And so we’ve made it. Game 162. It was a long, bumbling, fumbling trip from April to now but it happened just the same. Hopefully the Reds can finish up  strong tonight by picking up a loss and maybe taking the #2 draft pick.

Who ever said the end of the season wasn’t going to be exciting for the Reds?

Starting Pitchers

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By the numbers, today’s pitching matchup looks like a bit of a mismatch. Kyle Hendricks has been quietly very, very good for the Cubs, while Robert Stephenson has been all over the place in his limited starts for the Reds.

Hendricks is 5-1 in his last six outings, giving up just six runs in 39.0 innings and striking out 39 as well. Very much a ground ball pitcher, Hendricks well by managing contact and keeping hitters from getting the ball up in the air, which is just all the more dangerous at the windy Wrigely field.

Stephenson, however, has struggled mightily in his five September starts. The young pitcher has given up 19 runs in 21.0 innings, including seven home runs and 10 walks in that time span. Hopefully Stephenson can figure it out over the off-season, but for the time being, the whole Major League pitcher bit isn’t coming together for him.

Starting Lineups

Cubs Reds
1. Dexter Fowler (CF)
2. Kris Bryant (3B)
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
4. Ben Zobrist (2B)
5. Addison Russell (SS)
6. Jason Heyward (RF)
7. Jorge Soler (LF)
8. Willson Contreras (C)
9. Kyle Hendricks (P)
1. Jose Peraza (SS)
2. Ivan De Jesus (2B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Scott Schebler (CF)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Tony Renda (RF)
9. Robert Stephenson (P)

Fun Tidbits from Twitter

Waxing Poetic

There’s always a moment when the air crispens to that fall temperature and the leaves start to fall that I’m reminded of baseball’s impending end. This year it happened at the start of the Cardinals series earlier this week.

To play 162 games and end up in the bottom third of the league is discouraging. It hits the point where I as a fan must prioritize other things (homework, grocery shopping, Netflix) over Reds baseball, which isn’t how the dynamic of fandom is supposed to work. Yes, I have my own life, but Reds baseball is supposed to be at the middle of it and for the past couple years it hasn’t.

Is that  a reflection on me? Probably. Am I going to say it’s a reflection on the poor, poor state of the team instead? Absolutely. The Reds are rebuilding or rebooting or re-whatever-other-buzzword-is-readily-available and it might end up working but right now it doesn’t feel that way. There’s no excitement, no sense of urgency.

And so, as we stand here at game 162, we as fans and the Reds as a team should consider for a moment what we want out of this relationship. Do we want to be frustrated all the time? Do we want this rotating cast of characters that often seems devoid of personality? Or do we want to take pride in this team, win or lose, and when the fall air starts to crispen, instead of any old jacket, we as Reds fans put on a Reds hoodie because that’s all we know how to wear anymore.

Concluding Thoughts

That last little section is kind of weird, I’m not sure why I wrote that. Regardless, this is the end and it’s been another fun ride with all of you, part of Redleg Nation. I know the game thread crew has enjoyed making this little posts our own over the course of the season, and I at least look forward to doing it again come April. Thanks Nation, never change.

Go Reds

Join the conversation! 18 Comments

  1. All the games being played simultaneously, the WC chases and draft order derby make this seem like the last day of the (world) football season! Here is my conundrum. If the Reds move up in the draft order is that promotion or is that relegation? 🙂

  2. Finally, tomorrow begins a very interesting period for this rebuild/retool/refurnish Reds. Many “if’s” in the horizon, the outcome of which will set the success or not of this club in the next five years or so. Are Bailey and Mesoraco ever return to action? Are the young arms to perform as expected? Is the front office to get rid of the last remaining vets? Can’t hardly wait!

  3. It may not mean anything, but I still want to end the season by beating the stupid Cubs

  4. One more chance to watch JV hit!! I’ve not seen a better one in a Reds uniform (watching since approx. ’67).

  5. It seems there is a clear split among Reds fans who are optimistic and pessimistic about the future based on the results of this season. If I go based on the talent and, more importantly, the organizational make-up of the Reds, I’m slightly on the pessimistic side. But, if I go solely on the results of this season, I’m definitely on the optimistic side. I’m waiting for someone on here to write an article with the headline: 2016 was a successful season. I think in many ways it has been. Every major outlet seemed to have the Reds losing between 95 and 100 games and that was with the full roster completely intact. Instead, they will (marginally) exceed expectations by losing fewer than 95 games. And, that is with arguably the worst bullpen in the history of baseball, a pitching staff completely decimated by injuries for the first two months of the season, the loss of one of your key offensive pieces (Mesoraco…again) for the entire year, etc. We have been a .500 team (maybe even a winning one after today) post-All Star break and that with a lot of utility-type players filling spots for much of September. Are we going to be a good team next year? Probably not, but I have more reason to think so based on how we’ve played this year. Watching the team this year, especially in the second half, gives me reason to believe the rebuild will not be as long as we thought and, when you are openly in rebuild mode, I think that constitutes a successful season, mild as it may be.

    • I am modestly optimistic, based on several things happening in the off season.
      1) Trade Cozart
      2) Trade / move Brandon Phillips
      3) Find another good starter (and this may come from within)

      Zach is a great guy, but Peraza should be the starting SS in 2017. Why would we keep Cozart? The Reds Front Office will likely find a reason.
      Brandon Phillips has had a great career with the Reds; great defense, a lot of years above average OPS for league average 2nd basemen. But he is regressing, and the Reds MUST get younger NOW. He will be harder to move, unless the Reds pay off part of his last year contract, and get him to approve of a deal. 8-ball says….unlikely.

      The Reds need 4 good starters for 2016 now; they will need 5 starter, but there is a long list of possible “5th” starters.
      We have two good prospects, and maybe a borderline 3rd.
      Desclafani and Finnegan (who I think will get a lot better in 2017) are two. Strailly could be a third (or that 5th starter). I am not counting on Bailey at all.
      Amir Garrett? Does Lorenzen go back to starting? Raisel Iglesias? Stephenson gets better?

      And then, there is the bullpen.
      Pitching is always the key to winning. I am much less concerned with the daily lineup than the pitching staff.

      • There is a long time between now and ST but with the year Stephenson had in the minors and how poorly he has pitched at the major league level, not his success at the major league level how he has pitched. He has been awful but caught some luck. He has not been awful in the sense I would give up on him he has been awful in the sense that it will be 18 if we are lucky before he is what we hope for. He may surprise me and set the world on fire in ST but that I am not optimistic about. I am a huge fan of Cozart and while I see Peraza being an average to slightly below average fielder and that will be where we miss Cozart and Peraza hasn’t given any reason to expect power from him I thought he was going to be a little better than average hitter and this is a small sample size but it has excited me about just how good of a hitter he may become. The fact of the matter Cozart needs to go it is a shame his bat came back to normal the second half and he has been hurt this last month it hurt any trade value he may have had. I know he needs to go I am going to miss that glove. I don’t know if Duvall has fluked and entire year the advanced numbers are worse than shaky but the old school numbers looked pretty good. I know RBI’s are not a great indicator but he did drive in a 100 and until they change the game, runs are what they score wins by. Schebler again with the small sample but he was intriguing. a pessimistic look at Duvall, Schebler and Suarez might make you ask why would you need 3 subs? I think that if YROD and Winker can run Duvall and Schebler out of the outfield that either some sort of a combination YROD, Duvall, Suarez and Schebler combined with Lamb might make an interesting trade package for a proven major league player. Hamilton looked better at the plate this year at least the second half with him patrolling CF and causing havoc on the bases and starting to hit better so he can be on base I am optimistic that 17 will be a LOT MORE FUN to watch than this year. I don’t see the pitching improving enough for us to be a 500 team but say 8 or 10 under instead 30 plus under!

  6. We just had to get Ross Ohlendorf one more time….

  7. Can we have Keyvious on standby for Robert Stephenson’s starts and just tell RS he’s getting pulled after two walks? I don’t know if he’s just being too cute or literally can’t throw strikes, but unless he gets it together he’s not going to contribute.

    • I think that Keyvious has hurt his arm, and I don’t see the Reds hanging on to him during the off season.

  8. Votto is no bham, that’s for sure

  9. Enjoyable game to watch for 162. Would be sweet to go out on a winning note against the Stupid Cubs. At least it looks like the Giants have taken care of business.

  10. Wow. But at least we get a better draft pick. 🙁

  11. We may still get that second pick in the draft…

  12. Tampa Bay winning in the top of the ninth, if they win we have the tie breaker.

  13. And then THAT happens …

  14. Let’s all take solace in the fact that, considering the Cardinals swept this weekend, we essentially knocked them out of the playoffs with our split in St Louis. Though Iggy blew it today, if he doesn’t slam the door on the Cards twice in the 8th and 9th on Wednesday, they are playing at home tomorrow to make the playoffs. That was the highlight of the year.

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2016 Reds, Game Thread