Titanic Struggle Recap

Reds outslug Brewers

To their credit, the Brewers are in first place in the NL Central. But their Achilles heel of starting pitching was on full, crippling display tonight. Junior Guerra, fronting a glitzy 3.11 ERA was also toting an ugly 6.04 FIP and 5.82 xFIP. We know which of those numbers to believe. The Reds hitters battered Guerra early and often.

The Reds cut Milwaukee’s lead over them in the division to 7.5 games.

Cincinnati Reds 8  Milwaukee Brewers 6 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

Tim Adleman pitched five innings, giving up five runs, five hits, three walks and struck out seven. Adleman’s ERA is 4.62, FIP is 5.54 and xFIP 5.01.

The bullpen had to cover four innings. Drew Storen gave up a run on two hits in the 6th. Tony Cingrani pitched a 1-2-3 7th and got the first out of the 8th. “Cingrani is healthy now and has his confidence going,” said Chris Welsh. Michael Lorenzen – fastball regularly at 98 mph – struck out the first batter he faced then gave up an infield single on a ball Jose Peraza booted in the 3B-SS hole. Lorenzen walked a batter then gave up another infield hit before getting the third out.

Raisel Iglesias got the save in the 9th, pumping fastballs up to 99 mph and throwing bendy off speed pitches.

The Reds jumped on the board quickly. Billy Hamilton, batting left handed, yanked a GABP special to the first row of right-center field. Scooter Gennett drew a walk from his former team and scored on Adam Duvall‘s 17th homer of the season. Eugenio Suarez walked and Scott Schebler was hit by a pitch. Suarez scored on Devin Mesoraco’s single and the Reds led 4-0. Suarez hit a solo shot for the Reds fifth run. It was only Suarez’s second homer the last month.

Joey Votto joined the fun, crushing a two run homer to right-center, scoring Gennett who had singled. Did I mention the Brewers were Gennett’s former team? Votto’s homer gave the Reds a 7-5 lead. Votto trails only Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers in home runs in the NL. An inning later, Mesoraco made it 8-5 with a sharply hit sacrifice fly.

Don’t forget to #VoteZack. Three days left to vote.

Somehow the Reds managed to not give up a home run to Eric Thames.

Defensive plays: Devin Mesoraco jumped out from behind home plate to grab a swinging bunt by Jonathan Villar and start a key double play. Mesoraco is a great athlete, aided by a pair of surgically enhanced hips. Scooter Gennett ranged way over by 2B to field a grounder and make an off balanced throw to 1B in the 7th inning. Gennett used to play for the Brewers. Scott Schebler made the games final out on a terrific running catch into the right field corner.

More news on Brandon Finnegan before the game and it isn’t good. He’s injured again the same shoulder muscle although in a different place. Another trip to the disabled list is a virtual certainty and Finnegan may miss several weeks. Mark Sheldon reported: “There was more clarification about the injury. Originally called a strained triceps, Finnegan again has a strain in the left teres major muscle near his shoulder. It’s the same muscle he injured in April.” Finnegan himself called it heartbreaking and a freak accident.

Zack Cozart is eligible to come off the DL tomorrow. He’s suffering with a strained quad muscle. If that sounds familiar, you may be remembering the injury (left distal quad) that hobbled Joey Votto through much of 2014. It’s an injury of overuse and can be aggravated. If Cozart’s health was the top priority, he’d take several more weeks off. But that doesn’t suit his needs or the team’s. Cozart is in a contract year and the Reds would like to shop him at the trade deadline. The situation bears watching.

Tomorrow is Luis Castillo‘s debut in Great American Ball Park.

68 thoughts on “Reds outslug Brewers

        • Votto is an elite hitter, and has been for a long time. To even try to argue to the contrary is insane. The man has historically good obp and ops numbers. Historically good. The only active player with a career ops higher than Votto is Trout, and I think we can agree he’s a pretty good hitter, right?

          • “Votto is an elite hitter”

            Votto is not even in the top ten in hits, RBI, or AVG, in the NL.

            But he is near the top in walks. Which has always inflated his numbers. But he is near the top in HR’s. And his SO numbers are at a career low for him.

          • Scotly, just stop. If you cannot recognize that Votto is an elite hitter, and you try to base your argument off of archaic statistics such as RBI and AVG, then you cannot make any argument related to the fact.

          • Yep it’s hard to be at the top in RBIs when the guy hitting first is the worst hitter in the league. Votto is in top 10 in every major category in baseball. Nobody really looks at RBIs and average anymore.

          • So according to someone’s logic because Inciarte, Castro and Kemp presently have higher averages than Votto, Joey V. is NOT an elite hitter? Go figure!

          • Scottly- Votto is in the top 6 in MLB in SLG and OPS. top 10 in WAR.. so no, it’s not just an OBP propping things up. At what point does trolling for trolling’s sake ever get old for someone. Good grief.

          • Just keeping it real. Votto is an elite walker; good hitter. Elite hitters should be very close to leading the league in hits, not out of the top ten.

            I do like Votto more this year, than in years previous. He has been aggressive early in the count and not driving every AB to a full count like in years past.

          • Players not in the top ten in hits: Goldschmidt, Harper, Arenado, Judge, Bellinger, Correa, Betts, Seager, Cano, Yelich, Stanton, Lindor, Votto …

  1. Finnegan headed to DL again… Like Cueto, Broxton, Latos, Bailey, Disco, Marshall, Massett, Garrett, etc etc etc.

    The Med Staff can’t keep pitchers healthy. This is a systematic problem that has cost the Reds dearly.

      • Jack: you took the words right out of my mouth (or keyboard). The Mets have been equally devastated by pitching injuries, and to guys with equal or greater upside than most of the Reds’ pitchers.

        • Just because it happens to the Mets doesn’t mean the Reds med staff gets a pass. That’s faulty logic, and it distracts from the issue.

          • Jesse, we have this discussion frequently. I see lots of players, lots of pitchers going on the DL from lots of teams. If somebody would quantify that the Reds have more injuries and worse outcomes than other teams, I’d become a believer. There seems to be a growing body of opinion that pitchers generally are getting injured more often because they’re throwing so hard. Makes sense, but that, too, needs to be quantified.

          • Only info I can get about days lost to DL is behind a paywall. I want numbers too. But why doesn’t anyone believe that the Med Staff could be at fault? Worth investigating.

          • Not to say that the Reds’ medical staff should get a pass but an article in Grantland in the spring of 2015 said this. I don’t know if what they are saying is completely accurate but others on here might. It says that 25% of active MLB pitchers have had Tommy John surgery at some point in their career and 15% of minor league pitchers have. More pitchers had the surgery in 2014 than in the entirety of the 1990’s. Now not all of the Reds’ pitching injuries are TJ procedures but as pitchers get bigger and stronger, and throw harder, the strain on tendons and ligaments increases, thus the increased chance of injury. I’ll let someone else do the research but I just have trouble believing that the Reds are that far from the norm in terms of injuries to their pitching staff. Whether the training staff are any better or worse at helping pitchers rehab is another source of discussion too I suppose.

          • Jesse… Go read “The Arm” by Jeff Passan. While the Reds medical staff may not be on the leading edge, they are not alone. It’s a league issue, which trickles all the way down to little league.

    • What is a medical staff to do?

      “Systematic?” Sounds like Doctor Evil must be on the Red’s medical staff.

      Systematic- done or acting according to a fixed plan or system; methodical.

      As Red’s fans we pay close attention to the physical pains suffered by our ballplayers; however, if we paid close attention to the ills suffered by players on other teams we would find that all teams suffer maladies during the season.

      • Med staff has their own method of treating injuries – i.e. Systematic. It’s not working.

      • Sean Marshall threw a curveball 60% of the time so the fact that he broke down was fairly predictable. I don’t know whats going on with everyone else? Rookie Davis has been out too….just came back I think for Lville. They get bombed or they get hurt…..or usually a lethal cocktail of both.

      • The last season-and-a-half have been rough, granted. But don’t underestimate the affect of GABP on our perception. Here are the Reds’ team rankings in road ERA going backwards the last ten years: 29th, 29th, 18th, 17th, 4th, 1st, 22nd, 9th, 12th, 19th. The danger is in what Bill James called the Devil’s Park Effect–whereby teams that play in ballparks with significant park effects inefficiently expend resources to “improve” perceived, rather than actual, weaknesses, and conversely don’t work on improving in areas they falsely perceive to be strengths.

        • GABP def factors in but its not Colorado or Arizona where the ball carries so well that the outfielders have to play deeper….which allows so many hits in front of them. WIth GABP its just cheap HRs…easier to factor in. We need to quit signing flyball pitchers like Arroyo, etc and try to sign & develop groundball guys.

      • Indy… Every year? Aren’t you conveniently forgetting 2012 when they only needed 6 starters all year and every starter pitched at least 30 games? Did they have a different medical team that year?

        • I’m not really into blaming the Reds medical staff necessarily but its something to look into? I was just responding to the comment that they didn’t know if we had more injuries or worse outcomes. The answer is yes and yes.

          • What are you basing the more injuries conclusion on? I’m not trying to be a jerk, but is there any actual evidence-data that supports your conclusion or is it based on you follow the Reds so it seems like the Reds have more injuries?

      • Oh, it’s bad, Indy, but that isn’t quite the same issue as the medical staff.

    • You make this claim often but never offer anything specific that shows the Reds are worse at this than other teams. Also, a medical staff can certainly mitigate the probability of injury, but no one can remove the possibility.

      Lastly, if the Reds are truely bad at this then why hasn’t the MLBPA at least made the public?

      • I don’t know? Like Matt said….we just rolled along in 2012 with 6 guys so it could just be bad luck? I had season tickets with the Rangers for 6 years and they never had half this many injuries? Nolan Ryan was a physical freak obviously but Bobby Witt, Kevin Brown, and others (Roger Pavlik?) threw 95ish back then. Who knows?

        • Its not just the DL either with the Reds. Other teams guys have an issue and they come back in a month or less. Our guys feel a “twinge” which the pitcher & Price both say is nothing…..then we don’t see them til 18 months later?

      • Good question. So why are the pitchers getting hurt so often? Its not just UCL. I cannot believe that it is just Bad Luck. Been happening for 5 years now. If I was in charge, I’d audit the med staff. What harm would it be to see if the Med Staff harms the pitchers?

      • Chuck – Just found a site called Spotrac which catalogs time spent on the DL.

        Reds pitchers have spent 417 games on DL in 2017, which is the 11th most in the league. Not as high as I thought. But the Mets, who people have said are in worse shape, have “only” lost 307 pitchers games to the DL.

        In 2016, Reds pitchers spent 1,904 games on the DL. In 2015, 698. Site only goes back to 2015.

        Going to do some more sniffing to see how injuries break down between starters and relievers.

    • The medical staff is clearly not doing their jobs. If they cared about the Reds’ pitchers’ health, they would do the one thing guaranteed to stop all the injuries: make them stop pitching entirely.

      Of course, if some folks on here think that’s too drastic, I’m not sure what else the med staff can do…

  2. Injuries to pitchers is not limited to the Reds.
    The Mets have been mentioned. The Indians have their share of injuries to their SP’s.
    The Astros have had their top-3 SP’s on the DL this year.
    The Dodgers can’t keep SP’s healthy. They go through 12-14 SP’s every year.
    Seattle gets hit hard every year over the last several years. The great King Felix hasn’t even been a prince the last two seasons.
    Boston has their problems.
    The NY Yankees haven’t had a solid rotation in years due to injuries.
    Tampa Bay has their issues with SP injuries.
    And don’t even forget Baltimore. Always a rotation in the MASH unit.

    • Ugh – JUST BECAUSE IT HAPPENS TO OTHER TEAMS DOES NOT ABSOLVE THE REDS MED STAFF.

      Sorry for shouting. I just wish they would investigate this perceived problem – perhaps try another method in treating pitchers’ injuries.

      Imagine if the Reds exploited a market inefficiency by doing something different trainingwise from other teams, instead of lumping themselves with the Mets, Astros, Dodgers, etc.

      • For the sake of argument, let’s assume the Reds’ medical staff are following “best practices” guidelines for treating the various injuries. What if they tried something “different” and maybe considered an “alternative” treatment, and some of these pitchers ended up getting worse and their careers ended? I’m guessing between the MLBPA and whatever attorney’s the individual players and/or teams hired, it would be a bloodbath.

        • what if injuries decreased?

          Is the current method working? No. So do it the same way, and hope injuries decrease? That’s the definition of insanity…

        • Ron Darling got fed up the other day after another Met pitcher went down, said a lot of knowledge has been lost from the older trainers, the newer ones tend to be weight trainers and more about bulking up muscle mass, might not be the best thing for a baseball player.

          • I agree with this. There is much more weightlifting and strength training in baseball than ever before. It probably isn’t the best for preventing injuries and in fact may be a cause of some of them. You can make muscles stronger but the tendons and ligaments can’t get built up to the same level as the muscles are. So, the question is what should teams do? I don’t think cutting down on the weightlifting and strength training is the answer because that is where high-performance comes in for a lot of players. The training is how these guys can throw 95+ (so many guys I mean) and how guys smash HR left and right. So, it’s sort of a double-edged sword.

    • I’m thinking Cozart is a willing donkey right now. This is probably his only shot at a life defining long term contract; and, he has to be on the field performing to bring it home.
      On the other hand, the Reds are on the hook for $13M to Mesoraco next year. They want return on that, either from him on field for them or in the form of trade return from another team.

  3. The Old Cossack was glad to see Price bring Cingrani in for the 7th inning and ecstatic to see Cingrani remain in the game for the 8th inning after an effective 7th inning. Then with Cingrani pitching well, Price chose to bring Lorenzen to relieve Cingrani and finish the 8th inning. I hate roles defined by nothing more than the arbitrary number of the inning!

    • Agreed. I would have kept Cingrani in throughout the inning, or at least until someone got on base. He appears to have bypassed Peralta as the “high-leverage” lefty reliever.

      • Peralta did pitch 2 innings the night before. So that was why Cingrani got the nod. That said, Tony might be passing Wandy in the present

        • Last night while I don’t think Chris and Thom were touting TC as passing Wandy, they were seeing him as another viable option out of the bullpen. I thought he looked very good last night and wished he’d at least had the chance to pitch further into the 8th inning.

  4. It will be interesting to see who they bring up for Finnegan? Rookie is back along with Reed & Stephenson. My vote would be for Tyler Mahle! Why not…reward these guys for throwing strikes! I’d also replace Adleman with one of these kids too at some point soon. We know what Adleman is….not horrible but not really making the cut on a good staff either!

    • The issue of adding someone like Mahle to the 40-man is that his time clock for being on the 40-man roster and years he can be optioned begins. I think the front office would need to be pretty sure he is ready to make such a move. Once on the 40-man roster, the team has three option years, I believe — three years he can be sent to the minors and still retained on the 40-man roster. If added now, this would be Mahle’s first of three option years (I believe — if this is not correct, someone please chime in).

      • Tom on Mlb Network last night they said the Reds recalled Shackleford and let go of Buchanan. Do you know if this is right?

      • Tom, you are correct about the option years. However if Mahle stayed up thru the end of this season, they would NOT burn one. He would still have all three going into 2018 . However they couldn’t get back the 90 days of MLB service that would accrue this year which might become a factor later down the line in arbitration/ super2 and length of player control.

      • Is there any advantage of having a player on the 40 man if you are not planning on bring him up, ie do you have to put them on the 40 eventually or risk losing them, I imagine this is so, but when would they have to put Mahle on or someone like Senzel?

  5. Wonderful article by Zach Buchanan on Cody Reed’s trials and tribulations. I felt good that Jeff Fassero is coaching him again and also stunning insights into Homer Bailey as a leader.
    Embarrassing insights into Brian Price.

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