At various times during the game the Mariners seemed to have one foot already out the door heading back to coffee-addled Seattle. But they paid enough attention to complete a sweep of the Reds. The home team, which was shut out yesterday, did score four runs. But that’s not enough when your starting pitcher is Alfredo Simon.

Cincinnati 4  Seattle 5  |  FanGraphs  |  Espress yourself

Bean There, Done That The offense spotted Alfredo Simon three early runs, but the struggling starter gave up two runs in the third and three more in the fifth. The fact that giving up five runs in five innings lowered his ERA tells you what kind of awful season Simon is having for the Reds. His turns in the rotation can’t end soon enough.

Brewed Awakening The Reds jumped on Mariner starter Wade Miley for three runs in the first. Zack Cozart (Vote Zack) doubled leading off the inning. Billy Hamilton was hit by a pitch and Joey Votto lined a single into right field to load the bases. Brandon Phillips smashed a double into the right-center gap, scoring Cozart and Hamilton. Jay Bruce lined out to centerfield, allowing Votto to score.

Whole Latte Power Adam Duvall creamed a 457-foot solo home run to lead off the fourth inning. It was Duvall’s eighth homer of the year and raised his isolated power (ISO) to .283 – top ten in the NL. Duvall also contributed with his arm, gunning down a Mariners runner at the plate in the fifth. In the ninth inning, Duvall swung at two pitches in the left-hand hitter batter’s box.

Bullpen’s Best Shot The bullpen was replenished with reinforcements. Dayan Diaz pitched the sixth. He gave up a hit but also induced two ground balls, one of which was turned into a nifty double play by Votto. Blake Wood pitched a 1-2-3 seventh and a shutout eighth.

Italian Roast Tony Cingrani pitched the top of the ninth. After giving up an infield single that turned into an extra base when Brandon Phillips’ familiar behind-the-back throw went into the Reds dugout. Cingrani retired Isao Aoki, and with the runner on third, struck out the dangerous Robinson Cano and got a ground ball out from Kyle Seager.

Drip, Drip, Drip Don’t look now, but the bullpen has pitched six scoreless innings in a row.

Jamaican Him Crazy Eugenio Suarez has struck out in 10 of his last 11 at bats. After his second K today, after he swung at a pitch that almost hit his foot, Suarez slammed his bat to the ground. According to Joel Luckhaupt, 10 strikeouts in 3 games is an all-time Reds record. Suarez is understandably frustrated. Good time to give him a day or two off.

Instant Help? The Reds are hoping that bullpen help will percolate up from the minors as they called up Dayan Diaz, Josh Smith and A.J. Morris. To find out more about them, check out what Doug Gray and Matt Wilkes have to say. C Trent Rosecrans on Diaz and Smith and on Morris. Mark Sheldon with Bryan Price’s thoughts on the changes.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 56 Comments

  1. I was very disappointed in Diaz today. Despite trying extremely hard to do so, his first major league batter faced was the opposing pitcher and Diaz just could not walk him.

    He’ll never cut it in this bullpen

  2. There is hope on the horizon for our team.Once we get something resembling the staff we thought we would have along with Winker,Peraza and others coming up after the break then we can really see what the future will look like.I can see us barring injuries being a team that will steadily improve over the next two years.Decisions wil have to be made at the break or during the off season regarding some of our veteran position players and they will be tough ones but that’s a big part in us improving going forward,Hopefully this front office will start thinking about what kind of players are needed and draft or trade for them.I am anxious to see the Reds plan unfold.

    • Hope as in what? A competent GM? A good Manager? A bullpen? A legit starting staff? I wouldn’t count on Bailey or DeSclafini anytime soon. Maybe next year when everybody’s healthy plus Cody Reed makes the jump but until then, I’m not holding my breath. I have cautious optimism Winker can contribute next year but he’s not tearing it up with the Bats. I have hope Williams can get some quality in return when the trading deadline approaches. Duvall’s been a nice surprise.

      • This is where I am as well. Not sure there is much hope at this point. There is potential in the starting rotation, but, it is potential that is injured quite a bit.

        The Reds have a 35 year old 2B and a 31 year old SS.

        If the Reds are in rebuild mode, it certainly is not clear on how they intend to proceed at this point

      • This team is not very good and will lose 100+ games. They may repeat it again next year. It will not get better until they acquire quality players in the draft and some of the players they get in unloading high priced veterans develop into productive players. It is the only way to compete against the big money teams until they buy our best players when they get free agent status. The Pirates and Royals lost for 20 years until they were able to get enough cheap young talent. The next few years will be good for them but the next dry spell is coming for both teams.

  3. The Old Cossack was really confused by Phillips’ strike out in the 5th inning. The pitch bounced in front of the plate, but Phillips clearly made contact with the pitch after it bounced, fouling it off to the wall behind the catcher. The umpire called the pitch a swinging strike (not a foul ball) and Votto moved to 2B on the wild pitch. By rule, Phillips was out and unable to run to 1B on the strike out with 1 out and 1B occupied, but the pitch was clearly a foul tip. Price came out of the dugout to duscuss the situation with the umpire but simply returned to the dugout. Price had successfully challenged a call (the HBP on Hamilton) earlier in the game and I don’t recall any other challenges by Price. I may be mistaken, but I don’t believe a bounced pitch takes the ball out of play for the batter and I believe a foul tip is a reviewable play.

    Did Price just take the play as called with Votto advancing to 2B and give up the out rather than challenging the call with a full count on the batter?

    • I wish I knew the answer SC. The slo-mo video clearly showed the ball hitting Phillips’ bat after both the ball and the bat hit the dirt. There’s a member of the Reds coaching staff specifically responsible for reviewing those replays and recommending to Price whether to request a review or not. He did not. Unless that play is simply not open to review (like, say, ball and strike calls) I cannot understand why Price didn’t request the review. It should clearly have been called a foul ball with Votto sent back to first and Phillips still up with one out and a full count.

  4. This Reds team is just about as awful as the new Starbucks Rewards.

    • I’m glad someone made a reference to and played off the coffee theme. The one Friday night I was bored and did the whole Moby Dick thing when Melville was pitching, not a single person mentioned it. Maybe folks are numb to all the losing. Without themes to the recaps, all that’s left is unadorned complaining. 🙂

      • Steve, I’m sorry that I didn’t espress my enjoyment of the Moby Dick theme. It probably is because the season, so far, has bean such a grind and my patience with waiting for young talent to percolate up from the Minors is wearing thin of latte.

        • Well done, Green. (And Steve.)

        • It’s been a tough couple months. Rebuilding is hard on a fan base. Ours wasn’t adequately prepared for it. Especially painful then when they woke up and smelled the … coffee.

      • The Moby Dick and coffee themes were both pretty good Steve.

  5. Actually Steve I did enjoy that Moby Dick themed Melville game recap and now regret not mentioning it at the time. So I’ll double up now and say thanks for that Moby Dick themed recap and for THIS Seattle coffee AND Moby Dick themed recap. After all wasn’t the first mate of the Pequod named… ?

    And fwiw I checked. I was pretty sure there weren’t any major leaguers name Typee, or Omoo, and though I remember a Billy Beane and found a Jay Budd that played one game in 1890, there has never been a major leaguer named Billy Budd. So that’s one more reason we hope never to see Tim Melville on the mound for the Reds again. Thanks for all you do for us crazy Reds fans!

  6. The worst part of this awful season is the fact that the Reds continue to give Simon starts with his wonderful 10 ERA. He has no business being on the roster and the Reds organization should be embarrassed.

  7. Now we get Kershaw followed by the Reds throwing another guy making his ML debut all while being on the West Coast. Things have already spun out of control, but this could get REALLY ugly.

    Raise your hand if you think Price will survive the road trip with his job. I could see it simply being one of those change for change’s sake kind of things……..it will occupy a news cycle until the narrative changes to the big 4 from Louisville getting their callups.

    • The next step in incompetence would be firing Price and throwing more money away.

      • if they’re going to hire somebody as an interim, it likely wouldn’t cost them much, and who knows, maybe he would manage what meager resources he has in a better fashion than Price. If the guy makes a good impression, maybe he gets the job for an extra year to keep the seat warm for a manager they bring in if/when they anticipate actually trying to win more than 60 games in a season.

        • Yeah, but all those small contracts tend to add up. Simon’s $2 Million deal? That could have been spent more wisely.

      • Riggleman has to be the interim guy. The real question to me is will the guy managing in 2017 be the person they see leading them to contention of just another filler. If the front office wants to attract a big name manager for the long haul they need to be careful not to scare such candidates off with their behavior now and in the immediate future.

    • I think Price makes it through the entire season.

      • If I would have been asked a week or two ago, I would have agreed that Price likely would take them all the way to the end of the season. Now I am not so sure. He is starting to speak his own mind about where the team is at, in the process by inference calling the FO to task for the job they (didn’t) do at providing him with a bullpen. Also, from the PR aspect, I’m not sure they can afford stick with anybody if a double digit losing streak happens. Like I said above at least in part Riggleman is where he is at to be the built in go to guy if the time comes.

        • I wouldn’t be surprised if Bryan Price packs it in before his contract ends this season. His comments about the inaction of the front office regarding the bullpen is an indicator. Price will return to his natural position of pitching coach except not with the Reds.

          • The only reason it would surprise me for him to quit is that it might make him less employable if he’s seen as walking out in the middle of a job. He doesn’t strike me as that kind of person, but you can’t rule it out.

        • Keep in mind that Riggleman pretty much walked out of his last job. I’m not so sure it would discourage a team to hire Price but it may discourage them from hiring him to a managerial position.

    • *Raises hand* Price will keep his job through the road trip.

  8. Just keep Homer and Disco out till next year. Iggy maybe as well. Winker and Peraza the same. Trade Cozart, Phillips and Bruce. Start over. This team is absolutely awful. The FO should be ashamed. We had 2 gold trade chips in Frazier and Chapman and we royally screwed ourselves.

    • Can we move past the tired ” Frazier-Chapman were worth so much more than received” narrative? There is no evidence to suggest that is actually true…..both last July and in December.

      Frazier is a flawed player who is older than average relative to his service time…Chapman is a 60 inning closer in his FA year. There wasn’t a line out the door for these two and the Reds lost 98 games with them.

      • Amen, Chuck. And, of course, it’s too early to know how the players we got in return will turn out.

      • My favorite part of this situation is that many of the folks that here and elsewhere went on about the waste of resources using Chapman as a closer represented are now at the head of the line complaining that he didn’t bring middle to top of the rotation return as a closer,

      • There really isn’t any point in dwellings on these trades but I have to say it doesn’t matter in the least what the Reds record was with Frazier? He’s on pace for 48 HRs and 121 Rbis for a first place team so the White Sox will make do with all his flaws. All the Reds got in return was a kid with no power in Peralta. Chapman was another story. They could’ve traded him last season but you would’ve thought they’d have more time in the offseason but the domestic charges hurt them. They have to do much much better than the Frazier trade in the future though or this team will never turn it around?

      • Frazier is a flawed player? Above average defense at 3B and 35 HR and the most likable guy since Sean Casey…I’ll take some more of those flawed players, please.

        • On this day last year, Frazier was on pace for the following:

          47 HR
          107 RBI
          . 896 OPS

          He finished with:
          35 HR
          82 RBI
          .807 OPS

          He’s a good player, who despite having 2 years left at a reasonable price, didn’t create much interest. Teams have 10x’s the analytical data that we get to see and there was a limited market for him.

          Why?

      • Completely agree. I am tired of hearing how good Frazier and Chapman were. You can’t judge those trades 40 games into the season.

      • Agree on Chapman (the lingering suspension on top of what you already mentioned) but as far as Frazier, I am shocked the Reds didn’t do better. They seemed so focused on Peraza that they were willing to get him with one of their chips. It happened to be Frazier instead of Peraza. You’re right that we don’t know what else could have been had, back in July or in the off-season. Still, when looking at 2 years of team control at basically a team-friendly price for a power-hitter, I think the Reds could have gotten more for him; flawed or not. Rumor also had it that the DBacks offer for Chapman back in July was strong. We’ll probably never know what “strong” was though. It’s possible you’re right and they really couldn’t have done better than they did this off-season with either player.

        • I meant “Frazier instead of Chapman” as the chip used for Peraza. Sorry, fingers ahead of brain.

  9. Price should think about give some days off to Votto to work in his swing, it’s totally out of timing. If they’re able to engage in some trading partners for Cozart and Bruce (hopefully for some quality outfielders), then Suarez should move back to SS and Duvall down to 3B. After that, position players should be Barnhart C, Votto 1B, Philips 2B, Duvall 3B, Suarez SS, Schebler RF, Hamilton CF & Winker LF. Next step is find out what to do with Votto and Peraza, since he’d have to stick around until 2018 to take over 2B, unless Philips waives a trade.

    • Suarez at SS again? You really don’t care much about defense, do you?

      • Suarez couldn’t play shortstop and so far hasn’t demonstrated the ability to play third base. Unfortunate but so far that’s what I’m seeing, at least when I’m not covering my eyes.

      • Suarez is going to be somewhat of a butcher no matter where you put him but atleast 25+ HRs is far above the normal offensive production for a SS. I would atleast try Duvall at 3B occasionally but I wouldn’t count on it? Maddon moves guys all over the place and he’s a tremendous manager but the Reds always seem to be among the last to catch on?

        • Suarez is in a bad spell with the bat right now, not that others aren’t but I think he had 8 or 9 strikeouts in the three games against Seattle and looked really bad on a couple of them that I saw. Hopefully he will get back on track soon.

    • Suarez and Duvall on the left side of the infield…that’s scary.

      • Agreed. Duvall may be best suited in LF. He’s looked pretty good out there.

        • He’s already at 6 DRS in LF. That’s amazing. 2nd in MLB behind Melvin Upton Jr (really?) who has played 90 innings more than Duvall in LF.

          He’s 1.3 runs above average with his arm, 2.3 RAA with his range, and 0.2 RAA for avoiding errors. All that together and he’s got a UZR/150 of 16.5…1st in the NL and 2nd in MLB behind Ian Desmond.

          Desmond and Duvall both converted infielders… maybe the Red Sox were on to something with Hanley Ramirez and it just didn’t work for them.

          • I had little doubt that Desmond would be good but Duvall is surprising me. I thought Ramirez would be a solid LF for Boston but boy was I wrong. Not sure what happened there.

  10. Understand that this is a rebuilding year — but it looks like the FO basically didn’t care to really put out a good product and come up with a good game plan on fixing the teams’ biggest issue — bullpen. And the result of no plan – is what we see in game in and out right now. ESPN even scratched their heads when re-evaluating the reds offseason moves — and they had no explanation on what the reds were doing. Hence — their prediction of the reds finishing last so far seem to be correct.
    I think that changing the manager would be good to set a different tone in the clubhouse and might give a shot in the arm to the beleaguered players — but even if you change the manager — unless there’s a good game plan/strategy going forward and ownership willing to part with $$$ immediately – I don’t see a long lasting change with the ball club – with the current roster as is.
    Castellini has made it abundantly clear with his offseason moves that he gave up on this season to the Cubs and their high salaried team in the NL central. I just don’t think he realized how much he gave up this season when he did basically nothing to fix things…
    Reds fans will still be reds fans (which is good) — but the poor quality that he’s created for the Reds and this city – is truly disheartening.

  11. Was at the game yesterday. 6 rows behind the dugout. This team is simply not engaged. Just going through the motions. Votto looks like he is a robot. 3 balls off his glove yesterday but his uniform was a beautiful white at the end of the game. Horrible

    • From the human side, what does a person who has been a top quality player for a number of years do if they find themselves stuck in a team and personal performance disaster like Votto does now? Zoning out and looking like a robot probably fits the bill.

      • It’s really, really hard… That’s for sure. I guess if I were in that position I’d tell myself “give it all I got and hustle at least for my teammates and the fans”. Everyone has off days though. I’m sure Votto is upset with himself and his performance this year too. He may appear robotic because he’s thinking about what he has to do to get sorted out.

    • I watched the game on TV and looked to me like Votto made several decent plays at 1B. How many errors was he credited with yesterday?

  12. Correct it fits the bill. Votto was not officially credited with an error yesterday. However in my book he had 1 possibly 2.

  13. Marty allegedly made a comment a few days back that one of the posters here agreed with about Votto. It was something along the lines of Votto stranding the population of a small country on base, or something along those lines. Votto is having a crap year. As a fan, I’m greatly discouraged by his play. That caveat aside, if Marty did indeed make that statement about RISP and Votto, then he flat out lied. Votto is having a very nice year with RISP. It has been one of his few strengths this season.

    With RISP he’s slashing (BA/OBP/SLG) .400/.524/.733 in 42 PA. 3 of his HR have come in that situation. With men on base in general his slash is .295/.423/.525 in 78 PA.

    Votto isn’t hitting. It’s no secret. There’s no need for a broadcaster to flat make something up about him that isn’t true though. That’s the kind of crap that has me so soured on him and why I can’t listen to his broadcasts anymore. Just saying that he’s hitting from crap would have been correct and accurate. Why make stuff up?

    • Is Votto practicing the same swing he always has?

      It seems to me that his practice swings have a distinct uppercut, and I have not realized if he has done that in the past.

      It seems like this swing is pulling his head off of the ball from what I am used to watching him do.

  14. Votto the Ferrari is now 8th among the 8 regulars in slugging percentage, including behind Billy Hamilton.

    • Part of the formula for slugging percentage is batting average. So a low batting average, which Votto has, would hurt slugging percentage. A better measure of power (I assume that’s what you were trying to get at by bringing up sluggin percentage) is ISO (isolated power). It looks at just extra-base hits, no credit for hitting singles. Votto is ahead of Hamilton and Barnhart in ISO.

      Votto is having a bad year so far. Does anyone contradict that? Part of it has been that he’s been unlucky with balls in play, but it goes beyond that.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

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