Titanic Struggle Recap

I Don’t Like It when the Reds Are Swept

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (24-28) 4 7 0
Toronto Blue Jays (26-27) 5 7 1
W: Grilli (2-4) L: Peralta (2-1) S: Osuna (11)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
— Joey Votto and Scott Schebler both homered today. Votto is tied with Adam Duvall (and a few others) for third in the league with 14 homers). Schebler now leads the league. That’s not bad, kids.

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–Tim Adleman pitched six innings of entirely adequate baseball. With the starting pitchers, I feel like that qualifies as a good thing now.

–Jose Peraza had a couple of hits and a couple of steals.

The Bad
–Peralta couldn’t get it done today. Such things happen. That’s the way baseball is. We don’t have to like it, but there’s nothing we can do about it.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–It’s been real Toronto. Seriously. We’ll, um, see you later.

–In the interest of being positive, we’re more or less 1/3 of the way through the season. So, just for fun: Joey Votto is on pace for 42 HRs and 126 RBI. Adam Duvall is on pace for 42 HRs and 135 RBI. Scott Schebler is on pace for 48 HRs and 90 RBI. Eugenio Suarez is on pace for 30 HRs and 90 RBI. Billy Hamilton is on pace for 85 SBs and 117 R. All of those numbers are fun.

–This year is tough. The Reds are just good enough that I can’t downshift into only worrying about how certain players are doing while fantasizing about next year. I’m glad Stephenson was sent down. Hopefully he and Reed can get it together and maybe provide something in terms of stability for the Reds rotation. And I suppose there’s a change we’ll see Finnegan, Bailey, and Romano sometime in the not-too-distant future.

–Tomorrow is an off-day and the Reds will then begin a 7-game home stand against the Braves and Cardinals. It sure would be nice if they flipped the switch and started playing well again.

47 thoughts on “I Don’t Like It when the Reds Are Swept

  1. How many games must the Reds have end with Joey Votto standing in the on deck circle in a loss that was winnable? This is the 3rd time in just the last few weeks.
    When will the Reds move him up to 2nd in the lineup?
    The Reds stink on the road, 10-15.

    • Had he been batting 2nd then wouldn’t the Jays have simply just walked him so they could pitch to whomever was batting 3rd? Votto’s presence forced the Jays to throw strikes to Hamilton and Cozart and the pitcher won.

      I want Votto to get as many plate appearances as possible, but few teams are going to actually pitch to him in that kind of end of game situation.

      Would you pitch to him if you didn’t need to?

      • That is an assumption that they wouldn’t pitch to him, but not a bad one. They may have pitched to him, they may have not. Some players and coaches relish those closer-best hitter match ups. We will never know though.
        In all fairness too. JV did K to end a game with runners on recently too. So, it isn’t a guarantee, but a chance at least.
        To answer your question, No !

        • Remember, too, that Cozart this year has been nearly as intimidting as Votto, though I, too, was hoping he’d get on base and give Joey a chance to put the Reds ahead.

      • Yes, but the other point is that pitching around Votto would lead to a bat like Duvall, Suarez or Schebler, which would be far more desireable than having Billy get blown away without even making contact. But give the pitcher credit: Cozart is no easy out, either.

  2. Tough way to lose. This year is tough. Because the division is so winnable and the Reds are right there but they can’t get over the hump.

  3. The Reds will finish last in the Central due to a lack of starting pitching. Their position players are very good and compare nicely with every team except the Cubs. The rebuild looks OK so far except for the disappointing Reed and Stephenson. Garrett is not a sure thing yet, neither is Finnegan, Bailey, Desclafani. Getting the pitching fixed by 2019-2020 is key.

    • This. (Very good summation).

      The Reds are entertaining to watch, listen to, etc. Lots of hits, homers, wild games. But, so far, two months in, not close to being “sorted” this season to contend in 2018.

      Cubs remind me of a thoroughbred that kicks in when it hits the home stretch. Their best baseball is yet to come, The Reds may have already played theirs this season.

      Hopefully, the front office remains patient until the talent falls in place everywhere for the contention window to truly start.

  4. This isn’t really a game where you can say any one component of the team failed to get the job done. The pitching and hitting were both good enough to win, but it just didn’t happen.

    Sometimes, a team just loses.

    • Essentially the same on Tuesday night. When Carrera made the diving attempt on Duvall’s liner into the gap that was going to be a game changing play whether or not he made the catch.He did catch it and then the Jays got the following HR to seal the deal. However if he had not caught it, it is likely the Reds would have put a serious crooked number up and won the game.

      • The what-ifs can be brutal. We could make the same case for Billy getting thrown out trying to steal third. The Reds might have been able to cash in a few runs there, and that in turn would change the sequence of relief pitchers the Reds use.

  5. Not so sure the Reds played badly except on Monday, The Jays are playing well and just played better than the Reds,

    The Jays had won 6 of 9 coming into the Reds series including a 2 game sweep of a mini series in Milwaukee. Now they are 8 of 9; and 9 of their last 12. Other opponents in the run besides the Brewers and Reds were the Orioles and Rangers.

  6. Hamilton is in a slide and it’s amazing how his slash line is almost identical to every preseason projection for him…that would suggest he’s reached his plateau.

    BA around .250/ obp around .305 and very low ISO with incredible speed and defense. I wonder if it might be time to give him more rest. Will be interesting to see what the top 2 in the order look like when cozart is traded. He’s been an incredible #2 hitter the first 2 months.

    • Yeah, I was thinking the same about BHam and his ceiling. He doesn’t seem to have the ability to slow the game down in his head and relate that via physical success the way you hear great players talk about doing in clutch situations. In the situation was in today, he has to put the ball in play or draw a walk. Maybe he hits a liner or grounder right at somebody and doesn’t score the run; but, he can’t strike out swinging at a borderline pitch in that situation. He doesn’t have the strength to have done any better than to have popped that pitch on the infield; so why swing.

    • Hamilton has more hits than Votto, by the way. Cozart leads the team in hits. We had the right horses up; it wasn’t our night.

    • He might be in a “slide,” or he might be enduring a cold stretch the way every other hitter does from time to time.

  7. I said it on the game thread Billy is not a power hitter and isn’t going to hit the ball far to get a sac fly.He is the last player on the team you would want up in the ninth inning of a game with runners on second and third and one out.Yes the infield was in but isn’t it always in as well as the outfield?I love him but Price should have pinch hit for him regardless of the outcome.He is a slap hitter that strikes out a lot and will chase as he did.I have also said he needs to hit 7th or 9th in the order because he is not one of our better hitters and to give him extra at bats in every game is well not smart.

    • Wait. You mean they’re allowed to have a slower guy pinch hit for a faster guy? How can that be?

    • He was the same batter that tied the game up in the late innings the night before. Closers are good, hitting is hard.

  8. Robert Stephenson down and Jackson Stephens up. That’s a big ol’ shuffling of deck chairs, but it gets Stephenson in AAA where he can get regular starts and Stephens doesn’t look like a potentially important cog as a major league reliever or starter. The 23-year-old Stephens had nice seasons in 2015 @ A+ (2.97 ERA, 1.86 BB/9, 0.68 HR/9 & 3.23 SO/BB) and 2016 @ AA (3.33 ERA, 2.44 BB/9, 0.42 HR/9 & 3.20 SO/BB), but AAA has not been kind to him this season (5.79 ERA, 3.33 BB/9, 1.58 HR/9 & 2.11 SO/BB).

  9. You know, if I’m the GM, I go all out to get some quality starting pitching. Screw this wait for next year crap. We have the offense, “D” and bullpen. Make the move, show some moxy and go get 3 starters. Teams with adequate hitting, we can hang with, teams with solid hitting, CO and Toronto, crush us.

    • How exactly would you do that without making the offense and the bullpen worse than the starting pitching is now? Teams aren’t going to just give them starters and 3 free agent starting pitchers would cost about their existing payroll.

      I’m genuinely curious and not trying to be a jerk…but how?

      • The reds can’t afford top FA starting pitchers. That said Mike leake at 5/75 is a good deal.
        The Reds have enough young starters and injured starters coming back to fill a 5 man rotation in 2018….Do they have 1-2 front of the rotation internal starters to win 95 games? No way.

        Then the question is allocation of resources and how and when do the Reds build a formidable starting rotation. The roster gets exponentially more expensive in 2019/20…

        Scenario A- Hope Homer Bailey and Disco recapture their former prime selves and fill that #1/2 spot and magically pitch 200 innings and then it’s easy to see Finnegan/Garrett. slotting at 3/4 and #5 should be filled by many.

        Scenario B- The reds stick to the current program. Homer and disco can’t pitch 200 innings…can’t stay healthy and 2018 becomes 2017 all over….A combination of young starters and veteran retreads patchwork a 78-84 year. Joey Votto blows out more birthday candles.Eugenio suarez’s agent buys an island in the Caribbean.

        Scenario C – the reds pursue external young controllable options with a big trade to acquire a rotation anchor and more prudent FA signings to get the Reds over the 90 win mark ….The reds minor leagues are far deeper than 1 very good prospect at 3 levels.

        Scenario D- internally find a front of the rotation starter….Michael lorenzen….and fill in the other 4 spots with Finnegan.homer.disco.garrett with 2-3 young pitchers capably waiting in the wings.

        My preferred option is D. Option A seems impossible…Option B seems likely.

        • D is my preferred as well.

          Excellent break down and very well thought out and reasoned post. I appreciate anything that offers substance ….especially if I disagree…and that was great.

        • I think they need an external infusion to establish stability. If I’m GM, I’m looking for somebody who grades and projects like Mat Latos both on the mound and in years of control when they traded for him

          As I’ve inferred previously, I’m going to ride my current MLB guys through their period of control and hope the crew of talent at A/A+ is my next big wave and will be online in 2020-21.

          Continuing the comparison I started above, Jesse Winker is cast in the role of Yonder Alonso. I’m also probably going to have to give one or two of those guys in the class A wave. That’s fine as long as Senzel is not one of them. I might also have to send a pitcher or pitching prospect. Iggy or Lorenzen are both too much. Anybody else they can have. The exact composition and number of the return devils in the detail.

          I also go out in free agency and sign somebody “like Mike Leake”.

          This fills two rotation spots. The other three are up for grabs among the healthy and capable internal talent.

          • I posted a similar comment on an article a couple weeks ago. I believe the Reds have to make a trade this winter like they did after the 2011 season to acquire Latos from the Padres. In other words, acquire a young, cost-controlled (other than arbitration of course) #2 starting pitcher with 3-4 years of team control remaining. The Reds have plenty of prospects to throw into such a deal. The team simply needs to get a reliable pitcher to lead this rotation.

            The Reds cannot assume they will get anything out of Bailey next year, even if he comes back healthy this season. DeSclafani has missed large portions of the last two seasons. Finnegan has to cut down on the number of homeruns given up. If the Reds can get a pitcher from another team to lead this rotation, the worst-case scenario is that they end up with a surplus of starting pitchers next year (never a bad thing).

      • Chuck: You know the answer to your own question. The Reds will simply package a couple of the older guys in the current rotation and some team will gladly trade their own #1 for that. They could probably acquire another good starter for some of the organizational filler in AA and AAA. Problem solved. The fact that they haven’t already done this confirms that they’re clueless.

        • Greenmt……Arroyo and Feldman for Quintana seems like a done deal. Jim Bowden just tweeted out that Arroyo is going to tour with Linkin Park

          Sonny Grey for the Dayton bullpen catcher seems to have hit a snag. Apparently the catcher was arrested last week for firing an anti aircraft battery in his garage and the Reds didn’t know.

          Lastly the Jake Arrietta for Garrett, Iggy and Lorenzen deal was the topic on the MLB network. Arrietta is a rental, but we all know rentals cost a bundle

      • Remember, they have been saving millions (20-30 million?) of payroll over the high-water mark of about 115 million a couple of years ago. Let’s use that money on something other than a nutritionalist.

        • I guess you missed that attendance was down almost 800k last year, which largely wipes out the ” savings” you mentioned.

  10. Schebler leading in HR’s … whodathunkit??

    Glad to be out of Toronto, that’s for sure.

    • It should have been a series win for the Reds, but, as we know, that’s baseball.

  11. With Russell Martin playing 3rd today, I’m not sure why there weren’t more bunt attempts down the line. Especially Billy

    • Can Billy bunt the ball toward third? The majority seem to head right back to the pitcher.

  12. As of Tuesday, Red’s pitchers had allowed the most HR’s in the league.
    Toronto is a HR hitting team.
    Not a good matchup to say the least.

    If you’ll notice, the Red’s seem to struggle against HR hitting teams. Milwaukee, Yankees, Orioles, Cubs, Tor.
    They fare better against the non-power teams like Pitt, St Lou, Philly, San Fran

  13. What is this world coming to? It is going to the birds.
    Last week the Rally Bird could only muster up a partial rally.
    This week, Mr. Met gets fired for giving Mets fans “The Bird”. He should have been given a medal, and a raise, instead of a pink slip.

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