Were it not for improbable ninth-inning heroics on Friday night, the Reds would have been swept by the woeful Atlanta Braves at home. Atlanta was 22-29 at the start of this series and without their all-world first baseman Freddie Freeman. The virtue of this outcome is that it should provide a clear reminder to certain decision-makers that 2017 is a rebuilding year.

More on the imperative for said clarity in a post later tonight.

Cincinnati Reds 8 • Atlanta Braves 13 || MLB || FG || Statcast

Amir Garrett made his first start since May 23; his ninth of the season. After the first couple batters, Jeff Brantley said that Garrett looked “free and easy” throwing. Garrett had given up 13 earned runs in his two starts after his “innings-limit demotion” to AAA. Today, Garrett was the victim of bad luck and bad performance. He gave up an unearned run, a run on a pop-up, a home run on a ball at the hitter’s neck, and a home run after the batter should have been called out on strikes. But there were two home runs in that sentence plus a raft of other hits and walks. Garrett seemed to lose steam after a long at bat against Reds nemesis Matt Adams.

Zack Cozart overthrew Joey Votto on a routine ground ball for an error in the first inning, allowing the Braves to get on the scoreboard. The Reds shortstop didn’t wait long to atone, drilling a Julio Teheran fastball into the left field seats for a two-run homer. Cozart later hit a tw0-run triple and added another home run. He even walked. #VoteZack

Another Reds hero today was relief pitcher Jake Buchanan. The Reds picked up Buchanan off waivers from the Cubs ten days ago when the club put Amir Garrett on the DL. Buchanan came in for Garrett and acquitted himself well, pitching 5.1 innings and giving up just two runs. He also got a hit, the first in his major league career, driving in a run. Even more improbable, he got Matt Adams out.

Joey Votto had two hits and a walk. Tucker Barnhart had two doubles. Eugenio Suarez got a hit and a walk.

Blake Wood might be (slooowly) pitching himself off the staff as healthy pitchers return to the roster. He had the 9th inning.

The Reverse Nuxhall One of the great things about Joe Nuxhall broadcasting a game was when he cheered in the background of the play-by-play call. “Get out of here!” was a wonderful thing to hear Nuxhall shout on a long fly ball. Today, Jim Day said “uh-oh” audibly as Jeff Brantley called yet another Matt Adams’ home run. Day did a nice job in the radio booth this series. More Jim Day in the radio booth, please.

Good News on Pitching Homer Bailey threw three innings in an extended spring training game in Arizona yesterday. His next game will be June 9 with a minor league affiliate. It will be his first official rehab assignment. (Zach Buchanan)

More Good News on Pitching AAA-Louisville will regain the services of Sal Romano, who was activated from the minor-league disabled list Saturday. Romano will start on Tuesday. (Buchanan)

Today’s Votto Greatness Of 379 batters with 50+ PA, only 5 have a better walk rate than Joey Votto (17.2%). Only 34 have a lower strikeout rate (13.0%). Votto has the third-best BB/K ratio (1.32). (Matt Wilkes)

New Take on FIP The stat Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) attempts to measure outcomes over which the pitcher has control. The formula incorporates walks, strikeouts and home runs. FIP has proven to be a better predictor of future ERA than past ERA. Today, Casey Boguslaw (RO Baseball) published a tweak to FIP where he substitutes “barrels” for home runs. Barrels are now officially defined by MLBAM as high quality contact and are more neutral to park factors than home runs. Casey posted his Best 25 starters and Worst 25 starters in terms of “Barrel FIP” (BFIP?) today. Bronson Arroyo came in at 7th worst. Braves starter Julio Teheran was 4th worst. No Reds starters appeared in the top 25. Arroyo is also the fourth worst in real ERA and worst in traditional FIP.

13 Responses

  1. msanmoore

    I thought there might be a Milton on this one … we certainly barfed up chances yesterday and today.

    Jake Buchanan’s 5.1 innings only cost 56 pitches. That almost seems like a records from what we’ve seen lately. Perhaps he should take Garrett’s next start in 5 days. Garrett sure wasn’t ready to roll and his confidence just kept finding new low ground. I still think he’ll be fine, but right now this is very tough to watch.

    Not sure Cozart’s value could be any higher than it is now (errant throw not withstanding). I’m looking for a trade at the first sign somebody needs a solid shortstop.

    • greenmtred

      Buchanan was good–almost as good as Arroyo in his last start.

  2. BigRedMike

    Cozart is having a great amazing season.

    Unfortunately, the Reds are now in last place.

  3. Old-school

    The reds are 5 under .500.
    Their next 30 games come against some of the best hitting teams in the NL.
    5 games against the Cards- 5 the in the NL
    6 games against the dodgers-3rd in the NL
    3 games against the Nationals 4 the in the NL.
    3 games against the Cubs 1st in hitting.

    The “easier” games are 3 against the Brewers (Thames anyone) and a nice 4 game opportunity for the Reds pitchers in Coors Field….What’s the over/under on runs allowed by the Reds in that series?

    Hard to imagine the the Reds do any better than 10-20 and that means by July 4 th….the reds are sitting at 15 under .500.
    A third consecutive 90 loss season is back in play. Bailey and Finnegan will be a sight for sore eyes….but the sorry state of the starting rotation cannot be overstated.

  4. larry

    No Milton please. The offense tried, and Buchanan was really good in relief. saved most of the bullpen. I am beginning to think that you can’t use Wood unless you are down by ttwo three run dingers, or up by two grand slams. Unless we are really offered a lot, I think we need to sign Cozart to a four year deal and “Votto” him into the rebuild.

    • Old-school

      Cozart is playing the position about as well as you can.The money being spent in FA is crazy though. If the market to compete for him is 4 years and 65 million+ ….would you say the reds should allocate that money to him?

      I would extend Suarez and look at other young players to extend….move lorenzen to a Starting role and trade for a young controllable starter.

      • larry

        The reds could only offer something like 24 or 25 million for four years. I’d take 25 million, that’s 24 million plus over what I have now. But, f he and his agent think that’s a low ball figure, we can’t compete with the 50 to 60 million offers. As you stated, we need to consider signing Suarez and maybe Hamilton as well.

  5. kmartin

    Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza have combined for 21 extra base hits. Zack Cozart now has 27.

  6. Chuck Schick

    You’re GM X. You have a contending team and want to upgrade yourself at SS. Cozart is the obvious candidate….however:

    1. He’s a rental…you will likely only have him for this season.
    2. His BABIP is .385.

    Are you really going to offer anything of value for a guy who will likely underperform the rest of the season since he seemingly has had every conceivable ounce of luck and randomness go his way thus far?

    • larry

      I’m not sure that he’s had “every conceivable once of luck and ramdomness…”Ozzie Smith didn’t start hitting 300 until was well into his major league career. I’m not saying he will hit 345 for the entire year, but 300 seems feasible. But again, if he will command 9 to 12 million a year in free agency, the reds will not, and cannot, be a bidder at that level o compensation,

    • CP

      It depends on what you mean by value. You aren’t expecting a top 50-100 prospect, but you might get someone like a Adam Duvall or Scott Schebler plus a high upside lower level prospect.

      I do have concerns about the SS market. It’s seems pretty limited at the moment.

  7. musicclown

    Cozart running slow around the bases for his triple on a misplay was seen around mlb scouting. If it’s barking now will he last into August?

  8. cfd3000

    Obviously extending Cozart depends at least in part on the price tag. But if trading him does not bring a haul of,prospects then you can’t ignore the additional problem of the options for his replacement. At a point in the rebuilding process where competitiveness arrives soon, I don’t think the Reds can afford to have potentially three holes in the lineup (Hamilton, Peraza and a new SS/2B) and a hole at the most important infield position. He doesn’t have to hit .345 or even .300 to be a lot better than the alternatives. Extend Zack.