The Short Version: Leading 4-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, Michael Lorenzen and the Reds snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as an Ian Happ home run gave Chicago a 5-2 win.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (67-93) 4 8 2
Chicago Cubs (91-69) 5 9 0
W: Duensing (1-1) L: Lorenzen (8-4) S: Grimm (1)
FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score

The Good
–Down 2-0 as the game headed to the fifth inning, Jesse Winker led off with a ground rule double and Jose Peraza singled him to third. Scott Schebler and Tucker Barnhart each singled, and the game was tied at 2.

After Robert Stephenson bunted into a double play, Phillip Ervin singled to left, scoring Barnhart. After a Zack Cozart walk, Joey Votto singled in Ervin and the Reds led 4-2.

–Votto was 2-4 with a double and an RBI; that was Votto’s 100th RBI of the season. It’s the third time in his career that Votto has topped the RBI century mark, and the first time since 2011.

–Winker — hitting fifth in the order — doubled, walked, and scored a run. Barnhart singled, walked, scored a run, and drove in another.

–Stephenson wasn’t efficient — once again — but he was fairly effective — once again. Bob Steve went five innings, throwing 83 pitches and allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks. Oddly, he didn’t strike out a batter, but no one really made hard contact against him either. Stephenson’s continued inability to throw a strike when he needs it is going to hamper his development if he can’t harness that command, but you can’t argue the fact that he has made great strides this season.

–Kevin Shackelford gave up a hit in a scoreless sixth inning, but struck out the side.

The Bad
–That 4-2 Reds lead I referenced above lasted all the way until the bottom of the eighth inning. Amir Garrett was on the mound after pitching a scoreless seventh inning, and he surrendered a one-out single before he was removed in favor of Michael Lorenzen. Cubs 3B Taylor Davis greeted Lorenzen by squibbing one down the third base line for cheap infield single.

After Lorenzen struck out Kyle Schwarber, he was within one out of escaping the inning unharmed. That’s the precise moment when Ian Happ crushed a three-run homer to give Chicago a 5-4 lead.

–Votto and Eugenio Suarez each made uncharacteristic throwing errors.

Not-So-Random Thoughts
–Votto’s fourth-inning double extended his on-base streak to 30 games. That’s the longest active streak in the majors.

In related news: Joey Votto is good.

–Is this season over yet?

Tonight’s Tweets

28 Responses

  1. TR

    Some good pitching from Stevenson and Shackelford and the offense does it’s job but the lose mirrors the season.

    • james garrett

      Wait a minute.Yes they should have won with a two run lead into the 8th but they got 1 hit the last 4 innings and got 0 hits the last 4 inning the night before.Both losses were by one run.

  2. Andy Mace

    I was hoping Steve had this recap, no offense to you Chad, for the fact of Price hitting Winker 5th and Ervin lead off. Was looking forward to a witty yet sharp comment that he usually brings to Price’s lineup decisions. Seems like to me he definitely goes by the “who is faster” question. I just don’t get how he wouldn’t want more guys on base in front of Votto. Being fast has nothing to do with that. Our analytics department has to be talking with Williams this offseason about this.

    • Andy Mace

      Good summation though Chad. I always enjoy your recaps as well.

    • Chad Dotson

      No offense taken. It’s a good point. You and Steve are exactly correct about the lineup decisions.

      On the other hand, I thought it was interesting to see Winker in the middle of the order. I dunno, I feel like Price is trying a number of things this month to see what works and what doesn’t.

      But please, give me Winker hitting first or second in the lineup for about 140 games next season.

      • Steven Ross

        Price is still our Manager so if BH is still with the team next season, there’s no way Winker bats leadoff. Price = Captain Persistent. Cozart is the enigma. If still around, Price will bat him 2nd. He never wavers.

  3. Kap

    More runs given up by Lorenzen. Where have we heard this before?

  4. Streamer88

    He pitched, he got some people out, he’s not on the DL.

    That to me is a successful 2017 for Lorenzen. Baby steps.

    • Chad Dotson

      Young pitchers are notoriously inconsistent. He’s just 25. I haven’t lost hope for Lorenzen yet, anyway.

      I’m not sure how he’d perform as a starter and, frankly, I have some doubts after watching him this season. But I see NO downside to giving him a shot at the rotation.

  5. Ed Koverman

    The push to number five is still alive. Stephenson finished the season fairly well. I think putting him in the bullpen at the start of the season wasn’t the worst idea but not pitching was a bad decision

  6. Ed Koverman

    I wonder what don gullet could do with arms like these

  7. Chad Dotson

    Still very worried about the command. But I’m continually impressed by his stuff. You can see why he has gotten so many chances in this organization. I can see him throwing a no-hitter on a day when he’s throwing strikes.

    I just hope there are a few days when he’s throwing strikes.

  8. Aaron Bradley

    Wind blowing in so he sits Billy, the one time Billy Ball actually has merit, i.e. singles, SB score. So yea pinch hit Duval with 2 outs in the 9th to see if he can hit a home run into the teeth of the wind despite being ice cold for 2 months. If we are jockeying for draft position, this is genius. If we are trying to win games, its god awful managing.

  9. Mike Kelsch

    I’m glad you brought that up Jim. I root for ML and I think the Reds may have mishandled his talents, but I don’t see how he could be a starter if he is struggling to relieve. However, Homer seems (no data to back this up) to struggle early and then zero in as he goes on. Maybe Lorenzen needs one inning to kinda get it together and he’s Homer, jr. Or as I like to call him HoJu. Sorry Simpsons.

  10. Mike Adams

    Anybody want to trade our Price for THAT Price and a big league manager to be named later?

    • Still a Red

      That Price does like to take chartered flights.

  11. TR

    Two more games and another season ahead with Bryan Price at the helm. I’m not a Marlins fan but I like what soon-to-be-owner, Derrick Jeter, is doing: change.

  12. cfd3000

    Joey Votto is good. Tucker Barnhart has been a godsend. Eugenio Suarez is good. Zack Cozart would be very useful at shortstop and in the lineup again next year. Jesse Winker is a professional hitter. There’s a solid core there, and if the pitching continues to improve this will be a contending team soon. Stephenson needs to work on his mechanics and control and could be an ace. I agree with Chad that there’s little downside to giving Lorenzen 10 starts next year to see if he blossoms there. From a draft slot perspective I’m fine that the Reds lost yesterday, but I’m still optimistic about 2018. Until then…

    Votto for MVP. Votto for Captain. Go Reds.

  13. Reaganspad

    I think relievers are prowl to good year, bad year, good year syndrome.

    There is no value in trading him now so you look to see what happens next year. Still cheap, too good an arm, too good a competitor not to have him in the fold.

    We are not talking about Blake Wood here

  14. Steven Ross

    It’s time to part with Cozart. Older now, injury prone, not worth the bank. Move on.

    • KDJ

      I understand the rationale behind shopping Cozart. On the other hand, he is still a near top of the league defender and a top of the league hitter at shortstop. Considering the change in plate discipline and change in swing mechanics Cozart has made, this improvement is not likely a fluke based on lucky BABIP; it is more likely who he is as a player now. Plus, he is a veteran who has improved and not just relied on freakish talent. There are some young Reds I’d love to see follow his example at this stage in their careers. Having him in the lineup alongside Votto, even with scheduled precautionary rests, can bring lots of benefits to the team. Besides, the moves that I have seen discussed result in a decline at shortstop both offensively and defensively, which is tough to absorb for team with a negative run differential.

  15. REED L BERGENstart

    Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax,Randy Johnson all had control issues early in their careers. When you have elite stuff, it can take some time to harness it. I would counsel patience for now.

      • brunsfam

        I don’t believe Reed’s stating that Bob Steve will be equal to those pitchers – and there is certainly a long list of guys with great stuff that never were able to harness it and flamed out of the game. I think his last line about being patient is the message. And given Bob Steve’s improvement the 2nd half of the year, the trend is positive.

  16. brunsfam

    This is what kills me – we are so afraid that if we trade a guy, he will explode and make us look bad. I understand the sentiment, but where’s the expectation that he progress and explode while he wears a Reds uniform?

    Where’s the demand for excellence coming from within the Reds organization? The Manager, the GM, the Owner??? Where? Scooter has had a great year – but he’s the exception. I know we have some success stories, but the leadership that oozed from Pinella is missing. Who is the man that can put a young team in a frame of mind to compete?

    We have sorted players all year long – but I’m afraid that we haven’t sorted at the top – where we need it most.