When the Reds signed Alfredo Simon to a one-year deal on March 17th, the general consensus was that they signed him to be an “innings eater.” The Reds needed another starter to eat innings at the major league level so the Reds talented young pitchers could take their time developing in the minors. The Reds didn’t need Simon to be great in 2016, they just needed him to eat innings.

Alfredo Simon didn’t make it out of the first inning tonight.

The wind was blowing in at an extreme rate tonight at Wrigley Field. Cubs broadcaster Jim Deshaies said early in the game the pitchers should challenge the hitters tonight. It would be extremely difficult to hit the ball out of the ballpark.

Alfredo Simon proceeded to walk three consecutive batters in the first inning. His 49th pitch of the inning would be his last one. Cubs pitcher John Lackey smacked it into right field to give the Cubs a 5-1 lead.

Bryan Price used Dan Straily, Keyvius Sampson, Blake Wood, Ross Ohlendorf, and Tony Cingrani. They along with Alfredo Simon combined to walk ten batters.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (5-3) 2 7 0
Chicago Cubs (7-1) 9 8 0
W: Lackey (2-0) L: Simon (0-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Alfredo Simon walking Kris Bryant with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 1st inning. Cubs tied the game at 1. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 9.7% (from 45.3% to 35.5%)

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

  • +6.7%: 1st inning – Suarez singles. Runners on 1st & 3rd, 0 outs. 0-0.
  • +6.1: 1st inning – Hamilton leadoff double. 0-0.
  • -8.8%: 3rd inning – Phillps grounded into a double play. Runner on 3rd, 2 outs. Cubs lead 5-1.
  • -8.8%: 1st inning – Simon allows RBI single to Montero. Bases loaded, 1 out. Cubs lead 2-1.
  • -7.5%: 1st inning – Simon allows RBI single to Russell. Runners on 1st & 2nd, 2 outs. Cubs lead 4-1.
  • -6.7%: 1st inning – Phillips strikes out. Bases loaded, 1 out. 0-0.

Player of the Game

Kris Bryant: 1 for 3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, .106 WPA

Positives

Eugenio Suarez is a really good hitter. It will be fun to see what he can do over a full season. He had two hits and a walk tonight. Suarez is now hitting .400/.471/.800.

Joey Votto had a nice night. Votto had a walk and a hit.

Negatives

Alfredo Simon was really, really, really bad: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K.

The Reds pitchers combined to walk 10 batters tonight. That is the Reds most team walks in a non-extra inning game since 8/17/14.

Brandon Phillips had a rough night. He stuck out with the bases loaded and no outs in the first inning. He then grounded into a double play with runners on 1st & 2nd and no outs in the third inning.

Not so random thoughts……….

The first week of the season was much more fun. Let’s go back to that.

Cody Reed finally made his 2016 debut today for the Louisville Bats in Columbus. His first couple starts got rained/snowed out. Reed’s line: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (91 pitches, 51 strikes). The Bats played a doubleheader today. Jose Peraza went 4 for 7 with a walk in the two games, and Jesse Winker went 2 for 6 with a walk.

Amir Garrett also had a big night for the AA-Pensacola Blue Wahoos: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K (79 pitches, 55 strikes).

Around the NL Central

The Pirates lost 7-3 to the Tigers. Ryan Vogelsong pitched pretty well in his first start in a Pirates uniform since 2004 (5.0 IP, 1 ER), but the bullpen failed him. Arquimedes Caminero gave up a grand slam to Jarrod Saltalmacchia in the sixth inning.

The Brewers beat the Cardinals 6-4. Brandon Moss hit a solo home run in the 8th inning to tie the game for the Cardinals, but Domingo Santana hit a 2-run homer in the top of the 9th off Trevor Rosenthal to secure a 6-4 win for the Brewers.

Chicago Cubs 7-1
Cincinnati Reds 5-3 2.0 GB
Pittsburgh Pirates 5-4 2.5 GB
Milwaukee Brewers 4-4 3.0 GB
St. Louis Cardinals 4-4 3.0 GB

Up Next:

The Reds will try to avoid getting swept tomorrow. They have the right guy on the mound to stop that. Bryan Price has got to be hoping Iglesias will be his usual great self, and be able to pitch deep into the game.

Reds at Cubs
Thursday, 8:05 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Raisel Iglesias (2 GS, 2.31 ERA, 2.83 FIP) vs Jason Hammel (1 GS, 1.50 ERA, 2.76 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! 70 Comments

  1. I haven’t even read the recap yet, but if Milton ain’t showin’ up for this one, maybe HE has abandoned us, too !!!

    • Maybe Chad and Steve had to let Milton go in a salary dump 🙂

      • Good one!

        Chad usually is the one who rolls out Milton by the way. I don’t think any of the other writers do when they write up the recap.

    • Milton??? If you are expecting Milton after every 2 game losing streak- just make him part of the logo for the season

  2. Just file and forget this one in hopes it doesn’t become a frequent occurrence….

  3. It is apparent that neither Cozart or Meso are game ready to play day in and day out. Now they both seem to be in that neverland known as “day to day” status, both with quad issues.

    http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/mlb/reds/2016/04/13/reds-zack-cozart-devin-mesoraco-hope-return-lineup-soon/83004496/

    Not that it mattered to the outcome or even that the outcome mattered; but, I guess the Reds bench tonight was Duvall and Pacheco? What a way to (not) run a railroad.

  4. 10 walks, can’t find anything better than that? Embarrassing.

  5. Time to roster moves: Cozart and Meso to DL, promote Cozart and Cabrera, DFA Simon and Sampson, promote Reed and Stephenson. GO REDS!!!

    • The negative service time ramifications in making your suggested moves now are staggering …..borderline record breaking

      • Pretty sure you dont dfa simon after one stinker. not to say i have much confidence him. pretty sure he gets another start or two and then becomes long man in the pen.
        two starters have separated themselves. iglesias and finnegan. rest a jumble. i thought moscot was pretty solid last year and always thought he would be part of equation this year. lamb and desclafini next.
        cotham and wood have not pitched badly. hoover not going anywhere. this is a process.
        you can’t beat on price about this. other things perhaps… but injuries?
        bailey, descalfuini, moscot, lorenzen, cozart, mesoraco, lamb, hamilton. i don’t think so. chapman beating on someone… and then shooting a gun 8 times? phillips using his right to block a trade. can’t hang that on him.
        though i do think phillips could bat somewhere other than 4th.
        we knew this was coming.

        • BP would be my leadoff hitter. He’s really the best option.

          Agree with pretty much everything you are saying.

        • Simon’s velocity was decent, but his command was non-existent. Chris Welsh mentioned that it was cold and windy and that Simon had had trouble in the past with that kind of weather–no feel for the ball. We’ve entered our depressive phase.

      • On pitchers, yes, I agree. However there is no service time issue with bringing Cabrera for Meso. The rust has really shown on Meso on both sides of the ball. Let him sit a week or two doing just non baseball rehab activities (while the season change progresses in midwest climes) then put him on playing rehab in the minors for a couple of weeks.

    • Trade Bruce and BP for something, anything. I think the time is very appropriate too irrationally panic. Since Reds will not be able to afford Iglesias in 4 years- sell high now!!!!

  6. Wow, tough night! Maybe Price needs to update his training films!

  7. That was ugly and disappointing. It wasn’t so much the loss, since there will be many more losses this season, but how they lost. It wasn’t the hits (7 for CIN, 8 for CHI). It wasn’t the power (1-2B & 1-3B for CIN, 1-2B & 1-HR for CHI). It was the stupid, irresponsible walks (4 for CIN, 10 for CHI). Epstein, Hoyer & Maddon have established and implemented an organizational philosophy for requiring hitters to make pitchers throw strikes and requiring pitchers to throw strikes. Jocketty and Price have yet to demonstrate any organizational philosophy other than maintaining a solid ‘old boys network’ and nepotism.

    The Cubs are middle of the pack (7th of 15) in team BA (.263) along with the Reds (8th of 15 & .258), but lead the league in OBP (1st of 15 & .381) compared to the Reds (8th of 15 & .330). The Cubs lead the league in fewest BB (1st of 15 with 13) compared to the Reds (15th of 15 with 39). The results were on full display yesterday.

    None of the Reds pitchers involved in the fiasco of a baseball game yesterday will participate in the Reds future, with the possible exception of Cingrani. That’s some consulation I guess.

    • These two sentences win the internet today.

      “Epstein, Hoyer & Maddon have established and implemented an organizational philosophy for requiring hitters to make pitchers throw strikes and requiring pitchers to throw strikes. Jocketty and Price have yet to demonstrate any organizational philosophy other than maintaining a solid ‘old boys network’ and nepotism.”

    • Yes. I second the emotion. 39 BB’s, unacceptable, period.

    • 3 of the 6 pitchers that the Reds used today were waiver wire pickups, 4 if you count that Sampson was waived last year. Wood is a career minor leaguer and Cingrani hasn’t ever shown the ability to throw strikes. Games like this aren’t at all surprising. I’m hoping none of these guys are even with the team next year, save as you said Cingrani perhaps.

      • Why does Cingrani get a pass? He has done nothing but regress ever since his 1st season. Once the league got the book on him, he has been awful.

        • Because we’re not sure what he can do when he’s healthy and because it seems he is comfortable with his role now. He’s also still fairly young. He gets this year to show us something. There is a reason I said “Perhaps Cingrani”. He’s not getting a pass, he’s just the guy I think has a shot at actually sticking on the next good Reds’ team out of the guys that pitched last night.

        • I’d say because “being good once” is better than “being good never.” Cingrani has a short rope now, but he still has the chance to turn into a useful reliever. Mostly because he’s left-handed.

        • Exactly lwblogger2 & VaRedsFan

  8. Simon is hot garbage. I do not understand why the Reds signed him, given his decline in skills and off the field issues. Anyone would be better.

    • The fact that we did not have “anyone” healthy was the reason. It was way better to sign him than promote AA and AAA pitchers that were not ready and waste service time. This team just needs a lukewarm corpse on the mound.

      • I for one will always have a warm place in my heart for Simon as his one good season as a starter netted us Eugenio Suarez and another prospect who I don’t remember. How has that trade worked out thus far?

      • So sign someone other than a player who has domestic violence allegations swarming. If anyone was needed, they could have signed anyone, not a felon.

  9. That 1st inning last night looked like a Space X rocket lift off. It went up in flames quickly, and it took an hour for it to burn. A one hour 1st inning and on the receiving end of a beatdown.
    Put the brooms away Cubbies. We have Raisel going tonight.

  10. If anything, Suarez and Schebler did well at the plate. Scheb displayed his wheels on that 9th inning triple. Now I see why he had so many triples in the minors. Silver linings. They may be anorexicly thin silver linings, but silver linings nonetheless.

  11. What in the world is going on in St. Louis? The Cardinal Way may be great for their hitting. But the Cardinal Way for their pichers is shredding elbows and killing their starters. Another Cardinal starter goes down to TJ surgery. Carlos Gonzalez to have TJ surgery. That is Carpenter, Wainwright, Garcia, and now Gonzalez. They had some relievers go down too.

  12. Simon is from the Dominican Republic. He was blowing on his hands all night, which is telling imo. It happens, I’ll give him a pass. The stuff is still legit—sitting 93-94 with his fastball.

    Tucker continues to display an advanced approach to hitting. Love our tandem behind the plate.

    Not impressed at all with the routes Bruce took on two balls early in the game. This is his millionth game at Wrigley and he should know the conditions and dimensions better than that. Very disappointing.

    Heading into the city for the game tonight. Gonna be bundled up!

    • Bruce has always had difficulty going back at Wrigley Field. He even approaches the warning track tenatively but he appears to be intimidated by the brick wall. He short-armed a very catchable drive in Monday’s game too. There has to be a more realistic middle ground between healthy caution and abject fear.

    • Chris Welch noted that Simon’s usual backup fastball was running straight and attributed that problems with his grip, presumably related to the weather. So, for now at least, I’m with you that it was one of those nights for him.

      Given Simon threw only 50 pitches, it will be interesting to see if they bring him back on Sunday versus pushing Moscot.

      • I agree with Simon on Sunday, that may be a silver lining if Simon pitches early and not rush a valuable young pitcher back to soon.

      • Thought the same thing on Sunday- but then they need a starter on Monday, might need one on Wednesday depending how Mellville does, it would be really great if it would just rain Friday, Sunday, and Monday

    • Other than his arm, Bruce’s defense has always left a lot to be desired. I’m waiting for someone here to give him a pass because of his 2 week off knee injury 2 years ago.

  13. Finnegan walked 5 guys himself on Monday night, which is the reason his pitch count got away from him. The Reds’ mound corps walked 7 on Monday, and 10 last night.

    The Cubs are going to walk fewer guys not necessarily because of some organizational philosophy, but because their starting staff is much older and more experienced. (Simon has no excuse.) Arrieta is 30; Lester 32; Lackey 37; and Hammel is 33. Arrieta in his 24-year-old season walked 48 guys in 100.1 innings; at 25, it was 59 BBs in 119.1 IP. Last year, he walked 48 in 229 IP. These guys stayed in MLB into their 30s because they learned to throw the ball over the plate. The Reds staff, all of whom except the placeholder Simon are very young, will need to learn it, or not be in baseball.

    I am confident that Brian Price, internally, was screaming “Throw the bleeping ball over the bleeping plate, you bleeping incompetent morons!!!” 100% of the professional pitching coaches in MLB understand the importance of throwing strikes; it is silly to think that Price has some philosophy otherwise. The reality is that throwing strikes with the type of stuff needed to get MLB hitters out is incredibly hard to do it, and that is why the Johnny Cuetos of the world make $20mm/year.

    Get used to seeing a lot of walks this year. When the walk rate goes down, then we will know that the staff is moving up the learning curve. Watching young guys with good, lively arms is far better than watching the likes of Jimmy Haynes and Elmer Dessens be down 4 runs after 2 innings, night after night after night.

    • Price said in spring training that he wasn’t going to put up with pitchers walking guys. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like it. Like you said, no pitching coach does. There are rare cases when you want to just work around a guy but they didn’t come up in last night’s game.

      • Are pitchers bad because they walk guys or do they walk guys because they’re bad?

        • I think they walk guys because they are bad. Some guys get out of whack or have a bad day. Habitually walking guys though is a sign that a pitcher probably isn’t very good.

    • Great comment Big5!!

  14. Shouldn’t Schebler bat leadoff vs. RHP? I can’t think of a single reason no to.

    Billy has one good game and Price bumps him to the top. It’s happened so many times it’s comical. *facepalm*

    • Not if he’s playing LF! Check the book. It’s right there in bold print.

    • Well, Hamilton did lead off the game with a double. Schebler’s OBP is .300; Hamilton’s is .292.

      • Small sample. Schebler has OPS’s .880 against righties over the last 3 years at all levels combined.

        • Yes, but in.his last three years in MiLB, Schebler’s OBP was .360 (2013), .365 (2014) and .322 (2015). Hamilton’s (2011-13) were .340, .410 and .308. Hamilton was rushed to the big leagues, and Schebler was not, but the minor league OBPs don’t really show that Schebler would be much better leading off now than Hamilton. They are almost exactly the same age.

          If you believe that the Reds won’t be competitive this year, then there is an argument that Hamilton should get plenty of ABs this year, so that the Reds can figure out whether he will ever hit. They will know more about Hamilton in 550 ABs this year than they will with his getting 425 ABs, which is why I eventually want him hitting leadoff this year.

          I like Schebler a lot, but I believe the Reds would waste some of his power hitting him leadoff, because it would turn some 2- and 3-run homers into solo homers. I actually like Schebler hitting cleanup; he would either come up in the first with a guy on, or lead off the second. Eric Davis in 1987 slashed.358/.437/.813 in the 4-hole, with 16 SBs, although Schebler isn’t exactly Eric Davis.

    • Yes, I think so.

  15. The Cubs run out atleast 5 lefties so it will be a tough test for Raisel tonite!

    My feeling on the Cubbies is that they’re built for the regular season with their patience at the plate and deep lineup. They work pitchers and take a ton of walks but we saw what Finnegan did when you throw quality strikes at them. I don’t really see this murderers row when I watch them but you can’t beat yourself with walks! I was surprised at their #s vs lefties! Rizzo is down of course being a lefty but Bryant and Soler are much worse vs lefties too….maybe they can’t wait on the changeup?
    I think the Reds are trying to be more patient this year….Suarez looks patient and Schebler/Duvall have impressed me. Mesoraco is ice cold but he takes pitches and isn’t a hacker either! I’m just afraid his body isn’t going to hold up? If we ever get our young arms ready to go then I think we’re the 2nd best team in the division and we’re not as far behind them as it seems. I really don’t know how Pitt wins so much? A really strong team doesn’t pick up a guy off his couch 3 weeks b4 the season starts like Freese and have him batting 3rd?

  16. @Sultan: You are correct! Simon is a warm weather pitcher, and it was an April night with the wind blowing in Chicago. You could see in the pregame interview that he had no confidence. OK, that’s not the highest compliment to pay a veteran MLB pitcher. Still, Simon will do better in a little warmer atmosphere. He will prove to be a legit Number 4 or 5, a serviceable acquisition filling out a depleted rotation, at least until the young arms are ready.

    • We might be in trouble, because it looks like we have skipped Spring/Summer and gone straight to Fall. Brrrrr.

  17. Haven’t seem anything here about the latest on Bailey. Per Mark Sheldon on the Reds radio beat reporter sound byte last night, Bailey took a line drive off of his right foot/ toe in his extended spring training start and is being held out of activity “indefinitely”.

    Can’t uncover any articles to link but i know that’s what I heard Sheldon say on the radio.

  18. The not-so-random-thought about yet another good outing by Amir Garrett is very encouraging. He can be overlooked a bit among several others, but has nice, easy gas and improves at every level.

    I hope we see him about April 22 next year.

    • These are exciting yet risky times for the Reds with the crop of young arms at AA on through the big club. It will be quite a task to sort through the guys and figure out who should be the pick of the litter starters, who falls through to the pen, and who gets traded for position talent that fits into the window of competitiveness/ team control with the emerging pitchers.

      Garrett is a bit of a ‘tweener because of development time lost when he was splitting his efforts between professional baseball and NCAA D1 basketball. He is already on the 40 man and in fact has only one option year left after this season. I think that makes him ideal for a David Price type of development approach from here on. Bring him to the big club as a reliever next year or 2018 then look to transition him to a starter from there in the following year or two.

      • Luckily he is at worst a decent Loogey. I say keep him at AAA in the rotation all next year so we don’t squeeze out the other starters we hope make it next year (long list including Lamb, Moscot, Stephenson, etc). I am not as worried about his service time because he has a place on this team by 2018 for sure.

        • oops not service time but “options” is what I meant. Service time IS valuable.

        • I absolutely agree with you Gaffer (for whatever that’s worth!). Garrett is in the next waive of talented starting pitchers after Stephenson, Reed, Lamb, Finnegan, etc. The thing about Garrett is the Reds will get his very best seasons at the major league level and should not even think about extending him past arbitration.

          Garrett is 24 years old this season. He should pitch next season at AAA and join the big club for his age 26 season in 2018. The Reds would have him at the major league level for his age 26-31 seasons. If the starting rotation needs supplementing next season due to multiple injuries or multiple flops at the major league level, Garrett will probably be ready to step into the 2017 starting rotation.

  19. I don’t see any issue with bringing Moscot up to start on Sunday. He’s completed 2 rehab starts, pitching 3.2 innings at A+ and 5.2 innings while throwing 82 pitches at AAA. Moscot is sufficiently stretched out to start a game at the major league level. If there were any lingering health issues, he should not have been sent out for those rehab starts and nothing developed during the rehab starts to indicat any physical problems.

    Remember that Moscot pitched at the major league level last season only because all other options had been exhasted and he was the best option left at the time. Moscot only had 3 starts (11.2 innings) at the major league level before his season-ending injury and those performances were nothing to write home about.

    This is an opportunity for Moscot to lay claim to a starting role before the rest of the starting options get healthy this season. I think that Moscot is likely the odd man out once the other starters return, unless he can show something before they return. The sooner he gets in the rotation, the better chance he has to impress. A bullpen role probably awaits him (and that ain’t a bad thing for him or the Reds) unless he reels off a few dominating performances.

    • Straily > Moscot > Sampson > Melville in my book and we better score 4-5+ to even a shot on most nights!

      • Sounds like my boy Lamb might be back in a few weeks? Now that’s a guy that might have a nice career with the Reds! I was a Rangers ticket holder in the 90s and watched a lot of Kenny Rogers mixing that big loopy curveball with a decent fastball and a nice changeup. Its doubtful Lamb wins and piles up innings like the Gambler but he could be pretty good with his stuff!!

  20. Suarez at SS tonight. Pacheco at 3B. Duvall in LF. Barnhart at C. The rest is about the same.

    • Dear Cubs,

      Please don’t hit the ball to the left side of the field.

      Sincere Thanks,
      LWBlogger2

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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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