2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Reds lose to Cubs 13-9, despite two homers from Eugenio Suarez

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (67-57) 13 13 0
Cincinnati Reds (53-73) 9 13 2
W: Rondon (4-1) L: Peralta (3-4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Eugenio Suarez singled and hit two home runs, his 22nd and 23rd of the season, a career high for the young third baseman. It was the first two-homer game of Suarez’ career. He had 5 RBI, also a career high for a single game. Suarez is good at baseball.

Scooter Gennett hit his 22nd home run, and added a walk. Billy Hamilton got a couple of hits and a walk. He scored his 30th first-inning run, which is the most in the National League. That’s good, I guess. He and Joey Votto each stole a base.

Jesse Winker hit a pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning, his fourth of the season. Get that kid in the lineup, Reds.

Votto and Zack Cozart each reached base twice.

Each of the first three pitchers that took the mound for the Reds tonight — Homer Bailey, Kevin Shackelford, Michael Lorenzen — went 1-1 at the plate. That’s 3-3 all together, if you’re into the whole math thing.

The Bad
–Homer Bailey was on his way to making it into the “Good” section above, tossing three shutout innings and allowing just one hit. But then Bailey left the game under suspicious circumstances with the Reds holding a nice little 3-0 lead. Later, we learned:

–Kevin Shackelford took over for Bailey, and he looked okay initially, tossing a scoreless inning and keeping the Reds ahead by that 3-0 margin. The wheels came off in the fifth inning, however: leadoff walk to the opposing pitcher, single, single, sac fly (Reds lead 3-1), fielder’s choice RBI (Reds lead 3-2), wild pitch, walk, walk. Michael Lorenzen took over for Shackelford with bases loaded and two outs.

Lorenzen promptly surrendered a line drive single to left field off the bat of Jason Heyward that tied the game. Fortunately, Adam Duvall made a perfect throw home to nab Ian Happ and end the inning.

Shackelford’s final line: 1.2 IP, 3 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks.

–Lorenzen allowed two runs on two hits in 1.2 innings. He left after issuing a one-out walk in the top of the seventh inning. Wandy Peralta entered and gave up three runs on four hits before collecting the third out, surrendering the lead as the Cubs went ahead 8-6. Peralta was pretty unlucky; only one ball was hit hard against him, but everything found a hole.

–The Redlegs blew two 3-run leads. Up 3-0, tied 3-3, up 6-3, down 8-6.

–Then Blake Wood entered the game, and promptly walked the first hitter in the eighth inning on four pitches. Then Wood walked the second batter. And the third. Then he allowed a single, giving the Cubs a ninth run. Oh yeah, and then Wood allowed another single. 10-6, Cubs. And then another single. 11-6. And then he uncorked a wild pitch. 12-6.

Wood finally collected an out at that point, a strikeout. But he had already given up four runs. An RBI grounder to the next hitter scored the fifth run of the inning.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Whatever. Good night. See you tomorrow.

Today’s Tweets

55 thoughts on “Recap: Reds lose to Cubs 13-9, despite two homers from Eugenio Suarez

    • It’s not legitimate, but they don’t want to pay him to do nothing, which they would have to do if they released him. There’s also apparently nobody in the minors who they feel would be a good replacement at this point.

    • He had a 3.69 ERA prior to his 8/11 outing, since then it has been horrible, actually mediocre season until the past 2 weeks but maybe you long for Ohlendorf, Jumbo, and Cingrani… which would probably be favorable than what these middle relievers are doing of late

  1. Why is Blake Wood still in the league? His pitching is constantly horrific. I would have brought someone else from Triple A to take his spot; Garrett, Mahle. Also why doesn’t Price take him out of the game especially after the second walk. Listening to this game was driving me nuts. My heart goes out to Votto, Suarez, and the rest of the line up. You would think 9 runs would be good enough for a win. If this team had decent pitching they would be contending right now. Once again I have to say “wait until next year”.

  2. Chad you said: “tossing three shutout innings and allowing just one run. ” I think you mean allowing just one hit.

  3. Blake “Black Hole” Wood – Another guy I hope won’t be around next year…

  4. I can live with pitchers that give up hits to get beat. Sad as it is, that’s baseball sometimes

    But the walks and the wild pitches, from professional ball players, is just ridiculous. These guys are getting paid to look like little leaguers and I just don’t understand how that’s acceptable. 7 billion people on the planet and the Reds can’t find 7 who can throw it over the plate??

  5. A team which gets it, would have DFA Blake Wood on the off day, Monday. Reds are turning into the Bengals. SOS over and over.

      • Except I’m a Dolphin’s fan and that leads to an eternal game of elevated expectations and dashed hopes.

  6. Bailey hurt again, Lorenzen regressing, Wood being allowed to pitch… Somethings not right and all the people who say “snakebit” and “bad luck” can’t convince me otherwise.

    The front office needs an exorcism.

    • I’m not sure Lorenzen is regressing. He’s never been some sort of lights-out pitcher. I’m pretty sure this is just who he is…a “pretty good” pitcher most of the time, and not a “lights out” pitcher all the time.

      • I’ve heard talk that Lorenzen is learning a new pitch, or using off-speed stuff more, or learning a new motion. Is any of this true and if so, is it related to his decline?

        • I have no idea! Someone like Matt Wilkes might know. He seems to follow the pitchers pretty closely.

      • I thought it was just his mechanics, he adapted one method (possible to avoid injury) and it added a flaw in his delivery, article I saw made it seems he has been addressing it for awhile

  7. Homer Bailey was adamant in his post game interview that he would make his next start. He looked OK. He made it clear it was only precautionary. Can you only imagine the uproar if he had stayed in the game and really hurt it an inning or two later? The complainers would be voicing some high decibel complaints today.
    We’ll see in a few days if he can make his next start. If not, this late in the season, it just creates one more opportunity for redemption for one of the young starting pitchers like Garrett, Reed, Davis, or Stephens. I don’t believe Mahle will get a promotion this year. Regardless if Homer pitches anymore this season, the Reds surely could use one of those 4 to step up their game for the remainder of the season. Over the next five and a half weeks if the Reds can get some consistently good outings from Castillo, Romano, Stephenson, and one other SP to finish out the season, it could reap huge benefits for 2018.

  8. The inability to throw strikes and then throwing wild pitches is inexcusable. One bad game I understand but this is getting to be a constant thing with Wood. Sometimes you just have to admit you made a mistake and eat crow. In this case the Reds need to admit they made a mistake with Wood and eat his contract.

    • Would be pretty knee jerk for 3 horrible outings over 12 days- issue is that he should be 7th/8th option, instead he is somewhere between 4th/5th with Storen being equally as bad- didn’t help Peralta gave up 4 straight 2 out hits (almost all to lefties) or he probably pitches the 8th or part of it.

  9. Gotta feel bad for Homer. The stuff has been good since he returned, which left me hopeful the command would eventually come around. Makes you wonder if he wasn’t 100%……I’m sure we’ll find out at some point.

    With attrition rates being what they are in Redsland, I was only counting on one of Bailey or Disco to be healthy next year. Now the weight of expectation falls even more on Disco…….and by extension the front office to trade prospects to bolster the rotation. This core deserves a chance to compete, even at the cost of 3-4 prospects outside our top 5. Anything less than that and I’ll deem the offseason a miserable failure.

  10. If I owned the Reds, I would have lost it in a fit of pique last night. I would have DFA’ed Wood, demoted Lorenzen and Shackleford, and fired Mac Jenkins. Throw the ball over the flippin’ plate, for crying out loud. They get up 1-2 or 0-2, then piddle around, get into 8-pitch ABs and blow the game. The Reds threw 200 pitches last night, good for 22+/inning.

    The problem with EVERY SINGLE ONE one of the Reds’ pitchers, outside maybe Adleman and Castillo, is that they are trying to throw the ball WAY too hard. Poor Lorenzen turns himself into a recoiling pretzel trying to get an extra 3 mph on the ball. This isn’t rocket science: throwing the ball where you want at 93 mph is better than throwing it who-knows-where at 97 mph. I can’t believe that both Jenkins and Price don’t preach this ad nauseum, but the pitchers aren’t hearing it, and that is probably why both will be replaced in about 5 weeks. (To be fair, Romano is figuring it out a bit.)

    This was the worst loss of the year, in my book, even worse than the Iglesias meltdown in Los Angeles. Nine walks by a major league pitching staff; time of game 4:04.

    • I think you deserve a + for using the phrase “in a fit of pique”. It’s one thing for a pitcher to have a bad game or two but if he isn’t injured, I have to wonder if it isn’t time for Wood to move on the life after baseball. Shackleford just isn’t ready for the major leagues, if he ever will be is still up for speculation.

    • The point I agree with most is: They get up 1-2 or 0-2, then piddle around, get into 8-pitch ABs. Very frustrating

  11. Price was hired because he was a good pitching coach and that’s what the Reds needed after losing their whole starting staff.Problem is that has not happened.Fast forward today and lets see what starters he has developed.Disco,Finny Castillo came from other teams and Homer was already here.That’s 4 guys that most of us would pencil in as starters next year if healthy.He has done nothing with anybody else so is it we just don’t have anybody else that’s any good?if you believe that and I don’t then release Bob Steve,Reed Garrett,Davis and the list goes on and on and see what teams line up to claim these guys.He continues to talk about these young guys that don’t throw strikes and made an example out of Reed and Bob Steve by sending them down.Well guess what?Throwing strikes is a problem for ALL of our pitchers with few exceptions at all levels.Price nor his pitching cronies have done their job and that’s a fact.Get rid of them and lets go forward with a different voice or a different plan.Sometimes you have to just let a man go.

    • You can’t MAKE a pitcher throw strikes. Some can do it, some can’t. It’s a rampant problem on this team. If the 2018 season started tomorrow, I’d say only Castillo and Iglesias — and possibly Peralta — are sure things in their current roles. Unquestionably they have to get one or two starting pitchers in from other organizations to give some stability and some chance for this team to win. The “sorting” has worked well for the position players, but demonstrated that there is no “there” there on the pitching staff. Hamilton and Schebler would be two trade possibilities to swap for starting pitching. And those two aren’t going to bring an ace. They’re going to bring middle or back of the rotation guys.

      • I agree Tom. The Reds can try to fix the pitching by signing next year’s version of Straily, Feldman, Simon. I really worry about Homer, DeSclafani, , and Finnegan. Their injuries could be career ending.
        Fixing the pitching staff will take several years unless the above mentioned 3 return healthy and stay that way. Castillo is good. The Reds need at least 2 of Stephenson, Garrett, Reed, and Mahle to make it.

        • I don’t think a spring training waiver pickup or signing will do it this time. I think they need to let other teams know that Hamilton and possibly Schebler are available, and what the Reds want in return is a starting pitcher with approximately the same amount of contract control time in return. Now, that probably won’t happen because it’s not the typical rebuild strategy. But it seems clear to me that you have a team of position players who can compete if they can just get even average pitching. If you don’t do that, you’re absolutely wasting what look like will be some prime years for Suarez and Duvall and maybe Gennett. Barnhart is an excellent catcher — can start for the vast majority of teams.

      • I agree Tom you can’t make pitchers throw strikes but I tend to believe that pitchers can be taught to throw strikes.As we agree it is a rampant problem on this team but is it because they never could throw strikes or is it they can’t be taught.I won’t give Price and others a pass for not developing pitchers and if the answer is to go out and get some starters from other teams it further supports they didn’t do there job.The sorting always works with position players if you give them enough at bats to prove they can or can’t but starting pitchers don’t get the same treatment because if they don’t pitch well or get hammered then it effects the whole team.Therefore the leash is shorter as compared to say giving Peraza 400+ at bats and see him walk 5 times with an obp under 300.I can live with bringing in a couple of starters to add to the other guys we also got from other organizations because I want to win.In reality the only reason we can say we need to go and get some other guys is because we didn’t make a commitment to use our own guys enough to find out.

        • I agree pitchers can be taught to throw strikes but not all pitchers can learn to do so. We know Price can teach pitching. Cueto, Leake, a healthy Bailey, Chapman are god recent examples. There are others. Some pitchers despite solid instruction through the minors and into the major never develop command. Throwing hard to hit strikes to major league hitters is a skill that not everyone can master. The responsibility to develop command is on the pitcher. He needs to work on it and have the mental toughness and discipline to keep at.

          • “Throwing strikes to major league hitters is a skil not everyone can master.”

        • James, I respectfully disagree. We found out a lot. Garrett, Rookie and Reed weren’t ready, and Stephenson and Romano have had flashes here and there but no consistency. Only Castillo consistently challenges and locates in the strike zone. The rest of this year I think will set the expectations for both Romano and Stephenson for 2018 — contender for a rotation spot, or a lot more minor league time.

          We learned that there are a lot of pitchers who are fringe Class AAAA types or major-league hangers-on, but none that are likely to provide quality more often than not — at least at this stage of their careers. I hope they all develop into studs, but I am not holding my breath.

          • Tom I don’t think a few starts in the big leagues tells you a lot about any pitcher other then what they need to work on.The 3 guys you said we found out about and weren’t ready got a total of less then 20 starts between them with Garret getting 12.I think all of us are quick to anoint pitchers or throw then under the bus after a small sample size.Garrett was anointed and then wasn’t ready after 12 starts.Castillo has been anointed and well we will have to see on him.How about we just agree to disagree,I will say we have found some about a lot of young pitchers because to me unless you get 25 to 30 starts its just too small of a sample size.Kind of like the second and third time through the batting order.Pitchers adjust then the hitters adjust etc etc.It just would be great if we could have this discussion and two or three of these guys had 20+ starts under their belt this year.

    • Price was hired to be the manager, though. The manager isn’t the pitching coach and probably can’t be, given the other stuff he has to do. You’d hope he’d add his observations about mechanics, pitching strategy, etc. where appropriate, but the job is Jenkins’.

  12. The time has finally come for the Reds to grant unconditional releases to Blake Wood and Drew Storen. With only 5 1/2 weeks left in the season, it is really only eating about less than $1MM. It would be worth opening the 2 roster spots.
    I’ve been harking since mid-May to release Wood. Now add Storen to the list. By releasing them now, both have a chance, albeit very slim, to hook up with another team and be eligible for the post season. Or to finally put their seasons out of their misery. Either way, a humanitarian gesture by the Reds.

  13. I think in the sorting process this year we are finding out many of the Reds’ pitchers just don’t have the control to be in the major leagues. This includes some very young pitchers and aging veterans.
    I am sure Price, coaches and the front office anticipated this for a few pitchers in 2017, but not half the staff. Throw in the injured and lame and it doesn’t look good for the rebuild.
    Will the front office and owner recognize this over the off season and do something about it? I have a feeling they will declare 2018 another “sorting year” so that the injured can recover and be evaluated when healthy. Then the pitching staff can be established for 2019 by a combination of roster players and trades in the 2018 to 2019 off-season.

  14. The second most disheartening thing to me is the loss of controlled years among Disco, Finnegan if their injuries are career ending and the impact that has on the Red’s front office rebuild plan. If those 2 (+ Bailey) all make 30+ starts this year, it’s a different feel to the season I think.

    The most disheartening thing is the lack of development among the multiple SP options in the minors, albeit I hope we are seeing some signs with Castillo and Romano. Just was expecting it to be Reed, Garrett, Stephenson (in that order.)

    I agree with their stated position that they won’t bring up kid pitchers until they have shown success in the minors. But it appears they may not have much of a choice, unless Bronson is getting healthy.

    • Very good point about the pitching injuries. It may be nearly impossible to quantify how detrimental they have been to the rebuild process.

      • Yes. Bear with me with pitcher wins, but just think if DeSclafani had an 17-10 record, Bailey 15-13, and Finnegan 16-11 or thereabouts, if all had started 33 or 34 games with the Reds offense. Instead, we have Feldman 7-7, Adleman 5-10, Bailey 4-6, Arroyo 3-6, Garrett 3-6, Castillo 2-6, Romano 3-5, and Stephenson 1-4.
        At least a 20 win differential, maybe even 25.

        • Beat me to it. I completely agree. Good news is that we’ll be in good draft position, and IF (big IF) our “big 3” comes back healthy, it may help accelerate the rebuild, or lengthen our next winning team.

      • It’s also why I’m giving Price a pass on this year. Honestly, I think he’s done a fair job given the total carnage that has been Reds pitching. Inconclusive evidence to firing him. If you put down expected innings by pitcher going into the season and compared to actual innings by pitcher, I’m guessing it ended up well under 50% from expected. I really was hoping they would get to .500 this year, but that was with 3 rotation pieces locked up (plus Feldman). I hope some of the young guns start hitting their stride consistently for 2018 hopes as I have very little faith that either Disco/Finnegan will be effective if they are even available. Maybe Bailey too.

  15. Any body think Iglesias should have been brought in with bases loaded and 2 out in 7th- still 6-4? I thought it made sense somewhat at the time if they really wanted to win the game, but probably limits use of Iglesias rest of series

    • I thought so, too. But they would likely to have about 3 of the Duds pitch the 9th, so you’d have to figure a 51-pitch 9th inning, with 4 walks, a HBP, wild pitch and one crushing gapper.

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