Titanic Struggle Recap

Can’t win ‘em all (but we better win tomorrow)

Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (43-39) 0 5 0
  San Diego Padres  (36-47) 1 1
 W: Hahn (4-1)       L: Latos (1-1)
 Fangraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Mat Latos held the Padres to one hit in seven innings, a broken bat single. Latos walked only one batter, Tommy Medica, on five pitches to lead off the fifth inning. Medica then stole his first base of the year on a bang-bang play at second base. (He only had five SB in 4.5 years in the minor leagues.) Medica advanced to third on a fly ball to left center field, with the throw well up the third base line. And he scored on a sacrifice fly. Walks will haunt.

The Reds managed three hits (Hamilton, Frazier, Ludwick) and two walks in five innings off of rookie Jesse Hahn. Hahn, with just two pitches, struck out nine Reds batters, including seven outs in a row from the final out of the second inning (Latos) to the final out of the fourth (Ludwick). Hahn was sharp, but he was also helped by a strike zone as big as the U.S.S. Midway.

The Reds best chance of scoring off Hahn was in the first before he got in a groove, but Billy Hamilton’s league-leading twelfth caught-stealing played havoc with the Reds chances, costing an out and a base runner. Hamilton got a hit (good), is third in the NL in stolen bases (good) but has more CS than the two players ahead of him in SB combined (not good).

The Padres outfield made several outstanding defensive plays. Cameron Maybin robbed Joey Votto of a hit in the first with Todd Frazier on first base. Frazier was doubled off to end the inning. In the eighth inning, Maybin made an over-the-head catch on Skip Schumaker’s lead-off blast, which would have been a double or triple. Carlos Quentin “of all people” (Brantley) made two nice plays on Zack Cozart, including a diving catch in the seventh inning with Devin Mesoraco on second base.

Milwaukee, St. Louis and Pittsburgh were idle today.

Mat Latos’ continued an impressive streak of performances by the starting rotation. Over the previous five games, the Reds starting rotation pitched 39.1 innings, gave up five runs (1.15 ERA) on 19 hits. They walked 5 (3.6 BB%)  while striking out 31 (22.1 K%). They gave up only one home run and didn’t hit a batter. Giants manager Bruce Bochy commented:  “We ran into four starters as dominant as four starters I’ve ever seen before.”

Joey Votto obviously can’t swing off his back leg, robbing him of power. Even on one leg he’s a more valuable hitter than Brayan Peña, but you have to wonder if he should continue to bat third.

80 thoughts on “Can’t win ‘em all (but we better win tomorrow)

      • I am not saying it has to be BP but shouldn’t Mes be in the top 4 of the lineup? Tonight was a perfect example of him not having a chance to win the game as a result of the lineup. Maybe they need to move Votto down. I am not against batting Billy Hamilton 9th to be honest, especially with his bad baserunning as of late. If he cools off I would def. consider batting him 9th ala Tony LaRussa. Mes needs to bat in the upper half one way or another.

        • It’s a good thing BP batted 9th in SF. Gosh…2 games later and we’re back to that again.

      • I don’t know if I’d say zero evidence. He has had several “ME!” outbursts and the out and out lie from spring training this year about the local beat writers.

        • BP, like all mlb players, certainly has an ego and probably reacts to perceived slights. Some guys are out front with this, and some guys keep it to themselves. He might react really negatively to moving down in the order, and he might not. We don’t know about that. Do you think Joey wouldn’t do some seething if he were told to bat 7th?

      • If you really think BP wouldn’t have an issue with getting bumped down in the lineup then you are wearing rosed colored glasses.

  1. Was that catch in the first ever confirmed? It looked like to me it bounced, but no one ever showed the replay. Did it bounce in his glive?

    • I sat behind the reds dugout and was yelling at price to challenge. The ball hit the ground. Period. Plus the stadium never showed a replay either.

    • I replayed the catch frame-by-frame on my tv. It looked at first like it hit the ground, because it bounced up a few inches. But then I decided that Maybin got his glove underneath it before it bounced. It bobbled, but was in his glove the entire time. That’s my opinion anyhow. Price hasn’t been shy about challenging, so they must have agreed it was a catch.

      • It looked like a catch on the replay, to my eyes, just as Steve said–Maybin’s glove was on the ground when the ball hit it.

      • I didn’t play it frame by frame but your effort confirms what I thought I saw in the slo-mos they played on FoxOhio. I saw it as the ball hit the glove and drove it to the ground but the glove stayed between the ball and the ground. The ball then popped up a bit but he contained it before it could get away and touch ground.

  2. PETCO is a disgrace of a baseball stadium. Mes, Schumaker and Frazier all would have had HR. Cozart robbed 2 times. Latos gives up 1 hit and losses. Ump expanded the zone and made the Reds inpatient. Bad loss tonight. MUST WIN the next 2 games. You cannot lose a series to the worst offensive team in MLB if you have playoff hopes. Kennedy and Ross are lights out in PETCO.

    • Because PETCO is a pitchers park it’s a disgrace? Hitting a HR should take a great swing and contact.

  3. I was at the game. GABP is a better stadium. The ball doesn’t travel at all. Also not deal sight lines. Worst hot dogs I’ve had too.
    Hamilton has been better than votto and choo this year.

    • I have watched games many times in both stadiums and disagree. In the strictest terms, GABP’s dimensions are too small and PETCO’S are too large, but considering beauty, ambiance, and atmosphere, PETCO wins hands down. Besides, it’s next to the Pacific and full of slim attractive women who never eat hot dogs.

      • I’ve never had someone turn me on to and off of a group of women all in 9 words. “Slim attractive” (Alright!) “who never eat hot dogs” (to heck with them…). Congratulations!

    • That’s quite a disparate post! You go from hot dogs to “Hamilton has been better than Votto and Choo this year.” Interesting path!

  4. Back from the game. Reds struck out alot, but some called 3rd strikes, the Reds argued. Looks like the Ump indeed used the USS Midway to determine the strike zone instead of home plate. Reds probably were tired, as they swung and either missed or fouled off the fastballs, and then swung and missed on the breaking stuff. Latos looked good tonight. LeCure hit 87 to 88 on his fastball, but got the Padres out on his off speed stuff. Ball does not carry AT ALL in Petco Park. And….Padres had a few nice defensive plays in the field, that robbed the Reds of hits. Not sure why in the world Bruce swung at the first pitch in the 9th inning, creating the double play. Ball looked low. Make the Pitcher work a little bit. Got to see Latos warm up in the bull pen. I do not think I would want to be a big league catcher. Latos was throwing hard, and the ball hit Mesoraco’s glove with a pop. Thank God that Catchers mitts are extra padded. If Hamilton didn’t try to steal first in the first inning, there would have Hamilton and Frazier (who had walked) on with no outs. Teams are on to Hamilton now, and he has to pick his chances. Cozart had two great cracks of the bat, but just didn’t have the luck to get hits.

    • Good synopsis…only thing I disagree with, is there is no evidence Todd would have walked if Billy hadn’t got thrown out. Scenarios change.

      • More concerned with Billy taking several pitches, early in the count, that were right down Broadway in ABs 2 through 4. We don’t need Billy working walks unless they are there to be had. So he ends up striking out on pitcher’s pitches on all three ABs.

        BHam’s value in the big parks should more so.. Hopefully he will get on base 2 or 3 times tonight.

        Keep pushing the boundaries on the bases, young Billy.

  5. If I have this right the last time the Reds lost a game allowing only 1 hit was 1937. To be exact September 6th 1937 when Reds started pitched an 8 inning complete game allowing 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER and 3 BB in a 2-1 loss to the Cubs. The Reds had a terrible lineup that year and day. And on that day Lombardi didn’t start. Is that right? 1937?

    • According to C. Trent, more recent than that: 1950:

      It was the first time the Reds have allowed just one hit and lost since Sept. 12, 1950, when the Brooklyn Dodgers won 3-1 at Ebbets Field. Dodgers left fielder Gene Hermanski had the only hit off Ewell Blackwell that day, as Blackwell walked four batters and allowed three runs in a 3-1 loss.

  6. That CS in the 1st hurt but have to agree that there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the Maybin catch…Goes to show that mistakes hurt…That depth in Padres bullpen is crazy, Padres rotate pitchers in there so often that hitters can’t zero in on what each is doing with the ball…As a REDS fan that Padres Bullpen makes me envious…Hitters only get 1 look at each pitcher and that’s it…Gotta jump on these starters early…Go REDS…

      • Yeah but the hitters who face a relief pitcher in a later inning can gather intel from the hitters that actually faced the relief pitcher to see which pitches are working, etc.

    • The mistake was getting caught not the attempt. Chances are excellent if he makes it, we score at least 1 run. Very disappointed he was thrown out but hope he does the same thing tonight if given the opportunity. Small ball is important to win at Petco – just need to execute.

  7. Caught stealing is a part of being a base stealer. If you aren’t getting caught, then you aren’t trying to steal enough. I don’t have the numbers, but his CS have been less than they were in the 1st month, (someone posted a week ago). So obviously he is getting better at it. Do you expect him to sit on 1st base and just study the pitcher’s move until he has a pin point perfect time to run. He must push the limits, and not just be a statue on 1st base like Stubbs was. He’s learning the pitchers and will improve. The coaches should also be responsible for filling his head with useful info on the pitcher he is facing that night.

    • The problem is, he’s not picking his spots AT ALL. He’s still going on the first pitch over 40% of the times he attempts to steal. That’s just not going to cut it. While many of us (myself included) think he’s essentially nullifying his greatest strength by running himself into outs with stolen bases too often (he’s basically at the success rate where his stolen bases don’t add to overall run expectancy for the season; http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/breaking-down-stolen-base-break-even-points/), you’re right that he has to learn if he’s going to weaponize his legs. It’s just stupid that he’s attempting to learn on the 1st or 2nd pitch of every at-bat. They either need to cut him off or he needs to be more selective.

      I’d much much much rather he stop trying to steal bases and just go first-to-third on singles or stand on first base until there is a chance to advance. Currently, he’s just not been good enough stealing bases that’s he’s adding to the team. (Que discussion of “Hamil-runs” and how opposing catchers overthrow 2nd and he essentially gets a triple everytime he steals, etc etc).

      • You make good points, and I agree being more selective would be more prudent until he learns the craft a little better. I’m going to put some of that on the coaches. Getting picked off is more of a crime than getting thrown out..IMO. And I know of his 12 CS’s that 4 or 5 of them are PO’s. So getting thrown out running, he is up there where we want him to be.

      • He has adds more value with his stealing than decreases it if you include the threat of his stealing imposes on pitchers and the errors that many times are created by fielders as a by-product. His selection though has to and will get better. A learning curve has its moments and last night was one of them.

        I love pushing boundaries even if some short term pain is involved. He needs to find where they are at and I know of no other way to do that. If we do not see continued improvement than I will be with you. I doubt it will come to that but we will see as I do not think the will try to reign him in.

      • That’s great…. (for this year) ( which is now actually 40 SB / 8 CS).
        2011 24/7
        2012 32/10
        2013 10/2

        So can we agree, that there is a learning process involved in stealing bases?

        • I don’t disagree that there’s a learning process, but even Gordon’s worst year he was still 9% more effective than Hamilton’s current value which means he is adding 0.15 runs/game to the team. Also, if your biggest weapon is speed, taking yourself off the basepaths so often is a HUGE detriment to your contribution. Luckily, Hamilton has turned out to be an excellent CF, so that adds a lot to his value. I’m just not sold that giving him a free pass to steal whenever is currently serving the Reds well. Perhaps a tighter leash on his stealing situations could improve his contributions to the team.

        • An observation in the games in Chicago & SF: could the dirt around first base been anymore wet than it was? Almost soupy at Wrigley. In these cases, the SB attempts should be tempered to allow for conditions.

  8. I don’t like how this series started and have a bad feeling we may get swept. We are at the end of a very long road trip, remember we were on the road prior to this 10 game trip for how many games only to return home for a quick weekend series? Add to it the high coming off of sweeping SF and now facing a pretty decent pitching staff in a pitchers park. I think there is a good chance if we don’t win tonight we get swept by SD.

    • Bite your tongue. You get 20 lashes with a wet noodle for the pessimism. We have Mighty Mike going tonight.

        • I know. No Mighty Bats is the problem. Last night’s game shows that Jocketty has some work to do. If Votto isn’t right, Jocketty has to go get some additional offense.

        • That said, Latos did put the go ahead (winning) run on via a BB and the run scored by two long fly ball outs, not ground outs or K’s. It was all on Latos (wink-wink).

        • Maybe a couple of those hard hit balls fall in or leave the park tonight. Reds looked tired to me last night, I don’t expect the same in game 2.

    • There is a chance that we get swept. There always is, until we win a game in a series. There’s also a chance that we win two out of three. Can’t draw too many conclusions from a really tight game (or a blow-out, for that matter).

      • I predicted yesterday that there was a good chance of losing game 1 as all the elements were right for it: stud rookie pitcher they never have seen and coming off a tremendous high. Also predicted the Reds would win games 2 & 3. Reds are a far better team then this current Padres bunch but you better beat them early. That bullpen is impressive.

  9. Is it just me, or does Hamilton seem to be relying purely on his speed for steals (of second at least) rather than trying to get a better lead and trying to time a pitcher’s move? I can’t remember the last time he had to dive back to first – he always seems to get back standing up with ease. That suggests to me that he could be taking bigger leads. And when was the last time we heard “great jump” on one of his attempts? Seems like a little bit better on each of those details added with a touch of selectivity and he goes from borderline to elite on stealing percentage. How about a little tutoring from the Larkin, Eric Davis, Brett Butler, or even Delino Deshields?

    • Actually, Welsh said he had a “great jump” on his steal attempt last night. But, Hamilton could have taken a better lead and it would have made a difference. I’m really surprised that they caught him on that attempt. It was a low and away pitch and Grandal has a below average arm behind the plate.

      If he can refine those little things: taking a better lead, being more selective (and hopefully less predictable), his success rate will skyrocket and the “havoc” created will be put on the opposition and not the Reds.

      • FoxOhio had the shot of the pitcher and runner up until after Hamilton had broken, and was out of the screen that says something about his jump (being good) right there. I thought no way this is going to be even close.

        One way of looking at it is that Grandal made a big play when his team needed it and in the 5th Mesoraco did not with the difference being that Grandal was quicker getting it off and the ball lower (props to the guy playing the short hop).

    • In this case, the Reds announcers claimed he had a “good jump”. The problem was with his slide. The base was partially blocked to the home plate side so Hamilton didn’t extend his left hand (he actually pulled it away) and his right hand went to the bag late. If his hands/arms were extended he was safe. Grandal’s throw was a low laser that short-hopped the bag in the perfect spot and the second baseman fielded it cleanly.

      Agree that Billy needs to work on his base stealing technique a bit.

      • I wonder what players like Rickey Henderson or Vince Coleman had in SB totals in their rookie season and compare that to how Hamilton is doing at this stage in his rookie season.

        • Coleman: 1985 – 110 SB / 25 CS (Rookie year)
          1986 – 107 SB / 14 CS
          1987 – 109 SB / 22 CS
          1988 – 81 SB / 27 CS

          Henderson: 1979 – 33 SB / 11 CS (Rookie year)
          1980 – 100 SB / 26 CS
          1982- 130 SB / 42 CS
          1983 – 108 SB / 19 CS

          They both had 3 seasons of 100+ SB’s. They both got caught their fair share also.

  10. I know the offense has been doing better the last month. However, this has to be like the 5th or 6th time the Reds have made a rookie/young pitcher look like Cy Young out there…..

    Just a frustrating game overall. Ump didn’t call a strike above mid-thigh until the 7th inning. Then, anything that didn’t BOUNCE to the plate became a strike. He must have had a date with one of those “slim attractive women who don’t eat hot dogs” :)

  11. Looking ahead to the July 8th double header with the Cubs, if the Reds call somebody up to pitch that day, most of us think it’ll be Cingrani. But David Holmberg might get the call.
    Ryan Richey at The Bats Signal has an update on Holmberg.
    A bit of good news from the Hanigan trade.
    He says since Holmberg came off the DL, he is pitching like one of the best pitchers in the minors right now. Maybe we get to see a little bit of Holmberg on July 8th. And I wonder if it will play into the July 31 trade deadline??

    http://www.thebatssignal.com/david-holmberg-book-cover/

    • Is he on the 40 man roster? With Cingrani on the DL in Louisville I think you can pretty much rule him out.

    • It came out this afternoon that the Reds are considering Wang for the double header. Said Wang pushed his opt-out date back from July 1 to All Star break. I would say that is a pretty good indication it’ll be him for the Cubs DH.

      • Last night I looked up the two pitchers mentioned:

        originally posted on 06/30/2014 at 10:35 pm

        Holmberg ” pitching pretty good of late”?
        Last 4 starts in AAA has averaged 5+ innings per start, walked 12, given up 21 hits,
        5 ER’s, and 13 SO. His WHIP is 1.49

        Wang
        Last four starts at AAA has averaged 5+ innings per start, walked 7, given up 31 hits, 6 ER’s, and 10 K’s, WHIP 1.46

    • Wasn’t the Reds’ record ridiculous one year when Stubbs got a hit or something like that? Those kind of stats are great color and talking points during a broadcast but generally don’t have much predictive power. Interesting stat nonetheless.

      • Maybe so probably just filler info but again there is no stat to quantify what energy stealing a base does to the other batters. Seems to energize the team.

        • When I was hitting, it used to make me think: “Ok, now I got a nice Rib-eye steak out there who’s going to score on a solid hit.” It didn’t really energize me, so to speak. I tried to stay calm as getting worked up in a good way or bad way didn’t work out so well for me in the batter’s box. Of course, maybe some guys are different and I never was a Major Leaguer.

      • Bingo. It would be interesting to see that stat when accounting for the times when the steal occured in the 1st inning. And how often it led to a run.

  12. The Reds lost because they ran into a WICKED curve ball named Jesse Hahn (with an assist from the biggest strike zone I’ve seen since my T-ball days), and Reds hitters crushing some balls, only to see them die at the warning track. Don’t blame Billy for stealing early in the game. It was a good pitch to go on, AND Grandal has a history of having a noodle/erratic arm. The Padres simply made the play. It wasn’t like he was out by a mile. Moving on.

  13. Blue Jays are up 2-0 on the Brewers in the 5th. Happy Canada Day to the Blue Jays and Joey Votto tonight. Check out the Blue Jays Red & White jerseys.

    • Blue Jays up 2-1 bottom of the 7th. Braun doubled in a run in the 6th and Brewers had bases loaded, 1 out in the 7th and didn’t score.

      • Blue Jays go up 3-1 on Milwaukee in the bottom of the 8th and have a runner at third base. The Reds can gain a game tonight. Cannot let this opportunity pass them by. Price better have them ready tonight.

        • Toronto wins. Milwaukee loses. Tonight is officially Gain a Game on the Brewers Day. The Reds cannot squander this opportunity.

  14. Todd Frazier is 5th in all star voting, 500,000 votes out of first. Everyone vote Todd Frazier for all star starter, we all know he deserves it

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