Game Thread

Padres at Reds (May 15, Game 1)

The Reds take on the Padres in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. They face San Diego pitcher Ian Kennedy, who has pitched well this season so far, as this chart indicates. He’s had virtually the same strikeout rate as Johnny Cueto and a lower walk rate. That’s not to say he’s a better pitcher than Cueto (remember we’re dealing with a sample size of 8 games here), only that so far, based on those metrics, he’s pitched well. The offensively challenged Reds could once again have their hands full.

Wednesday

Bryan Price sends out this lineup. Apparently the Brayan Peña batting second experiment is over. Peña went hitless in his twelve at bats in the second spot. I’m not a fan of Joey Votto batting fourth. His OBP is valuable at the top of the lineup and he’d get about 35 fewer at bats hitting fourth over the course of a season compared to hitting second. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when Devin Mesoraco returns, presumably this weekend.

1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
2. Skip Schumaker (L) RF
3. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
4. Joey Votto (L) 1B
5. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
6. Ryan Ludwick (R) LF
7. Brayan Pena (S) C
8. Zack Cozart (R) SS
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P

331 thoughts on “Padres at Reds (May 15, Game 1)

  1. Just wondering, each year the HOF always gives out “gifts” to those going in throughout the summer and the Reds also seem to love to give out bobbleheads and such. What baffles me is that it seems that both the HOF and Reds seem to gear those items to players from 1970 on. I fully understand the need to recognize the BRM and even some of those playing today, but it seems to me that in some ways this frnchise seems to overlook or ignore some of our great players of the past. This summer the HOF is giving away bobbleheads, of which only 1 is from pre 1970. With a history as rich as the Reds, it would be nice to see other former non BRM greats get some recognition.

    • Gus Bell, Wally Post, Vida Pinson, Big Klu, Joey Jay and Jim Maloney to name a few Reds that played at Crosley Field, and deserve a bobblehead of their own. Go Reds!

  2. I was checkin gout the schedule coming up. Memorial Day weekend is a weird one – We play a late game starting at 8:10 on Sunday night, then have to get on a plane to fly to LA where we play an early game (5:10 local start time) against the Dodgers. I know that creating an MLB schedule is complex, but how on earth is that fair to our guys? Assuming the Sunday game ends on time they won’t be leaving the ballpark until around midnight, wouldn’t be getting on a plane until probably around 1 AM for a 6 hour flight, wouldn’t get to the hotel for about an hour after that, and then would have to be at Dodger Stadium a couple hours after that for batting practice. They’ll be sleepwalking. The Dodgers will be flying back from Philly the day before, but they have a 1:00 game that Sunday. I just don’t understand how you can put together a schedule and not have that jump out as a giant red flag.

    So this had me thinking, is there any reason we couldn’t send whoever our first 2 starting pitchers are for the Dodgers series a couple days early? What’s the point of having them sit on the bench here and deal with the same insane jetlag as everyone else?

    • Mike Matheny was just on record as complaining about the difficulty of playing a lot of Sunday night games. Says he understands it’s a “compliment” to be the national game, but it creates issues like what you are talking about.

    • It’s also about the most fan unfriendly thing that MLB does. I understand that TV rules the roost, but they market the Sunday games league wide as “family” days. Taking my 6 year old to an 8:10 first pitch is far from ideal. We go to every Sunday home game, but we won’t be in Cincy for that game. Kind of shame.

    • Yes. And the usual 10-day clock rule is waived as well, in both directions. It can only be for the second game of the DH in this situation. If the DH is scheduled more than 48 hours in advance, the player could play both halves of the DH. And, happily, the player gets credit for a full service day.

  3. BP is really coming around. Who was it that said he’d send us all a dollar if he finished with a BA over .260?

    • I have really grown to like Kelch. Just calls a tidy, polite game. Maybe it’s vanilla, but it’s easy to listen to.

    • To be fair, that 4th ball was a very hittable pitch and BARELY off the plate. Funny thing is, if they just had Votto batting 3rd and BP 4th we’d be up 1-0 right now.

    • I’ve seen that before on a ball that bounces in front of the plate. I don’t think the automated system can figure it out.

    • Don’t care. Hitters don’t have special skills with RISP. Over time, their RISP average merges with their regular batting average. Repeating what hitters do with RISP is no more meaningful than repeating what their batting average is on Thursday.

      • You’re the stat expert, not me. But I’m not sure I’m buying that one. Some guys are simply better at batting with RISP than others. Some thrive on it. Some don’t. Not sure they merge over time for everyone. Just like hitting free throws in the first quarter vs. hitting them in the final 2 minutes with the game on the line. It’s just different.

        • You can say you “aren’t sure” whether they merge or not, but all the studies show they do. It’s like saying you “aren’t sure” whether the number 4 is bigger than the number 3. Good hitters hit better with runners on and without runners on. Variances, like Votto’s RISP right now, are due to tiny sample sizes.

  4. Cueto making quick work of this lineup. Smelling a CG? How big would that be for the double header.

  5. If you’re Cueto’s agent, do you listen to any Reds offers for a contract extension right now? You know at the absolute least they’re picking up the option for 2015. You know he has some durability questions. But right now he’s the front runner for a CY and that would tack an extra $100 million onto any contract he would sign. Still, that’s a long way off…Decisions decisions.

  6. Cueto does look great for us. Maybe he’ll be the allstar starting pitcher? I think he has earned it at least so far. He looks just about perfect at this point. Throws a bead.

    • There hasn’t been a better pitcher in the NL yet, that’s for sure. Still a ways away, though.

  7. Man, Kennedy really mixes up his pitches- fastball, curve, “knuckle curve,” and change have all been thrown already.

  8. I wasn’t paying as close attention to the team then as I do now, but I still wonder about why Dusty refused to give Alonso a chance to learn LF. I know he’s off to a terrible start this year, but I would have loved to see him become a decent LF and hit 82 games a year in GABP.

    • Do you remember watching him play LF? He was maybe the worst defensive outfielder I have ever seen. I don’t think it was a matter of giving him time. Also, he hasn’t hit any better than Ludwick since he left if you take into account Ludwick’s injury time.

      • I remember one routine fly ball where he turned around at least 4 times and then literally fell on his ass. It was like a Benny Hill sketch.

  9. Just after a complimented Kelch above… he and Brantley are so busy talking, if you didn’t have Gameday up, you’d have had no idea Cozart had such a prolonged at bat… they missed about 4 pitches in that sequence.

  10. It’s weird, but it seems every time Pena bats LH there’s at least one ball way off the plate outside that the ump calls a strike. If not every at bat, at least once a game.

  11. Cueto is just mowing these guys down with a minimal of pitches. Might see him pitch a complete game if we can manage to score runs for him today.

  12. Cueto’s barely broken a sweat. 29 pitches. Wow. I wonder if they might go back and score that first bunt as an error.

  13. Kelch just said that Grandal is 0 for 17 throwing runners out at second. I predict a stolen base attempt or two.

  14. Bad luck. Hamilton stealing. Schumaker hit it hard. Tough play if Alonso isn’t holding a runner on.

  15. Votto just isn’t very good right now. Let’s all be honest about that. If this guy was hitting we would be winning more of these 1 run games. Why he gets a pass on criticism is because he too is a nice guy but the dude isn’t performing, certainly not at his 20 mill a year clip. Perhaps more like 500 K. Yeah he walks alot but that isn’t leading to runs for the team.

    • My problem with posts like yours is that you act like you’re a seasoned baseball fan, but you seem to have no understanding of the ups and downs of a season.

      No player has ever hit their final batting line in every two week stretch of the season. Not one. So why do you beat on Votto for doing what every other player in history has done?

      On the season Votto is hitting: .262/.412/.462. That is very good, but not up to Votto’s standards.

      Over the last two weeks, he’s hit: .216/.341/.459. That is a slump, for sure. But a) every player has them, and b) at least Votto is giving you walks and power during a slump.

      So Votto will come out of the slump, like every good player does, and then his overall numbers will be even better than they already are.

      • No one on the team knows how to adjust their swing in the middle of an at bat. None of them. Choo knew how. Our guys typically hit exactly the same way every time. If they get their pitch and choose to swing, something happens. If they dont get their pitch they just look and hack at garbage. Votto is not a horrible baseball player but he is nowhere near worth his salary. He wasnt when they gave him his salary and definitely not worth it now. Im not going to just bash votto when there is an entire line up to criticize. This team sucks. Yeah we have injuries but I seriously don’t think Price knows what to do with a baseball team. Just my opinion but if we dont hit in the clutch it’s gonna be an entire season of one run losses, pitchers’ gems being wasted on losses. Votto gets an all-star salary so yes, he need to play like an all-star. He is allowed a slump, but i honestly dont give a crap about what he does with nobody on base. Two out walk with a runner in scoring position is not acceptable.

        • I’m sorry, you just don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to player valuation. You can say that in your opinion, Votto isn’t that good, but on what grounds do you say he isn’t worth the salary?

          I’m betting you aren’t a GM, assistant GM, scout, or baseball professional of any type. So the only information on salary value you have is what is available to the public. Fangraphs has Votto’s worth last year at $30.7 million. What facts do you have to dispute that figure?

        • A two out walk with a runner in scoring position is not acceptable?

          You don’t give a crap what he does with nobody on base?

          You have to be trolling right? Or did you just hit your head or something?

        • like i said, all-star salary should perform like and all-star. i just hope he has some trade value before the deadline

        • …or maybe lets fire another hitting coach. ill go back to blaming the coaching since this site is so Votto sensative.

        • Sorry, when you say things like walks are unacceptable, and it doesn’t matter what a player does with no one on base, you lose all credibility.

    • This is like the 5th outright troll comment on a game thread for a game in the top of the 4th. Gee whiz.

  16. I don’t know why this team can’t take advantage of scoring opportunities and I am sick of the bad luck excuses. Something has got to change. Score some runs already.

  17. Where have you gone, Joey Votto
    A Redleg nation turns it’s lonely eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo)
    What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson
    Walkin’ Joe has left and gone away
    (Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)

      • Yeah, you’re right. I just don’t get the focus on hitting with RISP when you have 3 hits on the day. It’s not like we’re raking this guy and then falling apart. Kennedy has been pretty dominant.

        Hamilton singles. Schumaker makes an out. Phillips makes an out. Votto makes an out with Hamilton on third. Problem? Votto, clearly. (sigh).

    • Maybe but when the team is scoring runs at such a pitiful rate, the blown opportunities are magnified. Probably should expect to see some frustration.

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