2013 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Who’s ready for a break?

Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

FINAL
Cincinnati 8
Atlanta 4

W: L. Ondrusek (3-0)
L: J. Teheran (7-5)

BOX SCORE

POSITIVES
–Shin-Soo Choo isn’t ready for a break; he’s on fire. Choo reached base four times in five at-bats today: 2-3 with a homer, two walks, three runs scored.

–Jay Bruce was 3-5 with a double, a homer, and three RBI. Joey Votto was 1-3 with a double, two walks, an RBI and two runs scored. Brandon Phillips had a double, and three RBI.

–JJ Hoover and Logan Ondrusek tossed three innings of scoreless relief.

NEGATIVES
–A loss today would have been tough on the mindset of the fan base, given Cincinnati’s lackluster play today defensively. And I’m not just talking about Zack Cozart’s error that allowed a run to score in the third inning. (That one was a terrible throw, but one that Votto probably should have been able to stop.)

–Todd Frazier owes Tony Cingrani something. Cingrani was pretty much out of the second inning, having recorded two quick outs when he elicited an easy pop up from Reid Johnson. Frazier completely botched it. Thus, the inning continued, with Cingrani being forced to throw 24 more pitches and allowing a run on a very easily-hit popup that found some open ground behind first base.

So Cingrani wasn’t able to reach five full innings to collect a win, because his pitch count was too high. He also got charged with an earned run in the second inning when he could not have pitched any better, in many respects.

–Aroldis Chapman allowed another run in his one inning of work.

NOT-SO-RANDOM THOUGHTS
–I’m definitely ready for the All-Star break, but going into the break with a split in this series against the Braves on the road is a good thing.

–So the Reds go to the break with a 53-42 record. It wasn’t always pretty, and it was often frustrating, but that’s a pretty good first half. I’ll take it.

–Always good to see the bats make an appearance on any road trip.

–Todd Frazier should probably buy some sunglasses over the All-Star break. Do they sell sunglasses in New Jersey?

–I’m kinda disappointed that Mike Leake wasn’t named to the NL All-Star team today when a replacement pitcher was named. Leake has had a great first half.

Source: FanGraphs

44 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Who’s ready for a break?

      • @Hank Aarons Teammate: Latos has the eighth lowest FIP of any qualified starting pitcher. He and Homer Bailey both deserved to be in the All Star Game.

        1. Adam Wainwright 2.11
        2. Matt Harvey 2.17
        3. Clayton Kershaw 2.52
        4. Felix Hernandez 2.66
        5. Max Scherzer 2.68
        6. Derek Holland 2.87
        7. Homer Bailey 2.87
        8. Mat Latos 2.88
        9. Chris Sale 2.94
        10. Cliff Lee 2.97

        • @Steve Mancuso: I guess it’s how one looks at it. For awards, I think you have to go with the actual results. FIP and xFIP are predictive and I’m looking at those when I’m considering player acquisition and playing time. I’m not unhappy with Latos, don’t get me wrong. However, I think ERA+ is a more appropriate way to judge things for the All Star game. Heck, people can’t even agree if FIP or xFIP is better.

          I do see your point, however.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: FIP is based on actual results. It’s uses a formula that looks at home runs, walks, strikeouts, hbp and hits that the pitcher actually gave up. It’s designed to factor out variables like scorer rulings on fielding.

          It’s been shown to be more predictive of future ERA and performance than past ERA.

          xFIP differs from FIP in that instead of using the actual number of home runs the pitcher gave up, it estimates the expected number (x). It’s designed to factor out small sample size issues with home runs actually surrendered.

          Just because people can’t agree on FIP vs. xFIP doesn’t mean they aren’t both valuable indicators, just like ERA+ as you mention.

        • @Steve Mancuso: I do realize what FIP and xFIP are. But they are not based on actual results in the way I mean: with FIP, every ball in play is counted the same. Because of FIP’s imperfections, xFIP was developed, but some pitchers post lower HR/FB ratios consistently as I understand it. Same with ERA and FIP (this site had an article on pitchers who consistently beat their FIP). So then there’s SIERA. This is a hard problem. I do understand that ERA+ is imperfect also because of variance in defenses behind a pitcher (and I suppose variance in scorers, though I view scorers as a homogeneous bunch that generally score everything a hit).

          As I said, I’m using FIP and xFIP for predictive purposes, and ERA+ for awards. But that’s just me…everyone’s mileage may vary.

          In any case, there’s no way to make a coherent case for Leake and Latos both (not that you were). It’s one or the other, depending on if you use FIP/xFIP or ERA+.

        • @Hank Aarons Teammate: My head hurts. If guys with 5-8 records with 3.82 ERAs are All-Stars, I suggest just picking names at random. I’m as big a Reds’ fan as anyone but that takes Homerism to a whole new level

        • @CharlotteNCRedsFan: No doubt that W-L and ERA are the stats that are conventionally used. But W-L is a terrible stat to measure the performance of a pitcher since it depends so much on offense and even unearned runs surrendered. ERA is better, but again, it depends on many factors out of the pitcher’s control.

          The appeal of FIP is that it boils down the performance of the pitcher to the variables they actually control. It takes the same principle of using ERA instead of raw run total. We use ERA instead of R because we want to isolate the runs that were earned off the pitcher, not the ones earned off the mistakes of the fielders. So choosing ERA starts down the path. FIP is just a further extension of that principle.

          (I’m not as big of a fan of xFIP for the reason that HAT explains above, some pitchers seem to give up a higher rate of home runs year after year so why adjust that factor out.)

        • @Steve Mancuso: I make no secret of not understanding all or much of advanced metrics, so I’m asking, not arguing: How would the homer Chapman gave up yesterday be evaluated? I didn’t think that it was a big deal–sometimes guys catch up with fastballs up in the zone.

        • @greenmtred: That’s a good question which illustrates the difference between FIP and xFIP.

          Factoring in Chapman’s homer is pretty straight-forward in both ERA and FIP. Both of those statistics look at actual performances by pitchers, including home runs, and plugs them into a formula. Actual home runs are definitely part of FIP, so the homer he gave up yesterday will raise his FIP.

          xFIP (and, again, I carry no brief for this stat) on the other hand, would not budge based on the actual home run given up by Chapman. The “advance” offered by xFIP is that it normalizes the rate of home runs given up as a percentage of fly balls allowed. The assumption is that home runs occur on a certain percentage of fly balls no matter who the pitcher is. It adjusts for the fact that a pitcher might be lucky or unlucky with how many they have actually given up. So it creates a variable for “expected” home runs (that’s where the X comes from at the start) instead of actual home runs given up.

  1. Meso has 4 days off for rest and treatment on his back. He needs to be completely healthy when the Reds resume play after the all star break. The Reds will have 7 days (8 games thanks to the idiotic home game makeup in SF) before Hanigan can come back off the DL. If Corky is the backup catcher after the break, Meso needs to play every day (with the possible exception of the double header) until Hanigan gets back from the DL (if Hanigan comes back as soon as he is eligible).

  2. I’m happy not to have our SP’s in the All-Star game. While it would have been an honor for Leake and he certainly deserved the look, they all could use the rest. Same with most of the rest of the guys. We gutted it out during this last stretch and now it’s time to focus on the 2nd half. We’re a better team than last year, but the Pie-rats and Dirty Birds are not going quietly. I don’t know about any of you, but I really don’t want it to come down to game 163 (though I’m pretty sure we could take the Pie-rats either place and have a good chance against the Dirty Birds at home).

    We have enough talent and have some solid pieces coming back just as if we traded for them at the deadline. Go Reds and let’s really push the 2nd half over a .600 because I think that’s the only way we pull this off. Another strong start coming out of the AS break would be wonderful …

    Oh, and Cingrani’s bunt single was spectacular. I wasn’t home and didn’t know what happened until I replayed that inning. Even before JB stepped up, you just knew what was going to happen. That inning was a little magic in a bottle.

  3. Barry Zito’s road ERA is now 9.89. I wonder if he’s going to set some kind of record for anyone with a reasonable number of innings.

    I am actually really curious to see if anyone signs him to a 1 year contract in the offseason. His home ERA is around 2.50, but any other team doesn’t play in San Francisco. While I think the split he has is to a large degree just chance above the fact that SF is one of the best places to pitch, I don’t know that the other 29 teams will see it that way—they’ll think he’ll have a 9.89 ERA at their park. I sure wouldn’t have anything to do with the guy…he’s terrible.

  4. Sorry but Cozarts throw while not great should have caught by Votto. That run is on Votto not Cozart.

  5. My gosh, Cozart has settled (does 3 games constitute settled?) in nicely in the #7 hole where he can concentrate on simply hitting the ball and quit worrying about getting on base. This utlizes his strength at the plate (.366 SLG) and minimizes his weakness at the plate (.262 OBP). Hopefully Dusty has seen the light and Cozart can simply play baseball without worrying about the criticism going forward.

    Now, what to do about that pesky #2 hole…

      • @Jason Linden:

        What’s wrong with the various LFs there?

        Absolutely nothing and Frazier’s a good option too. As @homerandbruce: replies below, Votto would be very interesting in the #2 hole with Phillips and Bruce moved up to 3rd & 4th (Wow, that could be a potent top of the order!), but I think the most we can realisticly hope for is the LF’s in the #2 hole.

        Robinson & XP have tailed off significantly, but maybe the break will reignite their turbos. Heisey has been strokin’ since he came back off the DL, but I don’t have a lot of confidence that he will maintain that production long-term.

  6. First Redlegs game for my two sons today. It was a good one.

    Lots of us there today. The Bruuuuuuuuuce was loud.

    Enjoy the break.

  7. Is there any word on when Ludwick might begin a rehab assignment? I think I heard he would need about 2 weeks of games … Because if he’s back, then Cozart is back to 7 regardless. (I hope.)

  8. Anybody else watching that Cubbie-Cardinal game? Darwin Barney just hit a 3-run homer to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead going to the 7th …

    • @vegastypo: 6-4 Cards, bases loaded, top of 8th. Despite the series split with a severely injured Braves team, I just don’t feel that confident in this team, when I’m desperately hoping the Cubs can somehow hang on to defeat the Cardinals, so that we can *only* be 4 games back at the ASB. Not a real pick-me-upper, that’s all. GO RE–er, CUBS!?!

    • @Shchi Cossack: Cody Ransom hit a 2 run double to tie it. In 110+ plate appearences for the Cubs, his OPS is over 1.000. I don’t know how at the age of 37 he’s almost 300 points over his career OPS, but it’s the sort of bat the Reds need as a bench corner IFer. Send Hannahan to AAA or wherever.

  9. Frazier’s blunder was stupid, but it only allowed one guy to reach first. It didn’t “force” Cingrani to throw another 24 pitches in the inning, which should be enough for six outs if he’s pitching effectively. I’ll never understand why errors are considered so much more significant than all the hits and walks that occur after them.

    • @Baseclogger: Just FYI, the best in the league at P/IP is Zimmerman. Bronson is 2nd, at 14. No pitcher is anywhere near 12 pitches/inning.

      • @Baseclogger: Just FYI, the best in the league at P/IP is Zimmerman.Bronson is 2nd, at 14.No pitcher is anywhere near 12 pitches/inning.

        Just FYI, I said “if he’s pitching effectively.” I’m willing to guess Cingrani will tell you that if he’s pitching effectively, he can get 6 outs in 24 pitches. Regardless, I think we can both agree Frazier didn’t force Cingrani to throw 24 pitches to record one out against mediocre hitters.

    • @Baseclogger: You’re calling it a stupid blunder answers your own question. It wasn’t a physical error (no error was even charged), it was a mental error, a gift to the opposing team. All errors get viewed as “gifts’, but physical errors are inevitable, mental errors can be reduced to a minimum by simply paying attention to what’s going on.

  10. I saw on the Reds schedule that the home game rainout against the Giants has indeed been rescheduled as a “home” game in SF. How on earth did that happen ? Didn’t the Reds have a say ? If so how could they possibly have agreed to that ?

    The Giants are much better at home than on the road, so are the Reds.

  11. Have any of you ever had a ball hit to you and it gets lost in the sun? It is a helpless/frightning feeling.
    Even with glasses on it can be nearly impossible. Also, before the pitch was thrown, it was cloudy, and the sun came out as the pitch was being made.

    If it was an “I got it, you take” moment with Cozart, I could see the bad feelings….but this wasn’t.

    I give Frazier a pass in this case.

    • @VaRedsFan: Even though the sun was in and out, he should have had sunglasses on for that play. If he doesn’t like the flip sunglasses, find another solution. If he still loses the ball with sunglasses on, no one has the right to criticize.

  12. Glad to see a split with Atl, somewhat of a downer that Saturday’s game wasn’t more competative. Both Baliey (but for the no-no) and latos have been off-key a bit recently. Cards split with the cubs and pirates lost 2-of-3 to the mets. overall a good weekend to have headed into the ASB, and boy do they need it.

    Regarding the rescheduled game, I’m fine with it. It’s the best of a bad set of choices. The only other common off day would mean they play something like 34 days in a row… no thanks! And leaving to the end of the year means rolling the dice. The worse option would be for the reds to be comfortably in the division lead or wild card and the giants finishing the season 0.5 gms either side of their own division, forcing them to play a meaningless game.

    • @Lost and Found: No, the worst option would be playing it after the season, with a Reds victory necessary to make it to the WC game. That would force us to burn two pitchers before making it to the real playoffs. If we were already in but the game mattered to the Giants we could start Corky Miller for all I care. The second worst option is the one that’s been chosen…a double header in the Giants home park. I don’t care how much money they give the Reds, this is a terrible decision by our organization to allow this. It’s unlikely the Giants are going to need that game at the end of the year so we should have rolled the dice. Pretty much all of the arguments for scheduling it like this have to do with MLB’s convenience, not the Reds’ competitive prospects. A shameful decision by our organization.

      • @Eric the Red: Well reasoned and I’m with you 100%.
        West Coast road trips are tough and this one now starts with a double header on the second day. It will be hard to measure the impact of the makeup game on the Reds, even if they win it.

        If the Reds eventually tie for or lose the division or the first or second wild card by one game ….

  13. I forgot to mention one of my favorite plays for yesterday’s game: During the conference on the mound where everyone is trying to calm down Cingrani, the home plate ump approaches and BP blocks him out of the circle, with the kind of basketball move you make to get a rebound. BP blocked him so thoroughly that Cingrani and the ump couldn’t even see each other.

    That move may have saved the game !

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