We have finally made it to the end. The Cincinnati Reds (64-97) ended their 13-game losing streak last night, and will look to finish the season with a series win against the postseason bound Pittsburgh Pirates (97-64). The Reds would love to end a miserable 2015 season on a high note.

The Pirates are still playing for home field advantage in the wild card game. The Pirates need either a win or a Cubs loss to play the NL Wild Card game in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.

Starting Pitchers

SmithHapp

Josh Smith has really struggled in six big league starts, and the majority of his struggles come from walking way too many batters. He has walked 21 batters in 28.2 innings. The positive from Smith’s few starts in 2015 is his above average K/9 (8.16).

Smith has made two starts against the Pirates, and they have been a pair of disasters. Smith lasted just 3.0 innings in the first start, and lasted just 2.0 innings in the second start.

J.A. Happ has been a huge trade-deadline addition for the Pirates. Happ came over from the Mariners, and has 2.04 ERA and 2.18 FIP in 10 starts for the Pirates. In Happ’s last start, he pitched six shutout innings against the Cardinals, allowing just 1 hit, 0 walks, and 4 strikeouts.

Happ has a 6.25 ERA in 7 career starts against the Reds. He did however dominate the Reds in his only start against them in 2015 on September 9th: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 10 K.

Starting Lineups

The Reds will send their regulars out for the season finale. This could be Brayan Pena’s final game as a Red. Pena has been a really good guy in his time in Cincy, and great with the fans.

The Pirates will start the game with their normal lineup. I am sure manager Clint Hurdle will keep his starters in with home field advantage for the wild card game on the line.

1. Gregory Polanco (RF)
2. Josh Harrison  (3B)
3. Andrew McCutchen (CF)
4. Neil Walker (2B)
5. Starling Marte (LF)
6. Pedro Alvarez (1B)
7. Francisco Cervelli (C)
8. Jordy Mercer (SS)
9. J.A. Happ (P)
1. Jason Bourgeois (CF)
2. Eugenio Suarez (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Todd Frazier (3B)
6. Jay Bruce (RF)
7. Adam Duvall (LF)
8. Brayan Pena (C)
9. Josh Smith (P)

Votto’s streak comes to an end

Joey Votto’s incredible 48-game on-base streak came to a tragic end last night. His streak ends with him tied with Pete Rose (1978) for the Reds longest consecutive on-base streak in Reds history. Votto’s streak was really the only thing that made watching the Reds this September somewhat worth it.

Reds will pick 2nd in 2016

The Phillies got swept by the Marlins in a double-header yesterday, so that means they “clinched” the number 1 pick in the 2016 draft. The Reds have “clinched” the number 2 pick. Let’s hope this dreadful year leads to a superstar!

The Price is right for 2016

You probably already heard, but Walt Jocketty announced yesterday that Bryan Price will officially be returning as the Reds manager in 2016. It is certainly a controversial move, as many Reds fans are upset (and probably rightfully so). I however offer a different view.

I am certainly not a fan of Bryan Price. I have heavily criticized many of his moves on this site. That being said, I don’t see the value in firing Price. The Reds are not going to be competing with the top 3 in the NL Central in 2016. The Reds will have a ton of young pitchers (literally, a ton). The Reds could value from Price helping develop these young pitchers.

Price has done some good things too. He batted Votto second, he batted Hamilton ninth. That shows that he is a little open minded in his thinking, which is a good thing. In addition to that, you are paying Price to manage the Reds if he actually manages or not. I don’t see why it would be a good idea to waste that money during a lost season.

Duvall making a case for 2016

  

Adam Duvall hit his 5th home run in just 68 PA for the Reds last night. Duvall has a 124 wRC+ and .840 OPS for the Reds. Duvall looks like a guy who should at least be on the Reds bench in 2016.

AL West/AL Wild Card race

All of the games in the MLB start at just about the same time today (3:05 or 3:10). That means while the Reds are playing, there is a crazy race going on for the AL West and the AL Wild Card. Let’s get up to speed:

AL Second Wild Card AL West  
Astros Rangers
Angels 1.0 GB Astros 1.0 GB
Angels Eliminated

1. If the Rangers win: Rangers win the AL West, the Astros get the 2nd wild card spot, and the Angels are eliminated (regardless if the Astros win or not)

2. If the Rangers lose and the Astros win: Rangers and Astros play a Game 163 tomorrow (the Angels would be eliminated). The winner wins the AL West and moves on to the ALDS. The loser play at the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game.

3. If the Rangers lose and the Astros lose: Rangers win the AL West. The Astros and Angels would play a Game 163 tomorrow, and the winner would move on to the AL Wild Card game.

Got it?

Holy Max

Max Scherzer struck out 17 batters, and threw his second no-hitter of 2015 last night for the Nationals (video). It has certainly been a disappointing season for the Nationals, but Max has been incredible. He took a no-hitter into the 9th inning on Monday against the Reds too. Scherzer’s 104 Game Score was the second best in a nine-inning game in MLB history. The only one better was Kerry Wood’s 20 K, 1-hitter.

Concluding Thoughts

It has been a miserable season for the ole’ Redlegs. For those of you who have stuck with us here at RN during this rough season, we thank you. It really can only go up from here, right?

A special thanks to Greg Dafler and Wesley Jenkins for doing the bulk of these game previews in 2015. They really took the Game Thread and made it something terrific this season. As for me, it was a pleasure filling in here and there. I’ll give you more thoughts in the Game Recap later tonight. Go Reds!

22 Responses

  1. Jeff

    Here is all I have to say about Price being back. It shows me that the Reds don’t care about next season so I don’t have to worry about renewing my MLB.tv subscription.

    • BigRedMachine

      As soon as the Reds traded Cueto and Leake they were not going to be competitive in 2016. You can’t rebuild in one year. If the 2016 Reds win 70 games I’ll be both happy and shocked.

      Price, for all his faults, is a good pitching coach. Let him develop talent, work on getting position players, etc. There’s plenty to do in 2016. Unfortunately winning the NL Central is not one of them.

  2. wildwestlv

    After nearly no-hitting the Reds, last Monday, I was glad it was the high and mighty Mets who suffered Scherzer’s second no-no, last night. He was so zoned in, it was a real pleasure to watch. Looking forward to the AL games today and how all that shakes out. Can’t wait for Tuesday and Wednesday and the start of the postseason. Even though the Reds are dead and buried for 2015, there’s still some great baseball left to watch. I do love this game. Oh, and the Reds doing their part to spoil the Pirates’ home field WC would be a nice little touch! GO REDS.

    • ohiojimw

      The Pirates already have their performance versus the Reds to blame for not having the WC home field and maybe even the division crown to their name when one looks at how poorly they have fared vs the Reds compared to the Cards and Cubs.

      • vegastypo

        Funny, yes, and the Reds swept the Nationals in Cincy when the Nationals were on a bit of a roll, too. …. And added to the damage with those two wins in Washington when the Nats had so many players hurt.

        Moral of the story, meant as a note to Bryan Price: EVERY GAME COUNTS.

  3. rhayex

    Another thing that happened (and that honestly is the last straw for me): Eddy Julio Martinez was signed by the Giants, not for 10 million, but for 2.5 million dollars. This is the guy who the Reds were very interested in, but determined he was “far outside” of their budget. The dysfunction of the front office is real.

    We better go way the heck over next year in signing internationally, or we’re gonna fall way behind the curve.

  4. Tom Diesman

    Bummer, was hoping to Holt in CF again instead of Bourgeois. 🙁

  5. james garrett

    I expected Price to be back but only because I knew that Walt would be.I always felt Price was in way over his head as a manager but I keep hearing he could help with these young pitchers we have.I won’t disagree that he can help but how much time does he have to do that.He has tons of stuff to learn about being a big league manager as is so evident by his poor in game managing.Just don’t see how you can do both and be effective at managing the team.

    • RedAlert

      You’re exactly right James – he can’t. He is absolutely lost on the managerial side. Has not appeared to learn ANYTHING from his experience last year.

    • RedInInd

      Someone posted here earlier in the week that Price doesn’t mess with the pitchers; he lets his coaches handle them.

      • CI3J

        Price doesn’t mess with the pitchers? But isn’t that exactly his area of expertise?

      • RedInInd

        Went back and found it — it was only from yesterday’s game thread:

        10/03/2015 at 7:48 pm VAREDSFAN says: “It’s been mentioned several times that Brian P. doesn’t handle any of the pitching coach duties. It is placed in the hands of his coaches.”

      • ohiojimw

        Urban Meyer doesn’t “mess” with the Buckeye offense either but I bet he sure messes with the guys that directly coach it.

  6. wildwestlv

    Well, so much for an interesting 162 Sunday. Reds are, predictably, lying down quietly (a shutout really would be appropriate). Angels are being pounded by the Rangers. Looks like KC has locked up home field. I guess the Yankees will probably play the AL WC on the road.

    • ohiojimw

      The latest generation of Steinbrenners probably have their best lawyers looking for that loophole which gives the Yanks preferential treatment in such matters.

      • ohiojimw

        Like maybe the game has to be played in Houston but the Yanks get to be home team 🙂

  7. wildwestlv

    Too bad the season couldn’t end with a Skip Schumaker AB.

  8. CI3J

    Shutout, and ending with a strikeout after the bullpen doubles the deficit.

    That about sums up the Reds’ season, in a single game.

  9. pinson343

    Easily the highlight of the game: Votto’s 13 pitch walk that soon got Happ out of the game.

    And with his walk and single, Votto’s OPS for the season is at 1.000 !

  10. vegastypo

    Think whatever you will about Price returning, but one thought: I’m not going to give him “credit” for batting Hamilton ninth. What, it took a genius to figure out that Hamilton shouldn’t be hitting leadoff with his poor on-base percentage? That strikes me as akin to putting your hand on a hot stove top and then giving yourself credit for being smart enough to remove your hand.

    And then Votto ends up in the 2 hole, which is great to me, but it was only done because his initial plan was going so poorly. And by the time he did it, the season was pretty much toast anyway. (Not that I think we would be in the postseason anyway, but just sayin’.)

    If the sunken cost argument and the crippling injuries are enough to keep Price, so be it. But let’s not invent positives just to make the decision look not so bad.

    For everybody who writes for this site and/or adds comments, a sincere thanks for doing it. I love being able to follow the Reds so closely here!
    .