2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Three homers, none by Scooter, but the Reds win an Arroyo start

After Monday’s game and before Scooter’s transformation into Lou Gehrig—

—Derrick Goold, the Cardinals’ beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, wrote these words:

The Cardinals have lapsed into a repetitive, galling stretch of games that has become baseball’s answer to rope-a-dope.

They come out swinging, land a few blows, and even take a lead.

Their opponent only has to wait for the inevitable mistake, or three.

For the fourth time in as many days, the Cardinals took a lead in the first half of Monday’s game, mishandled chance after chance to add to it, and stumbled, fundamentally, into a loss.

Luckily for Gould, he can just reuse those four grafs for tomorrow’s game recap because the Cardinals followed their formula to a T.

Cincinnati Reds 6 | St. Louis Cardinals 4 | Golden State Warriors 2-0

The Good

—Scott Schebler had a nice day filling in for Scooter Gennett in left, but Schebler only managed one dinger and one RBI. Better luck next time Scotty.

—Speaking of Scott Schebler, Patrick Kivlehan was the hero of the night, smashing a pinch hit home run over the right field fence and bringing the game to a draw. I maintain that Kivlehan is the unevolved form of Schebler who is the unevolved form of Adam Duvall.

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Cespedes Family BBQ halfway agrees so you know it must be real:

—Bronson Arroyo had a very vanilla start at Great American Ballpark, but with Bronson Arroyo, vanilla is all you really want. 5.2 innings of one run baseball will do, Bronson; it’ll do. (Even if the one run was a solo shot, but hey who’s counting?) (Edit: Bronson gave up four runs, not one. I believe my brain assumed Bronson was incapable of surrendering runs not of the home run variety. Regardless, the Reds won a Bronson Arroyo start. Hurrah.)

(Note: C Trent is always counting.)

—Joseph Daniel Votto broke the tie with an opposite field blast in the seventh. Joey Votto is the best.

—Billy Hamilton had a rough day at the plate but gunned down Eric Fryer at the plate after a Dexter Fowler double, so he’s forgiven.

—Last but not least, Zack Cozart extended his on-base streak to 29 consecutive games with a double in the seventh. The best part of that play though wasn’t Cozart keeping the streak alive, but the left field ballboy fielding the ball before realizing it was fair, then standing stock still as he let the ball fall out of his glove. I’m still laughing at the classic “who me?” face he made as the camera zoomed in.

The Bad

No bad today. Even if Scooter didn’t hit four home runs, the Reds have taken the first three series games against the Cardinals and that’s cause for celebration.

Not So Random Thoughts

Now go watch the basketball game. The Reds will play again tomorrow; I assure you of that.

49 thoughts on “Recap: Three homers, none by Scooter, but the Reds win an Arroyo start

  1. Series win against the Birds. Always a good thing. Only thing better is a sweep. We’ll see what the “give away game” brings tomorrow.

  2. 5.2 innings of one run baseball will do, Bronson; it’ll do

    Except it was 4 runs. I heard Jason Marquis is filing a wrongful termination lawsuit since he had the same numbers and got released from a much weaker team.

    Great win though!! The Billy to Scooter to Mes throw out at the plate was amazing! Kivlehan is amazing too! He has good plate coverage and nice bat speed. They could give Billy a few more days off once in a while and play Schebler in CF with Scooter or PK in rightfield.

    • The problem with taking Hamilton out of the lineup is that Peraza would be leading off. As the fastest player in the lineup, he would have to.

    • To be fair, only 3 scored while Arroyo was in the game. One scored on a hit given up by Peralta after Arroyo was removed. I will gladly take 5-6 innings of 2-3 run baseball from every Arroyo start. If he can do that, then he should probably remain in the rotation until the team is healthy (definitely not any longer than that though)

  3. Player of the game should go to Metheny for taking Lynn out of the game, he is managing like he has got the Reds starting staff and bullpen.
    BTW who here thinks Reds have upgraded on the 2015 closer?

    • Also the decision to pitch to Votto with two outs and a runner on second. That really ought to win some sort of bad managing award.

    • That seemed weird to me? He’s a little out of shape and he was flying around the mound on that Votto comebacker….wonder if he got dinged up or something. They did get a pinch hit rbi and had a 4-1 lead so thats on their pen.

      • That was my point, their pen has been awful this series, not sure why a lefty is not in to face Votto, but kudos to Joey for jumping on that first pitch

    • About the Reds upgrading from their 2015 closer: it’s too soon to say that, but so far Iglesias has been more effective and he’s developed into a pitcher. Chapman, with the Reds at least, never developed a command of more than one pitch.
      (Occasionally no command of that either, but that happens with every pitcher.)

      • I meant to mention this on Tuesday night, but with Scooter-palooza, didn’t get around to it. One of the talking heads on the MLB Network — I think it was Jon Morosi — was talking about closers who would be available at the trade deadline, which has been a recurring theme for the Nationals. And at the end of his list of usual suspects, he throws in the name of Rasiel Iglesias.

        Now, I’d trade anybody for the right price, but I had not heard Iglesias’ name as trade bait.

  4. The difference in this year’s bench and those of the last few years is staggering. Good moves on the part of Dick Williams and I think both Kivlehan and Scooter came on waiver wire moves. A lot better than when we had Jack for it.

    • Yep, I keep asking: When was the last time the Reds had this good a bench: LHed bat, RHed bat, good backup catcher, a utility speed and defense guy who can hit a bit.

      • I believe there was a team last decade that had:

        Javier Valentin (good backup catcher)
        Jacob Cruz (LHed bat)
        Wily Mo Pena (RHed bat)
        Ryan Freel (Super Sub/speed)
        Juan Castro (defensive wiz can hit a little)

        on the bench. I’m not 100% sure they were all on the bench at the same time, but they were definitely the same era.

    • I mentioned the Jack bit yesterday. Had to eat crow after Superman did what he did though. And then Kivlehan tonight … wow.

  5. What a fun game. Arroyo was bad, but somehow not disastrously so. Everyone else was good. Nice to see Schebler healthy and back pounding the ball, taking a walk, and otherwise staking his claim to right field forever. Now break out the brooms!

    • That what I notice about Arroyo he is bad but not a disaster, the difference with a lot of the young guys and even Feldman, can’t avoid the big innings and especially respond with a few shutout innings after giving up some runs

  6. Who needs the NBA when we’re on the verge of a sweep. The Cards & LeBron are both too tired!
    Tonight we were down 4-1, yet I knew our bats give us a chance – a different hero every night!
    Then, we were up 6-4 and I knew it was “game over” – our bullpen is very, very good!
    Nice job boys.

  7. I said this last week, but it seems that the Reds fair so much better against non home run hitting teams

    • Thats true….we’d hit 3 vs the Jays and they’d hit 4. I think if we get Finnegan and Romano in the rotation in a few weeks and Homer after that. If they can just keep scoring a bunch til then….then a 3-2 win might actually be possible once in a while!

      • Sometimes, but then you have the 2005 Reds, who hit 28 more HRs than any other NL team and finished 73-89.

        I get what you’re saying, but VAREDSFAN’s point isn’t quite as meaningless as you might think.

        • The Reds have a winning record this year against Cleveland, Phillies, SF, Pirates and St. Louis. Of that group, only the Indians have a winning record and the Tribe is the only team above the bottom 10 in HR’s. Last year 9 of the bottom 10 HR hitting teams sucked. Obviously, there will always be outliers….the 2012 Giants had the fewest HR’s in the NL and as you referenced the Miley Era Reds.

          I don’t think it was a meaningless point…..he was 100% accurate and its a good observation…..but, in general, bad teams don’t hit as many HR’s as good teams. The Reds have a winning record against 4 teams that don’t hit many home runs….and all 4 suck. The first step towards being good is when you start beating the bad teams….and the Reds are starting to do that.

          • Definitely not a meaningless point by VaRedsFan. But I would just say that the Reds have a tough time against teams with good offenses, such as the Brewers, Cubs, Blue Jays (yes they all hit a lot of HRs). The Reds starters get overwhelmed by such teams, and even the bullpen can’t shut them down completely.

            The Cardinals are a good example of what happens when the Reds face a weak offensive team – the Reds starters can keep them in the game, and the Reds offense and bullpen take it from there.

          • After today’s get away game 13/16 on the road including a west coast trip and 9 against the Dodgers and Nationals. We’ll see how our SP pans out over that span and where we sit in the standings as the All-Star game is close and then begins our usual sell off of players. Will we still be as excited about this season once Duval and Cozart are dealt? We’ll get back better SP the second half but have less offensive to go with it…

          • It was more of a reflection on our pitchers. They are at the top (or close to it) of HR’s allowed. So in other words, not a good matchup for our guys

  8. “Regardless, the Reds won a Bronson Arroyo start. Hurrah.”

    You might be surprised to find out that the Reds are actually 7-5 when Arroyo starts.

    That’s not to say anything about the quality of his outings. But in five of his first 11 starts (not including tonight), he has had a positive WPA.

      • what is his ERA first time through? they really got to move him to the bullpen. Think he could throw off a lot of hitters timing in the middle innings, hopefully teach some of the young guys all season how to out smart ML hitters

          • I’m not surprised to hear that the Reds have won 7 of Bronson’s last 10 starts. That’s a team accomplishment (as Steve would remind us), but does involve a pitcher who – considering how hittable he is – usually manages damage control.

          • I too would think it is pretty normal but it is extreme with Arroyo, batters have a sub .700 ops first time through, then jumps to over 1.000 second time through. Someone like Feldman’s starts off at .790 and actually decreased 2nd time through.
            My thought process is, if Arroyo can come in with a 2-3 inning strategy facing a team that has already prepared for a hard throwing starter, he could be a little more successful plus disrupt timing of the line-up, giving advantage for the hard throwing relievers to follow

        • I agree about moving Bronson to the bullpen for middle inning work (AFTER one or two of the good guys on the DL come back), for the reasons you give. He does mess with hitters’ timing and still gets into their heads.

          Mark Sheldon said no to that because “Bronson’s accustomed to the starting pitcher routine”. He’s wrong. Bronson can adjust, and he pitched in relief with the Pirates and in 8 postseason games for the Red Sox against the Yankees.
          Before the Red Sox traded Bronson to the Reds, they planned to have him pitch out of the bullpen in 2006. Bronson was ticked off that he had already accepted that and then they traded him anyway.

          • At age forty I’m sure Bronson Arroyo can adjust to the bullpen plus he can get some early experience as a pitching coach.

  9. Reds baseball is fun again for the first time since 2013! This team just never quits. A starter might be dominating them but if they remain in striking distance they win the game. Lorenzen and Iglesias are so good it’s almost unfair for the other team. Time to get the sweep tomorrow!!

  10. Joey Votto, the closest hitter in baseball history to Ted Williams who isn’t named Ted Williams.

    His not being in the top 5 for 1st base in the All Star voting demonstrates what a farce the fan vote is. It will probably work out OK this year though, as Zimmerman has passed Rizzo in the fan vote. Let Zimmerman start, with the season he’s having, Joey will be put on the team as a reserve, and the undeserving Rizzo won’t be.

  11. Freddie Freeman getting hurt thinned out the logjam a bit too. Let Zimmerman and Votto have the top spots, and Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Bour and Eric Thames can be third string or relegated to the vote for the final NL spot.

  12. I suppose anybody is worth trading if the right package is offered. I would be reluctant to trade Iglesias. He is one of the few pitchers who is working out for the Reds, has demonstrated he can pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen and could potentially be considered as a starter again.

    • I don’t think we’ll ever see Iggy start. I think we’ve seen what indicates “durability issues”. But having him willingly go 2 innings like he does (as opposed to another hard-thrower who whined about that even after a WS win) is a good thing. “Fireman” is a way better model in my book.

      • if Iglesias has durability issues, why are they still considering Bailey, Disco and Finnegan as starters?

        • I doubt it’s that simple. And I don’t run the organization, nor do I know anything more than the average fan knows. But from what I’ve seen, Iggy’s issues came on in a different way and more rapidly than the others.

  13. Its good to talk about players the Reds have that others might want at the deadline.To me its all about what teams are willing to pay for Cozart,Duvall,Iggy or anybody else for that matter.If you can get a top prospect or two from anybody you have to look at it.Bronson and the rest of our staff have shown to be 4 or 5 inning pitchers with 4 or 5 runs given up.They have better games of course but they have worse games too.Average major league pitchers are in the low 4’s in ERA in we don’t have that yet but it sure would be nice wouldn’t it?

  14. They said last night on the telecast that it was the 13th come from behind victory for the Reds, out of their 28 wins. That is almost 50%, which won’t be sustainable. If they keep playing .500 ball, the Reds might find themselves in a very unique position between the all-star break and the trade deadline where they would be both sellers and buyers. Three games out of first place, but a slew of games coming up against some formidable foes. The next 30 days are going to be interesting to see how it all
    plays out.

  15. Cozart is now 2nd in the NL OPS among qualified hitters. Votto in now 6th in the NL OPS among qualified hitters. They are running down the big Nats duo and the calender has just turned to June.

    Cozart has the best OPS among any NL SS, 2B or 3B and he plays GG caliber defense at SS. I don’t think anyone would have any reservations about his ability to play 2B or 3B as needed, but there are very few starting SS in MLB who I would prefer defensively right now. It’s still early for teams to be deadline shopping, but someone is going to want to beat the crown in the Cozart sweepstakes prior to the trade deadline.

    Schebler, Suarez and Duvall are also among the top 30 in NL OPS with all three OPSing above .850. I just wonder how long it’s going to take for Price and/or DW to recognize that Hamilton and Peraza are NOT the answer at the top of the lineup.

    Really glad to see Hamilton and Schebler back in the lineup and playing well after just briefly resting their strained shoulders. Carrying players on the active roster for a game or two is doable, but with the 10-day DL (and WJ no longer managing the roster construction), we have hopefully seen the last of carrying injured players on the 25-man roster for extended periods of time.

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