Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (63-88) 1 7 0
Chicago Cubs (96-55) 6 11 1
W: Lester (18-4) L: Smith (3-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good

The Bad
–Wandy Peralta was not good tonight: four runs allowed on three hits and two walks in one inning. The low point came when he was pitching to Cubs hurler Jon Lester. Lester was literally stepping back out of the box on every pitch, with no intention of swinging. And Peralta still couldn’t throw a strike. The next three Chicago hitters went single, double, single, and a 1-0 deficit had been extended to 5-0.

–The Reds kinda looked like they were sleepwalking at times again tonight. During Peralta’s bad inning, there was a little popup behind first base. It would have been a tough play for Joey Votto, but he misplayed it so badly that he never had a chance. Even worse, if Scott Schebler had just kept sprinting after the ball, he could have caught it, but he pulled up.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–I’m starting to think the Reds may not escape last place this season.

–Josh Smith started, and allowed one run on three hits and two walks in three innings. Coulda listed that under the “good” section above, I guess, but seems like a pretty low bar to cross if we’re going to start including three-inning stints by Reds starters as a good performance.

–Brandon Phillips did have a couple of hits, including a double. Jose Peraza tripled in the Reds’ lone run. Adam Duvall had a hit and a walk.

–I dunno, you guys. I’ve tried harder than almost everyone else to be positive this season, and look at the bright side of things. But I’m really ready for this season to be over.

I’ll still probably watch the last twelve games, though. (I have a problem.)

38 Responses

  1. ohiojimw

    I’m with Chad. Sad to see this crew slipping quietly into the night after playing very well for 6-8 weeks. Of course when the upper mgmnt doesn’t have enough pride or gumption to supply the field manager with healthy players (pitchers), that’s bound to have a ripple effect.

    It was explained tonight on the TV broadcast that it wouldn’t have been fair to have summons any more of guys who had been pitching at AAA at season’s and not originally called up because they had been away from throwing so long (uh, less than two weeks off several days back when this crisis became obvious; not to mention that the Reds had known for weeks there would be 7 games in 6 days because of the double header and in total 21 games in the first 21 days of September).

    I’m not sure which guy was actually putting forth this party line because I watch with the volume down and follow the dialog via closed caption. But anyway the other one of the guys then got on a jag about he’d bet if somebody called those AAA guys on the phone and asked about their availability, they’d have said sure they’d thrown a few times just in case and they’d be wherever with bells on. Then it took another turn. It was suggested that a guy with real gumption would not have been waiting for a call, he would have called by now to volunteer to step into lurch. What’s the old saying, it hurts too much to laugh; but I’m too old to cry about it?

    • Chuck Schick

      Jim…Does it really matter if they throw in the towel and lose 95 or go all in and lose 92? They’ve achieved their main objectives for the year in that they have a better understanding of who can play. I would use Jumbo Diaz every day I could as he has no long term value and if he gets hurt in game 157 then you’re no worse off.

      PS….I live 1 mile west of Wrigley and I hate weekday night games. Nothing beats a 10PM traffic jam.

      • kmartin

        I have an easy solution, don’t work so late that you get caught a 10 PM traffic jam.

      • MrRed

        You’re assuming he was working though…

      • ohiojimw

        It matters in several ways. Brantley made a strong statement on Monday night of how he thinks being part of a who cares mess like this often retards, sometimes quite seriously in a lasting way, the development of young players directly involved and even those throughout the org who may be watching from afar and certainly will hear “war stories” from their friends who are in the middle of it.

        He pointed out that these are young impressionable, guys who know little to nothing at this juncture about service time and draft picks but who seem to have competitiveness hard wired into their DNA and know instinctively when those above them don’t care about winning and may even prefer to lose a lot right now.

        Then there are all the decision makers in the community at large that decide if their companies or organizations will be sinking money into Reds season tickets and promotional events to use in their marketing efforts. How deeply do they want to be identified with an org and product that not only loses but looks totally disorganized and clueless in then process.

        Finally there are the fans; and, largely you, I and most of the folks who frequent this site don’t really count here because whether we agree or not, we at least have an idea about why the Reds org is behaving like it is. For the most part we are vicarious front office mavens. That’s why we are here. However the thousands and hundreds of thousands of fans who consider themselves just as invested but don’t get involved to the degree we are will be asking themselves the same questions as the business community when it comes to choices about entertainment dollars or buying team paraphernalia.

      • greenmtred

        For what it’s worth, I agree with both you and Chuck. The question is: Are the players really not trying at this point? Or are they just worn out and feeling that there isn’t much to play for? If they hadn’t had the extended good streak, I’d be more concerned, but, human nature being what it is, I believe most of them will remember that they’re capable of playing well.

      • lwblogger2

        It does it does and it does!! Exactly!

      • lwblogger2

        It doesn’t matter to the front-office and probably not to a lot of fans but it probably does matter to the players on the field. Maybe not everyone but at least a few of them want to win every came they think they can. Right now, they probably feel hamstrung as well. Losing is bad enough to a player but losing in part because you just don’t have healthy players and the front-office isn’t replacing them is frustrating as heck. Makes you not want to stay with the team. I know about these feelings first hand. Not in MLB but it can’t be that different than any pro or semi-pro environment.

      • lwblogger2

        And when I say “stay with the team” I probably should have said “stay with such a team” because I don’t want to imply that I play for the Reds. I’ve never played MLB or MiLB ball.

    • MrRed

      Jim, I can appreciate that “Do not go gentle into the good night” sentiment. But, the Reds made their roster moves purposefully and the guys that were pitching at AAA but not here were shut down for a reason. Tacitly, they’re playing for the draft pick now.

      • ohiojimw

        As if there is that much difference between #4 and #7 which is likely the range regardless of how they approach things?

      • MrRed

        It very well may be, Jim. I believe they own a tie breaker against everyone but the Phillies so they could be playing for 3.Your odds of getting a difference maker with the 3 pick vs. the 7 could be substantially greater. In addition to the draft pick, there’s the competitive balance picks and signing pool money to be considered. So, yes. Those extra losses may matter.

        I know that sounds cynical but the Reds are where they are. I don’t see them pulling out all the stops to win a couple of more games. Especially when it might serve them better to lose.

        You made some good points to consider above about the perception that tanking creates among players, sponsors and fans. But there are certainly counterpoints.

        Young players also aren’t so naive that they can’t understand that the organization is going through a rebuild and that they have an opportunity now to seize playing time. You better believe those young guys are going to bust it regardless of the team’s wins and losses. As an aside, I don’t know that I would go so far as to say that I’m seeing any vets going through the motions. The team is run down, injured and not playing for anything in the waning days of the season.

        Sponsors are going to be making investment decisions on a myriad of considerations. The final dozen games aren’t going to be a factor of any significance in those decisions.

        Finally, fans in general, are fickle. All will be forgotten once the Reds go on another win streak.

  2. jessecuster44

    I want a t-shirt commemorating the record breaking # of homers allowed this yr by the Reds’ pitching staff. It would be awesome.

  3. CI3J

    I’m not sure how I feel about the “leaning tower of Gatorade cups”. On one hand, yes, the season is lost and they are just playing out the string. On the other hand, there is still much this team could learn from watching the game being played on the field and carrying themselves with professionalism.

    This isn’t quite the Red Sox and their ChickenAndBeerGate or Dunn and Griffey with their ComfyChairGate, but I don’t know, something about this bothers me, like they aren’t taking the game seriously enough.

    • greenmtred

      Sometimes people act like people, though. It’s hard to be intense all of the time. Besides, building towers of Gatorade cups, leaning or not, helps develop spatial awareness, always a handy attribute.

      • Preach

        When I was in the military I used this same reasoning while using coffee cups. My Division Officer said chopping paint for a week would develop spatial awareness even more…..I quickly took down the coffee tower

      • greenmtred

        I think that he was wrong, Preach, but, circumstances being what they were, you did the right thing. Might he have approved of Gatorade cups?

      • CI3J

        A baseball game lasts all of 3 hours. If they can’t afford to devote 100% of their attention and energy during those 3 hours, maybe they should look into another line of work.

        I have no problem with “people being people”. But there’s a time and place for that. With a young and developing team, I don’t know if I’d be ok with them thinking it was ok to goof off when they could be focusing on other things to make them better at what they do. A coach could be pointing out how the opposing shortstop positions himself, or the way the pitcher is tipping his pitches, or any number of things that could be more useful than making a tower of Gatorade cups.

      • lwblogger2

        Not sure why, because I’m generally not very curmudgeonly that way but it rubbed me the wrong way too.

      • greenmtred

        3 hours or 8 hours, unbroken attention is a tough ask. I didn’t see the game, but it was evidently atrocious. Strictly speaking, you’re right, I guess, but maybe not entirely realistic.

  4. james garrett

    It really doesn’t matter as they finish the season but as a fan I would love to see some resemblance of an organization that knows the issues and actually cares.I have never got the feeling this year that the front office had a plan at all.We got to see a bunch of pitchers audition because of all the injuries and I think its safe to say we spent no money in the pen and just rolled the dice.Those were kinda some of the things you do while rebuilding but here we are the last 12-15 games of the year and Price is talking about not having enough able bodies to throw out there.Kinda points to not being aware or not caring doesn’t it?Still as a fan for over 50 years I can’t wait until next year

    • jessecuster44

      Not having Peraza play IF all the time was puzzling. Same with not allowing Herrera to play with the big club.

    • ohiojimw

      You speak to many of my thoughts. It is not like those guys they might have brought up late to bridge this pitching arms crisis were going to make much if any difference on the field. It is more about looking acting like a professional organization that has some semblance of a grasp of its situation.

      And in the process, they are pushing an assumed valuable property, Stephenson, to an innings pitched level beyond that forecast by about everyone, including what those with the team were inferring 3 weeks ago.

      Then there is Bailey. It seems to be shaping up that unless he declines to take the ball that he is going to be run out to start a couple of games in the last 10 days of the season.

      It won’t all seem so benign if one of those valuable pieces get injured as a result of the recent goings on.

    • greenmtred

      Agree with you about next year and agree with Jesse about Peraza and Herrera, though I really don’t suppose that I know the whole story. As for bringing up pitchers, I can only suppose that many of them are near their innings limits (right or wrong, the innings limits) and it seemed unreasonable to bring them up with nothing at stake. Not to mention service time.

  5. IndyRedMan

    Price talks about wanting to catch Milwaukee and then sits Suarez (.881 ops) vs a lefty. At the same time….he did preserve the only game we’ve won lately with 3 innings of Lorenzen/Iggy. Nobody else can pitch right now and nobody besides Votto can hit good pitching. Next year though….lets do it:)

    • ohiojimw

      And he might have at least juggled the order and put Holt who has around a league average OBP in front of Votto instead of Renda. Sure enough as if on cue, Holt reaches twice while Renda makes 4 outs (on 8 pitches by my count)

  6. Jonathan

    Being in South Bend, I don’t get a chance to listen to Marty and Jeff call to many games…but last night I did and was amazed at the lack of useful stats that were mentioned by the team. I swear Marty and Jeff think Russell is a better player than Bryant due to Russell’s higher RBI total. Crazy…I’m disappointed in their lack of relevant stats and what they use to judge a players value.

  7. WVRedlegs

    With 11 games remaining in the season, and with the tough schedule remaining for the Reds, they have an outside chance to snag the #2 overall draft pick away from the Braves. I wouldn’t have thought that was possible.

    1. Twins 55-96
    2. Braves 60-91
    3. Reds 63-88
    3. D-backs 63-88
    5. Padres 64-87
    6. Rays 64-86
    7. Angels 65-86
    8. A’s 66-85
    9. Brewers 68-83
    9. Phillies 68-83

    Three games separate the #3 Reds and the #2 Braves. Three games also separates the #3 Reds and the #8 A’s. There will be a big difference in the player selected #3 overall and #8 overall. It’ll be interesting to see how it all unfolds.

    • ohiojimw

      Here is an interesting take on the difference between the #3 and #8 overall picks since 2009. The total BWAR to date for #3 picks is 36.6 versus 24.2 for the #8 overalls in the same period. However deduct the highest individual BWAR from each group and the difference falls to #3’s total 12.1, #8’s total 11. The guy removed from the #3 group was Manny Machado (24.5), from the #8 group it was none other than Mike Leake (13.1). So, it seems like in a deep draft there may be a shot a higher ceiling guy at #3 but in year in and year out maybe not so much variance.

      • MrRed

        I wonder if using a larger sample size might show a greater difference in value? If you only go back to 2009 (8 drafts or 16 players in your sample), it might not tell the whole story. Plus, all of the aforementioned players would be very early in their career and thus would not have accumulated much playing time. So that too might create the illusion that there isn’t much of a difference in the value of the players. Given more time, we could separate the wheat from the chaff. Food for thought.

      • MrRed

        As an example, if you take the results back to 2006, just 3 more drafts, you add Eric Hosmer and Evan Longoria (both 3s) vs. Gordon Beckham and Drew Stubbs (both 8s).

      • ohiojimw

        I was thinking along the same lines. Ideally a person might look at a time period where they thought all the players had aged out, say a decade of drafts starting 20 years ago.

        A big thing with the group I looked at is as you suggested, wondering where the guys showing zero WAR are in the pipeline. Are they gone? Might they still break into MLB and do some good?

        Also while I’m no statistician or mathematician, it seems to me this is a situation where mode and median might be as fruitful as total WAR and mean WAR in getting a more complete picture.