Before getting into the meat of this recap, a short story in four parts:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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)
— 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!
— 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:
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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:
I feel bad for anyone watching this Reds game, which is to say, I feel bad for myself mostly
— wes jenkins (@_wesjenks) September 12, 2018
— wes jenkins (@_wesjenks) September 12, 2018