Final R H E
St. Louis Cardinals  (26-22)
3 10 0
Cincinnati Reds   (22-24)
5 9 0
W: Homer Bailey (4-3)   L: S. Miller (6-3)   S: A. Chapman (4)
Box Score | Play-by-Play | Stats | Depth Chart | FanGraphs Win Probability

The Good

Always good to be home.

Todd Frazier’s three-run blast in the 3rd inning gave the Reds some rare breathing room against the Cardinals.

Devin Mesoraco homered in the 6th.

The bullpen showed up tonight. Manny Parra, Jonathan Broxton and Aroldis Chapman all on cruise control. This is the bullpen we expected at the beginning of the season.

Jay Bruce is back.

The Bad

The Cardinals on the base paths. And that was good for the Reds.

The Ugly

Just me.

Not so random thoughts …

Homer Bailey had far from his best stuff tonight, but he gutted it out. This is what good pitchers do. Maybe this gives him some confidence, especially since it came against a team that usually has his number. While perusing Brooks Baseball, I noticed that Homer has curtailed his use of the curve ball this year. Just throwing that out there.

Brayan Pena. What a guy. He’s just been a great pick up by Jocketty this year. It seems like every time he plays, he pays dividends in some way.

The Cardinals don’t hit home runs. The Reds did tonight. Seemed to be the difference.

The Daily Billy: Ya think the Neck Tattoo was annoyed with Hamilton tonight?

My Knob Creek Player of the Game: Todd. Very important for the Reds to get on the board first tonight and the quick 3-run cushion was just what the doctor ordered. Jersey Strong.

115 Responses

  1. WVRedlegs

    Two in a row. Three of the last four. Lets go streaking.

  2. Steve Mancuso

    With Frazier, Bruce and Mesoraco it kind of feels like the Reds have a legitimate, scary middle of the order. It’s long past time to move Phillips down, but when Votto gets back, that becomes imperative. Otherwise, one of Frazier/Bruce/Mesoraco has to bat sixth.

    • charlottencredsfan

      It will be a clear sign that Price is different that Baker.

      • Kyle Farmer

        We’ve had several of those already. Hopefully, it will continue.

    • sergeant2

      Hey Steve, how cool was it that Redleg Nation was represented in the nations capital. Coming soon to a stadium near you: Redleg Nation. Go Reds!

      • Steve Mancuso

        It was great to read Anna’s account of the game. Would love to see those everywhere the team goes. We don’t call it Redleg NATION for nuthin’!

      • vegastypo

        Don’t think I can make LA, hoping for San Diego… And thanks for the gear, Steve!!!

  3. Steve Mancuso

    Cardinals had ten hits — all singles. Have to give them this, they are really good at hitting the ball the other way. They take what the pitcher gives. It will be interesting to see if they can make that formula work for them again, because that approach definitely trades off with power.

    • Vicferrari

      Interesting, the Cards were on a roll too. Always felt singles are a result of a good hitting team taking what is given and the better pitching team scatters the hits.Let’s see how mentally tough they are, but can Tony get similar results if they keep the same strategy?

  4. Steve Mancuso

    Mesoraco was dialed in his first three AB, not just the home run swing. Both of his first two AB were close to being home runs. It adds punch to the lineup for him to have power from the right side. Frazier, too.

  5. Steve Mancuso

    Bruce looked really limber and light on his feet tonight. No lingering hobbling from his surgery, at least that’s the way it appeared.

    • pinson343

      Jay says that he feels great and is even running faster now.

    • Greg Schiller

      I am no doctor but when I went to cubs and brewers games bruce looked injured. If he looked hurt to me why didn’t reds notice

      • greenmtred

        I don’t know, but I suspect that if players never played when they were hurt, it would be difficult for most organizations to field a team. Criticism of the Reds’ medical staff is an ongoing narrative here, and based on the lack of any substantive evidence presented, the criticism lacks merit.

    • RedAlert

      It certainly did appear that way – noticed the same thing

      • Vicferrari

        So who is hurt now that the Reds are not noticing Dr. Doolittles? My money is on Marshall and Ludwick

      • Eric the Red

        LeCure, too. He’s pitching around his huge drop in velocity, but I doubt he can keep it up.

      • Vicferrari

        Heard others mention the drop, ho much is it? I thought he throws 88 or so?

  6. pinson343

    There’s a huge positive in 2014 that hasn’t gotten enough attention because of the injuries and the bullpen problems. Mes and Frazer have developed as hitters. With a healthy Bruce and Votto, that’s a formidable middle of the lineup.

    • Richard Fitch

      Yeah. We had 5 guys from the right side of the plate–none of whom had an OPS+ of more than 93, if I remember correctly.

      The league adjusted to Frazier and his tendency to swing too freely and now, it looks like he’s adjusted back.

      Hope Mes can do that, too, when pitchers begin exploiting the holes in his swing.

    • Vicferrari

      Another huge positive is Price has dealt with all this, now can that he has kept the team from avoiding the long losing streaks, can he get the elusive legit win streak of 5 or more, had 3 twice this season, I suspect that is below the league average.

    • ohiojimw

      About a healthy Votto……

      From Hal McCoy’s Friday afternoon blog:

      (Bryan Price talking about Votto) “Getting Joey close to 100 per cent the rest of this year might not be possible” he said. “But we want to get him as close to it as we can to give him a better foundation to play, rather than getting him back at 50 or 60 per cent.”

      And a confirmation of what many of us had thought all all along:
      Price said Votto’s current condition prevents him from using his left leg as a hitting foundation, from running the bases and also restricts his defensive range. If he is ready, Votto can come off the disabled list on May 31, eight days from now.

      • Vicferrari

        So what can be expected 90%, 75%? and what is a healthy Votto… does a healthy Votto typical hit 32 HR’s and will only hit 24 HR’s at his best case condition- or is a healthy Votto what we saw in April on pace for about 24 and we can expect 18? When exactly has he been 100% since 2012?
        Talk like this seems to get you Cueto last year and Marshall this year.

      • Kurt Frost

        His selfish butt needs to be on the bench anyway. He just wants to inflate his obp and get on base. The Reds need ARE BEE EYE. Not baserunners.

      • MrRed

        Kurt, we’re not paying the man $250MM to hear you bellyache.

      • John Walsh

        Serious question. Why on earth would you tell the world that Votto can’t drive off his left leg?

        Price has been incredibly forthright with the media about injuries. I don’t think the Reds need to keep these things state secrets, but I also don’t think they need to broadcast with such clarity either. I’d much prefer 1) they actually know what’s going on, which isn’t always the case, and 2) a little ambiguity.

      • ohiojimw

        In this particular situation, I think pretty much the whole world had figured out Votto’s leg wasn’t right. But yeah, why define he is as bad as 50% and isn’t likely to get back to anything approaching 100% this year.

        It seems to me there could be some disconnects within the org. Recall that it basically took Price publicly calling out Votto for looking to take walks versus putting the ball in play in 2 out RBI situations to bring the situation to a head and get Votto out of the line up and into intensive rehab.

    • greenmtred

      Yes. Keeping my fingers crossed, but Mes has a compact swing to go with his strength, and Frazier seems to have modified his approach, too.

    • sultanofswaff

      You beat me to it Pinson! I’ve been meaning to point that out as well. In SuperTodd’s case, the concensus around here was that (based on his minor league career) that this sort of production simply was not possible. Like with Hamilton, too many around here seem to discount that outliers like these two are possible, that the stats can predict with near certitude a player’s future. I LOVE stats as much as the next guy, but we need to recognize the scouts and management for their belief in the ‘work’ they do on the development side.

      Because we now have SuperTodd, Billy, and Mes, I think it’s entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whose starting 8 you’d rather have—the Cardinals or the Reds. Talk about progress!!!!

  7. sergeant2

    It was reported that Bruce said since the procedure on his knee, he basically feels like a new man.

  8. pinson343

    I didn’t see that much of the game but was lucky enough to see key moments: Frazer’s 3 run HR, Homer getting out of the two jams, Broxton and Chapman. Good stuff.
    Good job, Homer, he deserved the win.

    Chapman has been throwing a nasty change up his last two outings. He now has 3 very good pitches, crazy good stuff. But he still has more to learn about pitching. With Adams leading off, batting .136 against LHed pitching and never faced Chapman before, Chapman throws two straight sliders in the dirt to get behind 3-1. And ahead of Shane Robinson 0-2, he throws a pitch that’s fat enough that Robinson nearly hits it out. With a stronger hitter up, tie ball game.

    But anyway a very nice win, and one that somehow I expected.

    • Vicferrari

      Maybe Chapman can teach Cingrani how to throw a changeup to Cingrani?

  9. WVRedlegs

    If they can split the next two games and then go 4-3 on the road trip to LAD and ARI, that would put them an eyelash within .500. They then get Votto and then Latos back for a monster June schedule. 3-SF, 3-PHI, 4-LAD, [email protected], [email protected], 3-TOR, [email protected], [email protected] Thats 7 games vs. 1st place SF, 3 vs. 1st place MIL, 4 vs. 2nd place LAD, 3 vs. 2nd place TOR and division rivals PIT and CHI.
    In June it’ll be all hands on deck, and none too soon.

    • Vicferrari

      And then Votto is fully healed by the end of June and Latos can throw 7 innings before independence Day, then the Reds will be 10 games over before Labor Day- you really cannot think too far realistically and just hope for an 8 to 10 game win streak irrationally…Just win each series avoid losing streaks and injuries… the best strategy is pitching, fundamentals and 3 run homers; outside of that the Reds were dominated tonight

      • John Walsh

        The Reds were dominated tonight? You must not have been watching the same game.

        The Reds played a fundamentally better game. Homer’s pickoff. Baserunning (even outside of Hamilton). Defense. They had as many hits and only one less left on base than the Cardinals. They executed better in every other aspect of the game. Chill.

      • Vicferrari

        Just a bit of sarcasm- my point was exactly yours, despite being outhit- where the sarcastic dominated point came in- the Reds had the better pitching; they executed the fundamentals as you stated and let the Cards beat themselves; and of course the 3 run homer. Its a take on an Earl Weaver quote. The intent was not to make anyone get defensive with an unnecessary ‘chill” comment- just an attempt to be ironic and mock all those that will post how this team is going nowhere after the next loss.

      • John Walsh

        Fair enough. Sometimes it’s hard to tell around here. But I’m going to have to disagree on being outhit tonight. I think the Reds played as well or better.

        Problem is we’re talking about a single game. If memory serves, last year the Reds played the Cards around this time. They played outstanding one game. Got rolled another. And the Sunday night rubber match was a JJ Hoover (or maybe Partch?) grand slam.

        Even if they lose, I’m just looking for some consistency in play.

  10. John Walsh

    I had a feeling that Frazier would bounce back and Mes would be a contributor (though definitely not THIS big). And let’s be honest, BP isn’t doing that terribly either. He’s not walking, but he’s hitting.

    If Hamilton can maintain some level of consistent contributing, then I’m fine with a lower middle to end of the order that consists of BP, LF, and Cozart. Like Richard said elsewhere, I’d like to give Ludwick some benefit of the doubt until we get into June. Maybe he finds his swing and heats up. But it’s not a very long leash. He’s not killing us that much down in the order though.

  11. hoosierdad

    Was at the game tonight with my son, Lt. Ben. He’s probably getting shipped overseas in a couple of months and is coming home about once a month until then (he’s currently stationed about 600 miles from home). He’s a big Cardinals fan (long story). We’ve been to 2 REDS vs. WLB games together and the REDS have won both. I told him we need to go back for the remaining 2 games this weekend. He didn’t agree. Lol

  12. redmountain

    Lets not get too far ahead of ourselves, the season is not even to the one third point. I have believed this team was better than others have, but I also know what they can be, should be, but not what they will be. What will happen if Lutz proves he can hit?

    • Vicferrari

      It seems people are getting a little too excited for Lutz, he had a good month in AA put has essentially put up the same slash-line the prior 2 seasons that Ryan Ludwick currently has and some want to cut him.
      Ludwick had a slash line of .290 .342 .435 on April 27th, he is in a slump over the past 3 weeks or so, has been injured, and July & August tends to be his best month. I suspect Lutz is an improvement over Soto but seriously doubt Ludwick is finished or that Lutz can produce superior numbers.

      • Eric the Red

        We also shouldn’t forget that replacing Ludwick’s RH bat with Lutz’s LH bat will further unbalance the lineup. And I’m not completely sold on the idea that Lutz would be an upgrade defensively over Ludwick. (Ludwick, BTW, is one of the few guys on the team that consistently hits with RISP. Not that I believe in the myth of the “RBI guy”, but I thought I’d throw it out there for those who do.)

        Soto was killing us, not to mention any trade value he might possess, so I’m happy they brought Lutz up. But I hope he doesn’t get a lot of starts in front of Heisey or Schumaker, and at this point I’m not even sure I want Pena to sit for Lutz while Votto’s out. (Pena’s defense has been surprisingly good, and he seems to get hits, hit sac flys, move the runner along, etc.). I imagine Lutz will start at 1st on Cueto days since Pena will be catching, and maybe PH when we need a LH power bat, and not much more.

      • Vicferrari

        And will they actually start Mes 4 days in a row?

  13. 666wolverine

    Great defensive game by the infield tonight! Great plays all around. This team has deserved a better fate than what has been the case so far in this young season. Maybe the tide is changing but the dreaded West Coast trip is coming I’m afraid. This trip has been a thorn in Cincy’s side my entire life it seems. How in the world can you ask this team to play a night game in Cincy on Sunday night and then turn around and play a 2p.m. game in LA???? Is this a set-up game for the Vegas Sportsbooks or what?

    • ohiojimw

      Agree on the short turnaround between Sunday and Monday. I thought the CBA included rules which precluded such things. I guess with national TV money on the line for both games the $$$$ prevails. I wonder what if any consideration the players’ association gets for looking the other way.

  14. 666wolverine

    I’m sure some green was being passed out somewhere.

  15. Jeff Morris

    I like the way Price juggles the lineup to try to get more runs, and has flexibility to shake things up. Dusty was very set on his lineup, and it didn’t make sense at all on why he put people where he did?? It’s obvious now that Frazier and Mesoraco are the power guys in the lineup. Phillips should be moved down. Votto is good at #2. If I were the owner or general manager of any team interviewing someone for manager, that is one question I would ask them….how would you put together a lineup and why? That would weed out the people that filled out lineups that made no sense like Dusty, ect….

    • Vicferrari

      Nice to see more positive comments on Price, thought BP needed to be moved last month but I do not think it is that big of a deal in the big picture, hopefully Frazier and Mes do not hit big slumps and approach last year’s numbers, sound like the analysis is that there is a reason for their increase in production

  16. 666wolverine

    BP needs moved down no doubt in my mind! I also love how Price is willing to try new stuff too give the squad a spark! Frazier is just country strong!!! I think Price has done a pretty good job w all the injuries he has dealt with. It will be interesting to see if he has the coconuts to move big mouth BP down in the order where he belongs. My batting order would be: Hamilton, Votto, Mes, Bruce, Frasier, BP, platoon in left, Cozart, Pitcher. What do i know I’m just some clown on the couch! My first question would be? Are you a sheep?

  17. Rich Kern

    And how about that great play at first by Pena. What a wonderful addition he has been. Walt gets a lot of slack, but signing Pena was brilliant. I also love dropping Neftali (I’m not Mario) Soto, who doesn’t belong on any major league roster at this point and replacing him with some much needed pop off the bench with Mr. Lutz. This team is starting to come together.
    “I got a feeling things are bout to turn around for us”
    -Lou Brown, Major League II

    • Vicferrari

      So does Votto make that play? Also why is Bernadina on this team, if you count Shumaker he is the 7th OFer- is he the 3rd best defensive OF? Coming off a season where he did not bat above .187 for 2 teams and they DFA’d once already this season, Soto gave them some options as of right now Santiago is the only option for 2 positions

      • Dale Pearl

        Bernadina is just roster filler. As soon as someone gets hot in louisville i wouldnt be the least bit surprised for that call up. We just dont have much talent at AAA right now

      • Kyle Farmer

        I remember Votto making an almost identical play last year. I believe it was in Milwaukee, so yes, Votto makes that play.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I don’t know, I doubt Pena could make that play more than 2 times out of ten. Votto maybe 3-4 times out of ten? That pitch-back looked like one of those area plays where Broxton happened to be in the right place at the right time but a Diamond Gem all the same. You certainly can’t “expect” any 1st baseman to make that play consistently. As some of the guys are found of saying, “it;’s not a repeatable skill”. Just one man’s take.

      • eric nyc

        I doubt Pena could make that play 2 times out of a thousand.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Exactly and Votto about the same. Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Fielder all about the same.

    • greenmtred

      Yes. Keeping my fingers crossed, but Mes has a compact swing to go with his strength, and Frazier seems to have modified his approach, too.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Two big RH Bats (Mes & Todd) and two big LH bats (Votto & Bruce). How many teams have that?

      • Eric the Red

        Yup. That’s a pretty good starting point for success with the pitching we have. By the way, I think you should credit Pena with two great plays on that ball; stopping it was one, and the flip was another. And I agree not many 1st basemen would pull that stop or that flip off with consistency, so it was nice to see us catch a little luck for once.

      • John Walsh

        I swear… It looked like Pena didn’t even look to see if Broxton was in position before flipping the ball backward.

        Assuming Jonathon Broxton will be in position running to cover first base… How shall I say… Maybe it just doesn’t convey the best baseball intellect. 🙂

      • charlottencredsfan

        John, could it be that Pena was experiencing a Lunar Eclipse and just had to know that Brox was right behind him?

  18. Kyle Farmer

    From now on when I see the usual chorus of “Walt Jocketty was asleep all off season. He’s terrible.” I’m simply going to reply with two words – Brayan Pena.

    And, I’m just going to throw this out there, is there anyone who – knowing the injuries this team has sustained – would have predicted that this team would have been 22-24? I’m guessing no honest person would have said that. Bryan Price has done a tremendous job. There’s been a learning curve, but we shouldn’t undersell his role. Again, kudos to Jocketty on making that hire.

    • eric nyc

      I love Brayan Pena, but being under .500 is being under .500. A team with WS aspirations needs to have depth and resiliency. So far this team has shown precious little of both. I don’t want to be a bummer, especially since I really hope we go on to sweep the Cards and turn this thing around right here and now, but I don’t think this team has responded well to the injuries overall.

      • charlottencredsfan

        The budget is not unlimited. Man, it would be great to throw $15 million at a bench. I would think Walt might do just a little better if he didn’t have to stock with league minimum guys. Just like at home, it would be great and go out to a fine restaurant every night for dinner but few get to: Dodgers, Yanks, Angels and a few others. The only way the Reds can do that is if they spread their payroll out among the players. How would you like to lose Votto to make this happen? This is the dilemma Walt faces. If the Reds have their best two bats (Votto & JB) on the shelf, they just aren’t going to be a very good team, period. IMO, Price has done pretty well with hand he’s been dealt.

      • greenmtred

        Jeez, Eric: I often agree with you, but not this time. List the number of positions affected by injury and ask yourself if any team could have coped well with the situation. And besides, even without the injuries the Reds didn’t look like much more than a dark horse contender: in the discussion, not a favorite. To me, at least.

      • eric nyc

        I knew this was going to come across as harsher than I intended it. I disagree that we were only “dark horse” contenders coming into this year. If you believe that, then you should advocate blowing this team up and starting from scratch. The Hamilton-for-Choo switch aside, we were presumably built to win this year. Votto in his prime. A stellar starting rotation that will likely be broken apart in 2 years. A highly paid (so presumably good) bullpen. Bruce entering his prime. Mesoraco finally given the keys to the family car. If you do’t think the 2014 Reds were built to contend this year then I don’t know what you’re waiting for. There’s no help coming down the pipeline. Stephenson and Lively might turn into great pitchers, but they’ll be replacing a couple of the great pitchers we already have. Votto’s not going to get any better.

        So in that light, I feel like being under .500 two months into the season is a failure no matter what has happened. Walt didn’t build enough depth to deal with injuries. Other players didn’t step up the way they needed to. I haven’t seen Price bring much of his promised accountability to any roster decision yet. Could it be worse than 22-24? Of course it could. But I’d also argue that most of this season we’ve looked even worse than our record shows. I’m still cautiously optimistic we can turn it around and I hope it starts this weekend, but I just don’t think anyone deserves any pats on the back for a losing record heading into Memorial Day.

      • greenmtred

        I can’t entirely disagree with your answer, Eric, and agree that the intent was for the Reds to be serious contenders this year. But whether or not they were favorites is somewhat beyond their control, since other teams were building for this year, as well. Maybe I should have considered them as more than dark horses, but it was difficult to see Mes and Frazier and Pena having the impact they’ve had, and difficult to assess how BH, BP and Cueto would do. I wouldn’t blow them up, in any case, because their only assets of interest to other teams are young. Presumably blowing up a team means trading established, slightly past-prime mlb players for a bunch of prospects, and I don’t see a package of Reds that fits that description.

    • John Walsh

      Anyone who argues that Jocketty has been horrible is being hyperbolic. The guy has constraints: budgets, other teams’ willingness to trade (especially under the new system).

      Though, I must admit that I used to be much more on that bandwagon. I used to think he was one of the top GMs in baseball.

      The fact is Jocketty has had his share of successful moves.He’s also had a couple of poor decisions. Many of his bad decisions appear to be tied to an unnecessary overvaluing of a major league bullpen. He was dealt a pretty strong hand and hasn’t (at least so it appears) done what’s necessary to reload/develop the Reds farm system.

      it’s almost like the Reds organization is in a period of transition: not quite as inept as the 1990s with Marge and Jim Bowden, but not quite the 21st century mid-market model necessary to be successful.

      • eric nyc

        Jockety had some good drafts when we were a bad team with a lot of high picks. Bruce, Homer, Mesoraco, Frazier, Alonso, Grandal, Leake, etc. For a while we were an absolutely stacked farm system and Walt was riding high on that alone. But as soon as he actually had to make the big league competitive with actual GM moves the threads started to fray a bit. Latos was a solid move but it’s not like it was a bargain – we paid a lot and we got a good pitcher. That’s just GM 101. Same goes for Choo. It was a solid move, but nothing that most GM’s couldn’t have pulled off. I’ll even give him a pass for Marshall because injuries have derailed that move. Then you get to some questionable things – trading for Broxton and then his extension. Signing Chapman and never following through with the plan to have him start. Generally leaving the farm system in disrepair once it was cleaned out.

        I don’t think Walt is a terrible GM, but I don’t think he’s done much that your average GM wouldn’t or couldn’t have done. It would be interesting to get a fresh perspective in that office because it seems like we’re treading water a bit as an organization and something’s going to need to get shook up – if not this year then sometime in the near future.

  19. eric nyc

    I don’t think you can understate how good of a play Pena made in the 8th. That might have been nothing but sheer dumb luck, but it also might be the best defensive play you’ll see a 1B make all season. This team really does inspire everyone on it to play amazing defense – I really credit Scott Rolen for bringing that to the clubhouse. It rubbed off on Frazier, Cozart, Bruce, Votto (even if he isn’t the most gifted defensive player in the world) and now even the new guys that come in know that there’s a really high bar when you’re in the field. And some people might find BP’s play too flashy (one of the sillier criticisms I’e ever heard of him) but I don’t know that on a team without him that a journeyman catcher playing out of position even tries to make that play. There’s just an incredibly high standard and no one wants to be the guy that couldn’t make the highlight play. A lot of fun to watch.

    • greenmtred

      I agree with you about this one. I don’t know how often Pena makes that play, but it wasn’t all luck: the throw was not blind. I also agree with CharlotteNC about BH and, in particular, that double that he cut off and turned into a single. Great defense is fun to watch, cheap to acquire, and relatively reliable.

  20. charlottencredsfan

    If we only analyze WAR, Hamilton had a pretty rough night: walk and run in 4 ABs. My guess that’s not much help in the WAR department. On the other hand, he had 2 SBs; beat out a double play ball that he, and maybe 3 or 4 others in MLB can while replacing Bailey as the base runner at 1st base with one out. Also, advanced on a routine fly ball to center from “first to second base”.

    I’m not saying there is a ton of value in these plays but isn’t there any? So if I’m doing a comp with Chris Heisey and both have the walk & the run, their WAR value gain/loss would be identical but is the overall value identical? Curious minds would like to know.

    On the very long single to right center field in the 9th by Mark Ellis, how many CFers cut that ball off and hold the guy to a single? Maybe a 1/4 of them? No more than 1/2? Would Heisey? Probably not.

    Point being that BHam even on a night where advance stats will claim the game was basically a turkey, he does some things that he and few others, if any, can do. By the way, the two SBs didn’t even draw throws from Molina.

    • ChrisInVenice

      No stat tells the complete picture and sometimes, just sometimes, observation actually shows the clearer picture.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I was thinking with a guy like Billy Butler, I’m thinking WAR is very accurate (95% or better). Everything that Butler does of value shows up in his WAR for the most part but Bill Hamilton? If you had a gun to my head and asked me what percentage WAR captures of “his” value? I’m thinking 60% – no kidding either. The value that this guy brings to the table is not recognized very well by WAR. But I’m willing to go game-by-game for a while and let you guys decide.

    • Eric the Red

      I’m not generally a supporter of your War on Data ™, but you’re right on this night. I think Hamilton also deserves some credit for Frazier’s HR; part of the reason Frazier ended up in a hitter’s count was the mechanical disruption Hamilton caused the pitcher.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Not a “war on data”. I love data but I have a war on blindly accepting anything without questioning its accuracy. WAR is not a objective number because it doesn’t take into account all factors of value. It may be the best we can do but it has its limits. There is no crime in accepting that. Some players value is pretty close, some others not as much. If WAR tells me that Heisey and BHam have the same value, I’m going to dig into that “stat”.

        What I mean by objective is: if JV’s batting average is .290, who is going to argue that number? We accept it as fact. Same as ERA, WHIP, HRs, RBI’s, K-rate,OBP. Slugging Percentage etc.

        I appreciate the “on this night” comment but I’m thinking Billy has a lot more of these nights than many appreciate. We are just going to count them up and see where this leads.

      • Steve Mancuso

        You haven’t done the slightest bit of “digging into” that stat other than making a false complaint about it. You could actually go to the website and read about it. That’s the first step.

      • Steve Mancuso

        And there’s no one here “blindly accepting” a statistic. There is one person here who seems to be blinded by his belief that a certain player will transcend the entire sport, and rise up to sit on the right hand of Abner Doubleday. 🙂

      • ohiojimw

        And there’s no one here “blindly accepting” a statistic…..

        And how many of the folks on this site that throw around terms like “small sample size”, “regressing to the norm” and “progressing to the norm” et al, have a clue of the mathematical meaning of those terms and when they accurately apply and when they don’t? And when does a “small sample size” become statistically significant? Is it like switch throws at a set point and it is totally significant when before it wasn’t significant at all? I think not though I’ll admit the exact definition is not in my current working vocabulary.

        I would maintain that any time a person uses a phrase like these above without knowing that it factually applies and what that means, they are being blinded by the data/ statistic. There is a lot more involved than going to a reference point and finding a formula then going to Baseball Reference and plugging in the numbers. That’s why the prospectus and similar solicitations for financial instruments always prominently warn that past performance can not be assumed to be an indicator of future results.

      • John Walsh

        But seriously, I have to agree. I’m not saying that you have had to take statistical modeling, econometrics, etc. to use those terms. But you’d think everyone on here are stat monkey the way they get thrown around.

        That Tango stat on new win calculations was just basic algebraic. Not saying Tango hasn’t done good work from what I’m aware (I love wrc+), but we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves when we call some of this stuff advanced.

      • Steve Mancuso

        There’s no way Hamilton distracted Miller that time. The Cardinals basically conceded the SB because of the situation. Hamilton might distract pitchers on occasion (and hitters) but that wasn’t one of them.

      • Eric the Red

        Sorry, you’re right. It was the later at bat where the pitcher threw a ball while trying to slide step.

      • Vicferrari

        Have to disagree, after giving up a lead-off hit he gets 2 quick outs, then walks Hamilton? who would ever walk him just on the basis that you do not want to be distracted? Conceding a runner to 2nd in a scoreless game? You know he is now thinking any hit of distances is 2 runs, if anything he should have pitched around Todd

    • Steve Mancuso

      I’m not sure where you get the idea that WAR doesn’t include the value stolen bases. It’s right in the formula (you’re allowed to click on the FanGraphs website). It’s wRC+ that doesn’t.

      You can click on the FanGraphs Win Probability link we provide every night underneath the box score. It shows the win probability added for each play and then each player that game. Billy Hamilton’s WPA last night was -.19

      You can run your cursor along the green line and it shows a running probability for the Reds winning based on each play. For example, when Billy Hamilton grounded out in the first inning, it reduced the Reds chances of winning by 2%. When he walked ahead of Todd Frazier, it increased the winning probability from 54.2% to 55.5% and when he “stole” second it went up to 56.6%. For context, when Frazier hit the home run, the Reds chance of winning went up to 84.3%.

      The Cardinals didn’t throw to second on the first “stolen base” because of the situation – they didn’t even cover second. To me, it looked like defensive indifference. Molina didn’t throw on the second stolen base because Hamilton was almost already at third. The pitcher didn’t look back a second time. With two outs, it also didn’t matter much.

      Ellis would have almost surely made it to second base, but didn’t try because the Cardinals needed two runs and in that situation the Reds aren’t even going to hold him on first base.

      You can throw up the gorilla dust all you want, wailing at advanced stats and blaming them for not recognizing all that value BH is providing. Fact is, he had another bad night at the plate, especially critical because he’s the lead-off hitter.

      Is this another one of those games we’re not supposed to count because it’s against the Cardinals?

      • charlottencredsfan

        In all honesty, you protest too much for me not to be even more curious than I was before. If Billy Hamilton’s name was Ryan Ludwick i would think and feel the same about his unique qualities and value. You have known me for 2-3 years now and I don’t get married to guys. I think that JC may be the best pitcher in the game but I recommend trading him at the end of the year because, at the end of the day, I think he has more value to the Reds wearing another uniform.

        I have always qualified that I could be wrong. It is all about the Reds having a guy that I believe has a very good chance at an amazing career.

      • Steve Mancuso

        I hope you are more curious. One of the things I respect about you is that you are trying to tackle the new statistics. That’s more than a lot of people are willing to do.

        To me, the impressive part of Hamilton’s tag at first base getting to second last night wasn’t the part of getting from first to second – the ball was hit pretty deeply, I think a lot of players could have tagged up and made it. The impressive part was that he was more than half way to second base on the swing and hit, but yet was able to race back to first base and tag up when he realized the ball was going to be caught. I’m confident no other starter on the Reds team (or most other teams) could have done that.

      • charlottencredsfan

        “I think a lot of players could have tagged up and made it”

        Okay, this is a good point to consider. But, how many do? This to me is case of subjective versus objective. You point is subjective and you qualify by using the word “think” But if wek new the number of times a base runner did such an action, we would be closer to objective truth. I say closer because a ball hit to the wall in the corner of left or right field is not the same thing as where the ball was hit last night.

        Steve, you are a “stat master” and if anyone could find a advance to second on a fly ball stat, it would be you. I would be very grateful to to know how many times it was accomplished in 2013 because I don’t recall it happening very often.

        Not picking a fight with you, or anyone else, just a search for the truth. If all this ends up proving that CH has the same value as BH, I’ll accept it. It is to all of our benefit to find holes, where they exist, in these formulas that will facilitate a better understanding of the game. Not saying WAR or xFIP have no value but in many cases they do appear to be limited. Science is all about peer review and I see that this is what we are engaged in.

      • charlottencredsfan

        But if wek new. Lousy spell check: But if we knew………..

      • John Walsh

        “To me, the impressive part of Hamilton’s tag at first base getting to second last night wasn’t the part of getting from first to second”


      • charlottencredsfan

        Thanks CP. That is good stuff. Per Steve’s instructions I’m studying all the Advance Stats formulas. I’m sure I’ll have questions for you both.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Sorry about the SBs being included in WAR, I will not make the same mistake twice. As far as the other things you counter argue:

        Ellis didn’t try to advance to second because of the situation? But he would surely have made it if he tried? Is this opinion or fact?

        It makes it less impressive that Billy stole third without a throw because he was already there? Really? I think it is actually “more” impressive that BH can read the pitcher’s moves that well. If a walk occurs with 2 outs, it is counted as less than one with no or 1 out? Why would a SB be any different?

        Fact is he made contributions that you are unwilling to acknowledge. That is the facts. You are totally closed minded on this. You maybe “new” school but IMO you have a very old school mentality. These arguments do not sway me.

        I will take it that you see no value from Hamilton last night than a W, a run, and 2 SBs. If that’s a “bad” night than so be it.

      • Steve Mancuso

        On the Ellis play. I was standing in a position where I had a good view of the play. His ball was hit to deep right center field. When he rounded first, it struck me that he had a tremendous chance of making it to second, but held up because of the small chance he wouldn’t – and that his run didn’t matter and that he was going to get to second base anyhow when the Reds didn’t hold him on. Of course, that’s an opinion. Just like every single thing you have to say about Billy Hamilton is an opinion.

        I’m willing to (and did) acknowledge Hamilton’s accomplishments last night as the small potential contributions they were, just like FanGraphs did when they calculated actual percentages for the WPA. Although in practice, the stolen bases didn’t matter. It’s more than just an opinion that he would have scored from first base on Todd Frazier’s home run. And despite his second stolen base, he didn’t score from third.

        You know I value the walk, that’s the most important thing he contributed last night, was just getting on base to be driven in. That’s something he doesn’t do well enough. You say I’m unwilling to acknowledge his contributions when I *quoted the exact percentage worth of his contributions* including the stolen bases.

        Don’t mis-characterize my view as being extreme just to make your point. Hamilton has value – but so would any other player (not named Wilson Valdez) in the lineup. The question is value relative to what other players like Chris Heisey or Shin-Soo Choo would provide.

        Just because I don’t think that every single thing he does on the baseball field is equivalent to putting a man on the moon doesn’t mean I see no value.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Steve, we are like my first marriage, we probably agree 95% of the time but that 5% is a killer. This will be it for me on last night’s game and this thread:

        “I’m not saying there is a ton of value in these plays but isn’t there any?”- Charlotte

        “Just because I don’t think that every single thing he does on the baseball field is equivalent to putting a man on the moon doesn’t mean I see no value.” – SM

        Then we are on the same page I assume.

      • sultanofswaff

        Yes, agreed. If we’re going to value things like walks because of their cumulative value over the course of a season, we have to value these little acts of aggression by Hamilton as well. They too add up!!!

  21. sezwhom

    If anyone has a better time playing the game than Pena I haven’t seen it. A highlight reel play at first with Broxy covering was huge. That gets past him and the Cardinals have Holiday on 2nd with nobody out.

    On Price: love how he juggles the lineup and isn’t afraid to run. Be it the stolen base or more importantly, going from 1st to 3rd. Such a difference from Dusty. Thank goodness.

  22. Eric the Red

    Since we won, I can’t be accused of using this as an excuse for anything, but the fact is: that home plate ump was horrible. One of the walks to Wong, and Bruce’s 3 pitch strikeout, featured more wrong ball/strike calls than right calls.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I was sitting right behind him and it sure looked like he was being inconsistent. The pitchers and catchers seemed frustrated.

      • John Walsh

        Steve, were you in the Diamond Club? My 30th birthday is in August and I’m thinking about getting tickets. I’ve been to the one at Nats Park and it was fantastic. I saw the Reds version on the walking tour.

        Is the juice worth the squeeze?

      • Eric the Red

        John, I can’t speak from experience, but on another Reds site I sometimes follow the people had great things to say about the Diamond Club and suggested it’s definitely the kind of thing a person should treat themselves to at least once.

        Personally I’d be happy with seats behind the dugout up the 1st base line, with a couple of cheese coneys, but the Diamond Club probably isn’t too bad 🙂

      • John Walsh

        Haha, probably right… I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to seating. In my stadium tours, I’ve had a pretty good track record of finding good, moderately priced seats, but I’m not big on paying a ton. For example, middle deck right field overlooking McCovey Cove was GREAT in San Fran.

        That said, I’ve had the Diamond Club experience once. But I’d really like to do it at least once with the Reds.

  23. Earl Nash

    Brayan Pena has been a nice pickup. He has some moxie. Seeing him come in cold to play first and hold his own kind of reminds me of when Ramon Hernandez got a few emergency starts back in 2010 filling in for Votto.

    I got to say, Bryan Price is not afraid to juggle the cards to try to get some more offense out of the lineup. I’m not so sure having Frazier in the two hole in front of Votto might not be a bad choice when Joey gets back.

  24. redsfan11

    It seems that Broxton isn’t too popular on this site, but when healthy I don’t worry about the 8th inning very often, when he isn’t available or unhealthy all too often the 8th has been a problem for the Reds, so kudos to J.Brox, hopefully we get this level of production for the remainder of the season.

    • John Walsh

      Yeah, I agree. But for that money, you could get two pitchers for the price of one. Then again, I guess you’re already getting two pitchers for the price of one. (See what I did there?)

    • ToddAlmighty

      I think it’s due to the fact that Broxton rarely pitches clean innings it seems. Also that the 3yr/$21m deal for a relief pitcher is so awful… and the first year of that awful deal produced 30.2 innings of 4.11 ERA baseball.

      Then every time we talk about the 3yr/$21m deal, we remember how it was supposed to allow Chapman to become a starter and that pours in just a little bit more salt.

      So I think it’s due to a combination of things.

  25. ToddAlmighty

    How about that Todd Frazier guy? Baseball-Reference already has him as a 2.0 WAR player now. If you were wondering, that means so far he’s tied for the 9th most WAR among batters in the NL. He’s sandwiched in between McCutchen and Goldschmitdt.