Six home runs flew out of Great American Ball Park off the bats of Cincinnati Reds (28-26) hitters, and the home team needed every bit of that muscle to score an 11-9 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates (23-31) in the opening game of a three-game series between National League Central Division rivals.
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!
Eugenio Suarez was the primary power source for the sim Reds, with two homers (bringing his team-leading total to 16), a double and five runs batted in. Other Reds homers were struck by Phillip Ervin (his fifth), Freddy Galvis (third), Curt Casali (first) and Jesse Winker (fourth).
Cincinnati scored in each of the first six innings, as they pummeled Pirates left-handed starter Derek Holland for five of their six home runs. Winning Redleg Nation commenter/manager Redsfan4life loaded his lineup with right-handed bats, which paid off as all five longballs off Holland were struck by right-handed batters.
Pittsburgh took a 4-3 lead in the top of the third against winning pitcher Luis Castillo, but his sim Reds teammates took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning with a three-spot. Suarez hit a two-run shot in that inning, and Galvis followed with a solo shot to give Cincinnati a 6-4 lead. The Reds got three more in the fourth on a three-run shot by Suarez, which marked the end of the day for Holland.
Castillo hung in long enough to get credit for the win, but his pitching line of eight earned runs allowed in five and two-thirds innings was certainly nothing to be proud of. He allowed four runs in the top of the sixth to bring Pittsburgh back within 10-8, and Robert Stephenson allowed a run in the seventh to make it a one-run game at 10-9. Winker added a crucial pinch-hit solo shot off Robert Rodriguez in the bottom of the eighth to score an important insurance run, and make the score 11-9, which was the final.
With the win, the sim Reds have won eight of their past 10 and 11 of their last 14 games.
Division-leading St. Louis lost, as well as the Cubs, meaning that the sim Reds climbed over Chicago and into sole possession of second place, only two games back of the Cardinals.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
A-Pinch Hit For Stratton In 6th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Rios In 7th Inning
C-Subbed Defensively (2B) For Stephenson In 7th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Garrett In 8th Inning
Standings following the May 26 games:
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds playing game two of the three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday at Great American Ball Park. Sonny Gray will pitch for the sim Reds, while righthander Joe Musgrove pitches for the Pirates.
Outfielder Nick Castellanos is due to be activated from the 10-day injured list for Wednesday’s game, so one player will have to be sent to the minors to make room for him. Redleg Nation readers are asked to cast their votes in the comments below for the player who will be sent down.
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.
MLB to propose a “sliding salary scale” today
We’re going to have some more on this in the morning, as we’d like to digest more details as they become available. But Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that MLB is planning to approach the players union with a sliding scale for salary reduction where players earning the most would take larger paycuts than those making the least. There’s also talk of sharing more of the postseason shares with the players. You can read the entire article from Nightengale here and formulate your own opinions based on it.
The best offensive play in defensive history…..
Today marks the 27th anniversary of the best defensive gaff in the history of Major League Baseball in my opinion. That’s when Jose Canseco missed a deep fly ball on the warning track, then had it bounce off of his skull and land over the fence for a home run.
It's been 27 years since Jose Canseco took a baseball off the dome… and it still hasn't gotten old ?
— SI MLB (@si_mlb) May 26, 2020
Reds Rewind this week
If you’re looking for some Reds multimedia this week, you are going to have some choices. On Fox Sports Ohio you can watch past games at night from Thursday through Sunday.
- Thursday, May 28th, 8pm ET: 1990 NLCS Game 6 (series winner)
- Friday, May 29th, 8pm ET: 1978 Reds vs Cardinals – Tom Seaver’s no-hitter
- Saturday, May 30th, 8pm ET: 1985: Reds vs Padres – 4192 game
- Sunday, May 31st, 8pm ET: Reds vs Astros – Reds clinch the NL Central
If you want to see a young Joseph Daniel Votto, his first career start from back in 2007 will be available to stream on both Facebook and Youtube on Sunday, May 31st at 2pm ET.
Here’s where you can catch the Reds this week! ???
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 26, 2020
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.
Redsfan4life will have priority for Wednesday’s lineup since he was the winning commenter/manager today. 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:
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.