Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds end Rangers 7-game winning streak

The Rangers had won 7 straight games going into play on Tuesday, and entered with a 9.5 game lead in the AL West. That didn’t stop the Reds from continuing a hot month of their own, and now improving to 11-8 in June.

Jay Bruce got the Reds off to a fast start in Arlington. Bruce hit a three-run home run in the first inning off Colby Lewis. The Rangers starter entered play today with a 2.81 ERA.

The Rangers quickly responded, as Jurickson Profar hit a two-run home run in the second inning off Anthony DeSclafani. That would be all that DeSclafani would allow on the night, as he settled down and pitched seven strong innings.

The Reds blew things open in the fifth inning. Zack Cozart had a 2-RBI triple, which was followed by a Billy Hamilton sacrifice fly to give the Reds a 6-2 lead. The Reds would add two more runs later in the game, and ended up completing an 8-2 win.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (27-43) 8 11 0
Texas Rangers (46-25) 2 6 0
W: DeSclafani (1-0) L: Lewis (6-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Jay Bruce’s 3-run home run in the first inning off Colby Lewis, giving the Reds a 3-0 lead That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 25.7% (from 53.6% to 74.3%).

Player of the Game

Bruce 2

Jay Bruce: 3 for 4, 1 HR, 4 RBI

Bruce hit his 16th home run in the first inning, and it was a big one. Bruce added two more hits on the night, and is now hitting .282/.333/.588 on the season. Boy, did the Reds front office make the right decision by not selling low on Bruce before the season.

Positives

cozart

Zack Cozart had a big 2-RBI triple in the 5th inning. He followed that up with a solo home run in the the 7th inning. Cozart is now hitting .284/.325/.513 on the season.

disco

Anthony DeSclafani was pretty sharp tonight. He gave up a 2-run homer in the second inning, but really only should have been charged 1 ER because of a bad play by Suarez. Disco was locked in after that, and didn’t allow another run over 7.0 innings. He also stuck out 7, while walking just 1. DeSclafani now has a 2.30 ERA through his first two starts of 2016.

Raisel Iglesias made his return to the Reds out of the bullpen. Iglesias pitched two scoreless innings of relief. He allowed only 1 hit and 1 walk, but didn’t strike out anyone. I still hate the idea of Iglesias in the bullpen. If his arm isn’t healthy enough to start, then why pitch him at all?

Negatives

Tucker Barnhart bunted on a 2-o count. Steve explains why that is dumb.

Not so random thoughts………

Joey Votto was sick, and out of the lineup today. According to the Rangers broadcast, he was sent home and not even in uniform. His on-base streak still sits at 20 games.

It was cool to see Shin-Soo Choo again. I will forever love Choo for that 2013 season. Watching him and Votto get on base a million times that season was terrific.

The game time was 2:29. Those are the best kinds of games during a rebuild.

Up Next:

Reds at Rangers
Wednesday, 8:05 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Dan Straily (3.66 ERA) vs Cole Hamels (2.88 ERA)

95 thoughts on “Reds end Rangers 7-game winning streak

  1. I bet the game time was fast because there wasn’t that many walks? I for one would love for the base on ball rules be changed in order to speed up the game. Personally the base on ball in the most boring part of baseball so anything to alter that would be just fantastic.

      • Which are actually the most boring part of baseball if you don’t count managers’ pro forma arguments with umps

    • I don’t think they should, or would, ever change the base-on-balls rule. I do sort of agree with the sentiment here though. It is actually one of the things I’ve been conflicted on with the Reds teams of the last couple years.
      Thinking logically, I know that Joey Votto is the Reds best player and that his approach at the plate is a big reason why he is successful. He is really not a fun player to watch though. Hamilton playing defense or stealing a base is often exciting, Bruce hitting a monster home run is exciting, Chapman throwing 100+ right by someone was exciting. Votto working a 3-2 count, choking up on the bat and lining a single into left field is not.
      I know that if more of the Reds hitters approached their at-bats like Votto that the offense would be more successful, but that doesn’t mean Votto’s at-bats are fun to watch.

      • One of the only reasons I watch closely on a daily basis is to watch Votto hit. He does something almost no one in baseball history can do (get on base 42% of the time).

        The physical aspects are much less exciting, I think, because I have the physical strength to hit a home run in a major league park. I mean… I wouldn’t do it very often of a real pitcher, maybe 1 in a million, but I could do it. I could never work the count the way Votto does and discern ball from strike.

        So to me, watching guys like BP and Cozart and Duvall flail away on pitch after pitch is not exciting at all. Sure, homers are exciting, but the sum of all the flailing and the homers is something less exciting.

        I know it’s personal preference once way or another, but Votto hitting is like watching an artist practice his craft. That’s how I see it.

        • Watching Billy Hamilton swing at the first pitch and hit a lazy fly ball or pop out is anything but fun to me.

    • that is your opinion. I call it boring as all can get out. I would much rather see a player go up there swing for the fences and go sit down on the bench when he misses.
      The ideal baseball game for me would be done in under an hour.
      a batter gets 3 balls to swing at, the pitcher gets 5 pitches to throw. If after the 5 pitches the batter doesn’t get a hit he is out. Next. If the pitcher throws 2 unhittable balls the batter takes first, not called a base on balls call it a pitcher error because that is what it is.

      • I really like ham. Too bad it isn’t steak. They should change the rules so that ham has to be like steak.

        • Hey now, Danball sounds like a fun time! One tweak I’d make to these rules would be that a pitcher gets to bean the batter in the head if the batter doesn’t swing in the first 2 pitches. That’ll teach him to get the bat off his shoulders.

        • This idea sounds a lot like batting practice, the game would last longer and the scores would be in the 20’s and 30’s.

      • Who makes the judgement on what is considered “unhittable”? A lot of pitches out of the “strikezone” are pretty much unhittable. The question is, how is that ruled?

        If you really wanted to speed the game up with at-bats, then it may be best to do what a lot of softball and recreational league baseball leagues do. A lot of those leagues are starting hitters at a 1-1 count.

        Lastly, would your three hittable balls still be called “strikes”? I hope so, because I like “Take me Out to the Ball Game” and “It’s One, Two, Three strikes you’re out”

  2. Jay Bruce’s 3-run home run in the first inning off Colby Lewis, giving the Reds a 3-0 lead . That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 25.7% (from 53.6% to 74.3%).

    Not that it matters but are they saying the Reds had a 53.6% chance to beat a 1st place team on the road because they had 2 on/1 out in the 1st inning? Plus facing a guy with a sub 3 era? That seems way off?

    • Interesting observation! Even if we scored 1 run in the first the odds of us winning should not be greater than 50% based upon our pitching record.

    • No, that’s not what it means. It’s context neutral. Its just to show how big an impact certain plays have.

    • It just means based on the thousands of innings of baseball the computer has been fed, a team finding themselves in that position at that time in a game has that percentage opportunity to come out the winner based on probability, independent of who they play, whether or not they have a rebuild binder, or if Joey Votto is ill. 🙂

  3. “I will forever love Choo for that 2013 season. ”

    Not sure why anyone would want to remember the 2013 season. Six straight season ending losses and an embarrassment in Pittsburgh. A real underachieving bunch.

  4. “Boy, did the Reds front office make the right decision by not selling low on Bruce before the season.”
    Nice comedic brevity after a nice win. Don’t hurt your hand patting the Reds front office on the back for that.
    If I recall correctly, Jay Bruce was only a failed medical report (not his) away from being a Toronto Blue Jay. Maybe the medical staff should get that attaboy. They saved the front office from being humiliated again.
    Nice win led by two short timers on offense.

  5. I have a feeling Bob C. will want to keep Jay from a marketing standpoint too? They already lost the Chapman freak show and Frazier was popular. I love Joey but his .400 obp isn’t exactly packing them into GABP either and he’s not getting any younger? Dick Williams better set the bar high to get him?

    • Jay Bruce has no marketing value. None. There is not a single person at any game to see Jay Bruce.

      • I disagree Chuck. Most nights I don’t have time to watch the game at full speed so it’s on TiVo and I watch it at high speed and I go back to see key plays. But I watch certain at bats at normal speed – Votto, Hamilton, Bruce. Some fans love Jay Bruce, and others love the home run so right now they love Duvall and Bruce.

      • Yeah nobody likes Jay! His family moved their seats to LF. Even his baby pretends to be asleep when he gets home!

      • It’s rare that any single player drives people to major league games. It’s usually a combination. Watching Jay Bruce play is certainly a plus for me. One of my favorite players.

        • I agree Steve. It’s rarely one player but Jay is one of the reasons I look forward to going to the ballpark and I will miss him if/when he is traded. Certain pitchers I have gone just to see them pitch: Clemens, Ryan, Maddux, Randy Johnson, Ron Guidry during the late ’70’s.

      • Chuck, I’m a huge Jay Bruce fan. I have gone to the park primarily to see him a few times. I don’t think I’m the only fan like that. Of course, if the Reds trade him it’s not like I’d stop coming out of protest or anything.

        • Since 1970, the Reds have seen their attendance ( based on per game average) decline 23 times YOY. In 17 of those years, the Reds had a worse record than the previous year….in 6, they had a better record with lower attendance. The 6 years with better record, lower attendance:

          1984-3rd straight losing season
          1988-No known reason
          1992: Recession and very modest decrease
          1995: post strike
          2004: Year after GABP opened
          2009: Recession

          During this time frame, attendance has consistently reflected the population of the Cincinnati Metro area. In 1970, the attendance/population ratio was 1. From 1985-1995 it was 1.135. From 1996-2009 it was 1. From 2010-2015 it was 1.05. The only real outliers are 1975-1980 1.37 and 1982-1984 .70. YTD, they are at .83.

          While any given person may go to a game for any given reason, the Reds seem to have a base of the population of Greater Cincinnati and that deviates based on wins and/or extreme economic factors.

          • Interesting info. It makes sense too. Yeah, 1995 playoffs were surreal. We made it to 2 games, one in the NLDS and one in the NLCS. Post strike, the Reds couldn’t even come close to selling out a playoff game. There were definitely some hard feelings about the work stoppage among the fan base.

        • I tend to agree with Chuck. The players who actually draw a significant amount of fans to their games specifically are few and far between.

          I’d posit that ace-level starting pitchers might be the only ones. And that it has to do with perceived scarcity. Kershaw only pitches once every 5 days and might be injured at any point, because pitchers. So, perhaps we as humans put a higher emphasis on getting to a game than we would for someone like Mike Trout, who we know we can see on any of 81 occasions every year (most likely).

          The only time I’ve specifically gone to a game for a single player was last year when Cueto made his final Reds start at Coors Field. I drove 90 minutes specifically for that one thing. Seeing Votto during his insane 2nd half was a bonus, of course.

      • I just meant that Chapman was a draw as far as people recording every pitch on their phones, etc and now he’s gone.

        • So you think a non-trivial amount of folks spent 5+ hours and $100+ dollars (depending on party size and beer consumption!) to have a 35% chance to see Aroldis Chapman thrown 1 inning?

          I’d think the amount of people going to a game to see Chapman specifically was very, very low.

    • Bob C. has to make a decision if he wants to trade on nostalgia and connection or be risky and go for winning. Winning usually brings in more people, but it’s the longer play right now. I still feel like keeping Bruce to keep a few seats filled with a familiar face is short sighted unless they really believe they want to sign him longer.

  6. “If his (Iglesias) arm isn’t healthy enough to start, then why pitch him at all?”

    Most likely because the docs, trainers, and pitching gurus have already decided the chances are slim to none his shoulder will ever hold up for ~200 innings a year as a rotation starter. Or, even if he should make it through a year or even two as a starter, that would most likely be it for his career. Thus the best shot at getting the most good out of the sunken cost on him of $27M is to use him as a leverage reliever.

    • this says it all on our current pitching strategy. Robert Stevenson…. my guess he is already experiencing dead arm. He was terrible today. Lorenzen. Let’s recruit a reliever and make him a starter it will be great…. ummmm no.
      Iglesias… clearly he can’t last 6 innings every 5 days over a baseball season. He can’t even hold up under 2 months of play.

    • I’m afraid you might be right. In which case, and fully in hindsight, signing him for that amount was probably a bad idea.

      • At least it is $3M+ less than the commitment made to Chapman up front 🙂

        Supposedly the Reds were virtually the only org that saw Iglesias as a rotation starter. Just another sign of the Reds insularity???

  7. I agree 100% that Iglesias should not be in the bullpen. However, his innings still need to be limited this season, as he only threw 130 last year. As long as he can get to that number again (or a bit more), I think we could realistically see him start and throw a near-full season next year (maybe 160-180 innings, assuming no injury of course). If he doesn’t hit 130, his chances of starting full-time will likely have to be delayed until 2018 because it’s hard to increase a pitcher’s workload too much in one season without risking even more injury.

    Price didn’t rule out a return to the rotation either late this year, or sometime next year, so I am hoping that he is just in the ‘pen temporarily, and maybe by late August or early September he gets a chance to go out and make a few (3-5) more starts to finish out the season.

    This could be the best way to limit his innings count, preserve his shoulder, and still get maximum value from him this season, and honestly, if he does indeed return to the rotation late this season, I much prefer this way of limiting innings to just shutting him down at the end of the season when he reaches an innings cap.

    • On a related topic, do you guys think Reed (combined AAA/MLB), Straily, Finnegan, Stephenson (combined AAA/MLB) and/or Lamb have an innings limit this season? If so, how many innings? I was thinking Disco wouldn’t have a limit because he pitched enough last year (plus the DL time this year will limit his total already), but I saw that Finnegan is close to the number of innings he threw last season, and I’m unsure about the other 4.

      • I’d say all those guys except Straily have limits. He’s thrown between 140 and 180 innings over the last several seasons.

        Reed tossed 144 last year, so I’d say maybe 160-170 this year.

        Stephenson tossed 136 in 2014 and 133 in 2015…. so probably 150-160.

        Finnegan only threw 105 innings last year and he’s already at 87 this year. I could honestly see him being moved to the pen somewhat soon, I don’t see them taking him above 130 ish.

      • Lamb has always been a starter and pitched those kind of innings. He pitched 147 innings at age 19 before TJ surgery and 138 in 2014 at age 23 post TJ surgery, He did only pitch 111 innings last year however. Given his late start this year due to off season back surgery, I’d think he isn’t on a limit unless it would have to do with his back.

        Stephenson pitched 134 last year and 136 the year before. That’s basically a full season in the minors given the shorter season. Maybe split the difference between 140 and 200 for a limit on him this year.

        Straily pitched 152 innings in 27 starts for Oakland at age 24 in 2013 but was then transitioned to a reliever. It will be interesting to see what they let him do this year if he stays in the rotation if and when Bailey and Stephenson are both pitching for the Reds.

    • It’s good to remember Sandy Koufax. Structural/chronic problems can’t all be repaired. I don’t know whether or not Iglesias’s shoulder problem fits that category.

      • On a related note, at last check, Bronson Arroyo was transitioning to a completely sidearm delivery because his shoulder injury prevents him from throwing from the overhand/three quarters slots. Perhaps if necessary, Iglesias could take the one arm slot that puts the least stress on his shoulder and pitch exclusively from that slot to save his arm. I wouldn’t recommend that as the first course of action, because his changing arm slots is part of why he is so effective, but if all else fails, it should be considered.

  8. Kinda cool. The Reds are having their “Night of Their Own” for women who want to learn more about baseball. It includes a QandA with Bryan Price. I wonder if Price will learn anything!!

  9. The other part about that Barnhart bunt … Even discounting the percentages that make it such a bad move, if Barnhart had bunted that ball any higher, it might have turned into a double play. Welsh even said maybe a triple play!

  10. Nice night from Disco. He had to be wondering what the Reds’ defense had against him when Suarez fields a high bouncer and doesn’t realize the ball is in his glove, so the runner reaches first base. Then the homer.

    But to pitch that well in that ballpark, outstanding. That place can be its own type of launching pad. He gave up a long fly ball to Adrian Beltre, and you could see Disco’s head drop when the ball left the bat, as if he knew that one was gonna be a home run, but it died on the track.

    Now they’re saying Bailey won’t be back until after the All-Star break? In the bigger picture, for the injury he had, it’s not so crazy of a timetable, but they were talking about mid-May at one point. That had to be one big setback he had …

    • I think Yu Darvish had his TJ 2 months before Bailey and just went back on the DL last week after three 5 inning starts. No need to rush him back anyway?

    • My dad swears he’ll never pitch more than 100 innings again. I disagreed with him but he has an odd way about being right sometimes. He said Mes wouldn’t play much this season, called the Ludwick debacle, and a few other things.

      • It didn’t take a genius to call the Ludwick debacle, I did that as well. Even though I am not a Homer Bailey fan by any stretch of the imagination, I hope he pitches more than 100 innings. He needs to have a solid finish to this year and a strong start next year and perhaps we can find a taker for his contract at the trade deadline.

    • Nobody comes back from TJ in 12 months anymore, and that’s what the Reds were aiming for with Bailey. Those that do come back that early get injured again usually, so it’s smart to push him back to 14 or so months, since most pitchers these days are taking 14 months.

    • I wouldn’t say Hatcher has done a great job there. He hasn’t been as bad as our 3B coaches the last few years (specifically Steve Smith, he was awful), but still I don’t think Hatcher has been as good as Mark Berry was.

      • Patrick, is that based on the eyeball test or some data? My “perception” is that he hasn’t been very good but that is only based on what I’ve seen, not on any stats.

        • Just my eyeball test.

          I feel like a runner should never be out by 25+ feet. And I think Hatcher has presided over at least 3 such plays this year. Makes me think he doesn’t understand what goes into the decision to send a runner or not.

          “Hope for a bad throw” is not a valid reason. I think he does that too often.

  11. Suarez appears completely frustrated. During one of his at bats, he swung at a pitch clearly low and away to end the inning, and then threw his bat in anger. Between his defensive blunders and offensive woes, he seems to be in a downward spiral. Maybe Price should sit him few a days (let Duvall play 3B)? Can they send Suarez down to AAA for a few weeks to figure it out in a less intense situation?

    • I agree. Suarez needs some AAA. He seems mentally checked out.

      I almost never say this kind of stuff either. I was never an advocate of sending Billy to AAA to “figure it out” because I don’t think a player can get better in AAA if they can’t get better in MLB. However for mental issues, I think a change in scenery can sometimes help.

    • That was my fear as far as that trade. A healthy Wheeler would have been a no-brainer move but any pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery AND another procedure on his elbow? Nope.

    • The Mets have essentially said that Wheeler is now untouchable in trade talks anyways, because they think he will be a mainstay in their rotation when he returns. His spot in the rotation was a bit more unsure when they tried to trade him last year.

  12. League OPS on 2-0 count might be .981, but Barnhart’s career OPS on 2-0 is a staggering .316.

    I’m not taking a position on whether he should have bunted, but using league OPS doesn’t seem like a strong argument against it.

    • Shows that a 2-0 count is a hitters count – raises OPS by over .200 points. Better to use average (because of sample size) than just Barnhart’s, which is obviously distorted by small sample. Unless you want to defend that Barnhart is uniquely a worse hitter with a 2-0 count for some reason.

      • I’ll add that you won’t find a hitter who doesn’t like hitting in a 2-0 or 3-0 count. The bunt not being taken off at 2-0 would have cheesed me off some.

    • Barnhart’s career OPS+ is 73 versus league average being 100. Not sure how much that should knock off the .981 OPS starting point when weighing the expectations of swinging away versus bunting; but, I’d think it can’t be overlooked.

      • Like Steve said, you can assume the 2-0 count would raise Barnhart’s OPS (.628 career) by .200 points to .828.

        • Right, or even possibly subscribe that his 73 OPS+ would mean he’d only increase his OPS by 146 points, rather than 200.

          Either way, every hitter in baseball history with sufficient sample size is a better hitter in a 2-0 count.

  13. A Lamb for a Lamb.
    Reds LHP John Lamb to Arizona for D-Backs 3B Jake Lamb. Suarez is in a death spiral down.

    • If the Reds are truly rebuilding, why trade for a 3B when they just picked a 3B, Nick Senzel, with the #2 overall draft choice? There are folks who know quite a bit about such things that think Senzel could arrive by 2018.

      • I am one that believes Senzel will be with the Major League club next season. Obviously not to start the season, but by August or September I can definitely see him getting a callup. That would set him up to be the everyday 3B by 2018.

      • Jake Lamb would start to get expensive going into 2018. That would be his first arb. year. Have Lamb for 1/2 of this season and 2017. Lamb would still be under team control, but arb eligible, so If Senzel stalls any 3B is still covered into 2018. And if Senzel is ready Lamb would make a great trade chip before or during the 2018 season.
        Reds could use some offensive assets now.

        • Just speculation. It’s funny that it involves the D-Backs, because they might be the only FO uninformed enough to trade John for Jake.

        • Suggestion. If our John Lamb is eventually going to end up in the Reds bullpen, why not trade him as a starter while he is still starting to get better trade value in return. At Arizona he would stay a starter with their little pitching depth. Arizona could use a LH starting pitcher. And they have 3B Brandon Drury at AAA. Drury was playing some OF for the injured AJ Pollack, but got sent back to AAA after Arizona signed Michael Bourne.

    • Not ready to give up on Suarez. I still think the guy is going to be able to hit. He doesn’t turn 25 until next month.

      • No. Not giving up on Suarez. He moves to 2B. But he has get to get his hitting eye fixed soon. He looks worse than the 2013 version of Todd Frazier going after that outside slider. Especially with 2 strikes on him. Awful.

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