Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Pirates 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 1
Reds 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 X 5 10 1

Nick Castellanos capped a five-run fifth inning comeback with a three-run home run, his fifth, to lead the Cincinnati Reds (29-27) to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates (24-32) in the rubber game of a three-game series 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!


Pittsburgh jumped on sim Reds starter and winner Trevor Bauer for three runs before most of the sim fans had settled into their sim seats. After recording the first two outs, Bauer surrendered a double to Brian Reynolds, a single to Josh Bell and a three-run homer to Gregory Polanco to give the visitors the early 3-0 lead.

Bauer and the sim Reds relief staff held Pittsburgh to no runs and five hits for the remainder of the game. Pirates starting pitcher Mitch Keller held the Reds in check until the wheels fell off for him in the fifth. Bauer led off that inning with a single and advanced to second on an error by Bell. After striking out Mark Payton and retiring Jesse Winker on a fly out, Keller would not retire another batter. The big two-out rally started with Phillip Ervin singling, advancing Bauer to third. Eugenio Suarez then singled, scoring Bauer, and steady Freddy Galvis doubled to score Ervin and send Suarez to third.

Castellanos, who entered the game as a pinch-runner for Joey Votto after he was hit by a Keller pitch in the second inning, then stepped in and launched his fifth homer over the GABP fence to give Cincinnati a lead it would not relinquish. Votto’s injury was not serious, and he will be available for Friday’s game.

Bauer, followed by Robert Stephenson, Matt Bowman and Pedro Strop, held the Pirates in check the rest of the way. Strop surrendered a two-out double to Reynolds in the top of the ninth, bringing Bell to the plate representing the tying run. Strop struck Bell out to earn his first save as a sim Red.

After the sim Reds players celebrated the win on the field, they shunned Redleg Nation commenter/manager Melvin, who recorded his first win in that role. But after a few seconds, it became clear that it was an organized joke or hazing, and team prankster Derek Dietrich rushed up behind him and poured the contents of a Gatorade container over his head.

With the win, the sim Reds have won nine of their past 12 and 12 of their last 16 games. They completed a seven-game homestand with a 4-3 record.

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

B-Pinch Hit For Brault In 6th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Stratton In 8th Inning

A-Pinch Ran For Votto In 2nd Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Bauer In 6th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Bowman In 8th Inning

Standings following the May 28 games:

The NL Central-leading Cardinals were off today, meaning that the Reds pulled to within two and a half games with the win. Milwaukee and Chicago both won their games to maintain their second-place tie and one-half game edge over the Reds.

NL Central WON LOST PCT GB
Cardinals 32 25 .561 0.0
Brewers 30 27 .526 2.0
Cubs 30 27 .526 2.0
Reds 29 27 .518 2.5
Pirates 24 32 .429 7.5

The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds hitting the road Friday for the first of an important four-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Anthony DeSclafani will pitch for the sim Reds, while right-hander Kyle Hendricks pitches for the Cubs.

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.

The Reds will release some minor league players

Jon Heyman is reporting that the Reds are among teams that are going to be releasing minor leaguers today. No, not all of them. The exact number is not yet known, but other teams have already done so and the numbers are between 13-37 players. It may depend on whether the team had already made some cuts in March or not.

Happy Birthday Gary Nolan…. a day late

Speaking of minor league things – Gary Nolan was tabbed for his 1966 season with the Reds farm system season of the decade of the 1960’s over at RedsMinorLeagues.com. His birthday was yesterday, so this is a terrible gift to give him – especially since it’s a day late – but here ya go. Happy Birthday, Gary.

Reds Farm System Season of the Decade: Gary Nolan’s 1966

Texas to allow fans at pro sporting events at 25% capacity

The Associated Press is reporting that in the state of Texas that pro sports that take place outdoors will be allowed to have up to 25% of the seating capacity beginning in June. Organizations will need to apply to the health officials and must follow all guidelines set forth by the state.

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

Winning commenter/manager Melvin has priority for the Friday lineup due to his victory 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:

Commenter/
“Manager”
WON LOST PCT
Jon Davis 6 1 .857
Peter Onte 2 1 .667
BK 7 4 .636
James Owens 3 2 .600
Redsfan4life 3 3 .500
Gonzo Reds 2 2 .500
Doug Gray 1 1 .500
RedsEuphoria 1 1 .500
Tomn 1 1 .500
Melvin 1 2 .333
AirborneJayJay 0 1 .000
Jeff 0 1 .000
Mark Moore 0 1 .000
Tom Mitsoff 0 1 .000
VaRedsFan 0 1 .000
Don 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.

17 Responses

  1. Don

    Congrats to Melvin for 1st win.

    If he does not post a lineup here are my thoughts.

    Hendrick had a reverse split in 2018 and 2019 so righties are good in the lineup.
    Moustakas only hit 159 vs Cubs in 2019
    going to startt Senzel at 2B as he was 3 for 8 (HR, 2 single,Walk) vs Kendricks in 2019 with hope he breaks out of SIM season slump

    Payton CF
    Ervin LF (hit 406 vs cubs in 2019, 308 at Wrigley)
    Votto 1B (hit 301 vs cubs in 2019)
    Castellanos RF (1st game in front of Cubs fans, has to start)
    Suarez 3B (hit 378 vs cubs in 2019)
    Galvis SS
    Barnhart C (only hit 206 vs cubs overall but 313 at Wrigley)
    Senzel 2B (hit 290 vs Cubs in 2019 , 345 at Wrigley)
    Miley P

    • BK

      That would be a good lineup. Melvin, congrats! Lead us to a 10-game win streak!

  2. Redsfan4life

    Good job Melvin.
    I believe Hurdle is managing the Sim Pirates. Votto plunked by Keller.

    • Melvin

      Thanks. Yeah Hurdle is dirty. I’ve never had a good taste in my mouth anyway about him. He was the opening day LF starter on the 82 team and didn’t last long. That team of course is the only Reds team to lose 100 games.

  3. Melvin

    Thanks a lot Dietrich. ……and to think I voted to bring you up.

    Great win today guys. It’s always a team win as no manager is able to submit a lineup without endorsements. However in this case it was even more so? With all the help and support I received I tip my hat to you all. I’ll submit a lineup later but just wanted to say thanks. You all are smart baseball guys so if you want to make comments about the potential lineup tomorrow that’s welcome. Not promising that I can go with them necessarily but in any case I do value them. We’re all in this sim season together. To be doing this we all must be big time Reds fans for sure.

  4. Redsfan4life

    When or is Phil Ervin going to come back down to earth?

    • Melvin

      No one has told him he’s not a Hall Of Famer. Sshhh

  5. Jon Davis

    Yes! Way to go Melvin you’re off the schneid, now time to put a streak together. For just in case purposes or Melvin is interested in my thoughts this is what I am thinking for Friday. Hendricks is very unique split wise he is pretty much the same no matter what side the batter is hitting. In his career it leans a smidge to the LHB but the last few years it leans a smidge to the RHB, so my brain and gut are in agreement that we should ignore the splits and focus on previous matchups. After going through Hendricks previous matchups I came up with 8 guys so that was easy and here is my suggested lineup.

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

    • Redsfan4life

      Jon once again I like the way you think.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Well, I’m 54 (was born in the year of this article) and I still (I led my Pony league in steals in like 1984) at a slimmed down 240 faster than anyone in this lineup except “maybe” Galvis and Senzel. Yes, I challenge Votto to a footrace, winner having to travel to BFE to feed Cozart’s goat, I do miss Zach btw and seems we do need a qualified backup SS for our sim game. Hey, Zach can you help us out?

      I endorse Don if new hero Melvin falls asleep, which as a 54 year old hard working American, is a distinct possibility on any given day!

      As for me, I only submit lineups against lefties, when there’s a managerial opening, so hopefully no time soon!

  6. Bred

    Tom,
    Thanks for doing these write ups. I know it is a labor of love, but still time consuming.
    Thanks!!!

    • Melvin

      I agree. For sure on that compliment Bred. Tom…lineup is coming tonight.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Bred, thank you for the kind words. It is something I enjoy, although I would give it up for real baseball in a heartbeat! 🙂

  7. Melvin

    Okay guys. After considering all the stats, “gut feelings”, and advice (which is respected and appreciated) here’s my lineup for tomorrow. Interesting that Strato subbed Castellanos in at 1B yesterday. Since Votto got plunked and I needed to get Castellanos in the lineup anyway after being the hero plus returning to Chicago I’m going to give Votto the day off.

    Payton CF (Two hits again yesterday and still a spark).
    Winker LF (Although no hits yesterday still had BB and high OB guy)
    Ervin RF (PLEASE! Nobody wake him up. Let him go.)
    Suarez 3B (17 HR, 40 RBI, 26BB, BA coming up, No brainer for sure to have him in)
    Castellanos 1B (Hero yesterday and showing really good signs)
    Galvis SS (Another hit and RBI yesterday. Second on team in RBI. Solid .288 BA)
    Moustakas 2B (Two hits yesterday and showing good signs)
    Casali C (.315 BA and .359 OBP Starting to look like #1 catcher)
    Disco P

    Lets win again tomorrow. I know you’re all good guys and behind me even though it may be a little different than what you would do. Thanks for all your support. GO REDS!