Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds secure 2016 losing season by losing fifth straight game

The Reds lost their 82nd game on Thursday night, which officially means 2016 will be a losing season for the Reds. It will be the Reds third consecutive losing season.

The Reds have now lost five straight games, and are 4-13 over their last 17 games. What was once looking like a promising finish to a rebuilding year is looking more and more like……well, a rebuilding year.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (57-82) 1 6 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (69-69) 4 11 1
W: Nova (5-0) L: Straily (11-8)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

redspirateswpa

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Dan Straily allowing a 2-RBI single to Jung Ho Kang with 2 outs in the 1st inning, giving the Pirates a 2-0 lead. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 19.9% (from 45.9% to 25.9%).

Player of the Game

Ivan Nova: 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 2.26 FIP

Nova dominated the Reds, and went the distance on just 94 pitches.

Positives

Hernan Iribarren had another pinch-hit! It was only a single tonight though.

Negatives

The Reds offense was pretty bad.

Keyvius Sampson gave up two hits and run in his inning of work.

Meh

Dan Straily started out the game bad, but finished strong. His final line: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3.75 FIP. He gave up three runs in the first inning, but he shut down the Pirates over the next four innings. Through 27 starts this season, Dan Straily has a 3.88 ERA/4.79 FIP.

I think Nick Carrington hit the nail on the head earlier this week when talking about Straily and his future with the Reds. Straily will make for a nice long reliever/spot starter for the Reds in 2017, but really shouldn’t be counted on as part of the rotation.

Not so random thoughts……….

I was reminded tonight just how incredible PNC Park is. I’ve been to PNC Park to watch the Reds play there every year since 2012, mainly because PNC Park is about half the distance as GABP for me. I won’t however be able to make it this year (that getting married thing got in the way), and that really stinks. It is a really beautiful place to watch a baseball game, and I highly encourage you to make a trip there. It is well, well worth it.

Also,

MLB > NFL

Up Next:

Reds at Pirates
Friday, 7:05 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Tim Adleman (4.02 ERA) vs Steven Brault (3.32 ERA)

33 thoughts on “Reds secure 2016 losing season by losing fifth straight game

  1. Nova certainly did a number on us tonight,I was surprised at the number of strikes he threw.

  2. This team played so well after the all star game-until about 12 games ago. Now they’re playing like the pitiful team of the first half. This team is tough to follow right now. I know some of the reds fans are elated because we may get the number one or two draft pick, IMO
    I hate watching my team play poorly and clueless. the hell with the first pick. Trout wasn’t the first pick, Bench wasn’t even a first round pick..I don’t know if we can blame Price, the F O, or the ownership (or no one) but I haven’t seen a reds team look so bad since last year/ the mid eighties teams or the early 2000 teams, but this stinks.

    • The lightning certainly seems have escaped the bottle on the Reds doesn’t it? And it wasn’t even so much that the Metz, who are playing very well right now, swept them as it was the Reds looked disinterested on Monday and played like clowns on Wednesday.

      After that mess in the 1st tonight, I didn’t really watch much more and was surprised that the game and postgame show were both over when I checked back at a little before 10:30. So, I’m guessing they went pretty quietly again.

  3. AT&T and PNC are the two best stadium locations in MLB but, for me, PNC takes the title with the bridges and skyline in the background.

  4. First trade Brandon Phillips or inform him unless he accepts a trade he will be a backup player the last year of his contract. He has been a very good player but time has caught up with him and he messes up more plays anymore, the shortstop and first baseman miss a lot of good plays because he don’t know he tries for balls that would be much easier plays for them than him. It’s time to play the good young players like Jose Peraza, Jesse Winkler Nick Senzel, their #1 pick and give them experience for next year. I thought Bryan Price would be a fine manager because he’s supposed to be a fine pitching coach up until this year but I see now that will never happen. The Reds reds need a inspirational leader not someone like Price who when behind looks like he’s been out of Xanix for a few days. The Reds also have a very good selection of young pitchers hopefully the current Pitching coach will get the most out of them. The Reds could have a excellent team in 2017 and years to come if the right moves are made.

    • That was a curious play in the first inning when Cozart ended up essentially kicking the ball away from Phillips.

      Given that Phillips was on one knee in grass behind the infield in the process of fielding the ball, I’m not sure it is accurate to say he got in Cozart’s way on the play. It might be just as accurate to say Cozart was late getting to the ball; it was by him; and, he kicked it away from Phillips as he ran by. Whichever way, it really didn’t matter. The runner on 3B when the play started was going to score because they weren’t going to get an out on the play regardless.

      I think Cozart is just a shadow of himself in the field right now because on the play before that when Freese reached on a ground ball that looked to be almost right at Cozart, he laid back rather than charging it then made a slow throw to 1st when he did field it. It looked to me like he made the throw entirely with his arm with no push off from his lower body.

      On net, I think both of these plays indicated that Cozart’s mobility is severely limited by his leg issues; and, in the one case he wasn’t even able to load and throw well because he couldn’t plant and drive thru with his lower body.

      • What were you watching Jim. Cozart never touched the ball he came up short because Phillips was going to up end him. Let’s be honest here. The play Phillips interrupted a couple days ago was with Peraza if I am not mistaken. I don’t think we need to make any grand assumptions on either end about Phillips based on a couple of plays. From what I saw last night it was BP’s fault all the way. Both of those plays were errors in judgement by BP and not Cozart/Peraza.

    • The ” inspirational leader” stuff doesn’t work over 162 games. Do you think the Reds should hire Tony Robbins or perhaps Captain Sullenberger to manage?

  5. “…Cozart ended up essentially kicking the ball away from Phillips.”

    Jim, when I heard Cowboy describe that play as nearly identical to the play between Phillips and Peraza from the previous day, I reviewed the play several times since I did not see the play between Phillips and Peraza in the prior game. I did not see any kick of the ball by Cozart. What I saw was Cozart ready to make the play and pulling up to avoid a collision with Phillips who was out of position. If Phillips had been covering the bag for the force out, which was his responsibility on the play, Cozart makes a rather routine play on the ball for an easy force out at 2B or even a play at 1B. On the play in the prior game, Peraza didn’t pull up and continued to make the play on the ball, resulting in a collision with Phillips, who was completely out of position, and an error on the attempted throw. Phillips is a ball hog. He’s the player on the volleyball court who feels that they are the only person capable of making a play, so they run over and through the other players to get to every ball, resulting in complete chaos. There is no team in Phillips’s game, just personal highlights.

    I was disturbed by Cozart’s throw on the Freese ground ball from deep in the 5 1/2 hole. Cozart was backing up Suarez on the play when Suarez pulled up and let the ball go through to Cozart. I thought Suarez had a play on the ball for an out at 1B, but maybe Suarez felt he couldn’t get to the ball cleanly and let the ball go through to Cozart, hoping that Cozart could make the play for an out. Maybe Cozart was partially screened by Suarez on the play. Maybe Cozart felt he didn’t have time to plant and throw. Maybe Cozart couldn’t plant on the leg and make a big throw across the diamond from deep in the hole. You are absolutely correct that the throw was all arm and no leg and that looked disturbing to watch.

    Peraza also looked indecisive and uncomfortable in CF, resulting in a collision between Schebler and Peraza. I believe Cowboy even mentioned that Hatcher was ‘reviewing’ some of the finer points of playing CF with Peraza between innings.

    The Old Cossack is really going to be PO’d if someone gets hurt because Price refuses to make a tough, but necessary, decision.

    • I’ve not taken a second or third look at the play behind 2B, so I’ll defer if you say Cozart did not actually kick the ball away from BP.

      The fact remains BP was clear back on the grass on one knee waiting to the field the ball; and, Cozart ran in front of him. Then somehow the ball deflected off of one or both of them and on into CF. I think much as you saw Cozart “backing up” Suarez on the Freese grounder, I saw Phillips as doing the same on the Cerelli grounder because he hoped to keep Freese from going on to 3rd. Note than per the radio call from Keltch, Freese was running on the pitch. Thus Phillips who had the cover at 2B was in the position to end up where he was ahead of Cozart, i.e. he was actually closer to the ball all along even though it was to the SS side of 2B.

      I also believe that even had Cozart fielded the ball, he had no play at 1B because the ball was essentially behind and not in front of him where he could pivot (legs allowing) and make a throw. Cozart, I think was doing the same as Phillips at that point, trying to keep the ball out of CF and deny Freese 3B.

      I think what we can agree on involving both plays is that they showed remarkably bad coordination of effort on the part of three guys who have been playing next to each other for almost a full season in the one case (ZC and ES) and 5 years in the other case (ZC and BP). Also these things haven’t really been happening with any frequency or regularity until recently. So why? I’ll stand by my theory that Cozart simply isn’t physically whole and probably should not be on the field in the condition he is in. That’s not intended as a knock his effort. If a person isn’t physically able, they simply aren’t physically able. They can’t help that.

      • Jim, Cozart may very well be gimpy. There is no question that he should have been DL’d immediately when he experienced a problem with his surgically repaired knee and the Achilles on the opposite leg.

        When I first saw the play in live action, I thought it was just one of those plays where the baseball had eyes. I didn’t even think about reviewing it until after Cowboy compared it to the play involving Peraza and Phillips from the previous game that I did not see. After reading your original post and follow-up post, I questioned if I might have had some bias sneaking into my evaluation, even after I had reviewed the play multiple times during the game, so I reviewed the play again today several times.

        When the ball was hit, Phillips was moving to cover 2B, but he changed direction after the ball was hit. Phillips was still well on the 1B side of the base at that time and he was also farther away from the path of the ball than Cozart, who got a really good break on the ball. Cozart was not running back toward the CF; he was running parallel to the baseline. Phillips was running angled back toward left field. When Cozart was 6-8 feet from the ball, he pulled up to avoid what would probably have been a head to head collision. At that time, Phillips was 8-10 feet from the ball and was just beginning to reach down while still running. When Phillips actually went down to field the ball as the ball was going past him, Cozart was still 3-4 feet from crossing the path of the ball after he had pulled up. At that time, the runner was still 20-30 feet from 2B. When the ball actually passed Phillips, his back was completely toward 1B. The only play Phillips had on the ball was a highlight reel effort with no one to throw to if he did make the play and Phillips simply missed it like he has missed many plays this season. Cozart actually had to jump over Phillips to avoid a collision with him while Phillips rolled on the ground. That would have been a difficult but routinely difficult play for Cozart with either a flip to 2B for the force out had Phiilips been covering the base or a throw to 1B for the final out. At no time was Phillips closer to the ball or the path of the ball than Cozart. Phillips had no business even trying to make that play and his interference with Cozart making the play cost the team.

        • We will have to disagree on this one. I called out BP on a similar play a month ot more ago when I thought they could have had a force at 2B had he stayed at the bag. After looking at this one Thursday several times I don’t see that they had a play at 2B if BP is on the bag. Cozart was going to have to make a turn or pivot to deliver the ball and Freese closing on the bag.

          I think the only play either guy had was to try cut the ball off and hold Freese at 2B or throw him out at 3B had they fielded the ball and had he still tried for 3B; and they were both going all out to make that play just like the situation in a fly is in “no man’s land” and multiple fielders attempt to play it.

          Maybe just write it off to the havoc that can be created by putting a runner in motion.

  6. The entire TV crew for the Reds broadcast danced around the issue with qualifiers rather than making an absolute statement, but if Hamilton was in CF, Kang’s drive to CF becomes the 3rd out in the 1st inning with no runs scored and ther’s no doubt about it. I think Holt also makes that play for an out, but not as easily as Hamilton. When a player is playing out of position just so he can get regular PA, this happens. Peraza is not a good, or even adequate, defensive CF. He almost certainly could be a good, or even very good, CF with his athletic prowess, but he lacks experience and playing time in CF.

    In this game alone, Hamilton in CF saves 3 runs on just that one play. That’s really the difference in Straily’s performance this season and his performance in prior seasons. Hamilton’s defense in CF, particularly for Straily, is a difference maker.

  7. I was really hoping the season wouldn’t degenerate into a contest for premier selections in the next rule 4 draft, especially after the early results in the 2nd half of the season, but alas…

    Minnesota => 88 losses
    Atlanta => 86 losses
    Cincinnati => 82 losses
    San Diego => 82 losses
    Arizona => 81 losses
    Tampa Bay => 80 losses

  8. Yes, Peraza is a very good athlete but you cannot expect a player who has played almost exclusive in the infield and go out and perform at the same level as a gold glove centerfielder. Given work and experience Pedraza could be a pretty good centerfielder but I doubt if he could do it at the level of Hamilton. Peraza needs to play in the middle infield. There are very few Ben Zobrist’s out their and it is difficult to learn all the nuances of routes to fly balls, reading the ball off the bat and etc. We already have had Suarez playing out of position all year and he is just now getting to where he seems more comfortable, but even so as it has been pointed out, he pulls up on a ball that he probably could have made a lot easier than Court.

    And you are right Phillips is a ball hog. I played with a guy like that in high school and any ball hit between you, you became tentative about going for it knowing that Mr Ball Hog was going to either run over you or cut in front of you.

  9. The mediocre peripherals are finally catching up to Straily over the last couple starts. If I were being generous, I’d give him the benefit of the doubt for being fatigued at the end of a long season and a higher than normal (for him) workload, but I’m not a true believer in the ‘stuff’. That same lingering doubt exists for me with Duvall. His .748 OPS post All-Star break seems more like his true self. I’ll take that every day from a 4th OF/backup IF, but Winker will be able to eclipse that IMO with very pedestrian power numbers and a good OBP.

    Is anyone else bothered by how much Chris Welsh has been talking up Dejesus lately? I mean, factually there’s nothing positive about his contribution on either side of the ball, so I really wonder why he goes to such lengths to shine him up. Give me Iribarren, ANYBODY over Dejesus.

  10. Peraza is an athlete but learning to play centerfield at the big league level has to be really tough.In my opinion the kid hasn’t been given a fair chance at all since he came up and I admire him for his attitude.You can bet others on this team would not want to play just anywhere.

  11. “Is anyone else bothered by how much Chris Welsh has been talking up Dejesus lately?”

    The Old Cossack was very frustrated when De Jesus did not make the 25-man roster as a utility IF coming out of spring training last season after a solid performance during spring training. I was equally enthusiastic when the Reds promoted De Jesus to the big club in June of last season. His flexibility (5 defensive positions, including every IF position) filled a need and his 87 OPS+ was marginal for a utility player with such defensive flexibility and making a league minmum salary. His offensive production this season was significantly off from his 2015 performance, but based on the repeated comments you referenced, I thought De Jesus may be putting things together again offensively. I finally checked and such is not the case. A .574 OPS for the season, a .542 OPS for the 2nd half and a .577 OPS for August & September are not even close to a good offensive contribution, even in a utility role. He does still provide a lot of defensive flexibility which is good, but De Jesus will be (or should be) competing for a utility role next season against some pretty stiff competition.

      • Defensive flexibility, but inept offensively. OPS .575 is terrible. needs to be removed from the 40 man to clear space to protect more players from the rule 5 draft.

    • I like what I have seen of Renda, and he had pretty good numbers at AA and AAA. If DeJesus is invited to camp next spring, I hope there is an open competition between him and Renda for utility IF. (Not sure if Renda plays SS, however.)

  12. I like the kind of player that DeJesus is, he seems to work hard, practices good fundamentals, and as a utility player he does have defensive flexibility and it seems like he knows his limitations. The issues come in that as a pinch hitter and one of the primary pinch hitters off the bench, he has come through occasionally but that is not his game. So the issue is not so much DeJesus being on the roster, it is how he is used.

  13. I hope some things get cleared up in the off season so we don’t continue to beat the same dead horse again next year.The BP issue and what to do with Cosart and the fixing of the bull pen would be a good place to start in my opinion.These 3 things would allow us to move forward with the rebuild and create some competition not only on the 25 man roster but on the 40 man as well.I have no patience when I see the same things happening on a day to day basis that prevent us from going forward.I am not even talking about wins and losses because over a 162 game schedule the talent determines for the most part what your record ends up being.I an referring to the constant goofy stuff that this organization continues to do on and off the filed that the rest of MLB just laughs at.Everything from how players are treated to roster mgt to how players are developed or not developed to how we deal with injured players are just a few of the things that aren’t acceptable.You can add to the list or make one of your own. but its past time to move onward and upward.There are several models to choose from even with financial constraints that we could use to rebuild this team.Nothing has to be created it just has to be copied but we just haven’t shown we get it and I really hope we start this off season.

  14. James, good post. Cozart and Phillips need to be moved in the off season. The Reds will not get much for either player. If Phillips won’t accept a trade he should be released. It makes no sense to keep him as he is blocking young players. He would be a disaster in the clubhouse as a bench player. The Reds may need to eat the $14 million. I hope Hamiton has turned the corner on his hitting but this more hope than faith. It is far too late but the Reds need a much better scouting and player development operation. In the last 10 years the Reds have drafted 3 catchers in the 1st round and one in the 3rd and none of them played a game for the Reds this year. They drafted Alonso with Votto at 1B. Ervin has done nothing following being drafted in the first round after a college career. The entire operation needs to approach drafting and development from a strategic prospective. Please explain to me why they gave a 22 year old weak hitting SS $7 million (Rodriquez) when the 3 SS drafted before him got half the money. My guess it will take 5 years to get things fixed even if they do things right which is no sure thing. I hope Dick Williams is special and surrounds himself with special people.

  15. The White Sox are said to be going into re-build mode and will be clearing some salaries off the books. They are keeping pitching Sale, Quintana and Rodon, but position players and relievers will be moved.
    What could the Reds package up and give to acquire OF Adam Eaton?? From amonst Duvall, Schebler, Herrera, Ervin, Stephenson, or Reed, or Garrett, or Travieso.
    Eaton has a contract that will pay him in ’17 $4M, “18 $6M, ’19 $8.4M and team options in ’20 $9.5M and ’21 $10.5M. A $1.5M buyout for each year. Next year (’17) will be his age 28 season. He played mostly RF this year rather than CF and excelled. Just what the Reds need to invigorate this re-build.

  16. The Rebuild that started at the All-star break has broken down and is stuck in the muck. Reds fans are now staring at back to back 90 loss seasons…..that happened last in 1933-34. The injuries to Homer Bailey and Devon Mesoraco are crippling. I had great enthusiasm one month ago, but the reality is 2017 will be a losing season and its officially time to look to 2018. We learned in 2016 that Joey Votto is still an MVP caliber player but the next most impactful position player is Billy Hamilton. I was wrong on him and happily so. Zack Cozart had an All Star caliber first half…but as his career has gone…. his second half has been woeful….10 for his last 75….2 homeruns since the All star break. While BP competed…he is still an overpaid average second baseman who has no business playing 2b in 2017. The Cozart/BP era needs to end after the first back to back 90 loss seasons in 80 years. Obviously, they weren’t good enough.
    While Tucker Barnhart is clearly a catcher on the 25 man roster for the next great Reds team…. he isn’t a top player and that’s exactly the problem with this team. Too many decent players…not enough stars…..Other than Votto and Hamilton as position players…….who are candidates to elevate themselves to 3-5 WAR players? Suarez has some pop and Adam Duvall has power but are they 3-5 WAR players? Scott Schebler looks like a nice 4th outfielder….but he is any better than that? On the pitching end…..other than Desclafani…there are no 4 WAR potential pitchers on the Reds roster for 2017 right now. Iglesias appears to be headed to the bullpen for his career so his ceiling is now fixed. Straily gives you everything he’s got….but he’s a 2 WAR guy at best. Our best hope lies in Finnegan/Lorenzen/Stephenson/ and Garrett….The Reds need an infusion of new players and higher ceiling talent targeting 2018 -Senzel and Aquino perhaps and the 2017 draft. And back to Homer….John Smoltz was put in the bullpen to rehab his arm and became the first player to make the Hall of Fame after having Tommy John. Serious consideration to putting Homer in the bullpen for 2017 should be given…..as a plan to ready him as a starter in 2018/19 and maybe his 2020 season if things go well for both him and the Reds.

    • Old-School: Excellent observations. Interesting idea on putting Bailey in the bullpen ala Smoltz. Bailey is no Smoltz so I do not think that would work. Braves had a stable franchise management at the time….with all the changes coming with the Reds I suspect Bailey would not be happy with a bullpen role. The Braves were good, in contention, and they needed a closer. The Reds are in a whole different place. Now if Bailey would do it with enthusiasm….

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