Titanic Struggle Recap

A day for Homer (and the rest of us) to forget

Homer Bailey threw 31 pitches the 1st inning and 30 pitches in the 2nd inning before he was lifted. The 31-year-old Bailey pitched about the way you’d expect a guy coming off the DL and surgery, his first game of major league action against a group of guys playing in their 74th game of the year.

His fastball velocity was 93-95 mph, which was where he’s been in his rehab starts. Bailey did strike out Bryce Harper twice. But overall, the Nationals lineup was murderous. Bailey contributed to his plight with three walks. Things will be better for Bailey when he isn’t subjected to a BABIP of .600. The main thing is that Bailey feels normal the next few days.

Considering what the Nationals are doing to all the Reds pitchers today, it makes Luis Castillo’s start yesterday look better.

Cincinnati Reds 3  Washington Nationals 18 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

News: Bryan Price announced before the game that Brandon Finnegan will start Monday in the make-up game in St. Louis. That makes the current starting rotation: Homer Bailey, Scott Feldman, Brandon Finnegan, Luis Castillo and Tim Adleman.

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati’s performance today.

63 thoughts on “A day for Homer (and the rest of us) to forget

  1. This teams pitching is uncalled for,no major league team should ever be this bad.reds got pitchers on there roster with 7 plus e.r.a’s.no pitcher should be in league with them numbers,and the one pitcher that a lot of folks are big on out of bullpen is lorenzen, and you ain’t going no where with him,not good numbers at all,I cringe every time he comes in.my point being if this is the best that the reds can offer,they need to clean house from the owners on down,I pay 200.00 a year to watch the reds and I need a refund in a big way

  2. Bailey has never been a great pitcher. He will be better than today, but never better than a #3. Being a first round pick and managing a no hitter don’t make a career.

    • Based on Homer’s peripheral stats, he was trending toward becoming an elite pitcher a few years ago.

      However, due to his injuries happening right around what should have been his peak production years, you’ll right in that he’ll probably never reach those heights.

      • Yep, when they gave him the contract, he was knocking on SP1/Ace door. His ERA was down near 3.00 and likely would have been sub 3 for the last two seasons had he been healthy. That would make him SP1- material for sure, or at least SP2+. Add in his ability to be lights out every few starts, including two no-hitters, and yeah, he was trending in a good way.

        Unfortunately, for the Reds, for Homer and for all of us fans, the contract and subsequent health roller coaster ride has been quite trying and maddening. It was just bad timing and bad luck for all. Homer surely didn’t want this, the Reds didn’t and we didn’t. Had they NOT signed him, and he remained healthy and an SP1 elsewhere, there would be precious few posters here (some of them most anti-Bailey-contract now) that would be thumping the Reds management for NOT extending Bailey when they had the chance.

    • I am not sure Bailey will ever be much anymore. Pitchers with arm injuries lose their control before they lose their velocity. It doesn’t matter to me that Homer is able to jack it up to 93-95 mph. He can hardly get anyone out and is being shelled like a washed up batting practice pitcher.

  3. So I happen to be flying from Chicago Midway to Norfolk today, look out the window and what do I see? I see a meandering river, a ball park right on the river, and a football stadium nearby. I see a smaller river flowing into the bigger river right across from the ballpark. A distinctive pattern it seems, perhaps I can identify said city. I think, “Could
    this be the Queen City, the home of my beloved Reds? Could it be an omen? Perhaps it’s a sign that Homer Bailey will burst on the scene, pitching a perfect game while staying well within his pitch limit! Like in 61 pitches or something. That would be so awesome!”

  4. Let’s face it other than maybe Castillo every starting pitcher on this team is a complete bust. None of them have improved. This team is years from contending

    • In fairness, Adleman and Feldman aren’t busts: They are both pitching as expected. And Bailey should not be judged based on this start or the next or the one after that. He’s throwing pretty well, but he’s unavoidably rusty.For that matter, Bonilla has a good fastball and good breaking stuff, but problems with command (as Chris Welch was saying), and that pretty well defines most of the staff. Can command be learned? I’d think so.

      • It seems like something is systematically wrong to have so many pitchers on the roster that can’t throw strikes consistently and at historic levels.

    • Also in fairness, the Reds new operations plan seems to be ploughing funds into developement tools, such as better nutrition, better coaching and better physical training. I don’t know if that will help pitching or not, but there are major changes the past full year and it will take a few seasons to see if suddenly the Reds are taking good pitchers in drafts and FA signings and having a significant percentage reach their potential. The past 40+ years it certainly has been the opposite. Other than a rare Browning or Soto flash for a few seasons, the Reds home grown pitching has been some of the worst in baseball in my lifetime.

      At least there has been some real soul-searching and changing of how funds are allocated and more importance on the minor league system.

  5. The sky is falling on 2017. The sky is not falling on 2019.
    The real question is 2018.

  6. It’s the Licking River, by the way. As in “Takes a Licking.” Maybe it was an omen after all.

  7. Well with this rotation run total over bets in Vegas are almost locks at this point!!

  8. As bad as Bailey was in understandable circumstances, he didn’t allow even half the runs allowed by Reds pitching today. What’s the excuse for the rest of the crew?

    • I wrote them off and predicted 15 under by july 4 th after the Atlanta starting pitching debacle at the beginning of the month …then they sweep St Louis to get back to 1 under….and well….we know the rest of the June Swoon.

      We are witnessing a new era in baseball….the non PED hitting monsoon….and Washington is leading the way. The Reds need to adjust to the new reality and find pitchers who can stay healthy and pitch….instead of throwers who can throw harder. Obviously a very hard thing to do….but outside of Hunter Greene….the answer isn’t going to be 101 mph.

      • Yet the only pitcher who pitched reasonably well today for the Reds was the hardest thrower, Hernandez.

        The Reds also need to recognize that in this era you described, pitchers who totally and routinely shut down the opposition are few and far between.
        They can’t afford to rely on defense at the expense of significant offensive lose to try and gut out 1 run wins.

        • Yes…..the day of the 1977 mark belanger shortstop and no.hit cf is over….we are in a new era and regrettably….I think 2019 is the the beginning. Of the Reds window…

        • For most of this season, weak offense hasn’t been the reason for the Reds’ losses. Weak starting pitching has,and I think that Old-School’s observation about pitchers and throwers has some merit. The hitting surge appears to be in lock-step with the general rise of and infatuation with extremely hard throwers. But the game always adjusts and the current imbalance is more likely a bump than a permanent change. Returning to a team of no-defense, no-pitch thumpers will not result in a championship.

      • In the last 14 games in which the Reds gone 1-13, they’ve given 102 runs and scored 53. If my quick crunching is correct, that’s an average losing score of 7.3 to 3.8. The Median allowed is 6.5 versus 3 scored. The mode is 6 allowed 2 scored. The pitching has been the leading edge of the collapse but the offense has issues of it own too.

        • Very accurate. With too many boom and bust offensive pieces….Duvall, Schebler, Suarez….and add a couple weak streaking bats like BH & Peraza, losing in bunches happen more often than a lineup with a few higher OBP guys, Winker types. When Cozart returns hopefully Price sits Peraza for Scooter until Peraza understands he has the ability to be so much more effective if he were to stop swinging at inside pitches on his fists and those far outside off the plate. Winker will be wasted within this organization until a less robotic manager and perhaps more progressive upper management take hold.

  9. Hope for the best, but, this rebuild just seems to be falling apart. Where are the young hitting prospects? Senzel? Winker will get on base, assuming the Reds ever let him play. The Reds have Votto and that is about it on the offensive side. To this point, the Reds have had replacement level players playing over their abilities for the first two months, Cozart, Schebler, Suarez, Duvall.
    Hamilton and Peraza are ok at the bottom of the order, but, in general are just not legitimate hitters.
    Who knows with the pitching, they are attempting with young arms, just is not working to this point. Also, there is reliance on starters that are generally hurt, Bailey, Desclafani, and Finnegan.
    Organization seems to be stuck right now, tough to rebuild without a true plan on what type of player they want on offense.

    • Senzel has been a pro for exactly one full season and just got promoted to AA. Maybe chill on him a bit.

      The notion that Suarez or Cozart are or have ever been replacement level is laughable. Duvall and Schebler have both proven themselves. The Reds have been one of the best offensive teams in the league.

      • Cozart is fine, just over performed so far and is not necessarily part of the future

        Hmm, Suarez has a career wRC+ of 100 with 1600 PA, down to 118 this year after a very hot start. Schebler is fine, nothing special.

        Reds are 7th in Runs Scored in the NL

        At least Votto is fun to watch

  10. Does it really matter who starts anymore? I know, give Homer time but this a disaster. Why is Blake Wood still on the team?

    • Because somebody has to pitch. Getting rid of Blake Wood isn’t going to make this a competent pitching staff, unless we can package him with a non-prospect or two and trade him for Kershaw or Cueto.

      • As long as we’re dreaming, we can package him and some other stiff for both Cueto and Kershaw! Although that Cueto guy sure is struggling this year 🙂

    • It seems like there are some decent, non prospect bullpen arms down in Louisville that might be worth giving a shot. I agree, at about 31, Wood should be sent down or cut. Even someone just a little younger, but Wood is a known commodity at this point and not in a good way. Give someone else a chance that may be too old for a prospect but performing well in AAA.

  11. I had the nationals radio guys on in the pregame chatter.. They were surprised that Bailey was starting back in the majors after only three minor league games. After all he only pitched about 9 games in the prior two years. After the second inning, I was wondering the same thing.

  12. A sliver of a silver lining in the midst of today’s massacre: Ariel Hernandez. Another nice outing from him. It is time to start seeing the young players’ stuff with greater regularity: Winker, Castillo, Hernandez, Romano, etc. I want to see a smart rebuild from the Reds FO. A stew of young talent with a dash of strong veteran presence and productivity (like Votto, Mesoraco, DiScalfani, Bailey (maybe), etc.). It’s time to start looking ahead toward 2018 and be judicious sellers in 2017.

    • I had turned off the game and poured a restorative jar of whisky before Hernandez pitched. His line looks pedestrian, particularly the two walks, though better than anyone else’s. Good stuff paired with walks and general lack of command seem to be the norm for the Reds. Did he look better than his line suggests?

      • Not really…we’ve been burned way too many times now by a few good outings by our rookies just to see them crumble with time…perhaps as opponents get a bead on them. Actually, Bailey threw some pretty good change-ups and curve-balls…to no avail at the end of the day (or I should say at the end of an inning and a third).

        • Point well taken and agree overall with your thoughts. But read again my first sentence: a “sliver of a silver lining.” So I did not mean to convey that he had an great outing. Admittedly, that the positive was judged on a relative scale. Yet, Ariel has shown something that we, as REDS fans (I actually live in Miami), would like to dream that it can become realized as a contributing cog in a future contending team. If we can’t let ourselves dream a little with some of these prospects, then being a REDS fan will be thoroughly miserable. I have followed this team, and baseball overall, for far too long (since the mid 70’s) to put too much stock on a couple rookie outings and conclude that a star is born for sure. I want to enjoy something…

          • I hear you…didn’t mean to sound like a downer…I’ve followed Reds since the 60s, live now in DC, and with MLB.Tv can watch Reds regularly. I’m not jaded by the last three years…just trying to tend to my emotional well-being.

  13. I don’t think “about how you’d expect” is accurate. I didn’t expect a no-hitter today, but maybe 4 runs over 6 innings or something in that neighborhood.

  14. Whew, that was ugly, and i didn’t even watch the game past 8-0. Bailey just was not ready for big time baseball yet.

    Offensively, contrary to the stats, this does not look like a good offensive team, especially without an on-fire Cozart. But Gennett is filling in adequately, so who knows, but Hamilton, for sure, needs some time on the bench. But sending Winker back down likely answered that question.

    It does not feel like we are closing in on the end of the rebuild. Oh well, it has been 27 years since we were in the World Series so what is 5, or so, more years

  15. While the losing streak & starting pitching are tough to watch, remember that 2017 is the “sorting out” year. And the sorting can be brutal. But after a Cardinal sweep two weeks ago, we were all aboard with a firm rebuild plan that just needed some starting pitching. Now we’re like rats on a sinking ship – every man and his opinion for himself! “Bench this guy!” “Demote that guy!” “Trade that guy.”
    Every single team has a stretch where they can’t seem to coordinate pitching & offense. We’ll get hot and hopefully make a run at 80 wins – but to expect anything more is just not realistic at this time given our team youth & pitching uncertainty. And the Dodgers & Nationals are playing some of the best ball on the planet right now – what can you do when they happen to be the opponent the past 2 weeks?
    You stay positive, you hope the young guys learn from this, hate this feeling and want to get better. You don’t fold the tent because you had a rough couple weeks.

  16. Old School’s comment about the sky not falling in 2019 is well put.

    At the end of this season, I expect Dick Williams to say something like, “because of injuries, the season of sorting will really be in 2018.” Or, “we solidified the offense in 2017, solidifying the pitching will be the focus next season.”

    A “the plan is working, and we are on course” type of re-assurance to offset the public angst of the 90+ losses.

    Plenty to still watch and enjoy right now. It just takes the Rosiest Reds-colored glasses to envision this team breaking Spring Traning in 9 months and competing on the same level with the Dodgers, Nationals, Cubs, etc.

  17. Wonder if Price still thinks the Reds can push for the playoffs.

    Of all the things Price has said or done, that one dumbfounded me the most. He was basically saying they had to play the best players to make the push, not develop the young players for the good of the future.

    Well, hopefully that silly notion has been put firmly and unequivocally to bed. Can we please focus on the actual sorting now?

  18. Pros: Castillo has a chance to be the real deal and Tyler Mahle actually outpitched him all season at AA and he’s now at Lville. Scooter & Kivlehan look like they can provide some real pop off the bench for several years! Finnegan will be back and he’s had a 2.50 since August last year. The bullpen is a strength…just going thru a rough patch along with everyone else.

    Cons: We have to go to work tomorrow so I can’t list everything but Suarez is hitting .237 since April. Thats almost 2 months worth of numbers. Price should wake up and make a few changes. Suarez is drawing walks so why not bat him 2nd in front of Joey?

    • Totally agree. Suarez may benefit the most from batting in front of JV, put Cozart cleanup, and Schebler leading off. Mez fifth, Duvall sixth, Peraza seventh & BH eighth or ninth.

  19. I share none of the pessimism after yesterday’s game. Homer FB velocity is up, he didn’t leave hurt, and Finnegan is back too. When you’re young and unproven, you can go 1-13 and a month later go 11-2 with the same crew.

    We’ll be fine and my guess is 2018 we’ll fight for a wild card spot.

  20. All things “wax and wane” At one time it was thought that pitching was going to rule baseball, now it is offense. Power in Washington politics keeps shifting back and forth, the weather keeps changing. Its been that way since time began. The only constants are that I hate the Cardinals in baseball, the Steelers in football and Duke basketball.

  21. Yesterday was not a day I’ll soon forget. Today we read where Bailey didn’t have command & still not ready to pitch vs players with 74 games under their belt. What are rehab starts for? What’s the prognosis for Finnegan? Does the Reds brass expect he’ll get shelled by the Cards tomorrow? At what point shouldn’t Williams & Price be held accountable for putting starters in untenable positions? Arroyo’s cortisone shots? I just grow weary of these “after the fact” rationalizations as to why our starting pitchers can’t compete

    • Injuries to starters aren’t rationalizations. You can’t bake a batch of starters in the oven like cupcakes, and rehab starts are more about testing post-surgery health than regaining finesse. Only pitching against MLB hitters leads to finesse.

      • I just don’t see the stats to support your position. Most teams expect their starters returning from both the 10 day & 60 day DL to compete.. I don’t remember any culonary references in my post. It’s about accountability. (But to your point, A GM in Redsland has a real “cupcake” job, as opposed to other ML cities, where success is expected).

        • The culinary reference was mine, of course. A metaphor. Bailey pitched his first game since last August, having undergone multiple surgeries in the interim, so his situation is not analgous to someone returning from the 10 or even the 60 day DL. It was a disapointing performance because I was hoping for magic, but I knew that was unlikely. The positive thing was, to my eye, that he had decent velocity and good action on many of his pitches. He had little command, but that shouldn’t be surprising. Should he have had more rehab starts? I don’t know. I’d guess that minor league hitters can be gotten out with less finesse than MLB hitters can, so maybe it wouldn’t help. And it’s not as though the Reds had a lights out starter ready to pitch in his place. I’ll wait for a few more starts before I despair.

  22. Wow! Abandon ship asap here. Let’s come in off the ledge people and take a breath. Duvall, Suarez and Schebler are replacement players? You all expected to much out of this team. It’s a rebuilding year. Just because everybody sucks in the division doesn’t mean drop the rebuild and trade , trade , trade. You guys need to listen to other announcers for the teams the Reds are playing against. They see an up and coming team with a lot of talent. Is it embarrassing at times? YES but they are close to getting there.

  23. Virtually all I’ve read and heard from fans over the past weeks was dump the over-the-hill pitchers and bring on the pitchers wee will see in the next competitive Reds team. Well ready or not that’s what the Reds are doing and now we hear naysayers coming out of the woodwork speading doom and gloom because of one game and one pitching performance. Geesh!!!

    This is a rebuild and rebuilds are not pretty to watch. Whebn the Reds lost their entire starting pitching staff over the course of 2 seasons, this was a given. I was personally hoping for a solid performance by Bailey yesterdaym, but my enthusiasm for seeing Bailey back on the major league mound isn’t diminished by his struggles yesterday. In fact, I was VERY encouraged by his angst and outburst when he was asked to bunt with a runner on 3B and one out. THose who have been caloling for accountability, well there was the accountability demand from Homer Bailey. I think I understand what generated his angst and outburst and if I am right, Bailey was completely justified, but I haven’t heard any reports on that situation since it occured. Certainly Bailey must have better personal performances, but I’m glad to have him back in the rotation to work on that improvement.

    The Reds are bringing up Finnegan on Monday after a short rehab also and I’m fully supportive of that move. Finnegan may also struggle on Monday or he may be dominant, but either way he is back in the starting rotation and will he build and stabalize the starting rotation going forward.

    Quite frankly, Bailey’s performance against the Nats offense makes me feel even better about Castillo’s performance against the Nats offense. I’m immensely encouraged about the starting rotation of Castillo, Bailey, Feldman, Finnegan and Adleman until one of the young starters (Stephenson, Reed, Garrett, Romano, Davis, Mahle, etc.) steps up at AAA and demands another shot based on their performance.

    • I was at the game…it looked like to me that Bailey was pissed that Barnhart did not try to run home on the bunt. Problem was it was a little pop-up that might have been easily caught, doubling up Barnhart. It did move Peraza to second, and take away a possible double-play. Problem was Hamilton was up next. Hamilton didn’t hit his two singles up the middle until later (exist velocities, 85 and 97 MPH).

      I’ve mentioned it a couple times…Bailey did throw some impressive changeups and curveballs…something positive to look forward to besides his velocity.

      • A couple points regarding the play. Barnhart was not on 3B, Peraza was on 3B with Barnhart on 1B. I don’t think the issue was going home on the bunt. I was not a suicide squeeze or even a safety sdqueeze. The issue was keeping your head in the game and understanding what is happening around you and Peraza had made up his mind that the sacrifice was going to move Barnhard to 2B and all he had to do was hang out at 3B. WRONG!!!

        On the play, the bunt was a poor bunt that was popped up, but the defense made a shambles of the play and Peraza failed to recognize the opportunity. NO ONE COVERED 3B on the play. The SS moved to cover 2B. The 3B charged to field the bunt. The pitcher charged to field the bunt. No one was within 70 feet of 3B except Peraza and he was standing 10 feet off the bag, just standing there. Even if they wanted to throw out Peraza at 3B there was no one to throw to. If Peraza just follws the 3B down the line when the SS moves to cover 2B, no one is going to catch him. Perazsa is FAST! When the bunt was fieldede, if Peraza is 50-60 feet down the line, he trots home on the throw to 1B. If the 3B fields the bunt and tries to look him back to 3B with no one covering, Bailey is safe at 1B. If the 3B tries to race Peraza back to 3B, Bailey is safe at 1B and Peraza is safe at 3B. If the popped up bunt is caught on the fly, there’s still no one covering 3B and Peraza trots back safely to 3B.

        All of the action is right in front of Peraza, but he just stands there and watches. I doin’t know for a fact that this is what Bailey reacted to after he looked back to see what was happening, but he saw the SS going to 2B and the 3B and pitcher racing to the ball when the play developed. I think he expected Peraza to see the same situation evolving and expected to Peraza taking advantage of the situation when Bailey looked back.

        • Excuse me…Peraza at third. I concur that it is a must to keep your mind in the game… Also, I agree that Peraza has some learning to do. However,

          1. the onus may be on the third base coach. If Peraza goes down the line with the third baseman and watches the play unfold at the plate, he is unlikely to see where the SS is moving…once he sees it pop up, first instinct is to run back to third. The third base coach is in the best position to know where the SS is.
          2. There does not seem to be anyone on the team that knows how to bunt.
          3. If Bailey was frustrated now…good luck with that…we are all being asked to be patient…maybe he hears his clock ticking.
          4. If Bailey got frustrated with Price and the coaches, that might explain Price’s somewhat terse comments about expecting Bailey (Finnegan and Disco) to be ready to perform after rehab.

          • Basically, Peraza could come down the line as far as the nearest defender was from 3B. That’s pretty much the general rule, unless the baserunner is slow… In this case Peraza should have probably scored. Even if he didn’t he should have been further down the line than he was. Not sure what Hatcher was saying to him or not saying to him though, or even if he could have heard Hatcher.

    • I have high regard for your posts but, not so sure it’s ever helpful for a player to take another player to task on the field.That’s what dugouts & locker rooms are for. Besides Peraza didn’t do anything more than at least half the position players on this team do occasionally, & that’s been going on all season. As for Finnegan, I’m not sure he’s ready, but I believe he’ll do a better job of competing tomorrow. I still project Garrett as a regular in the 2nd half rotation. He just needs a few starts in Louisville & the Reds still need that extra year of team control.

      • You have a very valid point on Bailey’s reaction, but what we don’t know is what has or hasn’t been addressed reagarding the repeated TOOTBLANS. I also think Bailey’s reaction was catalyzed by his own frustration with his own performance.

        What I saw on the play and in the dugout after the play, was Bailey’s incredulous reaction that Peraza was still just standing on (or near) 3B after the play developed. What I saw in the dugout was Bailey going to the manager and the bench coach, still incrdulous, and pointing out the situation to them since they didn’t seem to be aware or reactive to the situation. I think Price was content that the sacrifice bunt had been called to move Barnhart to 2B and was satisfied that the bunt had accomplished the intended result. I think Bailey was as upset with Price as he was with Peraza.

        I may be way off base (pun intended), but I saw a veteran player not satisfied with the status quo from both the manager and the young players and rather than just shrugging his shoulders and looking the other way, reacting accordingly. I agree that he probably overreacted publicly, but I would rather see more of such accountability than no accountability for bad baseball decisions like trying to steal 3B with Votto at the plate and getting thrown out or like calling for a sacrifice bunt with 1 ount and the weakest hitter in the lineup on deck.

  24. I take exception to complaints about Duvall. He proved himself a quality middle of the order hitter last season and was an All-Star. So far this year his stats are similar . . . he’s headed for 30+ homers and 100 RBI’s. Expect a .260-.270 batting average which is okay. With the problems the Reds have, Duvall is the least of their worries. Put him on the trading block and just watch the stampede of interest. Wouldn’t the Giants love to have him back?

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