While the Reds win on Friday worked out in how the bullpen was used with J.J. Hoover getting the eighth-inning strikeout with the bases loaded to escape the jam, the seemingly everyday question of “why not Chapman?” still came. Bryan Price revealed Saturday that Chapman wasn’t available for more than an inning.
“We knew going into it that it wasn’t going to be a multiple-inning situation for Chappy,” Price said. “I’ll leave it at that just from what we knew going into yesterday’s game on where he was. Under different circumstances, it would have been Chapman in that situation. We knew he was going to be up once, and in once yesterday. I knew that going into the game or that would have had a different flavor to it in the eighth for sure.”
Chapman got the save with one hit allowed in the two-strikeout ninth. Bryce Harper hit his 102 mph fastball up the middle for a one-out single.
In Friday’s 5-2 Reds win, Joey Votto’s eighth homer of the season in the bottom of the first inning gave his team a 1-0 lead. It was also Votto’s first homer since April 28. After the game, I asked him about connecting for a long ball for the first time and his response was unique for sure.
I wasn’t getting where it was going at first, and then it came together.
“It’s been a while,” Votto said. “A couple of weeks ago, I lost my wallet. I have a green card in there and my driver’s license, credit card and cash and everything. I didn’t know where it was for like two weeks. You ever lose your wallet? It’s so annoying, right? Then finally, I found it. It was in my car, one of the door compartments. That’s how I feel with my swing – I finally found my wallet.”
As for the incident with Bryce Harper, where he had words with the right fielder after his hit-by-pitch in the seventh inning, Votto sidestepped discussing it.
“I don’t remember. I don’t what you’re talking about,” Votto said smiling. “I really like him as a hitter. What a great player. I bet on Bryce. Man, he’s doing great.”
Manager Bryan Price revealed that Jason Marquis was out of the Reds rotation and headed to the bullpen. With Johnny Cueto not ready until possibly next week in Philadelphia, the rotation now features three rookies for the time being in Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen, who will start on Sunday. You can read more on that on MLB.com/Reds.com.
Reds catcher Brayan Pena was asked about having three young pitchers in the starting five.
“We knew that was coming sooner or later because those guys they have so much talent,” Pena said. “They really deserve that shot but it’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be exciting for all of us but especially for them. It’s one of those series they really have to go out there and do what they do and that’s competing. I know they’re ready for the challenge and we trust them and we believe in what they can do so it’s going to be exciting to see and hopefully we can get away with a nice performance for them and a good series.”
Pena likes how the three pitchers handle themselves.
“I really like the way they go about their business, how emotionally they encourage themselves,” he said. “They are very similar, all of them they like to compete, all of them they prepare very well and one thing all of them have in common is that they believe in what they can do. They believe that they belong in the big leagues.
Every time they have the baseball in their hands it’s all about giving 100 percent and me personally that’s the only thing that I can ask for from them.”
Reds CF Billy Hamilton is not in the lineup Sunday, one day after he banged up his left shoulder and wrist sliding headfirst into the foot of Indians shortstop Jose Ramirez while being caught stealing. Hamilton said after the game he expected to play Sunday and would be fine.
Bryan Price did not start Hamilton and went with Brennan Boesch in center field. It did not have to do with Saturday’s incident or lingering soreness, he explained.
“I think he’s fine,” Price said. “I planned on getting [Kristopher] Negron in there before the series started. And I ended up where I figured I would give him that spot at short and give Boesch and [Skip] Schumaker a chance to play a couple of days in a row and see if they can provide us with a little bit of a spark – two guys who haven’t gotten many starts along with Negron.”