2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Reds lose again in Tampa, drop series

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (30-41) 3 5 0
Tampa Bay Rays (39-36) 8 14 1
W: Ramirez (4-2) L: Adleman (4-4) S: Whitley (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Scott Schebler hit his 20th home run of the season, a solo shot in the fifth inning. Schebler was 2-3 with a walk and 2 RBI.

–Classic Joey Votto day: 0-1, 3 walks.

–Another perfect inning of relief from Ariel Hernandez. He retired the Rays on four pitches in the eighth. This kid is unstoppable.

The Bad
–Rough day for nearly every pitcher that stepped on the mound wearing an ugly Reds road cap. Tim Adleman started, and struggled all day long. He ultimately allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks in five innings.

Next to the mound was Austin Brice, who surrendered 2 runs on 3 hits, and only collected one out. Wandy Peralta relieved Brice and posted the exact same line: 0.1 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs allowed. Then Drew Storen gave up a run in an inning and a third.

–In the sixth inning, with the good guys down 3-1, the Reds loaded the bases. They were able to scratch one run across, on an infield single by Schebler, but couldn’t score more. In the bottom half, Brice and Peralta vomited all over the mound and the Reds were down 7-2.

By the time the game entered the eighth inning, the Reds were down 8-3, but it looked like they were ready for one of their patented comebacks. Joey Votto walked and Adam Duvall doubled to lead off the inning. One out later, Schebler walked to load the bases.

And the Reds couldn’t score. The game was essentially over at that point.

–Billy Hamilton was 0-4, though he did draw a walk.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Another series loss. Eleven losses in twelve games. This is not a fun stretch of baseball for the ol’ Redlegs.

–Not much else to say. Reds will head to Washington next, where Luis Castillo will get the start for the Reds after being promoted from Double-A.

I’m hopeful that this is rock bottom, or at least the 2017 version of it. (Rock bottom for the rebuild occurred last May.) Homer Bailey should return this weekend. Castillo is going to get a chance. You have to think that Cody Reed — who is pitching well in Triple-A — is going to get another opportunity soon, and Brandon Finnegan should be healthy in the near future, too.

There’s reason for optimism — or, at least, this is what I’m telling myself — that the starting pitching will get much better very soon. And if the starting staff begins to get figured out, this team becomes a lot more interesting.

Today’s Tweets

53 thoughts on “Recap: Reds lose again in Tampa, drop series

  1. Hmmm… when I pointed out after the Cards sweep that 13/16 of the next games would be on the road and the 16 would include 9 with the Dodgers/Nats… and said we’d really see how bad our SP was / start the annual All-Star game sell-off of players… even I didn’t expect us to lose 11 of 12 and still have the 3 road at Nats + 1 road at Cards left…

  2. Let’s see–LOB: Mesoraco, 6; Duval and Suarez 4 each; Winker 3. Yikes. Rough day for the hitters with runners on.

    • Schebler/Suarez/Votto batting 1-2-3

      Schebler can run and Billy’s been terrible. Suarez isn’t hitting that well but he’s drawing walks and that increases their starters pitch count + having Votto behind him has to help! Common sense stuff….Joe Maddon isn’t afraid to change things up! The only time we score 5+ is when were down 8-1.

      • I don’t know about Schebler leading off, but perhaps when Cozart is back they should go to Cozart-Suárez-Votto as 1-2-3?

      • I think the reason Hamilton continues to lead off (remember, he did bat ninth some last year) is the team is giving him every opportunity to prove what he can or cannot do as a leadoff batter. If he proves throughout this year he is not suited for leadoff, then his chances of a contract extension to buy up some arbitration and post-arbitration years go way down. The front office is not going to sign a guy who is a defense-first guy who can’t get on base to a lucrative extension.

        • Dag-gone it Tom…you beat me to the punch. You are very correct. Billy will be in his second year of arbitration next year and is becoming expensive. It is critical from the FO view to keep his agent in check and prove definitively he isn’t a lead off hitter. We all know what Billy can and can’t do but his agent and the Reds marketing team think his value is more. His agent will want $6 mil in arbitration next year and $10 million in 2019 or a 5 year $35 million extension like Enciarte. The issue with Hamilton is value and role. I believe he is best suited as a super-sub.

          Wily Taveras finished 2nd to Ryan Howard for rookie of the year in 2005…put up 5.5 in WAR his first 2 years. had a 30 game hit streak and was very good for Colorado in the post season in 2007. We all know what happened after that.

        • Your thought has merit. It can also be construed as the front office cutting off it’s nose to spite it’s face.

        • Good point, today Hamilton got five ABs and Votto got four ABs.

          I understand Tom’s logic about wanting to get a definitive read on Hamilton’s ability to lead off. However, Hamilton has 1680 career ABs, I doubt if he is going to improve much over what the data suggest.

          • Right. This IS what Billy is at the plate. Barring a change (like dropping switch hitting), he won’t ever be better than this. He’s not strong enough.

            And speed and defense start declining pretty much right when you reach peak (18-20 yrs old), so I can see a situation where Billy isn’t even productive with his speed or defense 3 years from now.

  3. Whether it’s a successful debut or not, a bit of light with Luis Castillo starting on Friday in D.C. in place of Arroyo.

  4. Will be interesting to see the Nationals play. Zimmerman and Harper are both candidates for NL MVP. Daniel Murphy is close and Rendon and Trey Turner are super. Not to mention Maz Scherzer almost threw another no hitter.
    Excited to see Castillo and Homer pitch.That is must see TV.

    Joey Votto is about to pass the 50 WAR mark for his career. Tony Perez finished at 59, Eddie Murray and Frank Thomas were around 72, Bagwell is being inducted this year at 80( what took so long?) and Pujols is 90 and still isn’t done. How good has he been?
    Many of the non first-baseman are in the upper 60’s- including Larkin.

    If Votto can stay on this pace for another 2 years, he starts to enter career counting numbers that get him in the discussion.

    • I wonder: Who calculates WAR? How is it calculated? Is there a WAR department somewhere that warehouses player’s WAR numbers? If there are drastic changes in a player’s WAR, is there someone who warbles these changes to the World?

  5. DC is a great ballpark. I saw two games there last year. I won’t see any this year, including the ones this weekend on tv. Not sure I’m sad about that … hoping Homer comes in as strong as he looks in his last starts. Nats are a very tough team.

    • I went there last year, too. I liked the ballpark (though not as much as GABP), but I get the sense that most people don’t care for it.

      Back when I lived in DC, we went to Camden Yards a bunch of times (this was pre-Nationals). Still the best park I’ve ever been to.

      • Got to watch one game in Camden Yards years ago. Our assigned seats were up in the nose bleed section, but our group had an outing that included dinner in the Picnic Grove. We just hung out by the bullpen for the game. I agree … Camden beats them all.

      • I live in DC and go to about a half dozen games each year…people in DC (including me) seem to like it alot. I like GABP too, especially the Hall of Fame and the statues…and the river. DC working on its Anacostia river front.

      • Camden Yards is also my favorite! Got to play there once as an amateur too. What a charge that was. It’s the only MLB field I’ve ever played on and the only one other than GABP that I’ve even walked on.

  6. This is year 4 for Billy.He is an elite defender and base stealer and brings excitement when he does get on base.He doesn’t walk,strike outs are second on the team and has no power.No pitcher is even concerned other then they can’t walk him so he sees strike after strike after strike in every at bat.The infield plays in and so does the outfield so where can he hit it to get on or drive home runs.He is what he is and I am the one that said if he can his OBP up to 320 or 330 then sign him up to an extension.

  7. Our pitching staff is ranked 27 out 30 in terms of quality starts. It seems like one of our starters making it past five innings is a rare event.

    Scherzer pitched today so at least we miss him over the weekend.

  8. I look forward to Chad’s upcoming article on Billy Hamilton and the below the line comments, because I am genuinely confused.

    I thought that if there is one thing already sorted this year, at least on RLN, it was that:
    -Billy Hamilton is a negative in regards to offensive production (especially vs. LHP)
    -And, he is unlikely to improve much offensively.

    (In fact, his K% continues to get worse, year over year).

    But, there is a thought now he might be offered an extension?

    Why would the Reds buy out his 2 remaining years of arbitration, when defense is improving, but never weighed the same as offense in the hearings?

    • People always are always way too hot/cold on Billy depending on what phase of hot streak or slump he’s in.

      Presumably, those subpar arbitration hearings will be factored into any extension price, but I agree in general I think it is absurd to offer Billy Hamilton an extension this early. Maybe you can do it with 1 year of control left but that’s about it. There simply isn’t any reason to take on the risk. Billy’s entire game is based around his speed and that speed is likely already depreciating.

    • I think most of the extension talk centered around the idea that Billy turned into a non-terrible hitter last year (wRC+ above 75). If he was that guy, a cheap extension made sense b/c Billy would be a good overall player. If his wRC+ is in the 50s or low 60s, the defense/base running barely brings him back to “average” territory.

  9. Votto now leads the NL (and MLB) in walks. Third in OBP, fourth in slugging, third in OPS. Peraza by contrast is LAST in the NL in walks. He has 5. No other qualified hitter has less than 10. Just saying.

        • Votto gets a hit 25% of the time, tied with Duvall. Both are behind Cozart,(27%), and Gennett,(26%). Peraza is at 24% with Suarez. Votto’s strikeouts are well below his normal rate at 11%. He walks 16% of the time.

          • What a bizarre way too look at a hitter. Even if we ignore the fact that it essentially rewards the mere act of not taking a walk, it assumes all hits are equal.

          • You think OBP is better ?????

            It assumes all hits AND walks, including Hr’s, are equal. Such an inferior stat espoused by so many of the Saber followers.

          • Scot, you really have no idea what you’re talking about. OBP is inferor to “% of time getting a hit?” I’m not sure I’ve ever heard something so ill-informed.

            And no “Saber followers” espouse OBP over all. wRC+ or even OPS+ is the favorite single offensive measure for people who understand logic.

            The reason why OBP is discussed is because it is better than batting average alone at evaluating a player’s offensive contribution.

            What is better?

            10 singles 0 walks?

            9 singles 50 walks?

            The first guy gets a hit more often and has a higher batting average. So your logic indicates he’s better. Wow.

          • Yes, while it certainly isn’t the only stat people look at, OBP is miles better than than the one you put out there.

            Not.Even.Close.

            You can use OBP as a pretty decent proxy for offensive value. If I look at the top 15 qualified players by OBP, the lowest wRC+ is 136. The stat you just mentioned has a guy with a 159 wRC+ grouped in with a guy with a 62 wRC+. It’s an absolutely terrible metric for anything.

            You somehow found a more useless metric than batting average. It’s kind of impressive really.

          • % of plate-appearances where a hitter gets a hit is the metric you want to use here? It’s inferior to simple batting average as far as determining the worth of a hitter. I’m not following you at all and I have a whole bunch of rather old-school views on some things. I don’t even think Harold Reynolds would agree with you. This is especially if you’re saying that Cozart and Gennett are better hitters than Votto and that Peraza is close.

    • Peraza is a player for whom his batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage are all approximately equal.

  10. I wonder if someone could tell me how Schebler’s defensive metrics measure up this year? Has he played enough CF off-n-on in 1.5 seasons to have a rating? Bottom line imo….we have guys having monster years and they’re still only 6th in runs scored in the NL (10th overall though in mlb). They’re going to need to be top 2-3 NL and top 5-6 overall imo with our pitching and factoring in Gabp and the way the ball is flying this year! I don’t see how they can carry Billy & Peraza (SS?) fulltime next year without slipping offensively!

    • Very disappointed with both Hamilton and Peraza at the plate. Hamilton is batting .237 and has a ops of 597. Peraza is batting .255 and has a ops 628, and almost never walks. By comparison, Votto’s ops is 1,020, Cozart’s well over 900, and Gennett, Devall, Surez, Scheber and Mesoraco all have ops’s in the 840 to 890 range. It’s like we have three pitchers hitting in this line up. Terrible.

      • Billy @ Jose are fun to watch when they get on base, but it seems so infrequent now.You can’t trade either unless they really get hot in the next several weeks, as their trade value is way down at this time.

        • Disagree. Peraza would be snatched up in a heart beat. He can hit. His average will climb when he learns he does not have to swing at every pitch. He will mature.

          Hamilton, I agree. But he sell tickets. Based on the Reds marketing of him.

          • I’m not really suggesting that they trade both Billy & Jose. Bat them at the bottom of the line up, and if one gets hot, move him up. Maybe they should trade Billy, but I would rather keep him. It might mean that he bats ninth or plays in less games. Hopefully he will figure it out and start hitting like he did in the second half of 2016.

  11. This is Peraza’s first full year and is 23.Billy is in year 4 and we know what we know about him.Unless he gets bigger or stronger or both he will never hit.Outfield is shallow and the infield is in.He just rarely hits the ball hard at all.If they give Winker a chance and I mean a legit chance he will force the issue because he has hit and got on base at all levels.Time will tell if it hasn’t already.Billy is a little dude that goes all out on defense and will get banged up which makes it even worse for him.Platoon him the rest of the year and get him healed up and please move him to ninth in the order.No more 0-5 while others get only 4 at bats.

  12. I got to see the Reds yesterday in person for first time in 5 years! Trop, despite having a bad reputation, was a cozy ballpark and being indoors is definitely helpful in afternoon games. Of course, it is not as nice as GABP and there scoreboard was a little too low to see some of the important stats (people in front, walkway). Unfortunately, we couldn’t see a win but did see Schebler deposit a ball a section over from us and Billy throw out a runner at third.

    Overall, a fun and great experience! Go Reds!

  13. Still yearning for a true lead off hitter. Billy, god bless him, just doesn’t seem to be the answer. Bad months April June. Good month May. When bad, bat him 8th or 9th.

  14. If Miami bats Stanton second and Chicago bats Bryant second why can’t the reds bat Votto second?

Comments are closed.