Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Padres 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 7 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 1 5 14 0

Had this game been real instead of a simulation, it might have gone down as one of the more memorable regular-season games in recent Cincinnati Reds history.

The Cincinnati Reds (26-24) combined clutch late-inning hitting, game-saving defense and sterling pitching to record a 5-4 11-inning victory over the San Diego Padres (27-24) at Great American Ball Park.

That was the result today as Strat-O-Matic games of Glen Head, N.Y., continued its announced plan to simulate the entire 2020 Major League Baseball season on a day-by-day basis for as long as actual game play is on hold.


Help set the lineup, batting order for the simulated Reds:

Have you ever dreamed of your opportunity to “manage” the Reds? Now is your chance. Learn more below!


Joey Votto’s two-out double in the bottom of the 11th scored Mark Payton with the game-winner, sending the sim crowd announced by Strat-O-Matic of 38,079 into a frenzy. They had seen a classic game with more twists, turns and heroics than they could have ever expected when they settled into their seats at the outset of the evening.

San Diego led 3-0 after five innings, thanks primarily to a two-run homer by Fernando Tatis off sim Reds starter Sonny Gray in the top of that inning. It would have been worse, had it not been for centerfielder Payton robbing Francisco Mejia of a homerun in the same inning. In seven innings, Gray struck out 10, walked only two and allowed only four hits.

His sim Reds teammates started the road back in the bottom of the sixth on Mike Moustakas’ solo home run off Padres starter Zach Davies to bring Cincinnati within 3-1.

Reds defense again saved Gray in the top of the seventh, when rightfielder Phillip Ervin scaled the fence to rob Jurickson Profar of a homer, keeping the deficit at only two.

Trailing 3-1 headed to the bottom of the ninth, the sim Reds faced the challenge of Padres closer Kirby Yates, probably the most effective closer in the Strat-O-Matic sim universe to date. Prior to this appearance, he had recorded 14 saves and struck out 27 batters in 17.2 innings, while allowing only four hits, two walks and no earned runs. But the sim Reds knew the winning streak of Redleg Nation commenter/manager Jon “Sparky” Davis was on the line, and they proceeded to do what could only be described as the highly improbable.

With one out, Jesse Winker smacked a pinch-hit single, and steady Freddy Galvis followed with a double, putting the tying runners in scoring position. With Shogo Akiyama at the plate, Yates bounced one in front of Mejia that went for a wild pitch, scoring Winker and moving Galvis to third. Akiyama walked, and Payton proved he could be clutch on offense as well as defense with a single off Yates, scoring Galvis to tie the game at 3-3.

Raisel Iglesias came on to pitch the top of the 10th, and surrendered a home run to Tyler France, to put the Padres back ahead 4-3.

But the Reds’ dramatics were not done. With one out and facing lefthander Drew Pomeranz, Moustakas crushed his second home run of the game and eighth of the season to tie the game at 4-4.

In the top of the 11th, Pedro Strop pitched out of big trouble. He walked Manny Machado with one out, and Eric Hosmer followed with a double. But as he has done more often than not this sim season, Strop struck out Trent Grisham and induced a ground ball from Profar to end the threat and keep the Padres off the board. That was followed in the bottom of the 11th by Votto’s game-winning heroics.

The victory put Cincinnati two games over .500 for the first time in the sim season, was the team’s sixth straight under the leadership of commenter/manager Davis, and the team’s ninth win in the past 10 games. The six-game winning streak, for however long it will last, will go down in Strat-O-Matic sim Reds lore as The Jon “Sparky” Davis Experience.

First-place St. Louis won, along with the Reds and Milwaukee. Technically, the Reds are in second place in the NL Central by one percentage point over third-place Milwaukee. (Both teams are two games behind.) Chicago’s freefall continued, as they lost and fell three games behind and into fourth place.

Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:

A-Pinch Hit For Davies In 7th Inning
C-Subbed Defensively (RF) For Naylor In 9th Inning
G-Pinch Hit For Yates In 10th Inning
I-Subbed Defensively (2B) For Pomeranz In 11th Inning

B-Pinch Hit For Gray In 7th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Casali In 9th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Garrett In 9th Inning
F-Subbed Defensively (C ) For Vanmeter In 10th Inning
H-Pinch Hit For Iglesias In 10th Inning

Standings following the May 22 games:

NL Central WON LOST PCT GB
Cardinals 29 23 .558 0.0
Reds 26 24 .520 2.0
Brewers 27 25 .519 2.0
Cubs 26 26 .500 3.0
Pirates 21 29 .420 7.0

The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds playing game two of the four-game series against the Padres Saturday at Great American Ball Park. Trevor Bauer will pitch for the sim Reds, while right-hander Dinelson Lamet pitches for the Padres.

News/Notes from around baseball

One of the things we would have during the season in the game threads was a section comprised of news and notes for the day. While there’s a lot less going on these days in the baseball world than usual for this time of year, there still are some things that are worth highlighting. When there are, we’ll be adding them to these daily simulation threads.

That time Tommy Lasorda wanted to murder the San Diego Chicken

We like to have fun around here at Redleg Nation, and with the walk-off win in the game today, we’re going to keep the fun rolling along. There are two sides to every story, as they say. But the sides of the encounter between Tommy Lasorda and The San Diego Chicken are great. Let’s start with Side A:

And now for Side B (starting at 1:30):

GABP will be a testing site for an aerosol coronavirus viricide

WLWT (NBC in Cincinnati) is reporting that Great American Ballpark will be a testing site for a viricide that supposedly kills airborne coronavirus particles.

The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to be a testing site for Gignard Pure, which claims to have an effective viricide tested by independent labs across the nation.

Essentially, the ballpark will pump the viricide from its HVAC or other air circulation systems. Initial findings show that this particular viricide inactivates coronavirus particles in the air and as they land on hard surfaces.

What an 82-game season will (and won’t) mean

Jayson Stark takes a look at what a shortened season could be this year – if we get one – in his latest piece over at The Athletic. And hey, the editor even chose to go with a photo of today’s hero – Joey Votto. Part of the reason for that is because Votto was asked about what a season like that would be like, feel like, etc.

I feel very strongly that any team that wins the World Series, even in an abbreviated season, will get full credit and will be able to enjoy it,” said Joey Votto, the Reds’ ultra-cerebral first baseman. “And I’ll be honest with you. The more I think about winning the World Series this year, I think it’s freaking worth more. I think it would be even more enjoyable,” he said, “because these championships are associated with cities. … So man oh man, I think it would be fantastic, winning it for your city in a year like this. I think it would be about as good as it gets.

Joey Votto is a man of the people.

Joey Votto is the hero we need, but not necessarily the hero that we deserve.

Help set the lineup, batting order for the simulated Reds:

Have you ever dreamed of your opportunity to “manage” the Reds? Now is your chance.

Strat-O-Matic has agreed to allow Redleg Nation to submit the Cincinnati Reds’ lineups for each day’s simulated game. We want all of our readers who want to participate to get involved.

Here is how it will work:

  • In each wrap up of that day’s simulated game, Redleg Nation will post the opposing starting pitcher for the next game. You will know who the pitcher is and whether he is left-handed or right-handed, and you can use that information in creating a lineup for the next game, and submitting it in the comments below. “Splits” such as performance vs. left-handers or right-handers are replicated in the Strat-O-Matic game algorithm, and therefore should be considered.
  • We will accept lineups from every reader who wants to submit one. The lineup that will be submitted to Strat-O-Matic each day will be the one that receives the most positive replies (in effect, “yes” votes) from readers other than the submitter. In case of ties:
    • First tiebreaker: Lineup submitted by the reader who has had the fewest number of opportunities as a “manager.”
    • Second tiebreaker: Lineup submitted earliest in the comment thread. (So get your lineup in “early” each day.)
  • What is “early?” Redleg Nation posts these articles daily between 5 and 6 p.m. Eastern time. Strat-O-Matic’s deadline for us to submit a lineup for the next day’s game is midnight. On most days, we’ll do this before “bedtime,” which is typically between 10:30 and 11 Eastern time.

All players’ batting stats

All players’ pitching stats

Batting and pitching player stats by team

Jon Davis has priority for submitting Saturday’s lineup, and he will try to extend the Reds’ win streak to seven. Have fun with this! If you have any questions, please post them in the comment string below. Here are the “managerial records” of our Redleg Nation participants to date:

Commenter/
“Manager”
WON LOST PCT
Jon Davis 6 0 1.000
Peter Onte 2 1 .667
BK 7 4 .636
Gonzo Reds 2 2 .500
James Owens 2 2 .500
Redsfan4life 2 2 .500
Doug Gray 1 1 .500
RedsEuphoria 1 1 .500
Tomn 1 1 .500
AirborneJayJay 0 1 .000
Don 0 1 .000
Jeff 0 1 .000
Mark Moore 0 1 .000
Tom Mitsoff 0 1 .000
VaRedsFan 0 1 .000
Melvin 0 2 .000

About Strat-O-Matic

Strat-O-Matic has been in the sports simulation business since the 1960s. A USA Today article contained this explanation:

Strat-O-Matic and other baseball simulations use statistics from the previous season to create “cards” for each player on a roster. The team managers select the batting order and the starting pitcher. From there, a series of dice rolls and calculations determines the outcome of each at-bat.

Strat-O, as it’s known to longtime players, first gained its immense popularity as a board game. The company has since expanded to a downloadable Windows version and one that’s played online. A few years ago, it introduced Baseball Daily – a new iteration that combined the player cards from the previous season with statistics from the real season being played at the same time.

Unlike many video games, the Strat-O-Matic results are based on algorithms that account for players’ performance based on statistics that their statistical experts project for each player in the 2020 season. It’s not a game played with a joystick that relies more on the skill of the person with the video game controller in his or her hand.

The simulation software will keep comprehensive statistics for all teams for the season, so we’ll be able to track year-to-date leaders in many statistical categories. Our current plan is to provide statistical leader summaries here at Redleg Nation each Sunday. You can follow the season at Strat-O-Matic.com, where they plan to post the results from each day’s schedule at 2 p.m. Eastern time.

13 Responses

  1. Gonzo Reds

    I don’t want to jinx it by submitting anything as long as we keep winning. Sparky lead us to the top of the division past those hated Cardinals and their repugnant catcher who does NOT have the stats to make the Hall Of Fame!

    • Mark Moore

      No love for the Neck Tattoo here either.

  2. Jon Davis

    Ok, I will do my best. Well the more I tried to make changes to the lineup from yesterday the more I just wanted to leave it the same. I wanted to put Winker in because of Lamet’s splits but he is 0 for 3 against him, plus defense was so crucial today. So I am going to go with almost the same lineup as today, just going to put Barnhart back behind the plate.

    1. Akiyama – LF
    2. Payton – CF
    3. Ervin – RF
    4. Votto – 1B
    5. Suarez – 3B
    6. Moustakas – 2B
    7. Barnhart – C
    8. Bauer – P
    9. Galvis – SS

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Got it, Sparky. As I saw the Strat-O-Matic play-by-play of today’s game, I found myself wishing that it was a real game that we all had a chance to watch and enjoy. Keep up the good work!

    • BK

      Great lineup…much better having to sit a deserving player (Winker) than to have too few quality options to fill out the lineup card. We’re on a good roll right now with the top of the order consistently getting on base and getting decent prodction at each spot. With 4 productive outfielders, I like putting the strongest defense out there when there’s no obvious matchup advantage.

      • Melvin

        If you think we have too many productive outfielders now wait until Castellanos comes back.

  3. Melvin

    Keep it going Spark. Seems like just yesterday we were 7 games under and/or 7 games back.

  4. Tomn

    Coach Sparky Davis must have fired the batting coach upon his being named manager. Not that his brilliant lineups aren’t part of the reason.

  5. CFD3000

    Tom thanks again for managing this process for all of RLN. It’s still a pale substitute for real games, and any notion of streaks or a hitter (or pitcher) being hot are silly. But there is one aspect of it all that adds real value. Setting the lineups actually does matter, and letting the RLN fans do just that was a stroke of genius. It increases the engagement and entertainment value immensely. So now I’m wondering – are the lineups for all the teams being set by fan groups for each team, or is the StratOMatic staff managing some of the teams? I’m not sure if I’d be happier 2 games behind a Cardinals team run by their staff, or by their fans. Either way I hope the simReds can chase them down, then the real Reds leave them in the dust!

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Great question! I asked my Strat-O-Matic contact person about this, because I know there were multiple people/groups representing specific teams involved in this to begin the year. He tells me that now it is just us and the Angels, who are being managed by the beat writer for the Orange County newspaper. The remaining teams are being managed by Strat-O-Matic research director and card maker John Garcia.

  6. Michael Smith

    I find myself getting excited for these so thank you Tom and Davis is the best manager ever…. until he loses then fire the bum.

  7. vegastypo

    No pressure, Jon, but I think you are slowly getting Dick Williams’ attention !!!