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.)
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.