The Cincinnati Reds (14-13) are looking to sweep their season record to 6-0 against the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates (12-15). In their last eight games, the Pirates are 1-7 and have scored just 15 runs.


Anthony DeSclafani 2.03 3.86 0.9 8.9% 21.1%
A.J. Burnett 1.45 2.86 0.3 8.1% 22.0%

After allowing just six walks in his first four starts (26 innings), DeSclafani walked five Braves in his five inning start last week. DeSclafani’s ony start against Pittsburgh was his debut in a Reds uniform on April 9th. He allowed two runs over six innings, struck out six and walked just one batter. Overall, he starts today’s game with a 2.03 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.

While A.J. Burnett (1.45 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) leads Pirates starters in ERA, he has an 0-1 pitching record thanks to his team scoring just seven runs over his first five starts. The only game in which he allowed more than one run was on April 9th in Cincinnati. In that contest, he allowed two runs on a Joey Votto homerun, walked just one batter and struck out seven over 5.1 innings. In his four starts since then, he has pitched at least six innings in each contest and allowed three total runs.

The Reds lineup is the same as the past two games with Brayan Pena back 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. Brayan Pena (S) C
  9. Anthony DeSclafani (R) P

The batting lineup for the Pirates:

  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. Josh Harrison (R) 3B
  7. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
  8. Chris Stewart (R) C
  9. A.J. Burnett (R) P

Joey Votto took responsibility for his actions in touching home plate umpire Chris Conroy.

“I feel like as a Major League player, I have a responsibility to be a good example for younger players,” Votto said. “And making contact with an umpire is unacceptable. During this entire thing, that’s the one thing I feel very remorseful for. I think it was something that just crossed the line. Just because I have a verbal disagreement with someone, doesn’t make it OK to have physical contact with someone.

“In all of this, that’s the thing I regret the most, and I’m not happy about it. As Major League players, we have a responsibility to keep everything … we can push the limits as much as we want, but never cross that line.”

It’s Marlon Byrd continuing to hit the ball with authority. As noted yesterday, Byrd was hitting a .115/.130/.135 (AVG/OBP/SLG) slash line through April 22nd (14 games). With a BABIP of just .167, which is 158 points below his career average, things were bound to turn around sooner or later. In his 11 games since April 22nd, Byrd’s slash line is .325/.372/.750 with his BABIP returning to his normal .333 average. He won’t keep up this ridiculous homerun rate, but he’s not going to hit like the player we saw the first two weeks of the season either.

All-star voting is underway. The 2015 ballot with Reds players highlighted can be found here.

Major League Baseball and the Reds announced details yesterday of a new annual community legacy effort for the Cincinnati area:

The All-Star summer community effort will consist of a range of renovation projects that will leave a lasting impact within communities of Greater Cincinnati and beyond. It features the contribution of nearly $5 million toward national charitable programs and local projects, including nine area youth baseball field renovations.

The various legacy projects are designed to positively affect the lives of local veterans and underserved youth, and they will place a focus on improving the well-being of local citizens. The overall effort will also go toward supporting cancer research, highlighting the importance of environmental consciousness and complementing the midsummer baseball celebration.

The Milwaukee Brewers are having all sorts of trouble this season. Most recently, Bob Uecker and the Brewers radio team became trapped in the Miller Park booth during last night’s Brewers-Dodgers game. Don’t worry…they made it out okay.


Take in this division matchup with the No. 1 travel resource for any Reds fan, With Pittsburgh flights from major airline carriers and four Pittsburgh hotels under $100 including one starting from $55 per night.

It’s time to sweep the Pirates again and put more distance between themselves and fourth place. The Reds could actually jump into second place with a win tonight and head to Chicago needing just one win against the White Sox to secure a winning road trip.


255 Responses

  1. lwblogger2

    The radio booth rescue is a head-shaker. Looks like the door-knob fell off?

  2. tct

    The Reds are now 3rd in the NL, eight overall, in position player WAR. They are also third in the NL, fourth overall, in RA/9 WAR by their starting pitchers. But, the crappy bottom of the roster strikes again. The bench of Boesch, Negron Schumaker, and Dominguez are almost a full run below replacement level and the bullpen is 0.7 runs below replacement level. Between 1.5 and 2 wins below replacement level for the bench and bullpen in only 27 games.

  3. Art Wayne Austin

    Latest Rally Leaders Thru 5-6 game: Hamilton 10, Byrd 9, Bruce 8, Votto 7, Frazier 7, DaDude 7, Cozart 7, & Mes 1. Only 8 regulars considered. Winning Rally leaders: Bruce, Byrd & DaDude. Changes I would make would be Mesoraco in left against southpaws, Byrd in left against right hand pitchers & right against southpaws. Bruce would only play against right handers.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Darn Statcast, I can only watch one game at a time.

  4. charlottencredsfan

    This club continues to amaze me. Especially the starting pitching. Let’s sweep up the Pirates.

  5. ManuelT

    This reminds of how well-behaved our guys are. Otherwise, I’d know what the turnaround time is before we find out if Votto will serve a suspension.

  6. jdx19

    Easy inning for AJ to start the game.

  7. RedInInd

    Are there consequences for ignoring a base coach, whether the runner is right or wrong?

    • jdx19

      Probably a chewing out for a first-time offender. If he does it habitually, I’d imagine he’d lose playing time.

  8. charlottencredsfan

    JV picking it. Good inning for Joey.

    • jdx19

      Any idea where the home plate ump from last night is working tonight? Would be funny if he were the 1B ump.

  9. jdx19

    Quick poll: How long until Fox Sports Ohio starts using AVG/OBP/SLG instead of AVG/HR/RBI on their player splash screens? ESPN started doing it half-a-decade ago.

  10. jdx19

    Well, BP hits into a 390 ft double play. That’s unfortunate.

  11. jdx19

    I feel pretty fortunate to be down 1 run at this point.

    • charlottencredsfan

      Balls at 95 & 99 mph. Hard to get those out I think. 100+, 3-0 game probably.

  12. charlottencredsfan

    Come on KN, get us going.

  13. jdx19

    Two checked-swing Ks on pitches 20 inches out of the zone. Good start, there.

  14. Ellis Henry

    Welp, Negron definitely did not go on that check-swing. Derp. But he’s hitting .067 so it doesn’t really matter…

  15. BigRedMike

    Only down 1, Reds will get to Burnett

    • jdx19

      Sure hope so. Leads the NL in ERA at the moment and Reds are 2-11 against him at the moment.

  16. charlottencredsfan

    Looked like a stolen sign.

  17. jdx19

    Looks safe to me. Assuming tie go to the runner.

  18. jdx19

    Hope the bullpen is up to the task tonight! Disco not going to last a lot longer if he keeps walking folks.

  19. jdx19

    I wanna say off the top of my head, something like 8 of Votto’s last 10 balls in play have been ground outs to 2B, with 3 DPs. Numbers might be off a bit. Dunno.

  20. BigRedMike

    Frazier continues to hit HR, Todd needs to get more credit for his overall play

  21. Steve Mancuso

    Too bad about the double play. If Votto would have walked, Frazier’s bomb would have been a three-run jack.

    • Ellis Henry

      Or an entirely different sequence of events would have occurred because the circumstances changed.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Maybe. But Burnett’s pitch to Frazier was out of the strike zone. Different series of events more likely if pitch had been fat.

      • Ellis Henry

        99.99999999(keep going with the 9’s)% definitely. Once you change one variable every future action is thrown into flux. That’s the issue with statements such as “Well if ball one was called a strike instead” because the entire situation changes and different decisions will be made based on that situation.

      • jdx19

        While I agree with your sentiment, Ellis, it’s much more rewarding and fun to not think “nothing matters.” 😉

  22. Steve Mancuso

    Just saw Billy Hamilton’s throw to home plate in the first inning. Ugly.

    • jdx19

      Certainly was. Any idea if outfielders work on accuracy, or is just natural talent that makes a good OF arm with accuracy?

      • Indy Red Man

        Sure they practice…I played some CF in high school. You have to keep it low and fast but get it over the mound…takes some practice

  23. BigRedMike

    Good try by Hamilton on that bomb by Pedro

    • jdx19

      Yeah. Could have caught it, but it would have been a phenomenal play if he did.

    • jdx19

      2.88 FIP, 3.43 xFIP.

      I’d say you are right!

    • Indy Red Man

      Who is? He won’t be under 3 at the end of the year at his age

  24. jdx19

    7 hits, 4 walks, only 1 K through 5… VERY fortunate he’s only given up 3 runs.

  25. jdx19

    Votto is trying to challenge some sort of ground-out to 2B record.

    • Indy Red Man

      He’s rolling over on the ball a little aka Mr. Bruce. He is Joey Votto though so expect the shots to left center on those pitches to return pretty quick

  26. whereruklu

    I am slowly becoming a BigByrd fan. I guess I can admit I’ve might have been wrong. Me bad.

  27. jdx19

    Here’s a thought provoking question I was just contemplating:

    Do umpires stick up for their own guys like teammates do? More specifically, do you guys think Votto will have a smaller strike zone tonight because he got in the ump’s face last night?

    The answer should be no, but I’d be interested in hearing what view other folks have!

  28. BigRedMike

    Negron got a hit. Nice hanging pitch from Burnett

  29. Indy Red Man

    Bruce .174 and dropping….he is hopeless. Nice guy but he’s killing us

    • Ellis Henry

      .100 below his career BABIP. Batting average is contextually useless.

  30. earmbrister

    I’m not worried about Bruce. Negron on the other hand …

    • Indy Red Man

      We’ve almost played 20% of the season and Bruce is a mile under .200….and after how bad he was last year? What does it take to worry you?

      • jdx19

        He was hurt last year. Did you conveniently forget that?

      • earmbrister

        Like Monkey Man aptly points out, Bruce has had only one bad year. A year that he suffered a knee injury, but gamely played on.

        Bruce is about as streaky a hitter as you’ll find. He’ll get hot; count on it.

  31. BigRedMike

    Big AB, better get grit to the plate. Pathetic

  32. jdx19

    Of all the bad hitters on the team, Skip is my least favorite.

    • BigRedMike

      Somehow he received a 2 year contract. He does nothing well, cannot hit and is very poor defensively

      • jdx19

        Grit + Ex-Cardinal = Multi-year Deal. We call it the Walt Special.

    • earmbrister

      Because Negron batting .091 is more of a favorite?

  33. Kyle

    Why is Mesoraco not getting surgery? Skip Schumacher k’s on 3 pitches in a huge situation. Guess they’re saving Devin for when the game is out of hand.

    • jdx19

      Price using “L against R” most likely as a reason to bat the horrendous Skip. Sad.

  34. Brandon

    Is Skip S. receiving pay for play ?

  35. Jeff Morris

    Of ALLLLLL the PH, why Skip S? All we needed was a fly ball for a sac fly. I could have predicated he would strike out.

  36. indredsfan

    If there are 750 players currently on MLB rosters, where would you rate Skip? I’m saying no higher than 745.

    • jdx19

      I was thinking bottom 5 before i saw the 745, so I think you are spot on.

  37. charlottencredsfan

    Billy smoked that ball at 82 mph. That’ll do, that’ll do.

    • jdx19

      I’m still amazed how infrequently he gets infield hits. I think it’s observers’ bias with me at this point because I pine over it, but for a guy like Billy to seemingly never beat anything out, it’s maddening.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Told you a million times what it is. I don’t see what’s the surprise.☺

      • CommonSense

        He would have been safe at first, not his fault that Pena was running from first to second.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Right any day now Billy will be hitting to his BABIP of .299, right?

      • charlottencredsfan

        Hit the ball 105 mph, like Marte, and you get hits

  38. Steve Mancuso

    Skip Schumaker has an OPS of .409 against RHP this year. How could Price choose him over Devin Mesoraco, who had an OPS of .883 against RHP last year? Not a fair comparison, but you get the gist. Can’t believe Price went with old school match-up on the most important pinch hitting situation in the game.

    • jessecuster44

      Maybe there was some potential for squatting on the basepaths.

    • Andrew24

      Doesn’t surprise me anymore Steve. Very disappointed with a lot of BP’s decisions.

  39. jdx19

    Leadoff walk from Gregg. We’re right on schedule, here.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Was just going to write something similar. Need a DP here.

    • mad at walt

      Well there goes our chance to win because Gregg is pitching.
      really can’t call him a picher he is someone that goes the mound gives up hits

  40. doublenohitter

    This has been the single biggest problem with the bullpen. Walks, especially to the first guy they face.

  41. Tom Reed

    Tying run on third – need fly ball and Meso is our PH/DH and Price uses Skip. Where’s the intensity to win this game?

  42. BigRedMike

    Gregg is still on the roster, sad

    • mad at walt

      That is what Gregg does.
      opposing teams should pay his salary he gives them more wins then the opposing team pitcher does

  43. CBD


    • jdx19

      There are likely 15 guys better. And Im not being hyperbolic. I really think thats a fair estimate.

  44. rmhowell

    When are they going to stop giving gregg chances? I thought they had a good thing going with Jumbo and Hoover in 7th and 8th innings respectively.

  45. indredsfan

    My grandmother used Vaseline to cure everything. Kevin Gregg is the Vaseline for bad hitting.

  46. seat101

    I’m going to bed Kevin Greg has done his thing

    I like the manager. I do not understand why he brings this guy again.

    Good night I’ll

  47. RedsFanEd (@RedsFanEd)

    Igleasies would have looked good in this spot. Paying him more $$$ than Gregg to rot in L’ville. Shameful roster management once again.

    • mad at walt

      we mentally needed to win this game and Gregg just pissed away.
      and price keeps fanning the fire

    • earmbrister

      Iglesias has been “rotting” in AAA for how long now? Three weeks?

  48. Jeff Morris

    Yes….My hand is raised! Gregg in…..always a disaster.

  49. Citizen54

    Incredible, Gregg has given up at least a run in 8 out of his 11 appearances this year.

  50. Steve Mancuso

    Pirates have no respect for Billy Hamilton’s arm. Running on him at will. Both the first run and fourth wouldn’t have scored with good throws. No excuse on this one. It was from shallow center and Hamilton didn’t get it to the pitcher’s mound. Way below average.

    And Kevin Gregg may have gotten unlucky on the last hit (soft seeing eye grounder that is a DP if a couple feet toward SS) but he walked the leadoff hitter. Terrible.

  51. Tito

    Will Jocketty and company have the stones to DFA Gregg or do I just to get used to this for the season….

  52. Ted

    Burnett has pitched well for the Pirates but this was a winnable game until Price mismanaged the PH and bullpen (again).

  53. BigRedMike

    Does Walt realize that Gregg is really bad and that he can be replaced? He has no out pitch

  54. Steve Mancuso

    Crowd source project: If Bryan Price uses bullpen roles, what would you say the title of Kevin Gregg’s role is? (keep in mind the site commenting guidelines)

  55. CBD

    0-2…. and Gregg walks him… does he stay in? Of course he does.

  56. Citizen54

    Hey let’s put our worst pitcher in a high leverage situation. I’m sure that will work out well.

    • D Ray White

      I’m sad to even think this, but I really miss Ondrusek when Gregg enters the game. At least Ondru had an out pitch.

  57. BigRedMike

    Just awful pitching, nice by Pena

  58. BigRedMike

    Time for Price to go, bad managing

  59. AARON

    Price needs to be fired. Now. Don’t even wait until the game is over.

  60. Kyle

    Skip Schumacher to pinch hit in the biggest AB of the game, followed by Gregg being Gregg. Why even take him out at this point? The game is over now.

  61. huskycardinal

    I don’t know if I can keep rooting for this team if Gregg stays on the 40 man roster. Need to play Cingrani more in Gregg’s role.

  62. PARedsfan

    Why, Why, Why is Gregg still on this team??? And worse yet why is he brought in to pitch in games like this where we still had a chance???? Makes no sense!!!

  63. Tom Reed

    This is a Skip and Gregg ballgame. At least we won the series.

  64. charlottencredsfan

    6-2, games not over yet and the best part is Price can’t put Gregg in.

  65. CBD

    Don’t worry everyone… as Dusty taught Price… we’re still in “Slam Range”

    • vegastypo

      And as Dusty must also have taught Price, it’s only May, these games don’t count in the standings …

    • D Ray White

      But you have to clog the bases to get in slam range. If there’s one thing this team doesn’t do, it’s clog the bases.

  66. Brandon

    Tonight’s game is a perfect example of the big mess this organization is in. Both from a roster standpoint and roster management standpoint.

    • PARedsfan

      I love my Reds, for over 45 years now, but one of the most dysfunctional organizations in baseball…so painful to know that.

  67. jdx19

    What hustle by Byrd. Lots of guys don’t run hard on that once the pitcher knocks it down.

  68. GreatRedLegsFan

    Poor decision making again by Price, with Negron in 3rd and Peña in 1st, one out: Have Barnhart to run for Peña, who’s one of the slowest runners in the league, have Meso to hit for the pitcher (got Skip instead and his underground OPS). The cherry pie was Gregg for the next inning. I like the guy but as pitching coach, no manager’s skills there.

    • jdx19

      Sure is. Anyone who doesn’t start the year on a hot streak always seems like they have something wrong with them.

      He’ll be fine. Not a superstar, but an upgrade over Ludwick, for sure.

      • earmbrister

        You’re not expecting a superstar with a minimal investment. However, Byrd has always hit.

  69. spro

    As soon as the announced Kevin Gregg’s name, I went up to give myself a much needed haircut. Surely I couldn’t miss anything good. Of course, 3 runs and 30 mins later I’m back. Release him already

  70. jdx19

    Votto 9 for his last 46, 3 BB, 1 HR.

    • jdx19

      Starting the day after the 16-10 win in MIL.

    • CommonSense

      How about giving me some Jay Bruce numbers since oh the start of the season.

  71. PARedsfan

    How deflating must it be for the other 8 guys playing when Gregg comes in to pitch, knowing the impending disaster about to unfold. (Sigh)

  72. spro

    2 on no out would’ve looked a lot better if we were only down 1 run

      • jdx19

        The inconsistency is in ALL situations. There is nothing magical about RISP.

      • huskycardinal

        I agree but a bad pitching night can be alleviated by the ability to score when you have guys in scoring position. Still cannot manufacture runs.

  73. jdx19

    Gregg’s ERA back up over 10, after flirting with the 7s for his last few appearances.

  74. charlottencredsfan

    Philips reaches and Jay can tie it up.

  75. bpbailey

    How much more destruction must be wrought by Gregg before Jocketty cuts him?

    • jdx19

      If Gregg were to pitch 29 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings, he could drop his ERA to 2.70. So, there’s that.

    • RedAlert

      Needs to cut Price while he’s at its – absolute worst manager in the league

  76. spro

    He just didn’t want to have to use Chapman 3 days in a row..

  77. TracyJones29

    If they ever remake the 1984 Drew Barrymore classic “Firestarter” I’m pretty sure Gregg is getting the lead role.

  78. doublenohitter

    Bruce’s better days are behind him. He looks like the same guy as last year. he has made no adjustments. Still swings at bad balls in the dirt.

    • jdx19

      That’s what Bruce does. He’s always done that and will always do that.

  79. earmbrister

    Bruce really could have done some damage there.

  80. charlottencredsfan

    Gregg has just been unlucky. He is bad but not this bad.

    • jdx19

      Certainly true. Almost no one is 10 ERA bad. 5.57 FIP, 3.45 xFIP. Those are on the strength of his very good 11.8 K/9.

      • charlottencredsfan

        I’d keep using him, his luck is sure to change. Hopefully sooner or later. Might be what Price is thinking too.

      • jdx19

        Even if he’s not THIS bad, he’s still bad. I truly believe there are likely 10 pitchers in the organization that would do a better job in relief than Gregg.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Better than a 3,45 xFIP??

      • jdx19

        Nah, not better than 3.45 xFIP, but Gregg’s K rate is 38% higher than his career average, and he’s not gotten better, so I don’t fully trust the xFIP rating. I think it’s closer than ERA’s 10.13, but I think his true skill at this point in his career in around 5.00 in any measure.

      • CommonSense

        Kevin Gregg has NEVER been a good pitcher. Just stop it.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Of course not, I’m pulling your leg. He ought to be back home talking to people about what it was like to pitch in the Big Leagues. Unfortunately, he is not going anywhere.

    • mad at walt

      nothing unlucky about Gregg he is just that bad

      • jdx19

        His xFIP is 3.45. This uses league average HR/FB%. Gregg’s 2.53 HR/9 is more than two-and-a-half times higher than his career average.

        xFIP also heavily relies on strikeouts, which Gregg has been quite good at getting.

        His BABIP against of .345 is a bit high, but in his amount of work, that difference amounts to 1 or 2 hits.

        So, take away a homer and a hit to make it closer to league average “luck” and we have the true statement “Kevin Gregg isn’t 10 ERA bad, but he’s bad.”

        Hah! That’s probably the nicest post one could make about Gregg right now.

      • charlottencredsfan

        If we want to be consistent and live by xFIP than we stick with him. Second lowest on the team coming in the game. Should be the set-up man, right?☺

      • jdx19

        I don’t want to be consistent and stick by anything. Different arguments require different tools.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Of course and sometimes you just have to go with your eyes. My eyes tell me an ERA of 10 is about right. Just giving you “luck” guys a hard time. See you tomorrow.

  81. jdx19

    In the last 7 seasons, counting this one, Gregg has posted positive fWAR exactly one time.

  82. spro

    ESPN’s Fantasy Focus podcast was going through bad bullpen ERA’s today. I forget who they were talking about because they were 2nd worst, when they said “The Reds are in last place, because they have Kevin Gregg”.

    • jdx19

      On a FG article the other day, there was a list of relievers showing somethign I can’t recall, and the author said something like “On this list you’ll see a group of young relievers with decent movement and average peripherals. You’ll also see Kevin Gregg.”

    • Vicferrari

      Do not give all the credit to Gregg, there is Badenhop, Jumbo has had some lousy appearances but still shows dominance at times. I am not crazy about Hoover but he might be the 3rd realistic option with this group. Ohhhhh for the days of guys like Ondrusek and their ERA’s under 5

  83. Indy Red Man

    Jocketty….way to go!! Gregg and Badenhop are really paying off. Quiet….genius at work

    • jdx19

      Badenhop has been much more disappointing to me, because I expected Gregg to be bad. I expected Badenhop to be good.

      He’ll get better, though. .424 BABIP against Burke.

      • Jeremy Forbes

        You can’t just look at BABIP and compare it on it’s own against his career numbers. You also have to look at the fact that Badenhop’s fastball is slower than it’s ever been in his career at 87.6mph. He’s also throwing a career low 5% sliders (career average of 18.1%).

        If you keep throwing 87.6mph fastballs down the middle and it’s one of your only two pitches, your BABIP will not be high because of bad luck, but simply because you’re throwing meatballs.

      • charlottencredsfan


      • jdx19

        Um. OK?

        He’ll not have a .424 BABIP against all season. That’s all I claimed. If you think he will because his velocity is down over an 8 IP sample, then I don’t know what to say to you…

        This is like the 15th factual statement I’ve had to defend today. Getting a bit old.

      • jdx19

        Worst in the majors last year, min 50 IP was Jim Johnson at .366. The very same Jim Johnson has a career .298, which is a few points off that magical number that every pitcher, regardless of skill, gravitates towards.


    really looking for silver lining here, but Gregg’s appearance may mean: less likely appearing in next series and Gregg may be the elixir for the Pirate bats as they get ready to face Cardinals this weekend….oh, and he’s gotta be more likely to be DFA’d ….well I can dream anyway

  85. jdx19

    Meso up, no one on base, down 2-7.

    Good work, Price. Good work.

    G’night folks,

    • jessecuster44

      How many is that for Price now? Three?

    • RedAlert

      Agree – he is absolutely clueless with tactical strategic in-games moves – he’s TERRIBLE !!!!- dude has learned nothing and I mean nothing from last year’s experience – he is a JOKE !!!

  86. charlottencredsfan

    2 out of 3 isn’t too bad. On to Chicago,

    • spro

      That’s what keeps us at .500. Not sweeping the bad teams. And yes, I consider the Pirates bad without a healthy McCutchen and no pitching besides Cole.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Realize that but on April 1st I would have bet you $1K this team would not be .500 on May 7th.

      • Vicferrari

        I thought Burnett was leading the league in ERA? The NL is full of bad teams if Pirates are bad. I imagine the Nationals will turn it around, Reds stay mediocre until July and let old Walt make a trade deadline magic deal, what could go wrong?

  87. charlottencredsfan

    Gregg needs more work, not less. He is not pitching to his peripherals or something.☺

  88. UglyStrike

    Once again we have been Gregged!!!

  89. jessecuster44

    C’mon C Trent! Ask Price why he keeps running Kevin Gregg out there!

    • charlottencredsfan

      xFIP = 3.27, SIERRA = 2.77

      • jessecuster44

        If Gregg’s new fangled metrics are so good, how come the Reds tend to lose when he enters the game?

        Gregg doesn’t pass the eye test. Release him.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Yeah, I tend to go with my eyes. My eyes tell me he is garbage but maybe we should just wait for the luck to even out (sarc).

      • RedAlert

        Price don’t pass the eye test either – not manager material – plain and simple

  90. spro

    xFIP doesn’t account hard hit % or LD%. Seems every ball put into play is hit hard, BABIP can’t adjust for that.

    • charlottencredsfan

      The advancements in tools to analyze baseball are going to accelerate in the next few years, most of that stuff will go away. We will know actually how hard guys hit the ball, for instance. So every LD will not look the same in the box score if you get my meaning.

    • jdx19

      BABIP doesn’t “adjust” for anything. It’s a measure of what has happened in the past. Since pitchers face all types of hitters over a season, they all have BABIP againsts very similar. Like has been stated on this site in the past. hall of famers and bad pitchers alike all have very, very similar BABIPs against.

      LD% and hard hit% are part of that. Given a big enough sample size, all that stuff is the same for just about every pitcher. ALso, the difference between the best hitters and worst hitters is much smaller than you’d expect in regards to how hard they hit balls.

      Read this:

      • charlottencredsfan

        JDX , you know better. Tell me what is hard? Define it?

      • charlottencredsfan

        When you can, we will have a great discussion. In the meantime, keep the links coming I enjoy them. Adios, my friend.

      • Jeremy Forbes

        BABIP can definitely be different for different calibers of pitchers. Some pitchers are simply better at not giving up good contact than others, which leads to a lower BABIP. It’s one thing that can make them better pitchers. Here are some career BABIP numbers.

        Zach Duke: .322
        Jeff Francis: .314
        Homer Bailey: .297
        Mike Leake: .289
        Mat Latos: .280
        Cueto: .274
        Clayton Kershaw: .273
        Sandy Koufax: .256

        That’s a bit part of why Cueto has been so dominant since the start of 2011. His BABIP has been.. .249, .296, .236, .238, .232.

      • charlottencredsfan

        Jeremy, I always enjoy your analysis. Keep up the good work.

      • Steve Mancuso

        It’s really hard to describe just how silly it is to rank eight out of the thousands who have been major league pitchers and claim that proves something about BABIP. In fact, it might be the weakest argument ever presented on this blog. Check this out, here’s my “proof” that Cy Young pitchers have higher BABIP than bad pitchers. It’s really the bad pitchers who have the best skill at avoiding good contact. My sample size of eight!:

        Zack Grienke .304 (.303)
        Chris Carpenter .297
        Tim Lincecum .296 (.304)
        Roy Halladay .292 (.290)
        Randy Johnson .291 (.326, .315)
        Kevin Gregg .290
        Jason Marquis .287
        Logan Ondrusek .278

        Those first five, Cy Young winners. The bottom three, not so much.

        Yessir, you can stack up those BABIP and tell everything you need to know about “different calibers of pitchers.” Right-ee-oh. Those numbers in parentheses? That’s the BABIP from those pitchers’ Cy Young years.

        To repeat: BABIP is substantially random and distributed around .295. When there are 1000s of data points (pitchers) it creates a normal probability distribution. That means pitchers will be clustered around .295 but scattered in various places around the center. Selecting a small number of pitchers from various points out of that distribution, putting them in order and claiming it proves something demonstrates a pretty fundamental lack of understanding statistics.

        If you still think BABIP helps you determine the quality of a pitcher, please explain the 19 point difference between Logan Ondrusek and Chris Carpenter (pretty good company for Homer Bailey).

        And ask this: Are outliers like Johnny Cueto good because of their BABIP?

      • charlottencredsfan

        “Like has been stated on this site in the past. hall of famers and bad pitchers alike “all” have very, very similar BABIPs against.” – JDX

        Jeremy, I believe was pointing out that JDX’s comment wasn’t accurate. Of course, it wasn’t. Your comments are accurate. There should be no argument that less hits given up (BABIP) is preferred If Johny had higher BABIP’S, it would be a miracle if his ERA wasn’t higher.

      • jdx19

        Sure, in any large sample you’ll have guys 3+ standard deviations away from the mean. But the idea remains that a very, very large percentage of pitchers with a reasonable amount of innings fall between .270 and .290.

        From 1955 to now, min of 1500 innings pitched, there are 4 guys with BABIPs under .260 and only 8 with BABIPs above .300.

        I certainly misstated things. I apologize for that. The central point I was trying to make stands, I think. Pitchers, unless they are many standard deviations from the mean will have BABIP betwen .270 and .290. Not .424 or something similarly ridiculous.

      • jdx19

        Steve, just curious… where did you get the .295 number? In the sample I described above, 1955 to now, 1500IP, only 11% of pitchers were above .295 and 89% were below. Seems like the mean is closer to .280. Maybe .295 is more recent due to differences in run scoring environments? I’ve always been very wary of stats from the Gibson-Koufax era.

      • jdx19

        Charlotte. If you’re going to pick on my use of the word “all” and take it literally, I’m going to have to start proofreading my posts 15 times.

        And, to be honest, re-reading it, I also used the word ‘similar,’ which is subjective. Thus, the statement “all pitchers have similar BABIPs” cannot be proved incorrect, because the definition of “similar” is what the statement hinges on.

        See? Semantics are not fun to argue.

        Regardless, I will certainly try to avoid using the word “all” in the future so my meanings aren’t 100% completely lost.

      • jdx19

        Tomorrow at work I’m going to run some correlations between BABIP and WAR for various periods and innings pitched. I think it’ll be interesting!

      • charlottencredsfan

        JDX, just thought Steve was being a little harsh but after another Homer debate, can’t say I blame him. Your and Steve’s comments were basically on point. I like that Jeremy puts himself out there and hope he continues. Like everyone else, have to separate the wheat from the chaff. I shouldn’t be on the internet that late at night, gets me in trouble. You worded it just fine, sorry for being a jerk.

        Taking a break from commenting, I can get a little too worked up. But obviously I love Statcast and thanks for introducing it to me. I’ll be watching so behave yourself.☺

        I love this Blog!

      • jdx19

        Don’t take a break from commenting, Charlotte! You’re my favorite poster! NOOOOO! 🙂

        Yeah, it was late. I get testy when it is late, as well, especially after a sloppy Reds loss.

        Seems like half the time I get worked up I end up apologizing to someone because I feel like my tone gets out of line.

        No worries! A good night’s sleep fixes all ills!

      • jdx19

        Nice. Thank you, Steve.

        Taking the league average makes a lot more sense for significants than does screening guys’ careers to 1500 IP.

      • Jeremy Forbes

        I probably shouldn’t have used the phrase “caliber of pitcher”, but what I was really trying to say was I don’t buy that BABIP is pure luck and under any control by a pitcher and the worst pitchers and best will all be the same. I think it is at least decently controllable, perhaps less than a B/9, or GB%, but still controllable. It is just another thing a pitcher can focus on to try for success. All of this batted ball data seems to just reinforce this belief for me.
        “In 2014, MLB batters hit .560 AVG-1.884 SLG on fly balls hit at 92.5 MPH or higher, but only .077 AVG-.148 SLG on fly balls hit between 75 and 90 MPH.”

        While this is about batters hitting the ball harder for better results, wouldn’t it also apply to the pitchers to help them get worse results for the batters? If they are actively putting the ball in places that are hard to square up on, they are creating weak contact. Weak contact which statistically leads to worse results. How many times over the last few years have we seen Cueto just eat a guy up with a pitch, he basically hits it off his hands, and it becomes a routine fly ball? Those are situations he’s personally creating with his pitching location.

        Once the ball is in play, there isn’t a ton a pitcher can control, but controlling what kind of ball is put into play and how hard that ball is hit could have serious effects on his BABIP, and a pitcher has some control over that, making BABIP for pitchers not a product of averages and luck.

      • Steve Mancuso

        I think it’s worth considering at the margin and micro level how a pitcher can affect the strength of contact occasionally. There’s also some research showing that fastball velocity has a small, positive correlation with weak contact. But these linkages are weak and reflect a tiny percent of plays. The effects are massively swamped by the largely random character of balls in play. That’s why we see lists like the one with Logan Ondrusek and Zack Greinke at opposite ends.

      • Steve Mancuso

        And we also have to keep the numbers in perspective. Grand narratives are spun about Johnny Cueto and Greg Maddux and other pitchers who have the ability to cause weak contact. Aren’t they great. But at the end of the day, even if we accept that ALL the BABIP variance is due to skill and not luck for pitchers, the scale runs from 26% to 31%. And if you get rid of the couple extreme outliers, it runs from 27% to 30%. That’s three out of every 100 balls in play. Pitchers allow about 30 balls in play per game, fewer for the good ones. So this big story about Ceuto/Maddux et. al. ends up describing an effect on about one hitter per game.

        See why that’s so easily swamped by random variation?

      • jdx19

        Yeah, that article is certainly interesting, Jeremy. I think once the whole StatCast phenomenon comes full circle we might make some big strides in describing certain things that cause one guy to be a .280 BABIP pitcher rather than being a .295 BABIP pitcher.

        In the mean-time, I agree with Steve. When the difference between the best and the worst is something like 1 ball in play per game, then random variation wins the day.

        Although, I don’t remember if it was the article you linked or a different one, but Johnny CUeto is called out by name in something I read yesterday regarding the amoutn of weak contact on groundballs that he allows.

        It’s one of those topics that I probably shouldn’t have been so forceful on to you directly, so I apologize for that.

        But, I’ll maintain my central point of pitchers largely allowing a very very similar BABIp over a large sample.