Game Thread

Reds vs. Rockies — May 21, 2017

The losing streak is over! With some heroics on the mound by Asher Wojciechowski and a furious comeback by the red-hot offense, the Reds (20-22) bested the Rockies (27-17) on Saturday to snap a seven-game losing streak. They’ll try to turn it into a winning streak today when they take on Colorado for the finale of their three-game series at 1:10 p.m. ET.

Starting Pitchers

Name IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Kyle Freeland 46.0 3.13 4.37 14.7% 11.2%
Bronson Arroyo 41.1 6.31 5.30 14.4% 7.2%

The eighth overall pick in the 2014 draft, Kyle Freeland moved through the minor leagues quickly, reaching Triple-A in only his second full season. He made the Rockies out of spring training and is off to a nice start to his big-league career. A low strikeout rate and a high walk rate indicate that may not last, however. The Reds would benefit from being patient with the left-hander today. He’s succeeded in large part due to his ground-ball rate of 65.5 percent, the second-best mark in the major leagues behind the Astros’ Dallas Keuchel. Freeland’s ability to pitch down in the zone means he’s allowed only two home runs this year, an impressive feat considering the ballpark he pitches half of his games in.


Bronson Arroyo hasn’t thrown the ball all that well this season. But all things considered, he’s pitched better than expected. Before his last start, which came at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out, he had given up just five runs (four earned) over 11.2 innings in his previous two starts. At some point, Arroyo should be replaced by younger arms, but the organization clearly doesn’t think Cody Reed or Robert Stephenson should step into the rotation right now. Until they’re deemed ready or others get healthy, Arroyo is probably here to stay.

Here is how the right-hander has fared against Rockies hitters over the years (stats courtesy of Baseball Reference):

Lineups

Rockies Reds
CF Charlie Blackmon (130 wRC+) CF Billy Hamilton (79 wRC+)
2B DJ LeMahieu (73 wRC+) SS Jose Peraza (60 wRC+)
3B Nolan Arenado (125 wRC+) 1B Joey Votto (152 wRC+)
1B Mark Reynolds (147 wRC+) LF Adam Duvall (105 wRC+)
RF Carlos Gonzalez (45 wRC+) 3B Eugenio Suarez (144 wRC+)
LF Ian Desmond (75 wRC+) RF Scott Schebler (116 wRC+)
SS Pat Valaika (84 wRC+) 2B Arismendy Alcantara (87 wRC+)
Ryan Hanigan (70 wRC+) Devin Mesoraco (133 wRC+)
P Kyle Freeland (4.37 xFIP) P Bronson Arroyo (5.30 xFIP)

Zack Cozart is getting the day off, so Jose Peraza is sliding over to shortstop and up to second in the lineup. Arismendy Alcantara is getting the start at second base. It’s a bit puzzling that Devin Mesoraco is still batting eighth, though he won’t stay there for much longer if he keeps hitting bombs into the second deck.

The Rockies lineup looks mostly the same. Pat Valaika, brother of former Red Chris Valaika, is getting a start at shortstop, while former Cincinnati catcher Ryan Hanigan will be behind the plate.

News and Notes

How about the Reds’ young pitching prospects? Tyler Mahle threw a perfect game earlier this season, and Scott Moss — the team’s fourth-round pick in last year’s draft — was part of a combined no-hitter last night.

A note on the Reds’ taxed bullpen:

An update on Stuart Turner, who was placed on the disabled list yesterday:

Stat of the Day

Asher Wojciechowski, the 41st overall pick in the 2010 draft by the Blue Jays, debuted on April 9, 2015 with the Houston Astros. A mere 772 days later, he picked up his first big-league win with the Reds.

Final Thoughts

With the Reds swinging the bats the way they are, you have to like their chances in any game right now. This one will come down to the pitching. Can Arroyo bounce back and throw five or six innings, at least? Thanks to Wojo, most of the bullpen got some much-needed rest yesterday, so they should be ready if Arroyo struggles again.

75 thoughts on “Reds vs. Rockies — May 21, 2017

  1. Peraza should hit 8th in the lineup until he learns to take pitches. Hitting 8th is perfect for the hitter he is now

  2. The way Mez hit yesterday, he should be batting 5th or 6th. I’d swap Peraza to 7th or 8th but nobody from the Reds called me this morning and asked what I thought.

  3. I owe Mesoraco an apology. I thought his injury was much more serious and was ready to give up on him entirely. Obviously I was mistaken. My bad. On the flip side I’m still just as down on Peraza as ever. Less Peraza, more Gennett, or Herrera, or Alcantara or… The armchair GM in me would send him to AAA to learn some plate discipline and ditch the flat footed swing and learn to drive the ball at least a little. A bloop hitter who never walks has no serious value. Only my opinion of course. Go Reds!

    • Disagree. Peraza is hitting 287 this month and 346 the last 7. Once he gets more comfortable at the plate he will be walking more. Give him time.

  4. I agree bout peraza,would definitely play gennett more,probably even make him regular 2nd baseman

  5. Yeah, it seems contradictory that Mesoraco has to stay 8th in the order because that’s where all Reds’ catchers hit. But if Peraza can move up and down in the order, why couldn’t the order change a bit when Mes is in there?

    The way Peraza swings at bad pitches, he would NEVER see a strike if he was batting right before the pitcher.

  6. JOSE PERAZA HAD A 7 PITCH WALK!!!! This is the best thing to happen to the Reds since the last good thing to happen to the Reds.

  7. Feeling bad for Hannigan … 2 batters = 3 SB’s. Could be a tough day if Billy and Jose get on base. Nice SB by Jose to avoid the DP.

      • Aggressive out. Not a good idea to make outs when the middle of the order is up

        • And Duvall Is a flyball hitter. He makes it and a flyout scores him. If he makes it everybody says great steal. What if billy got thrown out with no outs? Everybody would be yelling why? The pitcher can’t hold anybody on. It was a good move by the pitcher.

          • It was an out that should not have been made. Making outs is not a good thing in baseball.

    • Exactly. Be aggressive. And if we don’t steal the armchair managers would be screaming how stupid we are.

      • Obviously, since I didn’t want him to necessarily try to steal third in the first place, I couldn’t be upset if Duvall had hit a fly ball with him at second. Just saying, I’d like to see Duvall/Suarez hit with 1st and 2nd and one out rather than take an unnecessary chance. …

  8. At minimum we turn over the lineup here … let’s get the pitch count up.

    • Vegas, a couple weeks ago you responded to a query of mine and I never got a chance to thank you. Typical of me, I can’t remember what it was. But my parents taught me to remember my bread-and-butter notes.

      Thanks

  9. Just another day at the park vs. the Reds for Cargo.
    His 16th HR vs the Reds. More than any other non-division team.

    • That had to be easy pickin’ for Cargo. A previous pitch was 68 mph and right in the sweet spot, and then the next one at 71.

    • Unfortunately, this feels as hopeless as last year at this time, when there were also no starting pitchers and a historically bad bullpen.

      • It might make more sense to reverse the order, start Stephenson and bring in Arroyo when the score is out of reach.

    • It is such a great story though, who cares if his ERA is now close to 7.

      This should no longer be allowed, Arroyo has no business pitching in MLB

  10. There’s your alltime HR derby pitcher right there! Marquis was better then this and he got released. Get it over with….he’s done and he was done 2 years ago!

  11. This Wojo guy is a former 1st rounder and he’s 28 so its not like he’s too young? Stephenson can hit 98 mph. Cmon? This is idiotic? Its an insult to the fans and to Price & the players who are trying to win!

  12. Here’s an idea for someone to look into: Is there another team besides the Reds with more minor league and major league disabled list time for pitchers in the past three years? I know injuries are common for pitchers, but this is the second straight year we’re pulling guys off the street. Just wondering …

    • It does seem that they have a number of injuries. Not a fan of trying to rebuild via young pitching. Pitchers get hurt, position players get hurt a much lower rate. Rebuild via young hitting and then add pitching when they are ready.

      • You just have to wonder if it’s bad luck, or is there something in the organization’s athletic training program that is amiss. The high school kid Hunter Greene from California who is primarily a pitcher has said he wants to be drafted by a west coast team (Padres draft third). You have to wonder if he has reasons for not wanting to come to Cincinnati at #2.

  13. Since the main goal of this season seems to be not having younger guys pitch very much, maybe they should let Arroyo pitch the first five innings of every game. Or maybe get other teams to accept a deal where every game begins in the 5th inning with the score 1 to 5.

  14. Austin Ross 48 ip at AA with zero HRs allowed. Yes…its AA but Arroyo couldn’t go 48 pitches at any level above 8th grade without getting taken deep!

  15. Arroyo should not make another start, he’s throwing batting practice every game at this point

    • I agree. He’s been in there to “eat innings,” but you have to have some degree of effectiveness along the way. The offense is performing well enough to be at least a .500 team, if not better.

  16. So let me see if I understand this “managing.” Price lets Arroyo bat while trailing 5-1, but then pulls him when he gets only ONE out in the next inning? If you’re going to stick with him, make him at least finish the inning. All Price has done here is waste an out at the plate that was needed to try to score some runs.

    I cannot wait for Price to get the pink slip.

    • He’s done the same thing multiple times this season. Price seems to ignore what’s actually happening in the game in favor the best-case scenario he’s made up in his head.

    • I think it had more to do with not wanting to turn to his bullpen so early again. They’ve had to throw a lot of innings over the last week with the horrendous starting pitching, so Price doesn’t have a ton of options right now.

      • I guess that’s my point. If you’re not going to pinch hit there, have Arroyo stumble through the next inning. As it is, the Reds got the worst of both worlds. Price went to the bullpen anyway, and gave up the chance for an offensive gain with a pinch hitter.

  17. The “bird thing” is the 2nd most amusing bit today. The first was the kid in the Reds catcher’s mask.

  18. Major league average start of 6ip 3 er and we’d be 3 outs from a win. A big part of any rebuild is changing the culture of losing and how can they do that if they give games away with Arroyo?

    • Winning culture is pop psychology for good players. The Cubs had a 100 years of losing and it didn’t stop them last year.

      The Reds simply have no good starters after the ST injuries. It’s just the way it is.

      • They didn’t lose in 2015? Its a gradual thing usually. My point is that they should be learning how to win regularly now and Arroyo gives them little chance. The injuries are killing them but they could try other guys and maybe find someone that could manage a 4.50 era and give them a shot. Arroyo has nothing and it was a joke from day 1.

        • Players know how to win. They’ve been playing this game their entire life. What wins is talent—especially having more of it than your opponent—preparation, and experience. Did you watch Adelman’s pitch sequence yesterday mid-game against Mark Reynolds? He had him either 0-2 or 1-2 and threw everything he could, but couldn’t fool Reynolds enough to get a breaking ball by him and didn’t have enough gas on his fastball to put him away. Reynolds sat in between, worked the count and a solid single was the result. That is the Reds 2017 starting staff. Not enough talent, preparation, or experience to reliably succeed at the MLB level.

          The Reds have a plan of some sort for Arroyo—I admit that I have NO IDEA what it is and about out of patience like everyone else. It’s not like we were expecting anything different this year though, right?

  19. Pitcher who obviously can’t prevent runs is allowed to hit for himself in the 5th and then removed after getting one out in the 6th, two below-average hitters get more at-bats than Votto, Schebler, and Suarez, and one of the team’s best hitters is never used. Reds would be wise to find Price’s replacement soon and let the new guy have a half season to get to know the players before next year.

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