Trevor Bauer’s first start following 15 days on the injured list was very good, but not good enough as the Chicago Cubs (42-38) were able to defeat the Cincinnati Reds (39-41) by a 2-1 score 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!
Bauer allowed both Cubs runs in five and one-third innings of pitching, and was picked up very well by his bullpen mates, who held the visitors scoreless for the rest of the game. Chicago struck first in the fourth on a leadoff double by Anthony Rizzo and a RBI single by Jose Baez. Despite walking two other batters in the inning, Bauer escaped further trouble. In the fifth, Albert Almora Jr. launched a solo home run for the Cubs’ second and final run.
Offensively, it was a game of missed opportunities for the sim Reds. Cubs starter and winner Yu Darvish walked the first two Reds hitters in the second, but a Nick Castellanos double-play grounder short-circuited that would-be rally. In the fourth, Jesse Winker walked to lead off and moved to second on a wild pitch. Mike Moustakas delivered with a two-out hit, but Winker was thrown out at the plate trying to score.
The eighth and ninth innings were the killers, though, for the home team. Trailing 2-0, Shogo Akiyama led off the bottom of the eighth with his second single, and Winker followed with the same. The resurgent Joey Votto doubled to score Akiyama and move Winker to third, meaning the sim Reds had runners on second and third with nobody out, trailing by one run. But Cubs reliever Rowan Wick bowed his back, striking out Eugenio Suarez, grounding out Moustakas with no advance of the runners, and striking out Castellanos.
In the bottom of the ninth, Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel walked the first two batters, Freddy Galvis and Tucker Barnhart. Pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich grounded into a forceout, moving Galvis to third. Michael Lorenzen, representing the winning run, was brought in to pinch-run for Dietrich at first. But Kimbrel struck out both Akiyama and Winker to end the game.
Shogo Aikyama’s first-inning single off Darvish extended his hitting streak to 29 games, but he was immediately picked off by Darvish.
The sim Reds are now 3-7 vs. the Cubs.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
A-Pinch Hit For Ryan In 7th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Wick In 9th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Reed In 7th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Strop In 9th Inning
E-Pinch Ran For Dietrich In 9th Inning
Standings following the June 24 games:
The 2020 schedule has the Reds hosting the Cubs again Thursday. Whoever is Thursday’s commenter/manager will choose from Sonny Gray and Anthony DeSclafani as the starting pitcher. Both Reds starters have at least four days rest since their last start. Right-hander Kyle Hendricks will pitch for Chicago.
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.
Baseball America’s updated Top 100 Prospect List
The crew at Baseball America has updated their Top 100 Prospect List to include draft picks from the 2020 draft, as well as rearranging some of the previously rated players. Cincinnati has three players that are on the new list, but Doug Gray has a big question about why one of the players is ranked where he is over at RedsMinorLeagues.com.
The Reds find their “second facility” for 2020
Earlier today we wrote about this, but just in case you missed it – the Cincinnati Reds have found their second site for spring training 2.0, as well as the place where the taxi squad will practice once the regular season starts.
Wild and crazy stats that could happen in 60 games
Over at ESPN they had a panel of MLB writers speculate on some of the crazy stats and stories we could see in a 60-game season. The estimates on most wins were in the 40-43 range, though it was noted that in 2017 the Dodgers had a stretch where they went 43-7 over a 50-game stretch, so things could get pretty crazy. There was even a fun Reds-related note in here:
By the way, only one player has ever hit 20 home runs and swiped 20 bases in the first 60 games of a season — Eric Davis, in 1987.
That dude was really good at baseball. Anyways, it’s a fun read – go check it out.
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.