2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Reds can’t sweep the Cubs but, hey, good homestand!

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (41-41) 6 11 0
Cincinnati Reds (35-46) 2 5 1
W: Arrieta (8-6) L: Adleman (5-5)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Joey Votto had another outstanding day: 2-4 with two RBI. Votto is now hitting .317/.429/.621. That ain’t bad, friends and neighbors.

–Wandy Peralta walked a batter, but faced the minimum in his scoreless inning of relief.

The Bad
–Votto and Peralta’s performances were the only good things about today’s titanic struggle. The rest of the team, besides Votto, only had three hits collectively. They actually only had one hit until the eighth inning.

–Tim Adleman was not adequate today: 4.2 innings pitched, 3 runs allowed on 6 hits and a walk.

–After Adleman left the game, Cincinnati manager Bryan Price turned to perhaps his two least-effective relievers: Blake Wood and Austin Brice. The duo combined for 3.1 innings of relief, and they surrendered 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk.

–Eugenio Suarez made a rare error at third base.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Not a good game today — and I really wanted a sweep — but the Reds took two of three from the Cubs. That’s always a good thing.

In addition, it was a 4-2 home stand against the top two teams in the NL Central division. That’s also a good thing.

–Votto’s two-run single in the eighth inning was his 1,499th career hit. That ties Ted Kluszewski for tenth on the club’s all-time list.

–The Reds are now 23-20 at home. Unfortunately, when they go on the road, they turn into the 1982 Reds. They’re 12-26 away from Great American Ball Park.

–Okay, today wasn’t fun, but the Reds will head to Colorado tomorrow as they attempt to win a third consecutive series. Go Reds.

Today’s Tweets

40 thoughts on “Recap: Reds can’t sweep the Cubs but, hey, good homestand!

  1. Agree wholeheartedly. 4-2 on the brief home stand vs Brewers and Cubs is a pleasant surprise from a team that has struggled over the last few weeks.

    And the Chicago faithful helped put almost 120k in the stands this weekend – I appreciate the help in funding our rebuild!

  2. Kivlehan pinch hit for Hamilton with 2 runners on in the 8th? That’s foreshadowing.

  3. FINALLY…FINALLY…FINALLY!!!

    I took half a season and two starts in CF, but DeShields FINALLY started Winker in the #1 hole…FINALLY!

    In a another (related?) development, Price pinch hit for Hamilton today with 2 runners on base in the 8th inning. Price remioved the switch-hitting Hamilton in favor of the RH hitting Kivlehan against aa RH pitcher! Kivlehan remained in the game defensively…playing CF!

    In another (related?) development, Scooter Gennett started the game at 2B with Cozart starting at SS and Peraza on the bench. The first pinch hitter off the bench was Alcantara, not Peraza. Peraza never entered the game.

    Could this portend a change in lineup utilization heading into the 2nd half of the season? Probably not, but we can hope.

    • I think it does Cossack.
      We are at game 80…the half way point of the season and a logical time reassess preseason assumptions and plans.
      Could DW be saying:

      1.) Time to get Winker in the outfield mix and the leadoff spot.
      2.) End the era of Hamilton batting leadoff.
      3.) Gennett has easily outplayed Peraza. He’s our starting 2b.
      4.) Re-evaluate the shortstop position for the next 3 years and explore retaking Cozart to stabilize the offense and defense.

          • The rebuild has worked mostly but failed in one area miserably.

            The rebuild of the outfield has been an unqualified success.
            Duvall and Schebler and hopefully Winker soon with Billy Hamilton is very good.
            Its a far cry from the days of Ludwick and Heisey and Byrd and Boesch.

            Moreover, there is organizational depth that the draft has created with Friedl and Trammel in low A and high A who appear to be future MLB starters. While the jury is out on Aquino and Ervin, the trades for Duvall and Schebler have made their struggles a nonstory.

            Rebuilt Outfield B+. Winker’s role will be interesting to watch the second half.

            The infield rebuild has landed Suarez, navigated the Phillips exodus and maintained an All start shortstop and a top 5 player in the league. It also has landed the #6 prospect in all of baseball in Nick Senzel who could be a 2019 starter. The FO acquisition of Scooter Gennett makes this infield rebuild an unqualified success and neutralized the offensive struggles of Peraza

            Cozart v Peraza at Shortstop is the story of the second half.

            Rebuilt infield A-

            After a horrific injury run with Devon Mesoraco, it appears the catching situation is on solid ground for next year with the potential replacement a top 10 draft pick who is back on his trajectory as a top player. The catching situation has navigated the rebuild and looks on solid ground.
            Rebuilt Catching B

            The bullpen has navigated through the loss of Chapman and what was a solid group in 2012/13 and the debacle that was last year to be a solid group with Iglesias and Lorenzen and Peralta. CIngrani is looking very good. This is a bullpen resurrection, not rebuild and is on solid footing with more depth in the high minors, particularly Hernandez.

            Rebuilt bullpen B+

            Starting pitching rebuild- An unqualified disaster. The 2012 group was as good any in baseball- Cueto, Latos, Leake, Arroyo, Bailey, so its not realistic to get back to that by 2017.

            Bailey has missed 3 years and was the bridge to 2017. His injury and 3 missed years are crippling to the rebuild for a timetable of 2017/18.
            Finnegan for Cueto- Finnegan’s season ending injury is crippling for 2017/18 rebuild
            Disco for Latos- incredible trade but injury to Disco crippling for 2017/18 timetable.
            The non-development of Bob Steve, Cody Reed, and Amir Garrett half way through 2017 is crippling to a rebuild on a 17/18 timetable.

            Straily for Castillo and the development of Mahle and Romano to high minors elite pitchers give some hope for 2019.

            Rebuilt starting Pitching D.
            Because of the injuries and the future potential, the curve elevates this to a C-.

            I like this team a lot and the rebuild has succeeded in so many ways. It just shows the importance of starting pitching and staying healthy.

      • No argument there. The point was that Alcantara was used and Peraza was not used. If DW was to DFA Alcantara, I would be stunned to see him claimed by any other team.

        I really don’t anticipate a major roster shakeup until the Cozart situation is resolved, however it is resolved. Once that happens, I can see the dominoes falling.

        • Both, Alcantara & Turner, are wasted spots. Bring Winker and Irribarren instead.

  4. If anyone happens to have this stat, I’d like to know how many times in the history of baseball has a team had a regular bench player pinch hit for its regular leadoff hitter for reasons other than an injury or blowout.

    • I’m sure it’s happened more than you think. Generally speaking, in the history of baseball the leadoff hitter is usually not an “RBI Guy”, and in fact has usually been a light-hitting, speedy guy. So if a situation came up where a team is down late with have runners on base, many managers would absolutely pinch hit for their light-hitting leadoff hitter with a big bopper off the bench.

      I can’t give you a number, but I’d be willing to wager it has happened hundreds of times in the history of baseball, maybe even more when you consider the sheer number of baseball games that are played every year.

  5. A nice home stand after going 2-14 after the sweep of the Cardinals in early June. A tough road trip coming up against two potential playoff teams.

    • I hope it’s better than this but based on the way the Reds have played on the road, 2-5 is about the best we can expect from them on this trip, maybe 1-6 given that bother Arizona and Colorado have winning records.

      • The reds are a terrible road team, but the Rocks are 1-9 in their last ten games. maybe we can split the four games with them and win one at Arizona.

  6. Beating the Stupid Cubs 2 out of 3 is always good. The only other “good” we might add will come shortly after 7:00 PM EDT if Zack gets his donkey.

  7. A good stomping of the Snakes, especially with Cozart leading the stomping, could make the Snakes think long and hard about their SS deficiency.

    • A great outing Wed. in Denver by Feldman may induce the Rockies to consider trading for Scott. Colorado has some interesting prospects.

  8. Does anyone have the winning percentages when Barnhart and Mesaroco are catching.

    • Team is 10-20 in Mesoraco’s starts… Team is 15-25 in games he has appeared in.Team is 23-25 in Barnhart’s starts… Team is 24-33 in games in which he has appeared. That’s probably a reflection of the pitching but make of it what you will.

  9. Nick Senzel had another good game (1-3 w/ 1-BB) for Pensacola and is now hitting near league average (.250/.368/.281) after a brutally slow start in AA.

  10. Something might be going on with Winker suddenly leading off at Lville? I caught the 8th inning and Scooter had an excellent 7-pitch walk to leadoff the inning. He could be a good leadoff hitter vs righties. Call up Herrera or Dixon for Peraza. They need to DFA Wood. He’s 32 and obviously on the decline. We’ve seen enough of Brice and he needs to go back down to Lville. Bring up some new arms….maybe Herget and Shackelford? They need to try to play Mesoraco more as well….maybe he can hit enough and play enough for someone rich to pick up his salary next year?

    • I think iribarren deserves a call up….apparently he’s even pitched 8 innings this year

    • That’s called sorting.
      Winker in the leadoff…Gennett at 2b and resigning Cozart for 3 years established this offense as a top 5 group. Hamilton and Peraza are wonderful utility…spot starter players with major roles to be filled .

      I think Cozart gets signed as the Reds have one thing no other team.can do…they can give him a signing bonus in 2017 with an extension….elevating his 2017 salary to the 12-13 million level but without going past 2020…..effectively giving him a front loaded 4 year deal.

  11. Cozy has had his best year so far in the majors while playing for a new contract.Just have to be careful because the back of his card is full of data and he is older and injury prone.He has to be traded and we will miss him.

    • Big Bob resigned BP in a similar situation and they won’t want to lose an “All-Star” for marketing purposes. I think they’ll offer Zack a 3 yr deal which may or may not be a good thing if he takes it. I’d say the Over/Under would be around 350 games. If he could play that much then it would be good to keep him!

  12. Setting Peraza and pinch hitting for Billy was the right thing to do and we need to see more of it but we won’t.Cozy has had a great first half but the back of his card is full of data,he is playing for a new contract,he is older and injury prone.He has to be traded.

  13. Suarez is now .211/.328/.345/.673 in his last 51 games.

    There are a couple guys each year that people seem really down on no matter what they do.

    I’m not certain why Suarez is getting so little attention despite his struggles. I know he’s shown some flashes of brilliance — but two months is a really, really long slump.

    • Like Cozart, the one glowing trend in Suarez’ performance at the plate that give confidence of a real, sustainable adjustment is his plate discipline and walk rate.

      • Yeah….he’s drawing walks like crazy which means he’s mostly swinging at hittable pitches. That usually means good things for the hitter? He went off in Colorado last year so lets see what happens? He’s definitely part of the future unless he really falls apart.

        • The Votto Effect! We thought it was being ingrained into Hamilton’s plate approach, but that’s looking more and more like a sample size illusion and Peraza has certainly not appreciated Votto’s example.

          • Plate discipline can be a focus and like anything it can be improved upon, but ultimately the ability to decipher in a 1/4 of a second that a pitch is going to be an inch outside is far more nature than nurture.

            A year ago, Hamilton seemed to making progress and then he regressed.

            Maybe he reverted back to who he really is or teams just started pitching to him differently and he is unable to or has yet to adjust.

        • I’m beginning to think he’s the shortstop of the future. The way he swung the bat early this year profiled him as a third baseman, but what we’re seeing recently is a regression to his career norms. Assuming he can field the position, he would be an above-average offensive shortstop, and open up third base for anyone else who might make his way through the system. 😉

          Re-signing Cozart would be a mistake. He’s a loyal guy and a good player, but — God love him — he’s maxing out in a contract year. Wouldn’t we all love to do that? Injury history and age to me are the two biggest strikes against a long-term extension.

          • I agree with your Cozart comment. However, I think they will make a deal with him for a few reasons:
            1. It shows the fan base they can and will re-sign guys.
            2. If there is ” mutual interest” it means Cozart’s agent is concerned that the market is limited and Cozart may error on the side of security.
            3. They’ll have a surplus of infielders and they’ll potentially have more flexibility in structuring trades.

            Not saying I agree, but I think they’ll do the deal before the ASG.

          • One last thing on Cozart, if they re-sign him now and pay him a signing bonus over the All Star Break…if structured appropriately…. it wouldn’t be subject to Ohio taxes, Cincinnati taxes or any ” jock tax.” I believe he lives in Tennessee which has no state income tax so not only is he getting money up front, he’s keeping an extra 6-8%….on 5 million that’s an extra 300k net.

            It enables the Reds to reduce their back end obligation and Cozart likely is willing to take more of a discount to get more of the money up front in the most tax efficient way possible.

          • I’ve been to some summer outings and talking with casual Reds fans. Most have never heard of Tyler Mahle, Jesse Winker or Wandy Peralta. I’ve heard many people say the Reds just trade every one who is good. The Reds have lost 86,98,and 94 games the last 3 years. They are in last place now and on pace for 92 losses. 2018 is now looking impossible to win 92-95 games. That’s 5 years of losing. with the exception of injuries and SP, and few other things- the rebuild has gone very well in many ways.

            But, casual fans need a reason to come to the ballpark. I’ll go to watch Luis Castillo pitch or see Joey Votto and Jesse Winker hit when the Reds are 14 games under .500.
            The casual fan ….the one who takes attendance from 1.75 million upward….needs faces and names….and Zack is an All star name and face…..with a donkey to boot and apparently a slow market for over 30 shortstops.

            There also is no role in 2017 for a lightweight hitting Mark Belanger or Rafael Belliard to play the position when Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindon and Corey Seager are the standard.

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