The first half of tonight’s game felt like an extension of last night’s flop. Then the bats picked up and the pitching stiffened. Somehow, this absurd roster of players pulled it together to beat the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Better yet, with the victory tonight, the Reds have won 10 of their last 18 games.

Reds 5, Tigers 2 | FanGraphs Stuff | Astros’ Ground Control database

Michael Lorenzen worked gingerly through the potent Tigers lineup, giving up only one earned run in six innings. He walked three (one intentional) and struck out one. Lorenzen’s fastball velocity was 93-95. His breaking ball had good movement. He threw it as a first pitch a lot. His change up kept the Tigers off balance. At times, Lorenzen seemed like he didn’t want to challenge the Tigers hitters and consequently pitched from behind. He gave up a few hard-hit balls in the first inning, but most of the Tigers hits over six innings were ground balls in the hole or soft fly balls.

Lorenzen (23) is gaining valuable experience – pitching in Detroit against the Tigers is a good example – and offering plenty reason for encouragement, despite his lack of strikeouts. The raw stuff is there. Keep in mind how he has rocketed through the Reds system, drafted in 2013. Michael Lorenzen has been a starting pitcher for less than two years. His ups and downs will pay off next year when Lorenzen becomes a key part of the starting rotation.

Back-to-back home runs by Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce in the top of the fifth inning seemed to fire up the Reds. Those were the first runs the team had scored in 18 innings. Frazier’s shot was a blast to left center, his 19th of the year. Bruce’s ball just slipped over the fence by the right field foul pole. It was Bruce’s 10th of the year, he’s on pace for 26. Bruce also singled and walked, scoring a second run.

Frazier then hit his 20th home run in the top of the seventh, putting the Reds ahead 3-2. He’s on pace to hit 51 homers. He made a nice defensive play on a bunt in the fifth inning, nailing Jose Iglesias who had dropped down an excellent bunt.

 

Billy Hamilton drove in Jay Bruce with the Reds fourth run on a soft, two-out single in the seventh. Comerica Park has a huge outfield. Hamilton caught two balls tonight where it seemed like he ran for 15 seconds. Brandon Phillips had two hits.

Gadget Man Kristopher Negron, who has spent parts of nine years in the minor leagues, played his natural position, shortstop, tonight and made several great plays in the field, including two in the sixth inning.

Ryan Mattheus, who has spent parts of ten years in the minor leagues, pitched a clean 7th inning. He’s shut out the opponents in 10 of his last 11 appearances.

James Allen Hoover retired the heart of the Tigers order 1-2-3 in the 8th inning. Hoover hasn’t allowed an earned run in the past 25 appearances, dating back to April 21. The Reds next closer hasn’t allowed home run all year. Aroldis Chapman came in for another nail-biting three-run save.

Ivan De Jesus, who has spent parts of ten years in the minor leagues and who is an infielder playing the outfield, committed a two-base error in the fifth inning on a fairly routine fly ball. It cost the Reds a run.

59 Responses

  1. gosport474

    Thanks for taking a good hack at the recap, Steve.

  2. gosport474

    If the Cardinals were in the NBA, would they use the ‘hack a Shaq’ strategy?

  3. redmountain

    They are developing pitchng this season. Between DeSclafani, Lorenzen, Moscot, Iglesias, there are more in AA and A+. Now position players must move up.

      • Tom Reed

        Hopefully position players will come with the pending trades of Cueto, Leake, and Chapman.

    • pinson343

      Right, he wasn’t. I looked up his minor league numbers not long ago, so won’t tonight, but it was 6+ Ks per 9 innings, not much.

      • Nick Carrington

        Still learning to pitch, so maybe that will change. Kiley McDaniel at Fangraphs wrote before the year that Lorenzen is still trying to learn to set up hitters, which would lead to more strikeouts. Not saying it will happen, but with his stuff, we can at least hope he learns to put more people away.

      • pinson343

        I agree. And when he’s throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters, he seems in command even when he’s not ringing up the Ks.

      • Tom Reed

        K’s or not, the main thing is if Lorenzen can keep runners off the bases.

      • citizen54

        Well you want Ks because more balls in play mean more chances for the ball to be hit where someone isn’t.

  4. pinson343

    Hoover gives up some hard shots to some very good hitters but he didn’t give up a HR and he didn’t walk anybody. Odds are, if you do that, you’re going to be OK.

    • Vicferrari

      I stated in the game thread he walks Kinsler leading off and Cabrera hits the HR to tie it up if it is 2014 Hoover, just having a lot better luck this year. If he can get that walk rate down, I see no reason why he cannot be a closer like David Weathers was a closer

  5. pinson343

    I didn’t see the play where DeJesus screwed up in LF, but I MUCH prefer him in the lineup, and in LF, to Schumaker and Boesch.

    • Vicferrari

      I would like to hear the rationale for how Bruce as DH makes that OF better. Just do not get how DeJesus does not remain in the line-up any of the past 3 games, let alone choose to DH Schu over anybody last night

    • Tom Reed

      Agree wholeheartedly. In this injury plagued season with the poorly constructed bench, DeJesus should be in the lineup until big changes occur with this team.

  6. jessecuster44

    Nice win. That near DP by BP and Negron was a thing of beauty. Go Reds Go.

    • pinson343

      Yes I was going to comment on that. It really was beautiful, BP’s flip and Suarez’ leap and strong throw to first.

      • Vicferrari

        OK I only got to see the replay and whoever was announcing said Suarez as well.

  7. pinson343

    I wasn’t able to get the game on mlb.tv, so I listened to Marty and Brantley. They were so ticked off at BHam for getting picked off 2nd that Marty said he was so far off the base that he knew he’d get picked off, as if he was out by 10 feet. They treated the review as an irrelevant bother. They had me all kinds of ticked off at BHam, thinking he’d had another brain fart, like when he fell asleep with his eyes open and was picked off first base by 10 feet in Philly.

    So then I watch the video from Tigers tv, and even their broadcasters thought Hamilton was safe and were surprised that the call wasn’t overturned.
    The play was close enough for him to get called out not because he was ridiculously far from the base: he was doing his dancing back and forth and Chamberlain caught him making a dance move toward 3rd, with a quick throw.

    Not at all smart base running by BHam but Marty & Jeff made it sound worse than it was. I guess this is in the “what else is new” department, but I don’t listen to them that often.

    • Vicferrari

      I will take that close call, they totally blew the Tigers out at home- which should have been overturned IMHO. I do not understand when a catcher gets called for blocking the plate, the runner had to slide through Penas legs and he was still safe with the high tag

      • pinson343

        Interestingly, Gose thought he was out. On the slow mo it wasn’t clear whether his foot was over (instead of on) home plate a bit when first sliding into it. Maybe that’s why the replay umps thought the video shots were inconclusive.

        The home plate collison rule is confusing, and combined with confusing replay rules, it gets worse. Ausmus was upset in that he thought both that Gose was safe and that Pena had blocked the plate, but could only challenge one of them. Why is that ? If you’re reviewing the play, review the whole thing.

      • lwblogger2

        I don’t like the replay reviews at all and I don’t like the “no plate blocking” rule either. It’s completely up to the observer. I don’t like the idea of electronic balls and strikes but I’d be better with it than the judgement calls on replays, especially when it comes to a rule that’s all about the perception of the ruling authority. It looked to me like Pena didn’t block the plate until right before he caught the ball. He also didn’t totally block the plate as there was a sliding lane.

        As a former catcher, I LOVE the idea behind the rule. What I don’t like is that the rule has so many areas in it where it is solely in the judgement of the umpire and that umpire may interpret the rule slightly different than the guy reviewing it. They can literally see the same thing and have different opinions on if the rule is violated or not. It either needs to be thoroughly locked down or it needs to be done away with.

      • lwblogger2

        Or make the collision rule non-reviewable.

  8. ohiojimw

    I wondered why it was DeJesus in LF and Negrón at SS since Negrón has at least marginally more experience at LF and has generally acquitted himself OK in the outfield. Perhaps DeJesus was being auditioned for a bench spot when Byrd returns.

    • pinson343

      Price talked a lot after DeJesus’ first game in LF about how hard he’s worked at learning LF, starting in spring training. So yeh I think Price has DeJesus in mind for a utlility role next year and wants him to put in time in LF.

      I much prefer him to the Reds usual utility veteran.

    • Vicferrari

      I glad it did not matter, but it seems like just lack of understanding your strengths, why not get DeJesus out of there after he batted in the 8th. Suarez to SS and Negron the LF would have been the easiest. Could not see the game but there 2 balls hit to DeJesus in the 8th not sure if they were that difficult plays.

    • Vicferrari

      Also curious is there any opinion on who is better in the OF Schu or Dejesus

      • pinson343

        I like DeJesus better in LF, but that’s based on only 1 full game (did not see last night). He made a couple of plays that required some range. He’ll make mistakes while learning LF but as we know Schu is also prone to those (on easy ground balls !).

    • lwblogger2

      I think one of the reasons is that Price wanted the best IF defense behind Lorenzen and Negron is a better defensive SS than DeJesus.

  9. pinson343

    Hurrah, the Reds 2nd win this season in an AL park. In 2014 they only had 1 win in an AL park. Baby steps.

  10. ohiojimw

    Speaking of Byrd, Price said on the pregame radio that Byrd will start a minor league rehab tomorrow (Wednesday) and barring any setback will be with the Reds by the weekend or on the road next week at the latest. Fay confirmed this item including the timeline during the 2nd inning Beat Reporter Sound Byte (which along with the Price pregame ditty is why I listen to the broadcast) .

    • Shchi Cossack

      The Reds are 6.0 games out of the 2nd wildcard position, at the back of the pack (along with the Fish & Rox) competing with 9 teams for the 2nd wildcard position. A playoff position is certainly possible, but Byrd coming back and winning the triple crown is also possible.

      Rushing Byrd back from a broken hand/wrist is absurd and 3 weeks is certainly rushing him back. There’s also his contract situation the Reds jumped into in making the trade for Byrd. If Byrd comes back for the Pirate’s series, there will be 93 games remaining and Byrd would need to average 4 PA over those 93 games to vest his $8MM option for 2016.

      If BC really understands the dynamics of managing payroll and budget for the Reds, then allowing Byrd’s $8MM option to vest would not even be a consideration, not to mention making sure that the option vests. If Byrd’s 2016 option vests, he has absolutely no value prior to the trade deadline and negative value for 2016 that will be dumped into the Reds budget.

      This season is toast and not just toast, stale toast. Byrd’s value to the team comes from his 2016 contract not vesting and reestablishing value prior to the trade deadline. Byrd should not be reactivated prior to the series with the Brew Crew on 07/03. That allows suffient time for his injury to fully heal and his minor league rehab to be completed without pushing the recovery. Byrd then has the entire month of July to establish any value at the major league level, prior to the trade deadline, without risking his 2016 vesting kicking in automatically.

      • lwblogger2

        Mmmm, stale toast is the best toast.

  11. pinson343

    VICFERRARI asked on the game thread: “I know it is all random, but What is Frazier’s stats with runners on 3rd and less than 2 outs?” I promised I’d look it up and post it on the recap.

    Todd is 2-13 with 1 sac fly, 5 walks, 6 Ks, 6 RBIs in that situation so far in 2015. The 2 hits are a double and a HR. Actually that makes for a healthy OBP and slugging pct. in those 19 appearences. Also the 6 RBIs is an awful lot for 2 hits.

    I started looking into how he’s done that and came across his grand slam HR against the Brewers, which he hit with 2 outs, so it doesn’t count here, but is it worth any less because there were 2 outs ? Some say it hardly even counts unless there are 2 outs.

    Also came across a 2 run double against the Padres, with runners on 1st and 2nd, none out. Isn’t that just as good as 2 run double with runners on 1st and 3rd, none out ?
    I decided it wasn’t worth digging any further.

    So those are the facts and my conclusion is they don’t tell you much.

    With a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs you’d like to see fewer Ks, but this is a small sample and if there’s anything to it, Todd will adjust. Tonight in the bases loaded situation he was thrown nothing but sliders, and we’ve seen that before. Pitchers just won’t throw him a hittable fast ball when he can do that much damage (4 runs in this case).

    It goes without saying that Todd has blossomed into one of the game’s best power hitters and all around players, that he should be the NL All Star starting 3rd baseman, etc.

    • Vicferrari

      Thanks, I have been waiting all night for this…just kidding cannot sleep some nights, I guess one irrationally thinks every batter should be able to get a SF with a runner on 3rd and less than 2 outs, so only 3 successful AB’s (2 hits and SF out of 19 seems bad) with the 5 walks- but when you look at the OPS it is probably in the .800 range which sounds pretty solid- totally see your point about the value of the other situations.
      Is there any success rate to measure other hitters as far as getting that runner at 3rd in? Ignoring the 5 walks (assuming none came with bases loaded), 14 opportunities sounds like he may have been successful 3 times unless there was a ground out to account for 1 of the 6RBI’s. A little bit of feast or famine and do not get me wrong, I recognize Frazier is having a suberb year- I would think 50% would be reasonable- just wonder if he changes his approach, presses, dare I say chokes in these situations or if he just about average and like you said it will even out

      • pinson343

        Yes for getting a run in from 3rd with less than 2 out, the average rate of success is about 50%. The success rate state for players for the season is out there somewhere, one year I followed it on a regular basis for the Reds. Couldn’t find it last night at baseball-reference.com. Someone here would know where to find it.

        The year I followed it (2011 I think), Votto had almost a 90% success rate, Ryan Hanigan was at 50%, and everyone else was under, as it seemed.

        Is Frazier pressing in those situations ? Possibly, I just found the limited data inconclusive. As I mentioned, they pitch him differently. If I were the hitting coach and thought he was pressing, I’d just tell him, forget about the base runners, just take the same approach as with nobody on.

        I agree with those who poo-poo BARISP because it’s talked about way too much and it can be a misleading measure. But every major league pitcher and hitter I’ve ever heard talk about it says that pitching/hitting with a runner in scoring position is a different animal from other situations.

      • jdx19

        The players saying it is a “different animal” is why they play games for a living and did not get a mathematics degree from MIT.

      • tct

        I’m not defending the obsession with avg w/risp. But you can’t dismiss the player’s thoughts on this. It’s kind of like the placebo effect. If you think it matters, then it does. Look at all the superstitions that baseball players have. Logically, wearing the same socks for a week shouldn’t make you a better hitter. But if you firmly believe that it does, then it could actually make you perform better because of being more confident and relaxed.

      • lwblogger2

        It certainly feels different and it’s hard to ignore it. I think MLB players, in general, do well under stress, so I feel it probably matters to them a lot less. The feeling is most certainly different though and I did often change my approach in those sorts of situations. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn’t.

        To follow what TCT said, anything that makes a player more comfortable at the plate is a good thing. The more relaxed you are at the plate, the better the likelihood that you’re going to have a decent AB. It may not be a productive AB as far as getting on base or whatever but you probably won’t head back to the bench asking yourself “What were you doing up there!!??”

  12. Jake

    Good win for the red. Frazier has been mashing all year

    • lwblogger2

      There is no doubt in my mind that he should be the starting NL 3B in the AS game.

  13. Phoenix Reds

    Is it just me, or is this team involved in so many challenges? Is there a stat for this? Seems like we have had plenty so far. Aside from that, I think we are making a DL all star team. God speed to everyone’s return! Go Reds!

  14. jdx19

    It seems insane that Frazier is on a 51 HR pace. I doubt anyone believes he’ll reach that, but 40 seems like a really strong possibility if he stays healthy. Wouldn’t that be something? Todd chasing 40 might help make the season a bit of fun in the inevitable sell-of and/or doldrums of being 25+ games out in August.

    • brmreturns

      Unless we are watching his last 10-15 with another team……

      • Shchi Cossack

        If the Reds really get serious as sellers prior to the trade deadline (and they certianly should already be serious sellers) and include Frazier, they will net a king’s ransom as a return and some of the return will be major league ready by 2017.

        The Reds made a crazy successful gamble by locking in Frazier’s 2016 contract at a reasonable and controllable value, but Frazier’s 3rd year arbitration contract in 2017 will be grossly expensive and there’s no way the Red sshould even consider a FA extention for a 31-year-old power hitter. Frazier’s trade value right now is at a serious peak with nowhere to go but down. I absolutely love Frazier as a baseball player and personality; he is absolutely my favorite player on the team and the only jersy I have ever purchased. Unfortunately, keeping him with the Reds just doesn’t make any sense. The Reds simply have to learn to take advantage of these situations and not saddle future payroll by overpaying for past performance. In addition, if the Reds make Frazier available now, the receiving team is going to extend his contract and Frazier will be able to lock in the really big bucks he deserves.

      • WVRedlegs

        Think the Mets, and LHP Steven Matz.
        Matz would go into the rotation as soon as he arrives. The Reds sorely lack any LH starting pitching.

      • Tom Gray

        Maybe the Reds should trade their entire team of veterans and play MiLB prospects the next 2 or 3 years. 100 L seasons would be commonplace.

      • George Mirones

        While I agree with your thoughts I still think Votto to Boston as a future replacement for the free agent to be Napoli and the soon retiring “Popy”. They can afford it and that leftfield wall would have a hole beat in it by Votto.
        Enjoy your posts that you.
        Between Votto and Frasier the return would be very interesting. We aren’t winning with them so lets get something for them for the future.

      • tct

        Tom Gray, you always say the same thing, over and over. Keep the veterans and don’t trade anybody seems to be your mantra.

        Do you not understand that Cueto and Leake will be gone no matter what at the end of the year anyway?

        Do you not get that Chapman only has one more year with the Reds before free agency and that the Reds will have to pay him upwards of 10 million for that year to be a closer on a team that isn’t a contender?

        And do you not see that the playoff teams of 2010, 2012, and 2013 were built by developing prospects in 2005-2009? Votto, Bruce, Cueto, and Bailey were all prospects that came up around the same time. The next waves brought Mes, Frazier, Cozart, Stubbs, Leake, Wood, Heisey, etc.. All prospects.

        The Reds can’t build winners through free agency or extending veteran players to huge contracts. They have to have a good farm system to compete. They aren’t competing right now, and the farm doesn’t have enough talent to build a winner by itself. So, trade the guys who won’t be here for more than a year or two more to get prospects.

        But if you’re so down on this, why don’t you provide a solution instead.of.whining any time someone mentions a trade?

  15. WVRedlegs

    What is up with Jay Bruce and his struggles against RH pitching? He should be mashing RHers. I know with Bruce he is walking more, and that is fine, but he needs to be putting the bat on the ball more. With Bruce batting 4th or 5th, walking more doesn’t help much with Negron, Pena, BHam, the pitcher, Schumaker, Boesch and the likes hitting behind him. Batting average isn’t the tell all, but it tells enough. Bruce’s BA on the road is .191, on the road vs. RH it is .152.
    The defensive shifts attribute to this some. But there was one stat that just absolutely floored me about Bruce. And this one was vs. both LH and RH.
    Jay Bruce, with a 3-2 count in 41 PA’s, is hitting a robust .000. 18 K’s, 15 BB’s, and ZERO hits. Zero hits in 41 PA’s. Brutal.

  16. IndyRedMan

    Even his heaters aren’t that hot anymore? Literally anyone w/16-18 hr power in a normal park would hit 25 for the Reds. Byrd is 38 and not exactly a slugger but he was outslugging Bruce before he went down. He’s a great guy and he has talent but if its going to bloom then it will prob have to be with someone else? If they can deal him that is? He’s just not a 5 hole hitter on a good team and this should be the prime of his career

  17. lwblogger2

    Another positive for you all is that I just noticed that Joey Votto played in his 63rd game yesterday. Last season, he was limited to only 62. He also looks very much like the Joey Votto we all expect. This is good news, yes?

    • i71_Exile

      Yes. Great news.

      Glad to see that one of the big off-season “ifs” landed heads up for the Reds.