Final R H E
Los Angeles Dodgers (69-56) 7 10 1
Cincinnati Redlegs (52-73) 4 8 1
W: Anderson (8-8) L: Holmberg (1-4) S: Jansen (25)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Not a lot to say here, but kudos to Pedro Villareal for throwing 3.1 innings of one-hit, no-run baseball after the Dodgers beat up on David Holmberg.

–Offensively, Todd Frazier had a couple of hits. Brandon Phillips and Ivan DeJesus drove in runs. Brayan Pena drove in two with a single in the seventh inning. But there’s not much the offense can do when you are down 6-0 early in the game.

–Brandon Phillips made a brilliant diving catch of a line drive in the eighth, saving a run and ending the inning. We’ve seen that before, eh?

The Bad
–Another pretty brutal outing by Holmberg, who couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning after surrendering three home runs in that inning. In all, he allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks over 3.2 innings, bumping his ERA up to 7.62.

–Jason Bourgeois made a bad error in the eighth inning out there in center field. That type of play makes a fellow miss Billy Hamilton.

–After the Reds had closed the gap to 6-4, Bade Burkenhop gave up a run on a walk and a double in the ninth.

–Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce each struck out swinging with the tying runs on base in the eighth inning.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–It’s only a two-game losing streak. The Reds have suffered through much longer losing streaks than this, I’m pretty sure. Quit yer bellyachin’.

–Yeah, if it weren’t for that makeup game against the Tigers on Monday, the Reds would be working on an 11-game losing streak. As it is, they’ve just lost 11 of their last 12. Suck it, Detroit!!!

–For some reason, THom Brennaman wants Villareal to get “a couple of starts,” but let’s not go crazy here. Villareal has done fairly well this season, and he really gave the Reds a chance to get back into the game tonight…but let’s not go crazy here.

–Early in the game, I really thought tonight would be a “Milton” night, if you know what I mean. It certainly wasn’t a good one, but at least the Reds gave us reason to stay tuned.*

*Good grief, am I really happy that the Reds were just able to make it a kinda close game? Is this where we are as Reds fans?

–Businessman’s special tomorrow afternoon, as the Reds attempt to avoid a sweep. And they’ll try to avoid going 1-9 on this homestand. Ugh.

65 Responses

  1. Joey

    These are not the droids we were looking for– (in reference to Holmberg and Villareal being in the Reds rotation)

    • Carl Sayre

      I have seen enough out of these young arms this year to feel good going forward This is including Lamb not being close and Lorenzens implosion I still think they are the make up of the rotation. I have seen nothing from Holmberg to make me think he is ever going to get it, unless a miracle happens between now and Feburary I hope not to see him in a Reds uniform again. Villareal has shown flashes of bullpen level brilliance. I think it will be great if he continues to give us some solid bullpen.

  2. Tom Reed

    21 under and counting. I can’t recall a season where the Reds have taken so many third strikes late in the game.

    • RedAlert

      Thank you for the update there Tom. I shall now update the Bryan Price FIRE-O-METER as well. As Tom has posted , now at a whopping 21 games and rising …with no end in sight

      • mtkal

        Somehow “rising” doesn’t seem appropriate either, even though it’s a bad number that is rising.

      • RedAlert

        Yea , doesn’t quite fit in there right does it

    • pinson343

      Suarez is obviously a good hitter but he’s taken a couple of very painful called 3rd strikes in late and hopeful situations recently.

  3. mtkal

    Is there something else the Reds think they need to see from Holmberg to determine that he is NOT a major league pitcher, or is there just no one else they want to bring up to start before next Tuesday? I know it’s only one more start for him if that’s the case, but what’s the use?

    • RedAlert

      Along that same line of thinking , what more do they need to see from Price to know that he is not a major league manager ???

      • mtkal

        Good point. Though with a manager it probably makes sense to go through a thorough search in the off season.

      • Chuck Schick

        What difference would a thorough search make vs drawing names out of a hat? There isn’t a single manager in baseball history nor a biblical figure that would win with this team.

      • greenmtred

        I’m not defending Price, but consider: The presumptive 3 best starting pitchers are gone. The starting catcher, shortstop and center fielder are out. The starting left fielder is gone. Do you really believe that this train wreck can be blamed on the manager?

      • i71_Exile

        Red Alert has been been wanting Bryan Price gone since Opening Day. He mentions it in every post.

        I think Villareal has turned himself into a nice bullpen piece which is saying something. He looked worse than Holmberg early in the year.

      • RedAlert

        I wouldn’t say since opening day – but yes , I do think there needs to be a managerial change – I have nothing against Bryan Price , he’s just not a good major league manager – plain and simple –

    • VaRedsFan

      My guess is that Holmberg is thrown out there in order to keep the innings down for the rookies. Although his 3 inning starts are taxing the MLB bullpen

  4. CI3J

    Young pitchers are supposed to “pick the brains” of established veterans to learn the ins and outs of the craft. Steve posted that he saw Disco intently listening in on a conversation between Homer and Pena the other day.

    I’m waiting for evidence to surface that Holmberg went golfing with Marquis and Gregg one time too many.

    • mtkal

      You mean his pitching is not evidence enough? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • jdx19

      In an intense bout of irony, both Marquis and Gregg shot 63 during the outing.

      • brmreturns

        which is only slightly more runs than the two gave up this year (46….. in only 57IP).

  5. mtkal

    For anyone who gets to watch more games than I do: Has Brandon Phillips lost a noticeable amount of range? Is his defense noticeably slipping? I’m just curious.

    • Craig Z

      I do remember Brantley saying in a game a month or so ago, that Phillips has been playing a little deeper than he used to. I guess this could be because he has lost a step.

      • greenmtred

        He may have lost a step, but he also doesn’t have Cozart playing next door. Suarez does not get to a number of balls that Cozart would, to my eyes.

    • VaRedsFan

      Absolutely not, in the games I’ve watched. His defense is a stellar as it’s always been. I don’t see hits bleeding through because he didn’t get there

      • jdx19

        Range is one of those things you can’t really eyeball. When he dives and gets to something, it makes it look like he has good range, when perhaps in his 20’s he could have gotten there without diving. This is the same way that Marlon Byrd looked decent early in the year when he was making diving and sliding catches. Then, the advanced defensive metrics came out showing he wasn’t getting to nearly as many balls as an average left fielder.

        BP’s range is diminished, as a matter of pure fact. Everyone’s does as they get older. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of! ๐Ÿ™‚ Father time comes for us all.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        I think his range has to be at least a bit diminished but he’s still about the best defensive second baseman in the NL if not all of baseball.

    • Carl Sayre

      He makes so many of those I can’t believe what I just saw plays to think his range is slipping. I have been one of those that thought his contract was killing us but another year IMO he has earned his money. The other part of BP’s game is he enjoys playing the game so much he is fun to watch, it will be heartbreaking when age finally does catch him.

  6. Jeff Morris

    Yes. Why keep Holmberg going out each time, only to give up a ton of runs. Why not send him down to AAA to work on his command? Also, Bruce continues to have a Very Bad August.

  7. Mister D69

    Really think Jay Bruce should be benched. Not that it would get the Reds any more (meaningless) wins or even help showcase a minor leaguer. He really doesn’t deserve a spot in the every day lineup. I don’t care if there’s no one better to fill in. It would sent a message that this team still cares, at least a little. The guy is a liability.

    No mystery why he couldn’t be dealt. Since the ASG he’s hitting 196/232/385. With RISP it’s 197/304/304. For the season it’s down to 233/308/441.

    • jessecuster44

      Why couldn’t he be dealt? Did you see August? Other teams know he is streaky.

    • jdx19

      If Bruce should be benched then so should BP, Pena, Barnhart, Schumaker, DeJesus, and everyone not named Votto, Frazier, or Suarez.

      I just don’t get the constant Jay Bruce hate. HE IS NOT A SUPERSTAR AND NEVER WILL BE.

      Folks needs to quit acting like he’s supposed to be one. At this point in his career, he’s a slightly above average (105-115 wRC+ range, in my opinion) hitter that has a higher standard deviation of results do to his tendency to swing at bad pitches (somethign that was diminished early in the season, but seems to be creeping back).

  8. indredsfan

    Two sided coin:

    Bad side: The thought of watching another game that involves Holmberg pitching makes me want to go eat all the food that Cowboy has needlessly endorsed on TV and radio, and then commence to evacuate it!

    Good side: I will still attend the game on Thursday with my father and young daughter. Not because of hope for this year’s team, but because of the unconditional love for my Redlegs! (Doesn’t hurt that Greike is on the mound.)

    • lwblogger2

      Good for you! You got to see some good pitching anyway.

  9. pinson343

    I was never in favor of calling the goat Milton. I think we ought to rename it Holmberg. Much much worse than Milton. A soft tosser with no command, batting practice again for the Dodgers.

    • VaRedsFan

      Holmberg would have to get in line behind Marquis

    • Matt WI

      He may be worse than Milton, but they didn’t have to shell out $20 million to watch Holmberg’s pitches go over the fence! But there is a time for a new generation of goat, I suppose!

      • lwblogger2

        That’s true. The Reds spent some $$ on Milton. Not sure what they were thinking. He’s not the kind of guy you want in a small ballpark.

        As for the name “Milton”, I don’t think he was actually named after the pitcher. Chad, can you chime in here?

      • Matt WI

        I thought for the sure that was the intended spirit behind the naming. We will await Judge Dotson’s ruling (or his appointed designee).

  10. pinson343

    Nothing will stop me from enjoying Joey Votto’s season. He is truly back to where he was prior to the 2 knee surgeries. In 2013 he had a .435 OBP, but we knew the .491 slugging pct. wasn’t the real Joey.

    In 2013 he had 30 doubles, 3 triples, 24 HRs in 581 bats. This year he’s reached just about those exact numbers – 28 doubles, 2 triples, 24 HRs – in only 431 ABs.
    When he is driving the ball, he gets LOTS of extra base hits.
    And his .446 OBP is better than his career best for a full season.

    In 2012, before hurting his knee, was on pace for hitting 70 doubles, where the major league record is 67.

    • CI3J

      Votto is having a fantastic (Vottastic?) season. I was bearish on his prospects coming into this year, but he’s proven beyond a doubt that he’s back.

      Just imagine what he could do with a halfway competent offense around him.

  11. sezwhom

    He’s just 24 so still time to right the ship (I’m being way too optimistic and kind) but scratch Holmberg off the list of possible 2016 starters. Not gunna happen.

    • jdx19

      You can’t right a ship of a guy who doesn’t have enough talent. If you don’t throw hard, you have to have good movement and good command. Holmberg seems to have neither.

      He’s organizational filler, IMO.

  12. Tom Billings

    There are rumors Larkin is preparing to become the manager of the Reds your guys thoughts?

    • Chuck Schick

      Assuming that’s true, I hope he doesn’t do it for a number of reasons:

      1. He will be the 16th manager since 1978 so there is a great probability of failure.

      2. There’s really no upside for him….he’s a HOF player with a great legacy. This team is years away from competing…..assuming they actually make good decisions.

      3. Cincinnati loves certain players…..reasonable people can debate the reasons…..but Rose and Larkin are both HOF caliber great players. Both are from Cincinnati. One is well educated and articulate….one is Pete Rose. One is a complete dirtbag, the other is Barry Larkin. Yet, Rose is unconditionally loved by most and Larkin is ” respected”. Had he not been caught wagering on games he managed, Rose would likely still be the manager. Larkin will be treated like Dave Miley.

      It’s a can’t win situation for Larkin

      • Brian

        I believe that if Larkin were to be the next Reds manager, he would be guaranteed of two things. 1) an opportunity to learn on the job with a group of players that LOVE and RESPECT HIM as well as the fan base. 2) the ability to teach a young team how to play the right way and play together. I personally believe that if he were to take the job as the next manager – and I think if he wanted it they would hand it to him without interviewing anyone else – he would be guaranteed the chance to see the team through this rough patch until they are competitive again, unless he turns out to be the worst manager of all time.

      • Chuck Schick

        I respectfully disagree.

        Experienced managers don’t win at a rate higher than new managers if the talent is equal so there isn’t much to learn.

        Why would the players love Larkin? He’s their boss. How many people love their boss?

        Is the delusional fan base really going to be more patient with Barry than Price? If Larkin loses…and given the talent he will….the same complaints that were uttered towards the 15 other people who have held this job over the past 35 years will be made.

        The Reds switch mangers about every 3 years…is that because they keep hiring the wrong guys or are there structural deficiencies in place that make sustained success unlikely?

    • mtkal

      Maybe if Barry tells Bob C he’ll manage as long as a new GM is hired. . .

      • ohiojimw

        Joe Morgan once expressed an interest in some day being a GM/ front office boss I believe. Give him the keys to the kingdom and let him whomever he chooses to be field manager. Or offer that job (FO boss) to Larkin given the march of time. (I am just about Joe’s age versus Barry’s so I speak from experience about the march of time. The wheel’s still turn about as fast as ever in bursts but the bursts get shorter with the need for time to recharge in between or at least that is how it is turning out for me).

      • Matt WI

        I don’t think I want Morgan as GM for the same reasons people are saying about not having Larkin be the manager. I don’t want to hate Joe Morgan. He makes Walt look progressive in his take on analytics. That would be keeping the organization on a straight path when it could benefit from a left hand turn.

    • jdx19

      I think it is a bad idea.

      Mostly because of how much I like him as a former player and as a Cincinnati icon. If he started doing Baker/Price-type things, I would start to dislike him and I don’t want that to happen.

      Also, he has proven through his comments in the media over the years that he is completely old school. Switching from one old school guy to another won’t change anything in this organizaiton.

      • Tyler Burdett

        Plenty of Old School guys, or formerly known old school guys still use analytics. Ned Yost, Clint Hurdle, Bob Melvin, Bruce Bochy to name a few. It is different with every person and how receptive they are to a new way of thinking.

  13. james garrett

    Holmberg is a soft tossing lefty and that can spell disaster in our park.I think it just happened this way but lefty starters are kind of rare but given that why would you pitch two of them back to back in your rotation.It may not matter at all but Holmberg sure as struggled since Lorenzen was sent down and Lamb took his spot.

    • ohiojimw

      Dodger Stadium after dark is hardly a hitters’ park; and, Holmberg got lit up big time there too ๐Ÿ™‚

      As suggested elsewhere in this thread, he looks like a filler. Probably his ceiling at best is to be a soft tossing LOOGY if he can sharpen up his breaking ball and crank his FB a couple of MPH as a short stint guy.

  14. WVRedlegs

    I didn’t see Chase Utley’s 3-run gift listed in the good. It was a much uglier game without that dropped pop up.

  15. Hotto4Votto

    Villarreal has somewhat surprisingly become a very reliable long reliever. Which is good for the Reds, because they really have needed one this year.

    • jdx19

      He’s certainly trending in the right direction.

      His season stats are still pretty attrocious. 4.57 K/9, 4.51 FIP, 4.68 xFIP, -0.1 fWAR.

  16. WVRedlegs

    Next year’s bench: BHam, Cozart, Barnhart, De Jesus, open spot.
    Next year’s field: 1B Votto, 2B Suarez, 3B Frazier, C Mesoraco, RF Bruce, SS open spot, CF open spot, LF open spot.
    4 open spots to fill this winter from either within or from outside, and one has to be a leadoff hitter. Who do we go get?

    • Carl Sayre

      BHams value is his defense because of his speed and stealing bases because of his speed if he isn’t good enough to be a starter I am not sure he has value on the bench. Pinch running and defensive late game replacement is that enough for the roster spot? I don’t see with Saurez’s fielding second base being much help and until BP’s inevitable slide I can’t see seond without him. Cozart off the bench doesn’t comput for me either he plays SS so maybe he can play 2nd and maybe 3rd but his bat off the bench would be like BHams a scary thought.

    • lwblogger2

      So you think BP is gone? I think it’s much more likely that Bruce will be moved. In fact, as much as I like Jay Bruce, I think it’s almost certain he’ll be moved in the off-season. They were shopping him last off-season and they shopped him at the deadline. The Reds’ front-office has also stated they aren’t happy with the production:money ratio. Do I think it’s the right move? Nope, but I’m preparing for the very likely event that my favorite Red will be moved, probably for little return.

      As for who to get. I’d like to see Fowler but I don’t think he’ll be in the Reds’ price range. Aoki will be available again and should be relatively inexpensive. Rasmus should be available again. I also don’t see Hamilton on the bench so both those guys would be prospective LF. I’ll have to dig through the FA list to see who else is out there.

  17. peter ponds

    Thank You Chad, refreshing recap as always.

    At this stage, I just don’t get upset anymore. I love the Reds, that’s it. Because I know who Bruce is and the rest of “The Core”: One day the 1927 Yankees and the next 5 games the “Mendoza Legion”.

    Nowadays it’s more about Raisel, Disco, Lamb, Suarez, Barnhardt and some kids who spell future a little brighter. I just don’t care a bit if Votto is elite or not, Aroldis will be traded or why he didn’t start. Nor I care if Jocketty is Einstein’s son or just Satan wearing nice shades.

    And I’ve come to terms that next year we’ll probably suck as well. The glass half full? They will be picking high on the next drafts as the Cubs, Astros and Nationals once did. The real secret to their success and I really trust the Scouting Office.

  18. Tom Reed

    Holmberg seems to be a soft-throwing version of Ken Raffensberger with the exception that Raffy won quite a few games for the Reds in the late 40’s and early 50’s.