2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Scooter Gennett pitched! (Also, the Reds were hammered by the Cubs.)

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (49-70) 5 8 1
Chicago Cubs (62-55) 15 17 1
W: Quintana (7-10) L: Wojciechowski (3-2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Scooter Gennett had two hits, including his 20th home run. But that wasn’t the highlight of tonight’s game for Scooter: he pitched the eighth inning. Sure, he gave up a two-run homer to Chicago’s Javier Baez, but he used a brilliant sidearm 64-mph fastball to escape the inning without further damage.

–Joey Votto had three hits, including a double. And he did this:

–Eugenio Suarez walked three times. He has now walked in six consecutive games, the longest active streak in the big leagues.

The Bad
–Devin Mesoraco was hit on the foot by a pitch in the second inning. Shortly thereafter, clearly in pain, Mesoraco was forced to leave the game. Sigh…

This guy can’t catch a break. (No pun intended.)

–Asher Wojciechowski was pretty bad tonight, as the Cubs were smacking the ball all around the friendly confines of Wrigley Field tonight. In 3.2 innings, Wojciechowski allowed 7 runs on 10 hits. His season ERA jumped up to 5.21.

–It didn’t really matter, as the Reds were already losing big…but Patrick Kivlehan looked like a Little Leaguer on a fly ball near the foul line in the seventh inning. He jumped and didn’t really come close to catching the ball. That error — on a ball that should have been the third out of the inning — gave the Cubs a 10-2 lead.

–Kivlehan victimized Drew Storen, but Storen didn’t exactly distinguish himself, allowing six runs (three earned) in two-thirds of an inning. Worst outing for Storen in a while.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Ugh.

–The Reds now have five players with 20 or more home runs: Votto, Adam Duvall, Scott Schebler, Suarez, Gennett. Zack Cozart has 16, so he’s still in the mix.

–Votto has now hit in 18 of his last 19. He’s also reached base at least twice in 19 consecutive games. That’s a franchise record, and it’s also the fourth-best streak in the entire history of Major League Baseball. The top four:

1. Ted Williams (21 games in 1948)
2. Pete Rose (20 games for the Phillies in 1979)
3. Barry Bonds (20 games, 2004)
4. Joey Votto, 2017.

–Votto doubled in the fifth, despite the fact that the Cubs employed a goofy shift that included four outfielders. Is there anything Votto cannot do?

–Suarez’ on-base percentage is now up to .372. That mark is tied for 5th among all big league third baseman. It’s way past time for Suarez to be installed in the leadoff spot.

–Reds play the Cubs again tomorrow night. Wonderful.

Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati’s performance today.

27 thoughts on “Recap: Scooter Gennett pitched! (Also, the Reds were hammered by the Cubs.)

  1. I have been pretty patient with the rebuild/sorting that has been the last three plus years. Even last year when the pitching was record setting terrible it didn’t feel like it because of how bad I remembered the Reds pitching of the the 90’s-2000’s. But man this is bad folks! I’m not sure we even have the answers within our own organization as far as pitching goes and it seems like all we’ve done is stockpile arms over the years and have very little to show for it. A bunch of guys we thought were up and comers are one spring training away from being left in the dust. Castillo jumped a bunch of guys since coming to the organization and I think Mahle is the next guy who might do the same. I wonder how many arms outside of the organization will be on the Reds roster next year. You don’t want to overreact in a situation like this but at the same time you got like 5 20 home run guys on the team you have to feel like you can compete.

  2. I agree with Suarez at the top of lineup. Hamilton’s OBP for this year is .296 and for his career it is .297. There is a low probability it will get much better. It would be great to see some combination of Suarez, Winker, or possibly even Senzel hitting in front of Votto while Votto is still Votto. Of course Votto in front of Senzel is also intriguing.

  3. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think Suarez would ever be a .350+ OBP guy. The patience he’s shown this year has been one of the few bright spots! Walt’s finest!

    • I don’t think many of us did. I’m just guessing that he has a combination of reasonable ability, a strong work ethic, and he listens to others (Votto?). Notice how he now chokes up on the bat with 2 strikes.

      • I don’t think that early in the 2016 season many of us thought Suarez would be a good defensive third baseman. I think you must be correct that Suarez has a very strong work ethic and is striving to get better both on offense and defense. One thing that makes Votto so great in my opinion is that he is constantly adjusting and refining his hitting technique. Perhaps Suarez also has this trait. I have become a big Suarez fan this season.

  4. Just another typical game in Chicago, 20 runs, 4 HR’s and a position player pitched one inning – GO REDS!

  5. The Astros had several very bad seasons and now are very good. I do not see why everyone is in a rush for the rebuild. Before 2010 reds were terrible for 11 years. I personally think they should try and be bad again next year with another top five pick.plus I don’t think they need to try they will be bad next year too.

  6. This seems to have gone unnoticed, but with the score tied 2-2, Heyward led off and grounded a ball in the hole between 1st and 2nd. Scooter was literally waiting for that grounder, as Votto swept in a took a backhanded swipe at it, deflecting it into the outfield for a “hit”. Two outs later (when the Reds should have been in the dugout) Jay hit an RBI triple, LaStella RBI single, Bryant 2 run homer, Rizzo solo homer.

    Now a lot happened after the Votto Play that Wojo could have maybe overcome. But reality is, that he should have been in the dugout, and pitching from the windup in the next inning. Instead he is charged with 7 ER’s and taken out in the 4th.

    If this had been a 1-time thing, I wouldn’t have brought it up….but this happens TIME AND TIME again. Are the coaches scared to tell Joey to PLAY YOUR POSITION?? Do they need to draw a line in the dirt, and say, Don’t go past this Line??

    • I get your angst. But Wojo gave up that triple to Jay with two outs and an 0-2 count. That is squarely on him there. After that, Wojo was just setting them up on a tee for the Cubs to hit and hit and hit. And hit them hard too. It was another painful episode of Reds pitching to watch.

    • I, too, thought that play by Votto was a hotdog back-handed fielding attempt. Later in the game, he did make a nice play to his left to record an (assisted?) out. The tv guys then talked about glove selection or use. I’d have paid more attention to what they said had I known I might comment here.

    • Very astute. We’ll never know, so this is huge speculation, but what it Joey is trying to get that ball because he knows his range is measured in his defensive value? So instead of doing what’s best for the out, his behavior is being changed because he knows he’s being measured. I’ve alluded to this before in other comments on this site, this idea that when subjects know they’re being studied, they change their behavior which can invalidate observations.

  7. Something like the Cubs 5 run 4th inning which blew the game open from a 2-2 tie was very predictable when Wojo was sent back to the mound after laboring through the third to escape (by a hair) in the 3rd (25 pitches thrown in the inning of ~60 total thru 3 innings).

    It seemed clear he was running on empty at the end of the 3rd. Even sending him out to start the 4th versus the bottom of the Cubbie order was dicey. Leaving him in to face the top of the order with a man in scoring position after throwing 11 pitches to record 2 outs (including the pitcher) was asking for what followed in the next four hitters (triple, single, HR, HR= 5 runs scored). Did not Wojo hit a similar wall last time out after pitching brilliantly through 5 innings? Sorting implies learning which sometimes seems absent in Reds decisions.

    • Jim you are exactly right in your observations.The Reds keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results with their pitchers.Time after time after time you can set your watch around inning 4 or 5 and bang it happens.Now I realize part of sorting is to maybe extend a young guy every now and then just to see but I am not talking about young here.Feldman,Aldeman,Wojo are not young guys and I have no problem with Romano or Castillo or Stephensen being extended because they need to learn or be able to work through the order the third time because they maybe part of the future.Wojo to me is a good bullpen piece because he can give you a couple of solid innings more often then not.Its just another start taken by an older guy that we know about instead of somebody we don’t.

      • Reds appear to have a couple guys who are serviceable two times max through the lineup – Wojo, Adleman, Feldman. Beginning of year Reed and Stephenson appeared capable of giving two quality innings. the mismanagement of the pitching staff this season would be bearable if the innings had been spent to develop our youngsters….but the time was not used this way.

  8. Couple of comments on Votto’s play, do you remember Danny Driessen, he was always tried to cover the whole right side of the infield. Does anyone remember in the dark ages when for one play George Crowe played second base with a first baseman’s glove and Johnny Temple played first base. The Reds got by with it without a protest.

  9. Hope for the best with Mesoraco. That is just horrible luck with another freak injury. I feel for the guy. I hope he heals up nicely over the off-season and will be completely healthy when spring training rolls around. It’d be nice to see him give us his best season next year in what will be his final year in Cincinnati. I’d like to see him go out with a bang next year.

    • Mesoraco reportedly has a fractured foot. I guess they will shut him down for the season. I too wish him the best. The severity of the injuries to Meso, Bailey and Disco have been devastating to the players and the organization.

      • Devin gives it his best when he’s on the field… and I’m sure in the dugout and the clubhouse. I watched him play against Milwaukee this past weekend and he was clearly passionate about winning the Saturday game. Tough break and speedy recovery Devin! We appreciate your effort and passion for playing the game right.

  10. That was a good test for Wojo. He failed but we learned something. His stuff is short…similar to Adleman. Good competitor but doesn’t have enough to be a big league starter. I wanted to fool myself that he could be a 5th starter. He might be ok in middle relief or a spot start where the new manager can spot him up against a RH leaning lineup. Romano is going backwards….time for Mahle or Reed in this ongoing merry-go-round. Our boys have a rock solid chokehold on the worst era in baseball AGAIN. Will it ever change?

    On a positive note…I hope Scooter is making some believers! He had a single off of Quintana, then his next atbat he hit a ball in the shortstop hole and it took a fantastic play to get him. Finished w/a HR off a lefty. He hit a granny off AS Brad Hand last week. The guy can hit and is a big part of their offense!

  11. I love the diagram on Votto’s AB with 4 OFers. Hit them where they ain’t.
    The Reds defense was perfectly aligned on 3-4 balls hit by the Cubs batters. If they hadn’t had shifted on those balls the score would have been 20-5. Bases were loaded when Gennett caught a screaming line drive right at him in shallow RF. The Cubs had men on base on a couple of others.

    Giancarlo Stanton passed through waivers today, I heard on the radio. Is something percolating with the Cardinals?? They were rumored to be exploring such at the deadline or for talks later this winter. Funny how an 8 or 9 game winning streak can change plans. The Cards have the prospects to trade and the resources to pay that kind of contract. New ownership in Miami and the lack of power bats in St. Louis could create the perfect storm for a big trade before this winter.
    That would be bad news for the NL Central.

    • The city of Miami would boycott the team forever if they traded Stanton.

      The shift was just Maddon being stupid, thinking he was being smart. Most of Votto’s fly balls are either HR’s or outs. Almost all of his ground balls are to the right side. So 3 guys on the right side of the infield is the smart play.

      Maddon was hoping that he would flyout in the gap so everybody could fall over themselves saying how smart he was. Since it backfired and Joey hit a a ground ball double where the defense should be, nobody says a thing

      • Yes Marlins fans wouldn’t be happy. But the new marlins ownership might want to get out from under that monster contract of Stanton’s and start with a fresh slate. And get some very good pitching back in return.

  12. IF THE REDS DO NOT RESIGN SCOOTER GENNETT BEFORE HE BECOMES A FREE AGENT,THE GM,ASST GM AND ANYONE ELSE THAT IS IN ON THOSE DECISIONS SHOULD BE FIRED AND SHOULD NEVER WORK IN BASEBALL AGAIN.

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