Titanic Struggle Recap

At least the Reds kept it close tonight

The Reds entered play on Friday having allowed 37 runs over the last four games (9.3 runs per game). They got much better pitching tonight, but it wouldn’t be enough. Ben Revere hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 14th inning to secure the win for the Nationals. The Reds have now lost 13 of their last 16 games.

Final/14 innings R H E
Cincinnati Reds (29-52) 2 11 0
Washington Nationals (49-32) 3 10 0
W: Petit (3-1) L: Ohlendorf (5-6)
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 Ross Ohelendorf allowing a walk-off RBI double to Ben Revere with 2 outs in the bottom of the 14th inning. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 39.5% (from 40.5% to 0.0%).

Player of the Game

Anthony DeSclafani: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 2.12 FIP

Disco has jumped right into the Reds rotation and assumed the role of the ace. He feels like the veteran arm anchoring this young pitching staff, but he is only 26 years old. He has a 1.78 ERA through his first five starts. If you start to think about the next time the Reds can make a run to the postseason, it could be 2018. DeSclafani would be 28, and you’d feel like he is poised to put together his best season around then.

Positives

Votto

Joey Votto had three hits on the night, including a nice single in the first inning where he beat a very aggressive shift against him. Votto is coming off a month of June where he posted a 1.015 OPS.

Tucker Barnhart had three hits tonight! Barnhart is coming off a very good June, as he hit .281/.378/.406 in the month. Barnhart is also now second on the Reds in OBP at .325, just ahead of Jay Bruce at .318. Votto leads the team at .380. Barnhart also threw out his 23rd runner of the season in the 10th inning. He entered play today second in the MLB in CS, trailing only Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers who has 25.

Adam Duvall had two hits, including a RBI single in the 6th inning.

Eugenio Suarez had a three hit game, a stolen base, and now has a 6-game hitting streak. Suarez posted a 111 wRC+ in June. It’s looking like Suarez has made the adjustments, and is getting back to the hitter who was so good in April.

Raisel Iglesias pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief. He got Disco out of jam in the 7th, got himself out of his own jam in the 8th, and pitched a perfect 9th. Iggy has looked really good in the bullpen (7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K). I don’t like the idea of him in the bullpen, but if you *have* to do it, this is the best role for him. I like the idea of a relief ace, where your best reliever can pitch multiple innings in a close game. It sure beats making him a closer, and seeing him once a month on this team.

Tony Cingrani pitched two scoreless innings (1 hit, 1 strikeouts, 0 walks). Ross Ohlendorf also pitched two scoreless innings before giving up the game winner in his third inning of work.

Negatives

The Reds #3 hitter bunted in the first inning. When will the madness of batting a guy third who is hitting .253/.294/.394 end? Bryan Price said today that he has no intention of moving Phillips out of the #3 spot. Price said that he is confident that Phillips will find his swing, and he wants someone to split up the lefties. Let’s break that down. First, Phillips has a .700 OPS since the start of 2013. He isn’t a good hitter anymore. He isn’t going to “find his swing.” Second, the Reds have a right handed batter with 22 (!) home runs this season. Stop this madness. Stop coddling a declining player. It’s ridiculous.

Zack Cozart was 0 for 6 on the night, and he is really struggling. Cozart hit just .210/.303/.419 in June. The real negative tonight for Cozart was his AB in the top of the 10th inning with 2 outs and a runner on second base. Cozart did a nice job laying off a couple close pitches to get to a 3-0 count. He for some blasphemous reason decided to hack 3-0 with Joey Votto on deck, and hit a weak ground ball back to the pitcher to end the inning. My oh my.

Jay Bruce was 0 for 6 as well, and his OPS has dropped down to .875. It was .930 on June 22nd. Bruce has just 1 HR over his last 10 games.

Not so random thoughts………

Apparently it was bash Joey Votto night in the Reds TV booth. Jim Day and Jeff Brantley ripped Votto every chance they could tonight. They ripped him for talking to the opposing first baseman. They ripped him for trolling the Nationals fans who probably had booed and cursed at him relentlessly all night. They ripped him for not getting to an uncatchable foul ball. Then, our good friend Paul Daugherty jumps on Twitter and tweets a slight at Votto (his first tweet in four days too, nonetheless). It is just downright disgusting that just about every media member in this city rips the Reds best player. I’m sick of it.

Bryce Harper made a really bone-headed play in the 4th inning. Harper thought he hit a home run, and watched the flight of the ball. He missed a home run by about a foot, and Billy Hamilton made a nice play to hold him to a single. This of course gave fans who hate Harper for no apparent reason ammunition to call him a “bum.”

It was a really, really, really bad decision by Harper, but this guy normally plays the game at 110%. He about died crashing into the wall once. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports actually wrote a great piece last year explaining just how much Harper hustles. That play today was absolutely inexcusable (and I’m sure Dusty will let him know), but don’t unfairly hate a once in a generation talent because of the one time you saw him not hustle.

Ya, I got really cranky tonight. Sorry about that. I watched just about the entire Indians-Jays 19 inning game with the wife (she’s a Tribe fan), and then watched this marathon. Probably too much baseball today.

Up Next:

Reds at Nationals
Saturday, 7:15 PM
TV: FOX
Dan Straily (4.38 ERA) vs Joe Ross (3.30 ERA)

 

All statistics used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats & Info, and Baseball-Reference (including Baseball-Reference Play Index). All photos used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer and are used by permission.

51 thoughts on “At least the Reds kept it close tonight

  1. A little cranky, Nick ? You recap is a whole lot more positive than mine would have been. There were the positives you mention, but there was also a lot of the same old crap that we watch game after game, and that turns a close game from a possible win to a loss.

    Why is Suarez trying to steal 3rd with 2 outs ? It was part of a double steal attempt, so did Price call it ? If so I’m just speechless. If Suarez ran on his own, that’s on Price too, Suarez should not have a green light to run whenever he wants.

    Speaking of having a green light to run whenever he wants, the other day Philipps kills a rally by getting thrown out trying to steal 3rd with none out. He wasn’t even close to being safe. The opposing pitcher Pomeranz thanked him for “the favor” in an interview after the game. I don’t see other teams doing those favors for the Reds.

    Philipps is going to continue to have a green light to run when he wants, he and Price both think BP is still 25. But Price could at least give him a “don’t run” sign in situations such as that.

    Running wild to kill rallies, one of the hallmarks of a Bryan Price team.

    • Yes. As I stated below, Price may have been dealt some tough hands as Reds manager; but on the side of the coin he has done little or nothing to help himself by taking charge of the things that are under his control and operating them in a fashion that indicates he understands and is capable of doing his job.

    • I was at the game, sitting down the right field foul line. My seat was very near where the landing spot of the double hit by Daniel Murphy, tying the game at 2-2. The other Reds fan in the neighborhood and I both felt Bruce made a half-hearted effort to get to the ball.

      It was our impression that at least 4 different the Reds didn’t hustle down the line when running our grounders. At those moments, they looked defeated even when the score was tied. I don’t think there is any excuse for that.

      Yes, some of the Reds players had hits in the bunches. However, Cozart in particular didn’t look good at the plate. He needs a rest, and let Peraza play some games there.

      I thought DeSclafani looked fantastic out there. There’s not been a lot of fun watching the Reds recently, but it was terrific watching him pitch today. And Iglesias was also amazing. Ohlendorf had some rough spots, and was fortunate that he did so well for his 1st two innings. However, why he went out for a third inning is beyond me. It appears as if Bryan Price gives up when he has a guy like Ohlendorf pitching more than 1-2 innings.

      The other highlight for me was watching Billy Hamilton. OK, I’m a bit biased; I wear the # 6 jersey when I go to games. In the 2nd inning, he hit a wicked shot to Murphy, which forced out Suarez at 2nd. A ball hit that hard should rightfully be a double play for any batter, even Hamilton. But he burns down the line and is safe. Another baserunner created by his hustle and speed. He also made a fantastic play when Harper hit a shot high off the centerfield wall. He played the ball perfectly off the wall and fired a bullet to 2nd base, holding Harper (who was standing and admiring his ball he thought was going over the fence) to a very long single. Even though Hamilton was hitless, he lined 2 balls that the Nats made excellent plays on and also walked.

  2. This team is barely watchable anymore. Phillips hitting in the 3rd spot makes no sense on any level. It’s high time we see what peraza can do. At the very least he runs out ground balls.

    • I was so bored during the extra innings that I quit watching but left the TV on so I could check back periodically to see how and when the Nats finally managed to win it.

      My dimwitted favorite of the night was Cozart swinging at that 3-0 pitch and cue balling it back to to the pitcher.

      Then there was the whole situation before the bottom of the 13th where Sampson had apparently warmed in the pen and started for the mound only to be waved off because they decided to leave Ohlendorf in the game. Somehow that just epitomizes the Bryan Price era for me. Yes, the guy’s been dealt a couple or more tough hands but then again he has done little or nothing to help himself.

  3. Brandon is so hated, probably why I like him and keep cheering for him to turn it around. He isn’t the only reason this team lost today. Zack Cozart is struggling why not blame him? How many times did Bruce get on base today? Hmm…. Jay left 3 on base BP only 1. My guess is BPs defense more than made up for absence of offensive production.

    Props to the pitchers. Starter and relievers did a good job tonight. No shame in losing by 1 run in extra innings. We did good.

    • I cheer Brandon and always have. I am not blaming him for tonight’s loss or any loss in particular. I was talking about foolish outs on the base paths, which are a big part of how the Reds have played under Price.

      The pitchers and others did do a good job tonight, which made the game winnable, which is why the mistakes bother me. Wouldn’t matter in a blowout.

    • Who’s blaming BP for the loss, Dan? Nick’s commentary above was pretty clear to me. He’s questioning why Price/team management is allowing BP to bat 3rd. It hasn’t made sense for years. And, if BP was being candid, he’d tell you he has no business batting up there in that spot too.

  4. NIck already talked about Cozart’s swinging at a 3-0 pitch in the 10th inning with the go-ahead run on 2nd and Votto on deck. That just stunned me. Cozart has had 1 hit over the last week.

    I assume he was not given the take sign, which was stupid, you give Cozart the take sign in that situation. Add Cozart’s awful execution to that. When given the “swing” sign on a 3-0 pitch, you’re supposed to be looking to swing only if the the pitch is in a zone where the pitcher has just grooved one. Cozart swung at a pitcher’s pitch, on the inside corner, and dribbled the weak grounder to the pitcher.

      • We all know Cozart is not terrible but that particular AB was BAD baseball.
        I like your defending the Reds players though.

        • Nah I don’t want anybody on this team released except Simon. Brandon is what he is. I love his style of play and great to watch him age as a Red. I just said that about Coz because so many so that about BP day in and day out. They have been saying it for years. WAR, WRC, or whatever you want to use doesn’t quite calculate what he brings to the team. We are far better with him than without and it will be a sad day when he fades away into the sunset.

        • I remember when Griffey Jr. would get heavy criticism for swinging at a 3-0 pitch and making an out. Now it’s commonplace. I’m fine with it when the hitter swings at a grooved pitch. One of the few good memories from last year was when Votto, who had been taking all kinds of criticism for taking too many pitches, hit a game winning HR on a 3-0 pitch.

        • I’ll miss BP and Cozart, if he’s traded. A great double play combination at their peak together.

    • It looks to me like Bryan Price wants to be the “players’ manager” that Dusty always was, so he won’t give take signs, won’t stop players from ill-fated base stealing attemnpts, nothing to limit the players. And this is often how it turns out.

  5. Ohlendorf was already approaching 40 pitches, I was surprised he went out there for a 3rd inning. I assume that Jumbo and Wood were available last night.

        • Didn’t hurt that Cederstrom was in love with that high breaking pitch.

          It was a bad pitch he lost the game on but then he was being stretched beyond what he had been normally asked to do. I’m wondering if in the end the reason we didn’t see Sampson after all is that he is being held back for a possible start; or alternately, that Price is anticipating an early exit by a starter in the next few days.

  6. I thought the groundball by Harper which Phillips did not field in the 1st inning clearly showed how far he has declined even defensively. He appeared to be to it and on his spot and simply didn’t get his glove down in time to field it. The ball was correctly scored as a hit; but, in his prime or even as recently as a couple of years ago, BP fields that ball in his sleep and they get a DP or at least one out. Just getting a single out, as the inning unfolded would have left the Nats scoreless.

  7. The All-star break can’t come soon enough. This year is probably the least interested in baseball I’ve been. Over the past few years, I’ve gone from excited and thrilled to disappointed/heart-broken to frustrated to apathetic. At least the Euros are still going on!

    • Agree. Hopefully we will have the return of Bailey, the call up Stephenson/ Winker and maybe even some new new arrivals via trade to look forward to after the break.

      • I don’t think Winker will be up here before September, because he is currently on the AAA DL with a wrist injury. When he returns from the DL, he would likely need a few more weeks in AAA before they would even consider a callup. When Bruce is traded, Schebler or Waldrop will be called up first.

  8. It’s been noticed how inexperienced is Price to manage the bullpen, even more in extrainnings. He’s now a much more competitive pitching staff compared to the beginning of the season, yet is underperforming. I find it very unlikely he’ll continue after this season.

  9. As much as I’d like to give the organization a pass this year as they’re rebuilding, things like batting BP 3rd (yes, I know lineup order doesn’t matter THAT much) and keeping announcers around who rip our best player is getting old. As is giving innings to the likes of Ohlendorf when we could be developing younger arms.

  10. Cozart was vilified by the Washington announcers for his failure to run out the grounder on that 3 and 0 debacle… Both felt he could’ve been safe with some hustle. As far as Bruce is concerned…. I’ve felt he’s failed to hustle defensively on many occasions this year. .. Protecting the merchandise I guess.

    • He does have a rebuilt knee there. He is the only person on the team that has a remote excuse for not hustling. She would like to see him give it all.

    • This is part of the reason advanced defensive metrics dont like Bruce this year. He’s not going after balls in the corner hardly and quickly.

  11. How in the hell can you excuse what votto did to the fan. Once a jack always a jack

    • I saw the video. He should be suspended by the league. My Votto like factor just took a nose dive.

      • It’s funny, he’s trolling opposing fans. It’s part of sports (although probably more common in other sports). I’d rather see some entertaining back and forth between our best player and the opposing fans giving him a hard time, than watch dat dude totally go off half cocked against a reporter for accurately doing his job.

      • If you’re being serious about Votto getting a suspension, then wow. You should probably just go find another sport to watch.

        My Votto like factor just jumped up even more. I just wish it had been in Pittsburgh instead.

    • It wasn’t “the fan.” It was a group of fans. Those fans were most likely heckling him.

      And last time I checked, it isn’t a God-given right for a fan to be given a foul ball.

  12. Well, it’s official. The Reds sign Alfredo Rodriguez for $7 million.
    Its funny that we have an A Rod that is the exact opposite type hitter of the notorious ARod of the Yanks!

    • Yuck. I was hoping they’d be talked out of this. I guess its just money and most of these guys likely won’t matter… but still.

      • And in contrast, the Padres signed the #3 and #5 IFA on the Top 30 for $4m and $1.9m respectively (both SS), while AlfRod is #6 on the IFA list, and the Reds signed him for $1.1m more than two more touted players combined.

        It’s the sort of ineptitude I’ve come to expect from the FO.

        • He’s 23 compared to everyone else being 16-17.

          Make no mistake… I don’t like the signing, but this guy is the most likely of the bunch to put on a MLB uniform and contribute on the field.

          All the other guys are 90+% chance to be a bust.

        • I guess I don’t get the reasoning in paying $7m plus penalties to a guy that most project to be a utility guy at best. We have Daal and Trahan in the minor leagues who have demonstrated an ability to hit as well as stick at SS. They’re being paid pennies to what the Reds will spend on AlfRod just to bring him into the organization.

          I just don’t get the need to overspend on a safe pick, especially as the safety is most likely to net a bench piece.

    • I guess between the Rodriguez signing and the fiasco on the 3/0 pitch last night, we can pretty well figure Cozart is not a candidate for a long term deal with the Reds.

  13. I don’t mind watching losing teams. I really don’t.

    But when things like the Suarez steal of third and Cozart swinging 3-0 happen, I tend to lose my cool.

    • Kind of true. I don’t like watching my team lose but if they’re competitive, show progress and not make boneheaded plays, I can live with it. The Reds now are tough to watch. I still say Suarez will get traded. He’s a DH.

  14. To be honest, one of the main reasons I keep paying attention is to see Votto continue to play well and silence the haters. Just last week some guy on RML was trying to say (against the grain of the conversation) that Phillips was hitting better than half the Reds players, including Votto. It didn’t even warrant a response because it was such nonsense. But it does give me a quiet joy to know that Votto has continued to do the things he does so well and has surpassed the fool’s gold starts of some of the other Reds. Even for those who can’t see beyond batting average don’t an argument as he’s currently hitting better than several other Reds in that department, while sporting an OBP that’s 55 points higher than the next closest Red (and 86 points higher than Phillips). Most people could look at the numbers (Hard Hit percentage, etc) and recognize Votto was going to turn things around. Plus history was on his side, including MVP-like 2015. But it’s just nice to sit and watch him quietly go about his business of being the best player on the Reds.

    • If anyone can say that Phillips is hitting better than Votto (and do it with a straight face), then they’re probably watching the wrong sport.

  15. We have and will continue to talk about our inconsistent starting pitching and our getting better bullpen but the reason we lose close games(16 one run losses and 5 losses in extra innings) is our offense and our just completely dumfounding baseball IQ.I am sure it is hard to focus on a bad team amidst trade rumors etc.Which only supports my idea of playing the young guys more and more.I didn’t watch the game but if guys aren’t hustling or making bonehead plays on the bases or just seems to be somewhere else then they need to be benched.As mentioned above Suarez trying to steal 3rd with 2 outs,Cosart swinging on 3-0 and BP bunting with one and one on in the first inning are things that can’t happen period let alone all of them in the same game.The culture of this team must be changed but it won’t happen if we expect the same people to fix it allow it to go on.

  16. Price is digging in his heels over BP and this is what irks me to no end. The numbers don’t lie. He has no business hitting 3rd. The Nats are probably saying thank goodness he turned down the trade. Whew!

  17. I have always supported Price. He was a great pitching coach and has been dealt a bad hand. But I think now he has proven he is not a manager. Other teams don’t allow a player in a major slump swinging 3 and 0. If Court swung even though he was given the take sign then he should be sitting today, should have been pulled last night. The lack of hustle and mental lapses are signs that a manager has lost control. The idiotic base running over the last few days is inexcusable. Once ok just one bonehead play but over and over is evidence that no one has any idea of how to play this game. Get someone in now that will help these young guys learn to play the game the right way.

  18. I said last year I thought Price has lost this team and many others thought I was wrong which was/is their right to do so.I understand and agree to a point that a manager has little or no influence on wins but I feel the team should play the game the right way every day.By the right way I mean exhibit the basic fundamentals of the game.I mentioned above that there were at least 3 examples of not playing the game the right way last night.Regardless if they went on their own or not this falls on the manager and obviously if it keeps happening,which is has for a long time,then something is wrong.

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