Titanic Struggle Recap

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before

Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds (65-71) 2 3 0
  Pittsburgh Pirates (71-64) 3 4 1
W: Worley (6-4)    L: Simon (13-9)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Man walks into a bar…

The Cincinnati Reds lost by one run in a game where they had little hitting.

I suppose you could say Alfredo Simon pitched well after he grooved a fastball to Neil Walker in the first inning. After Walker’s three-run homer, Simon shut the Pirates out over the next six innings. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

The Reds made the most of their meager three hits. Todd Frazier crushed a long home run (his 23rd) to left centerfield in the fourth inning, the Reds first hit in the game, of course. In the seventh, Brayan Peña slapped an opposite field single, moving Devin Mesoraco to second. Mesoraco got on base by leaning into being hit by a pitch for the second game in a row. Jay Bruce struck out on three pitches bringing Zack Cozart to the plate.

Apparently Cozart has hit so many pop-ups to the right side, he’s perfected the art. He lifted one that fell exactly between three Pirates, scoring Mesoraco. Next up was Skip Schumaker, who Bryan Price allowed to face a tough left-handed reliever in Justin Wilson. Wilson is a rare lefty that has a substantially worse split against LH batters. Wilson struck Schumaker out on three pitches. The two that Schumaker swung at were well out of the strike zone. The third pitch was a called strike.

The Reds had two other opportunities and suffered bad luck. In the fifth inning, Peña drew a walk and Bruce hit a deep line drive to left field, but right at Starling Marte. In the sixth inning, after Billy Hamilton reached on a bunt single, Frazier hit a line drive “ticketed to the left centerfield gap” (Kelch) that Jordy Mercer snagged at shortstop. Mesoraco just missed a home run in the top of the ninth on a ball to deep left field.

If you haven’t seen it yet, read Jay Bruce’s interview today where he discusses “the most embarrassing year of my life.” (C. Trent Rosecrans)

30 thoughts on “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before

  1. at least this loss ended after early morning football and early enough to drown it in more football

  2. The Bruce article is interesting. He kind of takes a little ownership of his season. He said he doesn’t want to blame the injury, only to come back blame it. His knee surgery knocked him out a whopping two weeks.He came back and said he was good to go, as did the doctors. He’s run ok since he’s been back, stealing bases occasionally….not the type of acts he would be trying if there was any reservation about the knee. so to sneak an “it takes a year” excuse seems like he’s trying to rationalize his poor season.

    I did like his comment about previous successful seasons in that he thought he was underachieving. I think a lot of fans felt the same way.

    He’s looking at this season’s 400 at bats like it’s a radar blip, and that success will return automatically, like he’s entitled to it. It doesn’t work that way.

    • Harsh. I thought he was very open and honest about things. At least he spoke out and appeared to be very ashamed with his output that is something in this day and age of ungrateful million dollar spoiled ball players. He doesn’t appear to so spoiled compared to others on the team.

    • “When the season’s over, we’ll look up and be really pleased with what Jay’s accomplished and what type of season he’s had,” said Bryan Price in a 6-28-14 MLB.com article. And he’s not referring to Jay the bench coach. Skip the next paragraph about collecting seven doubles in that hot streak and then Jay says, “I’m feeling good. I feel like myself.”

  3. I love the article on Jay Bruce. Jay has indeed had a miserable year but you just got to love his honesty, openness, and admissions in his interview. Hoping he finds his groove early and often next year.

    • I’m 100% with you. I also agree with your above comment that he does not seem like an “ungrateful million dollar spoiled ball player”. He was eager and thrilled to sign his extension with the Reds, wants to be a Reds player his whole career, wants to stay in Cincinnati.

      In the context of his other statements, including that other players play through injuries, I don’t have a problem with his saying: “I’m not injured, but it’s not where it should be. I look forward to the offseason … coming back stronger than ever. It’s just the strength and conditioning of it. It’s just not there. That’s what brings the consistency when you’re staying on your back side. Something happens with the base of your swing. It’s a big deal.”

      He addresses something that I and others have wondered about – is it just a mental thing ? How does he feel physically when he hits ? I believe he’ll work very hard in the offseason.

      His statement about “staying on his back side” interests me. Is that just the usual “staying back” or is it a reference to a problem that Paul O’Neill and Joe Morgan have brought up, which is that he’s opening up with his lower half (“his butt” as Joe put it) before his upper half, putting him out of synch.

  4. If Bruce truly wants a better year in 2015 he needs to look in the mirror. His plate approach needs to change, period. As it stands now he’s a dead pull hitter with little visible plate discipline. The book is out on Jay, and all the teams have it. They play him to pull and offer off speed junk that he continuously chases. Jay needs to rewrite a few chapters and learn to use the left side of the field, where his power is still good enough to hit balls over the fence.

    • You saw Bruce try to use the opposite field a bit last year, but not at all this season. That regression is disconcerting.

      • This year Jay is hitting .364 on balls hit to RF (48% of total), .269 on ones to CF (32%) and .263 to LF 20%). Those numbers suggest he should be pulling the ball more, not less. He is also hitting a lot more ground balls this year; 47% v. 37%. It seems Jay would be better off trying to just smash the ball rather than worrying about shifts and other trivia.

  5. I think this is about the first time I’ve never seen a comment about the actual game in a recap thread, not that I have anything to add myself either.

    • What I’ve been thinking about tonight is that we have most likely two months or more before the offseason can really get to rolling. Gee that seems like it will be forever.

      For rest of this season, I hope Reds actually significantly play a number of these 7-9 guys they have been rumored to be bringing up along with Negron and that those guys play meaningful roles in a number of victories so that (hopefully) the front office will be driven to reevaluate a number of things about the team moving forward.

  6. Whatever. Has this team done anything differently since July? They keep losing games the same way, yet go about their business the same way.

    Right now, I am all for blowing this roster up and starting over.

    I enjoyed the piece on Bruce, and thought his candor was refreshing. However, he’s been in the league since 2008, and stubbornly remains a pull hitter even though teams shift against him. He needs to spend this offseason reinventing himself. A stint in winter fall might help.

    • Why do people assume its just that easy to change how someone thier entire life has hit in one offseason. Bruce is who he his.

      • Let’s hope that this years Bruce is not the Bruce we have. D Ray White says:
        “The book is out on Jay, and all the teams have it”. I have watched every game this year and he is right. The small spurts he has had have been when the pitcher makes mistakes. He is young and stubborn and needs to adjust his methods. The end result without changes is Adam Dunn with an arm. Adam has had a good career but no rings for any team he has been on and it is my understanding that the ring is the goal.

        • Baseball is still a team game. Why do people bring up how many rings someone has to determine if he is a good enough ballplayer? How many rings a player has is Not always and very few times in that players control,

        • Aren’t most hits in MLB a result of a pitcher’s mistake? Bruce has had a terrible year, and there may well be mechanical component, but even so, he is considerably more than Dunn with an arm. One player can’t win the whole thing by himself, so one can’t properly blame Dunn for that, but I question whether a player as one-dimensional as he is has much value in the National League. Bruce has an all-around game, and this year looks like an aberration to me. The league did not suddenly get the book on him in his eighth year–they’ve had it pretty much since his first partial season: He is a formidable power hitter, largely feast or famine, who plays excellent defense and is evidently a good team member. If he doesn’t bounce back next year, I may be proven wrong, and I doubt that any of you will take much comfort in that.

      • So he’ll stay who he is, even though it’s not working? That sounds like the entire Reds organization in a nutshell.

    • Bruce is a hot and cold pull hitter. Only when he learns to tap that outside corner pitch to the opposite field will he be a consistently good hitter, if ever.

  7. The recap is too harsh on Simon. Three runs allowed in 7 innings should be a win or a no decision. 7 Ks, 2 walks, 4 hits is a strong performance.

    We’ve grown too accustomed to this extraordinarily weak offense.

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