“Bryan Price, bless him for coaching this team.” – Astros broadcaster and former player Geoff Blum

The Reds were shutout 6-0 on Sunday afternoon in Houston. The Reds offense only had five hits and one walk today. Brandon Finnegan’s recent run of three consecutive quality starts in June was ended, as the Astros scored four earned runs off him in five innings. The Astros had a slow start to 2016, but they have now won 17 of their last 25 games.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (27-43) 0 5 0
Houston Astros (34-36) 6 8 0
W: Fiers (5-3) L: Finnegan (3-5) S: Devenski (1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

RedsAstrosWPA619

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Brandon Finnegan allowing an RBI double to Evan Gattis with 2 outs in the 2nd inning, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 12.2% (from 47.6% to 35.4%).

Positives

Billy

Billy Hamilton made his second amazing catch in as many days in Houston. Hamilton raced to make an incredible diving catch to rob Altuve of a hit. He then alertly threw the ball back into the infield to double up the runner at first base.

Joey Votto singled in the first inning, and he extended his consecutive on-base streak to 20 games. Votto passed himself for the longest Reds on-base streak in 2016 (Votto reached base in 19 consecutive games between 4/22 – 5/14).

Jay Bruce now has a 13-game hitting streak against the Astros.

Negatives

 

Finnegan

Brandon Finnegan had a rough afternoon. He only lasted 5.0 innings, allowing 4 earned runs. He also walked 3, while striking out just 1. Finnegan’s ERA still is under 3 on the season, but his peripheral numbers are less than stellar: 6.08 K/9, 4.23 BB/9, 4.97 FIP. It is of course important to remember than Finnegan is only 23 years old.

Eugenio Suarez made a pretty terrible second out at third base in the 5th inning. The Reds had runners on first and third with 1 out, and it appeared like it was a botched hit and run. It decreased the Reds chances of winning by 8.5% using WPA. It was the third biggest play of the game.

Billy Hamilton went 0 for 3 with 3 strikeouts.

Not so random thoughts…………..

The King

Tonight is a big night here in Cleveland. I moved up to Cleveland from Cincinnati three years ago. I jumped on the Cavs bandwagon when LeBron returned (I live here, so that is acceptable, right?). My Cavs fandom isn’t in the same stratosphere as my love of the Reds, but this could still be a special night for me. I’ve never seen a team that I have rooted for win a championship (I was 3 years old in 1990).

The last couple days around the city of Cleveland have just been incredible. The buzz is electrifying. It’s really all I can think about. I could only imagine what it would be like to have our Reds play in a World Series, much less play in Game 7. I don’t even know how I would function. So anyways, go Cavs! I hope they can complete what would be one of the greatest sports stories of all-time. I deserve this, right guys?

Up Next:

Reds at Rangers
Tuesday, 8:05 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Anthony DeSclafani (2.08 ERA) vs Colby Lewis (2.81 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! 46 Comments

  1. Finnegan’s peripherals are pretty troubling, but hopefully he’ll grow into the role. He’s still got a few years before we can reasonably pass judgement on him. If he can come in as a solid #3-#4 type pitcher, that would be fine as long as BobSteve/Reed/Disco/et al. live up to their billing.

    • Agreed. I’ll be happy if he even grows into a dependable 4/5 starter.

      However, I don’t even think he’s a starter long-term, from what I’ve seen. With that said, he’s young and could be awesome! That is the beauty of baseball.

    • I think he is destined for the back end of the pen. Health permitting, next year the back end “A” team is likely Finnegan, Iglesias and Lorenzen.

      • The Nasty Boys Revival. I’ll take it, but we gotta get the rotation sorted first and foremost. All the odd men out head to the ‘pen or get packaged in trades to help the offense.

  2. With the way the fence is configured in left field, it seems almost impossible to get a hit that direction unless you go down the line or hit it to the fence. Not much room to cover. Joey’s lineout to left is probably a hit everywhere except HOU and BOS. There were a few other hit out there this series that surprised me with how easy the play was made. Being able to play 20 feet shorter will do that, I guess!

  3. The Reds AA affiliate, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos have won the first half Southern Division championship of the Southern League. This punches their ticket for the post season where they will face the 2nd half divisional champs; or if the Blue Wahoos should also win the 2nd half, the overall second best record in their division.

    It is a little crazy to think about; but, by the time the Southern League playoffs begin, two of the Blue Wahoos major first half pitching cogs, Amir Garrett and Rookie Davis, could be on September callup duty with the Reds.

    • There is no need to rush Amir or Rookie Davis. Amir just got promoted to Louisville I think. But I bet Rookie finishes the season in Pensacola. Hopefully they can win a championship! that would be nice, winning at least somewhere in our organization.

      • Yes, Garrett was just promoted to AAA.
        Next year is his last option year; as he he fell a bit behind the developmental curve when he was playing both NCAA basketball and minor league baseball.

        Barring injury, he will be a September call up to the Reds.

        Davis has been nearly as dominant at AA as Garrett was. I think the organization will likely see it as a waste of his innings to leave him at AA much longer, especially if Robert Stephenson moves up to the Reds leaving Louisville in need of another starter anyway.

        • It makes zero sense to call up Garrett this year. I know why you think that he will make the leap from AA to the majors in a single season. Our “wonderboy” Stephenson couldn’t even do that. Now if he is lights out in AAA no holds barred I would think more along the lines that he starts out 2017 with the team.

        • September callups are the best time to see what you have in a young player, and with a non-contending team, it doesn’t hurt you if they do struggle. Davis and Garrett are both on the 40-man so I see a good chance that they could get the call.

  4. Growing up as a Browns fan before the Bengals came along, I have a soft spot for Cleveland and hope the Cavs will win it all tonight.

    • Was a Browns fan until I quit following the NFL long after the Bengals arrived. I was all in a couple of weeks ago when then Blue Jackets affiliate, the (Cleveland) Lake Erie Monsters, won the AHL championship Calder Cup in the same building the Cavs call home. I don’t follow the NBA at all but, Go Cavs.

      • You were in Cleveland that weekend too!?? My girlfriend went up for “Flight of the Concords”, performing at State Theater. We are also big Blue Jackets fans so we were talking to a lot of the Monsters and Jackets fans that were headed to the game. When “Flight of the Concords” let out, we knew that the Monsters had won. The city was really excited. It wasn’t looking good for the Cavs then either, as I think they were down 3-1. I am sure the city is abuzz and was electric last night.

        • No I didn’t make it to Cleveland for the Calder wrap up. I meant to indicate I was as bought in to the game as if it had been CBJ or in baseball, the Reds playing for their ultimate title.

          Hopefully a bunch of those Monster kids are going to come up and finally put CBJ over the top just like we hope the young pitching and a hitter or two will do for the Reds!

          • I watched a bit of the playoffs. Forsberg looked really good. Bjorkstrand and Milano looked good too. In watching the Stanley Cup playoffs though, I just don’t see enough talent for the Jackets to be any better than a 1st round bounce. They need to stay healthy to even have a chance at the postseason. I still am hating the Johanson trade but I get it; he just isn’t a Tortorella kinda guy.

          • The CBJ blue line looks really strong though with Jones, Werenski, and Murray finally healthy (wasn’t he a mirror of the Votto knee experience?). Plus they are almost too deep at G if BoB can stay on the ice. If they didn’t have serious cap issues, they could probably turn the #3 pick and a G into a top line centerman.

          • Horton injury killed them. Then when we get crummy Clarkson from the Leafs, he can’t stay on the ice either. The Jackets need guys getting paid to be on the ice, to actually be on the ice. Shame about Horton. He was a really good player and a good guy too.

        • Horton and Clarkson are really all the same situation since they traded Horton for Clarkson for $$$ reasons. If the insurance papers had been filed for Horton, they never would have gotten involved with Clarkson.

          For any non-hockey folks reading along, this was a fiasco worthy of the Reds FO, CBJ signed the player Nathan Horton to a 7 year $37M FA contract in July of 2013 knowing he was coming off shoulder surgery and would not be ready for the start of the season. When he finally got onto the ice 3 months into the season, he started having back issues.
          After several months, it was determined he had a degenerative spinal condition which had been missed when he was vetted for the contract and now had reached critical mass. The good news was that it could be surgically repaired; the bad news was that the surgery would be career ending. The worse news was that while some folks in the CBJ front office were saying the Horton contract was insured, it turned out that nobody had ever actually filed papers and paid premiums to insure it. m Toronto took Horton off the CBJ’s hands for Clarkson because his contract worked better for them against the salary cap than Clarkson’s, leaving CBJ to pay Clarkson less in total but taking a larger cap hit.

    • Go Browns! And I’m not an NBA fan but rooting for the Cavs to finally give the city a championship. Go Cavs!

  5. I love when you guys put GIFs or video links in the recaps….BILLY!

  6. I am not sure who is a long term starter… Finnegan or Lamb. I live in Atlanta and was here when Glavine, Smoltz and Avery were finding their way. Going to be ups and downs. However, the audition is not over and I, for one, am ready to see Stephenson up here.
    We have got a decent idea of Finnegan and Lamb can and cannot do. Stephenson pitched pretty good early. As the others do… right now he walks too many… but that can change. Time to bring him up also.
    Sorry Nick… even though I am live in Atlanta… I am Cincinnati thru and thru. My feelings for Cleveland are the same as Pittsburgh.

    • I think Lamb stuff would play up better in bullpen, while Finnegan seems to have shown to have more “stuff” on his 3 primary pitches but can he add the control to allow him to be a top of rotation guy. Otherwise, like others have stated Finnegan and Lorenzen seem to have a future as dual closers. All yet still TBD!!!!!

      • I’m not sure if I’m being unduly pessimistic, but any time a starting pitcher has trouble with walks, I get concerned with the presumption that the bullpen is going to be a better destination. … Unless you’re the ‘long man/mop,’ chances are pretty good that you are going to be called in to meaningful situations, and walks are ill advised. (See this year’s bullpen.)

        Also was wondering, has there been talk of how many innings Finnegan will be allowed to throw this season? If he approaches his limit, I wonder if the Reds would send him to the bullpen for that reason.

        • I agree that walks are bad regardless, but with a starter they also drive up pitch count which leads to shorter outings and an over-taxed bullpen. That was the big issue with Volquez IIRC.

        • Price said in his postgame that part of the reason for pulling Finnegan after just 77 pitches today was that it was clear he was struggling; and, that innings saved now were innings he still have to work with on down the line. However, if Price referenced a specific number of innings, I did not catch it.

    • Honestly, I’m not sure if either of them are. Bailey, Stephenson, and Iglesias will all likely rejoin the rotation by 2017, and Disco and Reed are the most likely to retain their spots, so that would send Straily, Lamb and Finnegan to the bullpen.

  7. I am hoping to see DeSclafani be a lot sharper than his 1st game and I saw Iglesais was sent out on a rehab assignment maybe we can get a little bit of pitching. I know the injuries have plagued this staff but even young and growing pains I expected a little more than this disaster. I am unsure who winds up in the bullpen but with 8 or 9 young arms for 5 spots we should get some much needed help in the pen if the 8 or 9 reach their “potential” . This team being as bad as it is makes the decision about what to do with Bruce. he has hit the ball well enough to consider an extension if it is a reasonable amount. I think he should be traded simply because of his age when this team will be relevant again. We just need him to stay healthy and swinging the bat the way he is for another 5 or so weeks. I don’t see much of a return for Cozart but if there is value send him and/or BP. I am one of those who thinks the deal breaker in the proposed trades for BP is the deferred money and that is something the Reds do control and BP’s decline had been fairly slow until this season and his defensive decline has become very evident. The difference in actual cost to the team on the deferred money being paid early cannot not be as much as getting no return for DFA him or sitting him.

    • I think he should be traded simply because of his age when this team will be relevant again

      He won’t be 30 til next April? Are we on the 4 year plan? Even if you write off 2018…he’ll only be 32 at the start of the 2019 season? I agree that Cozart/BP need to go. If BP won’t/can’t be traded then they need to man up and sit him down next year.

      • The Winker questions surrounding the wrist very well may play into this too. They put questions on rather or not he’ll be playing this year and they may put some questions in the team’s mind about next year. It may be better to try to sign Bruce. That said, I don’t see it happening. The way Bruce is hitting, he’s likely to get a decent chunk of money in FA.

  8. Finnegan’s ERA still is under 3 on the season, but his peripheral numbers are less than stellar: 6.08 K/9, 4.23 BB/9, 4.97 FIP. It is of course important to remember than Finnegan is only 23 years old.

    Finnegan’s ERA is 3.81 so perhaps you meant under 4 for the season.

  9. RE: Finnegan: There are 60 pitchers with at least 80 innings. Finnegan’s ranks:

    K/9: 51 of 60
    BB/9: 59 of 60
    HR/9: 36 of 60
    BABIP: 6 of 60 (good luck)
    LOB%: 42 of 60 (maybe a little bad luck)
    GB%: 43 of 60
    FIP: 58 of 60
    xFIP: 59 of 60
    ERA: 38 of 60

    If his BABIP comes back to normal levels and the rest stays the same, we’ll se looking at a 5 ERA pitcher… which is still soooo much better than looking at anything resembling Alfredo Simon.

    • SIERA also 59 of 60.

    • Finnegan reminds me a little of Homer Bailey. who was also rushed to the MLB too quickly and had similar issues in his age 23 year. The stuff is there, but lack of control is a limiting factor.

  10. Oakland is listening to offers for Sonny Gray (27 in November). I know he’s struggling this year but he’s put up over 200ip the last 2 years with a 3.08 and 2.73 era! You don’t put up a sub 3 era in the AL without real talent! He’ll prob go to Boston or someplace but we def have the pitching depth to pull a Latos deal.

    • Why would they trade someone (s)…whom the Reds likely have under control for a longer period than Sonny…when Sonny may or may not be as good as what you’re trading? You’d likely have to trade 2 guys who will likely be about as good as Gray for Gray. I don’t see the benefit. Boston is in it to win it right now…the Reds are not.

      • It was just a thought but I don’t anyone on the Reds with Gray’s potential except for Reed? Garrett is the only one I haven’t seen yet. Beane makes some stupid trades too at times….like he’s playing fbb or something?

        • Indeed. See Russell, A.

        • I still don’t think the Russell trade was bad. Beane gave up future wins for current wins. At that point, Samardzija represented a chance to advance more deeply into the playoffs. Beane has always been this way… build a .480 to .500 ish team, then add or subtract at the deadline based on the way things look.

          The extra few wins in the regular season, and then having another “ace” type pitcher in the playoffs has incredibly high marginal utility.

          Beane saw a shot, pushed his chips in, and the it didn’t work. Still don’t think it was a bad trade. You have to go for it sometime, right?

        • I just didn’t think much of Samardzija and felt like it was a huge over-pay but you are right that you have to go for it when you have the chance. I selfishly wish that Beane would have traded Russell outside the NL Central. 😛

  11. No one mentioned Votto slowing down, for some unknown reason, as he approached first base in yesterday’s game. He would have been safe if he had continued at the pace he discarded. His unconventional booboos usually happen in the field when running after a foul ball, like he’s light-headed, or jumping away from a hard hit grounder to out maneuver a bad hop ball to his face. Some of this could be forgiven but slowing down to be out is one for “Believe It Or Not”.

    • Looked to me like kinda the other way around. When it looked like the ball had been hit directly to the first baseman, he slowed down. And by the time he saw the ball bounce away from the fielder and tried to go full speed, he just didn’t have enough time. …. There are exceptions, but baseball players seem to do it all the time. If it looks like an out, hustle fades.

  12. Moscot has a solid if not quite outstanding effort tonight for Louisville versus Buffalo

    6.2IP: 7H: 1R(earned): 3BB: 2K: 0HR: 97P/62S

    He hit a little bit of a wall in 7th. With 2 out and 2 on Wandy Peralta came on to slam the door.

    Bats lead 3-1 on the strength of a solo shot by Jermaine Curtis and a 2 run HR by Steve Selsky. Schebler is 4/4 with 3 doubles.

    • Bats win 4-1. Jumbo takes a little bit of a ride on the wild side in the 9th but recovers to record the save. Maybe a big difference between AAA and MLB is that in MLB when you give up a 1 out single, walk a guy, then advance the runners with a WP, the one of the next two men up is just more likely to be able to make you pay the price than in AAA??

      • Moscot and Jumbo seem to be in the same boat? AAAA pretty much and Moscot doesn’t even really dominate in AAA? I like Sampson better then either one of them and he’s prob the same? Adelman was interesting but he got on the 283 day DL which is so popular with the Reds!

        • IMO, Moscot or somebody like him needs to step up and show they can be a competent 5th starter or at least a long/ middle man in the pen so the Reds can (gulp!) trade one of their more talented pitchers for a significant bat.

          We disagree a bit re: Daniel Wright but I think he is a guy who could grow grow into one of these spots. He is another guy they’ve tried to convert to starting; this time on the fly just this year. This is only his 3rd season above rookie ball (attended college; 2016 is age 25 season). Doug Gray is fairly high on Wright’s potential, at least as a reliever. We will see how he does over time a AAA

  13. Arizona just send down OF/3B Brandon Drury. He’s hitting .275 w/8 HRs (.769 ops) on the season. He’s only 23 and they need a lot of pitching and we have pitchers! His K/BB ratio is pretty bad but he had a .384 obp last year at AAA. He didn’t show much power in the minors but neither did Suarez. If we end up trading Bruce then it would nice to pickup another potential hitter or 2?

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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