2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: One-game winning streak was fun while it lasted

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (30-40) 5 13 0
Tampa Bay Rays (38-36) 6 8 0
W: Cobb (6-5) L: Garrett (3-6) S: Colome (20)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Tucker Barnhart had three hits in four at-bats, including a double and a triple, and an RBI. Devin Mesoraco had two hits, one of which was a double, and he scored two runs. Jose Peraza went 2-4 and collected an RBI. Adam Duvall had two hits, one a double. Eugenio Suarez had two hits and two RBI.

–Ariel Hernandez returned to the Reds and picked up where he left off back in April. He pitched a perfect eighth inning, and his stuff was flat-out filthy. I love this kid.

–Pretty good outing by Lisalverto Bonilla, who came on in relief of Amir Garrett in the fourth inning. Bonilla pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out three. Tony Cingrani followed that up by tossing a scoreless inning and a third.

–Joey Votto hit a long solo home run in the ninth inning. That’s his 20th bomb of the season. Having a great season.

–The Reds were down 6-3 going into the ninth inning, but they rallied with two outs. Votto’s homer cut the lead to two. Duvall followed with a double, and Suarez singled him home. Scott Schebler approached the plate, representing the tying run. A home run would not only give the Reds the lead, it would permit Schebler to tie Votto for 2nd place in the National League home run race.

Alas, he struck out swinging. Game over.

The Bad
–Another tough outing for Amir Garrett tonight: 3.2 innings pitched, 6 runs allowed on 5 hits and 4 walks. 83 pitches in less than 4 innings. Garrett is now 3-6 with a 7.41 ERA on the season. That is not ideal.

I don’t know what to make of Garrett. He’s looked pretty bad for most of the last six weeks.

–First six hitters in the Reds lineup went a collective 6 for 28 (and it was only that good because of three hits in the ninth).

–Billy Hamilton was 0-5 in the leadoff spot. Hamilton’s on-base percentage is down to .291. That is not good, if you were wondering.

Yes, I’m disappointed in Billy. I’ll have more to say about this in the coming weeks.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That one-game winning streak was fun while it lasted. That’s ten losses in the last eleven games for the ol’ Redlegs.

As Lance noted, Hernandez has faced 11 big league hitters and retired them all, looking dominant along the way.

–Joey Votto’s home run tonight tied him with Jay Bruce for 2nd on the NL homer list. I like those guys.

–As usual, the Reds kept fighting, but the starting pitching put them too far behind to catch up. This story is getting old. On the other hand, perhaps it’s a reason to be optimistic (you know I’m always looking for those reasons). Once the Reds get some pitchers healthy and once the young guys start to perform like they’re capable, the Reds will get a lot better in a hurry, right?

Right?

–A lot of Reds fans in the stands at Tropicana Field tonight, I noticed. Of course, it was easy to notice since there were very few Rays fans in the crowd.

–Rubber game of the series tomorrow afternoon. Tim Adleman will take the hill for the good guys.

Today’s Tweets

49 thoughts on “Recap: One-game winning streak was fun while it lasted

  1. Hypothetical Lineup:

    Winker RF
    Cozart SS
    Votto 1B
    Duvall RF
    Schebler CF
    Suarez 3B
    Mesoraco C
    Peraza/Scooter 2B
    Pitcher

    Duvall was a third baseman coming from the Giants, no? Any chance we can shift Suarez back to short and insert Duvall there next year? Is Duvall at third worse than Schebler in CF? I don’t know if it’s possible at all, but that would make for a scary lineup. Unless Senzel is ready. Got to love hypotheticals.

    • Duvall, hard worker that he is, would be the 2nd coming of Edward Scissor Hands over at 3B. Not a good thing to do (in my book).

    • You’re taking 2 strengths defensively (3rd and RF) and turning them into 2 weaknesses

    • In my opinion, any theoretical lineup that has Votto hitting 3rd or lower is flawed. He needs more at-bats. Not fewer.

  2. The Gennett at-bat directly preceding Votto’s monster shot. Strike 2 and strike 3 looked like ball 4 and 5 to my eyes. Anybody know how I can check that, just out of curiosity. That would have tied the game if things had played out the same.

  3. The Reds go for the series win in an early game tomorrow before heading to D.C. for an off-day with Dusty.

  4. Here’s hoping Hernandez has shown who he really is and stays with the team. As stated in an earlier post several weeks ago, the Reds need 8 relievers to throw 80 innings this year to back up this historically bad starting staff. Only 3 NL relievers exceeded that many innings last year. Hernandez and a lot more are going to be needed before this season is over.

  5. What is the issue with Garrett? Not the same guy since the L-ville stint and hip injury. Control is much worse. Is he still hurt?

    • He looked pretty sharp for a while. I think his problem is more mental than physical. Loses concentration, then gets flustered when things start going bad. Or something.

      • I agree … the majority of his problems are the neck up and then the rest goes to pot. I think he’ll come around, but it is painful to watch.

      • I think Garrett’s problem is when the “wise men” sent him to Louisville caused him to lose confidence in himself. Imo it was a stupid move by the front office, rated last in baseball last year. Now I wonder how long the 3 relievers from last night will stay up.

        • How did being sent down hurt his confidence? The Reds basically said it wasn’t performance based. He went down and struck out six out of six guys if I recall correctly. That’s a confidence booster.

          I think his hip injury has impacted his delivery and he’s not finishing hie pitches properly. Plus, film. It’s what major leaguer hitters eat for breakfast. He will adjust.

    • I thought there were several times when he seemed to be tugging around a the waist of his uniform and wondered if his hip or side might still be barking.

      • I think that happens when he whiplashes his neck to watch the ball sail over the wall.

        Time to swap Cody and Amir. Sounds like Cody might have cured his in game whiplash.

        Amir needs time at AAA

    • He walks everyone. That’s it. His control has been absolute garbage. Nothing else is wrong with him, IMO.

      • It’s odd because he doesn’t have a huge history of walking everyone. He would have the odd game where his control would be bad but then he’d seem to sort it out and have some good games before another clinker. At least in the minors… His stuff isn’t good enough to allow him to not be pretty much right on with his control. He can’t fall behind and if he does, he can’t just throw the old number 1 to bail him out. He is going to need to really work on the changeup and have confidence to throw it when behind in the count.

  6. Regarding Garrett, his fourth start in Milwaukee, the one where he gave up 3 home runs, seems to have “broken” him in a way he has yet to recover from. His game log, not including tonight:

    http://www.fangraphs.com/statsd.aspx?playerid=14375&position=P

    First 3 starts: 1 HR allowed
    Since then (at MIL and after), 9 starts: 18 HR allowed

    Is the solution sending him back to Louisville?

    Should more heat be placed on either Bryan Price or Mack Jenkins? Who are they developing/improving in the Reds league-worst (and worsening) 0.7 WAR as a pitching staff?

    Even if Bailey and DeSclafani get back to their best (murky at the moment), the rest of the starting pitching is a grab bag of not proven (Finnegan), really not proven (everyone else) and a dream that shows no signs of becoming real (Lorenzen).

    I would have never thought this in April, but re-signing Feldman for 1 more year may be a necessity.

  7. Fun fact: In 1990, at least 7 different Reds hit leadoff more than once. Anyone remember who did it the most? I bet Bryan Price doesn’t.

  8. The only problem with the “Gif form” is that, in the gif – the woman finished 2nd. If it was true to form, it’d be the person trying to keep from coming in last who falls on their face.

  9. Chad, minor correction, Joey Votto has 20 home runs and Jay Bruce has 19. They are not tied.

    • I knew Jay would have a 40 HR year. Hard to say you miss him when Schebler is doing so well. But Jay Bruce does not ring Met yet

      • He might but he also might have a 2nd half like last year’s… I love Jay Bruce. He’s one of my favorite players. I’d love to see him hit 40.

  10. Garrett wasn’t as bad as the numbers imo last night. Scooter should’ve/could’ve got that one ball which would’ve saved the first 3 runs and Dickerson’s HR was down and away…couldn’t believe that ball went out? That looked like a roid era hr. I guess it depends on how confident Amir is but if he’s a tough minded kid then let him try to work his issues out. It could get ugly in Washington this weekend though?

    Hernandez needs to stay! He should be part of the setup crew w/Peralta and Cingrani. That allows Lorenzen to start. I don’t see what other choices they have? Everyone else is either not ready or hurt all the time. That being said….Hernandez and Winker will be back down next week and wasting more time in the minors because these guys don’t understand how a rebuild is supposed to work?

  11. If you didn’t see the game, you might not know that Amir’s defense let him down when TB scored their first 3 runs. The first batter hit a foul pop that Peraza seemingly lost in the roof. That batter ends up walking. With 1 out he walked Souza. Corey Dickerson literally golfed a pitch a few inches off the ground, to right. Schebler threw home (which Votto cut off, but not before Dickerson got to 2nd.
    With 2 outs, Morrison hit a single to right to drive in 2.

    Yes, Amir has to dig deep and try to overcome defensive misplays. That could/would/should have been a zero or 1 run inning.

    • Problem with your narrative of the game is that Garrett & the Reds were the beneficiaries of even more horrid defense played by the Rays. But after that extended, demoralizing 3rd inning by Garrett, who actually expected a different outcome by Amir in the 4th inning? And if so, based on what ? Some managers/pitching coaches don’t seem to learn.

  12. Amir and all of our pitchers struggle to throw strikes and I don’t know why.It is a common problem and gets them and every other pitcher in baseball in trouble.He still needs to pitch though.Not sure if returning to the minors helps to learn to throw strikes and how that will help him throw strikes to big league hitters.Reed seems to have got better but he dominated in AAA before so because he did it again he now will throw strikes when he comes back up.Guys chase more in the minors,hitters aren’t as good,I would expect that umpires call more strikes down there but that’s just an opinion.It this year of sorting I would prefer guys work it out up here or not.

  13. Whew, last night Marty really went into a rant about the Reds young pitchers and then comparing them with Colorado’s 3 rookies in their rotation. And Colorado being 20 games above .500, and the Reds not. The only words Brantley could get in edgewise were, “Colorado’s pitchers throw strikes!” I think that was about the 5th inning as I was on my way home.
    Then in the 7th inning, Thom and Chris on TV had a much more mature discussion about the young pitchers and their struggles. Say what you want, but it is bewildering how the Reds vaunted pitching prospects have all flamed out so far this year.
    The time has caught up with the Reds front office where they are going to have to make tough, hard decisions on some of their pitching and pitchers very soon.

  14. Those two home runs Garrett gave up were low, very low in the zone, and not even over the middle of the plate…not sure how they got out of the park…but they were hit very hard (maybe no movement on the ball?). Also, early in the season he was credited with not getting flustered…that has seemed to have changed. Final observation…he seemed very manic on the mound, not taking a deep breath and like he was trying to force his pitches into their location. Its beginning to look like the Reds don’t know how to develop young pitchers any more.

  15. “Walks haunt” was no truer than last night for Amir Garrett. Three of his 4 BB’s ended up scoring runs. 4 BB’s and 2 HR’s.
    BB’s haunt and HR’s kill.

  16. I know that it is strictly verboten here to criticize Joey Votto, but he has made two lapses running the bases in the last two games, both of which likely cost the Reds a run in what turned out to be 1-run games.

    On Sunday, in the fourth inning and Votto on third with 1 out, Suarez hit a sinking ball in front of Puig, who dove and made a catch. Votto did not tag and score, despite Puig’s being on the ground. I was taught that a runner on third should instinctively head back to tag-up (except with 2 out) when the ball is in the air, because if it isn’t caught, then the runner can still score fairly easily. Puig has a great arm, and I suppose Votto was concerned about being forced at home if Puig got it on one-hop and fired, but I think it was timid base-running, and Votto should have scored. The next guy made an out and the Reds didn’t score.

    Last night, he simply didn’t run out of the box in the third inning after hitting a chopper toward the second baseman’s left. Instead, he only started running hard after about 15 feet up the line. The throw was bad, and Votto likely would have been safe had he ran strongly the entire way, as he could have avoided the tag if he had been another 2-3 feet further down the line. Duvall’s ‘triple” was the next play. I do not advocate Votto or any hitter going 100% out of the box on a semi-routine grounder in an ordinary game in June. I do suggest that they should always run as hard on these plays as feasible without risking a hamstring pull, which Votto did not do for his first handful of strides.

    I know it’s a grind. But.

  17. As great a hitter as Votto is, his base running has devolved from being decent to horrible, and his defense while better this year probably cost the reds a couple games in April and May from not moving his feet and getting in front of the ball. As long as the good outweighs the bad I guess we live with it. Hopefully he gets his head in the game more while on the basepaths going forward.

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