Our good old friend Mike Leake returned to Great American Ballpark’s mound today and provided the vintage Mike Leake experience: 6.0 solid innings with an accidental home run mixed in. Nowadays that’s known as the Anthony DeSclafani Special. Except neither of those guys mattered in the end because Michael “We want a hitter, not a silly pitcher” Lorenzen ripped a walkoff double in the bottom of the ninth. What a week that guy has had, man.

Final R H E
Arizona Diamondbacks (77-68) 3 3 0
Cincinnati Reds (67-77) 4 12 1
W: Iglesias (3-11) L: Lopez (2-6)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

THE GOOD

Anthony DeSclafani gave us another one of his Anthony DeSclafani Specials, going 6.0 innings with three hits and three strikeouts. Walks got him in trouble a bit and he had one horrid pitch that left the yard. Otherwise, not a bad day for the Reds fifth man.

— In the bottom of the third, after a two-out single from Joey VottoEugenio “BamGeno” Suarez sent number 43 out to deep centerfield. He is on some kind of tear of late, and while it seems unlikely that he’ll hit 50, I refuse to believe that he won’t hit 50.

— THEN IN THE EIGHTH, Suarez launched his second dinger of the game, tying it up and giving the Reds a shot. NOBODY TELL ME HE WON’T HIT 50.

Thanks, Nick 🙂

— Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson, and Raisel Iglesias all issued a single walk but escaped their innings clean otherwise. A good look from the stalwarts of the Reds bullpen (sorry, Michael Lorenzen).

— WHICH SPEAKING OF MICHAEL LORENZEN THAT GUY CAME UP AS A PINCH HITTER IN THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH AND WON THE DANG THING. WHO NEEDS A BULLPEN STALWART WHEN YOU’RE LIKE THE FIFTH BEST HITTER ON THE TEAM?

After Jose Peraza and Phillip Ervin pinch hit singles, Lorenzen battled to a full count, fouling off pitch after pitch after pitch before lacing a line drive down the left field line. Peraza came home to score and the Reds walked it off for the second time this week.

THE BAD

— Playing the shift against Jake Lamb, Freddy Galvis was able to field a tough groundball in the hole, but Eugenio Suarez muffed the turn on a sure-double play ball in the top of the second, leaving runners on first and second with no one out and DeSclafani yet to give up a hit. Two batters later, the hit came and the Dbacks went up 1-0.

— DeSclafani grooved a middle-middle fastball to Ketel Marte in the top of the fifth, giving up the Reds lead. The theme of Disco’s starts of late tends to be “solid except for one or two pitches left in the middle of the plate and sent to St. Peter’s gates.”

BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS BECAUSE OF ONE MICHAEL “IM NOT A HITTER” LORENZEN.

NOT SO RANDOM THOUGHTS

— Both teams jerseys today were so ugly it almost made the field somewhat beautiful? In an eclectic, pin-striped, red-hued fever dream kind of way. Like two teams from the Gates of Hell guard staff playing an office-league softball game. Beautiful in a mundane, terrifying sort of way.

— Always good to see Teddy at the ballgame:

— My Titans stood on the field while the Browns beat themselves so that’s at least entertaining to watch.

UP NEXT

Cincinnati Reds at Seattle Mariners

10:10 pm EST

Trevor Bauer (10-12, 4.60 ERA) vs. Justus Sheffield (0-1, 5.51 ERA)

35 Responses

  1. Pete

    Stick Lorenzen in CF and throw away the key. Third best hitter on the team and outside of pre-2019 JV, the only Red who gives the Reds that AB. An everyday position player who rakes > set-up bullpen guy.

    • Mark Moore

      So basically a return to his college days.

    • Aaron B.

      And really he could still pitch late in a game if needed that way. Move Senzel back to IF and let it be… the Reds are pretty stubborn though so I don’t think they have the stones to make that decision, but maybe Lorenzen forces the issue if he keeps hitting.

      • Pete

        Real problem Aaron is they don’t have either the creativity or the good judgement but as you allude to, necessity is the mother on invention. The FO and manager’s jobs should be on the line.

      • Bill j

        Pete you’re right about good judgement, Friday’s leadoff hitter was on base 4 times with 1 hit & 3 walks and scored 3 runs. Saturday and Sunday their 2 leadoff hitters were 0 for 8.

    • TR

      An outfield of Aquino, Lorenzen, and Winker/Ervin would give the Reds some much needed offensive pop. Billy was an exciting player but not hitting wise.

    • Jim Walker

      As the AB was unfolding I kept thinking that the last prior AB like that which stuck in my mind was JV in a game deciding situation at Dodger Stadium I believe it was back in 2012. And yeah, Votto eventually drove in the run (or runs) with a single and the Reds bullpen closed out the game.

    • greenmtred

      I think it makes sense to give Lorenzen a lot more time in the outfield for the remainder of this year, certainly. Because, while he has looked good, it’s also a very small sample size and pitchers probably haven’t really developed a strategy to deal with him. Installing him in center and neverlooking back only works if he’s good over an extended period of time.

  2. Mark Moore

    I had that had. It bled like a stuck pig.

    • Mark Moore

      That “hat” … really wish we could edit the posts at times …

  3. Jim Walker

    It is time for the Reds front office to have one of those “T account” meetings about Lorenzen. Which contribution does the team need the most from him, his pitching or all around play as a position guy and which are they more likely to be able to get from somebody else?

    I’d be hard pressed to think the totally honest answer would be anything other than they need him in CF and batting 3-4 times every day more than the pitching he has been providing, for which they have many more alternatives.

    However first loves and infatuations die hard as most of us have learned in life. So, I am not holding my breath.

    • RedNat

      I think a lot has to do with the development of Jose Siri. His bat actually came to life a little the last week in Louisville. I am hoping he can eventually be the everyday guy in center. But you are right if he doesn’t pan out Lorenzen is probably our best option as our everyday cf in 2020.

      • Pete

        I’ve watched a fair amount of Siri this year and I think the odds are very long he is ever a MLB player. Reds have enjoyed some fortune shine on them this season: Aquino, Vanmeter, Ervin and now Lorenzen. For a team who has a really bad minor league system and no inherent draw to bring talent to the City, they have to be creative and take advantage every blessing they come across. None of the four mentioned were on anyone’s radar screen and this shouldn’t matter. Play them all everyday. Senzel has frankly disappointed but still has a bright future. Could he develop into a Alex Bregman-type?

        Also, what little I have seen from Brian O’Grady has impressed. Votto should sit out some and let BG get some PT. A middle of the order consisting of Aquino, Lorenzen and Suarez sounds very promising. Who would to like see this for the remaining games of 2019?

      • Jim Walker

        @Pete
        If Senzel has disappointed, it is because we had been primed to expect a Kris Bryant type immediate impact. from him. In retrospect that was a heck of a lot to expect from a guy who not only was breaking into MLB but was also doing it at a new position.

        Overall he acquitted himself well and played like a steady veteran for a couple of months. Along the way he has had some dings and nicks which appear to be taking a toll on him. Then since his encounter with the wall in StLouis, he appears to have a more substantial injury.

        Add in that he has never played past August before and has completed only 1 full minor league season due to losing most of 2018 to injury.

        Bottom line for me is that I am not concerned about Senzel’s production when he is healthy. However I am beginning to have concerns about his durability. He may turn out to be a player who ends up being more productive as a 4-5 day a week starter and coming off the bench the other days. I also believe the org needs to take a long look at whether he needs to be on the infield to limit the wear and tear on his body.

      • greenmtred

        Jim, you’re one of a number here who suggest that infield is less of an injury risk than outfield. I’m not disagreeing, exactly, but I’m not sure about it either. Running into the wall, on one hand, being run into by a baserunner, on the other hand. It’s probably easier to avoid running into the wall than it is to avoid being run into, though maybe not in the heat of the moment.

  4. RedsMonk65

    After witnessing the Browns-Titans disaster (sorry Wes–lifetime Browns and Reds fan here), the ending of this game really made my day!

    I agree: the Reds really need to consider what they have in Lorenzen and how he can best help the team.

  5. Chris Holbert

    With the bullpen disasters they have had, I am not sure how they can think about making him a full time CF. I would say use him more in late innings on “off” bullpen days, and do more effective douBELL switches using him, thus saving a bench player here and there, but I think he has not enough regular AB since he concentrated full time on pitching. He can be utilized more in the OF, especially with the OF defense we have witnessed this year.

  6. MBS

    I keep going back and forth on what Lorenzen is. What if he were the platoon mate of Winker? That would give him like 1.4 something starts a week on average, or like 33 starts a season. That would be 115 plate appearances. Use him also a a bat off the bench, (no need for a double switch) in 15% of the remaining games getting him roughly 20 more plate appearances. So he could still be used out of the pen on a regular basis, (maybe even some of the games he starts) and get 135 PA. I think that might be the sweet spot to keep him focused on pitching, while getting the most offense out of him. If you start to approach 200 plus PA then I think his pitching might suffer.

    • Jim Walker

      I’m not really concerned about Lorenzen as a pitcher at this point because I believe they have a stable of guys to choose from who can replicate the value he provides as a pitcher. So, I’m looking at it that whatever if anything they can get from him as a pitcher is a plus.

      However, next year when pitchers, position players and two way players must be designated, they are going to have to begin with him as a pitcher if they want to use him as anything more than an emergency pitcher because he won’t qualify as a 2 way guy with his usage this year.

      But once he has 20 position starts as a position player and has pitched 20 innings, they can re-designate him as a two way guy and use him however they want whenever they want. If they would use him as an opener at the beginning of the season and alternately start him as a position player 2-3 times a week, they could get him two way status by the end of May.

      • lost11found

        I really like this idea. He is the best equipped of the BP guys to be an opener, as you don’t have to burn a PH for his first AB and if streched out a bit, could give you 3-5 innings w/ 2 AB’s even, if things were going well.

      • Jim Walker

        @L&F>
        Mahle or even Disco working behind a reliable opener would seem to be a very formidable combination to get games to the 7th or 8th inning in good shape.

      • MBS

        I wasn’t aware that next season was going to have that change. I’ve read several changes have been proposed, but I don’t know which are going to take effect. I think if they go to the 26 man roster, they will cap the pitchers at 13. That’s the number the Reds carried all season. If you can have 13 pitchers and then have Lorenzen as a 2 way player, that will give Bell and Williams the kind of flexibility I think they want. It will be interesting to see what rule changes happen in 2020

      • Jim Walker

        @MBS>
        There is a combined MLB/ MLBPA committee which is supposed to announce the pitcher cap number and other related details some time during the off season.

        I tend to agree with you the number will be 13. When the cap was first announced there was an “unofficial” acknowledgement that it would be 12. That was walked back to not yet determined within a number of hours and the committee was subsequently announced.

        I’m also keeping an eye out for adjustments in the two player criteria. I think 20 position player/ DH game starts with at least 3 PAs in each game is a high bar, especially in the NL where there is no DH.

        I’d like to see that come down to simply a number of total plate appearances when not already in the game as a pitcher, i.e. if Lorenzen PHs then stays in to pitch, he should get 2 way credit for that 1st PA. And if he PHs and stays in as position player he should get 2 way credit for every PA starting with the PH until such time as he might pitch.

  7. J

    Maybe someone has already addressed this, but I’d like to know how many times in the history of MLB a pitcher has had a game winning hit while pinch hitting for a leadoff hitter who isn’t injured. I assume it’s happened approximately once, but I’m wondering if anyone knows the actual number.

  8. John G

    I realize the cap will probably never be popular, but I always really liked the home sleeveless pinstripes
    Opinions?

    • JB

      I like them as well. The sleeveless makes the look and the pinstripe looks nice.

      • Jim Walker

        Those were Reds caps to die for when I was growing up in the 1950’s and early ’60s 😉 But for kids at least, they did not weather everyday use well; and, as I recall fared even worse at being washed to try and keep them white.

        Overall I like the look except for the way the names spill out over the entire upper back. I’d rather see one of our newer tighter fonts there.

  9. Pete

    Let’s use real numbers when evaluating if Lorenzen should be used primarily as a reliever or a full-time position player. ML has a 0.9 WAR as a reliever. Fact: relievers are a dime-a-dozen with a WAR between 1.2 to 0.8. There are 40 of them. 40! CF’s with a WAR of 1.0 and higher? 13. Pitchers are harder to find than hitters? True if the pitcher is elite and specifically as a SP. ML is neither.

    Question: what does it hurt to play Michael Lorenzen in CF the rest of the year? Maybe it’s Senzel spot? Heartbreaking fact: the Reds do not consider Josh VanMeter an everyday 2B or they are doing a tremendous job hiding it. Can Senzel play 2B? Otherwise it’s going to be Freddy Galvis unless we see a miracle. Every indicator points in this direction, I see no other player even under consideration.

    So in essence you have a choice: see if Lorenzen is a better everyday player than Galvis or not. Is it worth even taking a look or is Lorenzen’s value so high as a set-up man it’s not worth the trouble?

    The Reds are a lousy team, even worse they are a lousy organization. This is the truth and it’s objective. Do we continue down the same road?

    Sure, good free agents have Cincinnati listed as a preferred destination. Rendon? Seriously – really? No, we are close to Baltimore and Detroit than St. Louis or even Arizona. We have several great prospects in the farm system who are destined to be quality big leaguers? Who are they? Siri? No. Reds are not in a position to blow ML off, they have no real options. What the team does regarding Lorenzen will tell us plenty about the future.

  10. Davy13

    Hire Dombrowski, like now! Built a championship with the Marlins, a championship contended with the Tigers, and built a championship with the Red Sox. Give him a little more play-money with the payroll.

  11. Bill J

    How many more years of sorting will they do? Jim wonders about Senzel health, I wonder about Winner’s and JV health & age. The FO and manage don’t know where to or if to play Ervin and JVM. Could someone make a decision, please!

  12. TR

    Unless trades are made in the offseason, 2020 shapes up to me as a continuation of the rebuild. I’m in favor of players alternating at the following positions and then going with the one who is getting it done that leads to wins which is, of course, the point of it all. Leftfield: Winker/Ervin, centerfield: Lorenzen/Siri, second base: Senzel/Van Meter, and first base: Votto/O’Grady. And Lorenzen could then be used either in center, the bullpen or as a pinch hitter or runner. The question is would that fit the manager’s style?

    • Chris Holbert

      Siri, is years away, if ever..

      • TR

        Similar comments were made about Aquino.