Reds need a lineup shuffle at the top

By HAL McCOY

A major league manager doesn’t like to dial 911 this early in the season, but Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price should at least have his fingers poised above the keys.

What his batting order is doing right now isn’t working, especially the top two spots of Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza.

Isn’t a shuffle due?

The Reds lost for the fifth time in six games Tuesday night in Milwaukee, a 9-1 annihilation, the fifth time in six games they’ve been beaten down by the Brewers.

And for the first time this season the Reds are below .500 at 10-and-11.

THE IGNITION SWITCH ISN’T working. Billy Hamilton struck out his first four times and went 0 for 5 Tuesday night and he is hitting .213. Although Peraza had two hits, one was a squibber-dribbler into short right field and the other was an infield hit. He is hitting .226.

Meanwhile, Zack Cozart, batting seventh, continues to mangle every pitch he sees and is hitting .386 with four triples.

There were times in the past that Price put Cozart in the leadoff spot and dropped Hamilton to eighth. Is it time again?

AND THE TEAM AS A whole is back into that nasty habit of leaving runners in scoring position and Tuesday was one of the season’s worst.

—SECOND INNING: They had runners on first and third with two outs and Tucker Barnhart flied to center.

—THIRD INNING: Once again the Reds had runners on first and third with two outs and Adam Duvall flied to center.

—FOURTH INNING: They had runners on second and third with one out but Barnhart was called out on strikes and pitcher Scott Feldman flied to left.

—SIXTH INNING: They had runners on first and second with one out before Barnhart hit into a double play, giving him stranded runners in three at bats.

For once Brewers first baseman Eric Thames did not do major destruction against the Reds. And it wasn’t Ryan Braun.

The Brewers have another Reds tormentor in their lineup. His name is Perez and it isn’t Rosie Perez, who took a short cut in the New York Marathon. It is Hernan Perez and he takes no short cuts against the Reds.

In the second inning Reds pitcher Scott Feldman issued a two-out walk to Manny Pina and Perez pushed a run-scoring triple to the right field corner.

Feldman had two outs in the fourth when he gave up another run-scoring triple to Perez, this time to right center for a 2-0 Brewers lead.

After Perez’s second triple, Feldman intentionally walked Keon Broxton to get to pitcher Zach Davies. Incredibly, he also walked Davies, who was hitting .075, to load the bases and Jonathan Villar rolled a two-run single under Feldman’s glove and into center field to make it 4-0.

ROBERT STEPHENSON REPLACED Feldman in the sixth and Perez greeted him with a home run to make it 5-0.

Against the rest of the league, Perez is 4 for 31 with one RBI. After the sixth inning, Perez is 8 for 13 with 10 RBI in the four games he has played against the Reds.

He has one extra base hit against the Reds of the league and seven against the Reds.

The Perez home run was the beginning of a nightmare for Stephenson, who can’t seem to find his way.

After Perez homered, Keon Broxton hit the top of the center field wall for a double. Right fielder Scott Schebler dropped a routine fly ball. Villar dropped a two-run double down the right field line.

And, oh yes, Eric Thames got into the act. He drilled a home run to right field, his 11th of the year, eight against the Reds and it was 9-0 —five straight hitters reaching base against Stephenson.

He finally got an out before Travis Shaw singled, his third hit of the night. After getting a second out he issued a walk and his night was done — nine batters, five runs, six hits (two homers, two doubles, a single) and a walk).

Barrett Astin, called up Tuesday from Class AAA Louisville, replaced Stephenson and wisely walked Perez on four pitches to load the bases. Then he got the final out and the Reds traipsed off the field down, 9-0, and Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell mercifully removed Perez and Thames from the game.

Adam Duvall prevented the Reds from suffering the ignominy of a shutout by hitting his sixth home run with one out in the eighth inning.

3 thoughts on “Reds need a lineup shuffle at the top

  • April 25, 2017 at 11:57 pm
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    Hal, I am done with Price as a manager. He has done nothing that makes me think this Reds team under him will EVER win anything. Cozart hitting the way he is should be batting 2nd. Nah not too Genius Price!!! Another game I was upset at him, Hot hitting Scooter didnt play the sunday the Reds were 1-2 against the Brewers, he played Alcantara batting .111 at 2nd base. Are you kidding me?? Your trying to even the series. NOT tell your own team, your just playing whoever and no plan, so oh winning doesn’t mean anything in 2017 because ZERO accountability is demanded. Scooter was leading the team with 10 RBIs and 4 homers, and wanted to show the Brewers they made a mistake releasing him. Price didnt care or he is a lousy manager. Or both in my mind.That’s how I take it watching his dumb moves. Just like his handling of this pitching staff. Like Friday against the Cubs. NOWAY does Rizzo bat without a Lefty in the perfect situation (Perlata) pitching to Rizzo. All my friends were ticked off Price defending his BAD decision. And today with Hernandez who was awesome, who they send down? not Stephenson who is dropping like mud off the prospect list, but Hernandez who DID HIS JOB!!.. it all goes back to his dumb decision to pitch the bullpen so much that he doesnt have Storen and Iglesias in the 8th and ninth. Let Lorenzen along with Cody Reed (he is better out of the bullpen so far), be the 2-3 inning pitchers. That gives you Perlata and Cingrani (when he is healthy) and Bring up Hernandez too as a short reliever.
    Now with the “who knows who will pitch 2-3 innings when with Price, they are going to be worn out before June 1st!!..Yes the starters are injured and not going deep in games, but that’s also on management not getting arms that can go longer. It should make the Reds ownership take notice, they have to do something to get the fans to want to come out to watch this team. Not sit back and count on all the Cubs fans to buy all the tickets during each Cub series.!!!! losing sucks, but also sucks is seeing the development of this team going to slow that we fans have to see 5-6 years of more seasons of 90 losses each year and ZERO accountability. PLUS if they allow the Cardinals to sign Luis Roberts, I will be REALLY mad at this ownership!!

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  • April 26, 2017 at 11:39 am
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    But, but, but. If Bryan drops Billy and Jose down in the order it might hurt their feelings and cause them to lack confidence. You can’t treat grown men who are millionaires that way! Price is so worried about their feelings he’s willing to ignore what is in the team’s best interest. Never mind the fact that sometimes getting your little prima-donna feelings hurt will cause you to grow up, get angry and become a better ball player instead of a snowflake.

    He’s got Alcantara and Kivlehan up here while Iribarren and Winker, who are both fully ready, better hitters and more deserving to finally get their chance are being held back. He does this under the guise that they need to play every day. Hey Bryan guess what? EVERYBODY needs to play every day! Use your common sense. Alcantara and Kivlehan need to play every day too but you don’t use that excuse on them do you? It shouldn’t take this long to figure that out. Use Winker & Iribarren because they’re better players.

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