Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds offense cools off, drop second straight series

The Reds offense was dominated for a second consecutive night by a mediocre Orioles starting pitcher. The Reds collected just two hits against Wade Miley over eight innings.

The Reds pitching on the other hand was great for a second straight night, despite coming in a losing effort. Scott Feldman allowed just one run over seven innings, and Iglesias was dominant in the 8th and 9th innings. It was however a walk in the top of the 10th inning by Blake Wood that proved to be the difference in this game.

The Reds have now dropped back to back series, and lost 5 of 7. The Reds are still in first place, but they would fall to second place if they lose tomorrow. The Reds are now up 0.5 games on the idle Cubs, and 1.0 on the Brewers as I type this (they lead the Cardinals 5-4 in the 6th inning).

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (9-7) 1 2 0
Baltimore Orioles (10-4) 2 5 0
W: O’Day (1-1) L: Wood (0-2) S: Brach (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Blake Wood allowing an RBI single to J.J. Hardy with 2 outs in the top of the 10th inning, giving the Orioles a 2-1 lead. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 34.9% (from 53.6% to 18.6%).

Player of the Game

Wade Miley: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K, 2.17 FIP, 0.43 WPA

Positives

Scott Feldman sure has settled into 2017 after a shaky start on Opening Day. He was brilliant tonight: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Feldman now has a 2.38 ERA/4.02 FIP. The 2.38 ERA is not going to stick, but the 4.02 FIP is exactly what the Reds paid for.

You guys still worried about Joey Votto? Me neither. Votto hit his 5th home run of 2017, a 423 foot bomb over the Reds bullpen (VIDEO). Votto’s aggressive approach paid off here, as it came on a 2-0 pitch. Miley had a no-hitter going to that point too. Here is an interesting thought:

Votto through the first 16 games of the season:

2016: 1 HR, .499 OPS
2017: 5 HR, .858 OPS

Raisel Iglesias is just incredible. He struck out five batters in his 2.0 innings. Iglesias now has a 0.93 ERA/2.51 FIP with 13 K and 3 BB in 9.2 IP.

Jose Peraza made a really nice play defensively late in the game (VIDEO). He was playing just to the right of second base, and had to half-dive right behind second base. He threw a bullet to Votto. I’ll say it, for all the wizardry Brandon Phillips could do, he couldn’t make that throw today.

Negatives

Walks will haunt. Blake Wood walked a batter with 1 out in the 10th, and it proved to be the winning run.

The Reds offense was really hot to start the season. Not so much the last two nights. For a second consecutive night, the Reds were dominated by a mediocre Orioles SP.

Scott Schebler went 0 for 3, with 2 strikeouts. Schebler is now hitting .160/.263/.380. Paging Jesse Winker….Winker?

Not so random thoughts……….

Bryan Price using his closer in the 8th inning will never, ever get old. It’s like a breath of fresh air every-time it happens.

Jordan Barhorst hosted the very first edition of the RN 7th Inning Stretch Show! ICYMI, here is a link to the archive of the show. In the future, during the seventh inning of the last game in every series, one of the staff here at the blog will go live on Periscope.

I have to be honest, I really probably shouldn’t have signed up for a recap with a Cavs playoff game on. I didn’t give the Reds game or this recap my 100% effort….but how about the Cavs? 26 comeback on the road? Tied for the largest comeback in NBA Playoff history? That’s fun.

Up Next:

Cubs at Reds
Friday, 7:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio; MLB Network (out of market only)
Tim Adleman (2.25 ERA) vs Jon Lester (1.00 ERA)

 

All photos are used courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and used by permission. All statistics are used courtesy of Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, and ESPN Stats & Info.

68 thoughts on “Reds offense cools off, drop second straight series

    • Schebler is making really poor contact so far this year.

      His Hard% sits at 31.6%, which is good, but Schebler’s ground ball rate of 44.4% is atrocious for a guy who generally pulls it into the shift. Furthermore, his line drive rate is 5.6%, which is about as low as I’ve ever seen anyone have.

      His xBABIP right now is .260 (not counting the shift, beause that takes longer to calculate than I have at the moment), so he is probably getting some amount of poor luck, but a .260 BABIP is indicative of poor contact, generally.

  1. This “Biggest play of the Game” thing I admit is kind of interesting but at other times it’s like…”really!” Did we really need this WPA statistic to tell us that, in this particular game tonight, Wood’s 2-out RBI single allowed was the biggest play of the game?

      • Nick, Oh ok! I see now. But still one could argue that, on those obvious plays, that just how much it swung the game (percentage wise) doesn’t really matter. I can see how some fans don’t care about the percentage on those obvious plays and how some might. For the record, I think I’m one of the ones who don’t care about the percentage on the OBVIOUS plays only. But like I said before, I do find this statistic a little interesting for those not so obvious plays.

  2. Tonite’s 10th inning is the typical of the type of inning that keeps Wood a second tier reliever.
    Needless 1 out walk to Trumbo. Made “too good” of a pitch to Schoop and got a scibber which advanced the runner to scoring position instead of a GIDP. Gets 0-2 against Hardy, the 2 out batter, then leaves a pitch thigh high over the middle of then plate for the game winning hit.

  3. Did not like the moves
    1) Why start Schebler when he is struggling against a LHP, especially when you got Kivelhan who is off to a hot start?
    2) Feel like they are too worried about having 8 or 9 man bullpen and sacrifice not having a position player, Schebler and Turner should not have batted with the winning run on 2nd in the 8th?
    3) Once again, Price does a double switch that serves no real purpose other than getting Peraza out of the game (possibly they walk someone to get to Iglesias’s spot in the 8th)
    4) With basically everyone available (I know Cingrani was hurt) you go with Blake Wood after Iglesias?

    • And another thing, what was the point of starting Reed in the pen at the beginning of the season. I thought they were doing that to save innings later in the year, and they start him 3 weeks into the season- maybe saved 12 innings. How hurt is Rookie Davis is he not eligible to come off the DL Saturday?

      • In that situation, I do. Considering LHP starting, struggling player LHB, RH batter off to a decent start. Not saying replace him everyday but at least platoon, its not like Schebler is Jay Bruce and has earned regular duty much less starting against LHP.
        in the 8th there is no way both Schebler and Turner should have batted, but it almost makes sense given poor roster decisions and a dumb double switch.

        • Reds are probably evaluating Schebler’s ability to be a full-time starter, which includes hitting lefties most of the time. Schebler MAY be a 4th OF platoon sort of guy, but he deserves a shot to try and prove he can play every day. I was fine with it.

          if they were in “win now” mode, maybe you see Kivlehan there, although I still feel that is unlikely.

          • I’ll add this: I understand that we’re in a rebuilding mode. But when the game starts, I still want to try to win. And I’d like to think that Price is trying to manage the same way. Schebler has been starting every day, And one of his three home runs has been against a lefty, Cardinals reliever Siegrist. So I guess Price was hoping for a repeat performance late in last night’s game. Or maybe it was a confidence thing in letting Schebler hit there? … Either way, I don’t think it’s out of the question to consider pinch hitting a right-handed hitter there, the way Schebler has been K’ing lately.

            Also, I was hoping the Reds would walk JJ Hardy there in the 10th inning last night. Maybe the Orioles bring in their own lefty swinging pinch hitter instead of Caleb Joseph, and if they do, maybe counter with Peralta.

          • I agree with this but none of the guys they have on the bench are particularly adept at hitting LHPs. I’m not sure if I sit Schebler for Patrick Kivlehan or Alcantara. I probably would if Desmond Jennings was sitting on the bench.

          • I am not sure I follow the arguments, Kivelhan is less adept than Schebler at hitting LHP? The argument is not to replace Schebler with Kivelhan permanently it was one night and the rebuttal is about the rebuild?, one guy is 26 the other guy is 27 with nearly identical OPS in the minors. I agree Schebler is more valuable as a 4th OF, but we are talking in the context of giving a struggling LHB a rest for one night.

      • With the runner on second when you have brought your closer into the game in the 8th inning, left handed pitcher who has owned Scott on the night….

        Absolutely I prefer Kivlehan

        You were playing for the win

        Scott can get hot another day

        • Defense comes into this decision too. The other day, while it was a very hard hit line drive, Kivlehan got burnt bad, leading to a triple and the game getting out of hand. Not necessarily sure Schebler is necessarily a better defender, but it is a consideration in a tight game like that.

    • The double switch served the purpose of getting Iglesias two innings. There were six batters before Iglesias. Suarez, Cozart , Schebler, Turner, Gennett, and Hamilton. Even if the Reds loaded the bases with two outs, that ensured that the Reds would either end the inning or score the go-ahead run before Iglesias turn to bat.

      • what purpose did it actually serve? Igelsias was pinch hit for in the same inning Scooter batted. It possibly could have mattered had they pinch hit for Turner and O’s intentionally walked him, then Scooter could have pinch hit for Iglesias and you would had 1 less inning from Iglesias if all that happened, Peraza’s still in the game/ ALcantara still available.
        Why not let Feldman pitch the 8th, you were willing to bat him in the 6th to get one more inning out of him- if you are so concerned with the roster either pinch hit for Feldman in the 6th or pitch in the 8th- terrible use of personnel in my opinion

    • I think the problem is Votto getting to bat with two outs and maybe only 3 pitches thrown. Automatic outs.

      • The real question is why Blake Wood is 1st choice after Iglesias? Why?
        I guess you could pitch around Hardy but I thought there were several players remaining on their bench and you had him 0-2 and he fouled off multiple pitches, good AB from a very average hitter

        • Perhaps it doesn’t make you feel better, but Blake Wood has the lowest FIP and xFIP on the team.

          His BABIP against is .400. He induced weak contact from Hardy and he got a bloop hit. Wood did nothing wrong.

          • We are getting a little too snobby with our stats if we actually using FIP from 8 innings to justify not pitching Storen or Lorenzen in that situation. Wood has a career FIP of 4.05 and an ERA to match. He is 31 years old he is not the future and he was very mediocre last year.

          • Disagree that Wood “did nothing wrong”. The runner who scored the winning run reached on a walk.

            From 0-2 Hardy alternately spoiled two pitches hard in on him, one a 95/96 MPH heater the other an 84 MPH off speed pitch of some sort. This suggests he was shortening his swing to stay in the AB. After they bounced a pitched, Hardy hit a ball thigh high pretty much in the middle of the plate, maybe a bit to the outer half. At 1-2, this had to be a mistake pitch which either was intended to be up around his shoulders; or possibly was a hung split finger. At any rate, it almost certainly wasn’t where it was intended to be. If a Red had done this, it probably would be suggested that he spoiled pitches until he got a pitch to hit then “served” into the outfield to drive home the run.

          • Just to follow up my point so that I do not seem too douchey, sometimes things just do not work out, Wood pitched OK was not a terrible choice and just a couple flukes to manufacture a run. Even looked like Trumbo missed home if Turner keeps the tag on him all the way through he would have been out, so many little things when you go 1-1 in extra innings. Following the game in my mind I am wondering why Wood, I would have went with several other sin that situation- found out Cingrani was hurt, Lorenzen pitched night before (but why not go 1 more), not sure why Storen is not logically a better choice.

          • I meant more “nothing wrong” to Hardy. The above post seemed to indicate Wood should have pitched around Hardy.

            He gave up a run. It happens. Sometimes it happens when a hitter makes poor contact, as it did last night.

            Blake Wood has been a decent pitcher, mostly, so I don’t feel like his use there was egregious as people are seeming to imply.

          • And to BIG56DOG…

            I’ll try to be less “snobby” when trying to contribute to baseball discussion.

  4. You guys still worried about…Scott Schebler?

    Very! Time to platoon or try someone else.

    • My guess is they are giving Schebler a very, very good look before moving on from him to Winker. Last year, Schebler struggled terribly early in the season, and came back big-time after returning from the minors. He has to very quickly figure out how to hit away from the shift, the same one that plagued Jay Bruce for years. He also has to start making more contact period.

    • I have no problem with Schebler, I have issues with starting him when he is obviously struggling against a LHP. You start Kivelhan against Wacha for whatever reason, you start Alcantar and bat him 2nd Sunday for what ever reason

  5. I was there with good seats last night. By my math, the Reds have scored 1 run in the last 24 innings, on the homer by Votto.

    Stuart Turner can’t hit major league pitching. He was completely over-matched all night. Nice receiver, but I don’t see much hope for his bat. If he goes back to the Twins, the Reds aren’t losing much.

    What price Winker??

    • Except that apparently they don’t have anybody else the org considers to be an MLB caliber receiver behind Mesoraco and Barnhart.

      To take it a step further, at this point Meso is yet to hit any better than Turner; and, he probably isn’t as good of a receiver as Turner.

      It is just not a good situation. If Barnhart were to go down they’d be in a heap of hurt.

      • The league is full of Stuart Turners. Heck, if Mes can’t cut it, they can trade for Stuart Turner for basically nothing, although I’m wondering if they would give Chad Wallach the shot.

      • Both Rob Brantly and Joe Hudson can serve adequately right now as third catchers once Mesoraco returns and Turner goes back to the Twins

  6. Frustrating game. For reasons I won’t try to explain I watched most of the game without sound. What happened in the late Votto at bat where he appeared to foul a ball off his foot but ended up being called out on a grounder to first? Can anyone provide some detail on that play?

    • The umpiring crew simply ruled that the ball was not fouled off Votto’s foot, making it a fair ball and a ground out.

        • I had only the radio feed, but the announcers could see replays and couldn’t tell whether the ball did hit Votto’s foot. Unsure whether it was not reviewable, or the Reds simply chose not to. But it sounded like the umpires got together to see if any of them saw it as the ball hitting Votto. Must be the case that nobody had a good enough look to overturn the original call of fair ball.

  7. Four games on the home stand where we did not score.Twice we plated 1 run and 0 and 2 runs the other two games.Obviously this will not get it done so as always the manager’s decisions to keep playing the same guys and hitting them in the same spot in the order come in to play.In addition his in game management comes in to question as to why Schebler and Turned hit in the 8th and why Wood was brought on after Iggy.I think its safe to say Price didn’t give his team the best chance to win last night in the eighth but I can live with Wood coming in even though he didn’t execute at all with his pitches.In the four games I mentioned we made 4 pitchers(Nelson,Peralta,Jimenez and Miley) look like Cy Young.These guys are average at best and this concerns me.We showed no patience at the plate at all especially the guys hitting 1 and 2 in our line up who have to get on base to help us win.Neither has shown,jury may be still out on Peraza,the ability to hit with even gap power so they have to take walks to use the speed they have to generate runs.That so far is foreign to both of them and you could also argue that every pitcher knows even if they get a hit its only going to be a single so they lay it right in there.One or both need to move down in the lineup because hitting back to back won’t get it done.I like both of them as players but this is Billy’s year to step up offensively and if he doesn’t can we afford to have a great defender that can’t get on base.Some may argue we can.Just my opinion on both of these guys and keep in mind I never said to bench them I said to move them down.

    • Jeff Brantley said on the telecast that as long as Hamilton and Peraza keep swinging at the first pitch, the first pitch will always be a breaking ball. There is no reason for a pitcher to throw a fastball if he knows the batter will be swinging first pitch, Brantley said, which I thought made a lot of sense.

      • You’d think the Reds coaching staff would step in and tell them to take the 1st pitch every at-bat no matter what for a week or something. From a pure game theory perspective, that has to help a little.

        Trout famously would never swing at the 1st pitch earlier in his career.

        • Do we need to bring DanO’Brien back to mandate that they are not to swing until they have seen a strike? Votto, who hated it at the time, claims it helped him become a better hitter.

          • I’m all for it. Watching those two hack away at breaking pitches and make weak contact makes my heart break.

      • I have an idea, how about Billy and Peraza lay off the first pitch breaking ball? If they can’t pick up the spin then there’s a deeper problem.

  8. I’m a big of a fan of Billy as anyone, but lets work in a off day for him, once a week. Bat Peraza 9th and move everybody else up a slot. Although the last 2 games, it wouldn’t have mattered who batted where. 4 hits in 19 innings by the whole team.

  9. Brantley’s comments are right.Pitchers know what these guys and all of our guys do.As is often said its a game of adjustments. I also like the fact of giving guys off days.For example Schebler could have set last with a left hander on the mound.Your right about who batted where with only 4 hits in 19 innings but whomever hits 1 and 2 must get on base for Votto and Duvall and right now they aren’t getting on base.

  10. I’m as frustrated as anyone with the lack of offense, but seeing Feldman go seven innings was very nice. Maybe he can be a decent trade chip after all. Yeah, small sample size, so who knows?

    Interesting that when Mes returns, if the plan is to carry three catchers, the Reds could have pinch hit for Turner there and still had another catcher on the bench. … But that roster spot has to come from the bullpen, right? Can’t have a five-man bench and have three of the five be catchers with no versatility …

  11. A very inconsistent and anemic offense has been a Reds trademark since 2011. It is time to consider sorting OUT the whole outfield of BHam, Duvall and Schebler and place all 3 on the trading block. Time for an upgrade at all 3 OF positions. The Reds have one OF in Louisville to promote in Winker. Maybe Ervin for a 4th OF role.
    Might as well add Peraza to a trade package.
    What a colossal failure at getting on base by half of the Reds offense. It is beyond the pale.
    Duvall = .246/.302/.509 OK for a #7 hitter, but not #4.
    BHam = .226/.269/.274 Totally unacceptable.
    Schebler = .160/.263/.380 Doubly totally unacceptable.
    Peraza = .217/.254/.267 Triply totally unacceptable.
    And then when Turner starts he brings his mighty .133/.125/.200 to the plate.

    I’d hate to trade Raisel Iglesias, but what could he, BHam, and Peraza get back in return from the closerless Washington Nationals? Dusty likes that speed and a high end closer. SS Trea Turner, RHP Eric Fedde, OF Victor Robles, and RHP Koda Glover?

    • I hear what you are saying WV…But the early season stats need to be put in the bigger context of who these players have proven to be over their short careers and is this a hiccup or a continuation of who they are as players.

      Duvall- he’s in the lineup for power and happens to be good at defense.hes not paid to get on base at a high clip and won’t…But he brings value to an offense. I’m good with dropping him to the 5 hole
      Turner- unique situation with his rule 5 status.

      Schebler- he hits …Gets on base…And hits for power….Just not the last 60 at bats. Drop him to the 7 hole but give him another 50 at bats.

      Hamilton- this is the year to sort out the biggest question in reds land…Can he hit..Can he get on base. It’s a huge question because it determines a lot for the next great reds team….Leave him alone in the leadoff spot….If he’s hitting .225 with an OBP of .284 after 150 at bats….Then move on and he drops to the 9 hole….Forever.

      Peraza- drop him to 8 hole now and.move Suarez and Cozart up.

      This is the year to answer these questions but you have to get adequate sample sizes.Winkers career obp is exactly what they need.

  12. I’m still a schebler fan, I think he’ll turn it around sooner rather than later. But not tonight – lol with Lester on the hill ;).

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