It’s May 14 and the Reds still have a winning record. So far, they’ve exceeded most fans’ expectations for this season. However, the team is coming off of a down week. Cincinnati went 2-4 against New York and San Francisco, and they finished the week on a three-game losing streak.* A series against the Cubs kicks off on Tuesday, so things aren’t going to get any easier for the club.
*At the time of writing the Reds were trailing the Giants 7-2 in the 5th inning. Yes, I’m assuming they lost today’s game. If they end up coming back, I’ll gladly be wrong about their record.
Let’s get to this week’s Reds Report.
Lisalverto Bonilla Shines
One of the Reds best performances of the week came from a pretty unexpected place. Lisalverto Bonilla started for Cincinnati on Saturday and gave up three runs on six hits in eight innings of work. Chris Biderman of MLB.com notes that this was Bonilla’s first MLB start since 2014. The team is desperate for solid performances out of their starting pitchers, and the 26-year-old Bonilla came up big this week.
Hello Wandy Peralta
Several players performing unexpectedly well has been a major reason for Cincinnati’s success. One such surprise has been reliever Wandy Peralta. Peralta has a 1.13 ERA, and he’s struck out 27 batters in 16 innings. Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs offered a helpful breakdown of Peralta’s performance this season. In summary, Peralta is combining a nasty slider and changeup with a mid-90s fastball.
Also of note, Peralta has one of the fastest paces in baseball. If you think the game moves too slow, then Peralta is the pitcher for you. He might be the best chance we have of getting Drew Franklin to watch the Reds this season.
17 Innings of…Birds?
The Reds were in for quite a game on Friday night/Saturday morning. Cincinnati and San Francisco battled for 17 innings before the Giants finally won on a Buster Posey walk-off home run. C. Trent Rosecrans notes that the game ended at 12:45 AM Pacific time, and it took five hours, 28 minutes to play.
As the game went on, the stars of the night became the birds flying around AT&T Park. They regularly flew in front of the camera in the later innings, and their overwhelming presence was repeatedly highlighted.
It was almost like something straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
– FOX Sports Ohio (@FOXSportsOH) May 13, 2017
– Eric Roseberry (@ericroseberry) May 13, 2017
To WOOO or Not to WOOO?
There’s a controversy brewing at Great American Ball Park. If you watch, go to, or listen to a Reds home game, then you’re likely to hear a familiar sound in the later innings. A group of fans has taken it upon themselves to serenade the players and fans with a chorus of Ric Flair “WOOOOO”s for several innings.
Apparently, some analysts and fans have had enough. Paul Daughtery of the Cincinnati Enquirer penned a passionate column this week describing his hatred of all things “wooo.” How does he feel about those who participate in this nightly ritual?
“The Reds train their ushers in the ways of courtesy and pleasantness. They should also train them to identify Wooooers and warn them once to take a damned pill. Second woooo, banish them the rest of the game. Sentence them to doing something terrible, such as acting civil.”
I’m hoping and assuming that Daughtery was employing some hyperbole in his article. However, the growing frustration over the “woo” does seem to be a bit of an overreaction. According to ESPN, the Reds have the fourth-worst attendance in baseball this season. At this point, I don’t care what Reds fans do when they go to games. I simply want them to start showing up.
Homer Bailey Update
On Friday, Homer Bailey threw 48 pitches in a bullpen session. Chris Biderman notes it’s the longest session Bailey has had since March. There is still hope that he can return to the rotation sometime in June.
Currently, Brandon Finnegan, Homer Bailey, and Anthony DeSclafani are all on the disabled list. Those losses have left a major void in the starting rotation. It will be interesting to see how the team looks when/if all of the starters are healthy. If the Reds can find ways to hang around the top of the NL Central, then things could get interesting as the team gets to full strength.
What’s Coming Up
On Tuesday, the Reds head to Chicago for the start of a three-game series with the Cubs. Over the weekend, they’ll play the Rockies at home.