2016 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Another banner night for the bullpen

Final R H E
Seattle Mariners (24-17) 8 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (15-27) 3 7 0
W: Iwakuma (2-4) L: Wood (3-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–You wanna hear some good news? I finished this recap just before my laptop’s battery was drained completely. Success!

–Six strong innings from Dan Straily. Sure, he was helped by a beautiful defensive play from Billy Hamilton in the sixth, but still: 6 IP, one run allowed on hour hits.

My opinion may be colored by the awful pitching we’ve seen so far this year, but I have to believe that Straily is probably the greatest pitcher in the history of the universe.

–Zack Cozart had a long homer. Tucker Barnhart had three hits, and Adam Duvall had a couple.

–The Reds had a lead going into the seventh inning…

(You all know how that story ends.)

The Bad
–With a 3-1 lead, Bryan Price was forced against his will to turn the game over to the bullpen, namely Blake Wood. Wood allowed two singles and two walks to the four batters he faced. With the lead cut to 3-2, Tony Cingrani entered. On his first pitch, he plunked Robinson Cano to tie the game. By the time the dust settled, the Mariners were leading 5-3.

–The bullpen has blown 10 of 14 save chances. It’s the 11th time this season that the Reds have surrendered a lead in the seventh inning or later and went on to lose the game.

–In the ninth inning, Jumbo Diaz gave up a homer to Nelson Cruz that probably traveled 700 miles. The second home run that Diaz surrendered in the ninth was just a garden variety homer, however.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’s five losses in a row for the ol’ Redlegs, eight of their last nine, and ten of their last twelve. This season ain’t goin’ so well.

–Can I just say this, because I hear criticism all the time? This is not Bryan Price’s fault, in any way. He’s likely to get fired after this season, but he does not deserve one ounce of blame for this Cincinnati Reds debacle we’ve been watching over the last two years.

–I’ve really never seen anything like this bullpen. I mean, every bullpen struggles occasionally, but this collection of jokers blows the game every single night. It’s complete insanity…

…but it’s kinda hilarious. I’m still watching this team every night, and it’s kinda fun to see what new ways the bullpen is going to find to kill our hopes. We already knew the 2016 Reds were going to stink. Why not see some historic ineptitute along the way?

–No jokes, Straily was a great buy-low acquisition by the Reds, as we said here at RN at the time.

–Steve Selsky struck out in his first major league at-bat. Let’s hope there are better times ahead.

–Love the fact that the Reds are celebrating Ken Griffey Jr. with the Mariners in town this weekend. Who’s gonna pick up a bobblehead for me tomorrow?

–Also, isn’t it appropriate that the Reds are honoring Junior, since the last time Cincinnati had such a horrid pitching staff was back when Griffey was playing here.

–I don’t talk about the announcers very often, because so much of that is subjective. But I do have a comment on Jim Day, who was performing play-by-play duties on tonight’s television broadcast. He was genuinely good. And I usually don’t care for him as the between-innings goofy guy.

But I enjoyed him tonight. He did the play-by-play and got out of the way. I liked it. Wish Chris Welsh had been paired with him.

–Good night, Nation.

43 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Another banner night for the bullpen

  1. Love the Chad Dotson recaps. That sense of humor launched this site. Good to see him again doing regular recaps, especially during a dismal season.

    • I understand loving the City of Cincinnati. I lived there 29 of my 50 years. But what in the world was DatDude thinking when he vetoed a trade to an odds-on favorite to be in the playoffs, with his favorite uncle, I mean Dusty Baker, managing, in order to stay for….this? Honestly, I just don’t get that.

      • There were strong indications he vetoed the trade over money, We don’t know the details or exactly what happened but several well sourced writers reported that in Phillips contract a significant portion of Phillips salary was deferred for payment years later; and, that the Nats told the Reds the Reds had to settle the deferments on salary already earned. When the Reds and Phillips could not agree on terms, Phillips blocked the deal.

        • Yes I know that. And that’s mostly a Nats/Reds thing. BP is going to get his money, per his contract. Trying to get MORE money to leave an historically bad team to go to a playoff team, and eventually just staying put, well, again, I honestly don’t get that. But he earned his 5 & 10, and he can do whatever he wants.

  2. Welsh worked along with Jim Day last week calling the game, and I agree that Jim Day did a really good job.

    • I’ve often don’t listen to the TV audio but I did some last week just to hear JD. I liked what I heard. He was light years better than when I’ve heard him do “play by play” in the past. I’d say he’s been spending some of his days off honing these skills.

      • That’s good to hear that he’s improved because in the past, I thought he was tough to listen to.

  3. I’m traveling in Shanghai with an Italian colleague who knows nothing about baseball. He was very entertained when ahead 3-1 I explained the concept of the bullpen, and that we were very likely to lose the game. Watching the 7th was a horror, but he was entertained that the game ended similarly to what I predicted.

    Seriously – Dan Straily is our second best candidate for the obligatory All Star invite. That in and of itself is reason to be entertained by this version of the ol’ Redlegs. I can’t wait to watch tomorrow morning from Guangzhou.

  4. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Dan Straily turned into our Jake Arrieta? High pedigree guy that doesn’t figure it out until he pitches for a bottom-dwelling team. Obviously the chances of that happening are longer than the bomb Cruz hit off Jumbo tonight, but I can’t help but dream…

    • The next Arrieta, probably not. But he could be a very good pitcher for years to come.

  5. The opening theme music from Game of Thrones should just blast from the PA whenever ANY member of the bullpen enters the game. You just know something EPIC is about to happen.

  6. Biggest news of the night may have been Price in his post games comments. He said, speaking of the bullpen “It’s been bad….. I want to see some results or I want to see some change, one of the two”. This would seem to quite possibly put him on a collision course with the front office….

        • That is probably the most direct about it I’ve heard from him. I was just trying to both sooth the pain some with a little humor and take an indirect jab at management in general. I really wasn’t thinking about Price firing the pitching coach, more that he would be directed to do so by upper management.

        • I had thought Price was just a tool for Jocketty. I found some respect for Price. Laying the blame where it belongs. Basically said, “rebuild or not, this staff is unacceptable.”

        • Scotly50 To be clear for those who did not hear Price live or see the clip later, he not only said that rebuild or not, the staff performance was unacceptable, he went the step further of saying it wasn’t acceptable not to try and make it better.

      • This was my thought when I read the original quote before seeing the clip. However on the clip I thought he seemed very composed, even stopping several times to review his thoughts and consider his next words.

  7. I thought it was cool that Lance McAlister was giving this site some love for the Jay Bruce post. Steve mentioned it on the game thread. Your little ol’ website is really growing up, Chad !!!

  8. I would DFA Blake Wood and Jumbo today. Both have numerically good fastballs, but both require so much effort to reach the number that they have no control over it, nor any movement on it. Both are over 30; neither has any future with the Reds. Jumbo can’t control his appetite when doing so is worth millions to him; he can’t repeat his delivery in part because he is way too fat.

  9. I know this is strictly prohibited on this site, but let’s face it: Joey Votto is having an utterly awful season.

    He is currently 7th among the regulars in slugging, at .370, ahead only Billy Hamilton’s .352. He has negative WAR both offensively and defensively, and is becoming Dick (Dr. Strangeglove) Stuart on ground balls. His strikeout (26.2) rate is more than 35% higher than his career average; his groundball rate is up. He is still getting a lot of walks, but his doing so merely flips the lineup to Brandon Phillips, whose OBP for May is .260. Until Votto shows he can hit again, teams are not going to be afraid to pound the strike zone with him, and his walk rate should decline.

    I doubt Votto himself would buy the “He’s been unlucky” argument; I think Votto would concede he’s been bad.

    There is the possibility–not yet saying it yet–that Votto is going to have a Jim Rice-like fast decline. Rice went from a 400+ total base season at age 25 to being essentially finished by age 34. Rice was a completely different kind of hitter–electric bat speed at 25, without taking a lot of walks–but was generally undone by bad eyesight, which I am beginning to wonder about with Votto.

    They still owe him $179 million after this year.

    • Maybe we can trade him for Mike Trout!! It could happen. 🙂

      Seriously, I feel bad for Joey, but he is not hitting and something is wrong with him. Maybe he will bounce back next year, or maybe he is in very real decline.

      • Partly because there is zero cost to make this prediction now or even later if I’m horribly wrong, but I predict Votto has another strong finish to the year, four months of solid offense that remind us he’s stilk Joey Votto. May 21st you saw it here first.

        • *still Joey Votto. Though I’m thinking stilk could be a pretty cool new word. You still stink? You stilk!

    • Most people who discuss Votto’s struggles blame them, at least in part, on his being pitched inside, and it’s obvious that he is. I am a little surprised that he hasn’t adapted yet, but what do I know? It’s probably a very difficult challenge to adapt to.

  10. Maybe it’s time to push the ol’ Ferrari into the river. Got a blown head gasket, looks like smoke and oil’s goin’ everywhere. What a dumb line that was from Votto. You aint no Ferrari this year, Joey.

    I lobbied hard for keeping Chapman till the trade deadline this year, both before and after the first trade fiasco hit last winter. Of course, the Reds forgot to listen to me again, haha. I suggested they either plug him in at starter and showcase him there, which with success would make him even more valuable,or let him continue on as The Fastest Reliever Ever again for a while longer, while rebuilding the trade value lost by his crazy inicident. Obviously the need for him at reliever would havetaken precedent after the season began. This team has, what , 11 blown saves, 12, 13??…oh wait while I’m typing this, I think they just blew another one this morning. If the bullpen had been even normal horrendous and blown only half of those saves, instead of nearly all of them, the Reds would be 21-21, and still waiting for these mysterious ghost pitchers who supposedly exist as reinforcements to show up. It would be a whole lot less painful.

    It was obvious the Reds were gonna be short on good, experienced pitchers most of this year, as the new guys audition and take a lot of lumps. Why in the world would they rush to trade a great arm, still with a reasonable salary at arguably his lowest trade value? Chalk this up to one more colossal gaffe by an completely overmatched and inept front office. But hey Dick Williams is Bob’s in-law, so that makes everything OK, right? Folks, I gotta tell ya. we are entering a Bengals-like Lost Decade Era with the Reds, I’m afraid. I hope I’m wrong, but all indicators say otherwise.

    • Yes, I tend to agree. A Bengals-like lost decade. I ‘m sure that Bob Castellini is REALLY ANGRY about the Red’s losing. But this is on the Walt Jocketty Regime, which you hired, Bob.
      And yes, I’m SURE that Dick Williams will find the path out of this painful mess.

      The Red’s have had a boatload of injuries to key pitching staff guys, but they are not going to pull the trigger on Stephenson or Reed for a couple of more weeks or a month, at least. Josh Smith is in the near future for another starting pitching slot.

      Yay! Catch the fever!

      • David, I was being sarcastic about Dick Williams. I don’t think there’s anything strong or special about his resume, as opposed to, say, a Theo Epstein’s. I’ll gladly be wrong about it, but I’m afraid the only qualification on his resume is being Bob’s in-law.

        I do applaud your positive thinking after last night. The Reds should hire you to sell tickets. Most of us are shell shocked and depressed.

  11. Wouldn’t it be fun if the Reds did a complete pitching overhaul in one day?
    Fake Media transaction report, 7/1/16:

    Recalled from DL:
    Homer Bailey, Raisel Iglesias, Anthony Desclafani, Michael Lorenzen.

    Promoted from AAA Louisville:
    Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed

    Demoted: Caleb Cotham, Keyvius Sampson
    Released: Steve Delabar, Jumbo Diaz, Alfredo Simon, Blake Wood

    (New rotation: Bailey, Iglesias, Stephenson, Reed, Desclafani
    New bullpen: Finnegan, Lamb, Lorenzen, Straily, Cingrani, Ramirez, Ohlendorf.)

  12. The starters are fill ins because of the injuries and the pen was a gamble to start with.But wouldn’t you think with several guys such as Diaz,Ramirez,Cingrani,Ohly etc that can hit 95 or better on the gun that they could get people out more consistently.Maybe none of them belong on the roster of the Reds or any other team but 95 is 95.I realize ALL of them struggle to throw strikes and that may just be the problem and if that can’t be fixed then they have to go.Stay the course nation because it will get better.

  13. Starts and ends with Castellini. If he can’t afford to field a winner he should sell and get out. Not sure if Jockety could build it if he had money and not sure Price could guide them to championships. I am sure they have a problem with their strength coach because of all the oddball injuries to starters. Also sure that Votto is a good player who is grossly overpaid.

    • Indeed, this must be a bitter pill for Bob Castellini to swallow. He was dedicated to making Cincy a winner again. And they did win, with a team largely made up of people that were drafted or signed by the previous management. Johnny Cueto, Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Homer Bailey, Bronson Arroyo, Brandon Philips, Edinson Volquez, and on, and on.
      Yes, Walt used young talent to trade for Scott Rolen, Shin Soo Chu, Matt Latos, And drafted Mike Leake. And signed Aroldis Chapman and Alfredo Simon.

      And they are all gone now (well, Simon is back, yay). What have they done to re-build the franchise? Yes, there are some very good POTENTIAL young pitchers on the way. But this is the THIRD straight year of really losing a lot of games.

      Maybe the second half of the season will be a lot better. Sure, it certainly could be, because how could it get much worse?

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