Final R H E
  Cincinnati Reds  (55-54) 5 8 1
  Miami Marlins (53-56) 2 7 0 
 W: Latos (3-3)     L: Cosart (0-1)     S: Chapman (25)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |   The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

The Terrible Reds Offense awoke from flatline to produce what passes for a comfortable win these dismal days. It’s a sign of how bad the hitting has been that we consider five runs on a few dinky hits and a wild pitch an outpouring of production. Yet there it is. It’s the first time since the All-Star break that the Reds have scored five runs and only the second time they’ve plated at least four.

The Reds have won the first two games of this series and move back to a game over .500. It’s the first time they have won back-to-back games since forever.

Mat Latos struck out five and walked four over seven innings. Latos gave up only one run and five hits. That’ll do.

Jonathan Broxton gave up just his second home run of the season. He’s been awfully fortunate with many well-hit balls all year. If he wants to even out his luck on solo shots with three-run leads, attaboy. Aroldis Chapman entered the game with the Reds already having a 97% win probability. #closerrules He extended his record-breaking consecutive game strikeout streak to 47 games. #wasteofhisgreattalent

The Reds scored in the fourth inning when, for just the second time since the All-Star game, they strung together three hits in a row. Billy Hamilton, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier all lined singles.

In the sixth inning, the Reds finally decided to look for walks off a starting pitcher who had given up four in his previous two starts. Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco worked Jarrod Cosart for free passes and both ended up scoring in the decisive sixth inning. Todd Frazier singled off of Cosart’s leg. For the second night in a row, Ryan Ludwick delivered a crucial two-run base hit. Neither one was particularly hard-hit but they counted. Considering the Terrible Reds Offense, we won’t ask questions. Gritty Skip finished off the scoring with a sacrifice fly.

Chris Heisey doubled off the centerfield fence right next to the 418-foot sign in the ninth inning. That’s easily a home run at GABP. He scored on a wild pitch.

Leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton has now gone 58 plate appearances since he last walked, but he did have two hits.

120 Responses

  1. Greg Schiller

    Billy Hamilton did have 2 hts. I could care less if he never walks again. He has been far better than choo has this year, choo is a disaster and waste of money

      • Greg Schiller

        Yes I mean that Hamilton has been better than choo. Hamilton has had a solid rookie season who has played the whole season.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Random. But whatever. The walks are important to Hamilton’s OBP, which I think is pretty obvious. Choo has been playing hurt most of the year. Hamilton is having a better year than Choo and is a much better centerfielder. But Hamilton’s season is not remotely as good of a year as Choo had last year.

      • Greg Schiller

        Steve I respect your opinions, but I will never believe that walks are as good as a hit. I live in Dallas, yes choo has been hurt but he has also been bad and they are acknowledging his contract is a disaster for them Hamilton doesn’t cost $20 million and is a much better value.

      • pinson343

        Whether a walk is as good as a hit depends on the situation, it’s obviously not always as good as a hit. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, we’ve seen intentional walks, I don’t think we’ve ever seen a team give up an intentional 2 run single.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Not a single person has ever, ever, ever, ever said that walks should be preferred to hits. Would you agree that walks are better than making outs? Would you agree that an on base percentage of .330 is better than one of .300? Well, that’s the issue with walking.

        Also, no one has argued the Reds should have signed Choo at the contract he got from the Rangers. And no one would deny that Hamilton is a better value than Choo. I don’t know exactly what you’re point is other than the stunningly obvious.

      • Kurt Frost

        Choo is 23rd in the AL in OBP. His OBP is 110 points higher than his BA. Would you like Hamilton’s OBP to be 110 points higher than his BA?

      • CP (@nomoresalads)

        Choo has had a miserable season, but has still a better hitter than Hamilton. On base skills don’t slump.

        Hamilton has been better overall, and was a better value.

        I guess my point would be this…if Hamilton had the same type of injury as Choo, how valuable is Hamilton? Almost useless.

      • pinson343

        All in all, it’s a very good thing that the Reds didn’t sign Choo to a long term contract and also a good thing that Hamilton is with the Reds instead of at AAA.

        But the big risk in LF for 2014 did not work out and has really hurt the Reds and still not been addressed.

      • Mutaman

        Considering Ludwick delivered the key blow tonight, this post is well timed.

      • Vicferrari

        In August, Who would have had Ludwick at at a higher OPS+ than Choo, still contracts aside I think I take Choo, the 2013 roster is probably worse than the 2014 up an down

      • pinson343

        Mutaman: I’d say my comment is well-timed. I’d much rather observe the lack of production from LF when Ludwick is up rather than pile on him when he’s down. I like Ludwick but his slugging pct. is below .400. And there are also two other guys who have been playing LF without enough offense.

      • CP (@nomoresalads)

        Ludwick is a league average hitter, who plays below average defense, in a position where offense is expected. But I guess Mutaman is right, he had a nice game tonight so he gets a pass…

      • RedsfanPa

        Choo has also been in the major leagues for 9 years while Hamilton is a rookie. He also has been playing with nagging injuries. While making his share of rookie mistakes, he has been one of the few bright spots in this dismal line up, and has flashed some nice leather on defense. As he continues to learn and improve I’ll enjoy watching him play. Much like Frazier and Mesoraco, i think Billy has been pressing a bit. There are plenty of other players stats on this team that can be critiqued and criticized. I doubt many expected him to match what Choo did last year, but I’d say he’s represented himself pretty well.

    • Grand Salami

      Choo hurt his ankle early in the season and unlike Votto, hasn’t had the luxury of resting on the DL.

      They are now moving him to DH in hopes he heals a little.

  2. pinson343

    Steve, you commented last night that Chapman came in with a 93.9% or so chance of winning. So he’s only supposed to come in when it’s a one run game ?

    Answer to my own question: use him in “high leverage” situations before the 9th inning. But NOBODY has used a closer in a regular way like that since Tony LaRussa changed the role of a closer. So here’s a different question: why do people think LaRussa is a genius ?

    • Greg Schiller

      Why does anyone think chapman would be a great starter. I think he would be above average good not great.

      • pinson343

        A lot of people agree with you but that’s a separate issue from how to use the closer.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Yeah, I’ve mentioned that the last two nights to drive home the stupid waste of Chapman’s talent caused by universally accepted closer rules. It’s entirely based on compiling individual stats. Instead, wouldn’t it be cool if managers used their best pitchers when the win probability was closest to .50. That would mean using pitchers like Chapman in games when the team is a run behind and never when the team is three runs ahead. And yes, every team mismanages this. It’s just worse with a singular talent like Aroldis Chapman.

      • Greg Schiller

        Steve why do you believe chapman would be a great or singular talent as a starter? He only has 2 pitches.

      • Steve Mancuso

        You haven’t been keeping up with current events. He has three pitches this year and always has. His change up is devastating and he’d throw it more if he was a starter. Plenty of successful starters have worked with basically two pitches. That whole “three pitches” thing has always been a pathetically weak excuse to not try Chapman as a starter.

        Given Chapman’s *enormous* talent as a pitcher, shouldn’t there be an enormous presumption against the people who think for some reason he wouldn’t be a dominant starter?

        Oh, I guess I think a left-handed pitcher who can routinely throw over 100 mph would be a devastating pitcher. Certainly a strong enough case to give it a try, given the much higher value starters have than closers.

      • pinson343

        I have no idea how Chapman would be as a starter but he now has 3 pitches that he throws for strikes. He only uses the changeup 10% of the time but against certain hitters – RHed hitters who can hit his fastball – he uses it a lot.

      • droomac

        Randy Johnson will go to the Hall of Fame with just two pitches and Chapman’s fastball (is already) and slider could be better than Johnson’s.

      • Vicferrari

        I am not going to pretend I am expert, I thought the change-up was added mid-season and the slider was already major league ready. I thought the biggest knock was he could not hold runners and he gave up HR’s- it would be fun just to see him pitch the line-ups several times through. No one disputes he is not a great closer but so was Codero and Graves for a time…closing is easy do not walk batters and do not give up HR…I like to see Stats on relievers pitching with a 1 run lead in the 9th and truely judge who is a closer

      • jdx19

        Never thought I’d see Chapman compared to Danny Graves.

      • pinson343

        VICFERRARI: (cool name). I remember when Chapman started using the changeup. On May 19 against the Nats he blew a 1 run save as the first 3 batters all hit wicked line drives off him. On May 21, facing the Nats with a 1 run lead, he took out the changeup and it immediately helped him.

      • greenmtred

        Excellent idea, Steve. The only problem I can see with it is that it could lead to some pitchers being seriously over used and others rarely pitching. Maybe.

  3. pinson343

    Yes, Steve, but how come so many think LaRussa is a genius ? Even though I’ve asked it twice, feel free to regard it as a rhetorical question.

    • Greg Schiller

      I think Mariano Rivera was used quite well his entire career. I don’t think he would have wanted to pitch any other inning

      • pinson343

        Yes and Rivera often pitched in the 8th inning. In big games he often pitched the whole 8th inning.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I think managers have seized on #closerrules because they simplify decision making and substantially reduce second-guessing. It’s the same reason football coaches don’t go for it on fourth down more when the stats show they should. It’s safer to hew to what everyone else does.

      The business of baseball also drives it, to a certain extent. Closers are rewarded in arbitration and contract negotiation based on saves. So if a manager announced he was no longer going to use his closer in three-run save opportunities, free agent closers wouldn’t want to sign to play for that manager.

      Now I don’t see that as a big deal because teams can always develop closers internally or sign non-established closers, like I thought the Reds were doing with Sean Marshall.

      Just think how much better off the Reds could be tomorrow if Chapman wasn’t used tonight in a 3-run save?

      • Thegaffer

        You have a point, but this team could not afford to lose this game. ANY chance of that happening had to be eliminated. Also, Aroldis had already warmed up (which most people agree is the ware and tear) before the insurance run.

      • Steve Mancuso

        But if the Reds had scored another run, to get a four-run lead, you can bet someone else would have pitched, even though Chapman had warmed up, with the odds being 98% instead of 97%.

      • Steve Mancuso

        It’s not cost-free to use Chapman in games like this. It could make him unavailable tomorrow night or the next night in a 1-run game.

      • nyredfanatic

        But Steve, you are playing the “what if game” here. That’s the problem. You are assuming the Reds offense is going to score more runs tomorrow. With the way they are going they need to win the games they are winning and not worry about “what might happen tomorrow”. They need to win what is directly in front of them when they can. With the state of the team right now they simply do not have the luxury of being able to look ahead at wins.

      • Steve Mancuso

        It’s not a “what if” game. I’d just draw the line about using the closer at a different place – one based on logic instead of a statistic. As I mentioned above, when a team has a 3-run lead going into the ninth, their odds of winning are 97%. If they have a 4-run lead, their odds are 98%. Yet in the first case, managers ALWAYS use their closer, in the latter the NEVER use him. There is no explanation for that other than managing toward the statistic of the SAVE.

        So those of you who think Chapman should pitch the ninth of 3-run lead games, do you also think he should pitch the ninth with four and five run leads? That’s what you’d do if you based your decision on the “win being right in front of them.”

      • nyredfanatic

        Ok, I get that and I can see your argument. So where do you draw the line on when he should pitch? 2 runs? 3 runs? only in 1 run games? Not in 4 run games? I know it is a tough to put a line on it and it is not as simple as looking at win probability percentages. Last I checked a manager doesn’t have a computer looking at fangraphs (or whatever site it is… I’ve never been to it and looked at it) during the game. I think it comes down to a gut feeling and knowing when you need to win a game. After the horrendous run the Reds have been on you simply cannot miss the opportunity to win back to back games, as silly as that may sound. I would have pitched Broxton and Chapman in that game in pretty much any situation under 5 runs… It gave the best chance to win.

        Sure there is the stat of the save that the league or whoever has and it does make it easier. And as you have said, the economics of baseball play in to it. If the save stat was not there we undoubtedly would see him used differently. But it is there so we have to live with it. I don’t think us bloggers are going to change that. And with the rise of fantasy sports the stats bring more interest and ultimately more money to the game. This is why some argue that Fantasy Sports have ruined the game in a sense.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Managers actually could have access to computers during the games if they wanted to. But they don’t need to. They have binders and binders of information in the dugout about hitter-pitcher match-ups. So why not a small table on win-probabilities, or why not study the table outside of the game and commit the rules to memory. It doesn’t take access to Google during a game to know that 3-run saves are converted 97% of the time.

        Where I’d draw the line would depend on how good the other pitchers in the bullpen are. I’d certainly not use my best pitcher on 3-run saves. What about a rule that you use your best pitcher only in circumstances where the win probability is between 40 percent and 60 percent? That would assure he’d be in the games when they really matter or are on the line. If that’s in the sixth inning, so be it. Use your best pitchers when the game is on the line.

        And yes, it’s certainly just an academic conversation. This would be a pretty barren space if we only discussed things that we could change.

      • nyredfanatic

        I agree. They could have graphs and stuff to help them in high leverage situations and percentages. But there are so many variables it would be tough. I coach high school football and have graphs and charts to help me with things such as when to go for 2 and when I can start taking knees with how many time outs each team has and what not. So who knows what they do and don’t have in those binders. And maybe they are too set in there ways to change it. Maybe 5 years from now it will. Maybe it never will. We will just have to sit and wonder and discuss what we would change.

        As for using the best pitchers earlier in the game I happen to find that risky. Sure it might get you out of the inning earlier. But if you give up a run here or there early you have time to play catch up. You have more opportunities to score runs if a “lesser” pitcher gives up a run in the 6th or blows a lead then. There is a school of thought in baseball that early in games you would give up a run to get an out because early on you have more chances to get that run back. Later in the game this philosophy changes. And it is also completely dependent on each game and the flow of that game. That is why I personally want my top guy locking things down late because of the opportunities that you have to come back. I happen to think before the 7th is too soon to use your best gun.

        Another thing I find interesting that a lot of people over look when talking about multiple inning saves is that we play in the NL… It is hard to use a relief pitcher for multiple innings based on the possibility of him having to be called upon to bat. I think it is hard to compare Mariano pitching 2 inning saves to a guy from the NL due to this fact. If the NL had DH’s I think we would see Chapman pitch more innings… but this is a totally different argument.

        Sorry for the length… Just getting into the “academic conversation”

      • nyredfanatic

        Oh, and lets be careful to not say you would make a “rule” of when you would use a guy. That would be making a defining role which is what you seem to be against.

    • Kurt Frost

      I have no idea why people think LaRussa is a genius. He’s a hall of fame drunk driver.

      • pinson343

        Right on. He’s also the one who started the thing where you use up 3 relievers in an inning, one for each out.

      • drew

        Simple…rings. how many WS rings does he have and how many managers have more?

      • CP (@nomoresalads)

        Pretty much this. Same with Sparky…the guy had at least 3 HOF-caliber players pretty much in their prime, plus Perez (zing) plus a bunch of really, really good role players. Yet, he gets treated like he was an amazing manager. Talent wins out.

        All manager values are pretty much the same, with a few very rare exceptions.

      • RiverCity Redleg

        All of his championships were PED aided. If Bonds and McGuire don’t get in, neither should LaRussa

    • jdx19

      Many people thought the “earth is flat” guys were geniuses back in the day, as well.

      People being thought of as a genius means nothing.

  4. pinson343

    We’ve seen it a lot of times that a team that’s been hot team plays a team that’s been cold and the cold team beats up on the hot team. It’s part of the rhythm of baseball.

    But the Reds did still look very cold until Rule 7.13 was on their side last nigh.

    • Vicferrari

      Until Ludwick showed the rest of baseball they missed out on the next Marlon Byrd

  5. redmountainH

    Steve- I agree with what you are saying, I just wonder if ,money does not add into somehow. If you want to keep butts in the seats, what could be better than bringing in Superman from the bullpen. If he became a starter he would be throwing in mid-90s whereas he hits 100 as a closer. He also appears to be very proud of his string and wants to keep it going. Didn,t he also say he wanted to close and not start?

    • pinson343

      Chapman has made it very clear that he loves to close, loves the adrenaline rush. He’s also said, once he became aware of the strikeout record. He’s a diva.

      Jeff Brantley has said – regarding Chapman’s mentality – that it’s not clear how well he would do in a role that he did not prefer. But aren’t we tired of this debate anyway (not that you started it).

    • Steve Mancuso

      He did say that, although before he’d said the opposite. Players shouldn’t dictate where they play. You’re right about the crowd reaction when Chapman comes in. I’ve seen it dozens of time. But because closers aren’t used on a regular schedule, I wonder how many people decide to go to a game because of it, since you never know on a given night if he’s going to pitch.

      I’ve often wondered what the crowd size would be like on nights he was announced as the starter. He’d be a threat to strike out 15+ hitters every fifth game.

      • Vicferrari

        Maybe 2011, but is this any mor elikely than what Randy Johnson went through his first few years now that he is an All-star?

      • ToddAlmighty

        Every player in the Cardinals bullpen wants to be a starter. The Cardinals basically say “Cool, but you’re in our bullpen.”

        Matt Kemp says he views himself as a CF and wants to play CF. Mattingly says “Alright, but I am still going to put you in LF.”

        If Chapman’s desire really is what kept him from ever making it to the starting rotation, that just seems like a big failure on the organization. You need to put players where they can help you most, regardless of anything else.

      • nyredfanatic

        People sit in anticipation through 8 innings of a close game in hopes of seeing him pitch every night they go to the ballpark.

        If he was a starter, sure his first few starts would be inflated attendance… but what if he got shelled? People would slow down and attendance would level out to normal. Only thing that will continually raise and sustain attendance in Cincinnati is winning baseball. Not someone on the mound.

    • Vicferrari

      Is this just heresay or fact? He will not get above 99mph as a starter? I am positive Chapman wants to do somersaults every time he gets out of an inning underscored upon, but he is not allowed for some ridiculous reason as baseball ettiquette. As a fan how could you not want to watch Sandy Koufax, or Nolan Ryan, or Steve Carlton, or Randy Johnson start a game and work it? I just would like to see Chapman give it a go

      • greenmtred

        The speculation about how hard he would throw as a starter is probably mostly based upon logic. Throwing 102mph takes alot out of a pitcher’s arm,legs, core, etc. Legendary fastball pitchers don’t throw their max very often in game situations, probably to reduce the chances that they’ll burn out in a few years. We won’t know how Chapman would deal with starting now (with 2 good pitches to go with the heater) until we see it, but slower fastballs seem like a good bet.

  6. Thegaffer

    Clearly Chapman is sometimes not used when he should be. BUT aNyone who has watched Chapman over time can see that his dominance in throwing a baseball is not the same as dominance as a pitcher. He throws too many pitches per inning, has questionable control (but is helped by swings out of zone), and is legendarily bad at preventing runners advancing bases. He has blown many of his 1 run leads and taken the loss many of the times he entered when tied. This is not an opinion, but fact. We all like him, and he has been a great signing. But, some on this site love him beyond reason.

    • Kurt Frost

      You’re stating something as a fact. Can you show the stats for your fact?

      • Thegaffer

        I have seen it on a TV broadcast, but I request those on this site with more stats access please help.

      • Kurt Frost

        He does seem terrible at holding runners. I would think he could make more money as a starter. Less and less teams are overpaying for a closer.

      • pinson343

        The thing about hitters swinging at pitches of his that are out of the strike zone is definitely true, that can be looked up on FanGraphs under PitchF/X. And he has a lot more trouble retiring disciplined hitters who don’t chase. Of course, when you’re throwing at 100+ more hitters will chase. And the idea of a slider is for the hitter to swing at it when it’s a ball.

        Randy Johnson: “I never threw a strike unless the hitter made me.”

    • pinson343

      Some good points but he has improved as a pitcher in 2014. And he has only blown 2 1 run leads this season, not bad considering how many of those he’s saved (sorry too tired to look it up). His overall save conversion rate is up, and 2 Ks per inning is just sick.

      He has a good pickoff move but I haven’t seen him pick anyone off for a while.

      I repeat, I have no idea how he would do as a starter.

      • Thegaffer

        He is better this year, but also has a couple loses in ties. More importantly, what happened to that ridiculously awesome change up we saw 1 month ago!
        I can,t argue with those who would say he could have been developed as a starter years ago, but that is old news.

      • pinson343

        Yeh what did happen to that change up ?!!! It is old news about him as starter, and a very old debate. Can’t imagine that anyone is saying anything new on that one.

  7. Greg Schiller

    I have doubts about chapman as a starter. But I will concede if leake, Cueto and latos are gone in 2016 and chapman is only used as a closer

    • pinson343

      What ? Someone here with an open mind ? SMILEY FACE.

      GO REDS and good night.

    • drew

      Zero chance Bob allows all three to leave. My bet is two stay and third is traded. My guess is the one traded will be either Latos or Cuteo.

      • charlottencredsfan

        If Johnny goes the rest of the season without injury, he is far and away the best pitcher on the Reds. If they can afford him, it’s a no brainer.

  8. zippy

    Although it’s not true, let’s say for the sake of argument that Chapman has only two pitches. Can anyone explain to me how it’s possible to get almost everyone out with these two pitches as a reliever, but as a starter he wouldn’t be able to do it? Am I to understand that by the second or third at-bat it’s easy to hit 98 mph fastballs mixed with occasional sliders? In the home run derby the league’s top sluggers were having trouble handling 60 mph pitches thrown wherever they wanted them, but they’d be smacking Chapman’s fastballs by the fourth or fifth inning?

    • CP (@nomoresalads)

      I think there is a legitimate argument that Chapman may not be able to maintain the same velocity as a starter, so he would have been relying on something more like a 94 mph fastball, and a slider. That’s a big difference.

      • zippy

        But isn’t there also an argument to be made that once he gets really loosened up and into a rhythm he’ll start throwing even harder and/or gain more control? How often have we seen guys who have trouble pitching effectively in the first inning and then dominate the next five or six? Why do we think we know what kind of major league starter Chapman would be when he’s never tried it at the major league level? Nobody knew what kind of closer Eckersley would be until he actually became a closer.

    • Jerry Davis

      MLB players are the best hitters in the world, when they get a second and 3rd look at you in a game they have a better chance at hitting your pitches, the more quality pitches you have the harder it is to key in on you. Look at JJ Hoover when he goes out for a 2nd inning..

      • zippy

        You think they’re able to hit Hoover because they’ve been seeing his pitches from the dugout for one inning? Nonsense. They’re hitting Hoover in the second inning because he isn’t a very good pitcher. They also hit him in his first inning sometimes — for the same reason. In fact, there are lots of pitchers who are supposedly easier to hit in the first inning than any other inning. Some pitchers start throwing harder as the game progresses. They’re not throwing a different kind of fastball, they just get looser and start throwing harder. Some pitchers get tired and start losing control. Not all pitchers are alike. But there’s no way a guy can suddenly start hitting a 99 mph fastball mixed with good slider if the pitches are thrown well. The question is whether he can still throw well in the fourth or fifth inning; it isn’t whether hitters can suddenly figure out how to hit the same pitches they could barely touch two innings ago.

      • charlottencredsfan

        There is a lot of bad luck involved here too, that you are conveniently overlooking.

  9. Dale Pearl

    There is zero evidence to say that Kershaw, Lester, Price, or even Cueto could throw over 100 mph if they only piched one inning so why would people speculate Chapman could only throw at 94 mph if he was a starter. There is also zero evidence that Chapman could ever endure pitching every fifth day over a 162 game schedule. Yes Chappy was a starter in cuba but how many starts did he take over a full season? It is great to think this player could do that if they were in a different role but reality is we dont know if it would work, if it would damage him as a pitcher, or lead to arm injuries. Why even consider Chapman as a starter at all since we dont have a need for starting pitching, we dont project to have a need at starting pitching and we found a position and a role that Chapman completely dominates at?

    We could take the same logic and say since we have a need for a left fielder and Votto used to play left field why not move Votto back to LF? Or we could say the same with moving Hamilton back to SS. Could it work? Sure! But why do it if you don’t need to and the player is not only succeeding but also enjoys his current role?

    • nyredfanatic

      Don’t fix it if it aint broken

      • Dale Pearl

        that is it. We don’t need Chapman as a starter and he is just about the best closer that money can buy. 28 other teams would take him as their closer. Maybe Atlanta would pass on him but that is probably it.

      • nyredfanatic

        And lets not forget we have a good starting 5. Who would he replace? And if there is no guarantee he would be better then leave him where he is.

      • Steve Mancuso

        You don’t move Chapman now, you do it in the off-season. Isn’t everyone worried about who is going to start for the Reds soon? Leake, Latos, Simon and Cueto all leave after 2015 without extensions. There were plenty of calls to trade one or more of them at the deadline.

        I would have moved Chapman to the rotation a couple years ago and traded one of the other starters for an impact left-fielder.

      • nyredfanatic

        I am not saying move him now… That would kill his arm as its not conditioned to be a starter. A few years ago he would have been a starter had Madsen’s arm not blown up. Then we would not have all this fun discussing it.

        We all know, or at least expect, a few of those pitchers you mentioned will be gone after 2015 anyway due to the salaries. If Chapman was as good as we all would have hoped he would have been as a starter then there is no guarantee that we would be able to keep him and his salary demands any how. We could be in a worse financial situation.

        And if the Reds are as high on their pitching prospects as they seem to be I would still be up for trading one of them for an impact LF

      • Hotto4votto

        How many innings can we realistically expect Chapman to go as a starter? 120 max? So he can’t go the whole year. If it’s on a pitch count, as opposed to an innings limit it may be less, because strike out pitchers generally throw more pitches per inning. Two more years of control after this year? I haven’t looked it up but that seems right if he is first year arb eligible this year. The starter ship sailed. We’d never get a full year out of him, even if he were dominant, it would require having a sixth starter at some point, and likely would tax our bullpen along the way. The best value the Reds can get for him now is through trading him.

  10. Jake

    5 runs in one night? What is this offensive juggernaut and what have they done with the Reds?

    In all honesty, I’ll take the series win.

  11. charlottencredsfan

    “Leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton has now gone 58 plate appearances since he last walked, but he did have two hits.”

    Reds slugger Jay Bruce is sporting a 216/302/78 line and 111/238/139 after the break but did manage to eke out 1 single and he more importantly, a walk.

  12. Kyle Farmer

    What a doofus that Billy Hamilton is getting hits instead of taking walks. What’s wrong with him?

    • Steve Mancuso

      Some players – the best ones – get both hits and walks.

      • zippy

        Aside from the fact that walks usually force the pitcher to throw more pitches, which is an added benefit, they also improve batting average — especially with a guy who’s not much of a power threat but is a threat to steal. When a pitcher knows Hamilton will swing at pitches way out of the zone, guess what he’s going to throw a lot of? If Hamilton would establish that he’s up there looking for walks, he’d start seeing a lot more strikes, and his batting average would increase. It’s absolutely NOT an either/or, it’s a win-win. I don’t understand why this is so hard for him (and apparently other people) to understand.

      • Giant E

        Ridiculous – he takes borderline pithces for strikes all the time that would be called balls for Votto. No pitcher wants to walk him – he gets down 0 and 2 – and that’s when he tends to swing out of the zone. You have to get balls thrown and called as balls to walk – how do you walk more if you aren’t thrown more “called” balls?

      • Shchi Cossack

        My gut reaction regarding the pitches Hamilton sees also that pitchers are not throwing him pitches out of the strike zone, but the numbers simply do not support by gut. Hamilton does need to work on pitch recognition and plate discipline if he is going to reach his full potential.

      • zippy

        Apparently we haven’t been watching the same games. I see him frequently swinging on the first pitch, rarely taking two consecutive pitches even when the first one is a ball, and swinging at a ton of bad pitches that are nowhere near “borderline.” I’ve been paying attention to this for some time and noticed he very rarely takes consecutive pitches unless they’re both a mile out of the zone. I believe when he takes a ball or two he’s thinking “ok, I showed him I’m being patient, so now the next one will be a fastball down the middle and I’ll hammer it.” It’s often a curve six inches low, but he swings anyway because he’s not interested in walking.

      • zippy

        I’ll just keep reminding everyone of the at-bat a few weeks ago, early in a game (it was scoreless at that point, I believe), where Latos had just walked and Hamilton swung at the first (and only) two pitches he saw, both of which were way too low to be called strikes by even the most anti-Hamilton umpire. He made an out rather than being up 2-0. That at-bat told me that Hamilton is simply not interested in walking as a general philosophy. When a pitcher can’t throw a strike to Latos, he obviously can’t throw strikes. But Hamilton assumed he’d be getting a fastball down the middle? And assumed it again even after the first pitch was in the dirt? That’s not the umpire’s fault. It’s a bad approach to hitting.

      • Giant E

        I would concede he has been not as good over last two weeks – he’s pressing too much – but the idea that he could be getting a significant amount more walks with a strike zone stacked against a rookie and pitchers who know the worst thing you could do is walk him is factually inaccurate.

      • Steve Mancuso

        The league % of pitches in the strike zone is 45.2%. Billy Hamilton’s % of pitches in the strike zone is 48.4% – which is closest to the percentage that Zack Cozart and Chris Heisey sees. It’s not like Hamilton sees that much of a different composition of balls and strikes. Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox sees 52.3% strikes, but he manages a 9.2% walk-rate. Hamilton’s walk-rate is 4.1%, which ranks him 146 out of 155 qualified hitters.

      • Zippy

        Pete Rose walked 55 times his rookie season. I doubt the umpires were bending over backwards to help him, and I doubt pitchers were pitching around him. All his rookie hitting stats were amazingly similar to Hamilton’s except for walks and OBP. Rose had a good eye, but he also made a point of trying to see a lot of pitches and drawing walks. That’s the main difference.

      • Giant E

        I may have made up the factually inaccurate part. Thanks for setting me straight.

  13. charlottencredsfan

    64 ABs since Jay Bruce’s last dinger. Which will end sooner: Bruce’s power outage or Hamilton’s walkless streak. Jay is carrying a -0.3 oWAR, 26th on a 25-man roster.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Excuse me that is overall WAR. Sorry to mislead anyone.

  14. sezwhom

    I’m sure it was already said by someone here but: sometimes the best trade is the one you don’t make. Case in point: Ludwick. IF…IF…he can get hot, the man can carry the team for a few weeks.

    Aroldis Chapman entered the game with the Reds already having a 97% win probability.
    When I see that I just think: oh crap, we have a 3% chance of losing this game.

  15. Steve Mancuso

    Friends, disagree all you want about the substance of the recap – but please keep your discussion on the Reds, not on the tone or choices of the post. Comments that *disagree* with the take in the recap (like Chapman’s role) are great and engaged. Comments that complain about the tone or what’s in or what’s out of the recap are *about the recap* not about *the Reds.*

    Examples:

    Fine – Billy Hamilton is doing well
    Not – The writer hates Billy Hamilton

    Fine – Jay Bruce is in a bigger slump than Billy Hamilton
    Not – The writer here ignores Jay Bruce’s failures

    Fine – The Reds are playing well
    Not – The Reds are playing well, no matter what the writer here says

    See the difference between the ones that are about the Reds and those that are about the writer?

    • sultanofswaff

      10 players were mentioned in your recap, Hamilton twice. Where were the others? It takes a large amount of subjectivityselective bias to do that, and yet the readers are forbidden from mentioning that in a thread directly related to discussing the key players\moments in the game? It’s part and parcel to the discussion. Maybe you should save your opinions for the comment thread and stick to the facts on the recap. Less victim blaming that way.

  16. eric nyc

    With the Rays getting Nick Franklin, is there a chance Zobrist is still available in August? I hate to even think this way, but somehow despite a terrible July we’re only 3 games out of the WC and 5 out of the division lead with 2 months to go. That’s hardly an insurmountable deficit. No matter what happens with BP, Votto, and Ludwick this year we still need an everyday LF for 2015 and Zobrist is better than any in house option and likely better than anyone we could get on the market in the offseason. Considering the pricetag on Price’s trade wasn’t really THAT high all things considered, I can’t imagine it would take too terribly much to get Zobrist now. In fact I think if the Price deal had happened even a couple hours earlier then Zobrist probably would have been moved before the deadline.

    • Steve Mancuso

      It’s really unlikely that Zobrist would be available to the Reds in the waiver process because his salary is so low. Lots of teams would make a claim on him. I do think that if the Rays start to fade (they did trade their best pitcher) they’d be open to moving Zobrist if they could. But the waiver rules really work against it for a player like him. High salary players have a better chance of getting through waivers.

      • eric nyc

        I’m not that up on the waiver process. Is it based on current record or last year’s finish?

  17. sultanofswaff

    As much as I was frustrated by the trade deadling inaction, I’m trying to find a silver lining moving forward. It’s the schedule. This month is pretty kind to us in that we play a lot of teams we should compete with on pitching alone. In September it’s almost exclusively divisional opponents, where a team’s fortunes can rise or fall quickly. Currently there’s 5 teams battling for 2 wild card spots, all clumped together, including the Reds.

    • eric nyc

      It would have been pretty hard to justify a major acquisition at the deadline given how the entire team was playing, and I would have been perfectly fine with moving some big pieces like Latos, Broxton, or even Chapman or Cueto, but looking around at the market for pitching I have to say I’m not terribly upset that we didn’t do anything. Price is better than Cueto and I think the Rays got ripped off for him. Franklin would have been nice here, but an ace pitcher should be worth more than a position player and some low level prospects. There’s still a chance for us to sneak back into the playoff conversation. BP and Votto can still contribute and Ludwick seems to be heating up. I can’t imagine Bruce is going to keep up his July pace – he’s never been this bad for too terribly long. I’m not holding my breath, but much crazier things have happened than this team turning it around this year.

  18. Tom Reed

    A major turn-around is in the making with Billy Hamilton taking the RoY award and the Cy Young to Johnny Cueto.

  19. VaRedsFan

    “Some players – the best ones – get both hits and walks.”

    Usually those same hitters are thrown 4 balls.

    If you were a pitcher, would rather throw him strikes or take the chance by throwing pitches outside the zone?

    • Zippy

      You can’t get thrown four balls if you never take four pitches. Have you seriously not noticed how often he swings at balls six inches off the ground and a foot outside? Start watching for it and you’ll notice it. If pitchers had such great control there would be almost no leadoff hitters with high walk totals. But they do exist.

      • VaRedsFan

        I will give you that he does fish for breaking balls in the dirt. I would also say that the majority of them are with 2 strikes after having taken a strike or fouling off other pitches (strikes). He is a rookie while the veterans are swinging at these same 2 strike junk balls. He will get better at laying off the tough pitches, as he has shown the ability to get better at every level he’s played. We will get better at staying alive with foul balls also. Ive watched 80% of the games, and he’s been in a lot of 2 strike holes, mostly due to taking at least 1 strike.

      • Steve Mancuso

        I agree with this and have said it many times – he’ll probably get better at taking walks. He did in the minor leagues. That’s not a guarantee, but a positive sign. But if he doesn’t start laying off those way off the plate pitches, he’ll never see good ones to hit. It’s connected.

  20. Jake

    Reds picked up Jake Elmore and Nick Christiani. An infielder and relief pitcher respectively

    • Tom Diesman

      They claimed Elmore off waivers from the A’s and designated Nick Christiani for assignment to make room for Elmore on the 40 man roster. Elmore is a 27 year old RH hitting 2B/SS and has seen some time at 3B and even a few games in the OF. He has a .223/.290/.298/.588. line in 209 PA over two season with AZ and HOU. The bright spot with Elmore is that in the minors he has posted a .290/.386/.392/.778 line in 2625 PA and his lowest OBP at any stop in the minors was a .362 in one of his two seasons in AA. He’s got good plate discipline and doesn’t K often. Not a bad pickup for MI to come off the bench.

      • Jake

        Ah, yea I meant to say DFA’d Christiani

      • redsfan06

        I see Elmore’s walk rate was close to 10% and strike out rate about 15% last year with Houston. Not too shabby.

  21. Jeff Morris

    Why not pinch hit Ludwick instead of Hannahan. Ludwick has been swinging the bat okay the last couple nights. Hannahan is lost. Ludwick is better. Even if Ludwick strikes out, Reds have a better chance with Ludwick as PH. Reds seem to have this man crush on Hannahan now??