Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (60-76) 3 9 2
Cincinnati Reds (56-79) 6 12 0
 W: Lorenzen (4-8) L: Nelson (11-11) S: Chapman (28)
 Box Score |Fangraphs

Positives:

–Today was the Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips show with a featured performance by the one and only Joey Votto. Phillips led the way for the Reds, going 3-4 with a walk and a two-run homer–his 11th–to put the Reds up by three in the 3rd. Just two innings later, Jay Bruce matched DatDude by sending him around the bases a second time with Bruce’s 20th dinger of the year.

–For the day, Votto was 1-2 with three walks, one intentional. Votto’s first two walks, in the 1st and 3rd, both started 2-out rallies for the Reds, putting the good guys on the board first. Both walks sparked the very scientific formula that characterizes Joey Votto’s career–walk, hit, run(s).


–Michael Lorenzen had a heck of a day, spinning five shutout innings before running into some trouble in the 6th. After a leadoff single, Lorenzen gave up a double before inducing a double play ball that was late on the turn to first. All in all, Lorenzen allowed four hits and two runs in the sixth before Sam LeCure was brought in to quell the fire.

–Speaking of Mr. LeCure, the mustachioed wonder continued his strong return to the bigs, putting out the fire with runners on first and second and only one out. A pop-up and soft liner later, the Reds were in the dugout with a three run lead still intact.

–There was an Aroldis Chapman sighting this afternoon! Chapman struck out two and induced a quick groundout to end a close(ish?) game with no fireworks needed (ignoring the 4 o’clock fireworks that went off anyway).

–Despite a rough day in the box, rookie Ramon Cabrera made an impact behind the plate, gunning down Scooter Gennett after the Brewer led off the game with a hit. The throw was on the money and Gennett stopped in his tracks, leading to 2-4-3-6-4 run down for the first out of the day.

Negatives:

–Todd Frazier was caught stealing in the 3rd on just a horrible jump. If Frazier hadn’t run, Votto walked behind him followed by BP’s homer two batters later. Alas.

–J.J. Hoover has been great this year and still looks to be Chapman’s successor, but he has had a rough go of it lately. With a solo home run given up to Ryan Braun, Hoover has now yielded a homer in each of his last three appearances, bringing his total to six on the season.

–Todd Frazier also grounded into a double play with the bases loaded in the 8th, bringing in a run but killing the possibility for any future insurance runs in the inning.

Not so Random Thoughts:

–Michael Lorenzen only walked one batter today which is a marked improvement over where he has been this season. After the free pass, Chris Welsh commented that the walk ended any momentum carried over from the 2-out rally of the first. After a Ramon Cabrera visit to the mound, Lorenzen promptly K’d the next batter and restarted an easy inning for himself.

–Speaking of Lorenzen wringing people up, in the fourth, the rookie fooled Braun with a beautiful circle change on a full count. Welsh made a remark about Lorenzen learning under the former Red Johnny Cueto and indeed the pitch was Cueto-esque. Hope abounds for the future Reds’ pitchers.

–With three hits today, Jay Bruce now has 999 for his career. Almost a round number with artificial meaning! Woo!

–This game was MLB.tv’s Free Game of the Day and that is a minor miracle because otherwise this recap would have been brought to you entirely by MLB Gameday.

–Not Reds related, but I love this video. Mookie Betts may be the best defensive centerfielder not named Billy Hamilton.


Up Next:
The Pirates come to town tomorrow for a Labor Day mid-morning game. Relax, kick back, eat a brat, and watch Disco DeSclafani go to work.

TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Radio: WLW 700

47 Responses

  1. Kurt Frost

    The Reds should have traded Frazier. I guess he’s not bankrupting them anymore.

  2. Shchi Cossack

    Interesting box score summary. Closest game I can remember with the Reds winning by 0.21 runs…

  3. pinson343

    Nice to see Lorenzon get the win. As pointed out by Wesley, two big outs in the 6th by LeCure prevented a repeat of Lamb’s experience yesterday.

  4. jdx19

    Keeping in spirit with the Mookie Betts video, folks who appreciate a good old fashioned dinger should go look up Kris Bryant’s HR today. Statcast said it traveled 495 feet.

    • pinson343

      That kid is strong, and he doesn’t have the “muscled up” body of a slugger. He’s athletically lean and fast.

  5. pinson343

    I really like Chris Welsh as a broadcaster. He was talking about how Votto’s walks lead to runs if the guys behind him are hitting. Then he talked about how Votto has only swung at 15% of pitches outside of the strike zone, a very low number in comparison with others.

    And in the 8th inning he talked about how the standard use of a closer so often leads to Hoover pitching to the heart of the order in the 8th and Chapman pitching to the bottom of the order in the 9th.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Spot on. When Chris teams up with Welch, we get to hear real analysis and intelligent commentary by the color analyst rather then being subjected to biased, ignorant rants by the play-by-play announcer while he talks over the baseball expert in the booth. I don’t always agree with Chris, but I enjoy listening to his intelligent, insightful analysis. I do get the impression that he tempers his opinions deliberately in an effort to avoid undesireable conflict and antagonism, but that is understandable.

      • sezwhom

        I would agree. One gets the feeling Welsh would vent more but he keeps his criticism restrained. For obvious reasons but still, when he picks his spots, you have to listen carefully.

      • Tom Reed

        Welsh obviously combines his great baseball knowledge with a political sensibility.

  6. pinson343

    Frazier’s trying to steal in the 3rd was exceptionally stupid, bad jump or not. With the way Votto and BP have been hitting, Nelson off to a shaky start, and only 1 out. Cost the Reds at least a run and may have cost a big inning.

    JAMESGARRETT put it well:
    “My first thought on Frazier’s attempt was WHY? You have to think and the Reds don’t think.This is a direct reflection on Price.I too have given up on Price.Nobody can be this clueless and if Frazier went on his own then bench him because he is clueless as well.”

  7. pinson343

    Frazier’s AB with the bases loaded, none out in the 8th was a microcosm of his 2nd half. LaMarre and Bourgeois both had comfortable ABs and hits against Goforth, who is inexperienced and was having trouble with his command. Frazier was clearly anxious, swinging at a first pitch breaking ball that wasn’t even close to being a strike, then rolling one over for a DP.

  8. pinson343

    I jumped on the 2015 Hoover bandwagon early, saying he was not the 2014 Hoover. But over his last 17+ innings, he’s given up 6 HRs and walked 11 hitters. That’s the 2014 Hoover, and his season stats are no longer that impressive.

    His FIP is above 4 and his K/BB is barely over 1.5. Of course he’s still having a much better season than in 2014, but the future closer ? Maybe when there’s a 3 run lead.

  9. CP

    I’m not sure about Lorenzen yet. He has good tools, but he never really dominated at any level, and he has a FIP above 5,5. I really don’t understand why he was pushed so hard.

    • Redsfan48

      When he was sent down to AAA for a few weeks he dominated. And as for the FIP, one of the important things they take into account is walks, and Lorenzen has shown since he got called up again that if he can limit his walks he can be a very successful pitcher. I see him being the 2nd best pitcher on the staff next season (behind only Raisel Iglesias and narrowly ahead of DeSclafani)

      • CP

        It was, what, two games? The lack of strikeouts is just as concerning. He may have a higher ceiling, but DeSlafani is way farther along on the learning curve.

  10. Steve Mancuso

    Great day at the ball park. Today was the Redleg Nation writers meet-up, at least those of us who could make it. In attendance were: Grant Freking, Nick Doran, Nick Carrington, Greg Gajus, Tom Diesman, Mark Elliott, a few spouses and significant others and yours truly.

    We were rewarded with a nice start from Michael Lorenzen, bombs by Dat Dude and Jay Bruce, and another ho-hum day for JoeyMVP (on base 4 times in 5 PA).

    I had a great time meeting and hanging out with part of the crew. We even ran into a couple other members of Redleg Nation!

    • Shchi Cossack

      Ah drat! I was going to pick up some cheap tickets for infield box seats from TiqIQ and run down to the ballpark with the 2 youngest Cossacks today but Mrs. Cossack had other ideas. I would have loved to meet and greet everyone who was there…and we missed a heck of a game.

    • Nick Doran

      It was a lot of fun. Wish we could do it more often.

    • Tom Diesman

      Fun time! Thanks for putting it together for us Steve.

  11. Shchi Cossack

    Marlon Byrd now has 451 PA for 2015. He needs just 99 PA in the remaining 26 game (3.8 PA per game) for his 2016 contract to vest for $8MM. Does anyone know how much cash the Reds kicked in on the deal?

    Since leaving the Reds…

    Marlon Byrd => .220/.270/.475 in 15 games (63 PA)
    Mike leake => 3.16 ERA; 3.85 FIP; 4.50 SO/BB; slash against .217/.258/.359 in 4 games (25.2 innings)
    Johnny Cueto => 4.21 ERA; 3.53 ERA; 6.80 SO/BB; slash against .289/.314/.465 in 7 games (47.0 innings)

    • pedroborbon

      in his last 4 starts cueto has a 9+ ERA and i heard on Royals TV that this is the first time in his career that he dropped 4 starts in a row. He got shelled today.

      • ohiojimw

        With the Reds, Cueto often would take/ be given a break of a turn or two when things started going bad then he need a start or two when he returned to get really locked back in,

        The Royals have that luxury to that available to them (double digit divisional lead) but they need to figure out the timing so JC is dialed in but has up to 5 or 6 good starts in him as the playoffs begin.

        Also I wonder who at the Reds worked with Cueto in pregame prep figuring out his game plans of how he would pitch specific hitters and teams; and, was this person a major contributor to the process.

    • Mister D69

      The stats I’m looking at for Byrd since leaving the Reds are: 266/309/516 (16 games). Also, 18 of his 60 RBIs have come in those 68 of his 456 PA’s.
      Big difference. I knew he’s come around. Too bad it didn’t happen sooner.

      • Shchi Cossack

        The difference is yesterday’s game. Byrd went 4-5 with 1-2B in yesterday’s game. One game can make a big difference in small sample sizes.

  12. sultanofswaff

    Interesting to see Hoover and Chapman work in some changeups…….especially JJ. He’s gotten way too predictable lately. I mean, all a hitter had to do was make a 50\50 guess.

    It can wait til the offseason, but the more BP keeps playing like this, the less we have to talk about his contract being a burden or that he’s not earning his money. His WAR the next two seasons only has to be so-so for the Reds to come out top on the deal or at the very least break even.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Speaking of waiting for the off-season, the Dodger$ hold an $11MM team option for Arroyo with a $4.5MM buyout. Arroyo hasn’t pitched at all in 2015 after TJ surgery in 2014. I can’t see anyone, even the spend-happy Dodger$, picking up an $11MM option on a 39-year-old pitcher coming off TJ surgery.

      If the Dodger$ elect a buyout of Arroyo’s contract, should the Reds be interested in a 1-year, minimal salary with incentives contract for Arroyo in 2016? Of course any contract with Arroyo would require medical clearance.

    • ohiojimw

      It crosses my mind that perhaps BP is playing to get out dodge on his terms, i.e. be wanted by a team he really wants to go to and will be more than willing to waive his no trade rights for.

      It was interesting today to see him schooling Suarez about defense on several occasions.

      • Shchi Cossack

        At the very least, it should be an interesting off-season. I also see Phillips creating enough value and interest that a trade could again be on the table if he agrees to waive his no-trade option. I gave up even trying to understand what goes on in Phillip’s head a long time ago.

      • ohiojimw

        But as Sultan said, it could be that BP’s production makes his contract a nonissue because they would have to pay as much or more to replace his WAR.

        To me the risk with this thinking is that up to now the main manifestation of BP’s aging has been his health issues and inability to stay on the field (in proper playing condition) because when he is healthy he has produced. However he could be reaching that age where even if he is healthy there will start to be marked drop off in his production. I’m not sure anybody can forecast this will or will not be the case. It is just a risk to add in along with his increased risk of injury.

  13. sultanofswaff

    Votto now in 2nd place in the NL in OPS—1.12 for Harper, 1.02 for Votto. I’d have to think that unless Grienke wins the MVP that whomever finishes with the best OPS will win the MVP. Logic dictates that since none of the top 3 in OPS are currently playing for playoff teams, that team wins and losses shouldn’t matter. We’ll see, though.

    • Evan armstrong

      There is zero chance Votto wins MVP, he will be lucky to be in top 5. His numbers may qualify, but he is on a last place team.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Unless Votto slumps in Sept, he’ll finish no lower than fourth – Harper, Goldschmidt and Greinke.

  14. Shchi Cossack

    Early returns on the Blue Wahoos game…

    Cody Reed: 5 SO in 1st 2 innings but gives up 2 unearned runs on error by Blandino playing SS. Through 5 innings: 3 H; 8 SO; 2 BB; 2 unearned runs

    Bottom of 1st inning:

    Hamilton singles on soft line drive to CF
    Blandino walks, Hamilton to 2B
    Winker grounds out to 2B, Hamilton to 3B & Blandino to 2B
    Smith strikes out
    Ervin doubles to LF. Hamilton scores & Blandino scores
    Mejias-Brean singles to RF. Ervin scores

    Bottom of 5th inning:

    Winker singles to CF
    Smith walks. Winker to 2B
    Ervin strikes out
    Mejias-Brean triples to RF. Winker scores & Smith scores
    Chang singles to CF. Mejias-Brean scores
    Gonzalez grounds out to 2B. Chang forced out at 2B & Gonzalez to 1B
    Reed strikes out

    • Shchi Cossack

      Blue Wahoos win 15-2. Their magic # for clinching is 1 over Mississippi with Mississippi trailing 7-2 in the bottom of the 6th at Jacksonville.

      Cody Reed => 6.0 IP; 3 H; 2 BB; 9 SO; 2 unearned runs
      Hamilton => 2-4; 2 BB; 1 SB; 3 R
      Blandino => 3-4; 1 2B; 1 BB; 2 R; 2 RBI
      Winker => 3-4; 2 BB; 2 R; 1 CS
      Ervin => 2-5; 1 2B; 2 R; 3 RBI
      Mejias-Brean => 2-4; 1 3B; 1 BB; 2 R; 4 RBI
      Gonzalez => 2-5; 1 HR (GS); 1 R; 4 RBI

      • ohiojimw

        It is encouraging to see both the A+ and AA teams are of playoff caliber. That’s a change over recent years for most of the Reds system

  15. Jeff Morris

    At least for this year, with the Reds being out of contention, All these Rookie Pitchers are in Tryouts for next year, and possibly the upcoming years.

  16. peter ponds

    Great year by BP. Too bad he’s underestimated by the media, but hopefully someday he’ll be recognized as one of the best Reds in history. Fortunately, fans know better.

    • ChrisInVenice

      I think the media would cover him a bit more if he’d act talk to them.

  17. jamesgarrett

    Cueto will get straightened out I am sure but pitching in the American League is different.With the DH(which I hate) and the emphasis on offense more so then defense he faces 9 hitters every game.

    • vegastypo

      I think that is a valid point. Without the typical automatic out in the lineup from the pitcher, that also means you have to pitch more honestly to the guy who might otherwise be hitting in front of the pitcher. Less opportunity to make that guy chase a pitch just to get something to hit. …

      Cueto has faced the Blue Jays and the Orioles once each and the Tigers three times among those starts. It seems like it just has to be harder in the AL.

      • ohiojimw

        Some interesting stuff here about what is going on with Cueto:

        http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/62583/another-loss-fans-cueto-concerns-in-k-c

        In a nutshell, BABIP .446 in last four starts versus .243 before that; Velocity looks about the same as with Reds; K’s/9 are about the same; K/BB ratio slightly better; Slider isn’t quite as tight and he isn’t throwing it in the strike zone as often 58% as Red, 355 as Royal. He is throwing “cutters” almost 1 in 4 pitches up from 17% with pretty much the same decrease in slider %. Nothing about his change which I thought was always an important pitch for him. Also talk of an identified mechanical issue which they thought they had addressed but now maybe not…..

        Since a cutter is essentially a “flat” slider, perhaps his elbow is bothering him a bit on the slider and he is trying to compensate by throwing cutters instead??? And whether it is bad luck, poor location, or as the link article suggests as the “lazy solution”, maybe the Royals defense doesn’t get to balls for outs that the Reds did, something seems to be going with the BABIP.