Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (26-39) 3 3 0
Atlanta Braves (18-46) 1 5 2
W: Finnegan (3-4) L: Teheran (2-7) S: Wood (1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–After being recalled from AAA Louisville, JJ Hoover pitched two perfect innings. Couldn’t be happier for Hoover, who has never made excuses and has never stopped working hard. Let’s just hope he continues to have success. (And by “continues,” I mean “for more than one night.”)

–Another good start for Brandon Finnegan. He wasn’t sharp early, but when he left after six innings, he had allowed only one run on four hits and three walks, striking out five.

–Reds offense only mustered three hits, but Jay Bruce had a big one, a three-run homer in the top of the first. It was Bruce’s 15th home run; he now has 49 RBI while hitting .271/.329/.584. What a brilliant season so far. Even Marty Brennaman was praising him on the radio for his production.

Adam Duvall drew a walk!!!

The Bad
–Doesn’t get much worse than Eugenio Suarez: 0-4, 4 strikeouts. He’s hitting .228/.289/.422 for the season. I had hoped he was bouncing back, but … ugh.

–With the Reds leading 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth, hometown boy Blake Wood entered to begin the inning. He promptly loaded the bases with no outs — walk, single, walk. Typical bullpen, right?

Well, Wood struck out AJ Pierzynski, then induced a double play to end it. He had it all the way!

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Smiling side of the scoreboard! Your fightin’ Redlegs have won four of their last five, nine of thirteen. That would have been unthinkable just a month ago.

–Finnegan is 3-4 with a 3.61 ERA on the season. He continues to impress in his age 23 season. If you aren’t excited about this kid, I don’t know what you’re thinking.

–Wood just wanted to impress us with his ability to work his way out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam to pick up a save. Yes, that’s what he was doing out there in the ninth.

–Anthony DeSclafani makes his second start tomorrow. Let’s hope it’s another good one, as the Reds will be seeking a third straight win in this four game series with the hapless Braves.

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! 60 Comments

  1. All I want to know is this…..is Cingrani dinged up and do I need to jump on Wood as a closer for my fbb teams! Important stuff here!

    • I don’t think Cingrani is hurt, probably a little sore/tired.

      • I think the TV broadcast said Wood threw something like 37 pitches the night before (I didn’t check the Monday box score to verify) and that although he was throwing mid-90’s maybe he was fatigued and didn’t have command. Looked on TV like his pitches were all over the place.

        • He very well could have been tired. That said, it’s hard to tell as far as his command. He is pretty much always all over the place.

    • Cingrani had thrown over 100 pitches in the past 5 games. He was gassed.

  2. Hoover looked sharp. Some were saying on the game thread that “Hey it’s the Braves” but the Braves or anyone else would have lit him up before he was sent down. When he was first sent down to AAA, he was battered. Recently he dominated, and I mean a lot of Ks and no walks.

    Hoover came back just in time. The Reds bullpen was threadbare tonight. No Cingrani for some reason and Wood had thrown almost 40 pitches last night. Give Wood credit for hanging in there tonight. But I don’t know why the pitching coach doesn’t come out and settle him down until it’s a major crisis. He was obviously overthrowing, especially after the lucky single on a nice pitch, could have been a GIDP.

  3. Wood was working back to back nights after throwing 30 some pitches over two innings last night.

    I went back and checked box scores against my memory about Simon. Unless I missed something, he has not pitched in a game since his start versus StLouis coming on a week ago despite being told he was moved to the pen just a day or two after that start.

    Either they are holding him back for the start on Saturday (which I doubt); or, the solution to his situation is that he is going to disappear onto the DL in a another day or two, probably when BHam is ready to be activated.

    • Jim, Simon is the long man now. The long man is saved by Price for “special situations”, as he puts it, which translates to innings eater in garbage situations.
      He certainly won’t be starting on Saturday. My guess is that Morris gets sent down and Simon remains as the long guy.

      Of course there’s always the possibility that Simon gets put on the DL because he slept on his wrong side and woke up with a sore elbow or shoulder.

      • I heard Price talking about the Simon situation on his pregame radio blurb the day after the decision to remove Simon from the rotation was made.

        He did not label Simon as the long man. Far from it, he talked about hopefully getting Simon a low leverage appearance or two to assist with the transition then using him in the back end. Price even mentioned that Simon had done some closing with Orioles and could end up in his closer mix.

        • Ugh. But that confirms he’s definitely not going to be sent down to AAA, and I don’t suspect the DL either (yet). My guess is still that Morris gets sent down.

          • Price was pouring it on about how Simon took the news as a “professional” and understood how at this stage of his career getting back into relieving could be a very sound career move etc. Unless that was just so much hooey from Price to smooth things over in public, then what’s going on?

        • Don’t know what’s going on but it’s true that Simon used to pitch pretty well in relief, such as after the Reds picked him up from the Orioles for nothing. Problem is, that was long ago. He’s not the same pitcher, obviously, so I don’t know what Price is thinking.

    • Wood threw 36 pitches the night before I do believe.

  4. Funny moment from the Braves broadcast (my only choice in Atlanta). When Finnegan stumbled on a step off toward second, Chip Caray said to Tom Glavine “I have to ask…” and was going to ask Glavine if he’d ever done that. Instead Glavine said “I don’t think that’s Finnegan’s best move. He’s not wanting to tip his hand quite yet.” Pretty funny and graceful way to mock Finnegan without being rude. Lefties looking out for lefties.

  5. Time to sit Suarez, he’s on pace for 200 Ks. Not many options at the hot corner, besides Duvall. I’d give him a shot while having Waldrop at LF. Go Reds!

    • Agreed but I’d keep Duvall in LF where he’s happy and see what Peralta can at 3rd base for a few games.

      I wouldn’t sit Suarez for long, he’s better than this. But someone needs to have a good talk with him, in addition to sitting him.
      After his early season HR outburst he thinks he’s a power hitter. He takes a huge swing every time.
      Even worse, he has an upper-cut stroke (OK in itself) and is able to launch low pitches in the strike zone for HRs. So that has him swinging at every low pitch (no matter how low) and wailing away.

      You could see how easy he was to strike out tonight. In the 7th inning he struck out on a low low 3-2 slider that even the Braves broadcasters said never looked like a strike, it looked low coming out of Teheran’s hand.
      They said he must have decided to swing in advance.

      For breaking pitches, they say: “If it’s low, let it go. If it’s high, swing away.”
      In his next AB, with 2 strikes on him, a low slider that falls well out of the strike zone, and he swings and misses by a lot.

      He’s not adjusting, past time to get thru to him.

    • Benching Suarez is one of the worst things this club could do, in my opinion.

      Suarez has the chance to be a valuable piece going forward for the Reds. It is important to get him as much playing time in a season like this one so more informed decisions can be made next year and the year after regarding if Suarez is part of the future or not.

      A guy capable (somewhat) of playing shortstop/3B who has 25 HR power isn’t a guy you give up on easily.

      His wRC+ sits at 88, which isn’t good for a 3B, and not really that good for a SS either, but he needs to be given the opportunity to work through it. Waldrop in LF isn’t helping the future any more than giving Suarez more chances would be.

  6. Brantley said on the radio that Cingrani wasn’t available. Said that Cingrani had mentioned to him that he’d pitched in 5 of the last 7 games.

    Great to see Hoover have a couple solid innings. Hope he continues to pitch well enough to stay with the Reds.

    • Agree. It is probably now or never for Hoover with the Reds in a significant role. If Iglesias and Lorenzen come in and get themselves established at the back end over the second half of the season, the strong likelihood is they will stay there.

      I suppose they might give Lorenzen one more honest look at starting; but, as your article yesterday highlighted, with Iggy, they are inviting disaster to do so. With the starting depth they now appear to have in the org, that seems like a poor risk to take.

  7. Finnegan is consistently doing a very workmanlike job for 6 to 6+ innings but he needs to become more pitch efficient and extend his depth if he hopes to stay in the rotation over the next couple of years.

    • I agree but Brantley had a lot to say about that very thing. He said he thinks that Finnegan will smooth out his mechanics and get his release point more consistent. He feels that will happen as Finnegan matures. That should improve his command and make him more pitch efficient. Brantley knows pitching, so I’m taking his word for it on this one.

      • Agree. To steal a line from the past since I have one eye on RLN and another on my financial page, when Cowboy talks (pitching), people (should) listen.

  8. A whole lot of discussion about trading Bruce on the game thread. Steve posted an article a while ago, about extending Bruce for 3 years. Tonight he commented on the game thread about how that option is no longer there. I agree.

    That would seem to make a trade inevitable. And I can understand why some people are eager for it, given what happened with Frazier last year. Imagine if Bruce isn’t traded and then goes into a two month post-all star game slump. We’d all go crazy.

    A trade will almost inevitably happen, because a long-long term contract is not a good idea for a 29 year old OFer whose defensive skills are already on the decline.
    But I feel the Reds should at least talk with him first and get an idea of what he’d settle for.

    I don’t agree with an assumption that some people made in the game thread:
    This is not the “real” Jay Bruce, we saw him in 2014-15. Bruce played almost of all of 2014 after an ankle reconstruction. That was a huge mistake and thanks to that he had an awful start in 2015. Then he got hot and then finished slow, maybe just tired.

    Bruce’s current line of .272/.331/.576 was projected for him (OK not .576, let’s say .530) when he became a major leaguer. Some “experts” (i.e. not counting Reds fans) were still predicting he would break out into that level going into the disastrous 2014 season.
    But let’s back off that. I believe an realistic prediction is that he hit his lifetime .250/.320/.470 over the next 4-5 seasons.

    That’s worth something. The Reds shouldn’t sell cheap, the corner OFer holes are there for contending teams.

    • Jay Bruce…. comeback player of the year! Sell while the iron is hot boys! (unless he is willing to sign on the cheap)

      • That’s reasonable, sums it up nicely. My point is at least talk with him about whether he’s willing to sign on the cheap side. My impression is that of all the Reds who have been on the trading block for the last few years, he’s the most sincere about wanting to stay with the Reds.

    • With all the apparent need for corner outfielders and the lack of rumors about Bruce, I’ve wondered if there were talks going on between the Reds and Bruce about an extension or new contract.

      Technically 2017 is a club option year on Bruce’s current contract. They could do 4 years and make 2017 one of the 4 years. Burying the 1M buyout into a contract the size that one would be over 4 years would be pretty insignificant.

      • I’m saying they have to at least talk with him, and yes chances are they are.

        • If they would extend him, he should be made to surrender all no-trade rights. We don’t need any Brandon Phillips situation……

        • Vegas…. I almost tagged on here before I called it a night that given the last year or so, haggling over movement control could be a bigger issue than $$$ if they got around to talking an extension. Also JB goes over 8 years during this season moving toward 10/5 rights; and there is no way that can be waived up front in a contract.

        • @Vegastypo – They can’t haggle over the 10/5 rights as that’s built into the CBA. They can haggle about any no-trade lists like the one he has in his current contract that would take place before his 10th MLB season. That said, if I’m Jay Bruce, I’m not sure I’d want to stay here without no trade protection. Cincy may be his first choice but the organization has been trying to trade him for about a full year now. If part of it is wanting things to remain stable for him and his family, then I don’t think he signs without some no-trade rights.

        • @LW, I share your thoughts. With what has gone down in the last year the tit for tat of JB giving any kind of hometown discount is probably going to be trade protection until 10/5 kicks in for him. No protection, no bargain rate salary.

    • Bruce will be 30 in April….still has some good years left. Sign him thru 2020 and he’ll be 33? If I’m not mistaken won’t Votto be 33 this year? How hard did he hit that ball to left tonite? That ball was smoked…prob gone in GABP and prob this weekend in Houston too! Sometimes guys just get it together around their late 20s? Bautista was a scrub for many years. I have Logan Forsythe from TB (29 or 30 years old?) on my fbb team. He’s hitting .290 hitter (.375 obp) after a excellent year last year but he hit .230 in 2014. He just had a baby…maybe he wants to hang around and he’ll take a small hometown discount?

    • SF Giants had a scout watching Bruce last night and not an advance scout either.

    • Obviously, none of us know anything, but I doubt that the Reds and Bruce are having extension conversations. Their intention to trade him seems rather clear and locking him up doesn’t seem to be something they would have any interest in achieving.

      Assuming that he is confident in his ability, there is little chance that he signs a discounted extension when UFA is a year away. I doubt that his agent would advise him to sign at this point.

      • If the offer was AAR north of $100M over 4 or 5 years, I’d guess he would take it versus gambling on the future given the way he has been up and down in his career.

    • He had the knee surgery in 2014 but when was the ankle reconstruction?

  9. So is it time to start talking rookie of the year candidates? Duvall and Finnegan must be in the discussion.

    • Duvall, yes. Finnegan’s sure not out of the running, but he needs to be going longer than 6 innings.

    • Story and Seager are the frontrunners so far

    • They are certainly at least in the conversation.

    • Duvall might be in the conversation… Finnegan certainly is not (at this point).

      Corey Seager, given the name recognition from years of being one of the best prospects in baseball, will likely win the award easily.

  10. Finnegan at 23 years old has a great future but he must cut down on the walks.Obviously they run his pitch count up and instead of going 7 or 8 innings he is reduced to 5 or 6.He is no doubt a keeper.

  11. Let’s see we won back to back 2-1 games and now a 3-1 win while only getting 3 hits.We will be very good pitching wise once all are healthy so now lets work on the hitting side.When does Winker and others appear?

  12. Baseball Prospectus posted an article today about whether a team should start a reliever, then turn the game over to the designated starter. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29526

    I have been working up this idea myself, except that I believe that the team should start a very good reliever to go through 2 innings, or once through the lineup, then turn the ball over to the “starter” or “main pitcher” for as long as he can go. The theory is that it would give the team more of a chance to be ahead after 7-8 innings, and insure that the team uses its relievers more consistently.

    With the Reds bullpen in April and May, this would have been a disaster, but I believe the trend is to more and more power arms, such that every team would soon have 5-6 relievers who throw 98 or so. If so, then the team might as well use one of them in the first inning, with the assumption that he will more throw a shutout inning or two more often than a starter. (One snag would be how to ensure that the “main pitcher” got properly warmed up, with long-toss, etc. A plus would be that it could really bollux up platoons.)

    The team wouldn’t have to do it every game, because it wouldn’t make sense with guys like Kershaw. It should allow for the Chapmans of the world to throw something like 85 innings, instead of 65, and minimize the innings thrown by a so-called fifth starters.

    • This is exactly the kind of outside-the-box thinking I love.

      Reminds me (in theory, not practice) of some ideas that were thrown around about the Colorado Rockies staff… such as having separate 4-man rotations that only pitch at home or on the road depending on the type of pitcher they were.

      Also, sort of reminds me of Joe Maddon using a new pitcher every inning a playoff game a few years ago. Didn’t work, but it was neat to see someone try.

  13. Suarez is looking bad at the plate. Those early HR’s have messed his head up.
    With the Mets 3B David Wright about to be ruled out for the season if he decides to have neck surgery, maybe the Reds can sell on Suarez on a bit of a high note.
    What could Suarez bring back in return from the Mets? Suarez does have 3B/SS/2B versatility the Mets could very well use. Also Mets 2B Neil Walker is a free agent after the season.
    I would like for the Reds to extend Bruce, but what would a Bruce-Suarez trade bring back from the Mets?

    • Suarez has amassed 1.4 fWAR in 245 games. My guess is any return for him would be minimal. He hasn’t yet proven he’s a solid everyday player. All he’s shown is that he has 20-25 homer raw power, which in a vacuum, isn’t that important.

  14. Jesse Spector at The Sporting News has ranked all 30 MLB teams’ front offices. The Cincinnati Reds and Walt Jocketty, Dick Williams, and company finished dead last, #30.
    Even with a few trades that have been in the Reds favor, they are still the worst front office in MLB.
    I’ve been saying this for 5 years running now. The Reds had some success, but that was despite Jocketty, not because of him.
    Want to see it in black and white?

    http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/list/baseball-gm-rankings-front-office-2016-best-worst-cubs-epstein-yankees-cashman-angels/oxjvydv7a1zs1tmadzrlq2l9t

    • Need to correct this comment. The picture of Jocketty is in full color.

    • The Reds are bad and the FO has earned a great deal of deserved criticism. The writer’s arguement that they waited too long to go into full rebuild mode is true…but it’s missing context. They weren’t going to do it after coming off a playoff appearance in 2013 and it would’ve been a PR mightmare had it been done before the 2015 ASG. These aren’t excuses, they are reasons.

      Also, he had the Tigers #24 and the Red Sox #4. Dombrowski built the Tigers and inherited the Red Sox so that makes no sense to me. Also, the Phillies were around 15. Amaro created a mess, but before he was fired he laid the groundwork for future success. The current regime has been there for 6 months.

      An interesting read…but filled with arbitrary and inconsistent evaluations. Simply one man’s subjective observation.

    • Nobody can be worse then the Angels. How many millions are they paying Josh Hamilton to attempt to play for someone else? Isn’t the Reds farm system in the top 10 now? Jocketty has been bad but if they can win 1 home game out of 3 vs SF in the playoffs then his record might look different plus they lost Cueto for the whole series. Dick Williams looks like he might have an idea…lets give him a chance.

      • Agreed. Angels are the worst. Rockies are the 2nd worst, IMO. Reds are near the bottom, though.

        • I guess I don’t know what they’re trying to determine? Yes Jocketty has been bad but there are plenty of teams that didn’t win 90+ games several times in the recent past and they still don’t have near the young talent that the Reds have at this point. What are the Yankees getting for all their money? The White Sox are going nowhere. The Blue Jays have all these bats but they don’t seem to be moving forward and guys like Bautista and Tulo are getting old. What has Detroit accomplished with probably the dominant hitter of his era…Miggy Cabrera? Did SF sweep them in the WS after the Reds collapse? I can’t remember? I really don’t like any of Milwaukee’s pitchers? Nelson is no better than Tony Disco and he’s their best one? Braun is hitting .350 and they’re still not winning. Next year will be huge for the Reds to see what we really have but I like our future better than most. Jocketty made a lot of mistakes but Latos/Choo gave us a chance to get over the hump and the fans are going to groan if they don’t roll the dice once in a while?

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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