Titanic Struggle Recap

Well, The Winning Streak Was Nice

Final R H E
New York Yankees (21-9) 10 13 2
Cincinnati Reds (17-15) 4 11 1
W: Tanaka (5-1) L: Davis (1-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–The Reds got their share of hits tonight. That’s something, I suppose.

–Joey Votto was 2-4 with a homer and 3 RBI. He is very good at hitting the baseball.

–The defense was solid. A couple of double plays and two outfield assists from Billy Hamilton.

The Bad
–The pitching. Lord. Where do we start?

–Drew Storen was awful. Yes, it’s true that Angel Hernandez wouldn’t now the strike zone if it kissed him on the nose, but that doesn’t excuse Storen hitting THREE batters.

–Rookie Davis was not good. He hasn’t been good at all really. I fully believe that he could be a good major league pitcher someday. But I don’t know if it’s this season. As much as anyone on the staff, I think he might benefit from the calming effects of the minor leagues.

–Also, Barrett Astin, welcome back to the big leagues.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Reds just finished their 32 game. They have won 17 of them. Last year, they didn’t win their 17th game until their 51st game (h/t Chad Dotson). Take a minute and do that math.

–Cody Reed had a rough day down in Louisville today. He went 2.2 innings and allowed 3 runs. I’m sure he was pitch-limited. But still.

–Eh, growing pains all of it. Reed and Davis and whoever else you want to throw in here. Many of your are aware that I work with high school students for a living. These guys aren’t much older. They’re unpredictable and they make mistakes, but they are also generally resilient. The Reds are one of the youngest teams in baseball. So relax everyone. Tomorrow is another day.

38 thoughts on “Well, The Winning Streak Was Nice

    • I don’t believe he was considered the centerpiece of the deal. At the time, Finnegan was.

      Anyway, it’s still far too early to tell. Pitcher development doesn’t occur in a straight line. Better prospects than Cody Reed have struggled early in their careers. Examples: Archie Bradley, Taijuan Walker, heck, Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto are two guys that took awhile to get their footing.

        • Nah, Finnegan was definitely the headliner, with a few people’s analysis concluding Reed had possibly higher upside but with much less certainty.

  1. At least the box scores are interesting to read this year to see which Reds hit well. There wasn’t a whole lot last year other than watching Votto’s resurgence after a slow start.

  2. Tough game but I really enjoyed listening to the Yankees broadcast. They talked about Crosley Field and gave Cincinnati a lot of respect as a baseball town. Knew their stuff. Really easy to listen to

    • I think that was all Paul O’Neill. I agree it was nice to hear him talk about Cincy in a nostalgic way.

  3. A rebuilding team that might win 75 games played a team loaded with talent and unlimited resources. The result was utterly surprising.

      • Maybe. However, the Brewers, Cardinals and Pirates are seemingly better than anticipated and the Cubs will go on a major tear at some point. The Reds aren’t good enough to consistently beat good teams and there likely won’t be a team they play 19 times that can be clobbered.

  4. This year was always going to have games like this. It’s the winning that’s been more surprising. Pleasantly surprising. Go Redlegs! 82 wins or bust! 😉

  5. I agree that Rookie Davis seems to need a go-around at AAA. As we cull thru the prospects I am getting a little frustrated that Stephenson is not getting a shot at starting. I know he is inconsistent… loses his delivery and walks come in clusters. However, when he is on… his stuff is something to behold. Still think he has a higher ceiling than Reed or Davis at this point.

    • I like Stephenson, too. It looks to me as though the Reds are trying incremental steps with him. He pitched two decent innings and fell apart in the third the time before last. He pitched three strong innings last time. He’s young and his potential is such that it makes sense to tailor the approach used with him. If that is what they’re doing.

      • I think quality time with Ted Power is what Stephenson is getting. And that’s a good thing for a young man with lots of potential but maybe some mechanics & awareness to address. I also wish he’d get a few more innings, but it’s a long season.

  6. Angel’s strikezone was equally bad from what I saw … nearly clueless about it.

    • I’m not a proponent of computerized balls and strikes as umpires calling them have always been a part of the game and knowing who your umpire behind the plate was and is a valuable part of your game-planning. Angel Hernandez however just may have the worst strike-zone judgement of any MLB umpire. He’s just awful. I think umps need to be held accountable in at least calling a consistent zone. There doesn’t seem to be any of that.

      • Agree to some extent … I think the “robot zone” would add significant value and speed up that part of the game. You still need an umpire back there, but it removes the guess work and frustration … and that goes triple for what Angel Hernandez provided last evening.

  7. Jeez, how many years in the major leagues does it take for Joey Votto to learn not to go for ground balls hit way to his right? That very first play set the tone. He just can’t keep himself from doing that, and even did it later in the game.

    Peraza had the worst AB of the season in the fourth. Bases loaded, nobody out. First pitch: pop-out to second base on a pitch that was low and outside, although maybe on the black. Learn to hit, man, not just swing.

    • Agreed. He’s been disappointing. In his last at bat when it didn’t matter and there was an opportunity to see some pitches he did. Sort of. Saw five pitches total and swung, yep, five times. You’re not Vladimir Guerrero dude. The only way to get better is to get more selective. If Dillon Herrera is healthy I’d be fine to send Peraza to AAA and say “You come back up if you’re hitting .289 or better AND your OBP is at least 60 points higher.” Otherwise I’m not seeing a major league hitter at all.

    • I disagree with where that pitch was. (rewound the DVR to verify) It was center cut down the middle of the zone. No problem with him swinging at that one…he just popped it up.

      That doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t be more selective…as he swings at his fair share of bad ones

  8. First time in a while that the bullpen has let us down. 5 ER in 4.2 innings. Peraza remains an undisciplined hitter. I’m not sure he couldn’t use some time at Louisville & let Gennett or Alcantara play some 2nd. As for Cozart, what law would be broken if the Reds traded him for prospects and then signed him as a free agent this winter? That worked for the Yankees & Chapman. Plus Reds would have a couple months to see if Peraza can handle the job.

    • The main driver in trading Cozart is not paying someone 5 million plus to play SS when you can pay Perraza 550k.

      I suppose only the laws of logic would be broken in re-signing Cozart for potentially more than he is paid now

    • Just as with Brandon Phillips as he aged, there are already plays Cozart used to regularly make that he is making less frequently. Our eyes and minds tend to be distracted by his reinvention of his offensive game; but the signs are there that he is aging as a middle infielder.

      2 years from now…… Cozart will no longer be an elite defensive shortstop. Peraza looks like he could be. Close to $10M has been sunk into Alfredo Rodriguez in the belief he will be an elite defender at SS. The Reds will likely be juggling balls to keep Nick Senzel and Eugenio Suarez simultaneously in the line up. Where would the aging and highly paid Cozart fit into the picture?

  9. We out hit em but walked 7 guys,hit 3 more,hit into 4 double plays,scored nothing after having the bases loaded and no outs,scored nothing after getting two men on and no outs twice and Billy hits into a double play.Oh yeah we didn’t pitch very well either.

  10. I’ll take a 75 win season if we do all the sorting we need to do so we don’t have just warm bodies starting next year.Guess we really should be shocked at our record based on the starting pitching.

  11. Give Tanaka credit. Very good pitcher, mixed speeds, great location, tons of movement on his pitches.
    The Disco and Finnegan injuries hurt.

    • Agreed. I hope that Stephenson, Davis and others were paying close attention. Command is better than velocity.

    • Also agree. Getting 4 runs in a game vs. Tanaka is about all you could ask for. Great control…great movement as you mentioned.

  12. Bad game but those happen. But Rookie and the bullpen (save Peralta) were awful and, Peraza was a black hole at the plate. BHam had a weird night. One nice hit and a run, and two outfield assists, but also two GIDP. The first was the 3-6 tag out kind that will happen from time to time and has nothing to do with the speed of the hitter, but I’m willing to bet he hasn’t hit into two in a game before, and may never again. Just one loss to a good team. Except for a closer look at Peraza and Davis it’s just a forget it and move on night for me.

  13. Have to throw strikes in the big leagues but the guys with the best stuff struggle because they are young.The guys Feldman,Bronson,Adleman and even Storen have been around awhile and they have lost a lot of velocity so they tend to nibble.In both cases you end up with a staff that walk a lot of hitters.The problem for me right now is that I believe we have 4 guys in the pen with starter experience and at least two in the minors that will do just as good as our 4 starters and probably better.I am sure the Reds see that and are just biding their time and know it will get better once the guys come back from injury and they finish sorting out the rest.Untill then I expect more of what happened last night to continue.We are still a much much better team then last year.You could argue if we had Homer,Disco and Finny going out there every 5th day we would have a much better record.Our defense is good,our pen is good and our offense is good but could be much much better with more patience and I think it will be.Will we win 80 games?No more like 75 but we are heading in the right direction.

  14. Thankfully for the Reds the competition in the NL Central might not be as tough as first thought. The Pirates have looked awful this year so far. The games Vs. the Reds they have looked dreadful at times. I watched them play at LAD on TV last night after the Reds game and they got pounded. They did not look good. They are having their problems.
    So, it looks like they could possibly be coming to the forks in the road sometime this season where one fork spells re-build. They have some aging veterans in McCutcheon, Harrison, Jaso, Cervelli. They have a couple of controversial players they may want to have play elsewhere in Kang and Marte. They have a couple of highly regarded young pitchers who haven’t yet performed very well in Glasnow and Williams. The Pirates are going to come up short this year and they won’t be able to blame injuries for much of it.
    As baseball fans, we send out our best wishes to the Pirates pitcher, James Taillon. Another obstacle for him to overcome, but this time in the game off life.

    • Absolutely with you on James Taillon. I wonder if John Kruk has reached out to him yet? Kruk is the only other MLB player I can think of off-hand that had a diagnosis of testicular cancer while an active player. I’m sure he has some advice and encouragement he could pass on.

  15. If Rookie cannot get his off speed pitches over for strikes then he should not be in the show. He needs to develop a good third pitch. All I saw last night was fastballs and sliders, and the sliders were never or rarely thrown for strikes.

  16. The Reds should touch base with the Padres about Trevor Cahill. He’s a 5-6 inning guy as a starter but holding hitters to a .195 average with a 3.06 era. He was great out of the pen last year for the Cubs as well! He’s 29 and not making that much….could help the Reds for a few years. We supposedly have a top-10 farm system so work something out. They won’t start Lorenzen and Reed/Stephenson/Rookie don’t look they can hack it plus everyone else is hurt. Its going to be a shame to waste a good offensive/defensive roster for the next few years because the starting pitching is so poor!

  17. Maybe Storen thought Hernandez would call those HBPs strikes. It really could happen.

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