Johnny Cueto pitched eight innings of one run baseball, and the Reds beat the Brewers 3-1 to begin the final six game homestand of 2014. The loss by the Brewers all but eliminates them from the postseason in 2014 (if the Pirates and Giants win one more game the rest of the season, or the Brewers lose one more game, they are eliminated). Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, and the Reds never looked back.

Final R H E
 Cincinnati Reds (73-84) 3 6 2
 Milwaukee Brewers (80-77) 1 4 0
W: Cueto (19-9) L: Fiers (6-4) S: Chapman (34)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Photos | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Johnny Cueto getting Ryan Braun to ground into a double play in the 7th inning. There were runners on 1st and 2nd at the time with 0 outs, and the Reds leading 2-1. That play increased the Reds chances of winning by 21.0% (from 53.1% to 74.1%).

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

  • +11.5%: 1st inning – Frazier’s solo HR. Reds lead 1-0.
  • +10.1%: 1st inning – Mesoraco’s solo HR. Reds lead 2-0
  • +8.3%: 9th inning – Chapman strikes out Ramirez. Runners on 1st & 2nd, 2 outs.
  • +7.1%: 9th inning – Chapman strikes out Braun. Reds win 3-1. Brewers strand runners on 1st & 3rd.
  • -11.2%: 6th inning – Gomez solo HR off Cueto. Reds lead 2-1.
  • -11.2%: 7th inning – Ramirez singles off Cueto. Runners on 1st & 2nd, 0 outs.
  • -7.5%: 9th inning – Chapman walked Lucroy. Runners on 1st & 2nd, 1 out.
  • -7.3%: 7th inning – Lucroy reaches on a fielding error by Cozart to leadoff the inning.
  • -7.2%: 9th inning – Chapman hits Gomez by a pitch to leadoff the inning.

Player of the Game

Johnny Cueto: 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K, 3.38 FIP, 0.40 WPA

Cueto won his 19th game of the season tonight (full disclaimer before I continue: I do not condone using wins and losses as a way of evaluating a pitcher. It is a 100% flawed system and a poor way to evaluating pitchers). Cueto’s 19 wins ties his own mark of 19 wins back in 2012 as the most by a Reds pitcher since Danny Jackson in 1988. Now for the more important numbers: Cueto’s 2.29 ERA is the best by a Reds pitcher that qualified for the ERA title since Gary Nolan (1.99 ERA) in 1972. Even more impressive, Cueto’s 0.97 WHIP is the second best since 1901 by a Reds pitcher (only Tom Seaver’s 0.96 WHIP in 1977 is better).

Positives

Devin Mesoraco hit his 25th home run of the season in the first inning. Mesoraco continues to climb the list of the most HR in a single-season by a Reds catcher (minimum 50% of games played at catcher).

meso2

Todd Frazier hit his 28th home run of the season in the first inning. Only two players have hit more home runs while playing 50% or more of their games at third base in Reds history: Tony Perez did it twice, 1968 (38) and 1970 (40), and Deron Johnson hit 32 HR in 1965.

Billy Hamilton and Devin Mesoraco made a fine play in the first inning to take away a run from the Brewers.

HamiltonMeso

Negatives

Billy Hamilton went 0 for 4 and his OBP has now dropped to .293.

Aroldis Chapman was a little shaky in the 9th inning, but I guess that sort of thing happens when you pitch once every two weeks.

Not so random thoughts…………..

As this season draws to a close, you have to start wondering if we could be seeing the last start from one of the starting pitchers in a Reds uniform? There is certainly some speculation that the Reds could trade one of their three starting pitchers (Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake) whose contracts all end following next season. Could Sunday be the last time we ever see Cueto pitch in a Reds uniform? Could Friday be the last time we ever see Leake pitch for the Reds? Have we seen Mat Latos last start in a Reds uniform?

The Reds assured themselves of a non-90 loss season. Whew, it was looking hairy for a little bit.

45 Responses

  1. zaglamir

    Mixed up the team names, Nick. You show the Reds line as the Brewers and vice versa. Thanks for the quick recap though!

  2. sergeant2

    Knowing a recap has been posted isn’t as easy to know as it used to be. At the top of the game thread, on the left side there’s a space that says “previous post” on the right side there’s a blank space that used to get filled in with the title of the recap, but now that space remains blank even after a recap has been posted. Whats up with that?

    • Steve Mancuso

      You can look under RECENT POSTS in the sidebar for the recap. Or you could refresh the front page. I’ll look into the ‘previous post’ situation.

      • sergeant2

        That’s what I’ve learned to do now, check the recent post list. Old people like me get set in their ways, and I was used to scrolling to the top of the game thread to see if a recap had been posted. What can I say, I’m a grumpy old man. (I have to admit, I kinda enjoy being a grumpy old man)

  3. redsfan06

    Pirates just won to sew up a playoff spot. They have gone 15-3 in last 18 games. This was their 4th 1 run win in a row. Guess they are experiencing the opposite as the Reds in those games.

    • pinson343

      The Pirates have been the opposite of the Reds in 1 run games. Seems like most of their wins have been by 1 run. Their bullpen has made a huge difference.

      The Pirated finished strong in late September 2013, beating the Reds 4 straight games. Now they’re having another strong finish. That might have something to do with Clint Hurdle.

      • WVRedlegs

        Hurdle does have something to do about that. But so does healthy players. The Pirates have no one on the DL right now finishing the season. That is pretty astounding. They had their injuries earlier and got healthy. They are sure on a roll and playing well just at the right time.

  4. pinson343

    Chapman pitched for the 3rd night in a row tonight. Brantley said that for sure Chapman was nervous about saving Cueto’s 19th. He was also facing some very good RHed batters. He did not want to give Lucroy a fastball (even his fastball) right down Broadway with him up as the tying run. The strike 3 pitches to Ramirez (down and in slider) and Braun (high fastball) were perfect pitches.

  5. redsfan06

    Addressing the part of your post regarding the Reds trading one of their starting pitchers, I just cannot imagine trading Cueto. He is one of a handful of truly dominant pitchers in the game. Only Kershaw and Wainwright are in the same vicinity in the NL.

    • Kyle Farmer

      He’s also north of 30 and a bit prone to injury. For the right return, I wouldn’t be adverse to this team trading anybody.

      • redsfan06

        Cueto is only 28. He is less than 3 months older than Bailey, who the Reds rushed into signing off of a career best season without receiving a discount for early signing.

        You can never be against trading someone for “the right return”. Targeting a trade of one the best pitchers in the game is not a good plan. There is plenty of other trade bait in the organization.

      • Kyle Farmer

        Thanks for catching that. No idea where I picked the idea up that he was 30+.

    • tct

      What would you do with Cueto then? The reds have one more year of Cueto at 10 mil. After that, they would have to pay him at least 20 mil per year for at least the next 5 years if they want to keep him. And it could be more than 20 million and it could take 6 years to keep him. If they extend him, all of the years that they will be paying big money for will be years where Cueto is in his 30’s. All this for a pitcher who had missed significant amounts of time due to injury in 2 of the last 3 years coming into this year, and for a small market team that already has a 100 million dollar pitcher and a 200 million dollar position player.

      You don’t trade players in baseball, you trade contracts. Cueto looks like a good bargain for next year, but after that it will be hard to get much, if any, surplus value out of Cueto because it will take so much to keep him. The reds have to do something with Cueto. Letting him leave after next year and getting only a draft pick would be a really poor use of resources. If you think the reds should hold on to Cueto, then you should give reasons why you think it is a good idea to sign a 30 year old pitcher to a 5 or more year, 100+ million dollar extension.

      • redsfan06

        …”for a small market team that already has a 100 million dollar pitcher and a 200 million dollar position player.” This certainly speaks to past signings that appear to be ,shall we say, a bit overboard. The Reds cannot continue to pay premium dollars for long term contracts. They need to get some surplus value out of some of their signings.

        First of all, I would define what I would consider to be “the right return”. In my opinion, giving up your top pitcher who happens to be one of the best in the game, the return should be a hitting LF who is not a total slouch in the field and has a reasonable contract, a top minor league SS prospect and some inexpensive relief help, and maybe a future pitching prospect. If you are going to create a huge hole with a player of this caliber, it should be to fill the others.

        Lacking this kind of return, I would keep him on the team for next year and try to fill the holes in another way. If the Reds are not in the playoff race, I would then look to trade him before the deadline. He will still command a significant return. This action is pending the contract demands Cueto has. His injuries have not been arm related, like Bailey’s and Latos’ have. Wainwright did miss a complete season with injury, but he is still a top pitcher at 33, so the cost and length of the contract will have to determine the Reds course of action.

  6. pinson343

    This game illustrated why Mes ought to be Cueto’s usual catcher. Not saying that Mes ought to catch every day – but his days off can be distributed among the starters. A starter is at a disadvantage without him in the lineup.

    • Kyle Farmer

      Couldn’t agree more. More ABs for Mes next year is a must.

  7. pinson343

    I was so happy that Bourgeois got that RBI hit, saved me from having to rant about him and Hamilton spoiling two earlier scoring opportunities.

    On the offensive side of the game, Hamilton can’t do anything right now, and he looks like he’s really dragging. Even his sac bunt was awful, right in front of the catcher, could have been an out at 3rd but no one was covering.

  8. pinson343

    I hope that Cueto’s 20th win costs the Pirates winning the NL Central. It means indirectly rooting for the Cardinals to win it, but so be it. It would be the most dramatic way to win his 20th, and he owes the Pirate fans something.

    • redsfan06

      Wins and losses are a bad way to evaluate a pitcher, but I would like to see Cueto get his 20th.

      • pinson343

        I’m totally with you. I wrote my comment below before seeing yours.

    • msanmoore

      I hope Cueto’s 20th win comes because the Pirates have won the NL Central and it doesn’t matter. Just can’t root for the Dirty Birds no matter what.

      • Sparky

        I guess I’m one of the only “Old School” guys left here. I truly believe 20 wins is a sign of an awesome pitcher. Very rarely has a guy ever gotten to that win plateau without being really really good. Cueto is really really good.

      • msanmoore

        I agree … 20 wins is a major benchmark. Probably more so since few make it that far these days.

      • PRoseFutureHOFer

        You’re not the only old-schooler here, Sparky, and I think you hit it on the head: 20 wins may not be a perfect indicator of being a great pitcher, but it’s pretty hard to get to that number without being one. Most of my problem with old school vs new school stats is not that the new school stats are nonsense (they’re not, usually), but that the old school stats are now presented as meaningless (they’re not, usually). Wins are good. 20 wins is very good.

  9. pinson343

    Yes wins is a team stat, but there is still a magic to 20 wins. It no doubt means a great deal to Cueto, so it means a lot to the Reds (and to me). Also if a guy wins 20 he HAS to at least be in the Cy Young conversation, that’s just how it is. The conversation has been all about Kershaw and Wainwright.

    • greenmtred

      Agree about 20 wins. I think that wins and, for that matter, rbi’s, are not meaningless–they just aren’t definitive stats.

    • Drew

      I think 20 means a whole lot to a pitcher. It’s numbers like that and ERA and such that are used come contract time. A pitcher can have a great WHIP and K’s and such, but in those contract talks 20 wins means MONEY….

  10. pinson343

    Super picky department: the Braun GIDP raised the Reds chances of winning from 53.0%, not 54.1 %.

  11. redmountain

    I think we probably have seen the last of Latos; I am not sure what he would bring, I would take a guy that will get on base and hit with a little power-for LF. I think we will see a couple of relievers go and maybe a SS or 2nd B come back or maybe some free agents.

  12. Dale Pearl

    Mr. Latos and his lovely wife will be enjoying life in a more high profile city next year. He seems more of a celebrity type than the typical Red. Maybe Mr. and Mrs. Latos can start the first reality TV show in Los Angeles involving Major League Baseball? I see him as an Angel though not as a Dodger. 🙂

    • Sparky

      Boy I for one sure hope he pitches in Cincinnati next season. He’s a gamer and from what I’m told really likes the city. KEEP LATOS! lol!

  13. Mister D69

    As much (complaining) as I’ve been doing this year, I’m happy to put it aside for one night. The four best things (the only four good things?) about this year’s team all shined on the same night: Johnny, Chappy, Mes, and Fraze. What were the odds of that? (Of course, seeing as they are the four BEST things, the odds would be higher than the four worst things shinning on one night.)

  14. chezpayton

    I wouldn’t call wins a 100% flawed system. Your MLB wins leaders are Cueto, Kershaw, and some pond scum from st lewis. If you ask me, at least two of those guys are pretty (darn) good.

  15. Michael Smith

    Wins are a flawed way to measure a pitcher but at a certain point if you keep on winning a lot of games as a starter in this day and age it usually means your pretty darn good. When i say that i mean the guys who are sniffing 20 wins.

    • Grand Salami

      Especially considering the team winning percentages. Cueto’s 19 wins with the Reds are slightly more impressive than winning 19 with the two division leading teams.

  16. wvredlegs

    The radio silence from the Reds front office regarding whether Jocketty will be retained as GM is deafening. What is taking the Reds so long to say something if it is pretty automatic that Jocketty returns?? Tensions? Creating tensions within the front office got himself canned in STL.
    The D-backs and LaRussa are reportedly going to be namimg their new GM tomorrow. That might be in play.
    The Reds would be fools to trade Cueto. Unless it is to the Dodgers, where they can get 2 top-12 prospects in all of minor league baseball in OF Joc Pedersen and SS/3B/2B Corey Seager in the trade package.

    • Tom Reed

      I would be surprised if there wasn’t tension in the front office after this season. I’m old fashioned and believe you don’t trade your ace. Keep Cueto (and Leake) and trade Latos.

    • Drew

      Why does there need to be anything said. He will ink a new deal when he and Bob are ready to, basically a non issue.

  17. sultanofswaff

    It’s bad enough the national media has given Kershaw the Cy Young on a silver platter, but the Reds beat writers are buying in as well (hey guys, in case you didn’t notice, Cueto’s holding batters to a .193 average, Kershaw .195.). The differences aren’t as great as the media would have you believe. *facepalm*

    I keep going back to the 45 IP Cueto has over Kershaw. Missing a month sure lessens the chance of a dog days dead arm slump, doesn’t it? It’s fun to look at Kershaw’s statistics in a vaccum, but they were accrued over the course of a 162 game season, a season where a different starting pitcher had to take the ball for him 5 times. That guy was Paul Maholm 4 out of 5 starts. I totaled up the IP, hits, and runs, for the 5 starts Kershaw would’ve/should’ve made.

    28 IP, 40 hits, 18 runs (all earned).

    So, less than 6 innings per start. Probably a negative WAR, yes? Would it be fair to attribute that to Kershaw?? That doesn’t even include the middle reliever statistics either, which probably subtract from the WAR even more.

    Point is, I think the Cy Young winner should be give to someone who pitched the entire season. Taking the ball every 5th day matters, because if you don’t, someone else has to, and that someone is usually replacement level or worse.

  18. wvredlegs

    What would Cueto’s W-L record be today, if not for The Arsonists in the bullpen? Close to 23-9 and Cy Young frontrunner worthy.

    • Drew

      I thought W/L records were not a good gauge at determing quality in a pitcher?

      • WVRedlegs

        Well, there you go again. I didn’t say whether it was or was not a good gauge. I simply wondered what his W-L would be. Those “wins” blown by the bullpen would have probably moved him ahead of Kershaw on some voters ballots.

      • Drew

        You stated a 23-9 record would have made him frontrunner worthy, which means you believe W/L record carry significant weight. There is no chance in you know where that unless he had like maybe 25-27 wins would anything move him anywhere close to Kershaw. Kershaw is going to win this in a laugher and possibly take home MVP this season. Cueto will be a far distance 2nd at best and I could see him finishing third behind Wainwright maybe.

      • WVRedlegs

        Junior, you have NO way of knowing what I believe or don’t believe. You make rash interpretations, rarely correct ones, and usually are way off base. Much like when the Cards Matt Adams was picked off 1st base by the Reds earlier this year.