Eugenio Suarez broke out of a bit of a batting funk by hammering three hits, including his team-leading 26th homer, and driving in three runs to lead the Cincinnati Reds (48-46) to an 8-6 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates (36-58) 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!
The sim Reds scored four runs in the first after it appeared a promising rally had been snuffed out. Pirates starter and loser Derek Holland walked the first three batters he faced, but the fourth batter, Nick Castellanos, hit a fly ball to Pittsburgh centerfielder Jarrod Dyson, who threw Shogo Akiyama out at the plate trying to score. But Michael Lorenzen followed with an RBI single, and Curt Casali smashed a three-run homer to give Cincinnati a 4-0 lead. In the third inning, Casali’s single plated Castellanos, who had doubled, to increase the lead to 5-0.
But after recording the first out in the top of the sixth, sim Reds starter and winner Trevor Bauer allowed three consecutive base runners, capped by a three-run home run by Josh Bell to bring the Bucs back within 5-3.
Bauer recorded his team-leading 10th win, although it wasn’t his best effort. He allowed three runs on five hits in three and one-third innings and admitted after the game that he allowed a mental distraction to affect him.
“The first time I pitched for (Redleg Nation winning commenter/manager) James (Owens), he and his wife had just had their baby boy, and I pitched my heart out that day in hopes they would consider naming the newborn boy Trevor,” the sim Bauer said. “It might have been foolish, but I thought to myself if I struck everybody out today, maybe the skipper would reconsider. So I put too much pressure on myself, and as a result, I didn’t pitch as well as I had hoped.”
In the bottom of the eighth, Suarez smacked his homer following a single by Akiyama and a walk to Phillip Ervin to give the sim Reds what turned out to be three very needed insurance runs. The Bucs touched up Cody Reed for two runs in the ninth, but they weren’t a factor in the final outcome.
Some bad news for the sim Reds: Reliever Pedro Strop suffered an injury while pitching in the top of the eighth inning, and will miss the next 11 games. Redleg Nation readers will be asked to decide via nominations and votes who will be recalled to replace Strop. Pitchers must go on the injured list for a minimum of 15 games.
In case you missed it, Akiyama was the only Red named to the National League team for the Strat-O-Matic sim All-Star game being played next week.
Here is the sim Reds box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
A-Pinch Hit For Holland In 5th Inning
C-Pinch Hit For Feliz In 7th Inning
F-Pinch Hit For Crick In 9th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Kuhnel In 6th Inning
D-Pinch Hit For Garrett In 7th Inning
E-Pinch Hit For Stephenson In 8th Inning
Standings following the July 10 games:
First-place Milwaukee fell at home to Colorado, allowing St. Louis, Cincinnati and Chicago all to gain ground. The four teams at the top of the NL Central are now separated by only two and a half games. In the Wild Card race, Cincinnati is two and a half games out of the second berth.
The 2020 schedule has the Reds playing game two of the three-game series Saturday against the Pirates at Great American Ball Park. Anthony DeSclafani and Sonny Gray are both eligible to pitch for the sim Reds, and the decision will be made by Friday’s winning commenter/manager James Owens. The starting pitcher for Pittsburgh has not yet been announced, but this will be updated when we receive the information from Strat-O-Matic.
UPDATE: Righthander Joe Musgrove will pitch for the Pirates.
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.
James Owens has priority for Saturday’s lineup since he was today’s winning commenter/manager. 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.