Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds recap is wishes it wasn’t on radio, either

Last year, in explaining why the Reds didn’t fire manager Bryan Price at the end of the season, Walt Jocketty paid Price a compliment for the way the Reds continued to play hard during the season’s final weeks.

Price may or may not be asked back in 2017. The self-annihilating use of Alfredo Simon in a close game on Monday may suggest Price isn’t interested. If the Reds do make him an offer, it won’t be on merit. It’ll be because Bryan Price will be the guy willing to swallow his pride and take a 1-year deal.

If the two sides somehow find their way to agreement, we’ll again hear empty platitudes about the team playing well down the stretch. Mouthed whether or not it’s really the case. After all, the 2015 Reds were 18-43 after August 1.

They won’t be talking about today. “It’s almost like they’re sleepwalking.” Jeff Brantley.

Cincinnati 3  New York Mets 6 |  FanGraphs  

The afternoon’s competition was almost over after one pitch as Jose Reyes delivered an Anthony DeSclafani 92-mph fastball to the right field bleachers. If you’ve been paying attention, the first-pitch homer felt familiar. DeSclafani has given up a leadoff, 1st-inning homer three times in his last six starts. The previous two were smacked by veterans Chase Utley and Matt Carpenter. Otherwise, DeSclafani pitched six innings, striking out 7 and walking 1. He was fine.

Meanwhile Reds batters were dealing with Noah Syndergaard’s 97-99 mph fastballs for 5 innings. The good news was they managed ten base runners. The less good news was the performance of running between said bases. Take the 2nd inning. Please. Brandon Phillips led off with a single. He was thrown out stealing.* Scott Schebler followed with a walk. He was thrown out doing something resembling a cross between a stolen base attempt and an elementary school game of pickle. The next batter, Tyler Holt, walked, of course.

*Phillips, has 9 successful stolen bases this season and been caught 7 times. That falls juuuuuust a bit short of the 75% success rate needed for attempting a stolen base to make strategic sense. Of the 153 qualified position players, Billy Hamilton ranks first in FanGraphs’ composite base running stat. Phillips ranks #133, worst among the Reds.

The Reds weren’t finished sacrificing outs on the bases against Syndergaard. In the third inning, with Jose Peraza on third base, Eugenio Suarez was either picked off or the Reds were trying a Little League play. In either case, the Mets, not being a Little League team, nailed Peraza at the plate. “The Reds just can’t get out of their own way,” said Jeff Brantley.

And Reds dysfunction wasn’t reserved for the base paths. With Reyes on second base, Jose Peraza, who was playing shortstop for Zack Cozart, ran into Brandon Phillips fielding a grounder and lost control of the ball. Error, runner moves to third. Just a couple pitches later, Anthony DeSclafani threw a wild pitch and didn’t cover home allowing Reyes to score. “The Reds just flat gave ’em a run,” said Jeff Brantley.

The garbage-time role bullpen segment – Wandy Peralta in this case – gave up two runs that proved to be pretty important when the Reds scraped together three runs in the bottom of the 8th. Tony Cingrani gave up a run in the top of the 9th.

Jose Peraza continued to fire line drives all around the park. He was 4-for-5 with three singles and double. Scott Schebler had two hits and two walks.

The Reds were swept in this series. They were out-homered 9-1. You build your offense around stolen bases. I’ll build mine around power and getting on base.

Joey Votto, who was 1-for-4 with a walk, took out his frustration in the 7th on a helpless piece of wood. Reds fans can sympathize with the bat today.

crxjkirwiaaucxmThe internets achieved rare consensus about the day’s events in short order:

Billy Hamilton update: Hamilton won’t make the road trip to Pittsburgh. He’ll stay in Cincinnati for treatment on his strained left oblique. Hamilton’s 2015 season was cut short by surgery for a sprained shoulder capsule. In 2014, he sat out the last few games with a concussion.

Daniel Wright update: The Reds released pitcher Daniel Wright last week to make room on the 40-man roster. Wright was picked up by the LA Angels. Manager Mike Scioscia announced today that Wright would start for the Angels on Saturday. One reason: “He’s got a really good spin rate.”

Also overheard: Radio announcer named Franchester made fun of player with a rare European given name.

72 thoughts on “Reds recap is wishes it wasn’t on radio, either

  1. Ron Darling on the Mets TV said something to the effect of, and I am paraphrasing, “This is the worst performance I have ever seen from a major league team.” Mets announcers commented on how Phillips, after being thrown out stealing, walked very slowly back to the dugout, and how his lack of energy probably wasn’t good body language from a veteran and team leader.

    • I was at the game and play on Phillips looked very close to me. I also noticed he walked slowly back to the dugout. However, I think he was looking in the dugout and I suspect he was waiting to see if the Reds were going to challenge the call.

      • Mets broadcasters were also bewildered the Reds weren’t challenging.

        Just winning all around on that play

      • I saw a replay of Schleber’s attempt, it looked like he would have beat the throw if he slid, let alone the tag. He pulled up ten feat before 2nd base, it looked almost like he thought a third out was made or a ball was foul- anything besides a major league base runner attempting to steal second

    • What is the point of beating the Mets during a rebuild? Isn’t that 14 in a row, really do for a win for the next mediocre Reds team

  2. I agree with everything Darling had to say except the part about BP being a team leader.He has done what he did today even when he did have speed and nobody ever bothered to correct it.He has always been a liability on the base paths and when a veteran does that and he continues to play then it tells the rest of team I can do it too.Only way it gets addressed is when he is no longer here

  3. If there Price is not retained for 2017, this game may well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back; and, also the signature poster child for the down side of his regime.

    I’m sure this is silly season in lots of ways for the players, coaches and entire team staff; and, we can’t begin to know what may be going on at several levels behind the scenes right now. However given a top to bottom team performance like today on top of what many felt was a sleep walker on Monday, something must be brewing or has already popped behind the clubhouse curtains.

    • Agree, Jim. They just looked disinterested today, and that’s not a look that I’ve seen before with this team. So sloppy…

      I heard the Mets announcers going on and on about it. When Barnhart singled in a run with bases loaded, they were killing BP for jogging with no interest in scoring from second. Then, when he was forced out at home a minute later, they acted like they couldn’t believe what they were seeing from a veteran player. “No effort at all,” was the quote.

      It’s was pretty bad.

  4. The Reds are in need of a shakeup, and it’s embarrassing to have their opponent’s announcers say as much. A new manager is needed, and Brandon Phillips must be told he will not be the starting second baseman come April, 2017. If he wants to ride the bench or accept a trade, it’s up to him.

  5. The Reds are not a good baseball team. Votto, the savant, has been tanking, almost the entire year, in every area except batting, and is applauded. I guess the rest of the team got on board today.

    • Votto has been tanking everywhere except batting. It’s like saying Patton tanked everywhere besides winning battles.

      Don’t blame Votto for the poor performance of the rest of the team.

    • Well, batting is orders of magnitude more important than anything else… so… yes, if everyone had a 150 wRC+ they’d be applauded, too.

      He’s had his worst year in the field… he’s had a perfectly fine season on the bases. So no, he’s not “tanking” in everything except hitting…just defense.

      • Yeah sounds great. Defense is half the game. We must not be watching the same player. I remember just a few games ago he would not slide on a close play at home. Come on, the dude falls over trying NOT to get in front of a ground ball. He gets 200 million, or a 1/4 of our entire payroll for this. He is, and will continue being, a large resaon for the Reds mediocrity.

        • I would have to imagine that Votto would be loved all-round if he played for a different team. I think the Reds fans are some of the most cynical in all of baseball.

        • I actually feel votto is very underrated and to compare him to anything that even remotely resembles mediocrity is insane. IMO anyway.

        • Well Scotly50, that’s nut fully accurate. Defense and pitching combined is half the game. Votto’s defense has been anywhere from below average to really bad and for the most part, people have called him out on it. I don’t think he’s getting a pass on his defense. It isn’t harped upon however because he’s been such an exceptional hitter.

        • The Reds will, in time, rue the day they signed Votto to such a knee-jerk contract. The Reds still need a stud, and no money to pay for one, even with Votto.

          • Can you back up your claim they have “no money” to pay for another player with, you know, facts?

        • Well, I think you couldn’t be more wrong. I’m not sure how to say it any more clearly. Votto is not a mediocre player overall, which seems to be your main assertion.

  6. I knew this would end badly when Phillips did accept the trade to Washington. Brandon has never been a leader. Expecting him to be a positive influence on a losing team is misplaced hope. The Reds are in awful shape. The roster is a weak. There is little talent in the minors and what is there is not up to the standard of their competition. This rebuilding is a 5 year project even if every thing goes right. Assuming Bryan Price is not retained I am sure there will be at least 3 more mangers before the Reds make the playoffs. Price will be remembered as a genius and Dusty will make the Reds Hall of Fame.

    • Didn’t see the game, and I’m glad, but the ledge is getting needlessly crowded. It wasn’t long ago at all that the Reds had something like the 2nd best record in baseball since the all-star break, and it sounds as though, contrary to your gloomy assertion, there is quite a lot of talent in the minors.

  7. FWIW…The Old Cossack would make a very public move after a very private meeting (aka message and accountability) with the players.

    BP sits for the rest of the season with Iribarren starting at 2B and if Iribarren shows he can hit at the big league level (he’s off to a pretty good start), he has an inside track at a utility role next season.

    Peraza starts every game. While Hamilton is out, Peraza can play CF and hit leadoff. If Hamilton comes back (and he shouldn’t), Peraza can shift to SS or spell Iribarren at 2B.

    • What happened this week? This team was enjoyable to watch from the All Star break to the Saturday of labor day weekend…..beat the Dodgers and Giants and Cards and won series after series……and then the wheels fall off? Cant be going backwards….this rebuilding train is moving forward only….Get rid of the problems Williams!!! You are running the show now.

  8. I did not see the play the Steve referenced (Peraza, who was playing shortstop for Zack Cozart, ran into Brandon Phillips fielding a grounder and lost control of the ball.), but I did see the play when Phillips insisted on playing an infield popup that was clearly DeJesus’ (playing 1B) play in the prior game. If DeJesus hadn’t yielded, despite having already called the play and clearly having the better play on the ball, there would have been a colision on that play too. Of course Phillips thinks it’s hilarious when he does that and he does it with Votto frequently. It wasn’t so funny today! Nothing about the game today was funny.

  9. Since August 23rd Peraza is 21-47 (.447) with 2 walks and has scored ZERO runs!! How is that even possible with his speed? They’ve been outhomered by 83!! I would think that has to be among the worst ratios of all time? Votto and BP are frequently caught day dreaming. Votto could barely remember how to turn a doubleplay when he caught a liner and the runner from 1st was on 2nd base. This has been going on all season. They were a better than average baserunning team when Rolen was here. There was some accountability. Cozart and BP literally swing at anything and absolutely do not need to be here next year but I expect them both in the lineup and batting in a “veteran” related spot in the order. They’ll be lucky to win more than 72 or so next year.

    • Cant steal home usually? Also, batting 8th (in front of pitcher) and 1st (in front of Cozart) has been a pretty terrible combination in terms of scoring runs.

  10. I don’t get to see many games in person but I was there today and, believe it or not, thoroughly enjoyed the game. Yes, there was bad base running but I did not come away from the game feeling that there was a lack of effort or interest on the part of the players. As Steve mentioned in his recap at one point Votto broke his bat over his knee in frustration. Tucker Barnhart also showed a lot of emotion. Watching Peraza hit was also a great deal of fun.

    • Lack of effort seemed a bit harsh and judging from being down 5-0 in the 8th to getting the tying run in scoring position does not show signs of quit. Seemed a bad combination of poor decisions, but again I only saw a few replays of Schlebler’s attempt SB and that was bizarre. BP looked like he tried to avoid the tag. I just figured I missed how awful they played based on all the comments.

    • I was there too and I agree .. I did see a lack of execution . But I did not see any lack of effort. They were beaten by a overpowering pitcher (Thor) that has a chance at the wildcard . That’s it . And yes Peraza had a great day and is on quite a run .

  11. Reds could get the #2 pick in the draft. Not sure the Twins can get hot enough to push the Reds to the #1 pick

  12. I hate to say it but they need to cut ties with BP after the season, eat the contract & move forward.

    My bigger worry about this rebuild is the division the Reds play in. This division is tough. The Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates & even the Brewers all could be decent in years to come making it very difficult for the Reds.

    • The Cards and Pirates are both showing a lot of signs of being where the Reds were at this time in 2013, on the back end of a strong run. Head to head, the rebuilding 2016 Reds are only -1 to .500 versus each of them as of now.

      The Cardinales have a reputation of being able to maintain and reload on the fly but that doesn’t mean they will this time or what their ceiling will be visa via the rebuilding Reds. As for the Pirates org, this is all new ground. The top of the draft fed generation that got them to playoff contention is aging out on player control and affordability. They are now 3 or 4 drafts removed from the top flight of the draft. Who knows which way they will go in the next 2-4 seasons?

      As for the Cubbies, that’s why they have the wildcard; and, as the saying goes and we know all to well as Reds fans in 2012, in a short series, anything can happen.

      • That’s essentially how I feel about the state of NL Central affairs, Jim.

        The Cards and Pirates are backsliding and they’ll have to begin retooling or reloading. As you noted, the Cards have a history of success with these cycles and they can’t be counted out. In fairness to the Pirates, they may not have experience with retooling/reloading but they do have some significant talent in the minors still. It’s not unreasonable to think they can fill some of their gaps due to roster attrition and ageing.

        The Brewers will be an interesting organization to watch. They’ve committed to a deep overhaul and are stockpiling talent, albeit very young talent. I think they may be slower than the Reds to return to relevancy but if things break their way on player development, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with too.

        • I was really looking forward to these 8 games coming up with the Pirates as a measuring stick for how the Reds were coming along.
          However since the Reds appear to have lost their edge; and, the Pirates seemingly have fallen out of the WC race, they will probably be boring and maybe even ugly on the whole given the history between the two squads.

        • I certainly hope this series doesn’t devolve into another bean ball war. There’s too little to gain and too much to lose for either side.


    • Who do you want to manage? Anyone can be fired but who are you going to get to replace him? This just like in the NFL when fans want their team to get a new QB. Anyone can complain…how about some solutions?

    • The roster is the problem. No manager living or dead could win this roster. The Reds have not been good since they tanked over the last week of the 2013 season.

  14. BP never has been a leader he was just one of the core group that made us relevant.He along with others in the core never had anybody to compete with them for playing time so they have always played every day despite slumps,baserunning blunders etc. Bruce found out when he went to NY that playing your way out of a slump doesn’t work there so you set and watch others play that actually can play.I said it the other day and I will say it again in that it serves no purpose at all for BP,Cosart,Ohly,Diaz,Smith,Simon and I am sure I missed one or two,to play at all the rest of the year.We have others who are better and others need to audition to see what they have got.Everybody else on the roster needs to play as much as possible.Today was embarassing so lets not make it worse by playing the same guys and expect them not to continue to stink up the place.If this truly is Williams’ rodeo now he needs to put on his big boy pants and make his mark right now

  15. Good grief, a good team with a lot to play for beat a bad team with nothing to play for in September. Should Price make them run some laps or perhaps not take them out for ice cream?

  16. I hope Price is back as manager. He’s done a fine job. I didn’t check the box score but pretty sure Price isn’t the one that gave up 6 runs. I’m also pretty sure he isn’t the one who decides what players are on his roster.

    • So, it’s just all on the players for the baserunning and fielding blunders? These are instances that have happened repeatedly. And as such, it speaks to a lack of attention paid to some fundamentals by coaches/managers, and a lack of accountability by a manager who said that he would hold people accountable.

      Why would we want a manager back who has done a “fine” job? I want a manager who will do an excellent job. Price isn’t that person.

      • Price is not the problem. Dusty was not either. The same goes for Miley and Narron. The roster of players was not good enough. It seems so simple to fire the manager. Bad teams always fire managers. Acquiring better players through the draft is the answer. Reds have missed the boat the last several years. Hopefully GM Williams will fix things but he has worked for the Reds the last 10 years.

        • Its not “that” they lose that concerns me. But its “how” they lose.

          Overall, they are losing because of lack of talent.

          But “how” they are losing? With the errors and the bad baserunning? That’s certainly as much on the coaching staff as it is the players.

          And Dusty was a huge problem. The Reds always had talent in Dusty’s last few years. With a better mgr, The Reds win a playoff series (and probably more) from 2010-2013.

      • Exactly !!! Same problems over and over. It doesn’t matter who is on the roster – The same repeated issues continually happening on this ballclub are an indictment of Price’s failure as a manager . “Fine Job” – are you serious ????

  17. Whoever is our next manager, possibly Larkin , will be criticised and despised at every turn as well.

    • You are right. Hopefully it is not Larkin who has never coached or managed in the minors or majors. Also it will be hard to fire a guy who is a local success story and a “Hall of Famer” even if he loses 100 games per season. Is there any other team scrambling to hire Larkin? How is Paul Molitor working out with the Twins?

      • The Reds managed to give the Big Doggie the old boot as the manager many years ago. And when the season was still very young. So there’s at least precedent.

        But I agree with your first point. Larkin should not be the next manager. He needs to learn on the job somewhere else first.

        • I don’t think we know the whole story of the Perez firing. I get the feeling he may have said some things to either Marge or Bowden that got him axed.

        • The motivation for any moves under the Marge Schott era were questionable at best.

      • There is no data to support the notion that managerial experience matters.

        Dusty Baker won 103 games his first year as a manager…Sparky Anderson lost 103 in year 19. Matheny made the NLCS in year 1 and Lou Pinella lost 99 in year 17.

        • Yeah, I wouldn’t be as concerned about the wins and losses consideration you’re pointing out. That’s a product of the talent on the roster. I’m more concerned with whether the next manager can handle molding what will be mostly a young and inexperienced team into what will hopefully be a winning team in the future. Does Larkin have that ability? I don’t know. I’m not sure if anybody knows.

  18. Is it really possible that less than a week ago the Reds took 2 of 3 from the Whiny Birds? Baseball is a funny game.

  19. I am not sure about making them run laps or not taking them out for ice cream because you kind of do that in Little League but wait a minute they played like that on the base paths and in the field so maybe that is what you do.Of course the roster was bad and of course we knew we weren’t going to win this year and of course Price is a lame duck manager and of course Walt is still driving the ship and of course we aren’t rebuilding so why should we expect anything out of this team.I just talked myself into not complaining at all for the rest of the season because we have had players like Billy,Duvall,Finnegan Peraza and I believe Schebler before its all over that have improved or performed well.Also Suarez and of course Votto have had nice seasons along with Straily.Future still looks bright.

  20. Well, the 2016 season hasn’t been a complete loss. Some questions have been answered, some not, and some new questions have popped up.
    *We found out that life goes on without Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier, just as we will next year without BP and Cozart.
    *We found out just why the Reds front office was so enamored with Jose Peraza.
    *BHam made some serious strides forward as a CF and baseball player this year.
    *Duvall did the same as a LF but in different ways.
    *We found out that Schebler is a ML player, but maybe not a full time starter.
    *We found out that the Reds front office panicked on Aroldis Chapman and more or less gave him away to the Yankees.
    *We found out that Brandon Finnegan is a starting pitcher after all. Finnegan really stepped up this year. He makes a very nice starting tandem with DeSclafani.
    *The Reds found a nugget in claiming Dan Straily off of waivers.
    *Unfortunately, we also found out that Raisel Iglesias and probably Michael Lorenzen are not starters and will be used out of the bullpen. Hopefully both will be given the opportunity to win a rotation spot.
    *Unfortunately, Homer Bailey is still a question mark.
    *Unfortunately, we found out that Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson weren’t ready and couldn’t step their game up enough to nail down a rotation spot.
    *Unfortunately, we found out that the Reds front office didn’t care about fielding a competitive bullpen this year and only considered internal AAA options for fixes.
    This year is winding down quickly, and soon the World Series will be over. And then the madness of the hot stove league starts. The Reds don’t have as many questions entering this off-season as they did last year. But some still remain.
    The rotation is anchored by DeSclafani and Finnegan, with Dan Straily. Bailey?? Reed or Stephenson?
    The starting 8 is coming around. 1B-Votto, 2B-????, SS-Peraza, 3B-Suarez, C-Barnhart, LF-Duvall, CF-BHam, RF-?????. (Winker and Garrett won’t be on the Opening Day roster. Will Herrera be given a shot at 2B?)
    The bench is almost already formulated. OF-Schebler and YorRod, INF-DeJesus, Jr. and Irabarren. C-Mesoraco.
    The bullpen is open but starts with Iglesias, Lorenzen, Cingrani, Lamb, Sampson, ????, ????.
    Some, but not a lot of questions to have to answer this spring, once they make decisions on BP and Cozart.
    Personally, I’d like to see the Reds go out and obtain a very good young RF via a trade
    and then make Winker and Duvall duke it out for the LF job by June 2017.
    The 2B ?? is filled internally by competition.
    The RF ?? is filled via trade.
    #3, #4, and #5 rotation spots filled internally by competition.
    One bullpen ?? filled by free agent signing or trade for a good experienced bullpen arm. The other bullpen ?? filled internally by competition.
    So, there isn’t a whole lot that needs to be on GM Dick Williams plate for this winter once he addresses the BP situation and trades Cozart. However, The Re-build is in a holding pattern until Williams tackles the BP situation head on.

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