Today is the 10th anniversary of Joey Votto’s major league debut. For six innings I was convinced — and there was nothing you could have said to change my mind — that the two teams had agreed that as a tribute to Votto, the only permissible RBIs in today’s game would be on bases-loaded walks.

Cincinnati Reds 5 • Milwaukee Brewers 4 || Box || Play Log || Statcast

Homer Bailey, making his first September start since 2013, was dominant for the first 6 innings. Between the 2nd and 6th innings, he retired 14 consecutive batters, breaking a lot of Brewers bats. Added with his previous game, Bailey threw 11 shutout innings in a row. Bailey struck out four and didn’t walk anyone. He only reached a 3-ball count on a handful of hitters. Bailey’s fastball was 94-95 mph much of the day, hitting 96 mph once.

Bailey ran out of gas in the 7th inning, giving up a leadoff home run to Ryan Braun then two more singles before being lifted.

Homer Bailey has started 14 games this season. He’s had some really bad ones. But in 7 of those starts he’s given up 2 or fewer earned runs. He gave up three today, although two scored on home run after he’d been removed.

Bailey even contributed on offense, with a single on the 10th pitch of his at bat in the 3rd inning. He came around to score on a bases-loaded walk by JoeyMVP, scoring the first run of the game.

Bryan Price brought Michael Lorenzen to relieve Bailey with two runners on and no outs in the 7th inning. Lorenzen retired the first two batters before giving up a game-tying 3-run homer.

Kevin Shackleford worked around two singles, including starting a nifty 1-6-3 double play, in pitching the 8th. Raisel Iglesias retired the side in order in the 9th. His last pitch was a 100-mph fastball to strike out Stephen Vogt.

Billy Hamilton drove a 95-mph fastball into the left field bleachers for a wonderful, if extremely unlikely, walk-off home run in the 9th inning. Tucker Barnhart blasted a bases-loaded double in the 6th to drive in a pair of runs, making the score 4-0.

The Reds turned in a couple nice defensive plays. Hamilton and Barnhart teamed up for the third out of the 1st inning, with Hamilton gunning down Neil Walker at the plate. Barnhart made a deep tag on the hop. In the 2nd inning, Scooter Gennett made a nice play on a broken-bat flare into right field, fielding the ball over his shoulder.

Home runs. Home runs. Power. Home runs. I’m looking forward to a day when Reds employees who are in charge of things quit talking about building offense around creating panic/chaos with speed. Don’t they watch any games?

18 Responses

  1. Jeff Morris

    In a year of disappointment and frustration….nice to celebrate a walk off Reds win…

    • Soapboxes

      Seems like Bailey has a shot of bouncing back from all of his injuries. He has put together a string of good starts mixed in with a couple of horrible outings. Hopefully its just rust and he will be good to go for next year. It looks like his strike outs have been pretty low. Is that a result of coming back from all his injuries and just doesn’t have then same stuff. Is he “pitching” instead of trying to strike everyone out. For those who have watched him pitch, what are your thoughts?

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Several comments on TV today about him not just trying to overpower hitters. I think command has been one of his problems and that can/will be corrected by continuing to throw regularly. I’m an optimist so I think he will be a useful piece in the starting rotation next year, not lights out but better than what we saw the first half of this season out of the starting rotation.

  2. Wizeman

    Really great to watch bailey pitching so well ver the past couple of weeks
    Stephenson Castillo Mahle Romano and Garrett last night. Mid August seems a long time ago

  3. Rich

    It really seems that Billy Hamilton is more comfortable batting right handed? Maybe he and the Reds should consider ditching switch hitting for next year. I memory serves that help Marino Duncan?

    • Scott Gennett

      I’d buy a 262/323 batting line with his speed/defense any day. He should platoon with a right hander, but both Schebler and Winker are lefties. I believe a trade is in the horizon.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        Schebler has hit lefties better than righties this year, at least if batting average is any indicator. Don’t know if that’s been typical of him over his career though.

      • PDunc

        He has an interesting split this year:
        283/296/504 vs left for OPS of 800 with wRC+ of 103
        216/321/482 vs right for OPS of 803 with wRC+ of 104
        So the sum is pretty even although a different way of getting there

        Career 804 OPS and 108 wRC+ vs right
        734 OPS and 88 wRC+ vs left

        Still much better at hitting lefties than Hamilton but not exactly an ideal platoon partner.

    • PDunc

      Billy Hamilton career numbers:
      vs left-handed pitchers 237/269/337 wRC+ of 61
      vs right-handed pitchers 253/309/333 wRC+ of 74

      Billy Hamilton over the last 2 season (1054 PAs in 246 games in 2016 and 2017)
      vs left-handed pitchers 221/254/306 wRC+ of 45
      vs right-handed pitchers 267/330/352 wRC+ of 82

      His numbers against right-handers are acceptable when added to his defensive and base running value. He should rarely if ever play against left-handed starters.

      Someone who can a reasonable defensive centerfield and hit lefties needs to be on the roster next season. Can that be Ervin or Schebler? Does someone else need brought in? Who is moved to make room in the outfield? Duvall, Schebler, Hamilton, Ervin and Winker all have their strengths and weaknesses. How the outfield looks next season will be interesting.

  4. David

    You seemed resigned to the inevitable. 🙂

    Seriously, this is and has been the problem with Bryan Price and the Reds. Bryan is not a terrible person, but he seems to thing batting Billy Hamilton leadoff is “winning” baseball. Well, maybe next year the light goes on for Billy. Really. Really. And that’s the way Bryan and Williams and the rest think.
    Winker.Suarez should be 1/2, or bat Joey 2 and Suarez 3. Schebler can handle center , at least at GABP. He runs better than Shin Soo Choo, who played center for the last Reds team that made it to the playoffs.

  5. jazzmanbbfan

    In postgame comments Price said he never was going to take Homer out regardless of what Tucker did and sending Kivlehan up was just a decoy (not his exact words).

  6. Ed Koverman

    If cozart gets the same amount of interest Stephen drew got a couple of years ago, can we see zach getting a one year contract from the reds?

  7. Scott Carter

    Yes this is true. Of course Kivelan comes in later a strikes out. As he was batting I was wondering when was the last time he got a hit. Can’t remember.

  8. james garrett

    I commented on the game thread basically the same thing.I understood why he left him in I just didn’t feel it was necessary and thought an extra run would be better.Homer is a vet,he was pulled 2 starts ago after 3 innings as a precaution and even if he gets them out without any damage so what.I don’t think Homer needs to prove he can go 7 innings in a meaningless game in Sept.Like I said I understand but just didn’t see the benefit and to be honest in that situation the worse thing that could happen did happen.Homer still was lights out for 6 innings and that’s all that matters

  9. DHud

    The way Homer was pitching prior to the 7th I definitely wanted him to come back out and would have been mad if Price HAD pinch hit for him

    So there really was no wrong answer in that situation (without the power of hindsight); just difference in opinion

  10. brunsfam

    ML ball is a pretty amazing and strange game!
    The margin for error is so small. Milwaukee’s pitcher, Josh Hader, who is having a solid year, couldn’t believe it. He just stared at the bleachers for a few moments. Billy, batting RH, squares up a 95 mph fastball and deposits it in the LCF seats – not a cheap home run!
    Last week we lost a 1-0 game where the only run scored was homer by the Pitt pitcher.