The Reds got off to a big start on Sunday afternoon. The first five Reds batters reached base, including a three-run homer from Joey Votto. The Reds forced Adam Wainwright to throw 45 pitches in the first inning, and it could have been even worse for Wainwright if not for an alert double play by Matt Carpenter.

Things escalated quick and without warning for Homer Bailey in the second inning. The Cardinals had five consecutive hits of their own, including three doubles on three consecutive pitches. The Reds out of nowhere found themselves trailing 4-3 after two innings. Bailey got himself out of a jam in the third inning, but couldn’t find his way out of the fourth inning. Bailey finished the day with 10 earned runs allowed.

Things did get much better, with the exception of David Letterman being interviewed by the FOX Sports Ohio crew sitting in the diamond seats. Reds fall 13-4.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (45-66) 4 8 0
St. Louis Cardinals (55-56) 13 16 0
W: Cecil (2-4) L: Bailey (3-6)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread



Joey Votto hit another home run (93.5 EV, 345 ft), and it was a 3-run shot in the first inning that just barely cleared the rightfield wall. It was a big milestone homer too, as it was the 250th of Votto’s career, and the 135th of his career at GABP, tying Jay Bruce for the record. Votto also now has an 11-game hitting streak.

The Reds offense had some great, patient at-bats against Wainwright. They actually chased Wainwright after just three innings because they forced him to throw 88 pitches.

Eugenio Suarez hit his 18th home run of the season, and it was an absolute bomb (105.8 EV, 430 ft). I wrote about Suarez earlier today on RN.

Zack Cozart returned to the Reds lineup, played the entire game, and collected a hit.

Kevin Shackleford pitched two scoreless innings, and Drew Storen pitched a scoreless inning in front of his friend David Letterman.


Homer Bailey had been pitching pretty well for the most part since the start of July. He started out strong today, getting through the first inning facing the minimum after picking off Tommy Pham. Then the wheels fell off. Bailey at one point gave up 3 doubles on 3 consecutive pitches, and was done in after giving up a grand slam to Jose Martinez. Bailey’s final line: 3.1 IP, 10 H, 10 ER, 4 BB, 3 K.

I am a big Homer Bailey fan, make no mistake about that. I thought the criticism after his first couple starts coming back from a long DL stint was misguided.  While I do think we should still have patience with Bailey, I do get the frustration after today’s start. The 4 walks today are what really kills me. Bailey has to better for the Reds.

Luis Bonilla was the first reliever into the game for Bailey, and he didn’t fare much better: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K.

Billy Hamilton appeared to get a little banged up, and left the game early. It sounds like it was purely precautionary as the Reds were getting their brains beat in.

Not so random thoughts……….

Up Next:

Padres at Reds
Monday, 7:10 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Tim Adleman (5.42 ERA) vs Jhoulys Chacín (3.99 ERA)


All statistics are used courtesy of Fangraphs, ESPN Stats & Info, and Baseball-Reference.

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.

Join the conversation! 35 Comments

  1. In the box score,the starting pitcher is given a score for the game.Not even sure how that is determined other then the better you perform the higher the score and of course the worse you perform the lower the score.Homer’s score today was a minus 1 and I don’t think I have ever seen that.Nick,I am also a big Homer fan and you are right he has to do better then that.The Cards are no where near the offensive team they used to be and the walks are just unacceptable for a veteran pitcher at any time for any reason short of injury.

  2. Nick,

    Thanks for posting the Letterman clip. The seersucker jacket is top notch.

    Bailey is going to be a target for fan frustration and impatience with the rebuild, until the end of 2019, when the Reds send him on his way with a $5 million check to buy out his contract for 2020.

    It is what it is.

    Whatever Bailey can provide as a 31 year old, trying to comeback after numerous injuries, it is still good enough to justify a starting rotation spot on the 2017 Reds, whatever his salary.

    The interesting scenario is when (if?) the Reds could field 5 better starters, would the team have the courage to make Bailey baseball’s most expensive ever mop-up guy?

    We are some way from that bridge, though, it would seem. (Sadly).

    • why not make him a closer if he keeps getting hurt being a starter?, maybe make your best pitcher a starter besides that had a few stints on the DL
      Just seen that Smoltz had success and from what I heard he is the only TJ surgery playing to make the HoF

  3. I am NOT a big Homer Bailey fan, but just like everybody else, we are stuck with him until his contract runs out. I am sure he will be modestly better next year. Just like everyone else.

  4. Don’t know his splits at all, but it seems from my memory that I recall Homer Bailey quite a few times getting killed during day games. I know I saw a couple of them in person.

  5. Just curious: Why would anyone with the Reds’ interests at heart be a Homer Bailey fan?

  6. Bailey and Mesoraco get $34 mil for next year and yet Jocketty is still seen at GABP in a position of authority? What else does he have to do before they move on? Did they give a new fleet of tankers to the captain of the Exxon Valdez? The man destroyed the Reds….he’s done enough.

    • Totally agree!

      • I actually have more faith in Mesoraco having a positive contribution than Homer Bailey.

        • What did you do flip a coin? 🙂

        • I get the frustration with Bailey, but I also think that it’s misplaced. He’s coming back from significant surgery and lengthy rehab and it would be surprising if he weren’t having uneven performances. His stuff mostly looks good, and it seems likely that he’ll regain his command.

          • Can take a while to get the feel back for pitching and Bailey is trying to do it at the MLB level, facing MLB hitters. As long as he really is healthy, I think he’ll eventually return to being at least a serviceable starting pitcher.

    • I believe if a person goes back to the period when Bailey’s contract was done, it presents as a reasonable deal based on what he had accomplished, projected for the future, and where he was in the arbitration/ player control cycle. It bought the Reds his final arbitration season and 5 years of free agency at a fair market rate. A serious long term injury such as Bailey suffered was essentially the only risk. We don’t have any means of evaluating whether the Reds did proper due diligence on the risk injury. If they did, then what has transpired is just a very obvious reflection of the cost of doing business in the deep end of pool. If they didn’t, shame on them.

      In real time they could and perhaps did consider a mid contract extension for Johnny Cueto. However, after starting 30 or more games in 5 of 6 years between 2008-12, Cueto had just missed 2/3 of 2013 with injury. This came on the heels of missing JC missing a 1/3 of 2011 with injury. So, sans a way to see into the future, he didn’t necessarily project as any better if even as safe of risk as Bailey who had just competed 30 start seasons in 2012-13 for the first time.

      • If you are suggesting that Cueto could have been signed for an amount not much more than Bailey signed for, Then I disagree with you. Cueto was clearly the better pitcher (no disrespect to Bailey). I’m guessing that Cueto’s people wanted about double what the Bailey’s people wanted. That is the dilemma for a small market team. You can’t have two Votto like contracts at the same time, hence they signed Bailey rather than Cueto.

        • I don’t know that there was early interest in extending JC. Just put that forward as a point of comparison.

          The figures don’t support the notion that Cueto could have gotten twice what Bailey signed for at the start of the 2014 season at the same point in time.
          In 2014, Cueto made $10M. The next season, 2015, his last season with the Reds, he and Bailey both made $10. Cueto then signed a contract which paid him $15.8M in 2016 and 21.8M a year in 2017-2021.
          In the last 2 guaranteed years of Bailey’s contract, 2019-20, he gets $21M and $23M. In the same two years if Cueto does not option out previously, he will make $21.8M each year.

          This would suggest that if approached before the 2014 season (with 2 years left on his contract) Cueto might have been very receptive to being rolled over 5 or 6 years forward for not a lot more than they signed Bailey for.

          • In 2013, Cueto was on the DL three separate times with lat strains. It was reasonable for both the club and/or the player to avoid a long term contract. It would have been a huge gamble for the organization to make. Then, Cueto basically played his way out of Cincinnati, which is a good problem to have.

            I think the Reds saw the durability of Mat Latos and Homer Bailey and planned on extending one of them as worst case scenarios. When you go back and look and their careers up to that point, it really reinforces the idea that being a GM is difficult and you can make the “right” decisions and still lose.

          • CP,
            I agree with you that Cueto looked like the poorer health risk at the time the Bailey deal was done; and your comment that a GM/ Pres of baseball OPs is between a rock and a hard place at making these choices.

            I stand by what I said below that even after helping the Royals into the World Series and becoming a World Series hero, the money Cueto signed for was not outside the range the Reds could have afforded had they not had the same pool of money sunken on Bailey. Thus had Cueto been their earlier choice they almost certainly been able to sign him (at the opportunity cost of not keeping Bailey).

        • Johnny Cueto had a great year for SF last season. Not so much this year. He is in year #2 of a 6 year / $130MM contract and is on the DL now with a right flexor mass strain. This is how Homer Bailey’s elbow problems started.
          Think Cueto will exercise that opt-out clause after 2017 now?
          This could end up as bad as Bailey’s deal has been. This would have devastated the Reds rotation much more than it is now if the Reds had signed Cueto too and then had both Bailey and Cueto end up with major arm problems along with DeSclafani’s and Finnegan’s arm injuries.

          • I think it was essentially an either/ or situation for the Reds where Bailey and Cueto were concerned. They weren’t going to sign them both. Pretending they were still players for Cueto into 2015 after that had sank money on Bailey prior to the 2014 season probably cost them the chance to sign Mike Leake who early in the offseason of 2014 into 2015 was publicly making noise he wanted to re-sign with the Reds. Not retaining Leake has hurt the team greatly in my opinion.

            The Bailey and Cueto contracts are really remarkably similar except that Cueto has a walk away option at the end of 2017. Here they are from the start of Cueto’s current contract in 2016 (3rd year of Bailey’s):

            2016 Bailey $18M; Cueto $15M.
            2017 Bailey $19M, Cueto $21.8M.
            2018 Baily $21M, Cueto $21.8M.
            2019 Bailey $23M, Cueto $21.8M.
            2020 Bailey (option year; mutual) $25M against a $5M buyout, Cueto $21.8M.
            2021 Cueto $21.8M
            2022 Cueto (option year; team) $22M against $5M buyout

            In Cueto’s last 2 seasons with the Reds, 2014 and 2015, he made $10M each year. In those 2 seasons, Bailey made $9M and $10M.

            The money Cueto signed for in 2016 was not out of the Reds pocket range except for the fact they had already committed it to Bailey.

  7. I dislike Bailey more than any Reds in a long time. I will be happy when his contract is done.

    • Why, Because he has been on the disabled list for nearly two years due to injury? Because he is collecting a large check while injured? (not his fault – he didn’t have the reds at gunpoint to sign the (bad) deal) and he didn’t wish to have a injury that would disable him for two years and threaten to end his career So, as I look at it, a terrible decision by Jocketty to offer that much, and a unfortunate break for the reds AND Bailey that he was severely injured.

    • I don’t personally dislike Homer, but I think that the big contract, with perfect 20/20 hindsight, was a mistake. In my mind, the Reds had three choices to anchor the starting pitching staff going forward. Leake, Bailey and Cueto. The numbers for an extension for Cueto was well thought out by Jim Walker, above. But Cueto was coming off an injury year (2013), and the Reds were “risk averse”. Still, three choices, and the Reds rolled craps.
      Homer and Anthony Desclafani will never be right again, within a reasonable amount of time. Desclafani is injury prone, and will never rise above that. There are numerous examples of pro-athletes that this happens to.
      Homer was a #1 draft choice, and a “crown jewel” of the Reds organization, and they were determined to prove all along that they were right. His internal stats in the year leading up to the contract were good (discounting wins/losses and ERA), but he has never been and will never be able to sustain those numbers.
      I feel bad for Homer, the Reds, and the fans. But this is the way it really is. Sure, he may bounce back and look good the next start, but I will wager he gets hammered like this at least twice more before the season is over.

      • When a contract is signed, it is always done without the benefit of perfect 20/20 hindsight. Or any kind of hindsight, for that matter. Homer may well get hammered several more times this season, but the hammering looks like the result of poor command, not poor stuff. It seems reasonable, to me, at least, to assume that poor command is a result of rust, not imperfect healing from surgery. You may be right about Homer and Disco, but not all players fail to recover from serious injury and surgery, so we’ll have to wait and see.

  8. Homer Bailey is just part of what the whole pitching problem has been this year. No progression from the ones most counted on.
    There has been no progression from Amir Garrett, Cody Reed, Rookie Davis, and Sal Romano. There has been very little progression, if any, from Robert Stephenson and Adelman. There has been no progression from the injured pitchers like Bailey, DeSclafani and Finnegan.
    Just no progression to hang your hat on from the rotation. In a season where a lot of things were supposed to get sorted out with progression from the starters.
    Feldman and Castillo are the only ones with any consistency.
    Hello, third straight year of the second worst record in MLB and the #2 overall draft pick again. That really illustrates just how bad there has been no progression.

    • Its been ugly but I wouldn’t include Romano in that mess. Not yet anyway. He has good stuff and keeps the ball on the ground. He was out and he’s barely pitched this year plus he’s still 23. I think he has a good chance to be a solid middle of the rotation guy. Its not been a good year for Lorenzen but the talent is there. He’s also a groundball machine when he’s on. He’s not polished either though? He was rushed thru the minors.

      Finally, Price has talked about getting someone dependable outside the organization. Lance Lynn just faced us and Chacin from SD goes tonite. They’re both free agents. They really need Cozart back but if they have to bite the bullet and pay a new pitcher with Cozart’s $ then so be it!

  9. Jhoulys Chacin is interesting! He’ll be 30 next January. He has a 3.99 era on the season, but if you throw out his first start vs LA then it drops to 3.44 on the season! In his last 21 starts, he’s only allowed more then 3 ER twice and has 13 starts with 2 ER or less. A 3.95 career era looks pretty good when 2/3 of his career was in Colorado. He’s also rolled up 13 double plays and only allowed 3 steals on the season. Lets see how he looks tonite? I think the Reds could definitely use him!!

    • His name was brought up last week and I too thought that it was an interesting one. Inexpensive this year, but with the year he is having in SD, his price will go up considerably as a free agent. Good GB%. More suited for a #4 or #5 rotation spot in Cincinnati, but that spot might be better utilized by one of the younger pitchers, if they could seize the moment.
      Colorado is Colorado. SD is a pitcher friendly park. So you are right when you say lets see how he looks tonight at GABP. Pitching at GABP can be a barometer to see how he looks here. It’ll give the Reds some eyes on time and some data to use this winter.
      But I would rather see the Reds seek out a top of the rotation starter and just bump the others down a spot.

    • I think you need to look at Chacon’s home and away split Indy. His ERA (I know, not the best indicator) is under two at Petco. his away ERA is nearly seven. I don’t think that he would do well if Great American were his home park.

      • His ERA is 1.76 at Petco and 7.35 away from Petco.

        • That’s ugly. We’ll see what happens tonite?

          I’m sort of grasping at straws here anyway….sort of like the Reds when they sign people like Scott Feldman. They don’t enough $ to sign a top guy. A guy like Jose Urena has great stuff and Florida is always in firesale mode. Juan Nicasio will be a free agent and he’s having a great year out of the pen for the Pirates. He was a starter previously and may be finally figuring it out? He throws hard and if he bombed in the rotation, then move him back to the pen. They need to catch lightning somewhere? Most of our guys can’t cut it and they can’t outbid the big boys for obvious top talent.

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About Nick Kirby

Nick is a lifelong Reds fan who was born and raised in Cincinnati. He acquired his love of baseball from his late grandfather. Nick moved to the Cleveland area in 2014 with his wife, and his currently fighting to convert his beautiful baby daughter Emma to Reds fandom. Nick has been writing for Redleg Nation since 2013. Follow Nick on Twitter @nicholaspkirby.


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