The Reds (21-27) are finally going streaking the right way again, and somehow, they’re doing it in a way tailor-made for baseball announcers. Hitting with RISP, not allowing runs from the bullpen (save Chapman of course), and letting the weaker bats (Cozart/Hamilton) be clutch. I’m not complaining, a win’s a win no matter how it happens. But maybe these past two games go to show how short winning streaks aren’t quantifiable and a little bit of magic goes a long way.

The rain is supposed to hold off today, but it will be a muggy one at the ballpark as Michael Lorenzen takes the mound.

STARTING PITCHERS
All stats are 2015 actuals:

PITCHER ERA  FIP HR/9 BB% K%
Tanner Roark* 2.49 4.57 1.07 5.8% 9.7%
Michael Lorenzen 3.12 6.15 1.73 11.8% 12.7%

*Stats comprised of 13 bullpen appearances and 1 start totaling 25.1 innings

The final Reds young gun (currently on the MLB roster) finishes off this series against the Nationals. Michael Lorenzen will be making his fifth career start, coming off an impressive 7.0 inning, one-run performance. Where there is cause for concern, though, is that Lorenzen has walked (13) nearly as many batters as he has struck out (14). While it hasn’t hurt him yet, the young righty will likely have to get craftier or rely less on his fastball as teams start to figure him out a bit more.

For the Nationals, Tanner Roark will make his second start of 2015 after his excellent 2014 season. Last year, Roark posted a 2.85 ERA and 3.2 WAR in 198.2 innings for the Nationals. Due to the Nats stacked rotation, Roark was moved to the pen, but with the rash of injuries (Fister, Strasburg), Roark could be in the rotation to stay now. In his first start of this season, Roark went 5.0 innings of one-run baseball, striking out three.

STARTING LINEUPS
Zack Cozart moves up in the Reds‘ lineup as Marlon “Vesting Option” Byrd gets the day off:

1. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
2. Joey Votto (L) 1B
3. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
4. Jay Bruce (L) RF
5. Zack Cozart (R) SS
6. Skip Schumaker (L) LF
7. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
8. Michael Lorenzen (R) P
9. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
WESLEY

Bryce Harper is back in the Nationals’ lineup this afternoon and Michael Taylor gets another start in LF:

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Ian Desmond (R) SS
3. Yunel Escobar (R) 3B
4. Bryce Harper (L) RF
5. Ryan Zimmerman (R) 1B
6. Wilson Ramos (R) C
7. Danny Espinosa (S) 2B
8. Michael Taylor (R) LF
9. Tanner Roark (R) P
WESLEY

GETAWAY DAYS
When I played baseball, if we lost a road game, the team was expected to be silent the entire bus ride back to school. It was meant for us to reflect on what we did wrong, why we lost the game, and what we could do better. While I’m sure that happened sometimes, mostly it was just miserable sitting in absolute silence.

Maybe Bryan Price should institute a similar policy because the Reds have still not won a game on a getaway day (0-12). In fact, the Reds have only won the last game of a series twice this season, once against the Pirates and once against the Braves.

JOHNNY UPDATE


HEARRRTWARMING
After the Pirates win last night, TV cameras caught Andrew McCutchen giving his batting gloves to two young kids in the front row. The instant tears and just overwhelming joy in the kids’ eyes is why this sport is played. Even though he plays on the other side of things, Cutch has always been a stand-up guy and one of the players I most admire in the sport.
[mlbvideo id=”138593383″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

DOWN ON THE FARM
But not the metaphorical farm you might be thinking of, more of a literal farm. Ross Ohlendorf and Wade Miley had a cow-milking contest before the Rangers/Red Sox game last night. Ohlendorf won(?).

DOWN BY THE RIVER
Stephen Vogt is just the best. There’s really nothing else to say about this.
[mlbvideo id=”136174483″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
The good guys have won a couple and all is right in Reds’ land again. Well, not really, but people are happy for the time being. Baseball is all about having fun, and at the end of the day, it is just a game (or a business if you have to be cynical). Sometimes you just have to sit back and appreciate its weird quirks and the weird quirks that play it.

Go REDS

181 Responses

  1. George Mirones

    The Reds players, wounded, short staffed, and wallowing in 4th place, stood tall on Friday and Saturday. Joey V’s “conversation” with Harper Friday night seem to set a tone. Frazier’s “discussion” on Saturday added some punctuation. Let’s hope that our 3rd rookie starter in this series ends the message with a strong “period” at the end of the sentence.

  2. Misconcepcion

    Your mention of Ross Ohlendorf in the “Down on the Farm” nugget triggered this PSA. My friends, if you haven’t seen Ohlendorf pitch, add that post haste to your bucket list! I happened to see him for the first time in the game following the Rangers’ rustic pre-game festivities. As a reliever, he’s often in the stretch, which is nothing of particular note. But when he winds up, he REALLY WINDS UP. It’s a delightful, pointless, arm-swinging old-timey affair that’s equal parts Joe E. Brown and Bugs Bunny.

  3. Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

    Marlon Byrd not in the lineup = good. When I’m happy to see Skip Schumaker’ name in the lineup then that just tells me everything I need to know about this team. What a terrible terrible bench. Are there any outfielders performing even average in the minors? Bosch needs to be designated for assignment but I don’t think there’s any outfielders to replace him. What a travesty. Seems like the Reds used to have a plethora of 5th OF types in the minors and no there’s nothing. No depth at all.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      There’s a 25 years old guy named Steve Selsky with quite good numbers (311/362/445) in Louisville. He’d maybe an option over Boesh.

      • Tom Diesman

        That would leave the bench tilted with only one LH PH option and with less power than it has now.

    • vegastypo

      I almost hate to bring this up, but whatever happened to Jason Bourgeois? The guy hadn’t done much in the past, but I can just picture Walt thinking, we’ve got Jason for that.

      • Tom Diesman

        I just read somewhere recently that he has started swinging the bat in Arizona, so if all goes well, he’ll probably be doing a rehab assignment in AAA soon.

    • vegastypo

      And the Indians just DFA’d Jerry Sands. Gotta be better than Boesch, even though he’s right-handed.

      • Tom Diesman

        I’d love to get Sands or someone like him and get rid of the unneeded 13th pitcher. But not to replace Boesch who I think is getting a SSS bum rap. Don’t hear anyone wanting to replace Negron’s sub .400 OPS with Falu or DeJesus. Of course Walt would have to be awake long enough to monitor the waiver wire to know that players like Sands, Carp, LaVarney, etec…. do become available to shore up the bench.

  4. jdx19

    I feel like Matt Williams ought to drop Desmond to 5th and move Harper and Zimmerman up a spot. Seeing Harper cast as an old-tyme ‘cleanup hitter’ gives me bad dreams thinking about Votto going on a power surge and being dropped to 4th in the lineup.

  5. ohiojimw

    Missing a chance to BP an additional day of rest in conjunction with the off dat tomorrow.

    I’m not usually a proponent of the Sunday afternoon special line ups; but, I think even if means playing Schu and Negrón at the same time, they should get BP the rest for his toe.

    • ohiojimw

      Even for me that previous keyboarding was terrible. It should have been:
      ************************************************

      Missing a chance to get BP an additional day of rest in conjunction with the off day tomorrow.

      I’m not usually a proponent of the Sunday afternoon special line ups; but, I think even if means playing Schu and Negrón at the same time, they should get BP the rest for his toe.

  6. dradg

    We won two days ago. We won yesterday. That’s two in a row. If we win today, that’s called a winning streak. Go Reds!

    • jdx19

      Should have been like a 10-12 pitch inning.

    • mwvohio

      See that a lot with young guys who can throw hard. They want to strike everyone out so when they get ahead they start trying to make great pitches and then suddenly the guy is trotting down to first.

  7. jdx19

    BP fell down again while swinging. Should not be in the lineup.

    • mwvohio

      Need to give him a couple weeks off instead of this day by day thing.

  8. jdx19

    Well, that went well. Barely glanced Votto. Time to move on.

    • Tom Diesman

      Hope Harper took note of how a classy veteran handles these things.

      • vegastypo

        Harper has probably moved on to being angry at Span for cutting in front of him on the fly ball.

    • mwvohio

      100% answer for hitting Bryce Friday.. though I’m not sure why they waited two days to do it.

      • Tom Diesman

        I’m sure the addition of Gonzalez getting plunked twice yesterday had a lot to do with that.

      • jdx19

        To make it not so obvious, maybe? Or maybe Gio Gonzalez doesn’t care and Tanner Roark does.

  9. VaRedsFan

    I called that HBP yesterday…Joey handled it as predicted

    • jdx19

      As did 95% of the baseball world. 😉

  10. mwvohio

    I have to admit there’s a part of me that wouldn’t mind seeing Lorenzon tag Harper instead of 4 pitch walking him if he’s not going to pitch to him anyway. Something about that kid just rubs me the wrong way when I watch him play the game. Has all the talent in the world but the way he conveys his attitude out on the field leaves much to be desired.

    • jdx19

      So what you mean and what you said seem to be 2 different things.

      His attitude is not “how he plays the game.” Him running into walls and sliding head first and hurting himself is ‘how he plays the game.’

      To be honest, a few years removed from the black-eye on the game given by Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, A-Rod, and company, I root for every young slugger to do well. I don’t my my kids and grandkids to have to endure what we all have.

      • mwvohio

        You read some intentions in there that weren’t present. “When I watch him play” is not the same as “how he plays the game”. Me watching is me observing his attitude from the robust distance that my home and the media provides. The line about talent was meant to imply that I know exactly how great a player he can be. I just don’t like to root for him because he comes across as selfish and brash.

        I could be entirely wrong, I know the limitations that we fans have when judging things on and off the field. The black eye that steroids placed on the game doesn’t bother me in the least. Those players made bad decisions for various reasons and it tainted their legacy. Not the game itself. You can’t taint a game as pure as baseball simply by playing it on the national stage because so much of what we love about the game stems from playing it ourselves as we grow up. At least that is how it was for me. It’s a child’s game grown large and played with a precision and grace and more power than most of us can muster on our best days and that’s why it’s fun to watch the big boys go at it.

        I just find the way Harper plays to be at odds with how I think someone should play given that he’s living a dream right now. Only an opinion and in this particular case a bit of a mean spirited one since I suggest that part of me wouldn’t mind seeing him get hit by a baseball. I can live with that though because I grew up watching and loving Clemens. He was not a nice guy but I loved the way he played. I love the way Votto plays as well even though he and Clemens are at two different extremes of attitude.

      • jdx19

        Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Your points are very well-stated.

        I tend to defend players like Harper because I always feel like they get a raw deal. Harper will get immense media attention for everything he does, so we, as fans, get to see it all. Some guys don’t get that same treatment, even if they might act worse than Haper, we don’t see it.

        During his May hot-streak I’ve watched almost as much Nats as I’ve watched Reds and him acting the way he did the other night is the exception, not the rule, in my experience

      • mwvohio

        Yeah that’s fair. That’s what I meant about the distance we fans have. I don’t follow the Nats (or Harper) because quite frankly their tv crew is horrible. It was horrible two years ago and it hasn’t gotten better this year, probably my least favorite of all teams. So I only see Harper when he plays the Reds or something happens in the media to bring him to my attention. So for me it’s hard to like him because against the Reds he has acted less than stellar.

        I will say though that I do love mlb.tv for the ability to go back and watch something even weeks later. I always go and check things out when people point them out to me who follow other teams. I follow certain pitches I like, the occasional other batter (I hate the Giants but I like to watch Posey sometimes, I watched some Puig when he first came up, etc.)

        For what it costs it’s fantastic and I always recommend it to people who are really into baseball. Even when your favorite team is having a down year it’s so nice to be able to just take in the fun parts of baseball at your own pace and on your own time.

  11. jdx19

    BP! Niiiiice toss! Nice hustle by Billy to cut that off. Reds picking up Lorenzen in inning #2.

  12. jdx19

    Escobar playing Skip in on the grass? That seems a bit odd.

  13. jdx19

    NINETEEN pitches through 2… Good work, Reds.

      • vegastypo

        It actually has me wondering whether the Reds are ‘saving’ him for in case Cueto can’t make the start Tuesday.

  14. Indy Red Man

    I can’t believe Pete Rose can’t see the value of batting Hamilton 9th? If he gets on then you don’t want the pitcher bunting or taking pitches so he can steal, etc. Boy Lorenzen really looks like a future workhorse!! His delivery is pretty repeatable and he’s obv extremely athletic!!

    • jdx19

      Pete’s as old school as they come. I love the guy, but I’d never want him managing a team.

  15. jdx19

    Weird season for Votto so far in regards to L vs R. He usually kills righties

    Vs L .321/.419/.434
    Vs R .264/.360/.521

    Turns out the increased power vs R has kept the wRC+ about the same (140 vs 139), but we’re used to seeing a 170 wRC+ against righties kind of guy and around 125 vs lefties.

    • jdx19

      Career: 141 wRC+ vs L, 159 vs R. It wasn’t as overstated as I originally thought.

    • mwvohio

      Just a guess but I think the lefties are (or were) pitching him away and Votto has been mashing away pitches this year in general. Righties are more likely to try to get in under his hands with harder pitches. Of course the last few days he’s made the adjustment and started turning on the inside pitches so we’ll see if that keeps up. Votto is just too good a hitter to pitch him a certain way.

    • jdx19

      That oughta help Michael get through 6!

  16. docmike

    Lorenzen is doing better on his pitch efficiency now. 57 pitches through four is doing fine.

  17. seat101

    This gym day stuff is just so cute. I’d really like to hear some commentary about the baseball game.

    • Tom Diesman

      Kelch is calling it just fine, I muted the TV as soon as I saw Brantley and Thom. 🙂

    • Dr. K

      I get what you’re saying, but it doesn’t bother me. I sometimes like the entertainment side of watching a Reds game. I don’t need wall to wall information–I can get that on the news, work, etc. Baseball is a game and supposed to be entertaining to a certain degree. Again, I can easily see why you don’t like it, but I’d hate to see it go away completely.

  18. VaRedsFan

    Ray Knight on Nats TV is right down there with the worst of them.

    • docmike

      He wasn’t much of a manager either.

    • jdx19

      They are still going on with Jim Day? I’ve since switched feeds to the Nats.

    • mwvohio

      You sure? Looks to me like the Nats are just flailing around up there and letting Lorenzen out of the hole he dug for himself with his pitch count.

    • Tom Diesman

      I wish Walt would spend half as much attention to the Waiver wire as the Reds did in assembling the broadcasting staff. 🙂

  19. mwvohio

    There you go Brandon, don’t have to worry about the toe so much if you can just trot your way around back to the bench.

  20. VaRedsFan

    Doesn’t have to run hard on that one ….BP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. vegastypo

    Is that really a ‘beautiful piece of hitting’ when you swing at a pitch on the border of the opposing batter’s box? But hey, liking the outcome

    • Tom Diesman

      Looked like Votto was moving on the pitch, was it a hit a run and Todd was just trying to put wood on it to protect the runner?

      • vegastypo

        It was a full count with 2 outs, so Votto was moving, yes. Just seemed an odd bit of gushing.

      • mtkal

        TF’s always had some wacky looking swings, but the results often make up for it by looking really nice. As for the gushing, just consider the source.

      • Tom Diesman

        Yeah, you’re right on there, I missed the full count 2 out situation on it.

  22. docmike

    Amazing how Lorenzen has thrown almost as many balls as strikes (39 S, 35 B), yet here he is with only 74 pitches through six innings.

    The Nats sure an aggressive bunch.

    • mtkal

      Yeah, I was surprised to see his pitch count under Roark”s after 6 innings to Roark’s 5.

  23. jdx19

    Ray Knight is the absolute worst. I had to switch back.

    • mtkal

      Their discussion of the Votto/Harper exchange after Cingrani hit Harper the other night was like listening to Jr. High girls.
      I always thought the Redskins announcers were the worst, but these guys are right up there. (or down there.)

      • jdx19

        Knight was just talking about Roark’s butt, saying he has amazing leg strength. How can he possibly know what Roark’s leg strength is like?

  24. mwvohio

    Pretty much have to pull him here right? This is the big point in the inning.

  25. mwvohio

    Oi. Sometimes I wonder if this stuff is as obvious as it feels from my seat at home. He should have been out of there two batters ago.

    • vegastypo

      Wity Lorenzen cruising, I wonder whether Price didn’t start somebody warming up soon enough. Unsure when Hoover began to throw.

    • kywhi

      Only Bryan Price would leave him in to walk the bases loaded.

      • ElPasoRed

        Just following the footsteps of his old boss Dusty 😛

  26. charlottencredsfan

    Price showing a lot of confidence in the rookie.

  27. mwvohio

    That is so depressing. Leave him in two batters too long and the game gets tied with a chance to be behind.

  28. Kurt Frost

    Man, bases loaded and one out. If only the Reds had a lights out strikeout pitcher in the bullpen.

  29. vegastypo

    OK, we got a break. Remind me of that next time I whine about never getting any good luck.

  30. vegastypo

    Good lord, does he have a clue how to bunt? I thought that was a priority over the last off-season?

    • Tom Diesman

      Really, how can you execute a drag bunt if you can’t even lay down a sac bunt?

    • docmike

      Not joking, but I saw a better bunt than that laid down yesterday by an 8-year-old at a Little League game.

  31. ProspectCincy

    What would you rather have, Byrd on second base 1 out, or Hamilton?

    Tough talk from everyone above about the bunt. Great fan base.

    • Dr. K

      Yea that horrible bunt (which it was) put the Reds up 3-2

      • VaRedsFan

        Amen to that…be careful what you wish for

    • Kurt Frost

      I was just having this discussion with the wife. We decided the nationals would be better with beefcake Byrd at 2nd and 1 out.

    • Tom Diesman

      Nobody said we didn’t appreciate the dumb luck that worked out in our favor despite Hamiltons failure to execute what he was asked to do.

  32. Dr. K

    For a guy with a bad wheel, Phillips having a pretty good game.

    • jdx19

      Sure is. I was thinking after he fell down again in his 1st AB we’d be seeing another 0-4 or 0-5. Glad I was wrong!

  33. VaRedsFan

    so much “funner” to watch when we get key hits

  34. VaRedsFan

    3-0 swinging…love it!! Todd!!!!!

  35. Dr. K

    If the Reds don’t trade Frazier (and there’s lots of reasons to do just that) he should be named Captain.

  36. msanmoore

    Whoever these guys are in our Reds’ uniforms, I like how they play.

  37. jdx19

    Time for Boesch to show us he deserves a roster spot.

  38. msanmoore

    Oops …. Schu wasn’t supposed to do that and most certainly Bosch wasn’t. I’m loving this series.

  39. msanmoore

    Almost looking like “everybody hits, everybody scores” at this point.

  40. VaRedsFan

    Mets bringing in their closer with 1 out in the 8th

    • msanmoore

      Uh … yeah … there’s a rule about that.

  41. yorktownred

    The only bad thing is that somewhere in Price’s mind a few neurons are thinking, “should I bring in Marquis?”

    • Tom Diesman

      NICE! That’s a good one. 🙂

  42. bruuuuuce

    Grandal is crushing it in May. Bummer.

    • Mack Ashley Potter

      Thom talking like people don’t know hitting with RISP is the most important stat in hitting….lol. There is a reason the cardinals are 1st or 2nd in the Central year after year.

  43. msanmoore

    Tony Tiger striking out the side.

  44. Mack Ashley Potter

    How bout dem Redlegs!
    After the 9 game skid, on the verge of sweeping the Nats starting 3 straight rookies on the bump. I’m loving this kid Lorenzen. Bryan Price will always be the worst manager in MLB history as evidenced again leaving him in to walk Espinosa when he was obviously running out of gas. Cingrani should have came in right at that moment. Not when he did. But even with Price putting us behind the 8 ball day after day, we still have 4 of the last 5 in the win column and should have taken 2/3 from the Rockies. This thing isn’t over. I’m going back up to Cincinnati next weekend for the Padres series. I’m hoping by the time I’m driving home Sunday evening the Reds are winners of something like 9 of 11 and this thing actually gets interesting with Cueto on his way back. You Never Know.

    • jdx19

      I don’t think Lorenzen was out of gas. Looked more like he just couldn’t find the strike zone.

      • Mack Ashley Potter

        Either way, every manager in MLB (besides Price) would have brought in Cingrani in that spot. That situation usually decides the game. Just luckily the Reds actually rallied today.

  45. jdx19

    Thom and Cowboy doubling down saying AVG RISP is the most important stat there is. Poor guys.

  46. VaRedsFan

    Both Parra and Marquis are warming….GULP

      • Mack Ashley Potter

        Hey its the Redlegs. Whoever is coming in will prob give up 3 hits and a walk, they’ll bring in Chapman, he’ll walk 3 and then strike out the side for an exciting 8-7 win???

    • VaRedsFan

      A successful inning here would be that Chapman doesn’t have to warm up

  47. Mack Ashley Potter

    Barring injury, if Jason Marquis starts another game for the Reds this season then Bryan Price needs to be investigated for gambling. Because he would HAVE to have money on the Reds finishing last in the division.

    • Mack Ashley Potter

      He shouldnt even be on the roster for that matter. Maybe Price and Walt are in a conspiracy to make sure the Reds finish last??

  48. jdx19

    Ground-ball Votto is back. 3 more GBs today.

    • msanmoore

      I’ll cut him a little slack after the way he’s played the last two games.

      • jdx19

        I wasn’t complaining. Just observing. 🙂

      • msanmoore

        Yep – and your point is well taken. Something was definitely “off” prior to this series.

  49. Indy Red Man

    3 game sweep and Philly is terrible plus Marquis is finally out of the rotation. Could be a fun June?

    • msanmoore

      May have to buy my MLBtv yet (if it goes on the annual 50% off sale for Fathers’ Day)

  50. Mack Ashley Potter

    Cueto
    Leake
    Disco
    Iglaseis
    Lorenzen

    A full season with Cueto, Leake getting it together, and I would REALLY like that rotation goinjg forward. Just think, we still have Stevenson in AAA with all the promise in the world surrounding him.

  51. Indy Red Man

    One big thing is Lorenzen takes pitching to contact to heart. A lot of these young hard throwers like Homer for instance just couldn’t figure that out for many years? Lorenzen is miles ahead of a lot of these young guys with good arms

    • bruuuuuce

      Third if you’re counting Chapman and Cingrani

  52. msanmoore

    Wrap it up and put a bow on it. Sweep against the ESPN Washington ballclub.

  53. VaRedsFan

    Clean inning…maybe Parra can build on that

  54. George Mirones

    I started the day with this as my 1st comment
    The Reds players, wounded, short staffed, and wallowing in 4th place, stood tall on Friday and Saturday. Joey V’s “conversation” with Harper Friday night seem to set a tone. Frazier’s “discussion” Saturday added some punctuation. Let’s hope that our 3rd rookie starter in this series ends the message with a strong “period” at the end of the sentence.
    Looks like the period is an exclamation mark!! End of Nat’s conversation, end of Nat’s discussion, end of Nat’s whining.
    Great job Reds.

  55. vegastypo

    I thought people might be storming GABP with pitchforks by the time this series was over, not brooms.

  56. I-71_Exile

    Yay! Happy day. Happy weekend. Reds looking like a major league team!

  57. dradg

    Haven’t been this pumped over a series sweep since the sweep of the Dodgers 2 years ago! The upcoming schedule certainly has the potential to right the ship!

  58. Tom Diesman

    I sure hope this was a turn things around series for this club.

  59. Tom Reed

    A great way to end the month of May. Need to keep it going in Philly.