The Reds lost their fifth straight game on Friday night in St. Louis. David Holmberg allowed two home runs in the first inning, and that was all the Cardinals needed for a 2-1 win. The Reds had the tying run on third base in the 9th inning with one out, but couldn’t score. The Reds have now scored just two runs in the last four games. Life of a Reds fan these days is pretty tough.

Final R H E
 Cincinnati Reds (71-83) 1 7 1
 St. Louis (86-68) 2 5 0
W: Lackey (3-2) L: Holmberg (1-2) S: Maness (3)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Photos | Game Thread

reds cards

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Jay Bruce striking out in the 9th inning by Randy Choate for the 2nd out of the inning. The Reds had runners on 1st and 3rd base. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 21.3% (from 36.9% to 15.7%).

Other important plays (+/- indicates how much each play increased or decreased the Reds chances of winning):

  • +20.8%: 9th inning – Phillips singled. Reds have runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out.
  • +11.5%: 9th inning – Frazier walked to leadoff the inning.
  • +5.4%: 2nd inning – Cozart’s RBI single (Cozart out at second, ending the inning). Cardinals lead 2-1.
  • -15.7%: 9th inning – Ludwick flied out to end the game. Reds strand runners on 1st and 3rd.
  • -10.7%: 1st inning – Grichuk’s solo HR off Holmberg. Cardinals lead 1-0.
  • -10.4%: 9th inning – Mesoraco struck out for the first out. Runner on 1st base.
  • -9.7%: 1st inning – Holliday’s solo HR off Holmberg. Cardinals lead 2-0.

Player of the Game

John Lackey: 7.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 1.82 FIP, 0.44 WPA

Positives

David Holmberg got off to a brutal start, giving up back to back homers to Randal Grichuk and Matt Holliday in the first inning. Holmberg settled down and didn’t allow another run over six innings. Holmberg is starting to show some signs of why he is the Reds #10 rated prospect. His line on the night: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K.

Devin Mesoraco might truly be the only reason worth watching the Reds for the remainder of the season. I think many of us expected Mesoraco to decline a bit in the second half, but he just hasn’t. I really appreciate the way Mesoraco has carried himself too. Every single night he seemingly gives everything he has, and it has been a true delight to watch him become a very good major league hitter. Even the Cardinals broadcasters were praising Mesoraco tonight! Mesoraco is hitting .278/.365/.534 with a 148 wRC+ this season.

Zack Cozart  had a nice night, as he went 2 for 3.

Negatives

MLB Replay continues to have issues. Cozart was called out trying to extend a single into a double. Bryan Price challenged the call, but the umpires in New York missed the call just like the umpires in St. Louis. I honestly don’t even know how you could possibly call Cozart out. The result was the inning ending, instead of the Reds have runners on 2nd and 3rd down 2-1.

cozart

Jon Jay isn’t going to be on Ryan Ludwick’s Christmas card list anytime soon. Jay robbed Ludwick twice of hits tonight on two pretty spectacular plays.

The Reds offense is just bad. Painfully bad. Our good friend Aaron pointed on twitter tonight that Joey Votto entered tonight with the team lead in walks (47). Votto has played in 62 games this season. That isn’t good.

Not so random thoughts……………

You gotta respect the move of Cardinals manager Mike Matheny in the 9th inning. Matheny pulled his closer with 44 saves on the season, Trevor Rosenthal. Matheny put in left-handed specialist Randy Choate to face Jay Bruce with runners on 1st and 3rd, with 1 out in the 9th inning. Bruce had a .582 OPS vs LH pitchers entering tonight. Choate struck out Bruce.

It will be a lot easier for me to watch and enjoy the MLB playoffs this season than the last two. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a huge baseball fan even outside of the Reds. October is truly my favorite or second favorite month of the year (March Madness is right there). The playoffs the last two seasons were tough to watch after the Reds were heartbreakingly eliminated early in the postseason both years. Each of the last two years, my post-Reds season mourning had not concluded by the time the playoffs ended. This year, I am already over the Reds and looking forward to the postseason once again. This year could be a really fun MLB postseason.

Our old friend Jonathan Broxton has had a rough couple nights for the Brewers. Last night, Broxton walked in the tying run in the 8th inning against the Cardinals. Tonight, he gave up a 3-run homer to Russell Martin, blowing a 2-0 lead. It looks like the Brewers season is officially over, as they are now 4.5 games back from the second wild card spot. What a collapse.

46 Responses

  1. BigRedSaguaro

    seen better hitting in tee ball than the Reds this week

    • Jake

      I don’t even think the Reds could hit a ball off a tee

  2. Jake

    Why do our pitchers even try? There’s no offense to back up their quality starts. The opposing team will get ahead and that’s it, game over. Plate discipline needs to be stressed this offseason, it’s getting ridiculous

    • Littleleo1

      Agreed. I am very tired of all the ten to twelve pitch innings the opposing pitcher gets vs Cincinnati. It seems as every Reds hitter is at 0 and 2 before they even step into the box. Can we just find one contact hitter anyway please?

    • Vicferrari

      They try because they are professionals, which I would like to question the status some of the hitters in this line-up. Just because your team stinks does not mean you approach the game differently…you don’t give up trying figure out why you are in a slump because you are out of it… this team might lose over 2/3 of their games after the ASB…anyone have a record for this type of futility?

  3. Earl Nash

    Hey Reds, why don’t you take a pitch or two instead of hacking at every first pitch.

    • D Ray White

      The only Red who consistently does that gets crucified by Marty, Daugherty, and all the call in bozos on WLW.

  4. Littleleo1

    Nick right with you on the upcoming playoffs. Nothing better when you do not have a real rooting interst. They can be very painful when you do. Investing 6 months putting your heart and soul into rooting for your favorite team and then watching it all crash in maybe as little as one day is very painful. Enjoy the playoffs!

  5. Earl Nash

    1st inning – 5 pitches,
    4th inning – 8 pitches,
    5th inning – 10 pitches
    6th inning – 9 pitches

    John Lackey was hitting the strike zone, but I wouldn’t say he seemed to be dealing with crazy movement or anything.

  6. sergeant2

    I’m assuming this is the recap, but I’m not 100% sure. At the top of the game thread page in the space that would normally have the title of the recap, well that space is empty. What gives?

  7. Dale Pearl

    Votto led the team in walks because clearly there was no reason to allow him to hit since nobody else in the lineup can.

  8. ohiojimw

    From the what does it really matter in a game that probably meant nothing to either team department……

    When Choate, the LOOGY, was brought on to face Bruce in the 9th with runners at 1st and 3rd (the tying run) and one out, they FSN flashed up a graphic that RH batters were hitting over .300 versus Choate while LH batters were around .110, Then the next graphic was that Bruce was 1 for 11 with 7K’s versus Choate.

    So maybe if you are Bryan Price you can’t quite bring yourself to send Yorman Rodriguez to the plate in that situation; but, he had Ramon Santiago whose slash line this season versus LH pitching is .372/449/.442 with 8K’s in 51 PA’s. If a person really wanted to extend the game wouldn’t it have made sense to send Santiago to the plate as Matheny was committed to let him face a hitter???

    • Vicferrari

      That would have been rude to Jay Bruce

    • George Mirones

      During the post game interview Price defended Bruce batting against Choate. He knew the stat line (1 for 11) but felt that with a man on 1st that the right side of the infield would open up for Bruce, and then he added, after all, “he is one of our guys”. Really!
      This is the type of logic that exists in baseball. Not one thought as to his current performance. This isn’t Price or Bruce bashing, it is bashing the process or culture that allows it to happen, “he is one of our guys”.

      • ohiojimw

        I saw the Price comments on DVR replay after I had made the post here; and I agree with you entirely.
        It was a chance to go out of the box and foil the other manager who had just played his pocket ace, sort of like trumping an ace with deuce in a game of cards. And in the long run doing something like that a time or two may earn a manager enough of a reputation as unpredictable as to keep that LOOGY out of the game in the future because the opposing manager does not want him facing a RH hitter under any circumstances.

  9. ToddAlmighty

    Are we still pretending this team hasn’t quit on Price?

      • ohiojimw

        Pray the team doesn’t prove it for sure by not winning another game all year. The Brew Crew should be even lower and more mentally spent than the Reds when they arrive at GABP. If the Reds don’t win at least one versus them, it is hard to imagine any other conclusion than the team has flat out quit.

    • Dale Pearl

      Two homers and three walks im not ready to crown this guy Cuetos replacement. He is yet to show me anything that looks loke major league talent. If anything this guy is lucky the Cardinals didnt hit four or five dingers

  10. C-bus Chris 14

    What to do with Bruce? What a terrible contract and complete waste of money. Just a complete anchor helping sink the small market Reds. BC can’t be happy with all of the deed money he is paying for Bruce and many other players.

    • drew

      So one bad season and Bruces contract is an anchor? Could you overreact any more?

    • Steve Mancuso

      It makes me think you don’t really know the details of Jay Bruce’s contract if you think it is terrible. Bruce is having a bad year, but his contract is one of the most team-friendly in baseball. In the first three years, starting in 2011, he’s earned 9.1 WAR according to FanGraphs and 8.8 WAR according to Baseball-Reference. For simplicity, let’s just average to 9 WAR.

      Teams paid around $6 million for one WAR over that time period, according to studies done on contracts. That means in those three years, Bruce produced what teams would pay roughly $54 million.

      Bruce was paid $15.5 million those years. His entire six-year contract costs the Reds $51 million.

      If Jay Bruce never bounces back, and his next two seasons are like this one, then maybe he won’t have earned his contract. But it’s hardly an anchor (the most he makes a year is $12.5 million which isn’t much in a $140 million payroll).

      And, if he goes back to producing like he did in 2011-2013, his contract will be an enormous windfall for the team.

      • Thegaffer

        As usual Steve you are right on. However, paying Bruce and Phillips over 20 percent of the total salary and to get this level of production will keep the reds out of contention. Really the only hope is that they come back bigtime. Either way, you have to have a slugging LF to either replace or supplement the production. I am not an overreactor, but they need to make MAJOR trades.

      • Vicferrari

        I see no reason why Bruce cannot get back to 2013 form- considering his age and that he had the injury, who knows how hurt he is? His streakiness is a little worrisome in that he rarely got on fire and the past 3 months have been disappointing as it feels he just accepted he was in a slump and did nothing about it.
        Phillips had the type of season I would expect- just bizarre that the Reds did not consider that when trying not to slap him in the face when it might have been exactly what he needed to realize he is not an elite player (although he could be a great piece to have hitting in the lower part of the line-up considering his defensive skills)

      • George Mirones

        Nice job of explaining Bruce contract from a logical, factual, business point of view too bad some fans don’t get the business part of baseball. To blame the player for his contract is like blaming your wife because she gave birth to a girl and you wanted a boy. Bob C. and Walt J. said yes to the contract not Bruce. Bob C and Walt J. knew what they were getting and the fact that the whole line up has collapsed offensively, any short comings that Bruce has always had at the plate, are exposed and magnified.

  11. drew

    Which fan base has had it worse? The Reds and thier overall underperforming season or the Brewers or A’s who hav seen thier top teams throughout the majority of the season have a colossal collapse in the final month of the season?

    • jessecuster44

      I feel bad for the A’s, as they made deals to improve the team, but nothing has worked out. The Brewers? I think even their fans knew the first half of the season was fool’s gold. It was a good run.

      The Reds? Every season since 2011, the team has had an area to improve that even the most myopic of fans could see. Yet management stubbornly decided not to do anything. This season was more of the same – you could see the bad offense in April,(November, actually) yet not one thing was done to try and improve it. NOT ONE THING. When I think of Walt and Bob C, I get angry. I’m not sure A’s or Brewers fans react he same way when they think about their management.

    • Vicferrari

      I would trade places with either of them in an instant. As a fan I just like it for my team to be there, I was excited to follow both of those games in Colorado as I lived and died with every pitch. My heart was ripped out when Stubbs hit that HR but these games since have rarely held my interests as it looks like the hitters and management have showed less

  12. sezwhom

    Jocketty earned his paycheck by unloading Broxy. *part true, part sarcasam*

    • Shchi Cossack

      Let’s not forget who was also responsible for giving Brox that contract he had to unload. WJ was able to unload $12MM on a contract that should never have been issued in the first place.

      • Vicferrari

        I still get irritated when I think the rationale behind that contract was based on that Chapman would start- the fact that Chapman was never even given a shot at any point just feels sadistic to fans who only get to see the occasional 3 out dominance here and there.
        But the other issue is the fact if Chapman was the established closer, the Reds pretty much could have signed him for the same role he had for a lot less. Broxton had a great half, it is a shame that he could not help the Brewers, I just hate the Cards

  13. Shchi Cossack

    Well the Reds have worked themselves into position for a top 10 draft selection. I’m not so concerned about a protected 1st round draft pick to sign a FA since any of the available FA will be over-valued and over-priced, but the Reds haven’t had a high draft pick for a few years.

  14. User1022

    This team has underperformed. That is a statement no one can dispute.

    The question is, why? How much of this is injuries, how much of this is a rookie manager’s inability to get the most out of the pieces he has available to him? I will say, the team does not show even an inkling of the “relentlessness” or “accountability” that Price (used to) talk so much about.

    I still wonder: if Dusty were still the manager, what would this team’s record be? A playoff team to one of the worst in the league? It really seems far too steep of a dropoff.

    • ohiojimw

      Things would probably be a lot like they were in 2011 (79-83). The team would be treading water toward a possible .500 finish and the fans would be blaming Dusty they weren’t in real contention.

      • ohiojimw

        Here a barometer we can all use in the next week. In 2011, the Reds won 3 of their last 6 games on their way to the 79-83 finish. Five of those 6 games were one run games; all 3 of the Reds wins were 1 run wins. Anybody see anything close to that likely to happen this year?

    • George Mirones

      The seeds of this poor season were planted last year but no one noticed because they barely made the one game play-in. The Reds played above their potential pre-all star game this year, then reality arrived.

  15. sultanofswaff

    It’s funny how much bashing Brook Jacoby received last year before he was canned. It’s even more funny how this year’s guy (a name I scarcely remember) doesn’t appear on this site the entire season.

    It’s not the coach, it’s the players. By the time they reach the majors, they pretty much are who they are. If they don’t perform, you replace them.

    • George Mirones

      Agreed, It takes a great player to adjust, if they don’t they become an after thought in any trade.

    • charlottencredsfan

      I have to question the Teams hitting philosophy in general, including the Farm System; too anxious at the plate and little ability of any Red to hit the ball to all fields. Joey Votto is/was a great hitter because he worked at it, I really doubt he was assisted much by the Reds instructors. What has happened to BHam & Frazier in the second half has been disturbing. Billy looks like April vintage Hamilton and Todd looks like last year’s Frazier. A lousy a hitters as Cozart and Heisey are, they can not afford to be strict pull hitters.

      If JV and Bruce don’t bounce back big in 2015, this team is in serious trouble.

  16. Tom Reed

    In the playoffs I’ll root for somebody to eliminate the Cardinals, and then I’d like to see a Washington/Baltimore world series.

  17. Nick Kirby

    I am certainly not a fan of Bryan Price’s in-game management decisions this season, but I have no problem with him letting Bruce bat. The Reds season is completely over, and Jay Bruce has had a miserable season. If the Reds want to be successful in 2015, they need Jay Bruce to play at the level he did prior to this season. It is pretty clear that Bruce’s confidence is fairly shaken because of this season. Pinch-hitting for him in that situation would only have made his confidence level fall even worse. If the game meant something, absolutely he should be pinch-hit for, but it doesn’t.

    • George Mirones

      Nick writes: “If the game meant something, absolutely he should be pinch-hit for, but it doesn’t”.
      Nick I can grasp the concept of “if the game meant anything” but if it doesn’t mean anything, why is it important that the veterans play versus the kids? Why should The Reds activate Votto? Why not let Santiago be the starting pitcher?

      As far as Bruce’s “confidence level”, IMO the warm fuzzy approach is for kids, pets and wives. What message does that send to players like Negron, Holmberg, Hamilton, and others.
      Does “he is one of our guys” mean your performance means nothing as long as you are one the guys?
      Nick I would re-think the wording. 🙂

    • charlottencredsfan

      “Cozart was called out trying to extend a single into a double.” No, actually it was a simple single in front of the RF. Cozart attempted to take second on the throw home. Molina was 10-15 feet in front of home plate and gunned him down with a runner at third, two outs and the pitcher coming up. Regardless if the umpire missed the call, it was brutally bad base running once again.

      The Reds can not control bad umpiring anymore then any other team but they can run the bases like they know what the situation is. We should quit making excuses for these guys. It was just plain badly executed baseball. Lord knows poor Zack can’t bit but he sure could pay better attention to what is going on around him.

      Second point: I doubt if the Reds have “ever” ph for Jay Bruce or ever would but he needs to shorten his stroke with 2 strikes and make a better effort of putting that ball in play. Only two managers I can think of that would have pinch-hit for him last night: Joe Maddon and Billy Martin.

      It is all on Bruce: 1st strike he tries put the pitch in the RF bleachers and pulls off the ball horribly, second strike he tries to pull an outside pitch and fouls it weakly outside the 1st base fouline, and the 3rd strike he swings at a pitch a foot outside. A great example of a perfectly terrible situational AB. Now if I can go back a look at the tape, don’t you think Bruce or Don Long could? Anyone want to bet if either did?

      • George Mirones

        No they probably didn’t, after all, as Nick put it, “If the game meant something, but it doesn’t.”