Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Right as rain

San Francisco entered this series at rainy Great Kamino Ball Park sporting the second-worst offense in the major leagues and the #25 ranked pitching staff by ERA. They’d stumbled to a 11-18 record, buried at the bottom of the National League standings.

Tonight, the Giants looked every pathetic bit like the worst team in the league. The Reds jumped on Giants starter Matt Cain for 10 hits and 6 walks in the first 3.1 innings while amassing a 9-1 lead.

With the win, the Reds record is now above .500 at 15-14. With a Brewers loss, the Reds will be in 2nd place in the NL Central, just 1 game behind the 1st place Cubs.

Unless the Reds don’t show up tomorrow night, Johnny Cueto is all that stands between the Reds and a sweep.

But no, even a three-game sweep this weekend wouldn’t begin to erase the memory.

Cincinnati Reds 13  San Francisco Giants 3 || MLB || FG || Statcast

Thanks to the offensive production, Bronson Arroyo got the win, throwing a season high 95 pitches. He made it through 5.1 innings allowing only 2 earned runs. But even the Giants poor lineup managed hard-hit ball after hard-hit ball against the Reds right-hander. Arroyo struck out 4 and walked 1.

There were plenty of offensive stars. Billy Hamilton reached base five times with three hits and two walks. Zack Cozart had two hits and a walk. Joey Votto walked four times. Adam Duvall had two hits. Eugenio Suarez had three hits and a walk, as did Scott Schebler. Jose Peraza had three hits. Devin the Destroyer had two walks.

All that on-basing led to this:

This seems good:

Austin Brice, who was born in Hong Kong, made his first appearance for the Reds, pitching the 8th and 9th inning. Brice came from the Marlins as part of the Dan Straily trade. LOL that the Reds got even more than future multiple Cy Young winner Luis Castillo for Straily. Any value the Reds derive for Brice is gravy. Delicious, exquisite gravy. Brice struck out three Giants in his two innings of work.

Drew Stubbs entered the game for the Giants in the 7th inning. I always liked Stubbs. He played a great CF, had a strong arm and offered a nice combination of power and speed. Stubbs hit 22 homers and stole 30 bases in the Reds breakthrough 2010 NL Central Championship season. Fans rightly remember Jay Bruce’s dramatic Clinchmas home run, but Stubbs made a tremendous play in the 3rd inning of that game, robbing the Astros of a 2-run homer.

27 thoughts on “Recap: Right as rain

  1. Several years ago it looked Reds OF would be Heisey, Stubbs & Bruce for long.

  2. I was driving and listened to much of the game. I also had a baseball friend who was watching it as the MLB.tv Free Game of the Day. He and I talked extensively while I was on the road. Now I’m watching the condensed game.

    What a performance by everybody. Mez didn’t get a hit but walked plenty. Bad Bronson didn’t get too bad and we more than covered that performance. Just not much you wouldn’t like about a game like that.

    I hope we show Cueto some fan love tonight and then I hope balls fly out of the park against him. Got to love a win streak.

  3. The Giants staff walked 12 of our guys last night which to me was almost unbelieveable.After the first inning when Cain threw 24 pitches to 8 batters my thoughts were you don’t have to throw strikes to us just throw it close.I was wrong wrong wrong.Granted nobody the Giants threw out there outside of maybe Strickland is going to blow you away the Reds took pitch after pitch then hammered the strikes.They scored 13 runs and had 16 hits but the patience they showed at the plate was fantastic.Peraza smoking that triple was a thing of beauty.That kind of power was what he showed last year and it had been missing all year.Great job.

    • 28 Reds batters got on base and only 22 made outs, how often does this happen where a team has over .500 obp for the game?

  4. Brice looked great. He obviously adhered to the recently issued mantra of coming up and throwing strikes. If Luis Castillo is as good as advertised it begs the question how/why we kicked the Marlins’ butt so in that trade. Seems like the Marlin GM should’ve been fired over this bad a trade.

    • The Marlins trade for Straily seems to have been a short-term attempt to fill the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez.

    • And is Straily that much better than Arroyo at this point, I would think Bronson would not have got an opportunity if that trade not been made.

      • Dan Straily currently leads the NL in batting average against. I don’t think the Marlins think they got screwed in that trade. I like the Reds side of it, but it’s not as lopsided as all that, at least so far.

        • Batting average against is largely a function of BABIP and therefore, luck/defense. Straily’s performance stats aren’t that great. Career high in walk rate so far. Just 31 innings, though, either way.

  5. The season is nearly 20% complete, The Reds are 1 game over .500, in second place of the NLCD and trail the Cubbies by just 1 game. WooHoo… who da thunk?

    The Reds have 3 qualifying players (Suarez, Votto & Cozart) among the top 15 OPS in the NL. The Nats, Mets & Brewers have 2 players among the top 15 OPS. No other team has more than 1.

    THe Reds have 5 qualifying players (Duvall & Schebler) among the top 30 OPS in the NL. The Nats have 4 players, the Brewers, Roks & Snakes have 3 players and the Dodgers, Mets & Birds have 2 players among the top 30 OPS. No other team has more than 1.

    • The Reds’ Quintumvirate are hitting #2-#6 in the lineup. There could be some discussion regarding the specific order, but the fact that all 5 are hitting together and early in the lineup is a big positive. After seeing the early results at the plate by Mesoraco, I think it’s only a matter of time before a sixth member starts hammering his way into that elite company, although I doubt Mesoraco will ever reach qualifying status this season.

      • That begs the question, is the offense only as good as it’s weakest link? If it is, then the arrow is pointing squarely at Hamilton and Peraza. Any good team can carry one defense-only player at a critical defensive position, but varrying two defense-only players, giving up 3 outs every time through the lineup, becomes a VERY difficult challenge. Last night, Hamilton and Peraza both made significant offensive contributions, and the offense rolled, big time!

  6. Drew Stubbs was one of my favorites too….although he just couldn’t make enough contact to be a good obp guy! I believe his splits vs lefties were ok….prob should’ve always been a platoon/def sub/pinch-runner type! One of my fav games ever was when he hit 3 HRs in Wrigley in a game where Joey got tossed in the 1st inning. I think we hit 7 altogether. Corky Miller even hit a ball out on Waveland:) Lost that recording when I left Directv….used to watch it all the time!

  7. The question is whether the team will start to appreciate the importance of being selective, taking walks when they’re offered, and not always swinging for the fence. The one at-bat that really drove me nuts was Duvall swinging at what would have been ball one after Cain had just issued three consecutive walks. I get the “he’s going to want to throw a strike” theory, but he obviously intended to throw strikes to Hamilton and Cozart, and just couldn’t do it. I’m not optimistic, but hoping everyone (especially the guy who swung at ball one with the bases loaded) took note of the fact that patience pays off.

    • There are always going to be thumpers who inherently swing at a higher percentage of pitches outside the zone, but those hitters are also valuable. Highly selective thumpers (Votto, Trout, Harper, Bonds, etc.) win MVP awards. Less selective thumpers simply make all star teams (here’s looking at you Adam Duvall!).

      The less selective thumpers (Duvall & Schebler) make ideal #5/#6 hitters in a lineup with more selective hitters (Votto & Suarez) getting more plate appearances at #2/#3/#4 in front of the pure thumpers. This obviously leaves one hitter missing in that lineup right now, but Cozart has provided the ideal option this season that Price finally iomplemented by moving Cozart to the #2 hole.

      The real solution for the Reds might come from Devin Mesoraco sliding into the #4 hole once (if) he regains his hitting stroke and timing with Votto and Suarez moving to the #2/#3 hole, respectively. At that point, Price will have another opportunity to increase the lethality of the offense by making sure the Reds are initiating the offense with excellent on-base skills in the #1 hole. IF that turns out to Hamilton or Peraza, great, but if Hamilton and Peraza are still producing less than acceptable on-base skills, then perhaps Cozart becomes the leadoff hitter.

      • As Ashley Davis documented in her ‘A Patient Zack Cozart’ post, Cozart represents an enigma and conumdrum right now. Is Zack Coart the player we have seen glimpses of the past 2 seasons and fully evolved and blossomed this season after fully recovering from his injury or is Zack Cozart teasing us again with sample sizes?

        With the Reds competing right now, after more than a sixth of the season in the books, Cozart’s status could become critical. If Cozart continues to produce and the Reds continue to compete until someone comes calling with a serious offer for Cozart, the Reds will have a difficult decision, a decision that could have huge implications for this season and future seasons. The key to such a decision could come down to the ability to negotiate an acceptable, short-term (3 seasons with options) contract extension with Cozart.

        • It is amazing to me how much better Cozart is as a hitter. He has become a solid all around shortstop and I would put him in the top quartile of shortstops in MLB with his outstanding defense. That is such an important position as well. Peraza has value but I would not have a problem if he became a super-sub utility guy. Would another team give Cozart 4-5 years and $60-80 million?
          Could the Reds extend him now for 3 years and 40 million with a signing bonus to incentive things now?
          I would like to see Suarez/Cozart on the left side of the infield for another few years. They are both solid all around players.

          • It’s still early to know if it will stick, but it sure seems so far that Cozart has benefitted from his new patient approach at the plate. Earlier in his career, Dusty Baker and various hitting coaches convinced him he needed to swing at the first fastball he saw. So he often lunged at the first pitch and seemed stressed out at the plate. Now, he seems much more relaxed. Waiting on good strikes is such an important key for every hitter.

            I wouldn’t want to see the Reds go beyond 2 more years with Zack. And that probably won’t get it done given it only takes one other organization to offer him 3+ and one almost surely will, especially if he continues to have a solid season. Sure is fun to watch him succeed, though.

        • What would a serious offer be for Cozart?
          Organizational 3-5 top prospect? 6-9?
          The Nationals look like a 100 win team and a World Series favorite. Dusty used Chris Heisey to give Harper a rest last night. Their replacement CF for the injured Adam Eaton struck out 4x.
          I see a trading partner in July- Hamilton or Cozart depending on what they want to do with Trae Turner. The Nationals will go all in.

  8. But even the Giants poor lineup managed hard-hit ball after hard-hit ball against the Reds right-hander.

    If Bronson is still pitching for the Reds by late June, those hard hit balls are going to start leaving the park in the warm summer air.

  9. Bronson said he felt really good so if he can get that fastball to 89-90 MPH then he will win a few more games.However it turns out he is still taking starts away from guys that may be part of the future.That’s not a good thing.

  10. Bronson has won a couple of blowout games, and everyone is complaining. What’s wrong with pitching to contact so long as the other team never gets close to making it a real game? Right now with Bailey, Disco and Finnegan hurt and Reed and Romano not really ready for the rotation I have no problem with Arroyo in the Reds rotation. Add to that he is mentoring the young pitchers. Is he part of the Reds long term plans? No. Clearly. But is he a reasonable part of their current plans? I for one think so. Now about that Feldman guy…

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