Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (14-21) 2 4 0
Philadelphia Phillies (21-15) 3 7 1
W: Hellickson (3-2) L: Finnegan (1-2) S: Gomez (14)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Adam Duvall had a couple of hits, including a double, and he scored one of the Cincinnati runs. Duvall is hitting .258/.308/.536; that OPS of 844 is good, even if heavily dependent on his power (I’d like to see a better on-base percentage, in other words). But Duvall’s production is better than pretty much every left fielder the Reds have had since Frank Robinson, or so it seems.

–The bullpen didn’t give up a run. Seems like I should mention that, since it happens so rarely.

The Bad
–This Offense Stinks. Two runs on four lonely hits.

The Reds didn’t get a single hit after the fourth inning.

–Cozart, Suarez, Votto, Phillips, Bruce: 0-18. Reds won’t win many games when that happens.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Reds lose, their fourth loss in five games. This isn’t fun.

But earlier tonight, something occurred to me. The first five seasons after we started Redleg Nation, the Reds were 73-89, 80-82, 72-90, 74-88, 78-84. Yet we kept following this dumb team every day, and cheering for them, and writing about them. And it got better.

We will survive this, Nation.

–Since sweeping the Phillies in the season-opening series, the Reds have gone 11-21. Over that same span, Philadelphia is 21-12. I don’t understand baseball.

–Brandon Finnegan batted for himself in the top of the fifth. When the Reds came back to the field, Steve Delabar came running in from the bullpen, and there was some confusion as to why he was there. I’m not exactly sure what happened there, but this I know: it was an example of the high-quality managing* from Jim Riggleman that you can expect if the Reds fire Bryan Price.**

*Sarcasm.
**Price was suspended for tonight’s game, so Riggleman was filling in. Consider me unimpressed.

–Lot of complaining on twitter about Jose Peraza getting a callup to the big leagues, then not getting in the game. Some of that is overblown; after all, twitter will complain about whatever decision the Reds make in every single situation.

On the other hand, I can’t say that I see a lot of logic in a rebuilding team giving at-bats in a lost season to Jordan Pacheco and Tyler Holt when you have a guy like Peraza on the bench who might actually be a key player on the next good Reds team. But what do I know? (Don’t answer that.)

–Phillies had three bunt hits tonight, equaling their total for the entire year. Wonder what they were seeing that made them resort to that strategy?

–Oh well, we’ll be back for more tomorrow, right?

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 21 Comments

  1. Reds lead. Reds lose lead. Reds lose. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  2. So many mediocre position players with no OBS skills whatsoever. I am not an envious man, but the Pirates starting eight–that is an impressive OBS machine. Our ENTIRE outfield does not equal one of their talented outfielders. I was hoping the Reds had been able to draft the sensational outfielder that the Red Sox got–I am drawing a blank on his name–the Reds drafted him out of high school I believe. So many hackers on the Reds and throughout the minor leagues–the coaches/players? just don’t get it. My wife says I should find another team–as if that is an option for real fans, right?

    • Wives are always right. You will learn this soon enough. If you switch teams you’ll probably wind up with a better overall experience, less stress, a longer life, and a happier wife because you listened to her.

    • Benintendi. Reds drafted him out of HS, and he is killing the baseball as we speak. Reds 4 Life.

    • I actually have a 2nd team. They shall never pass the Reds as #1 in my heart though. That said, the O’s are having a pretty good year. This after USA Today saying they’d be as bad as my Reds with a much higher payroll.

  3. The three pitch mix from Finnegan is compelling, but the free passes will preclude him from sticking as a starter. I agree with Chris Welch–Finnegan needs to slow the game down and not try and go 100mph all the time. Hopefully he’ll mature into it.

    Holt doesn’t do anything that blows you away, but the tools are solid across the board. Give me that consistency over the once in a blue moon flash of Hamilton.

    Delabar could stick. I like the tilt he gets on his pitches and the velocity.

    Until the big 4 get called up, these games are all about discovering who can complement those prospects.

    • Looks like I was typing as you were posting re:Finnegan. I also see Holt as a guy who could stick around as a bench OF.

      And BTW, one of the “Big 4” was called up and immediately shown a seat on the bench. I guess that’s the Reds way now. I liked trader Jack McKeion’s way better. He’d tell the reporters in so many words that if the front office thought a guy was good enough to be brought up that likely meant he was playing well enough to be used; and, into the fray he’d send them.

  4. Trying to find a positive, Finnegan appears to be establishing that he is most likely a solid to outstanding bullpen guy down the road. Obviously he has to cut down on the walks; but for a stretch of several inning he can be formidable when he doesn’t allow free passes. Also he doesn’t seem intimidated by difficult situations. If the walks can be controlled, he is ready for the back end of the pen.

    • You’re more kind than me, I guess. If a guy can’t throw strikes, I’m not sure how valuable he is in the bullpen either. I think this year’s Reds’ bullpen validates that point. Wherever Finnegan is going to pitch, he better learn to throw strikes.

      • I think I cut him some slack because when he throws strikes his stuff is good enough he isn’t an instant HR machine like the crew they have in the pen now.

  5. Command will make it break Finnegan. 20 pitches an inning just won’t get it done. Somehow he has to fix that or it’s the bullpen or another team in his near future. And that would be a shame because the raw talent is there. On a related note, Suarez had a line single to left as I recall so it wasn’t quite 0-18, but Votto looks over matched against Hellickson, who seems like a pitcher Votto should demolish. I’m not sure what’s different with Joey right now but some days he looks lost. I hope that changes soon.

    • *make OR break

    • I agree on both JV and Finnegan.
      There are a number of ABs which Votto just doesn’t seem to be able to get into at all the way he has in the past. Is he not able to read the ball and react as well/ quickly as he did formerly? Is there some injury that is causing him to not be able mechanically to swing like he has in the past? Is the shift getting into his head???

      • Votto has had his share of little league swings. Hands barely left his body and yet he tried to swing.

  6. The total lack of on base skills by Reds players over many years makes me wonder what’s going on in the farm system. It seems like none of the guys that come up here are willing to take a walk. I swear that if a pitcher threw five straight balls into the dugout with must of these players the best you could hope for would be a full count. That’s an exaggeration, but I don’t know how big of one. Over a decade ago Dan O’Brien drew criticism and laughter with his “take a pitch” mandate to the farm system trying to instill patience in their hitters. Now I’m not so sure. While the Reds seem to do a good job (after decades of futility) in drafting and developing starting pitching, something is clearly off when it comes to position players. Here’s hoping the new GM shakes things up in player development, otherwise it’s just going to be more of the same – spin to win.

    • It’s been a combination of a lack of consistent emphasis at the minor league level *reinforced* by indifference, or even hostility, toward plate discipline at the major league level. The Reds employed a manager for 6 years who encouraged players to swing at the first pitch, who mocked the contribution of walks to scoring runs, who ignored on base skills in playing time and lineup decisions. If you were a minor league player and saw that, how much would you care about developing a good eye? Hope you’re right about the new GM and staff.

    • What drives me nuts is not the lack of walks but that I see so many batters swinging at pitchers’ pitches (outside the zone or borderline in the zone) when they are ahead in the count. Drives me bonkers!

  7. Our position players are basically the same as we have had for the last few years.Outside of Votto they will not go deep into a count which is surprising because nobody cares about striking out any more.There thought process seems to be to go up hacking and if I can get it in the air at GABP then it may go out.This is why I am so frustrated that we don’t give Peraza and Winker some at bats.Maybe we will in a couple of months but its hard to watch the same players doing the same things night after night.I realize the Reds tried to trade Phillips and Bruce and there may be others but until they do this rebuild or reboot hasn’t started.Will we lose more games when these guys are gone?Probably will but does it matter?Losing is losing regardless of how many you lose and I don’s think the front office gives us enough credit.We know what we are facing but we just want to see something taking place that gives us some hope for next year and beyond.Right now this offense stinks but its with the same group of players we had ran out there for years other then Suarez and Duvall and I like what I see with both of them.

  8. The Reds knew Wednesday Hamilton will be gone for the weekend. What a perfect time for Peraza to join the team and have a workout before the weekend games. Start him all 3 games “to get his feet wet” then send him down to continue his good play.

    I was hoping to see Peraza and Holt batting 1,2 in the lineup just to mix things up, run the bases and create opportunities.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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2016 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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