The Reds got off to a quick start in St. Louis. Jay Bruce hit a solo home run in the top of the first to get the Reds on the board. The Cardinals would come back and tie the game in the third. It would stay that way for quite a while.

Keyvius Sampson came into tonight having really struggled in his previous six starts, but tonight he was sharp. Sampson pitched 5.1 innings allowing just one run. Sampson left the sixth inning in a jam, but Tony Cingrani did a nice job getting out of it.

The Cardinals were able to push across a run off Sam LeCure in the seventh inning, and then another run in the eighth inning off Pedro Villereal. The Cardinals would hold on for a 3-1 win.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (63-87) 1 11 0
St. Louis Cardinals (95-56) 3 7 0
W: Lackey (13-9) L: Sampson (2-6) S: Cishek (4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Reds Cards WPA

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Ivan De Jesus Jr. grounding out with the bases loaded to end the 8th inning (Reds trailed 2-1)That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 17.4% (from 29.6% to 12.2%).

Player of the Game

John Lackey, Cardinals: 7.0 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K

Positives

Joey Votto waited until his very last PA to extend his on-base streak to 39 games. Votto walked in his final PA of the night. Votto now has the 6th longest on-base streak in Reds history, and is just 2 games shy of his personal best (41, 2010). The Reds record is 48 by Pete Rose in 1978.

Keyvius Sampson pitched pretty well tonight. Sampson was coming off six consecutive lackluster starts, so tonight was very refreshing for him. Sampson only struck out 1, while walking 3, but he only allowed 4 hits in 5.1 innings. Final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 HR, 3 BB, 1 K, 4.46 FIP.

Jay Bruce hit his 25th home run of the season in the first inning. Bruce has had a disappointing season for a second straight year, but the power is certainly still there.

Adam Duvall had a three hit night for the good guys. Through his first 42 PA with the Reds, Duvall has a .871 OPS. He should keep playing every day for the rest of the season.

Frazier

Todd Frazier made an amazing catch, falling over the railing. It got kind of weird when Keyvius Sampson tried to help Frazier up though.

Negatives

The Reds got a lot of hits (11), but not a lot of runs (1). That stinks.

Not so random thoughts…………………

It’s seriously time for a robot calling balls/strikes in the MLB. The home plate ump tonight was horrendous. He really put Joey Votto’s on-base streak at risk in the third inning, when he called ball 4, strike 3.

Up Next:

Reds at Cardinals
Wednesday, 8:15 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Brandon Finnegan (17 G, 2.53 ERA, 4.55 FIP) vs Lance Lynn (28 GS, 3.28 ERA, 3.56 FIP)

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 41 Comments

  1. Another game, another bullpen loss…not sure what would be more convenient for next year: a new bullpen, a six-man rotation, a new manager or all of it.

  2. Bruce hits solo homer in first inning, then grounds into a double play with two men on base. Cardinals are not hitting much, but they get runners over and then in….with sacrifice flys or hits. Reds get alot of hits, but can’t get them in. Always a problem with them. Also…it doesn’t matter if the young pitchers are solid starters next year and after that….Bailey, Igelesis, Finnegan, Lamb, Stephenson, ect…..they need to get the bullpen fixed. LeCure is not as good as he once was, and has went downhill. Diaz, Badenhop, Conterasas, Villareall, ect…..are not exactly reliable. Reds better think of rebuilding there bullpen.

    • Let’s not hold up the Cardinals as the gold standard when it comes to hitting with runners in scoring position…….or any NL Central team. Yes, the Reds are last in baseball, but the Cardinals are 22nd, and the Cubs and Pirates are 27th and 28th.

  3. Loser bullpen!

    • Agreed but the offense hasn’t exactly been a house on fire either.

      Former players who were on really good teams talk a lot about learning the skill of how to win games like this as being a separator of teams. The Cards clearly get it. Add it to the list of things the Reds need to work on.

  4. Yes to all 3 above comments: the bullpen is terrible. It’s usually given a low priority, as something that will fix itself, but it’s been miserable for 2 years now, and you just can’t win games without a decent bullpen.

    • I don’t know if there is a single position that has been given a higher priority by the Reds front office. Outside of Chapman, every decision they’ve made has blown up in their face.

  5. I’m almost certain I heard Villareal’s name mentioned last night as among those on the shelf with a tired shoulder but then there he is pitching in the 8th tonight with the game still on the line….

    One of C,Trent’s recent background stories featured Price talking about the need for pitchers in the NL to be well rounded how it helped a team to have those kinds of pitchers. I swear, I think the goal of this org must be to have a 25 man roster comprised of 13 or 14 pitchers with just a back up catcher, maybe 1 CF capable backup OF, and one backup middle IF who can also cover the corner OF/ IF spots.

    More seriously, one of the prime reasons I think Price needs to go is that he manages like a pitching coach put in charge of the team and hasn’t developed or demonstrated a more global manager’s viewpoint. His comments to C.Trent underscore this.

    • Didn’t make it clear that by pitcher’s being well rounded, he meant capable of being pinch runners and pinch hitters in “certain situations” and talked about how having Leake and Lorenzen made it possible for them to play for a while with a 4 man bench.

      • Here’s from a relevant article at mlb.com:
        Despite having September callups, the bench is still down to only five players because of injuries to Billy Hamilton, Ryan LaMarre and Kristopher Negron. “A 22-man bullpen but a five-man bench,” joked Price.
        If the Reds need an extra pinch-runner or pinch-hitter, pitcher Josh Smith could be utilized. “Just because he’s athletic,” Price said. “He’s used to hitting and being on base. He runs well.”

        I’m not putting Price down for his above statement, but it does seem to illustrate your point.

        • I don’t see how the above can be an indictment of Price as a manager. He has to use what the front office has given him and/or injuries have left him with. There are lots of reasons to question his managing ability but I am not sure what else he can say or do in this situation.

        • So many folks seem to want to make Price a victim of circumstance without ever considering that as manager while he may not have the final say, he certainly has significant input into personnel decisions, at least as they pertain to the currently active roster.

          Up until Labor Day or so, I tried to make it a point to catch Price’s pregame radio comments before nearly every game. It was clear over time he will virtually always to default to having what is probably an extra arm available even if/ when that means playing short on the position player bench. It is part of his professional DNA.

          Is it really just coincidence that Jocketty (and Price) are regularly making statements about needing to get another arm in here and never saying we need to get another bat even when they are playing for days on end with a 4 man bench? As I recall at one point they were already at 13 pitchers and a 4 man bench on a doubleheader day and called up a pitcher to be the “26th man” and swapped out a reliever for another reliever (and this was before Cueto and Leake were gone or at least both of them).

          If Price would have said on this and other occasions that he absolutely had to have another bench player, they would have gotten him one. Then we could assess whether it was the front office’s fault the guy they got for him was worthy, as certainly many of the arms they have brought up have been a waste of time anyway.

        • Undermining your general manager isn’t a good idea when you are the most likely fall guy.

  6. Nick points out the Fangraphs’ biggest play of the game: “the most important play of the game was Ivan De Jesus Jr. grounding out with the bases loaded to end the 8th inning (Reds trailed 2-1). That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 17.4% (from 29.6% to 12.2%).”

    Let’s look at how that matchup, Siegrist vs. a pinch hitting DeJesus came about. Votto draws a walk and BP doubles to put the tying run on 3rd and go-ahead run on 2nd.
    Frazier due up. If Suarez is bating 6th in the order, instead of 7th (behind Pena in the original order), the Cardinals might not have intentionally walked Frazier. But with now the pitcher’s spot up next, of course they do.

    So instead of either Frazier or Suarez having a chance to win the game, instead it’s DeJesus. Plus he’s pinch hitting, and as a pinch hitter he’s weaker than his usual.

    QUESTION: WHY DOES PRICE LIKE TO BAT SUAREZ 7TH ? It’s hurt the Reds a number of times.

    • To me the only explanation is that Price has already decided that if he is back as Mgr next year, he will bat Suarez 7th.

    • EXACTLY. Let’s take it a step further. In the 7th inning, Price orders Suarez to sacrifice bunt in order to bring up Duvall, who expectedly strikes out. He deliberately took the bat out of the hands of one of the few hitters in the lineup who can put the bat on the ball consistently. *facepalm*

  7. Should have been among the positives that Votto managed to keep from melting down after he was called out on strikes with neither of the two called strikes during the AB even in the same zip code as the strike zone.

    • Votto rarely melts down on a strike call. He stated his policy after the “time out” controversy. Which is, when he feels the ump has blown a call, he lets him know without showing him up, and that’s the end of it, no “carry over”. Of course he doesn’t always manage to abide by his own policy, but I think he does pretty well.

      It’s great but it also can be frustrating to have a better eye than the umps – haunted Ted Williams his whole career.

      • What gets me is why Votto is taking border line pitches in the first place ?

        Seems too me if I was hitting as well as Votto, in the second half, and my team can’t score runs, and my team is down 25 games in the standings, and down two runs in the game, nothing consistent behind me in the line-up, I would NOT be taking border line pitches looking to walk.

        • So you’re suggesting the best way he can help the team is to swing at pitches he doesn’t believe he can hit?

        • Or that you think those two pitches were “borderline”? Don’t quit your day job, Scot.

        • Please Read the most recent Fangraphs Post about why Votto will take these borderline pitches: Votto: ““I’m not going to swing at pitches before two strikes that I feel I could fail on. I’m perfectly happy taking pitches like that. No, you can’t cover all quadrants of the zone. You certainly can’t. You have two strikes, you have to match up your best skills with the pitchers’ likeliest pitches within those two strikes. I don’t see a lot of pitchers that throw a lot of high fastballs to start off at-bats. If, all of a sudden, that becomes a trend, I’ll become a high ball hitter.”

          I’ve always agreed with this statement and this approach. Just because a ball is in the strike zone does not simply mean “swing at this pitch because its going to be called a strike.”

        • Scot, read this:
          http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/joey-votto-on-aging/

          Joey Votto has forgotten more about hitting than we’ll ever know.

        • If they were actually borderline pitches, I might agree, but those pitches last night were not even close to borderline calls. Minor umpire adjustments to the strike zone are understandable, but at a certain point those umpire adjustments become absurd. When this happens, the umpire is just making up his own strike zone and the rules be darned.

          Yes, when the umpires simply avoid the rules and make up their own strike zone, it is time for technology based strike zone calls.

        • Oh good grief. Maybe it’s because he knows that he wouldn’t hit those borderline pitches very well.

        • The old adage is “it’s too close to take with two strikes!” Maybe there is a little bit of truth in him expanding just a hair or two with two strikes. That said, the called strike 3 last night was a good 3-4″ of the plate. Getting rung up on pitches like that is more than a little forgivable. It was a crap call.

  8. Another positive was Frazier’s play from behind third base on a grounder that saved a run.

    Sam LeCure actually threw an 81mph fastball. He’s on a major league roster. Think about that.

    Keyvius Sampson once again failed to execute a sacrifice bunt. In the words of former Bull’s coach Tom Thibideau—-DO YOUR JOB!

    • And the previous AB Sampson grounded into a DP on the first pitch (1 out; bases loaded situation 2nd inning). I believe they said as he came to the plate that he had 9K’s in 12 ABs.

      Sometimes you can’t win for losing I guess. However that might have been a situation where you tell a guy with his track history to just take 3 for the team and then hope your lead off man can get a hit behind him.

  9. If the roster is packed with extra arms at the expense of position players, why is the bullpen so miserable? Priority #1 for 2016 = outfield. Priority #1a for 2016 = bullpen. With a dozen prospects to fill three spots in the rotation (I’m expecting that Bailey and Disco will cover two), surely there’s a decent bullpen in there somewhere.

    • Because there is no guarantee of quality in numbers 🙂

      And that could get to the point where it is out of BPrice’s control. He might want to cut bait on somebody like Matheus, Badenhop, LeCure (or even Hoover) but the front office might not so they end up with an “extra” arm when Priced says he needs a fresh arm because he won’t use some of them.

      The young arms that don’t make the MLB rotation are probably going to be the AAA rotation ahead of the MLB bullpen, something I don’t necessarily agree with but see happening. What ever happened to the concept of using a kid in the MLB bullpen and growing him into a starter from there? Other teams seem to do it but not the Reds.

      • One, there are very few teams doing that, and none consistently. You’ll occasionally see a guy do it during a playoff run (David Price) or where the guy is simply blocked by established starters and there is a need (Carlos Martinez). But it simply isn’t something you see done with good prospects anymore.

        Two, and I suspect most importantly, it’s economics. Teams don’t want to waste a prospect’s service time.

  10. RIP Yogi Berra. It’s over.

  11. Lots of things need fixed on our team for next year.Bullpen,bench,hitting with RISP,manager,GM etc etc.Best guess is we tweek a little and roll the dice again with basically the same group.Walt won’t do anything more then that because he is in charge and he will convince ownership that we can compete.Eleven hits and one run,is that actually possible?

  12. Reds have scored two or fewer runs 47 times this season. Maybe it would be a good idea to fix the offense. Wondering where this number falls compared to other teams.

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About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

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Titanic Struggle Recap

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