Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (102-57) 7 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (67-93) 3 5 0
W: Jake Buchanan (1-0) L: Josh Smith (3-3) 
FanGraphs Probability ǀ Box Score

The Hitters

There wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about until the ninth inning, when Joey Votto (who else?) provided some fireworks. One night after taking a ball off the chin and getting seven stitches, he crushed a two-run home run — his 29th of the season — off the batter’s eye in center field.

Ivan De Jesus Jr. reached base in all three plate appearances (two singles and a walk).

Jose Peraza hit a double in the bottom of the sixth inning and would later score on a groundout by Hernan Iribarren.

The Hurlers

Josh Smith gave as good an effort as you could expect in another spot start. He was perfect through four innings before giving up a solo homer to Ben Zobrist to lead off the fifth. The right-hander ran out of gas in the sixth, giving up two singles and a walk to load the bases before he was taken out of the game.

Only one of those runners would come around to score, as Tony Cingrani did a nice job limiting the damage with a groundout, a strikeout, and a pickoff (his team-leading sixth of the season). Smith’s final line: five innings, two runs, three hits, one walk, one strikeout.

Cingrani’s next inning didn’t go so well, giving up a leadoff double to Zobrist and an RBI double to Addison Russell.

Abel De Los Santos was awful in the eighth, giving up four runs (including Zobrist’s second homer of the night), three hits, and a walk. He recorded just one out. Given that he pitched most of the year in Double-A, De Los Santos just seems overmatched in the big leagues.

Ross Ohlendorf walked a batter, but got through the eighth without allowing the Cubs to further pull away.

Matt Magill threw a scoreless ninth. He walked the leadoff batter, but quickly erased that mistake with a double play ball.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

— Some big news broke before the game, as the Reds announced they’re bringing manager Bryan Price and the rest of the coaching staff back for 2017. You can read Steve Mancuso’s thoughts on the announcement here.

My take: well, I don’t really have a strong one. The Reds aren’t going to compete in 2017 and there aren’t any great options out there (and no, Barry Larkin should not be the next manager just because we all loved him as a player), so it doesn’t really hurt to have Price back. He’s not the greatest manager of all-time, but he’s certainly no Bob Boone. My only concern is that the young players get on the field everyday, which wasn’t always the case in 2016. If they’re still around, Brandon Phillips and Zack Cozart should not be starting everyday while Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera sit on the bench or play in Louisville.

— Recent waiver acquisition Patrick Kivlehan made his Reds debut in the bottom of the eighth, grounding out to shortstop. I’m not sure he’ll stick around, but he’s put up some intriguing minor-league numbers, at the very least. In parts of five seasons, he’s batted .282/.344/.470 with 82 home runs.

— Enjoy these last two days of Joey Votto, everyone. We won’t get to see his brilliance with the bat for a while.

Up Next

The penultimate game of the season is tomorrow. That’s a bummer. Tim Adleman (3.90 ERA, 5.08 xFIP) will make his final start of the year, trying to build off the best outing of his career on Monday. He’ll have to really earn this one, though, as Jon Lester (2.28 ERA, 3.44 xFIP) will be his opponent.

27 Responses

  1. David

    Well, let’s hear it for another year of Bryan Price.

    woo. hoo. Can he have another 90 loss season? Stay tuned.

    • Redsfan48

      It will be interesting to see what Price can do with a real team next year. Our bullpen to begin 2016 was a joke, and no manager could have saved that. But with a semi-decent team next year, it is Price’s final chance to prove he has what it takes to be a Major League manager. 90 losses might be a very important number, because I think that’s about the point where we know for sure that Price’s option will be declined. If we lose less than 90, there’s a chance they pick up the option, and I think if we go .500 or better, it’s a near lock that his option is picked up.

  2. ohiojimw

    For one of the few times this season, I thought the Reds looked like they couldn’t wait to get the game behind them. Maybe I’d feel the same at this point if I were one of them.

    • Shchi Cossack

      The post game conference with Price was even difficult to watch with Price bumbling and stumbling to find something positive to discuss. Unless Maddon calls off the dogs, I don’t see much of a chance for the Reds to with either of the final two games against the Cubbies.

      • ohiojimw

        No telling how Maddon will play it the next two days. He put the A team on the field Friday behind the AAA pitcher. I look for him to mix and match the lineup the last two days. Also I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lester on a really short pitch count Saturday. I think the Reds will have opportunity to win in both but who knows what line up Price will field or what their motivation will be,

  3. Shchi Cossack

    With one swing of the bat….

    Votto: .983 OPS => 2nd in NL & .004 behind Murphy
    Votto: .548 SLG => 5th in NL
    Votto: .434 OBP => 1st in NL & .018 ahead of LeMahieu
    Votto: .324 AVG => 3rd in NL

    • SteveRey

      And all that after having a horrible start. Must be one of the best 2nd halfs ever!

      • David

        Joey is really a great hitter. I still think he had an injury problem early that he was covering up.

    • DHud

      With 29 HRs and 94 RBIs, but something about takes too many walks and refuses to put the ball in play and bad contract and stuff….

      • David

        Marty and Tracy (Brennamen and Jones) on WLW were talking about the MVP on Friday (caught it on the drive home).
        Marty actually said that Joey should get some MVP consideration, and he would be a real candidate if the Reds were a playoff team They both picked Kris Bryant to win the NL MVP, and picked Mike Trout to win the AL MVP.
        Tracy even talked about WAR.

    • Redsfan48

      My only complaint with Votto is that if we are going to contend again in the near future (whether that’s next year or in 3 years), we are going to need Votto to play a full strong season. We can’t have our best player struggle so badly the first couple months like he has the past 2 years. If we even had the post-June Votto for a full season, he’d be a frontrunner for MVP again, and we would win many more games.

      • Shchi Cossack

        If the Reds were contending right now, Votto would be an MVP candidate.

      • Jeff

        Agree completely! Expanding on your numbers, here’s Joey’s season compared to all NL, all MLB, and all first basemen:
        NL MLB 1B
        AVG 3rd 4th 1st
        OBP 1st 2nd 1st
        SLG 5th 11th 3rd
        OPS 2nd 4th 1st

        For me, one of the best statistics about his season is the month-by-month strikeout rates:
        April 24.2%
        May 30.6%
        June 19.1%
        July 18.0%
        Aug 11.2%
        Sep 7.6%

  4. Hotto4Votto

    At least Price is no Bob Boone. And he’s brought the Reds some really nice draft picks over the years. There’s some positives…

    • DHud

      I doubt Price has much of anything to do with draft picks

      • Redsfan48

        I was thinking the same thing at first before I figured out what he really meant. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think he means that because the Reds played so bad in the years Price was here, we got high draft picks. Not that the manager actually helps make the picks.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Yep, what you said. Price managed teams have brought us the #11 (really top 10 due to Astro’s comp. pick), #2 and hopefully another top 5 pick.

  5. Shchi Cossack

    Mets fans are finally being presented with the good side of Bruce’s streakiness over the last 6 games:

    .500/.545/.1.150 over 22 PA w/ 4-HR, 1-2B, 2-BB & 1-SO

    Good for Jay!

  6. ohiojimw

    Biggest news of the draft derby overnight was that the DBacks win against the Reds loss which puts the two teams even in losses. Since the Reds hold the tiebreaker, they would need to win one more game than the DBacks in the next two days to fall behind them in the picking order.

    Conversely, because of the odd game difference, the Reds remain behind the Braves in the picking order despite the two teams having the same number of losses.

    If the draft were today the order would be Twins, Rays, Braves, Reds

    Even if the Reds lose out, they will need a loss by the Rays or Braves to get ahead of either of them in the draft order.

    • ohiojimw

      oops. confused by the backwards logic! the above should have read……

      Even if the Reds lose out, they will need a WIN by the Rays or Braves to get ahead of either of them in the draft order.

      • Shchi Cossack

        It’s hard trying to think and speak counter to a normal winning perspective. I hope this is the last season for a long time that involves such a mindset.

  7. Mike Baldrick

    Glad you ain’t the manager or we wouldn’t have seen BP have the year he’s having! Stick to writing, leave the managerial decisions to people that know what they’re doing.

    • Matt Wilkes

      BP won’t be on the next competitive Reds team. Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera presumably will. It’s pretty simple.

    • Hotto4Votto

      What a shame it would have been to miss out on the below average offensive and defensive season that Phillips is having. Really dodged a bullet when he turned down that Nats trade.