Momentum swung sharply and quickly during the seventh inning of the Chicago Cubs’ (33-28) 7-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds (30-30) at Wrigley Field.
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!
After five and a half innings, the Cubs held a 1-0 lead on Kris Bryant’s fourth-inning home run — the first of four Chicago long balls in the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Willson Contreras went deep off Sonny Gray following a Bryant walk to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
The sim Reds made a stirring rally in the top of the seventh. After a Mark Payton single and Michael Lorenzen walk against Yu Darvish, Eugenio Suarez singled home Payton. Then Mike Moustakas launched one over the ivy-covered brick wall at the friendly confines off reliever Brad Wieck to give his team a 4-3 lead.
But Robert Stephenson was not able to hold the lead. He surrendered a two-run homer by Anthony Rizzo in the bottom of the seventh to put the home team back ahead 5-4, and Bryant then left the yard for the second time for a 6-4 lead. Matt Bowman surrendered an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth thanks in part to Suarez’s team-leading 11th error.
Cincinnati had a shot in the top of the ninth. Lorenzen and Moustakas both singled off Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel, and with two outs, Redleg Nation commenter/manager Gonzo Reds pulled out his secret weapon, Phillip Ervin, to pinch-hit for Tucker Barnhart. Unfortunately, Ervin grounded out to shortstop Jose Baez to end the game, resulting the Reds dropping three of four at Wrigleyville.
Some bad news on the injury front: Joey Votto was hit by a Darvish pitch in the first inning, and had to be removed in favor of Derek Dietrich. Votto will miss the next eight games and will be placed on the 10-day injured list. Redleg Nation commenters will have the choice of bringing up a player for Tuesday’s game, and then sending that player or someone else down Wednesday when Shogo Akiyama will be activated from the injured list. Or, no player recall for Tuesday would mean that Akiyama will take Votto’s place on the roster Wednesday.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
A-Pinch Ran For Votto In 1st Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Gray In 7th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Barnhart In 9th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Wieck In 7th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Wick In 8th Inning
Standings following the June 1 games:
Division-leading St. Louis defeated Toronto, so the Reds fell four and a half games off the first-place pace.
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds moving on to Pittsburgh Tuesday for the first game of a brief two-game series against the Pirates at PNC Park. Trevor Bauer will pitch for the sim Reds, while right-hander Joe Musgrove pitches for the Bucs. If the Reds could sweep two from Pittsburgh, it would even out the road trip record at 3-3.
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 is having a tough time returning while other sports aren’t
Major League Baseball isn’t acting like other sports right now. It seems that the NHL, NBA, NASCAR, and even the NFL are just moving on just fine with plans to get back onto whatever surface they participate on, while MLB can’t seem to get much of anything moving forward. Bradford Doolittle of ESPN wrote this morning about why that is. He broke it down into several factors:
- The Calendar
- The Economic Structure
- The Nature of League Competition
- The Nature of On-Field Competition
- Sources of Revenue
- Minor Leagues
- Timing of the CBA Expiration
- Labor and Management Relations
- Public Perception and Baseball’s Unique Place in our Culture
It’s an incredibly thorough read and I’d suggest you check it out if you want a lot more details about why baseball is so far behind the other sports when it comes to getting things together. Most of it revolves around the fact that except for the NFL, the other sports have nearly completed a full regular season and have made plenty of revenue already because of it. But there are a lot of little things beyond that, too.
A seemingly insurmountable gap is likely closer than it appears
Owners asked for a billion dollars in pay cuts. The players asked for a billion dollars more with more games. A seemingly insurmountable gap is likely closer than it appears.
That’s the teaser for Craig Edwards piece today over at Fangraphs. Earlier today we wrote about the players proposal to the owners on Sunday with both the health and monetary issues they attempted to address. Edwards breaks down why he believes that the two sides are actually closer than they may appear – while also disputing again the owners claims that they’d actually lose money on games without fans, instead showing evidence they’d MAKE money on those games.
How are the simReds performing?
Every day we link over to Strat-O-Matic’s simulated stats, but there’s a lot of information in these posts and you probably gloss over the links and don’t click them. Well, today we’re just going to share the stats here for how everyone is performing so you don’t need to click the link and it’ll be a bit harder to gloss over, too.
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.
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.