2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Redlegs beat the Redbirds 3-2 to win the Flo Rida Cup

Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals (53-56) 2 9 0
Cincinnati Reds (45-64) 3 9 0
W: Wojciechowski (2-1) L: Leake (7-10) S: Iglesias (19)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Strong five-inning outing for Asher Wojciechowski in his sixth start for the Redlegs: one run allowed on three hits and one walk, with five strikeouts. I can’t ask for anything more than that from Wojo.

–Cincinnati’s top three hitters — Billy Hamilton (run scored, RBI), Jesse Winker (run scored), Joey Votto — each had two hits. Votto had a double and drove in two of the Reds’ three runs.

–The Reds got on the board quickly. Winker collected a one-out single to center field. Joey Votto followed with a double to right field. Winker scored from first, but he ran through third base coach Billy Hatcher’s stop sign, sliding headfirst into home. See the video below.

–Drew Storen pitched a scoreless inning and a third. You know, Storen has quietly been pretty solid this season. I’m surprised there wasn’t more interest in him at the July trade deadline.

The Bad
–In the top of the third, Wojciechowski surrendered a leadoff triple to Cards 3B Greg Garcia. The next hitter, our old friend Mike Leake, hit a routine grounder to Jose Peraza at shortstop. Peraza clutched once, looked at Garcia, clutched again, and tossed over to Votto at first. Because he took so much time, Leake was safe at first (Garcia scored).

It wasn’t scored an error, but it was absolutely an error. Peraza’s shaky defense at shortstop continues.

Fortunately, Leake was erased one batter later, when Matt Carpenter flew to deep center field. Leake tagged up and took off for second…but Billy Hamilton gunned him down.

–Michael Lorenzen allowed a run on 3 hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. He got a clutch strikeout to end the eighth inning, with bases loaded and just a one-run lead. You know, Lorenzen has quietly been pretty shaky this season.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–That’s four wins in five games for your resurgent Redlegs. Always a fun night when the good guys beat the Cardinals, and that’s happened a lot this season. Cincinnati is now 8-3 against St. Louis this year, and 5-0 at home.

–It was a pretty electric atmosphere at Great American Ball Park tonight, a beautiful Friday night with a Flo Rida concert scheduled after the game. Thom Brennaman was pretty excited about it.

–In the bottom of the fifth, Billy Hamilton singled to right to score Peraza, who had singled himself to lead off the inning. Tucker Barnhart was waved home by Hatcher and was called out by home plate umpire Brian Knight. The Reds challenged, and every replay available showed that Barnhart was clearly safe.

The umpires, of course, did not overturn the call after review. Who knows what they were looking at?

On the television broadcast, Jeff Brantley suggested that perhaps the Reds had only asked for the collision rule to be reviewed, not the safe/out call. But C. Trent Rosecrans says that both were challenged. So the umps just screwed it up, costing the Reds a run.

–Interviewed on the post-game show, Billy Hamilton revealed some important information: he calls Adam Duvall, “Doovie.”

–Luis Castillo will take the hill for the Reds tomorrow as they attempt to clinch this series, along with their fifth win in six games.

Today’s Tweets

49 thoughts on “Recap: Redlegs beat the Redbirds 3-2 to win the Flo Rida Cup

  1. Watching the game on TV, Asher looked pretty good. His control was a little off here and there, but other times he made some pretty good pitches. I guess he gets another turn next week.

  2. Winker playing like the wants a job up here.Kid just looks like a major league hitter and the knock on him was his power and his defense.While it is a very small sample size looks like both of them play so far and he will hit and get on base as he has always done.

  3. The Reds are potentially better positioned than the Pirates and Cardinals right now. Big off season. Interested to see Lance Lynn tomorrow.

    • If Disco and Finnegan are healthy next year watch out! This team has a solid lineup, good defense and a good bullpen. Only weakness and it’s a big one is the rotation. But Disco, Finnegan, Castillo, Homer and Mahle/Lorenzen is a good rotation.

  4. Wanna see something weird? Check out Billy Hamilton’s stats on a month-by-month basis:

    April: .213AVG, .265OBP
    May: .288AVG, .339OBP
    June: .214AVG .267OBP
    July: .283AVG, .333OBP

    He seems to really like those odd numbered months. But the thing I find interesting is his OBP is almost EXACTLY 50 points higher than his average, EVERY SINGLE TIME. That means his walk rate never changes no matter what else he’s doing.

    • Is he going deeper into the counts in those “good” months?

      I don’t know if there’s any correlation/causation here. What do you think?

      • Completely eyeball hunch, but it looks to me as though he makes much better contact and hits the ball harder when he’s going well (obviously not counter-intuitive), so I wonder if it has to do with getting his swing grooved and then losing it when he’s slumping.

    • My Hamilton MLB month tracker now has him 6 for 20 in months of League Average or better OBP for his career.

      2014 2 of 6
      2015 0 of 5
      2016 2 of 5
      2017 2 of 4

      Also noteworthy is that his OBP has been lead off hitter worthy, in only 2 of 20 months in his MLB career (.348 in June 2014 and .360 in August of 2016).

      • Enjoy your weekly updates on the farm. I’ve been a big critic of Hamilton- not just his low OBP but also his inability to bunt or hit the ball hard consistently. That said, his defense is so good at such an important decision and he does seem to bounce back from slumps….such that I think he needs to play CF every day at the bottom of the order and be signed this offseason for 3 years to buy out his arbitration years and first year if FA. Winker would be my new RF and Duvall is a super all around left fielder. Ervin and Schebler would be outstanding bench players or trade candidates.

        With the crash in the ditch by Aquino this year…..do you agree there are no outfielders that project as starters in the minors until you go back to Dayton….then there’s a big wave of high ceiling guys with Siri/Trammell and the 2 at Billings. Friedl could be in the wave but still only at high A..

        • My biggest beef with Hamilton is that he’s not a lead off hitter and that is not his fault. That’s on the manager for maximizing his team’s outs the best he can. I can live with Hamilton in CF and batting 8th, but unfortunately, I feel the Reds front office need to manage around their manager. I have no interest in the Reds locking him up right now, I’d much rather see him replaced.

          These are the only guys in the Reds organization who might have an inkling of a chance to CF in the Majors:

          Ervin AAA .248/.320/.369/.689
          Goeddel AA/AAA .246/.356/.377/.733
          Guerrero AA .265/.312/.355/.667
          Friedl A+ .268/.350/.416/.766
          Siri A .293/.337/.526/.863
          Trammell A .281/.358/.440/.798
          Ventura A .294/.338/.325/.664
          Fairchild R .302/.386/.397/.783
          Munroe R .329/.453/.486/.939

          So you are pretty much right, Friedl, Siri, Trammell, and Fairchild are the best hopes of the future. Given that any of them are 2-3 years out, I’d like to see the Reds deal for someone for CF. I’ve posed to possibly see if Tyler Naquin could be had from Cleveland (.289/.362/.494/.857 in 391 PA in MLB, and 293/.363/.473/.836
          in 506 PA at AAA). Naquin has been in AAA almost all year behind Zimmer and Chisenhall playing CF in the majors. Or maybe an Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers who has a .316/.386/.430/.815 in 420 PA at AAA this season. Verdugo is stuck behind Pederson and Hernandez in the bigs this season. No idea if we match up well for these two particularly, but those are the types of guys who would help us in CF and might be available.

  5. Lorenzon’s outing is clean except for Peraza was unable to maintain control of the ball and complete a throw … this was a potential double play. Very concerned about shortstop in 2018.

    • Well suarez def looked bad at third before being given full time reps. I brought this up after the upteen article redleg did about lorenzen starting. Very little about lorenzen has been clean or stellar in a relief role. He has been given a total pass because ppl think he should start so it’s apparently easy to ignore his actual results and ppl just now seem to be noticing how mediocre he has been as a reliever. With his stuff, he really should dominate a relief role, which I think most reds fans allotted him, but he is def only been mediocre. Meaning he is far far away from being a starter no matter how many articles we write. Give me peraza at short before lorenzen as a starter. Outside of one month, lorenzen has been actually kind of bad, not mediocre, just bad.

      • I second this. People love to talk about Lorenzen by saying 3 main things:

        1. He’s so athletic!
        2. He has 5 pitches!
        3. He has an explosive fastball!

        To which I say “Yes, that’s all very good. But can he get people out?” Granted, we’ve never actually seen Lorenzen as a starter so we don’t know if he might approach it differently than relieving, but based on what we’ve seen of him as a reliever, I wouldn’t say he’s much better than any other starter the Reds have right now. He does have the tools to be successful, but I want to see some results. He’s been pitching in MLB long enough that we should have an idea what he’s capable of by now, and if this is it, color me unimpressed.

        That said, I’d still try him as a starter. What’s the worst that could happen? He’s not good enough and has to go back to the bullpen? Well, boo hoo. I’d give him a trial run up until the All Star Break next season, then reassess at that time.

        • Absolutely I would try him as a starter. It doesn’t mean he is just handed the job. Price had an interesting comment about Romano after his last start and the use of his change-up. Essentially said if he doesn’t start using his change up effectively he will be a bullpen pitcher not a starter. We at least know Lorenzen has multiple pitches. He still has to execute with them if he’s going to start at least if Price’s comments can be extrapolated to the other pitchers.

        • I’ve been an outspoken believer in Lorenzen. It’s more than those three things. For instance, the quality of his pitches has improved substantially in a short time of full-time pitching.

          Anyway, he was having a good season before the debacle in Washington. Since that time, he has essentially been Blake Wood, which is obviously bad.

          I don’t know why he fiddled with his mechanics so much. He showed amazing command last season and early this year. When he had that command, he was dominant and looked like a good starter. But that command isn’t there right now, and unless he recaptures that, he is a tick above average reliever.

          I think he will, if only because he showed that command for a long time before the mechanical change that Chris Welsh has been talking about. But, for the last two weeks or so, he’s been bad.

          • I feel like Chris Welsh nailed the mechanical issues with Lorenzen. Ever since then, I watch him pitch differently. I think he’s right.

        • We have seen Lorenzen start though. He’s started as many games as Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed combined.

          That said, I agree. All these guys need extended opportunities to see if they can take the next step, although I wouldn’t give Cody Reed another one until he figures things out at AAA.

      • Is it possible that starting instead of relieving would help Lorenzen? His problem is control, not stuff, and I wonder whether, by taking a little off his hard stuff (which he’d necessarily do as a starter) he’d improve his command? Sound like grasping at straws? But the main thing I keep in mind is that he’s pitched relatively few innings for a MLB pitcher his age, so even though he’s been around for awhile, he’s still far from being past his development stage.

      • Totally agree, mentioned this a couple weeks ago and got lambasted on this sight glad to see someone watching same game as i

    • I have my doubts about Lorenzen too…but he does seem to get the bad end of some ground balls. I didn’t see the game last night, but it sounds like the first two hits against him were infield hits.

      • Two weakly hit ground balls and the second one should have been an error on Peraza. He did have to go to his right, but he fielded it and bobbled what would have been an easy out at second.

  6. Questions about pitching….
    1) Is Mike Leake (5 years/$80 million), worth ihis contract?
    2) Will/should Reds spends this kind of money on a similar pitching whenever they start to contend?

    • 1) It’s hard to say. A lot of people will use WAR and $/WAR valuations to make that assessment. I generally more look at what free-agent pitchers signed around the same time are doing. Leake had a very rough season last year. His peripheral numbers however suggested he pitched better than his ERA would suggest. He also missed some games last year. So, I’d say he probably wasn’t worth his $12-million salary. The $/WAR numbers would tend to agree. This year however, he is throwing the ball very well and his peripheral numbers are a shade better than last year. He’s also stayed healthy. He’s been worth his salary for certain and by $/WAR figures will likely be worth considerably more than his salary.

      2) That’s the kind of money the Reds can probably afford. Although I’m kind of in agreement with what the O’s do and that’s not signing pitchers for more than 4 years. That said, look at the O’s rotation this year. Yeah, it’s pretty ugly. It also held them back last year and the year before when they were hitting plenty. Starting pitching, that is to say guys who are solid starters (consistent #3/#4 guys), make some money. So, I think when the Reds think they are ready, they will need to sign a guy like Leake and probably for Leake money or a shade more. I also think they may need to trade some good prospects for another cost-controlled arm that could be counted on. It will cost some good prospects though, as Latos did.

  7. Vic,to me the answers are no and no but his salary is I am sure right on par with every other pitcher like him.Dan Straily last year and even Scott Feldman this year come to mind as similar pitchers.Guys that keep you in the game and give you 5 or 6 innings but will get hammered every once in awhile.Obviously Leake has been a little better then that this year.

    • So my motivation is …are the Reds going to chase after guys like Mike Leake when they get good,/ are they going to pay Luis Catillo or whomever steps up, if they were willing to pay Bailey 100 million based on 2 decent seasons what can they be expected to do when it comes time to start being a winner

  8. I’ve said all year, the offense, “D” and bullpen are good enough to compete. The SP, or lackthereof due to injuries and inexperience, has killed us. I’d still rather see a more creative Manager too. I call Price Captain Vanilla. He’s so bunt happy it drives me nuts.

  9. Billy is electric on base but he just doesn’t walk enough or hit the ball hard enough to get there much.It will be interesting to see if the Reds pony up 6 million or more to see him do what he does again in year 5.Some have said they felt the Reds were afraid he finally gets it but with some other team so they are giving him every chance possible to get it here.I really understand that and hope he does get it here but if he loses a step for whatever reason well we know what that means.I am rooting for him in a big way.

    • Hamilton’s defense is worth $6-million if you ask me. So, I’d say, one more year yes.

  10. Lorenzen just needs to be given a chance to start.Only way to find out is just like all the rest let him pitch.He has electric stuff.Looks to be like he is just bored out there and well he knows its for an inning or two regardless.Starting may fix everything.I just can’t personally see him as a reliever and as long as Iggy is here well he is just a set-up guy that could give you a couple of innings.Very valuable of course but his real value to this team and to his career is as a starter.Bull pen guys ride a roller coaster all the time with the exception of the elite closers they are replaceable.He needs to start or prove he can’t.

  11. It looked to me like there was some serious sorting going on there in the top of the 8thn last night. Lorenzen appeared to pass muster by the skin of his teeth .However I have a concern,

    He had 4 batters down 0-2 in the count only to see 2 of the 4 eventually reach base (on single and a walk).

    Of more concern, he required a total of 18 pitches AFTER being 0-2 to resolve these 4 batters.This is essentially an extra inning of work. That doesn’t pass muster for a starting pitcher.

    • I just posted something similar. Homer Bailey would drive me nuts with the same issue on 0-2 counts. I think they are tempted to try to strike the hitters out, hoping to get them to chase a pitcher’s pitch. That is fine strategy if you have great command like Kershaw or Verlander, but Homer and Lorenzen don’t throw an enticing enough pitch, so the hitter doesn’t bite.

      The next thing you know, it’s a 2-2 count, and the situation gets dodgy. Once Lorenzen gets better command, which can only come with time, then that problem may go away, like Homer at his best.

  12. Lorenzen wasn’t all that bad last night. He gave up a choppy grounder to Gennett, who had no play on a very fast runner (Pham), a grounder that was scored a single but was bungled by Peraza and should have been one out, and an opposite-field ground-ball single to right field. Other than that, he fanned two, gave up a fly ball out, a ground ball out, and walked a guy.

    He tends to get up 0-2 a lot (4 times in 8 hitters last night) and then go deep into counts trying to put guys away. He reminds me a bit of Homer Bailey in that regard about 4 years ago, who also would get up 0-2 then end up throwing 7-8 pitches to a guy.

    Between the seeing-eye hits and the indecision in how to finish a guy off, Lorenzen ran his pitch count higher than he needed to.

    Lorenzen does need to ditch the “re-coil.” He should watch some Roger Clemens video about driving straight to the plate.

  13. Lost in all this talk about pitching, how about that Jesse Winker? So far, he’s slid right into the game and looks like he’s been here all along.

    Which begs the question: WHAT TOOK SO LONG? I get that Schebler and Duvall were playing well, but come on! This is the FUTURE we’re talking about here.

    I sincerely hope they don’t yank Senzel around like this when his time comes.

    • …Or, he’s clicking well because it took so long. Maybe he was properly marinated, so to speak.

      And while it’s fun, there is the inevitable “the league will catch up” factor down the road and we’ll see how he adjusts. See Peraza, Jose.

      Regardless, it’s nice to see him and Castillo show up and perform after so many failed early auditions by other youngsters.

      • Agree totally, should they have had him ride the bench like Perza last season? There are service time and development issues to consider, Schebler was having a great season prior to ASB, only argument maybe put all 4 in OF rotation a month or so earlier but then there is Super 2 issues (which I do not quite understand so it may not be a good argument)

    • I believe Winker will be a good player for the Reds but the organization has handled the situation pretty well. The Reds have opened up a lot of opportunities for themselves in the offseason by handling it the way they did. Duvall has proved he is more than a one season flash-in-the-pan, and Schebler has proven he belongs (it’s hard to tell if the struggles he’s had in the second half are injury-related). Trying to force Winker into a 4 player timeshare would have hurt everyone involved.

    • The Reds waited until he was ready and it’s taken until now. We can argue that he should have been up a month ago or whatever, but frankly it hardly matters. DeShields had some interesting comments about Winker and how much he has matured this year to get to where he is at this point.

      I’d rather have a guy pay his dues in the minors than be handed an MLB job before he’s ready. Remember, when a guy gets called up, he’s taking someone else’s job. That guy has friends on the team who are all going to judge whether or not it was “fair” and react accordingly. The situation with Schebler worked out perfectly in this regard. Winker’s excellent start has helped as well. Clubhouse should be happy.

  14. Winker looks like and is a professional hitter.Not afraid at all to take strikes because he feels he can battle back in the count.Not sure if you can teach that but we need more high on base guys and those guys take walks.Of course it helps if you can hit because if you can’t well you know.

    • Working the count and getting your pitch makes hitting a baseball one of the toughest things in sports. Whacking away at anything that looks close is much easier.

  15. I respect you and your opinion CP but a 4 player timeshare like Cossack came up with is exactly what was needed.If I remember it said all 4 could play 75% of the time which would be 120 games a year which in the case of Billy and Duvall would give them much needed rest.Keeps everybody fresh and motivated.I maybe wrong on the numbers but he posted it a few weeks back and got lots of good comments it.Just my opinion but Winker needs to play.

    • 162 X 3, divided by 4 is 121.5. At this point sitting Winker would be a shame although right now that’s not a concern with Schebler out for a few weeks.

    • Wrote my opinion on the rotation idea some time ago so don’t want to rehash it hear. The short version though is that I disagree with such a timeshare situation. The main reason is that it’s hard to take playing time, even 25% of a player’s playing time, away when that player is healthy and producing well. In the case of Duvall and Schebler, I’d be livid if my playing time was reduced in such a way. Maybe Hamilton would have been the odd man out but I don’t think that makes sense because I think the difference between Winker and Hamilton’s offensive production would be offset by playing Schebler in CF regularly with Winker on the corner in his place. I don’t think people realize just how angry it makes a player to lose out on playing time.

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