2017 Reds / Titanic Struggle Recap

Recap: Seven shutout innings for Homer Bailey powers Reds to a win over Milwaukee

The Short Version: Homer Bailey delivered his strongest start of the season — seven shutout innings — and five different Reds drove in runs, powered by home runs from Joey Votto and Tucker Barnhart.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (67-91) 6 10 0
Milwaukee Brewers (83-75) 0 4 1
W: Bailey (6-9) L: Woodruff (2-3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Homer Bailey delivered his best outing of the season in his final outing of 2017: seven shutout innings, four hits allowed against a club that was technically still in the playoff hunt as the night began. It’s the first time Homer has gone seven innings since 2014.

–After Joey Votto homered in the first inning — his 36th of the season — the Reds took a 1-0 lead into the top of the third inning. That was a fun inning.

Tucker Barnhart led off with a long home run into the second deck in right field, his seventh longball of the season. Bailey followed with a double, and he advanced to third on a Billy Hamilton groundout. Then the Reds collected four straight singles — by Votto, Scooter Gennett, Eugenio Suarez, and Scott Schebler — making it a 5-0 lead. An Adam Duvall sac fly made it 6-0, then Barnhart grounded out to end the frame.

–Votto had two hits and a walk, two runs scored and two runs batted in. Scooter had a hit, a walk, a run scored, and an RBI.

–If you can believe it, Jesse Winker got an at-bat! He pinch-hit for Michael Lorenzen in the top of the ninth. He doubled, of course.

–Lorenzen pitched a perfect — and dominant — eighth inning. Kevin Shackelford pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Bad
–Cozart left the game in the bottom of the third with right quad tightness. Have we seen the last of Zack in a Reds uniform?

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–For everyone who thought the Reds might not win another game the rest of the year, you can rest easy. Heck, the Reds may not lose another game the rest of 2017.

–Fingers crossed that Homer Bailey is back. A healthy and effective Homer could be very important for the Reds rotation next year.

–Votto’s solo homer in the initial frame was Cincinnati’s 110th first-inning run of the season. That’s tied with Milwaukee for the second best mark in the National League. (Miami has scored 120.)

–Four games remaining…

Tonight’s Tweets

44 thoughts on “Recap: Seven shutout innings for Homer Bailey powers Reds to a win over Milwaukee

  1. Wow, nice insta-recap.

    This team definitely has the offense and defense to compete next season, with possibly more on the way in the form of Nick Senzel. Homer/Castillo/Romano seems like the makings of a solid rotation. If the ball bounces the Reds’ way, and they can get two more decent starters either by internal or external candidates, I see no reason the Reds can’t be a winner next season.

    If the Reds finish .500 or below, that HAS to be the final indictment of Bryan Price as a poor manager… Right? RIGHT????

    • Agree, except that we need two more “decent” starters. Starting pitching was atrocious this season (Castillo excluded). We need at least two B-B+ season-long starters however we get them. I would be very satisfied if the team signs one FA that fits that grade for immediate stability. Homer could be the second starter if he brings back what he has shown the last 7 starts. I’m buying Castillo to be a third “decent” starter. Surely, finding two more starters shouldn’t be that complex. Now the outlook isn’t so bad for 2018.

      My biggest issue with Price is the lineup card. He must move the OBP guys to the top of the lineup to give them more ABs and give Votto, et al greater RBI opportunities. With all the offense that was shown this season, it is incredible to think that it could have been more productive and more consistent with smarter lineup.

      The Twins are inspiring. No reason not to dream that the Reds can turn it around with a few good choice FA signings, a few more good young players contributing consistently (e.g. Winkler), and a couple of more good starters.

      • What impresses me is that the Twins were “sellers” at the deadline and traded 2 good players out… Then they started winning, had a couple big injuries and overcame those too. Just nicely done by the field general and most of all the players who stepped up.

  2. The Reds win a good one behind Homer. Four games remaining in the 2017 season and the win didn’t hurt their chances for the #5 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft.

    Two teams vying for the #1 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    62-97 (.390) —— SF
    62-96 (.392) +0.5 DET

    Two teams vying for the #3 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    64-95 (.403) +2.0 PHI
    65-93 (.408) +3.5 CWS

    Two teams vying for the #5 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    67-91 (.424) +5.5 CIN
    69-90 (.434) +7.0 NYM

    Two teams vying for the #7 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    70-88 (.443) +8.5 SD (losing big in the 6th inning)
    71-87 (.449) +9.5 ATL

    Five teams vying for the #9 selection in the 2018 rule 4 draft:
    73-85 (.462) +11.5 PIT
    73-85 (.462) +11.5 OAK
    74-84 (.468) +12.5 MIA
    75-84 (.472) +13.0 TOR
    75-84 (.478) +13.0 BAL

  3. The NL MVP is going to be interesting. There is no dominating position player and the two leading candidates as position players (Votto and Stanton) are from losing teams. In the year of resurgent HR, Stanton leads the NL by a WIDE margin with 57, 18 more than his nearest competitor. Votto is 3rd with 36 HR. Votto leads the NL in OPS with 1.031, .033 higher than Stanton. Any other position players who might have the numbers to challenge are from teams with severe home and away splits and simply have to be discounted due to their home playing conditions.

    • It will be Stanton, but we know Votto is an unsung hero. A guy like Votto benefits from winning, Stanton is about the gaudy power numbers. I’ll tell you a sleeper, how about a guy that split time between both leagues, J.D. Gonzalez.. I suppose he has no chance but he really powered AZ down the stretch. Bellinger for the Dodgers carried them early but he missed the first month of the season and then tailed off badly. The Reds still can’t figure out that it would be in everyone’s interest to put high OBP guys ahead of him, its a real head scratcher. He is too gentle, if he was more like Pujols he would just tell management what to do. Maybe that’s the angle we need to take next year, make Votto a player manager to compensate for Price.

      • LOL I meant JD Martinez… how embarrassing. Well you know what I meant, and he IS new to this league. I like him, I wish we had him. I still don’t understand what happened to Duvall, but I assume losing takes a toll on these guys.

        • Gonzalez, Martinez, Ramirez. All those Hispanic surnames run together. 🙂

          That was funny, don’t worry.

    • I was having as similar conversation with some Brewers fans last night. They seemed puzzled when I suggested that if Votto was on a winning team, he’d likely be the MVP. Then I pointed them to their own scoreboard stats. Case closed, your honor.

    • Splits or no splits, Arenado is the clear choice. Not only a great bat, but the best 3B glove on the planet.

      • As a Reds fan living in the front range (Colorado), I see a fair number of games on TV.
        Nolan makes plays almost every game, that NO ONE else makes.
        He may be the best glove in the history of the game.
        Yes, I did see Brooks kill the Reds in 1970.

    • Given the history of MVP selections going to winning teams, I think Goldschmidt or Arenado are strong choices but Stanton might get the nod due to his HRs even without being on a winning team due to the media attention he’s gotten.

      Something no one is considering is Votto’s production at his age. His performance could be considered better than the others and he’s doing it at an age that is a huge outlier compared to the others.

      Votto won’t get MVP but what about his first Silver Slugger? If he goes home empty handed on his performance this year it will be truly criminal

  4. I have to feel with a good off season,Homer will be ready to go come spring.Say what we will about his contract and the injuries he comes to compete every time out.He had some stinkers along the way but as with the youngsters you just have to let them pitch.Looked like he has all of his pitches working and his command has got better.He will tell you the 3 walks he didn’t like at all.Biggest pitch was the first inning double play ball to Braun.After that he was really good.He threw 117 pitches in his last outing of the year and it was a great way to finish.

    • If Bailey is as healthy in 2018 as he appears to be now, he is going to light some fires under the other Reds or know the reason why which is part of what they need.

    • The 117 pitches is the great thing. We need all of our starters to stretch out to that many. This 100 pitch limit crap has got to stop…Price tried stretching them out on occasion, but it didn’t work, they need to keep trying. It builds arm strength and durability.

  5. Was very happy to watch Homer continue to reinvent himself and continue his road back.
    Never can doubt his effort or determination. Hoping for a strong start for Stephenson as he continues to become part of the equation.
    Bailey, Castillo, Romano, Mahle, Stephenson have inside track in my eyes.
    Anything from Desclafini will be a plus. Finnegan and Garrett next level. Lorenzen a total unknown.

    • Homer has worked hard to get back into pitching shape. Don’t discount just how little he had pitched in the last two years, and just how much a guy needs to have a feel for the ball and the actual act of pitching.
      I think Homer can be healthy next year and solid, but likely nothing spectacular. If the Reds can have roughly the same offense next year, and their starting pitching is significantly better (which it very well could be), they could be contenders in the division.

      • That was a very good offense playing for their season which Homer slammed the door on last night. Counts a spectacular to me.

        • All MLB pitchers, if they are legit MLB pitchers, have great outings from time to time. Hard to hit anyone with that kind of talent when they are on their game and everything is working.

  6. Was able to be there last night with my kids… one more game for the season. My older daughter has decided to be a Brewer fan, while my younger daughter, recognizing a niche to fill in my heart, is a Reds fan. Joey hit one out for us, she was thrilled. I was very happy for Homer too.

    And because it was “Fan Appreciation NIght” there were scratch off tickets at the door… got free tickets to the Reds/Brewers next April. See you out there then, Reds fans.

  7. Maybe it isn’t quite accurate that Jesse Winker isn’t a “regular” because we are seeing him pretty regularly as a 9th inning PH. Crazy as it seems, maybe they really are holding him back to preserve his rookie status in 2018. Even if this is the case, he should have enough ABs left for a start (or maybe 2) versus the Cubbies?

    • FS-OH gave extended time to the conversation between Bailey and Price after Bailey completed the 7th inning. I felt like it showed a side of Price I had never seen before; and, I can see from that interaction why a pitcher at least would really be into working with Price. Then in the 9th they gave long play to Price being obviously upset (angry) at Shackelford’s slow start to the inning. That another side of BP we haven’t really seen much of.

  8. Great outing by Homer Bailey. It was great to see him get past that barrier of finishing a 7th inning. He finished on a strong note and a strong last 6 weeks. This will set a nice tone for his winter workouts. This will be the first “normal” winter he’ll have since after the 2013 season. It also has to be a big lift for his mental outlook as he can concentrate on his pitching and not healing, rehabbing, and worrying about his arm.
    Say what you will about Brian Price, the players love him and that is why he is still the manager. All you had to do to know this was watch Votto’s post-game interview and Bailey’s post-game interview last night. Those two love the guy. And those two are the de-facto leaders of the team.

    • Agreed. Homer himself said that the injuries prevented him from being in the kind of shape he knows he can be in, which he attributes to his lack of command. I get it and think he’s going to have a season in 2018 we haven’t seen in a long time. I know management has to plan as though he won’t be, but he’ll probably be that stabilizing force the rotation has been lacking. I think BobSteve can be that guy too.

      As for Price, I think Votto and Bailey could easily grow to like/love a manager who possesses those same soft skills but who also maximizes the team’s chances of winning.

      • My reply to myself above was meant to be here. I also agree that BobSteve is a guy to keep an eye on for good things in 2018. Castillo is hopefully solid. I believe Romano still may have more rough spots to navigate if only because he is a year or 2 younger than Castillo and BobSteve at least in terms of experience; same for Mahle.

        • Agreed Jim

          Robert has turned the corner and Castillo rounded it when he flew North this spring.

          But if (and when) disco is healthy, he is still the best on this staff. He has already had the Castillo North turn

          Come on guys, get/stay healthy

          We are all countin on you. And last we checked in on Finnegan, he had also turned said corner

    • Price is a player’s manager and I believe they like him.Losing is accepted right now in Cincy so what’s not to like.No expectations of him or the players for what 3 years now.Pressure to win will change all of that.Might see some of that next year.

      • I think the pressure on the manager to win is generally pretty real but in my opinion and experience, the pressure to win for players isn’t as strong. They want to win by default. When a player starts feeling a pressure to win, it is generally when they are enduring a tough stretch with lots of losing. Then they start feeling pressure and sometimes they’ll try to do too much. Is that what you’re talking about or am I missing what you’re trying to say?

  9. A great game after a tough stretch. Bailey, Votto, Barnhart, Lorenzen all professional baseball players, all with solid (or in Bailey’s case excellent) games. This team does have promise next year but as always it comes down to starting pitching. I’m going to enjoy these last four games, root like mad for the Twins, and then April 2018 can’t come soon enough.

  10. Can Joey Votto win the NL batting title with 4 games to go?
    Leaders:
    1. Charlie Blackmon (COL) .328
    2. Justin Turner (LAD) .321
    3. Joey Votto (CIN) .319

    Votto could overtake Turner, but there might not be enough time left to overtake Blackmon. I’d love to see Votto win a batting title, but it might not be this year. If Votto could raise his average 5 points and Blackmon lose 4 points, it could b done. The Rockies would probably sit Blackmon a game or two to protect his slim lead since they are locking up the 2nd wildcard spot.

    • Charlie is on a playoff contending team.
      Votto is not.
      I still think it goes to Nolan. Man that guys glove is amazing.

    • I think it’s a shame they use average to determine this. Just look at wRC+

      1. Votto 165
      2. Turner 151
      3. Blackmon 140

      This would be a no contest if this were the metric.

  11. I have to give Homer some props! It looked like they were going to put up a crooked number in the 1st, but he got it together! Its hard to say how effective he’ll be next year, but he’s not going anywhere. I think low 4s era would be ok…4th starter type on a decent team!
    I think they have way too much sorting out ahead of them to be a playoff team next year, but hopefully these sad sack seasons are over?

    • A big key Bailey has identified for himself is shutting down then cranking back up next spring. If he comes through the recycle in good health, I expect big things from him next year.

      • Said he was going to take his bow and arrow and go hunting for a bigfoot this winter.

  12. On the pregame show Wednesday, Price was asked what he expected would happen with Winker and Ervin next season. He talked about the possibility of having a four-outfielder rotation that would include Winker, and said there was no way either of those two guys would sit in the big leagues if they were only going to get 20 at-bats a month. …. But he kinda hinted that there wouldn’t be a logjam by next spring, that the picture could change in the offseason. I don’t know the reason for Winker’s lack of starts, but I don’t think he’s going back to the minors.

  13. Homer Bailey has been through a lot these last few years so it’s great to see him have seven solid innings to finish the season. If he’s in good shape in 2018 it’ll be a positive for the Reds rotation.

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