The Reds winning ways against their rival St. Louis Cardinals didn’t last long. The Reds won a series in St. Louis last week, and won the first game of this series in Cincinnati. However, the Reds blew a three-run lead last night and lost in 13 innings, and then got shutout in the series finale 3-0.

Today’s game was delayed by over an hour at the start. It was a rainy, dreary day in the Queen City. There was multiple times the game had to be stopped in order to make the mound somewhat pitch-able.

The game was scoreless until the fourth inning. Reds starter Michael Lorenzen then allowed a two-out RBI single to the Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz, and the Cardinals lead 1-0. Lorenzen was able to strand the bases loaded in the inning, and avoid any further damage.

Michael Lorenzen got into more trouble in the fifth inning. Loreznen allowed a leadoff double to Matt Carpenter, and hit Stephen Piscotty with a pitch. Lorenzen was then able to get Jason Heyward out on a fielders choice, and strike out Randal Grichuk, despite it appearing as if he was trying to pitch around him. The Cardinals two-out magic continued again, as Kolten Wong smacked a single up the middle to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.

The Reds bullpen did their job, but the Reds offense could not. The Reds were shutout for the eighth time this season, and lost by a final score of 3-0.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (48-58) 0 5 0
St. Louis Cardinals (69-39) 3 5 0
W: Wacha (13-4) L: Lorenzen (3-7) S: Rosenthal (32)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread

Biggest Play of the Game

According to Fangraphs WPA statistic (winning percentage added), the most important play of the game was Michael Lorenzen allowing a 2-run single to Kolten Wong with 2 outs in the 5th inning, giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. That play decreased the Reds chances of winning by 18.2% (from 32.6% to 14.3%).

Player of the Game

Michael Wacha: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 2.24 FIP, 0.28 WPA

Positives

The Reds non-elite first baseman Joey Votto collected a double and three selfish walks today. Votto has now reached base safely in 24 of his last 25 games. Votto has reached base at least twice in 21 of his last 25 games.

Brandon Phillips now has a 7-game hitting streak. Phillips has collected 14 hits over his last 7 games. The beginning of his streak was his 7-RBI game against the Pirates on July 30th. Phillips has not walked during his streak.

Eugenio Suarez collected two hits, and now has a 5-game hitting streak. Suarez has been outstanding offensively for the Reds. He is now hitting .301/.330/.452 with a 112 wRC+.

If this was his third or fourth year in the big leagues, you probably wouldn’t find Michael Lorenzen’s name in the positive section of this recap. However, with all things considered, I’d say Lorenzen’s start today was a positive one. Lorenzen came out strong despite the rain delay, and shut the Cardinals down through the first three innings (didn’t allow a hit). Lorenzen didn’t allow many hard hit balls, and kept the ball in the yard.

The biggest issue with Lorenzen continues to be the walks. He walked four batters in five innings today, and now has a 5.14 BB/9 this season. That number will not keep Lorenzen in the rotation when the Reds start competing again. He is still only 23 (!) though.

Burke Bandenhop pitched a scoreless inning of relief, and now hasn’t allowed an earned run in 15 consecutive appearances. He now amazingly has his ERA down to 3.92. It was once 15.43 on April 27th, and 7.50 in early June.

Dylan Axelrod and Pedro Villarreal each pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Negatives

The Reds offense was shutout for the 8th time this season. That is never fun.

Billy Hamilton has been out of the lineup twice this week. Maybe Price just felt like Hamilton needed a breather, but if the Reds are not playing him because of his performance at the plate, that is just silly. Billy Hamilton needs to be playing everyday. I don’t even care if that is at AAA, he needs to be playing everyday.

Not so random thoughts…………….

Here are some good news and notes for the Reds minor leagues from C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer today. Adam Duvall has to be close to being called up. Maybe the Reds are waiting until Byrd is moved via the waiver wire.

• Adam Duvall of the Bats has hit a home run in three of his first four games in Louisville. He leads the minors with 29 home runs so far this season.

• Cody Reed was fantastic last night, striking out 12 in eight innings for the Blue Wahoos in his second start of the season. That was a season-high for Pensacola.

• Keury Mella made his debut for high-A Daytona and picked up the win. He allowed a run on three hits over five innings.

The American League wild-card race is absolutely awesome right now. In a lost season for the Redlegs, this is certainly something fun to watch. There are eight teams that legitimately have a shot at one of the two wild card spots.

AL WC

Up Next:

The Reds begin a 10-game west coast road trip tomorrow in Arizona. They will play three against the Diamondbacks, then travel to San Diego for three against the Padres. They will finish things up with a four game series in Los Angels against the Dodgers.  Get ready for some late night baseball!

Reds and Diamondbacks
Friday, 9:40 PM
TV: FOX Sports Ohio
Rasiel Iglesias (8 GS, 5.13 ERA, 3.75 FIP) vs Chase Anderson (18 GS, 4.37 ERA, 4.25 FIP)

66 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    Votto may selfishly walk the rest of the year if Frazier doesn’t get it together.

  2. lwblogger2

    Before someone complains that the Reds get shutout more than any other team, there have been 132 shutouts in the NL this year. That’s an average of 8.8/team. Now, the Reds have had 51 games in which they’ve scored 3 runs or less. The average team in the NL though has 52.8 such games. It would seem, as far as low-scoring offensive games, the Reds are about league average. Their record in those games though is pretty bad. This is a reflection of some bad, bad pitching.

    • pinson343

      It’s not surprising. The Reds are about league average in runs scored, so I’d expect them to be league average across the board.

      • jessecuster44

        I remember when the Reds never seemed to get shut out. It seems like they get shut out once every week these days. Find some high OBP bats, please.

      • greenmtred

        Wasn’t there a season (a losing season, as it happened) during the Dunn era when the Reds did not get shut out at all? Or maybe once near the end?

      • jessecuster44

        Yes. Reds were very close to breaking the record for most games in a row without being shut out.

  3. lwblogger2

    Go O’s!! Of course when you look at that, you wonder how the Tigers could be sellers?

    • Bryan E

      According to Fangraphs, the Tigers only have about a 4.5% chance of making the Wild Card game. That’s a pretty good incentive to sell

      • lwblogger2

        Yeah, I saw that on MLB Network. They were talking about it. Still, it’s a tough sell to the fans and the non-analytics folks when the team was only 5 games back with over 60 to play. The issue was number of teams to overcome and the fact that the team hadn’t shown the potential to put together a run. Still, if I was a Tigers fan, I’m not sure I’d be very happy.

      • Bryan E

        Exactly. A four game gap is tough to overcome when there are 5 teams ahead of you.

  4. wildwestlv

    The Reds quietly lay down and lose yet another series to the Cardinals. The balance is again restored to the Universe.

    • pinson343

      Against Wacha the Reds “quietly laying down” was predictable. The decisive game of the series was last night. The Reds were in excellent position to win it and so win the series, 1 run lead with 5 outs to go, but a LHed hitter up who’s been on a HR tear against a Reds pitcher who’s struggled mightily against LHed hitters lately.
      Parra the LOOGY had already been used in the 6th, to help the Reds keep the lead in a high leverage situation (nice).

      So was there another LHed pitcher in the house for the Reds ?

      Wacha against Lorenzon, who could have predicted that the Reds wouldn’t need their closer today ?

      Enough. Fuhgeddaboutit.

      • lwblogger2

        “Wacha against Lorenzon, who could have predicted that the Reds wouldn’t need their closer today ?”

        Quote of the day 🙂

  5. Tom Gray

    The game last night was the Reds game to win but they lost.

    Today STL had the advantage all day long.

    • pinson343

      Yep. And you said that a lot more concisely than I did.

      • msanmoore

        +125 for admitting you could have been briefer with your above detailed account.

    • msanmoore

      +300 for the brevity Pinson couldn’t muster.

  6. pinson343

    A perfect day at the plate for Joey (pre-surgery) Votto. The best development for the Reds this year is the return of Joey to pre-surgery from. He’s now at .306/.434/.526 for the season (.310/..419/.532 for his career).

  7. pinson343

    I’m not surprised that we’re already hearing good things about some of the players we got for Cueto and Leake. Look at the returns we got on Latos and Simon.

    WJ is terrible at free agent signings but good at trades. I don’t know how or why that could be, but it’s true.

    • msanmoore

      It is odd … all 4 pitcher trades appear to be tilting in our favor. And nearly all the FA trades are lousy with occasional spots of mediocre.

    • Shchi Cossack

      When completing trades, especially significant trades, the evaluations are completed by the scouting and development staff, not the GM, with the GM completing the negotiations. The same holds true for drafting with the scouting and developing staff completing the evaluations and the GM completing the negotiations. When signing FA, I believe the GM has much greater impact on the decision making.

      • Tom Gray

        Not how Bob Howsam did it. He was active throughout the process.

        He landed Morgan, Foster, and Seaver but traded Perez. Win some, lose some.

      • Chuck Schick

        Free Agency didn’t exist during virtually all of Howsam’s tenure so it would make sense that he was more involved in trades. Chief Bender also played a major role.

        Baseball was a much more simple business at that time. Being a GM didn’t require a lot of intellectual bandwidth in the 70’s.

        The Reds ownership gave Howsam full control over the entire organization and he was tremendous, but he did benefit from the fact that most teams were poorly run during that era. The Reds were an advanced organization at that time. Most GM’s were former players or the owners brother in law, son, idiot nephew etc…..in general, modern teams are run by smarter people, with much greater analytical ability…..let alone the advancements in baseball knowledge that have transpired in recent years. Most current teams are smart…..some teams are just marginally smarter. In the 1970’s, the Reds were amongst a handful of teams not run by clowns.

        Howsam was absolutely fantastic……but he was winning the fat man’s race. His greatest advantage was not being an idiot.

      • Tom Gray

        Agree – it was a different time. Howsam hated FA process, the very idea of it,

      • greenmtred

        Also, wouldn’t it generally be the case that monetary restraints would apply more to signing established FA’s than to trades for prospects and young, less established major leaguers?

    • Tom Gray

      Jonny Gomes was FA signing. Ditto Laynce Nix. Miguel Cairo. Dioner Navarro. To name a few.

      WJ has had some success at FA acquisitions but landed some duds, too.

      • vegastypo

        I would argue that Gomes had a good 6 weeks, then reverted to his career form, but Walt had such a cheap option on him for the second year that he couldn’t resist. And of course, Gomes was terrible. Might not be the best one to cite in the positive category.

      • Tom Gray

        He hit 20 HR off the bench (non regular) his first year as a Red. Pretty good 6 wks.

      • Tom Gray

        18 HR and 86 RBI his second year as a Red (2010). Pretty more than you or I hit for entire careers. Actually likely 18 and 86 more.

  8. jamesgarret

    Guys will have to pick it up offensively on this trip or we will be 15 games under when we return.I personally believe Price is managing for his job the rest of the year.He better manage every game like it is his last game.I would use Chappy in every high leverage situation from the 7th inning on and worry about who closes when we need one.Start your best 8 every game and pray your rookie starters can get you through 6 innings.

    • vegastypo

      Price is so busy being a ‘players manager’ that he is incapable of playing for one win, until that win is practically handed to him. If he was capable of it, the time would have been well before now. What was that keyword that used to come up around here? Urgency? Managers keep their jobs by winning, and more than that, by postseason success. …

      • jessecuster44

        Does it really matter if the Reds win at all for the rest of the year? Your point is a good one though. Price = Dusty in this regard.

  9. Shchi Cossack

    There is now 58 games left in the 2015 season, just over 1/3 of the season. Votto now has a 0.969 OPS, third in the NL, and trails Goldschmidt, second in the NL, by a meer 0.064. Over the past 58 games, Votto slashed .332/.479/.579 for a 1.058 OPS. Over the past 58 games Goldschmidt slashed .333/.458/.510 for a .967 OPS. Both are stellar performances, but Goldschmidt is regressing and Votto is surging. I’m not sure Votto can overtake the Golden Boy in D.C., leading the league with a 1.119 OPS, but I got it straight from my horse’s mouth that Votto will finish 2015 with an OPS higher than his MVP season and second only to Harper in MLB.

  10. UrbanPirate

    Random stat: Since July 29th, the day after the Mike Leake trade, Red’s pitchers have tossed 76 innings in 8 games. They’ve given up 25 runs during that span for a nice (if my math is correct) 2.96 ERA. Kudos!

    • Michael E

      Cueto and Leake were holding us back, just like Votto and Frazier. We’d had 100 wins already if we had traded them all months ago.

      (yes, I am NOT serious for the one or two ready to fire off a nasty reply).

  11. Shchi Cossack

    With the depth of starting pitching options headed into 2016, I’m not convinced that Lorenzen will or should make the starting rotation for 2016. I believe Lorenzen has the talent and potential to still be a very successful starting pitcher, but he needs development and that development shouldn’t be at the major league level if other options are readily available. I think a solid season in AAA would prove invaluable to Lorenzen and the Reds. Lorenzen was not ready to jump to the show this season, but he represented one of the few available options in for the starting rotation this season. Now the Reds need to look at the best use of their plethora of starting pitching candidates heading into next spring. Even those pitchers who are ready for the jump will almost certainly struggle as they get their legs under themselves. There is no sense in pushing someone who isn’t ready.

    The Reds will have 6 seasons for each of these young pitchers. They need to maximize the effectiveness of those 6 seasons.

    • Michael E

      I am not convinced of ANY pitcher, BUT I do like the amount of candidates and our chances of finding one or two upside surprises. You can never have too much pitching and hopefully our growing herd means less chance of completely missing (finding a few good SPs from five is harder than a few good SPs from 15).

    • ohiojimw

      I’m not to sure they didn’t put the horse before the cart in rushing Lorenzen as a pitcher versus tracking him as a position player. This winter while he is resting his arm, maybe they could find him a short spell as a position player in an early winter league

  12. DHud

    It’s like Votto doesn’t even care about the team.

    I wish we had an elite first baseman

    • greenmtred

      I think that you and Nick are probably preaching to the choir in this case. Even the old-school, old-stats guys (like me) are convinced or bullied into silence. Actually, I didn’t need convincing: Of course Joey is elite.

  13. Michael E

    Thank goodness. We need losses, not wins. We need a top 5 draft pick if at all possible. I know the baseball draft is longer and more of a crapshoot, but there is NO denying a majority of the top tier players were early/mid first round picks.

    • Tom Gray

      Maybe. DYK that Tom Seaver was picked in 10th round of 1965 draft? Or that Nolan Ryan was picked in 12th round of 1965 draft? Even Johnny Bench was picked in 2nd round that year.

      ALWAYS been a crapshoot.

      • lwblogger2

        Mike Piazza (62nd round!!) and Albert Pujols (13th round) are the two late picks who became starts that come to my mind. Keith Hernandez was drafted in the 42nd round. Ryne Sandberg was drafted late. So was Smoltz. The scouting and analytics have gotten better and there are fewer cases where there are huge early 1st round busts and very late round stars, but yep, still a crapshoot.

    • greenmtred

      I’m not sure that losing is good: Most of the players here now will be here next year and the year after. Laying down and dying to secure a high draft pick creates habits and a mind-set that might be hard to put aside. They’ll probably lose perfectly well without trying, but it seems obvious to me that a strong finish would be better in the long run.

  14. BigRedSaguaro

    Excited to drive up and see the Reds in Phx tomorrow night, even if they are struggling

  15. mtkal

    Even with so many of the Reds’ top pitching prospects being starters, it seems to me it will be very important to find some good bullpen guys over the next year or so. It was the bullpen and the bench that were our primary downfall this season. The extreme weakness in those two area going into the season made it next to impossible to withstand the key injuries early on.
    I really thing the pitching coaching throughout the organization and decisions on starters vs relievers over the next year or so will be of the utmost importance to the long term success of the team. IIRC Lorenzen was a closer in college. If the missile is traded in the off season, a replacement will be needed. I wonder if Lorenzen could be one candidate with all the starter prospects we now have. Either way someone will need to take over the role. Let’s just hope we’ll have a manager that will use the closer and other bullpen arms correctly.

    • greenmtred

      Agree with you. I’ve been thinking about this, and wonder if the large number of really hard throwers in baseball has as much to do with maximum effort (read, lack of pacing) as it does with strength and mechanics. At this point 6 innings is considered a perfectly acceptable start, and I’d bet a little that, in my lifetime, starters will routinely pitch no more than half of most games. Even now, bullpens are responsible for something like a third of the innings in many games, so their importance is increasing. Rigid roles are stupid, but having excellent pitchers in the pen is not.

  16. Pooter

    About the wild card race in the AL, I’m not sold on this second wild card thing. It seems to manufacture drama. A lot of these teams are just barely over 500 and they have a shot. Call me reactionary but I say let’s get two divisions back and have the winner of each play in the pennant!

    • Tom Gray

      Off topic reply.

      I live in Utah. I don’t often see Pooter and BYU right next to each other.

      I’m going to see UC Bearcats play BYU Cougars on Fri 10/16 in Provo.

      • Pooter

        I’m considering going too! I’m pumped for the game

    • lwblogger2

      That drama is exactly what MLB was trying to do with introducing the wildcard and then the 2nd wildcard. There’s no way they go back to 2 divisions or probably even one WC team. I’m not thrilled with the 2nd WC, though I did like the original 3 division and one WC format. My worry is that the playoffs will keep expanding and end up like the NBA or NHL. Of course the NHL revamped some things and now there aren’t as many marginal teams in the playoffs.

  17. sezwhom

    At this point, of another lost season, I’d like to see Duvall. Why not?

    • VaRedsFan

      If he gets called up, he will sit the bench, just like all the other rookies that get called up. Byrd and Schu will continue to get all the PT.

      • Tom Gray

        Schumaker gets mostly PH not regular LF starts.

        Byrd deserves to start in LF right now (and does).

  18. Tom Billings

    Frazier proves why he is not elite

  19. Matt WI

    Wow. Just saw a headline about Leake having a hamstring pull. The Reds were THAT close to not being able to trade him. Glad it’s only a leg though, I hope he’s back on the mound soon.