Titanic Struggle Recap

The Sweet Music of Victory Plays in Cincinnati

Hello, good old Reds fans. The baseball boys of Cincinnati took to the turf today for a titanic tilt with the beer-swilling Brew-boys from cheese country. Wily righty Keyvius Sampson climbed the hill for the boys in Red today. Often a reliever, the Reds found promoting him to starter was the “Keyvius” to victory today.

After Sampson exited, it was up to the relief core to fill the remaining 4 1/3 innings. And they did so admirably with four fine fellows combining with the young Sampson to twirl a dazzling shutout of the Milwaukee club. A shutout that owes something to the arm in the outfield, as well. Mr. Selsky, who spent most of the year on the farm in Louisville one hopped a perfect pea to the catcher Barnhart, nabbing the speedy Villar as easy as rabbit munches clover.

On the lumber-wielding side of the ledger, the Redlegs jumped out to a three run lead in the first inning via a walk and several singles, some of the infield inclination. The offense would go quiet for the rest of the contest, but the first inning scoring foray was enough to propel the home team to victory and extend their winning streak to four games.

A recent slump had no doubt left many local fans wondering if the quality play they’d seen since the second half began was but an illusion. Rest assured, readers, the second-half surge continues and while the wishbone C won’t be found in the playoffs this year, the play down the stretch at least allows you all to dream of October baseball in the not-so-distant future. For this team, the second half is a gentle spring day and songbirds sing the sweet sounds of victory.

Reds 3
Brewers 0

Box Score | Win Probability

43 thoughts on “The Sweet Music of Victory Plays in Cincinnati

  1. I’ve got to tell you, that is the best recap of the year! You have a wonderful ear for the nomenclature, argot and jargon of baseball.

  2. Thanks for this auspicious allocation of alliterative assertions about the Reds’ achievement!

  3. With victory number 61 the 2016 Reds can no longer surpass the 82′ Reds for most losses in a year. I have an image of Frank Pastore and Alex Trevino popping open the champagne with Russ Nixon tonight.

    Their legacy is secure for yet another year. If you can’t be great, at least be memorable.

  4. So what is the take on Keyvious? I do not see him as a long term piece but someone who can save possibly a year on Stephenson, reed, and Garrets clock next season. He put up solid numbers in AAA and has been decent in his spot starts, at 26 by Spring training his window is now. I cannot understand that managment thought Wright or Mellville gave them a better chance. Is Alderman really a better alternative at 28?

  5. How about Schebler putting up some decent numbers overall and very solid numbers since his 0-28 stretch. Gotta think he has out played Bruce since replacing him

    • Perhaps more importantly, he has outplayed Duvall by far since that stretch. I still think he might end up being our long term LF and not Duvall.

      • Schebler’s numbers since his callup: .280/.362/.447/.809
        Duvall’s second half numbers: .225 /.307/.416/.723

  6. Really if the bullpen hadn’t been such a complete and total basket case early in the season, this is probably closer to a .500 club.

    Even next year, I think having a ‘captain hook’ mentality and using long men to get to the 9th will probably could yield results. One thing with this batch of young starters is that they really don’t seem to be able to make it past the 6th.

    Offense is about to mid-table of MLB now at this point. I got to say the idea of Billy and Peraza being together at the top of the lineup could be interesting. Hit and run with those two could be really FUN.

  7. I like Sampson a lot. He’s a big, strong guy with a fairly simple delivery that Sampson should be able to repeat and gain some control that he lacks now. He was touching 96 on his fastball last night, with an effective change. I think he is a starter, not a reliever, and I won’t be surprised if he gets good fast.

    I also think that Bryan Price really likes Sampson. If Price isn’t with the Reds next year, don’t be surprised if Price’s new team doesn’t try to trade for him.

    • I think being DFAed earlier in the season may have been the best thing to have happened for Sampson professionally; it has had a wake up call effect on him.

      Since then, when given the opportunity to pitch as a starter in both AAA later MLB he has been close to lights out; and except for a small hiccup has been pretty good also out of the pen in his subsequent limited chances with the Reds.

      This is Sampson’s age 25 season. That places him 2 years older than Reed, Stephenson and Finnegan; but, only a year older than Lorenzen and maybe most notably, Amir Garrett who is yet to see MLB action. And to boot, he’s a year younger than Iglesias whose provenance and future utility is open to question.

      Given the Reds apparently deep pool of pitching talent, I can understand why the Reds might prefer to have a big power arm strikeout guy like Sampson as part of the back end of the pen. However given the starts and fits the Reds have had to date at turning this talent into functional MLB starters, they shouldn’t be in a hurry to push Sampson, a guy who is getting MLB outs, aside.

    • I don’t think Price is in love with Sampson. He constantly used ODorph, Simon, and Diaz in spots where a better pitcher was needed….not once, but many many times.

      • I am still puzzled how Wright, Melleville or even Moscot were better options. They could have used him in Adleman’s spot, I cannot see any reason to think there is more potential in Adleman an dthey missed a months worth of starts to determine if he could improve on a few decent starts last season.

    • Per Sheldon…

      Homer Bailey is scheduled to throw in the bullpen on Tuesday [today]. If Bailey recovers well, the club will see if it’s possible for him to make one or two starts before the season ends.

      • I was really hoping that Bailey wouldn’t be a question mark going into next season. I was hoping he’d get in around July of this year and get a decent dozen or so starts in. I wasn’t very concerned about the results of those starts (unless they were flat out brutal) but wanted to hear that he was pain free. That would have done a lot for my confidence as a Reds’ fan going into 2017. This latest setback is very discouraging and even 1-2 more starts before the off-season don’t do much to answer serious questions about rather or not he’ll be a productive member of the rotation in 2017.

    • He is making plans for another off-season safari to Africa. Not going to use a bow and arrow to hunt this time. He’s going to hunt Cape Buffalo with his bare hands.

      None on his elbow / biceps tendon, though.

  8. I like Sampson as well and would love to see him be a starter the rest of the year.Give him a shot to see what he has got.Seems to me like his minor league numbers were pretty good.Again to me it comes down to can a pitcher strike out major league batters and keep the walks down.He ran out of gas in the fifth which should be no surprise.

    • Part of Sampson’s battle for shelf space as a starter springs from the fact that his younger competition in the Reds org are by and large top 50 draft picks while he was a #114 overall. Iglesias and Garrett, both more Sampson’s age, are the outliers. However, Iggy is a $30M FA signee; and, Garrett was a 22nd round flyer taken on a guy committed to play D1 NCAA basketball. Same book different chapters.

      Sampson was signed out HS. All the other starting prospects except Stephenson and Iglesias were taken out of college. One has to wonder how Sampson’s stock might differ if he had done some college ball before signing.

      • Sampson’s stock isn’t as high as others in part because his walk rate is, and has frequently been throughout his career, astronomical. In the majors this season, mostly out of the bullpen, he has a higher walk rate than Finnegan, who has walked wayyyyyy too many people.

        I like Sampson’s stuff. If he could command it better, the Reds have something. Probably in the bullpen but who knows. He’s never shown the ability to command pitches for any lengthy stretch, but he is just 25.

        • Control has certainly been Sampson’s bane to date. However he seems to have cleaned things up considerably this year.

          He’s pitched so few innings at MLB this year, I’m not sure his BB/9 (5.59) rate is very meaningful or isn’t more than offset by his 9.73 K/9 rate. So, he is K’ing just less than twice as many as he walk.

          Just as an illustration, he walked 2 guy last night. They were 2 of the last 3 batters he faced when he obviously was running on fumes. That yielded a BB/9 rate for the night of 3.86. Meanwhile his K/0 rate for the night was 13.5

          However, at Louisville this year where he pitched innings in bunches his BB/9 was 3.03 against a K/9 of 8.95

          Maybe Stephenson, Finnegan, and Sampson fall into the same general category. They aren’t pitch efficient; and they walk too many. But then on then other side of the ledger, they strike out guys out at a high rate and seem to have a skill for avoiding disasters. These are generalizations that also pretty much fitted Johnny Cueto at this stage of his career.

  9. Great recap. You gotta love the combination of Lorenzen and Iglesias at the back end of games. Let’s just hope the Reds brass doesn’t fall in love with it too hard because one or both of those guys should be starting. Iggy hitting 98 on the gun sure was a revelation though!

    With full seasons from Mez/Homer/Disco, Winker in RF, and a solidified bullpen, this is a .500 team in my mind. With good health and some season-to-season variance there’s no reason to think this team won’t contend for the wild card next year, albeit in the second tier.

    With that in mind, is it time to cash in a few of our prospect chips for a splashy trade? Who would you get and where would you play him?

    • Agreed that both Lorenzen and Iglesias should be starting or at least be given a chance to compete, but I fear the Reds have proven that when someone has success in a role, they keep them there. Maybe it will be different under Dick Williams. Most, if not all of the starting pitching candidates would be excellent out of the bullpen. So pick the best five starters.

      I wonder if Iglesias’ reported desire to pitch in the bullpen and Lorenzen’s stated desire to be a starter will have any influence on the decision-making process. It shouldn’t, but it seems like an easy way out to give Iglesias what he wants (if that’s truly what he wants). I guess we will see.

    • Full season from Homer and Mesoraco? lol….cmon man? I suppose its possible in theory but so is hitting the powerball.

    • I am continually amazed with this fascination people have with starters. In today’s game it’s just as important to have good strong quality at the end of your bullpen. Both Iglesias and Lorenzen have shown two things, great strength pitching out of the pen, and a lack of durability pitching from the rotation. So why not lock them in to be your end of bullpen stars. We have plenty of other options to be starters.

      • I don’t know if we can say that about Lorenzen. The guy got mono and then suffered an injury while possibly still not at 100% as far as recovering from the illness. He steadily increased his innings in MiLB and is an absolute horse when it comes to his strength and stamina. I think with him, it isn’t a question of durability. The question is does he have the secondary offerings needed to be a starter?

        For the record, I think they will both end up in the pen and that they will be effective there. I think with Iglesias, durability is certainly in question in the rotation.

        • LWBlogger2 is exactly right about Lorenzen. The idea that he isn’t durable enough is unfounded. There is nothing to substantiate it. The effectiveness of his curveball and changeup will determine whether he will be a starter.

      • Why do folks persist in dreaming about how great of starter Chapman would have been when he was a train wreck starting at AAA?

        Caveat: Not that the Reds shouldn’t have taken a longer more serious look at Chapman as a starter;simply, it is not a slam dunk he would have been the ace so many seem to have pencilled him in as being.

        • OJim, I know your sentiments on Michael Lorenzen and his position the Reds have him playing. But don’t look now, expected at the top of next year’s draft is a top college 1B/slugger that is also a top college LH starting pitcher. Louisville’s 1B/LHP Brendan McKay, if the Reds select him, might give you more fits than what the Reds give you with Lorenzen. You know the Reds would view him as a pitcher/starter first over being a positional player.
          Polished college arms are said to be the norm at the top of next year’s draft.

          • If he is LH, no way they wouldn’t see him as a pitcher first, second and third 🙂

            I’ve pretty much reached the acceptance stage with ML. The opportunity is lost now; plus they have the likes of Senzel who should move through the system rapidly not to mention Aristides Aquino, the guy Doug wrote about today, who could be just a year or so away.

            Then there’s Friedl and Trammell maybe just a bit further back.

        • Homer is no sure thing in 2017. The Reds are not as bad as their first 2 months or as good as their last two. The Reds will lose 95 games this season. That record is how good they are. It would be nice if they made a 10 game improvement next season (85 losses) but that will be stretching it a bit. Getting to .500 (81 wins) in 2018 & 2019 will be good progress. The 2020 season should see them in the playoff conversation should the rebuild be successful. In the meantime watch the future draft picks and player development results to see if the Reds have learned anything about building a lwinning team over the long term.

  10. Word is that Oakland is going to release Danny Valencia. He’s 32 but .291/16 HRs and .940 ops vs lefties. He’s making 3 mil this year. They could platoon him in RF w/Schebler and he also plays 1b/3b. I can’t see the Reds paying much to a platoon/utility guy but he’d be a nice stick to have around!

  11. “The Sweet Music of Victory Plays in Cincinnati” just as sweetly as when you were a kid and heard the music from the ice cream truck as it made it’s way down the street.
    Lots of Sweet Music in 2017.

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