2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds win, Reds win!

Final — 11 innings R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks (54-40) 3 8 0
Cincinnati Reds (40-54) 4 15 0
W: Lorenzen (5-2) L: McFarland (4-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–The Reds almost got very unlucky in the bottom of the 11th. Billy Hamilton collected a one-out single. Zack Cozart followed with a double to the gap that would have scored Hamilton easily. Unfortunately, it bounced over the wall for a ground rule double — and Reds fans had visions of stranded runners.

After an intentional walk to Joey Votto, however, Adam Duvall came through with a line drive single to right. Walkoff win for the fightin’ Redlegs, the first such walkoff hit in Duvall’s career.

–Cozart had four hits, including his 11th home run and the aforementioned double. Joey Votto had two hits and two walks. Billy Hamilton had three hits, plus his 40th stolen base, and two runs scored. Scooter Gennett each collected two hits.

–Pretty good outing by Tim Adleman: six innings, three runs allowed on seven hits. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a single batter. Plus he battled Zack Greinke pitch for pitch. I’ll take it.

–With the game tied 3-3, with one out and bases empty in the eighth inning, Bryan Price went to Raisel Iglesias. There are justified criticisms of Price, and he hasn’t exactly been the revolutionary bullpen manager that we’d hoped for, but this is a lovely move. And it’s a move that most managers wouldn’t make.

Iglesias promptly struck out Arizona superstar Paul Goldschmidt on a 101-mph fastball. Then he looked mostly dominant for an inning and two thirds.

–Wandy Peralta allowed just one hit in an inning and a third.

–Michael Lorenzen came on in the tenth and pitched a perfect inning. Price then allowed Lorenzen to hit for himself to lead off the bottom half of the inning. I love this decision. He’s a good hitter, and there’s no reason to remove him from the game when the Reds could still get more from him on the mound in an extra inning game. (Of course, Lorenzen struck out, but just forget about that for a moment.)

Lorenzen then came back and pitched another good inning. The bullpen tossed five innings of one-hit, shutout baseball.

The Bad
–Nothing bad tonight. Nice to get a win.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Reds finally got their first win of the second half, and it was an exciting one. Outstanding work by the bullpen and good hitting by the top of the order. Good stuff.

–Zack Cozart continues to pound the baseball. He’s now hitting .321/.400/.566, and really shows no signs of slowing down. What is going on with this guy?

–In the bottom of the ninth, with the score at 3-3, Cozart collected a two-out single. Joey Votto selfishly followed with a base on balls. Unfortunately, Duvall struck out, missing a chance to end the game in regulation.

–Hamilton’s OBP is just .304, which isn’t good…but it continues to rise. That’s something. And he’s now just the third player in Reds history with 4+ seasons of 40 or more stolen bases (Joe Morgan, Bob Bescher).

–The Redlegs will try to make it a winning streak tomorrow afternoon, with Luis Castillo on the mound. A win will give the Reds a second consecutive series victory over Arizona.

38 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds win, Reds win!

  1. It disgusts me that many are rooting the Reds to lose, but not me. I’ll always root for the Reds to win every game. Bravo to Adam Duvall

    • Why is it ” disgusting” that some believe it’s in the Reds long term best interest to lose games in order to have a better draft pick? Does it actually matter if they win 73 games vs 70?

      If you suck, shouldn’t yet suck as much as possible to benefit from said sucking? 10 years from now….hell, 10 days from now…no one will remember or care that this game was ever played

      • It is my opinion that it is important to have a culture of winning. The Cardinals, for instance, never seem to have a down year… they do of course, but they bounce right back and they seldom lay down and give away games, they always battle year in and year out, their fans expect it and they are especially tough at home. Draft position in baseball is really not something to get overly excited about, its nothing like the advantage in basketball or football.

        • Culture doesn’t get anyone out…talent does. A team filled with Ryan Freel’s ( before he died) would still suck because Ryan Freel wasn’t very good. The Cardinals are generally good because they generally have better players than most teams.

          A bad culture can make a good teams worse. A great culture can’t make a bad team good.

          • It doesn’t hurt that the Cardinals pack thst stadium every night and have a higher payroll. Just think what the Reds could do with 25 million more.

      • It’s fine to think long term and view losses in a positive way after they happen, but do you actually root for the other team while watching a Reds game ? If so, what’s the point to watching at all ?

      • I’m rooting for them to win every game (and so glad I got to see a win during my free Dish tv baseball with the Reds feed – Wed just Dbacks feed) but realistically once we make some trades in the next week I know we’ll lose enough games to get that top 5 pick anyway.

    • I don’t think everybody is rooting for the Reds to lose. Fortunately we are in touch with reality and know 6 out of 10 games they are going to lose. They just aren’t that good right now. But they are rebuilding and trying to get to the point of they are winning 6 out of 10 games. If you think that hoping a team loses in a “game” of baseball is disgusting, then I wonder what you think about other more important things.

      • I think you’re right. No one wanted Duvall to strike out last night in the 11th.

        But, at the end of the year, I’ll be more happy if the Reds pick 1st or 2nd versus 3rd or 4th.

        You can want to win while also appreciating the virtues of losing in a lost season.

    • I agree with you Ron,i can never want them to lose. The people that say stupid,yes stupid,stuff like that they will get a better draft pick.Give me a break with that crap. This is not the NFL or NBA where drafting a guy can turn around a team. There are 25 guys on a baseball team and alot of guys will never make it to the majors much less be future HOF’ers. Even the guys that will make it are years away. I am adie hard Reds fan that loves every win and hates every loss but i hope and believe that the Reds will be a contender alot sooner than Hunter Greene will be in the majors and a hell of alot sooner than whoever they get in the next draft.

  2. I’m totally with Chad on loving many things about this win, a sweet one. The way Price handled the bullpen and the subsequent bullpen excellence: he saw a chance to beat the DBacks and went all out for it, instead of worrying about the next game, pitcher’s roles, etc.

    Cozart’s hitting, Duvall coming thru with a sweet, easy swing the other way after the Reds terrible luck with Cozart’s ground rule double, etc.

  3. Speaking of bullpen roles, Iglesias was thrilled to come in to pitch to Goldschmidt in the 8th. I always felt that the line about how relievers want to know if they’re the 7th, 8th or 9th inning guy every time was a myth. Like all players, they want to win, and savor the chance to get some big outs that give the team a chance to win.

    • That was exciting when he rang him up at 101 and pretty sure with the Nats already making a deal for their bullpen help that we won’t see him traded now. They talked on the broadcast about all the top scouts at the ballpark though so certainly there has to be a few trades of some sort coming.

      • I’m not sure the Nats are done looking for bullpen help unless they made a deal yesterday that I’m not aware of. I also don’t know if they would be willing to give up what the Reds are likely to demand for Iglesias but I’m doubting it.

  4. Tonight was an excellent example of why the ground rule double rule is dumb. It makes no sense to treat a batted ball that hops over the OF fence in fair territory the same way as one that bounces off the field in foul territory.

    Every time a runner on first can’t score because of a ground rule double over the OF wall, it’s said to be a bad break for the team at bat and a good break for the team on the field.
    If it’s (virtually) always a bad/good break, why not change the rule ?

    I’m not advocating this, but I’ll point out that balls that bounced over the wall in fair territory used to count as HRs. There are alternatives to the existing rule. Rather than state them, I’ll let others suggest and debate if they want.

    • I’m fine with how it is. A lot of guys don’t score from 1st on doubles, so advancing runners 2 bases makes sense more often than not.

  5. Cozart’s getting hot again is a good thing, it means he’s healthy. Don’t know what the Reds are going to do with him, but they have obviously have better options with him healthy and bashing the ball again.

    I’m not in favor of a long term deal, he’s too old for that. And I don’t think a generous sum for 2-3 years would do it. The Cardinals are desperate for a SS and have some major league ready pitching prospects I’d go for one of those.

    • Hard to see Cozart to leave now at his zenith as baseball player, but it looks to be the more convenient decision. If healthy, he still may be able to provide two/three more good seasons. A three-year + one-year option contract looks very acceptable, at a $12MM-$14MM AAV.

    • If you look at Zack Cozart prior to this season.
      2,521 plate-appearances in 616 games from 2011-2016.
      A slash line of 246/289/385. A BABIP of 274 and a wRC+ of 80.

      This season he has 305 plate-appearances in 71 games
      A slash line of 321/400/566. A BABIP of 357 and a wRC+ of 148

      Cozart has increased his walk % from the 5.3% mark he carried from 2011-2016 to 11.8% this season which explains some of the increase in his OBP. If his BABIP regresses though, back to his career number of 274 or the league average of around 300 then we are likely not talking about an all star shortstop.

      Given that his current offensive surge is possibly driven by a lucky BABIP, as well as Cozart’s injury history, he is not a player I want to be signing into his mid-thirties.

      • Cozart may be an example of why the back of the baseball card alone doesn’t always tell the whole story. Votto has evidently taken him under his wing, and he’s changed his approach, so the improvement could well be more than luck.

      • I see the point in most of the new stats but BABIP is stupid in many instances. If you have a faulty swing or lack bat speed/talent then you won’t hit the ball as hard as someone that has those abilities. Cozart’s pre-2017 swing was usually off and he popped up the ball constantly. A poor BABIP is the result and it wasn’t bad luck. Now his batter is flatter and quicker and he’s hitting more line drives…..not to mention he’s not chasing pitches. I seriously doubt he’s going to hit .250 again w/80 popups and walk 30x on the year. To me though….still extremely iffy to resign him? 2 years tops with a option for the 3rd year or something? We really need to spend the money on a decent free agent starter though…if they can find one?

        • BABIP isn’t stupid. People who use it incorrectly are stupid. (I’m not saying anyone here is stupid, of course.)

          You have to look at Cozart’s batted ball profile to determine if he’s getting lucky or not.

          Votto’s career BABIP is over .350, and none of that is luck. It’s because he hits line drives, avoids popups, and hits the ball somewhat hard (although not near elite in EV or Hard%)

          If Cozart is hitting more line drives, avoiding popups, and hitting the ball decently hard, you should expect a BABIP north of .300.

          • I looked at his batted-ball profile (per Fangraphs) I don’t know enough to determine if 20.6% line drive rate and 31.7% hard hit in 2017 is enough of an improvement over 18.9% line drives and 25.2% hard hit from 2011-2016 to explain an 80+ point jump in BABIP.
            Even if Cozart keeps up this pace for the rest of this season, I would be hesitant to sign a 32 year-old shortstop with his history. If I don’t plan on signing him to an extension at the end of this season, then I might as well trade him at the deadline.

  6. Loved the Lorenzen at bat even though he struck out. The “almost a bunt” was fun … and so close to working. The Snakes were back on their heels and if he puts it in play, I believe he’s on 1st. Great athlete.

  7. It was obvious Price managed this game as if it mattered and it did.Regardless of the outcome he put his best guys in position to get it done and they got it done.All you could ask for.Personally I feel the only say he has about anything is when the game begins and last night with our offense unable to get a hit with RISP I didn’t think we would reward him for making all the right moves with his pen.Good team win including Price.

    • James, I agree. I believe he is told who will bat where, at least in the case of specific individuals (Hamilton, etc.). You will remember that he did bat Hamilton ninth last year on several occasions.

  8. Billy Hamilton’s WAR is now up to 1.5 — only 0.2 short of Suarez. Almost all of Suarez’s positive WAR happened in April.

    • I have heard many times over the years that particularly in baseball, early-season performance greatly affects how we perceive a player over the course of the season. As you point out, Hamilton and Suarez have basically the same WAR. But Suarez is widely perceived as steady and improving, while Hamilton is generally perceived as struggling and having reached a ceiling.

      In 1971, Oakland A’s pitcher Vida Blue was 17-3 before the All-Star break. After the break, he was 7-5, and got mashed by the Orioles in the playoffs. Despite the second-half decline, he won the American League Cy Young and MVP awards.

    • The only thing you ever post is about Suarez. I’m going out on a limb and say you don’t care for him. I’m surprised you haven’t posted in a couple of days his slash line since May. We get it. You dislike Suarez.

      • That it is happening against a lefty is nice. Suarez has a career 119 wRC+ against LHP, and only 91 against RHP.

        Honestly, though, as long as Hamilton is 1st and Votto is 3rd, it really doesn’t matter who hits 2nd (except Peraza).

  9. Billy since June 24th…..27-83 (.325) and .371 obp

    Thats the teaser though? Slumps….gets on a roll….gets hurt. Lets see if he can keep it up and stay on the field?

    • Exactly. It’s not like this hasn’t happened for 3 years. Suarez has improved since he got here. Billy has not. I hope he does and everybody on here hopes he does. Same with Peraza. Right now it’s up in the air. I don’t even care if Billy doesn’t walk. If he can hit 290 with OBP of 350 I’m good with that. Quite honestly he is the only player that I beg for him to hit everytime he comes up. If he thinks the first pitch is a fast ball down the middle then by God kid swing. Sometimes we all get to caught up in taking pitches and trying to walk. Sometimes the best pitch to hit is the first one.

      • Jack, not for nothing but while u say u don’t care if Hamilton walks, how is he going to hit .290 with an OBP of .350 without walking? 🙃

  10. Its worth saying again but Billy becomes an asset offensively when he gets on base.His career OBP is right around .300 but if he could get it up to 320 or above he is a keeper because of his speed.Hasn’t happened in four years but well we will see.Sometimes because he is a little guy I would think he would do much better in a platoon system to keep him fresher.Now if we only had another guy that could hit and get on base to plug in when he needs a day off or when the other guys need a break.All has been said before of course by many.Just wish they would give it a try.

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