In your life, expect some trouble.
When you worry you make it double.
Homer Bailey pitched one sad inning. For the second start in a row he didn’t strike anyone out. Nor did he give up a walk. The problem wasn’t control. What he did surrender were singles, five of them. All three earned runs scored on routine ground balls. Bailey’s fastball velocity was down again, often below 90 mph – even lower than his previous start. In his two starts before that, against Miami and Milwaukee, his fastball *averaged* 95 mph. Concern is reasonable.
[Update: See Bryan Price’s extensive comments on Bailey after the game. Then come back here and finish reading the recap.]
On the other hand, Bryan Price had Bailey bat. How hurt could the Reds starting pitcher be if he was allowed to hit? If Price’s worry was the depth of his bench, any number of other pitchers (Finnegan, DeSclafani) could have batted for Bailey.
It’s not Ramon Cabrera’s fault that since Devin Mesoraco’s injury in April, the Reds have carried a back-up who isn’t a major league catcher. If you don’t believe me, go with the other 29 major league teams. Cabrera was DFAd by the Tigers in 2014. Then DFAd and released later that year by the Pirates. Or you can believe Cabrera’s catching stats.
Ramon Cabrera as defensive liability has been thrown into stark relief this week as Tucker Barnhart sat out with an injury. Cabrera has had obvious difficulties catching strikes all year. Catching the ball seems like a BFOQ if the name of your job is Catcher. You can time his release to 2B by Presidential election cycles. The DBacks scored several runs in this game when Cabrera’s poor defense played a role. The stats say he has 7 caught stealing plays this season. I’m at a loss to remember any of them. Do pitcher pick offs at 1B count?
Yesterday’s Home Run Derby atmosphere returned for three glorious minutes when Brandon Phillips and Scott Schebler hit back-to-back long balls to left-center in the 2nd inning. Schebler’s blast was his third in two days.
This ends the highlights portion of our show.
Billy Hamilton led off the top of the 6th inning with a single. I know this seems like rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic recap now, but the Reds were only four runs behind then. Setting up a big inning was much more important than getting an extra base. Trying to steal second, even with Hamilton, is a dumb, dumb strategy in that situation.
The Reds threw in the Ohlendorf in the top of the 7th. But, hey they have to see how the 34-year-old can handle the situation. What they saw was the Old School Wind-up allow three more runs. That Ross Ohlendorf is still getting playing time at all, even garbage innings like today, instead of a young pitcher like Keyvius Sampson, is a failure of Rebuild. Jumbo Diaz is another player I wouldn’t mind never seeing play in a Reds uniform again. Reminder that he’s 32.
Jose Peraza didn’t start today, but did pinch hit for his 125th plate appearance with the Reds. I like that Peraza has been hitting line drives all over the field since his return from AAA-Louisville. I don’t like that he has just 2 walks.
Just one more thing to look forward to: Tyler Holt (.215/.289/.262) playing the DH in Los Angeles. Hey, Holt is no Neftali Soto.
You may have noticed irrational frustration with the roster as a recurring theme of this recap. Yes, in a few days the active roster expands and all the Reds problems (except a major league back-up catcher) will be solved. But it sure feels like the Reds personnel management is stumbling to the end of August.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.