Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (26-29) 4 9 0
  Aridzona Diamondbacks  (23-36) 3 9 0
 W: Simon (7-3)     L: Miley (3-6)     S: Chapman (7)
 Fangraphs Box Score/Win Probability Graph/Play by Play |   ESPN Box Score    |   Photos

Relentlessness

Early Friday morning, as the dust settled from the Collmenter Apocalypse, you could have squinted until you looked like this and not seen the Cincinnati Reds at 26-29 with a winning road trip in hand. Well done Reds. And well done Bryan Price for rallying the troops from rock bottom. 

Positives

The day after the offense scored five runs without benefit of a home run, the Reds bats put together a four-homer day, with solo shots from Zack Cozart (2), Todd Frazier (10), Ryan Ludwick (4) and Chris Heisey (2).

In addition to the dinger, Ryan Ludwick saved a run with a diving catch in left field in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ludwick’s range is limited, as the next ball proved, but he generally catches what he reaches, even tough ones. Speaking of Ludwick’s range, in the eighth inning, Zack Cozack ran out most of the way into left field to catch a – yes, fly ball – to end the inning. Cozart is great at those plays over his head.

Jonathan Broxton continues to amaze. He struck out Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero in the eighth inning. Broxton did give up a hit. But then, firing 94-mph fastballs, he retired tough left-handed hitter Eric Chavez on the previously mentioned Cozart gem.

Aroldis Chapman hit 103 on the radar gun, retiring the D-Backs. “You’re not in Double-A anymore, young man.” — Chris Welsh. Chapman also threw a 90-mph change-up for a strike.

Negatives

In the second inning, Brayan Peña initiated one of the worst base-running gaffes of the season (a towering bar). Loyal Nation member, Al, broke down the gory details in the comment section: With runners at first and third and one out, teams score 1.11 runs on average. With a runner only at third and two outs, teams score .33 runs on average. So Pena cost the Reds .78 expected runs by starting to break for second with no chance of making it. With a runner at only at second and two outs, teams score .29 runs on average. So Mesoraco trying to score from third cost the Reds .04 expected runs.

Not so random thoughts

A winning road trip. How about that. Sure, Arizona Diamondbacks caveat applies. But Clayton Kershaw, too.

The Reds received outstanding injury news regarding first baseman Joey Votto. Bryan Price broke it before the game that Votto’s leg strength has recovered and he was ready to begin a short rehab start before joining the Reds. The official line is that Votto will take Monday off and his status reassessed on Tuesday. FYI, on Monday, the Dayton Dragons play at home against the Lansing Lugnuts and the AAA Bats play the Columbus Clippers in Louisville. If “short” means one night, Votto could suit up with the wishbone “C” on Tuesday.

The timing couldn’t be better as the club returns to GABP for a challenging ten-game home stand that includes three against the NL-best San Francisco Giants and four against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Remember them? In-between the Reds play the Phillies and surely face Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee in all three games.

71 Responses

  1. wildwestlv

    Whew! Come home & regroup. We’ll need our heads on a swivel, against the Giants. That team is a beast, right now.

  2. charlottencredsfan

    Great recap especially, with Al’s input, breaking down the Pena & Mesoraco blunder.

    Maybe it’s just me but B. Price seems to be growing into the job quite nicely. Got the most out of Alfredo and limited the work of the pen.

    Boy what a difference from late Thursday night until now.

    • docmike

      It’s funny, I think Price has taken a lot of flack on here the first couple months, most of it underserved. I think he has done a pretty good job so far. But I don’t think today was one of his better days. Deciding not to pinch-hit for Simon leading off the 7th, just so he can try to squeeze another inning out of his starter (which ended up only being 2 more batters, an out and a single), was not the correct decision IMO.

      Still, I think he has done a fine job so far, considering all the injuries he has had to deal with.

      • ohiojimw

        Price pulled the same thing with Cingrani. Gave away an out by letting Cingrani bat to end the Reds AB with them -2 then subbed him out after two quick hits to open the Snakes AB had plated a run for the Snakes to put them +3

      • Aaron Bradley

        Pitching coach guilty of over thinking his bullpen arms… although in Broxton’s case yea, I am worried he is being overworked…the big dude could use a night off…shoulda been yesterday but the middle guys just suck too bad.

      • vegastypo

        And I can recall Dusty doing the same thing and getting some grief. Maybe managers are so paranoid about the bullpen that they can’t seem to help themselves from trying to wring out every last inning (or thirds of innings).

  3. drew

    Reds see Hamels on friday vs Cuteo…m

  4. VaRedsFan

    Kudos for Simon for bouncing back after a subpar outing allowing 3 ER’s in 6 1/3

    • Vicferrari

      Especially for a lot irrationality calling for him to be pulled in the 4th, interesting stat posted in the game thread, he has not allowed a run all season past the 4th.

  5. Chris

    So if/when Votto comes back do we lose (ya, I know the answer already) having Pena and Mesaraco both in the lineup? Kinda a bummer. Wish there were some way to get all three bats in there.

    • Vicferrari

      Who would of thought at the beginning of April, we would worry about Votto taking away Pena’s PT… I see your point however I like Pena being the first bat off the bench and catching Cueto every fifth day

      • Chris

        I’d prefer him being a regular bat in the lineup. That is, until his numbers begin to come back down to normalcy. If we could only find a bat like his to plug into LF (or even RF) at this point.

    • hotto4votto

      Pena does have some experience playing 3rd. Frazier in LF and Pena at 3rd? Won’t happen, but it’s one way to get more bats in the line up.

      • Aaron Bradley

        sounds like a defensive nightmare. And let’s not forget Pena ain’t exactly Fred Astaire on the basepaths either.

  6. Chris

    I wonder why batters swing at Chappy’s first couple of pitches. I’d at least make him throw a first strike past me (especially considering I couldn’t hit it anyway).

    • pinson343

      Recently hitters who take the first pitch off Chapman are down 0-1.

    • greenmtred

      probably because they want to get the ab over with quickly.

    • Vicferrari

      Hamilton does not go on the DL, they just will not start him for a week and have him pinch bunt

      • Michael J Hampton

        Or pinch run. So they cut someone or send someone down to the minors to make room for Votto and then play a man short for a week or two, before eventually putting Hamilton on the DL. Yep, SOP.

  7. Vicferrari

    So what is the take on Mes fault in the TOOTBLAN, I suspect there is near 4% chance a throwing error occurs given the situation, I more well timed take off and it might have been a bit closer

    • VaRedsFan

      Maybe Mes missed a sign, because he was seen running back to 3rd when the throw was going to 2nd…just conjecture.

    • Michael J Hampton

      It is apparently a phenonomen of a TOOTBLAN, that once a base runner commits a TOOTBLAN, any other base runners in the vicinity will likewise be infected by the TOOTBLAN virus and also commit their own versions of the TOOTBLAN.

  8. Vicferrari

    Anybody know why Votto just does not do his rehab with the rest of the injured players?

    • Matt WI

      Not sure I understand the question…. what other players? Is there a rehab group somewhere? I think Joey even thinking of a rehab game is good… see Bruce.

    • Vicferrari

      Poor attempt at Sarcasm. He could build some comradery with Bruce, Marshal, and Cingrani as they continue their rehab assignments with the current team. Hopefully he comes back full strength at least but I expect a long time to return to form, ie BA above .300

      • pinson343

        I agree with the point about Marshall doing a long rehab in the wrong place.

  9. ToddAlmighty

    Ludwick in LF kills me sometimes. He makes diving catches or whatnot, and gets all this praise, but if he were simply at Heisey speed (so MLB average-ish) then the play would basically be described as “He lines out to the left fielder.”.. and nobody would have ever mentioned it again.

    It’s just odd to see a guy getting praised for being so slow that he turns mundane looking plays into great looking plays.

    • Mutaman

      This is definitely something to complain about.

    • CP (@nomoresalads)

      I remember someone once describing an Adam Dunn diving play as “turning the ordinary into the extraordinary”

    • ohiojimw

      Except that as Steve pointed out in the recap, even with his loss of range, Ludwick is still a good finisher on the balls he can reach; and. I’ll add I think he runs very good routes. He tries to give himself his best shot at making the play without selling out to the point of creating a disaster if he doesn’t.

      The ball Ludwick had to dive for would have also been a very tough play for a RH guy (such as Heisey) coming from Ludwick’s starting position because the ball was diving away from the fielder and toward the foul line. A RH thrower would have been forced to reach down and across his body while moving at speed to back hand the ball and make the play. Given that, I doubt that it would have looked like a routine play for Heisey either.

      It is going to be very interesting next year when some of the advanced video related data becomes available and we will be able to compare jump times and routes versus relying on our assumptions based on raw speed of foot.

      • pinson343

        I agree that although slowness limits his range, he has good hands and good instincts. Another problem though is the weak throwing arm. To justify being the every day LFer, he has to hit for power, which hopefully he’ll do as the weather warms up.

        PS I’m aware that as of now he’s NOT the every day LFer, there isn’t one.

  10. ToddAlmighty

    I’m glad to see Cozart hitting a HR though. His iso was way down. I think he could be a 30-35 2B/20 HR type hitter if he ever evens out his swing a bit. Also hope Heisey finds his HR swing too, because it’d be nice to finally get some power out of LF.

    • ohiojimw

      Needing power out of LF we agree on but unfortunately I don’t think it will come from anybody now on the Reds roster as an OFer.

    • George Mirones

      Zack Cozart’s AA avg. = .239, AAA avg. = .255, Reds 2013 avg.254
      AA SLG %= .398, AAA = .416, Reds 2013 = .381
      AA wRC+ = 116, AAA = 94, Reds 2013 = 79
      Weighted Runs Created Plus (wRC+) measures how a player’s wRC compares with league average. League average is 100, and every point above 100 is a percentage point above league average. For example, a 125 wRC+ means a player created 25% more runs than league average.

      Just a random fact or two.

      • ohiojimw

        In other words, in his age 28 season, Cozart likely is what he is.

        I recall when Cozart was coming through the system and Janish was struggling offensively at the MLB level. The talk then was that Cozart “might be as good or better than Janish” IF he could improve his offense. IN 2010 at AAA, Cozart posted a full season that would probably project closely to what he has actually done at the MLB level. Then in 2011, he had that big half season at AAA that got him promoted to the Reds where he was handed the SS job and has never had to seriously compete to hold it.

      • pinson343

        Umm, Cozart is better than Janish, much better, so I don’t understand the point. He did receive competition in the form of Gregorious, who played about as well as Janish in 2013, and is hurt this year.

      • pinson343

        Meant in previous reply that Gergorious played about as well as Cozart in 2013 …

      • ohiojimw

        I’m not doubting Cozart is better than Janish. I’m just amazed that based on his minor league career and offensive performance to date in MLB that the org seems satisfied and hasn’t brought in any serious competition.

        Also given the age difference if Gregorious = Cozart in performance, Gregorius would ordinarily get the nod because he was 4 years younger and still ahead of the development curve while Cozart was at peak or already going downslope. Also I believe Gregorius is clearly the more athletic of the two.

        Of course that decision may not have been made by the Reds since the Snakes were supposedly set on getting Gregorius and the Reds were determined to get Choo. I opined a couple of days ago that letting Stubbs and Gregorius both go for one year of Choo may have been a miscalculation by WJ based on a belief he could sign Choo to a long term deal.

      • greenmtred

        I’m not seeing a lot of good field/good hit shortstops around–certainly not around and available. I doubt that the Reds wouldn’t like to have an option, but they can’t manufacture one out of thin air. I hope they draft accordingly, though I do like Cozart well enough.

      • AnnapolisHoosier

        We (including me) thought Edwin Encarnacion was who we thought he was when he was traded to the Blue Jays as well. I’m not comparing the two guys, but whoever thought EE would do what he’s doing in Toronto?

      • ToddAlmighty

        I know what wRC+ is.. I am not saying that Cozart will ever become a big AVG, OBP, or wRC+ guy… He HAS hit 33 2B, 4 3B and 15 HR in one year before in the majors though.

        It’s not massive power, but if he can hit 35 2B and 20 HR, and combines that with superb defense, then he’d have value. Not an All-Star by any stretch, but value. Case and point being, despite an 82 OPS+ in 2012, he was worth 2.7 WAR because he had good power (for his position) and great defense. Unless we stumble upon one of the few SS who are good both offensively and defensively, I will take 2.7 WAR.

      • redmountain

        As will I and there are SS in the low minors that might be ready around the time that Cozart might begin to lose any value. I am not willing to give him up yet. That is, unless Simmons of Atl, Segura, or Starling Castro were to become available.

      • ohiojimw

        I’d take a pretty good gamble on Castro being a guy that might really flourish and take off in a winning org, particularly one that could get him face time with two guys like Concepcion and Larkin.

  11. Jason

    And he’s a horrible interview to boot.

    • Vicferrari

      and he Can’t hold his liquor and has gas

  12. sergeant2

    Hate that I had to miss the game, but love that the Redlegs won taking 3 outta 4 from the Rattlesnakes. For the small group that was posting the End Times had arrived for the Reds on Thursdays thread, the All You Can Eat Crow Buffet will be open 24/7 for your convenience.

    • ohiojimw

      And will that crow be roasted, grilled, or fried? Also I hope you have some good salads and sides.

      • wildwestlv

        I assume the chocolate fountain, like the one at the Golden Corral, will be there.

    • pinson343

      And I put out a reminder after all 3 wins (including this one) that Sarge said on the Thursday thread that the Reds would win the next 3. Three down, none to go !

    • mikemartz

      Sarge, kudos on the 3 win call! Your upbeat posts helped keep me from being swayed over to the dark side! We are going to need more of your positive ju ju during the next 10 days or so, use the force!

  13. George Mirones

    I find it interesting that the last quotes I saw from Votto were that the medical staff would have the final say on whether he could play or not. A manager having a phone conversation with a ball player who has already said that he “lies a lot” about his health does not sound like medical clearance. let’s not get giddy yet.

    • pinson343

      Price said that “we’ll see on Tuesday” and “nothing is set in stone”, which would indicate that medical clearence hasn’t happened yet.

      • redmountain

        They were saying on the radio that Votto will be available for Philadelphia and that he would play a few (not one or two) rehab games. Stay calm, you will probably see Latos before you will see Votto play. But I wait expectantly.

  14. Dale Pearl

    Simon’s record is somewhat deceptive. That is a good thing. When Latos returns we should seriously consider trading him for some prospects. Cingrani is just going through a rough patch and he’ll make a fine #3 or #4 starter.

    • docmike

      I agree. There is nothing in Simon’s track record to suggest he can keep up what he has done so far. The most innings he has ever pitched in a season is 115 in 2011 with Baltimore. Last year he pitched 87 out of our bullpen. If he makes one more start before Latos comes back then goes back to the bullpen, he will still likely hit 130-135 innings on the year.

      Can he realistically be expected to pitch as a starter much more beyond that? And would someone else really want to trade for him knowing he would likely have to be used as a reliever the rest of the way?

      My point is that while I don’t want to just give him away, if another starter-hungry team would offer a good middle infield prospect in exchange for Simon, I say do it.

      • George Mirones

        Last year Simon was the bridge that helped the pen look good. He has proven his value. If anyone comes looking for a starter Bailey has the most value (2 no hitters) owners and GMs love the big names, (butts in seats) and would bring us the most back. Cingrani reminds me of Homer when he was rushed to the Majors: inconsistent, high pitch counts, easy to upset, and hard headed. Latos takes Homers spot and Simon is the fourth starter. Cueto, Latos, Leake in a short series offers a better chance. With Homers contract out of the way Signing the Big three becomes a mute point. The fact that the new team would have control for the next few years at a fixed cost is not to bad.
        Yeah I know too much to drink, too early in the day, I guess it shows. 🙂

      • docmike

        The problem is, I don’t think you can count on Simon being able to start all season long. If he kept starting, Simon would be on pace to hit close to 200 innings for the year, and he’s never been above 115 for his career.

        As for Bailey, with his slow start I’m not sure how much value he would bring back right now. I have full confidence that he will rebound and have a good year, but it would definitely be selling low on him (which is never a good idea).

  15. sezwhom

    Reds begin ten-game home stand that includes three against the NL-best San Francisco Giants and four against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Remember them?

    Giants are the acid test right now. Pirates just took 3 out of 4 from LA.

  16. Eric the Red

    1) We are now only 2 behind St. Louis in the loss column. If you had told me about any 2 or 3 of our injuries to major players, much less all of the key injuries we’ve had, and told me we’d be only 2 back of the Cardinals in the loss column at this point I’d have taken it.

    2) One of the things Price has done very well is pick his spots with LeCure. I still believe that with the loss of velocity LeCure is a ticking time bomb, but by limiting his exposure to a given set of hitters and choosing his moments well, Price is managing around that. Keep an eye on whether LeCure can keep getting results as teams that see him a lot adjust to his stuff.

    3) This seemed like a good day to at least be ready to have Chapman go for more than an inning. Didn’t pitch yesterday, off day tomorrow, not sure what Broxton can offer three days in a row, etc. I assume it didn’t happen not because Price is “just like Dusty”, but because Ludwick didn’t bat in the 8th and therefore there was no good way to get Chapman in the game for part of the 8th and then the 9th. (Actually, now that I think about it he could have put the pitcher in Peña’s spot in the order and then put Lutz at 1st base and in the pitcher’s spot. Hmmmm….)

  17. Kurt Frost

    Are we calling off the fire sale??

    • Matt WI

      Maybe just a couple of low grade fireworks now 🙂 Sparklers maybe.

    • George Mirones

      The Reds are still just flirting with .500 so I would think that some serious window shopping maybe in order just in case. You never know when some GM decides it is time to cut someone loose. Look at how we got Simon. Now that Chapman is showing 3 pitches the talk of him starting will arise again especially with Broxton looking stronger.

    • al

      That is the big question. I think the Reds still have some gaining to do before I would consider them back in it.

      The wild thing is that through all that’s happened, we were 3 games under .500 after 5 games, and we’re right there now.

      If the Reds can go at least 6-4 on this homestand, I’d feel better going forward with this team, knowing that Votto and Latos will give you something soon.

  18. lost11found

    Excellent Rebound weekend after Thurday night’s lackluster performance.

  19. docmike

    The pitching matchups don’t look too bad this homestand. Against San Fran, we miss Tim Hudson, who has been brilliant so far. Against the Phils, we do get Hamels but Lee is on the DL and won’t pitch this weekend. Then next week we get a 4 game set with L.A. and just happen to miss Kershaw. I think 6-4 is a worthy goal, and I wouldn’t even rule out 7-3.

  20. reaganspad

    “Are we calling off the fire sale??”

    We haven’t had our team on the field together in 2014 and now you want to say we are fire sale stage? Really?

    Why don’t we let the team get healthy, get on a win streak before the all star break and see where we are then.

    I am guessing that we are within 3 games at the beginning of July. Maybe in first place.

    Jay Bruce is not going to hit 200 this season

    • Vicferrari

      Not sure if read the post after every loss, but fire sale is the most talked about thing as if that will accomplish anything but get top of the order draft picks the next few seasons. It is a dumb thing to do unless you are trying to dump salary because no one gives up anything worthwhile.
      I hope you are right but I just have given up on a winning season. If this team is within 3 games of .500 I will be surprised. They would have to split June and with 14 games against the Giants, Dodgers, and Brewers I find it doubtful when they could not split with the Padres and Phils. If they split the homestand I may start believing but 4-6 would be impressive in my eyes.