Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds settle for series split

A bobbled ground ball and a misplaced change-up put the Reds behind 3-1. The good guys then fought back to tie the game in the ninth only to see victory slip away. The Reds leave St. Louis having split the 4-game series. They return home for three games against the Chicago Cubs, starting tomorrow night.

Cincinnati Reds 3 • St. Louis Cardinals 4 | FanGraphs  

In his last start of the season, Dan Straily pitched six innings and gave up three runs. He struck out seven and walked two.

22-year-old Alex Reyes, the top prospect in the Cardinals system, largely held the Reds bats in check for six innings. Joey Votto bounced back from an 0-for-5 night yesterday with two singles and a double. On the double, Votto was hit on the chin by the throw from the outfield and had to leave the game due to profuse bleeding. In the top of the 8th, Adam Duvall drove in the Reds’ second run with his second hit of the night. Scott Schebler, batting in Votto’s slot, singled on a nubber to third base to tie the game 3-3 with two outs in the top of the 9th. Jose Peraza and Ivan De Jesus Jr. also had two hits.

In the bottom of the ninth, Blake Wood gave up a walk to Matt Carpenter, who then scored on a double by Yadi Molina.

The Reds were 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position while the Cardinals were 0-for-10. So blah, blah, blah, meaningless broadcaster narrative.

Update: Apparently Molina’s game-winning double in the ninth inning hit signage above the wall in left field on a bounce, which is out of play. Should have been a ground rule double and not driving in the run. The umpires left the field without Reds manager Bryan Price asking for a ruling or review. There were two outs at the time.

Update 2: MLB says that the hit was, indeed, a ground rule double, but that Bryan Price waited too long to challenge it. The MLB Network says Price took 33 seconds to leave the dugout. What took so long? What was the downside in challenging right away?

Final Thought: Yes, Reds should have challenged. Strange circumstances with not hearing phone from booth, might have still been too late. Don’t lose sight of the fact that the umpiring crew blew the game-winning call. It was easy to see where the ball hit. The umps have to know the ground rules even if the rest of us don’t. So don’t be mad at Bryan Price about this, the umps made the mistake.

From beat writers:

32 thoughts on “Reds settle for series split

  1. With playoff implications you’d think that’s a call the MLB wants to make sure is correct.

  2. What an ending to this game. Whew! If SF loses their game tonight and become tied with STL for the 2nd wild card spot, excrement will hit the spinning blades in SF and maybe in NY at the MLB offices. The ball off of Molina’s bat clearly hit the blue Mo. Lottery sign above the padding on the wall. Chris Welsh later read the STL park ground rules that said the signs above the padding are in play. But ESPN showed a shot of the signs and they clearly sit about 12 inches back behind the padded wall. ESPN SportsCenter said the signs are not in play.
    STL sports writer Eric Goold spoke with the umpires afterward and they said the Reds didn’t challenge in time. That is about as bush league excuse as I have ever seen. MLB will be looking into the umpires actions after the game. The whole review system revolves around getting the call right. The umpires shirked their duty tonight with such playoff ramifications at stake. This will have to be a major concern for MLB officials.
    If SF loses later tonight, tomorrow when we wake up, this game ending is going to be a major story in baseball. The umpires really blew it, then blamed the Reds for not challenging the call in time. The Umpires ruled that the Reds had to challenge within 30 seconds, but they had run off the field before the 30 seconds expired.
    Stay tuned. We haven’t heard the last about this game.

    • I doubt the Reds could protest at this point.
      Any truth to the fact the STL unplugged the phones….*tic*

      • Yeah, there won’t be any Reds protest. But MLB officials will certainly have to discipline these Umpires. They should be suspended and if any were in line to umpire in the postseason, then that should also be canceled. They terribly missed the call and then rushed off the field not letting any opportunity to get the call right to happen. Bush league umpires don’t deserve to be in the postseason.
        Did STL unplug the phone lines? They might have hacked into the phone lines to prevent any challenge maybe.

  3. There’s a much simpler solution than suspending umpires, protests, etc. MLB reverses the ruling and makes both teams come back out on the field…even if you have to flag both teams down at the airport. The play was clearly missed, everyone knows it, and such a ruling would have no long-term implications. It wouldn’t mean that games would be replayed if someone blows a call in the 3rd inning of a game in the middle of May. This is a game-ending play, thus nothing is impacted other than that play. The only precedent that might be set is the MLB can externally review game-ending plays and unilaterally change the outcome if it is overwhelmingly clear. The fact that this result directly affects a playoff race makes it completely necessary. There has got to be some sort of scenario in the rule-book that grants MLB executive power in extraordinary circumstances or else you have the ridiculous scenario we have now where everyone involved knows within minutes that a game was bungled and, yet, no one can do anything about it because…..there really is no acceptable reason. It’s just like the scenario a few weeks ago in college football with Oklahoma State. Within minutes, everyone knew that the refs allowed a play after the game had ended according to the rules. The rules literally say the game was over. But, does the NCAA grant the win to Oklahoma St after the fact? No. So, instead of just doing the logical thing and getting the call right, we have to suspend the referees and then pretend for the rest of the season that the team that lost won. If the Cardinals in any way avoid elimination by a single game (make the playoffs by a game or tie at the end of the season), this has to be a huge discussion in the offseason.

  4. This is the kind of stuff that helped push me over the edge to not following the NFL anymore. The replay technology is in place; it was clear what happened; and, the ground rule is clear. In any case where a run scores, if the umps don’t have it right; the replay center in NYC needs to step in and correct them.

    • I would add for those of you who do not follow hockey, that the NHL which uses a centralized review center like MLB, reviews not just every play where the goal is explicitly called good or waved off by the game officials but also continuation “play on” situations. If a goal is discovered to have been scored in one of these continuation situations, play is subsequently stopped; the goal is put on the board; and the clock reset as appropriate. If a game played at the speed of hockey can manage this, there is no reason MLB cannot review every run scored.

  5. Draft Standings after Thursday’s games:

    102 Losses- Twins
    93 Losses- DBacks, Rays
    92 Losses – Reds, Braves, A’s
    91 Loses- Padres

    Reds currently #4 based on haviong tie breaker over all involved. My prediction is that is where they will finish.

    Final series match ups Padres@DBacks; Rays@Rangers; A’s@Mariners; Tigers@Braves; Cubs@Reds

    Tigers and Mariners are still hanging by a thread in the AL WC chase.

    • As I understand it, the Braves-Marlins game postponed when Jose Fernandez was killed won’t be made up. Therefore, the Braves could finish a 1/2 game ahead of the Reds or a 1/2 game behind the Reds if they tied in the loss column when the season is completed. Because of this, the number of losses in itself won’t determine the final draft spots. You’ll have to count in wins too and use the complete record to see where teams finish in the draft race and determining the draft order.
      So technically, the Reds have the #5 spot now and Atlanta has the #4 spot.
      Reds are at 67-92, Braves at 66-92 which gives the Braves a 1/2 game lead over the Reds at this point with 3 games to go.
      That game postponement, while it won’t affect the playoff races, it will impact the draft standings.

  6. Even though St. Louis won tonight, Cueto was tough and won for the Giants keeping St. Louis a game out of the wild card. Cueto gave up 2 ER in 7 IP along with 11 Ks and only 1 BB. I still love that guy.

    • Cueto put the team on his back for 7 innings then Bochy performed his his usual managerial dominance to seal the final 6 outs of the game. I miss having Cueto to lean on in the rotation, but that’s the way MLB is structured to favor the large markets with big budgets. I’m also envious of the apparent impact of solid managing to provide that impetus to put good teams over the hump by Managers like Bochy and Maddon.

      As I wrote those two names, it just occurred to me that there is a commonality between the managers in SF & CHI that also extends to CIN! I hope the trend holds true as Williams tales the reigns.

  7. I’m not much of a Pirates fan, but since they close out with the Cardinals, you bet I am this weekend. Have Bumgarner beat the Dodgers and the Pirates beat the Cards, and finish this off Friday night.

  8. Adam Duvall should have known the ground rules, and Bryan Price or a coach should have made sure that he did, so that Duvall would know to throw his hands up when the ball hit the signage. That would have triggered both the umpires and the manager to take a look at it. Duvall said he didn’t know the rule, which is his own fault; would’ve taken him 15 seconds to learn them for every park the Reds visit.

    I’m pretty sure that replay would show that the umps didn’t stand around for 10 seconds, then activate their stopwatches for the next 20 seconds, then leave the field.

    I thought ground rule double calls were umpire reviews, not necessarily manager’s challenges, meaning that the umps themselves have discretion to look at the play even without a manager challenge.

    • It’s a lot easier to criticize Duvall from behind your computer screen. When he’s in the outfield, he’s told to get the ball back into the infield as soon as possible. Saying that he should have known the individualized rules is like saying a football player should know that a ball that is down by contact is a not a fumble, even if they can’t see the guy’s knee go down. They are taught to jump on the ball in the same type of situation.

      • No, a player should know the ground rules of each park. I bet Yadier Molina does, as did Pete Rose. It should be part of a professional’s due diligence, and takes about 30 seconds to learn Little things matter.

        It was mainly an umpiring error, though.

  9. Earlier in the inning one of the TV guys (iirc, Welsh) said the Cardinals were snakebit in the series… They should know as well as anyone, in the end the Cardinals Devil Magic will always come through for them.

  10. Can we just fire Price now and get it over with? He needed to be out of that dugout, asking the umpires to wait.

    Reds need to protest this game. Because LAST year Price said that running out a bunch of scrubs would ruin integrity of pennant race. This is much worse.

    I hate the Cardinals.

  11. The ending of this game is not on Brian Price. Or Duvall. Or any of the Reds. Or even the umpires. It’s on MLB. It is ridiculous that in that high energy situation that any one person is responsible to get that right. Duvall made the play. What if it turns out it’s not a ground rule double and he just throws up his hands and gives the Cards the game? And yes, Price could have been quicker, but in a loud, game ending situation, do the playoffs really come down to 33 seconds vs. 30? That’s not in keeping with the spirit of the game or even the intent of the replay rules. MLB has put this system in place to get things right, then abdicates responsibility by saying a game ending replay review requires an “immediate” request? That’s a recipe for disaster. This game probably won’t matter in the long run. And as a Reds fan I’d rather have a higher draft pick than one more win. But Giants fans should be pissed. And if this was an actual playoff game instead of just a “playoff implications” game I guarantee it’s handled differently. They need to adjust this system to keep this from happening again. Sorry Giants – you get screwed. Not a proud day for MLB.

    • Good summation. I also find “immediate” interesting. What is immediate? One second? Two seconds? 29 seconds? Using a word that is open to interpretation was sloppy and bound to result in a situation like this. Either get rid of replay entirely or use it consistently.

  12. During the early part of the game last nigh Chris was talking about Straily’s intellectual approach to his own pitching and knowing his own strengths and weaknesses. When Straily was asked about the decidedly RH lineup put on the field against him by Matheny, Straily had responded that Matheny must know that RH hitters hit much better against him [Straily], a RH pitcher, than LH hitters.

    That brought me back to the many absurd matchups used by Price over the past 3 seasons. Ugh…

  13. This is all Yadi’s fault. I don’t care about the umps, or Price. It was Yadi’s fault. We’re all clear on this, right?

  14. Not to rain more on the Reds; but, in thinking through the draft order situation at length I realized that barring games being lost this weekend to weather, with the Braves ending up with one fewer game played (due to the cancellation following the Fernandez tragedy) in essence the Reds have lost their “tie breaker” advantage over the Braves if the two teams end up with the same number of losses. In such a situation the Braves will actually have a higher losing percentage than the Reds by virtue of having lost the same number in one fewer total games played. That would place them ahead of the Reds on draft day.

    • Sorry I didn’t see your post down here as I responded to your post a little higher up. That postponed game of the Braves will play a little into the final draft order. We’re on the same page though.

      • Yeah, the light went on for me between the time I posted above and climbed into bed then when I got yup this AM, I made this amendment without looking above. 🙂

  15. Human beings make mistakes. No matter what we do we will never eliminate mistakes in this world. It is frustrating but it is what it is.

  16. Votto update: it took 7 stitches to close up the gash under his chin. I wonder if he has to go through any of that concussion protocol and if he’ll be available to play tonight.

    Vooto update 2: Votto is up to a .324/.435/.545 line with an incredible .980 OPS, 28 HR, 99 R, 92 RBI, 157 wRC+ and a 4.8 WAR. With 3 more runs scored, it will give Votto the second highest Run total of his career. He scored 106 in the magical 2010 season and had 101 R’s in 2011 and 2013.
    This is a big accomplishment.

  17. This is just a bad rule. If you are going to have replay at all, then you need to use it for any situation that has so many game changing and playoff implications. As a high school umpire (FB Softball but the comparison is the same) I understand that once I leave the field the game is over. But we do not have the luxury of reviewing video to make sure a call is right. To me this is something the umpires should need to stay and make sure the play is right. I have grumbled most of the year about bad managing by Price but this one is not on him. 10 SECONDS. No one in there right mind should expect the manager to be able to make that decision in 10 seconds from 350 ft where the play took place.

  18. per mlb rumors. Price’s contract has been extended through 2017, with a option for 2018.

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