2016 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds lose again (and I can’t come up with a witty headline to describe it)

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (9-11) 3 8 0
New York Mets (11-7) 5 10 1
W: Verrett (2-0) L: Ramirez (0-1) S: Familia (6)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–If you ever wonder why everyone remains so tantalized by Billy Hamilton, I point you to the third inning of tonight’s game. Hamilton bunted his way on, stole second base, stole third base, then scored on Zack Cozart’s sacrifice fly.

I know we’ve said it a million times, but if Billy could just get on base more often….

–So happy to see Joey Votto deliver a two-out, run-scoring single in the seventh inning to tie the game at 3.

–Cozart was only 1-4, but he had a couple of RBI and scored a run. And played his usual outstanding defense. Cozart is now hitting .389/.379/.556. He steadfastly refuses to take a walk, so he’s going to have problems at some point, but he’s definitely seeing the ball well right now. I can’t say I expected him to pick up where he left off before the injury, but I’m glad to see it.

–Caleb Cotham pitched a scoreless eighth. His ERA is 1.69. That’s good.

–Eugenio Suarez had a hit and a walk. And a misplayed pop-up, though it wasn’t an error. Still, I love this kid.

The Bad
–Remember when I said above that Joey Votto tied the game at 3? Well, the Reds bullpen — in the form of JC Ramirez this time — surrendered that lead in short order. In the bottom of the seventh, Ramirez gave up a 2-run homer to Neil Walker after a leadoff walk. Rinse. Repeat.

–BP took a pitch off his hand in the fourth inning and had to leave the game. Looked painful; it hit his left ring finger. The Reds said there were no broken bones, but if he had to be out for any extended period, it’d probably be time to give Jose Peraza a look, right?

–One of our constant frustrations here at Redleg Nation has been Walt Jocketty’s willingness to play with a short bench because, usually, of a refusal to put a player on the disabled list to get a healthy guy on the roster. Well, the Reds were already short one position player tonight; Jay Bruce was placed on paternity leave, and the Reds inexplicably called up another relief pitcher. Then BP gets hurt and has to leave the game, so the bench is even shorter. And they’ll probably say he’s not available the next couple of days, but won’t make a corresponding roster move to shore up the bench.

I’m willing to believe that this front office knows more than I do about constructing a roster. But I just don’t understand their thinking sometimes.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Reds lost. Now two games below .500. Get used to it, friends and neighbors.

–The last time I wrote the recap, the Reds got no-hit and lost 16-0. This is an improvement!

–Raisel Iglesias was showing more emotion than usual on the mound tonight, for whatever reason. In the end, he was just okay (and that’s charitable) in the box score: five innings, three runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Threw 102 pitches. There will be better days.

–Ramirez screwed up that seventh inning, but he’s been alright since his callup. Gave up a home run to a really hot hitter tonight. It happens (to the Reds).

–The Reds stole five bases tonight. They can’t play baseball, but they sure are fast!

–One more thing about Cozart: I’m really happy to see that his defense has been good so far. After that devastating knee injury last year, I was worried that he’d take a step back defensively. I don’t know what the defensive metrics will say about him, but he’s certainly passing the eye test.

–Good grief, Noah Syndergaard is an amazing specimen.

–That’s nine straight losses to the Mets, dating back to 2014. Tomorrow, young Brandon Finnegan will face 74-year-old Bartolo Colon in game two of the series.

48 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds lose again (and I can’t come up with a witty headline to describe it)

  1. Bartolo Colon is fun to watch. Also, tomorrow’s game is on MLB Network so I don’t have to suffer through another MLB.tv broadcast until Wednesday!

  2. A loss is a loss; but this game was competitive to the end unlike the debacles over versus the Cubs.

    How many times have the Reds seen and been burned by Neil Walker? Do they ever learn how not to pitch somebody? For that matter weren’t all three Metz HRs hit by LH batters off essentially the same pitch in the same location?

    • Walker and Duda… The Reds can’t seem to get them out:

      Neil Walker: 378 PA, 16 HR, 54 RBI, .280/.365/.477
      Lucas Duda: 112 PA, 9 HR, 32 RBI, .300/.429/.667

    • Brantley was making a similar observation about Rizzo over the weekend. He hasn’t hit well against anyone else (this season), but routinely is taking the Reds deep. Somehow the Reds aren’t making adjustments.

    • The following is just wild speculation, but I’m guessing whoever helps make the scouting reports and relays them to the pitcher doesn’t do a good job in identifying holes in left-handers swings. As we’ve seen with Votto this year, he’s been pitched inside A LOT more. That’s because the authority with which he deals with inside pitches has decreased a lot in recent years. Teams know that now. Reds need to figure that stuff out for the guys on the Cubs/Cards/Pirates since we play them all the time.

  3. It will be interesting to see what the Reds do about healthy bodies on Tuesday night. B.Phillips seems more worried about his shin (fouled a ball off of it) than his hand. Tellingly perhaps, he said the only thing to do to make the shin better was to stay off of it.

    If Phillips can’t play but they don’t think they need to DL him, they could always DL Simon because his spot in the rotation can be passed over until around 4 May. Otherwise, Holt and Schebler are both optionable but then they are already down an OF with Bruce on paternity leave and replaced by a pitcher.

  4. Demoralizing last night. Reds played well then tied it only to see another relief pitcher give it up with a two run blast. I rarely do this but I threw the remote across the room.

    • My remote was safe, but I did not watch another second of the game after the ball went over the fence. We had scrapped and clawed for two runs and they came out out and put two up with ease. Demoralizing

  5. Odds on this prediction coming true???
    Reds call up Peraza, then watch him sit the bench because Dejesus gets the majority of starts.

  6. BP’s at bat was painful to watch. Foul ball off of his foot, foul ball off his shin, HBP on his finger.

    BP extended his hitting Streak on the road vs. the Mets to 33 games. He has a hit in every away game vs. the Mets in his career.

    • Yeah, that was a nightmare AB. Fouling them off yourself and getting hit always hurts but I can’t really imagine how much more when the guy pitching is throwing 96-98 instead of 86-88.

  7. Some good news: Amir Garrett gave up 2 hits in 6 2/3 shutout innings last night in AA, fanning 9 and walking only 1. He has 25 Ks and 4 BBs in 25 IP so far. He is coming on like a freight train.

    • Garrett is on the 40 man roster, in his second option year, and just short of a year older than Cody Reed. If he keeps up what he has done in the first ~month, I can see them moving him ahead of Reed (not yet on the 40 man) just for logistical reasons. At the least it is hard to believe they will burn his whole year at AA if he continues to be so dominating.

  8. I love watching Iglesias pitch… but my fear is that he never gets his pitch count down consistently to give us what we need…. 7 innings.
    Am I wrong here?

  9. The Reds are leading the majors by leaps and bounds in walks allowed and home runs allowed.

    Despite all of his screw-ups (both in-game and with the media), one of the main justifications I read for keeping Price as a manager is that he’s the right guy to handle a young pitching staff. If true, shouldn’t there be some evidence that his vast experience is helping to stem the bleeding at least a little bit? It simply doesn’t exist. NEXT!

    • Can’t really say that until you allow him time with the pitchers that are part of the future. How many rings does Riggelman wear.

    • And naturally the game deciding HR was preceded by a lead off walk and came on an 0-2 pitch. The first 0-2 pitch was an inside slider that was supposed to wrap around Walker’s ankles but he fouled it off because it was slightly elevated and not quite far enough inside. Might not that have been taken as clue to think twice about trying to throw a low and away slider? Of course with Meso catching, you can’t throw one in the dirt because it will go through to the backstop.

      • I noticed on the pitch to Walker, Mes was set up inside and providing a low target. The pitcher missed it, hanging a breaking ball out over the plate. Rookie, poor execution. It happens and since the Reds have so many young pitchers, it’s going to happen. Overall I was pretty impressed with Ramirez. He made a mistake.

        At least it was nice to see the Reds fight back last night against a top-notch pitcher.

    • Early in the season. Young pitching staff. Untalented bullpen…Few people expected the Reds to be any better than they appear. As others have noted, nobody could manage this team, as currently constituted, to the playoffs.

      • So if the pitching takes hold as guys come off the DL and the team plays ~.500 over the second half of the season (with the likes of Cozart and Bruce flipped), we are supposed to be accepting that this current mess was a necessary opportunity cost of starting the “retooling” as opposed to seeing it as a lost opportunity to have rebuilt more on the fly?

  10. Its one thing to lose but stupid is hard to swallow! Walker has been hitting HRs like crazy lately….who’s idea was it for Ramirez to come inside and in on an 0-2 pitch? Mesoraco or Price? Why wasn’t Cingrani in the game? Its common knowledge that Walker isn’t half the hitter right-handed….plus their lineup was stacked w/lefties as well! The Finnegan game in Chicago was the same thing? Jumbo had Russell down 0-2 and throws a fastball right down the middle on a platter? Young guys are known for chasing bad breaking balls on 0-2….or try to paint the outside corner? I get that bad pitchers generally make bad pitches but call it from the dugout? Its common sense for the most part? I guess this is one way of taking care of the Hoover/closer question….never make it to the 9th with the lead.

      • Also, Price may not have much faith in Cingrani. I don’t know why anyone would. His career arc illustrates the Doppler effect.

        • Price should’ve had faith in Walker vs righties? His #s batting right-handed aren’t even close? That’s a no-brainer for a decent manager….esp with how hot Walker has been.

    • Where was Mes setup? Was he setup inside?I didn’t see the HR last night. Early morning so went to bed early.

      • I saw the pitch as on the outer third about thigh high when hit, more lazy than truly hung. I didn’t notice where Meso was; so, I’d guess at the least he wasn’t in an exaggerated inside set up.

        Coming off the previous pitch which was a slider inside that looked like they wanted to be an ankle wrapper but which he fouled off because it was a little too high and not far enough inside, I figured the HR pitch was supposed to have been either a low and away waster or a backdoor pitch at the knees on the back away corner.

  11. For anyone keeping score at home, this is the 5th game the Reds were in that the bullpen turned into a loss.

    I know the Reds weren’t supposed to be competitive this season, but just think where they could be with just a league-average bullpen. As it stands, the Reds bullpen has a 1.35 K/BB, .856 OPS against (which is actually still better than MIlwaukee!), surrendered 46 BB (7 more than any other team), 18 HRs (3 more than any other team) and 145 TB, and…..

    You get the point. Again, I wasn’t expecting the Reds to compete this season, but it’s still painful how they are losing

    • 5 injured pitchers. Very few teams could withstand that much less a team in rebuild mode.

      • And it’s early and it’s been a small sample size so far. I get that.

        It still doesn’t make it any less painful.

    • Precisely my point. If Price can’t at least stem the bleeding A LITTLE BIT, the justification for him as manager flies out the window. Walks and home runs completely negate any perceived advantages you might have on defense, so once again there’s this disconnect about what the team claims they value and their actions. I have yet to read anything from him about working the lower third of the strike zone and pitching to contact.

      • Pretty much said last night that the pitchers needed to attack at the bottom of the zone. Now rather or not he can help them do that is up for debate.

    • The Reds have won 6 games against other teams bad bullpen, so its not like this is all on the bullpen, the starting rotation has been awful. I would be surprised if the are even averaging over 4.5 innings per start. We should be complaining how Iglesias and Finnegan are not ready to start instead they are the foundation.
      I know that this may change but how much better can Disco be than Straily or Moscot?

  12. In all fairness to the Reds’ management team, I can’t really fault them in this case for bringing up another reliever while Bruce is out. When your rotation can’t get you through 6 on a semi-consistent basis and your pen is a mess, you need to augment the pen. Will be curious to see if they do anything while BP is out. He’s likely to miss a few games I’d think.

      • I said in the game thread last night after BP got hit, that this was a perfect time to bring up Peraza. He can 2B while BP sits a week or so, then can spell SS, CF, 2B and if need be play a little LF too. That way they can send Schebler down to AAA to get some everyday AB’s and work his way out of his funk.
        I keep reading over at Doug’s site about Louisville’s Jermaine Curtis. It’s only 47 PA’s so far, but a line of .441/.587/.529 can’t be ignored either. Maybe bring both up, but i would imagine that Curtis is nowhere near the 40-man roster. Might be too many moving parts to bring him up just now.

  13. Sorry if this was mentioned above…but where was Cingrani when Walker came up? Walker has historically hit big against the Reds and RH pitching (maybe that’s anecdotal but it sure feels that way). Maybe 7th inning isn’t high leverage enough, but it’s demoralizing to fight to get back in a game just to give it right back. Ramirez is fresh up from AAA and had just worked a clean inning. After the BB, with Walker coming up, it would have been an ideal time to go with Cingrani.

    Of course, not having another LH in pen is an oversight in my opinion.

  14. I thought the Mets had one of the premier young starting pitching staffs. It’s puzzling why 74 year-old Bartolo Colon will start tonights game.

    • Hamilton bunting on baseballs John Candy should be interesting tonite…lol! This is a must win for the Reds with a lefty against a lineup of lefties and their weakest pitcher. We’re now 1-4 in this 13 game stretch of tough games and 3-10 or 4-9 might put .500 in the rearview for good?

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