The Cincinnati Reds (13-13) have a chance to jump back into second place tonight with a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates (12-14). The Pirates are nursing a four game losing streak and have lost six of their last seven games.


Mike Leake 3.03 4.38 1.3 7.4% 18.5%
Gerrit Cole 1.76 2.14 0.3 6.6% 28.9%

Game two features a pitching rematch from the opening series. Mike Leake is coming off his best start of the season. He allowed the Braves just two hits over eight shutout innings. Hitters are batting just .179 against him, and his WHIP is absurdly low 0.90. Leake has pitched three consecutive quality starts.

Gerrit Cole was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for April. He was the first Pirate to win the award in 23 years. (Randy Tomlin in June 1992.)

Cole has only allowed more than one earned run once in five starts this season. The Pirates have also only lost one game that Cole has started. Both of those events happened in his first start of the season against the Reds. The only homerun that Cole has allowed all season came off the bat of Todd Frazier.

Today’s Reds lineup is identical to yestday’s except that Tucker Barnhart gets the start behind the plate.

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

Josh Harrison returrns to the batting lineup for the Pirates. It’s the first time he’s hit lower than the 2nd spot this season.

  1. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
  2. Neil Walker (S) 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
  4. Starling Marte (R) LF
  5. Pedro Alvarez (L) 1B
  6. Jung Ho Kang (R) SS
  7. Josh Harrison (R) 3B
  8. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
  9. Gerrit Cole (R) P

Redleg Nation’s Nick Doran wrote about the team’s MLB worst BABIP so far this season. I’ve included his table below with an additional column to show each player’s current AVG and OPS.


Career BABIP

2015 BABIP

Joey Votto



Brayan Pena



Brandon Phillips



Zack Cozart



Billy Hamilton



Marlon Byrd



Jay Bruce



Todd Frazier




For those individuals performing below their career BABIP, we can expect some level of regression to their career average over the course of a full season. Regression to average can lead to big numbers for Marlon Byrd. Byrd was hitting just .115/.130/135 (AVG/OBP/SLG) through April 22nd with a BABIP of just .167. In ten games since April 22nd, Byrd’s BABIP has been .318 and his slash line over that time is .306/.359/.694.

Mesoraco was quoted yesterday saying that surgery is an option. Mesoraco is still limited from playing the field, but does expect to DH this weekend in Chicago.

Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco is still unable to test his injured left hip by squatting, which continues to limit him to pinch-hitting duty. Mesoraco acknowledged on Tuesday that he will likely need surgery at some point to repair the impingement that gives him discomfort.

You can read the rest of that article or you can go back and read what Redleg Nation’s Steve Mancuso detailed about this type of injury two weeks ago. Mancuso provided examples of players to go through this procedure. The prospect of Mesoraco’s recovery for the 2016 season sounds promising.

Short-term prospects for baseball players are positive as well. Major league players generally return to form in 4-6 months. Troy Tulowitzski (August 2014) said he felt good as new four months after surgery. He was ready to participate when spring training began six months later. Tulowitzski is hitting .321/.328/.551 as of today.

Equally important, surgery can provide long-term relief. Chase Ultey (2008) and Alex Rodriguez (2009) have avoided recurrence. Both are playing in their late 30s. When I asked the orthopedic surgeon about the incidence of recurrence, she pointed out that “hip scopes” were a relatively new approach. Because of that, she explained, there isn’t enough data yet to know about recurrence, especially for the narrow sub-category of baseball catchers.

The Pirates are going through a similar situation that the Reds had to endure last year. Andrew McCutchen is playing on a left knee that is less than 100%, and he feels responsible for the Pirates recent lack of offense.

The Reds are looking to keep the offense going and pin at least three runs on Cole like they did a month ago.


326 Responses

  1. seat101

    If both pitchers are true to form, it might be the shortest game of the season.

  2. ohiojimw


    I am neither a doctor nor a trainer but one thing Meso said sounded ominous to me. That was his comment that they have determined that the impingement is caused by the internal rotation and movement of the joint when he tries to squat. This just sort of sounds to me like nothing short of joint replacement is going to truly remedy the situation. Hopefully I’m not understanding this comment correctly.

    I think it should also be noted that one of the professionals Steve talked to and quoted in his article seemed to express the opinion that Meso being a catcher and needing to squat constantly put things in a different light than with the position players. I believe this person was of the opinion that even with the surgery a position change might be in Meso’s long term best interest.

    • tct

      Between the concussions and the hip, yeah it would probably do him good to get out from behind the plate. The only place the Reds really have open that he could conceivably play would be left field. But I think he needs at least an entire off season and spring training to work on that before they run him out there. He probably hasn’t played left field ever in his life.

      If he is so bad in left that he gives up a lot of his value, then the Reds will just have to try to trade him. An AL team could use him at DH and first base and possibly even catch a handful of games as a backup catcher. His value would take a bit of a hit if he is unable to catch 100+ games every year, but he’s still pretty young and very cheap for the next three years. The unfortunate thing is that he was the Reds most valuable trade chip this off season. I don’t blame them at all for not trying to trade him, but they could have gotten a pretty nice haul for him.

      • Vanessa Galagnara

        That and he is not a very good defensive catcher. When a catcher isn’t very good defensively you would think that they would have already worked him out at other positions at some point in the long road from the minors to the majors.

  3. Jeremy Conley

    Byrd had a good game against a lefty yesterday, but I still think it’s crazy to have a guy who has 3 walks, 27 Ks, and a .193 batting average second. Hopefully he proves me wrong 2 nights in a row.

    • jdx19

      Yeah, I’m with ya. My main fear is that if Byrd has any consistent success against lefties that Price will use that as justification to misuse him against righties all year long.

      • Jeremy Conley

        The Reds seem to be pretty bad at managing platoons. We ran Gomes out there every day, for better or worse. He was basically a replacement level player for us in 148 games in his last year with the Reds, two years later he was a 2 win player in 99 games for the A’s. Less time = more value.

        Seems backwards, but for a guy like Gomes (or maybe Byrd this year) playing them against RH pitching just takes away value.

    • Mack Ashley Potter

      I think Byrd is slowly but surely gaining his stroke. He has really hit the ball better lately and about the rate we expected when he signed. Maybe hitting in front of Votto and seeing some good pitches is exactly what he needs to get him going? I knida like him hitting 2nd personally. Although I’d much rather have Cozart hitting there right now as weird as THAT sounds. lol. Right when he is finally having a good season at the plate since his rookie year, he busts his finger. GO FIGURE.

  4. Mack Ashley Potter

    I expect a great game out of Leake tonight. Hasn’t he pitched well vs Pitt historically? I’m predicting 8IP, 1ER, 7K, 1BB, W

    • seat101

      There ain’t nothing harder to predict the future. That being said, I’d love to see that.

    • jdx19

      I’ll donate $10 to RLN in your honor if Leake goes 8IP with 1ER or fewer.

  5. Mack Ashley Potter

    So I guess it’s obvious the Reds are going to employ the highest paid pinch hitter in baseball..x2,,for the rest of the season?

    • mwvohio

      Nah, I fully expect Mes to be under the knife shortly after this upcoming AL series is done.

      • jdx19

        He is still (maybe, I hope) a better option at DH than anyone else on the roster for those games in Chitown, so if he’s going to miss the season anyways, might as well keep him on-tap for a few games… maybe he helps us win one of them.

  6. Mack Ashley Potter

    I expect the Reds to knock out Cole early. He relies heavily on his fastball and the Reds have been hit bee bees off fastballs lately. At least 4 runs through 4 innings tonight…

    • jdx19

      Cole’s fastball is not similar to the average fastball. He’s got the 3rd most valuable fastball in the NL. Don’t ask me how they calculate pitch value. I actually have no idea. (Johnny Cueto is 1st, believe it or not)

  7. Mack Ashley Potter

    Cincy needs to put Mes on the 60 day DL, and use that extra roster spot to bring up bullpen help from Louisville and AA, and see who can and can not help our Pen. You’ll never know until someone gets their shot.

  8. Mack Ashley Potter

    Let’s Go Redlegs!!! Lets keep rollin!!!
    I’ll be in the Ballpark from the 13th-17th and I want Cincinnati to be at least 7 games over when my trip is over!!

  9. mwvohio

    Hahahaha, Byrd just got pulled to second base by Billy. That’s hilarious.

  10. Mack Ashley Potter

    I’ll never understand it….
    Votto will get a base hit, fly out, or ground out to 2nd in 9 out of 10 plate appearances, but put a runners at 2nd & 3rd and you can GUARANTEE a check swing back to the pitcher. And SANE with Frazier, but he always K’s. lol

    • mwvohio

      DId you not just see that before that at bat Votto got a hit in over 35% of his at bats with RISP this year?

    • jdx19

      From 2009 to now, Votto has a 174 wRC+ with runners on base. That’s the best. Out of everyone. In all of baseball.

    • tct

      Either sarcasm or observers bias. Either way, not true. Though it doesn’t change the fact that it was a missed opportunity.

  11. mwvohio

    On the plus side 26 pitch first inning. Let’s hope they can keep that rising.

    • CBD

      so it doesn’t happen too often…it happens ALL the time lol

    • jdx19

      With…4 RBI.

      In 8 ABs. Seriously, dude. Ted Williams went 0-8 plenty of times. It means nothing.

      • AARON

        8 AB… 5 SO … the RBI’s were the walks.

        They are at the bottom in 2014 as well. If you think that low batting average with runners at 2nd and 3rd doesn’t mean anything, then how do you propose the Reds score? By homers? because thats how they have been doing it.

      • jdx19

        Wow. I didn’t say low batting average doesn’t matter, I said ANY measure in 8 ABs doesn’t matter.

        And yes, the Reds’ average is going to be low in ALL situations because they have been a poor hitting team for many years.

      • jdx19

        The RBIs were walks and/or sac flies. Sac flies don’t count as ABs.

  12. Mack Ashley Potter

    Basically all you have to do is make contact twice and you it’s 2-0. I hate missed opportunities like that so much. Drives me crazy.

  13. Indy Red Man

    Joey is the man but that was choke city! He took a 1-1 fastball right down broadway and that was the best he was going to get.
    Frazier just doing his Adam Dunn impression…..loves HRs and Ks and French fries….hates sac flies with a passion

  14. jdx19

    Byrd has eclipsed the Mendoza line for the first time this year! .202.

  15. Kurt Frost

    Dang, Marty makes a lot of mistakes.

      • Kurt Frost

        He called Frazier Phillips and he got the count wrong twice. Seems like a lack of concentration.

  16. mwvohio

    Oi. The bottom third forgot the game plan and let him have the next two outs on four pitches.

  17. Mack Ashley Potter

    Look on the bright side, if Leake can hold Pitt scoreless at least you know we’ll win the game on Frazier’s solo homer…

  18. Mack Ashley Potter

    lol. On that ball Negron hit to 3rd the EXACT thing that went through my head was…that’s a base hit vs the Reds.

    • Mack Ashley Potter

      Don’t get me wrong, Frazier is a GREAT 3rd baseman, throws it right on the money every single time, gets to most balls, and is my fav player in baseball aside from Votto, but he never has been able to make that bare habd play for some reason. Kicks it EVERY single time.

  19. Indy Red Man

    This is the best Leake has ever looked….ever since the game in St. Louis! Marquis is the only real problem and they score a ton for him for some reason.

      • jdx19

        Is that a joke or are you trying to start a flame war/?

      • mwvohio

        Homer Bailey isn’t getting paid 100 million dollars to start flame wars.

      • Mack Ashley Potter

        Homer makes almost 1/5 of the Reds entire Payroll. Think about that. LOL! And worst of all, all we have got out of it is 2 no hitters in 3 years.

        Votto was ejected for THAT? Are….You….Kidding…Me????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????????????

      • Steve Mancuso

        You’re clueless. Bailey makes $10 million this year. That’s out of $115 million payroll.

  20. jdx19

    Cole’s on tonight. Missed that gift-wrapped opportunity in the first. May not get another.

  21. renbutler

    Bush-league umpiring, and bush-league flop on the “contact.”

    Fine the umpire for flopping.

    • jdx19

      Yeah, certainly a flop. I don’t think the league will look at that for more than 2 seconds.

  22. ProspectCincy

    Ohhh Joey. Should make for an interesting rest of the game.

  23. jdx19

    I guess Joey is tired of having pitches 8 inches out of the strike zone called for strikes. Still… no excuse for that. Unfortunate.

  24. Indy Red Man

    Too many players act like they could care less in todays game. That’s a big reason mlb is #3 by a mile. Votto didn’t show anyone up and now he’s prob gone 5-10 games or something???

    • jdx19

      Nah. No suspension there.

      The guys in KC who were throwing at guys multiple times got 5 games for a starting pitcher, which is 1 game, really.

      I think a fine, at most.

  25. preacherj

    It may have an ignorant cause that started it, but you cannot touch an umpire.

  26. Mack Ashley Potter

    Ok. I don’t get the Homer joke?
    How would that start a flame war?
    And what is a “flame” war?

    And anyone who doesn’t think signing Homer Bailey to a 100 Million Dollar contract was one of the worst moves in Reds HISTORY is either his brother, or in COMPLETE denial.

    • jdx19

      Basically people going back and forth arguing about something on an internet forum is a flame war.

      I asked about it because you brought up Homer for no reason in regards to a topic that is hotly debated on this site.

    • mwvohio

      Go look up the term trolling. Please. You are doing it, intentional or otherwise repeatedly. Entire articles have been written about the Homer contract both shortly after it was signed and several times since. Those would probably be better places to begin a discussion of your opinion of that contract.

  27. CBD

    regardless charging an umpire and even slightly bumping the umpire, Joey is gone 3 games at least.

    • jdx19

      You guys really think barely contacting an up is as bad as throwing a baseball at 100mph at multiple people? Ventura and Herrera in KC got 1 effective game (5 games for a SP).

      I’m not claiming you do think that. Legitimately asking. As hot as he was, he didnt’ really do anything that should be suspendable, I think. I mean, the replay clearly showed Votto got close to the umps ear and the ump sort of leaned back away from it.

      I could see him getting a game, I guess… but he’ll appeal it and likely win the appeal since he’s not a repeat offender.

      • preacherj

        No, never said I agreed with it, but the bottom line is if you charge toward an umpire and make contact you can expect discipline from the Commissioner’s Office. I mostly agree with your assessment. I think 3 will come down, he will serve one after appeals.

      • jdx19

        Fair enough! It’s like an unscheduled day off! 😉

  28. Indy Red Man

    Meso at first while Joey is suspended? What bs???

  29. preacherj

    Pena didn’t exactly stretch far for that one….but it is a catcher by trade.

  30. Indy Red Man

    The umps think people come to watch them mess up their job instead of watch guys like Votto star at theirs

    • preacherj

      It used to be worse, I think. Watching baseball during the 80’s and 90’s it seemed that every home plate umpire needed a ‘signature move’ when it came to calling balls and strikes and ringing guys up.

      • Indy Red Man

        That was Leslie Nielsen but good try:)

      • preacherj

        Lol. But they got the idea for that bit from what was happening. It was quite dramatic for a while.

      • Vicferrari

        Made me laugh, but I think Leslie was a characiture of the trade that went on

    • Steve Mancuso

      No censor bypass words. Dude, you need to read the site commenting guidelines. I’m tired of editing your comments.

  31. Mack Ashley Potter

    I’ve always liked and took up for Homer. And USED to think he was 100% the future ace of the Reds staff for years to come. But it just never materialized.

    Homer Bailey = almost 1/5 of Cincinnati’s Payroll
    ^^^^These are the types of mistakes the Cubs make, not the Reds

    • jdx19

      Homer makes $9M this year and will make $10M next year. The Reds payroll is $110M.

      Less than 9% is not “almost 20%.”

  32. mwvohio

    Leake meanwhile just keeps rolling along. He doesn’t have 99mph but he sure is efficient.

    • Indy Red Man

      Yeah the Pirates look extremely flat with the bats as well….we need to take advantage

  33. jdx19

    Finally some good luck, there!~ Good work, BP!! Haha!

  34. seat101

    I believe the procedure is that Joey Vato will be suspended for approximately three games. He will then appeal., And it will probably be reduced.


  35. Mack Ashley Potter

    In my opinion I have always seen the term “trolling” used as someone who comes onto a forum trying to start a fight. And usually is not even a fan of the team’s page they are on. Or just dislikes that team. NOTHING I would say on a Reds forum I would consider “trolling”. Because I consider myself the biggest Reds fan on the PLANET.
    Meanwhile, what is YOUR definition of “trolling”? A word I hate by the way.
    And all I did was give my opinion on what I thought the Reds “problem” was compared to what he thought the Reds problem was. He said it was Marquis, I said it was Homer. I neither brought up something out of the blue, or tried to start any argument. BOTH of which you are terming as “trolling”

    • jdx19

      Well, his comment I think should have been interpreted that Marquis is the only problem with the current starting rotation, which Homer is not a part of.

      Certainly, him being injured does not help the Reds, thus it is a “problem,” but the way you posted it I think is why it might have seemed ‘trolly.’

      • Mack Ashley Potter

        IN the rotation or NOT…..
        Getting ZERO out of 1/5 of your payroll is a huge problem in my opinion. But that’s just my opinion.

      • jdx19

        Or less than 9%, not 20%. Stop saying it is 20% of the payroll. It’s inaccurate.

      • Vicferrari

        For real JDX9, seems like trolling to me and we are playing into it

    • mwvohio

      You brought up a topic that had nothing to do with the game, one that has been argued on the site many many times. You also did it using caps lock and in a very aggressive manner, stating that anyone who disagreed must be crazy/in denial/whatever term you used on the last page. Those are all hallmarks of trolling. You can be a huge fan of a team and still troll people of that same team. It’s the equivalent of me knowing you are a huge BP fan and me bringing up his lack of OBP on a day he’s not even playing.

      Regardless, I’m not heated up about any of it because I find the whole thing amusing.. hence me chiming in with the 100 million dollar comment. It is however trolling.. obvious trolling. Intentional? I don’t know, I can’t read your mind.

      • Mack Ashley Potter

        But I still didn’t bring up the topic. I was just replying to someone else’s out of the blue post. He stated Marquis was the Reds “problem”

        And in contrast, having Marquis pick up wins for 500K vs having Homer give you absolutely nothing for 2 years and approx 45 Million dollars?

        Pretty obvious which is the problem in my opinion.

      • docmike

        Marquis is not “picking up wins” for the Reds. He has been lucky enough to be on the mound almost every time the Reds have scored several runs this year. Heck Eric Milton would have the same record as Marquis right now.

        Homer, on the other hand started out slow last year, then pitched very well for most of the season until he got hurt. He earned his salary last season.

  36. Michael J Hampton

    The Red’s announcers need to quit saying Votto bumped the umpire. I didn’t see anything conclusive in the video. They don’t need to reinforce that opinion. Never admit to anything.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Unfortunately, it is their job to give observations “as they see them”.

  37. jdx19

    Looks like Votto got everyone’s dander up! BP playin’ like he’s 25!

    • Dr. K

      People keep saying that it looks as though Brandon’s “heart isn’t in it” and I don’t get that. I’m not saying he looks like the same player from 5-7 years ago, but the biggest thing I see is that he isn’t able to produce at the same level he once was. Who wouldn’t be frustrated and disenchanted at work if they weren’t as successful as they were at one point in time?

      • jdx19

        Certainly. I’ve always thought BP tried very hard between the lines.

  38. preacherj

    Wow. Nice hustle and smart play by Brandon.

  39. preacherj

    Chris: “The wherewithal that Brandon Phillips has on the field is second to none.”

    ….unless Jimmy Rollins is around.

  40. CBD

    can’t watch those 2 strike pitches go by Negron… too close

  41. charlottencredsfan

    See that JV isn’t the only one hot under the collar.☺

    • jdx19

      I wanted Leake to plunk Cole in his last AB… I’ll take the double instead! 🙂

  42. preacherj

    That’ll teach ’em to walk a guy to get to our pitcher.

    • jdx19

      Oh, this is too good… went to look up both player’s career wRC+.

      Leake: 55
      Barnhart: 55

      Really no reason to walk Barnhart to get to Leake!

  43. Steve Mancuso

    Marty Brennaman interrupted Brantley’s call to interject that “Cole playe mind games with Joey Votto and won!” Which, of course, isn’t at all what happened.

    But sheesh, Brennaman is so anxious to criticize Votto (and has been frustrated in that by Votto’s hot start) that he’ll take sides with the other team.

    With friends like Marty …

    • Indy Red Man

      Marty is a grumpy old man that thinks he’s untouchable….and I guess he is at this point?

    • charlottencredsfan

      That is Cole’s game though. Seen it a couple of times, ask the Brewers. Kid likes to mix it up.

      • jdx19

        I would too if i were 6’4 240 or whatever he is.

  44. charlottencredsfan

    Leake’s ball 103 mph, not many of those end up in a glove. “No luck” double!

    • jdx19

      Yeah, that was smoked. Leake is quite a swinger!

      • charlottencredsfan

        Hope he isn’t married.☺

      • jdx19

        Haha! 🙂 I’ve decided to start calling him a swinger because that’s basically what he does well. He’s not a good hitter. His K-rate last year was higher than Javier Baez by 4%. But, he swings hard and makes solid contact when he does! And, he hasn’t walked since 2013.

        I still love the guy!

  45. CBD

    I am not a fan of this UMP’s strike zone. He isn’t favoring one pitcher but he is being inconsistent from one pitch to the next.

  46. mwvohio

    I don’t generally comment about emotion or momentum mid-game in baseball because most of the time I don’t think it impacts anything but it’s fun to think that Votto being fired up sparked some of that. I doubt it did but it makes for fun stories.

    • charlottencredsfan

      It got this Blog fired up, that’s for sure.

      • mwvohio

        Well yeah, I shudder in horror at thinking about our lineup without Votto for more than a game or two.

    • tct

      I normally don’t like players moaning about the ump or referee. But, I admit, I like seeing angry Votto once or twice a year. He’s such a patient hitter and low key guy that it’s kinda fun to just see him lose his mind for a few minutes. Plus, anything that brings attention to the ever expanding strike zone is a good thing.

      I seem to remember Votto getting tossed a couple times in his MVP year and Dusty was kind of critical of him after the last one.

  47. mwvohio

    Leake is a machine out there so far tonight. Works fast and gets them outs.

  48. Indy Red Man

    Anyone notice that their SS had BP easily if he pivoted and threw to 2nd. It would’ve ended up with 2 out and a man on 1st with Barnhart coming up. That’s kind of a gift run there

  49. Steve Mancuso

    Radio broadcast says Votto was ejected because the home plate umpire thought Votto was yelling at him and slamming his bat/helmet because of the ball/strike calls. Didn’t see or understand Votto was reacting to Cole’s provocation.

    • mwvohio

      One can’t help but wonder if this will become heated like it did a couple years ago. Chapman comes in later if this stays close..

    • jdx19

      Interesting. If that’s the case, I doubt we see a suspension. Maybe a fine.

  50. Mack Ashley Potter

    9% or 20%
    Does it matter?
    For a low market team, paying a starting pitcher that is AT BEST a #3, over 100 Million Dollars for 6 years is flat out ridiculous and unheard of. Only the Yankees, Cubs, Mets, Dodgers, Red Sox, etc, can make those moves. And all it’s brought us is grief and losing a true #1 in Johnny Cueto. Johnny will be moving on to greener pastures while er’re stuck arguing about Homer Bailey for the next half decade. AWESOME. All it amounts to is, he got Cueto’s money.

    • jdx19

      I’m not having this conversation. Like MWVOHIO said, his topic has been discussed at length. A game thread isn’t the place for it.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I agree. The topic is beat.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Cueto will get paid over $200 million. Bailey is earning about half that. Bailey’s AAV is comparable to #2 and #3 starters elsewhere with similar free agent contracts. Yes, it matters whether his salary is 9% or 20%. It’s the difference between you being completely wrong and not.

    • docmike

      Bailey did not get Cueto’s money. Cueto will get at least double, if not more than double, Bailey’s $100 million deal.

      Bailey got what a #2 / #3 starter would be expected to get. Whether the Reds should have allocated that money somewhere else, like left field, is a different argument. But Homer isn’t overpaid.

  51. jdx19


  52. preacherj

    Marlon!!!! That was high and deep.

  53. charlottencredsfan

    Get a water bucket, Marlon Byrd is on fire!

      • charlottencredsfan

        Thate pitch registered 77 mph that is right in MBs’ wheelhouse.

  54. charlottencredsfan

    100 mph. Those hits are hard to handle.

  55. CBD

    A win tonight and a cub loss to STL and the Reds are in 2nd place again.

    I think catching and passing Looie is a pipe dream…but if the Reds hold on to 2nd in the NL central, the should be able to get a WC

    • jdx19

      I’d rather see STL lose. Always want to guys in 1st place to lose this early in the season, regardless of who it is, I think. (Not sure if this is right, but I think it might be).

      • preacherj

        I’m with you. Besides, I (sports) hate St Louis. I just think the Cubs are stupid.

  56. mwvohio

    BP strokes one to left, almost as hard as Leake! Guessing at least based on the view.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Not really only 93 mph but good enough.

      • mwvohio

        Yep, I was kidding. His previous smash to left rolled to a stop short of third base so I figured..

  57. charlottencredsfan

    Beating on Cole like a rented mule. Keep it up boys!

  58. jdx19

    Marlon is not tied for 10th in the NL in home runs. How the heck did that happen? (Assuming none of the other guys at 5 went yard tonight).

    • jdx19

      Ack! Right when I hit post I remembered Bryce Harper his 3 HR today. 8 on the season. (Two over 440ft).

      Byrd tied for 11th in the NL!!

  59. renbutler

    Man, Negron is not having a good season.

  60. jdx19

    Negron mucking it up… miss Cozart already.

  61. preacherj

    That loss of a DP was on Negron as well.

    • preacherj

      What a difference a season makes…..

  62. charlottencredsfan

    Every ball hit to SS is an adventure.

  63. preacherj

    I think Pena grimaced a little on that.

  64. Mack Ashley Potter

    Leake pitching like a beast, working around errors, hitting line drives at the plate, RBI’s, kid just doing it all!

    • preacherj

      Yep. Even the little things like holding onto his glove with his other hand making that tag. I appreciate what he brings to the game.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Trade value is trending higher & higher.

  65. jdx19

    Scahill hasn’t given up a homer yet this year. Let’s help him with that, Tucker.

  66. jdx19

    So does Votto watch the game on a TV in the clubhouse after the ejection, so take some BP, or early shower and food?

    • preacherj

      Guess he could go down to the bullpen and catch some ZZZZ’s

    • charlottencredsfan

      Game on TV mixed with a little video of those two poor AB’s? If so, that’s our Joey and separates him from the pack.

  67. charlottencredsfan

    Don’t expect muck luck on weak ground balls, they are not going to average out.

    • jdx19

      Yeah, what Charlotte said. It’s MLB’s first attempt to roll out the new StatCast data to fans. It doesn’t catch every ball in play, but it gets most of them. Only gives launch angle information on home runs, I think.

  68. charlottencredsfan

    104 mph grounders can beat a shift. 93-95? No.

  69. preacherj

    I don’t know who this guy is wearing 22 for the Pirates, but it sure doesn’t seem like McCutcheon.

    • jdx19

      The whole Samson narrative is compelling. He cut his hair, and now…

    • jdx19

      I guess “compelling’ isn’t the right word. Interesting coincidence?

    • doublenohitter

      He’s just not the same player right now, with the bad wheel. It has completely sapped his power. He looks a lot like Votto did last year.

      • I-71_Exile

        I suspect we’ll start hearing “oblique” soon. Sorry for McCutchen, but not the Pirates.

  70. preacherj

    not the best defensive game we have ever played. That shows how good Leake has really been tonight.

  71. jdx19

    YAKKER from Leake. Man, he’s on tonight.

  72. preacherj

    What a bend on that one. Leake is rolling

  73. Mack Ashley Potter

    Well, I predicted the Reds would get to Cole at 4 runs through 4 innings and that Leake would be a beast….

    I was close lol

    • jdx19

      I said I’d donate $10 to RLN in your honor if he went 8 innings and 1 or fewer ER. I plan to honor that!

  74. jdx19

    Alvarez and Matt Adams. Gold Glovers…

  75. Michael

    Billy. You deserve better the last few weeks; doing a good job of solid contact nightly now. 🙁

  76. Indy Red Man

    Leake down to 2.59 era….wow!! Everyone can quit freaking out over Byrd now. He’s never been an April hitter

  77. charlottencredsfan

    100 mph atom ball. You have 8 guys on the field, they are going to catch a percentage of those, does not mean lucky.

    • Michael

      And if you check Hamilton’s line drive rate the last few weeks, I bet it’s abnormally high (and much higher than his first two weeks).

      When he’s not bunting; he’s been hitting everything well.

      • charlottencredsfan

        13 line drives coming into tonight
        21 total hits
        .615 batting average on liners, certainly on the lower end but he doesn’t hit many rockets >100 mph. Then you are talking.

        Like nearly evreyone, really everyone, else; he doesn’t have a luck problem. He needs to hit the ball harder.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Do they same how “in” the fielders are positioned?

      • charlottencredsfan

        Honestly I don’t know what hard is. For my eyes a 100 mph is hard, like a bullet. Very little reaction time for fielders. Maybe a step. 95 mph not near as much, even 97 not near as much. Soft, Med and Hard doesn’t impress me. Kid’s stuff because of lack of resolution.

        How about a minimum of 1 to 6 levels and at least 3 angle at point of contacts? Now we’re talking. I see soft-med-hard, I ignore it. Is 90 hard? Don’t get me wrong we are headed in the right direction. If we see major differentials in those categories from batter-to-batter over large sample sizes, I might consider “luck”. Yuck.☺

  78. charlottencredsfan

    Joey is going to miss some games.

    • Michael

      Yes, yes he is. I think five is the precedent.

    • George Mirones

      It was good to see Joey go off. The thoughtful, pensive Votto has a temper, GOOD!!

    • jdx19

      If he does I’ll be flabergasted. After what happened in KC and what happened there with the suspensions… I mean, Volquez got 5 games (as a pitcher, which is 1 game) for throwing an obvious haymaker on camera at Jeff Samardzija.

      If the league cares more about incidental contact and yelling than they do guys throwing at people on purpose at 100mph and having haymakers thrown, I’ll be simply flabergasted.

      • jdx19

        With that said, you’re right. The league will hit him with something because they lack discretion.

        Still not as bad as Goodell and the NFL. Rice’s suspension was initially 2 games, right?

      • charlottencredsfan

        He bumped an ump. You knock down a batter down or throw a punch at another player, that’s basically the players’ business. 3-5 games, minimum for JV. You shot a cop you are in lot more trouble than shooting another citizen, same principle applies.

      • jdx19

        Yeah, I suppose so. But guys below talking about Ortiz. Maybe 1 game? I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    • jessecuster44

      Will the umpire miss any games?

  79. Ellis Henry

    Amazing this team could potentially be above .500 after tonight with only three above average offensive players.

    • George Mirones

      Last 2 games show what solid pitching and team offense can do, WIN

      • Ellis Henry

        Le sigh…missing the point entirely.

  80. Indy Red Man

    White Sox have been bad but 7-3 at home….that should be interesting

  81. Steve Mancuso

    Would be great if Leake can get through the 8th inning.

    • jdx19

      Chappy good to go after throwing 30-odd pitches last night? I sure hope so!

    • George Mirones

      That’s one way to avoid the 8th inning curse

  82. Indy Red Man

    Remind me here….so say Joey gets a 3 game suspension or something….can’t the Reds appeal and thereby sort of cherry pick when they want to do it?

    • Ellis Henry

      David Ortiz was recently suspended 1 game for bumping an umpire…if Votto got 3 I’d be surprised. It can be appealed, and the suspension will not be served until the appeal process is completed…however long that takes.

      • jdx19

        Yeah, but you can drop the appeal at any time and start serving. I think that’s what the OP meant. You can cherry pick those 3 games against Philly, or whoever, if you have them coming up on the schedule.

      • Ellis Henry

        Yep, exactly correct. You “appeal” and hopefully some weak opponent is close on the schedule, and then you drop the appeal. However, most of the time this is done by pitchers in order to miss either one or zero starts.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Interesting. I retract my estimate. 1 to 3 games.

  83. jdx19

    Heeeey, a call for the Reds! Whadyaknow!?

  84. Mack Ashley Potter

    If you have even 1 foot on the left side of the 1st base line when the ball hits you, you are OUT. Or at least, you can be CALLED out. It’s a judgement call. It’s similar to if a runner at 3rd gets hit by a batted ball, if only one foot is in fair play, you are out.

    • jdx19

      And a duck snort for BP off 98mph heat!

      • charlottencredsfan

        Everyone has a certain number of those in their bat. Law of averages. Get off the luck train if you can.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Yes, there are variances between batters with comparable batted ball qualities. That’s what all the work on xBABIP is about. If two players hit 50 bloops in one season, you really think the same number of balls fall in for each one? Same with ground balls. You can cherry pick hard ground balls and say see, those are going to be hits. But even with regular ground balls, hitters have different hit rates.

        The only way one could maintain no luck is involved is if you believe that hitters have precise control over where the ball is going, which is obviously not true.

      • charlottencredsfan

        “If two players hit 50 bloops in one season, you really think the same number of balls fall in for each one?”

        Same trajectory? Yes, pretty darn close. I don’t know if 50 is high enough but yes I would think so. Break it down far enough and the “luck” will be rung out. Then it’s variance, law of averages, or randomness. Very, very small factor given the larger picture.

      • Steve Mancuso

        The entire point is that 50 isn’t enough to even out. It’s like flipping a coin 50 times and expecting the same number of heads as tails. Because it is exactly *random* (your word) the difference between the actual outcome and half-half is luck. When you compare BABIP to xBABIP, you’re looking at the difference between heads and tails.

      • jdx19

        You need 810 balls in play before BABIP numbers BEGIN to stabilize, and that’s only when the split-half reliability is at 70.7%. (Multiply it by itself and you get .5; basically 1/2 signal, 1/2 noise).

        So, really, you need 810 bloops before you’d expect both guys to have the same luck. It could happen before then, but it would be a fluke.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I’m assuming that is 810 total BABIP’s and not bloopers. Bloopers I would think would not require near that number. For starters, what is the range on batting average on IFFB? I find nowhere to determine this. How about batting average on batted ball hang time > 4.5 secs? This would be an excellent place to begin. If we could find two players with > 80 bloops in that bloop hang time range with a batting average differential of any degree, on those bloops; I will be shocked beyond belief. I don’t need 810. Heck 15 might do it.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Yeah Steve on bloops of > 4.5 secs, 50 is plenty. If you can find the data, I’d love to see it. Exact same number? No. Within 2 to 3, yes in 95% of the cases I would think. Probably 100%. But if you can find it, I’ll buy it. Otherwise as a loan officer will tell you, I need more information.

  85. Mack Ashley Potter

    If a superstar like Votto gets 3 games I would be crazy surprised. Didn’t Papi only get like 1 game for bumping an unpire? And his was worse than Votto. And Votto actually had a gripe most would think??

  86. jdx19

    Houston looking to be swept by the hapless Ranges. Tough way to end a 10-game winning streak.

  87. preacherj

    The bottom is just dropping out of Leake’s breaking ball.

    • Matt

      Looks like you’re soon to be $10 poorer 😛

      • jdx19

        Done and done. Hah! I need to stop doing these reverse-prop bets against myself.

      • Steve Mancuso

        jdx19 is a man of his word. We just received notice of a $10 donation to the site. Thanks to him and thanks to Mike Leake!

  88. preacherj

    The more they show the Votto ejection, the more confused I get.

    • jdx19

      Yeah. That last angle where they showed Votto was clearly talking and glaring at Cole is what convinced me. The ump misunderstood the target of Votto’s aggression. Unfortunately, I think Votto’s reaction sealed the deal with the “contact” to the ump.

      • Ellis Henry

        He was ejected before contact with the ump.

      • jdx19

        Yeah, I know.

        I guess i wasn’t clear with “sealed the deal.” I meant he’ll get a game suspension, likely. Even if he was ejected on a mistake by the ump.

    • CBD

      totally agree… all the camera angles seem to show something different… the HP umpire wasn’t even looking at Votto as he tossed his helmet/bat… so it wasn’t that… and the chirping with cole (if that was who it was intended for) doesn’t make sense as he was back to the dugout and out of ear shot…

      Perhaps he was telling 3rd base coach he missed a signal and it was “on him” ??

    • Steve Mancuso

      He’s heating up. Been struggling with injuries.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Really not enough resolution. Appreciate the post. Still better than what we had. That was just a quick review and I’ll study more in the coming days. Raw data is still preferable to these formulas, IMO. Think we are just getting started here. We are at the beginning of the beginning.

  89. jdx19

    Jung-Ho Kang isn’t afraid of Chapman. A walk and a double in 2 PAs.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Not much of a double. Soft ground ball between SS and 3B.

      • jdx19

        Certainly true. But, still accurate!

    • I-71_Exile

      Don’t blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  90. Steve Mancuso

    Two big wins for the good guys.

  91. Tom Reed

    Byrd seems to be getting comfortable hitting in the 2nd. slot.

    • I-71_Exile

      Marlon read that a team should bat it’s best hitter second—so he’s doing his best to oblige. 🙂

  92. Jeremy Forbes

    Gem of a start for Leake.

    More Brewers and Pirates games, please.

  93. jessecuster44

    Thinking about our friend Joey Votto – I am puzzled as to why some people in the know do not seem to like him. (Marty, e.g.) Price doesn’t seem to defend him, and even Walt and Bob don’t seem too keen on supporting him.

    What gives? Is it all about Votto’s approach? Votto is articulate, dedicated to his craft, and has quite a lot of passion for the game. Why the lack of love?

    • jdx19

      If you figure it out, let us all know. It goes way beyond reason.

      • jessecuster44

        The only theories I have would be speculative,inflammatory, and based on no factual evidence. No point in throwing them out there.

      • jdx19

        Heh, Well, at least you know where you’re coming from! 🙂

  94. jdx19

    Molina just had a checked swing RBI single… basically, the Cardinals are lucky and I hate them. A nightly post, I know.

  95. charlottencredsfan

    JDX-reviewed the Gordon link further and here is my observation. Key takeaway:

    “You can think of Dee Gordon as one of the unshiftables. You can play him shallow, but you can’t stagger your defenders, and if you bring them in, then you run the risk of a ball getting by.”

    This is not Billy Hamilton because he does not run the same risk of a ball getting by. Observation of the second and third GIF’s: the ball is hit far enough away from the fielder and the fielder is paying back enough, that it is a hit. It would be a hit the same with Hamilton under the “exact same circumstances. But, the fielders play farther in for Billy because he doesn’t hit the ball hard. Gordon hits the ball weakly but compared to Billy, he hits it hard. Billy is probably out on both these examples. The first GIF, I believe Billy gets that hit even if the fielders play in. The fourth, I can’t see how far the third baseman is in at the start of the play. Generally, Billy gets thrown out on that because the third baseman is just too far in.

    Bottom line, because Billy hits weaker GB’s than DG, the infielders play closer in and he has less opportunities for those hits. Stats certainly bear that out. Obviously, the proof would be in batted ball speed and noting the infielders’ positioning – objective information.

    You’re an engineer and I’m into large manufacturing control system design and integration. Between our two skills we could probably nail all this if we had hundreds of available hours to spend. I can’t use luck in my profession, variance yes. Luck, good or bad, is failure. It has to be explained and repeated.

    • jdx19

      I certainly appreciate the thoughtful response! I’ll give it a full reply sometime tomorrow… I have a light day of meetings at work. 😉

      • charlottencredsfan

        Good stuff. Love the discussion and love learning even more. See you tomorrow.

  96. charlottencredsfan

    “The only way one could maintain no luck is involved is if you believe that hitters have precise control over where the ball is going, which is obviously not true”

    Nonsense. I posit this in a simple and a straightforward a manner as I can: player A hits X numbers of balls to left field at a velocity of 100 mph at a 15% angle. For that ball to be caught in the air, it has to be directly at the left fielder. There will be some variance given the fielder’s range but not much. Let’s say the fielder on average can catch 10% of the balls hit. A .900 BA. If he happens to field two is the second one luck? Probably not. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th? It would depend on the number of balls hit but the 10% number should hold in a tolerance range (variance). Different guy hits the balls at a velocity of 95 mph and same angle, the fielder can now get to 75% of the balls, BA of .750. Is it “luck” that player one has BABIP of .900 and player two is only .750? I predict as we are able to collect better and more precise batted ball data, luck will be weened out. If not all together, than nearly so. It’s inevitable, it will come. Once we have enough data points. Soft-medium-hard is not enough, I can tell you that.

    Some things in life can not be explained but most can if only eventually. Good discussion, Steve.

    • Steve Mancuso

      I know you’re enthralled with the new batted ball speed data. But it’s giving you a false sense of determinism. Even in your own example, you admit there is variance. The luck of whether a ball is hit at a fielder or not does not even out over the number of at bats in a given season. You’ve never addressed my example of the coin flip. You flip it 100 times and it will rarely land heads exactly 50 times. There is a distribution of outcomes. A similar distribution occurs when players bat similar balls into the field. Players who end up in the tails of those distribution are experiencing the effect of luck.

      You seem to think that there’s something about the new data that changes this. We’ve had ways to calculate expected BABIP for years and compare that to actual BABIP. The residual is luck. Just because you’re able to see bat speed on a public website now doesn’t mean the people who have been defining line drives for FanGraphs and other sites didn’t have ways to measure it.

      You’re seriously maintaining there is zero luck in whether a hit falls in? Or that luck *perfectly* evens out over the course of a season? That strikes me as being like the last person who kept insisting the sun revolves around the earth.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Well whatever. People that get my point, will get it. You don’t, that’s fine. The lack of data that we have been using allows for to much variance because although we have a lot of data, we don’t have enough. Bottom line in my example, harder the ball is hit the better the luck, to put in words you can relate to.

        In the very near future, we will be able to see that when Jay Bruce starts hitting better, he hits the ball harder. You can say the luck is evening out but it’s a physical change that is making tt happen. The change of luck will not happen without the physical change. That is as good as I can explain it.

        Steve, if I thought there is as much luck in the game as you do, I’d quit following it. Watching someone play poker is preferable, to someone playing slot machines.

      • charlottencredsfan

        “You’ve never addressed my example of the coin flip. You flip it 100 times and it will rarely land heads exactly 50 times. There is a distribution of outcomes. A similar distribution occurs when players bat similar balls into the field. Players who end up in the tails of those distribution are experiencing the effect of luck.”

        This has exactly zero relationship to my point, that’s why I didn’t address it. If a screamer is caught by a fielder, the batter is not unlucky because there is a guy in the field hat is going to catch “X” number of those balls. He just hit “X”, not unlucky or lucky. You want less of those balls caught? Hit the ball harder and less will be with every additional mph. Can’t see how hat is argued but you are able.☺

      • IndyRedMan

        If BP hit the ball harder then he’d be hitting about .230 instead of .300 right now. He just loops the ball over the infield instead of actual hitting it hard enough to reach the outfielder. Byrd crushed a ball in Atlanta that should’ve been a 3 run homer but the wind held it…while at times hitters can almost bloop a ball opposite field for a HR in GABP. I guess it all evens out with a six month season? I played a lot of online poker during the poker boom. You try to play by the percentages and sometimes you’ll lose but eventually you’ll win more if everything else is equal. The poker term is EV….expected value