2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Homer Bailey Is Back

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (36-47) 8 10 0
Colorado Rockies (49-37) 1 10 0
W: Homer Bailey (1-2)  L: Kyle Freeland (8-7)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast

The Hurlers

Now that was what the Reds expected to see when Homer Bailey returned from the DL two weeks ago. Although he was far from perfect, the right-hander was the story of the night on Tuesday evening, as his third start of the season went much, much better than the first two.

Bailey cut his ERA from 27.00 to 12.66 by allowing only one run in six strong innings of work. He struck out three and did not walk a batter for this first time this year. Additionally, he kept the ball out of the air, generating seven ground-ball outs against only two fly-outs.

He did give up eight hits, but they were all singles, which helped him limit the damage. Bailey got touched up for a run in the first inning on back-to-back-to-back singles, but he escaped with a double play. The fourth inning brought more trouble, as he allowed a pair of singles to begin the frame; however, Bailey again worked out of a jam by retiring the next three hitters. Aside from those two innings, it was fairly smooth sailing for the 31-year-old and a nice step forward overall.

The Reds’ bullpen held the Colorado offense at bay for the remainder of the game.

Wandy Peralta was the first reliever used, firing a 1-2-3 seventh inning and striking out two.

Michael Lorenzen tossed a scoreless eighth, allowing a hit and striking out one.

Pitching for the first time since he was brought back from Triple-A Louisville, Asher Wojciechowski finished the Rockies off with a scoreless ninth. The right-hander struck out two.

The Hitters

The Reds’ offense had a big night against Rockies pitching on Independence Day.

Scott Schebler led the charge, going 3-for-4 with a double and his 21st home run of the season, a 110.5 mph laser into the bullpen in right field. Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza — statistically the worst two hitters in the Cincinnati lineup — also had big days at the plate. Hamilton singled in his first two plate appearances, drove home two runs, and drew a walk. Peraza also picked up a pair of hits and knocked in two, including a loooong solo home run (445 feet), his fourth of the season.

For a second straight night, the Reds got out to an early lead when Adam Duvall roped an RBI double to right-center field in the top of the first inning against Rockies starter Kyle Freeland. They added to the lead in the second inning on a two-run single by Hamilton and tacked on another in the third on a single by Peraza.

The remainder of the runs were scored via the long ball. Peraza launched his in the sixth, Schebler’s bomb came in the eighth, and Cincinnati Reds legend Scooter Gennett added a two-run, pinch-hit dinger in the eighth.

Not-So-Random Thoughts

— Reds pitchers had zero walks tonight. That’s always good to see.

— Gennett has already tied his career-high in home runs with 14. That came last year in 542 plate appearances. His home run tonight came in his 208th plate appearance. Legendary.

— Tucker Barnhart just continues to impress with his defense. Tonight, the Cincinnati catcher picked off Alexi Amarista at first base on a quick, perfect strike to Joey Votto.

— Peraza has now gone 44 days without walking. In fact, the last time he walked was the last time I wrote a recap for Redleg Nation back on May 21. Fortunately, he made up for it in other ways tonight.

— Votto went 0-for-5 at the plate tonight, marking only the seventh time in 83 games that he hasn’t reached base safely.

Up Next

The Reds and Rockies will meet for game three of the series on Wednesday, with a pair of Opening Day starting pitchers squaring off. Scott Feldman (3.78 ERA, 4.08 xFIP) will look to continue his run of nice starts as he faces Jon Gray (3.93 ERA, 3.65 xFIP), who will be making his second start since being activated from the disabled list. First pitch is set for 8:40 p.m. ET.

40 thoughts on “Homer Bailey Is Back

  1. Way to go Homer! One run in six innings against the Rockies in their park is outstanding. All of Homer’s fast balls in the sixth inning were between 92 and 95.1. A good ole strong Texan.

    • A word of caution of this.
      The Rox have been struggling to score runs the last few weeks.
      It is a good sign, but do not get over excited.
      (PS, I live between Colo Springs and Denver, so I see some Rockies BB.)

  2. At the moment, Scooter leads the team in AVG hitting .314. Votto (.312) and Cozart (.313) trail ever so slightly.

    • Just to add to the Scooter stats:

      According to Baseball Reference, Scooter is third on the team in oWAR at 1.9. He trails Votto (3.4) and Cozart (2.6) and slightly edges Duval (1.8).

  3. Yeah and add Cozart to the list after his 0-5 performance.Homer was solid with command of all pitches.He gave up a few hits but after the double play to get out of the first he was really good.Peraza and Billy did what nobody expected and Tucker had a couple of walks and Homer had two sac bunts.The weak links of the team won the game for them.Excited and glad for Homer and Peraza with a bomb.Great game for these guys.Keep it up.

    • When Peraza unloads a long HR like he did last night it confuses me. I really think he has the potential to be a good hitter, albeit one who isn’t very selective yet. When he continually hits weak pop-ups and grounders I just shake my head.

      • I wouldn’t get too worked up about the long homer. It would have been 400 ft in Cincinnati. Coors Field produces many long homers. 445ft is nothing.

        • True. But even at 400 ft, that’s not just a hit that you run into. You have to put a charge into it. It does seem like Peraza has the ability to hit for a lot more power than he has shown so far. If he’s going to continue to be a free swinger, I’d rather he take the all out approach then the Punch and Judy approach.

      • Nobody here is more Peraza-skeptic than me, but every now and then he runs into one. He doesn’t generally use his legs, but on that swing he got an inside pitch, I think a fastball, and actually used his legs properly.

        I don’t know what they are going to do about the pitch recognition/plate discipline issue. He has more HBPs than BBs.

        • Well on that HR, if I’m not mistaken, he took a few fairly close pitches that he would usually get himself out on, and then jacked the HR on a 3-2 pitch. In his first atbat he did his usually thing and swung at a pitch that missed his knuckles by about 3 inches and got himself out. If his plate recognition improves then he’s got the bat speed and eye/hand coordination to be decent! Not too many hitters could hit .324 for half a season!

          • Agreed – give the kid time! He’s young and has some tools.

            We asked that BP get traded and we complain that the 23 year old in his place doesn’t play like Joe Morgan from day one!

            The same was true for Eugenio and now we’re watching him play some great 3rd base as he learns to hit ML pitching. There are low points and prolonged slumps, but we are seeing a far better hitter than in the previous two seasons. I think the same will hold for Jose.

            Btw, watch Eugenio – that kid loves baseball. He’s enthusiastic and pumped up for others – not just himself! While I love #19, #7 isn’t far behind!

  4. Hamilton looks like he’ll need a few days after grimacing at 1b late. More time to get Schebler a look in CF?

    How the heck can Peraza pull a ball 450 feet yet go a whole season trying to dink the ball into RF thinking that’s his most valuable skill? *facepalm*

    Even when getting shelled his previous starts, Homer’s velocity and movement was all there. The questions about his health will remain, but if he can stay on the field the Reds will have a rock solid rotation piece with big game experience.

    Lorenzen is a strange bird. His stuff isn’t lights out filthy like you would expect a back end reliever to have. While he probably profiles better as a starter given his repertoire, his command within the strikezone leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe the Pedro Borbon role is the best fit.

    • I doubt Peraza thinks that is his most valuable skill. I’m just wondering why he is able to unload a long HR like he did last night and has on a few (very few) other occasions, then hit the ball softly, taking tentative swings so much of the time.

      I think Lorenzen is still early enough in his pitching career that he could very well be an effective starter. He was only a closer (and outfielder) in college so it’s not like he had that time to really develop as a pitcher.

      • Good point on Lorenzen’s development. He had less then 200 ip in the minors and got rushed to the Reds at 23. He looks like he needs an off-speed pitch to me? Fastball, cut fastball, and hard slider. I think he definitely needs to be in the rotation though? Big kid w/a rocket arm and generates a lot of groundballs plus he can hit! Its not like we have so many other young guys breaking thru?

        • Anyone else notice Lorenzen ‘recoiling’ often when he pitches…heard one of the tv commentators suggest that that is not good for commanding your location…hard to replicate your mechanics which translates into control issues.

          • Lorenzen has always been “all over the place” mechanically. I think a good part of it is that he really hasn’t pitched all that much. I’m not sure how much the Reds will fiddle with his mechanics though as long as he’s effective. They could probably stand some tightening up but is the possibility of getting him out of sync worth the possible benefit?

    • I agree with Sultan that Lorenzen has starter’s stuff; he throws a fastball, hard sinker, cutter, slider, curveball, and every once in a while, a changeup. But, I also agree his command within the strike zone has been lacking lately. He’s gone through stretches where his command is lights out, and he dominates. When he struggles to locate in and out of the zone, he gets hit hard and walks some people.

      But he’s shown enough command in the past to make me think he just needs a little more time. He’s only 25.

      His stuff is pretty filthy. As with most young pitchers with potential, it’s all about command.

      • Lorenzen’s stats are almost identical to last year in some ways (era and batting avg allowed) but his control has been worse….13 walks in 50 ip last year and 18 walks in 43.2 ip. Last year he had 10 doubleplays and this year only 3 so far. 86 to 49 groundball to flyball last year and 72 to 55 this year.

        The fact that Lorenzen is a big, sturdy groundball pitcher is what makes me think he could be a really good starter potentially. He generated 10 double plays in 50 ip and only 5 Hrs with an almost 2/1 groundball ratio. You go 200 ip with 40 doubleplays generated and only 20 Hrs and you’re going to be pretty good!

        • You’re right, Indy. Still gets a lot of ground balls but had way more last year. I think the walks and getting hit a little harder (stick doing well) is a result of the same problem…command issues. When he locates the fastball, he induces a ton of weak contact on the ground. Just a little off right now but still getting good results.

    • I would think it more likely they would hold off on sitting Hamilton at least until they get out of Denver, or if he can’t get out of bed (whichever comes first). They need his range for CF in that stadium. I would think their contingency plan while in Denver would be to use Peraza or Alcantara.

  5. Peraza hasn’t show any improvement on his hitting in the first half of the year.Then he hits a bomb like that one last night.He is very hard to figure out but he needs to go down and work with a hitting coach that can get him out of this dink and dunk mode and use his legs to drive the ball.He either believes he is a slap hitter or somebody is telling him he is but he has pop when he uses his legs.

  6. Great to see Homer Bailey back to some semblance of his old self. Big, big step forward for him and the Reds. I was glad to see them let Homer finish that final inning of his. When Mac Jenkins went out to the mound you tell Homer was getting gassed, as it was pretty hot in Denver.
    FSO posted a graphic that Bailey was either 16-7 or 18-7 vs. NL West Division teams in his career. With that knowledge, with Bailey’s pitching performance coming in Denver of all places, if Bailey can pitch close to this through July, the Rockies may want to come back to talk to the Reds about Homer come July 31.

    • Keep in mind, he hasn’t pitched much over the past 3 seasons so for a good chunk of his career the Reds were mediocre to very good and the NL West had the D-Backs, Rockies and Padres…who were generally bad. Of course his record is good against the NL West. How could it not be?

      No team is going to go out and acquire a guy who has missed 2 seasons….and is owed around 40 million because he had a couple of good recent starts and had a winning record against the Padres from 2009-2014.

      • Chuck, last time I looked the NL West was more than the Padres. During your time frame I believe the world series champs resided in the NL West in 2010, 2012 and 2014. The Dodgers are included.
        Reds seldom have successful west coast road trips.
        Rockies have 3 rookies in rotation. Not something they want going into the post-season if they make it.
        Rockies are starting to drift back in NL West, 7.5 games behind Dodgers, 4.0 games behind D-backs.
        Rockies have a glaring weakness at SS, maybe a package deal?
        In addition, again I said that “if” Bailey can pitch well through July, so it isn’t based on a “couple of recent good starts”.
        But don’t let facts get in the way of a good rant.

        • For his career, he is 17-7 vs the NL West

          His record per team:
          AZ: 0-1
          COL: 3-2
          LAD: 4-4
          SFG: 4-0
          SDP: 6-0

          Of his 4 wins against the Giants, 2 came in 2014. He has no regular season victories vs SFG during their 2 other WS years.

          His career record against Colorado’s primary 2017 rivals is 4-5.

          The Padres account for 23% of his starts and 35% of his wins.

          I love your enthusiasm…but a trading partner is going to look under the hood. He clobbers the Padres. Virtually every team he’s played for has been better than the Padres.

        • Not sure I’m with you on their “glaring weakness at SS”. Story is in a sophomore slump and certainly Cozart would be an upgrade, assuming he’s actually healthy. If I’m anyone looking at a rental SS, Corzart needs to perform offensively and defensively. He needs to show me the quad is healthy. He got a scheduled day off to rest it (2nd time after just being activated I believe), then took at 0 for 5 and didn’t really look like himself in the field. As for Bailey, he would need to throw a few more good starts and even then, I might want the Reds to kick in $$ to offset injury risk.

    • Homer’s mechanics were excellent last night. He is very good at keeping everything in a straight line to the plate, and not recoiling like Lorenzen will do on some pitches, or fall off toward first base like some of the young guys (and Blake Wood) are wont to do.

  7. Wow, Garrett got hammered pretty bad last night for the Bats: 104 pitches in 5.2 innings, 11-H, 2-BB, 2-HR, 7-ER. Both HR came in the 5th & 6th innings, but he was being hit consistently throughout the game.

      • I’m not either. He just doesn’t have the stuff that many of the the other young guys have, so he needs to be much better at locating his pitches. Harder to do that for a full game than for an inning.

        That being said, I’m wondering if he’s not still hurt. Hip problems for a pitcher would seem to be problematic in not being able to get good leverage and keep the ball down. That leads to the HR problems he’s having.

        • Was a hip issue. That could contribute to a pitcher not being able to “finish” his pitches perhaps. Would think that if he wasn’t healthy the Reds wouldn’t be throwing him out there but you never know.

      • I actually think his p0rospects as a starter are pretty good, with the caveat, he is not a front of the rotation starter. I like Garrett as a back end of the rotation starter, if he can keep the ball down and entice ground balls. If he can’t, well yesterday happens. I do wonder about his health, but I really don’t know if he is healthy or not.

        • Garrett 80 to 104 groundball to flyball ratio
          Finnegan was 205-296 last year
          Lorenzen is 158-104 in the last 2 years

          Garrett is so inexperienced and his command was all over the place from one start to the next but fly ball pitchers are really up against it with GABP!

        • I agree – he needs some time to develop as a smart pitcher – maybe take notes when Feldman & Homer pitch. For Amir, it’s got to be a combo of location & movement. And as a lefty, the movement is his best weapon. Now, he’ll need to locate it.
          Also agree, something has happened to him physically and I don’t buy the “confidence” argument. He’s an athlete that has learned mental toughness – he’s not going to let a brief demotion change his approach. But a physical issue – that’s tougher to overcome.

        • I commented the same on a different thread…something is amiss with Garrett… He’s better than this.

Comments are closed.