Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds get swept again, fall to 0-6 in the 2nd half

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (51-50)  1 5 1
Milwaukee Brewers (57-45)  5 12 1
W: Lohse (11-4) L: Leake (7-9)
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Game Thread | Photos | Win Probability

game

The Reds got swept again, and are now 0-6 in the second half. The Reds have fallen to 5.5 games back in the NL Central.

The offensive woes continue. The Reds have scored just 12 runs in 6 games in the second half. They have struck out 51 times, while walking just 8 times (our own Chris Garber wrote about this earlier today). You simply aren’t going to win many games with that kind of offensive production.

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (wining percentage added), the most important play of the game was Carlos Gomez RBI triple in the 3rd inning, tying the game at 1. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 22.5% (from 58.9% to 36.4%). Other important plays (+/- equals how much each play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):

  • +9.6% – Braun grounded into an inning ending double play in the 3rd inning
  • +8.5% – Ramirez grounded into an inning ending double play in the 1st inning
  • +8.4% – Lucroy grounded out in the 5th inning, runner left on 3rd base, 2 outs in the 5th inning
  • +7.2% – Santiago walked in the 5th inning, runners on 1st & 2nd, 0 outs
  • +6.4% – Ludwick reached on an error, advanced to second base with 0 outs in the 2nd inning
  • -14.5% – Reynolds 2-run HR in the 6th inning, Brewers take a 4-1 lead
  • -13.7% – Braun RBI single in the 3rd inning, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead
  • -7.5% – Pena grounded into a double play in the 8th inning

Player of the Game

Mark Reynolds: 3 for 4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, .147 WPA

Positives

Billy Hamilton stole his 40th base of the season. That puts him third all-time among Reds rookies, and tied for 30th all-time among all players in Reds history. He is now on pace to steal 64 bases this season. If Hamilton were to steal 64 bases, it would put him 8th all time in Reds history, and tie him for 6th all-time among MLB rookies. Here are the numbers on Hamilton (you can click to expand)

billllllllllllllllllly

Ramon Santiago made a tremendous play filling for Zack Cozart today in the second inning. He had to drive to right, get up, and make a perfect throw to get Kris Davis out.

J.J. Hoover pitched a perfect 7th inning for the Reds, striking out 1. That is good to see from Hoover, as he had allowed 6 ER over his previous three appearances.

Negatives

Mike Leake had a pretty rough afternoon. He gave up 11 hits in 6.0 innings. He has allowed 11, 8, 9, 9, and 11 hits in his last five starts. Leake didn’t walk a batter today, so at least he isn’t beating himself. Leake has still had a decent season, posting a 3.73 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 3.97 FIP. The recent hit totals against him do cause some concern though.

Jumbo Diaz gave up a homer to Mark Reynolds. It was Reynolds second homer of the afternoon.

Not so random thoughts………………

I get tired of complaining about the Reds manager, but seriously? He put Pena third in his lineup and Mesoraco sixth today. Even though a move like that doesn’t usually make a drastic impact on the game, it is just a poor decision. There is no excuse for batting a guy who has an OPS of 36 points higher than last year NL MVP sixth in your lineup, and batting a guy with a career 78 OPS+ third. The Reds have clearly struggled to score runs, and that move only makes it even more difficult.

90 thoughts on “Reds get swept again, fall to 0-6 in the 2nd half

  1. “This is four* games coming off an outstanding June and July. We can’t implode because we haven’t played terribly well in four games,” Price said. 4/21/14

    (*six)

  2. Maybe it’s a disciplinary thing with Mes? Who knows. The only rationale I can see if that Price doesn’t want to have six straight outs after the three hole–just five of six. My son’s AAU coach once explained that he wanted to break up some of his best hitters so he had a chance to score more than once every few innings. It sounded like crazy talk to me, but that thinking is out there.

  3. Anyone have the updated count on how many Reds have struck out in these 6 games versus how many have walked?

    • I agree it’s not high on the list but it’s still dumb. Mes and Bruce behind Pena and Ludwick is something we shouldn’t even have to talk about. That’s just common sense.

    • If done right, we could really right the ship by selling. Not that I’d have any faith in it being done right, but with all these teams in the WC hunt, we could move some key problems, under the radar, to some desperate clubs, right now. You don’t want to wait until the offseason, when buyers can logically think about it.

      • I am almost sure that Walt has fielded calls about Broxton and Chapman. There was also a rumor a couple weeks ago that a team was interested in Ludwick.

        • Not sure if the Reds are in selling mode yet though. I think you see what happens against the Nats. If the team doesn’t take 2 of 3 or sweep and the Brewers extend their lead, I think you have to sell.

    • Sultan, i appreciate what you did there…..

      You know that Wayne Krivsky traded nothing to get Josh Hamilton and Brandon Phillips. He was always collecting a guy for the outfield Johnny Gomes or the lefty who platooned with him Nix. Then there was the OF from Florida that he brought in a year early who went on the be a part time/full time star in SF.

      with all of the holes in our roster and the lack of AAA solutions, I really do miss Wayne Krivsky

      • Reagan, my recollection agrees with yours.

        Dan O’Brien probably should get credit for resurrecting the Reds farm system, but Krivsky continued strengthening it. And Krivsky had constant moves and deals going, till the term “churning” comes to mind. He seemed to be trying to improve the 40 man roster all the time.

        I think he was rooked in the Bray-Majeski(sp) deal with damaged goods. I miss him as well.

        • SRRED, I understand what you are saying but Bray was probably the best part of that deal. Felipe Lopez had a moment or 2, but really that trade did a lot of nothing for both teams

    • I vote for both,buy some hitters,(Byrd,Zobrist)..sell some pitchers(Simon,Broxton)………I know you need a partner to dance,but I would sell on the pitchers now if you can get value. I am not convinced anyone in this division is going to run away from the pack. I hope adding some offense will ignite us for stretch run,and selling high on pitchers is a good way to go. I am hoping for multiple deals. I think teams overpay at deadline

      • Selling high on pitchers is a good way to go. That said, as far as trading Simon, I think you’ve gone full on seller at that point. Adding a Byrd or Zobrist isn’t going to overcome the hole in the rotation that moving Simon would open up. Cingrani is still on the MiLB DL and the other starters down at AAA are below replacement level. If you want to sell Simon then fine, but at that point your selling and there’s no sense to bring in Byrd or Zobrist.

        • Bringing in hitters would help you on 4 out of 5 days at the very least,we are too close to go to full sell mode….in my opinion

  4. When does the proverbial window close on this cast of players? The core group has been around since 2010 and produced better results than those since 1995, but still not what most would say has been expected of them. So what should Reds do? What can they do? It seems apparent that adding a rental player at the expense of cheaper younger players doesn’t make sense, but at the same time can anyone reasonably expect much better next year? Should Cueto, Chapman, Broxton, (or others) possibly be moved now when their values could be the highest? Is it reasonable to expect Votto (injuries) or Bruce (inconsistencies) to be the cornerstones of future Reds teams? Should the Reds listen to offers on anyone and everyone? If not who would you list as untouchable (not unmovable)? Is there a free agent (or two) that you believe could dramatically improve the Reds outlook over the next several seasons?

    • Frazier, Mesoraco, and Hamilton would be the only I would consider untouchable on the current 25 man roster. Mostly because you simply won’t get anything better for them than what they can provide. Frazier and Mesoraco still have all three years of arbitration left, and Hamilton still has 5 years of team control left. Won’t get any better production/cost value in a trade than what they already provide.

      Depending on the offer, not sure anyone else could be called untouchable. Would still probably only actively search for a way to trade Simon, Broxton, and Chapman. The rest could be passive listening.

  5. Does this team ever play a night game on Wednesdays or Thursdays any more??? – getting tired if these day games during the week – understand getaway day of series – but this is getting rediculous

  6. If the Reds are sellers, who is untouchable? I think it is a very short list. I would think Hamilton and Votto. Anybody else untouchable based on contracts or production? The Reds probably deem Chapman untouchable but I don’t.

    • I’d move Cingrani, Leake, Simon (like, now, before he turns back into a pumpkin), Broxton, Bruce, Heisey, Mesoraco (that’s right). Put Marshall, Ondrusek, Ludwick & Schumaker out to pasture. We’re stuck with Bailey, Votto & BP, I guess that’d be our “veteran-y-ness” that Dusty so emphasized. I’d call up Tucker Barnhart, keep Pena, try to resign Latos (very difficult), keep Chapman, Hoover (yes), Diaz, LeCure, and try to rebuild the bullpen around them. Hamilton, Frazier, Cozart stay. And, needles to say, Walt’s revolving scrubs would all have to go.

      • Latos drop in velocity is a concern, hope it is just due to the injuries and it will increase. The Reds might need an extended period of success before committing to Latos

        • No real Spring Training to speak of. He also does seem heavier as Robby20 points out. He’s just not in his top physical pitching shape. Let’s hope he is next season.

      • Trade an AS catcher with 3 years of team control left? That’d leave you with career 78 OPS+ Pena and Barnhart who’s hitting .225/.293/.320 in AAA. Sounds like an awful idea.

        • I agree that Mes is not a guy I would move. You aren’t going to get back anything better than he already is.

  7. I think it is time to seriously think about shopping Cueto. When I read about what the Cubs got from Oakland… and how they might turn around and open the doors for Price… I wonder if we are in that mix. They have 3 shortstops with high ceilings… a corner outfielder… controllable pieces we need.
    I do not think anyone thinks we have the pockets to sign him longterm. what would the dodgers give us for him. Pederson? move from center to corner? plus other pieces?
    don’t think the red sox would open the young vaults for cueto?
    I wouldn’t trade chapman.

  8. and Frazier. Hamilton, Votto, Frazier and Mesoroco should all be untouchable. Nobody else.

    • Frazier and Mesoraco are both showing signs of being very JBruce like mercurial. I don’t think the team trades them or even shops either one; however they should listen; and if good deal is there be willing to trade either then move the other to the untouchable column.

      • They’d have to eat some of his salary or get back another big contract player. I don’t see it happening and honestly wouldn’t try to trade Votto as I’m not convinced he’s quite done as a All-Star kind of player. I think out of Votto’s remaining contract, he’ll have for years where he is a well-above average player than he’ll have years where he’s below average. If you want it in WAR terms, I think he’ll have more years of 3.0+ WAR than less than that.

  9. I was on record to trade Leake since his hot start last year. We might have missed his high value window, but he would still be the one I trade.

      • not really. we have a stable of young pitchers who will be hitting the bigs soon.

        Leake is a pitcher, since controlled who could bring a lot of bat in return

        • Like I said last week, the Reds MUST SELL. We should stack our farm system with young cost controlled talent. Trade high right now on Cueto, Simon and Broxton. Try and unload Ludwick.

  10. Fully expect the a Reds to do nothing before or at the deadline. The Reds front office flat out stinks, and will use the excuse of injuries to explain its inaction. This is a team that was right in the thick of things, and you could see from a mile away that it needed help. None came in time. This core of players from 2010-14 is special, but now the window is closing.

    It’s an opportunity lost, because the Reds want to be “relevant” in the future rather than have the chance to win a title now. I’m disgusted.

    • With all the injuries, the Reds would have to completely mortgage the future to acquire enough talent to make a run at a title. And even then there are no guarantees.

      No thank you. I’d like to see what Stephenson, Winker, and Lorenzen can do in the next few years.

      • Yes. Not enough out there to trade any of the three you listed.

        The Reds may need Stephenson, Lorenzen, and Lively to go with Bailey and whomever the Reds keep from thecurrent rotation

  11. I do not think there should be a blow up of the team. I do not think that Votto, or Phillips can be traded or should be. Until you know what you have from them, they could be extremely useful. So could any extra draft choices if you cannot resign the pitchers. It is possible several will be ready in the next two years. I am not sure that Barnhart can hit enough to be an everyday player. Time will tell on middle infielders and 3b. Not out of the realm of possibility that the starting OF is Winker, Hamilton, Ervin in a couple of years.

    Keep everyone. Ludwick is in his last year. Send Lutz to AAA and let him get at bats and see if he might be ready for LF next year.

    I am not Walt and his is the only opinion that matters.

  12. It’s bad to make long term decisions based upon short term results. But I have to admit I am leaning toward the sell side on this team. Walt isn’t likely to come up with a true impact bat and adding one that is slightly better than average doesn’t seem like enough for this team right now.

    They should let Heisey start the rest of the season just to see what they have. No need to bring Ludwick back next year for another $4.5 million.

    It seems that there are more teams buying than selling this year. Several are looking for set up men. Maybe Broxton or LeCure could bring back something worthwhile If the Reds can land some top notch talent, they should explore trades with an eye on the next year or two.

  13. At this point the Reds probably should stand pat. I agree with some that making a trade or two without mortgaging the future probably won’t make a difference this year. If this isn’t the year, maybe next year will be.

  14. If we have to give up anything (except the proverbial bag of balls) for Byrd it will be greatly annoying considering we could have had him for nothing last year.

  15. This looks like the April/May Reds I saw earlier this year. Low scoring offense, guys swinging at everything. We were doing great up till the break

  16. Way too much angst about “blowing up the team” here. Although injuries and under-achivement have hurt this year, there’s nothing wrong with Meseraco, Votto, Phillips, Cozart, Frazier, Hamilton, and Bruce. This team needs a .280, 25 HR, 80 RBI left fielder batting in the middle of the lineup. We have five chips (starters) to get him. Just pull the trigger and do some cosmetics on the bench and bullpen. The year 2015 could be a great one for the Reds.

  17. I understand the team is lacking the talent to consistently hit and score. Frankly that has been a problem longer than just this year. But the truly alarming thing is the number of fielding and base running blunders and the below average starting pitching since the break ended.

    The fielding and running issues are particularly worrisome because those types of mistakes occur when a team is not totally focused on the task at hand. I was one who thought Baker needed to move on because the team was frequently not ready to play under his leadership.

    To see the same lack of focus that was present at the end of last season is disturbing.

    And I’m not buying the lack of talent and multiple injuries as a valid reason for the inept play.

    • Amen or +100 or whatever on this. I understand they don’t have the offensive firepower to compete right now in large part due to injury. However there is no excuse for the poor defensive play, terrible base running, the missed signs (per the manager himself), flailing at pitches that never had a chance to be a called strike from out of the pitcher’s hand etc..

      Winning or losing this last week aside, in many, many ways as cited above Robby20 and myself, this is last year’s team all over again.

      If it was bad enough to get the manager fired last year, then the current manager shouldn’t be getting the free pass he is getting now from many, if not most. His job is leadership; and, in the last week we’ve seen precious little of it.

      • At a certain point, it’s not the manager or the coaches that are the problem. It’s the players. Two different managers and coaching staff and still the same issues. And I think it’s fair to ask what they are being taught coming up through the minors. Too many base running gaffes and overall lack of plate discipline. You can only coach these guys so much. The time to learn and instill the “right way” is when they are young and more impressionable.

        With all of that said, I think the Reds as an organization do a wonderful job scouting and developing talent and few can disagree. But there does seem to be a lack of organizational philosophy on hitting approach and base running.

  18. It would be crazy to say that the Reds are out of contention at this point, but it would be equally crazy to say that we are anything other than a distant longshot to make the playoffs. We will win some games eventually, but until Votto and BP get back this team is going to lose ground, it is just a question of how much. The problem is that we’re competing with three other teams in the Central. Even if we do get hot (which seems exceedingly unlikely before late August), we would need to count on three other teams failing to do the same. There is the wild card. But SF/LA is going to take one and each one of the other five teams that seem like contenders right now look more likely than the Reds. Moreover, we don’t have the chips to go out and get help. There has been a lot of complaining about Walt failing to make moves, but what does he really have to offer without further decimating a dismal farm system?

    This is all to say that we should be sellers. Not fire sale sellers — most of the pieces are in place for us. But this is a seller’s market and there are deals to be had. It would be malpractice to fail to trade Simon before the trade deadline. Either Latos or Cueto could also be traded. We will not be able to afford to sign them both. My preference is for Latos to go. Chapman too. We do not use him in a way that will make it worth paying him what he will demand. I would also entertain offers for Frazier. To be clear, I’m not saying that we should make all of these trades, but one or two of them to fill some glaring holes and build depth make a lot of sense.

    At a certain point the odds of us winning this season become so long that it makes sense to invest in the future, especially when we have assets to sell and there are desperate buyers. I think that we’ve reached that point.

  19. Wow – lot of people just giving up on this board -look, I’m just as realistic as the next person about the injuries and lack of talent at this point -but just 5,5 games back with 2 plus full months to go – I mean come on , I ain’t throwing in the towel just yet – Brewers have shown their inconsistencies , Cards up and down , Reds have beat Pirates like a drum – division wide open still

    • I suppose “giving up” is one way to look at it; you could also say that we’re focused on investing in next year during a rapidly closing one-week window during which time we will get the most value for perishable assets. I think that this team is close and this is not a long-term rebuilding project, but there are clearly pieces missing and it is not accurate to call the division “wide open,” at least not for the Reds. You’re right that we’re only 5.5 out with two months to go, but you fail to mention that we’re missing two critical pieces from a team whose offense was suspect to begin with. Look at the line-ups we’ve been running out for the last six days and tell me that you think this team is going to crack .500, much less make run, over the next month.

      Look at it this way — what do you think maximizes the odds of winning the World Series at some point in the next three years? Doubling down on this year and hoping that our problems with expiring contracts, lack of depth and a dismal farm system solve themselves? Or taking the opportunity to make a couple of big trades right now that could address all of these issues in one swoop, as well as plug some key holes, at a time when we have a ton of leverage?

      • I understand your points and they are very valid – however , my point is thsmat not one of these teams above the reds at this juncture is worthy if being called a “juggernaut ” – so I guess I’m in the minority when I am not willing to quit on this year just yet – no, I don’t want the Reds to go into sell mode – sends a bad message all the way around if you ask me – not gonna give up at 5.5 games back and those three teams ahead if me in this division by just that margin – don’t see anybody running away with it

        • Those teams don’t have to be a “juggernaut” to pull away from the Reds at this point. With the exception of the Cards, most of them are healthy. You can’t say the same for the Reds now or perhaps a month and a half from now. I wouldn’t advocate blowing things up or conducting a fire sale, but Steve’s suggestions are probably more in line with what the front office will consider. If they play their cards right, the Reds can turn this short term pain into long term gain by plugging in some missing pieces and adding some organizational depth.

    • You are correct. It’s not ‘throw in the towel time’ yet. A few weeks ago it was ‘wait till next year’ in Tampa and now the Rays are 7 games out and ahead of Boston by one and a half games. You’re still in the race at this point if you’re less than 10 games out. If Walt can pull a deal for a one year rental ‘thumper’ in left field, the Reds could get moving.

  20. The undeniable main reason the Reds lost the last six games is … bad luck. This is obvious by looking at everyone’s favorite stat: BABIP.
    The Reds got hits only 29 times out of 136 balls in play for 21.7%. League average is 29% and our opponents over these 6 games had a BABIP of 30%.
    So how unlucky is 21.7% over these 6 games? The odds of this happening is 2.7%.
    Even worse, with RISP the Reds where 2 for 24 balls in play for a BABIP of 7.7%. The odds of this happening is only 0.7%.
    In addition, to terrible offensive luck, the Reds had 3 extremely unlucky (less than 1% chance each) defensive plays by good defenders leading to runs: routine drop, lost in lights, confusion on infield fly.
    The only good stat I could find for the Reds was they hit 6 HRs(all singles). On average they should have hit 5, but this was offset by the opponents hitting 8 HRs.
    The numbers don’t lie, the Reds lost because of bad luck!!!

    • They still looked horrible more than unlucky. Guys getting picked off, swinging at balls that bounce or a foot outside.. losing balls in the lights??? Having a ball nearly hit you in the head? Not catching an infield fly ball? Failing to hold on to runners so they steal without a throw down? That isn;t bad luck that is fundamentally unsound baseball that exacerbates the unlucky side of the equation making it impossible to even salvage a single game in two road series.

  21. @Aaron – The Reds definitely played poorly the last 6 games. As others have pointed out high K rate, low BB rate, and in general poor approaches at the plate and on base contributed to the 6 loses. But I maintain the number #1 cause was horrid luck. If the Reds have average or just poor luck, they win 2 or 3 of those games. We are talking multiple season bad luck. A 6 game losing streak does not even happen every year for the Reds, but once every 2 or 3 years.
    By to way, “losing balls in the lights” is the definition of poor luck; it is not “fundamentally unsound baseball.” It has happened to the best outfielders in baseball.

    • Dan you can maintain that position but when you have replacement or below caliber players filling out your lineup most days, these are the results you can expect. Even with a little more luck involved, the Reds have more than countered that with a drop in production from their starters and the aforemetioned lack of fundamental play. And probably more important than BABIP would be their K and BB rates. They won’t get anything good to put in play if they remain committed to swinging at slop. Those are things that can be controlled and with that, they can overcome some bad luck. It goes back to the principle of creating your own luck as it were.

    • Not sure I’m with you on the luck side of things. They swung at a lot of bad pitches, walking very little, and making very poor contact when putting balls in play. The BABIP sample you use is too small to simply say that being unlucky has caused the losing streak; though I agree that a 6-game losing streak is pretty rare and there certainly is SOME bad luck involved.

      I fully agree with you on losing a ball in the lights just being one of those things and not being a sign of “fundamentally unsound baseball”. If it happens over and over to the same player maybe, but overall, it happens quite a lot. I’ll also tell anyone who ask that it can be terrifying too. You have no idea where that ball is and usually it’s a liner that you’ve tracked and then lost. There is a good chance it hits you and that’s never fun.

  22. Neftal;is Soto is OPSing in the mid .800’s at AAA in between 1/4 and 1/3 of a season’s worth of PA’s despite being bounced back and forth between the
    “big” team and AAA.
    I get it he isn’t very good, at least to date, off the bench at the MLB level. However another inference that could be drawn is that despite long periods of inactivity (sitting on the MLB bench) when he plays regularly, he hits.

    Why not do something totally radical like bring Soto back up and actually put him in the line up every day at 1B and see what happens. Two years ago, nobody knew what this Frazier kid was going to do in similar circumstance but instead of sitting him and using every other imaginable discombobulation of the line up to try and cover 1B, they put Frazier there and gave him a shot; and that turned out pretty well.

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