Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (8-7) 2 4 0
Milwaukee Brewers (2-13) 1 5 0
W: Cueto (1-2) L: F. Rodriguez (0-2) S: Chapman (4)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Johnny Cueto was his usual, masterful self. Cueto tossed eight brilliant innings, allowing one run on five hits and two walks, striking out eight. His season ERA dropped to 1.86, which is pretty good.

–Billy Hamilton had a hit, two walks, and scored both Cincinnati runs…plus he recorded his 9th stolen base (tops in the big leagues). Perhaps I’m overstating things, or seeing something that I want to see, but I’m impressed with Hamilton’s patience at the plate this year. Not really showing up in the numbers yet, but it seems like he’s making real progress. #eyetest

He’s also continuing to do Hamilton things. In the ninth, Billy walked with one out, then went first to third on a single up the middle by Joey Votto. I doubt anyone else in baseball could go first to third on that hit.

Then, later in the inning, Francisco Rodriguez threw a pitch in the dirt that bounced away from the catcher. The ball couldn’t have been more than 7-8 feet from the plate, yet Billy scored standing up. He’s fast.

–Votto was 2-4 with an RBI, the only Red with multiple hits.

–Aroldis Chapman was dominant, once again, in the ninth inning. He picked up his 4th save, and assisted Cueto in obtaining his first win of the season.

The Bad
–Reds only had four hits, one night after scoring 16.

–Marlon Byrd’s terrible, no good, very bad season continues. After another 0-3 night, Byrd is hitting .115/.130/.135 on the season.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Reds are back above .500. Can we play the Brewers every day?

–Funny moment in the bottom of the ninth. With one away and Aroldis Chapman throwing heat, home plate umpire Sean Barber rang up Aramis Ramirez for the second out. Only one problem: it was just strike two. Oops.

–With runners on the corners in the eighth inning and two outs, Bryan Price elected to keep Cueto in the game. This despite the fact that Cueto had thrown 120+ pitches and a lefty was coming to the plate. Seems like an obvious spot to use Aroldis Chapman, but if you aren’t going to use Chapman there, I think leaving Cueto in the game is the right call. Is there someone else in that bullpen in whom you trust?

Of course, Cueto struck out the hitter (Milwaukee’s Adam Lind) to end the inning. In related news: Johnny Cueto is awesome.

–So yeah, Cueto threw 125 pitches. I can’t get as worked up about that as I used to. Cueto will be fine.

–Milwaukee has lost seven games in a row. They’re really bad.

–I jumped the gun last night, but today I can say it: Reds go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon. Current Red Homer Bailey* will face former Red Kyle Lohse. Go Reds.

*I wrote about Homer for Cincinnati Magazine this week. Please go read it.

119 Responses

  1. RedInInd

    That’s the way to do it! Three in a row, sweep tomorrow! But I’m still not feeling much managerial love.

    • Seattle-Red

      No managerial love? 3 & 0 since the Fplosion. Coincidence? We’ll never know for sure.

    • Vicferrari

      Left plenty a room for 2nd guessing leaving Cueto in the 8th (pretty easy decision until a leadoff double at 105 pitches), I just assumed they would bring on Cingrani to face Lind, I was screaming why is Cingrani even on this team just dreaming up my post slam this boneheaded decision after losing Braun 0-2 and over 120 pitches, but glad it worked out, some times the best moves are the ones you do not make, but why is Skip the first bat off the bench?

      • Seattle-Red

        Ok, game time, ace on the mound, throwing 94-95 mph, only just walked his second batter all game, consults with his ace, he feels OK and has already struck Lind out once, pitchers spot due up next on the Reds side of next inning, possible extra innings coming up….. Are you sure you want Cingrani to come in? Cingrani could have succeeded or no….. Tough choice…. But I wouldn’t scream unless I saw Gregg warming up in that situation. Skip starting the 9th – lefty vs righty…. Who else would you have used? Just saying there are lots of possible outcomes and a lot of tough decisions most of which have logic behind them. Fortunately this one belonged to the Reds and

      • Big56dog

        I had no idea Cingrani was warming up, I meant I was advocating for him in that he is not being used in an ideal situation for him to be used. Lind comes through there that is 2 two out hits that gets their 2 runs and it looks really dumb in hind-sight letting the same batter beat you twice. Like you I am glad Price made a correct decision as he gets blasted so often for equally hard decisions that do not work out

  2. BearcatNation

    This was a night for Johnny Cueto and Billy Hamilton, but I really want to stop and give some credit to Brayan Pena for what he had done for the reds. He’s filled in for Mesoraco beautifully, and has been valuable to the reds over the last couple years. Backup catcher isn’t a glamorous job, but I for one am glad we have a guy like Pena able to fill in when needed.

    • jdx19

      I second that. He’s been fine as a backup, which is more than you can say about most backup catchers.

    • Pooter

      Last year he was a good fill in for Joey at 1st too.

      • Vicferrari

        Sorry to dispute but he was awful replacement at 1B but I find it difficult to believe he is below replacement level according to his WAR. Can someone explain that to me, does everyone else have an equivalent back-up catcher on their roster?

      • lwblogger2

        It is how WAR factors position in it’s formula. The issue is Pena played a lot at 1B and as a 1B, he is well, well, well below average offensively and below average defensively. Had he spent less time at 1B and more time behind the plate, his WAR would have come out higher.

  3. docmike

    What’s funny is that in the comments thread from last night’s game, I mentioned how even though Marquis got 16 runs of support, that Cueto would probably only get one.

    Turns out I was pretty spot on. Didn’t get the second run until he had already been pinch-hit for.

      • docmike

        My wife said to me, “Maybe when Cueto’s pitching, they know they don’t need to score very much, so they don’t try as hard.” I laughed, but I doubt Johnny thinks it’s very funny.

        It’s actually ridiculous how little support he gets. People used to say that it was because he was facing other teams’ aces. But this was Jimmy Nelson, the Brewers’ #5 starter.

      • lwblogger2

        He’s their #5 but he’s a pretty highly regarded pitcher. I’m not sure he’s top of the rotation kind of guy but he’s definitely a solid middle of the rotation guy.

      • docmike

        Of that 22, does that count all of the 5 runs scored on Opening Day (3 of which scored in the bottom of the 8th, after Gregg had blown a 2-0 lead in the top of the inning)?

      • Andrewpky

        A lot of that has to do with the other pitcher. Cueto’s often matched up against the other team’s ace. Other pitchers know they have to bring their “A” game whne they’re facing Cueto. This Nelson kid sure looked good.

  4. redsfan06

    It’s a thing of beauty when Billy gets on base.

  5. cfd3000

    Funny how quickly things change. Last night’s offense was Everybody-but-Marlon. Tonight was Billy and Joey and… nope, just Billy and Joey. 3 of 4 hits, 5 of 7 base runners, both runs and the only RBI. So tonight those two plus Cueto and Chapman single handedly (quad-handedly?, octo-handedly?) beat Angel Hernandez. I mean, the Brewers. Nice to see them take this nail biter. Tomorrow for the sweep!

    • vegastypo

      Be forewarned. Does that mean our good friend Mr. Hernandez will be behind the plate for Thursday’s game?

      • Gonzo Reds

        Hernandez is the worst umpire in baseball, not even close. If not for the union he’d be long gone. Fully expect Homer to struggle again today as he won’t be getting any strike calls on the corners. We’ll have to outscore them, hopefully we’ll start BB over the flig”hit”less Byrd.

      • lwblogger2

        C.B. Buckner might be worse. It’s close though. I’m not a big fan of “Angry” Joe West either. (More accurate nickname than “Country”)

  6. Greg Dafler

    I don’t remember the exact stat, but it was something like Hamilton didn’t have this many walks last year until the 50th game of the season.

    • jdx19

      Yep, that was it! I think it might have been 53rd game.

    • Vicferrari

      Why would any MLB pitcher not throw him strikes, mind boggling he is seeing as many pitches out of the zone that he is because I know that he is swinging at some of them

  7. CTRedsFan

    Personally, I did not think Cueto had great stuff tonight. He was missing his spots and his pitches were up, yet he still pitched a terrific game. I am going to miss watching him pitch next year.

  8. jdx19

    Votto has now reached base safely 2+ times in 10 straight games.

    • cfd3000

      Nice way to start the year. Anybody have a quick frame of reference for that? Best all time? NL? Reds? Surely it’s a lot more than 10 but that’s still an impressive run. Welcome back JV.

      • jdx19

        Oh, I’d bet that’s not anywhere close to sniffing a record.

        Overall, he’s been on 2+ times in 13 of 15 games. The other two games he was 1-4 with a single and 1-4 with a homer.

        That’sssss gettin’ it done.

  9. DHud

    When called upon to pinch hit for Cueto, Schumaker proceeded to strike out looking on three pitches. If the manager is taking your ace out of the game, you have to give a better at bat than that. I think this is an obvious snub from The Bad section of this article.

    • (@dixon606)

      that’s last in the league among qualified hitters. third worst BA in the league. Rough start, but it can only get better from here… right?

      • Vicferrari

        Seems almost cruel to make him do it, like leaving in a reliever who is getting shelled because you do not want to use another arm in a blow ouut

  10. Ryan Lykins (@ryan_lykins)

    The only complaint I have is using schumacker as the first pinch hitter off the bench. Perfect spot to use Mesoraco who could play in a blowout last night but not a one run affair tonight.

    • Vicferrari

      What is the thinking, Schumaker is much better of a leadoff hitter, he is such a better baserunner? What you do not want to waste a leadoff homer when Schu cann create havok, Even if Schu get on, Billy bunts him over, he is stuck on third, you know that would have happened. Let Leake pinch run if Mes coaxes another walk

  11. ohiojimw

    If they brought Chapman in during the 8th inning they would have had to double switch to keep him available for the 9th. This might or might not have been a consideration.

    Byrd would have been the 7th man up in the Reds 9th; so, he would have been an obvious choice since the Reds would have had to have already scored a run before his spot batted.

    • Vicferrari

      Chapman will never be brought on in the 8th in a tie game, you have a better chance seeing him pitch in the 1st inning

  12. B-town Fan

    That was impressive, Cueto throwing 95 and 96 gas in the 8th inning the hardest of the game.

  13. Jake

    I’m gonna hate seeing Cueto in another uniform. Such a dominant pitcher. A win is a win now let’s bring out the brooms tomorrow!

    • Seattle-Red

      Do you think Cueto will ever throw to first again?

  14. Mister D69

    Another in the occasional series of entries to the Walt-isn’t-entirely-bad accounting:
    Remember Grady Sizemore, the OF Walt was supposed to sign last year? He’s now hitting 115/148/154.

    • ProspectCincy

      Yup, kudos to Walt. Instead, he was able to spend $15 million more on a guy hitting an even worse .115/.130/.135.

      A toast to Walt!

      • Mister D69

        This may be the least interesting bet of the season, but here goes:
        I bet MarByr finishes the season with a higher line than Sizemore (Presuming Sizemore even finishes the season).

      • jessecuster44

        Hear hear! He’s not as bad as he could possibly be, but worse than most.

      • docmike

        Who did he spend $15 million on? Byrd’s 2015 salary is $8 million, of which the Phillies are paying half.

    • earmbrister

      Yes, the Bosox beat us out in signing Sizemore last year, much to the consternation of many here. By midsummer the Red Sox had cut Sizemore; I guess they have a horrible front office too. Personnel decisions sometimes work out, and sometimes they don’t. This is the case for every team in every sport.

      Byrd is not the future of this team; he’s a bridge to the abundance of OF prospects in the upper minors. That said, he was an inexpensive addition who has batted .276/.331/.424 for his career. He’s not going to bat .115 for the season, nor will Bruce bat .189, Hamilton .204, Frazier .237, or Negron .083. For that matter, I think it’s safe to assume that Cozart won’t have a .333 BA come year end.

      The detractors post about how bad Byrd looks at the plate right now. How bad does Bruce look when he’s in a slump? It’s more the rule, than the exception, that players go through the extremes of hot streaks and awful slumps throughout a season.

      The Reds are certainly not going to bat .224 as a team for the season, and Byrd, Bruce, etal will start hitting at some point.

  15. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Boy, those balks by Cueto, while I can understand the ruling, I’m not sure I could call them on him. I can understand the call. But, any throw over to first is going to necessitate bending the front knee. And, I analyzed the video in detail. It’s not necessarily that easy to see frame by frame if Cueto bent the front knee first before he spun on the back leg to make the throw. And, Angel was suppose to be able to see that in regular motion?

    • charlottencredsfan

      Really don’t know what Angel’s problem is but not only is he a jerk but he is terrible technically. Joe West is also a major jerk but he is a very good ump technically, IMO. Eric Gregg was a horrible ump technically but seemed to be a happy camper. I’ll take, in order: West, Gregg, & Hernandez.

      • VaRedsFan

        Great ump evaluation. 🙂
        Do you know their WAR by any chance?

      • docmike

        Good synopsis of the umps that get on everybody’s nerves.

        There is a video of some of Eric Gregg’s horrific ball/strike calls, it’s almost comical. But like you said, he always seemed to be a pleasant guy.

    • Jeremy Conley

      I don’t like that it hurt the Reds, but Johnny’s move has been suspect for a long time. Other people have written about it in the offseason, which probably got some umps to look for it.

      For a right handed pitcher, you’re supposed to step off the rubber first. That’s with your right leg. To move your right leg off of the rubber, your weight should be on your left leg. If the left leg moves first, you clearly haven’t stepped off the rubber first. If your left leg moves first, that shows that you’re starting your windup, and then turning to throw is a pretty clear balk.

      Johnny has done all this so fast, that it’s hard to see, but he’s just going to have to do it the right way.

  16. charlottencredsfan

    What might have been:
    Cueto: 1.86 ERA. 0.83 WHIP
    Disco: 0.86. 0.62
    Simnon: 1.74, 0.87
    Leake: 3.92, 1.11
    Bailey: 7.94, 2.12

    I realize Simon is ready to blow up any minute but we know we are going to heck a lot more out of Bailey too.

    Just saying.

    • charlottencredsfan

      By the way, that is 4 starters in the top 42 in WHIP and 3 in the top 15. Not too bad.

    • eric nyc

      PLEASE CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT ALFREDO SIMON I’M BEGGING YOU PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.

      • wkuchad

        We can’t help ourselves. We love living in the past. I keep hoping the posts bashing Dusty would stop too, but no luck there either.

      • jdx19

        I can’t recall seeing a single Dusty bashing post all year that wasn’t first precipitated by a “Dusty defender,” as I’ll call them, posting something like “At least Dusty won 90 games.”

        Maybe I’ve just been missing it?

      • earmbrister

        ehhhh, not quite the case. There have been countless posts comparing Price to Dusty, which were bashing both, without any provocation.

      • charlottencredsfan

        When/if his ERA rises above 3, you got it. By the way, I think your caps key is stuck.☺

    • earmbrister

      It was right to get a healthy return for Latos and Simon. The Reds weren’t going to re-sign 4 starters in one season.

      Disco has been better so far than anyone could have ever imagined.

      The bigger issue is the Reds have a team BA of .226, which somehow is ranked as high as 11th in a 15 team NL. I’m guessing the Brewers might be 1 of the 4 teams batting worse than the Reds.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Agree but I’m a rebuild guy.

      • earmbrister

        Yeah, I know u are. Tough to get a good return, if other teams sense a fire sale. Any public talk that the Reds are trying to re-sign Cueto is all fluff. The Reds will get a healthy return at the trade deadline from someone who wants JC as their ace in the playoffs. We are rebuilding, but it’s never going to be said publicly.

      • eric nyc

        You’re a rebuild guy but you keep bringing up Alfredo Simon? Trading a guy like Simon at the peak of his value is the first thing any manager would ever do in a rebuilding process. And it’s, not surprisingly, the first thing Jocketty did this offseason.

      • jdx19

        He’s not saying the Simon trade shouldn’t have happened. He’s just saying it would have been nice if it all worked out and we could have had a well-performing Simon in the rotation instead of Marquis, thus far. Correct me if I’m wrong, Charlotte.

      • eric nyc

        I get that, but Charlotte’s Simon lovefest dates back to last season when on an almost daily basis (even between Simon starts) almost every thread just melted down into a debate about ERA versus FIP and whether or not pitchers could control BABIP and on and on and on…It was exhausting.

        If we’re just making up hypothetical SP scenarios why stop with Simon? Why not make up a scenario where we managed to sign Max Sceherzer or John Lester? How about Jason Marquis sprained his ankle getting out of the shower in Arizona and Lorenzen took his spot in the rotation? How about science figured out how to clone Johnny Cueto 4 times? We’re either talking about whether we should have traded Simon or we aren’t.

      • earmbrister

        Is it any less exhausting than Eric’s WJ hatefest where you bashed Walt Jocketty on an almost daily basis?

        Fortunately, you have turned your posts to more substantive matters than WJ hate. Likewise, Charlotte has plently of intelligent insight as well.

        Life’s too short, move on.

      • charlottencredsfan

        JD is on it. Trading Simon was the right thing because we should focus on rebuilding. If we are serious about 2015, it was the wrong move. That’s it.

        We talk about Latos when he gets blasted, so this is the other side of the coin. Also, it keeps making the point that AS was not some one-hit wonder. The guy can pitch and I’ll say it again, he will have better numbers than anyone not named Cueto in our rotation. He has been a very good pitcher since 2012 and that is a fair number of innings.

        As far as topic goes, there are things that I have no interest in on this site and you know what? I ignore them.☺

      • eric nyc

        I bash WJ? I mean I don’t like WJ but I feel like I very rarely actually bash him. I save my bashing for the horrible players he’s responsible for bringing in.

  17. vared

    Okay I don’t feel like looking it up …. can someone remind me who the last player was that really “owned” left field? Played it for a decent period of time to everyone’s relative satisfaction? Probably hasn’t been that long, but I can’t remember it.

    • Matt WI

      You mean post-Dunn, or does Dunn count? I’d say post Dunn, Gomes comes as close as possible, but he didn’t really have a majority approval rating.

      • greenmtred

        George Foster. Wally Post. Eric Davis (think of him more in center, though).

      • Matt WI

        I know people were frustrated with Dunn’s K’s and defense at times, but we’re talking about somebody who played LF from ’01-’08 to the tune of an average OPS+ of 130 and and average OPS of .900. If that’s not acceptable to a Reds fan in terms of what life has been like since that time in LF, I don’t know what to say. I would cry for production like that out of somebody. I don’t know how to turn my nose up at that.

        If our criteria is HOF, well then, that’s a very small group of people to expect to “own” LF. Those are a few in a generation guys, by definition.

      • docmike

        Dunn may have been a terrible defender, but his power, and his ability to take a walk, would look awful good right now in LF.

      • lwblogger2

        Agree with Matt and Docmike here.

  18. sultanofswaff

    Kershaw: 4.07 ERA, 24 IP, 1.32 WHIP.
    Cueto: 1.86 ERA, 29 IP, 0.86 WHIP.

    Once again, INNINGS MATTER. Both guys have made 4 starts—-Cueto already with almost a full start’s worth of IP more than Kershaw. We all saw how Kershaw tired in the playoffs last year, just imagine if he had to make up those 7 starts he missed—no doubt his ERA and WHIP would’ve climbed. Given that Cueto was an eyelash behind in those categories in 45 more innings (but better in opponents batting average), all it would’ve taken was one bad start for Kershaw to fall off the pace. Those bad starts happened in the playoffs.

    I’ll say it til my dying day—–Johnny was robbed!

    • eric nyc

      Eh…Kershaw was more dominant last year than Johnny. Your logic is a little presumptive. What if Kershaw’s “extra” innings last year had been against the Astros instead of top playoff teams? What if Johnny had had to pitch more innings to those same top playoff teams? Kershaw had Johnny beat on all the numbers except IP. You’re asking the writers to make an awfully big leap to just assume that Kershaw’s numbers would have been worse if his inning count had been higher in the regular season. I doubt anyone but a Reds fan would make that leap.

      • Big56dog

        Yeah lay off the 1st place Astros

    • eric nyc

      And for what it’s worth, Kershaw’s xFIP right now is 1.96 which is tops in baseball. Cueto’s is 2.56. Kershaw’s BABIP is a kind of astonishing .395. That is PHENOMENALLY bad luck that is almost entirely to blame for his bloated ERA. Even with all of that going against him he is still striking out almost 13 batters per 9 innings. Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball and his numbers will even out pretty soon. He’ll be the guy to beat for the CY every year he’s healthy.

      • Brian Shotts

        No way….you don’t get cheap HRs in Dodger Stadium but they arrive by the dozens in GABP when it warms up

      • eric nyc

        That’s all well and good, but what makes Kershaw so dominant is his K rate. Johnny’s great at keeping the ball on the ground, but the really elite pitchers are the ones that don’t even let guys put the ball in play. Too many bad things can happen when you put the ball in play that the pitcher has very little control over – such as what ballpark they happen to be playing in. It’s the same thing with Chapman. When was the last time anyone looked up Chapman’s GB% or HR/FB rate? Who even cares?

    • Hammer

      Agree 100%. Said the same thing about Kershaw’s playoff meltdown. And he had already missed the first month of the season.

  19. Eric the Red

    1) Great game. Cueto is awesome, and that 8th inning is the kind of inning that really highlights how much more he has than just physical gifts. How does 7 years/$210 million sound? Even if one of those years is a bust it’s still worth it. Especially if you want to win in the playoffs, not just get there.

    2) Great decision for Billy to NOT run in the 9th. They’d have walked Votto. The distraction plus keeping the bat in Votto’s hands were worth more than a steal there.

    3) Reason #412 that THOM! and the rest of the home TV broadcast annoy me: in the 8th inning, they could never be bothered to tell us who was warming up in the bullpen. Chapman? Parra? Cingrani? Badenhop? That’s one of the few things that as a viewer I can’t see for myself; THOM! and FSO have always been terrible at this. (The Milwaukee broadcast showed Cingrani warming up, and the announcers briefly discussed it. Really, it’s broadcasting 101.)

    • eric nyc

      I could totally live with 7 years/$210 if we weren’t already on the hook to Bailey. This team can’t have 3 mega contracts on the books (and a mini-mega for BP). Plus I bet Cueto’s agent is thinking more in the $250 range. Not sure he’ll get it, but Johnny would have to give us a pretty steep discount to take $210 and seeing as we weren’t able to lock him up this offseason it doesn’t sound like he’s interested in handing out discounts.

    • jdx19

      Everyone here complains about Votto with an AAV of like $22 million, and Cueto for AAV $30 million sounds good?

      I don’t think there is any contract that Cueto would accept that the Reds should give. A team that can afford to overpay will get him, because frankly, he’s worth it given those contraints. The Reds probably shouldn’t even be considered candidates.

      Also, it is just a gross overpay on basis of skill/contribution. Cueto is certainly a great pitcher, but pitching once every 5 games means you don’t contribute as much as a position player. Cueto’s top 4 WAR seasons: 4.7, 4.6, 2.9, 2.6. Votto’s top 4 WAR seasons: 7.0, 6.4, 6.1, 5.8.

      Unless you think Votto’s contract is a steal-of-a-deal, you can’t think Cueto for 7/210 is even remotely sane.

      • eric nyc

        I think in the absence of the Votto deal then a Cueto deal could make sense. Yeah, the WAR numbers are off for SP’s versus position players, but that’s just the current economics of baseball. It’s hard for a pitcher to amass the WAR numbers a top hitter can based on how those are calculated. But you clearly need to have at least one ace to be a real contender. When Johnny’s gone that guy will likely be Bailey for us. You can hold your breath that Disco or Lorenzen turn into that guy, but that’s a crap shoot. I agree with you that the Reds shouldn’t be in the market for a Cueto extension, but I’m not happy about it.

      • Eric the Red

        Do we have a better chance of a WS ring in the next 5 years with or without Cueto? Even if we overpay for Cueto, and Castellini decides to sell in the next 5 years, do you think he’ll get an appreciably lower price for the team vs the price he’ll get if we don’t have Cueto? Sign him.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Unfortunately it is baseball in the current times. I hate that we really can’t afford Votto, Bailey, and Cueto. It’s just economics and I’m not happy about it either. I love that JV will be here for many more years but looking at it on an intellectual level, it was the wrong thing to do and so would be signing Cueto.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Been through this before. It’s wrong to say the Reds can’t afford those three players. For one thing, Bailey’s contract is up in 2019 and Cueto’s could be structured like others have been with backloading. Even if the three of them cost $80 million, that would still leave $60-70 million for the rest of the team. You’ve got Stephenson, Winker, Lorenzen, DeSclafani all playing for league minimum. This “woe is me” stuff about the budget just isn’t right.

        I’m against the Cueto contract because of the presumed length of it and the risk of pitchers on long term contracts in their mid 30s. But to say “oh, we just can’t afford that” is simply, demonstrably wrong.

      • eric nyc

        I understand those numbers and you’ve made the point multiple times, but that assumes the guys you just listed become not only serviceable major league players but GOOD major league players that substantively improve our current 25 man roster. Sign Cueto to the $225 million or so and sure we can afford to field the team we have now with the guys you listed coming up, but where do the improvements come if they don’t pan out? If we were a championship caliber roster right now and it was just a matter of keeping that intact I’d agree with you, but this team needs to start spreading the money out at some different positions ala the Cardinals.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Steve, if you are referring to me we can discuss it a 1000 more times, I’m not changing your mind and you are not going to change mine. I respect your opinion, I do not agree with it.

    • lwblogger2

      No on point 1. They have enough long term deals right now really and ones for pitchers are extra risky with the injury factor.

      Agree fully on point 2.

      Agree more than fully on point 3.

  20. BigRedMachine

    “The ball couldn’t have been more than 7-8 feet from the plate, yet Billy scored standing up. He’s fast.”

    It was more like 20ft from the plate but wow is he fast. I just watched the video of this. Did anyone else notice the ump expected Billy to slide? As he gets into position to make the call it looks like he is moving to get in Billy’s way. Thankfully the collision didn’t cause an injuries.

    (I’m not saying the ump did this on purpose. I think he was just taken by surprise that anyone was able to score standing up on that play.)

    • Matt WI

      Read a write-up of the game where Billy said he apologized to the ump for not sliding… he said he didn’t see Roderiquez come into the home plate area until it was too late, but that his main focus was to score “no matter what.”

  21. eric nyc

    Just re-watched the balk calls on Cueto. That is absolute 100% grade A horsesh*t. I hate Angel Hernandez. Has to make sure he gets his TV time even when he’s stuck on 1B duty for the night. I can’t find the actual stat but I’d be willing to bet Cueto has less than 20 balks in his entire career and if you watched video of every single one of his pickoff throws they would look IDENTICAL to both of the ones Hernandez called last night. You can step through it frame by frame and see a slight bend at the front knee but no one else calls that a balk EVER.

    • jdx19

      Agreed. The balk rule exists so pitchers can’t exploit baserunners. Even if his leg broke 4 milliseconds before he stepped off, how does that exploit the runner? The runner can’t possibly notice something so minute.

      • eric nyc

        What I don’t get is that it is clearly part of the motion of turning and making the throw. If he flinched his front leg and then DIDN’T throw then yeah, that’s a balk. But if it’s only happening when he actually throws over, and if it happens a split second BEFORE the throw happens, if anything doesn’t that actually BENEFIT the runner?

      • eric nyc

        Just saw it in a write up: Cueto had EIGHT balks in his entire career until last night. He had ONE all last season. When are they going to fire Angel Hernandez? This crap just goes on year after year with him.

    • Jeremy Conley

      I totally disagree, sadly, since I love Cueto. His pickoff move has always been suspect. It’s a pretty clear balk. As a right handed pitcher you HAVE TO step off the rubber FIRST. Runners look at the left leg, and as soon as they see it move, they break for second, and Cueto picks them off.

      If Cueto had just been fast, other people would pick guys off at the same rate he has. He just has to step off first, it’s not that hard. He’s been pushing the line for a long time and now the umps are cracking down.

      • lwblogger2

        It will be curious to see if other umps do start looking for it.

        Also, off-topic, did you get that data I sent?

  22. WVRedlegs

    Marlon Byrd is rockin’ it in LF for the Reds to the tune of .115/.130/.135, an ISO of .019, and a wRC+ of -33.

    I can’t believe I am going to say this, but it sure makes a guy miss Ryan Ludwick and his pedestrian .244/.308/.375, ISO of .132 and a wRC+ of 91 he put up in 2014.

    After Texas cut Ludwick near the end of spring training, all Ludwick is doing now is sitting at home counting his $4.5M from Jocketty not to play for the Reds. Wouldn’t it be funny, and SAD, if Jocketty has to call up Ludwick now, and then have to offer him a second contract to play for the Reds in 2015??

    Nothing is worse for the Reds than Marlon Byrd continuing to play LF for the Reds in 2015. They can’t trade him, they can’t cut and release him and they can’t relegate him to the bench.

    Walt Jocketty, 2015 GM of the Year.

    • eric nyc

      Why can’t they cut him? Sunk cost and all. They WON’T cut him because that will mean admitting they were wrong, but there’s no reason they CAN’T. I’m not sure how his contract is structured but don’t most veteran contracts have a clause where they can opt out if they’re demoted to the minors? I’d send him to Louisville and if he doesn’t like it he can forfeit the rest of his paycheck. Best case scenario he agrees to go down and actually works on his swing and can maybe come back and be a serviceable PH at some point.

    • Tom Reed

      Since Heisey is no longer here, it’s time to start Boesch in left field and make Bryd the fifth outfielder after Negron.

      • WVRedlegs

        I forgot to look up Heisey. I didn’t know he was at AAA and just got recalled to LA since Pederson is hurt.
        Heisey at AAA this year .257/.350/.629 wRC+ 149. 4 HR’s and a 2B in his 9 hits.
        I miss Heisey some. Starting wasn’t his strong suit, but it would be a marked improvement over Byrd. And the $$ savings it could have meant.

  23. WVRedlegs

    Names many of us bandied about for the Reds LF position this past winter, and how they have fared so far.
    1. Matt Kemp .361/.394/.541 wRC+ 164
    2. J Upton .315/.356/.574 wRC+ 157
    3. Wil Myers .313/.343/.453 wRC+ 129
    4. Joc Pederson .300/.462/.550 wRC+ 178
    5. Lucas Duda .327/.397/.519 wRC+ 162
    6. Mark Trumbo .271/.271/.438 wRC+ 89
    7. Dexter Fowler .233/.317/.411 wRC+ 102
    8. Daniel Nava .240/.296/.280 wRC+ 62
    9. Seth Smith .250/.324/.429 wRC+ 105
    10. Jackie Bradley .308/.368/.385 wRC+ 131 (at AAA)

    Now for the guys who cannot hit their wives’ weights are:
    11. Shane Victorino .143/.302/.171 wRC+ 47
    12. Jason Heyward .193/.207/.316 wRC+ 44
    13. Allen Craig .118/.250/.118 wRC+ 15
    And our very own Marlon Byrd .115/.130/.135 wRC+ -33.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Heyward has a Plus size wife it looks like.☺

    • eric nyc

      It still amazes me that guys can actually have a NEGATIVE wRC+. That is some hardcore sucking. Realistically, though, you’d have to think they wouldn’t let it go past the end of April with him continuing to hit like that. They’ll have to do something.

    • Mister D69

      You left out:
      14. Norichika Aoki 338/400/426
      15. Michael Morse 228/290/368

      • lwblogger2

        And Colby Rasmus .243/.300/.541

  24. Art Wayne Austin

    Starting with last night’s game I will be keeping rally statistics: Participant in Rallies, ie, PIR; Non-participant in Rallies, ie, NIR; Inviting a Rally, ie, IR(Anyone who gets on base, anyway, of a failing rally). ~Pitchers not included.
    Billy – 3 PIR, Votto – 2 PIR, Frazier – 1 IR, DaDude, Bruce, Byrd & Cozart – Zero NIRs & Pena 1 IR. There’s just too much deadwood in this line-up and yesterday it was concentrated in the middle of the order.

    • Matt WI

      False alarm… the picture of the lineup on the ESPN feed was cut off. He is in the two hole.

      • brmreturns

        4/23 Lineup

        1. Billy Hamilton (S) CF
        2. Zack Cozart (R) SS
        3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
        4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
        5. Jay Bruce (L) RF
        6. Marlon Byrd (R) LF
        7. Kristopher Negron (R) 3B
        8. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
        9. Homer Bailey (R) P