About Me

My photo
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.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Reds And Pirates Not Ready To Go Home Play 10 Innings In Game 162

Wild pitches led to two Pittsburgh Pirates runs to give them a 6-5 win on the last day of the season.

The Reds lost 12 of their last 16 games drop 95 games this season, one more than they lost in the last two seasons. It was the fourth 90-plus loss season in a row.  The Reds lost 98 in 2015.

"You want to win each game," Jim Riggleman said.  "We really appreciate the fans response today.  There was a lot of people there.  We got out playing with some energy.  We got playing with some good energy.  We liked the way the fans acknowledged our players when they came off. It was a battle.  They (Pirates) got back into it."

The Reds' center fielder, playing in his career-high 153rd game of the season, faced Pirates' s starter Clay Holmes in the first inning.  Hamilton's hard ground ball caromed the glove of second baseman Kevin Kramer and trickled toward right fielder Jose Osuna.  Hamilton accelerated past first base and easily turned it into a double.  Hamilton took off for third base as Joey Votto took ball four.  Pirates catcher Elias Diaz throw went into left field and Hamilton trotted home.  It was Hamilton's 34th stolen base of the season.

The Reds built the lead to 3-0 on Tim Federowicz's first home run of the season.  Holmes walked Scott Schebler to start the inning.  Phil Ervin singled but Dilson Herrera lined to Colin Moran at third.  Moran doubled up Ervin with a throw to first.  Federowicz ;hit Holmes next pitch into the seats in left.

Sal Romano cruised through the first four innings, allowing just one hit.  The Pirates got to Romano in the fifth.  Moran walked to lead off the inning.  Osuna doubled off the wall in center fielded by Gabriel Guerrero, who replaced Hamilton as Jim Riggleman emptied the bench.  Moran held third but scored on a sacrifice fly by Kramer.  Osuna took third.  Romano's wild pitch made it a one-run game.

Romano finished five innings and left with a 3-2 lead.  He allowed three hits, a walk and a costly wild pitch.  Romano showed he could be effective out of the bullpen late in the season. He was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 14 relief appearances.

"Sal really did a good job," Riggleman said.  "He had 36 pitches in three innings.  That's unheard of in today's world.  He gave us five good innings. He made a good showing for himself.  Sal showed us he can do both.  He can get loose quick in the bullpen.  He can take a day off, pitch again or he can start. That's very valuable."

Romano was happy to finish his season strong.

"I hadn't done it in a while but I felt comfortable as a starter," Romano said.  "We had a game plan to attack the strike zone. I got a little sloppy in the fifth with the lead off walk.  Walks will kill you.  It was a good way to end the year for me.  I wanted to get easy contact.  Pitching in the bullpen for a month shows me that I can do both.  Going into the off season it shows me my stuff still plays as a starter."

The Reds got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth.  Curt Casali hit a pinch hit single to lead off the inning.  Jose Peraza was hit with a pitch from Tanner Anderson.  Guerrero lined to center with Casali reaching third.  Blake Trahan, who took over for Eugenio Suarez, hit a ball to Kramer who dropped it trying to throw.  Trahan was originally given credit for a hit and his first career RBI but the official scorer changed it to an error, making the run unearned and taking back Trahan's RBI.

Matt Wisler relieved Romano and Pittsburgh hit back-to-back home runs to tie the game.  Starling Marte hit his 20th home run with one out. Josh Bell hit his 12th on the next pitch.

Dilson Herrera's fifth home run gave the Reds the lead again in the sixth.

The Pirates tied the game again off Amir Garrett.  Osuna hit his second double of the game.  Kramer flied out to right.  Jared Hughes made his 72nd appearance.  Kevin Newman tied the game with a single to right center.  Pinch hitter Ryan Lavamway executed a hit and run, poking a single to right with Newman going to third with one out.  Hughes induced a double play from Pablo Reyes to preserve the tie.

Moran doubled to open the ninth against Raisel Iglesias but the Reds' closer left him stranded striking out Kramer and Newman.

Michael Feliz struck out three Reds in the ninth but Peraza reached on a wild pitch.  Guerrero forced him at second.

Jackson Stephens took the mound for the Reds in the 10th.  Reyes hit a double to right that Mason Williams kicked to allow Reyes to take third with one out.  Marte grounded to third for the second out.  The Reds put Josh Bell on base to pitch to Diaz.   Stephens uncorked a wild pitch to give Pittsburgh the win.

Felipe Vazquez earned his 37th save with a scoreless ninth, striking out Schebler to end the season.

Riggleman finished the season 64-80 as the Reds' manager.  Pirates manager Clint Hurdle won his 1,200th game as a Major League manager.

Billy Hamilton Makes It To The End

The Reds started the season using a rotation of four outfielders that would limit the number of games for each of them.

Billy Hamilton, Scott Schebler, Adam Duvall and Jesse Winker were going to share the field.  The one player who has demonstrated the tendency to be fragile, will end up setting a career-high for games played when the Reds finish the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Hamilton will be in center field, batting second in his 153rd game.  He played in 152 in 2014 but since has finished even then he missed the last four games of the season with a concussion. In 2015, Hamilton he had surgery on his shoulder on September 29 after going on the disabled list on September 24.  In 2016, he missed the last 27 games with a strained oblique.  Hamilton missed 13 games in September of 2017 with a fractured left thumb, although he did finish the season on the field.

This season he finishes with a start on the last game of the season to establish a career high in games played.

"I was thinking about that.  This is the first year I made it to the end.  It seems like every September I get hurt," Hamilton said.  "I made it through one.  It is definitely a good feeling. I'm on the field and not just watching my guys out there at the end of the season."

Hamilton didn't change his routine or how he plays the game to finish the season.

"It is just luck with me," Hamilton said.  "With me how I am with the walls and diving out there and stuff.  If you watched yesterday when I almost hurt myself yesterday when I dove for the ball. It scared me. I came in and Hatch (Billy Hatcher) said, 'You better chill out with stuff like that.' It is always 100 percent with me.  I was trying to cut the ball off from being a double.  Instincts were telling me I have to dive and get this ball."

The four-man rotation worked out such that Hamilton didn't sit out many games.  Duvall was traded.  Schebler spent two tours on the disabled list.  Jesse Winker was shut down for the season in late July.

"I didn't see myself playing this many games with four outfielders," Hamilton said.  "There were four guys that deserved to be playing every single day. I'm happy it worked out like that. I'm not happy that Winker was hurt but I'm happy to play as many games as I did."

Only the normal wear and tear of the season.

"I don't think anyone feels fresh right now," Hamilton said.  "I don't think any body in baseball is fresh.  Every body is beat down and tired right now.  Even guys in the playoffs.  I'm happy to finish the season one time in my career."

Hamilton knows the Reds have potential to be a contender.

"The wins and losses doesn't really define what kind of team we are," Hamilton said.  "We had some ups and downs.  We had stretches in the season that we played really, really good. I know what type of team we could be.  We have the pieces.  We have to get better. I have to get better myself.  I'm going home for two weeks.  Then I'm going out to Arizona.  In the past I took too much time off.  I didn't train enough. I relaxed too much.  I don't want to go the winter to get better.  I can admit that.  I need a physical and mental break but I'm only going to take two weeks.  In Arizona there are people I can train with.  I didn't have that in Mississippi.  The last couple of years the guys I trained with are in the NFL.  My season is done and theirs just started.  In Arizona, Winker is going to be there.  Schebler is going to be there; Peraza, a couple guys from other teams."

Jim Riggleman Interviews For Reds Job Monday

Jim Riggleman wants to return as Reds' manager in 2019.  He will make his case to Nick Krall and Dick Williams on Monday.

Riggleman had the Reds playing good baseball for two months, a span in which the Reds were among the leaders in baseball during that stretch.

From May 10 to the All-Star break the Reds were 27-23 and within 10 games of the ,500 mark.

Bryan Price was fired on April 19 with a 3-18 record.  Under Riggleman the Reds were 64-79 pending Sunday's season finale.

"I think I came into this feeling like it’s been an honor to be asked to do this job," Riggleman said. "I came into it with some negative feelings, because my good friend Bryan Price was walking out the door as I’m walking in."

Riggleman thought that Price did a good job in spite of the record and took as much responsibility for it as Price.

"I think Bryan became a really good manager. You don’t do this on the first day and you’ve got it all figured out. Over time, I think Bryan really figured it out. The 3-15 (start). I was responsible for that just like Bryan Price was. I was standing next to Bryan. I saw him make decisions that I totally agreed with. Didn’t mismanage any games."

Riggleman was not making excuses for the adversity the team suffered, pointing out that it happens to every team.

"We just came out of the blocks and weren’t hitting at all. Suarez got hurt immediately. I think Schebler was down too. We were competitive for about two months. We had as good a record as anybody. Then the same thing kind of took place. We lost Winker and that hurt. Those injuries are par for the course. That’s part of the grind. You have to understand you’re going to have injuries. You have to find a way to win anyway, and not far so far behind you can’t make it up."

Riggleman really loves to manage and wants the job but will is up for anything the team needs if they determine, he's not the man for the job.

"If I continue to do it, it’s best case scenario. If I don’t, I’ll respect whatever decision the Reds come up with. I’ve been in the organization now seven years. Extremely familiar with the player development system, our current major league roster and our coaches. I love to manage. I think our internal candidates would have some of the same familiarity with what our needs might be. Externally, the candidates will be gathering information from the outside in. There's something to be said about paying your dues (managing in the minors)."

"The first few months I was on the job, things were going ok, not great, going in a direction where we were starting to get over the hump and turn the corner a little bit," Riggleman said. "There was a lot of encouragement that has been deflated with the way we performed since somewhere in August. That falls on the manager. That’s the nature of it. You have to find a way to minimize those down times. You have to keep the losing streaks to a minimum and here of late we’ve had a hard time doing that."

The self evaluation is not the type of thing an applicant would cop to but Riggleman is as honest as the day is long.  He self evaluates.  He is honest with himself.

"One of the progressions for myself is learning more and adapting to the analytics in the game. I like it. I’m as old-school cave-man as anybody in the game. We factor that into how we manage the ballgame now. That’s been a progression for me," Riggleman said.

As for his evaluation of the Reds for next year.  Riggleman sees what needs to change in starting pitching for the team to improve.

"I think offensively we’ve got a pretty good core there. We have three All-Stars in the infield," Riggleman said. "I think the addition of Casali with Tucker has a good chance to be a plus for the ballclub. Winker really impressed me the first half. We’ve got a nice young prospect coming in Senzel. If the next question is what didn’t’ work, it’s that we need to make some adjustments with our pitching. Maybe it’s the way we attack hitters. It might not be personnel, might be the way we get hitters out."

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Michael Lorenzen Does It All To Down Pirates

Michael Lorenzen pitched scoreless baseball and drove in a run in the Reds' 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Lorenzen pitched into the sixth inning and had two outs and the bases empty when he walked Josh Bell and allowed singles by Corey Dickerson and Jung Ho Kang to load the bases.  David Hernandez rescued Lorenzen, preventing the Pirates from scoring.

Billy Hamiloton hit a triple and scored on Jose Peraza's sacrifice fly in the third inning.

Eugenio hit his 34th home run of the season to start the Reds' offense in the fourth.  His home run off Pirates'starter, Jameson Taillon,  was a carbon copy of the two-run home run he hit Friday night to center field..  Suarez has driven in 104 runs this season.  Dilson Herrera doubled with two outs and scored when Lorenzen singled sharply through the hole at shortstop.  It was Lorenzen's 10th RBI of the season and put his season batting average at .300 for the season with nine hits in 30 at bats, that includes four home runs.

"I like that he hit those balls to center," Jim Riggleman said.  "It's not an easy place to hit them but it means he's not pulling off the ball.  He had kind of gotten a little habit in September but when he stays on the ball.  His strength allows him to hit the ball to center."

Lorenzen picked up his fourth win and dropped his earned run average to 3.11 for the season.  He made 44 relief appearances and three starts.  It was the longest outing for Lorenzen since July 31, 2015 when he made 21 starts.  His ERA as a starter it is 2.64.

"He did a really nice job. He and Taillon did a really nice job," Riggleman said.  "It was a tough day for hitters with the background.  Mike got a lot of ground balls and strikeouts when needed.  He is such a great competitor and strong kid. We have not had him up and down for six innings ever.  It was time to get him out of there."

Lorenzen wanted to go farther into the game.

"My pitch count was low.  He knows I want to compete," Lorenzen said.  "I was upset with myself letting three guys get on with two outs in the sixth.  I don't think it's any secret that starting is something I want to do. I'm trying to get better.  There are a lot of ways I can get better in the off season.  I continue to grow as a pitcher.  I need a put away pitch.  I get guys 0-2, 1-2 all the time. I think my pitch count would be better if I had something I could go to, I want a pitch to get soft contact but when you want to get that strikeout you need that strikeout."

Lorenzen throws a cut fastball, sinker an four-seam fastball along with a curve and change up.

"That's three variation of the fastball," Lorenzen.  "That's why I love starting because I have three variations.  I threw more curveball in the sixth inning."

As a .300 hitter, Lorenzen takes pride in his hitting.  He was a two-way player at Cal State - Fullerton.

"I hit in the off season. I take hitting very seriously," Lorenzen said.  "I hit every day with Tony Jaramillo (assistant hitting coach).  I will stick with my routine from being a reliever.  With my background being a position player, I love taking batting practice before the game.  I love being on the field adapting to the environment, the weather and determining what my body feels like.  I think even if I am a starter, I will do that the rest of my career.  For me it's a unique case, I don't need to fit the mold of a starter."

Hernanadez and Jared Hughes preserved the shutout into the ninth.

Raisell Iglesias entered, seeking his 30th save in 34 attempts.  He retired the Pirates in order.

The Pirates were shutout for the 15th time this season.  The Reds snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Pittsburgh.

Scooter Gennett's Quest For Batting Tittle Curtailed By Injury

Scooter Gennett is out of the lineup with a mild strain in his right bicep.

The ailment will likely prevent him from challenging for the National League batting title.  Gennett is is hitting .310 with two games left to play.  He is fourth in the League behind leader Christian Yellich at .322,  Freddie Freeman of Atlanta at .312 and Anthony Rendon of Washington at .311,

Lorenzo Cain of  Milwaukee is also at .310 and Ben Zobrist of the Chicago Cubs is at .309.

Dilson Herrera will probably finish out the year at secondbase for the Reds', who are trying to prevent losing 96 games

"I took an awkward swing," Gennett said.  "It's nothing that like something that hinders me from hitting or throwing too much but it's something that, at this point of the year and where we're at, all things considered it would be stupid to risk making it worse."

If the last two games were meaningful to the Reds or even to the Pirates, Gennett would play with the soreness.

"It is probably from swinging at too many change ups and off speed pitches down in the dirt," Gennett said.  "I've been doing that a lot lately.  This is the result.  Maybe my body is telling me, I'm doing something wrong."

Gennett could catch Yellich at .316 if Gennett went 5-for-10 and Yellich 0-for-10.  Then the other players results would factor in too.

"It's whatever you know," Gennett said.  "It would be nice to be at the top but at the same point. I'm sure to him and every body else, it's not as important as making the playoffs and possibly playing in the World Series. It is another reason I have to be smart about my body and get into the off season healthy."

Reds in other categories have a shot at leading the league or setting a franchise best.

Jose Peraza has 182 hits the same as Yellich for third in the NL.  Freeman has 191 and Nick Markakis has 184.  Peraza needs three more hits to catch Barry Larkin as the Reds' shortstop with the most hits in a season.  Larkin had 185 hits in 1990 for the most hits in a season by a shortstop.

Eugenio Suarez in spite of a September slump has an outside chance to catch leader Matt Carpenter as the home run leader.  Carpenter has 36; Suarez 33.  Suarez has 103 RBI and trails Javier Baez the NL leader with 111.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Reds Limp To Finish Line With Loss To Royals Three Games Left

The Kanas City Royals wasted very little time putting former farm hand, Cody Reed to the test. The Royals scored in the first and put a string of five single-run innings together to sweep the Reds 6-1.  It was payback for the Reds sweep in Kansas City in June.

The left-hander that Kansas City spent three left-handed pitchers, including Reed to obtain Johnny Cueto for its 2015 World Championship team.

"I wasn't as sharp," Reed said.  "I didn't have the back foot slider to righties that I had the last two games.  I rushed myself a little warming up before the game but I felt fine."

Adalberto Mondesi singled off Reed with one out in the first inning.  After Mondesi stole his 27th and 28th bases, Salvador Perez scored him with a long double to center.

"Cody wasn't as sharp," Jim Riggleman said.  "In his last two games there weren't a lot of base runners.  Tonight when they got base runners there were four stolen bases in two innings.  That means there weren't opportunities for double plays.  That's a part of his game he needs to work on."

Heath Fillmyer, the Royals starter, gave up Jose Peraza's 14th home run of the season to tie the game in the bottom of the first.

Whit Merrifield extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a single in the third.  He stole second for his 40th stolen base but was thrown out at third according to umpire Tom Hallion.  The Royals appealed and won.  Alex Gordon singled to score Merrifield.

Hunter Dozier walked to lead off the fourth inning.  Jorge Bonifacio hit a ground rule double to left.  Alcides Escobar's infield single gave the Royals a 3-1 lead.

Fillmyer retired 12 of 13 batters before the Reds' second hit of the game.  Gabriel Guerrero singled as a pinch hitter.  Billy Hamilton walked but Scott Schebler flied out to end the inning.

"We may have looked flat because we didn't get a lot of hits and there was no activity," Riggleman said. "We have been doing all our preparations before the games and trying to finish strong.  Since Chicago we haven't got good results.  We didn't score a lot of ruins in Chicago either but we had better at bats."

Mondesi led off the fifth inning with triple and scored when Romano took too long to throw Gordon out a first on a weak come backer.  Fillmeyer doubled off Matt Wisler for his first Major League hit to score Escobar, who reached on an error by Peraza.  Alex Gordon hit his 13th home run of the season off Wandy Peralta in the seventh to put Kansas City up 6-1.

Hamilton's single in the eighth inning ended Fillmyer's night.  Tim Hill came out of the Royals bullpen.  Fillmyer allowed four hits and two walks. He struck out a career-high nine batters.

It was Reed's last start of the season.  He had a good year at Louisville and turned in a couple of good starts since he was inserted into the rotation.  Reed will be competing for a job in the Reds' rotation in 2019.

"I've built confidence this year," Reed said.  "Really, I showed myself that I belong.  I need to try not to be too fine, try not to be perfect."

The Reds have lost five in a row to the worst two teams in baseball that combined lost 198 games this season.  The Reds were 10-10 against American League teams this season.


"I wasn't as sharp.  I didn't have the back foot slider to righties that I had the last two games.  I rushed myself a little warming up before the game but I felt fine."

Luis Castillo Waits Until Next Year

The Reds have taken the ball out of Luis Castillo's hands after he pitched one of his best games of the season in Miami last weekend.

Castillo pitched 8 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, allowing five hits and a walk. in the Reds' 1-0 10-inning loss to the Marlins.

The 25-year old finished with 10-13 record and his lowest ERA at any point of the season at 4.30. He made 31 starts and pitched 169 2/3 innings, the same total that he pitched last season between Pensacola and Cincinnati.

Manager Jim Riggleman and his staff scratched him from his Satruday start.  Michael Lorenzen will move up a day to Saturday and if Sal Romano is not needed out of the bullpen, he will pitch the final game on Sunday against the Pirates.

"We are going to shut him down right there," Riggleman said.  "He has 170 innings We will let him finish on the last start he had.  Let him go into the off season.  Part of it is letting him finish on a good note but part of it is that in September we can take advantage of the number of bodies we have here. We certainly want to go out and win the ballgame that day.  It has been discussed but we made that decision before Harvey's start."

Castillo lost four of his first five decisions with a 7.01 ERA but finished by winning three of his last four decisions with a 1.09 ERA in September.

"I think it was a good season. I feel really good.  Obviously, I want to go out there and pitch," Castillo said through interpreter Jullio Murillo.  "I learned a lot. I will try to get ready for the next season.  The key for me is to succeed is to believe.  I have to trust myself.  I have to trust my stuff.  My preparation for next year will be more mental than physical.  I want to be 100 percent mentally prepared, to know what it takes."

"I feel good," Castillo said.  "I think I developed some arm strength this year."


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dog Meat - Reds and Royals Less Than Regal In Battle Of Basement

On Bark-in-the-Park night canine friends were welcome to the spectacle of the 54-102 Kansas City Royals and the 66-91 Reds.  Both bring up the rear of the Central Division of their respective leagues.

The Royals prevailed with a 4-3 win. On Hunter Dozier's 11th home run of the season off Raisel Iglesias, leading off the ninth.

Matt Harvey made his last start of the season for the Reds and possible his last start ever for the Reds.  Before the game manager Jim Riggleman acknowledged that Harvey, who started the game with 150 innings, would not start on Sunday.

"In all likely hood.  He has 150 innings. He's probably maxed out with the innings," Riggleman said. "If he had gone the last couple years like he did before the injury, he wouldn't be here.  The last two years he's gone about 100 innings."

Harvey worked five innings against the Royals on Tuesday.  He allowed a single to All-Star Salvador Perez and a double to Ryan O'Hearn to open the second inning.  Perez scored on an infield single by Brian Goodwin.  Perez opened the fourth with another single and scored on O'Hearn's 12th home run of the season.  Harvey allowed six hits.  Harvey did return after a 51 minute rain delay between the third and fourth innings.

"I'm happy with the body of work from Harvey," Jim Riggleman said.  "He hung a slider to O'Hearn in the second inning and almost pitched out of it.  The home run, we don't like to make excuses but it was a Great American Ball Park home run."

"It was frustrating," said Harvey, who is a free agent at the end of the year.  "I was pretty sharp in the first three innings.  After the delay, I wasn't as sharp.  I've pitched here enough to know those balls go out sometime but it was a bad curve ball, too far out over the plate."

Harvey was considered the ace of the New York Mets staff before injuries and battles with the New York media made his stay there unpleasant.

"I'd like to come back here sure," Harvey said.   "Any thing is possible.  I don't know what's going to happen but there is one team that I won't go to."

Harvey was able to accomplish his goal of maintaining good health through the end of the season.

"I just wanted to pitch every fifth day when I got here," Harvey said.  "They let me do that.  If you would have told me in May that I wouldn't miss a start and pitch 150 innings I would have told you that you were crazy."

The Reds will contemplate his return later this month.

"We are having an organizational meeting after the season," President Dick Williams said.  "We will discuss all of the internal options and take a look at who is available in the free agent market.  We are open to bringing Matt Harvey back."

Eric Skoglund started for the Royals.

Joey Votto singled with two outs in the first. Skoglund retired the last five batters he faced before the rain.  Brian Flynn took over when play resumed and retired the first five batters he faced.

Phil Ervin singled one out into the fifth.  Dilson Herrara hit for Harvey and lifted his fourth home run of the season to cut the Royals lead to one.   It was Herrera's fourth home run of the season and third pinch hit home run.

Scooter Gennett was 0-2 and fighting to stay in the hunt for the batting title with Christian Yellich of Milwaukee, tripled down the right field line with one out in the seventh off Brandon Maurer.  Ervin singled through a drawn in right side to tie the score.

Amir Garrett turned in two scoreless innings for the Reds.  David Hernandez took over in the eighth.

The Reds loaded the bases off Kevin McCarthy in the eighth.  Scott Schebler walked.  Jose Peraza singled between short and third.  Votto's swinging bunt loaded the bases with no out.  Eugenio Suarez, leading the Reds with 101 RBI stepped in.  He took three balls from McCarthy.  Suarez swinging 3-0 hit a hard ground ball that a drawn in Adalberto Mondesi speared and turned into a force at home.  Gennett struck out swinging.  Ervin forced Suarez at second to end the threat.

Iglesias was warmed up in anticipation of a save that didn't occur.

Wily Peralta, a former starter for Milwuakee, entered to nail down his 14th save in 14 tries.

Brandon Dixon walked with one out. Billy Hamilton dribbled a single into right field to become the potential winning run.  Schebler forced Dixon at third.  Peraza singled to third when Dozier made a game saving stop that loaded the bases.  The ball was headed down the line and could have scored both runners.  Votto stepped to the plate with the bases loaded.  He grounded out to second to end the game.

"They made some good plays," Riggleman said.. "I was shocked that Dozier got to that ball. I thought it was down the line and would at least tie the game."

Barry Larkin Will Not Be Reds' Manager In 2019

Dick Williams interviewed three internal candidates for the Reds' open manager's job for the 2019 season but Barry Larkin, currently a minor league instructor in the organization, was not one of them.

Pat Kelly, Freddie Benevides and Billy Hatcher were all given extensive interviews by Dick Williams and his baseball operations staff in Miami this past weekend.  The other internal candidates will be John Farrell, who managed the Boston Red Sox to a World Series win, and acting manager Jim Riggleman.

Outside candidates will also endure a day long interview in a process that Williams hope to be completed by the end of October.

Larkin is a fan preference for the job but both the club and he agree the timing is not right.

"We've talked to Barry," President Dick Williams said, "He is happy with what he's doing.  He and I have had great conversations.  He has helped in a lot of ways.   He still has managing as a long term goal and is working on his skill set to be a manager.  He can do about anything he wants to do in this game if he puts his mind to it but right now, he's making an impact in the minor leagues.  He wants to grow that role."


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Dodgers Beat Reds At Last Avoid Season Sweep

The Reds played the Los Angeles Dodgers for the last time in 2018 on Wednesday.  The visitors 8-1 win prevented the Reds from sweeping the home series and the season series

The Reds won the previous six games, including a four-game sweep in Los Angeles May 9-12.  A Reds' win would give them their first ever season sweep against the Dodgers, the Reds' arch rivals from the 70's, in a series that has been played for 119 years.

The Dodgers spent the first half of the 20th century in Brooklyn (1900-1957) since 1958 they hav played in Los Angeles.  Never has a team with a losing record swept a season series from a team with a winning record, according to Jeff Brantley.

"We didn't really worry about sweeping the Dodgers.  We just wanted to win the game at hand," Riggleman said.

Jose Peraza hit a first inning home run off Dodgers' starter Ross Stripling.  It was the 11th home run of the season for the Reds' shortstop.  Stripling, who recently returned from disabled list was removed in the fourth inning.  He gave up three hits in 3 1/3 innings, including a single by Joey Votto and a double by Billy Hamilton.

After Anthony DeSclafani retired the first nine Dodgers in order, Joc Pederson hit his second home run in as many days to tie the game.  It was the 21st of the season for Pederson.  With two outs Max Muncy singled.  Yasmani Grandal hit a line drive to right field.  It would have hit the fence but a young fan reached over and caught the ball.  First base umpire, David Rackley immediately signaled fan interference.  The umpires allowed Muncy to score.  The Reds' challenged the placement of the runners.  The call was confirmed on the review.  It gave the Dodgers their first lead of the series.

"Anthony was especially good for three innings," Riggleman said.  "We have to figure it out. He is a great competitor. I know he's frustrated."

The Dodgers extended their lead in the fifth.  Yasiel Puig walked to open the inning. After pinch hitter Andrew Toles struck out, Pederson reached out and poked a double down the third base line.  Justin Turner singled to put the Dodgers ahead, 4-1.  DeSclafani walked Muncy.   Jim Riggleman brought in left-hander Wandy Peralta to turn Grandal into a right-handed hitter with lefty Cody Bellinger on deck.  Grandal's single on a 3-2 pitch scored the Dodgers' fifth run of the game.  Scooter Gennett couldn't handle Bellinger's hard ground ball that sifted into right field to score the Dodger's fifth run of the inning.

"I was rolling," DeSclafani said.  "I felt good.  I gave up the leadoff homer to Joc.  It seemed like whenever somebody gets on I can't put a stop to it.  It's frustrating.  I just have to figure out how to execute pitches.  I don't care how many times you go through the batting order.  If you execute your pitches, you'll get your outs."

Puig and Turner hit long doubles off Amir Garrett to add another run. Walks to David Freese and Manny Machado loaded the bases with one out.  Muncy popped up to Peraza.  Riggleman went to Matt Wisler, who celebrates his 26th birthday.  Grandal's single scored Freese with the Dodgers eighth run.

Six relief pitchers held the Reds to two hits.  Hamilton hit a triple in the fifth.  Gennett, the National League's leading hitter at .322 had a single in four at bats.

"We got Billy to third and Peraza hit the ball hard but we didn't threaten after that," Riggleman said

Tyler Mahle Will Be Skipped In The Rotation

Matt Harvey, Cody Reed, Luis Castillo and Anthony DeSclafani will be the starting rotation for the near future.

"We have a question mark on the 18th," Riggleman said.  "We're not sure yet on Mahle. Mahle his last outing I took him out after three.  He was ok.  I just didn't feel he was right where he needed to be. So we may give him some more days before he pitches again."
Cody Reed has had three starts and has appeared in 11 games in relief.

"Reed has shown flashes (of good pitching)," Riggleman said.  "We'd like to have a left-hander in our rotation but this is a little bit of an audition.  We think he's going to be a real factor on our ballclub, whether he's a starter or in the bullpen, one way or another.  If he can work out of the rotation, that's better yet.  I'd like to get him five, six innings. It will be based on how he's pitching."

The staff is full of young pitchers, even the so called veterans DeSclafani and Harvey are 27 and 29 respectively.

"Reluctantly, we're looking at five innings," Riggleman said.  "I love it when we get six plus like last night that's better yet.  That's obviously what we want.  DeSclafani's gone seven.  We just had to lower the bar for what we expect out of starters.  The hitters have made such progress.  I just want to see them pitch good, keep us in the game and give us a chance to win the game,"

The Reds offense and defense is not a problem.

The dilemma is when if you've given up two or three runs in the third inning, we've scored three so it's 3-3, you feel like well is he struggling out here." Riggleman said.  "Do I keep watching it?  Should we try to win the ball game by putting a fresher arm in and nipping it in the bud right there?  Ideally, you let them keep pitching but it's September, it's not May when we're still learning.  We have a lot of data that says the batting average the third time through the lineup and sometimes it is in the fourth, is like .350, .375, .380.  Those aren't my numbers.  I'm not fighting it.  I'm not going to say that it won't happen today.  It's happened too many times."

Riggleman believes he should put the best lineup out there every day, even if the Reds are out of the race.

"I'm not worrying about seeing guys play," Riggleman said.  "I like putting the regulars out there as long as they feel good.  Any day Scooter (Gennett) needs a day off because he has something going on with his thigh, he's out there.  I've had to tone it down a little bit.  There's been some 3-2 counts, I haven't had him going.  I haven't asked him to bust it down the line each time.  Basically, when Joey and Scooter and Billy are fit to go, I want them in there.  People pay to see them play.  I don't like when fans come to the ball park, they drive 75 miles to come to the ball game to see their favorites and they're not out there.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Reds' 2015 Trade Back Fires On Dodgers

Brandon Dixon and Scott Schebler launched long home runs off Hyun-Jin Ryu to stake the Reds to their sixth win of the season over the National League West contenders, the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-1.

Dixon, Schebler and Jose Peraza, who doubled, all came from the Dodgers in the trade that sent Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox.

Dixon's fifth home run on a Ryu, 1-0 pitch reached the upper deck in left in the second inning.  Schebler's 16th was a hard liner off the Budweiser sign above the Reds' bullpen in right.

"Dixon, Schebler, Peraza, they all played well," Jim Riggleman said.  "Floro threw the ball well for them but it was a different trade."

Dixon started the last four games at four different positions.  He started the last three games of the San Diego series playing second base, third base and right field.  Against the Dodgers, he gave Joey Votto a rest by playing first base.

"Dixon is a baseball player, not just a second baseman," Riggleman said. "He got us off to a good start.  Ryu is tough."

Dixon was happy to contribute against his former organization.  He didn't make it to the Major Leagues with them, playing in his first big league game with the Reds on May 23rd.

"It was just a good pitch to hit.  That's all I've got on that one," said Dixon of the ball that landed 436' from home plate.  "I was just trying to put a good swing on it . I don't know where that power came from. It is fun to play the team you left. We've played good baseball against them this series. Scheb and Peraza do things like that a lot. It was fun to do it too."

Schebler hit his 389' from the dish but was equally happy that it came against the team that started his career.

"The win is the most important thing but you have a chip on your shoulder when you play your former team," Schebler said.  "I don't know what Dixon told you. I don't know why we match up so well against them."

Luis Castillo allowed two hits in the first inning, stranding both runners, then retired 15 straight batters.  He struck out eight of them. Joc Pederson's 20th home run in the sixth broke the streak.  Castillo rallied by striking out Dodgers' home run leader Max Muncy, who has 32 and getting Manny Machado to ground out.

"It is a long season. I've been getting better.  You have to finish the season strong,"  Castillo said.  He finished with 6 1/3 innings, allowing the home run among four hits and a walk.  He struck out nine."

Gabriel Guerrero, the nephew of Vladimir and former Red Wilton Guerrero hit a single in the fourth inning for his first Major League hit.

Schebler, Peraza and Scooter Gennett, the National League's leading hitter, singled in succession to push the third run across the plate.  Yasiel Puig robbed Phil Ervin of an extra base hit to end the fifth inning.

Castillo ran into trouble in the seventh.  Yasmani Grandal hit a one out double and took third on a wild pitch.  Alex Verdugo walked.  Reds' manager Jim Riggleman replaced Castillo with Sal Romano.  Chris Taylor flied to shallow right and a strong throw by Schebler kept Grandal at third.  Verdugo took second on the throw.  Puig walked to load the bases.  Riggleman brought in David Hernandez to face pinch hitter Justin Turner.  Turner hit into a force play to end the threat.

"That was my best throw ever," Schebler said.  "I was looking on Statcast to see what the velocity was."

Hernandez contributed a scoreless 1 1/3 inning.

"We need guys to give us five or six good innings," Riggleman said. "Castillo gave us more than that.  I felt Romano could get us a ground ball.  Puig battled him and drew the walk.  I didn't want to use Hernandez for more than an inning but I wanted his experience there in that situation."

Raisel Iglesias entered to claim his 26th save in 30 chances.  Iglesias walked Grandal with one out but Dixon showed his athleticism fielding a ground ball made a quick tag of the runner and flipped to Iglesias covering for the out.

Jim Riggleman On September Rosters

The Los Angeles Dodgers brought a roster of 36 players to Cincinnati for this three-game series.  From April through August Major League teams are limited to 25 active players.

Jim Riggleman, who is also not a fan of the Designated Hitter, would like to see the September roster expansion to as many as 40 players, curtailed.

"No other sports does this," Riggleman said.  "I felt this way for a long time. The first time I spoke about it, I was with the Cubs.  We were playing the Pirates.  We may have set a record with the number of pinch hitters we used.  It was ridiculous.  (Jim) Leyland, the Pirates manager, came to me the next day and told me 'I'm glad you said that.  It really needs to be said.'  Just about every manager, I've ever spoken to says, it's stupid."

Riggleman believes their will be a change someday.  There is a hurdle of getting the Players Association to agree. There has been suggestions such as bring them up but every night designate 30 players.

"To me it should be 25," Riggleman said.  "We play with 25 during the course of the year.  It should be 25.  Now, a lot of suggestions have been made.  You have four starting pitchers.  You take four guys off.  That gives you four more bullpen guys or four more utility guys.  That's not going to solve it.  It would take some work but they could come up with a formula of ok anybody who has been on your club to get X amount of innings or X amount of at bats or X amount of relief appearances.  Those people should have to be on your roster every night.  Guys like Mason Williams or Dixon could come off and you can put on Guerrero or Trahan.  Your team, to me. should be your core team.  That's the way I feel about it."

Riggleman feels it takes the managerial strategy out of the game.

"I don't want to disrespect anyone but if you take Tony La Russa or Earl Weaver, great game managers, great strategist, his advantage against the other manager and you're paying top dollar for because he's really good.  That goes out the window in September because he could make all kinds of moves, he couldn't make in June but they have three counters for it because they have all these extra players."

"I can't think of another sport that does it," Riggleman said.  "I think the Players Association would be totally against it (changing the rule).  The guys would get their full service time for coming up but just would not be active on some days."

Some argue that it is a long season and sometimes players need a rest late in the year.

"I think it takes a little bit away from the integrity of the game," Riggleman said.  "We're not in the playoff hunt but if we bring up a bunch of players and we put them out to play against another team, they say, 'wow, look at the team they put out to play against the Dodgers.  They don't have a representative team out there.'  I think there is a way to do it.  I think there is a better way to go from 25 to 36 the way the Dodgers are right now.  I would do it too, if I was them.  I don't think it should be allowed."

"I've never spoken to a manager that really likes it," Riggleman said.  "I don't agree with any of it.  Twenty-five is a good number.  The talk of a grueling schedule.  Come on.  We have four more off days.  It's supposed to be a grind.  It's supposed to be grueling.  It is important to see who is able to fight through the grind of a long season."

"I look at the minor leagues," Riggleman said, who spent 17 years in the minor leagues.  "The minor league has a much more grueling schedule.  They have shorter rosters.  We take players from them and they don't get a replacement.  They have very few off days.  There's guys down there who get fatigued with few off days, bus rides and 4 a.m. wakeup calls going from one city to the next.  It is a much tougher schedule."

Monday, September 10, 2018

Reds Lay Wood To Dodgers Undefeated Over 70's Archrivals

Joey Votto nearly homered on his birthday off Los Angeles Dodger starter, Alex Wood.

The ball missed leaving the playing field by inches but it was good enough to drive in the first two runs in a four-run frame that launched the Reds to a 10-6 wood shed wallop.  The win was the fifth of the season over the Dodgers.  The Reds swept a four-game series in Los Angeles exactly four months ago May 10-13.

The Reds and Dodgers were bitter rivals in the Big Red Machine Era.  The teams combined to win seven pennants in the 1970's.

"They really have a good ball club and a roster of 36. You can't get a good match up," Jim Riggleman said. "We had a lot of good at bats.  You have to keep scoring against them."\

The Dodgers loaded the bases against Reds' starter Cody Reed.  Jose Peraza misplayed Justin Turner's ground ball for an error.  Manny Machado forced Turner at second base.  Reed struck out Matt Kemp but walked David Freese.  Kike Hernandez struck out swinging to end the threat.

Billy Hamilton got the Reds rolling against Wood right away drawing a walk.  Peraza was hit by a pitch.  Votto's low line drive to right hit the yellow stripe on the padding of the right field wall, allowing both speedsters to score.  Scooter Gennett's line drive hit lower off the wall in right but allowed Votto to score, although Gennett was held to a single by Kemp.  Phil Ervin singled.  Machado fielded Brandon Dixon's ground ball in the hole at shortstop but his throw eluded Freese to allow Gennett to score.

Reed gave up a run in the third.

Chris Taylor walked to start the inning.  Machado and Kemp followed with one-out singles but Reed got out of the inning without further damage.

Eugenio Suarez hit his 31st home run off Wood in the bottom of the inning, a solo job that gave him 101 RBI on the season.

The Dodgers got to Reed for two runs in the fourth.

Brian Dozier hit a one-out double.  One out later Taylor hit his 16th home run.  That was the last inning for Reed, who left for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning in which the Reds got the two runs back off Wood.

Hamilton doubled down the left field line.  Peraza hit a sharp single to left that Taylor played quickly and his throw beat the speedy Hamilton but former Reds' top draft pick catcher, Yasmani Grandal couldn't corral the throw as Hamilton scored.  Peraza took second on the play.  After Suarez was walked intentionally, Gennett singled to score Peraza.

Pat Venditte, who can throw with either hand, relieved Wood.

Michael Lorenzen took over the mound for the Reds.

Grandal hit his 23rd home run leading off the sixth.

Ryan Madson, who was with the Reds in spring training in 2012, climbed the mound for the sixth.  Madson was injured in 2012 and never did pitch in a game for the Reds.  Earlier this season, he pitched for the Washington Nationals and hit Votto with a pitch that cost the Reds' first baseman time on the disabled list.

The Reds exacted revenge in the form of three sixth inning runs.

Peraza singled to lead off the inning.  As Votto and Suarez struck out, Peraza stole his 21st and 22nd base to get to third.  Gennett's fourth single scored Peraza.  Ervin doubled.  Tucker Barnhart's ground single up the middle game the Reds a 10-4 lead.

Gennett is currently leading the National League in hitting.  He has a knot in his thigh that requires therapy and periodic rest.

"I've had a couple rough games in a row," Gennett said.  "It's good to have a short memory sometimes. You can't let a couple bad games dictate attitude or focus. The individual things aren't as important than winning some games.  Maybe after the season, I'll think it's cool and every thing but I don't go to bed at night thinking I've got to get two hits to keep my average at the top."

The Dodgers weren't finished.

Turner walked and Machado doubled off Lorenzen to open the inning.  Kemp's ground out scored Turner.  Reds' manager Jim Riggleman brought in left-hander Wandy Peralta to face Cody Bellinger, whose single sent Machado to third.  Max Muncy's single scored Machado.  Peralta walked Grandal to load the bases.  Riggleman tagged Jared Hughes to pinch hitter Yasiel Puig.   The count went to 2-2.  Puig fouled off six pitches with two strikes, two of them were hit hard and foul, narrowly missing extra base hits.  On the 11th pitch of the at bat, Puig hit the ball on a line to the glove of Suarez at third base.  Suarez turned it into a double play with a throw to Gennett that nipped Muncy at second.

"We can't forget what Hughes does for us," Riggleman said after Hughes was given credit for the win by the official scorer.  "We've used him to the max. That was a great confrontation between Puig and Hughes.  He's hit Jared pretty good."

It was a replay for Hughes in the confrontation with Puig.

"That was the second time this year I've faced Puig with runners on and he's hit a line drive to third," Hughes said. "Before that he was 4=for-4 against me with two home runs. I think that is the line."

Puig kept adjusting to Hughes sinker but the Reds' reliever was relentless.

"I know he can find a way to make adjustments against my sinker and he finally did. Thank goodness Geno was right there and made an outstanding play.  Even though it was right to him, people don't realize how hard it is to field a ball hit 100 mph and have the awareness to get the double play.  Thank goodness," Hughes said.  "I saw Puig warming up in the bullpen. I knew I was going to face him.  I have an attack plan against every hitter in the league. I was going to get ahead and I got 2-0.  Then my plan was to get back in the count.. I'd have preferred on the ground."

The individual drama of that at bat nearly over shadowed the game itself.

"You tell me it was 11-pitches but I couldn't tell you," Hughes said.  "It just felt like 2-2.  It was one pitch at a time and execute.  When he hit it I thought 'Oh no" but it didn't last very long because it was hit so hard.  Then it was 'oh yeah'."

Josh Fields gave up a bunt single to Mason Williams but Hamilton returned the favor by lining into an unassisted double play to Bellinger at first base.

Gennett ended Hughes scoreless eighth with a diving catch to rob Turner of a single.

Raisell Iglesias pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.

Joey Votto Turns 35 Have His Skills Aged Well?

Today September 10 is Joey Votto's 35th birthday.

That is young for people with every day jobs but he is getting long in the tooth as far as baseball goes.

Votto's batting average is .283, the lowest since he hit .255 in the injury plagued 2014 season.  His power numbers are down too.  Votto hit 25 doubles to date and 11 home runs, two in the last two days.   Outside of the 2014 season both are the lowest of his career for a full season.  He led the National League with 40 doubles in 2011.  His lowest total is the 30 in 2013.  His lowest home run total for a season was 14 in 2012.  Last season Votto hit 36 one off his career high of 37 hit in his MVP season in 2010.

"I think that there was something slightly off on my mechanics this year," Votto said. "Balls that used to carry over the fence or carry through the gaps with good back spin were only making it to the warning track."

Votto, who tied Joe Mogan's team record for walking 100 or more times in a season six times, doesn't consider himself the classic power hitter.

"I'm never going to be one of those guys that hits balls so hard, that no matter what direction the ball fades or spins carry out of the ball park.  I'm at that point in my career.  Often times, I'm finding they're getting caught on the track.  Balls are sent to one of the outfielders that used to carry over the fence.  I do fell like I've made an adjustment that has taken a long time."

Manager Jim Riggleman doesn't see Votto's skills declining.

"A while back I was looking at the ages of players," Riggleman said.  "Players now are able to stay in shape.  I don't think he's slowing down.  He is in tremendous physical and mental shape. I don't see him slowing down.  I don't think it will happen for awhile."

Votto didn't hit a home run in his first 19 games.  His first was on April 24.  Votto hit one in the next three games.  His 10th home run Saturday, a grand slam snapped a 36-game home run drought.

"I feel great," said Votto, who accepts the statcast analysis in modern baseball. "If you look, I'm among the leaders in line drive percentage and hard hit balls.  They are really good numbers but I'm finding that I'm not getting the power.results.  There is something to that mechanically.  I hit the ball as hard as I've hit it the last few years but it is lower in trajectory. and caught or turned into a single or a double. I have to figure out a way to get the ball to carry over the fence."

"I'm hitting the ball hard, hitting the exit velocity minimum but not meeting the launch angle minimum," Votto said.

Votto has recently discovered what happened to his power stroke and how his approach this season didn't quite match his skills.

"I've diagnosed the mechanics," Votto said.  "You can say I'm unlucky but I feel like this style of hitting needs to be corrected.  I'm not a fast runner, so I don't get the benefit of the ball hit on the ground through the infield because the defense is going to be able to play further back and spread themselves out.  I don't get the benefit of a line drive turning into a single or double. I feel like I'm heading in that direction.  I think going into the season this year, I've made some mistakes mechanically."

The veteran finishing his 11th season, is going to fix the flaws on the fly.

"I look forward to finishing strong this year. I've never been one to think that this is the sort of thing that has to be solved in the off season. It is something you have to do while you have the opportunities in front of you," the Canadian born first baseman said,"

Votto admits that he didn't give himself enough credit and over analyzed the aging process.

"I've probably made too many concessions to age," Votto said.  "I need to let that go. I get ahead of myself at times, thinking I'm going to lose things when really I still have them."

Eugenio Suarez To Play In Japan

The Reds' third baseman Eugenio Suarez, who is having a break out, All-Star season has been asked to play a series in Japan.  There will be seven games, including an exhibition, from November 8-15 across Japan.  The 2018 Japan All-Star series is sponsored by Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and Nippon Professional Baseball.
Suarez has already established career highs with 31 home runs, 100 RBI, batting average and on-base-percentage.

When asked if he was excited, Suarez responded, "Oh my God."

"I got a call from my agent and he told me," Suarez said.  "To me it is a big honor.  It is an honor to represent this jersey, this team, the Cincinnati Reds.  It is a great time for me.  I will enjoy that moment with my family in Japan. I never thought of going over there to play baseball in Japan.  I said yes right away."

"I want to know the Japanese guys," Suarez said.  "I want to learn a little bit about their baseball.  They play exciting games over there.  It is a big honor to represent my country too, Venezuela.  Acuna (Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr.) is going to from Venezuela to be part of that team."

Suarez is curious about the baseball played in Japan.  He knows the reputation with Shohei Ohtani who can throw a baseball at 100 mph.  Ohtani is with the Los Angeles Angels.  He is 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA in 10 starts and is hitting .291 with 19 home runs and 53 RBI in 63 games as a designated hitter.

"They play baseball so well over there," Suarez said.

It has been a full successful year for the new father who has a daughter nearing a year old.  He played in the All-Star game as a reward for the success he's had this season.

"I never played a whole season I now have more energy every day," Suarez said.  "I am just going to go enjoy.  I am going to rest a little bit before I go. I will be ready on my time.  I am going to practice a little bit at my home and that's it."

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Eric Hosmer Homer To Deliver The Padres Waterlogged Win

The San Diego Padres dried out their lumber and used their bats to club the Reds. After a Reds' comeback Eric Hosmer's 16th home run of the season off Raisel Iglesias in the ninth inning nailed down the Padres 7-6 win as the escaped the flooded plains of the Ohio river.

It was Hosmer's third home run of the series all opposite field jobs that allowed the Padres to split the four-game series that featured five hours and 42 minutes of rain delays.

"We don't make too many excuses for the home runs we give up.a lot of homer but that was an Great American Ball Park homer.  Hosmer's a good hitter but this might be the only ball park it goes out of," Jim Riggleman said. "Raisel has been off about six days.  He put a pitch in there and Hosmer hit it."

Tyler Mahle made the start in place of Homer Bailey, who was banished to the bullpen to "work out his lack of fastball command" for the rest of the season.

"It was not my plan to throw 70 pitches in three innings," Mahle said.  "I felt alright. It obviously didn't go the way I planned it but I felt o.k. I threw too many pitches and too many with men on base. I'm trying to do the same thing I did early in the season but its not going the way I wanted to."

Mahle's main problem was issuing walks.  He issued three in his three innings. Austin Hedges followed one of those walks with his 12th home run of the season.

"We were going to limit Tyler to four or five innings at most but 74 pitches in three innings is an indication he isn't sharp," Riggleman said. "Tyler had some tenderness in his shoulder a month ago. I'm not sure the ball is coming out of his hand the way it did earlier in the season."

The Padres staked their starting pitcher, Jacob Nix, with two runs off the Reds Lucas Sims, who came from the Atlanta Braves in the trade for Adam Duvall.  Sims gave up a single to Eric Hosmer.  Luis Urias hit his second home run to give Nix a four-run lead.

Nix had no hit stuff for three innings until Jose Peraza led off the fourth with a single. Jpey Votto's ground out moved Peraza to second.  Tucker Barnhart's single pulled the Reds a run closer.

The Padres put up two more against Sims.  Franmil Reyes singled.  Cory Spangenberg walked.  Both scored on a double by Freddie Galvis.

The Reds lumber also dried by then.  They took Nix to the wood shed in the fifth.

Blake Trahan entered on a double switch that brought in Matt Wisler, another pitcher in the Duvall trade,   Trahan opened the fifth with a single.  Billy Hamilton dumped a single in front of the lumbering Reyes in right field that probably should have been caught. Scott Schebler singled to load the bases.  Peraza double to score two runs.  Votto ended Nix's day with his second home run in two days after he broke a 36-game home run drought.  It was the 11th home run for Votto.

David Hernandez turned in a scoreless sixth and seventh for the Reds.

Jose Castillo held the Reds in check.

Jared Hughes pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.

The game was held up in the middle of the eighth inning.  The game resumed after an hour and 32 minutes.

Tucker Barnhart doubled off Craig Stamman, of Dayton to open the eighth inning.  Pinch hitter Mason Williams struck out after failing to bunt Barnhart to third.  Eugenio Suarez, who was getting the day off came off the bench to pinch hit.  He struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch.  Billy Hamilton's routine fly out ended the mild threat.

"We need to get the runner to third.  That's baseball Mason was trying to get him over and just couldn't do it," Riggleman said.

Kirby Yates had to navigate the top of the Reds' lineup to varnish the rain extended series.  The scoreless inning earned Yates his seventh save.

The last tie for the Reds was on June 30, 2005 against the Houston Astros.  The game was called in the seventh inning with the game tied at 2-2.  The last tie for San Diego was on September 28, 1983 against the Dodgers in the middle of the 14th inning with the game tied 4-4.

Tyler Mahle

Reds Season Leaning Left

The Reds season is taking a left-hand turn.

Over the next six games the Reds are scheduled to face six straight left-handed starter.

The Dodgers are scheduled to pitch Alex Wood, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw were set to pitch in the up coming series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Reds then go to Chicago to play the Cubs.  If the Cubs rotation stays in order the Reds will face Cole Hamels, Mike Montgomery and Jon Lester, all left-handers.

"I don't think I've ever seen that," Jim Riggleman said. "I don't think I've ever had five and it will be eight out of 10 counting this Padre series."

The Reds aren't intimidated by left-handers even with Scott Schebler, Joey Votto and Scooter Gennett in the middle of the lineup.  The Reds are 19-20 in games started by left-handers opposed to 42-62 against rigth-handers.  Schebler has a .337 batting average against lefties.  Gennett is at .301.  Votto is hitting .235 this season but in his career, he has hit .294.  Plus, switch hitting Tucker Barnhart is a .302 hitter from the right side.

"Knock on wood, we've done ok against lefties," Riggleman said.

The Reds are resting Eugenio Suarez today because of the upcoming streak of southpaws.

On the other side of the ball, the Reds are hoping to reactivate Amir Garrett, who is close to full recovery from a foot injury.

"We need another left-hander," Riggleman said.

Since the Reds moved Cody Reed to the starting rotation, coupled with Garrett's injury, the Reds have Wandy Peralta as the lone left-hander in the bullpen.

The Dodgers sent word that they have changed Wednesday's starter, pulling Clayton Kershaw.  The Reds may indeed face a right-hander that day.