Anthony DeSclafani and three relievers combined to hold the Chicago Cubs (42-39) to one run and three hits, as the Cincinnati Reds (40-41) took the rubber game of a three-game set, 4-1, 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!
DeSclafani’s third-inning wild pitch allowed Ian Happ to score from third base to give the visitors a 1-0 lead, but that would be the end of the scoring for Chicago on this day. Following Joey Votto’s fourth-inning single (his first of three hits), Mike Moustakas launched a Kyle Hendricks pitch over the wall to give the sim Reds a 2-1 lead they would not relinquish.
Jesse Winker’s sixth-inning double scored Votto for a 3-1 lead, and then a Michael Rucker wild pitch allowed Eugenio Suarez to score from third to account for the 4-1 final score. Joel Kuhnel, Amir Garrett and Raisel Iglesias held the Cubbies hitless and scoreless over the final three innings to seal the important divisional victory.
Over the last four games, sim Reds pitching has held opponents to a total of eight runs.
Shogo Aikyama’s 29-game hitting streak came to an end, as he went 0-for-3 after drawing a walk in the first inning.
The sim Reds are now 4-7 vs. the Cubs.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
B-Pinch Hit For Jeffress In 8th Inning
A-Pinch Hit For Desclafani In 6th Inning
C-Subbed Defensively (LF) For Garrett In 9th Inning
Standings following the June 25 games:
The 2020 schedule has the Reds hosting the Washington Nationals in the opener of a three-game set Friday. Today’s winning commenter/manager Jon Davis will choose between righthander Sonny Gray and lefthander Wade Miley as the starting pitcher. Both Reds starters have at least four days rest since their last start. Right-hander Joe Ross will pitch for the Nationals.
The halfway point
We’re 81 games into the 2020 sim Reds season, which means the halfway point in a typical 162-game season. Some obserations:
- While many of the statistical profiles seemed skewed in the early portion of the season, most have returned to a level we might expect over larger sample size. Votto is a prime example. After hitting in the low .200s for most of the first half, he’s gone on a sim hot streak to get back over .270 after today’s game. Moustakas and Nick Castellanos have rebounded recently, while the hitting of Phillip Ervin, Michael Lorenzen and Mark Payton has cooled in corrections that would not be unexpected in the real season.
- If what we’ve seen in the first half from sim Freddy Galvis (.265 batting average, three fielding errors) is anywhere near what the real Freddy Galvis will produce, the real Reds don’t have a shortstop problem — other than perhaps the lack of a reliable backup.
- Eugenio Suarez is on pace for 48 homers and 106 RBI’s, so Strat-O-Matic obviously nailed the accuracy of his hitting card. (Fielding, we’ll reserve judgment.)
- While we hope Akiyama will perform at an MVP level in real games as he has in sim, there is no history in actual MLB play that indicates that he will. Unless, of course, he is the second coming of Ichiro.
- Many pundits predicted a very close four-team race in the NL Central for 2020, based on the fact that the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers all lost key players and the Reds improved substantially. The sim standings indicate that scenario just may unfold during the real 60-game season. If COVID hadn’t struck and we were in the midst of a traditional baseball season, Reds fans would absolutely take this first half. Of course, you always want better. But being only one game under .500 and four games out of first at this point after the last six years would have the competitive juices flowing.
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.