Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (63-84) 4 7 3
Milwaukee Brewers (62-86) 8 12 0
W: Pena (2-0) L: DeSclafani (9-11)
Box Score |Fangraphs

–Jay Bruce had a whale of a day, going 2-3 with two homers, two RBI’s, a walk, and three runs scored. Bruce’s first homer was particularly spectacular, a second decker that’s only doubt was if it would stay in the stadium. It’s a shame his second home came on the same day because any other day it would’ve been cause to fawn over the incredible feat of strength.

–Eugenio Suarez added a back-to-back jack after Bruce’s second homer that cleared the left-center wall. He also made a brilliant fading jump-throw in the first that was originally deemed too late at first but then overturned by replay. The play was the second of two great off-balance throws by Suarez in the inning.

–Carlos Contreras continues to execute the role of Reds’ garbage man beautifully, but in the sense of the word that applies to the job. The long reliever walked three and loaded the bases in the seventh, but worked out of that jam with a nice strikeout of Scooter Gennett. One-run was allowed in on Contreras’ watch, but it was due to a lackadaisical error by Suarez that would’ve ended the inning.

–Ryan LaMarre gunned down Scotter Gennett at the plate in the fifth inning with an absolutely marvelous throw.

–Anthony Disco DeSclafani gave the Reds 4.0 very strong innings, retiring 11 consecutive batters at one point. Only two hits in that span and a gorgeous strikeout of Ariel Pena with a 12-6 curve to lead off the third highlighted Disco’s start. But then…

–…the fifth inning started the wheels came off. Two leadoff singles were followed by an ugly error courtesy of DeSclafani on an easy double play ball. The error was then compounded by a terrible back up throw from Ryan LaMarre that sailed into the Brewers’ dugout bringing home a second run. Both errors flipped the tide of the game, knocking Disco out of the game a batter later, and ceding the lead for good.

–Eugenio Suarez can handle a bat. He can even make some flashy defensive plays. But the routine lapses on the easy plays prevent him from seizing Zach Cozart’s starting spot.

–Ryan LaMarre exited the game in the seventh after coming up lame on a groundout in the sixth. The report is that he has a strained right hamstring. He was replaced by Skip Schumaker. Still deciding which is more negative.

–Jumbo came in after Contreras and ran through the seventh with a walk, a walk, a double, a single, and then bounced back with a pair of strikeouts to limit the damage. Jumbo’s contribution this afternoon was putting the game firmly out of reach. It just hasn’t really been Jumbo’s year.

Not so Random Thoughts:
–Joey Votto drew two walks today and thus tied his own club record with 135. I feel like it’s a safe bet that Votto will break his own record.

–Tucker Barnhart contributed with an RBI single today and generally had a nice day all around. Barnhart won’t be a starting everyday catcher in this league, but he has definitely cemented himself as a serviceable replacement for Brayan Pena in both skill and niceness.

–The Reds’ core three are very good. Lovely.

–After Tucker’s single in the 6th, my live feed of the game went out never to return. Thankfully, MLB Gameday will continually provide a usable service to follow baseball. Also, nothing truly interesting happened after the sixth inning. So everything was okay.

Up Next:
The Reds travel to my neck of the woods to play the St. Louis Cardinals for a three-game set. Hopefully, our Redlegs will play spoiler to the Major League leading Cardinals.

TV: Fox Sports Ohio
Radio: WLW 700

25 Responses

  1. Shchi Cossack

    Yesterday Steve made the observation in yesterdays game recap that Price chose to reduce the chance of scoring a run, albeit minutely, by instructing Barnhart to sacrifice with runners on 1B & 2B and no outs. The basis for the argument was Barnhart’s .271/.346/.373 slash against RHP. There was a rebuttle regarding Barnhart’s propensity to GDP. I did not have a chance to respond in yesterday’s recap, when Barnhart went 0/1 with 3-BB & 1-SAC against RHP, but since Barnhart went 2/4 with a 2 out RBI in today’s game against RHP, the point I wanted to make seems equally valid for today’s recap.

    Barnhart has 8 GDP in 243 PA (3.3% of total PA), but has just 5 GDP in 192 PA (2.6% of total PA) against RHP and 3 GDP in just 51 PA (5.9% of total PA) against LHP. Barnhart has a grand total of 48 opportunities for a GDP during 2015, certainly a grossly small sample size compared to his total 243 PA or 192 PA against RHP during 2015. If a pitcher or one of the plethora of hitters sporting a sub-.700 OPS was hitting, a valid argument to support a sacrifice might hold water, but against RHP, Barnhart is an above average hitter. Even with statistically-insignificant, small sample sizes for GDP, Barnhart’s offensive performance still represents a huge unbalance favoring hitting against RHP.

    This is just additional information supporting the fact that Price plays Barnhart too often against LHP (noted the last 2 games were exclusively against RHP).

    • GeorgeFoster

      The analysis involved in the bunt decision is more complicated than Steve suggests, and I don’t believe the criticism of Price is necessarily warranted in this case. There are many relevant factors, including the inning, run scoring environment, defensive positioning, quality of hitter, and the hitter’s bunting ability, speed, and GDP propensity.

      Barnhart is certainly better against RHP than LHP (WRC+ 90 vs. 21), but still below average against RHP. If the rules of thumb presented in ‘The Book’ (Tango/Lichtman/Dolphin) haven’t been superseded by more recent research, then “with a runner on first or first and second, and no outs, late in the game, with the infield playing up, all but the best hitters can bunt. … Slow/poor bunters should rarely bunt and fast/good bunters can bunt more often.”

      I don’t know anything about Barnhart’s bunting ability; if he’s horrible, then maybe this was a suboptimal decision. Otherwise, the decision to bunt in this case is defensible.

    • lwblogger2

      I just provided my 2-cents on that in yesterday’s recap. My point was that the bunt was defensible because there are simply so many factors to consider. You are pointing out some of those factors against the bunt and for having Barnhart swing away. While I’m usually against the bunt and was against it in that case, I did find bunting defensible.

  2. sultanofswaff

    That was the worst defensive game of the year IMO. Despite the nice plays by Eugenio and Ivan, it was just sloppy all around.

    Disco deserved a bit better than his line indicates. Nearly all his hits allowed in the 5th were slow grounders that found holes. Happens sometimes.

    Now it’s time to play spoilers!

    • pinson343

      From what I saw of the highlights and live late in the game, I absolutely agree. This was a Milton game, with the worst defense I’ve seen from the Reds this season, even with the 2 nice throws.

      In addition to the 3 damaging errors, there was a whole lot more. After the two errors play, Davis hit a ground ball to SS to Suarez that was not an easy play, but he had time to throw him out. He dropped the ball. Then a fly ball to LF turns into a double because Duvall can’t cover more than 10 feet out there.

      Wesley, you missed some terrible stuff in the 8th inning not captured by Gameday, it was painful to watch. Duvall turns a routine out into an adventure and then drops the ball. It was called a single.

      The most ugly thing for me in the whole game was also in the 8th. Barnhart had Santana easily thrown out trying to steal. But BP catches the ball well in front of 2nd base and so is late with the tag. The Brewers broadcasters couldn’t explain it.
      The only thing I can think of is that BP was worried about the runner on 3rd, but that was the very slow Maldonado, who wasn’t going anywhere.

      An inexcusable brain fart by Philipps. We always talk about accountability here. Is Philipps held accountable for this ? Apparently not, because if he were it wouldn’t still be happening in September.

      Good bye, Mr. Price.

    • pinson343

      A misfire there. I’ll let others complete it (… fire and I’ve seen rain, but I always thought …).

  3. pinson343

    Unless Suarez can dramatically improve his defense at SS, he cannot be the every day guy there. The Reds have to find a different position for him. There will be a lot of discussion about this as the season comes to an end.

    Right now I’ll just throw something out there: BP is a tradable commodity after his solid, injury free 2015 season. Trade him (yes the Reds will have to swallow some of that money) and play Suarez at 2nd base. BP would have to approve a trade but he wants a WS ring and he would love the media attention he would get on the East or West coast.

    • jim t

      Pinson, BP is only tradeable if he wants to be. I’m sure he will try to leverage any attempt to deal him into a extension. Makes dealing him very difficulet to say nothing about his age and declining power.

      • Tom Reed

        Brandon Phillips is still a player who gives it all on the diamond and that’s to be respected. For the remainder of his contract with the Reds, it’s his decision to be traded or not.

      • lwblogger2

        I agree. And if he does allow a trade, the return won’t be very good unless the Reds take on some salary but I don’t agree with the people who think that the Reds would have to eat money to move him. I think as long as the Reds are ok making it strictly a salary dump, they could do it. I’m not sure the Reds should look to move him though as who knows what kind of player Cozart will be in 2016?

  4. pinson343

    Without Hamilton, the Reds OF defense is brutal. I can’t recall a Reds OF that was this bad. Bruce has regained form in RF, not talking about him at all.

    We know how bad Schumaker is. Duvall is worse, he covers half the ground Schumaker does. In CF Bourgeois gives up on fly balls that he has to run a long way for. DeJesus is an IFer and it shows when he’s in LF.

    At this point I would play Boesch (who has shown signs of life lately) more. I guess my “offensive OF” would have Duvall in LF and Boesch in CF and my “defensive OF” would have Boesch in LF and Bourgeois in CF. None of which is good, it’s pick your poison.

    • Scot Lykins

      And with just a few games left; Does it really matter who plays where ??

      • jim t

        Scott it has really never mattered when speaking of Duvall or Boesch. As i have pointed out neither is in the running for regular playing time on a contending team. The whole Grit versus anyone else debate is pointless. Price is trying to play his best line up especially when he is playing a contender. He is using splits,defense and i’m sure historical performance to give the reds the best chance to win and play spoiler. The other thng is good luck trying to get a FA veteran bat to come here when as soon as your rebuilding club is out of the race your buried. Lots of decisions go into who plays none of which is who the fans want to see. Management already knows what Duvall and Boesch can and can’t do. These guys are NOT prospects. they are journeymen, lifetime minor leaguers who under the right circumstances can get some time in ML’s on rare ocassion. They on ocassion can catch lighting in a bottle but what you have seen from them is what your going to get. Who Price has been playing is far from what is wrong with him as a manager.

      • ohiojimw

        It is too early to put Duvall into the career minor leaguer mold, although that is a quite possible career epitaph for him based on events to date. His MLB sample size is ridiculously small to make either a thumbs up or thumbs down decision on him; and, his is just his age 26 season with an option year left.

        Looking at things from the other end of the telescope, if Duvall can continue to run into pitches for HRs as he has with the Reds and cover the corner IF spots off the bench, he could be around a number years as a MLB bench player.

        Boesch on the other hand I agree is has much earned the label of being a AAAA player. He does very well at the top minor league level but not well enough to play every day at the MLB level and does not hit effectively off the MLB bench.

    • ohiojimw

      Explanation, not excuse on Duvall; he is a corner IF playing LF for the first time as a professional. I even saw in the Louisville box scores that he was still playing at least part time IF after they supposedly had started “converting” him to LF.

      Duvall looks to be Heisey like at the plate; and, that ability to run into pitches when slotted into situations where he will see almost all fastballs and only mediocre breaking stuff is a commodity the Reds need off the bench along with somebody to give Votto a break several days a month.

      Maybe they can set up a situation over the winter for some intense work at learning to read and get breaks on fly balls as from what I’ve seen his foot speed doesn’t look disastrous.


      • jim t

        OhioJimW, I can go either way on Duvall. The thing I’m basing my opinion on is a lot of talent evaluators have seen him and he has put up decent numbers on ocassion in minors but there is still holes in his game. He is at best a bench piece. He is a train wreck in outfield and i as a pitcher would not like to see him in the outfield. PH off the bench when i need a long one OK.

      • ohiojimw

        Yeah I think we are pretty much in the same space on Duvall. He did make some nice picks (on throws) in that game he started at 1B. I’ve not seen him play any 3B. The key for him is can he run into pitches off the bench late in games often enough to earn his keep.

      • jim t

        Not even close. In 285 innings this year Schumaker has comitted 4 errors playing all over the Diamond. The fall off in his game is at the plate. He is nowhere the hitter he was back in 2008-09. He is far from a liability in the field. That said, he is still among the leaders in PH’s in the NL. I’m not advocating he be on the team next year but the crap he gets from the fanbase is crazy. Sitting him for a better option I can agree with but against RH pitching I do not believe Duvall or Boesch either fit that bill.

      • lwblogger2

        Are we watching the same Skip Schumaker in the field? He doesn’t make many errors but he doesn’t get good breaks in the IF or OF, he doesn’t take particularly good routes in the OF, he doesn’t have particularly good speed or quickness in the IF or OF. He doesn’t have a good arm, especially for the OF. The only thing he has going for him defensively is a pretty decent set of hands.

      • Jim t

        He certainly isn’t Billy Hamilton but he is far from the worst fielder in the league.he is a utility player with a lot of versatility unfortunately age has caught up to him and his bat has fallen off. As a PH he has been good. If he plays everyday he is exposed. On this team as a LH hitting outfielder he is not a bad option with current personnel.

  5. DHud

    On the surface, seeing Votto, Bruce, and Frazier put up those kind of numbers does seem impressive, but, in my opinion, Bruce and Frazier strike out way too much and in crucial situations many times.

  6. ArtWayne

    Congratulations due to Bruce for improving his batting statistics only, it’ll make him easy to trade. I can’t put up with another season of Bruce.