Atlanta isn’t a good baseball team. They have a couple nice players. Freddie Freeman can hit and Andrelton Simmons can pick it. But that’s about it. All things considered, the former team from Milwaukee might be as bad as the current team from Milwaukee. After tonight’s loss for the Reds, the two teams have identical 11-12 records. Identical 11-12 records.

Atlanta 4, Reds 3 | FanGraphs Box Score | All-Star Game Ballot

Anthony DeSclafani He began the game leading NL starters in ERA (1.04) but didn’t end the evening in such a lofty perch (2.03). He battled a small strike zone and the lack of pinpoint control all night. Over five innings he walked five and struck out five. DeSclafani gave up a bad goal in the fourth inning in the form of a two-out, two-run double to his opposite number. Kelly Johnson homered off DeSclafani’s 88th pitch to deep right field, giving Atlanta a 4-3 lead in the fifth. He did drive in a run on an eight-pitch at bat that led to a fly ball deep enough to score Brandon Phillips with the Reds third run.

The Bats Joey Votto reached base in his first three at bats, on two singles and a walk. He also stole two bases. Zack Cozart had two hits, as did Brandon Phillips who drove in the Reds first two runs on a single to center field. It’s a measure of how poor the battery of Mike Foltynewicz and A.J. Pierzynski was at stopping the running game that Phillips stole two bases, matching his total for all of 2014. The bats pretty much went silent after the fourth inning.

Billy Hamilton The Reds center fielder robbed Kelly Johnson of an extra-base hit leading off the fourth inning. Hamilton ran down Johnson’s line drive hit over his head in deep right center.

Bullpen J.J. Hoover, Kevin Gregg and Carlos Contreras each pitched a shutout inning. Gregg’s ERA is now below 10. Who-hoo.

49 Responses

    • Scott Benhase

      I was at Turner Field (Behind Enemy Lines) Thursday for Mike Leake’s artistry (Born in Southern Ohio, raised on the Big Red Machine, I now live in Savannah). I was stunned by how few people were at The Ted. I’ve seen more at AAA games. But back to Leake Thursday night. He had it all going: placement, speed changes, etc. Most of the Braves’ hitters were swinging off balance. Even the few hits they got were not well-stroked, just well-located.

      I agree with Mr Mancuso. The Braves aren’t a very good team, probably .500 give or take this year. But that describes our beloved Reds, unless something changes.

  1. Red April

    There’s no excuse for Byrd to play any game. Ever.

    • Gaffer

      Agree, they can’t just keep rolling him out there. I bet they release him after the AS game to prevent his option from kicking in.

      • jdx19

        Two walks in two days! What has gotten into Marlon?!

    • sezwhom

      If it wasn’t for a “cool” breezy night in Atlanta, Byrd’s first inning blast to the wall would have been long gone for a 3-run jack. I see signs he’s making contact. He’ll come out of his funk.

    • greenmtred

      For what it’s worth, he has clearly started to hit the ball hard, often right at somebody, but hitters have little or no control over that.

  2. RedAlert

    Agree – Braves might’ve just as bad as Brewers

      • jdx19

        Realistically, I think we can say the Reds are legitimately better than Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Atlanta. Past that, all best are off.

  3. Silence Dogood

    The thing about the Braves is at least it appears that John Hart has a plan. They aren’t very good…but they have decided they are going to build the team around Simmons, Freeman and Tehran. They let McCann go, Hayward, the Uptons. They have built up their farm system. They are willing to dismantle things to get better in the future. To me, if you are going to win 84 games, you might as well win 70. What’s the difference? Maybe the Reds have a plan too. Just don’t see it.

    • jdx19

      Agree 100%. No point trying to compete if you aren’t reasonably sure you can. Everyone seems to think rebuilding takes 5 years. If done correctly, it can take 2.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Make 2 that agree. John Hart is a smart guy.

      • jdx19

        ‘Stros look for another win. Altuve with 2 more hits, because of course.

      • charlottencredsfan

        2 for 3, and a walk. His plate approach is air tight. Always hits the ball where it is pitched and stays on top of the pitch better than anyone else I’ve seen in a long, long time. If you get chance, have a look at his first hit of the game, vintage Rod Carew. Knocks me out, what a player!

      • Jay King

        The thing is though… Is this.. How well can Jocketty and team rebuild without botching it up… I know that during his time here there have been some pretty good players drafted though. Just really worried that this team is not going to b a contender again for a long time.

      • jdx19

        I share the same worries. Not sure Jocketty has what it takes. Doesn’t seem to understand how to value young players.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Your fears are justified but realistically there is no option unless Bob C. gambles and raises the budget about $50M. Look at the Astros: $77M payroll and loaded with young talent. Reminds me of the Cubs last year.

      • I-71_Exile

        The Astros have been rebuilding for seven years and lost 106, 107, and 111 games during three of them. Of course they are loaded with young talent. They are picking at the top of the draft order. The Cubs are similar, but with a bottomless payroll to back it up and good management for a change.

        The Reds are trying to be the Cardinals—competing/reloading every year—instead of the roller coaster Astros or Cubs. Sadly, they are not there yet and may never get there. The Cardinals have been remarkably smart/lucky.

        I remember the 1982-84 Reds well and don’t really want those days back. Poor Mario Soto having to pitch complete game shut-outs to get a win. I’ll take this thin Reds roster with a hope of contending over an overmatched AAA roster any day.

      • charlottencredsfan

        2012: 55-107
        2013: 51-111
        2014: 70-92
        2015: 16-7

        New Astros ownership took over before 2012 season. Looks like they’re headed in the right direction. If I’m not mistaken, they are one of the teams that really stress Advance Stats analysis.

        Sorry to say but I’m much higher on their future than ours. They appear progressive where the Reds are regressive.

      • greenmtred

        How do we explain Jocketty’s success in St. Louis, then? Players, talent and baseball itself haven’t changed that much. For that matter, he and the much-maligned Dusty brought the Reds back from irrelevance. People have said that that was in spite of them, but that’s horse pucky: If GM’s and managers make a difference, they make a difference. None of the above should be taken to mean that I’m happy with what’s going on now, but there are things to like about this team, the season is very young, and baseball is being played.

      • jdx19

        Jocketty had a top 10 all-time hitter putting together a 10-year span of perhaps top 3 all-time play. Not sure if he was involved in drafting/signing Pujols, but that goes a long way to success.

  4. jdx19

    Both Byrd and Boesch solidly below the Mendoza Slash (.200/.263/.286)

  5. Art Wayne Austin

    The baseball gods said this is the Braves game. The Reds gave it a good try, stealing bases, Byrd’s bid for a grand-slam held up by the wind, DaDude’s clutch hitting but a win was not to be. It’s amazing how the Braves, like the Phillies, have let the team talent level disintegrate. Take it for what it was one of the 72 games we’re going to lose because we’re not on a roll yet but it will come. You’ve got to believe.

    • sezwhom

      I could be wrong but Byrd’s first inning bid would have been a 3-run homer, not GS. It was definitely held up by the breeze.

  6. ohiojimw

    Frazier is rapidly becoming as big of or bigger bust in the cleanup spot as Phillips was. Meanwhile Phillips seems to be prospering in the #6 slot. Remarkably, Cozart is at least treading water in the #2 spot.

    Even with Hamilton’s low OBP, I think the one thing that could most help the team is a true clean up hitter.

      • ohiojimw

        I’d take somebody who could do 75-80% of what Meso did last year. Because that production from Meso came largely out of the blue, I’m a bit reluctant to just flat out say Meso. I need another year or two with him at 75% or better of what he did before I’m saying he is definitely that type of hitter versus a 5 or 6 slot guy.

    • RedAlert

      I agree – Todd not a good option in the 4 hole – but realistically , nobody on this team is – got guys up there swinging for the moon –

      • RedAlert

        Horrible approaches at times – just horrible

      • whereruklu

        Agreed. Even a lot of hits are so ugly. Hard to see how he does it. Knowing that pitchers are up on how he will swing at ugly pitches, I wonder if better plate discipline would actually help him, kind of like the new “Votto” approach that Bruce has seemed to have picked up.

      • ohiojimw

        the guy who doesn’t swing for the moon is also the best #2 and #3 hitter. 🙂

  7. RedAlert

    Doughboy Adams strikes again for the cards – walk off win – geeze – sickening

    • jdx19

      I came back to post just this! Ground ball of course finds a hole. It always does for the stupid Cardinals.

      • RedAlert

        Those guys get the luckiest breaks in the league most of the time – tired of it

      • ohiojimw

        better to be good than to be lucky because (and everybody knows the rest, right)

    • Scot Lykins

      I have been following the Cards of late and they seem to make their luck. They seem to win the close games and the high scoring games.They seem a bit short on the bench, as are the Reds, but their bullpen can be relied on.

  8. ohiojimw

    Three of seven runs in the Reds game were driven in by pitchers. Maybe that says something about both of these teams’ offenses. I think it probably also says two young starting pitchers haven’t yet mastered the art of making sure they get
    the essentially free out NL rules give them.

  9. Nick Doran

    The Reds hit a lot of hard shots that went right to the fielders. I think the Reds played better than the stats show on this one.

  10. Jeff Morris

    Whats the deal with Frazier striking out freqently the last couple games, especially with men on base!

    • sezwhom

      I like Todd but with RISP and less than 2 out, he’s been awful. Conjecture but something like 0 for his last seven?

      • Eric the Red

        Putting aside walks, sac flies, etc., a .300 hitter will make an out 7 times out of 10. So Todd is due for his 3 hits 🙂

        His bigger problem hasn’t been RISP, it’s getting a guy in from 3rd with less than 2 outs. He’s striking out or hitting weak pop ups, thereby failing to get the run in even when he doesn’t need a hit with RISP.

    • ohiojimw

      Perhaps the player’s skill set simply doesn’t live up to his Persona?
      I see a lot of similarity between Frazier and BPhillips in that regard, except that I suspect the demographics of of the very high regarders of each would vary greatly. In the end I think they are (or were at their peak) solid but not great offensive players that were often seen as the latter rather than the former.

  11. Jon

    is it me or do the Reds bring out fan apathy earlier every year? So tired of the poor performing home grown position players and the old timers Jockety picks up that have nothing left in the tank. Gotta ask, if Jockety was such a great GM in StL, then why isn’t he still there? He is a retread just like the Marlon Byrd types he brings in.

    It is all on Castelinni. Until he figures out that Jockety is not that bright and hires a good baseball man, then the Reds will be what they are today, also rans.

  12. Shchi Cossack

    As much as the Old Cossack likes Frazier, I do not like Frazier hitting cleanup. For this roster, I thought the #2 or #3 hole was optimal for Frazier, but he seems to press in the #4 hole. In a more ideal roster, Frazier should probably hit in the #5 or #6 hole, but since the Reds are devoid (exception for Votto who would make an ideal hitter anywhere in anyone’s lineup) of top of the order hitters. The loss of Mesoraco really hurts. Until and if the Mes Man returns to the starting lineup, the Reds probably need to bite the bullet and move Votto back the the #2 hole and Frazier to the #3 hole. The Reds are going nowhere with Mesoarco’s bat out of the starting lineup and Bruce’s bat MIA, so insert Bruce into the #4 hole and go with it. It works or it doesn’t work, but I just don’t see any other alternatives with this lineup. The catchers move to the #8 hole and suffle the deck for the #5-#7 holes.

    I’m also in the segment of fans that want to see Mesoraco’s bat in the lineup more than I want to see Mesoraco behind the plate. As pure supposition from the Old Cossack’s Recliner, I believe the Reds’ insistance on keeping Mesoraco limited to catching or pinch-hitting is directly related to their refusal to sit Byrd and open a spot in LF for Mesoraco to play regularly. If Mesroaco can pinch hit without risking additional injury or injury aggravation, then Mesoraco can run without risking the same. If Mesoraco can hit and run, but not gret down in a catcher’s crouch, then his bat needs to be in the lineup and LF is the most realistic option. Billy Hatcher should be (and should have been) working him out in LF regularly and as soon as his defensive skills in LF are remotely passable, get his bat in the starting lineup. If Mesoraco’s physical problems can be addressed in the off-season and he can physically return to catching in 2016, great.

    As far as yesterday’s game, I was convinced that DeSclafani was done after the first batter and seeing the bogus strike zone being imposed by the home plate umpire. Every pitch was a legitimate strike, but the home plate umpire took away both sides and the bottom of the strike zone. It wasn’t DeSclafani’s lack of control; it was the lack of a legitimate strike zone. If DeSclafani has to pitch to the middle of the plate in order to get a strike call, he’s in trouble. He will either startt issuing walks, start getting hit hard or both. As far as I’m concerned, that was a throw away performance by DeSclafani. With a legitimate strike zone yesterday, DeSclafani would have dealt another gem.