The St. Louis Cardinals (2-1) pitching held the first four hitters in the Cincinnati Reds (1-2) batting order hitless on the way to a 4-3 victory over the home team in the rubber game of a season-opening three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
That was the result today as Strat-O-Matic games of Glen Head, N.Y., continued its announced plan to simulate the entire 2020 Major League Baseball season on a day-by-day basis for as long as actual game play is on hold.
St. Louis jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first and never trailed thereafter. The Reds closed to within 4-3 on Jesse Winker’s two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the sixth, but neither team scored over the final three innings. Winker’s 3-for-4 performance at the plate improved his batting average to .308 after three games.
Trevor Bauer pitched the first four innings for Cincinnati, allowing two runs while stranding numerous Cardinal runners on base. Bauer walked six and allowed five hits while striking out seven. Reliever Lucas Sims allowed a two-run home run to Paul DeJong in the sixth inning which turned into the eventual winning margin.
Tyler Mahle, Robert Stephenson, and Amir Garrett combined for three scoreless innings of relief work. Nick Castellanos had a double and a single and was the only Red besides Winker with more than one hit. Nick Senzel got his first start of the season in center field and went 0-for-5 from the leadoff position.
In a trend reminiscent of the 2019 season, each of the Reds’ first three games has been decided by one run.
Here is the box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
- B-Subbed Defensively (LF) For Martinez In 6th Inning
- D-Pinch Hit For Ponce De Leon In 9th Inning
- F-Pinch Hit For Miller In 9th Inning
- A-Pinch Hit For Mahle In 5th Inning
- C-Pinch Hit For Sims In 7th Inning
- E-Subbed Defensively (LF) For Stephenson In 9th Inning
- G-Pinch Ran For Casali In 9th Inning
Strat-O-Matic has been in the sports simulation business since the 1960s. A USA Today article contained this explanation:
Strat-O-Matic and other baseball simulations use statistics from the previous season to create “cards” for each player on a roster. The team managers select the batting order and the starting pitcher. From there, a series of dice rolls and calculations determines the outcome of each at-bat.
Strat-O, as it’s known to longtime players, first gained its immense popularity as a board game. The company has since expanded to a downloadable Windows version and one that’s played online. A few years ago, it introduced Baseball Daily – a new iteration that combined the player cards from the previous season with statistics from the real season being played at the same time.
Unlike many video games, the Strat-O-Matic results are based on algorithms that account for players’ actual past performance. It’s not a game played with a joystick that relies more on the skill of the person with the video game controller in his or her hand.
The simulation software will keep comprehensive statistics for all teams for the season, so we’ll be able to track year-to-date leaders in many statistical categories. Our current plan is to provide statistical leader summaries here at Redleg Nation each Sunday. You can follow the season at Strat-O-Matic.com, where they plan to post the results from each day’s schedule at 2 p.m. Eastern time.
Here are the standings after the full schedule of March 29 games:
If you have not seen it yet, please check out Wesley Jenkins’ randomized simulation initiative.
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds traveling to Toronto to open a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Monday.