Titanic Struggle Recap

Cueto leads the Reds to back to back wins

Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (25-29) 5 11 0
  Arizona Diamondbacks  (23-35) 0 6 0
 W: Cueto (5-4)     L: McCarthy (1-7)
 Box Score |   Play-by-Play    |   Game Thread    |    Depth Chart   |  Win Probability

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (wining percentage added), the most important play of the game was Skip Schumaker’s single in the 4th inning, which advanced Billy Hamilton to third base with 0 outs.  That play took the Reds win expectancy at the time from 54.4% to 65.8%.  The Reds would follow that play up with an RBI single from Brandon Phillips (increased the Reds win expectancy to 76%), an RBI single from Todd Frazier (increased the Reds win expectancy to 77.1%), and an RBI double from Brayan Pena (increased the Reds win expectancy to 87.6%).

Player of the Game

Johnny Cueto: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K

Cueto was terrific yet again.  His ERA dropped down to 1.68, which is now tied with Jeff Samardzija for the best in the MLB.  He also leads the MLB in WHIP at 0.76.

Tonight was the 10th time this season, Cueto has gone 7.0+ innings and allowed less than 2 earned runs.  There is no other pitcher in the MLB who made 8 or more such starts.

One of the biggest reasons for Johnny Cueto’s success has been domination from the beginning of the game.  Through 12 starts this season, Cueto has only allowed 4 ER in innings 1-4 (0.75 ERA).

Positives

The Reds offense has scored 5+ runs in back to back games for the first time since April 20-21.

Jonathan Broxton came into the game in the 8th inning with the bases loaded and 1 out.  He stuck out Paul Goldschmidt, and then got Miguel Montero to hit a weak pop up.  When Broxton entered the game, the Diamondbacks had a 6.6% win expectancy, and when he left the game the Diamondbacks had a win expectancy of 0.5%.  That is called slamming the door shut!  Broxton has been incredible in 16.1 IP this season, posting a 0.55 ERA and 0.67 WHIP.

Despite that the top of the Reds order tonight of Hamilton, Schumaker, and Phillips entered the game with OBP of .287, .292, and .295, they came through tonight.  They combined for 6 hits, and scored all 5 of the Reds runs.

Zack Cozart had a hit in the 6th inning to end an 0 for 16 skid.

Billy Hamilton now has a modest 4-game hitting streak.

J.J. Hoover pitched a scoreless ninth inning tonight.  On May 10th against the Rockies, Hoover gave up two home runs to the Rockies in the 6th inning and was booed heavily at GABP.  Price had Hoover got back out and pitch the 7th inning of the blowout game, and he pitched a perfect inning.  Here are Hoover’s numbers since Price made Hoover go back out for another inning after being booed off the field: 12.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 13 K, 0.75 ERA.

Negatives

Devin Mesoraco was not in the lineup tonight.

Donald Lutz got the start at 1B tonight, and went 0 for 4.

Not so random thoughts….

How nice would a win be tomorrow?  The Reds now sit just 3.5 games out of a wild card spot.  Taking 3 of 4 from Arizona, before having an off-day on Monday, and beginning a 10-game homestand on Tuesday could go a long way.

Man, when Billy Hamilton gets on base it is a thing of beauty.  He had two hits tonight and stole a base.  While I still don’t believe that Billy should be hitting leadoff at this point in his career, if he could raise his OBP up near .350, he could be a very nice leadoff hitter.

chart (1)

box score

36 thoughts on “Cueto leads the Reds to back to back wins

  1. Very nicely done …. I wouldn’t have been in such agreement with the win expectancy percentages after some of what I’ve seen/heard this season, but a fun game all around. A whip of .75 kinda speaks for itself… Nice wrap.

  2. Great recap, Nick, fun to read and informative (I only caught the end of the game). I like you use of win expectancy.

    • I also liked the iuse of WPA to isolate the (perhaps unexpectedly) crucial moments on both sides of the ball. Count this as a vote for the WPA “Most Important Play of the Game” as a regular feature. It would make a great objective stat to replace the dearly departed “Frisch’s Big Boy Big Play of the Game” and maybe highlight a few unnoticed contributors.

  3. I tuned in on my car radio just as they were reviewing Pollock’s getting hit by a pitch. It’s a shame to see a young player doing so well get hurt.

    After the bases were loaded for Goldschmidt, the DBack broadcasters were all kinds of excited and I was nervous. Broxton shut the rally down, no problem. He’s pitched with such excellent command this season that with a bases loaded, one out situation I prefer him to Chapman. And I like how Chapman has pitched recently, mixing in a lot of sliders and change ups for strikes.

    • I’m right w you about Chapman Pinson343. He needs to mix his pitches to make his cheese that much more effective!! I donot care how hard you throw big league hitters will hit it eventually if you cannot or will not mix your pitches up.

  4. After losing the first game of the series, Sarge said the Reds would win the next three. Two down, one to go.

  5. Obviously you’d use Hoover in a high leverage situation before Ondrusek or Marshall at this point. But I’m not comfortable with him yet. Impressive stats in the last 12 innings but the problem is the 5 walks. In the one high leverage situation he’s been used in during that stretch, he walked two batters and was saved by a spectacular play by BP.

    Tonight, with the score 5-0 and two outs in the 9th, he walks Cody Ross on 4 pitches. His meltdowns resulted in 3 road losses early this season. I believe he can pitch like he did last year under pressure (usually well with an occasional disaster) but I’d ease him back as gradually as possible. Tonight I remembered Goldschmidt hitting that grand slam off him last year.

  6. Good going REDS, finish this road trip off in the positive with a win today…Go REDS… timely hitting starting to come around…Phillips would have had a better game if he didn’t try to stretch that double into a triple…the 5th would have turned into a carbon copy of the 4th or even better…no Doubt the REDS are moving in a positive direction compared to were they were after that CGSO, the other night…

  7. Love to see them win, but it is still a long season. Who will be on the team in a month? Seems like Lutz will go back down, but who leaves when Latos comes back? Who goes to the bullpen? One thing I can say is that Price is not Baker. Is there a way to get both Mesoraco and Pena in the lineup at the same time? Move to the American League?

  8. Johnny’s changeup was as good as I’ve ever seen it last night. Great great out pitch.

    Does anyone else like the look of the lineup without Ludwick? I do. I’d like to see a steady rotation of Big Lutz and Schu out there. For that to happen, we need to get Mesoraco some experience at 1B. As much as I like Pena, it’s patently criminal that Mes didn’t play last night.

    Go get ‘em today Big Pasta!!!

  9. Great recap Nick. The Old Cossack likes the inclusion of the box score, win expectacy and leverage data included with the recap. That makes RLN almost like a one-stop-shop when the Old Cossack wakes the morning after.

    I wa thrilled with the game and every aspect of the game except one. After Lutz sitting and sitting and sitting, I was hoping for more from his bat, but was not disappointed in his Ofer last night. I expected Mesoraco to sit against the RHP and with Cueto pitching. As long as Pena continues to produce at the plate and Mesoraco has not other position he can play, I have no real problem with Pena catching Cueto, especially against a RHP. I didn’t like Parra’s performance (again), but Bryan got him in and got him out expediously. The one play that really got under the Old Cossack’s leathery skin was Phillips getting himeself thrown out at 3B. I wasn’t upset that he tried to stretch the double into a triple, because that hit was an out, triple or a home run from the time it left the bat. The problem was that Phillips felt compelled to stand at home plate and gawk at his handiwork rather than doing his job and running the bases. That was a standup triple if he runs rather than gawks. With the Reds offense struggling, such a performance is really hard to stomach.

  10. Zack Cozart had a hit in the 6th inning to end an 0 for 16 skid.

    I like Zack defensively but offensively, we have a problem. Yes, SULTANOFSWAFF, I like Schumaker over Ludwick too. Mez has said he wants to catch and nothing else. Mental day off but I’d still like to see his bat in the lineup. I know Pena’s Cueto’s personal catcher but come on, Mez can catch him too with Pena at first.

    • Don’t get me wrong but do you have a citation for Mes’ statement? This strikes me as out of character. Thanks.

    • I don’t have the specific quote referenced, but if the Old Cossack’s memory serves correctly (a VERY questionable commodity), Mesoraco actually said something to the effect that all he knows is catching and has never played any other position, so he did not feel confident that he could play another position.

      • I heard Meso saying something similar I believe it was in a radio interview on WLW sometime in the last couple of weeks. More of a I wouldn’t feel comfortable than I don’t want to or outright won’t.

        But then like the Cossack I may have memory issues since I’ve recently been clearing my head from two hours worth of general anesthesia.

    • I’m not sure where it came from or if anybody has ever looked into the relative efficacy of the practice; but, there is something of a history of #1 starters regularly pitching to the backup catcher. Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux are two that come to my mind immediately.

  11. You know, all things considered I’m feeling pretty good to only be sitting 3 back of the Cardinals in the loss column. There’s a lot of season left, hopefully with a healthy team. It would be nice to pick up another win today to go 4-3 on the road trip, and come home with a winning streak.

  12. Casually following game progress while watching Spurs/Thunder last night. Checking plays and scores. Billy gets a single, almost like magic he is on third. Driven home. How sweet it is. Great win. Sorry Cueto broke that guy’s hand with a pitch, but great effort nevertheless.

  13. “…the most important play of the game was Skip Schumaker’s single in the 4th inning, which advanced Billy Hamilton to third base with 0 outs.”

    Perfect! No run and no RBI, yet the most important play of the game.. The creation of runs involves more than runs and RBI’s. The exclusive focus on counting stats simply falls desperately short of measuring real offensive contributions.

  14. So…last game of the road trip. LHP on the mound. Big outfield. Does Price let Heisey start over Ludwick, or give Bruce a day off to help his knee before the flight back to Cincinnati and another off day tomorrow? I’m guessing/hoping the outfield is Ludwick-Hamilton-Heisey, I’d be OK with Heisey-Hamilton-Bruce, and I fear Ludwick-Hamilton-Bruce.

      • couple of switch hitters but no straight lefties. With the likes of Bruce and Votto being around the last 5-6 years, we haven’t seen this often from the Reds

        • This intrigues me, in large part because I didn’t think the Reds had the bench to even TRY to stack a lineup against a certain pitcher. Not sure we do now, but at least we’re willing to try.

          I’m not much of a stats guy, but Miley’s ERA at home is 6.50 vs. 3.18 away. And his batting average allowed to lefties is .200 vs. .266 to right-handers. I hope this works.

    • I liked the use of Ludwick last night as a RH pinch hitter and even moreso after he smacked that double. Seeing an all RH (or switch hitting) lineup against Miley is also very encouraging, with Ludwick, Heisey & Cozart hitting 6th, 7th & 8th in the lineup.

  15. Did anyone catch the after-game Reds Live interview by Jim Day of Skip Schumaker? Skip was serious and all business, and BP first stood beside him, then walked behind him twice, then kissed Skip on the cheek and left. Skip said “What’s wrong with that guy?”, and didn’t look real amused.

    BP is having fun but it can wear thin at times. He seems to need a lot of attention. Schumaker, on the other hand, is coming across as a grinder all about business.

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