2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds lose. Again. (And again and again and again.)

Final R H E
Miami Marlins (43-51) 3 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (40-56) 1 4 1
W: Urena (8-4) L: Bailey (2-4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Homer Bailey wasn’t great out of the gate, surrendering two runs in the first inning, but he settled down nicely. When the smoke cleared, Bailey had pitched a solid six innings, allowing just those two runs on eight hits.

–Eugenio Suarez had two hits, precisely half of the Reds’ total output. Scott Schebler reached base three times, on a walk and two HBPs.

–Billy Hamilton gunned down a runner at home with a strong throw in the sixth inning.

–Drew Storen pitched a perfect eighth inning, and looked dominant in the process. Blake Wood pitched a perfect ninth.

The Bad
–New starting second baseman Scooter Gennett committed a throwing error in the seventh that led to an unearned run.

–With the Reds down 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Suarez led off with a single and Schebler walked. Manager Bryan Price asked Tucker Barnhart to lay down a sacrifice bunt.

That’s an objectively dumb decision by Price. The Reds only had nine more outs available in the game at that point. Why give away one for free? And, of course, the Reds did not score a single run.

–Joey Votto was 0-4 with two strikeouts. He’s really scuffling since the All-Star break. I will not, however, waste one moment worrying about Votto. He’ll get it figured out, and soon.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The game started with a nearly-two-hour rain delay, though there was almost no rain at the ballpark. Way to read the radar, guys.

–It’s generally not a good thing when Blake Wood is pitching in the ninth inning.

–I don’t know what to tell you. The Reds are struggling. Again. Maybe they’ll win tomorrow, when Robert Stephenson makes his return to Cincinnati.

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49 thoughts on “Titanic Struggle Recap: Reds lose. Again. (And again and again and again.)

  1. Losing is accepted now. This team has quit. They aren’t mentally in the game at all. Everyone except Suarez and Barnhart look lost at the plate. Our ten year rebuilding plan for fourth place is right on schedule.

      • I’m guessing he has two working eyes.

        Although to be fair, it’s tough to keep playing inspired baseball when it has become readily apparent the talent on the majority of your team just doesn’t match up with other teams. How can you keep pushing when it’s been proven to you that your best just isn’t good enough?

        • Two working eyes that are deceiving him, possibly. I don’t see quit, I see slump. Which players aren’t trying?

          • I don’t think they’ve quit. My eyes aren’t telling me that anyway. And I just had cataract surgery so my eyes are better than they’ve been in years 😉

  2. Aside from the fact that bunting in those generic situations is statistically likely to produce fewer runs, and aside from the fact that you’ve got a pinch-hitter who’s recently been on the DL and your weakest hitter due up next, how has Price STILL not managed to notice how infrequently this strategy works with his team? How stubborn (or dumb) does a person have to be to not pick up on such an obvious trend?

    • Yes… I tend to be of a mind that just looking at the completely context neutral run expectancy charts shouldn’t be used as a cut-and-dry reason not to bunt but they are a good starting point. I mean, you need the context to prove why you SHOULD bunt in a given situation because all things being equal, you score fewer runs there. When looking at the context, you point out additional reasons why a bunt SHOULD NOT have been called for. I just don’t get it. It’s maddening.

  3. Price just doesn’t have it. From Day One, remembering his record of one run losses in 2014, he has never figured out what it takes to win a game. Whether leaving fragile pitchers in too long or just stupid lineups time after time, he is clueless. Fire him now, but I have a feeling that good old Cincinnati will welcome him back. The only place in America where anyone can fail so much and still have a job.

    • Have said so all year long, just fire him, name Hatcher interim manager until end of season and start hunting for a new manager right away. Who’s available out there?

  4. Price is bunt happy. Drives me nuts. Waste of an out. Of course, DW will tell you everything is fine. Clubhouse has good mojo. Reds are morphing into the Bengals. Mediocrity is accepted.

    • They are worst than the Bengals. The Bengals aren’t mediocre… six playoff berths in eight years is not mediocre. The Reds are a joke… three straight last place seasons.

    • This might be the most absurd argument ever made at this site. Do you suppose there might be one or two managers (or maybe five hundred) who started out poorly like Price and didn’t end up like Torre and Francona? Boring, ridiculous trolling.

      • A reasonable, unbiased person would conclude that even ” great” managers don’t win with inferior talent so it would be rather difficult to fairly and objectively evaluate Price’s performance.

        You seem to be violating your own terms of service with the insults and personal attacks.

        • So your opinion is:
          1.) We’ve learned nothing about Price and he should manage until version 2 of the Big Red Machine is assembled to make a decision.

          or

          2.) Managers are irrelevant…Let Price go and name Cozarts donkey the manager. Get the traveling secretary on the phone to identify 5 star stables on road trips?

          • #2. Price is irrelevant. He’ll likely be fired at the end of the year and whomever replaces him will also have little to do with wins and losses.

  5. Chuck is saying it doesn’t matter about the manager and he has to have talent to win especially over a 162 games it always wins.He is right but what about this offense who at one time was 6th in runs scored and the defense and the pen which are pretty good.The biggest problem has been of course the starters which have proven to be historically worst in baseball.Bunting rarely is a good thing and last night you ask a guy who had a hit and had lined out to do it and bring up a guy just off the DL with Billy on deck.I could have forgiven the bunt if he had pinch hit for Billy.I would love to know what Price actually and truly though Billy was going to do.Lets see he did hit a sac fly earlier and I am sure everybody was amazed but the infield is always in and the outfield is always in so what is a guy with no power and strikes out a lot going to do.I gave him a thumbs up for pushing all of the right buttons with his pen the other night in the only win on this home stand now I am giving him a what are you thinking or are you thinking for the bunt and subsequent managing after the bunt.Sometimes you just have to let a man go and now is the time to let Price go.Would Joe Torre or Francona do any better?Probably not but I would enjoy discussing their in game managing and maybe just maybe they wouldn’t continue to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.Tired of it just tired of it.

    • I thought the same thing and then I came back to reality. ( not putting you down here ) I thought about who was on the bench and who is better than Hamilton at that point? Billy had been swinging a hot bat since the all star break. Alcantara, turner, Peraza? I’ll take my chances with Billy. Kivelhan? It’s not like he is any better and hasn’t really played alot. Billy is warm and in the game. The bench is weak right now. Winker would hsve been a good alternative right there. Like I said before when you need a big hit and opportunity presents itself , the weak link always shows up.

  6. The Reds are disappointing since the break. The Reds games are difficult to watch in their entirety. I am not even sure they have a core of players to build around that can contend.

  7. I respect your opinion but all of the guys you named have more power and the infield and outfield will not be playing at little league depth.The bench is weak especially if you carry a third catcher and Alcantara but that’s on DW or Price or both.I would have chose Kivelhan in a heart beat and never blinked.As you stated the weak link always shows up and you knew it was going to happen and it did.I am not sure they even pitched to Devin but only pretended too.Didn’t watch the game but I think they knew who was up next so pitching carefully to Devin would be the normal thing to do.I mean they know Billy can’t hit and has no power just like we do.

    • Just a question what is order of most hits since all star break. Think Billy has been one of hotter hitters. Price really has few options at this point. Tucker hit ball hard though earlier probably should hit away, Point is Price is least of problem. Cold hitting poor pitching makes losing streak angry fans.

  8. Billy’s RBI was his second one in the last 10 games and it was on a sac fly which was his second one this year.Regardless of what he is doing now or in the future he is the last guy on the team I would want batting with the bases loaded late with the game on the line.Price maybe the least of the problems but he does the same things over and over and expects different results.Billy has 24 rbi for the season and it maybe because he has nobody on base when he comes up.I would have to go back and look at the stats but more then likely he doesn’t drive in runs is because he has no power.His singles don’t even go far enough to get a guy home from second.The bench is weak but anybody and I mean anybody they had left was a better option.I am a big Billy fan and am on record of saying if he can get his OBP up to 320 or better he is a keeper.Even if he does it will cost I am being told 6 million next year and even if he is here next year and the same situation comes up he needs to be pinch hit for.

    • Disagree on better option. Alcantara stinks period. Peraza can’t hit and putting him in thst situation is rediculous as letting billy hit. Turner hadn’t played in forever. It amazes me when he gets to pinch hit because the chance he hits is 0%. Kivelhan I would put up there but he hasn’t played in awhile and wirh Billy being in the game and warm I think would have given us the best chance. The biggest answer would be let tucker swing away!!!! He lines out to right his last at bat. Your 15 games under 500 Bryan. Swing away for crying out loud.

  9. The thing about Hamilton is that his impact when he is doing spectacularly well is totally intoxicating. Unfortunately the reality of this particular player is that he becomes a liability when he isn’t spectacular due to his limited skill set. In simpler words, he is a boom or bust player.

    I’d prefer a player who gets on base upwards of 35% of the time, runs the bases sensibly and efficiently with speed enough to score from 1st on typical doubles while stealing a base from time to time and plays solid, even if not flashy, defense.

    • The thing that impresses me about Hamilton is his competitive drive…we all know what he does great and what he doesn’t do great….I have been one of his biggest critics…..but he does seem to bounce back from failure and I admire that. He gets back up over and over again. I wish some of the Reds young pitchers had Billy’s resilience and determination.

      • True on the competitiveness of Hamilton. Ironically the fact he tries so hard and often has results so frustrating underscores his diminished overall skill set.

        Also, as I hit the “SEND” button on my comment, I realized in many aspects the player I had described that I would prefer was essentially Adam Duvall if his OBP was >.350. He looked so much like a boom or bust guy but is turning out to be more.

  10. Jim I agree but why don’t the Reds and Price see this?Billy is limited as a hitter so why ask him to be something he isn’t time after time after time especially in year 4.Just recognize the situation and adjust accordingly.Tonight I believe we face a lefty so go with what you know and give him a night off.There is enough data to tell you what a guy does on a Tuesday after he had steak vs if he had fish.Use it and put your players in situations they are comfortable with and have had success in.To your point on offense Billy has one and only one skill and it is spectacular

    • Which post are you replying to? Please use the reply button. Billy has more than 1 skill, you are trolling

  11. The bunting with two on and no outs is what got me. I knew it would be discussed here, and it should be, it’s just a lack of baseball awareness by Price, which should be unacceptable to a fan base. A manager doesn’t have a ton of influence on the outcomes on the field. But when you call to give away an out, you absolutely do. Especially as it took the bat out of Barnhart’s hands against a RH only to send up Mes (fresh off the DL) and Billy up next. I stopped paying attention after that inning, even only being down 2. I just couldn’t watch Price dribble down his leg not knowing which way was up. Much better things to do on a Friday night.

  12. I like his drive as well and if we could bottle it and sell it well you know.He knows what he can and can’t do and he does go all out it appears.I have said along with others he could benefit and so could the Reds if he was in a platoon system that would match him up against certain pitchers and allow him to get more rest.He is a little guy that does play injured at times which I am not sure helps in the long run

  13. Jim,Suarez is also a guy like the one you described.We have guys on this team that need to hit at the top of this lineup.Old Cossack brought it up a while back.Move Billy out of the lead off spot and in to the nine hole.Cozy could lead off and Suarez bats second or if Billy isn’t playing and Winker gets a shot then he can lead off.Billy’s value as a speed guy will play as well in the nine hole and not giving the most at bats to your worst hitter is a good thing.

  14. I’ll bet that if BP was honest about why he continues to bat Billy lead off, he would say that it is because he doesn’t want too hurt Billy’s Confidence. I don’t know if you guys remember last season when they batted Billy 9th or not.??? But I recall Billy stating publicly that it was embarrassing. If I’m right then the Manager is putting 1 players feelings ahead of the good of an organization. I may be wrong. I hope I’m wrong. Just my opinion.

    • Assuming that Price decides who leads off, how does consistent failure help Hamilton’s
      confidence? If Hamilton’s confidence were the primary objective, then wouldn’t they put him in a position to better succeed?

      • The failure when BH fails is of his own doing, and thus the results dictate when he is struggling to give him fewer at bats, when BH shows signs of streaking good to give him more at bats. All the players should be put in positions to succeed, not just a select few. Maximize the overall offense, don’t coddle the few at the expense of the team.

    • Almost every player has a limited skill set. Votto is a poor baserunner and, mostly, an uninspiring defensive player. As a hitter, Billy is very streaky, but a lot of hitters are. Votto is in a slump. So is Duvall. So is Schebler. Suarez was. See Vared’s comment above. Bash him when he’s not hitting, but lately he is–against the Nats he was close to the entirety of the Reds’ offense, and he does provide value even when he’s not hitting.

  15. It is embarrassing to hit 9th but its more embarrassing to hit lead off and get the most at bats on the team with a career OBP of under .300 and have no power.The player should be embarrassed,the manager should be embarrassed,the owner and the mascot should be embarassedHeck I am embarrassed for them.

    • Have you been watching the games for the last month? I don’t think you have.

      • tend to agree now he is trolling or ignoring rather obvious facts. Don’t have to be numbers guy to realize Billy is hitting right now! when he cools or others heat up bat him lower but deal with recent reality that he is hitting well. This can’t usually be said I will agree. Don’t really think he is lead off and Suarez might be answer but he was brutal cold until about 2 weeks ago.

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