitive and came back in some of them. As of late we haven't had to do that.  The starters have done a good job."

But wait there's more.  Billy Hamilton extended his hitting streak to seven games with a solid single to center.  Schebler walked.  Tucker Barnhart singled to tie the game as Hamilton easily beat Almora's throw.  Votto doubled sending Schebler home with the go-ahead run.  Votto beat the throw to second on a close play that held up to a review.  Strop gathered himself and struck out Alex Blandino for the first out.  The Cubs put Gennett on base intentionally.  Duvall lined out to shortstop   Peraza worked a full count and took ball four to drive in Barnhart.  Rosario and Winker gave a reprise to the dramatic matchup on Thursday.  This time Rosario hit the corner with a called third strike to end the rally.

"We know what we can do," Winkier said. "It is cool coming to the field and expect to win.  We're in June right now.  We are taking care of June.  To win a game it takes a group effort.  There's plenty of season left we're going to keep grinding good at bats.  It's been a lot of fun."

Amir Garrett took the mound in the eighth.  He struck out Rizzo as he did Thursday in a key situation.  Willson Contreras doubled. Garrett fanned Schwarber.  Happ, who reached base four times on Saturday and the first to plate appearances in this game,  struck out to end the inning.

Raisel Iglesias converted his fourth save in a row and 13th of 15.

The Ups And Downs Of Baseball's Big 162

Most people think the manager of a Major League teams hold emotional meetings every day with win-it-for-the-Gipper like speeches in the hour before games,  Baseball players don't run out of a tunnel to the dugout slapping a sign with inspirational slogans.

Baseball is an every day grind with more routine than emotion.  The goals are more incremental than big picture in a 162-game season.

“I actually said to our club six weeks ago, let’s go catch that fourth-place club,” Riggleman said. “Then after that, let’s go get that third-place club. It’s fun to scoreboard watch and see what the club is doing ahead of you. I’ve gotten away from that lately as we fell down so far. As we’ve picked it up, I probably will start looking closer at that.  You're not going to catch the first place team in the next week."

The Reds are currently the hottest team in the National League over the last 10 games at 8-2.  The Reds are 23-18 since May 8.

“I talked to the club a great deal the first month, then mostly after games to review some things that happened to get their attention,” Riggleman said. “I’ve gotten away from that lately because it’s too much. It gets kind of like ‘Jim, again with the talk?’. I kind of leave them alone.”

 The Reds winning though has nothing to do with the less frequent talks.

“Winning some ballgames always makes people feel a little upbeat,” Riggleman said. “The nature of the business is you don’t allow yourself to enjoy the wins as much as you agonize over the losses, that’s just the nature of most managers.”

The Cubs manager Joe Maddon is on the same page as Riggleman.  Maddon likes to watch TV show the Office in his down time, listen to the oldies.  Just like a normal working man.  The day-to-day grind changes.

"We took two out of three from the Dodgers and we're the best team since '27 Yankees," Maddon said.  "We beats you up for three days and it's gloom and doom.  I can not live my life that way."

The key is maintaining a cohesive group.

"All teams go through those (hard times) or will go through them," Maddon said.  "It's about making sure you maintain emotional intelligence among the group.  You make sure nobody start evaluating the wrong way or people going off on tangents for the wrong reasons. That's the detrimental point.  It is part of this.  You can't be afraid to lose, to win."

Slumps and hot streaks come and go during a season.

"It happens every year," Maddon said.  "When I was with the Rays, losing seven in a row before the All-Star break in 2008 or the time we went through a couple years ago in Pittsburgh, when guys were on empty, It happen last year.  It happens.  That's when you've got to keep the group together.  You adhere to what you believe in and not go off on tangents.  That's the test.  You have to pass the test of staying together."

Maddon does see a positive trend brewing with the Reds, whose record of 31-45 is jaded by a 3-17 start.

"I really believe people should start paying attention to that team (Reds)," Maddon said.  "That's a good team.  I didn't realize they've won nine out of 11 until somebody told me that.  I've been a big fan of their players on the field.  They just needed to match it up on the mound. They've gotten better.  The next thing is to do something with their bench, then heads up.  They've got something going on.  It's not bad."

Cue the out take to John Prine's "That's The Way The World Goes Round."

"That's the way the world goes round.
One day you're up the next your down.
There's a half an inch of water and you think you're gonna drown.
That's the way the world goes round."

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Anthony DeSclafani - Reds Embarrass Ball Park Full Of Cubs Fans

Anthony DeSclafani had a memorable day while making thousands of Cubs' fans who infiltrated Great American Ball Park want to forget it.

DeSclafani stymied and slammed the Chicago Cubs in an 11-2  Reds' win.  The sixth win in a row for Cincinnati.  The Reds are now 5-3 on the year against the division rivals, who came to town with the National League's best record.

The Reds started fast against Luke Farrell.  Alex Blandino, who was giving Jose Peraza a day off, walked to open the Reds' half of the first.  Tucker Barnhart reached the seats on the first pitch for his fifth home run of the season.

"Tucker's home run was huge.  It was one of those games it was 8-2 but it felt a lot closer than that," Jim Riggleman said. "We're playing clean baseball.  We've strung some good ball games together."

Willson Contreras hit a line fly over the right field wall off Anthony DeSclafani the next half inning.  Reds' manager Jim Riggleman complained that a fan interfered with the ball but video review resulted in a confirmation.

The Reds' league leaders started a late rally in the third after two outs.

Joey Votto, the National League leader with a .451 on-base-percentage at game time, walked. Farrell who was making his first start, turned the game over to Brian Duensing.  Scooter Gennett the National League's leader  with a .335 average, doubled to the base of the fence in right.  Votto scored.  A good throw would have had him but Ben Zobrist, the Cubs second baseman, threw the ball over catcher Contreras' head.  Eugenio Suarez extended his NL lead to 58.  Those two runs were expected.  What happened next was remarkably rare.

Jesse Winker walked.  Adam Duvall hit a slow ground ball that was fielded by Duensing but Duvall But Duvall caused Duensing to hold the ball.  The bases were loaded for DeSclafani, who struck out in the second because he couldn't get a bunt down. took three pitches outside the strike zone.  DeSclafani took two strikes, then did something a Reds' pitcher hadn't done in 59 years.

"When the pitcher gets up at that point, you're glad the lineup is going to turnover at that point so worst case scenario, Billy is leading off the next inning.  Anthony has worked since the time he's been here in 2015.  He was not a good handler of the bat but if you look he's gotten a few hits," Riggleman said  "Once he knew the pitcher had ot come in there, he was feeling good about it.  I'm not surprised he hit it hard. I'm surprised he hit a home run."

DeSclafani lined the full count pitch on a line into the left field stands for his first career home run and first career grand slam.  It was the first grand slam hit by a Reds' pitcher since Bob Purkey hit one against the Cubs on August 1, 1959 off John Buzhardt.

"I wish I had some cool hitter's answer there.  All in all I was just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere and not strike out.  I got to a full count there.  I knew a fastball was coming.  So I just tried to square it up and it happened to go out," DeSclafani said.  "At first I didn't think it was a home run but I saw the left fielder kind of give up on it.  Then I saw the ball get into the stands. It was awesome.  Every thing in that at bat happened so quick from when I swung and hit the ball until I started shaking hands in the dugout."

In his next at bat DeSclafani flied out to left with two runners on base.

DeSclafani gave up Ben Zobrist's fifth home run in the sixth but only one other hit in 6 1/3 innings He left after walking Ian Happ with one out in the seventh. Michael Lorenzen replaced him.

Lorenzen got pinch hitter Javier Baez to line out to Blandino, who erased Happ with a throw to Votto.

DeSclafani allowed two runs on three hits and walked four while improving his record to 3-1 and dropping his ERA from 4.60 to 4.09.

"I just tried filling up the strikezone as much as I could.  There were times when I tried to get too fine and ended up walking four guys.  If there's one thing on the day I wasn't happy about, it was that," DeScafani said.  "I got some quick outs."

"He did a good job on the mound.  He kind of faded a little at the end a couple walks and a home run but any time the pitcher gets us into the seventh inning, We'll take that every time," DeSclafani said.

The Cubs had two singles with one out against Lorenzen.  Amir Garrett came on to get Anthony Rizzo to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play.  Rizzo is 0-for-10 for the series.

The Cubs used catcher Chris Gimenez to mop up in the eighth inning.  Gimenez had nine previous appearances on the mound.  Brandon Dixon and Billy Hamilton walked before Votto hit his eighth home run of the season

Hamilton extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the sixth.  He stole his 15th base of the season with Blandio at the plate.

DeSclafani joined Icebox Chamberlain, who hit an inside the park home run for the Reds in 1892, Al Hollingsworth who hit one against the Cubs in 1936 and Purkey.  The fan who got the ball gave it to DeSclafani for a signed baseball.

"I guess it makes it a little bit more special.  I had to re focus myself because it was still early in the game. I had to get through three or four more innings," DeSclafani said.  "The last home run I hit was in high school. I've never hit a grand slam."

"Thank you to the fan who ended up giving up the ball.  It means a lot to me," DeSclafani said.

Reds Top Prospect Nick Senzel Out For The Season League Leaders Emerge

Nick Senzel the Reds' top prospect is going to have surgery on his right index finger.

Senzel suffered the injury in a Louisville Bats game Friday night.  The Reds' first pick and the second overall selection in the 2016 draft.

The 22-year old (6/29/1995) spent most of spring training in the Major League camp.  He hit .286 in 15 games, playing shortstop, third base and second base.

At Louisville, Senzel was hitting .310 in 44 games with six home runs, 12 doubles and two triples.  He drove in 28 runs.  Senzel was on base at a .378 clip and stole eight bases in 10 attempts.

Senzel was fifth in the International League in hitting when he left the game on Friday.  He had an active 11-game hitting streak (22-50, .440).

Senzel played 28 games at second base, 14 at third base and just one at shortstop.

He had also missed time with vertigo.

Senzel's path to the big leagues had two main roadblocks in Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suarez. (see note below)

Manager Jim Riggleman suspects he would’ve likely made his major league debut sometime before rosters are expanded in September.

“I think so,” Riggleman said before Saturday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. “We never said anything specific. I never talked to (general manager Nick Krall) about it or about when he’d be here, but I got the sense that it might be before September and, in all likelihood, during September.”

 Senzel, who developed a reputation for playing hard in Goodyear put this tweet on his account this afternoon.

 “I would like to start by thanking my family, friends, teammates and fans for the support over the last 24 hours. It had been a challenging season from the start, but it has made me grow. The news this morning was very unfortunate but I was prepared mentally on how to handle it, whether good or bad. I had a goal this season and it was to make it to the big leagues and help the Cincinnati Reds win ballgames. Although I did not fulfill this goal, it will not stop my drive to fulfill my dream. The support that has been shown is what makes me blessed and thankful for everything in my life inside and outside of baseball. It’s what makes me keep going … and make no mistake I will be back, stronger than ever. I love u all Reds Nation.”


The Reds may be last in the NL Central at 30-45 going into the third game of the four-game series with the Cubs, 15 games off the pace set by the Milwaukee Brewers., but they lead in some areas.

The Reds are 8-2 in the last 10 games, the best in the National League.  Since May 8, the Reds are 22-18, three games behind the Brewers and a half game worse than the Cubs.

The Reds have won four of the seven games against Chicago, all at home this season.  The Reds visit Wrigley Field for the first time on July 6 for the first of 10 games in Chicago.

Individually the Reds feature the National Leagues leading hitter, Scooter Gennett with a .335 hitter.  Eugenio Suarez leads the NL with 57 RBI even though he has missed two weeks with a broken hand.  Suarez leads the Reds with 16 home runs and is tied with five other players for third in the League.  He is hitting .304 and tied with two other players for 10th in the league.


Homer Bailey will pitch in Louisville tonight on a rehab assignment.  He is on the disabled list with a strained right knee.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Eugenio Suarez Delivers Against Cubs.

Eugenio Suarez is only a household name in his own household but famous or not the Chicago Cubs are painfully aware of him.

The Venezuela born third baseman planted his team-leading 16th home run on the front lawn of the batters' eye in centerfield with Joey Votto on base to put the Reds on top of a 6-3 win and claim the National League RBI lead with 57.  Trevor Story of Colorado has 56 heading into his game against Milwaukee.

"It feels great.  We're playing really good baseball right now," said Suarez after the Reds' fifth straight win.  "The at bat before he threw me a change up like that. I told myself to stay back.  I just try to help the team.  When you work hard, it pays off."

The blast in the Reds' three-run fifth wiped out the Cubs 3-1 lead.

The Reds scored first.  Last month's catching find Curt Casalli doubled with one out against Cubs' starter Jose Quintana.  Reds starter Luis Castillo singled Casalli to third.  The suddenly hot, Billy Hamilton, drove in Casali with a single.  Hamilton extended his hitting streak to five games.

The Cubs fought back against Castillo, who turned in another fine performance by a Reds' rookie pitcher.  The Cubs used small ball and long ball.

"Overall I pitched pretty good," Castillo said.

The Reds starters have had 10 straight games pitching at least five innings with less than three runs.  The bullpen has thrown 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Cubs in the past two nights.

"We are like a family, starters and relievers," Castillo said.  "When someone does good we're happy. When someone doesn't we've got their back."

Ben Zobrist doubled with one out in the fourth.  It was the Cubs' first hit.  Anthony Rizzo bounced out to first, sending Zobrist to third.  Javier Baez caught the Reds infield back with a perfectly placed bunt single that scored Zobrist.  Middletown Ohio native Kyle Schwarber launched an opposite field home run, his 15th.  The Cubs led 3-1.

Suarez took care of the lead in the fifth.

Jose Peraza opened with a single. Alex Blandino struck out.  Votto singled sharply to left.  Suarez hit his blast and the Reds had the lead.

Votto walked in the seventh.  Suarez and Adam Duvall singled to add the fifth run.

Castillo worked into the sixth.   Zobrist singled with one out.  Rizzo popped to short.  The newest Red, Kyle Crockett, came in and froze Schwarber with a breaking ball for a called third strike.

Castillo picked up his fifth win with 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk.  He struck out five.

"Castillo did a good job getting us to that point," Riggleman said.  "We're playing really good baseball right now."

David Hernandez struck out two in a pair of scoreless innings.

The  Reds added a marker in the eighth. Peraza singled with two outs and stole second his third of the game and 13th of the season.  Blandino singled to drive Peraza home.

Raisel Iglesias entered to earn his 12th save in 14 chances with a perfect ninth.

Streaking Reds Rule The Summer

The Cloverleaf Inn on North Bend Road in White Oak displayed the optimism surrounding Great American  Ball Park during the Reds four-game winning streak.

Owner Ron Krauthapt put a true statement on his marquee this afternoon.

The Reds are undefeated this summer

Indeed the summer solstice arrived at 6:00 am on Thursday.  Jesse Winker launched his first career grand slam to lift the Reds over the team with the best National League record starting the hot season, 6-2.

The Reds four-game winning streak has featured a string of strong pitching performances by Sal Romano, Tyler Mahle, Matt Harvey and Anthony DeSclafani.

The bullpen has been very good most of the season with Amir Garrett excelling in his new bullpen role.   He transitioned from starter, a role he preferred until the Reds moved him to a relief role.

"I like that I can pitch two days in a row.  I don't have to wait four days to pitch again," Garrett said after getting a key strikeout to preserve the lead on Thursday.  His strikeout of Anthony Rizzo with the bases loaded, stopped the Cubs from coming back.

The Reds offense is hitting its stride.

Scott Schebler is on bereavement leave but has been productive in the leadoff spot, hitting a healthy .281 with nine home runs and 28 RBI.  Schebler gets on base and has above average speed.  He has a .347 on-base-percentage.

Tucker Barnhart is hitting .266 with a lot of key hits, including a ninth-inning, game tying home run in Kansas City last week.

Joey Votto is still Joey Votto.  He leads the National League with a .424 OBP.   He is second in the league with 54.  Votto leads the league with a ,345 average against right-handers.  He has the sixth highest batting average with runners in scoring position with .358.

Scooter Gennett leads the NL in hitting at .335.  He is fourth with 50 RBI.

Eugenio Suarez is second in the league with 55 and is flirting with the .300 mark at .296.

Jesse Winker has been told, he couldn't hit left-handers and couldn't hit with power.   His last two big home runs were against left-handers.  Winker hit a game-winning home run off left-handed Chris Rusin of Colorado in the 13th inning on June 7 in addition to his grand slam off Randy Rosario a tough lefty for Chicago on Thursday.

Jose Peraza is hitting .269 and stolen 10 bases.  He has been on base in his last 21 games.  Peraza has hits in 18 of his last 21 games for a .333 average with four doubles, eight RBI and a .386 on-base-percentage.

Even the struggling players are starting to get in gear.

Adam Duvall escaped the interstate hitting an even .200.  Duvall's average is sub par but he hit 12 home runs and driven in 41 which is still good for 16th in the league.  He is hitting .308 in his last 14 games.

Billy Hamilton is up to .211.  He has a four-game hitting streak in which he is batting .571 with three multi-hit games.  He is fifth in the NL with 14 steals and improved his OBP to .299.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Jesse Winker Slams Cubs

Jesse Winker experienced a 20% increase in his season RBI total on one swing.

Winker's grand slam home run was the big blow in the Reds' six-run sixth inning that sent the Reds' to its fourth straight victory, a 6-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Matt Harvey squared off with Kyle Hendricks in a tight game in which the Cubs took the scoring initiative.  Harvey plunked Kris Bryant with a pitch one out into the third inning.  Jason Heyward hit a single to left center.  Javier Baez followed by slicing a two-run double down the right field line.
Hendricks nursed the lead into the sixth inning, allowing the Reds just four base runners through five frames.

The sixth was different.

Billy Hamilton walked for the 28th time this season.  Hamilton promptly stole his 14th base.  Jose Peraza struck out flailing.  Tucker Barnhart flied to left.  Joey Votto drew a walk.  Scooter Gennett, who at the top of the National League with a .336 batting average and third with 50 RBI, hit a ground ball into the hole off first base.  The ball ticked off Anthony Rizzo's glove but Baez pounced on it like a recovered fumble, preventing Hamilton from scoring.  Hendricks walked Suarez to hand him his 55th RBI of the season, one behind Trevor Story for the NL lead.  Joe Maddon went to his bullpen to choose Randy Rosario, left-hander to face left-handed batting Jesse Winker.   Winker put the Reds up 5-2 with a blast into the right field stands. Adam Duvall singled.  Pinch hitter Alex Blandino singled Duvall to third.  Hamilton drove Duvall home with a single.

"There were so many good at bats in that inning," Jim Riggleman said.  "We drew some walks.  The big hit speaks for itself with Wink. Suarez was 0-2 in the count and we're losing by a run (actually two runs) and he ends up drawing a walk.  That was huge. It's becoming more and more evident the sixth inning is becoming a heck of a time.  Fulmer was good through five yesterday and we got him in the sixth.  It is a tough one in the modern day.  It is a time when pitchers become more vulnerable."

Rosario had an ERA of 0.60 when he came into face Winker.  The baseball book shows that left-handed hitters have a difficult time against left-handed pitchers.

"Rosario has a really good arm." Cubs' manager Joe Maddon said before the game.  He had given up one run in 15 innings over his 12 appearances.

Riggleman noticed.

"Winker's home run was extremely impressive," Riggleman said.  "That kid had a minuscule ERA. He's been dominating for them.  Every time I get a glance on him on TV, he's wiping somebody out.  Jesse is confident hitter no matter what the numbers say."

Winker was hitting .175 against left-handed pitchers when he stepped to the plate against Rosario, even though he hit a walk off home run off left-hander Chris Rusin on June 7 against Colorado.

"That's always been something in baseball, playing match ups.  It's always the smart play," Winker said.  "I try to be a tough out against every body and put the barrel of the bat on the ball and keep it simple.  The first pitch I took was a slider.  I wanted to take it.  That's a pretty good pitch. With the bases loaded, I wanted to make him come in."

Critics have said that Winker couldn't hit for power and couldn't hit left-handed pitchers.  He has shown evidence that the critics are wrong.

"I don't listen to what people say," Winker insisted.  "I listen to my teammates and listen to my coaches.  They haven't told me I couldn't do anything.  That's big for me.  Every one here has helped me out have helped me out immensely.  They build me up and tell me what I can do.  You probably see more than that than me. I'm not on Twitter intentionally.  It seems like there is nothing but negative stuff on there."

The Cubs created two-out trouble for Michael Lorenzen in retaliation.  Bryant beat out a slow roller to third.  Heyward doubled to send Bryant to third. Lorenzen battled Baez to a 3-2 count before walking him to bring Anthony Rizzo up representing the tying run.

Jim Riggleman brought in Amir Garrett to save the day.

Rizzo missed two fastballs swinging to fall behind 0-2.  Garrett painted the corner with a slider to earn a game-saving strike out.  He pumped his fists with the out, an action that angered Baez and created a bench clearing loiter around home plate the last time the Cubs were in town by striking out Baez, who did not like being shown up.

"It was really intense," Garrett said.  "That's probably the best I've ever located my fastball.  I got the outcome I wanted.  In a pressure situation like that emotions take over.  The Baez thing was a little different. I probably exaggerated that.  This time they understood the situation. I just did my thing and walked off."

Jared Hughes rescued Garrett from a two-out, two on problem in the eighth.  Hughes returned to the mound in the ninth, facing the top of the Cubs' batting order.  Hughes struck out Bryant.  Heyaward bounced out to Brandon Dixon at second base.  Baez fouled out to Suarez. Hughes picked up his fifth save.

Reds Make Moves Before Facing Cubs

The Reds made some roster adjustments on Thursday afternoon.

The Reds optioned Wandy Peralta to Louisville and selected the contract of Kyle Crockett from the Bats.  The Reds released catcher Tony Cruz to make room for Crockett on the 40-man roster.

Scott Schebler was placed on the bereavement leave.  Phillip Ervin was recalled to fill his roster spot.

Peralta has been struggling all season.  The new Reds' pitching coach, Danny Darwin, spotted a flaw in Peralta's mechanics.

"We just need for Wandy to take a step back," Jim Riggleman said.  "Danny saw on video some drastic differences between when he was successful and what he's doing now.  We don't have the luxury of working that out here.  We put him out there is some softer situations but he still wasn't getting it worked out."

One of those "softer" situations was Tuesday night.  Peralta entered the game in the ninth inning with the Reds holding a safe 9-0 lead.  Peralta did not retire a batter and gave up five runs.  That outing increases his ERA to 6.14.  Even worse than that was the 25 walks he issued in 29 1/3 innings.

"He is a guy the opposing hitters around the league say, "Woh, this guy's tough," Riggleman said.

Crockett was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by the Cleveland Indians.  He pitched four years in Cleveland before the Reds picked him up on waivers in Novermber.  He was not tendered a contract but signed with the Reds in December.

This spring in Goodyear, Arizona, Crockett pitched 6 1/3 innings with a 5.68 ERA.

The left-hander pitched 27 innings in 23 games for Louisville.  He was 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA.

"He was doing ok,," Riggleman said.  "There are so many statistics they keep now.  Some of the periphery ones were favorable to him.  Like maybe the batting average (.278) may have been high but a lot of balls were kind of just getting through.  Maybe luck wasn't on his side.  The move really was made because we wanted to have another left-hander.  He's left-handed.  He has big league experience  He pitched for a good big league organization in Cleveland.  We don't think he'll be intimidated by being here, facing Cub lefthanders."

He did not pitch against the Cubs in the 2016 World Series.  He pitched in one game against the Cubs during his career and he struck out the only batter he faced.

Phillip Ervin played in 16 games with the Reds earlier in the season.  He hit .211 with a double and three RBI.  Ervin hit .221 in 27 games with Louisville with seven doubles, two triples and 10 RBI.