Titanic Struggle Recap

It was looking good for a while…….

It was looking like a good night for the Cincinnati Reds early. Ivan De Jesus Jr. got the Reds off to a big start. De Jesus drilled a two-run home run in the fourth inning to give the Reds a 3-0 lead. Everything was looking good.

We should have known better.

Brandon Finnegan pitched very well, holding the Mets scoreless over six innings. Bryan Price decided to leave Finnegan in the game to pitch in the seventh, and it backfired. Finnegan gave up a three-run home run to pinch-hitter Yoenis Cespedes to tie the game.

Tony Cingrani would allow the go-ahead single later in the seventh inning. The Reds offense couldn’t get to the Mets bullpen, and the Reds lost their third consecutive game by a final score of 4-3. It was the Reds tenth consecutive loss to the Mets.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (9-12) 3 10 0
New York Mets (12-7) 4 8 1
W: Verrett (3-0) L: Cingrani (0-2) S: Familia (7)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Reds Mets WPA

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Brandon Finnegan giving up a 3-run home run to Yoenis Cespedes, tying the game at 3. That play descreased the Reds chances of winning by 36.8% (from 82.4% to 45.6%).

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

  • +18.8% – 4th inning: De Jesus 2-RBI home run with 1 out (Reds lead 3-0)
  • +12.3% – 7th inning: Cingrani strikes out Cabrera. Runner on 3rd, 2 outs (3-3)
  • +11.1% – 3rd inning: Cozart single. Runners on 1st & 3rd, 0 outs (Reds lead 1-0)
  • +7.3% – 6th inning: Finnegan gets Conforto to fly out. Runners on 1st & 3rd, 2 outs (Reds lead 3-0)
  • -12.8% – 7th inning: Cingrani allows RBI single to Wright with 2 outs (Mets lead 4-3)
  • -7.8% – 6th inning: Finnegan allows single to Cabrera. Runners on 1st & 2nd, 0 outs (Reds lead 3-0)
  • -5.6% – 4th inning: Duvall caught stealing. 1 out (Reds lead 1-0)

Positives

Brandon Finnegan was really good for six innings. I think it is important to focus on that and not the 7th inning struggles. He had only allowed 2 hits through the first six innings. Teams are having a difficult time hitting Finnegan early in the season. This kid has a very bright future with the Reds.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. hit his first home run of the season, and it was a big one. De Jesus drilled a pitch into the left field seats in the third.

Zack Cozart had another two hit night. Cozart is just continuing his torrid start to 2016. Cozart is hitting .390/.381/.559 on the season.

Tucker Barnhart has been such a nice backup catcher for the Reds. He had three hits on the night. One of those hits came in the second inning when Tucker battled with Bartolo Colon for 12 pitches before ripping a double down the right field line.

Billy Hamilton made an incredible catch, which saved a run in the 5th inning. Hamilton is just incredibly defensively in centerfield.

Billy

Negatives

I know some folks like pitchers being pushed along in their development, but I hated Bryan Price giving Finnegan a chance to ruin his great start. Finnegan had pitched six great innings, and his pitch count was approaching 100 pitches. Why not just let the kid leave the game with a good taste in his mouth?

Mets color analyst Ron Darling summed up my thoughts best tonight during the broadcast: “Your bullpen is struggling, but I think it’s wrong to use that to make your decision. You’ve got a young pitcher who gave a great effort, I want him to leave the game with a good feeling about himself. He doesn’t have a good feeling about himself in the locker room right now. He should be, because he was incredible.”

Bailey update

Homer Bailey made his second rehab start tonight in Pensacola for the AA Blue Wahoos. Bailey was not helped out by the Blue Wahoos defense, as they made five errors with him on the mound. Bailey’s final line: 4.0 IP, 5 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K. The good thing is that is looks like the velocity is there. Bailey will make at least one more rehab start on Monday with AAA Louisville.

Other news and notes

Around the NL Central

The Cubs currently lead the Brewers 3-1 in the 7th. The Pirates lead the Rockies 4-2 in the 5th. The Cardinals are scoreless in the third inning in Arizona.

Chicago Cubs  14-5
Pittsburgh Pirates 11-9 3.5 GB
St. Louis Cardinals 10-9 4.0 GB
Cincinnati Reds 9-12 6.0 GB
Milwaukee Brewers 8-11 6.0 GB

Up Next:

Reds at Mets
Wednesday, 7:10
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Jon Moscot (2 GS, 5.06 ERA/7.67 FIP) vs Matt Harvey (4 GS, 5.24 ERA/3.61 FIP)

99 thoughts on “It was looking good for a while…….

  1. Not many positives since 5-1 but Hamilton looks better to me! He’s taking some pitches and has 5 walks already I think? I haven’t seen to many flyouts either? I was even impressed last night in the 9th vs their closer…who is as nasty as anyone not named Aroldis. He took some pitches and went 3-2 if I’m not mistaken and hit a sharp 6-3 right at the shortstop. The corners are pulled in so far that he’s slapped a couple of xtra basehits over their heads too. I think he’s sloooowwwlly looking better although he’s so skinny and dives so much chasing our bullpens non-walks that he’ll prob always get nicked up. Leave him in the 9 hole at this point…what difference does it make if someone else hits better?

  2. Finnegan was at 93 pitches when he finished the 6th and had pitched out of a high leverage situation to escape that inning. Whatever the year it is, i.e. whether winning matters or not, he should have been batter by batter in the 7th. He was at 104 when he walked Lagares and 106 after he allowed the hit to Plawecki. Doesn’t matter who the next batter is, he is the tying run; and Finnegan should not be facing him at 106 pitches and two consecutive batters having reached.

    To me the irony here is that supposedly the Reds are not focused on “winning”; but, the only really logical explanation for why Price left Finnegan in to face Cespedes is that he preferred that match up over anybody in his pen facing Cespedes or Duda. That’s a desperation move to try and win the game, not see what players can do.

    • Not to mention Price puts in Cotham yesterday and tonite AFTER we’re behind and the game is basically over. Now if somehow we have the lead or we’re tied in the 7th/8th tomorrow then he’s prob not available. Price isn’t even smart enough to cover his own backside….like making Walker bat RH last night in the 7th. If Walker beats Cingrani then that’s on the player but Price did what he could do. Currently he’s failing as a manager and not doing what he can do and that’s inexcusable.

    • Do pitchers magically get tired at a 100 pitch count? Maybe there is more into the consideration than just pitch counts. Maybe there is a professional group (with the Reds I know that is a stretch) that look at various factors aside from just pitch counts (location, time between pitches, balance, breathing, and maybe even catcher input). I think that there is just way to much focus on pitch counts and in some ways attempting to make 100 a ceiling for all pitchers is kind of already an outdated practice. 100 is a nice even number, sports science is seldom either nice or even… heck even predictable unless you have a phd.

      • Maybe one of the more Sabre savvy folks here can jump in if they have the data; but, I believe at that point in the game as much or more than just the raw pitch count the fact that he had to work through that leverage situation in the 6th made it more likely he would be running on fumes at the next sign of trouble.

        • Totally agree with that. He appeared to be laboring to end the 6th. Him going back out for the 7th proves the fact that Bryan Price cares about winning and not just the idea of our younger players “developing”. If that is truly what this season is all about, like everyone on here keeps saying, then Bryan Price needs to go now. can’t run a ball club with 2 different ways of doing things. Price is managing for wins and losses to secure his job and I don’t blame him for that. This falls squarely on the organization in my opinion.

        • Yes, pitch count was a factor in the decision but not the deciding factor. The end of the 6th and how he looked in the 7th leading up to the Cespedes AB were the primary factors. The pitch count just sealed the deal.

        • In my mind that is. Apparently those factors combined weren’t enough for Price. He’s probably forgotten more than I know but looking back, he’d probably admit if he had to do it again, he’d pull him.

      • For one of the rare times, I’m with Dan here. Before the days of counting pitches and babying the players, I believe pitchers would throw 140-150 pitch games.

        So, OK, lets protect the players more by limiting their pitch counts. So why does 100 have to be the magic number? Why not 120-125?

        I too would like to see the brilliant editors here write something up on pitch counts.
        Why was it OK to throw 150 pitches every 4 days, at one time, but now we get all upset if a guy throws 100 pitches every 5 days.

        • Pitchers also used to pace themselves better I think. I think you see a lot more of max-effort and near max-effort deliveries. They also weren’t as finely tuned physically as they are now. Athletes in general are about as on the cutting edge of human ability right now. While this increases performance (strength, speed, even endurance, velocity), I have a theory that it increases the chance of injury. The muscles can get stronger but there’s a limit to what the joints, ligaments, and tendons can handle.

      • Dan, I agree it’s an arbitrary number. The fact is, pitch counts don’t prevent serious injury in and of itself. If so, relievers wouldn’t get injured as often as they do, nor would starting pitchers with strict pitch counts. If I remember correctly Nolan Ryan has spoken out against pitch counts limits.

        The crux of the matter is, pitching fatigued increases the chance of injury. Everyone’s fatigue ceiling is different. One study I read (bleacher report?) said there is really no difference between 100-120 pitches, but 120-140 pitches is where injury or damage starts to show up more significantly. If you google “does pitch counts matter” there are some interesting articles but most I saw were a few years old. I would like to see the insightful staff here tackle the subject.

    • He may have wanted to see what Finnegan would do to get out of a tight spot, and give him the opportunity to try.

    • Ding Ding Ding Ding!!! Winner winner chicken dinner!!! This whole off-season and season, with very, very few exceptions, has annoyed me almost beyond words. If you know me, you know that’s very hard to do as I don’t annoy easily and I always have something to say.

      • LW, not sure what you are annoyed about but I’m guessing it relates to “not trying to win” or “tanking” seeing as how you played into the minor leagues yourself.

        My view, which I have expressed here, at least by inference, is that a decision not to field the most competitive team possible is one made by the front office; and, that for the most part, on the field once a game has started it should be run by the manager who should make all reasonable efforts to win each game with the personnel he has within general directions he may have been given about how to use them (i.e. who plays where; which pitchers to look at in which roles).

        Learning how to win games is itself part of the process and an individual and collective skill which cannot be flipped off and on like a light switch. When a team starts to win more than it loses and wins tough games and steals more wins than it fritters away that’s a sign the process is working. No one can accurately predict when that tipping point is going to be. Ask the Cubbies brain trust who are on the record as saying their team arrived at least a season earlier than they expected.

        • A couple minor corrections. I didn’t play in the minors. I played competitively in the USAF and played independent league semi-pro ball.

          Yes, the annoyances are along the lines you’re talking about but also in the players they seemed to target as part of this rebuild, especially the return for Frazier, which quite frankly was awful. They apparently were so enamored with Peraza that they overpaid (with Frazier) to get him. The rumor is that the package is exactly what was offered for Chapman and two years of Frazier at his salary was worth more than 1 of Chapman at his…. The other part is the product on the field, which is in all fairness MiLB for MLB prices.

  3. Brandon Finnegan giving up a 3-run home run to Yoenis Cespedes, tying the game at 3. That play descreased the Reds chances of winning by 36.8% (from 82.4% to 45.6%).

    If anyone thought we had a 45.6% chance to win after they tied the game and went to our pen then please raise your hand! Proving once again that my old man (think Moneyball scout) eyes know more than the stat nerds….atleast on this one!

  4. That fangraphs prediction analysis is baloney. If it was accurate we would still be favored to lose the game with a 3 run lead entering the 7th.

    • Difference between showing the odds and prediction. The FG chart shows the odds of winning at each point in the game.

      • So it is based purely on the number of runs? No other factors are involved? If that is the case it is a useless metric.

        • It’s not just based on the number of runs, it also considers situations (like how many outs and runners on base). It’s not a “metric” in the sense that it’s measuring performance or predicting an outcome. It’s just a depiction of what the odds of winning are at any point in the game. Some people find that interesting.

        • Lots of factors are involved, as well as a complex mathematical method called Markov Chains.

          But like Steve said, it’s not predicting an outcome. Just relying on historic data of similar games that had similar situations.

  5. Wish I could say this was a surprise….

    You can’t really blame Price for being gun shy about going to bullpen for 3 innings – he must have figured a tired Finnegan is better than anyone else he could trot out there.

    • +1 I think that was it. I would have done the same thing to be honest. Having not actually watched the game was there any indication that Finnegan was tired aside from the display of pitch count all over the screen?
      As I mentioned above I do not believe that pitch count alone is worth any measurement. For any given pitcher on any given day the max pitch count could be 50, 100, or heck 200 for that matter.
      # of pitches of type would be a better determining factor as well as ball versus strike ratios. If a pitcher suddenly starts throwing more balls than strikes I would assume that is a sign of fatigue as well.

      • What has Cotham done to be lumped in with the other losers though? He’s been great even though his stuff doesn’t jump off your TV screen. Price already had this situation happen this year! When Finnegan gave up the hit to Ross to break up the no-hitter in Chicago and has the inevitable adrenaline dump….Price needs to recognize that and pull him immediately. Then if the dumpster fire starts then its on the pen. Price isn’t even bright enough to cover his own backside!! He saw up front in Chicago that the kid wasn’t getting thru the inning when he was over 100 pitches. Those 2 teams were in the NL championship last year and Cepedes is one of the biggest sluggers in todays game. This isn’t rocket science!!

  6. The way Finnegan pitched tonight overall, and the experience he got in the seventh, is far more important to the Reds in the future than what happened in the 7th. I disagree with the theory that Price should have coddled Finnegan by taking him out to ensure he didn’t get a loss. That’s managing for wins and losses, which to me is bunk. And I’m not saying it was good for Price to have faith in Finnegan. I’m equally skeptical of that reasoning.

    It was good to leave Finnegan in so he had the experience of being in a tough situation on the road against a great hitter. He will learn from his mistake and it will be that much less intimidating for him the next time. It’s important for players to confront adversity as part of their growth. That’s my view, anyhow.

    I know it’s hard, but we have to forget about the 2016 record. This season is about building toward 2017 and beyond. Finding out which players are fits going forward and which ones aren’t. Finnegan looks like a keeper so far, either as a starter or in the bullpen. Encouraging.

    If you approach the outcome of each game this year like the Reds are in a pennant race, you’re never going to make it.

    • Ok I don’t (can’t) agree as a fan but I see what you’re saying. I think success and confidence from winning is more important then getting thrown in a lake to learn how to swim but we can agree to disagree. Whats to be gained from last night though….what nugget of experience was learned by letting Walker (the Red killer) beat us lefthanded when he has Cingrani? Whats the point of using your most effective reliever Cotham on consecutive nights when you’re behind late and the game is basically over? These are non defendable in my book…..or atleast have your pitching coach go out and talk to Ramirez and go over how hot Walker has been with the long ball. Price does none of these things….he never seems to be ahead of the action like an effective manager. He’s a big part of the problem imo

      • Consider how often this pitching staff is getting burned on 1st pitch grooved fastballs and poorly selected and thrown 0-2 pitches. To a large degree those should be coachable situations

      • Indy…you can disagree philosophically that wins don’t matter in 2016. That’s your right….but it would be difficult to reasonably argue that the FO and Price think wins matter in 2016.

        Moves will be made in each game that make very little sense if we’re judging them from the perspective of ” How is that going to help the Reds win tonight?” Price is playing who he’s told to play and pitching who he’s told to pitch. I’m sure they would prefer to win, but it doesn’t matter.

        This year, the games aren’t about the Cincinnati Reds winning or losing. They’re about the individual players and learning who can play and who can’t.

        • Still doesn’t explain why Price didn’t think ahead and have Cingrani ready to turn Walker around RH on Monday night…..like any run-of-the mill manager would have? They’ve given up on trying to win games in April? I don’t believe that. I understand keeping guys in the minors. I don’t understand purposely making stupid moves or sitting on your hands with the game in the balance.

    • My feeling is that Finnegan emptied the tank getting out of the situation in the 6th. First two men reach; he retires 3/4/5 in the order, reaching back and emptying the tank by elevating his intensity (and velocity on several pitches). His pitch count is at 93 and he has just escaped a leverage situation. That’s typically when any manager is going put a guy on batter to batter when he starts the 7th.

      He beat the top and middle of the order with the game on the line in the 6th. Getting him out of the game in another leverage situation the 7th at 105+ pitches wouldn’t have been coddling him. Instead, leaving him in amounted to throwing him to the wolves.

      • Just so I am understanding, not trying to be argumentative but is there statistical data to quantify that leverage situations lead to fatigue and or ineffectiveness of a pitcher? Couldn’t it also go the other way? If adrenalin kicks it couldn’t it potentially propel her for more than 1/2 an inning?

        • Exactly on the adrenalin. But it is endless. He used his adrenalin boost to get him through the 6th, taking down the 3/4/5 hitters in the Mets line up after allowing 1 and 2 to reach. He demonstrated he knew what to do and how to do it then. He was simply physically out of gas in the 7th.

        • There’s not data but I can tell you as a catcher getting out of a jam like that takes a lot out of a pitcher, especially when it happens later in the game. Former pitchers will tell you the same thing. That was really the first time he had to pitch himself out of trouble though, so yes, I think sending him back out there in the 7th was the right call. That said, I’m with OhioJimW in that he should have been on a short leash in the 7th. After that 2nd guy reached, I would have been out to get him.

    • In regard to Steve’s reply: I agree in principle but not in action. Ticket prices are the same for fans. Salaries are the same for staff. The act of charging fans to watch this team demands the best effort by by the staff to field a competitive team.

      We have a competitive team right now. We are sitting on players who can help us win because of service time in the future. To control, or better said, keep a player earning his true worth earlier is, albeit within the rules, unfair to the player. Stevenson and Reed should both be on this team now.

      • Scotly50…..what does competitive mean to you? They win 81 games? This is not a team that harbors any realistic chance for the post season. The Cubs likely will win at least 95 games and wild card participation generally requires at least 88 wins. Why would they waste service time…that can help them immensely in the future…to win a few more games this year?

    • I totally agree and was going to post something that said as much, but I can’t say it better than this. Even though he gave up the three run home run, I still think he left the game, “with a good taste in his mouth”.

      He’s going to have to learn to deal with situations like this, and this season is supposed to be a season for the younger players to learn to play major league baseball and less about winning, so it would have been silly to take him out.

    • I agree with you on most of this Steve. I like leaving him out there to work through the “tough” spots for sure. He will learn from this. The only issue I keep seeing is that Bryan Price cares about the W-L record because his job depends on it. It will be very hard to in your words “find out which players are fits going forward and which one’s aren’t.” if he is managing for W’s and L’s. They are setting him up to fail in my opinion.

      As I said, that was a good learning experience for Finnegan, but I think it could have been an even better learning experience to bring someone out of the pen in that situation and say “Here’s the ball. Get this guy out.” Not to mention letting Finnegan leave on a high note. My fear is that we will be right back in this same spot next year, not knowing who to keep and who to get rid of.

    • I agree 100%. The big picture is to develop Finnegan so he has that Johnny Cueto toughness for 8-9 innings. That takes time and it takes failure. I applaud Price for letting him fail. The best teacher is experience and I hate to read the “feel” good about himself millennial nonsense. He’s a professional pitcher, not a 12 year old. He pitched a helluva game and has a chance to be the best Reds lefty since Tom Browning. But, he got beat by a good hitter. Deal with it and get better next time. I think Finnegan can handle some adversity and I think he’s going to be a great Red.

  7. I know we should focus on the Reds, but Cueto had a great night. Nine shutout innings, 11 strikeouts and only one walk.

    • I caught a bit of that game late. Even with 11K’s, he was so efficient. Low pitch count….pounding the strike zone.

      I believe one of the major flaws with this staff, is that there aren’t any veteran pitchers they can confide in, who have been there-done that. Bailey will qualify once he gets back. You could see several times last year when they would show Bailey in the dugout talking/teaching with one of the younger guys.

      Veteran presence, in this case, is important.

    • Yeah, I didn’t see the game but checked the boxscore this morning. Made me smile.

  8. Steve,I agree but fans will focus on the record this year and it should be the farthest thing from anybody’s mind.Finnegan is a keeper and what happened last night will only make him better down the road

  9. What’s so hard about having Cotham warming up in the pen in the middle of the 7th? Why not have someone ready when Finnegan gets into trouble?

    In the grand scheme of things, this loss doesn’t mean much. But it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Finnegan’s good effort should have been rewarded by better managing.

  10. It was a pretty good night for us.
    Finnegan pitches lights out for 6. Price makes a decision to let him try to get out of trouble. It doesn’t work. Still the right decision.
    Hamilton looks a little less lost at the plate.
    Peraza goes 2-4
    Winker goes 2-4 with first homer and a double
    Reed pitches lights out
    Bailey has solid rehab start.
    Cozart… who some want to flip gets 2 more hits.
    Barnhart continues go show that he is capable of more than his slot.
    Cotham… our best reliever throws another zero. Might I remind you here that we got him and Rookie Davis who might be the best pitcher at Pensacola as trade pieces for Chapman… a reliever who apparently beat crap out of wife… shot a pistol 8 times and is currently suspended? Yeah… I want to fire Walt over that disaster.
    Go nuts over the bullpen… We have 6 pitchers here by mid June that are better than what we have now.

    You want to go nuts over every loss this year. Be my guest. We are trying to find guys who can play. That is what the Royals and Cubs did. I am all in with it.

    • Maybe the Hamilton at the plate point is kind of a stretch… but he catches everything.

    • Yeah Cotham puts up another zero….after the game is effectively over! Now if we have the lead today….he’ll prob be unavailable or ineffective. That’s how Price rolls! I like most of the trades we made. I like that they finally bought into rebuilding but my point is Price has proven he’s not the guy to lead it.

  11. ‘The book’ says to yank your pitcher when the tying run comes to the plate. For a manager who lives by the book, this non-move is even more curious. Price actually visited the mound. The question is this—how often do we ever see him go out in that situation and NOT take his pitcher out? Then when he gets out there he was talking quite forcefully, like he was trying to will Finnegan into making his strategy work. That’s a me-first move imo and has nothing to do with development.

    • Let me give Marty B. his due, he was baffled at the time that he was kept in to face Cespedes. Brantley offered up the fact that Cespedes had just has his knee drained earlier in the day and may not be sharp, which I admit, I figured would make Cespedes a little less dangerous. Nope.

      • I gave Marty his due for years. Not anymore. Thanksgiving Dinner at the Brennamans. Those two knuckleheads? Not enough tequila in the world.

    • Through 5 innings Finnegan had allowed 4 runners (1 hit, 2 BB, 1 HBP) and faced 18 batters, 3 over the minimum (a Mets runner was picked off).

      In the 6th and 7th before Cespedes he had allowed 4 runners (3 hits, 1 BB) and faced 8 hitters, 4 over the minimum for the # of outs recorded.

      This profiles as a guy running down to empty in a hurry, especially given he had to work through a high leverage situation in the 6th facing the 3/4/5 hitters with 2 runners aboard.

      There was nothing more for Finnegan to learn by leaving him in to face Cespedes. If we are talking about the future versus immediate outcome, where is the consideration that leaving a tiring pitcher, especially one as young as 23 with limited starting experience, on the mound too long and asking him to cross a bridge too far is a recipe that invites arm injury.

      • I understand you point OhioJim, but, If we can’t count on a guy that has allowed 0 runs and faced ONLY 7 guys over the minimum, then when can we count on him? You have to give the guy a chance. I think it was the right decision even if the result was what we wanted.

        • But 4 of the last 8 he had faced had reached……

          For me, the 6th inning was key. He had dialed it up to make it through and then in the 7th was right back in trouble with 2 men on and only 1 out.

          Cespedes would have only been the 2nd out (barring a DP). Granderson and Cabrera we on tap after Cespedes. They had both already reached twice on Finnegan; I didn’t see him facing them regardless.

          To me the future and learning opportunity was more about somebody in the pen having a chance to slam the door than a tiring starter getting one more out

  12. If you want to test Finnegan and he gets beat then ok. If they need to hold guys in the minors then that makes sense as well but that doesn’t excuse all the other stuff Price does or fails to do. He’s incompetent…that’s the bottom line. Yeah the Cubs dumped a million games for several years but those guys are all gone? Winning breeds confidence

  13. I agree 1,000,000% with Steve above. It really does suck for the present time, but overall it was a great learning experience for Finnegan. You just can’t give up a HR, let alone a first pitch HR, in that situation.
    It is very, very encouraging about Finnegan taking a no-hitter against the Cubs in Chicago into the 7th. And last night he took a 1-hit shutout into the 7th against the Mets in NY. Though the Reds and Finnegan did not come out with a win in either game, it is almost meaningless in the grand scheme of 2016. How Finnegan comes out of it is the real question. And I feel like he is going to be just fine. The Reds have a real gem here. They’ll just have to polish it up some.
    I’ve seen some comments about Finnegan having a tough 6th inning and running out of gas in the 7th. That might be the most important lesson for Finnegan. I’m sure he busted his tail end conditioning and getting ready for the 2016 this past winter. But next winter, when he is working out and he gets tired and wants to quit for the day, these games are the things that will flood to the forefront of his mind and help push him. All he’ll have to say to himself is Chicago-New York. Chicago-New York. Finish the 7th inning. Finish the 8th inning.
    I can only imagine the blood letting from the Twidiots (twitter idiots) that would have ocurred if Price had taken Finnegan out with a 3 run lead and the bullpen blew it again.

    • What managers are pushing their starters past 100 pitches regularly though? The current trend is go 6…7 at the most and go to the pen. What starters go 8? That’s not the modern game. Also who’s calling these 0-2 pitches? Horrible 0-2 to Walker costs us the game on Monday….0-2 right out over the plate to Wright last night? Have these guys ever heard of a waste pitch or try to nail the corner? Coachable stuff but so is baserunning and we still routinely have guys picked off or not thinking like Hamilton not scoring when Holt bunted? Same old same old and that’s on Price

      • Pitchers have to make the pitches. They can’t leave balls out over the plate waist high, no matter the count. Price may be calling for a Cingrani pitch to be up and in or away, but Cingrani throws it belt high over the outer half of the plate. Hoover has to make the pitches. Jumbo has to make the pitches.
        Price can’t do that from the dugout.

      • And the last time I saw, MLB has two base coaches out there to aid the baserunners. Price can’t do that either from the dugout.

        • Buck stops with him though….and they’re not even attempting a waste pitch on 0-2 or a outside corner paint job. You can tell from the catchers set-up? 0-2 to Walker and they came down and inside….Mesoraco setup there and Ramirez hung it right where he put his catchers mitt. Why not try to paint the outside corner or go with 96 up above the letters? There is no attempt being made….that’s my point. Its not just a mistake per se

        • Mez wanted that pitch low and inside. Ramirez missed. It’s the players that are making the mistakes. That had nothing to do with Price.
          This is coming from a guy that thinks Price should be gone too.

        • I understand your point of view. Price certainly has made some bad decisions at times. But the players’ non-performance or under-performance isn’t on him. Take Tyler Holt last night. Got caught of 2nd base, got in a rundown, and may have cost the Reds a run there. Suarez pops out for the third out right after, but who is to say that Suarez would have seen the same pitch with runners on first and third and 1 out, instead of runner on first and 2 outs.
          No way BHam scores on Holt’s bunt if he ran. Holt hit a hard bunt to an incoming first baseman. BHam was dead meat at the plate if he ran. But Holt made another baserunning mistake there and ran right up to the first baseman for a tag. He should have stopped in his tracks and made the first baseman throw to the bag to get the out. That was the only way BHam would have scored on that bunt. Holt’s brain flatulence on the base paths prevented the Reds from scoring 2 runs last night. Perhaps a different outcome. That isn’t on Price.

      • To be fair, it seems like the Reds have been TOOTBLAN prone since long before Price was manager. Same issues in the Dusty era for sure.

    • Yes WV!!…all of what you said above. I like the part where it is motivation for a player to strive and work to be better.

  14. Anybody good enough with stat filters to see how many times teams have scored on the Reds while facing an 0-2 count?

  15. I just don’t get it. Is this the worst managing ever? Are you sure that Price was once our valued pitching coach? Finnegan already pitched 6 innings and was obviously struggling in the 7th, having obviously run out of gas. Two arms are already up in the bullpen. Price visits the mound. An obvious decision: remove the pitcher. No? Price leaves him in. Utterly unreal. I was screaming at the TV set.

    Who can believe this nonsense?

  16. If wins don’t really matter and its all about development then why isn’t Hamilton back at leadoff? I love Zack but he’ll be atleast 33 before we’re any good again? That’s another BP situation if we don’t trade him because he’ll get some money after this season if he continues. Price had Duvall 7th earlier in the season in front of the pitcher. How are you going to develop as a RBI man when the pitcher is behind you? Duvall should be batting cleanup….best way to get used to hitting with men on base is to hit more often with men on base. Once again this is not rocket science? Cozart is leading off because he’s a better hitter than Ham and the Reds want to attempt to win the game! You can’t work this both ways?

  17. With all due respect… you have said the same exact thing multiple times. You are totally entitled to do so. I am glad he left him in. Learning process for a young player.
    You want to continually beat on Price like he is a pinata on Cinco De Mayo… knock yourself out.
    Those repetitive motion injuries are naggers.

    • I haven’t been a Price basher at all like others but he’s just failing to make standard and normal managerial moves like not turning Walker around RH on Monday night. You don’t have to go to MIT to know that? I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt last year but enough is enough. They refused to use Chapman more than 60 innings or whatever he threw last year but has to push a 22 yr old kid to 110 pitches in his first few career starts? No rationale there….no consistency

    • The thinking was probably if Price counteracts with Cotham or another righty and they bring up Duda. Just imagine the repercussions from the second guessers if you take out Finnegan at any point throwing a shutout and Duda beats him- which we all know would have happened.
      So it obviously was a bad call to leave Finnegan in hindsight but in reality Price was damned if did & damned if he Duda’d.

  18. It’s so easy for everyone to sit here and say that Price should have had Cotham/Wood/ pick your righty, ready to face Cespedes. I think everyone is forgetting that they had Lucas Duda still available off the bench. If you bring in a righty to face Cespedes (presumably), they flip to Duda. Then you’re left with Duda vs. whomever. I’ll take my chances on a banged up Cespedes against a SP that has dominated the whole night. AND, I wouldn’t even consider the 6th a ‘high’ leverage situation. Technically, it was according to fangraphs, but Granderson was the 1st runner to reach 2nd base. Also, he retired the next three on 8 or 9 pitches.

    Additionally, if Price pulls Finnegan and Cotham, Ramirez , etc. give up that same HR to Cespedes OR Duda; the same fans would be moaning about not giving BF a shot to get out of the jam. You would call it poor bullpen management, and Price doesn’t have a clue…. let’s fire him.

    Price is working without 2 of his 4 best players(JB & BP), a 3rd that can’t play regularly (Meso), and missing 3 of his projected SP. Houdini couldn’t pull regular wins out of this….

    • I said at the time the choice was to have Finnegan face Cespedes or a rightie face Duda (unless Price would have gone totally off the wall and brought Cingrani to face Cespedes).

      I believed the better choice was a fresh reliever versus a rapidly fading starter regardless of the match up. That was the better choice both to try to win the game and for “the future”. On teams that are not the Reds, relievers routinely come into these kinds of situations and clean up without forfeiting the lead. The Reds need to start finding guys who can do that for them.

    • Yes, it is VERY disturbing to me that Mes can’t seem to play 2 games in a row. I like the idea of giving him extra rest but if he can’t catch 2 games in a row, he probably shouldn’t be catching.

  19. With all the emphasis on the pitching decisions… what exactly happened in the 3rd with Holt bunting. Was it a missed suicide squeeze? I wasn’t listening then.

    As a general rule, I dislike any manager bunting so early in the game with anyone other than maybe the pitcher. Drives me crazy, crazy, crazy.

    • Even if you think sacrificing is a good strategy- that seems like one of the dumbest places to do it, how big of a DP threat is Holt and even if they do get the DP they score the run. Like you I did not see it.
      Did Hamilton mess up? Was bunting for a hit? How much did that decrease their chances of scoring a run 1st and 3rd no out; 2nd & 3rd 1 out?

    • Agree that was a head scratcher. Holt certainly played it like it was a suicide attempt in his mind, stayed set at home in the box till it was clearly laid down. The 1B was all over it immediately. I don’t think even Hamilton was a lock to make it safely home unless he would have been coming on a suicide attempt.

    • While we are second guessing, why is Schebler your first choice of the bench? How is Mesoraco not hitting there? The only thing I can think of is that Price thought he would send a lefty and then he gets a better match-up.
      I hope he is not so married to the lefty righty match-up he thought another ML manager would counteract with that dumb move. I realize Mes is struggling but Schebler??? and do not get me started with having 9 deep bullpen and not having Peraza up.

  20. We know that the Reds front office isn’t as concerned with wins and losses this year. We don’t know how Price feels about it though.

    It always surprises me a bit when managers and GM’s who are on the hot seat get raked over the coals for making a move to win now at the cost of the future. Would you put the long term health of the company your work for over your own job security? There is a good chance that Bryan Price is fighting for his managerial life this year. If he somehow gets the Reds to 80 wins, then he probably has a job for another year. If the Reds completely tank, he is probably gone.

    This is the main reason that Price shouldn’t be the manager this year. But the Reds have created this conflict of interest, so I’m not gonna bash Price if he makes moves designed to win now at the cost of the future. It’s in his own self interest to do so.

    • Do you really think Price has a chance of being manager next year? I figured FO kept him around because of sunk cost and ability to develop young pitchers. I haven’t seen much to indicate his in game management has improved. Short of this Reds team winning the central, I can’t imagine FO retains him. I hope he has an opportunity to find a pitching coach position elsewhere. Maybe another organization will mentor him into being an effective manager because the Reds don’t seem to be doing that.

      • I think that this is a front office that values results over process. If the Reds surprise people and end up around .500, then I could see them bringing Price back. I don’t think the Reds will be anywhere close to .500, but if they did, I could see them giving Price a 2 year deal.

        But it really doesn’t matter what I think. It matters what Bryan Price thinks. If he thinks that reaching a certain number of wins will help him keep his job, then he’s gonna try to get those wins. It wouldn’t really make sense for the Reds to allow Price to believe that he’s gone no matter what because there would be no reason for him to really care about the young guys development. He would be trying even harder to make himself look good in that scenario, so that he has more options for his next job.

  21. Bottom line….we got some tremendous talent back in some of these trades and Winker looks good! The future should be promising but it may take longer than I thought. I think I put a little too much stock in Houston’s rise but they’re 6-15 and would prob be 3-18 if it wasn’t for old retread Colby Rasmus. Its going to take time and a lot of trial/error

  22. Diaz for the Cards 27-58 so far with 3 HRs….a .466 average? How is that possible? I doubt if 25% of the HOFers from the modern era have had streaks like that for 1/10 of the season? How do the Cards bring up lightly regarded guys nobody has ever heard of and many of them hit like crazy….atleast for a while?

  23. I want to add one more thing to the “Negatives” list. 3 dumb outs on the bases.

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