2016 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Best Game of the Year

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Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (66-90) 15 22 0
St. Louis Cardinals (81-75) 2 6 0
W: Adleman (3-4) L: Garcia (10-13)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Outstanding start by Tim Adleman, who gave up two runs on four hits in seven innings.

–But the story of the night was the offense. Where do we start? I guess with an amazing 15 runs on 22 hits. Individually:

Steve Selsky: 5-5 with a home run, two runs scored, and four runs batted in.
Adam Duvall: 4-6, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 4 runs scored.
Brandon Phillips: 4-5, double, 2 runs scored, 2 RBI, 2 stolen bases.
Tucker Barnhart: 3-5, run, RBI.
Joey Votto: 2-4 with a homer, a walk, 3 runs scored, 1 RBI.

–The Reds got started with a couple of runs in the first on back to back home runs by Votto (his 27th) and Duvall (his 32nd). Duvall would add his 33rd in the fifth inning, a 3-run shot. That home run gave Duvall 100 RBI on the season.

–In the fourth inning, twelve Reds batted, and they scored seven runs on eight hits. Selsky and Barnhart had two hits apiece in just that inning.

The Bad
–Move along, nothing to see here.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Reds are pretty clearly the best team in the history of baseball. Baseball is fun.

–We had to wait until the final week of the season, but we finally had the biggest offensive outburst of the year.

–Steve asked the above question before the game. I guess the Reds prefer to knock the Cardinals out of wild card contention.

–Adleman retired the first ten hitters of the game; his seven-inning stint was the longest of his career. It’s fun when a Reds pitcher pitches well and the Reds are ahead 10-0 before the Cardinals even get their first hit.

–Steve Selsky is now batting .378/.395/.595, because of course he is.

–That was Brandon Phillips’ 14th career four-hit game.

–Seven different Reds drove in runs: Jose Peraza, Eugenio Suarez, Duvall, Phillips, Votto, Selsky, Barnhart.

As our buddy Wick said, this is the last Monday with Reds baseball for a long, long time. That makes me sad.

–go reds

55 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Best Game of the Year

  1. And to think 33 homers and 100 rbis and many out there dont consider him a starter in 2017.
    BP keeps proving the same…. He time isnt up just yet.

    • First drop the 100 RBI number as a selling point. I do consider him a front runner to start but he sub .250 avg with low OBP and high K rate have me nervous.

    • 20 of his HR’s were hit in May/June during one of the worst stretches in team history.

      13 of his HR’s were hit in 30 games against the Brewers, Rockies and Giants.

      • Are we now discounting homeruns? lol This was a lost season with few bright spots, Duvall is one of those bright spots. Can’t we just enjoy that?

      • I usually agree with you, Chuck, but a homer is a homer, to some extent, and, while I agree that the OBP is worrisome, he seems to be more selective lately (eye test). He’s got power and plays well in the outfield, so I’d figure that he starts until someone takes it away from him.

    • I’m one that has said I don’t think Duvall will be the starter next year. Schebler has been much more impressive since coming back from AAA, and at some point we are going to have to give Winker a chance. When Winker comes up, I think Duvall is the odd man out. Would not be surprised if the Reds try to shop him this offseason for that very reason.

      • And don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to hate on Duvall. I am definitely a Duvall fan, both as a player and a person. Duvall is one of the few players that truly plays the game the right way all the time. He always gives 100%, specifically running out ground balls (at least one of his teammates who I will not call out directly almost never runs out a ground ball). Bottom line is, I just happen to be more impressed with the performance of Schebler.

  2. Why wasn’t Schebler hitting in the 2 hole again tonight’s?

    Have to question some decision, right?

    BP saw 28 pitches in 5 abs, Joey only saw 24 in 6

    Trying again to stir the pot

    • I’d guess that Schebler was dropped in the order because the Cards started a LH pitcher but if a person sneezed at the wrong instant, he was gone before they saw him 🙂

    • How can BP see so many pitches and not get a walk? Did he swing at pitches outside the strike zone?

  3. I know 100 RBI’s is no big deal to the advanced metrics folks but to win games you have to score someone has to drive them in. I know that at the start of the season if someone had said the Reds was going to have a left fielder that hit 33 HR and drove in 100 we would have thought they were on something. The last time I looked at the splits it still looked like a good idea to platoon Duvall but LF has been non productive for so long I am just a bit giddy. I also would add that Barnhart has shown that it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to get Mez some work at first or in the outfield in spring training. The thought process there is JV doesn’t need to sit often but a day off from time to time wouldn’t be a bad idea and Barnhart has played to well this year to not get him some playing time.

  4. While I know Duvall needs to work on his plate discipline a guy who hits 30 and drives on a 100 is cheap and team controlled and fields his position extremely well starts for me next year. He has earned the opportunity to get better.

    • He will get better. This was his first full year as a starter. And I’m getting a bit tired of those who consider stats for young players a template for the rest of their careers. Good grief, do you not see what happens when some guys get regular playing time? Peraza, Duvall, Schebler, Hamilton, Barnhart, Suarez…

  5. I know one thing….100 rbis means you had good attendance! Not too many guys are going to drive in 100 in 120 games like Manny Ramirez or someone like that. A lot of guys can hit but they can’t stay in the lineup! His obp isn’t great but what about his ISO? He doesn’t spend a whole lot of time hitting singles! You advanced metrics people want to pick and choose but that seems like a pretty valuable stat and Duvall is up there! On top of everything else, he’s very good defensively!

    Schebler is decent vs lefties but I think Selsky has earned a platoon/pinch hitter role as well! They have Schebler/Peraza to back up Billy so they don’t need Holt. I hope BPs second half will prompt someone to try to get him over the winter but he probably wouldn’t go anyway? Still props to him for a strong 2nd half!! I’d still love to see Herrera play some 2b next year!

    Its seems like we match up pretty well w/the Cards this year….too bad we blew that 4-0 game w/2 out in the 9th earlier. If the pitching picks up and they can quit handing out so many gopher balls next year then maybe next year could be interesting?

    • Per @CTrent and BBRef data, Duvall is the 13th Reds player to have 30HR, 30 2Bhits, and 100 RBI in a season. Overall, this is just the 19th time it has been done by a Red. Votto and JBruce have done it once, Adam Dunn twice, Dave Parker twice, Johnny Bench 3x, Frank Robison 4x, Tony Perez 1x Regardless of how one values or devalues RBI as a counting stat, that is pretty select company for a player to find himself in.

    • “You advanced metrics people want to pick and choose…”

      Not even close to accurate.

      Duvall has been a 2.6 fWAR player, thus far. WAR doesn’t pick and choose. It takes everything into account.

      That puts Duvall as an above-average left fielder, overall. Certainly a nice piece to have.

      However, in 2 years when the Reds might again compete, is the 29-30 year old Duvall going to be doing the same things? That’s the question…

      • “Not even close to accurate.”

        I think you and I know he’s not concerned with being accurate, just being argumentative.

        I would say most people, even “metrics people” have already penciled in Duvall for LF next year. Nay, they’ve probably penned him in.

        If we’re only talking about 2017, there is no controversy yet. It’s his job to either lose or have someone else usurp him because their performance demands it. He has been more than adequate in the field and at the plate. If the former, I don’t think it would be too surprising since he still strikes out too much and still must raise his OBP. Pitchers are adjusting and he must too. If the latter, then we have a “good” problem on our hands.

        • Probably true that Duvall is the starter in left field to begin next season. I couldn’t care less about the RBIs, but he’s been slightly above average on both offense (106 wRC+) and defense. The 2.6 WAR is solid. Interesting splits for Duvall:

          April-May: .264/.298/.591 3.6% BB% 29.6% K% 129 wRC+
          June-Now: .232/.295/.468 7.7% BB% 25.4% K% 96 wRC+

          He was way more productive overall the first two months, but his walk and strikeout rates were so bad it was hard to see him keeping that pace.

          He’s been roughly average since June with a better BB% and K%. Those numbers need to improve more, but the power is certainly legit. If he is a 2.5-3 WAR guy for the next three years, I’d take it, though the Reds obviously need to play the best two between Duvall, Schebler, and Winker. They have time to figure that out. Even if Duvall becomes a 350 PA player, his power should add some value.

        • I wasn’t really trying to be argumentative….just supporting Duvall. He makes next to nothing and there is calls on here for him to be traded already. If we don’t know exactly what we have then how do they know?

      • I will argue til I’m blue in the face about some of these stats but ISO seems to have a purpose. I see many of you guys talk about hitters BABIP or pitchers batt avg allowed on balls in play. You do realize that their ability plays into that…..It.is.not.luck

        Cozart sucked with his BABIP 2 years ago because his swing was flawed and he popped up 2 balls almost every game. That was not a coincidence. Straily’s low batt avg against isn’t either. The guy doesn’t put many balls down the middle of the plate that they can square up. That’s not luck either which negates much of that stupid stat. Rockets = hits….Flares = out….more often then not

        • As for BABIP, a lot of it really does come down to luck and in pitchers’ cases, the defense playing behind them. Yes, there are some pitchers that regularly outperform the average BABIP but they are very few. There are certain hitters who outperform the average BABIP and they are relatively few (not as rare as pitchers). Of course batted ball profile for both pitchers and hitters can play into it but even some of that is luck. There are pitches that are bad that a hitter just misses. There are the occasional good pitches that a hitter somehow barrels up. Sure, there are outliers and in Straily’s case, I think he deserves the chance to show that he may be an outlier. In general though, BABIP beyond about 1 standard deviation from the average are indeed mostly luck induced.

  6. To answer Steve’s question: I’d go for the #3 pick. Bask in last night’s glory and take our lumps for the rest of the season.

    • Ya, I would too. Reds have already shown in the second half that they are at least an average/ slightly below average team. When the starting pitching improves, they might be in a position to contend for a while card spot. I understand the players always want to win but in this case I think losing these last couple of games might be more beneficial than not.

  7. Mlb trade rumors was estimating that Mark Trumbo would receive for years and approximately $50 million in free agency. His profile as a hitter is quite similar to Duvall— lots of power and strikeouts but a low on base percentage. Duvall doesn’t possess quite as much power but he provides additional value with his above average defense.

    For those who are not sold on him as a starter, I would think this trade value would be significant, especially when packaged with Cozart.

    • Duvall doesn’t have much of a track record, though, and Cozart has tailed off dramatically, due at least in part to injury, so I’m not sure the return package would be anything to get excited about, and Duvall could easily improve his plate discipline and be a valuable Red.

  8. The Brew Crew always seems to resuscitate the Reds bats with a little shot of PEO’s (Performance Enhancing Opponent) that carries them through for a series or two.

    Aquiring the #2 or #3 pick in the rule 4 draft is nothing more than a consulation prize. No real Reds fan would ever want the Reds to lose any game, especially against a division rival (and those division rivals seem to be multiplying). If the Reds have to settle for a top 10 pick in the rule 4 draft by crushing the Birds and Cubbies in the final two serioes, have no mercy and take no prisoners!

    Now if the Redfs end the season with a 6 game skid and get the #2 pick in the rule 4 draft, make it another superior, impact player and march to the 2018 season.

  9. The Reds would have had at least 2 players with 100 rbi’s if Jay Bruce had not been traded in July to the Mets.
    And if they had kept Todd Frazier and not traded him for Schebler, Peraza, etc, they could have had THREE guys with 100 rbi’s.

    And they still would have likely finished in last place, because their pitching stunk on ice this year.
    I don’t dismiss Duvall’s results at all, and he deserves to be considered the starting LF for 2017, until he plays himself out of that position. But the Reds continued problem and impediment to winning is PITCHING. Their pitching stinks, and will likely continue to stink into 2017.
    Peraza should not be played anymore in the outfield, unless it is some weird double switcheroo. He should be the Reds starting shortstop for 2017.

    I would not draw too many conclusions from one game against the Cardinals, where their pitching was frankly awful, and they look like a bunch of tired guys going through the motions.
    The Cardinals are a team that is frankly about to fall off the cliff. They could give the Reds and Brewers a run for last place next year.

  10. After last night’s game is admittedly a very good time to look at these particular statistics, but guess which MLB team, since the All-Star break is …

    #1 in average (.279)
    #2 in OBP (.340)
    #3 in stolen bases (.66)
    #3 in hits (638)
    #5 in OPS (.765)
    #5 in RBI (302)

    Significantly, in the wake of these lofty numbers, the homer ranking is considerably lower (26th).

    It’s still my contention that the primary weakness from a non-pitching standpoint is the Reds lack impact players other than Votto (although I think Hamilton and to some degree Peraza and Duvall have the potential to develop into impact players). I think of impact players as ones who can make a significant difference in a game every time up.

    Of course, pitching remains the huge weakness. Number one priority for the offseason has to be finding at least one relief pitcher who can reliably pitch the late innings — maybe or maybe not a closer. Plus, we’ve learned all we need to know about Ohlendorf, Jumbo Diaz and Blake Wood. They can go. Cingrani would be in that list if he wasn’t lefthanded.

    This year they had Alfredo Simon, John Lamb, Cody Reed and Jon Moscot start a significant number of games with a combined won-loss record of 3-24. Change that somehow for 2017 and you’re considerably closer to .500 perhaps.

    • Cingrani being left handed shouldn’t matter. He struggles with either handed

  11. If I get a vote, I would rather knock the Cardinals out of the playoffs. That may be petty and spitting sat yourself, because that #3 pick would be pretty nice, but I can’t help it. Do not like the Cardinals.

  12. Wacca 2015 = 3.38 era & .236 batt avg against
    2016 = 4.93 and .288

    Garcia 2015 = 2.43 & .225…..6 hrs allowed in 129 ip
    2016 = 4.67 & .268…..26 hrs allowed in 171 ip

    That’s a crazy drop off? I still think Wacca could be a great pitcher and it would be nice if the Reds could ever get their hands on him! Garcia is just too brittle.

    Adleman on the other hand is at 3.90! The guy has marginal stuff at best but I’ve never seen a more fearless pitcher! I still don’t really think he has much value but maybe they could keep him in Lville next year as insurance.

    • Why would you say Adleman has little value? He gets people out for Christ’s sake. You are stuck in the bygone radar gun era. Wake up and get off the MPH train!

  13. ALERT – ALERT – ALERT: VOTTO UPDATE AHEAD…

    Joey Votto continues to crush NL pitching heading into the final 6 games of the regular season. Votto once again leads the NL with 108 BB.

    Votto continues to maintain his superior 2nd half performance at the plate of .409/.498/.655/1.154, 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 95 games, Votto has increased:

    .209 OPS from .765 to .974 & 2nd in the NL
    .118 SLG from .421 to .539 & 8th in the NL
    .090 OBP from .345 to .435 & 1st in the NL
    .100 AVG from .221 to .321 & 3rd in the NL

    There are just 6 games remaining in the season.

    Votto’s full-season results of .321/.435/.539/.974 leave him:

    .013 OPS behind NL leader Murphy @ .987
    .002 OPS ahead NL 2nd place Freeman @ .972

    .057 SLG behind NL leader Murphy @ .596
    .032 SLG behind NL 2nd place Arenado @ .571

    .016 OBP ahead NL 2nd place LeMahieu @ .419
    .021 OBP ahead NL 3rd place Goldschmidt @ .414

    .029 AVG behind NL leader LeMahieu @ .350
    .026 AVG behind NL 2nd place Murphy @ .347

    This is the 2nd consecutive season where Votto has resurrected a depressed, early-season performance with a dominating, crushing 2nd half performance and Votto is out-performing the rest of the league while playing at age 33 with no sign of any regression at the plate. The only thing missing in Votto’s offensive results at the plate is a supporting cast. Votto can help elevate the performance of players around him, but the other players in the lineup really can’t help elevate Votto’s performance. The Reds still sorely lack superior or even above average on-base skills beyond Votto.

    • Hopefully Senzel, Winker, and Herrera can change that! I’m interested in what Herrera can do next year! He’s not a hacker and he has a nice compact swing!
      Duvall drew a total of 13 walks from April-June but 25 walks so far from July-September. Suarez tries to work the count as well. No disrespect intended to BP or Cozart but once the hackers are gone then I think the offensive culture will start to quickly turn around!

      • There are concerns in some circles that Herrera’s shoulder injury may require surgery this off-season. If that is the case, scratch him for most of 2017 and it gives reason to the notion that BP will be on the roster next year.

  14. A beat down of the Cardinals like last night is always nice, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the overall picture. A #2 or #3 overall pick in next year’s draft should mean more than a few wins at the end of this lost season.
    Cardinals are now 1 game behind SF for the 2nd wild card spot. The win moved the Reds draft spot down from tied for 3rd to tied for 5th spot.
    One thing that is evident and was on display last night is that the Cardinals are in for a serious overhaul this winter. They won’t have any Rebuild binder non-sense like we have with Walt Jocketty. They will go out and obtain some serious talent to contend with the Cubs. The Pirates will have to rebuild their pitching staff but have several young arms at the ready for next year.
    The talent the Reds have amassed by liquidating most of their high salary players for payroll relief alone isn’t going to be enough to propel the Reds back into the contending discussion anytime soon. The Reds need to supplement their roster by trading for 1 or 2 more and/or better offensive players than what they already have at a couple of positions.

    • Well I’m not sure what they can do to lose? Price basically gave away Fridays game vs Milw. He leaves a fatigued pitcher in too long who just got pushed back because he was fatigued and then follows that up w/Cingrani w/the bases loaded. Poor Jose Fernandez went w/the 14th pick so they’ll be plenty of players that can help wherever they pick.

    • Unless the Reds lose 5 or all 6 of their remaining games, their chances of getting to #3 let alone #2 are not very good; and even then the odds are long against them for #2.

      A big piece of the puzzle is that the Padres and Dbacks finish with 3 games versus each other. So it is unavoidable that in the last weekend there will be 3 losses accrued among those two teams with the DBacks already at 91 losses and padres at 90, both with 6 total games to play.

      And as if it wasn’t complicated enough, the Rays went to 91 down last with 6 to play, all on the road. If they should manage manage to go 3-3 over those 6, they’ll finish at 94 down. So realistically, they are probably going to finish with at least 95 loses.

      So, even with the tiebreaker to their favor the Reds are likely to need 95 losses to be in the conversation for #3, let alone #2.

  15. I like Adam Duvall a lot. I like the way he plays the game. I like his commitment to his craft, offensively and defensively. I like him as a #5/#6 hitter in the lineup. I think he has worn down physically toward the end of his 1st major league season and Duvall also changed his plate approach in the middle of the season.

    Prior to last night’s game:

    .289/.314/.691 for May => .402 ISO; .025 OBP above AVG; 2.0% BB%
    .229/.271/.541 for June => .312 ISO; .042 OBP above AVG; 6.0% BB%
    .238/.316/.429 for July => .191 ISO; .078 OBP above AVG; 9.5% BB%
    .253/.343/.460 for August => .207 ISO; .090 OBP above AVG; 9.8% BB%
    .179/.228/.333 for September => .154 ISO; .049 OBP above AVG; 6.6% BB%

    Duvall has a off season coming up to reset, recuperate and improve his strength and stamina. I have no doubt he will be as fully committed this off season as he was last off season.

    What I saw from Duvall this season was a player who ambushed the NL, defensively and offensively, after a full commitment during last off season to make significant adjustments in order to succeed at the major league level. The ambush worked, every bit as successfully as Little Big Horn. Duvall was smart and savy enough to know that pitchers were not going to allow him to destroy their careers, but Duvall rode that tidal wave to the beach, before Duvall committed to making a major adjustment in his plate approach DURING the season. That adjustment seems to have begun around the middle of June. Such major adjustments during the season are hard and frought with pitfalls, but his 9+ BB% during July and August speaks to his commitment. The improvement in his AVG in August speaks to his results. Then the tank just ran dry after a long, eventful season for Adam Duvall.

    After another busy off season, I look for Adam Duvall to put up a .250+ AVG next season with a .200+ ISO and league average BB%. That’s good for an .800+ OPS and that plays at the major league level. When that is combined with Schebler’s performance in the other corner OF position for 2017, the Reds are set in the OF until reenforcements arrive and good decisions to have await to be made.

    This may be sheer fantasy, but Duvall and Schebler have earned their shot as starting corner OF in 2017 until they prove otherwise.
    .

    • I agree. It shows that you can’t make snap judgments like some were inclined to make on Schebler early in the season. Another point to consider: It looks like the Reds got two starting players for Todd Frazier. Good trade!

      If the 2017 season started tomorrow, Selsky would make the team as a reserve outfielder. He’s opened some eyes with his performance this month. Winker probably needs to wait until sometime in 2017 so his wrist can fully heal and he can begin to show some extra-base power.

    • Only two OF’ers in NL with +30 HR & +100 RBI: Matt Kemp (-0.2 WAR) and Adam Duvall (+3.2 WAR). Not bad for a supplemental player in a trade.

    • The way I would put it is that the jobs are theirs until somebody steps up and takes it away from them based on actual performance versus prospect status and projected ceiling

      Perhaps that might be Winker as soon as some time in 2017 if he exhibits a return of his previous power performance at AAA first. Maybe it would be Aquino as soon as 2018. Or maybe it is somebody we’ve not given a thought to or who isn’t even in the org yet.

  16. The winning a game or higher draft pick question is rhetorical. I’m not sure, but some seem to think it isn’t and you have a choice.
    Players play to win. You aren’t telling pitchers to groove one, or hitters to strikeout.
    So stop with this “it’s screwing our draft pick up”

    If Price puts the Dorph in the 9th inning with a 1 run lead then…. oh wait.

  17. Schebler & Suarez hitting #1 & #2 in front of Votto for tonight’s game against the Birds. Peraza sitting with De Jesus playing SS. I’m looking forward to see what the top of the order does against the Wainwright tonight.

    • Do you think sitting Peraza is a bit of a tanker? The thought certainly crossed my mind. So far the results of Prices’s pregame presser aren’t appearing on Twitter; but, I’ve seen no hint of illness or injury involving Peraza.

    • Why would Price sit Peraza tonight? This is what I really wonder about Brian Price, regarding his policy committment to player development for the future. Where is the Front Office on this? Why does there seem to be so little coordination between the Front office and the Head coach.
      Unless Peraza has some nagging injury that we don’t know about, he should play all the remaining games at SS.

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