Well, this isn’t starting well.
For the second consecutive game, the Cincinnati Reds (2-5) were shut out, this time by the Pittsburgh Pirates (4-3), in the Bucs’ home opener at PNC 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.
The loss was the Reds’ third straight, and they have now gone 20 consecutive simulated innings without scoring.
Help set the lineup, batting order for the simulated Reds:
Have you ever dreamed of your opportunity to “manage” the Reds? Now is your chance. Learn more below!
Sonny Gray was stellar, pitching the first six innings while striking out 10. The only run he allowed was in the fourth, a homer by Josh Bell. Pedro Strop surrendered two runs in the bottom of the eighth, widening the margin of error for the Pittsburgh bullpen to finish off the visitors. Keone Kela pitched the ninth for his fourth save, tied for the most in the young simulated MLB season.
Gray, by the way, leads the simulated season with 18 strikeouts overall and 14.73 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Righthanded batters are hitting only .150 against him, 11th best overall. Joey Votto is tied for fourth in most walks drawn with eight.
The Reds’ six hits included doubles by Shogo Akiyama and Mike Moustakas, the only extra-base hits in the game for Cincinnati. It was a game of missed opportunities for the visitors. Eugenio Suarez and Votto both singled with one out in the first, but were left stranded. In the fifth with two out, Gray singled and Akiyama doubled, but Suarez grounded out to end the inning. Moustakas led off the ninth with his double, but was stranded as Kela retired the next three.
The loss leaves the Reds alone in the NL Central Division cellar, 2.5 games behind the first-place Cubs.
Here is the box score, as provided by Strat-O-Matic:
A-Pinch Hit For Gray In 7th Inning
B-Pinch Hit For Rodriguez In 8th Inning
C-Subbed Defensively (LF) For Osuna In 9th Inning
Standings following the April 2 games:
The 2020 schedule as currently constituted has the Reds off on Friday, with the second of the three-game series at PNC Park in Pittsburgh scheduled for Saturday. Starting pitchers are unknown, but we will update when Strat-O-Matic provides that information.
Help set the lineup, batting order for the simulated Reds:
Have you ever dreamed of your opportunity to “manage” the Reds? Now is your chance.
Strat-O-Matic has agreed to allow Redleg Nation to submit the Cincinnati Reds’ lineups for each day’s simulated game. We want all of our readers who want to participate to get involved.
Here is how it will work:
- In each wrap up of that day’s simulated game, Redleg Nation will post the opposing starting pitcher for the next game. You will know who the pitcher is and whether he is left-handed or right-handed, and you can use that information in creating a lineup for the next game, and submitting it in the comments below. “Splits” such as performance vs. left-handers or right-handers are replicated in the Strat-O-Matic game algorithm, and therefore should be considered.
- We will accept lineups from every reader who wants to submit one. The lineup that will be submitted to Strat-O-Matic each day will be the one that receives the most positive replies (in effect, “yes” votes) from readers other than the submitter. In case of ties:
- First tiebreaker: Lineup submitted by the reader who has had the fewest number of opportunities as a “manager.”
- Second tiebreaker: Lineup submitted earliest in the comment thread. (So get your lineup in “early” each day.)
- What is “early?” Redleg Nation posts these articles daily between 5 and 6 p.m. Eastern time. Strat-O-Matic’s deadline for us to submit a lineup for the next day’s game is midnight. On most days, we’ll do this before “bedtime,” which is typically between 10:30 and 11 Eastern time.
Have fun with this! If you have any questions, please post them in the comment string below.
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.
News/Notes from around baseball
One of the things we would have during the season in the game threads was a section comprised of news and notes for the day. While there’s a lot less going on these days in the baseball world than usual for this time of year, there still are some things that are worth highlighting. When there are, we’ll be adding them to these daily simulation threads.
Every Thursday morning, Wesley Jenkins is going to unveil his weekly Randomized 2020 Cincinnati Reds simulations where we look back at a week’s worth of games at a time based on historical games. But he also provides a fun piece of historical information with each game that the simulation was based on. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you really should.
Fox Sports Ohio will be showing Game 3 of the 1975 World Series tonight at 7pm ET. They unveiled a schedule for the next week that features nine games through next Wednesday. So if you’re looking for some baseball to watch – even if you know the results, we’ve got the schedule for you right here.
John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer took a look at the Top 5 pitching performances that he witnessed by Reds pitchers. Three of the games are from the last decade, while there’s one each from the 80’s and 90’s.
Minor League Baseball could be headed for an economic disaster, writes JJ Cooper of Baseball America. With the uncertainty of not only when, but IF a season will be played at all, there are teams that could fail to be able to sustain operations if a season doesn’t happen. And those consequences could be ever lasting in the scheme of how we’ve operated farm systems for the last 60 years in professional baseball.