The Cincinnati Reds (50-65) game against the New York Mets (47-65) began at lunch time on Wednesday and it was all downhill from there. The Metropolitans took the series from the Redlegs with an 8-0 drubbing at Citi Field.
Robert Stephenson (0-1) struggled to keep the ball in the strike zone, walking five batters in his four innings of work. That led to three earned runs, which was more than enough for his counterpart to work with.
Jacob DeGrom (6-7) tossed six shutout innings, striking out (10) twice as many batters as he allowed to reach base (five – four hits, one walk). Only Jose Peraza managed to get through DeGrom’s outing without striking out.
Stephenson changed up his delivery mechanics, this year, and pitches completely from the stretch. That still did not help him, once there were runners on, as his command wavered and the NL’s worst offense looked anything but. BobSteve, along with Michael Lorenzen, were bitten by extra-bases as New York scratched out four doubles against the pair, and six for the game.
A few noteworthy things:
Eugenio Suarez extended his hitting streak to nine games. (annnnd that’s the last positive note)
The Reds were threatening in the top of the first with Phil Ervin on third and Scooter Gennett on first. With two outs, and Mason Williams at the dish, a double-steal was called and Scooter was trapped in a rundown and tagged before Ervin could reach home, ending the inning.
Ervin had one of those days he will want to soon forget. To go along with a pair of strikeouts at the plate, Phil kind of goofed up in the field. In the bottom of the second, with a runner on first, a line drive was hit into the left field corner. Ervin misplayed it off the wall and then, with the runner scoring from first, proceeded to miss all the cut off men (three, to be exact) with his throw to the infield. Ervin shows promise, but those who criticize his fielding were given no reason to let up, today.
Ervin did get the final out of the eighth inning from the mound, though. He induced Devin Mesoraco to ground out on his third pitch. (ok, that was kind of positive)
Including Stephenson’s five, Reds pitchers walked 11 Mets batters in this game. Also of note, the Mets entered this series with the lowest on-base percentage in the NL.
This is the seventh time in 2018 that the Reds have been shutout.
Jim Riggelman made his eleventy-billionth double-switch in the ninth inning, which was actually a triple-switch.
If you paid attention past the fifth inning, as a friend of mine from the south would say, “God bless your heart.”
Cincinnati gets a much needed off-day tomorrow as they return home for a nice, long home stand. The Arizona Diamondbacks will begin that stretch of home games on Friday.
As the clock hit 6:30 pm, last Saturday, I was ready to go to Great American Ballpark. That’s when my wife reminded me that it was December. Every year the Cincinnati Reds put on a first class party for their fans called Redsfest and they’re pretty good at what they do.
I got to meet Michael Lorenzen, Tyler Mahle, Ibandel Isabel, and Jimmy Herget. I got my copy of “The Big 50” signed by Chad Dotson and Chris Garber, made a video with Mo Egger, and talked shop with Doug Gray. Okay, I get it, enough with the name dropping. Basically, it was fun.
I made it a point to ask some light-hearted questions (or in Lorenzen’s case, make a light-hearted, but factual, statement) to see what their reactions would be.
I first met Lorenzen. I told him that he was the real silver slugger and I am attempting to get that other guy to mail him the trophy he deserves. Lorenzen responded with, “Well, that just gives me motivation to hit twice as many homers next year.” Might have to get me a Lorenzen jersey…
I then got Mahle’s John Hancock (or is it Herbie Hancock?) on a baseball and I asked him if we can expec upwards of three, or more, 20-strikeout games this year. He replied “Let’s hope so. I’ll see what I can do.” Hope you folks in the bleachers with K’s are ready to work, this season.
I then got autographs from Isabel and Herget. Isabel just gave me an awkward smile and a chuckle when I asked if he will focus on inside-the-parkers this year instead of traditional homers, since he’s already hit a lot of those. Herget gave me a classic answer to my simple question of what his favorite pitch was when he said, “A strike.” Well played Jimmy.
The main stage offerings were also enjoyable. The best was at the kids-only press conference. Joey Votto, Amir Garrett, and Eugenio Suarez were on stage for the show, and when asked what their favorite memory of 2018 will be, Joey decided it was “When Amir tried to fight the Cubs.” Suarez bumped in, “Yeah, when he struck out Baez and stared him down. That was awesome, man!” As much as we fans may have liked that moment, it seems to have been even cooler to the team.
Memorabilia-wise, there was a ton of stuff to get. I didn’t go too crazy, this year, but I did end up with a new hat that has a Jackie Robinson 42 patch on it. Definitely my favorite hat, now. All in all, a good weekend.
If you went, let me know how your experience went!
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Live (Sorta) from Redsfest with Mo Egger
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Instant Reaction: Bye, Bye Billy
Wow! It’s the first hour of Redsfest and there are fireworks, already! The world’s fastest man (probably), Billy Hamilton, was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds making him a free agent. I have a few instant thoughts on this.
Firstly, I am bummed. I watched his career develop in the minors all the way up til he got the call to the Bigs. He looked like a star in the making in Pensacola, but what we now know is that he was defensively gifted and offensively challenged. He will go down, in my book, as the foremost example of “You can’t steal first.” I hope that his next step (if he doesn’t return, that is, but more on that in a second) he finds that missing piece and becomes a star.
Nextly, where do the Reds go from here? The encouragement is that we know Bob Castellini loved Billy and wanted him to be here forever and ever. That means the front office has definitely, officially been handed the reigns. If that’s the case, maybe we see Nick Senzel brought up and given the CF job, or Jose Peraza move to CF (he has a few minutes of experience there) and Senzel put in at shortstop. Those possibilities excite me. Whatever gets Senzel in the lineup is the right course of action, to me.
Lastly, maybe this is a little Michael Johnson maneuvering? For those who don’t follow the other professional franchise in Cincinnati, the Bengals made a move, right before the season, where they cut one of their longtime veterans only to resign him a few days later. They made the move to get some young guys onto the practice squad, but I digress. What if the Reds and Billy have a little head nod and handshake agreement that they will sign him for a year or two at his current rate, avoiding the arbitration-hike in salary he was about to get? This is purely a hypothetical notion by me, by the way, and I don’t know if they can do that, or if Billy would want it that way. Just a thought from a fan who can never truly be unbiased when it comes to Cool Papa Bill.
Anyway, I am sure there will be more to come from Redsfest!
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