2014 Reds

Reds win, keep talkin’ to that arm.

Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (33-35) 13 19 0
  Milwaukee Brewers  (41-29) 4 10 1
 W: Leake (4-6)    L: Estrada (5-4)
 Fangraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   MLB Series Videos  

Positives

The Reds wasted no time getting on the scoreboard: Billy Hamilton led off the game with a solo shot, Joey Votto reached base and Brandon Phillips knocked him in with a two run shot. All in all, the Reds forced Estrada to throw 35 pitches to get out of the first inning.

Mike Leake, innings 1-3. He worked out of the leadoff double by Gomez in the third by getting back to back looking strikeouts, courtesy of Khris Davis and Aramis Ramirez

In the bottom of the third, Leake created his own trouble by walking the opposing pitcher, Marco Estrada. A short infield roller later, and the Brew Crew had first and second with only one out with Ryan Braun at the plate. Again Leake buckled down and got Braun to pop out to right field and Lucroy ended the inning with a harmless (yet sky high) pop up right in front of the plate.

“Get it done Jay Bruce!” That was Thom’s call in the fourth inning when Aramis Ramirez hit a sure double into the gap…that quickly disappeared into the glove of Jay Bruce. He whipped around and threw a beautiful strike to first base, doubling up Carlos Gomez at first.

You say this offense can’t play add-on? TheToddFather wants to speak with you. Billy Hamilton singled in the fifth and Frazier let them both trot home after blasting a mammoth of a shot over the center field fence. Todd and his wife Jacquelyn have started calling his home runs “Blake Blasts”, named after their son. On this father’s day, Todd hit Blake Blast number 15.

The Bullpen. What a difference a day makes. It only took Sam LeCure and Manny Parra 14 pitches to get through the sixth and seventh. Tony Cingrani pitched two clean innings to close out the game.

Negatives

Mike Leake, innings 4 and 5. In the bottom of the fourth, Brian Price made a smart strategic move to load the bases with the pitcher coming to the plate, but Estrada ruined the strategy session by weakly hitting a single up the middle. Scooter Gannett tied the game with a double.

Overall, Leake’s line: 5 innings, four runs, nine hits and one walk (2.00 WHIP). The difference between a good and a bad outing today was Leake’s inability to retire the opposing pitcher.

Not so random thoughts

The Reds won a series against the division leader. That said, we are still seven games back and it’s halfway through June. Thom mentioned that the Brewers have already started making trade inquiries to fortify their team for the second half of the season, so here’s to hoping that our GM is working the phones just as diligently.

Every regular hitter had at least one hit today. Billy Hamilton had a great game, going three for six and bringing his OBP above .300. Ryan Ludwick notched four hits, and Joey Votto, on a 3-2- count, had the fortitude to take a walk with the bases loaded.

This was a the type of game I thought we would get when Bryan Price said he wanted a relentless team. Despite giving up an early three run lead, the Reds kept positioning themselves for a big inning for the entire game. That big inning didn’t come until the eighth, but the Reds put constant pressure on the Brewers pitching staff throughout the game.

Oh, and we found out that Alfredo Simon talks to his arm before every game he starts. That’s not crazy or anything. Anyways, Sam LeCure, channeling his inner Simon, decided to have a rather vocal confrontation with his right arm while walking off the field after the sixth inning.

Given their success, perhaps Sean Marshall should start having a chat with his arm every once in awhile? If his arm only speaks Cubs, then I’m sure we can find someone with a lifetime of failure to translate. Hey, Milton, what are you up to tonight?

60 thoughts on “Reds win, keep talkin’ to that arm.

  1. Man, that was an ugly two innings by the Brewers’ bullpen. 8 runs, 6 earned. Ouch.

    Good for the Reds. Win a series against the Brewers, get to 7 behind. I believe the Pirates lost. Cardinals were winning last time I checked.

    • That’s why he’s always “shhhing” & winking, at his teammates, whenever he gets on base. He’s reminding them not to tell anyone he’s actually 24 years old.

  2. I will keep saying it: I don’t think the Brewers are that good (though 7 games is still a huge lead). The Cards are another story.

    • Third Order Wins–which are more accurate than mere run differential–back you up, Jason. The adjusted standings say the Brewers should be only 4 games over .500. It says the Reds are pretty much who they are.

      • Seems like every year that is one team that everyone says ‘they are not that good’ but then they go on and defy the numbers. Perhaps they are this years Pirates (2013) or Baltimore (2012)?

        In the end, it doesn’t matter. Red’s have to play baseball like this weekend (qualitywise) from here on out.

  3. Excellent inning and batter pitched by Sam!!!!!! Love these blow out games let’s see more of them please. Great series win on get away day!!! If Super Todd isn’t an all-star then I do not know who in the heck is????

  4. Also on a side note, we got a good pitching staff going to the Pirates. Cueto, Simon, Bailey. We out match them like we did the Brewers and could be the start of a little run.

    With 8 games still left to play the Cubs before the all star break, we could very well be a few games above .500 by then.

    • Cubs are 8-6 so far in June. That includes 4 with the Bucs, 3 with the Marlins and 2 with the Brewers. So they are not automatic pushovers right now.

    • Sure, it drives in a run. When a hitter swings at ball 4 with the bases loaded and makes an out, Marty goes crazy (so do I).

  5. Thirteen runs on 19 hits. That has been a week’s worth a few times this year. That should be enough to sweep the Pirates though, if they can spread it out 4-4-5. Almost officially summer and its heating up.

  6. The blow out was set up by Parra and LeCure holding the 1 run lead in the 6th and 7th.
    Then the Brewers brought in their guys who pitch when they’re behind.
    The Reds need them to be pitching well, a 2 man bullpen doesn’t work. Parra hasn’t pitched that badly lately, he’s given up some soft hits.

  7. Was glad to see Cingrani pitch the last 2 innings, though I don’t want him to be limited to mop up in the future. In the 8th he wasn’t sharp at all, walking the lead off guy and giving up two hard line drives, He was better in the 9th. It’s critical that he regain form.

  8. Nice team effort by the Reds. Even Ludwick got in on the action. Nice game by BHam (yep, I said it), the rookie is doing a good job. Let’s see if this post gets deleted like my last one, I see censorship is alive and well here. Power is a funny thing in the hands of certain people. My comments have never been offensive or profane in any way. I have enjoyed the thoughts and banter of most people here, it is a place of reflection on tough losses along with opportunities to vent and express disappointment on the struggles of the team many of us have loved and cheered on for many years. Sad your freedom to do that is restricted by a certain someone.
    Go Reds!

    • Do you mean your comment didn’t show up after you posted ? I’ve had that happen often, usually with the message: “Awaiting moderation.” In my case it just seems to happen randomly, the content has always been innocuous. It’s buggy software.

    • You don’t have “freedom” to use the bandwidth paid for by someone else to do as you please.

      NIt picky, I know… it just bugs me when people act like their “freedom” is being infringed upon over such mundane stuff. If you don’t like moderation, start your own website and you can say whatever you like.

      • On the other hand, diversity of thought is kind of nice when conducted in a non-offensive matter and that cuts both ways.

        MM writes a nice clean recap.

      • As a phychologist and professor at a local college i understand moderation is an important part of any blog. It is typically used for offensive, illegal or insulting comments. (I have a blog at the college) While reading Saturday’s recap and the diatribe of the rookie leadoff hitter, there were those asking for less diatribe and more objectivity. I remembered a Chinese proverb from a fortune cookie and shared it. I have never known a Chinese proverb to be offensive, illegal or insulting, but it was deleted…lol. I didn’t know that was frowned upon here….lol. Maybe that moderator has the same distaste for Chinese food as he does for our CF….lol. I’ve been an occasional, but always respectful commentor that enjoys the banter and varying opinions of others, whether I agree or not. Go Reds!!

    • I knew we should not have hired Voldemort as an associate editor. But seriously, this site is not a street corner and we are dedicated to monitoring for personal attacks against players or other people on the site. We dont get them all, but its important we keep this space focused on the performance of the Reds. That doesn’t mean you cant vent or argue (fiercely, at times) about baseball.

      So yes, we censor for personal attacks, but not for content. You have had two posts trashed in the last month. One was due to profanity, the other was a one line quote insinuating that an editor was pompous. That’s a personal attack and will be deleted. Feel free to lead with data that demonstrates that what you believe is correct. If you would like to continue this conversation, please email myself or one of the editors.

  9. According to Max Wildstein of Call to the Pen, Cuban right-hander Raicel Iglesias is nearing a deal with the Reds worth $15 million over five or six years.
    The 24-year-old is projected to work out of the bullpen at the big league level, where he’ll join fellow countryman Aroldis Chapman. He’ll surely need some seasoning in the minor leagues, but should be able to help the Reds this season.

  10. After the day off on Monday, the Reds commence a run of 16 games in 16 days with all of them except the three versus Toronto next weekend on the road, including the swing out to SanDiego (3 games) and SanFran (4 games). Then there is another off day ahead of 11 games in 10 days at home versus the Brewers, Cubs, and Pirates leading up top the AS break.

    I think we will likely know by then whether the Reds are contenders, pretenders, or out right sellers.

    • It is getting late but if my math isn’t too fuzzy, if the Reds could win all the 3 games series and split the the 4 game series and win 3 of 5 in the 5 game series that would put them at 18-9 for the 27 games. That’s a tall order but it is what they need to get back back into the thick of things seeing as how they have 6 with the Bucs and 3 with the Brewers in the run plus regardless of how the Cubbicles are playing of late those 8 are “soft” games they need to win 6 of (or at least 5).

  11. Amazing double play by Jay Bruce. And without that play, the Brewers may have scored 5 instead of 3, going up 5-3 in the 4th, and the game goes in a completely different direction.

    • Yeah, MLB can’t make the game’s outcome significant (home field advantage) and omit merit selection for these teams. The NL manager should start getting a number of ‘replacement’ choices.

      Perhaps he should have the power to ‘replace’ two position players duly elected. The elected player still gets ASG credit but doesn’t actually play . . .

    • It’s also a shame Derek Jeter will be the starting SS in the AL. He hasn’t been good in nearly half a decade!

  12. The Reds won a series against the division leader. That said, we are still seven games back and it’s halfway through June.

    Being seven games back in September is a problem. In June? Come-on. Stay within 10 or less by the All-Star Break and you can still make a run. It’s not the Brewers I’m concerned about, it’s the teams in front of us.

  13. Excellent Series win. Despite the Saturday night bullpen shenanigans, I was beyond happy to see Latos throw six very strong innings. His healthy arm could be be a real boost to this teams chances.

  14. Hot off the fanGraphs presses this morning, Billy Hamilton:

    MLB rank:
    4th in base running with a BsR of 4.4
    5th in defensive WAR. 10.4

    Not horrible for a 23 year old yet to complete 3 months into his first season. For the curious, his O WAR is now 0.7. For Reds position players, Billy ranks 2nd in overall WAR. Jst saying, the Kid is alright.

    • His overall WAR is driven largely by defense. Even with his good game yesterday, his wRC+ is at 86. Everyone agrees he should be in the lineup everyday, the only disagreement is where he bats.

      • Probably not that much to get excited about but I just thought it might be interesting to point it out.

      • If Votto led off he would seldom have the opportunity to drive in runs either by being the first batter or by having a pitcher hit in front of him in cycle. Not only that but sir Joey would clog the bases and provide Datdude with a genuine opportunity to lead the league in double plays. Batting a base stealer first makes the most sense because he can score the easiest on batted balls. So yah Joey in the two three or even four hole works for me. Besides billy is more enjoyable to watch trying to get a hit than watching Joey trying to walk and if im going to pay to watch might as well cheer on what i will enjoy. I doubt Joey has the mindset to be a leadoff hitter as well. Has he ever batted leadoff at any time in his career?

        • Good point about Votto clogging the bases and Phillips GIDP. Same thing happened with Choo last year. That’s why the runs created metric should be the only standard by which you measure Hamilton’s contributions, not OBP.

          We’re almost halfway thru the season. I think Hamilton’s floor has been firmly established—solid MLB regular. And yet, as we can all see from the periodic game changing plays, he hasn’t come close to touching his ceiling.

          Now we just need YRod or Winker to hurry up and get here, then we’ll have an outfield that rivals the Pirates.

  15. I am terribly afraid that Ludwick’s June resurrgence has convinced Jocketty that LF isn’t a problem anymore. If that is the case, Jocketty at least needs to get someone to platoon with Ludwick that can hit LH pitching. And that isn’t Heisey, Schumaker and/or Bernadina. Maybe someone like the LAA’s Collin Cowgill, who can also backup CF from time to time. He can hit the LHers. Maybe even Stubbs.
    I do hear that Jocketty is trying to get 2 former Reds back. Didi Gregorius to platoon with Cozart and for the bullpen Brad Boxberger back from TB. Both of those former Reds could be very good pickups from Jocketty and would help to shore up some big weaknesses.

  16. One of the greatest hitters of all time passed away this morning. RIP Tony Gwynn. Only 54 years old.

    • I saw Tony Gwynn’s first major league hit, a line drive double in the right-center gap at San Diego Stadium. With Gwynn standing at second, I remember watching them toss the ball into the San Diego dugout. It may be in Cooperstown now, I don’t know. I do know that Gwynn was a superb hitter and i used to dread him coming up with men on base against the Reds. Now I have tears in my eyes at the news of his passing. One season he hit .394. Can you imagine that? What a player.

  17. So sad at Tony Gwynn’s passing. As not only a Reds fan, but a fan of the the great game of baseball I enjoyed watching him play through the years at Jack Murphy Stadium when I lived in southern California. What a great hitter. He was a deserving Hall of Fame player and 15 time All Star. He was a great ambassador for the game. RIP Tony. : (

  18. Baseball will miss Gwynn. So will I.
    Before crowning the Brewers, you should look at this: 3-3 against the Cards with 12 to play and 2-5 against the Reds with 11 to play, including 3 late in September. The Brewers have beaten the Pirates more than they have lost, but have not played them with Polanco.If I were them I would be looking for some trades. They will need it – Nashville has little to send them.

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