Johnny Cueto and the Reds got off to a tough start on Sunday afternoon, and could never recover. Cueto allowed three runs in the first inning, with two of them coming off a home run by Kelly Johnson. Despite being hit hard and often in the game, Cueto held the Braves in check for the most part following the first inning.

The Reds offense couldn’t do anything against Julio Teheran, mustering just three hits, and were held scoreless in six innings. The Reds had to settle for a split in the four game series in Atlanta to start the road trip. The Reds failed to get above .500 for the first time since April 15th, and are now 12-13 on the season.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (12-13) 0 4 1
 Atlanta Braves (12-13) 5 9 0
W: Teheran (3-1) L: Cueto (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Reds Braves WPA

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Johnny Cueto allowing a 2-run home run to Kelly Johnson in the first inning. That gave the Braves a 3-0 lead, and decreased the Reds chances of winning by 14.8% (from 32.1% to 17.4%)

Other important plays (+/- indicates how much each play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):

  • -11.3%: 1st inning – Cueto allowed an RBI double to Freeman with 1 out. Braves lead 1-0.
  • -5.4%: 3rd inning – Cueto allowed a solo home run to Gomes. Braves lead 4-0.
  • -4.7%: 1st inning – Votto grounded in an inning ending double play. 0-0.

Players of the Game

Julio Teheran: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 2.64 FIP, 0.19 WPA

Positives

Joey Votto reached base twice (a walk and a hit).

Brandon Phillips walked twice today! It was his third and fourth walks of the season.

J.J. Hoover and Burke Badenhop each pitched a perfect inning of relief.

Negatives

Johnny Cueto had a rare bad afternoon. Cueto allowed three runs in the first inning, and just really could never recover. The Braves (yes, the Braves) for whatever reason just had his number. They were drilling balls all afternoon off Johnny. Cueto entered the day with a .211 BABIP, so he was due for a little bit of regression there. I just certainly didn’t expect Cueto get hit as hard as he did. His line on the afternoon: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR.

Julio Teheran continued his domination over the Reds. Last season, Teheran didn’t allow a run in 14.0 innings against the Reds.

Zack Cozart left the game in the 4th inning with a finger injury on his right hand. It was hit attempting to field a ground ball. It looked like Cozart’s right index finger was bleeding. The good news is that the Reds announced that the X-rays on Cozart were negative.

cozart injury

Not so random thoughts………..

Bryan Price batted Skip Schumaker (career .704 OPS) and Zack Cozart (career .658 OPS) first and second today. So that was fun.

Good TV and radio broadcasters are really hard to come by. I got the “honor” of watching the Braves broadcast this series (Chip Caray, Joe Simpson), and boy were they rough to listen to. If they weren’t beating into the ground RISP stats, going on and on about player leadership, or singing the hallelujah chorus over a successful bunt, Chip Caray was making your ears bleed with his painful style of broadcasting. It was really hard not to hit mute. That is why boys and girls you should really treasure the great MLB broadcasters like Vin Scully, Dick Enberg, and Jon Miller.

An interesting thought: The Reds non-tendered Chris Heisey this off season to save around $2 million this year. The Dodgers picked him up, and because they have a crowded outfield, he is sitting in AAA. So how is Heisey doing? Well, he has a .969 OPS and 7 HR in just 17 games. It is hard to believe that Heisey wouldn’t be a better 4th OF option than Boesch or Schumaker right now. Oh, and if you think $2 million is all that much money to the Reds, they are paying Kevin Gregg $1.5 million this year.

Johnny Cueto is 2-3, while Jason Marquis is 3-1. If there was ever an example of why wins and loss are a really, really bad way to evaluate a pitcher, here is one.

Around the NL Central

Cardinals are trying to complete a sweep over the Pirates, and are up 1-0 in the 7th.

Cubs and Brewers are tied at 3 in the 7th.

Up Next:

The Reds have their first scheduled day off since April 16th tomorrow. Then they will travel to Pittsburgh to begin a three game series with the Pirates on Tuesday evening at the lovely PNC Park.

Reds at Pirates

Tuesday, 7:05 PM

FSN-Ohio

Michael Lorenzen (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs Jeff Locke (2-1, 4.76 ERA)

All statistics are used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats and Info, and Baseball-Reference (including Baseball-Reference Play Index). 

71 Responses

  1. Red April

    Keeping Heisey was an obvious choice.

    • Jay King

      Honestly, I didn’t understand getting rid of him.. He was a nice bench player overall. And like posted above 2 million was too much… oh we went and spent most of that on Gregg…. Great Move!!! Not!!!

    • D Ray White

      Votto obviously did not agree, and was on the verge of getting tossed. That was about as vocal as you ever see Joey. Dunno who was umping, but they were way off. Not Angel Hernandez bad, but bad enough. Having Skip Schumacher and Brennan Boesch on the roster and not Heisey is stupefying. Sure, Heisey wasn’t great, or bonafide starter material, but he’s light years ahead of those two cast offs.

      • Tom Diesman

        Really don’t understand the dislike for Boesch. Heisey career 1455 PA .247/.299/.421/.720 94 OPS+, Boesch career 1637 PA .255/.309/.410/.719 94 OPS+.

      • Carl Sayre

        Heisey’s hitting or the lack there of was terrible especially last year. He could however play plus defense and none of the 3 starters in the OF so far is matching Heisey numbers from last year. That being said i didn’t see todays game just the box score but the other 3 games in Atlanta Bruce and Hamilton were showing signs. The outs they were making were still outs but not scratching my head wondering what they are thinking outs.

    • Aaron Bradley

      This would be like if NBA players had to shoot at a hoop that moved around randomly during the contest. The sport is rendered meaningless when umpires are erratic as this.

      • spro

        How does Votto not get the respect to get those close calls? 9th year in the league, leader in OBP for what, 5 times running. How can you call that as an ump?

    • jdx19

      Nice graph! The worse thing about the 5th pitch Votto was rung up on is that it was a breaking ball that started a good 8-10 inches further outside than is even shown on the graph. Literally one of the worst strike calls I’ve seen.

  2. Vanessa Galagnara

    Stop complaining about balls and strikes. How many strikes does he get called balls just because he is Joey V? Until the balls and strikes are called by a computer this is just something we have to accept as part of the game.

    • Aaron Bradley

      Cardinals seem to have a different strike zone and their fans know it and have admitted it to me. The sport is practically fixed and the Cardinals represent old money. That’s why I don’t get worked up anymore, it’s not a whole lot better than WWF.

      • Vanessa Galagnara

        That just sounds like an excuse. The Cardinals are clearly a better team. They dont need biased umpires to give them leverage. Better players, better manager, better gm, better owner. That is why the Cardinals win year in and year out.

      • Aaron Bradley

        Actually the Reds were better than the Cardinals TWICE in the past 5 years based on regular season records. But pivotal games time and again when you audit the strikezone you will find the Cardinals get the benefit of generous strikezones while Reds pitchers are squeezed. I’m not a noob I’ve been paying attention a LONG time. When you consistently play a game rigged in your favor you will develop a psychological edge over your opposition.

    • Aaron Bradley

      Why AREN’T computers calling balls and strikes? Why did umpires threaten to strike when they introduced the digital strikezone charting several years ago?

      • Vanessa Galagnara

        They really should be! In the very least every umpire should be reviewed based upon called pitches versus a computer call. If you do not grade 90% or higher you should be sent down to the minors to learn the job.

      • greenmtred

        Perhaps one of you can answer my question: “Foxtrac” seems to show only where a given pitch was caught by the catcher, and given that this might not correspond with where the pitch was crossing (or not crossing) the plate, it doesn’t seem definitive. Is there some existing computerized system that can read pitches in all of their dimensions?

    • jdx19

      Stop making stupid posts.

      This is an exceptional case. The one called on Votto for strike 3 was the worst strike call I’ve seen in 20+ years of watching baseball.

      • spro

        I dunno, Eric Gregg in the 97 playoffs with Livan Hernandez was an all-timer. Oh, I guess that was almost 20 years ago…man the years fly by.

      • Aaron Bradley

        I’ve been documenting them… they happen far too often and the technology can easily fix the problem. At the very least as suggested above why not audit these guys? Why can’t an umpire where an Apple Watch to see the graph in case his eyes got crossed on the pitch? Why do they get treated like infallible royalty? If you enjoy watching a sport with so much human error in the officiating then all the power to you, enjoy yourself. I tired of it long ago and I can only watch a handful of games per season before I lose interest. Sorry if my personal opinion from observation offends you.

      • charlottencredsfan

        +1 and Votto’s AB didn’t cost us the game. Can’t get too worked up about it either.

      • Carl Sayre

        I did not see much of todays game to make a truly informed judgement, what i did see was consistent but about the size of a quarter. My wife said that the zone bounced around from the half way point on. When Votto squawks about a called strike chances are it was a terrible call. The graph looked to me like if the Reds had a manager he would have taken an early shower. I am a firm believer that ball players play harder for a manager that stands up for them. It may just be that i am unhappy with the job Price is doing and looking for a reason to gripe.

    • Aaron Bradley

      OK I have decided to take a productive approach. I have contacted Apple Watch and suggested they work a partnership with major league baseball. I think umpires having access to a live pitch location could assist them in doing a better job. I don’t understand why the owners and commissioner haven’t forced this issue by now, at the very least more public auditing for the sake of transparency and to promote more trust in the game. It’s a no-brainer and certainly the umpire union can’t hold that much power.

    • tct

      I don’t think anyone is saying it cost the Reds the game. And I don’t really buy the Cardinals getting all the calls either. But this is a much bigger issue than just one at bat. The strike zone has gotten larger every year since 2010 according to the pitch fx system, and, surprise, surprise, offense has cratered to its lowest level since the late seventies, early eighties. The lefty strike, where the zone is shifted off of the outside of the plate, is particularly egregious, and so is the low strike below the knees that is being called more and more.

      The game is out of balance right now, and the strike zone is the biggest reason, in my opinion. I like to see good pitching, but throwing balls inches off the plate and getting them called strikes is not good pitching in my book.

      • Aaron Bradley

        It’s a win for everybody except Scott Boras’ pitching clients if they clean it up. I remember Dunner used to get brutalized on the low strikes to the point where we all wanted him to wear the stockings to show the knee line.

      • Vanessa Galagnara

        this I can agree on. it is a growing issue, it is silly to point out one at bat versus Joey Votto that is my point. Write an entire article on why umpires can’t call an exact by the book strike zone. Both sides suffered from a poorly officiated game there was no bias to slight the Reds or specifically Joey Votto. Perhaps there was a quick strike call because someone had to use the rest room and was needing to get to that dug out.

    • jessecuster44

      No. Baseball fans shouldn’t have to accept terrible calls like that. Those two calls on Votto were pretty far away from borderline, and smack of incompetence or perhaps influence.

      The strike zone has gotten progressively worse in the past few years. Maybe Manfred will do something to clean it up.

    • Tom Diesman

      They would most likely play Negron every day, but would be better off calling up Ivan DeJesus (.361/.411/.482/.893) from Louisville instead. They’d probably call Suarez up first though and he’s not hitting at AAA .200/.273/.363/.635.

  3. B-town Fan

    Nick, Chris Heisey was not non tendered, he was traded to the Dodgers for Matt Magill. The stats he’s got 969 OPS and 7 HR are at AAA and he barely hit above 100 in spring training. I like Chris Heisey and I don’t think he ever got a fair shot to be an everyday player, but at this point I don’t think he would be an upgrade over Brennan Boesch.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Neither Boesch or Heisey are the answer. Call up YRod and let’s see what he has.

      • redmountain

        Because YRod can’t hit a bull in the butt with a bass fiddle.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Well, he is young and dirt cheap, so there’s that.

  4. sultanofswaff

    Today was a Milton game if there ever was one. You just can’t have days like today and expect to hang around the top of the division—-got your ace pitching, going for 3 out of 4 on the road, and instead you sleepwalk thru the game and settle for the split.

    Very frustrating.

    • charlottencredsfan

      If you are a good team, you certainly can…………

  5. redsfan06

    Can’t have too many more outings like this. Johnny has to keep his trade value up.

  6. Dutch

    Checked the game scores for this year. Disturbingly, the Reds seem to sleep walk thru every “get out of town” on the road. Not a good habit.

    • Vicferrari

      Have the Reds won a day game since the first series?

    • RedAlert

      Price ran out his DUSTY SUNDAY SPECIAL lineup – count on it on every get away game – ain’t sold on Price as the long term answer at all – looks like a mistake hiring him in the first place – great pitching coach but not manager material

      • Jay King

        Yeah I am really starting to doubt on Price…. Some of his choices are from lack of options but seriously…. Some have been major bone head moves… How are we ever going to get a sweep if we are batting Schumaker first and Cozart I am ok with at 2nd for now since he has a pretty hot bat. Though we will have to see what’s going to happen with this hand injury now.

      • CP

        Cuz playing the LF with a 46 wRC+, and the CF with a wRC+ of 64 is soooooooooo much better.

        FWIW, Price has actually been pretty good with his bench rotation, especially considering the travesty that bench is.

      • greenmtred

        I had a bad feeling when I saw the lineup, of course, but when would you rather that Price rested people? With Johnny pitching there’s a reasonable chance that the Reds won’t have to score a lot to win. People need days off, and bench guys need a chance to play or they won’t have a prayer when they have to fill in for somebody who’s injured.

      • RedAlert

        The problem is that he does this on get away days almost ALLL THE TIME –

  7. CP

    “Bryan Price batted Skip Schumaker (career .704 OPS) and Zack Cozart (career .658 OPS) first and second today. So that was fun.”

    So Skip has a career OPS that 50+ points higher than the Reds everyday leadoff hitter? Hmmm…

  8. Paul

    Even Cueto is going to have a bad game now and then. He picked a perfect game to do it since the offense rolled over and made Teheran look like J.R. Richard again.

    Great point about broadcasters, Nick. I didn’t truly appreciate how good we’ve had it all these years with Marty until I sampled some other broadcast teams years ago.

    • Aaron Bradley

      Growing up in Chicago I will always have love in my heart for Harry Caray… I truly do not know what happened to his son Skip, but he is anti-Harry in every possible way.

      • jessecuster44

        Skip Caray’s dead. He passed in 2008.

      • Jay King

        Loved listening to Harry Caray too… as a kid… though he would always talk about the most random stuff not related to baseball. How bout some birthdays… and the list went on and on…. Though I don’t blame him he was probably trying to distract away from the cubs stinking it up in those days.

      • Tom Reed

        For me, Harry Caray was the voice of the Cardinals. Broadcasting for the Cubs he seemed out of place in my mind.

  9. sezwhom

    I liked Heisey but: he is what we thought he is.

    Classic “Skip” Caray as a fire broke out under the stands: “that guy didn’t know they served hot crossed buns at the park today”.

  10. Mutaman

    Of all the things that we can complain about with this organization, finally letting Chis Heisey go is not high on the list.

    • Tom Reed

      With what the Reds have in left field now, Heisey is higher on my list.

  11. ProspectCincy

    Chappy w/ a full week off. You earned it kid …

    • kmartin

      Unfortunately, I think he warmed up on Thursday night and then twice on Saturday night (first, before Cozart had the two-run homer and then when things got a bit dicey with Gregg). All three times I believe he was throwing pretty hard. So thanks to the closer rules we “used” his arm three times to no avail.

      • Jay King

        Don’t remember what day it was but the Reds went into extras and Hoover came in after Chapman and gave up a walk right away in the 10th inning I think it was. Immediately I thought why is Chapman not pitching a 2nd inning here. I think the Reds lost that game in extras.

  12. Earl Nash

    It might have been more prudent to just gone with Heisey/Boetsch as a platoon and save the cash on signing a better vet reliever.

  13. charlottencredsfan

    Given the current talent on this club, I’m well satisfied with the record. I have asked the faithful several times, how is the Reds record as good as it is? After looking at following information I deduce that (1) I don’t think the Reds have won, or lost, many games due to our old friend “luck”. If you see it differently, point it out, (2) the Reds have played two of the weaker sisters and one really good team (Cards).

    With a rotation of Cueto, Leake, AD, Lorenzen, and Marquis, combined with a horrid bullpen how do we stay above or .500?

    Can this offense make up the difference? These are based of minimum of 80 PA’s and the player’s rank at his position wRC+:
    Hamilton – CF: 64, ranked 21 of 24
    Cozart – SS: 141, tied for second out of 26
    Votto – 1B: 185, 4 of 30
    Frazier – 3B: 126, 8 of 22
    Bruce – RF: 97, 17 of 23
    BP – 2B: 84, 16 of 21
    Byrd – LF: 44, 19 of 21

    If the hitting doesn’t greatly improve, something is going to have to give.

  14. Tom Reed

    What a difference a year makes. Last year the Brewers were running away with the NL Central, and today their manager is fired after the worst start in MLB. Unless the Cardinals collapse, the Reds have to make a run for second place and a playoff berth. With this team that’s asking a lot, but time will tell.

  15. BJ Rassam

    Well, Cueto has had a very good season so far, and this was his worst performance yet. Regardless, Cueto is a huge part of the rotation and I expect this performance to be an anomaly.

  16. chrislosolivos

    Regarding wins being a bad way to evaluate pitchers: who were the top three winners in the NL last season? Kershaw, Cueto, and Bumgarner. Who were the top three vote getters in the Cy Young voting? That’s right. And who were the three best pitchers by anybody’s judgment? Right again.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Well, there’s certainly no arguing with a sample size of three pitchers from one year.

      By the way, Madison Bumgarner had an awesome postseason, but he wasn’t even in the top 20 regular season pitchers in ERA or top 15 in FIP. You left out Adam Wainwright, who had 20 wins.

      Question: in 2013, who was a better pitcher, Clayton Kershaw or Jorge de la Rosa? By wins, it has to be de la Rosa, who tied Kershaw with 16 wins but pitched 60 fewer innings. Who was better, Lance Lynn (15 wins, 3.97 ERA) or Cliff Lee (14 wins, 2.87 ERA)?

      • GeorgeFoster

        The summary for this particular outing by Cueto doesn’t seem like an opportune place to talk about the deficiencies of the Win / Loss statistic. Cueto pitched poorly and deservedly got the loss. No, it’s not a great statistic, but for starting pitchers it gets the story directionally right fairly often.

      • Nick Kirby

        The point is that Cueto has been 1000x better than Marquis, and Marquis has a 3-1 record, while Cueto is 1-2.