“On October 3, he asked me what day it was. ‘It’s October 3.'”

For some reason, the Mean Girls reference that rears its head every year on this day seems actually relevant for once. Maybe it’s because I expect that the Reds will lose today or maybe it’s because this day holds no significance to me in the absence of Reds’ playoff baseball. Regardless, the Reds (63-97) have lost 13 games in a row. Also, today’s game is free on MLB.tv. And it’s October 3.

STARTING PITCHERS
All stats are 2015 actuals:

PITCHER ERA  FIP HR/9 BB% K%
A.J. Burnett 3.15 3.33 0.57 6.7% 20.0%
Brandon Finnegan 5.09 5.80 2.55 8.0% 24.0%

In his three starts with the Reds so far, Brandon Finnegan has been…meh. He’s gone 5.0 innings in each start but has not particularly shown anything exceptional. His wildly apparent weakness though is the home run ball. He’s given up five in just 17.2 innings as a Red and was hammered by the Cardinals in his second start. That he has a groundball percentage over 50% bodes well for his future, indicating that the long balls are more a reflection of mistake pitches than any long-term pitching style.

A.J. Burnett has been his usual dependable self this year for the Pirates, turning in 25 starts, 16 of which were quality starts. He has not been quite effective of late though, as five of his last six starts have lasted less than 6.0 innings. Granted, that threshold for effectiveness is still much higher than your typical Major League pitcher.

STARTING LINEUPS
Eugenio Suarez bats second and Adam Duvall starts in LF for the Reds’ tonight:

1. Jason Bourgeois (R) CF
2. Eugenio Suarez (R) SS
3. Joey Votto (L) 1B
4. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
5. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
6. Jay Bruce (L) RF
7. Adam Duvall (R) LF
8. Tucker Barnhart (S) C
9. Brandon Finnegan (L) P
WESLEY

The Pirates’ lineup:

1. Josh Harrison (R) 2B
2. Gregory Polanco (L) RF
3. Andrew McCutchen (R) CF
4. Aramis Ramirez (R) 3B
5. Starling Marte (R) LF
6. Michael Morse (R) 1B
7. Francisco Cervelli (R) C
8. Jordy Mercer (R) SS
9. A.J. Burnett (R) P
WESLEY

ROUND NUMBERS
Tonight, Joey Votto looks to officially pass Pete Rose as the franchise-record holder for most consecutive games getting on base. If Joey manages to scratch his way on tonight and tomorrow afternoon, he will finish 2015 with the nice round number of 50 consecutive games reaching base.

For his career, Joey Votto has hit .323 (10-31) against A.J. Burnett with 6 walks. In retrospect, his .432 OBP against Burnett would have been the more relevant number to cite.

THE MANAGERIAL CIRCUS

Both C. Trent Rosecrans and Mark Sheldon tweeted that Bryan Price will be retained as the Reds’ manager for 2016 then issued immediate follow-up tweets claiming coaching staff decisions would be made over the next couple of weeks. One reading (probably the correct reading) of that sequence is that Price will return and the rest of the staff will be replaced or subject to replacement. Another reading (my first take on it) is that this organization is slightly dysfunctional, is not sure whether to keep Price, and has no idea what the course of action will be. That I was convinced the latter was the correct interpretation at first is a bit unsettling, even if the former is right.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS
This post is my last game preview of the 2015 season and what a ride it has been. It all started with a Pirates’ series in April, and it ends with a Pirates’ series in October. In between, two of my favorite players departed from the team, and somehow Joey Votto and Todd Frazier perfected the science of body-swapping after the All-Star Break.

All-in-all, it has been an amazing experience to write this previews (and the occasional recap) for such a wonderful site all season long. Like Chad was in his recap last night, I too am optimistic for the 2016 prospects. We’ll need a lot of things to come together all at once, but this Reds’ team is going places, ladies and gentleman. Maybe not championship places, but places.

GO REDS

63 Responses

  1. Jim t

    Maybe the thought is to retain present management and get the number 1 pick next year as well.

    • Craig Z

      Back-to-back number ones worked for the Nationals.

      • DHud

        In what sense?

        Sure they have the NL MVP, but that’s gotten them not in the playoffs just like the Reds.

  2. Jim t

    You know many criticized Dusty for his managerial style. But when it came to how hard his players played for him and his support for the players and coaches it’s not even close to what is in place now and will be next year as well. Dusty walked away from his job because he refused to lay the blame at the feet of his coaches. I have no idea how Price remains upright with his lack of back bone and integrity.

  3. ArtWayne

    Bruce is still talking like he is a star. Unfortunately, his last two years indicate otherwise. His RISP, strikeouts, average and demeanor are those of a fringe player. I hope some team will at least pay half of his horrendous salary next year. If not, he would be the most expensive pinch hitter in the history of baseball next year or let him work full-time with his youth group. He has been a 10 year dud.

  4. RedAlert

    The Price and Jocketty circus act will be gone after 2016.! I don’t want to even hear Castellini say anything – message it sends is losing is acceptable and unaccountability rules. It’s easy to make assistance coaches scapegoats when the real problem is the 2 clowns already mentioned.

    • sezwhom

      Probably some truth in that statement. Point the finger at others will the real problem(s) remain.

  5. Geno

    Watching the first few minutes of Reds Live on FSO made me want to puke.First they announce that Price will return next year then show an interview with the clueless fool.But wait it gets better.Then comes a short clip with Todd Frazier and he says he’s glad about the news and it will be better next year without the injuries.Oh boy let’s blame the injuries…again.Then back to Jeff and Brian and here they go with the injury excuse.
    Then it’s time to talk about Joey’s on base streak.I’m happy for Joey but how many of those 48 games did the Reds win? After that I couldn’t take anymore and walked out of the room.I don’t know what else to say.The Reds’ organization is a hopeless mess.

    • wildwestlv

      So the injuries somehow affected Frazier’s performance since the ASG? I guess Bruce’s, as well? Yeah. Things will be better next year.

    • Jim t

      Teams that lose 98 games in a season have not made smart and rational moves. If you want to term this a cost saving move because they will not contend next year as well I can understand.

  6. james garrett

    As REDALERT said Bob accepts the losing which is beyond words to try and comprehend.I am anxious to see what or how we expect to close the gap on the 3 playoff teams in our division that oh by the way won 95+ games.Frazier is just giving the company line but he’s laughing on the inside.Retaining a GM/MGR that just lost 99 games is beyond what my one brain cell can handle

    • Chuck Schick

      Perhaps he isn’t accepting losing, but has come to the conclusion that the gap between the Reds and the Cubs, Cards and Pirates is so wide that it can’t be closed in a year or two. That the Reds long term salvation may be cost controlled pitchers who have garnered great experience this year and that Price is more capable than most in aiding their development.

      What’s Russ Nixon…I mean Vern Rapp….I mean Jerry Narron…I mean Jim Riggleman going to do any differently given the same team minus Chapman and perhaps Bruce and Votto? They could change managers and add a player or two in FA and they’re still a 4th place, 78 win team….who wants that?

      • RedAlert

        Price is incompetent as a manager, regardless of how good of a pitching coach he is.

  7. Carl Sayre

    Price coming back and he is already paying dividends. Bruce starting against Burnett who he has smoked with a whopping .091 AVG against. That line up has to be playing for the overall number one pick but at least some of the players have pride and squeezed out a couple of runs. I can’t bring myself to endorse losing intentionally but you can’t convince me Price feels like I do.

  8. james garrett

    I could agree with every thing you say CHUCK but the gap has been growing and nothing was done about it.The Cards have been good for awhile and so have the Bucs and yes the Cubs are maybe a year or two early but it just didn’t happen overnight.I hope you are right about Bob but you are giving him more credit then I can.Never has a problem with Price as a pitching coach just as a manager.If he is or is trying to do both jobs that may be why he is lost as a manager.

    • VaRedsFan

      It’s been mentioned several times that Brian P. doesn’t handle any of the pitching coach duties. It is placed in the hands of his coaches.

    • Chuck Schick

      Unless they had chosen to blow things up after 2013, there was a very limited amount that could be done about the gap. They increased payroll by almost 50% and bet that a core of Votto, Bruce, Phillips, Cozart, Frazier, Meso , Bailey, Leake, Cueto and Chapman would be good enough to compete…..they were wrong and they ran out of money. They were a very, very good team in 2012 and they chose to let things run there course and it didn’t work out…..sometimes the right decision has the wrong result.

      The question they’re asking shouldn’t be what can we do to improve in 2016 , its what can we do to be better than the Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals 3 years from now.

      • ohiojimw

        I agree that the goal should be to catch the top teams in 3 years. I think that includes beginning to be competive by the second half of 2017. I don’t see how wasting a year with Price serves that goal. It is penny wise but pound foolish to save the $1m or so of Price’s 2016 salary at the cost of not having the long term leader with the team next year.

      • Jim t

        The mistake they made was not blowing it up last year. All the players they moved and those still to be traded would have netted a much bigger return then what they stand to gain now. All because they were hosting the ASG. Seriously did you not know at the deadline in 2014 that it was time to start the rebuild.

  9. Brandon

    The injuries being used as the excuse for what we have seen is a joke put out by a joke, this franchise. Without the injuries, this team is still not as good as the Cards, Pirates, and Cubs. Anyone who thinks the injuries are the reason this team isn’t in the postseason is absolutely kidding themselves.
    The Reds are in last place in this division in the front office and probably the dugout as well. Today we learned this joke of an organization is not making changes when they are in last place with their whole baseball operations staff. It is beyond belief and I am the most frustrated I have ever been as a Reds fan. I will still be a Reds fan, as I probably will be for my whole life, however I refuse to support this crap. Not one dollar of mine will be spent on a ticket next year. I doubt I will watch much either. It is a shame too with the TV contract looming etc…..but this is total crap by an organization that is finding itself left way behind.
    Good luck selling tickets next year. Perhaps they will have good health though and Price can manage them up all the way to 74 wins.
    Sorry for the length for anyone caring to read. This organization has just lost any of my dollars. I know that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans but I can’t be the only one.

  10. wildwestlv

    Does it make them think it makes them look better announcing it when the losing streak is only at 13 games, versus 15?

  11. Brandon

    To Chuck,
    I thought about the same things you mentioned when this news came out as well as when it became increasingly clear Walt was returning. I tried to convince myself of your theory about Bob. In the end, I just can’t buy it and that’s why I am so sick over it all. This organization has proved for the last couple of years it was falling way behind because of more bad decisions than good ones. I wish and hope you are right but I’ve seen too much from the Reds brass for a couple of years now to buy it and give them a benefit of the doubt. This decision today was probably a result of the Reds being way out of touch rather than a long term perspective from Bob.
    Heck, I believe Bob truly believes they can be competitive next year and in 2017 at the latest. I thought 2017 was a real possibility provided the Reds made the changes they needed to at the end of this year giving the new regime a full year.

    • Chuck Schick

      Brandon.

      At this point, the only honorable thing they can do is be upfront and transparent and just say “We share a division with 3 of the best teams in the game and we need to build for the future. Our objective is to compete for championships and right now we’re not good enough” If they maintain the “re-tool” non-sense then I’ll share your disgust.

      To the Cubs credit, from 2012-14, they didn’t hide the fact that they were going to be bad….they just said “we have a plan and it will eventually pay off in a big way.” If the Reds actually have a plan, they need to just stop BS’ing us.

      • jessecuster44

        They won’t stop with the BS. It’s not their nature.

  12. VaRedsFan

    Welke is the ump that Joey had trouble with before.

  13. VaRedsFan

    Votto might find it tough hitting the ball to left with that stiff wind blowing. The ball is carrying to right a little better.

  14. msanmoore

    So the TV team is completely out of stuff to say … they just started talking about how this starting 8, aside from Suarez, having been together as long or longer than most other teams. Unless you count CF … or C … or LF …

    They did say it’s going to take 95 wins to punch the ticket next year at minimum. And that gives you a WC spot.

    Heavy.Sigh. Ready for it to be over. Go Houston!

  15. james garrett

    Looks like we have our two runs for the night and old man Burnett is making us look like a 99 loss team so I am done for this game.Good night

  16. ohiojimw

    This Finnegan looks like an MLB pitcher just like Iggy did till he ran out gas. Problem is who do they have for the pen (aside from Lorenzen) if they put Finnegan in the rotation

    • msanmoore

      I think Sampson is a possibility. Won’t ever do much starting, but could handle 1-2 innings.

  17. ohiojimw

    Whoa!! A quality start for the Reds; and Finnegan is in line for the useless W stat award till the gasoline does their thing

  18. VaRedsFan

    Scherzer strikes out the side in the 8th…no-no still on…only 1 guy reached via error.

    • VaRedsFan

      He strikes out 9 of the last 10 guys to end it…17 k’s in all

  19. VaRedsFan

    Yelich 8-8 in the double header today…so far

    • yorktownred

      Indeed! Opposite field with authority.

  20. jdx19

    Welp, that’s a disappointing end to the on-base streak. A tie! I hate ties!

      • msanmoore

        +400K for that really, really sadly optimistic look at “the streak”

    • jdx19

      See you next year, gents and ladies. I wish I could have said it was a fun season! 😉

      • msanmoore

        A final +100 for you JDX … I’ve loved our banter this year.

      • RedAlert

        Take care jdx19. At least it has been fun for us all being a part of the nation and for the great work that the writers and editors do giving us this forum.

  21. RedAlert

    What a freaking joke of a replay thy was on the pickoff – are you kidding me???!!! Phillips was safe all the way – guess those bellies in New York replay station were too tied up eating doughnuts to pay attention 🍩🍩🍩

  22. msanmoore

    I have no idea if I’ll online for the final Titanic Struggle of 2015. It’s been a great year because of RLN and all of you who have faithfully watched and interacted. Here are my final point distributions for the year:

    +5 Million to Steve Mancuso – you run a great operation here and your analysis is fantastic. I hope I get to meet you at some point. I’m trying to get to the Queen City for a game next year. And a special thanks for letting me post that article on the old program I stumbled on. It’s a rich history.

    +750K each to the RLN regular writers. Even when we’re not there, you make us feel like we’ve watched the game. This is the best fan site period!

    My remaining +42,938 gets distributed equally among you, my RLN friends. You’re worth that and more even when we don’t agree 🙂

    Go Houston!!! I’m pulling for the ultimate underdog this year.

    • VaRedsFan

      Stick around for the off season talk MSA…lots of good articles to come. You’ve kept the spirits up around here during the bad times.

      • msanmoore

        Well guess what I found in the chair cushion crack? Another +25 directly to you!

        I’ll be around. Offseason just means we get to dream and hope a little more. And I really need to get to Cincy next season

  23. VaRedsFan

    Lorenzen pumping it up there at 97-98

    • RedAlert

      Yea , kinda like him out of the pen.

  24. RedAlert

    2 games to go and clueless Price now deciding to use Chapman in the 8th again. I rally hope that Reds trade Chapman in offseason- totally misused by this manager and this organization

    • VaRedsFan

      By George it worked…I think we are on to something.

      • VaRedsFan

        Prolly because Hoover was unavailable though

  25. wildwestlv

    I guess Price just needed some job security. Streak ends. Losing and Joey’s.