Titanic Sweep Recap

Reds play like a soft, underhanded toss

The Reds had their chances to score more tonight. Marlins pitchers gave up a fistful of walks and they were sloppy in the field. But the Reds were playing shorthanded without Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart. Billy Hamilton left in the middle of the game. Too many terrible at bats were fatal.

Cincinnati 3  Miami 6 |  FanGraphs  | Jesse Owens 1936 Berlin Olympics

Brandon Finnegan (Johnny Cueto trade) ran out of gas in the 6th inning after throwing 84 pitches in the first five. He recorded three walks and three strikeouts, not exactly a formula for success. Unfortunately, that’s not out of line with his season long numbers – 6.55 K/9 and 4.54 BB/9. That’s how you get an FIP of 5.80 and xFIP of 5.21. I’d move Finnegan to the bullpen now. He’s at 135 innings pitched after throwing 105.1 in 2015. Another 15-20 innings out of the pen would be just about right. Needed perspective: Finnegan is just 23 and this is his first full season as a major league starter. I wouldn’t give up on him in that role yet.

Scott Schebler (Todd Frazier trade) ended his 0-for-28 streak with a solo home run to center field. It was only Schebler’s third hit since August 2 when he blasted a 3-run walk-off home run against the St. Louis Cardinals. That was the day after Jay Bruce had been traded and rumor has it that Bruce’s spirit hung around GABP and played a role in the dramatic homer by the player who had replaced him. In the bottom of the 6th, Schebler drew a bases-loaded walk. That’s another way to drive in a run.

Billy Hamilton left the game in the top of the fifth inning after suffering an apparent shoulder injury (the Reds later announced it was a knee bruise) playing a line drive over his head in the third inning. Hamilton had already made a spectacular, run-saving play in the top of the first. He’d also drawn a walk. Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart were already sitting out with injuries.

Michael Lorenzen induced 4 easy ground balls in the 7th. His fastball was 95-97 mph. Lorenzen has become a superstar in the bullpen. xFIP of 2.92.

Chances for a comeback were diminished severely in the top of the 8th. Blake Wood retired the first two batters before walking the next batter. An infield hit and another walk (ugh) loaded the bases. Dee Gordon chopped a ball to Joey Votto, who backed up and played it deep behind first base. Instead of throwing it hard to Wood who was covering first, Votto’s underhand throw went high in the air and Gordon beat Wood to first. Wood was a little late to the bag, but the problem was Votto’s toss, which should have been harder. Two runs scored on the play.

Probably worth reiterating that the Reds were already behind at the time.

Amir Garrett pitched for Louisville tonight. He threw 7 shutout innings, with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts on 109 pitches. No, you aren’t the only one who noticed Garrett pitches on Finnegan’s night in the rotation.

52 thoughts on “Reds play like a soft, underhanded toss

  1. Well, at least the Marlins’ win hurts the Cardinals in the wild card race. 🙂

    • This is a nice silver lining. I hate losing, but man it sure helps when it hurts the Cards.

    • I do not know much about the Marlins but their hitters look like how you want to rebuild, 8 guys on the current roster would be 2nd on the Reds in obp. And that does not include the arguably 2 best hitters on the DL. It looks Stanton is done for the season but they seem to need a SS who could hit above replacement and not be a drop off from their current defensive wiz. No one comes to mind….

    • I never get to see the games but it seems there have been a lot of bonehead plays by him the past week. just going buy comments. Heard he did nit hustle on a hit early in the game and could have been at second instead of getting doubled up.
      I know he got picked off yesterday and heard he went back to 2nd on a hit a few nights ago. Just disappointing for being so cerebral of a hitter he hurts the team with fundamental basics like defense and baserunning.

      • To be honest, I think the play where he didn’t make 2nd was fine. The ball was hit in front of Yelich, who muffed it, and it rolled about 8 feet away from Yelich. Votto, if he was busting it out of the box and if he made a hard turn, would have been at 2nd easily.

        With that said, if I’m the Reds I don’t want my franchise player busting it out of the box on routine singles to LF. The thing that happened to Yelich happens maybe 1 in 50 times? Do you really want a guy with a history of leg/knee issues busting it out of the box every single time to get an extra base 3 times a season?

        I don’t.

  2. Adelman is the scheduled Louisville starter Tuesday. I’d say if he makes that start, he isn’t likely to make the next start of Reed’s former spot.

    • Sampson is a no-brainier right??? He threw five innings yesterday and that is probably what Finnegan or Reed average per start. He had the best season at AAA of anyone, he is 25 its now or never

      • I think they pretty much need to see what they’ve got. His arm is the real deal.

  3. I love Votto at the plate but the significant majority of the time he is a bad defender. He does not go forward on balls, often going backward. The underhand thing is an old issue revisited. He also never gets his body in front of the ball, if he did he would stop more balls. Not sure why he doesn’t put the time in on defense like he does at the plate.

    • He does. Anecdotally from a Twitter conversation, Votto worked very hard in ST in the field. When I went early to watch batting practice at Coors Field, Votto was working on defense behind a screen rather than hitting.

      Effort is never the reason for Joey doing something poorly. For whatever reason, he’s just not been good defensively for some time.

      • Votto is a wonderful hitter. He is a lousy base runner and a very average defensive player. He appears to occasionally lose focus when on base or in the field. George Foster did not crash into walls and Joey does not slide with any enthusiasm.

  4. This one just sort of slip slided away starting there in the 6th. Finnegan didn’t get a couple of close calls; and that seemed to propel him into the wall in short order.

    A home run and walk later, Holt didn’t catch a ball it looked for all the world he should have caught (and BHam would have been a lead pipe cinch to catch); and a 3-1, game turned into a 4-1 game.

    After the Reds had fought back to 4-3, the Votto misplay cost them 2 runs with 2 out in the top of the 8th; and, at 6-3 the game seemed gone. And how big was that misplay and those 2 runs? The first three batters of the Reds 8th were Duvall, Suarez, and Schebler. I’d say the difference between being 1 down and 3 down with those 3 guys coming up could be reasonably called huge since any one of them could have tied the game with a single swing at -1.

    • None of those guys homered, though. And it’s not like those guys have ever actively tried to work a walk to get on base. They always try to hit homers, so down 1 or 3 doesn’t matter.

      • I think your bias is clouding your judgement in this case.

        Ask any reliever about difference between facing a power hitter with 1 run lead and a 3 run lead. With the 3 run the table is stacked their way. A mistake can’t really hurt them. With a 1 run lead…..

        I saw a stat here over the weekend that indicated that since the ASB Duvall has walked at around the league average rate (somewhere just over 10%). Tonight Suarez and Schebler both took 2 out walks in the 6th to facilitate the Reds 3rd run.

      • They all try to hit the ball to Cleveland. If Sparky Anderson had to scream at his players for always swinging for the fences with who he had what the heck is Price thinking. Sparky got there attention evidently, 41-9. This is the most undisciplined bunch I have ever seen. The pitching will be fine but as far as next year i think the offense, unless upgraded, will have us in as big a hole as the pitching did in the first half. And our guys that are hovering around the Mendoza line or below are a joke. If they could hit at least .250 we would think we had Rod Carew.

        • Are your somehow comparing the talent that Lucky…I mean Sparky Anderson had at his disposal to this team?

          I assume the 41-9 is some sort of BRM reference. I believe the record of the starting line up in 1976 was 41-9. That would’ve been about their record had George Scherger, Alex Grammas or Al Schottlekotte been the manager. Talent is talent.

          This undisciplined team filled with Mendoza Line players is on pace to score more runs that the 2012 team that won 97 games.

        • The 1975 team a few games after Pete’s move to 3rd base finished 41-9. I was only making reference to the current Reds swinging for the fences when they are not capable of doing so and I chose to reference a tirade Sparky had thrown during his teams slump. I was not comparing these Mendoza’s to the Big Red Machine

          \

        • RE:the 41-9 reference. In 1975 the BRM had a 50 game stretch where they played 41-9 (.820). Just to be clear, this was a serial run of 50 consecutive games over which the team won 41 and lost 9. The approximate dates were 21 May thru 13 July.

          It started with a 7 game winning streak which ran out to 15-2 before they lost consecutive games. The 50 game stretch ended with a 19-2 run which began with a 6 game winning streak and concluded with a 10 game winning streak,

    • Duvall and Suarez got on to lead off the 8th and then Schebler had the worst AB of the season. Had the pitcher 3-1 then swung at ball 4 and watched perfect strike 3 without moving. Still baffled by that.

      • It would appear that Mr. Schebler has pitch recognition issues. Swings at lots of pitches in the dirt that didn’t even start in the zone. That’s a less-than-good sign, I’d say.

        • Very much like Todd Frazier, he seems to be purely a guess-hitter up there. When he guesses wrong he looks really, really bad. Some guys can get away with it but others can’t. Guess-hitters are usually not the best when it comes to pitch recognition.

  5. I enjoyed the You Tube of Jesse Owens win of the 100 meter in the 1936 Olympics when Hitler refused to shake his hand. Many years ago I walked around the Berlin Olympic Stadium which was almost empty at the time. The German people have a memorial to the achievement of Jesse Owens at the end of the stadium. A haunted place that is, apparently, still used today for soccer.

    • I just watched the 1936 Olympics documentary on Netflix. I learned that Hitler actually left so he didn’t shake anyone’s hand. The Nazis took down their anti-Jewish signs and tried to clean up and hide what was really going on and unfortunately it succeeded and that Olympics was pretty much a Nazi propaganda success! They did mention that Jesse Owens was popular with the German people and a German athlete actually gave him a tip for the long jump in which he beat the German for the gold.

        • If he were around today he would just go on his twitter account and talk about how the media is corrupt and biased toward his sound startegies

  6. It infuriates me to no end to watch Votto. I may end up having to switch baseball teams over him. When he is batting, he is serious. Any other time, he is lackadaisical. He is Little League in his fielding and baserunning. Pitiful

    • Will you be rating all teams-players on a
      ” Seriousness Scale” to determine who might be the right fit for you?

      Using Puig as a 1…..and Tony LaRussa and the late, never great Ryan Freel as a 10….I think Votto is still a solid 7 overall. Perhaps you could create a WAR type metric that measures things like seriousness and being a gamer.

    • You want to switch teams because Votto had a bad feed to the pitcher allowing the 2nd fastest guy in the league to be safe?

      Your recency bias is blinding you. He got picked off 2nd the other day, so you’re mad. Ok, fine. By the numbers, he’s having his best base running season in a while. He’s not a good base runner and never has been. This isn’t news and you shouldn’t expect him to be a good base runner. It’s not a skill he possesses.

      Defensively, I agree his decisions are poor too often. The throw should have been overhanded, but anyone with even a small understanding of physics can tell easily what happened on the underhand toss and why it went high. He sped up his arm speed but kept the timing of his release the same. It’s like overswinging in golf. Ruins your mechanics.

      But if the best Reds hitter ever “infuriates you to no end” then I think the St. Louis Cardinals have some fan openings.

      • Switching teams over the guy who who leads the NL in OBP, hits .300, has reasonable power, plays mostly every day and in considered among the best at working at his craft is nuts. This guy must be a closet Cards fan.

    • We all know you don’t like Votto. That’s your prerogative. I mean, there are a lot of players I don’t like. Switching teams over your team having a player you don’t like though? Come on man.

  7. Bad showing by Finnegan! 4 er in 5.1 ip and Billy made another “Only Billy gets that ball” catch by a ball hit by Prado that probably saved 2 more runs! That fastball that he always leaves high and away simply will not cut it in GABP! One guy hit it out and then he threw another one to the next hitter that went to the wall! His ceiling as a reliever looks like Tony C. with his control issues. Another question mark at this point. Garrett looks pretty good at Lville so maybe he’s the next contender?

  8. Just to make a counterpoint, the “soft, underhanded toss” was admittedly cringe-worthy, but 24 of the 25 players on the Marlins roster would have been out on the play. It just happened to be Dee Gordon batting. Reds get Hamilruns, Marlins get Deeruns.

    • And it just happened to come with the bases loaded. No free pass for Votto there but Gordon should never even have come up in that situation. And by the way, why didn’t Lorenzen pitch two innings? Did that really need to be a five pitcher game? Some games it seems like Price keeps calling the pen until he finds a struggling reliever instead of letting the solid ones pitch. Frustrating.

      • I am not sure why Jumbo could not go out for the 7th to begin with, why burn Lorezen down 4-2? But with the thin bench may have wanted to go with Lorezen instead of Waldrop being what it was.
        So is Cozart day to day I did not hear why he was out?

      • It might seem like it, but I don’t think anyone is giving Votto a free pass.

        It was a mental mistake (should have thrown over-hand) AND a physical mistake (he sped up his delivery and released late, causing throw to go high). It was a bad play that cost the Reds two runs that the Marlins didn’t even need.

        • Actually, his best bet would have been to charge that ball. The throw would have been a non-issue. Gotta know who’s running. I agree that nobody is giving Votto a free pass here.

        • Good point. Charging would have been better. I’m trying to think of an instance when he has charged on something other than a bunt and I can’t recall ever seeing it… Hmmmmm…..

        • It’s easy to say what he should have done though. It’s harder to actually do it in the moment.

  9. Man tough crowd in here. I hate to bring this up but we are probably close to a full season away from seeing what these pitchers are going to be. The learning curve for getting big league hitters out is brutal, I am happy to see progress. We are also at that point where even veteran arms start to get tired and these kids even their 5 inning outings are in uncharted area over the next 6 weeks. The fact that Cozart and BP are dinged up now is a good time to see what the youth can do up the middle if they are placed on the DL effective today when they are eligible to come off it is time for roster expansions but that really decreases the chances for wins.

  10. When Votto is concentrating in the field he is an average fielder. The last two games he has lapses on the bases and in the field. Sunday, he lost track of the number of outs while on 2nd and didn’t immediately run when the ball was hit which could have cost us a run. Yesterday, he settled for a single when he could have gotten a double and flips a ball to the pitcher like he was tossing a ball in the air to his pet dog and cost us two runs.

    • He also got picked off 2nd in the Milw series and was on first when Duvall hit a ball down the LF line that was on the edge of the track and Votto didn’t make 3rd despite the fact that Braun can’t throw! He can fall out of bed and go 2-4 with a walk but I think he’s kind of mentally tired. Price should give him a day off despite all the offense!

  11. Its that time of the year where players hit the wall physically and mentally.This team had had a brutal year but there is a bright future ahead.I am hoping that come Sept1 when the rosters expand we see some position player call ups and they are given an opportunity to play.I fear we will hear the we must play are best players against potential play off teams line again.You know the one about protecting the integrity of the game etc etc.Personally I don’t care if we see any of our regulars more then a couple games a week which I know won’t happen but I can hope.

  12. Does any one know if the Reds have an informal internal fine system for bonehead plays or lack of hustle? This can be administered by the players and a player can fine himself. Usually the money goes to a charity. Based on my observation Votto would lead in fines followed by Bruce, Philips, Suarez.

    • Honestly, Votto probably shouldn’t “hustle” all the time. He’s got multiple leg issues. If not turning a single into a double 1-in-50 times (when a LFer does what Yelich did) is the penalty for not hustling and staying on the field for 150+ games a year, sign me up for that.

      • My main problem with Votto is not lack of hustle but his tendency to have bonehead plays. Votto is a superior hitter so we should give him some slack…..but not too much.

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