2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Devin Mesoraco’s heroics aren’t enough, Reds drop second straight in LA

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (29-32) 4 8 1
Los Angeles Dodgers (38-25) 5 10 0
W: Jansen (4-0) L: Storen (1-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–With the Reds down 4-1 in the sixth, the vaunted Cincinnati offense kicked into gear. Zack Cozart was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Joey Votto hammered a ball to the wall that was somehow caught by LA center fielder Chris Taylor, but Eugenio Suarez singled to left to give the Reds two base runners. After Scott Schebler struck out, the Dodgers removed starter Alex Wood in favor of reliever Josh Fields.

Devin Mesoraco punished Fields by hitting a 3-run home run to left that tied the game at 4. I like Devin.

–Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez each had two hits in four at-bats.

–Michael Lorenzen pitched two scoreless innings of relief after the Reds tied it up.

–Wandy Peralta pitched a perfect inning of relief. I’m sure that surprises no one. Peralta has been great this season.

The Bad
–Tie game, bottom of the ninth, Drew Storen comes on for the Reds. After a strikeout, Storen permitted back to back singles. Manager Bryan Price decided to bring Tony Cingrani into the game, and Cingrani struck out the first batter he faced. Unfortunately, Corey Seager hit a ball just outside the reach of Reds left fielder Scooter Gennett that landed in fair territory for a double, and the winning run scored.

–Cozart made his sixth error of the season.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Somehow, Asher Wojciechowski escaped the embarrassing fate of being included in the “Bad” section above. His first inning was certainly bad, as Wojciechowski allowed 3 runs on 3 hits to put the Reds in an early hole. Wojo settled down, however, and allowed just one run in the next four innings to give the Reds an opportunity to make a comeback.

His final line: 5 innings, 4 runs allowed on 6 hits. No walks, one strikeout. Could have been better. Could have been much worse.

–Eight consecutive losses for the Reds at Dodger Stadium. The Reds should try winning a game out there sometime.

–Tim Adleman will take the mound tomorrow, as the Redlegs attempt to avoid the sweep in Los Angeles.

Today’s Tweets

57 thoughts on “Recap: Devin Mesoraco’s heroics aren’t enough, Reds drop second straight in LA

  1. Price allows his worst hitters to get the most at-bats, and he lets two lesser pitchers lose the game while his best pitcher sits and watches. It’s madness. In no other sport are lesser players given more opportunities than better players, but in baseball this somehow makes sense to a lot of people.

    • In other sports you’re generally not as limited as you are with a baseball pitcher. A NBA player can play 80% of the minutes over the course of the season. It’s not uncommon for a NFL player to not miss a snap. A great starter may pitch 14% of your innings. Aroldis Chapman pitches 4-5% of innings….so you do need to pick your spots and rely on your non best players a disproportionate amount of the time

      • Yes, you pick your spots. When one run means you lose the game, that’s a spot. When a single means you lose the game, that’s an even bigger spot. You don’t want to disproportionately use your 4th and 5th best guys in those spots.

        • If they had used Iggy in the 9th, then they still need to use Storen and/or Cingrani in the 10th.

          • Either:
            (1) use Iggy for more than one inning (which I’d highly approve)
            (2) then use your next best option in the 10th, 11th, 12th – WHATEVER. Use your pitchers in order from best to worst at that point.

            There was no 10th inning possibly in part because your best arm never got in the game.
            The Dodgers used their ‘closer’, their best relief arm, in the 9th. Smarter managing….

          • So in using Iggy multiple innings….in a tie game…on the road…how many future games is he not going to be available? 1? 3?

            Not worth it….especially on the road. The odds are against you and why go into the Padres series, who you could sweep, short handed?

            It’s not game 7 of the World Series. You have to weight the cost/probability of potential victory today vs the cost and how that impacts the next 2-5 games.

      • those times to use your best arm – Iglesias – is when the game is tied, or when you are a run or two ahead, or a run or two behind. Not when you are 6 runs ahead or 9 runs behind (as price has used him in the past ostensibly to give him some work….which would not have been necessary had price used Rasial while games were TIED). At this rate Your Best Arm will be used for around 80 innings – his arm might not hold up to 200+ innings, but let’s find a better happy medium and see if Iglesias can handle 120-140 high leverage, tied ball game or close ball game innings

        • In general, that is when they use Iggy. You seem to be working from the premise that a baseball season is some linear endeavor in which HLS’s are predictable and consistent. We possess perhaps 10% of all known information regarding the true health, availability of any given player on any given night.

          • Most definitely not true. You are operating under the premise Price makes the best decision possible, utilizes his available resources most judiciously. I’d strongly disagree.

          • Whether or not Price makes the best possible decisions isn’t the point, though. The point is that we have very little specific information about a given player’s fitness (in the general sense) at any given time.

  2. In my opinion, when it comes to high-leverage situations, only 3 out of 8 relievers are really capable (Iglesias, Lorenzen, Peralta), or so it’s been so far this season. Mid-leverage: Storen, Cingrani, Brice. Low-leverage: Wood, Buchanan. After Peralta and Lorenzen had already pitched, it was a tough decision to go with Iglesias right away instead of Storen or Cingrani. Tough luck.

    • It really shouldn’t be a tough decision. You’ll lose the game if you give up a run, so you put in the guy who’s least likely to give up a run.

    • Dodgers skipper didn’t have any trouble bringing in Jansen for the 9th. Why didn’t price use his Jansen?

        • Not true – see the next article regarding bullpen management posted regarding Jansen’s use in a tie game in the 9th while LA was in Cincinnati.

  3. Seems like the two inning experiments are over for Iglesias. He’s been much more the standard closer recently. He could have come in to get out of the jam in the 9th and stayed in another inning, if he wasn’t under closer rules.

    • Clearly the whole non-conformist bullpen idea is out the window. Iglesias now seems to be ninth-inning-save-situation only. Which is a shame, because I thought part of the idea of this year was to get both Lorenzen and Iglesias close to 100 innings in relief situations. Not going to happen.

      • Lorenzen did pitch two innings last night. We’re only surmising that Iglesias hasnot been doing this lately due to Price’s belated fear of violating “closer rules.” It could also be that he’s showing wear and tear and they’re being careful with him.

  4. Explain to me one more time how theres no room for Winker right now with both Gennett and Kivlehan getting a start in the OF…

    • So they should fly Winker across 2 time zones, last minute to start A game?

      • At the very least the second both Hamilton and Schebler went down, he should’ve been on a plane. He could’ve been playing while both of them were (are) banged up and still playing now that Duvall is sick

        • To make that move, who should they have DFA? Scotter? I don’t think either of the back up outfielders have options left…or do you go short handed pitchers on a long road trip?

  5. Losing is not good but even worse when your best pitcher sets and watches.Nats would love to have him or Lorenzen or Peralta but Baker would do the same thing as Price did because they are the same manager,

    • Yes, Price is just a continuation of Baker. When the starting pitching is ready, the Reds are on the verge of being a contender. Williams and his team are doing a good job but they need to follow through with change in the manager’s office.

  6. Any news of Votto being hurt? His gap shot hit was only a single. He could have ran backwards to 2nd. Suarez then loops one over the 1st baseman’s head, and he inexplicably stops at 2nd. So with 1 out he could have been at 3rd.

    • Puig made a surprising stop of the ball and rifled to second. Charlie Steiner raved about how he held Votto at first and made him pull up. I think Joey just made a smart base running move not to get nailed.

      • Puig’s arm also nearly got Scooter on that double off the wall. That was a strike he threw from the warning track on that play. Very impressive.

  7. More often that not, Cingrani lets you down. I’ve seen enough of this guy. I’ll take my chances and use Iggy in the 9th. I will worry about the 10th and beyond later. I agree with others that Price is out of the Dusty Baker mold and that’s maddening.

    • Not using your best pitcher…. in a tie game…on the road…..when you can’t use him multiple innings….isn’t of the Dusty school of thought. It’s of the almost everyone ever school of thought.

      • Remember the good old days when Price pulled a starter early in the third or fourth inning in a close game (think it was tied) and used Lorenzen or Iggy as a hammer for three innings apiece?

        Not every game is gonna be close, there will be plenty of times for bullpen rest in blowouts either way.

  8. The “you’ll need someone to pitch the 10th” argument makes no sense. For all we know, the Reds will be ahead by 2 or 3 or 7 runs in the 10th, which gives Cingrani a lot more leeway than a sudden-death tie game with the winning run on second. You’re intentionally using a lesser pitcher in the most difficult situation because you’re afraid you MIGHT have to use him in a similar situation later. This is like “I’m going to request a lesser surgeon do my very dangerous operation today because it’s possible I’ll need an equally dangerous operation tomorrow, and if I survive the one today I want to make sure the best guy is available to do the one tomorrow.” Nobody other than a baseball manager would think this is a good strategy.

    • Your analogy is void of logic. You have 1 life. If the dangerous surgery fails then you die. Price knew the Reds have about 100 games left, regardless of last night’s outcome. He also knows the Dodgers get the last at bat regardless of what the Reds do in the 10th.

      Yes,the Reds could’ve scored 2,3 or 7 runs in the top of the 10th. Perhaps there is a 2% chance that the Reds would’ve scored that many runs. Managers in most industries generally will make decisons that could have negative longer term consequences for a 2% chance of success. Or perhaps that rarely happens.

      You have to weigh the cost of winning today measured against the probability of success and the potential impact on future games.

      • Your argument is void of logic. In today’s game, you KNOW you will LOSE if you allow ONE run to score. That’s the time to put your best pitcher in the game, because you KNOW he can be of value right NOW. Holding him out in case there MIGHT be a good opportunity to use him at a later time is not logical. I don’t understand how this can seem illogical to anyone.

      • And there’s much more than a 2% chance the Reds score at least 2 runs with the top of the order due up and the Dodgers’ best relief pitcher already used. They score 2 runs more often than every 50th inning.

  9. The problem that some seem to have about not using Iglesias in the ninth assumes the Reds will score in the 10’th and Iglesias can pitch the 10’th. Also Storen didn’t pitch poorly but was the victim of two well placed ground balls. Sometimes you get the be a and sometimes the bear get you. And Seager is a bear of a hitter.

  10. For those who discount defense in favor of offense, I give you Scotter Gennett playing LF with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning and runners on 1st and 2nd. Scooter made an excellent effort on a ball slicing away from him, but a good, experienced LF probably makes that play. I like Scooter and he can play on my team any and every day, but he is not a good defensive player, at any position. The Reds had limited alternatives with Duvall being ill and unavailble to play defense, so there is no criticism with playing Scotter in LF, but defense matters.

    • I’m glad you mpoinged this out Cossack. I was planning to mention it if someone else hadn’t. His route and Kivkehan’s in the first were both awful. Outfield defense DOES matter and probably was the difference in this game. Also, enough with the griping about bullpen use last night. If either Storen or Cingrani gets through the 9th clean, which both should be able to do, it’s a different game. It’s not like Price called on Wood or Buchanan. And don’t ding Price for bullpen use without doing the same for Roberts. He pulled Alex Wood with a 3 run lead just so Mesoraco could tie the game with a bomb on the second pitch he saw. Sometimes the Reds lose close games…

      • Not a bad move on Roberts part – until he gave up the bomb to Mez, that relief pitcher had been very effective this season. All the relief pitchers Roberts used had ERAs below 2.00.

  11. I was not a fan of bringing Storen in to pitch the bottom of the 9th, but I was thrilled to see Cingrani relieving Storen with 1 out and runners on 1st and 2nd. Until and if the Reds get a competitive starting rotation, this is still a season of sorting and Cingrani is one of the sortees. Storen is not one os the sortees, just a body in the bullpen. I thought Cingrani did a good job in a high leverage situation. He forced the opposing manager to remove the LH hitter that Cingrani came in to face, then struck out the RH pinch hitter for 2 outs. The hit by Seager was not hammered, just a slicing line drive to the opposite field. How many times have we seen Votto do that? Seager is an excellent hitter and this time he succeeded, but that doesn’t mean Cingrani did a poor job. The problem was 2 baserunners and only 1 out by Storen.

  12. So would you be willing to put Lorenzen in the rotation and bring up Ariel Hernandez from AA to take his role in the BP? It has got to be better than three fifths of what we run out there now.

  13. Some people are fooling themselves. I don’t see using Iglesias to pitch the 9th being any more progressive than a traditional manager would use. Storen was brought in to pitch to the bottom of the order, which I’m perfectly fine with. It’s a closer decision whether Iglesias should be brought in to pitch to Seager but Cingrani is historically really tough on left handed hitters. I probably go with Iglesias but Cingrani there is okay.

    Yeah, if this is the WS, I expect the Reds to utilize their best pitcher in this situation. But it is not…it’s a long season and the Reds are walking that fine line between rebuilding and trying to win.

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