Titanic Struggle Recap

Game 65: Gritty Enough

Final R H E
Los Angeles Dodgers (35-33)
1 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (31-34)
4 7 0
W: A. Simon (9-3)    L: Z. Greinke (8-3)   S: Chapman (10)
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability

The Good

Todd Frazier delivered his 14 HR of the season in the bottom of the 1st, quickly answering the 1-0 lead the Dodgers were spotted at the top of the inning.  Leather was on display again at Great American Ball Park. That most definitely helped the starting pitching, which was impressive for the second game in a row (8 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K). Reds starters have walked zero batters in the last two contests. Joey Votto was 2-3 with a walk. Second double in a many days for the returning Votto. Is the power back? Today’s left fielder du jourSkip Schumaker–had two hits in four ABs, the second a double to deep center in the 8th that eventually scored the Reds’ 4th run.

The Bad

Brandon Phillips left the game early with a finger injury he incurred turning the double play. He never leave a game early. Needless to say, this team doesn’t need any more injuries.

The Ugly

Nothing.

Not so random thoughts …

Jay Bruce went 0-4 today, but Jay’s slash line for his last 11 games coming into this afternoon? .306 / .381 / .556.

When it looked like the Reds offense had gone napping for the afternoon, they rose up and added 2 important runs. That hasn’t been happening all year long. It’s now happened two days in a row. Reds beat a very good pitcher today. They did it with pitching, defense and timely hitting. More of that, please.

Read this about Johnny Cueto and be glad he wears Cincinnati red.

Now, it’s off to Milwaukee to rough up Bernie Brewer and his minions.

78 thoughts on “Game 65: Gritty Enough

  1. Nice game, nice game. Looking forward to being there live for the Latos start on Saturday and the follow-up game on Sunday against the Crew. I’ll do my best to heckle Braun. And Hank the dog, by God if I can get rid of that dog….

  2. Great win for the team. Really played up to their potential the last couple games. Hopefully they can keep winning and pull out a couple games against Milwaukee and make up some ground in the standings. That’s really the only way they’re gonna gain a bunch of ground against them.

  3. Good to see the Reds winning a couple against a team over .500, more of that please.

    That said, how BAD are the Dodgers on the basepaths? They had a caught stealing or a pickoff once in every game in the series. Combine that with the Phillies having 2 thrown out at home in one game the day before this series. Is baserunning a dying art?

  4. Gotta have that sweep in MIL and we can finally get this season rolling! I know that even if BP is hurt he will likely play through it. At least Shumaker, offensively, is closer to BP than Pena was to Votto.

  5. I think at this point in the season you could easily make a case for Simon being the MVP of this team. He took the ball and steped into a very needed role and outside of maybe 1 or 2 bad outings has been dominate and needed with Latos hurt. Yes Cueto has pitched lights out but coming out of ST how many here were scared to death of what we had with no Latos. Also I think while the last two games have been great, lets not forget it was only a .500 homestand and we have what can only be said as a MONSTER KILLER road trip ahead and schedule between now and the ASB. I am glad people are getting healthy and love watching the Reds, but as for a playoff team, I will wait till the ASG to have a better feel for that option.

    • Totally agree with the comment on Simon; good for you Drew. I hope the omission of Alfredo, by name, in the recap is just an honest oversight,

    • It’s also pretty obvious now Cingrani is the odd man out with Latos returning and Simon pitching better than anyone ever imagined. I never thought he’d pitch this well. Good for him. Huge series with Brew-crew. Be nice to sweep but gotta take 2 out of 3.

      • I’m a Cingrani supporter, but it’s clear Simon deserves to stay until he runs out of gas (which I hope he does not). Cingrani just hasn’t pitched well enough to stay in the rotation.

  6. Simon, the Big Pasta was a downright steal of a waiver claim. 9-3 with a sub 3 ERA, wow. Get a healthy Latos going and we have a filthy rotation. I am worried about LF and our LH RP. Those are holes. Bernadina really needs to go.

    • With Hannahan now ready to begin (again) throwing and hitting, the writing is on the clubhouse wall for Bernadina. Once Hannahan is physically ready to play (hopefully after an extended rehab assignment), Bernadina will be DFA’d again to create a space on the 40-man and 25-man rosters.

  7. The top 3 in the lineup were a collective 5-10 with 1-HR, 2-2B, 2-BB, 3-R & 2-RBI. That’s getting it done. How nice would it be to have some support from the middle of the lineup too, but give me 4 runs from the offense and the Reds defense and pitching staff and I’ll take my chances in any game. So does Cingrani go to the pen or continue starting in AAA?

    • My guess is that he goes down, but I would keep him in the pen. I think he can clearly help the Reds in the pen, and I think he’ll probably be needed as a starter later on, so keeping his innings down for a month or two wouldn’t hurt.

      • Agree but someone has gotta go, he might go because he has options- plus they will need him to start a DH game next month, who goes if he does not- Marshall?

      • I know it´s important to keep the RHPs and LHPs ballanced in the pen, but can´t we send Logan down???

      • Normally I agree, but I’d rather see him working a couple of weeks with Ted Power defining a secondary pitch.

    • Its what seems to have been missing all year! Love watching JV be a big part to the offense these last two games. He almost looked relieved the other night after his 2 run double down the LF line. Hopefully he can start to rake with no stress.

  8. I’m liking Supertodd batting in front of Mr. Votto. I think the air is ripe for Jay Bruce to go on a tear heading in Milwaukee, which is probably the club he has hit best against in his career. I’d love to see the Reds go into Milwaukee and sweep the Brew Crew.

  9. Wow, Bernandina has really been ineffective. That slugging percentage (.211), wow!

    He still has a higher OBP than Billy Hamilton.

    • Bernadina has 9 hits in 58 abs. Billy has 52 hits in 206 ABs. His stroke yesterday was perfect and plated a run

      I will bet my tokens on Billy’s future more that Bernadinas

      • Don’t go too far out on a limb there.

        Also, thanks for pointing out their batting averages, but the reason B-Ham’s OBP stinks lies over in the BB column, where Bernadina has 10 BBs in 66 PAs, and Hamilton has 11 in 224.

        • Agree, Hamilton has got to walk more, suspect he hits a few more homers pitchers might actually throw more pitches out of the zone- any stats on how many strikes he sees in comparison to other Reds/ other lead-off hitters

        • That would actually be a good stat lookup…how many pitches does Hamilton see in the zone compared to the average hitter or average leadoff hitter. I suspect the percentage of pitches Hamilton sees in the zone is much higher than the average hitter.

        • Hamilton’s Zone % is 50.2%. League average is 45.8%. That is high, but doesn’t appear to be a significant difference. We probably are looking at a couple of confounding factors also 1) we don’t have much data since we only have 225 ABs on Hamilton to know if this is true; 2) Hamilton doesn’t see many pitches in the first place, and Hamilton swings or bunts early in the count a lot.

          I guess the question should be, does it matter if Hamilton gets thrown more strikes than the typical hitter? I don’t see why it should.

        • CP, you are correct, it shouldn’t matter…if Hamilton can turn those strikes around to hits. Just because Hamilton is playing on the big stage, doesn’t alter the fact that he is still developing and still learning to hit, so we probably won’t know if Hamilton will be able to hit effectively at the major league level for some time, unless he suddenly starts connecting on a high percentage of line drives. Hamilton has never had to face the sliders and splitters he is facing this season.

    • Actually, Felix Perez would make a great addition as a LH hitting utility OF who can play all three OF positions. Perez is 29 years old and has paid his dues through the Reds minor league system. He has never been a star prospect, but he played the last 3+ seasons in AAA. Perez started the 1st half of 2013 just like he has played this season, on fire slashing .287/.353.443 through 6/12/2013, then tailed off in the 2nd half of the season, slashing .236/.272/.324 from 06/12/13 to the end of the season. This season, Perez started slow, but has really been kicking it into high gear. Why not give the guy a chance as a utility LH OF in the show? He will certainly do no worse than Bernadina and maybe he finds a successful niche as a LH utility OF for the next few years with the Reds.

        • So few “Shots” to give on a suppose-ed playoff contending team. a few guys like this on all AAA teams around the league.

        • True, but we have a very good example of a WJ choosing one AAAA player over another AAAA right here. GMs just seem to favor AAAA players who are washed out MLB players over the career minor leaguers.

      • Do not be fooled by AAA stats, Soto is tearing it up down there, but would like to see some new blood, the entire bench outside of Pena has been horrible, Shumaker stepped it up today as he has stunk after a pretty decent start

      • When Bernadina is the LH utility OF and LH pinch hitter, the risk of giving someone from AAA a shot is minimal if there is any risk at all.

        It’s nice to see Soto hitting up a storm in AAA after being optioned out. Soto may not be equipped to pinch hit with limited playing time and may need a shot a regular playing time somewhere else. Of course, soto may also be a proverbial AAAA player.

        • Soto’s problem hitting at the major league level may have been lack of playing time compunded by being able to play only one position – 1B (except for emergency catcher).

  10. Another great start by Simon, he has really stepped up for the injured Latos. I agree that Cingrani is odd man out. Also agree that Bernadina needs to go, he adds very little and surely this roster spot could be better filled. Go Reds!!

  11. I am hoping Phillips is not injured. His defensive this year has been insane. If good news could come out of it would be that Phillips wouldn’t be batting after Votto in the lineup anymore…. just looking for a silver lining there.

    • So what is the take that line-up constructions do not really matter outside of getting your best hitter the most plate appearances and your worst hitters the fewest

    • “Bryan gave me the opportunity to start this year,” (Alfredo) Simon said. “I just try to do my best every time I go out.” via MLB.com & Mark Sheldon. You know, it won’t salvage this season, but it is one really cool story, so far, & one real positive, that at least keeps me watching, and always rooting, GO REDS!

      • Must give Bryan Price all the credit. I remember listening to the very first Spring Training game and Simon was starting, I thought “what the heck?”. He picked the right guy, no doubt. Guy is a horse.

        • Price may not be the best manager out there but he is a genius when he comes to handling pitchers. Just look at his track record and what he has done for the likes of Simon, Cueto, Leake, Bailey, and Chapman. All of them can thank their lucky stars that they served on a team with Price. If any of those guys go on to HOF careers I would be shocked if they don’t thank Price from the podium.

  12. So…in the last few weeks we’ve beaten Kershaw, Ryu, and Greinke. Knowing we can do that may come in handy around playoff time.

    • If the Reds make it….
      It fits in with the comment Bronson Arroyo made about the Reds earlier this year when they were in Arizona. Something along the lines of “When you get to the playoffs, all teams have good pitching. You have to be able to beat the top starters in the game.”

  13. We made the trip down 71 for the game. Was BP hustling out of the box on the strange 3-4-1 put out? It seemed as if he must have been taking it pretty easy in order to get thrown out on that play or it might be that he’s just become that slow.

    I’ve totally given up on replay. What a complete joke. Not a thing shown on the big screen indicated that the call should have been overturned.

    • I am also not a proponent of replay. It is an unnecessary intrusion into the rhythm of a game. What happened today broke the Reds momentum and gave Greinke a chance to collect himself when we had him on the ropes.

  14. On my way to Milwaukee for the Friday and Saturday night games.lets get this road trip started with two wins by Bailey and Latos.

  15. If Phillips is going to be hampered for a few days, the Reds may want to think about calling up Bourgious from L-ville to replace Bernadina. He plays 2B and OF and has been having a pretty solid season down in L-Ville.

    • It is perhaps the biggest 6 games of the year coming up for the Reds, so no doubt they’ll try and tough it through a man short rather than make a roster move :)

  16. Reds have played 20 games vs NL West teams. The next NL Central team closet is at 10 games (Cubs). Brewers just 6 games and cards 7. Just an interesting nugget.

  17. Say what we will about whether the Reds could make the postseason, but these last two games have been high drama, what with Broxton putting out a fire and Simon walking a tightrope late in his game.

    Cueto, Simon, Frazier for the All-Star team?

  18. I went to b-dubs last night to watch the NBA finals with my son, and caught innings 9-13 in the Brewers/Mets game. I was rooting for 20+ innings before the Crew headed back to Sausageville. Still, they should be a little tired and the pen a little worn. Go Reds!

  19. This is the first real moment of this season IMHO that is gonna really define us as Contenders or not. I don’t think we survive a sweep by the Brew crew. We are healthy and ready to make up serious ground this week, so it should show this weekend,. Should be intense!

  20. Anyone have any theories why Simon doesn’t strike out more batters? He’s got a mid-90s fastball that moves, a few good secondary pitches, and pretty good control. I can’t figure it out, and his low strikeout rate is one of the big reasons the forward-looking stats suggest he’s going to turn into a pumpkin one of these days.

    • I’m not real sure. He has always had pretty good ‘stuff’, but throughout his career he has been the same. His MLB career K/9 is 6.4 (over 415.1 IP). His MiLB career K/9 is 7.0 (over 790.2 IP).

  21. My brother in Arlington, TX tells me that there is talk that the Rangers are possibly looking at trading 3B Adrian Beltre for some pitching.
    Can Beltre play LF? Would the Reds dare move Frazier to LF if they could get Beltre? Beltre is signed thru 2015 with 1 option year at about $19-$20M a year. Beltre is 35. Beltre hits well in the #4 hole. His numbers would fit in nicely at the #4 hole and in the Reds offense. And they could even improve on those numbers hitting in GABP. His defense at 3B is almost as good as Frazier, but not quite.
    Simon and ??? for Beltre and some cash?

    • I wouldn’t want to add much to Simon for Beltre, and I’d want to wait and see whether Latos looks like he’s back. I have little faith that Cingrani could be consistently effective as a starter this year, and the Reds would gain little by weakening their rotation. But aside from that….

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