2016 Reds

Titanic Struggle Recap: The Playoff Push, cont’d

Final R H E
Arizona Diamnondbacks (40-56) 2 5 0
Cincinnati Reds (37-59) 6 8 0
W: Straily (5-6) L: Bradley (3-6)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Billy Hamilton was moved back to the leadoff spot tonight, and he responded with aplomb by singling in his first two at-bats and stealing three bases (giving him 30 on the season). Hamilton’s OBP is now .300!

–The Reds were down 2-0 quickly, thanks to a leadoff homer (by Arizona’s Jean Segura), some unfortunate defense by Adam Duvall, and a sacrifice fly later in the inning. In the bottom half, however, the good guys grabbed the lead back.

Hamilton singled to start the inning, and appeared to be thrown out trying to steal second. After the replay review, however, the umpires ruled that Billy got his hand in before the tag. Zack Cozart proceeded to walk, then Joey Votto launched a three-run bomb. Before the Reds had made an out, they held a lead that they would never relinquish.

–Votto had two walks, in addition to the homer. He continues to produce: .271/.406/.483. The home run was Votto’s 17th of the season to go along with 50 RBI.

–Another fine outing by Dan Straily: six innings, two runs allowed on five hits, eight strikeouts. You just cannot be disappointed by Straily’s production this season. Way more than anyone expected from a guy who the Reds got for free just before Opening Day.

–Great bullpen work from Raisel Iglesias and Tony Cingrani, who combined for three hitless innings of relief.

–Brandon Phillips collected a run-scoring single in his final at-bat, extending his hitting streak to 10 straight games.

–Tucker Barnhart homered in the sixth. Jay Bruce had a single and two walks. Cozart and Duvall doubled.

The Bad
–Nothing to see here, move along.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Reds are on a roll! The good guys are 5-2 since the All-Star break, and I’m more convinced than ever that this team is going to make a run to the playoffs.*

–I love seeing a Cuban reliever pitch multiple innings of relief in the same game. I’m not accustomed to that. Yes, I want Raisel Iglesias to be tried in the rotation again next spring, but right now, I’m just trying to enjoy every outing. That kid is probably the most talented pitcher on the roster. (Even more talented than Blake Wood.)

–Okay, a .300 on-base percentage for a leadoff hitter is…well, less than ideal. Even if it’s Billy Hamilton. Still, I continue to maintain that Hamilton is showing real progress at the plate here in his age-25 season.

–As noted, Jean Segura led off the game with a homer. In his next at-bat, he was hit by a Dan Straily pitch. He acted like he was upset, and some D-backs puffed out their chests.

I don’t know if Segura was hit intentionally; I guess it’s possible, and maybe Segura broke some unwritten rule in his earlier AB. But if Straily intentionally put a runner on base in front of Paul Goldschmidt, he’s clinically insane.

–Reds go for their third consecutive series win tomorrow evening. Keyvius Sampson will be on the hill.

*Okay, I admit it: I’m not at all sure of that. But I’m enjoying the winning baseball while it lasts.

53 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: The Playoff Push, cont’d

  1. Just my thoughts regarding all trade rumors: I think the Reds would loose a lot more than just a player by trading off Jay Bruce, his presence in the dugout and his work ethic goes far beyond that his playing numbers.

    • Meh, JB has been great but this is a business. We can’t pay the guy in two years and we’re unlikely to get more for him than we will right now.

        • And also, if you add to Bruce’s contract, he’ll surpass 10 and 5 rights, so you’re creating another Brandon Phillips situation. Maybe Bruce would be accommodating, but why take that chance?

    • Scott Rolen supposedly benefitted the Reds via his “presence and work ethic.”…..yet, his error and strike out killed them in the 2012 playoffs. The rah rah stuff isn’t that important.

      • His error and strikeout don’t abnegate other things that he did well. I recall his teammates praising his leadership. Intangibles can’t–by definition–be measured, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t exist or are insignificant.

        • That stuff is always what people say when you win. When you lose no one asks about that stuff. It’s a logical falicy. Guys at this level should need motivation. Heck, releasing that kergudgen Phillips and playing Peraza would mean much more to this team.

        • I actually agree with you…but, Scott Rolen was a bad player in 2012 who was likely kept around for his “leadership” and his bad play ultimately killed them.

          The Reds have to make a major baseball/business decision on Bruce that will have a huge impact on the future and can’t allow sentiment or intangibles to cloud their judgement. By all accounts, Bruce is a great guy and a credit to the franchise…..unfortunately,that can’t matter right now.

        • Playing Peraza would mean more to this team than Rolen’s error and strikeout? Those teams didn’t win the WS and yet Rolen got praised anyway.I don’t think that it’s about motivation as much as it’s about example and professionalism.

        • Chuck: I agree with you. Gaffer, it occurs to me that the reason you hear about this stuff only when the team wins is because the intangibles are a characteristic of winning teams.

        • On the flip side, if intangibles cannot be measured or ascertained, it probably means they’re often assigned to likable guys who may or may not have any affect on a team’s play. Jay Bruce may be chock full of intangibles, but he’s been here when the Reds have won and lost. Of course when his tangible skills were more evident the Reds happened to play better than when he went on a two year skid. Skip Schumaker was suppose to provide all sorts of gritty intangibles, but his presence coincided with two really bad Reds teams (I’m not blaming him, just saying). Jocketty praised Marlon Byrd for his intangibles when he came over, turned out Byrd’s intangibles were merely PEDs.

          At the end of the day, give me 9 regulars with good tangibles and I’d feel good about my chances in a game against 9 guys with great intangibles.

        • Of course a winning team needs players with tangible skills. Not saying that intangibles are a substitute. But instead of calling them “grit,” call them “mentoring ability.” Young people new to any sort of work benefit from good mentoring. Is there really an argument about that? Anywhere but at RLN, I mean?

        • Yeah, that is worth a few points on a personal level. On a baseball team level though, it’s generally a really really bad sign about a player’s attitude when he strikes his manager.

  2. As badly as I wanted to see Chapman given a look in the rotation, I’m increasingly liking the idea of Iglesias in the bullpen if he’s allowed to pitch multiple innings at a time. I’m fearing that his shoulder won’t hold up in the rotation, and if he gets hurt, the Reds wouldn’t have him at all.

    I’ll take all I can get from Straily, but I’m not convinced other teams would put much stock in him. He might be more valuable to the Reds than what anybody would offer for him.

    • Completely agree. These are two entirely different Cuban scenarios. Chapman was never given 100-150 inning as a starter and then had to be shut down due to durability issues, then returned to the pen. Such an issue would have likely quieted many of us. In fact, Chapman never showed anything more than a yawn – we threw nothing at him physically that stressed or strained him.

      We all have seen Iglesias is not superhuman. He is simply a very good, human pitcher. If his ceiling is 100-120 very good innings per year, I don’t really care if they come as 15 starts of 7 innings, mixed in with bouts on the DL, or 50 relief appearances of 2.1 innings, with no DL time. Right?

      • Steamer and Vegas, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. We were teased with Chapman stretching out as a starter in ST, saw how dominant he could be, and then were never given the chance to see how it would play out with real baseball games. Our baseballs turned blue.

        If the scenario played out that Chapmen was given the opportunity and demonstrated his body may not hold up under such a regiment, then I think we as a collective fan base would have been able to accept the outcome and enjoy Chapman as the game’s most dominant closer. (which we did in part anyway, dude is talented).

        Instead we got mixed reports as to who actually pulled Chapman from starting duty and no real demonstration of how it could have gone. That was the biggest part of the let down.

  3. Everyone who thinks Price is automatically gone after this season are getting ahead of themselves.

    • That just shows how horrible the ownership is. He is absolutely the wrong guy for a rebuild.

    • It would be such a complicated deal. There would need to be a team that could add 20 million in payroll…or it would need to be a multi team deal where the acquiring team ships off some existing players for prospects that are then sent to the Reds….and then Votto could simply say no.

  4. “The good guys are 5-2 since the All-Star break, and I’m more convinced than ever that this team is going to make a run to the playoffs.”

    You cannot be serious. This is the same core team since 2012. Phillips, Bruce, Cozart, Bruce, and Votto. They have proved their inability to win. They can be good at times but in no way can they get over the hump. Not that group.

    • Just a hunch, but I think he was joking—see asterisk and laws of common sense. That said, go Reds!

        • You don’t get trophies for winning regular season games. League Championships and WS, certainly. If only the teams with the trophies are good, then there are only 2 good teams each year–pretty questionable assertion, isn’t it?

      • Accurate. By win I mean, in the playoffs. You know, Nick, WIN. That group folds up like lawn chairs.

        • Yeah, Game 1 in San Francisco and their best starter gets hurt. They collapsed. Game 4, that Homer Bailey sure looked weak. And in Game 5, even after the ump screwed them and Dusty left Latos in too long and all seemed lost, was it in pitch 7 or 8 of Bruce’s AB that they folded up like lawn chairs?

          And they did all that with their MVP reduced to a singles hitter due to injury.

          2012 hurts. But it doesn’t make them losers.

  5. Did a back-of-the-envelope calculation based on the wpct. of the teams in front of us in the Wild Card, how far back the Reds are of a WC spot and the number of remaining games.

    By my estimate, the Reds would need to go 47-19 over the final 66 games of the season in order to nab a spot. That probably isn’t going to happen.

      • Agree, this is a team that went 27-56 between the hot start and latest stretch, granted the bullpen’s been improved but Bruce and Cozart will likely be gone. this team will have to go 25-40 not to lose 100 games, I seriously doubt it

    • 47-19

      5-2

      I see the pattern developing here

      October baseball baby!

      Although it would ruin our draft placement

  6. Barring injury the Reds will play at or close to 500 the rest of the way even if guys are traded.Why?Its because of their pitching.Young guys are getting experience at this level and are getting better.We also have a major league bull pen now.The offense must hold up its end but it can be done especially with some young guys coming up in August.I am not excited about being 5-2,we gave an extra inning game away,its how we are winning and its with the starters getting us to the 6th or 7th with the lead and then the pen does their thing.Yeah we aren’t the Nasty Boys or the Yankees but we are pretty good and will get better when Finnegan joins the pen later on.

    • Pitching stats are terrible, Reds pitchers are dead last in balks, HRs & BBs, hopefully they’ll turn the corner now.

    • Yes, the overall starting pitching NOW is better, and the bullpen over the last month has been a lot better. The Reds’ pitching for the season is a statistical wasteland, but it will be better in the second half. I think they can win more games than they lose to close out the season, which should add a little encouragement to the fans and management.
      The Management still has to sell tickets and get people to watch the games on TV. If they are so terrible that no one is watching or going to games, there will be a lot of problems financially for the team in the near to middle future. So sure, we would like to have the 1,2 or 3 draft pick next June. But if the Reds lose 105 games, I don’t know what they will be able to afford.

  7. It is looking more and more like Iglesias, Cingrani, Lorenzen and Finnegan are all going to end up being bullpen guys. I think that bodes well for our pen as we go forward but I had hoped at least 2 of them would have been starters. Straily will most likely be a throw in piece in a trade with a bigger splash centerpiece. The fact we have Sampson in the organization never mind starting a Major League game tells me that for all the talk about trading for hitters it wouldn’t hurt at all if we ended up with a young starter say at the AA level.

    • You do realize Sampson outpitched Reed and Bob Steve at Lville. The guy has real major league stuff! A fastball up to 94-95 and a big curve. He also showed a decent changeup the other day. He’s not like Daniel Wright, Melville, Moscot, etc. with basically zero chance of sticking in the majors.

      • Sampson at one time was a highly regarded prospect of the Padres. If he can eliminate his control problems, he could become a valuable pitcher. Based on what he did in Louisville this summer, he deserves a couple turns in the rotation this summer to see what he does. He was awful last summer, but then so have been some other young pitchers in their first turn in the Bigs.

        • If we end up trading disco, I can see Sampson getting another few starts. He has been better as a starter than a reliever.

      • At some point, Indy, Sampson needs to show it in the bigs. He’s just one of many who mow down AAA hitters like they’re little leaguers, then come to the Reds and do the complete opposite. Not saying it can’t happen, but his time has to be running out. I’m skeptical until proven otherwise. Maybe it works out, starting Saturday.

  8. Nice game from Billy. Glad to see his OBP at .300 again. But I was looking at the stats for the NL and the Reds are dismal in that category (except for Votto of course at #3 and climbing). 79 qualified hitters. Bruce at #58 of 79 is next highest, and Suarez, Phillips and Duvall all at #69 or worse. No wonder this. Offense is home run hungry! Ready for Winker and Senzel and… ?

    • OBP skills are terrible, excluding Votto. Next wave of position players should call for it: LF, RF, 3B, 2B & SS.

      • Just looking at Junior’s “Disappointing” seasons during his decline years, he only once had an obp under .350 and that was .316 with an OPS over .800.
        Reds might be lucky to have 2 players on this roster with better numbers in either category by season’s end

  9. It is a stretch for the Reds to make the playoffs, even with their good start to the second half of the season, unless they pull a repeat of the Miracle Boston Braves of 1914.

    • I think Chad said that with more than a little tongue-in-cheek. No one could really think the Reds will make it to a Wildcard slot. But it got people to comment and read the article.
      I just hope they don’t lose 100 games this year. That’s the marker of a really bad team and organization. I think with the team as it is presently staffed (even with some expected changes) they could win 69 – 73 games for the season

  10. Our next wave of position players must have better OBP or we will never compete for a title.It needs to be a priority at all levels of the organization so that it becomes the rule rather then as it is now the exception.I know we play in GABP but most guys with any power at all will hit 12-15 homers a year.We need to get on base.

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