Titanic Struggle Recap

Kershaw off his game. Walks batter.

Today the Reds faced Clayton Kershaw.  Clayton Kershaw?  Sounds made up.

Entering the game as losers of 10 of the last 11 games, you don’t want to face a fellow named Clayton Kershaw. It’s like not playing poker against Amarillo Slim or not getting into an archery competition with Orlando Bloom or, really, not associating with anyone named after a city.  You just stay away.  They Reds were unable to stay away from Kershaw.

Kershaw tossed a complete game, two-hit shut-out, walking 1 and striking out 7. He needed only 102 pitches.

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BOX SCORE | FANGRAPHS WIN PERCENTAGE

The Good

Brandon Finnegan went 8 innings giving up 5 hits on 107 pitches, with 4 BB and 2 K. The K:BB ratio leaves something to be desired, but we won’t quibble tonight.  If it weren’t for an error and a nothing-but-luck checked swing single from Adrian Gonzalez, Finnegan would not have given up a run.

Zack Cozart hit the first pitch of the game into left field for a double. It was his 500th career hit.  He also made a few fantastic plays in the field.  On the season he’s hitting .321/.331/.533.

The Reds bullpen did not give up a run for the 3rd straight game.  We’re on to something here…

 

The Bad

The Reds got shut out. But that’s more normal-ish than bad against Kershaw.

The Reds committed 3 errors, one on a routine grounder by Brandon Phillips and two on throws by Tucker Barnhart.  The third error led directly to the Dodgers scoring their first run.  This was the run that lost the game.

 

Completely Random Thoughts

I grew up in Cincinnati on eastern time. I now live in Colorado on mountain time.  I don’t generally like this time zone, but on nights like tonight it can’t be beat.  I really like an 8pm start time.

Watching a baseball game you don’t expect to win for multiple reasons (Kershaw/Reds are bad) really takes the emotion out of it.

Kershaw didn’t seem to be all that sharp tonight, initially.  Then you look at his stat line and shake your head.

I prefer Pepsi Max to Coke Zero.

 

Tweet of the Game

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Game Thread Comment of the Game

On Ross Ohlendorf’s suspension being rescinded…

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Vin Scully Quotes

For the next 3 nights as I do the recaps, I’ll honor the great Vin Scully by recording some of his musing in these hallowed annals.

“The Reds have a lot going for them. After all, they are professionals.”

“And Brandon Phillips kicks it.  I mean, your 6 year old could handle that.  But, to err is human.”

“There’s hair, and there’s more hair. One of the members of the Three Musketeers.” (With John Lamb on the screen)

“Billy had a sandwich named after him. That’s the sign of budding star.”

“It’s amazing how bad teams find a way to self-destruct.” (After Barnhart’s 2nd throwing error)

Tomorrow’s Game

All hope is not lost, Reds fans, for tomorrow begins the Daniel Wright era.  Witness.

25 thoughts on “Kershaw off his game. Walks batter.

  1. I do agree on the great Vin Scully. I cancelled my MLB.TV sub this year, but if Scully did the Reds play-by-play, I’d watch every single game. All 162. He could make 100+ losses enjoyable. BTW, Coke Zero.

  2. they say winning is contagious, I guess same holds true on playing bad defense. Never thought all Reds would get stone hands. 37E in 45 games, with 3 Reds infielders leading the way, Suarez -10, Cozart -7, & BP -6. Suarez was speculated to be shaky playing a new position, but BP already matched his total E’s for all last year, after several years of having 5 or fewer. Cozart also on pace to break his high in E’s.

    Good to see Finnegan put together a good deep outing for some small positive.

    • The Phillips plunge may be starting. Errors are not the tell all when it comes to defense, but, his defensive rating this year is dropping from the past.

      His hitting, like others on the team, is really falling off this year. He is swinging at a high % of pitches out of the zone. His hard hit rate is still good and his BABIP is low, might see some improvement going forward

  3. Mountain (and West) Coast time zones are awesome for sports fans IMO. Especially the night games and Monday Night Football. When in Vegas, it can’t get any better than football at 10:00 AM.

    Coke Zero for me.

    • I agree. I always enjoy the time switch when we are visiting family on the left coast. Not to get that discussion going again but it is almost like being a couple hours into the future 🙂

  4. Omitted Positive: The Reds broke Kershaw’s streak of 7 straight outings with 10+ K’s

    • Good point. I hadn’t thought about that. Nothing short of amazing! Kershaw sitting at 3.8 WAR already.

  5. Thank you for “The Game Thread Comment of The Night”. My high school guidance counselor said I would amount to nothing. I showed her!!!!!

    • The guidance lot considered me a “test taker”. They didn’t know whether to like me because I skewed their percentiles higher or give me grief because I didn’t conform to their mold.

  6. Its easy to say after Finnegans’ performance but going forward pitching will not be the Reds problem.Kershaw does what he did to everybody but our issue will be hitting.

  7. Thank you for the game recap. Kershaw was awesome, s usual. Finnegans’ outing was inspiring, I hope he can repeat it next time. If Finnegan is this good, when Disco and Bailey return, and Stevenson and Reed arrive in a month or so, with Garret and others looking good……wow what a potential starting group and a couple of good trading chips to improve our offense I know that I’m a optimist, but our future looks bright! Go reds! Pepsi Max by the way.

  8. One test of Price as a manager will be to see how Suarez responds in the next few days. We don’t often get to see such an obvious example of the man-management side of the game. Suarez has talent, but has clearly hit a rough spot right now. If he responds after yesterday’s day off–and the messaging undoubtedly coming from Price and Long–it will be a good sign. If not, it will suggest this part of the manager’s work is also not going well. Here’s hoping Suarez responds.

    • Suarez got into the count a bit and hit the ball pretty hard in recording the 1st out of the 9th as a PH for Finnegan. I’d call the play by the Dodger SS to get the out a bit beyond “everyday” but not quite to the “outstanding” level.

        • I’d put the play on Suarez Monday night in the Likely to Even range. Maybe cheat it down to Even if I had to pick one. Seager got to it on the edge of the grass (shallow hole) with apparent ease but had to throw quickly without fully setting. By luck or design he got a clean long hop which Gonzalez handled with no problem to get Suarez by about a step. If Seager makes a full stop and set, I think they don’t get the out.

  9. The situation surrounding the trading that minor league pitcher to the Orioles yesterday was finally clarified later along in the evening. The guy was traded to the O’s for a couple of International signing slot #’s in the current cycle. Net effect is that the Reds can now spend ~$1M more in this cycle without incurring serious restrictions in the next cycle when where they already have the largest pool available of money to use.

  10. Pepsi Max tastes similar to Pepsi. Coke Zero taste pretty close to Coke and is light years better than Diet Coke. I like Coke better than Pepsi, and Diet Pepsi better than Diet Coke. Coke Zero is the hands down winner against them all though. The “10” products, especially Canada Dry 10, are also good 😉

    • Hah!

      I like Sunkist 10. For some reason I’ve always loved orange (and grape) soda.

  11. I just looked at a quick stat and almost fell off my seat. According to baseball-reference.com, we have only three regulars with an OBP over 300 and only one batter with a BA over 300 (and that’s not Votto). In comparison, if you look at someone like Pittsburgh, every batter has an OBP over 300, and 4 have a BA over 300.

    Pitching should still be our #1 priority. But, this hitting coach doesn’t seem to be getting the job done. I don’t know. His Pirate teams had a low # of K’s during his time there as well as good hitting numbers. I don’t think Jacoby needed to be staying around, either. But, this guy is needing to producing some results, I believe, or he’s out the door.

    • I think the types of players have as much if not more to do with it then the hitting coach. Some guys just have a better grasp of the strikezone and coaching con only do so much. The Pirates have targeted that kind of hitter. Their GM said he’d rather have guys that get on base consistently over guys who hit HR. They are drafting, developing, and targeting those kinds of guys.

      From a player prospective. I wanted to take more walks. I wanted to be a more patient hitter. I tried very hard not to swing at pitches out of the zone. I knew what I needed to do to be a better hitter in that regard. What I lacked is the talent to tell a ball from a strike consistently enough. Talent trumps the coaching, especially on the pro level. A hitting coach can make a difference, especially in working with slumping guys or guys who have a mechanical issue. A coach isn’t going to take a guy with a 5% walk rate and turn him into a guy that walks 10% of the time though.

    • If you look at the career numbers for the Pirates they all generally have a high OBP. That wasn’t something they developed around the batting cage in March. It’s an area of focus for the organization.

      Obviously, all skills can be refined and improved upon….but, the ability to get on base is more nature than nurture. Getting on base in a MLB game is one of the most difficult things for a human to accomplish….except innings 6-9 against the Reds. A coach can only do so much.

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