2017 Reds / Game Thread

Reds vs. Brewers — September 4, 2017

After a quick weekend trip to Pittsburgh in which they won the first game and lost the next two, the Cincinnati Reds (58-79) return to Great American Ball Park for a three-game series against their NL Central counterpart Milwaukee Brewers (72-65). Game time is at 1:10 ET on this Labor Day.

The Brewers come into town having faded slightly, but are still within striking distance, 3.5 games behind the Cubs and 0.5 games out of the second wild card spot.

The Brewers are where the Reds want to be in 2018. No one expected the Brewers to be ready to compete yet, but that’s exactly what has happened. The Reds and Brewers are pretty even when it comes to offense (the Reds actually have a better team batting average and OPS, and both teams are top five in the NL in home runs). But the Brewers’ pitching has been a good surprise, while the Reds pitching has been….well, you know.

Starting Pitchers

Pitcher IP ERA xFIP K% BB%
Homer Bailey 62.1 7.51 5.20 14.8% 10.7%
Chase Anderson 106.2 2.96 4.55 23.5% 7.9%

While he’s still not the Homer Bailey of old, he has been improving. In his last start against the Mets, he pitched six innings of four hit, two run baseball, striking out one and walking only one. Both runs came in the first inning, before he settled down and pitched five shut out innings. Even in the August 16th game against the Cubs when Bailey surrendered six hits on seven runs, he also struck out ten batters. Honestly, it’s just a matter of getting him healthy and comfortable so that he’s ready to go in 2018.

Chase Anderson’s breakthrough season has come in 2017. In his first three years in the league, first with the Diamondbacks and last year with the Brewers, Anderson has consistently pitched with an ERA over 4.00. In 106.1 innings this season, Anderson has a 2.96 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP, both the lowest of the Brewers’ starting staff. He still walks about the same percentage of batters as in past years, but he has improved his K% by about five percentage points from last year. He’s also allowed less home runs, only 11 compared to the 28 he allowed in 2016. Anderson has four pitches, but has only started to throw his cutter a lot more this season than in previous season.

Anderson has faced the Reds just once this season, and had to leave after one inning. He went on the disabled list with a strained left oblique and recently returned on August 20. He’s made three starts in that time and is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA.

Here are how the Reds have fared against Anderson (Joey Votto has drawn SIX walks against him):

chase anderson stats

Lineups

Brewers                                                               Reds

1. Jonathan Villar (CF)
2. Neil Walker (2B)
3. Ryan Braun (LF)
4. Travis Shaw (3B)
5. Domingo Santana (RF)
6. Eric Thames (1B)
7. Manny Pina (C)
8. Orlando Arcia (SS)
9. Chase Anderson (P)
1. Billy Hamilton (CF)
2. Zack Cozart (SS)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Adam Duvall (LF)
5. Scooter Gennett (2B)
6. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
7. Scott Schebler (RF)
8. Tucker Barnhart (C)
9. Homer Bailey (P)

-Tucker Barnhart returned from paternity leave yesterday and is back in the lineup this afternoon.

-It’s Adam Duvall’s 29th birthday today. Maybe he’ll hit a home run as a birthday gift to himself.

Stat of the Day

This is a very good development. Finally, the young pitchers are getting a chance, and some are emerging as legitimate candidates to be in the rotation in 2018. Unfortunately, about half of these pitchers will likely make only one more start and then get shut down. Will we see Cody Reed and Amir Garrett again before 2017 is over?

News and Notes

-Great story by C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer this weekend on Eugenio Suarez. Walt Jocketty made some questionable trades, but the Suarez for Alfredo Simon deal was not one of them.

-This is fun.

-Also, from the Reds minor leagues, there’s this good news.

Final Thoughts

With the news about Bryan Price returning for another year as manager of the Reds being revealed this weekend, there has been a lot of talk about whether or not he should return. While I don’t think Price is the guy to carry the Reds to the next level, I also think he hasn’t been given much to work with. The last four years were never about the manager, despite what some fans want to believe.

2018 will be a very important season in the next phase of the rebuilding process, as all of these young players start performing at the big league level. Price will be judged on how he manages next season, and then I think the Reds re-evaluate his performance after that.

65 thoughts on “Reds vs. Brewers — September 4, 2017

  1. Ashley,

    “Is Bryan Price executing his job to the standard of his peers?” is a fair question to ask about him, about Reds players, what you do for a living, what I do, etc.

    In answering this question, it is very hard to answer :”Yes”. Lineup construction, playing time, in-game decisions that optimize the team’s chances of winning…those who watch other MLB games will likely determine that Price isn’t executing the same as other managers.

    “The last four years were never about the manager, despite what some fans want to believe.”

    This is dismissive, and frankly…arrogant.

    It is disappointing that are Peraza and Ervin not in the starting lineup, again, today. How is the rebuilding furthered by them sitting, day after day, in meaningless September games?

    The Reds announcing Price’s return on Saturday night of Labor Day Weekend, when it was decided in July, indicates that the team knew it would likely not be well received by a majority of its (remaining) fans.

  2. Nothing to see here.Its just the normal line up with what 25 games left in the season.I know I bet its about we have to play our regulars because the brew crew is in the play off hunt.Something about the integrity of the game going to be mentioned I bet.

    • No sense in getting Winker back because he will sit the bench. Billy needs to play every day because we still don’t know enough about him yet. There is no sense in calling up any position players because they aren’t going to play.

  3. That’s good news about Amir Garrett. The Reds need him healthy and in the starting rotation come opening day.

    • I don’t know that the Reds ‘need’ Garrett for opening day 2018, but it would certainly be a huge positive to have Garrett competing for a starting rotation spot in 2018. The same holds true for Reed, Disco, Finnegan and Lorenzen. Nine [healthy] pitchers competing for five starting positions would be huge since there probably won’t be many bullpen openings avaible before the bullpen competition begins to benefit also.

    • This is why Price is absolutely the wrong manager for 2018.

      The Reds might very well be competitive in 2018 if the starting pitching continues to fall into place. If they are competitive in 2018, Price will be a fish out of water trying to manage a competitive team and add value with his slick managerial moves (i.e. double switches that accomplish nothing, sac bunts that serve no purpose, whatever he serves up as bullpen management, crippling the lineup with speeding outs, etc.). I do not want to see Price managing the Reds in that environment.

      The Reds might not be competitive in 2018 if the starting pitching does not continue to gel. In that situation, Price will continue to manage in his verterans first mode while unproven prospects languish, leaving the team in the same situation for 2019.

      The Reds are in a lose-lose mode for 2018 now. They won’t make the playoffs; they won’t get answers to their roster questions; they won’t even be in line for a top 10 draft pick in the 2019 rule 4 draft. Then BC will offer Price a new 3-year contract to oversee the remaining Votto years.

      • Oh, I know it Cossack. The team has been “sorting” for 2 years now, and is still no closer to having answers. Remember when the team was “building toward competing in 2018”? Yeah, about that…..

        Here’s a scary thought: What if Feldman had never gotten injured and Arroyo and Adleman pitched decently? We’d probably never had seen Castillo, Romano, or Mahle this season. It’s sad when you are wishing for players to get injured/fail just so the team will be forced to play the kids. But that’s where we are.

        • I’m no Price defender — far from it — but if Feldman, Arroyo and Adleman had pitched to some level of effectiveness, the Reds might have been more of a factor in what has proved to be a competitive division. At that point, if we’re not seeing kids, we’re at least ‘contending.’ But because Adleman and Feldman were what they pretty much have been, and Arroyo had little to no chance of ever being what he used to be, we get this: the worst of both worlds.

  4. For those fans supporting keeping hamilton’s defense in CF despite his poor offense…

    Schebs defense puts a runner on 2B with one out, then Hamilton’s defense cuts him down at the plate trying to score on a sac fly. Great throw by Hamilton and great play by Barnhart. To put a cherry on top of the play, Walker got a mouth full of Barnhart’s helmut on the slide at home trying to score.

    • I missed the first inning and didn’t actually see the play where Hamilton threw the guy out, but I keep wondering, how many guys do Duvall and Hamilton have to gun down before third-base coaches take notice? Teams do still have advance scouts, don’t they?

      • I’ve noticed times when opposing runners were held up when, to my eye, they might not have been absent the MLB leading outfield assist machine.

  5. Homer just had the best at bat of anybody on the team so far.Got a hit on the 10th pitch.Tells you all we need to know doesn’t it?

  6. Really happy for Homer Bailey. He is redefining himself as a pitcher. ..throwing strikes…changing speeds…good.location and enough velocity to get 95 mph on occasion if he needs it. Big news.

    • Hope it continues for Homer.Its been a long way back for him after two years.Guy has always been a competitor and I am happy for him.Go Homer.

  7. Two runs in the last 23 innings and counting.One on an error and other on a bases loaded walk.

  8. Tucker has seen 3 pitches in two at bats which is odd because he usually makes the pitcher work.

  9. Suarez made him throw strikes and he didn’t so we get another run.No hacking for this guy.Go Suarez.

  10. The sorting continues.
    Scooter continues.
    Duvall is right handed…he stays.
    It appears that Billy is staying and an argument can be made his defense is so superior…both glove and underrated arm….you keep him until Siri or Trammell is ready.
    Schebler or Winker? Schebler defense is below avg…nice power… But I take Winker.

    • His pitch count is so manageable, at some point you have to let him see what he can do. His front six innings have been so good, why not give him something more to build on? …..And before I can even hit Post Comment, there goes a home run. Oy.

      • Well that didn’t go so well.Its easy to second guess but I always look at it as what is the worse thing that can happen and it has.

        • Braun can homer off anybody, so it’s hard to fault Homer for allowing that to happen, but it’s not looking like the right decision to send him back out there.

          • Its easy when what happened isn’t so good to find fault.I just thought why not pinch hit for him with runners on second and third and maybe we can get another run.If not then he still went 6 strong and he still did go 6 strong.Good outing by Homer.

          • Could have been another reason why Price was more eager to see how far Homer could go on his own. The bullpen hasn’t exactly been lockdown lately.

  11. Another breaking ball in the middle of the plate…3 run tater given up by Lorenzen…lead is history

  12. I haven’t been able to watch as many games this year as I would like, but Lorenzen has made a discernible change to his mechanics since the last time I was able to take notice. I don’t know when or why the change was made, but I wonder if it has anything to do with his second half struggle

        • I am not going to blame Price at all ever again.Makes no difference what he does or doesn’t do because he is the Reds leader on the field the balance of this year and next.I have said all along somebody had his back and they do so end of conversation.

        • Of course we can blame him. We could blame Billy, too. We could blame them both for high taxes and arthritis.

      • Yes, definitely. He just changed his mechanics again and that was the first earned run he’s given up since. 7 innings, 8 Ks, 1 ER. HORRIBLE pitch to Arcia, but I think he’s going to finish the year strong.

        • He got two tough lefties out but a cookie in the middle of the plate goes a long way.Never should get beat with a secondary pitch on the first pitch of an at bat to the 8 hole hitter.Bad pitch selection and even worse execution.File it and move on.

  13. I’ve been a big Lorenzen guy since day 1, but you just can’t throw garbage over the plate to get ahead in gabp? What happened to the change-up when he K’d the side recently vs the Cubs? He might need to file the slider away for a while….way too many hangers. The kid has a 96 mph sinker? Its time someone quotes Crash Davis to Lorenzen

    “You just got lesson number one: don’t think; it can only hurt the ball club”

    • Did not see the game. Did Lorenzen throw the pitch that was called (location included, of course)?

  14. Shack to Lorenzen: “throw your breaking ball at the bottom of the zone, and break it into the dirt.”

  15. Hello McFly, or Bryan Price, you had a great opportunity to employ the double switch so Iglesias would bat in Schebler’s place so your best pitcher could be used for 3 innings if necessary without pinch hitting for him. But no…Price likes to use the double switch in a way that accelerates when the pitcher next comes to the plate. If you don’t have the brains to understand this hire a bench coach that does….

  16. We win regardless.As Chuck Shick always said managers make no difference at all.For today he is right.Miss you already Chuck.

  17. Didn’t we all know that Price would eventually be a hero for batting Billy at the top of the order? Yeah, even the blind squirrel . . . .

  18. That 5th at bat in the game finally paid off in game 137.Go Billy.Couldn’t help it sorry nation.

  19. After this walk off it will be impossible for Price to leadoff anyone other than Billy in 2018. Why doesn’t Hamilton drop the switch hitting and hit from his natural right side? A fine outing from Homer until the dangerous 7th.

  20. Quality win by Reds. Brewers wanted this one bad. Then a lefty lets Billy take him deep for a walk-off homer. Price-less.

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