The Reds’ 9th inning comeback fell short Tuesday, as they lost to the Brewers 5-3 on the road at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, AZ.

Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds (4-4-1) 3 7 0
 Milwaukee Brewers (1-5) 5 9 1
W: K. Lohse (1-0) L: J. Cueto (0-1) SV: D. Goforth (1)
| Box Score | Recap | AP Recap |

Pitching: Johnny Cueto gave up an earned run on 3 hits in 3 innings, walking 1 and striking out 3. Cueto said he was happy to face the several regulars in the Brewers lineup because veterans take a lot of pitches. Bryan Price said Cueto was erratic and didn’t have great command of his fastball, but Price was pleased that Johnny was able to throw nearly 60 pitches. Ryan Dennick and J. J. Hoover each worked an inning and each gave up a 2-run homer. It was the 2nd homer Hoover has given up so far this spring. C. Trent Rosecrans asked Price if it was too early to worry about Hoover. Price said he would like a better result but wasn’t really worried because Hoover is working on things like throwing inside and secondary pitches. Jon Moscot pitched 2 scoreless innings, giving up 3 hits and striking out 1.

Hitting: Todd Frazier returned from missing the last couple games because of back spasms. He went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts. Marlon Byrd was the only other projected member of the opening day starting lineup to play for the Reds; he went 0-2. Brennan Boesch continued his strong campaign for a bench spot, going 2-3 with a double. Boesch has 7 hits in 14 at-bats this spring. The offense scored 3 in the 9th on a 2-run single by shortstop Alex Blandino, and an RBI groundout by Garrett Boulware.

The rest: Former Red Kyle Lohse struck out 4 in 3 scoreless innings to earn the victory. It was the Brewers’ first win in 6 spring training games. Lohse escaped a jam in the 2nd inning when he gave up a lead-off single to Boesch, hit the next batter Byrd, then gave up a long drive to Donald Lutz that almost stayed fair for a home run. Another former Red Jonathan Broxton pitched a scoreless inning for Milwaukee.

Next up: Wednesday, 3/11

Royals at Reds in Goodyear, 4:05 ET

Broadcast on WSAI-1360AM

Paul Maholm will start. Tony Cingrani will follow. Kevin Gregg, Sam LeCure, and Nate Adcock are also scheduled to pitch.


33 Responses

  1. sultanofswaff

    Nice to lay eyes on Blandino—-looks to be a hitter who can spray the ball to all fields.

    Moscot’s fastball doesn’t induce any swings and misses. He needs to get more movement on it.

    I agree that we shouldn’t just Hoover too harshly just yet. He was deliberately trying to run the fastball in on righties. The HR came on a curveball he left over the plate.

    • Jason Lawrence

      Yeah, another thought I had watching the first few innings was boy, Marlon Byrd isn’t going to cover much ground out there in left.
      Seems like Hoover’s been leaving curveballs out over the plate for a while now. The time to judge him harshly should be coming soon I would think.

      • jessecuster44

        with all this pitching depth, I think Hoover is a non issue.

      • Jason Lawrence

        I hope so. But if he makes the team and Price decides to put him out there in the 10th inning, he might be an issue

  2. Steve Mancuso

    Today’s lineup could prove interesting. There’s a good chance it will be the first time that Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips start the same game. Byran Price has been batting both of them second up to now. If he’s committed to batting Votto second this year, as preliminary signs indicate, today might be the day that becomes apparent.

    On the other hand, with the injuries – Hamilton and Mesoraco may not start – the lineup may not mean much of anything.

    • Steve Mancuso

      And there you have it:

      Bourgeois 7
      Votto 3
      Phillips 4
      Bruce 9
      Dominguez 5
      Schumaker 8
      Cozart 6
      Satin DH
      Barnhart 2

      • Nick Carrington

        I think this lineup at least tells us that Votto is slotted for the two spot, which I love. Appears Hamilton and Votto will be 1-2 to start to the year. Still have no idea what Price is thinking in the 3-7 spots.

      • PDunc

        I really hope that this is a sign that Votto will be the #2 hitter in most lineups. I posted in another thread all the good I think can come from Hamilton leading off and Votto at #2. Most importantly the high chance that our #3-5 hitters (presumably Mesoraco Bruce and Frazier) come up with guys on base. With Hamilton stealing bases and Votto hitting doubles there could even be a high likelihood of our #3-5 hitters coming up with guys in scoring position.

      • docmike

        I hope we can assume Phillips is only batting 3rd today because of all the backups starting. I want Votto and Frazier batting in the 2 and 3 spots, in either order. To be followed by Mes, Bruce, and Byrd.

  3. charlottencredsfan

    I know I’m going against the common wisdom and what most experts are projecting but I’m going on record that the Reds will really miss Alfredo Simon. Just watched the tape of him pitching against the Phillies yesterday.

    1) Still doesn’t strike out many hitters but hitters have a time of it squaring him up
    2) Impeccable control of all pitches
    3) Very good movement of the ball
    4) Throws pitches as high as 93 and as low as “63” mph. Yes, he has now developed an eephus pitch. Pitches is the 90s, 80’s 70s, and 60s,; that is highly unusual.
    5) Simon’s secret? He is a very smart pitcher

    If he stays healthy, I think his numbers will be much closer to 2014 than any projections I’ve seen. He can pitch on my team anytime.

    • jessecuster44

      Depends how his replacements fare. There’s plenty.

    • docmike

      Eh, I just don’t buy it. I think the Simon you saw in the second half of 2014 is what you’ll see this year.

  4. Dave

    I don’t recall Kyle Lohse playing for the Reds….. Cardinals – yes, Reds – no. Am I wrong? Dave

    • Dave

      Perhaps I am like Roger Clemens and “Misremembering.”

    • sultanofswaff

      A very unimpressive season—–143 hits in 131 IP with only 80 strikeouts and 33 walks. Can’t blame the Reds for letting him go.

    • Big56dog

      Thought they got him in a trade deadline deal, thought they were around .500 until the final week

    • Steve Mancuso

      Made 32 starts for the Reds in parts of 06 and 07. Didn’t pitch well for Reds. Traded to Phillies for Matt Maloney.

  5. Big56dog

    too early to worry about Hoover?…too late if you ask me
    if he makes the club the bullpen is in trouble, make he can right himseld in AAA?

  6. docmike

    I still think it’s too late to give up on Hoover. He had a bad 2014, but was solid in 2013 and 2012. One bad season shouldn’t outweigh 2 good ones.

    I bet if we cut him, another team would snap him up in a heartbeat. Probably the Cardinals.

    • charlottencredsfan

      IMO, if Hoover doesn’t start going inside with his fastball, he won’t even be serviceable. Right now, it appears he is way too comfortable an at-bat for hitters. The few times he goes inside off the plate it is with a change-up or braking ball – this won’t do it. I’m glad Price mentioned he is working on that aspect of his game.

      Bottom line, he won’t be able to pitch at the MLB level unless he makes this adjustment. Just one man’s opinion.

      • CP

        It’s really all about control. I think pitching inside is an issue, but Hoover not only walks 4.5 BB/9, he’s wild in the strike zone. It’s a bad combination.

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, and one of the reasons he has trouble pitching inside is his command. There’s also the fact that his fastball’s natural run is to his glove side not his arm side. It’s very hard for him to come inside on RH hitters. It’s something he IS going to need to do though or they’ll just kill him.

    • Jeremy Conley

      This is the problem with using ERA to measure a pitcher, and especially with a reliever. Hoover has been basically the same pitcher the last three years.

      He has always gotten a lot of strikeouts, given a lot of walks, and been an extreme flyball pitcher. The only thing that changed is the number of deep flyballs that went over the fence last year, and that is not something that a pitcher has much control over. It’s not like any pitcher is trying to give up a 365 blast to the warning track.

      The league average for the number of flyballs that turn into HRs is usually between 9% and 10%. In Hoover’s first two years with the Reds his percentages were 4.7% and 7.4%. Last year it was 14.9%. Now his overall career average is 10%, which is just where you would expect it to be.

      Could he get lucky again? Sure. Could he get unlucky again? Yes. But no one should think that JJ Hoover did anything different last year to be bad, or in the previous years to be good.

      • Daytonian

        It’s not solely a matter of luck when a pitch yields a deep fly ball rather than a fly ball. It’s a matter of pitching ability–all of the difference in the world!

      • Steve Mancuso

        I think you’d be surprised at how little control a pitcher has over whether a fly ball becomes a home run.

      • citizen54

        If someone hits a fly ball 400 ft that goes to dead center, it’s just a long out. That same ball hit to left or right field is a home run. That’s why it’s better to evaluate pitchers using standard HR/FB rate, which factors in luck rather than ERA which does not.

      • Jason Lawrence

        Hoover seemed different to me last year, beyond the extra homers getting out of the park. He only gave up homers in 4 of the 10 games where he got the loss. Looked to me like he didn’t have any confidence in high leverage situations so he’d walk people and pitch from behind in the count. There’s no numbers to prove that of course. An example is the walk-off HBB against the Cardinals on August 19th. He faced 4 batters in the 9th, walked 2 and gave up a single before hitting Jon Jay to lose it. No homers but he never had a chance.

      • Kevin Michell

        This got me to check his avg. FB (including homers) distance for 2014: 281.06 feet.

        His expected HR/FB for that distance (10.2%) is very much in line with his average you mentioned, Jeremy. That difference between his actual and his xHR/FB (4.7%) is crazy, and awfully unlucky.

  7. jdx19

    With no good place to post this, I’ll post it here!

    Long have we all known that Aroldis Chapman has incredible skill and talent. He’s also put up pretty good results in categories that matter (not saves). More on this later…

    There is a research paper than has been posted at THT introducing a new pitching stat called cFIP. The ‘c’ is for “contextual.” Basically, it aims to both describe past performance AND predict future performance at the same time. It does this by factoring in every batter faced in the season, how good that batter is, the handedness, the stadium, and even the umpire. After runnning some correlation calculations, it is shown to be significantly better at both predicting and describing than any other current pitching stat (also shows ERA, ERA-, and RA9 to be the worst, as you may expect). Since it can better show “how good you were” and “how good you will be,” it is the closest estimator we have to what could be called “true pitcher value,” or simply “how good is a pitcher.”

    Who has the lowest (best) score? Aroldis Chapman.

    Very heavy reading. Not for the faint of mathematical prowess!

  8. Steve Mancuso

    Tony Cingrani picks off two Royals base runners.

    • lwblogger2

      Gotta love that aggressiveness on the bases. It’s certainly what won them the AL pennant last year 😉

  9. preacherj

    Maholm was getting a high percentage of ground ball outs. This is a fun little contest to see who’s going to end up at the back of the rotation.