The Reds hit three solo home runs in route to a 3-2 win on Monday night against the Pirates. Dan Straily gave the Reds his third consecutive quality start. Most importantly, the Reds bullpen pitched three scoreless innings in the win. The Pirates got a runner to third base with 1 out in the 9th inning, but Tony Cingrani worked around it to secure the Reds victory.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (14-19) 3 9 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (17-15) 2 5 0
W: Ramirez (1-2) L: Niese (3-2) S: Cingrani (2) 
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Reds Pirates WPA

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Tucker Barnhart’s solo home run with 2 outs in the 7th inning, giving the Reds a 3-2 leadThat play increased the Reds chances of winning by 24.0% (from 52.1% to 76.1%)

Positives

The Reds bullpen threw three scoreless innings! J.C. Ramirez, Blake Wood, and Tony Cingrani all got the job done tonight.

Dan Straily continues to do a really nice job in the Reds rotation. He threw his third consecutive quality start tonight. He now has a 3.47 ERA through 5 starts.

Cozart

Zack Cozart hit his 4th home run of the season to lead off the game. Cozart has been so much fun to watch so far this season. Cozart also made an incredible play in the 8th inning, that really helped Blake Wood get out of the inning.

Joey Votto hit his 5th home run of the season, which tied the game up in the 6th inning. It was mentioned on the broadcast, but Votto is really starting to hit the ball hard. I don’t want to jinx it, but it really feels like Votto is on the verge of going on a month long baseball killing spree.

Tucker Barnhart hit his 1st home run of the season to give the Reds a 3-2 lead in the 7th inning. It was the first home run of the season for a Reds catcher. Tucker is the kind of guy you really like rooting for. He seems really prepared for every start he gets, and always gives it 100%.

Billy Hamilton had 3 hits! Yes, 3 hits! He was thrown out on his only SB attempt, but HE HAD THREE HITS!

Brandon Phillips made a really nice back-handed play with 1 out in the 9th, and a runner on 3rd base (who would have been the tying run).

Negatives

Nothing to see here tonight.

Not so random thoughts………

A big play in the game came in the 8th inning. Blake Wood walked the first batter in the inning, Andrew McCutchen. He then got behind 3-0 to Gregory Polanco, but Polanco was given the green light, and he flied out. It was a strange move to swing 3-0 on a guy who is struggling to throw strikes, but it really benefited the Reds.

Jim Day did the play by play for the Reds tonight. He wasn’t great by any means, but the nice thing was that he just called the game for the most part, and didn’t interject negativity all over the broadcast. That is refreshing.

I’ve seen a lot said about the Reds low attendance numbers. The Reds not being good certainly has a lot to do with that, but also the numbers were up last year because of the All-Star Game. People only got season tickets so they could go to the big game. I wouldn’t worry too much about the ticket revenue. The Reds get a lot of other money through areas other than ticket sales. And if your worried about the fans losing interest in the team permanently, I wouldn’t worry too much. The fans will come back when this team has a winner again. I remember attending a game in 2009 for $10, and I sat right behind home plate.

Up Next:

Pirates at Reds
Tuesday, 7:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Alfredo Simon (9.86 ERA) vs Juan Nicasio (3.16 ERA)

 

Feature photo used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Sam Greene, and is used by permission. 

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! 46 Comments

  1. Really…right behind home plate for $10!! It would have been a great deal tonight.

  2. I would be great to see Cingrani and Ramirez blossom as relievers. It isn’t to late, maybe they just need the experience in the roles?

  3. Good Job closing by Cingrani. The Reds only have him as a left handed pitcher in the bullpen, so if you need that Lefty Lefty matchup in the earlier innings, Cingrani is it. Looks like the Reds will figure out which relievers get better and which ones need more work as the season goes on. Work in Progress. It can only get better, hopefully. Good Job by Straily tonight going 6 innings. Remember these pitchers are not Kershaw, Sale, Arrieta, Bumgardner, or pitchers like that. For the Reds starters to go 6 innings, is good. The relievers need to come in and do their job!

    • Completely disagree, this bullpen is a bunch of castoffs who would be lucky to find spots at AAA. Cingrani is good but he should be the 3rd or 4th option, the starters should be pushed to go 7 if they are below 100 pitches after 6. Somehow Hurdle gets out managed by Price, I cannot believe he let his pitcher bat in the 7th with Ramirez pitching. Swinging away at 3-0 after a lead off walk

      • Enjoy the win, there will not be a ton of them this season. You cannot judge the bullpen and those on it from the small sample size that they have had. The reason these guys are up here is not o be A+ relievers like Chapman, some of them are merely place holders until the younger guys develop more, and until our starters are back in the fold, then the replacement starters will be bull pen guys. In this bullpen, Tony is not the third or fourth option, because he has the most tenure and experience.

      • Cingrani has a sub 3 era. I am fine with him in the pen. He just needs use

        Kevius was 6 innings of shut out with no walks and 6 k’s tonight at AAA. He is the guy who I thought would be doing more for our pen. Hopefully he gets straightened out

        • Use? Cingrani leads the team in appearances, maybe you really meant used effectively. Price finally letting him pitch in decent situation not with runners on, but suspect he will have meltdown, only pitcher along with Wood that has yet to give up homer. I seriously doubt Kevius is all of sudden going be anything else than what he was if he comes back up, better off with Jumbo

  4. Good recap, Nick.

    Just wanted to point out one thing. Votto has been hitting the ball hard all year, he’s not really just starting. So far in terms of contact authority, this is Votto’s best year ever. Maybe now they’ll start turning into more doubles and homers.

    Interesting to note is that Votto’s GIDP was hit at 100mph and his HR was hit at 98mph.

    • Votto almost just fighting off that pitch that went for the HR reminded me of damage Lance Berkman always seemed to wreak on the Reds with a similar swing on similarly located pitches.

    • Wrt Votto, note also that his GO/AO is 1.81 vs. a career of 1.26. Even last year it was 1.42. He’s hitting far more grounders, and it’s easy to see that the opposing defenses are using the shift far more lately.

      I think what’s going to end up happening is Votto is going to win this cat-n-mouse game…he’ll begin finding the holes more often and the defenses will pay. Of course, Votto’s power numbers will start ticking up at the same time…more doubles and a slightly higher HR rate. With Billy starting to make much harder contact, this is going to be a lot of fun!

    • Joey has been hitting the ball hard all year. He is striking out more than usual, and he appears to be drawing fewer walks than usual (eye test, I admit). It probably does not mean that he has changed his approach, at least I hope that it doesn’t, but the circumstantial evidence raises the question.

    • Votto has indeed been swinging it better. He has raised his OPS 108 points in May. He seems to be walking more in the month and generally just looks better to me. I like that he’s knocked a few out too. The only thing really, really odd to me is the fact that he’s only hit one double all season. The strikeout numbers, I’m hoping will go down.

  5. You do a great job Nick. Thank you for your efforts.

  6. Nice win. And a nice Grand Slam from Todd Frazier in extra innings, tonight. Still missing that guy.

    • Saw Chapman pitch last night struck out 1st 2 batters, gave up a hard hit ball to center that I am sure Hamilton gets but goes to all beyond the outfielders reach, then a sharp hit grounder that Gregorious should have had, a pretty routine play for Cozart scores a run, finished off by taking a comebacker.
      He was hitting 101 all his Yankee teammates were ooing and awing on the first 2 strike outs.

  7. That’s probably true.

  8. Re: Attendance and cash flow

    I fear that what I posted under an earlier article regarding club economics may have been taken a bit more negatively than was intended.

    In a (very) roundabout way, what I’m trying to analyze/derive/get at is:
    (a) how much can the Reds sustainably allocate to payroll plus player development and maintenance (i.e.) analytics, training, health, etc.) now and into the foreseeable future.
    (b) by this metric, how will the small-market Reds stack up against the rest of the league? Will a gap develop, widen, narrow?

    I know that attendance and attendance-related streams are only part of the revenue flow – and not necessarily the largest part when broadcast and media streams from all sources are taken into account. Plus the wondrous anomalies of sports franchise accounting.

    As far as business operations go, Castellini and Co. have done an above average (maybe well above average) job in running and developing the Reds -as a business-. (Would that I could say -as a bullpen-, but…..) and I don’t see the club as being at risk. If you doubt, just go back and look at the Dark Age (Schott, early Lindner) for a view of what -real- peril is like. It’s just that, as a small-market club with, essentially, a family ownership, the Reds have less margin for error than most of their peers. Smarter analytics and player decisions can compensate for a big chunk of that.

    • The key phrase is “less margin for error.” The Reds, Royals, Brewers, Pirates, Rays, Indians, White Sox, and Twins are all roughly in the same boat. They all can compete,they just can’t write off a mistake like the Cubs or Yankees can.

  9. Last night was another example Reds only need a more competitive rotation to get at 2nd or 3rd place in the division. Hitting, speed and defense is already there. As long as those guys come back from DL (Bailey, Disco & Iglesias) plus Reed and Stephenson are promoted, Price won’t need to rely so much in the bullpen and then it’ll be easier to set it up.

    • The bullpen will still get plenty of wear and tear. None of the pitchers in the rotation now or soon to be are likely to throw many complete games, given their age, injury history and the general trend in baseball. They aren’t missing being better, maybe competitive, by very much, (the Reds, I mean) but I’ll be really surprised if it happens this year and am pretty certain that I don’t want them to buy some expensive pieces to try for second or third place and, in so doing, get away from the rebuild that has the potential to keep them competitive and worth watching for many years.

      • I agree with you in principle that the Reds should avoid being put off the tracks on their rebuild. However I am increasingly wondering whether taking beginning steps to win more now and long term rebuilding has to be a zero sum either/ or proposition from the position they are in now.

        Cozart and Bruce probably still need to go away due to cost, age, and length of control issues; but, given what we are seeing out of Peraza and Winker at Louisville, will it really be a step back if they step into the everyday MLB line up in the places of Cozart and Bruce?

        Duvall is turning out to be serviceable until they find somebody better and not a sore thumb holding up the process (although they do need to resolve who plays left and who plays right between Winker and Duvall until Duvall’s replacement is found). Same for Barnhart behind the plate; and even Hamilton (sometimes).

        There is never going to be a perfect confluence of talent, controllability, and cost. Now is as good of a time as any for the Reds to quit idling and start easing ahead.

  10. Thanks for taking the time to do the writing, Nick.

  11. Fine, FINE win from the Redlegs last night. Enjoyed the write up and the graphs. Any way to visually communicate information effectively is good.

  12. We haven’t seen many right handed Hamilton at bats but I really like what I saw last night. I don’t expect three hits from him very often but I loved the line drives hard and soft. If he’s learning to repeat that approach then his productivity could soar (of course, there’s nowhere but up for Hamilton in that regard). Seeing those right handed at bats does make me wonder about killing the switch hitting experiment though. Watching closely, rooting hard.

  13. That’s funny, I always like to look at the win-probability graph and biggest play, especially if I didn’t actually watch the game and I’m just looking at the box score. Helps highlight what was important.

    • Ha! I was just thinking the same thing, RSI. It took longer to complain about it than it does to simply skip over that section in the Recap. Oh well. To each their own. Nice job, Nick.

  14. [Editor’s Note: If you find yourself writing a comment along the lines of “X shouldn’t say this” or “Y shouldn’t write that” you aren’t discussing the Reds and that’s not within the guidelines for our comment section. Otherwise, keep up the great conversation!]

  15. I, for one, am a big fan of the win-prob graph because it’s a visual representation of how one inning or play spikes the team’s opportunity to win. The biggest play of the game is relevant because it is the turning point that lead the team to victory. They could get rid of the commenters who complain, and no one would miss them either. Maybe you should start your own free website and put in the time with daily articles before complaining about the layout of great websites like Redleg Nation.

    • And now my comment looks silly since the other one got deleted. Lol.

      • I agree, the WPA is a nice way to determine where and how the game went one way or the other. I’m glad some folks enjoy it. I remember writing a recap of a game where the biggest play was Skip Schumaker hitting a single, advancing a runner to third in a tie game. The Reds got the winning run on a sac fly, but the most important play was the single before.

  16. I’m not too concerned about attendance, it was the same way last year. Not having a retractable roof costs us dearly, at least 200,000 fans until the middle of May. Houston puts their roof down when there’s a strong wind. Get into the 21st century Cincinnati.

    • You do realize there are only a handful of stadiums that have retractable roofs, right? Seattle (rainy), Arizona (heat), Miami (heat, humidity, rain), Houston (heat, humidity)…… so the Reds need to jump into the 21st century? Why would a team spend billions of dollars on an investment that would be used maybe 10-15 times a year? The ROI on that would be poor to put it mildly.

      • Yeah, I think it was cost prohibitive at the time for the Reds. It isn’t feasible from an engineering standpoint to add one now. I would add Toronto and Milwaukee to your list though. I still don’t get why Minnesota didn’t do it, nor Detroit for that matter. Budget restrictions most likely. They both would make even more sense than the Reds doing it.

    • And who will pay for such an expensive item? If the fans want it, simply add the cost of construction to the ticket price. But do not by place it on the back of Cincy or Hamilton County taxpayers. Or you can add a tax/fee to the restaurants, hotels and bars in the stadium area. Or, here’s a novel idea, get the team owners to pay for it. Oh. We do not learn a thing from the Bengals’ stadium finance fiasco.

    • 200,000 is perhaps a bit generous. We are basically in mid-May and Milwaukee, with their roof, has a home attendance of 463,812, the Reds are at 455,455. The Brewers are a good comp, as both teams stink and have reasonably similar market size. Even with a roof, this team wouldn’t be drawing 600,000 at this point in the season.

  17. You know, you have to credit Bryan Price when he does something good. It appears that batting Billy in the 2 hole is good for Billy.

    I want to see more of it, but it was good.

    What a great bunt by Holt last night. Textbook, bat head stayed above the handle and he walked to first base.

    Billy needs to but that same way; get the bunt down. He is faster than Holt, he does not need to cheat that first step. Get the bunt down, you have plenty of jet power to beat the play.

    and continue driving the ball and they cannot play in on you. 235 can go up in a hurry then

    • Your last point is perhaps the most important. Hitting the ball hard forces the defense to play Hamilton a little more honestly. They’ll never play him at normal depth because then the bunts can kill them, but they’ll have to play at least a little deeper. That means more of your bunts go as hits too.

  18. I was a little surprised the announcers said the Reds were last in walks in the NL (or MLB?). Obv Votto hasn’t walked as much but it seems like the rest of the guys are trying to be patient. BP and Cozart are not in that mold but they’re doing some damage anyway? You’d think a team thats last in walks/HRs allowed and last in walks drawn would be much worse than .424?

    • Well the Reds have been somewhat lucky with their distribution of runs. Their run differential (pythag record) suggests they should be 11-22.

    • I think having 3 regulars (Cozart, Phillips, Bruce) walking less, even for them, is probably why the Reds are in that situation.

      The only players above the league average of 8.6 BB% are Votto (14.7%), Dejesus (12.5% in only 48 PA), and the injured Mesoraco (9.1% in only 55 PA).

      So really, you could say every Red other than Votto is below average at drawing walks, or injured, or only 1/2 way to a statistically significant amount of PAs.

  19. You can’t attribute last season’s attendance to the ASG, as 2013 and 2014 both had higher attendance than 2015.

    It’s also not weather, as last year had MUCH worse weather through APR and early MAY.

    It’s about success, or the lack thereof.

Comments are closed.

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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