04/07/2018

Winning Is Good

 

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (2-5) 7 11 1
Pittsburgh Pirates (6-2) 4 8 0
W: Peralta (1-0) L: Kontos (0-1) S: Iglesias (2)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–The top of the lineup. Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez, and Joey Votto were a combined 6-10 with 3 walks and all 7 RBI. That’s pretty much how it’s supposed to go, isn’t it? Geno, of course, gets special mention for the big home run to give the Reds the  lead and, ultimately, the win.

–The bottom of the lineup. Barnhart, Peraza, and Hamilton were 5-8 with 5 runs scored. That’s pretty great.

–The relief pitching. 4 innings of 1 hit baseball. Fabulous.

The Bad
–The middle of the lineup. 0-14 with 7 Ks for Duvall, Gennett, and Ervin. Didn’t matter tonight, but ouch.

 

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Where is Amir Garrett? He had the best spring of any Reds pitcher. He has two appearance in the first seven games for the Reds. He has thrown 2.2 innings while striking out 4. Every currently rostered reliever except Gallardo has more appearances than him. Gallardo has the same number of appearances.

–Winning is very nice. I still think the season, as a whole, will be pretty okay for the Reds, though I do agree with everything Chad said last night. The core of this team is good, and I believe in the young starters. There’s too much potential to not improve. And now that we’re a week and a bit into the season, the hitting numbers are starting to normalize, which is nice.

–Sal Romano was neither good nor bad tonight, but he was – as in his first start – resilient. I feel like he’s really someone the Reds can count on to never really explode into flames. That’s such an important thing on a staff filled with relative wildcards.

–Tyler Mahle pitches tomorrow. He made the Cubs looks silly in his first start. I hope he does the same with the Pirates.

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

Join the conversation! 34 Comments

  1. That was a fun game to watch, made funner by Suarez. Correct me if I’m wrong, will you, but didn’t Duval go on a really hot streak after striking out four times in a game?

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  2. They usually lay down in games like this. Refreshing for them to claw out this win. Winker has game at the plate.

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  3. Listened to the game on MLB gameday audio. What made it fun was how many Reds contributed to the victory. When lots and lots of players have a role in a win, team cohesion and good clubhouse vibes can increase.

    I’m also having fun coming up with appropriate anagrams for the name “Yovani Gallardo”. So far I’ve come up with “Goon Larva Daily”. Fitting, no?

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  4. Very encouraging win. No, Romano was not at his best, but he battled on after the first two innings. Peralta was very good for two innings. Quackenbush had a good outing tonight.

    Some guys hit some nights, some guys hit other nights. Tonight it was Mr. Suarez. Tomorrow it might be Duvall or Gennett or some other combination. That’s why you put out a lineup of 8 guys, with the best possible OPS. That wins games.

    At one point in his career, Yovani Gallardo was a pretty good pitcher. That point is passed.. If the Reds realize that in a couple of days, then it is at least a mistake we can get past. If he remains lousy and on the roster until Finnegan is ready or some other excuse, then that is just poor judgement by the Reds management. Making a mistake and unwilling to admit it. Stubborn is not necessarily stupid, but in this case it would be/

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  5. Is Thom reading Redleg Nation? At one point, he basically quoted Chad’s waive the white flag comment discussing Friday’s game. 😉

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    • Chris Welch does and Ken Broo commented on WLW that he is spending quite a bit of time on RLN as well.

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    • Haha. I was listening on radio, so I missed the comment but someone immediately texted me. Maybe he’s even a secret commenter here?

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  6. Bad teams get down 4-0 and fold. 7-0 on 1-hit baseball is impressive at any juncture, but especially after trailing like that. It’s just the deconstructed Pirates but still, nice win.

    The Amir Garrett thing is really aggravating though – more so when coupled with our newest rally gas can. Castillo, Mahle, Romano, and Garrett would be solid top 4 right now, to say nothing of future years. Sit/cut Gallardo and start Garrett.

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  7. Would rather see Garrett in games where we are tied or have the lead. To me, Garrett, Hughes, Peralta and Iglesias should be pitching in games where the W is probable and have Gallardo, Brice and Quakenbush do mop up duty. When Hernandez, Lorenzen and Shackelford replace Gallardo, Brice and Quakenbush, the bullpen should be very solid. Weiss, Herget and Rainey eagerly waiting for their chance in Louisville. Herget and Rainey can take the roster spots of Gallardo and Quakenbush.

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    • Garrett is in the bullpen because: The Reds would like to keep him on the active roster all season & not use up his 1 remaining option. They don’t have another suitable lefty reliever besides Peralta (by the way Cingrani pitched in his 4th scoreless appearance last night for the Dodgers). He may actually, have a shot to be the Reds future closer.

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  8. I wonder if there’s a reason we don’t know about for the lack of Garrett’s appearances. Probably just lousy management though. I agree with all the comments above. Great seeing Suarez have that game last night. Also Winker getting on base 4 times! Joey seems to be coming around.

    Yay!

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  9. Also Duvall seems like he’s pressing to me.

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    • I think pitchers have figured out he is a sucker for low and away breaking pitches.
      They work him to a two strike count then throw a breaking ball low and off the plate.
      Duvall strikes out every time and this has been going on since the last half of last season.
      He has got to adjust by recognizing this and laying off the pitch, or learn how to foul it off.

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  10. Really nice comeback. Another positive: Price had Iglesias up at the start of the 8th, so if his curious usage of Peralta had backfired he would have brought him in early. Both the preparation and the obvious willingness to use his closer more aggressively were good to see.

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    • A good point. And Iglesias entered in the eighth inning in his previous save attempt this year.

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  11. Nice win. Such things might right the ship a bit, no?

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  12. Goodnight to see the win. Wonder if Garrett is hurt? Seems like the Reds never tell the whole story, last year if I remember on Disco, Finnegan & Bailey at the beginning of the season they would be back in a couple of weeks. Now with Finnegan it was just day to day. Just wonder?

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  13. Hitting and scoring cures a lot of woes, doesn’t it? At least, for tonight, anyway.
    Still doesn’t excuse last night’s failures that can’t be ignored, forgotten or swept under the rug by tonight’s performance,
    If those issues are not dealt with it will happen again and soon.

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  14. I was prepared to come in here and ask why no Garrett? But Jason covered it in the recap. Then I thought about it, and liked how Price let the dominating Peralta pitch a 2nd inning. Never remove a RP that dominated his inning, let him go that 2nd inning.

    So why Quackenbush over Amir then becomes the question.
    It must have been his turn, is the only thing I can come up with based on Price’s past.

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  15. Too bad for Ervin, he won’t have many chances to start a game. Not sure what was it with Gennett, but Duvall looks like is consistently misjudging the strike zone. With Winker and (soon) Schebler performing, last OF spot is up for grabs by any of the others.

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  16. Here’s something that occurred to me while Winker was batting and Hamilton was on 1st. It was one of those situations I hope the Reds’ analytics department has considered. Winker (and Schebler, and other LH batters) pull a lot of balls to the right side. On the one hand, you really want to get Hamilton to 2nd so he’s in scoring position and to avoid the double play. On the other hand, Hamilton on 1st forces them to hold him on, and opens a huge hole.

    Given all the possible outcomes, including the possibility of Hamilton getting caught, are there game situations (like tied, late, with a man on third) where it makes more sense to keep him at 1st in order to keep the hole open? As it so happens, the ball Winker ripped would have almost certainly gone right through the hole if Bell were still holding Hamilton on 1st.

    This seems like something tailor made for analytics to help supplement gut feel. Obviously the particular players and game situations have to be taken into account, but I bet crunching huge pools of data probably allows for a fairly clear baseline answer to the question “with a LH batter up and a base stealer on 1st, is it better to steal or leave the hole open?”

    Of course, Suarez nicely settled the problem by yanking the ball out to win the game 🙂

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    • Geno saved the day. But the chances of Winker hitting into a double play are greater than him scorching that ball to first. Gotta get Hamilton to second. Thank the baseball gods for that win. Need to follow up with one today and get some Mo.

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  17. Reds win and My copy of ” The Big 50″ arrived. Pretty good day Huh.

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  18. The defense in the first two innings was pretty bad. On the double by Dickerson to the right field corner, Gennett’s relay throw would have had the runner out by 15 feet, but the throw short-hopped Barnhart, allowing the run to score. It was not scored an error, but it was a simple play that should have resulted in an out and one less run. (One thing that defensive metrics seem to miss is the qualify of an infielder’s arm, in a relay-throw situation. Brandon Phillips – excellent; Scooter – not excellent.)

    In the second inning, Romano fielded a sac bunt, then made a throw in the dirt (to the hapless Gennett) for an error that loaded the bases with no out. The next guy up hit a sac fly to left, fairly deep, but Duvall threw to second base, rather than the almost equidistant third base. Now, that may have been the correct play to make, given that Mercer is a better baserunner than the pitcher on first base, plus they Reds may not have wanted to risk a throw to third that could have resulted in runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out. But Duvall didn’t set up well under the ball for a throw, and Mercer read that and got to third.

    The next play was the bloop that fell between Peraza (playing infield-in) and Ervin. That was luck; Hamilton might could have had it, but I can’t fault anybody for not being as fast as Hamilton. The Reds played very well after that.

    Romano, then, pitched into some bad luck, and did better than his stats line suggests. Gennett is just a bad fielder, and looks worse to Reds fans, because we are used to having great second baseman, like Morgan, Bret Boone, Pokey Reese, and Brandon Phillips.

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    • Reds have second-lowest double play conversion rate in the league as of now.

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      • Things you might not be able to say again.

        Alfredo Rodriguez is hitting a cool .571 on the year at AA

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About Jason Linden

Jason has been a fan of the Reds since he was born. He really had no choice in the matter. He has been writing at Redleg Nation for a few years, and also writes and edits at The Hardball Times. His debut novel, When the Sparrow Sings, is available now and concerns baseball, among other things. You can find more information at jasonlinden.com.

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2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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