And so, after the Reds (9-9) drubbed the Cubs (13-5), we find ourselves at the end of this rollercoaster of a four-game set. Truly, it’s only been a rollercoaster with one massive, never-ending drop followed by a quick corkscrew into the sky, but that doesn’t matter, we’ve survived.

The thing I’m realizing about the Cubs is: now I know how the Cubs felt when they finally pulled off a win against the Reds just a few years ago. Wins like last night just feel better than most wins because it’s like the younger brother finally landing a damaging hit, and then stepping back to admire his work. It’ll be a fun summer indeed.

Starting Pitchers
All stats from 2016
Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 9.16.23 AM.png

Alfredo Simon returns to the mound after shoulder discomfort forced him into missing his last start. The twice-baked Red has struggled so far this year, lasting but 0.2 innings in his last outing and giving up five earned runs in the process. Simon did start the year well, with 5.0 strong innings of one run, seven strikeout baseball, but he’s looked very hittable ever since. Both Simon’s fastball and two-seamer have dropped a tick in velocity from last season, maybe contributing to his lack of success so far.

In contrast, Jason Hammel has been absolutely lights out so far for the Cubs. Hammel has gone 6.0 innings in each of three starts, giving up two runs across the board and taking two wins. Walks have been an issue for Hammel to start the season, but it seems like he figured it out in the last game as he struck out six and walked no one.

Starting Lineups

Cubs Reds
1. Tommy La Stella (2B)
2. Jason Heyward (CF)
3. Kris Bryant (3B)
4. Anthony Rizzo (1B)
5. Jorge Soler (RF)
6. Miguel Montero (C)
7. Matt Szczur (LF)
8. Addison Russell (SS)
9. Jason Hammel (P)
1. Scott Schebler (CF)
2. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
3. Joey Votto (1B)
4. Brandon Phillips (2B)
5. Jay Bruce (RF)
6. Adam Duvall (LF)
7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
8. Ivan De Jesus (SS)
9. Alfredo Simon (P)

Revenge of the Nerds
Sabermetrics. I think you all know that most of us here at Redleg Nation buy into them and can be critical of the Reds’ management for not fully doing the same. It’s always been a bit of a delicate balance between numbers and people with all of baseball on one side or another. Mostly this balance has been theoretical: “What would happen if…?” But now it doesn’t have to be.

Former Grantland and FiveThirtyEight writer Ben Lindgren along with NY Times writer Sam Miller were given the opportunity to convert a baseball team of players into one of pure numbers. For a summer, the Sonoma Stompers became the testing ground of two stats’ nerds lofty goal: win the first half and go undefeated in the second. The account could give us all an inkling of what baseball might look like in a few years, but I think it says far more about the people who play the game now than anything.

Sidd Finch-esque?
A Michigan security guard has challenged baseball’s big names to a hitting competition…sort of. Stanley Anderson can hit a baseball–and hit it well–from 22 feet away from a pitching machine, allowing the ball to travel at around 260 miles per hour ESPN reported. While none of the guys Stanley called out by name have responded, the Dodgers Enrique Hernandez did almost do the same thing.

Super Todd
Poor Todd. He just wanted to hit a walkoff homer. Is that too much to ask?

Concluding Thoughts
If the Reds finish with a series split against the Cubs, I feel like that might be the most misleading 2-2 record in the history of Major League Baseball. But hey, at the end of the day, a win’s a win’s a win and the Reds are still sitting at .500 despite all the odds.

Go Reds!

93 Responses

  1. wizeman

    I am sure someone can enlighten me… but I am not sure what the purpose is of Hamilton being on the roster right now. I think he is hurt. Late to spring training… a significant break in the latter part of it. This is his second time with multiple days off due to injury.
    I have a been a pretty big fan of what he brings. Excellent defense. I actually think his approach at the plate has been better even if the results are not there. But I don’t think he is adding anything right now.
    Not quite sure of ramifications of service time and super 2 but would it make sense to anyone else to see Peraza playing a bit of center field?

    • vegastypo

      Yes, he is the dreaded ‘day to day’ with the latest injury, to a finger. I think it was Sheldon who was in the radio booth with Marty and Brantley on Saturday, and he made it sound like about all Hamilton could possibly contribute was as a pinch runner. … It has only been a few days since he hasn’t played, but I’d rather see him on the DL and get an actual body who can play if this goes on much longer.

    • ohiojimw

      I think Hamilton is hurt as in long term hurt meaning hen hasn’t been “right” all spring between his shoulder recovery and all the nagging things that seem to regularly happen to him.

      As far as a body, Waldrup is on the 40 man and healthy as far as I can tell.

      Baseball reference says Peraza has 42 days of MLB service time. They would need to keep him under 130 days for this year to “save” the year of control. By coincidence, two years plus 130 days is right in the gray area of where super2 status typically falls. Thus it would appear if they keep Peraza down until June that probably fits the bill on both counts.

    • Patrick Jeter

      Billy can probably remain on the roster a decent part of the year w/o reaching Super 2.

  2. wizeman

    Don’t have a great deal of confidence in Simon but must factor into equation his lack of a normal spring training. Could have had a bit of the dead arm syndrome many get as the season approaches. will see if velocity sneaks back up today.
    Just a note… last year.
    iglesias 124 innings
    stephenson 134
    reed 140.

  3. Eric The Red

    Has anyone seen/heard anything about Cozart being hurt? I just watched yesterday’s game, and thought it was a little odd he was replaced in the 9th. And he’s not playing today. I suppose it could be a “rest since he’s coming back from a season-ending injury” kind of thing, but I was just wondering.

    • vegastypo

      I was a little concerned about whether he was injured when he made that headfirst dive back into first base. I didn’t hear about any injury, so I was hoping then, as now, that he was merely given an inning or two off because the Reds had such a big lead. Day game after a night game is ripe for an offday also.

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    As usual, a very short bench. Excluding Cozart, Mez and Hamilton only Pacheco and Holt are available, same old story.

    • ohiojimw

      It is on Twitter that Bruce maybe leaving on “baby watch”. Don’t know if they have anybody standing by to take his spot if he goes on paternity list.

      • vegastypo

        I wouldn’t put it past the Reds to hold off on DL’ing Billy Hamilton under the premise that they’ll bring up an outfielder when Bruce goes on paternity leave anyway. If Bruce has to leave mid-game, that wouldn’t be much fun for Price, depending on Hamilton’s availability. ………………..

        And from looking at the 40-man roster, it would seem that if anybody is coming up, it would have to be Peraza. He’s the only INF/OF who is already on the 40-man.

      • mikemartz

        Billy reportedly hit off the Tee yesterday and was supposed to hit in the cage this morning. He may be starting again soon.

  5. Indy RedMan

    They better have their hitting shoes on today because it seems like Simon is about done? We might catch a few liners and he might only give up 3 runs in 5? That’s about the best case scenario imo but its baseball….you never know? Atleast Fowler won’t be lapping the bases today! A split with the Cubs here would have to feel pretty good for the boys. You can’t have a streak til you win 2 in a row!!

  6. vegastypo

    Before Saturday’s game, Price said there was no longer a platoon in left field. Gee, really? It didn’t seem like there ever really was a platoon. Duvall had started, what, 14 of the 18 games? Maybe he said that just for Duvall’s purposes, but it seemed pretty obvious.

  7. vegastypo

    Disco had a rehab start last night, one more to go, likely in Dayton, and then it’s back to the rotation.

  8. msanmoore

    7 pitches, 2 hits, 1 run … that sounds about right …

  9. David

    So, in the hunt for another outfielder to hold the fort, where’s Yorman Rodriguez? Still on the 15 day disabled list, but is there any expectation of him being available soon?

    Since Juan Duran is under suspension, could he be taken off the 40 man roster? Without bringing up Peraza (40 man) or Waldrop (pretty much not hitting), could they get Bryson Smith on the 40 man and bring him up?

    I was watching Eugenio Suarez clip of the home run last night, and it dawned on me that the way he swings and makes contact reminds me of Albert Pujols. Suarez is a smaller version of Albert Pujols.

      • David

        True, but he is on the “40 man” list, and when he comes off the suspension list, they will have to have a spot for him. Why? Because.

    • ohiojimw

      It was said yesterday that YRod may go on a rehab while the team is on the road. That would fit with holding off on DLing Hamilton until Yrod is ready to be activated.

  10. kywhi

    It’s hard to remember just how great the Alfredo Simon-for-Eugenio Suarez trade was now that Simon is back in a Reds uniform.

  11. VaRedsFan

    I’m thinking Billy would have had that Rizzo HR. Runs saved…IMPORTANT.

  12. vegastypo

    Talking on the radio broadcast that maybe Hoover has been tipping his pitches.

  13. Dan

    Waiting for the DFA shoe to fall for Simon and Hoover. Man they are both equal parts of stink and washed up.

    • vegastypo

      Simon’s one role would seem to be to chew up some innings. If he can’t do that, send him to the pen — or beyond.

  14. Dan

    This team just can’t seem to buy hits against the Cubs.

  15. Dan

    If I was playing on the Reds as one of the starting 8 I would walk off the field, head to the locker room, take a cold shower, and then head to the nearest bar. Some kind of stinky.

  16. ohiojimw

    Based on what we are seeing today and what transpired in Louisville Friday night with Homer, why waste more any of Homer’s arm on rehab? Just activate him and drop him into Simon’s rotation spot. He would eat at least as many innings and the results couldn’t be any worse.

    • DHud

      Or reverse logic, why risk rushing his arm back into this dumpster fire if it’s not ready and possibly cause further injury?

      • MrRed

        DHUD’s point carries the day. No need to press anything this year. Especially with a pitcher who could be a long term asset. He’ll get here soon enough, as will others. I think this series confirms a valid and important point. The Reds are not a playoff caliber team this year. That’s ok, considering everyone saw this coming. Let’s see what better health and youth can bring to the mix but no need to rush things.

      • ohiojimw

        He’s on rehab. He’s going to pitch somewhere; and, throw up to 80 pitches or so his next time out. If Simon is the best they’ve got to run out to the mound to start a real, why not Bailey. Let him throw his 80 pitches then pull him just like they’d do in the minors

  17. msanmoore

    Will it end the way it began? That would be oddly interesting from a pure baseball fan standpoint.

    Stupid.Cubs.

    • kywhi

      Interminably is what my clock shows.

  18. preacherj

    Thom: “the Reds brought Simon back to bear his portion of the load….”

    Oh, he’s definately bearing his portion of THIS load….

    • mtkal

      It was either that or watching the Cubs take batting practice for another couple of hours.

      • mtkal

        True. And as I think about it, we still may watch the Cubs take BP with the Reds’ bull pen anyway.

  19. preacherj

    Wait a minute….he didnt walk the first batter he faced.

  20. Indy RedMan

    Well when I saw we had the Cubs for 7 with 90% of our good arms unavailable…I was sort of expecting 5-6 losses but not that bad? That’s 5 blowouts in 7 games and Arrieta only pitched once. Oh well….hopefully Price can cut bait on the dead weight well before the AS break this year. Cubs 4, Mets 3, Pirates 3, and SF 3….I was thinking 6-7 would be an accomplishment….maybe 5-8 now?

  21. ohiojimw

    With the off day Thursday, by my count the Reds won’t need Simon’s spot in the rotation until May 4. Bailey or Disco both could make 1 more rehab start then drop in there. It would be on Bailey’s 7th day, Disco’s 5th

  22. preacherj

    I cant believe its only the 3rd inning

  23. David

    Frankly, we have to ask: are the Reds interested in putting something of a winning and interesting team on the field, or just filling up the roster? I will get plenty of grief for saying this, but why did they send Robert Stephenson back down? He’s proven he can pitch at this level. Yes, i know the calendar will start on his free-agent years, but this kind of game is very off-putting for fans. If Simon stays in the rotation, would you come out to watch him pitch? They frankly wasted $2Mill on this guy, who can’t get a major league hitter out.
    Somebody has to be up, and why not Stephenson? Homer and Desclafani are still a couple of weeks away. Who knows when Lamb will be back? They have a three man rotation and the bullpen getting shelled; Strailly, Iglesias and Finnegan. And the bullpen is ruined for those guys because of days like this.

    • MrRed

      Forgive me for asking an obvious question, but can Stephenson pitch every day or every other day? If not, what difference does it make? The Reds aren’t going anywhere. Stephenson can develop and work on the things that he needs to before it really starts to count against the Reds payroll plans.

      The bigger concern for everyone should be whether the young talent can develop in time for the next season.

  24. preacherj

    Good sacrifice by Hayes. Little steps….

  25. GreatRedLegsFan

    With Sampson, Jumbo and Melville gone next in the choppers line are Simon and Hoover. Wonder if Disco or Bailey will be ready to replace Simon in the next turn, otherwise they’ll have to recall Stephenson again.

    • tdan4

      Bailey, DeSclafani, Cotham, Cingrani, Lamb, Finnegan, Lorenzen, Iglasias, Moscot, Stephenson, Strally, Barnhardt, Mesoraco, Votto, Bruce, Hamilton, Suarez, De Jesus, Cozart, Duvall, Peraza, Holt, Sherbler, Phillips (is still around), Winker, and several more on the rise, including Tyler Stephenson, this club is going to be the Cubbies of the next few years. Just sit back and watch them grow. Patience friends. Doubtful though if Price is still going to be around.

  26. vegastypo

    Saw this on Twitter:

    Simon’s last three appearances:
    4.1 IN, 16 H, 16 R, 4 HR,
    106 pitches, 35.12 ERA.

    • preacherj

      We really need to get him going.

    • tdan4

      So, the starter leaves with an Earnie of over 16, and they bring in a reliever with an Earnie of close to 16. Gonna be a long game again. This team is loaded with good young arms but are a year or two away. Patience. In a couple of years or so this club will once again be relevant in the division.

  27. Jeff

    Simon is done. He needed to eat innings and he’s not even doing that. Ok to be bad on this team, but if you start you need to be able take your 6+ innings. Get some other washed up arm instead of this guy.

    • MrRed

      I propose that we trade for LaSam, currently on the Dodgers AAA squad. We need an arm and he apparently wants another extended chance with the club. It’s the perfect storm this year.

  28. mtkal

    I really hope that’s the last time we Simon in a Reds’ uniform. If a young guy with potential is getting shelled, you can figure maybe he’s learning and getting some experience. But with a guy like Simon it just feels so useless and wasteful.

  29. Patrick Jeter

    Votto with a 3 game hitting streak now. Gotta appreciate the small things, right?

    • Jeff

      Hope this means that he is getting his groove back.

  30. TR

    With 5 innings to go and if Hayes can hold them in relief, the Reds could salvage this game.

  31. Cliff

    I must have early 2000’s war syndrome.. I’m out doing laundry and go to check the box score and see hayes’ name in the box score and instantly thought that jimmy Haynes was on the bump.

  32. Jeff Morris

    JJ Hoover & Simon should give back some of their salary to the Reds, for their very poor performances so far this year…

    • MrRed

      A year overdue in my opinion. It wasn’t just the lack of talent, he didn’t have much focus when he was up with the club.

  33. wildwestlv

    Really, at this point, why would anyone pay money to see any Simon start? Besides the obvious, fans of the opposing team?

    • MrRed

      That’s why you have bobblehead games. At least the fans get something of value for the price of admission.

      • David

        I got a Reds Snuggie at a game a few years ago. Ask me how much I use it. 🙂

        $30 in gas, $15 to park, $80 in tickets, $50 in food and drinks, and I got four snuggies that nobody ever uses.

      • MrRed

        Yep, I’m have the same math problem as you. Looks like we’ll have to wait another year.

  34. preacherj

    I really enjoy listening to Welsh and Brantley talk about pitching

    • vegastypo

      I do too, when the conversation can be diverted from other topics that don’t have anything to do with baseball.

  35. Jeff

    Votto walked! Votto Walked! A hit and a walk in one game. Man I’m hoping this means he’s back.

  36. preacherj

    I guess if you HAVE to use Hoover…..

    • vegastypo

      Sheldon saying on Twitter that Hoover has made some adjustments that he thinks will help him out. We shall see.

      • vegastypo

        Three up, three down, but it helped when he got a called third strike on a pitch that was 3 inches inside.

  37. preacherj

    Let me say this: the Cubbie hitters were consistently bailing on JJ that inning when they didnt need to. Hopefully that had to do with some deceptive movement much more than his well earned reputation

    • vegastypo

      Brantley pointing to a willingness to pitch inside. He hasn’t been doing that.

  38. preacherj

    The lonliest job this week is a Cubs closer at GABP