White Sox 12, Reds 8

Box Score | Win Probability

Good Things that Are Good

The offense, in general was pretty excellent. Again. Special awards to Eugenio Suarez for reaching base three times with a homer. Scooter and Duvall both homered, which was also swell.

Disco was pretty good tonight. Got bitten by the inherited runners bug. It’s still nice having him in the rotation.

Billy Hamilton had a couple of big plays late in the game.

Bad Things that Are Bad

The bullpen as a whole (except for Garrett).

The defense.

Thoughtful Thinks

I loved Amir Garrett in Louisville. I hated watching him struggle last year. I thought he should be in the rotation at the beginning of the year, but man, he is one hell of a force in the bullpen.

I’ve come around on the idea that having Scooter in the lineup past the trade deadline this year wouldn’t be a bad thing, but not at second base. He needs to move down the defensive spectrum.

On the flip side, Billy’s defense and base running made the game last longer than it otherwise would have. Players provide value in different ways, kids.

Even with the loss tonight, according to the system FanGraphs uses, there is virtually no chance they lose 100 (which seemed like a foregone conclusion a couple of months ago) and odds are they won’t lose 90, either. I am not entirely happy with the decisions the team has made/is making *cough*WinkerandScheblereveryday*cough* but young teams do grow up sometimes and it looks like the Reds might be doing just that.

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! 37 Comments

  1. Lorenzen cannot pitch. I do not want him in bullpen or starting .

    • 1.93 ERA in 23.1 innings. Sure, he’s given up 3 runs in his last 3 outings, but he had given up 3 runs the entire season before then.

      But yeah, ok.

      • My eyes tell me he is a better hitter than pitcher… and that is where his heart is, with the weight lifting and batting practice. Today he got zero ABs when the ball was flying outtta the ol ballyard, that just ain’t right.

      • Prior to tonight Lorenzen had allowed 56% of his inherited runners to score; and, that went up tonight. Think this metric is often one of the most telling about relievers.

        • I would disagree to an extent. Part of a relievers job description is to get the team out of jams, but that is an incredibly difficult task to ask of anyone. Giving up a base hit (or two even) isn’t inherently what hurts you, but to penalize somebody because they’re put into a situation where they have no buffer seems unfair.

          Relievers also pitch when runners aren’t on base, which lorenzen has done well

          • I agree some relievers are better at putting out fires and others seem stronger starting out with an inning with a clean slate.

            However the job of a guy brought in with runners on base is to stop the bleeding by not allowing those runners to score.

            Tonight Lorenzen came in with 1 out and a man on first and ended up allowing that run and a run of his own to score. That’s poor by any measure; but especially because he gave up an 0-2 double which scored 1 run and set the other up to score on a ground out.

          • Lorenzen has left a mess of his own a few times that others like Garrett or Iglesias did not allow to score, artificially lowering Lorenzen’s ERA.

            The % of inherited runners scoring is an extremely important metric by which to judge relievers. all runs given up count against the team not just the ones from batters who happened to face that pitcher.

          • Lorenzen hasnt pitched as well as his ERA this year, though some of his multi-inning efforts have been impressive. His K% is just below 13%, which is awful, and he had the same problem last night. He got ahead of several hitters 0-2 or 1-2 and couldn’t put them away. This has been a constant theme all season and a perplexing one. He has the highest contact percentage by opposing hitters on pitches outside the zone of any pitcher in MLB. It’s wayyyy above career norms.

            His K% has been 22%-24% the last two years, and he’s missed plenty of bats. Maybe it’s a small sample, and his K numbers return to former levels. That’s seems more likely than not, and if that happens, he will be a force. Right now, he’s letting up mostly singles and has not allowed a HR, limiting the damage and keeping his ERA down.

            Last night wasn’t as bad as it seemed. He didn’t walk anybody, and the three hits he gave up had a 24%, 40%, and 55% chance of being hits. The 55% chance was the first one that was hit at 67 MPH off the bat, very weak contact. He was a tad unlucky.

            But, yeah, the ERA is deceiving, but it’s also hard to believe he is a 13% K% guy going forward. In some ways, his ability to limit extra base hits has been encouraging, but he needs to start missing bats like 2016-2017.

          • Seems like he isn’t throwing as hard. It just looks like he isn’t putting his whole body into it when he needs to. Like he is pitching to contact instead of throwing it past the hitter. Is his velocity down Nick? I don’t know, he just seems off or different out there the past few times out.

          • That’s a good question about velocity, Jack. His fastball is down 1 MPH, but his cutter and slider are both down 2 MPH. Maybe that’s because he has pitched some extended outings so far this year. He also said in the Enquirer earlier in the year that he realized he didn’t have to max out all the time to get outs. Will be interesting to monitor.

            He’s gotten really good results from the fastball actually, but his whiffs per swing on the slider and cutter have gone way down, especially the slider. He got whiffs on 37% of swings against his slider last year. It’s around 17% this year. He’s lost about 8% of whiffs per swing on his cutter.

            And he’s completely abandoned his curveball. He got over 40% whiffs on swings with his curveball last year. He also let up a lot of flyballs and hard contact, so maybe that’s why he hasn’t thrown it this year. Still, he’s one swing and miss pitch (which he had in the past) from being really good. He’s ahead 0-2 and 1-2 on lots of people. I’d like to see him bring back the curveball with two strikes.

            Anyway, yes, the velocity is down some. I might write something thorough on his season and prospects going forward. It’s really been a fascinating season based on how different his peripheral numbers are this year.

          • Certainly Lorenzen lacked a put away pitch Tuesday night. In addition to the 0-2 double, the groundout which brought in the second sixth inning run was on a 1-2 pitch; and, he allowed a 1-2 single in the 7th. I think he just flat out made a poor pitch on the double. Especially on the 1-2 groundout which scored the 2nd run in the 6th, he has to playing for a K and willing to run the count a pitch deeper trying to get the guy to chase.

  2. No need for the condescending “kids” comment, Jason.

    No one at RLN thinks Hamilton is more overrated in the MLB of 2018 than me.

    A projected 1.5 WAR (all from defense), not even the minimum 2 WAR teams expect a position player now to achieve, and a wRC+ of 63 (2/3rd of league average). Zero power.

    That’s what other MLB teams see now. Not “Havoc!”.

    But, I am not going to insult you or anyone else for feeling otherwise.

    • I thought that Jason’s most telling statement was that players provide value in different ways. Billy is a terrible hitter, particularly this year, and should probably be used in a way that takes better advantage of his skills. But lousy defense has hurt the Reds this year and made the pitching less effective, so the continuing narrative that defense doesn’t much matter needs to be examined. Yes, homers, walks and strikeouts account for more outcomes than in past years, but still considerably fewer than half. The ball is in play a majority of the time, so incompetent fielding still has plenty of impact on a team’s chances of winning.

      • Agree on the importance of defense. The problem with Billy is he is extremely great on defense and extremely terrible on offense. Don’t understand the stealing bases though. He just doesnt have that recklessness this year. Years past he is going and could care less if everybody knows it. Seems like he has lost his aggressiveness. Do you think the brass or Riggleman has told him to be more selective ? Hope not because that is taking away from his game.

  3. I have had the feeling that Riggleman overmanages, in the hopes of landing the job full-time.

    Tonight, we reinforced that feeling. I am not going to dissect all the pitching changes and the double switch…but it’s all of that, and more, in one game.

    And especially, getting kicked out of the game, after the Sox had busted it open. With replay, the need for managers to “prove a point” and get booted has virtually gone away.

    Even if the home plate umpire did not grant the intentional walk…was it really worth showing the ump up at that point?

    Dunno. Sometimes I just feel like Riggleman is that expression…”tryin’ too hard.”

    • I thought getting himself kicked out was the best move Riggleman made all night because it removed a lot of the focus from how the team had played, especially in that 12th inning. The guys know they gave the game away without it being dissected and rehashed. His action gives them the opportunity to process on their own and come out loaded for bear Wednesday.

      As I saw it, what he did was essentially the baseball version of a hockey fight in a lost cause, or sending in the bench to play out the string in a basketball or football game that’s gone off the wheels.

      • I agree with you. The timing of it meant he either DID lose his temper pretty badly or else he was just cleaning up for the team. I saw it as “Don’t get too down about this game, we’ll come back tomorrow. Now watch me harass this umpire just because I can, it’s gonna be funny.”

    • I can’t blame him for coming unglued… and I am glad he did!! He showed he has heart and wants to win. Hopefully it will light a fire on this team. They were pretty lackluster after getting a 7-2 lead.

      As for the ejection, I think it was a culmination of the night with the home plate umpire who had a strike zone that was more fluid than his belly. That called 3rd strike on Peraza was nuts!! I am pretty sure Riggleman was ticked with the play at first in the 12th where Scooter was ran into. It appeared to me that the base runner was out of the running lane.

  4. I believe that for the remainder of the season the Reds should get Michael Lorenzen into a pitching routine that maximizes his offensive opportunities by getting him to the plate while he is on the mound and creating pinch hit opportunities for him by pitching him in patterns which create days it is known from the get go he is will not pitch.

    In the longer term, I think the team owes it to the organization and the player to try and find out if he is indeed of more value as an offensive/ position player than he is as a pitcher. The first step should be to send him to a high level winter league this off season to play as an everyday outfielder. Then based on results and scouting reports, take things from there with him either

    A) as a pitcher only

    B) a committed two way player with emphasis on pitching first (since hen is in a league with no regular DH) but using him in a way that creates and maximizes opportunities for playing offense when not pitching or

    C) proceeding to converting him to a full time OF.

    • He needs serious consideration as a position player. Sadly it’s going to take another arm injury for them to realize that. His mechanics are hazardous and will limit total pitches thrown in any outing.

    • Totally agree Jim. Get him to winter ball and see what he does. They have nothing to lose there.

  5. After DeSclafani and Lorenzen meltdown in the 6th, Reds still had a one run lead. Then Garrett came for only 1/3 of an inning, which led to the bullpen meltdown at the end, since neither Hernandez nor Iglesias were able to hold it scoreless. After that, Floro did a nice job, but nether Crockett nor Stephens are for high leverage situations. Finally, the two errors in the 12th killed any winning possibility.

    • The way things finally played out, I thought getting only 1/3 of an inning out of Garrett was major negative. It accomplished what Riggleman wanted in the short run; but left him in a bind in a hurry when both his setup man and closer allowed a run.

  6. Defense didn’t do him any favors, but Stephens couldn’t throw anything but his fastball for a strike. MLB hitters, even on bad teams such as tonight’s Sox, pick that up quickly, sit, and pounce. It would serve JS and the Reds to get him back to AAA to work on his other offerings. He’s the weak link in the pen right now. It’s time for the Return of the Quack Attack!

  7. Only as an observation, I have never been confident with Lorenzen as a pitcher. If the organization does not take steps to see if he can cut it as an outfielder, they will lose the chance for an everyday good righthanded hitter that they need.

    • Agree. I have seen him more as a position player who can also pitch, rather than a pitcher who can also hit. At this point the Reds are running the risk of taking an incredible athlete and making him mediocre at everything. The concern was raised previously that he is so far removed from playing CF that he could not return to hit. I disagree. On the contrary, I expect he would acclimate to outfield much more quickly than Senzel or Scooter would.

      • I agree Lorenzen would acclimate to OF more quickly than a converting IF player. He just can’t be expected to go out to CF and immediately play it at anything approaching his best when he hasn’t been reading live balls off of bats from the OF at game speed for ~ 5 years and never previously at MLB game speed.

  8. It’s just one loss. They can still win the series today. If they can go into every series and either split or win it , then they will be in good shape at the end of the year. This is a good team. Starting pitching is getting better and relief pitching is great. Every bullpen has a meltdown. Trick is to forget about it and get back to doing what made them great. When Floro is your 6th man in the bullpen that is a pretty good bullpen. Offense is great . They need to lower the errors though. Outfield is coming around, although Schebler should be playing every day. Duvall seems to be coming back and hopefully getting some confidence. He was shaking his head a lot after at bats and that is a sign of frustration and losing confidence in himself. This is one loss. After the last 3 or 4 years , this is the most fun we have all had in a long time. Enjoying Reds baseball again.

  9. Lots of blame for this loss but honestly it just felt that way.The White Sox just gave Monday’s game to us on a platter so we could be 0-2 in this series.Once they tied it in the ninth we had 3 innings to score before they busted it open in the 12th against our weak link in the pen.It turned into a bull pen game and theirs was better tonight.Just a couple of observations.Billy can run and play defense and will continue to play around 130 or so games because well DW and Bob say so.Votto needs some time off because in the 6 games on this home stand he hasn’t done much and he looks lost at the plate.I feel sorry for Riggleman because he is trying so hard but no way he is here after this year.He is just doing what he is told with the lineup because well DW and Bob say so.

  10. Suarez is up to 11 errors this year in 69 games.
    He only had 9 in 153 games last year.

    Is this a concerning development or just a mini slump?

    • To me he seems to have the errors on routine plays when he takes his time. Whether it’s the transfer like yesterday or the throw to first when he has time. Peraza most of the time gets the ball and gets rid of it. Suarez knows he has a strong arm and likes to show it off like most 3rd baseman. It would be nice to go back and see how many of those errors were routine.

      • Good observations. I agree. He is taking a huge windup before he throws now. Like you said, it seems like just the routine plays

  11. “Disco was pretty good tonight.” Seriously?
    It was his worst outing of the season for him. DeSclafani too often was pitching belt high and out over the plate. He was serving up taters half the night. He was getting hit pretty hard. Not a “pretty good” night for DeSclafani. I don’t know what game Linden was watching, but it must not have been this one. This recap reads like it was a boxscore review. Not a recap from someone who sat through these 12 innings and actually watched the game. This fake recap was like the Reds infield defense , porous. Not one reference of any action in the game that went 12 innings and 20 runs were scored. Weak.

    • Agreed – he especially seemed to lose concentration as soon as the Reds went up 7-2. Whole team seemed to be coasting in this game a bit. BTW, Joey seems totally lost right now.

  12. Probably a combination of mid-season funk with the heat of July. Not much energy after being up 4-0 early and then 8-7 in the ninth.

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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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