2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: REDS WIN! REDS WIN!!!

The Short Version: Big days at the plate by Tucker Barnhart and Zack Cozart, combined with a solid start from Sal Romano and effective relief from Jackson Stephens and Raisel Iglesias, result in a win that salvages one game from this series against New York.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (62-82) 10 10 0
New York Mets (63-80) 5 13 0
W: Stephens (2-0) L: Familia (1-2) S: Iglesias (26)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–As the Reds batted in the top of the 7th, the score was 5-2 in favor of the opposition, and it appeared that Cincinnati was on the brink of getting swept by the hapless Metropolitans of Gotham. But the Redlegs were just getting started.

Scott Schebler walked to lead off the frame. Tucker Barnhart followed up with a single, but Patrick Kivlehan struck out and Jose Peraza grounded into a fielder’s choice, leaving runners at the corners with two outs.

Zack Cozart struck with a home run to left, his 19th of the season, and in one swing of the bat, the game was tied.

–One inning later, Eugenio Suarez singled and moved to second on a questionable sacrifice bunt by Phillip Ervin. Schebler was intentionally walked, and Barnhart came through with a double that scored both runners. (Schebler was initially called out, but replay confirmed that Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud was blocking the plate.) The Reds were ahead 7-5.

–Barnhart wasn’t done, as he homered to right in the top of the ninth inning, a three-run shot that gave the Reds their final margin. On the day, Barhart was 3-4 with a double, a home run, a walk and a career-high 5 RBI.

–Cozart also had another strong day at the plate, going 2-4 with a walk, two runs scored, and four runs batted in. Eugenio Suarez also reached three times and scored twice in a 2-4 day.

–Sal Romano wasn’t great, but he was solid in his 5-inning outing, allowing two runs on eight hits. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter, though he did throw 97 pitches over those five innings.

–Jackson Stephens (1.1 innings) and Raisel Iglesias (2 innings) closed out the game with scoreless relief.

The Bad
–Asher Wojciechowski took a tie game and turned it into a three run deficit in the span of two-thirds of an inning.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–The Reds finally beat the Mets at Citi Field, but they had to come from behind to do it. Oh well, at least the ol’ Redlegs outscored the Bengals, right? Right?

–After the Reds tied the game up in the seventh, there was an odd moment. Scooter Gennett struck out to end the inning, and he slammed his helmet on the ground afterward. He was immediately ejected and manager Bryan Price came out to argue. In the middle of the argument, the first notes of “God Bless America” were heard at Citi Field. Resulting in this scene:

After the song, Price resumed his argument, to no avail.

–Cozart is one home run away from becoming the sixth Red to reach the 20-home run plateau this season. No Reds team has ever had that many 20-HR guys.

–For the season, Barnhart is hitting .272/.351/.399. Combine that with outstanding defense and a great arm — he threw out another would-be base-stealer today — and you have a pretty darn good big league catcher.

–I don’t know why you guys are upset. The Reds have only had losing records in 14 of the last 17 seasons.

–The Reds have Monday off, then Robert Stephenson will go for his fifth consecutive victory in St. Louis on Tuesday.

66 thoughts on “Recap: REDS WIN! REDS WIN!!!

  1. I’ll say it again (and again and again and again…) until the message gets through to DW and he does something about it. THE REDS ARE GOING TO MISS COZY!!!

    Cozart does a good job hitting in the #2 hole with his exceptional OBP, but Cozart also a has an even more exceptional OPS (.945) and ISO (.245). If the Reds didn’t have an equally good option available for the #2 hole, Cozart would look great hitting #2 in front of Votto. The argument for keeping Hamilton in the leadoff position is his exceptional speed. Funny thing about the speed, Cozart can barely hobble arounfg the bases, much less run, much less run fast, yet there he is hitting in the #2 hole simply because he plays SS.

    Suarez has an equlally exceptional OBP as Cozart with a very good but less impressive OPS (.859) and ISO (.209). Suarez alos isin’t hobbled by a gimpy quad, but he doesn’t play SS so he must hit down in the lineup.

    The manager logic of Bryan Price.

    • I give you the 1st inning today…

      Peraza singles and steals 2B. Cozart singles, scoring Peraza. Votto walks and Suarez walks. Those walks work much better in front of the hits rather than behind the hits.

      The manager logic of Bryan Price.

      • They do work better in front of the hits, but the opposing pitcher has an important role in this. Even Joey can’t get a walk any time he chooses, and it’s no coincidence that Votto and Suarez are dangerous hitters who often won’t see fat pitches with runners on base.

    • Agree the Reds need to figure Cozart’s production in their planning. However, I don’t believe the answer is to be found in retaining a 32 year old gimpy legged guy at the kind of money it is probably would take to sign Cozart.
      The answer is finding a way to play both Nick Senzel and Eugenio Suarez. It flies into the face of the adage to avoid moves making a team weaker at two spots, but, as long as Gennett is in the frame, they need to have a look at Suarez back at SS with Sernzel beside him at 3B. Cozart’s defense is has started to decline. Suarez might not be that much if any of a fall off from what they would get from Cozart over the next 2-3 years anyway,

      • Jim, I am with you. It seems to me that if Suarez can play as spectacularly well at third base as he has, the things he has learned there should transfer back to shortstop. I also agree that signing Cozart for a high-dollar contract is a very bad move at his age and with his injury history. If they can get him back for a year or two at somewhere in the $8 to $10M range per year, that would be a good gamble. But I would think he’s likely to get much more than that on the open market.

      • You mentioned Gennett, and a big question about him: Is this year his breakout year and representative of what he can do moving forward, or is this just a fluke year? The eye test tells me he’s a pretty good hitter who makes solid contact as often as anybody. When I was a kid, they used to say that a player’s prime years were his late 20s and early 30s. That’s just where Gennett is headed.

        • I like Scooter, but I am questioning the same thing. His defense and base running are considered net negatives by stat guys. With more regular playing time in the second half, he is at a WRC+ of 107 and OPS of 808, which would be good if he were bringing big defense to the party, but with negative defense, it loses some luster. The 107 and .808 have been achieved with a BABIP that is a little higher than his norm. If that drops back to normal, he is more serviceable in the future than he is a big contributor.

          • Gennett is a strict platoon option at 2B. You are correct Thomas that his defense and base running are negatives. If he starts against any LH pitchers then he is being mismanaged. Of course, Price is the manager so mismanaging is a given and both gennett and the team suffer for it.

  2. Duvall made the last out in the top of the 6th inning. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Price pulls Romamo and replaces him with Wojo, the long reliever in the bullpen, due up as the third batter the next inning. Wojo has probably the worst 2/3 of an inning he’s had this season, forcing Price tyo pull him in favor of Stephens, a starter working as a long reliever in the bullpen, with 2 outs and Reyes on 2B. NOW!!! Price decides to perform one of his amazing double switches by replacing Duvall with Stephens and replacing Wojo with Kivlehan. There was nothing wrong with the double switch except he had the exact same opportunity to begin the inning when he replaced Romano with Wojo, but he didn’t do it the first time he had the chance.

    The manager logic of Bryan Price.

      • I agree there might be some logic there, typical double switches that he does would have been to do it as suggested and if Wojo gets through the 7th, he still does not return for the 8th essentially removing a better hitter and fielder for an inferior one, they only have 20 pitchers on the roster got to be creative to maximize their appearences

  3. Suarez leads off the 8th inning with a single. Price pulls Stephens in favor of a pinch hitter, Ervin. Price then instructs Ervin to give up an out with a sac bunt. Two issues here…the manager should never give up an out with a sac bunt in that situation and if the manager insists on giving up an out with a sac bunt, why pinch hit for the pitcher and waste a batter senselessly. The inning ended with the bases loaded. Another out might have come in real handy in the situation.

    The manager logic of Bryan Price.

    • Price was brought back- again. At some point, its not about Price. While DW is the #1 baseball operations guy and has been a welcome addition, he still is part of a larger Reds executive team and ownership group composed of lots of older baseball guys with webs of generational family ties. Maybe they all think alike? After all, BC and his current special adviser WJ, both hired Price. I am sure they like bunts and his lineup construction and double switches and speed at the top of the lineup and trust his past as a pitching coach.

    • Yes horrible managing there, no doubt about it, but the sac bunt is a favorite of managers far and wide… but yea pinch hitting to call the sac bunt? RIdiculous.

      • I agree about the sac bunt, even though it worked and the Reds won the game. But the logic of using Ervin to bunt may be that Ervin is good at it and the pitchers, as we have seen all year, are just as likely to bunt into a double play as not.

  4. On the Schebler play, the way the booth explained it (the video certainly confirmed this) was that there was actually no tag. It wasn’t blocking the plate … he just flat out swiped at Schebler without touching him.

    That’s what I understood happened. And Collins was tossed for arguing about it.

    • what was Collins arguing ? Did it have anything to do with what the reds challenged? Seemed a lot of ejections and emotion in a pretty meaningless game, kind of adnire the passion

      • I thought the Price argument had some merit. Scooter has had a lot of rough AB lately with a lot of close calls against him, but I thought he was upset with himself, not the umpire. There’s a fine for throwing equipment, but an ejection for getting mad and throwing his helmut seems way excessive, unless he actually said something to the umpire. My gut reaction was that the umpire wasn’t sure he made the correct call so he assumed Scooter was challenging the call. That’s poor umpiring.

      • Arguing a review ruling is an automatic ejection anyway. The booth was joking that the ump (who threw him immediately upon approach) was telling Collins to catch a cab to Chelsea and talk to the person who made the call.

  5. In fairness to Price, baseball has a lot of complicated rules and he’s only had a few years to master them all. Plus he’d already spent several hours coming to the realization that Duvall doesn’t always have to bat cleanup, AND he had to figure out a way to make sure his fastest guy was playing center field so he’d be allowed to lead off. So let’s cut the man some slack for a few nonsensical strategic decisions. He’s only human!

    • Meanwhile Dusty just clinched the NL East title. I thought he was horribly inept but he seems to get results when given the talent. If he wins the world series I will eat my hat.

      • He always finds a way to blow the playoffs, your hat is safe no reason to worry- he will be out managed and then there is always a Bartman to interfere with foul balls

        • We’re doing really well here, today. The Reds win and we’ve still managed to bash both Price and Dusty. Billy didn’t play, so the bashing of him was limited to an oblique reference, but, still, outstandingly creative grousing by the Nation!!

          • Yeah, why aren’t we celebrating a huge win against the Mets? Clearly there can’t be anything to complain about if the Reds were able to come from behind and win the 4th game of a meaningless series against a lousy team. What could possibly be bad about this? Just proves we’ve become jaded to the point where we can’t even appreciate the fact that we don’t have the absolute worst record in baseball and occasionally win a game on the road. We should be praising the manager after every win, not looking for things to complain about.

          • We do so much of it though, Cossack. I’m afraid we’ll forget how to do anything else, no matter what the Reds do.

          • Dusty got some nice kudos in the Washington Post today. “…Dusty deserves a World Series. He’s first class. He’a a baseball guy. And the only thing left on his resume is a World Series, and I want to be a part of the group that does that for him.” [Jason Werth]. “I call [Dusty] the magician because he’s put together some lineups that look kind of crazy at times, but the proof’s in the pudding. All he does is win.” [Mike Rizzo].

        • This is true primarily he is a players manager and those guys get beat because they aren’t willing to adjust in the playoffs where there is no tomorrow.Of course if Scherzer,Strasburg and Gonzales go out and throw shutouts he doesn’t need to do anything except watch.They will be favored so we will see.

          • Before the season I picked the Nats and Indians to face each other in the World Series. Of course, that’s probably the kiss of death for both teams since I’m notoriously wrong.

  6. It’s just not in the cards for the Reds to compete for a playoff berth next year without Cozart. If they don’t sign him, they should stay the course by not acquiring a veteran starter and sort out the pitching they have now. Castillo, Stephenson, & Romano have already showed enough this 2nd half to be in the 2018 rotation. Bailey makes 4. I don’t see the point of activating DeSclafani for the first couple of weeks in April. So either Garrett or Mahle will get a couple starts before AD is added to the rotation. I doubt Finnegan will be ready until May or June. But by mid-May either Romano or Stephenson might be back at AAA, joining Mahle, Garrett, Reed, Davis etc. Pointless to add another starter unless he’s a #1 with at least 3 years of team control. The Reds added Latos after they already had a good team, We’re no there yet. perhaps won’t be there next year at this time.

  7. Cozy will be missed for sure but that will sort itself out between Peraza and Suarez moving back to short.If healthy we have a bunch of guys that can fill the 5 rotation spots and most of the pen.What concerns me most is shoring up our offense with more higher obp players.Tucker batting right handed along with Billy and Peraza gives us 3 players below 300 and throw in the pitcher it gives us 4.That will not work nor will it against righties when all hit back to back.I expect our pitching to improve and we will play much closer games and our line-up has to many holes in it.Gone,thank goodness,will be those games when we get down big early and our hitters see cookies to hit.We have seen lots of just what I said over the last few games where going in to yesterday we were 6-8 in our last 14 with 7 runs in those 8 losses against the Bucs and Mets.Yes it is the end of the season and yes guys are tired and that may play into it some but its happened.

    • There’s a reason Senzel didn’t play the last week or 2 of Pensacola’s season (or in the playoffs). He may not cause a battle between Peraza & Suarez for the ss job for some time. Neither is Zack Cozart. As for high OBP, it’s not the offensive panacea that many claim. Votto is the best OBP guy in the business. He has a .465 OBP in the last 30 games but only 10 RBI. 6 other Reds have more RBI during that period, but only Duvall has more AB. You win ballgames with runs. LOB gets you nothing. The Reds need both hitters that work the count plus a couple guys looking for a pitch to drive.

      • Here is Doug Gray’s update on Senzel for those who might not have seen it.
        http://redsminorleagues.com/2017/09/02/nick-senzel-miss-rest-2017/

        Senzel has been experiencing a bout of “positional vertigo”. At one point the Reds also referred to it as an inner ear infection. Online sources indicate that inner ear infections are a common cause of vertigo; and in such cases the vertigo generally clears up inside of two months. Since the Reds initially said Senzel had an inner ear infection, I presume they believe that is the cause of his vertigo. However the situation bears keeping track during the off season.

        • Yes, this could delay his 2018 arrival. No chance of it being in late April now even if he has a good spring. Maybe late May if everything goes well.

      • While Senzel at 3B and Suarez at SS might be a likely “plan A” for the Reds to replace Cozart’s production, they are not without other options. For instance Duvall could be brought in to play 3B with Suarez at SS, opening up left field for Winker/ Ervin etc. A side benefit of this plan could be that Duvall wouldn’t wear down as much over the season as he appears to running in the outfield..

        • Jim, I’m not convinced that Suarez couldn’t be a good shortstop, but he certainly wasn’t. Duvall, by all accounts, is not a good third-baseman, and he is a good left fielder. Peraza has yet to show much prowess with the glove, and Gennett clearly doesn’t have it. Your plan has the potential to turn an excellent defensive team into a poor one, which isn’t going to help the pithcing one bit, since even Castillo doesn’t strike out 27 batters every 9 innings. It’s a good idea to consider altenatives, particularly for the Reds–as opposed to us–who can actually implement some changes, but the team has been decent or better offensively this season, so drastically weakening it in an important area to improve an area that is pretty strong now seems counter-productive to me .

          • I’d like to see Duvall some at 3B. I don’t know that the Reds ever really have seen him there at AAA or MLB. Pretty much everything else we got through the grapevine about him from the Giants and the media which follow them has turned out to be suspect at best.

          • The trend is that winning is increasing about toward scoring one more run than the other team versus stopping the other team from scoring one more. I’ll take average defense with greater offense over outstanding defense with less offense. And what option do the Reds really have at SS besides? By this time next year Cozart, should he be retained, is likely to be no better than an average SS, either.

        • I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the idea that Duvall can play 3B at the Major League level at this point in his career.

          • He had never played OF until he came to the Reds. 3B was his primary position in the minors. I don’t know how well he could play 3B at MLB; but some starts there between now and the end of the season might inform whether he was worth having a look at there in spring training. As part of the deal, they could also get Suarez time at SS.

  8. I’ve reconsidered my Bryan Price complaints…..he’s not so bad. Its all relative! My Colts coach Chuck Pagano got beat 46-9 by the Rams and then afterwards said “San Francisco really kicked our @$%” I think Price could tell the difference between playing the Dodgers or the Giants.

    • I see your point Indy but I wonder how Price would be if he had just a little of the pressure on him that Pagano feels every day.I doubt if Irsay cares that he doesn’t have Luck at quarterback and you can bet he won’t give him a get out of jail free card this year.

  9. I was impressed by Wojciechowski at times in relief earlier in the year, but he hasn’t been consistent enough in recent weeks. I really thought he might be a find for the 2018 bullpen, but I have rescinded my optimism about him.

    • How many innings has thrown compared to recent seasons? Haven’t looked myself, just suggesting that might be an issue in his recent struggles. On the other hand, maybe the league has seen enough of him that it has caught up on him.

      • In 2017, so far 108.1 IP’s. In ’16, 85.2 IP’s. In ’15, 131.2 IP’s. In ‘14,76.0. IP’s.
        Before that he had starters IP’s.
        Wojo and Adelman both have been disappointing. Both should be on the outside looking in on the 2018 bullpen.
        When Wojo’s fastball fails to rise on him and stays flat, well #2 happens.

  10. “The Reds have Monday off, then Robert Stephenson will go for his fifth consecutive victory in St. Louis on Tuesday.”
    Two months ago who actually thought this was a possibility? Not me.
    Is this a sign from the baseball gods?
    Or is this a sign of the Apocalypse?
    Strive for 5 Big Robert.

  11. Great example of why you have to let young guys pitch.Better late then never but I always thought he was being punished.Now I realize you have to throw strikes consistently to make it in the big leagues.I also know that rarely happens from the get go for anybody regardless.Our latest example is Mahle and what he brought from the minors.I seem to remember his first start and that it was said he had 90+ starts in the minors and had never walked 4 batters.Of course he did walk 4 in his first start and I think3 the next time so he has walked 7 or more in 9 innings I believe.My point all along is just let them pitch.It may take some 30 or more starts,see Finny in 2016, before they get better and consistent.Bob maybe one of those guys or he may fall off a cliff but how do you know unless he pitches.

    • Batters and unps are both apparently more disciplined at MLB because in his last start Mahle looked liked he was convinced a number of the pitches that he did not get the call on were strikes.

      • You are right Jim.I know that I am in the minority when I preach just let the young guys pitch.I can’t defend any of these walk rates these young guys have or had in the minors nor will I say it will get better when they pitch in the majors.I will say that alone is not a reason not to let these guys pitch because every young pitcher does it.The experience these guys get at this level can’t be taught or duplicated anywhere and I will always say look at Finny in 2016 as what can happen.These last few weeks have been good most of the time because we are seeing glimpses of what may become a very good rotation.In hindsight they should have been up here earlier but they weren’t.

      • Rookies get squeezed. Kershaw & Sale get larger strike zones. Bonds and Votto get calls others don’t. Replace the subjective umps already.

  12. So – going into next year we’re going to be an all-star shortstop short of what we have this year – everything else pretty much the same, just one year older – and we’re planning on getting out last place in the division how?

    • Everything is not pretty much the same. Romano, Castillo, possible Mahle, Stephenson starting to show what he is capable of. Beats what the Reds had out on the mound posing as pitchers much of this season. Offense may (or may not) take a hit. If Winker gets the playing time he should, that will at least replace Cozart’s on-base percentage. Peraza may never be much of a hitter but he did hit over .300 the last half of 2016 and has shown much improvement in plate discipline the latter part of 2017.

      • Notice how you mentioned no one new (except Winker – I don’t think that’s “last to first” carry the team kind of player) – sooooooo, the same – you’re just hoping they’ll be better. You could just have easily have written this at the start of this year – or the year prior – or the year prior.

        No learning curve.

  13. I hope we aren’t the same if so then we have Bronson,Feldman.Aldeman,Rookie and Garrett as our rotation in addition to two guys with way over 500 at bats with an obp of less then 300.That can’t happen but the fix to those issues are in house barring injuries of course.Would it be nice to get a top of the rotation pitcher?Sure would but it probably would cost two or three top prospects and then a salary of 22 mil or higher.Don’t know about that either.Getting out of last place may not happen but not because we won’t improve but primarily everybody in our division will be better then they have shown this year.The Cubs will go buy some pitching,the Cards will always be the Cards,the Bucs and Brewers may get better.Long road back for sure but with some tweeks to the offense and steady improvement by the young starters we could surprise.

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