Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds win free baseball in Houston

It has been difficult lately for the Reds to get interleague wins on the road. The Reds entered play on Friday just 3-19 since the start of 2014 in road games against the American League.

John Lamb gave the Reds five strong innings, and then the Reds bullpen pitched very well over the course of the next seven innings. Eugenio Suarez delivered a go-ahead RBI double in the top of the 11th. Later in the inning, and suicide squeeze from Ramon Cabrera would give the Reds a 4-2 lead.

Tony Cingrani made things interesting in the bottom of the 11th by bringing the winning run to the plate. He was however able to get Carlos Correa to ground out to end the game, and the Reds took game one of the three game series, 4-2.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (27-41) 4 11 1
Houston Astros (32-36) 2 8 0
W: Hoover (1-1) L: Neshek (2-1) S: Cingrani (8)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

RedsAstrosWPA

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Eugenio Suarez RBI double with 0 outs in the top of the 11th inning, giving the Reds a 3-2 leadThat play increased the Reds chances of winning by 30.6% (from 58.2% to 88.7%).

Player of the Game

John Lamb: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2.39 FIP

Lamb pitched really well for the most part tonight. Through the first five innings, his line was: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K. You can’t pitch much better than that. He ran into some tough luck in the sixth inning. The first batter had a bunt single, and ended up on second because of a Suarez throwing error. He got a force out later in the inning, but walked two more batters and exited with the bases loaded.

The most encouraging thing tonight from Lamb was seeing him strike out some hitters again. His previous season high was 5 K, and his K/9 this year is only at 4.71. It was 10.51 last year, and he was projected by ZiPS for 9.01. It should be noted that the Astros have the third highest strikeout rate (24.9 K%) in the MLB.

Positives

Billy Hamilton returned from the DL today. His first at-bat was a disaster. Billy came to the plate with runners on the corners, and one out. He struck out on three pitches. Billy however had two hits in his next two at-bats. Don’t look now, but Hamilton is hitting .274/.312/.396 on the season. Brandon Phillips is hitting .259/.297/.397 for comparison.

Joey Votto extended his on-base streak to 18 games with a walk in the first inning.

Jose Peraza had a beautiful bunt single in the 5th inning. He then showed off his wheels, as he scored from first on a Cozart double hit hard off the wall. I’d say most MLB players would not have scored on it.

Zack Cozart and Adam Duvall each had two hits.

J.J. Hoover pitched two scoreless innings. He has now pitched five scoreless innings since being recalled. That is certainly very good to see.

Negatives

Blake Wood had been the Reds best reliever so far in 2016, but he couldn’t get the job done tonight. He allowed his first home run since 2011, and Carlos Correa got all of it.

The Reds defense was not good tonight. There were bad plays from Votto, Suarez, and even Cozart. Jay Bruce did make a really nice catch later in the game though.

Not so random thoughts……………

I was watching the Astros TV broadcast tonight. When Adam Duvall stepped up for his first at-bat, their play by play broadcaster Bill Brown said “We’ve been anxious to see Adam Duvall after looking at the box scores.” It is pretty cool that Duvall has developed that type of reputation. Who would have ever thought that?

Also, if you are an out of town Reds fan and have MLB.tv, I highly recommend watching the Astros TV broadcast. They do a really good job, and use advanced stats a bit. Tonight, they were talking about how Eugenio Suarez has been unlucky this season because of BABIP. I about fell out of my chair.

Up Next:

The Cody Reed era begins for the Cincinnati Reds tomorrow. Reed will be making his MLB debut. He is currently the #60 prospect in all of baseball (Reds #3) according to MLB Pipeline. Reed will have his work cut out for him, as he will face last year’s AL Cy Young winner, Dallas Keuchel.

Reds at Astros
Saturday, 4:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Cody Reed (11 GS, 3.20 ERA/3.36 FIP*) vs Dallas Keuchel (14 GS, 5.54 ERA/3.83 FIP)

*numbers from AAA

36 thoughts on “Reds win free baseball in Houston

    • Perhaps that trip to the minor leagues was what he needed to get back on track. The same thing helped Jumbo Diaz last year (on a related note: why isn’t Diaz back with the MLB team? He has a lower ERA in Louisville than Hoover did).

  1. That 15 pitch AB versus Lamb in the 3rd caught up to him in the 6th; and, he didn’t have enough left to finish the inning. Still he was as good tonight for 5 innings as he has ever been for the Reds. There are going to be interesting days ahead with 3 lefties in the rotation because things aren’t likely to stay that way,

    • Better off concede an intentional base under non-leverage situations after 10 pitches, makes no sense to burn out your starter so early in the game.

      • He probably didn’t want to walk the guy because he had a man on first and only 1 out. But then he walked the next batter on just 6 pitches…

  2. Good game, Wood’s streak had to come for an end sometime. Maybe this is a good time to remove Philips from the 3rd spot, Votto could take over. Bullpen has improved recently, let’s hope they’ll keep it that way. Go Reds!

  3. Good to see a strong venezuelan presence in the Reds again with Peraza, Cabrera & Suarez, Go Reds!

    • On Friday Cabrera was right in the middle of two of the Reds 4 runs. He had the single in the 7th to move BHam around from 1B to 3B which led to him scoring on a ground out. Then in the 11th RC put down the bunt on the suicide squeeze which scored the Reds final run.

      Cabrera is looking like he can hold up his end of a 60/40~50/50 split in the catching duties. I see him as a lot of the same player as Barnhart. The only really clear edge I see Barnhart having is that he appears throws better. Barnhart is also probably a better runner; but, I don’t know how much that matters with catchers.

      • As backup catchers or role players, Barnhart and Cabrera are excellent options and both should have nice careers. I don’t think either catcher is a full time, starting caliber player. I also don’t know if the Reds will ever see Mesoraco fullfilling the starting catcher role as they intended. Even if Mesoraco does fill the starting catcher role, he is only under contract for 2 more seasons. Lets hope the Reds can bridge the gap to Stephenson or Okey and also hope that Stephenson or Okey is the answer going forward.

        • I agree. I think a contending team would be OK to happy with either Barnhart or Cabrera as their clearly #2 catcher but would not want to be using the pair of them in tandem to cover all the catching duties.

          Service time cost and control considerations might actually favor Cabrera in the #2 role for the Reds moving forward as Barnhart is on line to be arb eligible a couple of years ahead of Cabrera

        • I’m hoping Okey can move fast and be there when Mes’ contract is up. That will allow Stephenson and Turnbull time to develop, as catchers tend to take a bit more time to develop their bats.

        • Turnbull is the youngish Australian catcher the Reds signed a couple of years ago.
          He is in the Arizona Rookie League now. He just turned 18 in February 2016. I believe (from memory) he was just 16 when the Reds signed him. He came to the US and played in the Arizona rookie league last year. Back at home this past USA off season, he played in the Australian professional baseball league which MLB is helping to develop. I saw him once or twice during the winter in Aussie games streamed over YouTube; but, I don’t recall anything that jumped out at me except he was a kid playing for the most part against guys several years older than himself.

          http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?player_id=659932#/career/R/hitting/2015/ALL

  4. Three lefties in a row for the first time in 10 years: Lamb, Reed & Finnegan – Go Reds!

  5. How about this line-up? Hamilton CF, Peraza 2B, Votto 1B, Duvall LF, Bruce RF, Cozart SS, Suarez 3B, C -Those two at the top of the line-up should make a lot of damage!

    • The way Hamilton is hitting this year, I think he may have earned another chance to bat at the top of the lineup, so it would be interesting to see this lineup, if only for a few games. Another alternative would be to lead off one of them and bat the other 9th.

  6. Suarez has 8 walks in his last 16 starts! Surely a guy that hits the ball to right like he can won’t be hitting .225 for long? Lamb is really fun to watch imo! A guy mixing and matching with his wits is more interesting to me! He didn’t get that far into the game but he was pumping strikes! Have to give Houston some credit for so many foul balls. Peraza and Hamilton both scored a run and they squeezed the last run in….good to see them use that speed and execute some small ball!

    • Duvall wasn’t loafing either on his dash around from 1st to score on that double into the short LF corner. He read it all the way that the ball was not going to be caught and did not wait around to see if it was going foul or maybe into the seats for a HR which are things I see some of the veteran Reds players doing almost every day.

      • Duvall is much more athletic than I think most of us expected. i was sorta expecting a smaller, right -handed version of Adam Dunn. Duvall runs pretty well. The other night, he was really hustling down the line on an infield ground out, and I was surprised at how close he made it.
        He has worked hard to be a good left fielder, and it shows.

      • Jay Bruce does that all the time unfortunately. When Duvall crushed that ball to right-center in Atlanta….Bruce was on first and was so sure it was gone that he started a light jog to 2nd but their park is so big that it hit the wall and Bruce didn’t score. In Coco Cordero’s last year we were having a so-so season but weren’t falling apart into we went into Milwaukee before the break. Bruce hit a ball deep to right-center to leadoff the inning and started going into a homerun trot but the guy leaped at the fence and kept it in the park. Bruce finally starts running when he gets to 1st and see the plays unfold but gets nailed at 3rd and we lost by a run. CoCo blew the other games and we got swept and that season quickly fell apart. Why is hustling so difficult? We do all repetitive things in our life too but put some heart into it?

  7. I was very disappointed to see Selsky optioned out, but somebody had to go when Peraza, D. Diaz & Hoover were recalled from AAA and Hamilton was activated. Optioning Wright and transferring Pacheco & Morris to the DL were simple and logical roster moves. The 4th roster move, optioning Selsky, was the only move in this series that required a real decision.

    The Old Cossack finds the Simon situation a real noggin scratcher. I can understand the signing of Simon. The need created by an avalanche of injuries to the starting rotation was completely unmanageable. Good management recognizes bad decisions or decisions that turn out bad and move on. Poor management fails to recognize or acknowledge bad decisions or stubbornly hangs on and compounds those bad decisions. The signing of Simon turned out to be a bad decision, derived from good intentions, yet Simon is still on the roster and still pitching. We have all seen this type of roster management before and it is long past being stale. Simon is not just bad, he is historically bad. There is no valid reason for Simon to still have a roster spot on either the 25-man roster or the 40-man roster, especially when there are young(er) relievers who could still benefit from a development opportunity or make a positive contribution at the major league level. The pitching will have issues until fully staffed with top prospects or top performers, but the roster is beginning to take shape and needs to be culled.

    The same holds true for the position players, but not necessarily for culling roster spots, just role and playing time adjustments.

    • Simon remains only because of the contract the Reds wrote for him. I agree he should be waived and released, but that’s now how this Front Office rolls. They will keep him around for a while yet, I am afraid.

    • We need a 40-man spot for Reed today, so perhaps we just kept Simon the extra day because the bullpen was still short handed from the extra-inning game the other day and wanted an emergency option.

    • Obviously there is going to be a double move required prior to this afternoon’s game in order to get Reed onto both the 40 man MLB and 25 man active roster.

      I agree it is time to cut the cord on Simon; but, I can see this FO holding onto him until there is a full accounting of the injured, i.e. Lorenzen, Iglesias, and Bailey.

      Josh Smith and Jumbo Diaz are the two oldest pitchers on the 40 man after Simon. Think I’d be nervous if I were them. A DFA of Smith would cover both ends of the move. If Jumbo’s number comes up for the 40 man slot, they’d have to option somebody else to make a 25 man slot. Then again they might do something like activating/ DFAing Pacheco for the 40 man and optioning a pitcher for the 25 man. We will see in a couple of hours or less I’d guess.

      • Adelman or Cotham from the 15 day DL to 60 day DL could cover the 40 man spot also; but leave them needing to option somebody off the 25 man.

  8. Breakfast and watching the 11th inning. Happen to be watching the Astros feed … you are right about these guys. Nice cadence calling the game.

  9. Reed fills the 5th starter in the rotation in a few hours. From that point, the real competition begins in both the bullpen and rotation. It’s no longer ‘next man up’. Anyone promoted to the starting rotation will be replacing someone on a competitive basis and the bumps will cucle through the bullpen. This is what we’ve been waiting for since the beginning of spring training. Spots on both the 40-man roster and 25-man roster are at stake. Cinch up boys!

    • Spot on. Plus, Iggy, Lorenzen, Bailey and Stephenson are lurking just under the horizon (two 40 man spots required there to bring guys off the 60 day DL in addition to the 25 man spots). Then there’s that whole next wave of pitching at AA plus Garrett who was just promoted to AAA. Of this group Garrett, Rookie Davis, and Sal Romano are already on the 40 man but that still leaves 3 or so other guys on the doorstep threshold. Hopefully the Reds make the right decisions about who they keep and who gets traded for position help.

  10. Saturday line up from Reds Media Relations Twitter feed (@RedsPR)
    Cozart 6, Votto DH, Phillips 4, Bruce 9, Duvall 7, Suarez 5, Hamilton 8, De Jesus Jr. 3, Barnhart 2, Reed LHP (#44, Major League debut)

    Good idea using JV as DH but why DeJesus at 1B? Waldrop involved in a roster move?

    • Or, gee, why not Duvall at first base, and give one of the outfielders a few more ABs? The way the Reds deal with DHs, they better hope it doesn’t come to the NL.

      • Yeah, I guess I’m taking a pretty big leap of faith to suggest they’d handle the DH better if it was an all the time deal for them…. 🙂

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