Outside of a four-run 2nd inning, the Reds offense was locked up again. Sonny Gray didn’t have his best stuff, but the bullpen pitched great in relief. Continued lack of consistent offense doomed the Reds once more. Robert Stephenson allowed a home-run in his second consecutive appearance and former Cardinal Stephen Piscotty walked it off for Oakland in the 13th inning.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (15-22) 4 8 1
Oakland Athletics (17-21) 5 11 0
W: Hendriks (1-0) L: Stephenson (2-1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Statcast

Key Plays

Run Prevention

Sonny Gray’s night did not get off to a great start. The first six pitches were balls, and the second batter, Jurickson Profar, crushed a no-doubter 425 feet to give the Athetics an early two run lead. After another walk, he did get out of the inning without anymore damage thanks to a double play on a hard hit ball by Matt Olson.

Gray settled down a bit after the first inning when he could not locate his fastball at all.

In the second, he threw a lot more curveballs (his second most used pitch in 2019) and did a nice job keeping them down, inducing a swinging strikeout. He also painted the corner for a strikeout looking.

The Reds turned an incredible double play in the 4th inning. Even Iglesias was a little surprised. He caught and turned 180 degrees and threw all in one motion.

As the game wore on, Gray never really found his stride, allowing base runners in each inning. In the 5th, he allowed his fifth walk and two singles to load the bases with one out, ending his night. Final line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 K. While Gray’s ERA climbed to 4.15 on the year, his FIP/xFIP sit at a strong 3.01/3.59. Not his best outing but hopefully just a bump in the road.

Amir Garrett came on to get out of the jam. His first batter in the 5th inning was Matt Olson. After 5 sliders to start the at-bat and get ahead 0-2, Amir worked some fastballs but missed low, running the count full. Garrett went back to the slider and got Olson to chase a pitch that was not even close.

Unfortunately, Garrett’s second batter did not go so well. Stephen Piscotty dribbled a grounder (6% hit probability) between Votto and Farmer with the Reds playing a bit out of position. Votto chose to go to the bag, leaving Farmer to field the ball falling away into right field. He double clutched and threw the ball away, allowing two runs to score. Easy come, easy go. Garrett struck out Ramon Laureano to end the threat.

Lorenzen came on in the 6th. He retired the first two batters but fell victim to another weak hit on the day (75.6 mph EV, 24% hit probability), before a strikeout ended the inning. He retired the side in the 7th, adding two more strikeouts, one coming on a really nice changeup. Lorenzen’s FIP and xFIP for the game were actually negative, which is always fun to see.

David Hernandez pitched a scoreless 8th inning despite walking two batters. He struck out two as well.

After talking things over with manager David Bell, Raisel Iglesias came on in a tied game in the 9th inning. Raisel responded well, striking out two and getting the third out on another brilliant play by the other Iglesias. Broken record at this point. (Note: I had a really good title ready to go if Iglesias lost the game in the 9th).

Jared Hughes pitched the 10th inning and retired the side with the help of, what else, a Jose Iglesias double play. He got three flyouts in the 11th to extend the game. He retired the side in the 12th inning. No strikeouts or walk, but getting the job done.

Robert Stephenson came on in the 13th inning and gave up a home run. My video feed had cut out (must have been a sign) but Statcast told me the ball was hit over 109 mph. That is very hard.

Run Production

Sonny Gray’s two walks must have rubbed off on Brett Anderson. After a 1-2-3 1st inning, the Reds got the two runs back and then some, sending 10 to the plate and scoring four runs. Yasiel Puig started the rally with a walk after going down 0-2. Iglesias followed with another walk, and then the bats woke up.

The Reds were a bit lucky here, as you can see with some of the low hit probabilities, but I think I speak for everyone when I say we will take it.

  • Kyle Farmer doubled off the wall in left, scoring Puig (99.5 mph EV, 57% hit probability)
  • Curt Casali grounded out to second base, scoring Iglesias (96 mph EV, 16% hit probability)
  • Jose Peraza hit a chopper that squeaked through the middle (88.6 mph EV, 6% hit probability) to score Kyle Farmer
  • Josh VanMeter recorded his first major league hit with a single through the right side (89.3 mph EV, 17% hit probability)
  • Nick Senzel singled to right and scored Peraza (105.8 mph EV, 65% hit probability)

Raise your hand if you have heard this before: after the Reds four-run 2nd inning, the bats once again fell silent and could not muster any kind of threat against Brett Anderson.

Lou Trivino, who has been very effective this year, relieved Anderson in the 7th and the Reds finally showed signs of life. Senzel led off with a single to right and Votto followed with a four-pitch walk. A Suarez strikeout and Puig GIDP (102.9 mph EV) ended any chance of the Reds taking the lead.

Skip ahead to whatever extra inning we ended on. Not much to talk about.

  • Reds 2nd inning: 4 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks
  • The other 12 innings: 0 runs, 4 hits, 4 walks

Game Notes

Another one run loss. Yes, some of it is bad luck, but at a certain point, a team’s record is what it is. The run differential is still very positive. All we can do is hope it turns itself around.

Nick Senzel continues to make great contact. Coming into tonight, his barrel per plate appearance rate was 16.7%. The qualified leader, Gary Sanchez, sits at 18.7%. Senzel’s first inning flyout was a barrel with a 46% hit probability, nearly his fourth homer of the year.

Congratulations to Josh VanMeter for his first big league hit. The kid absolutely raked and earned his call up despite not being a top prospect. Has to be pretty cool for him and his best friend/roommate Nick Senzel to experience this together. Here is to many more for both Nick and Josh!

Jose Peraza walked, not once, but TWICE, for the 4th and 5th times all season. His walk rate increased to 4.2%. He also got picked off trying to steal 2nd, making him 4/6 on stolen base attempts this year.

Derek Dietrich was hit by his 6th pitch of the year. Since he entered the league in 2013, he is 2nd in the league with 99 HBP, trailing Anthony Rizzo by 19.

The Reds have had some poor strike zones this year, but Curt Casali caught a break that might be featured on FanGraphs later this year for worst ball of the season. Several other strikes were not given and it seemed to favor the Reds tonight.

 

Random Thoughts

Votto getting a taste of his own medicine

Wishing Shed all the best. He crushed this ball tonight. Also the Rainiers have to be in my top 5 for favorite minor league team name.

Not Reds related, but crazy catch by Jackie Bradley Jr.

Also not Reds related but it was late and I was bored. Dogs are great.

Up Next

The Reds and Athletic’s close out the series in what will most likely be the Reds final game in Oakland Coliseum, barring a World Series encounter in the next few years. Tanner Roark will face off against Chris Bassitt at 3:37pm EST.

53 Responses

  1. CI3J

    Yet another 1-run loss. The Reds have been involved in 17 1-run games this season, and their record in those games is 5-12. Yes, some bad luck, but I’ve always said the W/L record of 3+ runs speaks to how good your players are. The close ones are where the manager makes a difference. Take away the Reds’ record in 1-run games, and they would be 10-10, which seems about right for this team.

    I’m not saying this is all David Bell’s fault, but a manager needs to make moves to win the close ones. Maybe all of Bell’s moves have just backfired so far.

    • Hanawi

      They are also 3-5 in 2 run games. You would think that would even out at some point, but the Reds have been pretty bad in close games the last few years. The biggest problem is that they don’t manufacture runs at all. Lot of free swingers in the lineup, not great speed, and don’t do the little things very well to get guys over and in.

      • CI3J

        and don’t do the little things very well to get guys over and in.

        And whose job is it to make sure they practice the “little things” and work on game strategy in those tight situations?

      • Big Ed

        C, I am far from a David Bell defender, but it is a player’s responsibility at this level to know how to play the flipping game. This team indeed stinks at situational hitting, because situational hitting requires competitiveness.

        These guys in their heart of hearts aren’t that competitive. Senzel is (which is why he should have been here for Opening Day). Winker is. The pitchers generally are. But I get the sense that many of the core offensive players never take into consideration “down and distance” – “what does the TEAM need here” – as they walk up to the plate.

        To be great, a guy has to loathe losing. The guys on this team don’t. The front office, when it kept Senzel on the farm so as to help (theoretically) the 2025 Reds, pretty much told the team that winning does not really matter this year. Lesson taken.

      • Broseph

        I think your comment, Big Ed’s is a little bit of projection. “These guys in their heart of hearts aren’t that competitive.”

        Nobody who plays the game enjoys losing. Just because the reds don’t have Pete Rose, Ryan Freel type players on the team doesn’t mean their not competitive people. Some people just don’t play with their hair on fire 24/7, but you’ll see guys like Votto look like he’s about to explode when he gets frustrated enough – that’s competitive.

        I get what you’re saying with situational hitting, but as it’s been stated over and over again, it’s more about overall ability and randomness, rather than “clutch” hitting.

        This team just isn’t hitting well right now, or isn’t good enough, but their competitiveness I’m sure is high just like the other MLB teams.

      • Big Ed

        Well, Broseph, I’ve just seen too many “what-on-earth-were-you-thinking?” moments on this team over the last couple of years. There just aren’t that many guys on the Reds who have the laser focus of a Yadier Molina on winning.

        I wish I had the full details, but in a very early game this season, I remember an inning where the Suarez came up with runners on, less than two out, where the pitcher had lost the strike zone. Suarez swings at the first pitch and hits a lazy fly to short right, and the Reds end up not scoring. A player more attuned to the situation would have had a better approach, even if he still made an out. Not taking the free bunt single against the shift, or getting the opposite-field single, are other example, and the examples go on and on, like Votto’s various tootblans.

        A lot of great athletes aren’t really very good at winning. Having great bat speed, and knowing how to use that bat speed to win the game at hand, are two different skills.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Hanawi

        “The biggest problem is that they don’t manufacture runs at all. Lot of free swingers in the lineup, not great speed, and don’t do the little things very well to get guys over and in.”

        Exactly

        Since there are number of free agents on this team. It will be interesting how the Front Office constructs the 2020 team. I would guess they would look to bring in some guys who are able to make more solid consistent contact.

  2. Reddawg12

    All I can say is I’m glad these games have been on so late that I couldn’t stay up and watch them. Losing is not fun.

  3. Don

    Modern baseball analytics and agents/player union do not value hitting to right side to move runner over or butting to get the inning leadoff hitter to 2nd with one out. Having wild upper cut swing, strike out 33% of the time, for fences everytime is modern baseball. It just seems weird what is rewarded today in baseball, it is making for predictable, little action boring games. I used to watch any baseball game, now I only watch reds games as baseball is not really fun to watch when compared to how baseball was played in the 1980s.

    • Bill J

      Don remember when they hired Turner Ward it was because he taught launch angle, (more home runs). I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of all the exit velocity, hit probability, pitch speed, what good are they if a 97 mph pitch with an exit velocity of 86 mph & 16% hit probability is a hit & drives in a run.

      • Pete

        I believe the Reds have the worst exit velocity in the league. Maybe someone confirm. Last night’s display is probably the worst I have ever seen when it comes to EV – inning after inning, batter after batter. Just awful.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Bill J
        BTW, are you Bill James, the the analytics guru. Or are you Bill J… some other guru ?

        Totally agree. I am getting tired of hearing the same. Last year this team scored a lot of runs on a consistent basis. What has happened in one year ?

        I remember when i started playing softball after playing baseball all those years. I found that I could hit the softball hard but, because the fielders where closer together I didn’t get many hits. It took me about half the season to figure out to basically hit it where they ain’t.

        With all these shifts the teams are employing and the way pitchers can cut a pitch so that it moves (not the Homer Bailey fastball) it seems to behoove the hitters to take a similar approach.

  4. Roger Garrett

    Just another brutal display of not being able to hit as a team.Started last year and continues this year.Lack of on field leadership that puts the team first is a culture thing that will take time to change.Losing and losing for as long as this team has is just hard to overcome.There are bright spots and its the younger guys such as Senzel and Winker plus Iggy,Dietrich and even Farmer that I really like.Tucker Joey and Suarez represent the core group and they are not leading as they should so far.Maybe they will or maybe they won’t.Its not doom and gloom because the change of the guard is in swing and more arrive next year.

    • Jim Walker

      But when have Barnhart or Suarez ever played on a winning team at the MLB level to gain a sense of what it takes to find that extra edge of effort that makes the difference? I think this is part of the issue.

      Through the years, I’ve heard a number of outstanding players, perhaps most notably Joe Morgan, speak at length about the process of learning what it takes to win games both as an individual and collectively as a team.

      Looking at the Reds close game rate and record this year, this seems to be a skill the current team doesn’t have.

  5. FreeHouse

    Its 2014 all over again folks with so many 1 run loss games. This team is who they are and that’s a last place team. They will get swept away by Oakland later today.

    • VaRedsFan

      How about 2018? The Reds had the worst record in MLB in 1 run games….and 2nd to last in 2-run games. People around here hate the word…but “clutchiness” is real

      • Jim Walker

        It is the process of learning when and how games are lost and won then learning what to do (or not do) to give your team the best chance of being on the right side of the ledger when all the outs have been made.

      • ToBeDetermined

        VaReds

        But, the 2018 team were losing those 1 run games in a different way. The 2018 pitching staff just couldn’t hold a lead or it’s starting pitching got so far behind the Reds just couldn’t quite catch up and lost a lot of 7-6 games.

        Whereas this year it’s the hitting. The starting staff and the relievers in general have been fine.

  6. Mason Red

    So I guess sometimes what’s seen in spring training can be a good indicator of what’s to come once the season starts. This team was awful in ST and they continue to be awful. But the next time they win a game or two there will be glowing reviews about how this team may finally be on the right path.

  7. Ted

    When you give up two runs with two outs on a dribbler that has a 6% chance of being a hit you’re not going to win games. Yes Farmer made a bad throw but that’s a ball Votto has to take because of where Farmer was playing. Far too often Votto’s awareness at first base is poor when it comes to those types of plays… he’s either jumping right in front of the second basement when its an easy out if he just lets it go, or in the case last night, not taking the ball and letting it go for the second baseman who’s nowhere near the ball because he was shaded to 2nd base on the shift. This team will go as Votto goes, unfortunately he’s a poor leader who seems to go brain dead on the field a lot more than he should. And now his only strong attribut as a player as a good, consistent hitter who drives in runs is gone. This team has no chance to win the way Votto has played this year and this may be who he is going forward. His defensive mental error cost them last night and he’s hitting around .210 with 5 RBI almost 40 games into the season. Last week against the Mets in a tight game he takes off from first base on a flyball to the outfield that is right in front of him, but he’s oblivious and keeps running to 3rd right into it easy double play. Same thing as last night, not aware of where the second baseman’s playing so he makes a poor mental error that had a huge infuence on the outcome last night.

    • VaRedsFan

      Bringing the truth. Couldn’t agree more. He will bring his numbers up once the pressure is off and the Reds are 20-under .500. He’s done it 4 out of the last 5 years.

      • Matthew Habel

        He also won an MVP during the Reds NL Central Championship season

      • Jim Walker

        And most likely in 2012 would have had a truly historic season if not for the knee injury which cost him a half of July and all of August. And who is to say how the playoffs might have turned out were he had been on 2 healthy legs instead of a leg and a half.

      • VaRedsFan

        As the post stated 4 of the last 5 years. Not 9 years, or even 7 years ago.

    • Jim Walker

      Was the situation last night Votto’s fault or the fault of the positioning called from the bench?

      Even if Votto cuts off that ball, do they get the out at 1B with Garrett racing over to cover? That would have required an accurate 30 foot or longer throw to hit a moving target (Garrett). To boot, Garrett being a left hander, his body would have been between the ball and his glove. It would have been far from a sure thing fraught with its own high potential of going very wrong.

      If I am going to fault Votto on the play it would be for not realizing the runner had the play beaten and either signaling Farmer to hold the ball or not coming off the base to try and corral the throw thus saving the second run.

  8. matthew hendley

    Alas, another game that I could not watch to completion, due to falling asleep in the 9th. But of what I did see I will say this.

    1. I see Oakland got the lights on in time. Good Job.
    2. This one was on Sonny Gray and David Bell. I will break it down. 5 walks. 5 walks. could not get through 5 innings. Everyone wants to talk about the ‘error’. Farmer didn’t load the bases, Garrett didn’t load the bases (and in all fairness should have worked out of that inning). Gray did. I am not denying he is a good pitcher but he had an extremely poor start last night. Gray however, was not responsible for the Defensive positioning behind him. Some of these shifts are getting totally ridiculous. 5 Man outfield? Leaving the left side completely open? Its like David bell has never heard of the concept of a bunt before. Now a lot of people are blaming Votto for not fielding a ball to Second. They are the same people who were complaining when Votto was fielding ground balls to second. Make up your mind. Oh and why was Farmer out of position? Shifted again. Farmer at a normal 2B positioning and the inning is over and the reds retain the 2 run lead. Farmer throws the ball correctly or even puts it into his pocket at worst case the reds retain the lead and win the game. THE Extreme shifts aren’t working.
    Batting, there was a lot of walks last night, which is good. Votto did hit his outs with a lot of force (BABIP?), and a lot were too the pull side which means he is generally early on his swing. That should put paid to any argument that he has fallen off or that age has caught up to him. If that was the case, he would be fouling them off away or hitting soft grounders away. He is being used as a leadoff hitter with a poor back end. Of course he is not rolling up RBIs. And since the goal of leadoff hitters is to see a lot of pitches, the fact that he is still getting walks on the regular should be a good sign as well.
    Peraza did have a night. I will give credit where it is due. If he repeats the performance on the regular then I will go easier on him. But as of right now it is a fluke.
    TO all the JVMR fans out there. He is here, He is getting at bats. He even got his first hit. What he is not doing is wowing the socks off of anyone. he should get at least a weeks more of a look but if all we are to expect from him turns into dribble singles and the occasional walk then it might actually turn out that he a mediocre player who had a admittedly torid month and is rapidly regressing to career norms. (sort of like what someone said it could be). What ever.
    Glad that is the last Late night game during the Week. Reds need to salvage this game and then beat up on the giants. Who have just DFAed several of their bad players.

    • FreeHouse

      Joey Votto and Yasiel Puig are among the worst they got and they aren’t going to get DFA. Let’s just get used to the idea that this team is not good. They are very competitive but not good enough to contend for a playoff spot. This team is much alike the 2014 Reds which were apart of many 1 run games and lost of of them. I guess a top 10 pick is among us for next year too.

    • VaRedsFan

      I’ll address 2 of your points.

      1. Agree 100 % on the extreme shifts. It’s not working. Either tone it down a bit or get better data. It has cost the Reds more runs than it has prevented. I think 1 time the 4 man outfield stopped Freddie Freeman from getting a double instead of a single.

      2. There is a magical formula for when Votto should go for a ball to his right. Votto has to be aware where the 2nd baseman is playing. If he is playing behind 2nd base (like last night), then Votto can go to his right all he wants. (with 2 outs he could easily flip to 2nd for the force out). If they are positioned for a lefty pull hitter, go cover the bag. It’s not rocket science.

  9. WVRedlegs

    Reds defense is awful. Reds offense is horrible. Yet so many people thought this was an above .500 team when the season started.
    It is going to be hard to invest more time in this team for 2019. I didn’t like the makeup of this team to start, but it has gotten worse.
    Remember the New Orleans Ain’ts in the NFL when fans wore paper bags over their heads? I believe the Reds are MLB’s version of the Ain’ts.
    The Cincinnati Ain’ts. They just Ain’t good.

  10. WVRedlegs

    How can the fans fire the owner.
    Bringing winning baseball back to Cincinnati. The result: 5 years running as a last place team. Thank you Big Bob.

    • FreeHouse

      Agree. With the schedule coming up the Reds could be 13 games under .500 by the end of next week.

  11. jessecuster44

    Amazing how negative everyone is in the first week of May. I get it – we’re tired of losing, tired of not hitting, and tired of a bleak future.

    People are mad at Bell – he’s managing differently than Baker of Price (who people were mad at for managing the way they did).

    People are mad at Votto. SMH. The guy works his tail off, might be playing hurt, and is 100% accountable.

    People on this site just seem mad about EVERYTHING. It’s beginning to look like a Bengals message board from the 90s.

    Maybe the Reds don’t make the playoffs, but Senzel is up, and DD, Winker and Puig make the games interesting.

    Go Reds!

    • DK in Erie PA

      Negative? Yeah, that’s what fans get when they are witnessing one of the worst offensive clubs in baseball. With the pitching performance this year, the Reds should be building a lead, not occupying the basement. I am a 52 yr-old lifetime Reds fan who purchases the Extra Inning Ticket every year so that I can watch my Reds. I watch just about every game. And watching the Reds this year is an EXTREMELY frustrating way to spend my time. What I want is to be entertained, this team is not entertaining. People mad at Bell? Yes, he is the manager. People mad at Votto? Yes. That guy’s performance has fallen off the table. He got old in a hurry. Yes, he can still take a walk, but has not hit this year, didn’t hit last year, plays questionable defense and is a terrible base runner. Great interview, yes. Great person? I don’t know, probably. Did the Reds give him a huge contract to be great person, interview or perform? We had (5) of the worst offensive players in baseball playing everyday this year, now (4) since Schebler was mercifully demoted. Schebler, Peraza, Puig, Votto, Barnhart – all among the worst offensive players at their position. Watching the Reds go inning after inning, swinging at the first pitch and hitting weak pop-ups and ground balls and stringing inning after inning of no hits. Mad about everything? Have you watched them over the last 4 years? It’s not like the Reds have good will in the bank from years of good performances. How does Puig make the game interesting? How he swings hard at the first two strikes and then strikes out on a pitch in the left hand batters box? Look, I’m assuming that your guys watch the games too. The eye test doesn’t lie. This is not fun team to watch and not a good team. Wait till next year I guess.

  12. Alex

    “…but at a certain point, a team’s record is what it is.”

    And that’s all that needs to be said about the 2019 Reds.

  13. pete

    Most boring game I have ever seen.

    How many pop up outs did the Reds produce? The exit velocity of their contact had to be atrocious. Can anyone hit a line drive? Is it passe? Can-of-corn after can-of-corn. Really pathetic. Puig now appears to be totally lost at the plate and Votto isn’t getting any better. Is everyone swinging for the fence on every swing? I would shake up the line up:

    Vanmeter-2b
    DD – 1b
    Suarez – 3b
    Winker – lf
    Senzel – cf
    Puig – rf
    Farmer – dh
    Caselli – c
    Iglesias – ss

    Try something new. Give Votto a couple of days off and leave Dietrich in the lineup, HBP’s are better than pop ups and weak ground balls.

    If Puig has another pathetic 0fer, give Lorenzen a look in right field for a night. This game was even worse than the no-no. At least there were a couple of hard hit balls in that game.

  14. SultanofSwaff

    It seems the Reds are getting away from what made BobSteve so unhittable for most of this season—the sliderf and changeup. His last two outings featured the fastball a lot more and the results speak for themselves.

    Really poor start by Gray. Between pitching in Yankee stadium or in his return to Oakland, nerves seem to get the best of him.

    Boy, all this depth the lineup was supposed to have never materialized. Puig and Peraza and Schebler hurt for sure, but lesser playing time for Winker and Casali and Dietrich do as well. I’m just not sure how Peraza fits into this puzzle when Gennett is healthy.

    • Pete

      Here is my philosophy on getting in the starting lineup. Lou Brown-like: get on base either by hit, walk or HBP and you start tomorrow night. If not, you’re you risk pine time. Just kidding but not as much as I should.

      I lay the blame on the offense: 4 runs in an impressive 2nd rally and then they shut it down for the night. Innings 3 thru the end of the game, the contact was as weak as you will see in a MLB game. They have to play the whole game. I’m sure they are trying their best but the approach at the plate left a lot to be desired.

  15. WVRedlegs

    Oakland carved up the Reds defense on shifts all night long, and did so the game before too. But much more so last night. Almost got a double on a bunt to third base. The over-management by Bell is just killing this team. He is trying to be too cute with his defensive alignments.
    After this road trip comes a rough stretch on the schedule. The next 23 games after returning from this road trip have 14 games against the four divisional rivals and 9 games with LAD, PHI, and WAS. Bloodletting in your own division, but whose blood? The Reds? Plus 2 first place teams. That’s 14 games of 23 against first place teams, LAD, PHI, CHC and MIL. MIL is only a 1/2 game behind CHC so they could be considered as first place. That’s also 20 games of the 23 vs. teams with a winning record. The only breather is WAS and the Reds have had a lot of trouble with WAS over the last several years.
    When June 10 rolls around things could be very ugly in the standings. Unless Bell gets his crap together soon, that 23 game stretch has April 2018 written all over it (3-18). I don’t won’t to relive that nightmare.
    What are the Twins doing right that has them with the best record in MLB at this time? Is it as simple as they hired Rocco Baldelli as Manager after the Reds passed on him for David Bell?

  16. Pete

    Individual SP’s no Shits versus Shift, wOBA:
    Castillo: No Shift: .232, Shift: .219
    Gray: .250, .298
    Roarke: .304, .381
    DeSclafani: .203, .332
    Mahle: .283, .370

    These statistics seem to backup your claim. If the Reds are truly committed to analytics, they should have second thoughts on using shifts.

  17. jreis

    I agree with a lot of the comments above about Bell. It is strange that he takes a lot of chances with the different line ups and defensive shifts but he takes absolutely NO RISKS when it comes to offensive play calling.

    Last night perfect example. 6th or 7th inning in a tie ballgame, Senzel at second and Joey at first with no outs. Joey has a 20 foot lead at first. nobody is holding him on. WHY NOT TRY A DOUBLE STEAL AT THAT POINT.

  18. Pete

    Further, Reds hitters-wOBA, Shift/No Shift:
    Winker: .097, .251
    Suarez: .165, .260
    Votto: 277, .255
    Puig: .146, .288

    Hum, I must be missing something in how I’m interpreting this information. Hopefully one on of the writers can way in; otherwise, why are teams shifting? Are the Reds outliers?

    • Pete

      “Hopefully one on of the writers can way in”

      Rewrite to make it understandable: Hopefully one of the writers can weight in……

    • Matthew Habel

      I like to look at BABIP variance, if more balls are fielded by the shift, BABIP should be lower. I also use wOBA vs xwOBA to see if actual results are better or worse than expected results. When defense is shifted, the actual results will be worse than expected because there were defenders in the right place.

      League BABIP, infield shift vs standard positioning
      2016: 0.288 vs 0.302
      2017: 0.278 vs 0.302
      2018: 0.276 vs 0.299
      2019: 0.282 vs 0.295

      Standard positioning, wOBA vs xwOBA:
      2016: 0.315 vs 0.316
      2017: 0.318 vs 0.322
      2018: 0.313 vs 0.312
      2019: 0.314 vs 0.315

      Actuals and expected are almost identical.

      Infield shift, wOBA vs xwOBA:
      2016: 0.338 vs 0.349
      2017: 0.341 vs 0.357
      2018: 0.325 vs 0.334
      2019: 0.335 vs 0.339

      Actuals are less than expected

      • Pete

        Thanks Matt. I’m a little confused xOBA appears to be higher with a shift than without. xOBA is actual results?

        For instance: in 2019, xOBA is .335 with the shift and .314 without. I don’t get were BABIP comes in. .335>.314

        or conversely: in 2019, .299(no shift) > .282(shift). This makes sense why teams are shifting but makes the Shift, no Shift tables unusable to your average Joe (me)

        If I have it right, thank you for the information. Common sense told me if me original assumption was right than no team would ever shift.

  19. David

    A lot of people want to blame David Bell. He’s just the manager. The players are on the field. Who knows what he has asked for, and the players didn’t execute? David Bell hasn’t been responsible for most of the bad drafts the Reds have had in the last 10 years. They have three players on the team that were top draft level picks (first few rounds) by this organization in the last 10 years. Senzel , Winker and Lorenzen. Pretty poor.

    In a larger sense, the Reds continuing problem is talent. They don’t have enough of it.

    It’s hard to say what is going to happen next year, or the year after. I left my Ouija board in my other pants. But if the Reds continue to be mismanaged, crappy drafts, lose, have low attendance and low TV viewership (and who could blame you for not watching….losers?), then this franchise will end up in another city. May in 8-10 years. Probably after Bob Castellini dies and his family decides to sell out.

    You have already seen the thinking of the Lords of ML Baseball. Mexico will likely get a team in Monterray and Mexico City.
    The Monterray Rojos. It’s more likely to happen than you think.

    • WVRedlegs

      More likely to see the Montreal Reds. The Puerto Rico Rays. And the Las Vegas A’s before MLB takes a franchise to Mexico. Four of the top 5 most violent cities in the world are in Mexico. MLB will shy away from Mexico.

  20. TR

    Hitless the night before and the next game they go hitless for eleven innings unable to score a run which was enough to win the game. Management has it’s hands full to keep fans interested in this team.

  21. Pete

    Okay, let’s rip the band-aid off and shed light on last night’s God-awful offensive performance:

    Balls put in play: 36
    Batting Average over (xBA) .250: 5
    Batting Average under (xBA) .210: 31

    A’s:
    Balls put in play: 31
    Batting Average over (xBA) .250: 9
    Batting Average under (xBA) .210: 22

    Neither team disguised themselves last night but the Reds were especially horrendous.

    Night before:
    Batting Average over (xBA)
    Reds: 4
    A’s: 8
    Note: This is only 9 innings of play

  22. Old-school

    Winker must be hurt. Didn’t play in 13 inning game last night and not in lineup today, and what a lineup it is.

  23. Pete

    Sorry but I’m fascinated to know how weak are the Reds hitters. Last night’s games, balls hit better than a .250 (xBA); teams combined. .250 is arbitrary and the only reason I selected this number is because batting over .250 isn’t awful:
    CIN-OAK: 14
    PGH-TX: 32
    ARZ-TB: 26
    WAS-MIL: 26
    PHL-STL: 19
    NYM-SD: 23
    CHW-CLE: 31
    SEA-NYY: 27
    BOS”BLT: 23
    MIN-TOR: 30
    LAA-DET: 25
    MIA-CHC: 24
    KC-HOU: 20
    ATL-LAD: 30

    Only game that was lower than ours was SF at COL, the game was PPD. Yikes. If this is indicative of our general hitting prowess, the guys need to eat their Wheaties and hit the weigh room.