Game Thread

Reds vs. Pirates – Sept. 18 (1:10 p.m.)

Welcome to the final game between the Cincinnati Reds (62-86) and Pittsburgh Pirates (74-74) in the 2016 season. The Pirates lead the season series 10-8 and are going for a 4-game sweep this afternoon.

Remember a few minutes ago when the Reds had won five games in a row? Well the Alt-Reds have somehow lost four games since then. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to doubt our favorite team will play in the postseason.

The game isn’t being broadcast by FSO. I wonder if FSO knows something the rest of us don’t. Question: If none of us see the game, does that mean it didn’t happen?

STARTING PITCHERS

Ivan Nova and Dan Straily faced each other just ten days ago. Let’s hope for a better outcome today. Nova pitched a complete game, giving up one run and six hits. He struck out six and walked nary a single Reds batter. Meanwhile, Straily surrendered seven hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out six Pirates. Pittsburgh won 4-1.

You want season-long stats? Anything for you, Redleg Nation, with a splash of league average added:

chart-copy

The pitching match-up is a contrast in how to get outs. Ivan Nova is an extreme ground ball pitcher, ranking #6 out of 78 starters in ground ball percentage. On the opposite end of the GB% rankings is Dan Straily, who is #76 out of 78.

Nova’s number is in line with the Pirates’ organizational philosophy to acquire pitchers with good GB% and teach them how to throw even more. The Cubs, Cardinals and Pirates pitching staffs rank in the top eight in MLB in GB%. As a team, the Reds rank #26. That’s not a good fit for Great America Ball Park (or any other stadium). Upon reflection, maybe the Reds should consider changing their organizational philosophy from the one that produced the most home runs in the history of history. Or it’s possible the Reds don’t have an organizational philosophy for pitching. Say what you want about the Pirates moneyball, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.

Straily’s lowish ERA is a product of a BABIP of .238. Even taking into account Billy Hamilton’s nightly magic act of turning extra-base hits into outs, Straily has been one lucky fella this year. Before you fall in love, note his FIP and SIERA for reality-based substance.

Nova and Straily are a bit below average on strikeouts. Nova does have one of the league’s lowest walk-rates. He has thrown 16 innings over two starts against the Reds without giving up a free pass. Straily is just a little worse than average on walk-rate. This is Straily’s fourth start against the Pirates in 2016. Nick Carrington wrote a recent post about Straily’s prospects for next year.

LINEUP

Today’s Reds lineup, with wRC+ added:

1. Jose Peraza CF (101)
2. Eugenio Suarez 3B (96)
3. Joey Votto 1B (149)
4. Adam Duvall LF (105)
5. Brandon Phillips 2B (92)
6. Scott Schebler RF (98)
7. Ivan De Jesus Jr. SS (51)
8. Tucker Barnhart C (83)
10
Evidence that you have to keep up with the latest offensive trends to have an accurate sense of how a player is hitting: In the 2014 season, only 11 players hit 30 or more home runs. In 2016, already 28 players have hit at least 30. In 2014, the entire league hit 4186 homers. Already in 2016, league batters have 5185 – that’s a 23 percent increase over two years ago with two weeks still to go. That’s also why a player like Adam Duvall, with 31 home runs, has a wRC+ of only 105. That stat is adjusted for seasons.

Infielder Centerfielder Jose Peraza leads off for the Reds. Ivan De Jesus Jr. gets the start at shortstop. Zack Cozart hasn’t played since Sept. 10.

BILLY’S IMPROBABLE RETURN

Cold water on the prospect for Billy Hamilton to return this year.

CONCLUSION

Any day the good guys can throw another pile of dirt on Pittsburgh’s lackluster season is a day full of promise. Go Reds!

4 thoughts on “Reds vs. Pirates – Sept. 18 (1:10 p.m.)

  1. If there is anything of interest going on with the Reds right now, maybe this is it.

    http://cincinnatireds.blog.daytondailynews.com/2016/09/18/price-injured-players-should-try-to-get-back/

    Per this Hal McCoy article, Price is saying that the injured Reds players such as Bailey, Cozart, and Hamilton need to be making a maximum effort to get into playing condition and back into the line up until such time as the medical and training staff declare them done for the season. Price referred to the need to establish and maintain “integrity”

    On yesterday’s recep thread, I commented that there seemed to be a feeling setting in similar to the feeling at the end of the 2013 season. By inference at least, Price’s comments would seem to indicate this might indeed be happening.

    • Here is a quote from Price in the McCoy article I cited above….


      “…..We won’t put them on the field unless they are close to 100 per cent healthy. If they’re not, I wouldn’t put them on the field. But we all should be striving to get to 100 per cent and to get back on the field. That’s a reasonable thing to ask — that we all try to play a full season.”

      It certainly sounds like he is virtually calling out somebody for lack of effort in rehab.

      • My personal opinion with respect to Cozart is that Price played him too many games this season, and Cozart should have had more days off. His status now is due to fatigue from his rebuilt knee. Price has done this and actually reduced his trade value by over playing him. Peraza should have been up here more and been able to spell Cozart (or use DeJesus). A classic example of the manager and the front office of this organization not being on the same page regarding the long term strategic goals of the Reds.
        1) Get Peraza ready to be an every day ML player (at least now he is playing- late)
        2) preserve Cozart’s value for trade (either by the trade deadline, now past, or for this winter). Overplaying him and having him end the year injured is a significant error by management.

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