The Cincinnati Reds (53-71) trade in the best in the NL West for the best in the AL West with a two gaem series against the 73-52 Texas Rangers. The Rangers took control of their division on May 29th and have not been out of first place since. Despite having just a +1 run differential, which is only 3rd best in their division and 8th best in the American League, the Rangers are tied with the Indians for best win-loss record in the American League.


Derek Holland 5.20 4.83 1.2 7.9% 13.7%
Dan Straily 3.72 4.51 1.2 8.6% 19.9%

Derek Holland is making his first start since June 20th after spending two months on the DL with shoulder inflammation. In those last three games before hitting the DL, Holland allowed 12 runs over 13 innings. His last tune-up rehab start for AAA Round Rock, he allowed four runs over five innings.

Dan Straily is what the Reds need tonight after yesterday’s ugly score. Straily hasn’t walked a batter in his last 22.1 innings and has consistently pitched six or more innings allowing two or fewer runs over the past two months. He’s pitched a quality start in eight of his last nine games.


1. Ian Desmond (CF)
2. Carlos Beltran (RF)
3. Adrian Beltre (3B)
4. Rougned Odor (2B)
5. Jonathan Lucroy (C)
6. Mitch Moreland (1B)
7. Nomar Mazara (LF)
8. Elvis Andrus (SS)
9. Derek Holland (P)
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Jose Peraza (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Brandon Phillips (2B)
6. Scott Schebler (RF)
7. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Dan Straily (P)

ESPN’s home team Yankees employ an outfield shift. That in and of itself isn’t big news, but I found the following comment interesting:

Before each game, bench coach Rob Thomson, responsible for the outfield defense, gives Gardner, center fielder Ellsbury, right fielder Hicks and rookie outfielder Aaron Judge an index card with precise locations for each opposing hitter.

Those locations are determined by a proprietary computer program developed by the Yankees’ analytic squad, headed by David Grabiner. It takes a multitude of factors — among them the hitter’s power, his tendency to pull or not pull the ball, and his career history against the Yankees’ pitcher that night — and spits out a spray chart which places the outfielder in the optimal position to make a play.

“We have analytical assessments that show specifically where guys hit the ball,” a Yankees staffer told “I mean, it shows us exactly where guys hit the ball just about every time. And it’s hitter/pitcher specific, based on pitch velocity and location. Positioning is based on a lot of factors, including the speed of the defender.”

They have a team of analysts preparing data to tell their outfielders where to stand for every batter. Meanwhile, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfield continues to state that defensive shifts are one of the biggest issues that baseball must address and curtail.

These two teams split a series back in June with Straily having the one loss pinned on him. He’s looking forward to a second chance against the Rangers, opposing someone other than Cole Hamels on the mound.


Join the conversation! 61 Comments

  1. Whoever that Yankee staffer is doesn’t know how probabilities work…

    “I mean, it shows us exactly where guys hit the ball just about every time.” Ok, then…

  2. Not that there aren’t holes ahead of him, but being able to bat Eugenio Saurez in the 7 hole … not a horrible lineup.

  3. The shift takes one away from Schebler

  4. THOM!!: “People are leaving games early because the relief pitching is THAT good.”

    • Obviously Thomas B didn’t watch yesterday’s game. If it were the case, fans would be flocking to GABP by 8:45pm EST to watch the worst relief pitching.

      Just goes to show how Thom and Marty speak from “personal” experience, rather than the glaringly obvious info out there. Too many pitching changes, lack of offense due to shifts and “advanced” stats to make managers switch pitchers and hitters, commercials etc. are contributors.

      We’re in a “everything now” age and after 2 hrs of switches, two-out singles and decent baseball,the attention span of fans isn’t there. Sad, but true.

  5. Sooo… Cozart’s achilles is bothering him because his knee was barking about a month ago (over compensating). Is that why he was playing EVERY DAY Brian Price?

    • Do you actually believe that a manager with 6 weeks left on his contract can unilaterally determine whether an injured player plays?

      Do you think the Front Office, Cozart, the Doctors, trainers, Cozart’s agent and the MLBPA all just shrugged their shoulders and said ” Price is the manager…he can do whatever he wants.”

      • No but you can trade a guy before he breaks down.

        • Not really. A trade is contingent on passing a physical and a review of medical records.If he’s hurt, he’ll fail the physical.If he’s predisposed to breaking down then his medical records should have plenty of red flags.

        • Because they are so extensive, does that explain Gary Majewski, Colin Rea, and Dilson Herrera?

    • So why not put him on the DL?

  6. The odds are 50-50 right? Either he’ll hit it there, or he won’t.

    • Oh if only … remember that shot to LF in 2010 (?) that Pagan just barely snagged? Inches either way and we go onward in the playoffs.

      Shifts are predictors and help cover range. Rob Manfred is a tool if the thinks outlawing them will help anything at all.

  7. All right offense Straily is dealing so lets get him some runs and put this game to bed.

  8. That’s on Hatcher. JV had practically stopped at third.

  9. Joey runs towards 3rd….clearly not watching Hatcher and slows down then restarts and of course he gets thrown out at the plate by 15 feet. Great hitter….but not giving the attention that a big league player needs to give on the bases….and sometimes defensively too. One of the writers on here said “Joey isn’t a good baserunner”. Thats not a valid excuse. Being slow is a valid excuse somewhat but he’s not paying attention!! He’s not giving the proper effort and its happened 4-5x atleast in the last 2-3 weeks. Does he want to be the Dominique Wilkins of MLB? That guy could score! Just sucked at every other aspect of the game.

  10. We are making Holland look like Cy Young.Good grIef he is just off the DL and has close to a 5 ERA.Lets score some runs for pete sake.

  11. Holland at 50 pitches through 5 innings.Good time to call it a night.Go Reds.

  12. WOW…Won’t see a better catch than that ….BILLY!!!

  13. Pitching to Votto with a base open??? tsk tsk 1-0 Reds

  14. I would love to see the statcast data on the Hamilton catch.

  15. If Joey declines gracefully, as he should with his skillset, he’ll be a hof. He makes the game look so easy and it’s really a shame he isn’t talked about more on a national level.

    • Why do I get the idea Joey likes it just the way it is? He deserves attention, but I’m not sure he wants it.

      • I think you are correct Andy. He’s an introvert and one reason for signing with the Reds long term and not testing free agency is his perceived distaste for the spotlight and the intensity of large market media outlets. I would guess that is one reason for his full no-trade clause in his contract.

  16. Ugh Suarez….had all day to get the out at 2nd for the DP.

    • Gameday feed noted it might have been a triple play, how bad was it?

      • Had potential when it was hit, but instead of planting on the base and stepping towards 2nd, Suarez threw a fadeaway spike job to BP covering 2nd

  17. 2 NASTY ones to polish him off. Suarez gets picked up.

  18. Solid work by Iggy after the 1st 2 reached.

  19. Wow. A potential triple-play missed and a wild pitch and still not scored on with two K’s. Iggy gets it done.

    • Yeah – that would have been sweet to see. Of course, so would the DP. In the end, we’ll take the outs with no runs though, won’t we?

  20. I like Tucker … that was more than a little ugly in the end, but I do like him. I’d use the word “grit” but I’m pretty sure the management of this establishment would show me the door if I did … so I won’t.

    • Yeah, kinda standard operating procedure for the hitter to force them to get you out at 3rd, to insure the run scores

      • True enough … and it ended up working out.

      • replay shows no one covering 2nd, would have been fun to see Tucker get in race back to the bag if he could have turned it around

  21. Iggy with a 2nd doughnut inning. 1-2-3 style

  22. 2 great AB’s from Holt tonight….multi-pitch AB’s, staying alive, drawing 2 lead off walks.

    • Ends up scoring both times.

      • Was thinking that BHam is having an off night and Perazza and Holt both seem to be on … got to love it when it works that way.

  23. I have never seen a tear like Votto since end of June. What would his numbers this year be if he hadn’t started so slow. He is hitting almost .500 over 6 weeks!

    • Actually he is now exactly at his career OPS! It was just a couple months ago that it looked like he was never getting it that high.

  24. So far no homeruns from a Reds pitcher tonight.

  25. The dreaded lead off walk…Let’s go Tony!

  26. We all knew the tying run would come to the plate

  27. Yay!! But these ninth innings — leave me with no fingernails left….

  28. I never feel too confident with Cingrani as the closer, but it was a well played game and a good comeback for the Reds.

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