2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Homer and Homer and Homer … and Bailey

Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (43-39) 11 12 0
Cincinnati Reds (33-45) 3 7 0
W: Nelson (6-4) L: Bailey (0-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good

–I lied. There was one bright spot. Joey Votto had two home runs, his 22nd and 23rd of the season. He was 2-2 with a walk in three at-bats.

Votto tied George Foster on the Reds all-time home run list tonight. He’ll tie Ted Kluszewski for #5 on the list with seven more homers.

The Bad
–How did you pitch tonight, Homer?

–In his second start since returning from injury, Homer Bailey was mostly terrible once again. Three innings pitched, six runs allowed on six hits and two walks. Bailey gave up a home run in the first inning. Bailey gave up a home run in the second inning. Bailey gave up a home run in the third inning. Lots of Homers, and all of them bad.

–Kevin Shackelford made his major league debut, and it wasn’t the outing he hoped for. Shackelford allowed four runs on five hits in 2.2 IP.

–Manager Bryan Price was ejected after arguing following an instant replay review. He was lucky. He didn’t have to watch the rest of this mess.

–I watched the Cincinnati Reds play a Major League Baseball game on my birthday.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

–Remember last week, when we thought the pitching had hit rock-bottom, and things had to improve immediately because Bailey and Brandon Finnegan were set to return? Are we still feeling that way?

–Don’t worry: the Reds play again tomorrow. Against the defending world champion Chicago Cubs.

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati’s performance today.

71 thoughts on “Recap: Homer and Homer and Homer … and Bailey

  1. I watched the game until Votto hit his first homer. I changed the channel because I wanted to end on the highest note possible.

  2. As for the good, 2 doubles tonight put Duvall among the top 3 or 4 xbh leaders in all of baseball(again). Minor, but noteworthy

    • As most eyes have focused on Votto and Cozart, Duvall has quietly put together a very nice season to date, largely dispelling the notion that last season was a one hit wonder type of occurrence for him. If he doesn’t seriously cool down in July, any deadline deal involving him would almost need to come under the blockbuster heading.

  3. The Red’s starting pitching:
    Finnegan is back on the DL
    Reed will probably be up to start Saturday.
    Bronson is on the 60 day DL, and probably will never pitch again.
    They need to clear a spot on the 40 man for Tyler Mahle.

    Homer’s next appearance will be in Denver against the Rockies. That should be interesting. (eye roll)

    As bad as things look now, and for the next few weeks, I actually expect the Reds starting pitching to look pretty good for the last two months of the season. Don’t ask me for a precise reason, it is just an intuitive hunch.

  4. When they trade cozart (probably soon, to Washington to replace T. Turner (broken wrist) I guess you could use that 40 and 25 roster spot for Mahle. then they can send one of their revolving releivers and bring up a position player.

    • If I were Washington (or anyone else looking for a SS), I would want a bit of evidence that Cozart is healthy enough to help. He’s had problems with his wrist all year and by his own admission, he needs six weeks of inactivity for the quad to actually heal. I think the Marlins have indicated their SS is available and if he’s healthy I would probably be looking in that direction first.

  5. The team has played 78 games. Three games away from the halfway point. On a pace to lose 90+. And I honestly think this will get far worse in the second half as injuries, trades, physical fatigue, and emotional burnout take their toll. Also, I suspect that–once again–late August and September will devolve into “fall training” as prospects are given playing time to see how they might fit into the much-vaunted rebuild.

    I’m not dropping my Reds fandom. They’re my MLB team. But I have started to spend my time watching other sporting events. My most recent interest is National Pro Fastpitch (a pro women’s softball league). They definitely could use the support, and I believe they’re infinitely more deserving of it than a Redlegs front office that keeps polishing turds and telling me they’re gold. Here’s a link for those who may be interested: http://www.profastpitch.com/

  6. Votto is the best 1st baseman in the NL right now. (Sorry Goldschmidt but after tonight your bat is not so superior and you are a DH who receives put outs to first.)

    If he isn’t named to the team by the manager I’ll be very disappointed. He has a higher OPS than Zimmerman and leads all 1st baseman in Dingers. He also leads the NL in walks I believe – yet again. He is a production machine that is being ignored yet again while a mediocre Rizzo fights for the top spot.

    • I think this is the best that Joey Votto has ever played! He’s only K’d 37 times! He’s finely tuned his swing & its as short & powerful as ever!!

      He “only” hit 24 HRs in 2013 and around that time frame, I would listen to Marty criticize him occasionally for not driving the ball…lack of rbis, etc. and I would think to myself that in reality Joey isn’t an immensely talented guy like Manny Ramirez, etc. and thats just who he is. He was making the most of what he had! He would take alot of awkward swings and sometimes look like Pete Rose attempting to loop a single to left-center instead of driving the ball. Well those days are over….the weird swings are fewer and fewer and his swing is turning mistakes into HR blasts. He really is at the top of his game!!!

      • Indy’s comment is well put. So few bad at-bats by Votto. When the infield pop-up is a notable event, that is a remarkable season being had.

        That said, Goldschmidt would win the NL MVP right now, likely in a landslide. Best 1B or not, he is having his own great season, and basking in the glow of being the anchor through the Diamondbacks turnaround.

        When the Reds have a 2017 Arizona-type turnaround, Votto will get his wave of national media appreciation that just isn’t happening now to the degree it should. Media loves stories and narratives, and the Reds don’t have a good one (yet).

        • Agreed. No need to take anything away from Goldschmidt this year. He is probably playing better than Joey over the course of the whole season and I have no problem with Joey losing out to him. Zimmerman and Freeman pre-injury are also tough to argue against. Its really just a loaded position and there is no way around it. Joey doesn’t need All-Star games for validation though, and that is what makes him so awesome.

          • As of this writing:
            Goldschmidt 1.035 OPS
            Votto 1.040 OPS

            Goldschmidt 160 OPS+
            Votto 167 OPS+

            Votto has outpaced everyone in the last month. It’s not close so yes Goldschmidt may be more consistent. But the best hitter as of this writing is JDV

    • Goldschmidt is not a “DH who receives put outs to first.” He’s a very good defender (for a 1Bman) by any measure you want to use (not just SSS 2017 numbers, mind you).

      Oh, he also happens to be one of the best base runners in the game. Yes. It’s true. He steals a lot of bases as a high rate and goes 1st-to-3rd and 2nd-to-home as much as anyone in baseball.

      Goldschmidt is a fine, fine player and equal with Votto at worst. Even if Votto is still my favorite.

    • Agree that Votto is the best 1st baseman in the NL. My favorite player of all time. However, to be fair, Goldschmidt does have a higher WAR and is a extremely good and sound defensive 1st baseman, so to say he is a DH who receives put outs to first is a bit of a stretch. Both are top 10 players in the league right now.

      Yes Votto is tied for the lead in walks with Matt Carpenter

      • Bottom consistently leads the league in assists for 1st baseman. Not sure why the PG love from the stats when Votto has been better at the plate and fine fielding wise. For a 1st baseman it’s all about no mistakes and killing it with the bat

  7. Jim Day should have approached Price after the game and, completely out of the blue, said:

    “Are you sure Homer is healthy?”

    That might have just led to another F-Bomb rant.

    • .241 BABIP in June isnt helping. Good news is his walk rate is 16% which is helping buoy his performance around average. Hopefully he can maintain his strong plate discipline and get back some of his power from early on this season.

      • What is his batted ball profile like and his EV? .241 BABIP doesn’t necessarily have to be unlucky.

  8. On a lighter note, anytime the SuperFriends can legitmately be worked into a post around here, it is welcomed.

    (Milton’s greatness is already beyond question).

  9. I noticed today that Votto is currently 7th all-time in franchise history in fWAR. He as only 0.3 ahead of Tony Perez so he must have passed him recently. Still 7.4 behind Morgan and about 10 behind Frank Robinson. Seems like he should end up in the top 5 barring any unforeseen circumstances.

  10. And for something -completely- different……….

    Chad, the Wonka clip is an absolute stroke of genius. Milton (bless him) now has a competitive standard to measure himself against……..

    BTW, who do you have to send the royalty check to now that Wilder is no longer among us? (exiting stage right, pursued by Gaffer)

  11. +1 million for the effective use of multiple GIF’s on the recap … beyond wonderful to see on a night we’d all rather forget (sans Joey’s 2 HR’s).

    The Stupid Cubs are struggling a bit, so let’s see which of us can kick the other hardest when we’re both down.

    I really dislike Braun and have no love for the Brewers now …

    • In fairness, Homer’s performance in his first two games back from surgery and extended rehab is not entirely surprising. It wouldn’t be for any pitcher in the same circumstances. And the Reds just won 2 out of 3 from the first-place team. If the loss had been the middle game, the comments here wouldn’t have such a doomsday quality.

    • This is why I read all the comments, even when Milton makes the inevitable appearance. Thank you Ed.

    • Last August 12, in Milwaukee. 6 shutout innings. 3 hits. 11 strikeouts, 1 walk.

  12. The Homer Bailey contract with the Reds will go down in MLB history as one of the worst of all time.

    • How quick people throw in the towel.

      Temporarily, maybe, you may be correct (in Reds history). However, he will not be the last pitcher to receive a large contract and then be subdued by elbow and shoulder injuries.

      So, even if you’re correct, it’ll only be for a limited time, so enjoy your claim while you can!!

    • I don’t know? Its a funny game…he had a good split in the 1st inning and I thought he might have a strong game. 2 groundouts and 0-2 on Braun then disaster. My starting 5 next year would be Disco, Castillo, Lorenzen, Feldman, and Finnegan/Mahle. Of course Homerroyo isn’t going anywhere.

      • Not gonna happen,disco will need tommy john and Finnegan is destined for bullpen which is where he should have been all along

        • Everyone always wants Finnegan in the pen but he walks too many people. Lefty relievers need the big breaking ball too for loogy work and that’s not really his thing either? I still he could be a good starter but he needs to get in shape and get back out there!

      • Feldman won’t be here and Lorenzens last few,outings won’t get him out of bullpen.

    • Completely agree. Rehabbing against teenagers and getting MLBers out are drastically different. Once he trusts his offspeed stuff, and can throw at 95% instead of 100% so he can produce run and cut on his fastball, he’ll be fine. This guy hasn’t competed in 2 years, he’ll get it back (health willing).

      • Agreed. His arm strength is not 100% yet, but I think he is healthy. He just has to get back his actual competitive pitching edge. It’s not like he isn’t trying, but he has really been out of baseball for almost 2 years. He did pitch last summer, but he wasn’t 100% then, either. He would make a few good pitches, and then groove a pitch.

  13. Just to be clear, If I respond with the Willy Wonka .gif to someone’s post, that’s all good right? 🙂

    For any old “Scrubs” fans out there, I’m also still partial to “So’s your face.”

  14. I never thought Bailey was worth the contract but the main reason I’m always ready to crack on him is because I just don’t like the guy! I’m no vegetarian but he’s one of these hunters that kill lions, etc for their head. The Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri is another one. Bailey has also went on canned hunts in Texas where the game is fenced in and can’t escape? He also makes some weird comments at times…said something last year like he was a team leader although I can’t recall what it was? I’ll be glad when he’s gone.

    • I agree with your sentiment. His contract was somewhat of a gamble, and sometimes the numbers won’t convince us to like a guy if we, well, just don’t like him. I sense that with Marty on Votto and many of us on BP last couple of years.

      I’ll add there is nothing wrong with talking smack about an athlete who makes ridiculous money. You pay your fee for the ticket and can cheer or boo, we’re fans — the financiers of this business. Heckling from the stands or the blogosphere is built in.

  15. Homer’s first two starts since coming off the DL have certainly been disappointing, but I hope everyone’s expectations were sufficiently tempered to account for this possibility. Once Homer was physically cleared for rehab on the 60-day DL, he pursued a fairly aggressive rehab assignment. Personally, I have no issue with Homer making the final pirtching adjustments, needed to regain his competitive form, at the major league level, as long as he is healthy and strong. From a layman’s perspective, he certaionly looks healthy and strong, just not sharp. If Bailey can get a reasonably good performance in before the all star break, the Old Cossack will be ecstatic. Stay the course and keep plugging along, even ig the plugging along seems more like trudging along. The results we are all hoping for (and that certainly includes Homer!) will come. The all star game could provide the perfect opportunity for Homer to regroup and refocus himself for the 2nd half of the season and the success we all want to see from him.

  16. I think we need to hold off judgement until Homer’s put in 5-6 starts to let him get back to major league ready. This is basically his Spring Training.

    I doubt we see Disco this year. It sounds exactly like the Mesoraco situation, where they kept delaying the inevitable by trying rehab when it is obvious that a partially torn ligament in a joint that undergoes severe stress when throwing a baseball will require surgery.

    Finnegan’s injury is scary. Shoulder injuries are nearly impossible to bounce back from.

    • With Finnegan, it is not yet clear if there is shoulder connective tissue damage, or just soreness from muscle weakness (not pitching in a while). He will need to be examined (obviously), but the solution may be just a physical therapy and strengthening program for his shoulder muscles.

      But yes, Desclafani is probably destined for elbow surgery (TJ ligament replacement) and at this point in time, will be out all of 2018.

      • If they thought Disco needed TJ then they would’ve done it a long time ago. If he needs any kind of surgery then should’ve done it already? I believe he’s throwing? This Reds pitching stuff is too much! Its to the point where they’re down 5+ runs by the 4th inning atleast twice a week now?

  17. Let’s face it. The most likely scenario is that Homer won’t ever be very good, after his TJ surgery. He was not Walter Johnson to begin with; his Baseball Reference similarity scores produce Scott Baker, Wade Miley, Shaun Marcum and Derek Holland. Homer has career WAR (Baseball Reference) of 6.2, of which 5.7 was earned in 2012 and 2013. So, other than 4-5 years ago, Homer has pretty much been replacement level, even when healthy.

    Yeah, he’s touching 95-96, but that is hitting speed now. He has no command, no deception, and no movement, although he did throw some decent curve balls to Bryce Harper. He’s had time enough with extended spring training and now 5 starts not to be this bad. Maybe he will start to dial it in, but it is more likely that he will top out in the future as a hair above replacement level.

    The Reds owe him $58 million between now and the end of his contract, and won’t get 1/5 of that in production from him. The Reds have to hope that he moves to Nepal, renounces his material belongings and his contract, and saves the Reds the last year or two of the $21 million/per he is owed.

    • Coming into the season the Reds had about 12 possibly capable starters on paper but now its down to about 7. I agree Homer is extremely iffy? Finnegan? I don’t doubt Disco’s ability but he’s not a big guy and has physical issues as well. All the young guys are ineffective (& overrated?) except Castillo. We still have Mahle to believe in! Lorenzen wants to start and I don’t know how they can field 5 better at this point? He prob needs a better offspeed pitch and is no lock either? They should start stretching him out in the 2nd half but won’t. I don’t really trust Feldman either….kind of guy has a decent half so you pay him for 2018 and he bombs out? I think they have to roll the dice though? He keeps the ball in the park and leading the world in HRs allowed every year isn’t cutting it! They need to go out and find a good arm somewhere that close to being ready….like Disco when they found him!

  18. I agree with one of the posters above. Chads Gif-game today was ON POINT!!!

    about the game the less said the better. At least no-one spiked themselves.

    • With the starting pitching the Reds profered during the 1st half, this comes as no surprise whatsoever

      • It’s been bad, but the offense has been good. And while the Reds have had their share of blowouts, it’s not necessarily more than everybody else going back to 1974!

  19. Jackson Stephens to go for the Reds tomorrow. He’s about the 8th best prospect in Lville and a 18th rd pick with a 4.77 era at Lville. I don’t understand what Williams/Price are doing? If you’re trying to push Reed/Stephenson and Mahle isn’t ready then go back to Rookie Davis? I don’t get it?

    • Rookie’s on a rehab assignment and he falls right in line with Stephens regarding prospect status right now.

      I hate that Stephens is the best option the Reds have, but he may very well be the best option the Reds have right now. Reed, Stephenson and Romano all seem to be making progress at AAA. The decision to NOT interrupt that progress right now may be a sound long-term decision. Mahle is not on the 40-man roster and has just one start at AAA. Let’s give him some time to acclimate before throwing him to the wolves at the next level. Garrett certainly is not ready for a return yet.

      With Stephens held out of his start at AAA for today’s game, the Bats rotation looks to line up as: Reed, Mahle, Garrett, Stephenson & Romano, beginning with tonight’s game. That is a starting rotation loaded with potential. Let’s hope they can translate some of that potential into results.

      • The Bats rotation just shrunk from a 6-man roatation to a 5-man rotation with Stephens’ promotion. I think Stephens will remain in the starting rotation on the 25-man roster until one of the previously listed 5 starters demonstrates they are ready for another opportunity. Then we wait for Feldman and/or Adelman to be moved in a trade or moved to the bullpen for another starter to demonstrate they are ready for another opportunity. Within another month or so, we could see Bailey and 4 prospects in the starting rotation on the 25-man roster.

      • I’m guessing if 2 of those 5 pan out to be decent ML pitchers that’s good. If three do, that’s great. My crystal ball isn’t working so I have no predictions 😁

  20. Personally I think Reed and Stephensen have to be in the Reds dog house to continue to be by passed them time after time for less talented pitchers.I understand their tendency to walk hitters and throw homers but tell me one other pitcher they have brought up that hasn’t had the same issues or will have them.Rookie pitchers do not have success their first time around the block which by the way is not a start here or a start there.Garrett was anointed after his first few starts then he got hammered.Davis was much less effective and the rest got a cup of coffee(Wojo,Bonilla etc)Castillo has walked 8 in 11 innings and gave up two homers and could have been three if not for Schebler.Reed and Stephensen got sent down to be stretched out and because they gave up too many walks and home runs.We then bring others up who do the same things yet the get a few more starts.When Stephens starts he will have the same number of starts this year as Reed and Stephensen combined and that makes no sense at all.They obviously don’t fit in to the sort plan this year or maybe they have already been sorted out.Just seems wrong to me

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