2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: In final home game of the season, Reds drop sixth straight

The Short Version: Reds lead 4-1 in the eighth, only to see the game slip through the fingers of Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias. Cincinnati’s top four hitters reached base half of the time, and the team got a quality start from Jackson Stephens, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a Boston sweep.

The Reds have now lost six games in a row, and they finished the home season with a record of 39-42. Cincinnati has only six games left in the season, for which we are all thankful.

Final R H E
Boston Red Sox (91-64) 5 5 2
Cincinnati Reds (66-90) 4 9 0
W: Scott (2-1) L: Iglesias (3-3) S: Kimbrel (35)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

It’s hard to tell from this picture, but Milton was unhappy with Cincinnati’s performance today.

102 thoughts on “Recap: In final home game of the season, Reds drop sixth straight

  1. The sad part is that we did not even have to face Chris Sale and still got swept.

    • It is hard to see them getting any better than 4th pick in the draft; and I think just as likely they could fall from 5th to 6th.

      As far as 4th or higher, even if the Reds lose out both the Phils and Tigers have to win 4 of their final 6 for the Reds to catch them (Persuming the Reds hold the tie breaker by virtue of having the highest pick this year).

      • Phillies have the Nats then Mets both for 3 games at home to finish.

        Tigers have Royals and Twins, both for 3 on the road.

        Hard to see 4 wins for either the Phils or Tigers in those games although the Mets and Phils may be tripping over each other trying to out tank each other.

    • Winker had a nice PA against Kimbrel. If Winker can hold his own against the most dominant pitcher in the AL, he can hold his own against anyone…so go find a seat young man.

      • Yes, I was also impressed with the PA against Kimbrel. With two strikes he fouled off three tough pitches. I also think Kimbrel got the benefit of the doubt on the called third strike. Ervin also had a decent PA against Kimbrel.

        • As Votto professes, it’s about the process, not necessarily the end result. Trust the process.

        • I thought the same thing. In fact I think that if both Lorenzen and Iglesias had gotten the “benefit of the doubt Kimberly got on that called third strike we might not have been in the bottom of the ninth.

      • Winker was on the DL of course and I believe he still isn’t quite right. Playing a slumping Duvall on a day game after a night game against a RHed pitcher ? That’s not a normal decision, even for Price.

      • I just keep telling myself that they’re holding tryouts for next year’s outfield, and Winker’s performance to date has already assured him a spot. Thus, no need to play him while the others audition.

        Is that the case? Of course not. But it helps keep the rage at bay.

  2. The line drive down the RF line was also a nice AB by Hamilton…solid contact and driving the ball. We just don’t see such results from Hamilton with any consistency. Too often, it’s weak contact, flyballs or SO’s.

  3. The Reds are obviously in full tank mode. They probably should have gone at least 2-4 and more likely 3-3 in these last 6 games. 4-2 wasn’t even out of the question.

    1 win versus the Cards would have clinched the season’ series for the first time since 2011. Put a single win versus Sox with that and they end up with a winning home record for 2017.

    Leadership didn’t inspire or push them; the players didn’t sufficiently self motivate.

    Every journey starts with the first small steps. It does not bode well for 2018 with the manager and core of the team returning that they failed to achieve either of these small gains and instead rolled over to the tune of 0-6 to finish the home season.

    • I agree with you that these games are meaningful, and wanted to see at least one win in each of these two series for the reasons you give. A really horrible end to the home season.

      There was a bit of bad luck – if Iggy doesn’t come down with the flu in the first game against the Cardinals, the Reds might have won that one. Then again, he’s pretty worn out at this point, has been much more hittable lately.

      Lorenzen was a disappointment in both series. And I watched all of the 17 consecutive scoreless innings of Games 1 and 2 and they were not grinding out ABs, just hacking.

      • Lorenzen has been largely a disappointment after his early on success this year.

        If the Reds end up in a situation where they deal pitching, he could be a guy who is dealt. I read but on the game thread that Dick Williams said on his radio bit today that Lorenzen would be given a chance to “stretch out” in the spring but that Williams anticipated he would end up back in the pen. Add in that Lorenzen looks like a lock to be a Super2 arbitration qualifier this off season; and that could put the team at crossroad with him. Given his mediocre season, the Reds could end up looking to move him to a team not as deep in potential starting pitching before he gets a lot more expensive.

        • Good call… Not sure where his value lies. I’d like to think he has some value as there is a lot of raw potential there for a higher-ceiling and his floor seems established as solid middle-to-long-reliever. He can end up anywhere between #3 starter and there so has some value. Depends on if a team needing young SP, sees that ceiling and gets excited enough to give up someone good for him.

          I wouldn’t move him because he isn’t going to be that expensive and for the reasons I stated above as far his value to other clubs.

      • Easy friend.I am the guy that counts pitches and talk about out guys hacking away time and time again.Are you sure they weren’t swinging at strikes?I mean Rodriguez and others on the Red Sox are strike throwing machines.Just kidding but that’s what I get when I call them out for swinging in the on deck circle.

    • Jim,The Reds from the front office down to the field all march to the same drum beat.I like that and respect that but when they talk competing as they did mid way this year after stating they wouldn’t compete this year it gives this organization a free pass.I mean when you say we won’t but we may its telling everybody you don’t know or don’t care but we are covering our backsides just in case.Now fast forward to 2018 because Price is back and some say its because they don’t plan on competing.Here we go again and again.Lip service at its finest.

      • Are you too young to have heard of the rock band Grand Funk Railroad? The way you worded your thoughts reminded me of one of their lyrics:

        “You tell me that I don’t.Then I say I won’t; But then I might”

        The “I” being the Reds of course.

        Then there was Mean Mistreater which probably fits how most of we fans are feeling about now 😉

        • Oh yes I do remember and it fits doesn’t it?Been a fan since the 60’s and will always be a fan regardless.Just can’t accept no accountability or what seems to be a lack of a plan.Fact is we have talent and barring injuries we will improve a bunch next year regardless of Price.In reality I am jealous of Price and that’s probably why I ride him so much.I am jealous because no where in sports or even the business world could you or me perform so poorly and keep our job.

  4. Will the Bengals do a redo of the Reds today: up 21-17 in the 4th. quarter with 10 min. to go?

  5. Six games remaining in the 2017 season…

    Four teams vying for the #1 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    61-95 (.391) —— SF
    62-94 (.397) +1.0 PHI
    62-94 (.397) +1.0 DET
    63-92 (.406) +2.5 CWS

    Two teams vying for the #5 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    66-90 (.423) +5.0 CIN
    66-89 (.426) +5.5 NYM

    FIve teams vying for the #7 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    70-85 (.452) +9.5 SD (losing in the 9th inning)
    71-85 (.455) +10.0 PIT
    70-84 (.455) +10.0 ATL
    72-83 (.465) +11.5 OAK
    73-83 (.468) +12.0 TOR

    Two teams vying for the #10 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    73-82 (.471) +12.5 MIA
    75-82 (.478) +13.5 BAL

    It’s more likely that the Reds will move up to the 4th selection (2.5 games) than move down to the 7th selection (4.0 games), but unless something unusual transpires, the #5 and #6 selections will almost certainly come down to the Reds and the Mets.

    • 4th for the Reds looks pretty tough to me. The WSox play the Angels the next 4 days: and, the Angels are hanging in the AL WC by a thread, needing to make up 3 games against the Twinks. Then the WSox finish against the Indians who are locked in a battle with the Astros for best AL record.

      That season ending series between the Metz and Phils looms large in the Reds draft fate.

  6. I would love someone to put together a low-light compilation of the Red’s numerous base-running gaffes. It’s like we have one or two every game. The plethora and variability borders on the absurd… In fact, I’ve seen stuff happen on our base paths that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before….and most of them stem from a lack of fundamentals, a lack of necessar speed, or a lack of gray matter.

    • I agree I got hammered pretty good on this sight earlier saying same thing,he just to up and down

  7. 2010 Reds were preculded by the 2009 Team making a nice little run in September. This does not bode well for the 2018 iteration.

    Winning matters. Even when you are out of the playoff race. Winning. Matters.

    • Especially when the manager (and presumably) most of the coaching staff along with the core of the everyday team will be returning.

    • I agree… On the flip-side however, last year’s Reds had a strong finish to the season and it didn’t seem to bode as well for this season as we’d hoped.

      My biggest problem with this season is while I see some improvement from individual players that make me optimistic, the overall improvement of the team doesn’t seem to be trending. I’m not just talking about W/L record but the lack of improvement in W/L record between this season and last is pretty evident. Reds need 3 more wins to better last season’s total. It looks doubtful from where I’m sitting. Baseball is strange though. Reds might win out.

      • Know what you are saying. The sabre stats are enlightening but I still believe a team can be more or less than the sum of its stats. Maybe it is how the pieces do or do not fit together. Maybe it has something to do with group psychology; which is a real thing but not in the rah tah take one for the team popular sense.

  8. As the season has progressed, I’ve become more and more dubious of the practice of double switching, at least for a team with the talent mix the Reds have. It seems to me the double switches often fall into the category of making the team weaker at two spots because the position guy sub is a weaker player than the guy he replaces.

    Apparently the Reds experienced another example today. Duvall was taken down with 2 outs in the top of the 7th as part of a double switch because the pitcher’s spot was scheduled to lead off the bottom of the 7th for the Reds who led 3-1 at the time. Kivlehan came on for in LF for him with Lorenzen coming on to pitch.

    Kivlehan routinely flied out to open the Reds 7th. Then in the 8th when Lorenzen allowed the first two batters to reach, Kivlehan himself was double switched out for Ervin when Iglesias came on to pitch. A couple of batters later, Mookie Betts his a three run double to left. I did not see it but per several comments on the game thread, Ervin did not take a very good route to the ball; and folks felt Duvall would have caught it for the second out of the inning. Which poses the question why a defensive asset such as Duvall would be pulled with the team leading 3-1 with 6 defensive outs remaining in the game?

    • Price over manages and has done so all year long.Its almost like he just wakes up and says I have to do something.Your example from yesterday is classic.We know why he did it but Lorenzen can hit to begin with so why do anything?Just let him hit and move on.Price is terrible at in game management and line up construction.I mean he just is and he keeps doing it and I guess he expects it to work.Players have to execute and do their jobs but if they keep failing then don’t you have to try something different.I mean your not going to get new players every time they fail.

      • A more generous viewpoint is that over the last several weeks at least Price has been looking to put players into certain situations to see how they do. But, I tend more toward agreeing with you.

        As I said here a week or so ago, MLB really needs to follow through on their previously stated desire to clean up how games are played in September when half to 2/3 of the teams are playing out the string while the other 1/3 to half of them are battling for playoff spots and positioning. .

    • Ervin did not take a good route to the ball, whether Duval could have got it, I do not know but off the bat I thought it was catchable.

      • I agree. However, in re: to the dbl switches, with Duvall slumping, getting Kivlehan and Erwin ABs doesn’t sound so wrong.

  9. Cincinnati is not doing a good job of playing spoiler so far. Do you think they’re taking their spoiler role seriously?

  10. Never has a team that had nine different players start 100 games or more had more question marks and uncertainty heading into an off-season. The front office has learned a lot — that they have three for-sure starting players — Votto, Suarez and Barnhart — for 2018, with questions and uncertainty swirling around every other position, including pitching.

    • Good way of putting it Tom. I’m just a bit more optimistic though. I feel like the corner OF is OK, not great but OK, if they utilize the 3 guys for 2 spots correctly. However, middle IF and CF?????

      • Jim, maybe I’ll feel a bit more conservative after the season winds down a bit, but right now, I would love to see Dick Williams go out and make some trades, and not the let’s-dump-veterans-for-prospects kind. If that doesn’t happen, I think the results of this year have shown that a four-man outfield rotation (Duvall, Hamilton, Schebler, Winker) makes more sense from a number of perspectives than running the former three out there every day.

        I like Duvall a lot, but he obviously wears down at the end of the season, due to his diabetes or other factors. Hamilton is too lithe to play every day and put his body through the pounding it goes through running the bases and banging into walls. I still haven’t figured out if Schebler is just what he has shown, or if there is more there. He had a real bad month after his shoulder injury, which skews his numbers.

        Winker needs to play regularly. That seemed clear over the final month. It may have been the Old Cossack who laid out a plan to get those four outfielders five starts a week each. It doesn’t seem that Price will go that route, though.

        • I’m OK with the 3 corner guys covering the 2 corner spots in a rotation. Strictly by math that’s 4 starts each in a 6 game week. I’d skew towards going a bit heavy on Winker and play the splits to decide who loses a game between Duvall and Schebler in any given week.

          I’m ready to move on from Hamilton. As electrifying as he can be, he is a 1 trick pony; and speed is fleeting, aside from the fact he is becoming expensive. The expensive part is what I see mitigating against keeping him around as spot player/ late inning defensive sub.

          The other side of this is that if Williams is active in the trade market, I see a really strong chance that at least 1 and ;possibly 2 outfielders get moved, depending on the return players position.

          • I love Billy but I am ready to move on as well.Same song different year and after 4 of them I just don’t see it getting better.The dollars drive the bus but I still feel they will pay it and regret it.

          • What the front office fears is that Hamilton will pull a Scooter Gennett and “figure it out” after they let him go. Hamilton is right about the same point in service time as Gennett was when he was let go by the Brewers.

          • There 40 days difference in Service time between Scooter and BHam. This is the year BHam should have figured “it” out 😉

        • It was the Old Cossack that laid out a plan but it makes too much sense to give Billy and Duvall time off for Price to do it.

          • I understand the team thinks Billy may figure it out but he has to get stronger and if they haven’t pushed him to do just that then its on them.Billy is a little guy and hard throwers knock the bat out of his hand because he has no power at all.

          • I’d have to look at the numbers, but Billy’s problem is not power. He needs to hit line drives (barrel on the ball). I think he’s just not disciplined enough to challenge the pitchers and put up good at-bats…he gets behind, and then is forced to swing (or flay) at a pitchers pitch.

          • Billy doesn’t hit the ball hard so to me he lacks power but it may be he just doesn’t hit line drives.He hits dinkers and dunkers and strikes out a ton.

        • It was the Old Cossack but the rotation plan doesn’t work for MLB players. A strict OF rotation is almost an impossible sell to these guys. Best bet for the team would be for the front-office to put these guys out there and see who nets the best return, preferably an MLB return. If they all remain on the team, they need to declare starters and then schedule some off days with some flexibility built in to play the match-up game based on health, performance, opposing SP, etc. Cutting playing time by 20-25% adds up to a ton of games and lots of potential lost money to these guys. Arbitration in particular really likes the counting stats.

          • My response to that is if they don’t demonstrate they are clearly an everyday player, they don’t have any right to complain. But I know that’s not how it works in reality.

          • That response has merit but when the idea was proposed, Duvall and Schebler still had some really nice looking numbers and both were “healthy” as far as we knew. All 3 starting players are flawed and there’s a good chance that Winker will be better than any of them but it’s hard to justify a strict rotation. That said, with the way Duvall is struggling it should be pretty easy to slide Winker in his place here and there. No reason for him to be sitting as much as he has. That is to say if WInker is healthy.

          • I’m OK with one of them being traded but the return needs to be MLB level or at the least a guy on the 40 man roster of the team he is leaving who reasonably projects as being at the MLB level by mid season.

            Even with their struggles this year both Duvall and Schebler are going to be career league average hitters who have hit ,in Duvall’s case 30+HRs in consecutive years and in Schebler’s case ~40+ homers in a bit under a season and a half. Neither are a guy to just give away to open a spot.

          • Completely agree with that. I think the Reds need to be done trading for prospects unless the prospect(s) in question are high-quality and close to MLB.

          • I agree Jim about Schebler and Duvall.You can’t just give guys away with 30 homer power.They have flaws but most every player does.

    • I still have questions on Suarez? Its great that he’s walking so often, but hitting under .260 for 4 months of baseball and 2 months under .200? I know hitters are streaky, but he should be better then that? They’re only mid-pack (14th) in runs scored w/Scooter and Cozart going crazy. The pitching has Castillo and Iggy + open auditions.

      Then you have Price and in-game management issues combined with daily/weekly lapses in fundamentals. Was Scooter going for a triple yesterday with 2 outs? Why? The ball beat him to 3rd by 30 feet?

      • Good points, but Suarez is still #62 in MLB in WAR. His defense is out of sight. He’s a starter on just about any team. I agree it would be nice to be less streaky. I always think of Jay Bruce when I think of streaky.

      • I think Scooter was going to third on the throw home, which was cut off and executed well.

      • I might be wrong, but I believe that if Winker has less than 20 more ABs the rest of the season, he will still qualify as a rookie next year. I don’t know if the organization cares about that, but maybe it does.

        • Fangraphs has Winker at 126PA; 111AB. The rule as I read it <130 ABs. If it is AB versus PAs, he should be able to play a lot this week and stay under.

          There is a second proviso in the rule that sets the rookie cut off at <45 days on the regular season active roster not counting DL time or September. He's close on that; but, in just a quick eyeball test look appears to have made it under the wire to remain a rookie in 2018.

          http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/about_mlb/rules_regulations.jsp

          • From your link, it’s ” (not) more than 45 days,” so actually <46 days. By my count, Winker hit 45 days on August 25th, when he was sent to the DL. Just a coincidence, I suppose.

  11. I hope the offseason brings the Reds a ready, young centerfielder with Hamilton traded to a team who can use his speed in a bigger outfield area. That leaves Duvall and Winker in the corners with Shebler the 4th. outfielder. Until Senzel is ready Suarez stays at third with Peraza at short. When Senzel is ready then Suarez goes to shortstop and Peraza and Gennett hold down second with Peraza the backup at shortstop. With the pitching staff in flux, the Reds need an established starter to be acquired either by trade or free agency with the money saved by not extending Cozart.

    • Except that Suarez can’t play short. Now that’s rather important, unless you truly believe that we are in an age where who plays SS doesn’t matter as no one hits groundballs any more.

      • That might be a false assumption, Daytonian. He was a shortstop, then moved to third and struggled defensively until he figured it out and has become amazing defensively. I am not ready to assume he can’t play short just because he plays third very well.

        • I agree. I think he can probably play a passable SS if he was to slide back there and do it pretty much every day. I’m not so sure that is what the Reds should do though. He’s a plus defender at 3B and isn’t likely to be a plus defender at SS, even if adequate. His bat plays even better at SS so, there is that… Thing is though, Senzel hasn’t played above AA yet and only has some AA time. He also has his own work to do at 3B and he played a decent amount of 2B in NCAA ball. I’m not convinced that Senzel isn’t the one who may be ripe for a position change, to 2B. At the least, I think Suarez has earned a say in rather or not he wants to move back to SS. If he’s excited about the prospect of such a move, then maybe that should be the plan. I’m also sure, based on what I’ve heard about Suarez, that if the Reds forced him to do it, he’d work hard and do the best he could out there.

      • Daytonian: It seems that you’re living in an age where a player who came up as a shortstop and then moved to third base could not move back to shortstop. I’m sure the defensive skills Suarez acquired at third base would be transferrable to the other defensive skills he would need at shortstop.

  12. The reason Price was kept for next year was because of something I heard several years ago, “to remain the smartest person, hire people dumber than you” and they believe they are smart

  13. The Cubbies can do what the Reds couldn’t do by squashing any hope for the Birds’ playoff hopes this season in their head- to-head series coming up. Go Cubbies!

    • Very hard for me to say “Go Cubbies” … Also hard for me to root for the Cards… I’m going to root for rain.

  14. Chad, this is in regards to a previous conversation we had about the cincy mag site and how a security warning about the sites certificate keeps popping up on my phone screen. You said that you’d look into it or something. I did a screenshot of what keeps popping up and I’ll send them to you but I don’t know how. I just figured that if I can send these to you that you’d be able to show them to the proper people at the mag. If not then that’s ok but I figured it could help.

        • I tried sending them via direct message but I couldn’t find you on DM. So I tried tweeting them and tagging you into the tweet but 2 of the pics are blurry & unreadable (at least they are on my end).

  15. Guys, I’ve been busy and less than enthusiastic about the old ball club. I really appreciate the quality give and take which fills up so much of the info between the lines on the team after the 6 game slide and looking forward. It’s a great site even when the team isn’t!

  16. The Reds shut down all meaningful baseball 1 week ago. The RNN…. Reds News Network has taken over the team to carefully control the narrative as the team heads into the offseason.

    Billy Hamilton is your starting center fielder Opening day 2018. I do think odds are Zach Cozart is playing shortstop.

  17. Thing is though, Senzel hasn’t played above AA yet and only has some AA time.

    Castillo never pitched at AAA and he did ok:) Andrew Benintendi never played AAA and he’s been very good! Senzel will be ready for the Reds after the Kris Bryant 12 day period or whatever it is. Now the Reds don’t operate like winning organizations because they aren’t one…so I expect him to star at AAA like Winker and waste half the season in Louisville.

    • Right On Indy.This team marches to the beat of its ok to lose or ok to not to lose as long as they say either could happen or not happen.Confusing to some but its the company line

    • He will star at AAA with Winker. Bryan price won’t say Winker will even make the team next year out of ST….as none of the 3 outfielders have lost their spot.

  18. After the off day and with six games remaining in the 2017 season…

    Three teams vying for the #1 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    62-95 (.395) —— SF
    62-95 (.395) —— PHI
    62-94 (.397) +0.5 DET

    The CWS are now pretty much locked into the #4 selection in the 2018 rule 4 daft.
    64-92 (.410) +2.5 CWS

    Two teams vying for the #5 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    66-90 (.423) +4.5 CIN
    66-89 (.426) +5.5 NYM

    FIve teams vying for the #7 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    70-87 (.446) +8.0 SD
    71-85 (.455) +9.5 PIT
    71-85 (.455) +9.5 ATL
    72-84 (.462) +10.5 OAK
    74-83 (.468) +12.0 TOR

    Any of these teams are fully capable of losing out, so any team that wins 2-3 of their remaining games could drop significantly in the draft order.

  19. Whoops…

    The Old Cossack missed the NYM (67-90) playing last night. The Mets are now just 0.5 games behind the Reds for the #5 selection.

  20. The Reds will do their part I am sure.We could lose em all or win em all or some combination.After all we have told our fans we may or may not or could or could not so we are always covered regardless of what happens for at least the rest of this season and next year.

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