Titanic Struggle Recap

Everything jake

Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (38-38) 3 5 1
  Chicago Cubs  (32-43) 7 6
 W: Arrieta (4-1)      L: Bailey (7-4)
 Fangraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Positives

J.J. Hoover did a nice job relieving Bailey in the sixth inning, inducing two routine fly balls. Jumbo Diaz, in his second Major League appearance, retired the Cubs in order, striking out two. Jumbo’s fastball hit 98 mph.

The Reds scored a couple in the seventh inning as Billy Hamilton singled (12 game hitting streak) and went to second on Joey Votto’s ground ball. With two outs, Devin the Destroyer singled in Hamilton and Jay Bruce doubled in the Hot Mes.

Devin Mesoraco tied a Reds’ franchise record in the ninth inning by blasting a home run for his fifth consecutive game. Other’s who have done it: Johnny Bench, Ken Griffey Jr., Ted Kluszewski, George Crowe, and Adam Dunn. Hope Devin stays in the clean-up spot. OPS now 1.054.

Negatives

The Reds offense was stymied by Jake Arrieta without a hit or walk through the first six innings. They scored a couple runs in the seventh, but failed to score after that. Four hits and one walk generally doesn’t get it done. Hard to complain too much about the hitting, given the streak they’ve been on lately.

Homer Bailey had only thrown one bad pitch through four innings, a first-pitch curveball to Anthony Rizzo. (If Rizzo hit against the Reds every game, he’d break all the records.) In the sixth inning Bailey walked the pitcher, gave up a single and then walked Junior Lake. On an 0-2 pitch he hit Starling Castro on the hand, forcing in a run.

Hard to say it cost them the game since the odds of coming back two runs behind are steep (6%), but Joey Votto’s brutal error in the bottom of the eighth allowed two runs to score, boosting the Cubs’ lead from two to four or five runs. He let a fairly routine ground ball go between his legs. It’s safe to say that the fundamentals of Votto’s defense has suffered since his Gold Glove year.

Not so random thoughts

Jake Arrieta had a perfect game going through six innings. It was broken up by a hard ground ball single up the middle by Billy Hamilton. The last no-hitter by a Cubs pitcher was thrown by Carlos Zambrano against Houston in 2005. It was played in Milwaukee due to Hurricane Katrina.

This is the first time Homer Bailey lost to the Cubs since 2010 and the first time the Reds lost one of his starts against the Cubs in more than three years, stretching over ten starts.

For those of you worried about Jay Bruce, relax. Remember, he was hurt the first month and had *surgery* on his knee. Bruce’s season-long numbers have suffered because of that slow start. But he has not only hit well in the month of June (.277/.337/.534, not counting tonight), he’s hit better than his career average (.255/.329/.476). If you don’t understand that Bruce is thoughtfully improving as a hitter, you’ve probably been listening to a certain Reds broadcaster, who once again, is spreading ignorance.

Richard Fitch pointed out on Twitter that facing bases loaded in the eighth inning with one out might be a good time to bring in a pitcher who has a high strikeout rate.

92 thoughts on “Everything jake

  1. Votto threw the ball before he caught it. Catch it first big guy. What is that old fart Marty saying now??

    • Turned the radio broadcast off after Marty’s Jay Bruce broadside tonight. Turned it back on for Brantley in the seventh, then back off again.

      • What did he say? I refuse to listen to the old fool. 5 home runs in 5 games…does Mez go back down to the 7 spot so datdudegidp can continue flailing wildly in the 4 hole?

      • I wouldn’t really call it a broadside. It was more of a glancing blow. Marty said he really thought that Jay has regressed the last couple of years. It was a one sentence comment, not really a tirade. That stated, I think you are right in your recap when you said Marty was spreading ignorance. Jay is adjusting. Hopefully July is his normal May (superhot month).

  2. I’m sorry; but as long as Billy Hamilton is out slugging Jay Bruce, I don’t want to hear anything about Jay Bruce and improvement.

    Even while this team is in the midst of playing well, they remind you time and time again that they are simply not a championship caliber team. From the manager making the same bull-pen match-up mistakes to the same players being shut-down by career journeymen (Bedard last year just to name one that sticks).

    Reds scored 3 runs tonight; that can be enough to win in Chicago more often than not but you know who was up to his usual tricks. Good enough to pitch every 5th day, bad enough to be one of the worst pitchers in the NL that qualify w/ innings pitched. Lead-off walk to a pitcher throwing a perfect game. Blows my mind.

    Tomorrow is a new day (sort of).

    • Apparently you missed the part about his injury, surgery and June. Bruce is out-slugging Billy this month, if that really matters to you with a guy slugging over .500.

        • Historically Jay has been a great player and slugger, he has just been thrown off this year because of his injury, which happens to a lot of players. Such as Josh Hamilton among others. It is not necessary to call him out about things like this, because he always recovers. I agree with Steve on this one personally. This is just my opinion, obviously.

    • On Homer’s lead-off walk to Arrieta, I teased that perhaps the plan was to have Arrieta wear himself out running the bases. The rest of the inning didn’t go so well for Bailey either unfortunately… Not sure what you mean about Bailey being one of the worst pitchers in the NL. His ERA isn’t so good but at least some of that is bad luck. He’s been better than his ERA so far this year and that’s without looking at FIP, xFIP, or SIERA. That’s just with looking opposing batter statistics. Homer’s ERA isn’t going to be over 4.00 at the end of the year. For the most part, he isn’t pitching like an ace though. Of course, I always saw him as a #2 or #3 guy in a good rotation.

    • The Reds have a history of not hitting well against a pitcher they have never faced, but Arrieta is not a career journeyman. No one who is striking out guys at a rate of about ten per game is a journeyman. He is often injured, but has been on a roll the last few starts. As far as Bailey goes, I think the strike zone was moving all over the place. Bailey is particularly susceptible to umpire’s strike calls, he needs to grow up, but when he is on he is one of the best pitchers in baseball.

  3. Haven’t they won 3 or 4 series in a row? Do all baseball fans overreact to every loss? Do all baseball fans criticize their best player?

      • Nonsense. If Phillips had taken the collar and committed a key error, you’d have a million posts complaining about him. Joey is the least criticized player in baseball.

        • You are completely delusional.

          I read no less than 5 articles last year from national-level writers about Joey not having a lot of RBI. That’s quite a bit of criticism about something that, ultimately, is not inherently negative.

    • From what I’ve seen, fans of all teams do overreact to (almost) every loss and they certainly criticize their best player (what have you done lately ?).

      As far as tonight goes, I for one am not upset by the loss but watching it has raised some specific concerns. I’ll talk about those but it doesn’t mean I’m taking the loss hard.

      • “what have you done lately ?”

        I don’t get too high when we win, and I don’t get too low when we lose. I criticize players when they deserve it, starts or not.

    • If you think Reds fans are brutal after a small trip like this you should follow Best Fans in Baseball on Twitter. Cards fans get downright homicidal and xenophobic when one of their starters walk a guy.

  4. I have to say I am concerned about Homer. It felt like he was getting straightened out but this is a line up he should dominate. There is clearly one guy on this team you just cannot let beat you (Rizzo) and he beat them again. It really seems like the loss of Hanigan may have gotten in his head.

    I don’t like personal catchers but it would be interesting to know if that has something to do with it. He and Meso don’t seem to be on the same page.

    • Yup I am worried about him too. Now might be a good time to DL him gives his arm a shutdown for a month or so. Wang and Holmberg are both pitching decent right now so maybe one of those guys could take a few starts.

        • With 4.80 ERA, I think it is not irresponsible to consider it. I’m wondering if it was Mike Leake would the thinking be the same? I want Homer to succeed as much as anyone on this blog but I want the team to succeed even more. Whatever is being done does not appear to be working and continuing to bang your head against the wall is not productive.

          Getting married to players is a sure way to limit the team’s potential. Just my thoughts.

        • If the Reds look at ERA to predict the future, they’re idiots. Bailey’s ERA has been about 4.25 for May and June. Not great, but not garish. Better than Leake in June. Better than Simon in May. Question: Which Reds starter has only gone seven innings twice in the last seven starts, Bailey or Cueto? Answer: Both.

        • I guess, his current ERA is 4.80 which is #85 of 95 qualifiers in MLB. I know you don’t like when I cherry-pick BHam’s stats so I will ignore yours.

        • My main point was that ERA isn’t the statistic to use to predict the future, given how unreliable it is. You’re free to ignore all those other ways of evaluating pitchers if you want.

        • His 4.80 isn’t good and although I’m saying he’s been better than that, if you want to just look at the 4.80 ERA, that’s totally fine. I believe that neither Wang nor Holmberg would post a better ERA at the MLB level and that both, by ERA and almost any other measure, would be a downgrade from Bailey in the rotation.

          As for Hamilton, he’s impressing me quite a lot lately. He plays a terrific CF, is hitting enough and improving in all aspects of his game. I’d love to see him take more walks, work some deeper counts, and continue to improve his hitting. I think he’s a legit MLB player and if he can continue to improve, I can agree with you that there are all-star games in his not-to-distant future. I think the only places we disagreed on Hamilton were his arm and rather or not he should have been leading off. Considering the other options, I even conceded the leadoff debate.

        • Well LW we hardly ever agree on anything but after reviewing Wang’s and Holmberg’s stats, to expect anything other than a full-out slaughter at the MLB level would be foolhardy.

          Homer is pitching like a 4.80 ERA guy with 3.31 stuff. He can turn on a dime when it comes to crashing down. He is a perfectionist that has to realize he can not be perfect, either can anyone else. Pick yourself up, brush yourself off and get back at it. Short memories are a key to any pitchers success. If he can figure that out, he will be among the elite of the elite. If not, he will continue to underachieve but his ERA reflects who he is. SIERRA, FIP, xFIP reflect who he “could be”.

          This is also very common with salespeople: if the first, second, third, etc. account of the day blows you off; you have an obligation to yourself and your team to suck it up, and move forward.

          You will know he is there when the next time he gives up a big hit, he shows no sign of stress. Greg Maddux-like.

          Just my opinion but probably dead on accurate.

      • I tend to agree, I’ve always hated the idea of personal catchers. Cueto, Simon, and Latos have done well to this point. I really hope that this isn’t a symptom of a Baily/Devin incompatibility.

        I wonder is those excellent braves teams of the 90’s/00’s would have had a better chance to win another series or more if Maddux had been flexible on his personal catcher philosophy.

      • Homer struggled in the 6th inning, and it wasn’t about Rizzo. It was about walking the pitcher leading off, walking Lake in front of Rizzo, and with an 0-2 count and the bases loaded, hitting Castro. I only saw it in GameDay but it would seem that he simply got tired, in the 6th inning and finishing with 81 pitches.

        What’s your take, Steve ?

        I’m going to have a look at his pitch counts in recent games.

        • It’s not the first time he’s walked the pitcher this year, I think. He’s had a problem walking weaker hitters. Junior Lake was helpless against Homer in the first two at bats. Walking him is just as puzzling. Homer described it as “failure to execute” and Price said something similar. He was a pitch away of getting out of the entire thing in the sixth. He had Castro 0-2 before buzzing him inside and it got away from him. His stuff was still great. Just lost his control that inning.

      • No. That was meant as a general statement but Homer was part of the team. That doesn’t change my concern for his performance. I am a fan of Homer Bailey, he is one of the guys I get excited to watch pitch because he has such electric stuff. That’s why I’m wondering if it isn’t something other than mechanics because it would seem he would have gotten that ironed out by now. I was just wondering if losing Hanigan and throwing to Meso is a possible cause.

        I don’t think he needs to go on the DL but I have to start wondering what it will take to help get him back on track.

        • It’s hard to iron out bad luck. His BABIP against is .331, which is 6th unluckiest in MLB (4th in NL), and his HR/FB rate is 16%, which is also extemely high.

          I know not every believes (or understands) how batted balls work, but Homer has not been as bad as he’s seemed. With that said, he hasn’t been “good,” either.

  5. Marty is so negative now. I can’t listen to him ever since he was inducted into the hof he looks down on everyone.

  6. Homer had another mid game crisis after starting of dominant. Is he having an arm issue? We have enough pitchers to allow Homer to pitch just 5 innings for a month or so until he figures out what the deal is but right now there is no way he should be on the field for the sixth inning on.

    • The pattern of starting out dominating and then struggling to go 6 innings (I can think of 3 fairly recent occasions) is disturbing. I’m going to look into pitch counts, for those games and the preceding games.

      • Here I have one: 4.80 on June 25th. What else is needed? Here is another: he is not getting the job done and hurting the team. This might help Price: he might have 3 or 4 of the pitches in all of baseball but is unable to use them in an effective manner to consistently get out MLB hitters.

        Maybe some of the rest of you can come up with your own, it’s not tremendously difficult.

  7. I’ve figured out why the Reds are continuing to add to their MLB record terribleness at not being able to come back from a 4 run deficit (2+ years now).

    Some of it is the offense, but a lot of it is the pitching. The Reds (Dusty Baker and Bryan Price), do the best job I’ve ever seen of giving up after being down that many runs. They do this in a variety of ways; most notably

    Allowing pitchers to hit late in games when behind (giving up outs).

    Bringing in the D bullpen to let the lead go from X to X+Y. It’s not just the D bullpen either, it’s letting the pitcher that starts the inning give up 2,3,4 runs before going to the next. Why wasn’t Parra ready to go for Rizzo? Why wasn’t Parra ready to go for Scheirholz? Was it because Price had already conceded this game and didn’t want to “waste” another arm? I think so.

    For God’s sake, THIS TEAM HAS NOT OVERCOME A 2 RUN DEFICIT THIS YEAR.

    • I would not at all put this loss on the bullpen. Hoover and Jumbo pitched well. And I did not see LeCure throw a single bad pitch. I saw him give up a bloop that Bruce played conservatively. Then Rizzo reached down on a sharply breaking curve ball to loft a catchable fly ball to RF. Bruce gave up on it. He then gets a DP ground ball to Votto that should have gotten him out of the inning.

    • Something is not right with Parra. Whatever it is, Price does not trust Parra right now. He said not long ago that “Parra is not at his best right now.” Parra’s walking the one batter he faced on 4 pitches as part of the Friday night meltdown against the Jays did not help his standing.

      Brantley said last Friday that Parra has not been able to throw his breaking pitches for strikes this season.

      • That was an issue for Parra in Milwaukee. He may just be reverting to form after having a good year last season.

    • I don’t know too many managers that are going to bring in their ACE out of the pen while down 2 or 3 runs…

      I wouldn’t put that on the manager if he has to bring in the next options which would seem to be the “D” bullpen. I would put that on upper management for not providing a better bullpen. If the guys below your top 2 or 3 lock down guys are not very good there isn’t much to be done. The tope 2 or 3 can not pitch every game.

  8. If, tomorrow, the Reds HAD to play a one-game, play-in, for the post-season, how many here would opt for a Simon start, over Bailey, if that was the only choice? Just asking? I don’t have an answer.

  9. Recent Homer starts:

    6/8: 121 pitches in impressive 8 inning, 1 run outing vs. Phils

    6/13 – 1 run allowed to Brewers in 6, then tired in the 7th, left at 106 pitches

    6/19 – 3 runs against Pirates in the 5th (no other runs), left in the 6th at 92 pitches

    tonite – ineffective in the 6th, left at 91 pitches

    Nothing really stands out here. In the last two starts he’s gotten tired before making it thru 6 innings, after throwing a lot of pitches early in the month.

  10. I gotta say that knowing that the WLBs and the Roid Ragers both lost last night takes a little bit of the sting out of the defeat.

    Must win tonight. This team just cannot afford to lose any series against sub-.500 teams from here on out.

  11. Bailey, to me, throws about 3 pitches a game that are bad mistakes, and teams are making him pay. Last night it was a meatball to Rizzo, a leadoff walk to Arrieta, and the HBP to Castro on an 0-2 pitch. In the 6th, with the walk and HBP, Bailey more or less gave the Cubs 5 outs, which you can’t get away with in the MFL, even if it is the Cubs. He was that way about 2 years ago, when he kept giving up homers in GABP at inopportune times. His stuff/arm appear to be fine, but he just has to stop the lapses; take away the 3 gift runs in the 6th, and the game would have evolved differently. (And they may have been no-hit, because the long bottom of the 6th appeared to take some of Arrieta’s rhythm.)

    I had surrendered by the time of Votto’s error, but he has turned into an average at best defensive first baseman. He is very good at digging throws, but his arm is erratic and he isn’t much on grounders. He also has a bad habit of ranging too far to his right on balls that are more properly played by the second baseman. It is what it is, because he works at it but just isn’t that good.

    • I agree with you about him trying to go to his right too far, too often. I remember the saying that I was taught when learning the position…. If it’s hot, give it a shot. If it’s slow, let it go. If it’s a smash, the 2b probably isn’t going to get it, so go after it. If it’s a slow roller, BP is going to get there. Just go to the bag.

  12. Post any numbers you want, the eye test just tells me that Bailey while an okay ML pitcher is never going to earn the kind of money he has been paid. I think for a team rich in money can afford a player like Bailey and we should have done our best to have traded him and built some stock in the minors. Instead we are going to have to trade one of the other 3 and hope Bailey somehow gets better in terms ovf his cost to the team.

      • Numbers can be twisted to anything you want. I can watch Bailey and see he is not worth the monies we are spending on him especially given the other talent on the team. IF we didn’t have Latos and Cueto and Leake then I could see resigning Bailey, but they are on the team and all three are better pitchers.

        • Or you know, you could use a mixture of both and not create a false dichotomy of being a neanderthal or nerd…

          durrrr

  13. This should tell you everything you need to know about what is wrong with Bailey this year:
    1st PA: .242BA, .638OPS, 10/1 K-BB ratio
    2nd PA: .350BA, .947OPS, 1.24/1 K-BB ratio
    3rd PA: .295BA, .810OPS, 2.4/1 K-BB ratio

    Career:
    1st PA: .242BA, .679OPS, 3.3/1 K-BB ratio
    2nd PA: .277BA, .771OPS, 2.2/1 K-BB ratio
    3rd PA: .273BA, .770OPS, 2.5/1 K-BB ratio

    Bailey has been VERY good the 1st time through the lineup. After that, it is a MONUMENTAL collapse. Keep in mind that Bailey has had a couple of really strong, long starts that help keep those 2nd and 3rd time through numbers down.

    I’m not sure if the offenses are adjusting to Bailey after the first time through or if Bailey is losing focus. Either way, this year’s numbers sure make him look like a 2-4 inning long reliever…moreso than a $100MM starter.

    • Tipping pitches maybe? In some way changing his tell from game to game, but providing a tell nevertheless.

      • I thought that early in the season. Thought he may have been tipping his splitter as nobody was swinging at it… The more I look at him though, the more I don’t think that’s the case anymore, especially since he is getting more swing-and-miss results on that split. I thing his breaking-ball hasn’t been as sharp and his location overall hasn’t been very good. I honestly think it’s that simple. Even having just said that, I still feel his ERA doesn’t reflect how well he’s generally pitched. He has gotten unlucky on a lot of balls and opponents in general aren’t teeing off on him. Unless he has a DL stint, I would be very surprised if he didn’t lower his ERA to under 4.00 by the end of the year.

  14. With Bailey his problrm this year has been location, location, location. His fastball is still in the 94-96mph area, so an arm issue really isn’t the problem. His fastball doesn’t have much movement on it, and when he gets it up at belt level out over the plate, MLB hitters are going to tee off on it. And they have this year. It might be a delivery (mechanics) issue that is causing his fastball to stay up.

    • His arm has never been the issue. xFIP, SIERRA, etc. will tell you that.

      If the ERA is near 5 at ASB, I’d suggest moving him to middle relief and bring some one up from Louisville. A 4.80 ERA in the rotation is poison.

        • I don’t care if he is a $100+ billion dollar pitcher, he is not getting the job done. How bad would he have to be before we can release the team from not starting a $100M+ pitcher? I’m not saying for ever or even right now. He will have several more starts before the ASB. Let us see where we at then, but can we try to stay objective? We have no problem strongly critizing Simon, Leake, Hamilton, Cozart, BP, etc. What makes HB so special? Seriously, I want to know because I’m missing it.

        • You don’t spend that kind of money for a relief pitcher, he is going to start and stay a starter no matter what. The only way he isn’t a starter for the Reds is if he is traded, there is zero chance they move him to the bullpen.

        • 100+ million makes him “special”. When you spend that kind of monies on a player, you are telling him and the team and the fans that he is a “special” talent. He is your No. 3 guy and you don’t bump that type of player to the pen after a half of a season. NOW, after 2-3 seasons like that you might, but no chance now.

        • Drew, I respectfully just disagree with you. Short term time in the pen is not a life’s sentence much like Tony Cingrani. Absolutely expect Tony & Homer to be major contributors well into the future but is a lot to ask the team to score 5 or 6 runs per game to win.

        • Can yo uname the last 100+ million dollar starting pitcher who had a rough couple of months that was sent to the bullpen? It doesn’t happen, not in today’s game. these players have very fragile ego’s in many ways. Sending Homer to the pen is a demotion no matter how you look at it. Also “whom” in AAA do you see as a better replacement then Homer?

  15. “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep
    If I die before I wake, feed Jake, he’s been a good dog
    My best friend right through it all, if I die before I wake, feed Jake”
    -Pirates Of The Mississippi-

    The Reds batters fed Jake very well last night.

  16. 1) Arrieta looked terrific. Some games–like that first game in Arizona–it seems to be more on the hitters than the quality of the pitcher, but not last night. Without him being on base in the long 6th inning, I think it’s very possible we’d have gone 27 up 27 down.

    2) That was one of the worst jobs I’ve seen by a home plate umpire in the last few years. I was afraid we’d break up the perfect game on an unearned walk. This crew is just horrendous, and I don’t know why MLB doesn’t take action. Thankfully it didn’t obviously effect the outcome of the game, or pitching history.

    3) Who is Neil Ramirez and why isn’t he closing for the Cubs?

    4) LeCure was victimized by his defense, but he simply can’t be relied on because of his diminished stuff. For those who thought Price waited too long to get Bailey, I was actually surprised he yanked him as quickly as he did given the horror show that is our middle relief. And on top of everything else, Parra must be hurt. (P.S. If you’re going to throw Rizzo a curveball, it must literally be someplace he can’t physically get to. With his diminished options Sam had the right idea at 0-2, but didn’t put the curve in the dirt.)

    5) Devin is doing everything he can to make it easy on his manager to keep him batting 4th when Phillips returns. I just hope Price doesn’t use the “I want to keep a steady top of the lineup, and since Devin doesn’t catch every 5th day when Cueto is on the mound…” excuse to keep BP at cleanup.

    • Neil Ramirez has been sharing time closing with Hector Rondon recently. It’s a fact that seemed to have escaped Chris Welch’s preparation for the series. It’s one thing for us to not be on top of the closer roulette for the last place team in the division, but you’d expect broadcasters to know about the team they were covering for three games. Welch (embarrassingly) went on at length last night about “who would the Cubs bring in to close!?!” with Ramirez fresh and ready to come in.

      • He’s at 5 tonight, between Mez and Bruce. I like this. BP has his issues, but has proven to be a fairly effective in RBI situations and seems less prone to the SO at this point than Bruce.

        I think it would be a fair exercise to contrast where Price is at with the lineup construction comparative to Dusty at this point with everyone pretty much healthy now. Dusty wouldn’t even play Mez, much less bat him 4th. (!!!!) Dropping Cozart, Ludwick, Bruce and BP are also things I don’t see Dusty doing. This are MAJOR improvements, and reasons why I am generally optimistic regarding Price, middle relief be darned.

  17. On a lighter note that will probably never see the light of day: I watched the Cubs broadcast last night and their camera guys spend a lot of time looking for good looking women in the Wriigley crowd. It appears they have no trouble finding them. Nice elixir after another Homer Bailey flameout. Thinking of moving to Chicago, but remaining a loyal Reds fan.

    • But who would want to date a Cubs fan? Sure, you would save money not having to buy them championship apparel, but that would be offset by the expense of playground equipment and pop up books.

    • One thing for sure..going to a game at Wrigley is about 1000 times more enjoyable then going to GABP…

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