With the Reds pitching roster a shambolic mess, Bryan Price was prepared to let starter Tim Adleman take a few lumps for the team tonight. With the wind blowing directly out, the stage was well greased for a painful, sustained pratfall. Imagine Price’s surprise (and relief) as Adleman shut out the Chicago Cubs for six innings on 79 pitches. For a moment, Adleman’s ERA was lower than Dan Straily’s.

Said lumps arrived in the bottom of the 7th in the form of back-to-back solo home runs. Adleman had clearly been fading in the 6th inning. In an imaginary world of functional roster management, Price would have lifted Adleman then. Instead, the Reds manager held off on using the bullpen until the lead was gone.

Turns out it might not have made a difference, as Blake Wood did the opposite of what one would call relief. Wood gave up three runs in two innings.

Some Cuban guy pitched the ninth inning for the Cubs, earning another dopey 3-run save. I watched so you didn’t have to. (I miss the days when the Reds were the organization wasting Aroldis Chapman’s talent.)

Cincinnati Reds 2 • Chicago Cubs 5 | FanGraphs  

Tim Adleman pitched really well. He struck out Kris Bryant on three pitches in the 1st inning. Then he struck Bryant out again in the 4th inning. That’s the probable NL MVP Adleman was handling. He struck out five overall, without giving up a free pass to the usually walk-thirsty Cubs.

There was a time earlier this year when I thought Blake Wood had pitched well enough to earn another major league contract in 2017. Now, with roster pressure being what it will be, I’d go with a minor league deal. Too inconsistent.

Brandon Phillips gave the Reds a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning with his 11th home run. Joey Votto just keeps on keepin’ on. He was 2-for-3 with a walk. His second-half on base percentage is above .500. From Jeff Passan (Yahoo): In 60 games since the All-Star break, he is now hitting .416/.502/.650.

Jose Peraza had two hits. In the third inning but was thrown out trying to steal. He’s now 16 for 23 in stolen base attempts. That’s a 70% success rate, below the generally accepted threshold of 75% to make attempts worth it. Have to hope he improves as he learns the pitchers.

Reds radio broadcaster Jeff Brantley went on about how “clutch” Addison Russell has been for the Cubs. His evidence for this? Russell’s 92 RBI. Contrast that with Joey Votto who has “only” 86. Note possible clutchiness gap.

Consider this: Russell has batted with 433 runners on base this year compared to Votto who has hit with 341 runners on base. Votto has driven in a higher % of runners and is hitting .361 with RISP (before his 6th inning single tonight) compared to Russell hitting .256 with RISP. RBI are a stat influenced mightily by opportunity (teammates).

The 2016 Reds pitching staff has given up 242 home runs, setting a major league record.

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.

Join the conversation! 39 Comments

  1. Excellent use of “shambolic.”

    This is my only comment on tonight’s game.

    • You have my permission to use it in your next book – The Bad 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds’ 2016 Pitching Staff.

  2. With a day game Sunday vs. the Pirates, the off day yesterday, I thought it was going to be a given that Lorenzen was going to be in for the 7th inning. Much to my surprise Adelman was out there.
    Don’t be all down on Bake Wood. He only gave up a double to the first batter he faced, not a HR. But I agree with you about Wood and 2017. Only on a minor league deal.
    Too bad that Chapman is no longer a Red, but at least we still get to witness the greatness of Joey Votto on a nightly basis.

    • There was no off day My fault, I was mixing up the Pirates are off tonight. Got my days mixed up sorry. That is why Lorenzen wasn’t used.

  3. How does your light shine on the road to Shambolah?


  4. Joey votto should be mvp !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      Joey Votto is cruising to the end of the regular season. That’s not setting his performance on cruise control; it’s downshifting and stomping on the accelerator. Has everyone noticed the performance of Harper, last season’s runaway MVP, during this season? Harper is currently 2nd in the NL with 105 BB and a lash line of .242/.377/.444. This falls into the category of imitation being the best form of flattery, except no one can match Votto in plate discipline, bat control and hand-eye coordination.

      Votto continues to maintain his superior 2nd half performance at the plate of .416/.502/.650/1.151 while the rest of the league leaders have maintained a less than superior, albeit very good level of performance. Votto has settled into a consistent performance of a .900 +- OPS performance for several games then continues to throw in a couple of big offensive performances.

      During the past 89 games, Votto has increased:

      .201 OPS from .765 to .966 & 2nd in the NL
      .110 SLG from .421 to .531 & 9th in the NL
      .089 OBP from .345 to .434 & 1st in the NL
      .100 AVG from .221 to .321 & 3rd in the NL

      There are 12 games remaining in the season.

      Votto’s full-season results of .321/.434/.531/.966 leave him:

      .023 OPS behind NL leader Murphy @ .986
      .003 OPS ahead NL 2nd place Freeman @ .963

      .066 SLG behind NL leader Murphy @ .597
      .039 SLG behind NL 2nd place Arenado @ .570

      .014 OBP ahead NL 2nd place LeMahieu @ .420
      .022 OBP ahead NL 3rd place Goldschmidt @ .412

      .028 AVG behind NL leader LeMahieu @ .349
      .027 AVG behind NL 2nd place Murphy @ .348

      As a baseball fan for well over 50 years, the Old Cossack feels truly privileged with the opportunity to watch Votto’s career unfold and flourish.

      • Every time a Reds fan or announcer hates on Votto, I repeat to myself “These are the types of fans that booed Johnny Bench. These are the types of fans that booed Johnny Bench. These are the types….”

  5. To me it is just incredible that in the last third of September the Reds can’t round up healthy bodies to send to the mound. Where are the rest of the guys who were pitching at AAA at the end of the year? Or how about some vets that finished the year in the minors on minor league deals and are already FAs? Its not or, or at least need not be, about 40 man roster spots. They have 3 or 4 guys right now that could be shipped to the 60 day DL to open 40 man spots bring other guys in.

    About the only conclusion one can reach is that they are too cheap (2 weeks at the MLB minimum is about $40K give or take a couple of K) or just don’t care to make the effort.

    • Homerun Hoover comes to mind right off. He’s already a sunk cost. Do they really care that somebody might claim him on waivers in the off season if they put him back on the 40 man now? Or maybe he has the minor league service time that he is already a FA since the minor league season is over?

      • Do you think that Hoover would be an improvement?

        • Probably not. But to hear Price tell it on his pregame radio Monday, he is flat out scuffling just to come up with able bodies.

          Smith is starting Tuesday because Sampson “did not bounce back” as well as expected from his short stint Saturday. Reed is now shut down. Iggy and Lorenzen only pitch an inning or two every other day. Finnegan is pushing an innings limit. Disco was pushed back for reasons not disclosed then pitched like he might be less than whole. Stephenson I dare say would be shut down or being used in relief if they had more bodies because he is pushing well beyond what he’s ever done in a season. Should I go on? 🙂

        • Point taken. JJ, where are you? Can you start a few games?

  6. The Reds set the single season record for HR given up.


    Shambolic sounds like something H.P. Lovecraft would’ve written.

  7. interesting that the Cubs and Yankees use Chapman exactly like Price and the Reds would use him.

    • A closer is used in the 9th inning by other teams!?!? All kidding aside I’m not sure if this is an apple to apple comparison. I believe the Yankees and the Cubs had/have other elite bullpen pitchers to help pitch before the 9th inning. Betances and Miller for the Yankees. Rondon for the Cubs. I think our best were Broxton and Hoover.

    • The Cubs had aspirations… this is from csn chicago after Chapman’s second outing, in which Maddon used him for 4 outs: The Cubs made that blockbuster deal while envisioning mad-scientist manager Joe Maddon unleashing a 105-mph closer at the highest-leverage moments, changing the entire shape of their bullpen and shortening playoff games. Except Chapman doesn’t like to get four-out saves.

      “I didn’t know that,” Maddon said Sunday. “Not that it would matter, but I didn’t know that. I was not aware of that.”

      At least that’s what Chapman said through translator/teammate Pedro Strop after Saturday’s 4-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners, telling reporters “it’s not my favorite thing to do, but that’s my job. It’s the manager’s decision. I’m ready to do anything.”

      I’m going to stir the pot and just say that it’s Dusty Bakers fault still for babying him. 🙂

      • I’d be surprised if he didn’t work more in the playoffs but yes, I saw this about Chapman in Chicago as well. There are reasons the guy isn’t used more. I mean, he has this routine that apparently also includes a nap if anything that Mat Latos said about the Reds is to be believed.

  8. Steve, I totally agree with your comments about Russell versus Votto as clutch RBI producers. Addison Russell is not close to Votto as a hitter. However, 21 home runs is pretty good power production for a 22 year old shortstop even in Wrigley.

    • Russell has 65 less plate appearances than Votto. And 65 points less on his batting average. Impressive kid.

      I dislike the Cubs, really dislike the Cubs, but they have my favorite player on it. Kris Bryant. Love the Reds, but they have my least favorite player. Go figure.

      • Are you saying Votto is your least favorite? Please tell me you are kidding or I misunderstand.

        If that is the case, then you simply have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Don’t get me wrong, I love Addison Russell as a player. He’s a phenom. He’s miles better than any middle infielder in the Reds system. I was making a point about the radio broadcast – how misleading their commentary was about Russell’s RBI total.

  9. Blake Wood confounds me. There are times when I think he is a Major League pitcher, then there are times like last night. Sigh…..

  10. The fact that the Reds don’t have a full, healthy staff right now doesn’t bother me for 2016, but it does concern me for 2017. If Finnegan, Reed, Stephenson, Sampson and Garrett will all be bumping up against innings limits, Lorenzen and Iglesias and Bailey will need protecting coming back from injuries, and DeSclafani will be running out of gas will a year of hoping for a wild card berth end in a disappointing crash of whoever are next year’s Simons and Adelmans and other replacement level pitchers? Shambolic is not a word I want to see in September 2017 recaps. Oh, and Joey Votto rules. Go Reds!

    • I think hoping for a wildcard in 2017 is going to be a pretty wildly optimistic outlook. I hope I’m wrong though.

  11. As the years pass, will there eventually be a mural at GABP honoring this pitching staff? From 2036 on, will they all stand on the mound while Scooter Castellini reads off their accomplishments (Most home runs ever!Never before have so many given up so much to so many) as the latest bobble head is unveiled? Will the Jumbo Diaz bobble head be reinforced with concrete?

    Will JJ Hoover eventually find himself in the Reds radio booth….a next generation Bob Uecker….. taking Banana Phone calls? ” Hey, JJ….I was there the night you gave up the grand slam record. What a thrill!!!!”…” Hey JJ you gave up a homer to Kris Bryant that was hit so hard it killed my boss….thank you, you’re the man”….” Hey JJ, my grandfather’s death bed wish was to see the Reds give up 9 home runs in an inning and you made that happen.”

  12. In the 9th, I heard Thom Brennaman say “You know I’ve been saying it for years, one of the biggest mistakes the Reds ever made as an organization was not making Aroldis Chapman a starter,” or something very close to that.

    First, did I hallucinate that? Can someone confirm?

    Second, has anyone ever heard him say that? I totally agree with him, but it seems odd that he would say that he’s been saying that for years when my impression is that the whole of the Reds broadcasting crew was going along with management’s plans, with a few small exceptions here and there.

    Maybe he meant he’d been saying it in private?

    • Well he has said a bunch of things, so it’s possible. He loves to play Monday morning quarterback instead of providing Visual description that enhances the game experience (his actual job) which he did years ago. The bigger point is Marty seems to think he has insight that others do not, without any training or having to put his decisions to the test. He is basically Skip Bailess at this point.

    • Yes, that is what was said almost word for word. Thom went into the history of the decision for a brief moment. But Welsh quickly checked him and said something to the effect that Chapman’s desire or non-desire to be a starter played a part in that also. Welsh also seemed to question Chapman’s desire to want to learn new pitches to be a more balanced starter. I was a little surprised by this comment. But it was the first time of actually facing Chapman in another uniform, and seeing him in Cubs blue probably brought up some disappointment in what they were saying.

      • Both Thom and Chris were also careful to remind us of the circumstances when Chapman first became closer. Ryan Madsen had been signed to close, but was quickly hurt and never threw a pitch in a game for the Reds. Suddenly there was a need for a dependable closer on a team with pennant aspirations, and both Chapman and Dusty Baker liked Chapman in that role. That doesn’t excuse the poor long term use of Chapman, but it does clarify that it wasn’t such a black and white situation. Thom’s comments seemed to have benefited from hindsight, but to be fair he and Welsh gave more thorough background on the issue and Thom didn’t just say “I told you so” in a self satisfied way. Unfortunately for this question, but fortunately for my long term sanity, I don’t listen to Thom that much so can’t say whether yesterday’s comments reflect his prior stance or constitute revisionist history.

  13. How could it possibly happen that Price is having trouble finding able bodies to put out there on the mound.This is September for goodness sake and we ought to have plenty of arms to throw out there.Get creative if you have to by throwing everybody an inning or two every day.While I am trying to look at things in a positive way to finish out the year because I believe we will be much improved next year,this is not little league rules regarding how many days off they get if they throw so many pitches.You have to wonder again about how something so simple can be made to look so hard.

    • Brian Price, creative? Think again. Brian Price is incredibly predictable in everything he does.
      He overplayed Cozart this year, and now he has probably ruined his trade value for the winter, as Cozart will likely not play anymore this year.
      His starters rarely go beyond 6 innings. And whenever they do, they almost always get in trouble. Sure, this over uses the bullpen, but for most of the season, he always played the one-inning bullpen pitcher game.

      Suggestion? Start Cingrani. He once was a starter. He may get fired up to do it.

      • Cingrani? I’m not one of the many around here that seem to want him gone but I don’t think he’s a future starter in any way, shape, or form. He has no reliable secondary offerings. A good starting pitcher really needs two reliable secondary offerings.

Comments are closed.

About Steve Mancuso

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.


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