The Reds offense kept rolling, as they scored seven runs, and banged out 12 hits. Suarez, Cozart, and Duvall all homered for the Reds. Brandon Finnegan kept the Nationals offense in check, holding them to just one run over 6.1 innings.

Reds Nats 6-3

The win was the Reds third straight, which is their longest winning streak since the first week of May. The Reds also spoiled Dusty Baker’s return to Great American Ballpark. Many of the Reds holdovers from Dusty’s tenure in the Queen City were thrilled to see their old skipper again before the game.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (20-35) 7 12 0
Washington Nationals (33-22) 2 7 0
W: Finnegan (2-4) L: Gonzalez (3-4) 
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Reds Nats WPA

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Brandon Phillips 2-RBI single in the 2nd inning with 2 outs, giving the Reds a 4-0 lead That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 11.4% (from 76.7% to 88.0%).

Player of the Game

Brandon Finnegan: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 0.17 WPA

The peripheral numbers for Finnegan weren’t great tonight (you don’t want to walk more batters than you strikeout), but he did a nice job keeping the Nationals hitters off-balance. The cause for concern with Finnegan is his strikeouts being down all season. He currently sits at 6.29 K/9 (was projected for 8.27). Pitchers can be successful without striking out batters, but they have to limit walks and home runs. Finnegan has 4.41 BB/9 (MLB average is 3.02), and 1.30 HR/9 (MLB average is 1.13). There is certainly a lot to like about Finnegan, but he also has a way to go.

Positives

Eugenio Suarez hit his 13th home run of the season, and had a total of 3 hits on the night. 13 home runs by June 3rd is pretty impressive. Obviously we would like to see that OBP a little higher, but there is a lot of potential in Mr. Suarez.

Zack Cozart hit his 8th home run of the season, and had two hits on the night. Cozart is now hitting .310/.337/.540. You can’t say enough good things about the player Zack Cozart has turned out to be. I’m starting to believe Cozart is a top 10 MLB SS.

Adam Duvall hit his 15th (YES FIFTEENTH) home run of the season. Duvall also had a double, and now has 10 extra-base hits in the last 11 games. Duvall has a sizzling .904 OPS on the season. He entered play today in the top 10 in the MLB in HR (14), SLG (.586), and Extra-Base Hits (28).

Joey Votto had a double. Don’t look now but Joey Votto’s OPS has climbed to .754. The average OPS in the MLB this season is .729. I don’t think Votto will make it all back to his 1.000 OPS of last season, but I think he will get a lot closer than some think.

Brandon Phillips had a 2-RBI single in the second inning. Phillips now has a 7-game hit streak.

Blake Wood struck out 4 (!) batters in 1.2 innings.

J.C. Ramirez pitched a perfect 9th inning, striking out the side!

Negatives

Poor Jay Bruce was the only Reds starter (minus Finnegan) not to get a hit.

Not so random thoughts…………..

Today was the first time Dusty Baker returned to GABP since being fired in 2013. Several of the Reds media members, broadcasters, and others were gushing over Dusty. Sure, Dusty seemed liked a nice guy and was probably helpful in the development of guys like Brandon Phillips.

……..but, let’s not forget just how many terrible decisions Dusty Baker made. This is the same guy that didn’t pitch Aroldis Chapman in the wild-card game. He started Todd Frazier once in 5 games in the NLDS (Frazier had a .829 OPS in 2012). Baker let Mat Latos completely melt-down in Game 5. Baker also consistently batted Stubbs and Cozart (the two guys with literally the worst OBP in the NL) first and second. Baker buried Devin Mesoraco on his bench. Baker consistently made terrible bullpen moves. So please, stop gushing over Dusty Baker. The Reds lack of success post-Dusty has nothing to do with not having him as the skipper.

You see why the Nationals are high on their recently called up top prospect Trea Turner. He was 3 for 3 with a walk, and showed off his incredible speed. This kid has a bright future.

Fun fact about Adam Duvall. So, Duvall has a .297 OBP and .607 SLG. That is a pretty weird combination. Usually players who SLG that well get on base more. I did a baseball reference play index search and found that there has NEVER been a player in the history of baseball (database goes back to 1914) who had a OBP less than .300, and a SLG of .600+ in the same season. The closest player that I could find was Matt Williams in 1994. He had a .313 OBP and .607 SLG that year.

Up Next:

Nationals at Reds
Saturday, 4:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Dan Straily (3.43 ERA) vs Stephen Strasburg (2.69 ERA)

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! 44 Comments

  1. Bring on Strasburg!!

  2. Nice note on the .300 / .600 thing! Pretty nuts.

  3. Things look to fall in place with offensive, let’s wish Votto can put it all together. Once some arms become availble from DL to join the starting rotation, maybe we’d have a decent second half. Go Reds!

  4. “This is the same guy that didn’t pitch Aroldis Chapman in the wild-card game.”

    ???

  5. You won’t hear me gushing over Dusty. For the Reds, he did what he has done everywhere else: inherit a team ready to win and be entrusted to win a title. And he never did.

    • Interesting that the players like him, though, don’t you think?

      • I think Dusty took the ‘player’s manager’ mantra to the extreme, and at times to the detriment of the team. … The one word that came up time and time again when Dusty was let go, and before a new manager was hired, was “accountability.” It was obvious (OK, appeared obviouse to many of us in the cheap seats) that Dusty was unable or unwilling to deal with recurring problems, such as poor base running. And then the whole Brandon Phillips’ explosion at a reporter, which Dusty seemed to find amusing as it occurred. Even a ‘player’s manager’ has to keep the biggest focus on the field.

  6. About the game, it strikes me as odd that teams continue to let Cozart burn them on the first pitch. Granted, first-pitch strikes are generally a very good thing, but there comes a point when pitchers should learn to be careful with Cozart. Unless they don’t believe it will last. At some point, it’s not smoke-and-mirrors.

  7. A San Diego player stole home Friday night, a straight steal, like what Holt would have done several games ago. I guess this pitcher didn’t know he was supposed to drill the batter to send the runner back to third base!

  8. Second guessers are never wrong. Keep that in mind when you look inside yourself for why you’re still second guessing Dusty Baker.

    Even if all your second guesses above are right, and I disagree with a few of them, clearly Dusty also does and did a lot of things right. You don’t lead a team to over 90 game 3 years out of 4 cuz you’re bad at managing. Read up on the various descriptions of Dusty’s style with the Nats. He’s quickly healed a badly fractured clubhouse that was split in two by Matt Williams, and the players universally acknowledge that they like his loose, off beat, bohemian style, which is similar to Joe Maddon’s. He’s a people person, the importance of which might be too easily overlooked by some who run players thru numbers and formulas too heavily. Looking too deeply at obscure stats can blind one to the obvious fact that baseball players are people with emotional needs and physical ailments, none of which has been defined in formulas and probably never will. Dealing with players well is a visionary skill. Analyzing past performances with deep math is not. It’s merely reactionary. Big difference. That’s why I believe amateur saber folks should never take themselves or their conclusions seriously. They have no access to the actual day-to-day emotional and physical conditions of players, how coachable they are, how hard they’re working in practice, etc etc, nor are they in a position to analyze the effects of such things on performance, which is very significant.

    Ultimately managing is about running a ship where your players feel respected and know their roles. Dusty is damn near a genius with that. HIs Xs and Os can be confounding sometimes, but his overall record is proof he’s damn good at what he does. Don’t overanalyze his playoff results too much. His teams did run out of gas sometimes, but let’s not forget he had to deal with some injury issues too. Why do we give Price a pass and condemn Dusty? Just because our disappointment was greater? That’s a weak reason.

    • The object is to win a championship. Dusty had two teams that were loaded and couldn’t win a playoff series. He never defended his players by arguing with umpires, and never took accountability for a loss. Good riddance.

      • You are not wrong and Uncle Walty deserves a lot of that “credit” for not winning – as does Dusty

      • Jesse, what good does it do to argue with umps? It’s just eyewash and accomplishes nothing. “Accountability” is the same as “closure:” frequently invoked rarely analyzed for meaning.

        • I think the point was that, if soothing the psyche of the players is important, and letting the players know that the manager “has their back,” so to speak, the players might appreciate Dusty arguing a bit more vociferously on their behalf.

        • You need to stand up for your team. I was @ Wrigley in 2009 when Laz Diaz completely blew a play at the plate, calling a Red out when he was safe by 3 feet.

          Dusty shuffled out, said a couple words, shrugged his shoulders and left. The runner was HOT, the on deck batter was HOT, but Dusty just did his own thing. The Reds went quietly from that point in the game and lost by two runs.

          Screw Dusty.

      • I wasn’t a big Dusty fan either but if the Reds swing the bats even a little in Game 3 then they sweep SF that year they choked. You can’t exactly blame the Bartman thing on Dusty either? He had SF right on the brink and his pen fell apart. He’s a much better even keeled regular season manager then he is a playoff strategist but he’s also had plenty of bad breaks.

        • Oh, just like Marvin Lewis has had some bad breaks in the playoffs?

          Bruce Bochy has done more with less talent than Dusty Baker will ever do.

          If Dusty doesn’t punt game 4 and yanks Latos earlier in game 5, maybe game 3 wouldn’t have mattered.

    • Glad you said that, JimMaloney46. Dusty’s teams didn’t win the Series, but only one team per year does, and I don’t believe that that proves there’s only one good manager in baseball.

      • Brilliant response. Well put. Dusty’s teams weren’t exactly loaded either. They had problems in the OF at center and left, and the Hannigan/Hernandez were overachievers. Walt did nothing helpful at the trade deadlines for Dusty. I think Dusty got every single raw ounce of energy out of his team. It blows me away that some folks seem to view those years with an entitlement attitude, as though the Reds were entitled to a WS victory, and Dusty took it away. Nothing is a given in baseball.

        • In the Wild Card Era, the team with the best record in baseball doesn’t win the WS 70% of the time.I guess there must be a lot of bad managers who don’t argue with umpires for that to happen.

  9. I love to read winning recaps. Just brightens my morning.

  10. With regard to so/w ratio, watched Cueto – Wainwright pitch last night. Cueto won, (5-1), while walking five and walking one. Wainwright walked one and struckout six. Cueto is now 9-1.

  11. A manager needs both the attributes of clubhouse management and game management. Dusty had one great attribute. Joe Maddon has both attributes, Bruce Boche has both attributes. Not really sure if Brian Price has both attributes yet because managers also need key player health and a FO with ability to manage payroll player distribution. Without seamless year to year payroll managment you will get cycles of complete tear down with rebuild. That does not leave a manager with much chance for a great win/lose record

    • Joe Maddon has both attributes

      Where’s the proof of this? Baker won 5 division titles and 1 pennant (lost the WS 3-4) in 20 years as a manager. Maddon has won 2 division titles and (lost the WS 1-4) in 13 years as a manager.

  12. but, let’s not forget just how many terrible decisions Dusty Baker made…

    No kidding. Willie Tavaras. Baker refusal to use Chapman on the road in non-save situations….many forget how awful Cozart was at one time yet Baker batted him between Choo and Votto. Total waste. I could go on. Clog the bases.

  13. Dusty is a player’s manager which is why he is well liked in the clubhouse.He lets the players be what they want to be but he is slack in holding them accountable.In other words its hard to be a buddy and a boss.He always stuck to what he thought was a winning formula such as the dreaded lineup he put on the field on get away day and the closer rule and the only vets play rule.I always thought we won despite him rather then because of him which brings up the question about a manager really making a difference.Finally Maddon and Bochy lost a lot of games before they started winning so maybe they learned something along the way.

    • Your points are valid. Dusty had his particular managing style and you either liked it or not. But to say the Reds won in spite of him is a rather ignorant comment. He set the tone, and set it well. Only a blind person couldn’t see how much his players enjoyed playing for him and responded.

      Sometimes teams dislike their manager, but win in spite of him. Dick Williams and Earl Weaver are two off the top of my head. Players may hate them, players may grudgingly respect them, but sometimes they decide to play hard in their spite and hatred. Sooner or later, though, they mutiny against the same type of managers. Guys get tired of the intensity and sarcasm all the time.

      Look at how many guys had some of their greatest years under Dusty. Even Rolen came in and was rejuvenated. Look at his terrific years in Chicago, SF and now Washington. Ripping his style is OK; that’s a personal preference. But ripping his winning is both ignorant and silly,

      • Your preaching to arm chair managers brother. They know everything about baseball and the people who play it and coach it dont. I grew up with a friend who caught for Dusty in S.F. Everytime I seen him he would talk about how the Reds were doing and how they got a great manager in Dusty. His face would light up and smile and say those people in Cinci hsve no idea whst they got. He loved talking about him and say what a great manager and person he is. Some people are just never happy brother. I guess if Maddon doesn’t win it all he is a lousy manager.

        • Thumbs up, Jack. So true. Yeah, without going into detail, I played pretty far up the chain and there’s a certain visceral level of understanding to the game that’s essential to having a feel for it. It comes from years of playing, teaching, coaching. I like seeing the typical non-player getting involved on blogs and express their thoughts on what’s happening with the Reds, because they’re just as much fans of the game as I am, and I totally enjoy that comraderie, but you can’t explain to them ever what it is they’ve don’t understand cuz they don’t have that feel thing you get from game and team experience. Se la vie.

    • I agree, let’s remember he’s the manager that allowed a player to interrupt his media session to unleash a profanity laced tirade on a reporter who was just doing his job. He lost control/accountability in the club house. He is a good player manager. But some players need more accountability. He was able to not get in the way of a good, well built team, being good (although it seemed like he tried at times). He wasn’t able to provide the gamesmanship and environment to pull more out those teams.

      It’s one thing to be a player’s manager, but why not combine that with analytic-inclined approach like Maddon does? That seems the best of both worlds, so why not try for that?

      • Because he’s 66 years old and from a different era

        • Maybe with age comes a certain wisdom that the young rarely possess, at least until they’ve lived quite a while and suffered through many of life’s traumas, learning how to bounce back and move past.

      • Dusty is, I believe, the 3rd winningest manager in Reds history. He gets no credit because he had good players? Name some managers who took teams loaded with bad players to the World Series. Did I agree with all of his tactical decisions? No, I didn’t. Do I know the game and the specific players well enough that my opinion should be taken seriously? Of course not. JimMaloney expresses it well: the Dusty angst is an expression of personal preference based on his perceived style. But I think that we can stop beating that particular horse: it stopped breathing a long time ago.

    • Maddon and Bochy lost games because they had bad players….just like they win now because they have good players.

      Years of “learning”sure helped Joe Torre when he arrived in NY…..or maybe it was Jeter and Rivera.

  14. Wood and Ramirez blew the Nats away the last 3 innings by fanning 7.Just wanted to give them some love.Both Guys need to throw strikes and their power stuff should play anywhere.It also looked as if Ramirez had some serious movement on his heater and his slider appears to be unhittable.Have we found a closer?

  15. Thanks for calling out the local media love heaped on Dusty. He was always a master at schmoozing the media and I think we’re seeing the results of that now. While the Reds were pretty successful during his tenure here, he was very well-compensated for it. So in short, the “give him a standing ovation” calls seem over-the-top. I just treat him like any other visiting manager not named LaRussa (the only managers I have actually despised) and generally ignore him. No boos, but no cheers either.

    That said, while Dusty did a lot of good with the Reds, his player manager tendencies where he would sometimes work to get guys meaningless stats, sometimes to the detriment of the improving the organization was infuriating. I still remember him continuing to start Ramon Hernandez down the stretch in 2011 instead of Mesoraco. His logic was that Ramon was playing for a contract. Ramon Hernandez was a nice player, but 2011 was a go nowhere season for the Reds and everybody knew that wherever Ramon’s next contract was going to be, it wasn’t going to be in Cincinnati. So in essentially acting like Hernandez’ agent, he delayed the development of one of the organization’s top prospects. This doesn’t even get into the disservice he did the Reds by insisting that Chapman close instead of start – this after Jocketty had signed Broxton to a closer’s contract. It’s all water under the bridge at this point and while I wouldn’t boo the guy I wouldn’t kiss his backside either. That’s generally how it is with mixed bag performances.

  16. If all goes well in Disco’s next rehab start, who do you think get bumped from the rotation? It appears that Simon will make a start before Disco’s reported return so maybe Disco pushes everyone back a game and Simon moves to bullpen. A week ago I probably would have cut him, but he has pitched well enough in his last two starts I believe its worth giving him a chance there. Definitely good news if Disco comes back Thursday.

  17. My comment about I felt that we won despite of him was not meant to rip Dusty Baker.It was an opinion based on the things I listed that most of the people on this board hammered him for while he was here.There are many many other things that have been brought up as well.I never said he wasn’t a winner and probably should have said sometimes we won despite of the moves he made.His resume is what it is just like it is with everybody else

  18. I think the Reds missed out in 2007 when Jerry Narron was fired and they didn’t promote Pete Mackanin to manager after he led the Reds to a 41-39 record and instead they hired Dusty Baker. I was glad to see a change in 2014 and look forward to a change in 2017.

    • I was thinking this situation several weeks back when the Reds were playing the Pfillies.

      I believe Castellini wanted to install his own “big name” person to put his stamp on the team; and, thus Mackanin was never really in the hunt. Also the fact the team swooned under him in September (10-17) had to really hurt if not destroy any shot Pete had for the job. Imagine if they had played even .500 in September which would have gotten them to 45-35, essentially a whole season 90 win rate. That I think would have made it really hard to turn their backs on Mackanin.

      • I suspect you’re right about Castellini wanting a “big name”. Clearly that was his hire and not the GM’s. You might recall that not long after the start of that season, Krivsky was shown the door.

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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