Before getting into the meat of this recap, a short story in four parts:

  1. I sit down in front of the TV with the Reds game about to start. I open my computer with three tabs: WordPress (this recap), Fangraphs (light reading and stat work), and Twitter (because of course).
  2. Anthony DeSclafani mows down the Dodgers in order as I read a post about Sean Manaea’s shoulder surgery. The A’s ace is on my fantasy team after all.
  3. Fangraphs’ top story of the moment is “Who Would be the Home Run Leader in Space?” I’m intrigued because who wouldn’t be? I begin to read as Scott Schebler is caught stealing. Then, right in the middle of the article, I see it: Jose Peraza is second in all of the MLB in space home runs with 351. “Ha!” I laugh to myself. “This will make a great recap addition.”
  4. Jose Peraza hits a real Earth home run on the very next pitch. Jose Peraza is my hero. Jose Peraza is our Aldrin, our Armstrong, our Michael Collins — both the space and Irish version because why not?

That’s the extent of silver linings today because Disco came off the rails two innings later and the Reds quickly succumbed 8-1, missing out on the season sweep against the Dodgers. Maybe if they come back in a year.

Cincinnati Reds 1 (63 – 84) | Los Angeles Dodgers 8 (79 – 67)

Win Probability Chart | Box Score 

THE GOOD:

— DeSclafani no-hit the Dodgers through his first turn of the lineup. The vibes were good. The Reds were winning. All, momentarily, felt right in the world.

— Billy Hamilton had himself a Good Day™. A nice forward-diving catch in the first. A seeing-eye double that just alluded second baseman Kiké Hernandez’s glove with Billy speeding into second before the throw. A triple after ripping a liner to left that Joc Pederson dove past. What more could Billy ask for?

— Amir Garrett returned from the Disabled List. Woo!

THE BAD:

— In the fourth, Disco gave up a leadoff homer to Pederson, a single to Max Muncy, and then a double by Yasmani Grandal that fan interfered with, allowing Muncy to score. The fifth followed along much the same path, with a walk, a double, and a single allowing two more to score. The righty was pulled after his second walk of the inning.

— Wandy Peralta came in to get the last out of the fifth and did! Well, eventually. First, he let both inherited runners cross the plate, increasing the Reds’ deficit to five.

— Amir Garrett returned from the DL and promptly gave up a double, walk, out, double, intentional walk, and pop-out before getting the hook. On the one hand, Garrett only gave up one run before exiting with the bases loaded and two outs. Small victories. On the other hand, that’s an extremely horrible outing for a reliever and the Reds lost.

— Matt Wisler gave up an RBI-single before getting the last out when he relieved Amir Garrett. I just figured I’d add some closure to the previous point.

— In the third, Joey Votto struck out looking on a full count with Billy Hamilton at third base. It happens and Joey Votto is the greatest, but as a fan, you’d love to see a swing there.

NOT SO RANDOM THOUGHTS:

— I had the thought, “Huh, that’s weird that Joc Pederson is leading off,” when I saw that Joc Pederson was leading off, so I did some digging. Today was the 49th time Pederson has lead off for the Dodgers. Other players who have lead off include, Chris Taylor (68 times), Brian Dozier (18), Muncy (4), Chase Utley (4), and Hernandez (2). Of the players on the Dodgers with more than 300 plate appearances (there are 10 for reference), Taylor and Pederson rank 6th and 8th respectively in terms of OBP. All of this to say, the Dodgers may have more talent than the Reds, but they have equally as bad lineup construction.

— The Eugene Emeralds won a Minor League championship on a walkoff balk last night. Three things are notable here:

  1. The Emeralds mascot is a Sasquatch-like figure holding a pine tree as a baseball bat. You will never convince me that there is a better mascot.
  2. The Emeralds had the worst record in the league but qualified for the playoffs through some absurd “second-half record” rule. This reminds me of when I was a Little League umpire and a team of seven-year-olds that went completely defeated in the regular season swept through the playoffs for the championship. I’ll never forget the coach shaking my hand with a beaming smile and saying, “Glad that’s over.”
  3. Whoever keeps saying that we need to amend the balk rule obviously has never seen a losing team win a championship on a walkoff balk. It’s perfect. Balks are perfect. Never change baseball.

— Two related, but also unrelated, tweets:

Join the conversation! 30 Comments

  1. Cue Meatloaf and “Two out of Three Ain’t Bad”

    Sorry for your painful afternoon, but a great recap.

    Reply
  2. I think Garrett Suffered from no rehab assignment, Why didn’t they get him a sim game or something, might have gotten some of the junior call ups some at bats as well. Please don’t tell me we are suffering from another 1 good monther

    Reply
  3. Wes, with all due respect, IMO, you whiffed on stating the Dodgers were poor in lineup construction today….

    Entering today…

    -Dodgers lead the NL and second to Yankees in all MLB in HRs

    -From the leadoff position this year, 5th in HRs (Thanks, FanGraphs)

    -Coincidence or not, (I think not)…9 of the top 11 HR teams this season are making the playoffs or will just miss.

    You could make a case that a light-hitting team should call up a AAA slugger or two, regardless of average, to play a series with the road team in GABP.

    8 sluggers, selling out for power, no chance of stealing bases and not walking much would totally have a chance to win a series at GABP. Especially with the 2018 Reds pitching staff.

    Reply
    • You could also make a case that we should build out team for our park.This means power hitters baby cause whomever pitches here for us will give up a bunch so you better be able to out slug the other team.So can we out slug anybody in our division right now when we play them at home.Nope maybe the Bucs but even Marte and other would hit 25 to 30 in GABP.

      Reply
    • Not saying they have a bad lineup, just saying Justin Turner should probably be atop. When you’re 1-8 is as talented as the Dodgers, poor lineup construction doesn’t show as much as it does with the Reds, but that doesn’t make it any better

      Reply
    • Maybe close the loop on the HR thing a bit by comparing HR differential, i.e. how are the top teams in positive HR differential you fairing in the playoff races; and are they by and large the teams with the most HRs?

      Reply
    • Any team would have a chance of winning a series against the Reds’ pitching staff.

      Reply
  4. DeSclafani….

    3rd start in a row that he did not make it through the 5th inning.

    5th start in a row that he did not have a quality start

    Personally, I think this is who he is going to be for the rest of his career…..a 1 or so WAR guy who will look bad sometimes at GABP from the HR balls he gives up. If he even stays healthy.

    If he is wearing down from coming back from injury, then this is a strong reason not to extend him this winter.

    Let him rest up and show he can put forth 150+ good nnings in 2019, before the Reds start to decide what to do with him.

    Reply
    • I’m squarely on both sides of the fence where Disco is concerned. On the extension thread the other day I said offer him offer him $28M over 4 years but with only $10M guaranteed over the 1st two years with a team option to cut bait at that point.

      While I think that is a fair hedge for all parties given the straits the Reds are in for starting pitching of even league average, I wouldn’t bark too loudly if the Reds let things ride with him over next year since I believe he is still any injury risk.

      I would not be surprised if he had the same sort of issues starting back up next season he had this year (and the 2 years prior) and ended up missing another 1/3-1/2 of a season yet again then being inconsistently effective upon return.

      Reply
  5. Well spoken, Disco is Obviously tiring out. See if he does stay healthy, serviceable # 3 starter otherwise maybe play around with his starts to get him into favorable parks.

    Reply
  6. The Hillsboro Hops have Hoppy. Who doesn’t want to wear a beer ingredient on their baseball cap.

    I have one and would even think of those posers down in Eugene.

    I think Disco is also out of gas. Building up arm strength while he helps us improve our draft position. Works for 2018, and maybe we look back in 2019 as this work helps him get to 200 innings

    Now, what are my lottery numbers for tonight…..

    Reply
  7. Would NOT think of those posers in Eugene. Eugene is bad and I have hated the emeralds since I was seeing Pete Rose at the Pete Ward baseball clinics

    Reply
  8. We got 5 hits and a walk but only 3 hits over the last 8 innings and struck out 11 times.Can’t beat a little league team when you do that.Bringing Peralta in anytime to try to keep it close is well just dumb.Bringing Garrett in to pitch in a blow out then taking him out well was doubly dumb.He hadn’t pitch in forever so you have to know he may struggle don’t you so when he does you pull him.

    Reply
    • You, I, and most of the readers now that.
      Bob, Riggleman and Williams, do not know thRT

      Reply
    • I didn’t see the game, but Garrett’s line looks as though “struggle” is a mild word. If he was pitching pretty effectively and got into a jam, I could see leaving him in to work out of it in a lost season, but does it serve him or anyone to let him get his brains beaten out when he clearly doesn’t have it?

      Reply
  9. what are the chances the Dodgers are our best trade partner for Gennett this off-season? They seem in constant need for 2B and Scooter destroyed them all year, so they obviously can see what he does. I’d love to get Urias from them for some kind of package if we are hell-bent on trading Scooter (even though I think although Senzel is intriguing prospect he hasn’t proven he can hit at MLB level yet or been able to stay all that healthy). I’m sure I’m throwing quarters in a fountain here…

    Reply
    • Scooter for urias, finally a scooter trade with some brains. If it were me i would try to get another pitching prospect back as well. If my memory serves didnt urias just get off a near year long DL stint. but i dont think the dodgers would go for it.

      Reply
  10. I like it Ryan.

    Reply
  11. The Cincinnati Magazine article really hits home. I go to about 20-25 games a year and have been doing so since the 1970s and I got to tell you it really has been depressing over the past few years at the old ball yard.
    You here “let’s go Cubs, Cardinals, Dodgers, Brewers” more than “ let’s go Reds” . The only time our fans get excited is when we get the 11 th strike out for free Larosa’s.
    The early 80’s were bad but you didn’t have the opposing teams fans invading Riverfront back then like you do today.

    We fans blame ownership for the teams problems but I understand their dilemma. Spending money toBuild a winning team doesn’t necessarily put fans in the seats in Cincy as in other cities. I cite 1999 and 2010 attendance numbers as examples.

    Anyway I hope at least some fans show up for the strike out cancer game on Saturday against the pirates!

    Reply
    • There is also a lag between a team playing well and people attending.

      I live in the philly area and there were alot of empty seats early in the season and the team was playing well. It took a couple of months for fans to notice.

      Kindof like the scene in Major League, when they have the montage of people basically saying, ‘hey this team isn’t as lousy as we thought’.

      Reply
  12. I won’t comment on the sad state of the Reds pitching, or the trade possibilities for Scooter Gennett, or lineup composition or anything related to yesterday’s game. But because I am an anal retentive engineer and physics and baseball are both a big part of my life, I will comment on the space home runs leader.

    The Home Run Leaders in Space analysis ignored one huge hypothetical modifier. Exit velocity DOES matter (not just launch angle) because the space fielders can jump REALLY high to catch those would be four baggers if they just have a little time. What’s the statcast catch percentage on a ball that clears the center field wall by 50′ when Billy Hamilton has time to jump 100′ before it leaves the park? I think the single season record for space home runs may never break the 150 mark. We need to see some space baseball!

    Reply
    • Oh this is truly a fascinating addition to the query. Wow. I’m going to spend more or less my entire afternoon thinking of Billy Hamilton jumping 100 feet in the air

      Reply
  13. I’m on the Scooter bandwagon and jump on the haters like the grizzly vs Leonardo Dicaprio in the Revenant, however, I wouldn’t mind a trade with the Yankees. They have so much young talent and the MLB network shows the Yankees every other night. Scooter would go off in Yankee Stadium and would be playing in October.

    THey have 2 young pitchers in Domingo German and a kid they call Johnny Lasagna. Both throw in the mid to high 90s with crazy movement. Assuming Senzel would just step in and replace Scooter is assuming a lot though? Are we sold on Peraza as the shortstop long term?

    Reply
  14. ist let me say, I love Joey Votto. Been watching the Reds since the mid 50’s and JV is easily one of the greatest hitters the Reds have ever had. But I find these stats very interesting. JV bavg 282, JP 293, HR 11 for both, 2b hits JV 26 JP 30 Hits JV 128 JP 168 K’s JV 94 JP 64.I think Jose takes waaaay too much bashing. Neither is a good fielder. Granted SS is far more important.But the amount of Jose bashing seems to be far over top to me. Just one guys opinion.

    Reply
  15. Oops forgot the slg avg JV 421, JP 416

    Reply
    • you forgot the OBP also .420 vs .332. It is also the worst year Votto has had other than the year he played on one leg. Suarez, Gennett, Votto, Winker, and Schebler all have a higher OPS; which is acceptable for what should be a position where defense is a priority. I think most here criticize for the poor defense more than the offense which is about average overall and probably above average for a SS.

      Some of the bashing is probably unwarranted, but consider there are also people on RLN calling for Votto to be benched to open a spot for Senzel

      Reply
  16. We are fortunate that Peraza had stepped up at the plate but for a time I thought we were seeing the Billy movie all over again.To me its bad when you just hand a major league job to someone because well you have nobody else at that position.Its even worse that after 5 soon to be 6 years with Billy and now 3 soon to be 4 years with Peraza(at second and then short) we still hear the same thing.Again we are fortunate that Peraza is head and shoulders above Billy as a hitter and lets be honest sometimes it just works out.Its an indictment against the front office that Billy is still here and starting game after game because it never has worked out.He is exactly the same player he has always been so thanks Jose Peraza for working on your craft and continue to work on walking and defense.I hope he is here and performing for the next 10 years.

    Reply

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2018 Reds, Titanic Struggle Recap

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